President Kovind, India’s 2nd Dalit President Won’t Present Teachers Day Awards Today

Newsreports state that, breaking from tradition, it will be Vice President Venkiah Naidu and not President, Kovind who will present the national awards to teachers this year, today on Teacher’s Day. Constituted in 1958, the National Award for Teachers is presented by the President to teachers, who have rendered exemplary service to the nation and meritorious performance.These awards include  teachers working in primary, middle and secondary schools in India.

Why this break from tradition ? This year, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will be the chief guest at the ceremony being organised at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi on Tuesday. President Ramnath Kovind will, however, be hosting the teachers at Rashtrapati Bhavan later in the day. Seious questions are being raised about this ‘change’ especially since the ruling BJP made much of the fact that President Kovind is India’s second Dalit President.  But sources in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, are, however, insisting to the media  that not much should be “read into this change in ceremony – where the VP will present the award instead of the President. The President has invited the awardees to personally interact with them.”

As many as 219 teachers, including 124 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teachers, will be presented the award. The ceremony will take place in the presence of Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar, MoS HRD Satyapal Singh and MoS Upendra Kushwaha. There are 366 awards, out of which 20 are reserved for Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic teachers. There is also an earmarked quota for each state/ union territory/ organisation based on their number of teachers.

The recognition is extended to teachers of CBSE-affiliated schools, independent affiliated schools situated abroad, ICSCE, Sainik School, KVS, NVS, CTSA and schools run by the Atomic Energy Education Society. This year, for Teachers’ Day celebrations, the government has asked the state governments to hold district/ block/ cluster level competitions based on cleanliness.



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