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The annual prizes from Permanent Black

Updated: Jun 28

When Permanent Black turned twenty, we instituted the Kosambi Memorial Book Prize to be given annually to the best student in Ancient Indian History at Ashoka University, Haryana. The prize is partly funded by a bequest from the historian Meera Kosambi and is given in memory of her grandfather, the historian Dharmanand Kosambi. This year we have added a prize for Modern History: the Sarvepalli Gopal Memorial Book Prize.


And to ensure that historians of Medieval India were not left in a prize-less desert, an anonymous donor stepped in with the Simon Digby Memorial Book Prize.


Winners are nominated by the university, and Simon Digby Prize is worth Rs 20,000 while the other two are worth Rs 25,000.


The prizes also celebrate the excellent series of scholarly books we co-publish with Ashoka University. The Hedgehog and Fox series is edited by Rudrangshu Mukherjee and now has over a hundred titles.


Here are this year's winners of the prizes:


Dharmanand Kosambi Memorial Book Prize: Siddharth Kutty
Simon Digby Memorial Book Prize: Nishtha Gosewade and Siddharth Kutty
Sarvepalli Gopal Memorial Book Prize: K Nitya Devayya and Nishtha Gosewade
(from left) Siddharth Kutty, Nishtha Gosewade, K. Nitya Devayya

What do young historians think about their chosen field? Where do their passions take them and their hapless families? How do young archaeologists survive lockdown, cut off from excavations? Read the winners to find out.

"Studying in Strange Times" by Siddharth Kutty
"The Inconveniences of History" by Nishtha Gosewade
"Where is History by K. Nitya Devayya

The first edition of the prize was awarded on 13th November 2019 to Revanth Ukkalam and Haritha Govind of Ashoka University's Class of 2020. Last year it went to Aritra Ghosh, whose post, "Love and Laughter in Lockdown", can be read here.






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