Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has instructed the Himachal Pradesh Academy of Arts, Culture & Languages to clear the backlog of the Sahitya Awards from 2004 to 2006 and further from 2007 to 2012 in one go by June, 2015. presiding over a meeting of the academy's executive council here on Tuesday, he said all the awards from 2004-06 for which the writers have been already identified and that from 2007 to 2012 be given in one go after inviting and screening the nominations.
Taking serious note of the substance in the books, Virbhadra said only those books would be suitable to be purchased by schools which contain some matter of children interest lest it was not necessary that every book written may find place on the shelves of the school library not to be read by anyone. "Books should contain short stories and poems in the Pahari language, be multi-subject and should cater to interests of the people and not merely contain research articles," he added.
Virbhadra further directed to purchase the books awarded by the Academy and of Himachali writers at Rs 25, 000 and the books of other Himachali writers at Rs 15,000 as per budget announcements of the state government.
It was decided to restore the 'Shikhar Samman' award which was presented for promotion of art, culture and language and was earlier withdrawn in 2002 during the previous government's tenure. The Shikhar Samman was not only given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture but also to littérateurs from the country who worked for promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.
"Efforts should be made to write books on contemporary subjects. The research in historical and cultural field is though welcome but magazines and books should also incorporate stories of human interest besides short stories and poetry," the chief minister said.