Government to establish 5 more Sainik Schools: Rajnath
- Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told Lok Sabha that the government plans to establish five more Sainik Schools
- Sainik Schools made a modest beginning in 1961, with the primary aim being to prepare boys academically, physically and mentally for entry into NDA
The 31 Sainik Schools in the country are also providing about 25% of the cadets selected for the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla, at a time when the armed forces are finding it increasingly tough to attract bright youngsters with “requisite officer-like qualities” into their fold. The Army is grappling with a shortage of 7,399 officers at present, while the number is 1,545 for Navy and 483 for IAF.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told Lok Sabha that the government plans to establish five more Sainik Schools at Amethi (Uttar Pradesh), Alwar (Rajasthan), Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand), Sambalpur (Odisha) and Warangal (Telangana).
“MoUs have been signed with the state governments, which is done after the state government provides land free of cost and the construction budget,” he said. The Centre, in turn, provides annual financial assistance of about Rs 80 crore to the Sainik Schools.
Sainik Schools made a modest beginning in 1961, with the primary aim being to prepare boys academically, physically and mentally for entry into NDA as well as reduce regional and class imbalances in the office cadre to ensure “all-India representation” after the “martial race” policy of British India.
“Now, along with five military schools, Sainik Schools are acting as desperately-needed feeder institutions for NDA. Literally hundreds of serving two-star, one-star and other military officers, apart from dozens of IAS, IPS and other Civil Services officers, are from Sainik Schools,” said a senior officer.
“Some have even reached four-star ranks in recent times like Air Chief Marshals P V Naik and Arup Raha as well as Generals Dalbir Singh Suhag and Deepak Kapoor. But the sheer number currently serving in top ranks is simply staggering,” he added.
The ones in Army include Lt-Generals D Anbu (vice chief), Ranbir Singh (Northern Command chief), S K Saini (Southern Command chief), Cherish Mathson (South Western Command chief) and P C Thimayya (Training Command chief).
Navy is represented by Vice Admirals A K Chawla (Southern Command chief), Ajith Kumar P (Western Command chief), G Ashok Kumar (vice chief) and Atul Jain (Eastern Command chief), while it is Air Marshal N J S Dillon (Strategic Forces Command chief) from IAF.