New India Fellowship Awardees, 2017

India’s rich, complex and contested history has been closely documented. However, the period since India achieved independence since 1947 remains under-researched by historians and writers. The New India Foundation was set up in 2004 to seek to remedy this. We encourage breakthrough research on contemporary Indian history by awarding Fellowships to gifted, energetic, scholars and writers. For more than a decade now, we have been matching public-spirited philanthropy with ground-breaking and relevant scholarship.

16 book titles have been published thus far under the aegis of the New India Foundation, many of which have gone on to become thought provoking, seminal works on contemporary Indian history. Several more books are in the press.

Today, we are delighted to announce the recipients of our highly-coveted fellowship for 2017. More than 400 proposals were assessed by our eminent panel of jury members and nine were finally selected.

The fellowships are awarded for a period of one year and carry a stipend of INR 1,00,000 a month. Fellowship holders will go on to publish original works that are an extension of their winning proposals.

The nine awardees of this year’s New India Fellowship are:

  1. Arupjyoti Saikia, Professor in History, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, for his proposal, ‘Assam: A History Since Partition’. Saikia was awarded the Srikant Dutta Award in 2015.
  1. Manoj Mitta, for his proposal, ‘Untouchable India: The Emancipation of Dalits and a Bloody Pushback’. Mitta is a former Senior Editor at the Times of India, and currently works as an independent author.
  1. Nachiket Kelkar, Ecologist, for his proposal, ‘Dark Reflections: Field Notes on People and Ecology in Bihar’s Gangetic floodplains’. Kelkar is currently a doctoral student at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment
  1. Gautam Bhatia, Advocate, Chambers of C.U. Singh, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India, for his proposal, ‘The Transformative Constitution’. An alumnus of Yale Law School, Bhatia is also a former Rhodes Scholar.
  1. Abhishek Choudhary, for his proposal, ‘Believer’s Dilemma: A Life of Atal Behari Vajpayee’. Choudhary has served as a research associate for ASER Centre (Pratham) and as a consultant for the London School of Economics’ International Growth Centre in Patna. He is currently based in Delhi.
  1. Nazia Akhtar, for her proposal, ‘Hyderabadi Women: Representations and Representative Politics in Urdu Literature’. Akhtar has taught Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Hyderabad, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad and University of Western Ontario.
  1. Kanato Chophy, for his proposal, ‘Children of the Great Awakening: A Memoir of the Naga Baptists’. An anthropologist by training, Chophy has authored several chapters of various books, research papers and articles that focus on tribes, religion and culture within Nagaland.
  1. S. Anand, for his proposal, ‘Babasaheb: The Many Lives of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’. Anand is the founder of Navayana – a publishing house that focuses on caste-related issues.
  1. Neha Dixit, for her proposal, ‘Half Citizens: The Invisible Women of the Indian Economy’. Dixit has previously contributed as a journalist for Al Jazeera and Smithsonian.