98,507 OBC students enrol in Navodaya schools


New Delhi: The Centre’s Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) witnessed 98,507 enrolments of students from other backward classes (OBCs) in standards 6 to 12 during the academic year 2020-21, the first in which 27% reservation in admissions for the OBC category was implemented at the school level.

According to the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samithi’s 2020-21 annual report, of the 287,967 students enrolled in 661 JNVs across the country, 34.21% (98,507) fell in the OBC category, 25.13% (72,376) in the Scheduled Caste category, and 20.30% (58,460) in the Scheduled Tribes category.

The report is available on the body’s official website.

The residential schools, JNVs, meant to cater to talented students in rural areas, had 15% reservation for SC students and 7.5% for students from the ST community since the inception of the institute in 1985-86, according to the report, and the 27% OBC quota was introduced in 2020.

The 2020-21 numbers show that the enrolment of students from each of these communities was much higher than the seats reserved for them.

In 2019-20, of the 272,491 students enrolled in JNVs, 69,158 were enrolled in SC category and 55,496 in ST.

Seats were reserved for OBC students at the school level for the first time ever in April 2020 in JNVs and Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) after a recommendation by a parliamentary committee in February that year. Though 27% reservation existed for OBCs in government jobs and higher education, it was not offered at the school level until them.

According to the JNV annual report 2020-21, Uttar Pradesh witnessed maximum OBC enrolments at 16,368, followed by Madhya Pradesh (10,010), Bihar (9,525), Karnataka (7,973) and Rajasthan (7,552).

A senior official at the education ministry said that the number was likely to further increase in the ongoing 2021-22 academic session. “The government is committed to the proper implementation of OBC reservation. The data for the academic session 2021-22 is yet to be compiled by the ministry,” the official added, asking not to be named.

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