The core activity of the New India Foundation are the New India Fellowships, awarded to scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India. From a large pool of several hundred applications, about twelve proposals are short-listed, with these candidates appearing before a jury. Each round, between three and six fellowships are awarded. The duration of the fellowships is twelve months. Fellows are paid Rs. 100,000 a month.
The New India Fellowships are open only to Indian nationals, including those currently living abroad. Fellowship holders are expected to write original books. Their proposals should be oriented towards final publication, and outline a road map towards that destination. The Foundation is ecumenical as regards genre, theme, and ideology: the only requirement is that the proposed works contribute to the fuller understanding of independent India. Thus Fellowship holders may choose to write a memoir, or a work of reportage, or a thickly footnoted academic study. Their books could be oriented towards economics, or politics, or culture. They could be highly specific-an account of a single decade or a single region-or wide-ranging, such as a countrywide overview.
The books that result from the New India Fellowship convey original research in an accessible manner to different constituencies. To that end, each book is published by a prestigious publishing house. The Trustees have wide experience of publishing with leading firms in India and abroad.
Candidates for the New India Fellowship are sought through select advertising in leading journals. The Trustees assess the proposals and make a short list from the submissions. The shortlisted candidates are called for an interview, before a jury consisting of eminent people from the worlds of scholarship, business, and social service.
In December 2004, the first New India Fellows were chosen. They were:
1. Harish Damodaran (journalist, New Delhi), to write a book on the sociology of business communities in independent India.
2. Shashank Kela (social activist, Nagpur), to write a book on adivasi-state relations in central India.
3. Dr Deepak K. Singh (political scientist, Chandigarh), to write a book on the conflicts between Chakma refugees and indigenous tribals in north-east India.
4. Dr Chitra Sinha (historian, Mumbai), to write a book on the Hindu Code Bill debate and the shaping of modern India.
In December 2005, the second New India Fellows were chosen. They were:
1. Dr Venu Govindu (scientist, Goa) and Dr Deepak Malghan (scientist, Bangalore) to write an intellectual biography of J. C. Kumarappa.
2. Dinesh C. Sharma (journalist, Delhi) to write a history of the IT industry in India
3. Dr Indira Chowdhury (historian, Bangalore) to write an institutional history of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
4. Dr S. V. Srinivas (film scholar, Bangalore) to write a social history of the Telugu film industry.
5. Dr Vasanthi Srinivasan (political scientist, Hyderabad) to write a book on the political philosophy of C. Rajagopalachari.
In June 2007, the third round of New India Fellows were chosen. They were:
1. Ayesha Kidwai (scholar of literature and lingustics, Delhi) to prepare an annotated translation of Begum Anees Kidwai's classic memoir Azaadi ki Chayon Mein.
2. Professor Varun Sahni (political scientist, Delhi) to write a history of India's strategic and foreign policy since Independence.
3. Dr Ghazala Shahabuddin (ecologist, Delhi) to write a book on the science and politics of biodiversity conservation in India.
4. Bikramjeet Batra (legal scholar, Delhi) to write a book on debates on the death penalty in India.
5. Ashok Chandran (writer, Palakkad) to write a biography of the politician and social reformer P. T. Bhaskar Panicker.
In August 2008, the fourth round of New India Fellows were chosen. They were:
1. Savithri Preetha Nair (historian, Kottayam), to write a biography of E. K. Janaki Ammal, the distiguished biologist and the first Indian woman to be awarded a Ph D in science.
2. Mani Shekhar Singh (sociologist, New Delhi) to write a book on the social and economic context of Maithil painting.
3 Amrita Shah (journalist, Mumbai) to write a contemporary history of Ahmedabad.
In November 2009, the fifth round of New India Fellows were chosen. They were;
1. Saba Dewan (film-maker, New Delhi) to write a book on the social history of the tradition of the singer-courtesan in north India.
2. Ajai Shukla (journalist, New Delhi) to write a book on the history of Arunachal Pradesh in the context of the India-China border conflict.
3. Manjima Bhattacharjya (sociologist, Mumbai) to write a book on the glamour economy of modern India.
4. Lawrence Liang (legal scholar, Bangalore) to write a book on the intersection of law and cinema in India.
5. Kartik Shanker (ecologist, Bangalore) to write a book on culture and conservation, with specific reference to the Olive Ridley turtle.
6. Richa Kumar (social scientist, New Delhi), to write a book on the political economy of agriculture in central India.
In September 2011, the sixth round of New India Fellows were chosen. These were:
1. Emmanuel Theophilus (social worker, Kumaun) to write a modern ecological history of the Kail river.
2. Zarin Ahmad (social scientist, New Delhi) to write a book on the Quraishi butchers of Delhi.
3. Akshaya Mukul (journalist, New Delhi) to write a book on the social and political impact of the Gita Press.
4. Rahul Pandita (journalist, New Delhi) to write a memoir of growing up in (and being displaced from) Kashmir.
5. Swati Ganguly (literary scholar, Santiniketan) to write a book on the fate and fortunes of Visva-Bharati in the post-independence period.
In December 2013, the seventh round of New India Fellows were chosen. They were
1. Nishita Jha (journalist, Bombay), to write a book on the changing narratives of violence against women.
2. Dr Jason Fernandes (sociologist, Dona Paula), to write a book on the political history of postcolonial Goa.
3. Amitava Sanyal (journalist New Delhi), to write a book on the social history of football in Kolkata.
4. Dr Sohini Guha (political scientist, New Delhi) to write a book on low caste politics in North India.
5. Neyaz Farooquee (journalist, New Delhi) to write a memoir of growing up poor and Muslim in Bihar and Delhi.
6.Dr S. Sajikumar (economist, Thiruvananthapuram) to write a book on the sociology and economics of labour migration into Kerala.
How to Apply
The eighth round of the New India Fellowships is now open. Applicants are expected to submit the following: CV with contact details (email ID mandatory)
Book proposal Writing sample of at least 5000 words (published or unpublished)
The Managing Trustee,
The New India Foundation,
22 A Brunton Road,
Entries may be sent by post or courier. Email applications will not be entertained. The phone number is provided as courier services may demand it. Any queries must only be addressed to email@example.com.
The last date for receipt of applications is 30 September 2016.