Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
Award for individual contributions to Performing arts
Awarded forAward for the performing arts in India
Sponsored bySangeet Natak Academy
Reward(s)3 lakh (equivalent to 3.8 lakh or US$5,100 in 2020)
First awarded1954
Last awarded2015
Total awarded144
First winner
Last winnerC. V. Chandrasekhar
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, also known as Akademi Ratna Sadasyata, is an Indian honour for the performing arts presented by Sangeet Natak Academy.[1] It is "the most prestigious and rare honour" conferred by the Academy and is "restricted to 40 individuals at any given time".[2]


In 1945, The Asiatic Society of Bengal submitted a proposal to establish a National Cultural Trust consisting of three academies: an Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, an Academy of Letters, and an Academy of Art and Architecture. The proposal was reconsidered in the Conference on Art held in Kolkata in 1949, and two conferences, the Conference on Letters, and the Conference on Dance, Drama, and Music, were held in New Delhi in 1951. All three conferences were organized by the Government of India and recommended the establishment of three national academies: an Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama (Sangeet Natak Akademi), an Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi), and an Academy of Art (Lalit Kala Academy).[3]

The Sangeet Natak Academy, established on 31 May 1952 by a resolution of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (then the Ministry of Education), Government of India, headed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,[3] is India's National Academy for Music, Dance, and Drama. The Akademi was officially inaugurated on 28 January 1953 by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad and P. V. Rajamannar was appointed as its first Chairman.[4] The first members of the Executive Board of the Akademi consisted of Maharaja Sri Sir Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, T. L. Venkatarama Aiyar, S. N. Mozumdar, N. R. Ray, Dharma Vira, A.K. Ghosh, J. C. Mathur, and A. V. Venkateswaran.[5] Other two institutes were established later; the Sahitya Akademi was inaugurated on 12 March 1954 and the Lalit Kala Akademi was inaugurated on 5 August 1954.[6][7] Later, on 11 September 1961, it was reorganized as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Though the Sangeet Natak Akademi functions as an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Culture, its programmes are completely funded by the Government.[4]

The Sangeet Natak Akademi is defined as "the apex body of the performing arts" in the country and primarily focuses on "preserving and promoting the vast intangible heritage of India's diverse culture expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama". The Akademi has also established various institutions in the fields of performing arts: the National School of Drama in New Delhi in 1959, the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in Imphal and the National Institute of Kathak Dance in New Delhi in 1964, and the Koodiyattam Kendra in Thiruvananthapuram in 1990.[4][8] Since 1965, the Akademi also publishes a quarterly journal, Sangeet Natak.[9]


The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship is conferred without distinction of nationality, race, caste, religion, creed, or sex. The criteria restricts any person below the age of 50 to ordinarily be considered for the honour, although a minimum age of 35 is required.[10] Persons who are already deceased do not qualify; if an honoree dies before the honour is conferred, however, the honour will be assigned posthumously.[10] The criteria also excludes any institution along with the members of the General Council of the Akademi from consideration. The fellowship does not refer to any specific work or achievement of an artist but to the "significant and lasting contribution on a sustained basis over a period of time". The recommendations are received from the current fellows along with the members of the General Council of the Akademi.[10]

The fellowship was established in 1954 and the first elected fellows were Carnatic music vocalist Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Veena player Karaikudi Sambasiva Aiyer, and film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor. As of 2015, the fellowship has been conferred upon 144 individuals, including 29 dancers, 31 theater performers, 75 musicians, and 9 individuals awarded for their overall contributions in all three fields. Since its inception, the honour has been bestowed upon 26 female artists and, in 1958, a Hindustani classical vocalist, belonging to the Bhendibazaar gharana, Anjanibai Malpekar became the first woman fellow of the Akademi. A French national and musicologist Alain Daniélou is the only non-Indian national awarded with the fellowship.[11]

