All that the school needs to get is 30 acres of land from the State Government, in all the 32 districts each of Tamil Nadu, to kick start the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, whose parent committee is Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti a body constituted by the Central Government for imparting better education to the students. This follows the same curriculum/syllabus pattern like very many schools established all over Tamil Nadu with CBSE affiliations, that language Tamil would be taught up to VIII standard as a compulsory subject and thereafter offered as additional or optional subject. This opening of JNV is summarily opposed by the Tamil Nadu Government who still think, that these schools imposed the National Language “Hindi” as being violative of right of the children to join the Educational Institutions of their choice, the provisions of the right of children to Free and Compulsory Education act 2009 and the Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules 2011.

This is totally a misguided theory because all that the JNV needs is the land, free from the State Government, where the school shall be set up in the rural, remote area, fully equipped residential school with all the modern amenities like smart boards, well stocked library, play area, you name it and you would find it. The irony is that this school has not yet been established in TN state only. Once the land is procured, the Central Government would sanction necessary amount for construction of building and other infrastructure facilities for the JNV. For the first three years the school would be run in a temporary place and in the meantime the JNV will be built and by the fourth year the students get shifted to their own school building.

The State Government opposed to the JNVs because they thought there are sufficient schools in Tamil Nadu and they never felt the need for these schools. The next bone of contention is that the JNVs cater three language formula namely

Regional language, English and Hindi. The medium of instruction in all JNVs will be mother tongue up to VIII standard and thereafter, the common medium of instruction will be Hindi Language. Whereas in TN its two language formula Tamil and English. It further substantiated that the third language introduced under Part-IV of the Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act 2006 is only optional and not compulsory.

The factual position is that, the medium of instruction from classes VI to VIII in JNVs is the regional language of the district where the schools are located. The State banned the establishment of these schools, on a mistaken impression that the Hindi Language would be imposed on the local students. Though there was a public demand for the establishment of JNVs the State was not prepared to accede. They blindly opposed to JNVs without ascertaining the syllabus, curriculums or medium of instruction followed by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti.

The Government of Tamil Nadu, enacted the Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act 2006. The Act provides that Tamil shall be taught as a subject from I to X in a phased manner commencing from 2006-2007, the pattern of education shall be as follows:

Part I              Tamil (compulsory)

Part II             English (compulsory)

Part III            other subjects (Maths, science, social science etc.,)

Part IV                       students who do not have either Tamil or English as their mother tongue can

                       study their mother tongue as an optional subject

Under the same TNTL Act 2006, Sec 2, in exercise of the power, subsequently took a policy decision and issued an order in G.O. (Ms) No. 145, School Education Department (ERT) dated 18th September 2014, to the effect that the Tamil shall be taught as a subject from standard I to X in all schools notified under Sub-Clause (iv) of clause.

Of Sec 2 of the TNTL Act 2006, in a phased manner commencing from the academic year 2015-2016 for standard I and II and shall be extended up to standard X in manner as indicated below:

From the Academic year for standards 2015-16 I, 2016-17 I & II, 2017-2018 I,II,III, 2018-2019 I,II,III, IV, 2019-2020 I-V, 2020-2021 I-VI, 2021-2022 I-VII, 2022-2023 I-VIII, 2023-2024 I-IX, 2024-2025 I-X.

But what has been observed by the JNVs is totally in tandem with the State Government policy where the medium of instruction from classes VI to VIII is the regional language of the district where it is located. Children in JNVs also study regional language as the first language. In classes IX and X the children study the regional language as the first language, English as the second, the language with the migrated school as the third. In classes XI and XII English is the compulsory language in the JNVs and regional language is offered as an additional/optional subject. Here the Migration policy followed in JNVs is worth mentioning. 30% of the IX class children from one linguistic area are migrated for one year, to a JNV school in another linguistic area. Normally the migration takes place between JNVs in Hindi speaking area to JNVs in Non-Hindi speaking area. So, all children study the language of the school of migration linkage as the third language.

