New Delhi: For the coming academic year of 2019-20, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced the approval of an increase of 5,000 seats in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV). Currently, the number of seats in JNVs, residential schools for rural children, is 46,600. So from the coming academic year, 51000 seats would be up for grabs. (Also read: All 23 Students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Puducherry Clear IIT-JEE (Main))

Earlier also, 9,000 seats had been added and in the next four years, the Government is likely to add 32,000 more seats. “This is a step in the right direction. This is the biggest-ever expansion of quality education for rural students. This unprecedented expansion of JNVs, nearly free of cost residential schools, will provide more opportunity for talented children from rural areas to get a quality education,” Javadekar said.

Navodaya is the only education system in the country where students take an entrance examination for admission into Class 6. In 2001, 5.50 lakh aspirants appeared for the entrance examination for Class 6. Over the years, the number of aspirants appearing for the entrance examination has shot up with 31.10 lakh students registering for the entrance examination for 2019.

“This reflects the growing aspirations of rural children for acquiring quality education and the Government’s consistent effort to meet this aspiration, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the HRD Minister said, adding that the Government is also considering setting up of a Navodaya Vidyalaya each in the newly carved out districts in various states.

The Navodaya Vidyalaya system, which began as a unique experiment, has become a passport out of poverty for thousands of underprivileged children. In the past five years, Navodaya Vidyalaya has consistently recorded a pass percentage of over 97 per cent in Class 10 and Class 12, of which 86% securing first division, which is far better than private schools’ and CBSE’s national average.