New Delhi, 17 August 2021: On the occasion of 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Sainik schools across the country will now be open for admissions to female students. Sainik Schools, which traditionally admit only boys, will now open their doors to welcome girls.
In his statement, PM Modi added, “I received messages from lakhs of girls across India, expressing their desire to study in Sainik Schools. So, the Union government has decided to offer this opportunity of studying in Sainik schools to girls. The step will not only be an opportunity for flourishing girl students but will also pave the way for a new India.”
This is not the first time the Indian Government has taken such a step for girls. On 4th June 2018, the Union government had experimented with the same by admitting female students for the first time at Sainik school in Chhingchhip, Mizoram. 6 girls along with 54 boys took admission to Sainik School Chhingchhip.
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100 New Co-Educational Sainik Schools
The Defence Ministry had announced in the Union Budget (2021-22 fiscal) that they will set up 100 new co-educational Sainik schools across India. The set-up will be in partnership with NGOs, private schools and state governments. The Ministry of Defence aims to prepare future generations of versatile brave warriors. Even the top retired military officials have welcomed this decision. However, they have cautioned that the structure of these institutions must not be tampered with.
According to the latest reports, all upcoming Sainik schools will follow the co-education model (both girls and boys). This will benefit the female students, thereby increasing their scholarly participation in the defence of the nation.
Sainik Schools to Reserve Seats for Girls
To begin with this idea, the admissions will be done based on the reservation of seats for girls. The HRD Ministry plans to reserve 10% seats for girls in the first year. Added to this, the ministry also plans to increase the reserved seats for girls to 15% in the next year, followed by 20% the year following it.
Lieutenant General (retired) H.S. Panag also stated, “It is a good thing if girls get into Sainik Schools because the whole idea of these schools has changed a lot from the time of their inception. Now it is no longer mandatory for students to write the NDA (National Defence Academy) test if they are studying in Sainik Schools. They are more or less like any other good public school now, which have impetus on physical activity and include bits about the forces in their curriculum.”
About Sainik Schools
- Sainik Schools serve as feeder institutions that prepare cadets for the armed forces.
- It is the brainchild of VK Krishna Menon, the Union Defence Minister, who served India from April 1957 to October 1962. He conceived this idea in 1961 and set up the first Sainik School in Satara, Maharashtra.
- These schools operate under the supervision of the Defence Ministry as joint ventures with the respective state governments.
- At present, 33 Sainik schools are operating in the country, which only allow the admission of male students. Uttar Pradesh has 3 Sainik Schools, while Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha Maharashtra, and Karnataka have 2 schools each.
- To get admitted to Sainik schools, aspirants are required to sit for the All India Sainik School Entrance Examination (AISSEE) exam, which follows the curriculum of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
- Admissions to classes 6 to 9 are granted based on the aspirants’ performance in the entrance exam.
- Admissions for class 11 is based on marks scored in class 10 board exams.
- 67% of seats are reserved for students who are from the home state of a Sainik School.
- 15% seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) students, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes (ST) students, 27% for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 25% for wards of current and former servicemen.
Subsequently, PM Modi spoke about the new education policy (NEP) of India, asserting that the NEP will become a major force in the fight against poverty.