Seminar-cum-Workshop for the Review of National Talent Search Scheme
Executive Summary of the Report Context
The NCERT conducts the National Talent Search Examination for the identification of talented students and provides them with financial assistance for nurturing their talent. The students are selected at the end of Class X and they can get the scholarship till they finish their studies i.e. up to Ph.D. level. The scheme has been running since 1963. It has undergone various modifications from time to time. The last major modification was done in 1995 wherein options for selecting any four subjects out of eight subjects was abolished and all the subjects were made compulsory under the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Since 10 years have already lapsed and new thinking has emerged for identifying talent in other than academic pursuits therefore a need has been felt to review the scheme. It was thought that a Seminar-cum-Workshop on the review of the scheme
would help the NCERT in deciding the modus operandi of new selection procedure.
Specific Objectives The specific objectives of the Seminar-cum-workshop were:
1. To review the existing selection procedure for National Talent Search Scheme.
2. To suggest modifications or new selection procedures for the talent search keeping in mind different dimensions like rural/urban, scholastic/co-scholastic (art, music etc.). Organization of the Seminar With the above objectives in mind, the Seminar-cum-Workshop for the Review of National Talent Search Scheme was organized from November 16-19, 2005. In the seminar 22 papers were presented by persons working in the fields like Sciences, Social Sciences, Psychology, Mathematics, Education etc. in the first two days. The last two days of the programme were entirely devoted to the preparation of new Talent Search Schemes. At the end of the seminar, the Department came out with two tangible, practical schemes of talent identification – one at the end of Class VIII and the other at the end of Class XII,
which are given in the Discussion Paper on National Talent Search Scheme. Discussion paper has been uploaded on the NCERT website. Agreed Definition of Talent The seminar discussed the definition of talent at great length.
The Review Committee on National Talent Search Scheme which was set up by the NCERT in 1976 had come up with the following definition of talent. “Talent is a potentiality that manifests itself in a high level of socially relevant performance, in one or more specialized areas. Such potentiality may be indicated by a pattern of intellective, psycho-motor, motivational and personality
characteristics related to the socio-cultural environment.” (Report of the Review Committee on NTS, 1976). The seminar-cum-workshop also adopted the above definition unanimously. Proposed Schemes The seminar proposed the following two new talent search schemes, one at the class VIII and the other at the end of class XII. Scheme I Chacha Nehru Scholarship Scheme for Academic Excellence (CNSSAE). In this scheme it is proposed to award 7800 scholarships – 13 at each district out of which 10 will be for general category, 1 for SC, 1 for ST and 1 for physically challenged. The examination for it will be at the end of Class VIII and the scholarships will be given from Class IX till Class XII for studying in the academic stream. It is felt that this scheme will minimize the rural-urban bias and the gender bias. Selection Procedure The selection procedure will consist of two stage selection – one at the district level where each district will recommend the stipulated number of students for the Second level examination which will be conducted by the Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs) the constituents of NCERT. Each RIE will conduct this for the states falling into its 2
jurisdiction. In order to bring uniformity in question paper, a national level meeting will be held at NCERT Head Quarters. Procedure for Selecting Students for Nomination at Second Level Three procedures have been proposed to select the children at District level for nomination to second stage examination. The state may choose anyone. a. b. c. A State Level test may be organized for screening and the results may be declared districtwise. A District Level test may be organized with the help of DIET to screen the candidates. The District authorities may prepare a merit list on the basis of school recommendations and nominate the names of the top students for national level test.
Tests to be used at Second Level Two tests – a Mental Ability Test (MAT) and a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be used for the final examination. Apart from these an interview and a performance test will be conducted for the stipulated number of candidates who qualify the MAT and SAT. The minimum qualifying marks for such candidates will be 40% in each test for general category and 5% grace for reserved categories. Interview and Performance Test • • Performance test will be conducted at the time of the interview. The interview will carry 25 marks. The performance test will have the following two components for 50 marks. o Practical 25 marks o Project 25 marks
Declaration of Results and condition for continuation of Scholarship • Scholarships will be awarded as per merit on the basis of a composite score of MAT, SAT, Interview and performance test. Merit list will be prepared districtwise. The amount of scholarship would be Rs. 500/- per month.
