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. The
duration of the fellowships is twelve months. Fellows are paid
Rs. 90, 000 a month. Each year, a mix of young and experienced
candidates are selected.
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
The books that result from the New India Fellowship will convey
original research in an accessible manner to different
constituencies. To that end, each book will be published by a
prestigious publishing house. The Trustees have wide experience
of publishing with leading firms (Oxford University Press,
University of Chicago Press, Blackwell, Penguin) in India and
Candidates for the New India Fellowship are Candidates for the
New India Fellowship are sought through select advertising in
leading journals. The Trustees shall assess the proposals and
make a short list from the submissions. The shortlisted
candidates will be 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
1. Harish Damodaran (journalist, New Delhi), to write a
book on the sociology of business communities in independent
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 are:
1. Dr Venu Govindu (scientist, Goa) and Dr Deepak Malghan
(scientist, Bangalore) to write an intellectual biography of J.
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
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 are:
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
3. Dr Ghazala Shahabuddin (ecologist, Delhi) to write a book
on the science and politics of biodiversity conservation in
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 are:
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 are:
1. Saba Dewan (film-maker, New Delhi) to write a book on the
social history of the tradition of the singer-courtesan in north
2. Ajai Shukla (journalist, New Delhi) to write a book on the
history of Arunachal Pradesh in the context of the India-China
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
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. They are:
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