The Orissa government has instituted several awards in the field of culture. Some of the important awards include ‘Atibadi Jagannath Das Award’ (Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award), ‘Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Award’ (Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award), Jayadev Award and Mohan Sundar Dev Goswami Award (both are film awards), Konark Samman, Saraswati Puraskar and Fakir Mohan Sahityashree Puraskar.
The Konark Samman was instituted by the leading cultural institution Prafulla Pathagar (library) of Jagatsinghpur in 1990. The award is given every year in three fields i.e. popularising Oriya literature, rural leadership and leadership in the field of rural education. The award comprises of a cash component of Rs 50,000 and a plaque with a symbol of the sun and the seven horses of the sun chariot. Prof Paul St. Pierre, Biswanath Pattnaik and Renu Dandekar were the first recipients of this award in each of these categories. The ‘Konark Samman’ for 2010 was given to Professor Hermann Kulke of Germany.
Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Award:
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was conferred with the first Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Award during the 26th Konark Dance Festival held in February 2011. The Award carries a cash price of Rs one lakh and a memento. The annual ‘Sanjukta anigrahi Birala Samman’ for 2011, instituted by the same organisers, was given to eminent Odissi danseuse Minati Mishra.