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The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar has announced an increase of around 5,000 seats at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas across the country. This is the biggest-ever expansion and the number of seats has increased from 46,600 to 51,000 at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs).
Why the increase?
The increase in the number of seats was part of the government efforts to increase the access to quality education for the student, especially from rural areas.
Over the time there has been an increase in the number of students applying for the exam to get enrolled in the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. The number of applicants increased from 5.50 lakh aspirants in 2001 to 31.10 lakh aspirants in 2019.
The increase in the number of applicants reflects the growing aspirations of rural children for acquiring quality education. Hence the government has increased the number of seats to provide more opportunity for talented children from rural areas to get a quality education in the nearly free of cost residential schools.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas were set up under the provisions of National Policy on Education-1986. The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas were set up to nurture and provide opportunities for children with special talent or aptitude to progress at a faster pace by making good quality education available to them irrespective of their capacity to pay for it.
It was a unique experiment in India where the students are selected for admission to Class 6 based on their performance at the entrance examination. These schools are fully residential and co-educational schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi and provide education from class VI to XII standard.
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has announced that National Testing Agency (NTA) will train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers. NTA was set up to relieve Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and other educational regulator bodies from burden of conducting multiple examinations.
NTA is expected to conduct some of the examinations that CBSE has been conducting till now. It will take over all examinations from the CBSE (except the 10th and 12th board examinations) from 2019 in phased manner. It will be also conducting prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like IITs and NITs and National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical and dental colleges in the country (except AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry).
National Testing Agency (NTA)
NTA was approved by Union cabinet in November 2017 as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions in India. It is registered as society under Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860. It mandates is to conduct entrance tests entrusted to it by any department or ministry and put in place a robust system for conducting of examinations.
It is also mandated to bring high reliability and standardised difficulty level for assessing aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of students. It will relieve CBSE, AICTE and other bodies of responsibility of conducting entrance examinations. It is chaired by eminent educationist appointed by Ministry of HRD. Its CEO will be Director General (DG) appointed by Government. Besides, it has Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.