The JCB Prize for Literature is awarded by the JCB Literature Foundation, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, whose purpose is to promote the art of literature in India.

The Foundation has an Advisory Council, which ensures that its principles and ideals are upheld. The Advisory Council appoints a Literary Director for the Prize, who is responsible for maintaining its literary standards and appointing each year a jury of five discerning men and women of varied backgrounds. The jury reads all Prize entries, narrowing them down, first to a longlist of ten, then to a shortlist of five, then to a winner.