It is imperative to note that our nearest union territory Pondicherry and Karaikkal, in their JNV school the students from classes VI to VIII have Tamil as the medium of instruction. The JNVs also insist as per their information furnished by the Ministry of Human Resources Development very clearly indicates that in the JNVs medium of instructions from classes VI-VIII would be Tamil in the state of Tamil Nadu. Similarly in classes IX-X the children would study Tamil as the first language and English as the second language. The language linked with the migrated school would be the third language. English is the compulsory language in classes XI and XII and in so far the state of Tamil Nadu is concerned, Tamil would be offered as an additional/optional subject being the regional language. Hence the medium of instruction and languages prescribed by the JN Samiti would never be violative of Tamil Nadu’s language policy.

The central Government when permitted would establish JNVs across TN state in each district (32 totally), with 30 acres of land is provided by the state free of cost. The Central Government would sanction Rs. 20 crores for construction of building and providing infrastructure facilities. There is absolutely no financial burden on the State on account of JNVs. As told by the principal JNV Pondicherry, the entrance exams for admission to the course would be conducted in the first week of January of every year proceeding the academic year. There is no need to acquire 30 acres of land at the first instance and it would suffice if a temporary site and building to accommodate 240 children is provided by the State. The temporary accommodation can be used for a period of three years and the necessity to have a permanent structure along with the land would arise only after the fourth year onwards.

The State by taking a policy decision not to establish JNVs across the state virtually denies the students their right to join an Educational institution of their choice, taking into account the syllabus and medium of instruction. The State by issuing the Government Order prohibited the opening of JNVs even after the infrastructure being provided by the Central Government. Since the land would only be available in the rural areas the ultimate beneficiaries would be rural students. There is no rational in the decision taken by the State to oppose the establishment of JNVs. There is no point in prohibiting the establishment of the schools which would be in a position to impart education to the students so as to enable them to compete in NEET and join professional courses. As per information furnished by JNVs 14183 JNV students appeared for NEET examination, out of them 11875 students qualified for admission to the professional courses.

It is worth mentioning here, that Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, presence of mother tongue is Tamil, JNV there has appointed Tamil teachers to give them education in Tamil. This clearly shows, that NV Samiti has been taking every effort to promote the local language of those regions and particularly Tamil. The spirit shown by the NV samiti should inspire the state of Tamil Nadu, to change its views in larger public interest. It is the time to move forward, that the State should come up with new ideas and re-consider its negative decision taken earlier. The State failed to take action presumably on the ground that certain political parties are against JNVs as they apprehend that the establishment of such Vidyalaya’s would promote Hindi to the detriment of the language “Tamil”. It is totally a baseless apprehension. In fact, JNVs would promote Tamil and the same would benefit the rural students and more particularly, the under privileged and downtrodden children.

It is worth mentioning here that, in Orissa, emulating the concept of residential schools for talented children, the State has plans to set up Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya (OAV) literally Odisha Model School at each of 314 block headquarters, 160 schools have already been launched. These schools would be CBSE affiliated, fully residential schools, provide free education, target talented students through an annual entrance examination. These would have 80 students from class VI to VIII in each class. They will be administered through Odisha Vidyalaya Sangathan, a society registered under the Society Registration Act of Odisha.

With the Madras High Court giving its order in September 2017 to open the JNVs in Tamil Nadu, the Ruling State Government had gone ahead on an appeal to the Supreme Court for a higher appeal to seek an interim order to stall the matter. Let the battle of ideologies exist between political parties, let it not affect the future of those rural children who would be most benefitted by these Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya’s.

It is notable to say, that Sri. Shiv Nadar the founder of HCL, has established this mega size free residential schools in,

The Shiv Nadar School is an initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation in K12 private education.

The schools are affiliated to CBSE and are located in Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

1. Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon and Noida: Nursery to Grade 12 (academic session 2018-19 and onward)

2. Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad: Nursery to Grade 8 (academic session 2018-19). A grade will be added in each successive session till the academic session 2022-23 (when the school will add grade 12). Faridabad branch has off-late evolved with North Block as new building.