Prof. Udaya narayana singh



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PROF. UDAYA NARAYANA SINGH


[Tel: 098301 32234 & 094340-50218 (M) Email: unsciil@yahoo.com & unsingh@ggn.amity.edu]


  1. Background:


A major linguist, translator, lexicographer & creative writer, Udaya Narayana Singh was born in early 1950s at Calcutta; Grassroot bilingual in Maithili (from Father and family) and Bangla (from Mother).
At present, Singh is the Chair-Professor, Amity Centre for Linguistic Studies (ACLiS), Amity University Haryana in Gurgaon. Until recently, Singh occupied a Professorial Chair, Rabindra Bhavana (June 11, 2009 to August 19, 2010 and again June, 2012 to November, 2016) in Visva-Bharati. He was also the first Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati between Aug 20, 2010 and June 15, 2012. He had also functioned as the Director (I/C), Rabindra Bhavana between March 2010 and June 2011 and again from January 2012 until mid-April 2012.
Earlier, he was the Director of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Ministry of HRD at the level of Joint Secretary, Govt of India from Dec 2000 to June 10, 2009.

Earlier Positions Held with Dates :

(i) First Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati (Aug 20, 2010-June 15, 2012)

(ii) Director of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Ministry of HRD (Dec 2000-June 10, 2009

(iii) Founder-Director, Study India Program (SIP), University of Hyderabad (1995-2000)

(iv) Chief Coordinator, Centre for Distance Education, University of Hyderabad (1996-2000)

(v) Dean, Students’ Welfare, University of Hyderabad ()

(vi) Founder-Head, Centre for Applied Linguistics & Translation Studies (CALTS), University of

Hyderabad (1989-1994)

(vii) Reader in Linguistics in Delhi University (1985-87)

(viii) Reader in Theoretical Linguistics at the South Gujarat University, Surat (1981-85)

(ix) Lecturer in Sociolinguistics at MSU- Baroda (1979-81)

(x) Visiting Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Delhi (Aug-Nov, 1979)

(xi) Research Associate, UNESCO Project, University of Delhi (June-July, 1979)

(xii) UGC Research Fellow (Junior & Senior), University of Delhi (1974-1979)

(xiii) Linguistic Society of America Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (June-Aug, 1978)

(xiv) Chief Editor of Indian Linguistics, Linguistics Society of India, Pune (1988-1990)

(xv) Editor (with P.P.Giridhar as Co-Editor) of Translation Today, CIIL, Mysore (2004-2008)

(xvi) Chief Editor, Mithila Darshan (Bi-monthly), Kolkata (2009-Continuing) – the largest circulating

literary magazine in Maithili

(xvii) Co-editor, Gangeya Patra (Bengali Quarterly), Kolkata (1976-1979)

(xvii) Editor, Maithili Kavita (Quarterly), Kolkata (1968-72)

(xviii) Chairman of the Jury for the last ten years for the highest literary award in Maithili – ‘Prabodh


Sahitya Sanman’; 2003-onwards


  1. Education:


Studied Honors in Linguistics at Calcutta 1969-1972 (designated Eshan Scholar)
Master’s in Linguistics at the University of Delhi 1972-74 (awarded Uggarsain Memorial Gold Medal)
A semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (with Linguistic Society of America Fellowship) in 1978.
Singh earned Ph.D. degree in Linguistics (in Syntax and Semantics) in 1979; University of Delhi.


  1. Literary Contribution:


As a litterateur, Singh is known to be a major poet, playwright, essayist and editor in Maithili and Bangla; Also writes in English and Hindi. Total Number of Books published: 58

Books Authored: 27

Books Edited: 22

Books Translated: 09

Udaya Narayana has published 8 collections of poems and 11 plays as well as 5 books of literary essays, besides translating 9 books – with special reference to translation of Tagore’s complete works on Children’s literature from Bangla into Maithili for Sahitya Akademi and translation of tagore’s ‘The Original Gitanjali’ from Bangla into English.
In addition, Singh has authored over 180 research papers in Literary Theory, Sociology of Language and Linguistics, and edited about 18 books.

Singh had the distinction of being the Chief Editor of Indian Linguistics, 1988-1990, Editor (with P.P.Giridhar as Co-Editor) of Translation Today, and a Visiting Professor at the IIAS-Shimla (1989), besides being the Series Editor of eight books under Language and Development (LAD) under Sage India, and the General Editor of Longman-CIIL Series of eleven Bilingual Dictionaries. Co-Editor of International Journal of Inter-Cultural Relations; 2008-onwards. Member of the Editorial Board of the Brill’s series titled Studies in South and Southwest Asian Languages. Guest edited a special number of India Perspectives, 24.1 devoted to Rabindranath Tagore (2010), MEA, New Delhi. He has also been members on the editorial board of these two prestigious journals – Journal of Multicultural Discourses, published by the Taylor & Francis. (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rmmd20/current) and Journal of Intercultural Communication, Sweden (http://www.immi.se/intercultural).

Membership of learned societies/journals: Life Member of the following: * Linguistic Society of India; * Dravidian Linguistics Association; *Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics & Language Forum; * American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad; * Indian Association of Canadian Studies; * Jijnasa Educational Foundation, Calcutta; * Indian Comparative Literature Association; * Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature * International Pragmatics association.


