In an attempt to help children from municipal schools excel in extra-curricular activities, Navi Mumbai corporation will conduct aptitude tests to identify their artistic, sporty talent
Facilities for arts and sports are restricted to students from wealthy families," says Sagar Naik, mayor Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). In an attempt to bridge this gap, the municipal corporation has decided to carry out an aptitude test for school children from all NMMC schools after which they will provide facilities to students on the basis of their interests.

"We do not have the machinery to find talent in poor students. So we want to provide facilities to make national and international- caliber sportsmen or artists out of them," said Naik.

Although the project has been finalised, the NMMC is facing a crisis in finding land to build stadiums and play grounds. "We would like to build playgrounds and stadiums with state-of-the-art facilities. We want to build at least one stadium in one node; however, we do not have much land left in our jurisdiction as the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) have developed all eight nodes and then transferred it to us" said Naik.

NMMC plans to start the aptitude test when schools re-open for a fresh academic year in July. A local NGO will carry out the test.

B M Sawant, a municipal school teacher in Vashi said, "It is a good initiative for students, most of whom are from poor families. They cannot afford expensive training classes. However, the project will be useful for these poor students but the aptitude test should be done properly."