Telugu writer Dr Ravuri Bharadwaja and Oriya novelist Pratibha Ray were on Wednesday selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award for the year 2011 and 2012.
Bharadwaja, 86, who has to his credit more than 37 volumes of short stories and 17 novels among other works, was chosen for the award by a selection board chaired by noted poet Sitakant Mahapatra, a statement from Jnanpith Award committee said.
Ray, also an academician, has written over 40 novels, travelogues and short stories.
The books of Bharadwaja, who had education till Class VIII only, had been prescribed as text books in universities and even been the basis of many research works.
"Bharadwaja passed through all sorts of vicissitudes of life but continued his service to Telugu literature with perseverance. He is a poet, a playwright, a novelist of distinction and a popular science writer," the statement said.
Besides short stories and novels, he has also written six short novels for children, five compiliations of short stories for childrem, three collection of essays and biographies and eight plays.
His notable creations include Kadambari, Pakudurallu, Jeevana Samaram, Inupu Tera Venuka and Koumudi and have been translated into English and various Indian languages.
"Bharadwaja's greatest attribute is his flair for story telling. His works proved that a writer has a social awareness and his work a human purpose," the statement said.
He was earlier awarded Sahitya Akademi Award, Soviet Land Nehru Award, Telugu Akademi Award, Balsahitya Parishad Award and honarary doctorate from NagarjunaUniversity among others.
The earlier receipients of the Jnanpith Award include U R Ananthamurthy (Kannada), O N V Kurup (Malayalam), Jayakanthan (Tamil), Nirmal Verma (Hindi), Mahasweta Devi (Bengali), Qurratulain Hyder (Urdu) and Amrita Pritam (Punjabi).