Sur Jyotsna National Music Awards (SJNMA) is one of the most definitive platforms that honour aspiring young talent in Indian Classical & Popular music. Instituted by the Lokmat Media Group in memory of Late Smt. Jyotsna Darda, SJNMA’s mission is to identify and recognize music talent at the National level.

Late Smt. Jyotsna Darda led her life in simplicity. Behind her quiet and unassuming demeanor hid a lady with strong will power and determination to make a difference in two fields – women’s empowerment and music. She started the Sakhi movement across Maharashtra and Goa leading to a community of over 2.5 lac women. A connoisseur of music, she practiced the art till the end. She found the Jawaharlal Darda Sangeet Kala Academy at Nagpur to provide a platform to students keen to learn music. The academy trains students from all strata of the society, some of whom have become known faces in the field of music. In recognition to her devotion to music, Sur Jyotsna National Music Award was instituted in March 2014 on her first death anniversary. 



Mr. Roop Kumar Rathod

Born into a family of musicians hailing from Rajasthan, Roopkumar Rathod continues the tradition steeped deep into marvels of Indian classical music. He was the most sought after tabla player at the age of 18, in the early 80's. Roopkumar’s voice can be best described as a touch of velvet which elevates to melodious memorization and takes you into a dream-like state. His voice captures the emotion of each song that he has sung, especially for Bollywood.

This versatile singer actually has a plethora of talent and has a wide repertoire of music including Ghazals, Bhajans, Sufi, Light Classical music, as well as his playback singing achievements. 

Mrs. Sunali Rathod

Sunali Rathod is a well renowned playback singer and trained in Indian Classical from Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar. At the age of 18, she released her first EP record of Gujarati song with HMV. She also won the Best Ghazal singer award in 1987 by Emirates International in Dubai for her debut album ‘Aaghaaz’. She has love for all kinds of music and sings in languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, English, Telugu etc..

Mr. Shashi Vyas

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. Vijay Darda

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. Devendra 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.

Ms. Gauri Yadwadkar

Gauri Yadwadkar is a Nagpur University double post graduate in Science and Fine Arts. Currently based out of Mumbai, she works as Head - A & R at Times Music, Times of India Group. Well-Known as a Musicologist, Gauri has donned many hats- that of  a singer, actor, writer, documentary maker, TV presenter, RJ & a columnist.She also has a popular podcast of her stories.


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