The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honor in India, which the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, annually confers on writers of the most outstanding Books of literary merit published in any of the major Indian languages 24 languages, including the 22 listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, along with English and Rajasthani recognised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.
The Proposal to Establish a National Academy of letters in India had been under the consideration of the British Government of the country long before independence. In 1944, the Government of India accepted in principle a proposal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal that a National Cultural trust should be set up to encourage cultural activities in all fields. The trust was to consist of three Academies, including the Academy of letters. After freedom, the proposal was pursued by the independent Government of India,
Sahitya Akademy Gives these Special Awards to writers for significant contribution to Indian languages other than the above 24 major ones and also for contribution to classical & medieval literature. Like the Sahitya Akademi Awards, Bhasha Samman too comprise a plaque and a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000(from 2009)The Sahitya Akademi instituted Bhasha Samman in 1996 to be given to writers, scholars, editors, collectors, performers or translators who have made considerable contribution to the propagation, modernization or enrichment of the languages concerned.