Mathura, January 1: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated the first all-girls sainik school at Vrindavan and termed it as a beacon of light for girls who aspire to join the armed forces and protect the motherland. According to the defence ministry, Samvid Gurukulam Girls Sainik School, the first all-girls sainik school with a strength of about 870 students, has been inaugurated under the initiative of establishing 100 new sainik schools in partnership with NGOs/private/state government schools in all states/Union territories.

These are in addition to the existing 33 sainik schools already functioning under the erstwhile pattern, the ministry said in a statement. "Samvid Gurukulam Girls Sainik School is a beacon of light for girls who aspire to join the Armed Forces and serve the motherland. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has given women their rightful place in the Armed Forces, which was neglected for years," the defence minister said on the occasion. Jammu and Kashmir: Rajnath Singh Reviews Security Situation Along LoC in Wake of Killing of Four Soldiers, Lauds Soldiers’ Contributions (Watch Video)

"They (girls) have the right to protect the nation just like their male counterparts. It was a golden moment in the history of women empowerment when we approved the admission of girls to sainik schools. Today, our women are not only flying fighter jets, they are also securing the borders," he said. Singh had, in 2019, approved admission of girl children to sainik schools from academic session 2021-22 in a phased manner. The decision was taken following the success of the pilot project started by the defence ministry in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram. India Ranks Among Top 5 Big Economies of the World, Says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Citing 'Standard & Poors' Latest Credit Analysis Report 'China Slows, India Grows' (Watch Video)

The objectives behind the vision of setting up of 100 new sainik schools are to provide quality education to the students in tune with the National Education Policy 2020 and give them better career opportunities, including joining the armed forces, the statement said. It also gives an opportunity to the private sector to work hand-in-hand with the government towards nation building by refining today's youth to become responsible citizens of tomorrow, it said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior officials of the state government were among those present during the inauguration of Samvid Gurukulam Girls Sainik School, Vrindavan.