It is indeed a proud occasion for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) at Chettachal on the outskirts of the city.

Students, their parents and staff of this residential institution are delighted that their Principal, K.O. Ratnakaran, and student, Vijin Venu, bagged the national-level Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) Incentive Award- 2009.

The NVS Incentive Awards are given to principals, vice-principals, teachers and students of JNVs across the country every year.

“This is the first time in the history of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti that a Principal and a student of a school are winning this award at the same time. We are extremely happy and proud of this achievement,” Mr. Ratnakaran said.

While Vijin Venu bagged the award for his excellent academic performance and topping the CBSE Class XII science stream examinations, Mr. Ratnakaran won the honour for his achievements and contributions to the NVS in a 20-year-long career.

Mr. Ratnakaran began his career as a postgraduate mathematics teacher with JNV, Baghmara, in Meghalaya. He was later transferred to Sikkim and then to Chikmagalur as vice-principal. He then served as Principal at JNV Gandhi Nagar. He was transferred to JNV, Thiruvananthapuram, as Principal in 2006.

Among the new initiatives introduced at JNV, Chettachal, during Mr. Ratnakaran's tenure are a five-acre farm inside the school to educate students on agricultural practices and the academic exchange programme with school students in the United Kingdom under the United Kingdom India Education Research Initiative.

“I have tried to introduce agriculture initiatives in all the institutions that I have worked in. I think it is very helpful in teaching children to love our earth and work hard for results. However, all this has been possible only because of the support of my staff and parents of these students. Basically, it's all a team work,” Mr. Ratnakaran said.

Vijin Venu, who thanked his school for his achievements, was elated to receive the award along with his Principal. “I am indebted to my school for all my achievements. It is really exciting to win this award along with our Principal,” Vijin said.

Vijin had earlier bagged the honour of witnessing this year's Republic Day parade from the Prime Minister's box, as an invitee of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Nearly 100 other meritorious students from different parts of the country shared the honour. “Watching the Republic Day parade from the Prime Minister's box was very special. It was a great opportunity for me to meet and interact with meritorious students from all across the country,” he said.

Vijin, who nurtures the ambition of becoming a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation, is now relaxing after appearing for an array of engineering entrance examinations across the country.

Mr. Ratnakaran and Vijin will be presented the award at a function to be held at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on May 25.