In 2017, the then Chandrababu Naidu government decided to make the Andhra Pradesh Pratibha State level awards more prestigious by naming them after former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The awards are given to meritorious students who excel in the SSC public exams. They are given merit certificates, a memento and scholarships to meet the cost of their higher education.
In Jaganmohan Reddy raj, however, Kalam has to make way. Government order MS No. 78 issued by the School Education department on 4 November 2019, has renamed the APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskhar Award as YSR Vidya Puraskars.
Update : Jagan reverses the decision. Read the details here.
This is the latest instance of Jagan’s obsession with naming and renaming every scheme, programme and award after his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy. The awards for 2019 will be given on 11 November, the birth anniversary of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad which is observed as National Education Day.
If changing the name of an award within two years is not desirable, to do away with the name of President Kalam who was known for his efforts to inculcate a scientific temper, encourage students to think big and loved interacting with the young, is bizarre. Of course, YSR was a qualified doctor himself but was it really necessary to junk Kalam’s name.
It would have been fine if Jagan had made qualitative changes in the award process or introduced new awards. The latest move does neither.
And given the obsession of both political parties in Andhra Pradesh to change names, there is no guarantee that the name won’t change should YSRCP lose power in 2024.
Apart from naming various schemes after YSR, in the past five months, every village secretariat office has also been painted in YSRCP colours.