The Jnanpith Award is a literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their “outstanding contribution towards literature”. Instituted in 1961, the award is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English,with no posthumous conferral.
The award consists of a citation, shawl, goddess Saraswati statue and cah prize of cash prize of Rs.11 lakh.
The first recipient of the award was the Malayalam writer G. Sankara Kurup who received the award in 1965 for his collection of poems, Odakkuzhal (The Bamboo Flute), published in 1950.
In 1976, Bengali novelist Ashapoorna Devi became the first woman to win the award .
The most recent recipient of the award is English fiction writer Amitav Ghosh who was awarded for the year 2018. Ghosh is first English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate as all previous winners of prestigiuous award have been writers in Indian languages.