While the admission of girls in all the Sainik Schools in India had been introduced to prepare them for the National Defence Academy (NDA), the survival of some of these prestigious institutions has become a serious challenge.
This stems from the anomalous rules as to whether the Union Ministry of Defence or the respective states should own up the overall budgetary responsibilities to manage the Sainik Schools, said a UNI report.
In the 22nd board of governors meeting of Sainik schools chaired by state minister of Defence Shripad Naik, Th Radheshyam, education minister urged the former to take over all the Sainik schools to bring a uniformity throughout the country and open more SSB interview centres, particularly for the Northeastern region.
In an exclusive interview, Th Radheshyam stated that there is no uniformity in the style of functioning, the structural design and scholarships for the cadets in all the Sainik Schools in the country.
“The Northeastern states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam, which do not have much resources have unseen difficulties in managing the Sainik Schools. I am of the view that the Sainik Schools should be completely managed by the Union Ministry of Defence”, he said.
On his proposal to the Union Ministry of Defence to take over all the Sainik Schools, he said, “There are 1225 Kendriya Vidyalayas in India divided among twenty-five regions and three operated abroad as of December 2019 and approximately 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas as of 2015-16 academic year. It is a view of many that the Union Defence Ministry can take over the existing Sainik Schools, which is just about thirty in numbers.”
He also mentioned that the existing dormitories and quarters for employees of his Alma Mater Sainik School Imphal are not adequate and the admission of girls in the prevailing conditions is not at all possible.
“The primary objective of Sainik Schools is to groom young minds from all sections of the society to join the NDA. Sainik School is perfect example of our ancient traditions of Guru-Shisha Parampara in an organised Gurukul system for the overall intellectual, physical and spiritual development of a child”, he added.
The minister said that he would be consulting education ministers of the region to highlight the common grievances in terms of the infrastructure, fees of the cadets and the welfare of the administrative and academic staff of the Sainik Schools.
He also cited the need for introducing new and modern technology with digital device to enhance and facilitate teachers to cover the syllabus in virtual classrooms.
Radheshyam further said, “I will be making a separate representation to the union ministers regarding a onetime grant for the construction of the administrative building, classrooms, quarters and other basic amenities of the school.”