Sur Jyotsna Anthem


Among the most definitive and prestigious platforms in the field of Indian classical and popular music, the Sur Jyotsna National Music Awards (SJNMA) recognise and honour fresh talent from across the country. The Awards were instituted in March 2014 by the Lokmat Media Group in memory of the late Smt. Jyotsna Darda, with the purpose of identifying and recognising talent at a pan-India level.

Smt Darda led her life in simplicity. Yet, behind the quiet and unassuming demeanor hid a woman staunchly determined to make a difference in two fields that mattered the most to her: women’s empowerment and music. Smt Darda started the Sakhi movement in Maharashtra and Goa, which led to the creation of a community of more than 2.5 lakh women; a legacy that still lives on.

She also kept her passion for music alive till the very end. In 2015, she founded the Jawaharlal Darda Sangeet Kala Academy in Nagpur. The Academy today trains students from all strata of the society, some of whom have become known faces in the field of music. The SJNM Awards are but a small way to honour her memory and her devotion to music, started on her first death anniversary.

Constitution of Surjyotsna

'Sur Jyotsna' is a ‘Vichar’, a thought intended to encourage budding talent and potential in the field of vocal as well as instrumental music. It is an endeavor nurture the rich tradition of Indian music and pass on it to the subsequent generations.

The Sur Jyotsna National Music Awards are aimed at singers and instrumentalists between the ages of 12 and 25 years. They should be performers with the highest creative artistry from any genre of music.

In the vocal space, the Awards recognise talent in Indian classical music (both Hindustani and Carnatic), spiritual, ghazal, folk, sufi, semi-classical and Bollywood music, while in the instrumental space, the awards honour performers from genres like Indian classical music (both Hindustani and Carnatic), semi-classical and folk music.

The Sur Jyotsna National Music Awards committee believes that these awards will encourage, motivate and inspire youngsters to perform, innovate and create masterpieces in Indian music that shall make an impact nationally as well as internationally.

The criteria for the selection are as follows:

  1. The candidate should be an Indian National.
  2. The vocalist/instrumentalist should be perfect in sur and taal.
  3. In case of vocalists, the voice quality will be a point for consideration.
  4. Candidate should have adequate knowledge & the ability to showcase the Highest standard & originality in creativity and innovation while performing.
  5. The candidate should be able to feel the pulse of the audience while performing and adapt accordingly.
  6. The candidate should have a deep understanding of shruti, gamak, ras, bhav, taal and naad.

The selection process of a candidate is beyond caste, sex, creed and religion. The winners will be chosen on the basis of the above criteria by an eminent Jury Board comprising distinguished singers, music experts and composers. They will deliberate and decide on two winners for the coveted SJNM Awards, and their decision will be final and binding. The winners will receive a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000/-.

The awards distribution ceremony is held in Nagpur, Maharashtra in the presence of eminent personalities & dignitaries from different fields, including art, culture and music. The Sur Jyotsna concept is promosted in multiple cities across the country through grand events and digital media.

All rights pertaining to the Awards are reserved with the Sur Jyotsna National Music Awards Committee.


Born into a family of musicians hailing from Rajasthan, Roopkumar Rathod was the most sought-after table player by the time he was 18 years old, and only went on to become a bigger maestro from then on. The versatile singer has a wide range and has sung numerous forms of music, including ghazals, bhajans, sufi and light classical, not to mention his vast contribution to Bollywood playback singing.

Mr. Roop Kumar Rathod

Trained in Indian Classical music by the legendary Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Sunali Rathod released her first EP record of a Gujarati song at the age of 18. She also received the Emirates International award for Best Ghazal Singer for her debut album, ‘Aaghaaz�, in 1986. Ms Rathod loves all forms of music equally and can sing in multiple languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu and English.

Mrs. Sunali Rathod

A Chartered Accountant by profession and founder of Pancham Nishad, he has inherited rich classical music tradition from his father Pandmabhushan Pandit C. R. Vyas and is known for his efforts in popularizing Indian classical music.

Mr. Shashi Vyas

Ms Gauri Yadwadkar is a double graduate in Science and Fine Arts from the Nagpur University, and currently works as Head - A&R (NEED FULL FORM) at Times Music, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. A well known Musicologist, Ms Yadwadkar has donned many hats, including that of a singer, actor, writer, documentary filmmaker, TV presenter, radio jockey and columnist.

Ms. Gauri Yadwadkar

Vijay Darda, a three-time member of the Rajya Sabha, is one of the pioneering journalists of India. He is the recipient of the prestigious Feroze Gandhi Memorial Award (1990-91) for excellence in journalism. As chairman of Editorial Board of Lokmat Media Private Limited, and IBN-Lokmat news channel and a people’s representative, he has been the voice of the people through his parliamentary work and writings. He also served as a member of the Press Council of India and contributed to the development of the journalism. A connoisseur of art and sports, he is instrumental in setting up of several art and sports organisations. A prolific writer, thinker and political commentator, Darda has several books to his credit.

Mr. Vijay Darda

He is the Managing Director of Lokmat Media Group. Mr. Darda is the President of Jawaharlal Darda Education Society, which runs several schools and a graduate college of engineering and technology. He sits on the executive council of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, South Asian Regional Committee of IFRA, a global body for printing and paper, INCA-FIEJ Research Association and executive committee of Western India Football Association. He was part of the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's delegation to Havana, Cuba for the NAM Summit and Brasilia, Brazil for the IBSA Summits. Mr. Darda’s keen interest in music has led to his active involvement in SJNMA.

Mr. Devendra Darda

Winner's Gallery


Performer's Gallery

Shankar Mahadevan (2014)
Hariharan (2015)
Reewa Rathod (2015)
K. K (2016)
Kailash Kher (2017)
Ankit Tiwari (2018)
Shreya Ghoshal (2019)

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

SJNMA In The News