The Saraswati Samman Award, which was instituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation in 1991, is considered as one of the highest literary awards of India. It is given for outstanding prose or poetry works in any of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and published during the preceding 10 years. It carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a citation and a plaque. The first recipient of the award was Harivansh Rai Bachchan in 1991.

Besides the Saraswati Samman, two other awards – the Vyas Samman (for Hindi works by Indian citizens) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi/Rajasthani works by Rajasthani writers) — have been instituted by the KK Birla Foundation, a literary and cultural organisation.

The complete list of recipients of the Saraswati Samman Award is given below:

1991: Harivansh Rai Bachchan – Autobiography in four volumes (Autobiography) – Hindi

1992: Ramakant Rath – “Sri Radha” (Poetry) – Oriya

1993: Vijay Tendulkar – “Kanyadaan” (Play) – Marathi

1994: Harbhajan Singh – “Rukh Te Rishi” (Poetry collection) – Punjabi

1995: Balamani Amma – “Nivedyam” (Poetry collection) – Malayalam

1996: Shamsur Rahman Faruqi – “She`r-e Shor-Angez” – Urdu

1997: Manubhai Pancholi – “Kurukshetra” – Gujarati

1998: Shankha Ghosh – “Gandharba Kabita Guccha” (Poetry collection) – Bengali

1999: Indira Parthasarathy – “Ramanujar” (Play) – Tamil

2000: Manoj Das – “Amruta Phala” (Novel) – Oriya

2001: Dalip Kaur Tiwana – “Katha Kaho Urvashi” (Novel) – Punjabi

2002: Mahesh Elkunchwar – “Yugant” (Play) – Marathi

2003: Govind Chandra Pande – “Bhagirathi” (Poetry collection) – Sanskrit

2004: Sunil Gangopadhyay – “Pratham Alo” (Novel) – Bengali

2005: K. Ayyappa Panicker – “Ayyappa Panikarude Kritikal” (Poetry collection) – Malayalam

2006: Jagannath Prasad Das – “Parikrama” (Poetry collection) – Oriya

2007: Naiyer Masud – “Taoos Chaman Ki Myna” (Short stories collection) – Urdu

2008: Lakshmi Nandan Bora – “Kayakalpa” (Novel) – Assamese

2009: Surjit Paatar – “Lafzan Di Dargah” – Punjabi

2010: S. L. Bhyrappa – “Mandra” – Kannada

2011: A. A. Manavalan – “Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum” – Tamil

2012: Sugatha kumari – “Manalezhuthu” (Poetry collection) – Malayalam

2013: Govind Mishra – “Dhool Paudho Par” (Novel) – Hindi

2014: Veerappa Moily – “Ramayana Mahanveshanam” (Poetry) – Kannada

2015: Padma Sachdev – “Chitt-Chete” (Autobiography) – Dogri

2016: Mahabaleshwar Sail – “Hawthan” (Novel) – Konkani

2017:  Sitanshu Yashashchandra – “Vakhar” (Poetry) – Gujarati

2018: K. Siva Reddy  – “Pakkaki Ottigilite” (Poetry)  –  Telugu

2019 : Vasdev Mohi  – ‘Chequebook’ (Short Stories) –  Sindhi

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