In a decision just a day after the editor of Indian Express Shekhar Gupta’s exit from company, IE chairman Viveck Goenka announced that Unni Rajen Shanker will take Jha’s place as editor. Until now, Unni was managing editor.Both Jha and Shanker joined the daily in 1996. Goenka said in a mail to the staff that Jha has brought to the newsroom creativity, clarity and depth, three qualities increasingly rare in our business. “Jha could not have a stronger partner in the newsroom than managing editor Unni Rajen Shanker,” he added. Jha will report to Goenka.
Jha’s first novel, The Blue Bedspread, won the 2000 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia region) and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His second novel If You Are Afraid of Heights was a finalist for the Hutch-Crossword Book Award in 2003. He has also been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. His third novel, Fireproof, debuted in German at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2006 (published by Goldmann).