On 8 October 2020, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the Jagananna Vidya Kanuka scheme with an aim to reduce the dropout rate. Under the scheme, a kit will be provided to the Class 1 – 10 students in the government schools across the State. The kit consists of three pairs of uniforms, one pair of shoes, two pairs of socks, textbooks, notebooks, a belt, and a Schoolbag. 42,34,322 kits will be distributed across the state with an estimated cost of Rs 650 crore.
The scheme closely resembles a similar policy that existed during N. Chandrababu Naidu’s tenure. Under the earlier scheme, two pairs of uniforms, notebooks, a pair of shoes, two pairs of socks, textbooks, and notebooks were given to each student.
However, the government hugely publicized as the first of its kind scheme. The claims are completely false as the States like Kerala and Delhi were already implementing the scheme for the past few years. Kerala went a step ahead and delivered the books to the student’s houses considering the current pandemic situation.
Since the time they came into power in 2019, renaming and rebranding the TDP’s schemes have been the favorite pastime of the YSRCP government. The current government renamed and rebranded the earlier schemes such as Rythy Runa Mafi, Anna Canteens, Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam, NTR Aadarana scheme, Annadata Sukhibava, NTR Bharosa, NTR Housing, Chandranna Pelli Kanuka, and Anna Amruta Hastam schemes.
While renaming the schemes by the incumbent government is common across India, in this case, it is evident that the government is focusing more on publicizing the scheme. The belts distributed to the students as a part of the Vidya Kanuka kit carries the name of the scheme rather than the school name.
The government even used the TTD runs Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC) to broadcast the event live.
The grand launch event indicates that the government is more focused on its publicity rather than the safety of the students. The Chief Minister interacted with the students without even wearing the mask.
A few days back, 27 students of class 9 and 10 studying in Zilla Parishad school in Vizianagaram tested positive for COVID. All these students were attending the school to clear their doubts. Despite this incident, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party leaders attended the launch event with no masks drawing flak from the people.