The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on Wednesday requested the State Government to endorse the Navodaya System in Tamil Nadu at the earliest, to enable rural students to have access to quality higher education.

Mr. Sibal who was here to inaugurate the Central University of Tamil Nadu made the request to the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. By starting Navodaya Vidyalayas, rural students will have opportunities to join universities of excellence, he said.

“All States have accepted the scheme except Tamil Nadu. There has to be a Navodaya School in every district. We (the Centre) not only want this to be implemented, but also expand it. In fact, the results of Navodaya Schools are better than that of Kendriya Vidyalayas,” he told presspersons later.

On the grade system introduced for standard X, the Minister said: “I have done it for the CBSE. I have no jurisdiction over the States. It is for the State Governments to decide (on following suit). But I hope and wish…”

“On the one hand Tamil Nadu is moving away from the examination system towards Rishi Valley model. Then it cannot adhere to the 10th class marks.” Describing as progressive the Tamil Nadu Government, the Minister said he hoped that soon the children of the State will be liberated from the 10th class marks.

The Centre was yet to determine the share of State Governments for implementation of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The Centre, he said, has assessed the financial requirement to be around Rs.1,75,000 crore in the next five years. “We will discuss with the State Governments and figure out their share.” A sum of Rs. 1,40,000 crore could be generated, he said, exuding hope that managing the shortcoming of Rs. 35,000 crore working out to Rs. 7,000 crore per year should not be a problem.

Prior to the informal chat with the media, the HRD Minister launched the official website of the Central University of Tamil Nadu:

Mr. Sibal was accompanied by the State Minister for School Education Thangam Thennarasu and the Vice-Chancellor B.P.Sanjay.