The Kerala Sahitya Akademi is an autonomous institution
established for the promotion and development of Malayalam language and
literature. Formally inaugurated by the then Raja Pramukh late Chithira
Thirunal Balarama Varma Raja of Travancore at Kanakakunu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram
on 15th October, 1956, the Akademi started functioning in the Secretariat,
Thiruvananthapuram and later on was shifted to a room in the Thrissur
Museum Bungalow. In September, 1957 it was again shifted to the present
beautiful building near the Thrissur Town Hall.
The Akademi was registered according to the Tiruvitamkur
Kochi Societies Registration Act of 1955 and is functioning with grant
given by the Government of Kerala. Transformations: (An interlude of
resentment) According to the Government order No.24/84CD of 29.6.1984
the Kerala Sahitya Akademi was re-organised by the Government. The administration
of the Akademi was entrusted to a Managing Committee. This action adversely
affected the democratic functioning of the Akademi and attracted resentment
from eminent men of letters and cultural activists. However the ad-hoc
arrangement continued for some time. A new constitution which is being
followed now, came into force in 1985. Now the Akademi is a corporate
entity registered under the Travancore Kochi Literary, Scientific and
Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955.
The aims and objectives
Encourage or arrange translations of literacy works from Malayalam to
other languages and vice versa.
Publish literacy works including history of literature, bibliographies,
dictionaries, encyclopedia, directories of men of letters etc.
Award prizes and give recognition and assistance to individual writers.
Encourage cultural organisations engaged in the development of literature.
Organise or sponsor literacy conferences, seminars and symposia.
Promote and help research in the field of language and literature.
Promote cultural and literacy exchanges with other languages and writers.
Encourage propagation and study of literature among university students
and the masses.
Organise camps and study classes on literature for young writers.
Help study tours by writers, organise cultural exchanges among men of
Promote literacy and cultural programs among agricultural and industrial
Conduct exhibitions of recognised works of great writers in order to
assist and help the publication of these books.
Confer fellowships to distinguished writers.
Authorities of the Akademi
The Akademi functions under the overall control of a 35 member General
council consisting of eminent persons representing different branches
of Malayalam literature, and is assisted by an eleven member Executive
Board consisting of the President, Vice President, District Collector
as Treasurer, Secretary of the Akademi and Secretary to Government in
charge of Cultural Department or his nominee and Six persons elected
by the General Council from among its members. Apart from this there
will be a Finance Committee, with the Treasurer as the Chairman, a nominee
of the Secretary to Government in charge of the Culture Department ,
a nominee of the Secretary to Government in charge of Finance Department,
one member of the Executive Board nominated by the Committee and one
member of the General Council nominated by the Council.
In Order to carry out the day to day functioning of the different activities
of the Akademi effectively Sub Committees have been formed each with
a convener and a few members.
The various sub committees are :
. Works & Planning Committee
. Library & Research Committee
. Editorial Committee on Malayalam Literacy Survey.
. Editorial Committee on Sahitya Lokam, Sahitya Chakravalam
. Educational Committee
. Committee on Literary Meets
. Sahityakara Directory
. Sanskarika Diary& Literacy Archives
Succession list of Presidents
1. Sardar K.M. Panikker
3. Puthezhath Raman Meenon
5. Kuttippuzha Krishna Pillai
7. P. Kesava Dev
9. Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai
11. M.K. Sanoo
13. M.T. Vasudevan Nair.
2. K.P. Kesava Menon
4. G. Shankara Kurup
6. Ponkunnam Varki
8. P.C. Kuttikrishnan (Uroob)
10. S. Gupthan nair
12. K.M. Tharakan
The Akademi Library
The Akademi has a good reference library of rare books on different
subjects in Malayalam numbering over 100,000. It also contains important
books in English, Russian, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada,
Gujarathi and Marathi languages. The Akademi library also contains valuable
acquisitions from Rama Varma Research Institute Library, Malayalam language
Improvement Committee Library, Kalyani Krishna Menon Collections, K.
Sukumaran Library, Vilasini Collections etc. Calicut University, Mahatma
Gandhi University, Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University etc. have
approved the Akademi Library as their Research Centres. This is a haven
for scholars and literacy students intend on research and in fact about
60,000 people use the Library's collection of over 85,000 titles every
year. The library receives about 260 periodicals regularly. About 50
scholars can sit in the quiet and well ventilated reading room. The
Library has developed a software in Malayalam, that will list all books
in the library collection alphabetically in Malayalam, a feast not achieved
anywhere else in Kerala. The software is now being incorporated into
the Akademi infrastructure. The library has already brought out a Grandhasuchi
(index of titles), with the help of the eminent Library Scientist Mr.
K.M. Govi. After introduction of the Malayalam Library Software, a more
accurate and updated Gradhasuchi is planned.
The Akademi Multimedia Section
Early in 1999 Kerala Sahitya Akademi has embarked on a mission to computerise
the Akademi's various sections in a phased manner. The Akademi now has
four multimedia computer systems equipped for the following.Scanning
phots and other graphics for typesetting and graphic artworks, and for
scanning rare manuscripts and thaliyola grandhams (ancient books written
on palm leaves with an iron scribe) and handwriting of eminent writers
in Kerala, with a view to preserving them for posterity. The system
is equipped with CD writer, for recording and storing these manuscripts
and other scanned materials.
Typesetting Akademi publications. The prestigious book 'Nammude Sahityam,
Nammude Samooham' will be typeset by using Akademi Computer facilities.
Two volumes of this book have come out.
The Internet Connection in the Library is open to research scholars
for web surfring and for downloading books not available in India. They
can take printout of these books or part thereof on a deskjet printer.
As a Publisher
Presently the Akademi has published distinguished works from Malayalam,
English and Hindi languages. It includes the translation of classics
from India and aboard. One of the most ambitious scheme taken up by
the Akademi is the publication of two large volumes of Comparative Indian
Literature both in English and Malayalam and this monumental works have
earned great acclamation from scholars and readers. The bibliographies
and monthly indices of publications have been prepared by the Akademi.
Seven volumes of the bibliographies which include descriptions of books
published upto 1995 have already been published Another major publication
is the Malayalam Portuguese Dictionary prepared by Arnos Pathiry. Publication
of the books "Our Literature, Our Society' in four volumes is a
prestigious contribution of the Akademi.
The Akademi has a rich book centre in which all the books published
by the Akademi along with the books published by the co-institutions
are available for sale.
Periodicals Published by the Akademi:
Malayalam Literary Survey - An English Quarterly Rs. 60 (Annual Subscription)
Sahitya Lokam- Malayalam Bimonthly Rs.60 (Annual Subscription)
Sahitya Chakravalam - a monthly in Malayalam Rs. 30 (Annual Subscription)
Literary survey is intended to introduce Malayalam language, literature
and culture to outsiders including foreigners. Sahitya Lokam is meant
for the serious study and development of Malayalam language and literature.
Sahitya Chakravalam contains a good deal of information on literacy
events mainly contemporary in nature, both inside and outside the country.
Courtesy: Kerala Govt website