Thiruvananthapuram: The decision to conduct four competitions in the state school youth festival (Kalolsavam) as a single event for both boys and girls has been dropped following objection from various schools and teachers.
The proposed 'gender-neutral' events were mimicry, folk dance, Kathakali, and Ottanthullal. The youth festival to be held from 6 to 10th January in Thrissur will bring down the number of festival days to five. Based on the revised manual, the extravagant and colorful rally conducted to mark the beginning of the festival week would be avoided. Instead, a cultural meet would be organized.
In a significant move, the quality improvement panel had shunned the practice of adjudging the top three at the arts extravaganza and also removed the cash price which goes with it. Instead, a one-time scholarship of Rs.2, 500 would be given to all contestants who secure an A grade. The qualifying marks to secure grade A was raised from 70 to 80; 60 to 70 for grade B; and 50 to 60 for grade C.
The committee had recommended eligibility guidelines for judges as well. The judges of sub district youth festival should not again be evaluating the competitions at the district festivals. The same is applicable to judges at the district level and they should not be judging events at the state event.