Inaugural batch of Literary Translation course supported by the JCB Literature Foundation graduate from Ahmedabad University

21 Students who are professionals complete the diploma course in their own language

Ironically none opted for Gujarati 


By Rafat Quadri

Ahmedabad, March 29:  Celebrating the graduation ceremony of its inaugural batch of the Literary Translation course, JCB Literature Foundation (JCBLF) and Ahmedabad University hosted a special alumni meet to connect, network, and encourage the young minds, introducing them to the world of publishing. The convocation ceremony also witnessed some of the leading publishers like Rahul Soni, Aditi Maheshwari, Elizabeth Kuruvilla and G.N.Mohan deep-diving into the topic of – ‘Translations in India’ through a panel discussion. The session was moderated by Professor Tejaswini Niranjana, Cultural Theorist & Translator, Ahmedabad University; Niranjana has also designed the course module.

The ceremony commenced with Chief Guest  Manish Tayal, Director, JCB Literature Foundation, and Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University addressing th0065 students.

Supported by JCB Literature Foundation, the one-year post-graduate course offers workshops, mentorship, bilingual engagements, and covers the history and theory of translation to enhance the skills of existing translators. Through industry mentorship it also helps the translators to better prepare for publishing, advertising, and editorial industries, providing them exposure to the methods of cultural and literary history.

Speaking about the Foundation’s collaboration with Ahmedabad University, Manish Tayal, Director, JCB Literature Foundation, said, “The JCB Literature Foundation is devoted towards creating an ecosystem that truly enables distinguished literary professionals in India. Translations, through the JCB Prize and the Translations Course that we support at Ahmedabad University are a key piece in this effort. What stood out, when this module was brought to us, is that it looks at translations beyond what is theoretic and brings forth a pedagogy that practically teaches you the art of translations, as per industry standards and requirements. As the first batch of this programme graduates today, we wish them all the very best, and we hope they will go out there and make a dent in this industry.”

Elucidating on the significance of translation courses in India, Tejaswini Niranjana, Professor of Humanities and Languages, Ahmedabad University, said, “Translated works of literature are among the most highly visible books in the world market. In India too they are becoming increasingly popular. The idea that diverse experiences from diverse regions can be appreciated in a known language has become even more powerful than before. Training bilingual and multi-lingual people to translate in and out of global and regional languages is the challenging and necessary task that our programme has taken up.

 The Diploma in Literary Translation is a flagship programme of Ahmedabad University, an inter-disciplinary liberal arts institution. There is no comparable programme offered in India at present. Here we have a unique combination of online instruction, intensive offline workshops, and access to key practitioners.”

Prof. Niranjana further added, “Students of the programme in 2022-23 are early to mid-career professionals, including editors, college teachers, researchers, medical doctors working at the cusp of public health and civil society organizations, and NGO professionals. They represent languages as diverse as Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi,  Marwari, and Bengali. The Diploma Programme has nurtured the students to become award-winning translators, and the most celebrated translators from and into Indian languages have visited our classes and expressed their appreciation of what we are doing.”

The graduation ceremony culminated with a musical play ‘Same Same but Different’ presented by Tamasha Theatre, Mumbai. Two talented performers Jahnvi Shrimankar and Kailash Waghmare, from different backgrounds, and different life experiences, facing different artistic and social challenges, yet bound together by their love for music, came together to share their life stories with searing honesty, humour and emotion. In telling their stories, they shared music from different traditions, such as folk, classical, popular cinema, political, as they sing live, accompanied by a highly skilled band; leaving the audience enthralled by their performance.