Nirmala Sitaraman announces sanctioning 100 Sainik Schools all over the country in today’s Budget:

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  1. What is a Sainik School?
    Sainik Schools are preparatory schools for producingArmedForce Officers for India’s Army, Navy and Air Force. There is practically one Sainik School in every state. Students are admitted age-wise in 6th and 9th standard and study up to 12th in this residential Army disciplined school. In Gujarat we have a Sainik School in Balachadi, in Jamnagar District. PM Narendra Modi publicly admitted in 2014 that he always wanted to study in Sainik School, Balachadi. The idea of Sainik Schools was conceived by VK Krishna Menon, the 5th Defence Minister of India, who proposed that there be a Sainik School in every state governed by Defence Ministry and funded by State Government. Sainik School, Balachadi is rated among top 20 Public Schools (residential schools) in India because of the quality of education and sense of discipline generated in young students who study there. Sainik School not only educates students but through various extra-curricular and co-curricular activities generates high moral values, a great sense of patriotism and sportsman spirit among its students. This way it has become a factory of leadership.
  2. How do you view the Finance Minister’s announcement of building 100 Sainik Schools in the coming years?
    Mrs Nirmala Sitaraman’s announcement to have 100 more Sainik Schools is a welcome decision in general. It will not only prepare more and more boys to join the Indian Armed Forces but also induce high moral values and patriotism in budding youngsters. The students studying in such schools will lead their civil lives with greater integrity and with greater discipline.
  3. Are 100 more Sainik Schools really required?
    At the moment it may seem a lot of them and may seem an exaggerated announcement. But the vision seems to be generating more leaders with integrity and love for the country. More the merrier. Today there are over 30 Sainik Schools and they are providing a good number of entrants to NDA (National Defence Academy) at Khadakvasla, Pune. More Sainik Schools will provide better selection for grooming Defence Officers and for those not selected – they will live with OLQ (Officer Like Qualities). So it will be a win-win situation.
  4. Can the Government run so many Sainik Schools?
    As I understand – this project will be under a PPP – a Public Private Partnership. Government will offer trusted NGOs to run such ‘private’ Sainik Schools.
  5. Do you think such project will be successful?
    I think this project is welcome and will in the coming years be successful. More and more premier education institutes such as these are aimed at better grooming of our children who will make responsible citizens – and you know this is the dire need of the hour. As far as the implementation of this project and running of such focused schools is concerned, it is a tough ask. But all great projects are tough to begin and bear great fruits over a period of time.
  6. Do you think Gujarat needs a few more Sainik Schools?
    Yes. Like all other states, it will be a good idea to have such super schools. They must be monitored from the centre, for sure. That will ensure uniform streamlined education and training. Retired Armed Force Officers should be made Principals of such schools especially those who studied in Sainik Schools, joined the Indian Armed Forces and have retired – in my opinion, they are most suitable for such jobs.

  7. What can be the role of OBSSA?
    Nice you pointed this out. Old Boys of Sainik School, Association (OBSSA) was formed in 1980 where the students who passed out from Sainik School are members. We maintain contact with each other and support everyone in need. I have been the President of OBSSA for 17 years. OBSSA can provide leadership in such project of developing 100 Sainik Schools for the country and it will be the biggest gift OBSSA will have given to the country. OBSSA understands the problems and challenges that need to be overcome in the planning and execution of such a dream project.

  8. So you think it is a worthwhile project to have 100 Sainik Schools?
    Yes. It is a project worthy of bringing about. When operational in full capacity, it will be remembered like a mango tree planted years back and now giving fruits in plenty. Jai Hind!
    Dr Mukesh Bavishi is a Past President of OBSSA (Old Boys of Sainik School, Association)
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