(Last Updated on : 09/08/2014)
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award is the most prestigious national award in performing Arts category in India. Akademi honours - Akademi Ratna and Akademi Puraskar- have been conferred from 1952. They symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis and also recognize the sustained individual work of the highest professional order and contribution to the practice and appreciation of these arts through teaching and scholarship.
Akademi Ratna (Akademi Fellows)
The Akademi Ratna (Fellow) is conferred, as per the existing constitutional provision under Rule 12 (vi) of the Rules and Regulations of the Akademi, which reads as under:
"To elect, by a majority of at least three-fourth of the members present and voting, artists of outstanding merit in the field of Music, Dance and Drama or such persons as have rendered outstanding service to the cause of music, dance & drama through their scholarship, research or original contributions as Fellows of the Akademi, provided they have been recommended for the elction by the Executive Board and provided further the number of Fellows shall at no time exceed thirty."
Each Akademi Ratna will carry honorarium of Rupees 10000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) per month for life with escalation of 10 percent after every three years. A citation, an Angavastram and a Tamrapatra may also be given under the seal of Akademi and signature of its Chairman. Besides, they will also be give medical insurance cover upto Rupees One Lakh per annum.
Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Awards)
Akademi Awards may be conferred on eminent practitioners, gurus and scholars of music, dance and theatre for sustained individual achievement of high professional order. The Akademi Awards may be conferred annually and the total number of Awards in a year shall not exceed 33. Each Akademi Puraskar (Awards) will carry an amount of Rupees 50000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand only) in cash, a Citation, an Angavastram and a Tamrapatra to be issued under the seal of Akademi and signature of its Chairman. Besides, they will also be eligible medical insurance cover upto Rupees One Lakh per annum.
Categories of Akademi Awards
The Awards may be given in five field of activity: Music, Dance, Theatre, Other Traditional/ Folk/ Tribal/ Dance/ Music/ Theatre and Puppetry and Contribution/ Scholarship in Performing Arts.
Eligibility for Akademi Awards
The eligibility conditions for receiving the awards are listed below:
i) The Akademi Ratna and Awards are open to all regardless of nationality race, caste, religion, creed or sex.
ii) An association institution or organization is not eligible for Akademi Ratna or Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award)
iii) No person below the age of 50 will ordinarily be considered for Akademi Ratna, a person considered for an Award will ordinarily be at least 35 years of age.
iv) A deceased person cannot be considered for Akademi Ratna or Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award). However, if the death of the person occurs subsequent to the decision of the General Council of the Akademi, the Akademi Ratna/Award will be conferred posthumously.
v) A person who has received an Award will not be eligible for the award in any category in subsequent years.
vi) A recipient of Akademi Ratna will not be eligible for an Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award) at any stage.
vii) The members of the General Council will not be eligible for being considered for Akademi Ratna (Fellow) or Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award) and they may be informed about this provision in writing at the time of their nomination/election to the Executive Board/General Council.
viii) If two or more persons are jointly engaged in artistic pursuit in any of the categorized area under consideration, the Award may be given to them jointly.
ix) Akademi Ratna and Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Awards) do not pertain to any single work or achievement but to significant and lasting contribution on a sustained basis over a period of time.
x) Canvassing in any form will be treated as disqualification.
Presentation Ceremony of Akademi Awards
The presentation of Akademi Ratna and Puraskar (Awards) is made at a ceremony in New Delhi or any other place as decided by the Chairman of the Akademi. The President of India/Vice-President of India/Prime Minister of India or any eminent personality in the field is invited to confer the honours. The Akademi Ratna and Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Awards) are invited to receive the honours in person. As far as possible each Akademi Ratna and Awardee is invited to give public performance at a festival of music, dance and theatre to be organized by the Akademi following the Puraskar (Award) presentation ceremony.