As per the constitutional provision under Rule 12 (vi) of the Rules and Regulations of the Akademi, the number of fellows is restricted to 30. On 25 March 2003, the General Council of the Akademi recommended restricting the number of fellows to 40 living persons and a total of 60 at any given time. However, the recommendation is not yet approved by the Ministry. As of 2016, there are 36 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Each recipient is awarded with a cash prize of 3 lakh (equivalent to 3.8 lakh or US$5,100 in 2020), an Angavastram (Shawl), and a Tamrapatra (citation plaque) given under the seal of Akademi and signature of its Chairman.[10][11][12] The most recent recipient of the fellowship is Bharatanatyam dancer C. V. Chandrasekhar who was awarded for the year 2015.[12]

List of fellows

Fellowship recipients by field[11]
Field Number of recipients
Overall Contribution/Scholarship
   # Indicates a current fellow
List of Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows, showing the year, and field(s)[11]
Year Image Recipient Field(s)
1954  – Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar Music
1954  – Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer Music
Prithviraj Kapoor Theatre
1958  – Anjanibai Malpekar Music
1962  – Gopeshwar Banerjee Music
1962  – D. Annaswami Bhagavathar Music
Uday Shankar Dance
1962  – Papanasam Sivan Music
1963  – Swami Prajnanananda Music
1963  – Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar Music
1963  – Pichu Sambamoorthi Music
1963  – Mama Warerkar Theatre
1964  – T. L. Venkatarama Iyer Music
1964  – C. Saraswathi Bai Music
1964  – Birendra Kishore Roy Choudhury Music
1964  – B. R. Deodhar Music
1964  – V. Raghavan Music
1964  – P. V. Rajamannar Theatre
1965  – Vinayak Narayan Patwardhan Music
1965  – Ganesh Hari Ranade Music
1965 Dilipkumar Roy Music
1965  – Jaideva Singh Music
1965  – D. G. Vyas Music
1966  – Ashutosh Bhattacharya Music
1966  – E. Krishna Iyer Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1966 Sombhu Mitra Theatre
Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Music
1967 Ebrahim Alkazi# Theatre
Rukmini Devi Arundale Dance
1967 Musiri Subramania Iyer Music
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Music
1967  – P. K. Kunju Kurup Dance
1967  – Shambhu Maharaj Dance
1967  – V. Satyanarayana Sarma Dance
1967  – Adya Rangacharya 'Shriranga' Theatre
1968  – Kali Charan Patnaik Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1970  – K. C. D. Brahaspati Music
Kapila Vatsyayan# Dance
1970  – Dilip Chandra Vedi Music
Tarapada Chakraborty Music
1972  – Krishnarao Phulambrikar Music
1972  – Rallapalli Ananta Krishna Sharma Music
1973 K. Shivaram Karanth Theatre
1974  – Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Theatre
1974  – Jnan Prakash Ghosh Music
M. S. Subbulakshmi Music
1975 T. Balasaraswati Dance
Zubin Mehta# Music
1975  – Rasiklal Parikh Theatre
Ravi Shankar Music
1975  – Manna Dey (({last))} Music
Santidev Ghosh Overall Contribution/Scholarship
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer Music
1977  – Hirjibhai Rustomji Doctor Music
1978  – Tinuvengadu Subramania Pillai Music
1978  – B. Puttaswamayya Theatre
P. L. Deshpande Theatre
1979  – D. T. Joshi Music
1979  – Sumati Mutatkar Music
1979  – T. P. Kuppiah Pillai Dance
1980  – V. K. Narayana Menon Overall Contribution/Scholarship
Mani Madhava Chakyar Dance
Mallikarjun Mansur Music
1984  – M. Kirupanandawari Music
1984  – Chandravadan Mehta Theatre
Siyaram Tiwari Music
1986  – V. V. Swarna Venkatesa Deekshithar Music
1986  – Komal Kothari Music
1986  – S. Ramanathan Music
Satyajit Ray Theatre
Lata Mangeshkar# Music
1990 Utpal Dutt Theatre
Ram Gopal Dance
Alain Daniélou Music
1991  – Kelucharan Mohapatra Dance
1991  – T. S. Parthasarathy Overall Contribution/Scholarship
