New Delhi: The winners of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 in 24 languages was announced on Wednesday.

Poet and lyricist S. Ramesan Nair has been bestowed with Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for his work ‘Gurupournami’ in Malayalam category. Malayali Anees Salim’s novel ‘The Blind Lady’s Descendants’ was selected for the award in English category.

‘Gurupournami’ published in 2015 describes the life and philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru. S. Ramesan Nair hailing from Kumarapuram in Kanyakumari district has also penned more than 500 film songs in addition to numerous poems. He has also bagged Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 2010.

A jury of Dr. Jancy James, Bikram K. Das and Kiran Nagarkar seleceted Anees Salim’s work for the award in English category. The award in Malayalam category was selected by a jury comprising writers C. Radhakrishnan, M. Mukundan and Dr. M. M. Basheer.

An extensive range of works representing diversity in contemporary Indian literature, comprising seven collections of poetry, six novels, six short story collections, three works of literary criticism and two collections of essays were selected for the award.

The awards were recommended by jury members in respective languages and were then approved by the Executive Board of India's national academy of letters under the chairmanship of Akademi President Chandrashekhar Kambar.

Winners include Rama Kant Shukla in Sanskrit, Rajesh Kumar Vyas in Rajasthani, Rahman Abbas in Urdu, Lok Nath Upadhyay in Nepali, Chitra Mughal in Hindi and S. Ramakrishnan in Tamil.

Akademi Secretary K. Sreenivasarao said at a press conference announcing the winners that the books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in each language in accordance with the rules.

The awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of award, between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.

The awards, in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, will be presented to the authors at a special function in January next year at Kamani Auditorium.

The Sahitya Akademi award is among the most prestigious literary honours bestowed on writers for their works across genres and languages.

The Akademi also announced its Bhasha Salman for the year 2017 and 2018. Yogendra Nath Sharma was awarded the Bhasha Salman for the North zone; G Venkatasubbiah for South zone; Gagendra Nath Das for the Eastern zone; and Shailaja Bapat for the Western zone.

The Akademi will also be hosting a national seminar on Mahatma Gandhi in January next year, tracing his presence in the literary space.

(With inputs from IANS)