  1. Awards & Honors:

Received the Sahitya Akademi Award 2017 for Maithili poetry – for his book ‘Jahalak Diary’.


Awarded Sir Ganganath Jha Memorial Award, 2016 for my contributions to Maithili Literature.
Awarded the Jyotirishwar Sanman 2016 for life-time contribution to Maithili theatre in National School of Drama Auditorium in June 2016.
Awarded by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata the Suniti Kumar Chatterji National Lectureship for 2016.

Awarded the 2014-Kalaignar Porkizhi Award by BAPASI, Chennai – the organizers of Chennai Book Fair (Book-Sellers & Publishers’ Association of South India) for my contribution to Maithili language and literature under “Other Indian Languages and Literature” category.

Awarded Mithila Vibhuti Sanman 2007 and the Keertinarayan Mishra Award (Chetana Samiti) for his play ‘No entry: Maa Pravisha’, 2009; by the Chief Minister of Bihar on 31st October, 2009 (premiered in Patna on 21st February, 2011).



  1. Project Supervision:



Supervised as Director or Consultant several major research projects on Language Movement (funded by MSU & Centre for Social Studies), NLP (DoE), Digital Documentation (SASNET & SIDA, Sweden), Machine Translation (MC&IT), and Linguistic Data Consortium in Indian Languages (LDC-IL) - MHRD. Besides the above, he was the Chief of the National Translation Mission (NTM) specially approved by the Prime Minister of India, and also the Chief Consultant of the Microsoft’s Validation Project for Vista; Director, NSOU-CIIL Joint Project on Bangla Online, 2002-04 and Director, CIIL-SAG (Ministry of Defence) Spoken Corpora and Contemporary Corpora Projects in Hindi, Bangla and Manipuri, 2005-07. In addition, he had conceived of and executed the Bhasha Mandakini Project under which 560 films were made on Bangla, Tamil and Kannada language, literature, and culture. For the large projects designed and supervised, also look at:


  • The National Translation Mission (or, NTM) at www.ntm.org.in

  • The National Testing Service (or, NTS), and at www.ciil.miles.net & www.nts.net

  • The Linguistic Data Consortium for Indian Languages (or, LDC-IL) at www.ldcil.org

  • Besides the Centre of Excellence in Classical Tamil (CECT as described in www.ciil-classicaltamil.org), which has now flowered into a new institution – called the CICT at Chennai.

  • Rabindra Chitravali – an anthology of Tagore painting in four volumes – published in May 2011 by Visva-Bharati & Pratikshan
  • Kalanukramik Rabindra Rachanabali – a new project sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture.


  • Appointed the Chair of the PRSG for Development of Shallow Parser Tools ' Tools for 12 lndian Languages (SPT-IL) – a project of the Ministry of C & IT, Government of India.

  • Chair and National Coordinator, CFEL Projects in Nine Central Universities, UGC, 2014-16.


Doctoral Supervision: Supervised 15 doctoral and 24 M.Phil. level research work in Applied Linguistics, Translation Studies, ELT, Child Bilingualism, Lexicography and Literary Theory.
Personal Research Experience include Research Associate in a UNESCO project on `Language Teaching in Bi- or Pluri-lingual and Multi-cultural Context' , University of Delhi, June-July, 1978; UGC Junior & Senior Research Fellow: Univ of Delhi; 1974-79; Fellowship of the Linguistic Society of America for 1978 LINGUISTICS INSTITUTE at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaigne, USA, 14th May, 1978 to16 July, 1978


  1. Visits Abroad:

Visited and lectured in Andorra, Bangladesh, Caribbean Islands, China, France, German Democratic Republic (GDR), Germany (unified), Iceland, Italy, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, U.K. & USA, and received several grants and honors. He led the Indian cultural delegation to China during 2007-08, a member of Indian delegation to Italy (April-May 1999) and to Trinidad & Tobago; and was a Poet-Invitee at the Frankfurt Book fair (2006) when India was the Guest of Honour, and also at the London Book Fair 2009 – ‘India Through Fresh Eyes’; A member of the Delegation of the Ministry of Culture to UNESCO, Paris (April 2011) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (May 2011).




  1. Latest Publications:

Singh’s latest book-length publications include Translation as Growth: Towards a theory of Language Development (2010; Longman-Pearson), Sahityer Bhasha: Bhashar Sahitya (2010; Anushtup, Kolkata), and Esecho Eso Rat (2011; Sahaj Path, Kolkata), besides an edited volume with Lesley Farrell & Ram Ashish Giri, titled English Language Education in South Asia: From Policy to Perspectives (2011; Cambridge University Press, Foundation Books Series), besides a series of six bilingual dictionaries from English into Indian languages – Hindi, Oriya, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali, published by Longman-NTM-CIIL jointly in 2012. His forthcoming books include a collection of ghost stories written for children in Bangla – Bhut Chaturdashi (2012; Karigar, Kolkata) and a translated anthology of poems from Maithili into Bengali, titled Dhvase Jay Shanti-Stup (2013; Sahitya Akademi, Kolkata). A collection of essays in language, society and culture titled Beyond Language: Towards Silence (Forthcoming, 2017) should be published by AVLingue, Andorra in 2017.





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