PM-Yuva-scheme: a platform for emerging voices

A national-level authors’ Mentorship Scheme with its emphasis on providing space to the writers of all major Indian languages promises to provide valuable insights into the multi-lingual fabric of the country to the prospective writers—an insight that may otherwise take a much longer route to negotiate for an author belonging to a particular language.

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Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi stated that ‘If the 21st Century is the era of knowledge and of knowledgeable human-force, then, to extol this force, …(we) must form a strong bond with books’. It is indeed a matter of great privilege for National Book Trust, India to be entrusted with this project of national significance of nurturing a young generation of thought leaders as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav programmes to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.

Prime Minister’s Mentorship Scheme for Young Authors

The Prime Minister’s Mentorship Scheme for Young Authors-YUVA was launched by the Ministry of Education with National Book Trust, India as the Implementing Agency through an All-India Contest inviting book proposals on the theme of India’s National Movement in 22 official languages and English. The scheme drew an unprecedented response, more than 16000 book proposals were received on subjects like unsung heroes, role of unknown places, women leaders etc. in both fiction and non-fiction categories. All the book proposals were read by multiple panels of experts and went through three layers of scrutiny.

The platform…   

This needs to be underlined and emphasised that presentation of a book proposal in 5000 words with synopsis and chapter plans as asked for the scheme was in itself a unique initiative and highlighted the high priority given to the very act of thinking, reading, writing and also the idea of learning and writing about one’s national heroes and their contribution. In fact, if one looks at it closely the PM-YUVA Scheme is a ground-breaking platform since it is not only promoting young authors, it is also promoting the idea of learning about and documenting the trials and tribulations of the country as a whole while it was trying to come out of the yoke of British colonialism.

The insights…

It goes without saying that a national-level authors’ Mentorship Scheme with its emphasis on providing space to the writers of all major Indian languages promises to provide valuable insights into the multi-lingual fabric of the country to the prospective writers—an insight that may otherwise take a much longer route to negotiate for an author belonging to a particular language. Further, how literature can become a tool, rather a unifying thread for cultural and literary understanding and integration in the country, is going to be best exemplified when the young authors of different linguistic backgrounds and traditions come together to explore, learn and write about various known and unknown facets of national movement through their books.

The proper understanding and perspectives about the multi-lingual fabric of the country among young authors can provide them a much better understanding of the complex reality of India and the multi-dimensional angles that make up the cultural and literary heritage of the country. This will also take forward the idea of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat in tune with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Since the books published under the PM-YUVA Scheme will also be later translated into other Indian languages, this will be in tune with the motto of National Book Trust, India-Ekah Sutte Saklam.

The process…

In this 6-month mentorship scheme, noted scholars, historians and writers from across the country are guiding the young authors to give shape to their proposals. To help the young authors in their research work, arrangements have been made for them to access/visit libraries and archives as well as make field visits across the country. Moreover, in the series of the special masterclasses being held, the young authors are having an opportunity to interact with distinguished personalities like Kulpreet Yadav, Anand Neelkantan, Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad, Anant Vijay among others. In these virtual masterclasses, the guest speakers share their vast experiences and provide the young authors an insight into the do’s and don’ts of book-writing. The selected authors will also receive a scholarship of Rs 50,000 per month for a period of six months. Further, a royalty of 10% will be payable to the authors on successful publications of their books.

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