The Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar, the national award instituted in memory of late poet laureate Kuvempu, has been awarded to renowned Odia poet Dr Rajendra Kishore Panda for the year 2020. The prestigious award carries a cash award of Rs 5 lakh, a silver medal, and a citation.
The award is given annually to a writer who has contributed in any of the languages recognised by the Constitution of India. While the award is presented at Kuppalli, the birthplace of Kuvempu in Shivamogga district, on December 29 to mark his birth anniversary, the announcement for 2020 was delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Panda, born in 1944, is a poet and novelist from Odisha. He has published 16 poetry collections and a novel. He was presented the Gangadhar National Award in 2010, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985. He was awarded a D.Lit. by Sambalpur University.