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22-December -2023

1. Sahitya Akademi announces Annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 24 languages.

Topic: GS1 – Indian art and culture
Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 recognize outstanding literary contributions, reflecting India’s diverse languages and cultures—relevant for UPSC’s cultural and literary awareness.
  • Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 announced winners in poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and literary study.
  • Distinguished Jury selected awardees in 24 languages. Award presentation on March 12, 2024, in New Delhi, with each winner receiving a casket, shawl, and Rs. 1,00,000.
 The Sahitya Akademi Awards:
  • The Sahitya Akademi Awards are prestigious literary honors in India, established by the Sahitya Akademi, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture.
  • Instituted in 1954, the awards recognize outstanding works of literature in 24 major Indian languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, and others.
  • The awards cover various genres such as poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and literary criticism, aiming to celebrate literary excellence and promote diverse linguistic and cultural expressions.
  • Each year, an elected jury of eminent writers and scholars selects the awardees based on their significant contribution to the respective literary fields.
  • The Sahitya Akademi Award is considered one of the highest literary honors in India and has been conferred upon renowned authors like Rabindranath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan, and many others.
  • The awards play a crucial role in fostering the growth of literature in different languages and promoting cultural diversity within the country.
  • Sahitya Akademi also organizes various literary events, seminars, and festivals to promote dialogue and collaboration among writers and literary enthusiasts across India. 
  1. SHREYAS (Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers) SCHEME.
Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Welfare schemes for vulnerable section UPSC candidates must grasp “SHREYAS” for its role in empowering marginalized students through education, aligning with social inclusivity goals.
  • “SHREYAS” umbrella scheme includes four initiatives: Free Coaching for SCs and OBCs, Top Class Education for SCs, National Overseas Scheme, and National Fellowship.
  • These aim to provide coaching, financial support, and overseas opportunities for underprivileged students.
  • Comprises four central sector sub-schemes.
Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs:
  • Objective: Provide quality coaching for economically disadvantaged SCs and OBCs.
  • Income Ceiling: 8 lakhs per annum.
  • Ratio: SC: OBC students – 70:30; 30% slots reserved for females.
  • Implementation: DAF through empanelled Central Universities.
Top Class Education for SCs:
  • Aims: Recognize and promote quality education for meritorious SC students beyond 12th class.
  • Support: Full tuition fee, academic allowance, and non-refundable charges.
  • Target: Covers 266 higher education institutes.
  • Income Ceiling: 8 lakhs per annum.
  • Implementation: National Scholarships Portal.
National Overseas Scheme for SCs:
  • Financial assistance for SCs, De-notified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes for pursuing masters and Ph.D. abroad.
  • Eligibility: Family income less than Rs. 8 lakhs per annum, admission in top 500 QS ranking foreign Institutes.
  • Covers tuition fee, maintenance, contingency allowance, visa fee, and air passage.
National Fellowship for SC Students:
  • Fellowship for SC students pursuing M.Phil./Ph.D. in Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
  • Implementation: National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation.
PYQ: The crucial aspect of development process has been the inadequate attention paid to Human Resource Development in India. Suggest measures that can address this inadequacy. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2023) (150 words/10 m)

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