Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NDA: Declining Contribution of Sainik Schools

Sainik schools decline in discipline and contribution to forces
The Tribune Chandigarh, September 30, 2012 by Vijay Mohan.
Set up to serve as feeder institutes to the National Defence Academy (NDA), Sainik Schools are now under the scanner for more than one reason. A general decline in the percentage of its students joining the NDA, increasing dropout rate and a sudden spurt in disciplinary and ragging cases are among the issues that have brought these institutes into focus.
The contribution of Sainik Schools towards the intake into the NDA has gone down from 30.75 per cent in 2008 to 25.18 per cent in 2011. According to figures listed in the report of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence released last month, these figures were 29.23 per cent in 2009 and 26.17 per cent in 2010.
While there has been a consistent improvement in the schools’ academic performance, a comparative analysis also revealed that on an average, only about 20 per cent of Sainik School students join the NDA whereas in the case of the Rashtriya Indian Military College – which has a similar charter to that of Sainik Schools – the figure was 76 per cent.
One reason for the low intake from Sainik Schools put forward by the Defence Ministry is that students leave the school after their class XII examinations. As they are not under the supervision of the schools, they could have less inclination to write the NDA entrance exam or to appear for the selection interview. Candidates need to pass class XII to join the NDA.
Conceived in 1961 and managed by the Sainik Schools Society, whose board of governors is chaired by the Minister of Defence, the objective of Sainik Schools is to motivate and prepare students to join the armed forces as officers by focusing on moulding and developing their overall personality.
There are 24 Sainik Schools located in 21 states across the country and they are funded jointly by the central and respective state governments. Funding is another issue plaguing these schools with many state governments failing to give due budgetary support.
The dropout rate of students in these schools – having a strength of over 12,000 – has also been fluctuating, moving from 885 in 2008-09 to 843 in 2009-10 and 1,009 in 2010-11. The biggest chunk of dropouts is due to parental requests, which has witnessed a consistent increase, with the figures being 544, 564 and 689 for the aforementioned three sessions.
More significantly, the number of dropouts on grounds of indiscipline saw a spurt from seven and six cases to 60 cases for these sessions. In the past three years, 13 students were expelled and 15 were suspended for ragging. -via The Tribune
Sainik schools decline in discipline and contribution to forces

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