The annual literary awards for 2019-20 were announced by Academy chairman Aziz Qureshi in which eminent Urdu scholar Dr Gopichand Narang was conferred with prestigious Raja Ram Mohan Roy International Award. The award carries a cash of Rs 2.50 lakh besides citation. Besides, 16 other national, state and regional level awards were announced.
The recipients were told that awards will be given to them soon. However, unprecedented political developments in the state led to BJP forming the government, overthrowing Kamal Nath rule. Simultaneously, the outbreak of corona pandemic closed all the offices, which shifted priorities of new government.
The names announced for awards by the previous government have been sent for a rethink, said sources. “They can cancel the formerly announced names of awardees on some technical grounds,” said a senior official from culture department. Director, culture, Vandana Pandey said all decisions have been put on hold as the office is closed due to corona outbreak. An official from MP Urdu Academy said it was decided to send citation and award money cheque to recipients but academy change its mind.
Prominent names shortlisted for national level awards included scholars like Sheen Kaaf Nizam, Zahid Ali, Gulzar Dehalvi, Ijlal Majid and Sayeed Alam. Arif Ali Arif, Rajkumar Keswani, Parwez Adil, Rushda Jamil and others were chosen for state level awards.