Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy- History, Significance and Recipients

Updated February 22, 2023

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, also known as MAKA Trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian sports. The award is given to the Indian Universities for having the highest overall athletic performance in events held at the inter-university, national, and international levels.

The trophy has a long and rich history, dating back to the 1950s when it was first introduced. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, winners, and controversies of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy.

History of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy

The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy was first introduced in 1956 by the UGC. It was named after Abul Kalam Azad, often known as Maulana Azad, who served as the first Minister of Education in independent India and was a key figure in the Indian independence movement.

The trophy was initially awarded to the university that performed the best in inter-university athletics. Over the years, the trophy has evolved, and today it is awarded to the university that performs the best in a variety of sports and games.

It is awarded every year by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Although the original trophy is not given to the winner, a replica of the Trophy and cash prize are given, which is to be used for enhancing the level of sports.

Every year, four universities are nominated for this trophy based on the grading system used by the committee. The winner is declared by the Indian government, which receives “a rolling MAKA trophy and a cash prize of rupees 15 lakhs (US$19,000)”.

The second and Third rankers also receive a cash Prize of 7.5 lakh rupees ($9,400) and 4.5 lakh rupees ($5,600), respectively. There are six universities, that the trophy many times.

The trophy has been won 22 times by Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, most recently in the academic year 2017–2018. The trophy has been won by Delhi University in Delhi 14 times, most recently in the years 2000–2001, while Panjab University in Chandigarh has won it 15 times, most recently in the year 2020.

Other winners include Kurukshetra University in Kurukshetra, Punjabi University in Patiala, and Bombay University in Mumbai, which took home the first award.

Importance of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy

Sports improve blood circulation, lower blood sugar, regulate weight, and reduce stress. A healthy balance of physical and mental development can be achieved through athletics, which helps tonify muscles and strengthen bones. Students who participate in sports learn the value of living a healthy lifestyle.

The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it plays a vital role in promoting sports in India. The trophy encourages universities to invest in sports infrastructure and provide training and support to their athletes. This, in turn, helps to develop a culture of sports in universities and promotes healthy competition among students.

Secondly, the trophy is significant in promoting inter-university sports in India. It provides a platform for universities to showcase their sporting talent and compete against each other at a national level. This helps to foster a sense of unity and national identity among students from different parts of India.

Many of India’s top athletes, including cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, have competed in the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy in their student days. The competition has helped to identify and nurture talented athletes, many of whom have gone on to represent India at the international level.

Since 1956, the Trophy has been awarded a total of 64 times. The main purpose of this initiative is to promote and encourage athletic competition, excellence in sports, and the integration of sports and physical fitness among Indian schools and universities.

List of the Trophy Recipients, Showing the Year, University & City

1956–1957Bombay UniversityMumbai
1957–1958Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1958–1959Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1959–1960Bombay UniversityMumbai
1960–1961Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1961–1962Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1962–1963Delhi University                Delhi
1963–1964Delhi UniversityDelhi
1964–1965Delhi UniversityDelhi
1965–1966          Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1966–1967          Kurukshetra UniversityKurukshetra
1967–1968Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1968–1969          Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1969–1970Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1970–1971Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1971–1972Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1971–1972Delhi UniversityDelhi
1972–1973Delhi UniversityDelhi
1973–1974          Delhi UniversityDelhi
1974–1975Delhi UniversityDelhi
1975–1976Delhi UniversityDelhi
1976–1977Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1977–1978          Delhi UniversityDelhi
1978–1979          Guru Nanak Dev University         Amritsar
1979–1980Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1980–1981Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1981–1982Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1983–1984Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1984–1985Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1985–1986Bombay UniversityMumbai
1986–1987          Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1987–1988Delhi UniversityDelhi
1988–1989          Delhi UniversityDelhi
1989–1990          Delhi UniversityDelhi
1990–1991Delhi UniversityDelhi
1991–1992Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1992–1993Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1993–1994Guru Nanak Dev University         Amritsar
1994–1995Panjab University            Chandigarh
1995–1996Panjab UniversityChandigarh
1996–1997Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1997–1998Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1998–1999Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
1999–2000Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2000–2001          Delhi UniversityDelhi
2001–2002Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2002–2003Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2003–2004Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2004–2005Panjab UniversityChandigarh
2005–2006Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2006–2007          Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2007–2008Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2008–2009Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2009–2010Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2010–2011Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2011–2012Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2012–2013Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2013–2014Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2014–2015Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2015–2016Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2016–2017Punjabi UniversityPatiala
2017–2018Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
2019Panjab UniversityChandigarh
2020, 2021Panjab University            Chandigarh
2022Guru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsar
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy Recipients

Who was Abul Kalam Azad?

Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad was born on November 11, 1888. He was an Islamic theologian, Indian Independence activist, Writer, and senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He was a firm believer in the importance of education and sports in the development of a nation.

Abul Kalam became the First Minister of Education in India. His birthday is celebrated as National Education Day across India, for his great contribution to establishing the education foundation in India.

Abul started writing poems in Urdu, as well as treatises on religion and philosophy at a very young age. He earned recognition through his job as a journalist, where he published articles criticizing the British Raj and supporting Indian nationalism.

Abul became the leader of the Khilafat Movement, which allowed him to work closely with Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi’s ideas of non-violent civil disobedience influenced him a lot that he became an enthusiastic supporter and worked to organize the non-cooperation campaign in opposition to the 1919 Rowlatt Acts.

Abul dedicated himself to advancing Gandhi’s ideas, especially the cause of Swaraj (Self-rule) for India and the promotion of Swadeshi (indigenous) goods. He gained the position of President of the Indian National Congress in 1923 at the age of 35, making him the youngest person to do so.

In October 1930, he was elected as a member of the founding committee to establish Jamia Millia Islamia at Aligarh in U. P without the help of the British government. In 1934, he helped with the relocation of the university’s campus from Aligarh to New Delhi.

He is honoured by having his name on the main entrance of the university’s main campus. From 1940 to 1945, while he was the president of Congress, the Quit India uprising got underway. Together with the rest of the Congress leadership, Azad was imprisoned. He also promoted unity between Hindus and Muslims through the Al-Hilal journal.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the prize money for Maulana Abul Kalam Azad MAKA Trophy?

Ans: The winner receives “a rolling MAKA trophy and a cash prize of 15 lakhs (US$19,000)”.

Q. Is Abdul Kalam Azad a freedom fighter?

Ans: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an educationist, freedom fighter, politician, and journalist.

Q. When Abul Kalam Azad got Bharat Ratna?

Ans: He received Bharat Ratna Award posthumously in 1992.

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