Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday cancelled 15 public holidays marking the birth or death anniversary of eminent personalities.
Most of the holidays had been declared by the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) governments apparently to keep certain sections of the society in good humour, often with an eye on the vote bank.
However, the state Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday decided to cancel 15 such public holidays in educational institutions.
“Instead, students in schools and colleges would now be taught about the great personalities on these days,” Cabinet minister Shrikant Sharma said while briefing media persons on the decisions of the government.
An official release later clarified that government employees were free to avail restricted holidays on these days. Adityanath had in his address on the occasion of Dr BR Ambedkar’s 126th birth anniversary here expressed concern over the shrinking academic session due to increased holidays.
“There should be no holidays in schools on birth anniversaries of great personalities. Instead, a special two- hour programme should be held to teach students about them.
The 220-day academic session has been reduced to only 120 days due to such holidays and if this tradition continues, there will be no day left for teaching in schools,” he had said.
In Uttar Pradesh, there are 42 public holidays of which at least 17 are related to the birth anniversaries of eminent personalities.
The previous Samajwadi Party government had declared holidays on the birth anniversaries of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar (April 17), Maharishi Kashyap and Maharshi Nishadraj Jayanti (April 5), Hazrat Ajmeri Garib Nawaj Urs (April 26), Maharana Pratap Jayanti (May 9) besides on the death anniversary of Ambedkar (December 6).
Sharma said the revised list of holidays will soon be made available.
Public holidays that have been scrapped by the government include Jan Nayak Karpori Thakur birth anniversary (Jan 24), Maharshi Kashyap and Maharaj Guha birth anniversary (Apr 5), Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Ajmeri Gareeb Nawaz Urs on (Apr 14), Chandrashekhar birth anniversary (Apr 17), Parashu Ram Jayanti (Apr 28), Maharana Pratap Jayanti (May 9), Jamat Ul Vida on June 23 (last Friday of Ramzan), Chhat Puja (Oct 26), Eid Milad Un Nabi (Dec 2), Chaudhary Charan Singh Jayanti (Dec 23).