Admission to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are made through national level competitive examination conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education and the children are admitted at class VI level. Children are also being admitted against the vacant seats in class IX and in class XI also through regional level examination/marks in the previous qualifying examination. Education in Navodaya Vidyalayas is free of cost. A total of 75% of seats are reserved for rural children and a minimum of 33% of seats are reserved for girls. SC/STs also have due reservations of 15% x7½% respectively. The Scheme envisages establishment of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, one in each district of the country.
Till 1998, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (JNVST) was conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The medium of the test is in 20 Indian languages and is largely non-verbal and objective in nature and is so designed that talented children from rural areas are able to compete without suffering a disadvantage. All the children who have studied in and passed from Class V from any recognized school of that district and are between 9 to 13 years of age are eligible to appear JNVST for Class VI.
Procedure for Admission
Admissions to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas take place on the basis of a selection test designed and conducted by the CBSE. The test , called the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas Selection Test (JNVST) is of nonverbal nature, class neutral and so designed as to ensure that talented children from the rural areas are able to compete without facing any disadvantages. Because of the poor communication facilities in rural areas special care is taken .to ensure that children from far flung rural areas get admission forms free of cost without any problem. Sufficient publicity is done through Doordarshan, All India Radio, local newspapers, pamphlets, visits of Principals and teachers of Navodaya Vidyalayas to the local schools of the district. As a result rural areas are becoming aware of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme.
To appear at the Selection Test, a candidate has to fulfill the following eligibility conditions:
A candidate appearing for the Selection Test must be studying in Class V in a Government/Government-Aided or other recognized school or schools under Schemes of "SaravShiksa Abhiyan" or 'B' certificate competency course of National Institute of Open Schooling in the same district where he/she is seeking admission in the just preceding academic session for which Selection Test is conducted. Actual admission in Class VI in the session is, however, subject to the condition of having passed Class V before admission.
A candidate seeking admission must be between the age group 9-13 years on 1st May of the year of admission for which the Selection Test is conducted. This applies to all categories of candidates including those who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
A candidate claiming admission from rural quota must have studied and passed class III, IV & V from Government/Government Aided/recognised schools located in Rural area in the preceding three continuous academic sessions for which the Selection Test is conducted spending one full academic session in each class without any repetition of class, gap and/or break in.
A candidate who is not promoted to Class V before November of the preceding academic year for which. the test is conducted is not eligible to apply.
No candidate is allowed to appear in the selection test, for the second time under any circumstances.
A candidate seeking admission under the rural quota must have studied and passed class III, IV & V from Government/Government Aided/recognized school(s) located in the rural areas.
The above conditions are applicable to all the candidates irrespective to their caste or gender.
At least 75% of the seats in a district are filled by candidates selected from rural areas and remaining seats are filled from the urban areas of the district. A candidate who has studied in a school located in an urban area, even for a part of session in any of the classes III, IV, and V or passes any one or more of these classes from such a school as above is considered as an urban candidate. Urban areas are those which are so defined in the 1991 census or in subsequent Government notification. All other areas are considered rural.
Reservation of seats in favour of children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is provided in proportion to their population in the concerned district provided that no district, such reservation will be less than the national average (15% for SC and 7.5% for ST ) but subject to maximum of 50% for both the categories ( SC & ST ) taken together. These reservations are interchangeable and over and above the candidates selected under open merit. Efforts are made to ensure that one-third of the total seats are filled up by girls.