Ali Akbar Khan Music
D. K. Pattammal Music
1992  – Prem Lata Sharma Music
Girish Karnad# Theatre
Mrinalini Sarabhai Dance
Bismillah Khan Music
Yehudi Menuhin Music
1994  – Maheswar Neog Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1995 Vilayat Khan Music
Ammannur Madhava Chakyar Dance
Gangubai Hangal Music
1996  – Habib Tanvir Theatre
Badal Sarkar Theatre
Bhimsen Joshi Music
Birju Maharaj# Dance
1998  – K. P. Kittappa Pillai Dance
Vijay Tendulkar Theatre
M. Balamuralikrishna Music
2001 B. V. Karanth Theatre
Vempati Chinna Satyam Dance
2002  – Shanno Khurana# Music
Kavalam Narayana Panicker Theatre
2004  – Chandralekha Dance
2004  – Annapurna Devi# Music
2004  – Bindhyabasini Devi Other performing arts[a]
Ramankutty Nair Dance
2004 Zohra Sehgal Theatre
2004  – Tapas Sen Theatre
2006  – Rohini Bhate Dance
T. N. Krishnan# Music
2006  – Kishan Maharaj Music
2006  – Gursharan Singh Theatre
2006  – N. Khelchandra Singh Dance
2007  – Sushil Kumar Saxena Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2008  – Khaled Choudhury Theatre
Sitara Devi Dance
Bhupen Hazarika Music
2008  – R. C. Mehta Music
Kishori Amonkar# Music
Jasraj# Music
2009 Lalgudi Jayaraman Music
Yamini Krishnamurthy# Dance
Shriram Lagoo# Theatre
2009  – Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi# Theatre
Girija Devi Music
2010  – T. K. Murthy# Music
2010  – Nataraja Ramakrishna Dance
M. Chandrasekaran# Music
Hariprasad Chaurasia# Music
Kalamandalam Gopi# Dance
Chandrashekhara Kambara# Theatre
2011  – Heisnam Kanhailal Theatre
2011  – Mukund Lath# Overall Contribution/Scholarship
Shivkumar Sharma# Music
Rajkumar Singhajit Singh# Dance
Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman# Music
Padma Subrahmanyam# Dance
2012  – N. Rajam# Music
2012  – Ratan Thiyam# Theatre
T. H. Vinayakram# Music
2013  – Mahesh Elkunchwar# Theatre
Kanak Rele# Dance
2013  – R Sathyanarayana# Dance
Tulsidas Borkar# Music
2014  – S. R. Janakiraman# Music
2014  – Vijay Kumar Kichlu# Music
M. S. Sathyu# Theatre
2015  – C. V. Chandrasekhar# Dance
2016  – Arvind Parikh# Music
2016  – R. Vedavalli# Music
2016  – Ram Gopal Bajaj# Theatre
Sunil Kothari# Overall Contribution/Scholarship

See also

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Other performing arts include Traditional/Folk/Tribal/Dance/Music/Theatre and Puppetry


  1. ^ Jha, Manisha (23 July 2011). "Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship for Girija Devi, T.K. Murthy, Dagar". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Zakir Hussain, Sonal Mansingh Among 4 Selected for Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow". News18. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b "National Academies: Sangeet Natak Akademi". National Portal of India. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Introduction". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Constitution". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  6. ^ "About Sahitya Akademi". Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Lalit Kala Akademi: History". Lalit Kala Akademi. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Kuttiyattam Kendra". Kuttiyattam Kendra. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  9. ^ Post, Jennifer (2013). Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide. Taylor & Francis. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-136-70518-2.
  10. ^ a b c d "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Guidelines for SNA Awards". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d "Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b Acharya, Helen (23 April 2016). "Declaration of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the Year 2015" (PDF) (Press release). New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 4 January 2017.