• Scheme II
To continue the scholarship, the awardee must get at least 60% marks in each final examination till Class XI.
National Talent Search Scheme In this scheme 3000 scholarships are proposed in the areas of basic sciences, social sciences, languages, art and music and in professional courses like engineering, medicine, management and law. The scheme will operate at the national level and the examination for it will be at the end of Class XII. The scholarship will be given for basic sciences, social sciences, languages, art and music upto Ph.D. level. For professional courses it will be given up to second-degree level. Selection Procedure Identification of talent shall comprise two stage selection process. The Ist stage selection will be conducted by individual states/UTs and the second stage selection at the national level will be carried out by the NCERT. • The examination will be conducted when the students are in class XII.
As the scholarships are to be provided in basic sciences, social sciences, languages, art and music and professional courses, the candidates will have to exercise their option regarding the courses that they are going to pursue at ‘first degree level’ (Under Graduate Courses) at the time of applying at the state level selection. Procedure for Selecting Students at the State Level It is proposed that the states may conduct a state level examination consisting of two tests: 1. Mental Ability Test (MAT) – Common for all candidates. Details of the MAT are given under the procedure at National Level. 2. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – There may be two tests – one for those who are studying science courses and the other for those who are pursuing courses in social sciences, languages, arts or music. Each state/UT will recommend a stipulated number of candidates on the basis of merit for the second level test. 4
Procedure at the National Level At the second stage separate testing procedures will be used for selecting students for science and mathematics courses, social science including commerce courses, languages, art and music. The following tests will be used. General Mental Ability Test There will be General Mental Ability test (MAT), common for all candidates. Special Ability Test This may be designed to assess candidates capacity of comprehension, reasoning, problem solving etc. in specific subject areas. It would be scholastic aptitude tests pitched at meta cognitive abilities. A candidate will have to opt for one particular subject area like Science, Social Science, language, art or music. In each area, the test will be different. Interview and Performance Test A stipulated number of candidates will be called for a face to face interview. The minimum qualifying marks for such candidates in the NTS examination will be 40% in each test for general category and 5% grace for reserved categories. The interview will be conducted separately for each area viz. for science, social science, languages, music and art. At the time of the interview, a performance test will also be given to the students in each subject area. The marks will be as follows: Interview : 25 marks 50 marks
Performance test :
Under performance test the division of marks will be as follows: Project Practical • : : 25 marks 25 marks
The nature of the performance test in each subject area will have to be decided in consultation with subject experts. 5
The candidates will be asked to bring a project and its report at the time of the interview. They would be questioned on their project in order to find out their depth of knowledge about the project.
For project the students will be free to select any relevant topic in their subject and work on it. Declaration of Results The candidates will be finally selected on the basis of a composite score in general mental ability test, subject specific test, interview and performance test. Number of scholarships for each group is given below:
Group A B C D E No. of scholarship 500 500 1000 500 500 250+250 Area chosen for NTS Science Social Science Professional Courses Languages Art and Music At graduation and post graduation levels Basic sciences only. Basic degree in any social science subject or commerce. Medicine, Engineering, Management and Law Graduation with a language subject and post graduation also in language. Graduation with art or music as one of the subjects and Post graduation in art or music.
Except for professional courses, in other courses the scholarships will be awarded upto Ph.D. level. At all the examinations, the candidate should get at least 60% marks to continue the scholarship. At Ph.D. level, a satisfactory report from the supervisor/guide will be required. Rate of Scholarship • • Rate of scholarship will be Rs. 1000/- per month at graduation and post graduation levels. For Ph.D. scholarship will be at UGC rates. Scholarship will not be given for more than 4 years including M.Phil.
It was felt by the seminar that the talent should not be related to the socio-economic status of the candidates. It should be honoured on its own merit and in both the above proposed schemes every identified talented student should be awarded full amount of scholarship irrespective of his/her parental income.