Prof. Udaya Narayana Singh

Professor Udaya Narayana Singh ‘Nachiketa’ 

Chief Editor, Mithila Darshan

 Udaya Narayana Singh (born on 23rd November 1951) is currently the Chair-Professor and Head, Amity Centre for Linguistic Studies (ACLiS), Amity University Haryana, Gurgaon.  Formerly, Director of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, India, Singh is a reputed poet, playwright and essayist as well as an internationally renowned linguist. As a bilingual writer, Singh published four collections of poems and twelve plays in Maithili (‘Nachiketa’ being his pen-name), as well as six books of literary essays, a short story collection, and four volumes of poetry in Bengali, besides translating several books from and into many languages. With a total of 56 books, his academic papers in refereed journals and anthologies include 180 research papers. He received the coveted Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry 2017 for his latest anthology of Maithili poems – ‘Jahalak Diary’.

Until last year, Professor Singh was in the Rabindra Bhavana, Visva-Bharati and was also the Chair, Centre for Endangered Languages, at Visva-Bharati where he also served as the first Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan (West Bengal). He had also set up the Centre in Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies (CALTS) as well as the Study India Programme (SIP) for foreign students at the University of Hyderabad, where he was also the Chief Coordinator of the Centre for Distance Education. The other major achievements of Singh include designing and establishment of the National Translation Mission (NTM) and Linguistic Data Consortium for Indian Languages (LDC-IL) for the Government of India. He had also taught at the universities of Delhi, Baroda and Surat. He had also designed and created 545 short documentaries on teaching of Bangla, Tamil, Kannada & Marathi under the ‘Bhasha Mandakini Programme’.

A poet-invitee at the Frankfurt Book Fair – India Guest of Honour presentation (2006), and the Leader of the Cultural Delegation of Writers to China (2007), he had also visited and lectured in Andorra, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Caribbean Islands, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand & USA.

Singh had received several grants and honors, including UGC Research Fellowship (1974-78), Uggersain Memorial Gold Medal, University of Delhi (1974),  LSA Fellowship, University of Illinois (1978), UNESCO Research Associateship (1979), Visiting Lectureship, University of Delhi (1979), PICL Fellowship, Humboldt University, Berlin (1985), Visiting Professorship, IIAS, Shimla (1989),  Mithila Vibhuti Sanman (2007), Keertinarayan Mishra Award (2009), Prof Suniti Kumar Chatterji Lecturehsip of The Asiatic Society, Kolkata (2015), Kalaignar Porkizhi Award, BAPASI, Chennai (2014), Jyotirishwar Sanman (2016), and Sir Ganganath Jha Sanman (2016). In 2017, Prof. U. N. Singh was conferred the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for his anthology of maithili poems titled ‘Jahalak Diary’.

Prof. Udaya Narayana Singh ‘Nachiketa’ has been the Chief Editor of Mithila Darshan since its re-launch in 2009.