New Delhi: In a good news for students, government has decided to double the scholarships awarded annually under the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) from 1000 to 2000.

“The last revision was carried out a decade back and 1000 scholarships were awarded. From this year, we will give 2000 scholarships," Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani said at the 55th foundation day celebration of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which conducts NTSE. Roughly three lakh class X students appear for the test every year which comprises mental ability and scholastic ability tests.

The amount of scholarship given is Rs500 per month for all the students studying in Class XI onwards except for Ph.D programme, wherein it is paid as per University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. Emphasising on learning outcome in classes and the quality of teaching, the minister said a nation-wide assessment survey would be carried out by NCERT covering every district and every class to find the deficiencies so as to ‘course correct’ accordingly.

“The results of such survey should be made available within the academic year itself and not over a period of one to two years to help us do the course corrections," she said. The assessment would be done subject wise and emphasis would be laid on classes III, VIII and X. Irani asked NCERT’s evaluation team to prepare the necessary survey plan and present report within a week itself, dismissing requests from a quarter for giving further time to complete the report.

She said the urgency of the assessment work should reflect the earnestness with which her Ministry completed the target of constructing separate toilets for boys and girls in every schools of the country within a one year time frame.

Referring to the recently launched Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan programme which aims at encouraging Science and Maths among students, Irani proposed to set up science labs under the initiative in every district drawing students to utilise the facility. She also favoured identifying research projects in states which can be given to the teachers.