Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced in her budget speech that 100 new “Sainik Schools” will come up across the country in partnership with NGOs, private schools, and states.
The main objective of Sainik Schools is to prepare cadets for entry into the armed forces. The Committee on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Defence prepared its first report in the year 2019-20 and raised several issues regarding the paucity of funds and the lack of centers. It also highlighted the past recommendations and concerns about the participation of girls and the reach of such schools in tribal areas.
The first report available on the website of the Lok Sabha Secretariat apprises that although the performance and standard of Sainik Schools had improved, the main constraint is paucity of funds due to rise in salary of teachers and staff and non-contribution of share by some state governments.
According to reports in the previous years, “The Committee noted that the current course strength of NDA (National Defence Academy) is 341, out of which 87 Sainik School students were selected for 2018-19. The Inspecting Officer, Sainik Schools Society, informed the Committee that on an average, there are 600 vacancies in NDA.”
The report brought to the fore the issue of expansion of the schools and recommended the “expansion of Sainik Schools in remote and far flung areas such as Tribal belts, remote hills and geographical areas where no Sainik School has been hitherto established.”
The Committee was of the opinion that the country does not lack talent in its remote areas and all that inhabitants of these regions need is an opportunity “to prove their worth and serve the country by joining the Forces.”
With the consultation of the states and in partnership with NGOs, the areas will be identified to strengthen the sainik school network.
Sainik schools prepare the students who enter through the All India Sainik School Entrance Examination to lead as officers in the defence services of the country. The Sainik Schools Society is an organization under the Ministry of Defence functioning under the chairmanship of the Defence Minister.