The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2015 at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 4, 2016. The Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) are recognized as the most coveted national honours bestowed on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts.
The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi elected one (1) eminent personality in the field of performing arts, namely Shri C V Chandrasekhar as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna). The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honour, which is restricted to 40 numbers at any given time. Presently there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi also selected forty-three (43) artists from the field of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional, Folk, Tribal Music, Dance, Theatre and Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2015. These forty-three (43) artists include two joint awards.
In the field of Music, eleven eminent artists, namely Krishna Bisht and Mashkoor Ali Khan for Hindustani Vocal Music, Kartik Kumar for Hindustani Instrumental Music–Sitar, Brij Narayan for Hindustani Instrumental Music–Sarod, R N Thyagarajan and R N Tharanathan (joint award) for Carnatic Vocal Music, Suguna Varadhachari for Carnatic Vocal Music, Lalgudi G J R Krishnan for Carnatic Instrumental Music–Violin, Mambalam M K S Siva for Carnatic Instrumental Music-Nagaswaram, Bhupinder Singh, Hridyanath Mangeshkar and Prafulla Kar for Other Major Traditions of Music–Sugam Sangeet, have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2015.
In the field of Dance, nine eminent artists have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2015, namely, Ranganayaki Jayaraman for Bharatanatyam, K Kunhiraman Nair for Kathakali, G Padmaja Reddy for Kuchipudi, Aloka Kanungo for Odissi, Sharodi Saikia for Sattriya Dance, Mandakini Trivedi for Mohiniattam, Sadashiva Pradhan for Chhau Dance, W Lokendrajit Singh for Contemporary/Experimental Dance and Rajkumar Bharathi for Music for Dance.
In the field of Theatre, nine eminent artists have been selected for Akademi Awards 2015: Nand Kishore Acharya and Shafaat Khan for Playwriting, Parvez Akhtar and Mushtaq Kak for Direction, Manoj N Joshi and Himani Shivpuri for Acting, Pradeep Mulye for Allied Theatre Arts–Scenic Design, Sarojini Nangiar for Other Major Traditions of Theatre–Kutiyattam and Rani Balbir Kaur for Overall Contribution in Theatre.
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry, ten artistes have been selected for Akademi Awards 2015, they are Khuman Lal Sao (Folk Music of Chhattisgarh), Ramchandra Singh (Folk Theatre of Bihar), Khem Raj (Folk Music of Jammu and Kashmir), S R D Prasad (Martial Art of Kerala), Chhaya and Maya Khutegaonkar (joint award for Folk Dance of Maharashtra-Lavani), Gangmei Aluna Kabuini (Traditional Dance and Music of Manipur), Paramjit Singh Sidhu (Folk Music of Punjab), Sayeed Sabri Jaipuri (Qawwali, Rajasthan), K K Ramachandra Pulavar and T N Sankaranathan for Puppetry.
Shanta Gokhale and Chaman Ahuja have been selected for the Akademi Award 2015 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship to Performing Arts.
The honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952. These honours not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution. The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakh) and Akademi Award carries Rs 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh), besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram.