Hidden in the fine print of NDA government's third budget is a political message- four schemes named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi have been renamed, by dropping his name.
Interestingly, Bharatiya Janata Party, the major party in National Democratic Alliance, hasn't replaced Rajiv Gandhi's name with names of its own political favourites. The schemes now have politically neutral names.
So, the decentralisation scheme Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan under the ministry of panchayati raj will be called Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan from April 1.
Panchayati Raj Secretary SM Vijayanand confirmed to ET that the scheme will be renamed. "The scheme will be revamped in the next fiscal. We will rework the guidelines after a final round of consultation in April," he said.
The scheme was launched during Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's time and the party has always maintained Rajiv Gandhi was the architect of panchayat reform.
In similar re-christenings:
a) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities has been renamed National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities. The department concerned has issued an office memorandum to this effect.
b) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes has been renamed National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes.
c) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, a scheme that's intended to promote sporting activities, is likely to be subsumed by an umbrella scheme, Khelo India. The Budget says:
"Khelo India: National Programme for Development of Sports: This is an Umbrella Scheme after rationalisation of schemes Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme and National Sports Talent Search System Programme, Commonwealth Games 2010 — Sports Authority of India (SAI) Stadia Renovation..."
Earlier, the NDA government had renamed other schemes named after Rajiv Gandhi. For example, the Rajiv Rinn Yojana, an instrument to address the housing needs of EWS/LIG (economically weaker sections/low income group) segments in urban areas through enhanced credit flow, was subsumed in another scheme — Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana — as a small part "credit-linked subsidy scheme". A scheme on rural electrification that was named after Rajiv Gandhi by Congress was subsumed in a broader scheme that ..