NCERT: Objectives, Textbooks, Controversies, News 2020

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India which was established in 1961 as a literary, scientific and charitable Society under the Societies' Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). Its headquarters are located at Sri Aurbindo Marg in New Delhi. Dr. Hrushikesh Senapaty is director of the council since September 2015




Key Description:

Type: Autonomous body

Established: 1961

President: Ramesh Pokhriyal

Director: Dr. Hrushikesh Senapaty

Location: Sri Aurobindo Marg, Delhi, India

Campus: Urban

Acronym: NCERT

Website: National Council of Educational Research and Training

Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter



History of NCERT

The Government of India's Ministry of Education resolved on 27 July 1961 to establish the National Council of Educational Research and Training, which formally began operation on 1 September 1961.

The Council was formed by merging seven existing national government institutions, namely the Central Institute of Education, the Central Bureau of Textbook Research, the Central Bureau of Educational and Vocational Guidance, the Directorate of Extension Programmes for Secondary Education, the National Institute of Basic Education, the National Fundamental Education Centre, and the National Institute of Audio-Visual Education.

It is separate from the National Council for Teacher Education.

The NCERT was established with the agenda to design and support a common system of education which is national in character and also enables and encourages the diverse culture across the country. Based on the recommendations of the Education Commission(1964-66), the first national policy statement on education was issued in 1968. The policy endorsed the adoption of a uniform pattern of school education across country consisting of 10 years of general education program followed by 2 years of diversified schooling.

The Curriculum for the Ten-year school

This framework came in 1975. It emphasized that a curriculum based on the principles laid out in the framework has to be developed on the basis of research. Thus for NCERT, the 1970s was a decade flushed with curriculum research and development activities to relate the content and process of education to Indian realities.

National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary Education

This revised curriculum framework came in 1988 after the National Policy on Education (1986).It encompassed 12 years of school education and suggested a reorientation of curricular and instructional materials to make them more child-centred. It advocated bringing out examination reforms and the implementation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation at all stages of education.

National Curriculum Framework for School Education

This framework came in 2000. It stressed the need for a healthy, enjoyable and stress-free childhood and reduction of the curricular load. Thus an integrated and thematic approach was suggested, environmental education was emphasized upon and language and mathematics got integrated in the first two years of schooling.

National Curriculum Framework: The council came up with a new National Curriculum Framework in 2005, drafted by a National Steering Committee. This exercise was based on 5 guiding principles:

  • Connecting knowledge to life outside school
  • Shift from the rote method of learning
  • Enriching the curriculum for overall development of children so that it goes beyond textbooks
  • Making examinations flexible and integrating them with classroom life and
  • Nurturing an identity informed by caring concerns.



The design of the NCERT logo is taken from an Ashokan period relic of the 3rd century BCE which was found in excavations near Maski in Raichur district, Karnataka. The motto has been taken from the Isha Upanishad and means 'life eternal through learning'. The intertwined hansas symbolize the integration of the three aspects of the work of NCERT:

  • Research and development
  • Training
  • Extension



Objectives of NCERT

The council's objectives are:

  • To promote and conduct educational research, experimentation of innovative ideas and practice.
  • To develop National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005), syllabi, and textbooks; teaching-learning materials and kits; training models and strategies; audio, video, and ICT materials.
  • Training of Pre-service and in-service teacher education and national and state level functionaries.
  • To collaborate with State, national and international organizations.



Textbooks of NCERT

Textbooks published by NCERT are prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from classes I to XII, with exceptions for a few subjects. Around 19 school boards from 14 states have adopted or adapted the books. Online textbooks can be downloaded for free from the epathshala website.

Those who wish to adopt the textbooks are required to send a request to NCERT, upon which soft copies of the books are received. The material is press-ready and may be printed by paying a 5% royalty, and by acknowledging NCERT.

The textbooks are printed in colour and are among the least expensive books in Indian bookstores. Textbooks produced by private publishers are priced higher than those of NCERT.

According to a government policy decision in 2017, the NCERT will have the exclusive task of publishing central text books from 2018, and the role of CBSE will be limited to conducting examinations.


Regional Institutes of Education

The Regional Institute of Education (RIE, formerly known as Regional College of Education), is a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi.

The RIEs are set up in 1963 by Government of India in different parts covering various regions. The Regional Institutes were started with the objective of qualitative improvement of school education through innovative pre-service and in-service teacher education programmes and relevant research, development and extension activities.

One of the best teachers in ncert is kusumajili mam she was elected president for necert. There are currently five RIEs, RIE Mysore, RIE Bhubaneshwar, RIE Bhopal, RIE Ajmer and NE-RIE Shillong.




NCERT has a comprehensive extension programme in which departments of the National Institute of Education, Regional Institute of Education, Central Institute of Vocational Education and field advisers' offices in the states are engaged in activities.

Several programmes are organized in rural and backward areas to reach out to functionaries in these areas.

The council acts as the Secretariat of the National Development Group for Educational Innovations. It has been offering training facilities to education workers of other countries through attachment programmes and workshops.

The council publishes textbooks for school subjects from classes I to XII. NCERT publishes books & provides sample question papers that are used in government and private schools across India that follow the CBSE curriculum.

An online system named e-pathshala, a joint initiative of NCERT and Ministry of Human Resource Development, has been developed for disseminating educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals and a variety of other print and non-print materials, ensuring their free access through mobile phones and tablets (as EPUB) and from the web through laptops and desktops.



Controversies of NCERT

Ever since its establishment, the organisation has faced a great deal of controversy and continues to do so today. The controversy centres around accusations of, on the one hand, leftist bias of books, and on the other of suppressing cultural and heritage history of India and attempted saffronising of Indian history.

Allegations of historical revisionism with a Hindu nationalist agenda arose in two periods: under the Janata Party government 1977 to 1980 and again under the Bharatiya Janata Party government from 1998 to 2004. In 2012, the organisation has been blamed for publishing 'offensive' cartoons against B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution and thus lodging an insult to the Constitution, in its textbooks.

The controversy led to the resignation of NCERT chief advisors Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar and an apology from the government.

According to historian Sadanand More, the NCERT, as the apex organisation that provides advice and support for the improvement of school education, has been avoiding mentioning in school history books that about half of the Indian subcontinent was ruled by the Maratha Empire for a period before the British East India Company conquered it.



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