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New Delhi, September 8, 2010
National Advisory Council (NAC) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today inaugurated 31 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), which are fully residential co-educational schools providing education from Class VI to XII and affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The new schools are located across the country in the States of Kerala, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Gandhi underlined the need for education provided in schools to be in accordance with the changes taking place around the world, especially with regard to new technologies and techniques.
She said quality education was a right of all children and wondered why other Government schools were not as good as the Navodaya Vidyalaya.
She expressed concern that one-fourth of the teachers were absent in many schools, which also have many drop-outs from the weaker sections.
Ms Gandhi said information about scholarships and other facilities offered by the Government must reach all students. She felt other Government schools must learn from the JNVs.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal said late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi considered providing quality education for deprived children his foremost duty. It was in this context that the Government decided to open a JNV in every district of the country as part of the National Policy on Education, 1986. Today there are 593 JNVs in the country in which 2 lakh children are studying, he said.
He also said that special Navodaya Vidyalayas were being proposed to encourage children showing aptitude in sports, culture and in vocational streams. He pointed out that already Navodaya Vidyalayas were considered at par with the better schools of the country and alumni of these schools were excelling in various professions.
At least 75 per cent of the seats in a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya are filled by candidates from rural areas. Reservation of seats for children belonging to SCs and STs is provided in proportion to their population in the concerned district. One-third of total seats are filled by girls.
Out of over two lakh students in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, 77.84 per cent are from rural areas, 36.67 per cent are girls and 41.61 per cent belong to SC/ST categories, an official press release added.