The awards are being launched in the name of Ustad Bismillah Khan, fellow of the Akademi, who passed away last year.

Sangeet Natak Akademi is introducing awards for young artists. The awards are being launched in the name of Ustad Bismillah Khan, fellow of the Akademi, who passed away in 2006 and will be known as `Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar'. The objective of introducing the new awards is to identify and encourage outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and give them national recognition early in life so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in life-long pursuit of their chosen form of art.Yuva Puraskar carrying a purse of Rs. 25,000 is being given to artists below the age of 35 as on April 1 of the year and covers music, dance, theatre, puppetry and scholarship in performing arts.The General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi decided the names for `Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar' for 2006, at its meeting held on February 15 in New Delhi. As many as 33 young artists who have made a mark in their respective fields of performing arts have been selected from all over the country.The list is: Music: Sandippan Samajpati and Manjiri Asnare Kelkar (Hindustani vocal), Niladri Kumar and Abhay Rustum Sopori (Hindustani instrumental, sitar and santoor respectively); T.M. Krishna, Sreerama Prasad Malladi & Ravikumar Malladi (Malladi Brothers) (Carnatic vocal), N. Manoj Siva and S. Karthick, (Carnatic instrumental-mridangam and ghatam respectively).Dance: Sheejith Krishna (Bharatanatyam), Prashant Shah, Ahmedabad (Kathak), Kalamandalam Pradeep (Kathakali), Sijagurumayum Nimita Devi, (Manipuri), Bijayini Satapathi and Leena Mohanty (Odissi), Vedantam Venkata Nagachalapathi Rao (Kuchipudi), Kalamandalam Vinod, Music for Dance - Kathakali. Theatre: Rajinder Rozy and Ramanjit Kaur (acting), Amir Aslam Bhat and Rabijita Gogoi (direction), Manaswini Lata Ravindra and Asif Ali Haider Khan (playwriting), Zuleikha Chaudhuri and Malatesha Badigera, (Allied Theatre Arts, Lighting and stage craft respectively).Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry:Kapila Venu, (Kutiyattam, Kerala), Brundaban Jena (Prahlad Natak, Orissa), Thokchom Imomacha Singh (Thang-Ta, Manipur), Lipokmar Tzudir (Choral Music, Nagaland), Rampada Jamatia (Tribal Dance and Music, Tripura), Arusam Madhusudan, Mime and Anurupa Roy, Puppetry, Delhi. The award for contribution/scholarship in performing arts goes to Sangeeta Iswaran, (dance).