The JCB Prize for Literature is a Rs 25-lakh award presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian author.

The Prize aims to celebrate Indian writing, and to help readers across the world discover the very best of contemporary Indian literature. It makes significant awards also to translators, without whose work no reader can appreciate the scale and diversity of a literature written in over twenty languages.

Each year, the Literary Director appoints a jury of prominent individuals from various areas of Indian social and intellectual life. Every member of the jury reads every novel entered for the Prize. The jury is alone responsible for selecting the longlist (of ten), the shortlist (of five), and the winner.

Authors shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature receive Rs 1 lakh, their translators (if any) Rs 50,000. The winning author receives Rs 25 lakh; if the winning work is a translation, an additional Rs 10 lakh is awarded to the translator.

The Prize is funded by JCB, the global construction equipment manufacturer, and administered to the highest standards of integrity by the JCB Literature Foundation. Each year, the deliberations of the jury are audited from beginning to end by third party process auditors.




The JCB Prize for Literature trophy was designed by artist duo Thukral & Tagra in 2018. Mirror Melting is cast in aluminium and coated in highly reflective nickel. It stands twelve inches high.

In our first childhood, we look up at the clouds and find in them enchanting visions: people, mountains and mythological animals. But all along we are aware that these things are not ‘really’ there. And so we are able to observe in ourselves the power of dreams, visions, and the imagination. We can think of this as our first ‘literary’ experience

Mirror Melting seeks to capture this experience. Looking into its polished surfaces, viewers see the real world reflected and magically transformed.

Advisory Council