National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was formed in 1961 by Indian government 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. Its main focus is to research and improve the quality of school education in India. NCERT started its operation on 1st September 1961. NCERT is a literary, scientific and charitable Society under the Societies’ Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). Its headquarters are located at Sri Aurobindo Marg in New Delhi. Its current director from September 2015 is Dr Hrushikesh Senapaty. The council acts as the Secretariat of the National Development Group for Educational Innovations. The council has been offering training facilities, usually through attachment programmes and participation in workshops, to education workers in other countries. 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
Prescribed books by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from classes I to XII, is published by NCERT. Online textbooks can be downloaded from the pathshala 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. Ncert book is the least expensive and is coloured fine material books. According to a government policy decision in 2017, the NCERT will have the exclusive task of publishing central textbooks from 2018, and the role of CBSE will be limited to conducting examinations. NCERT logo was designed with the help of an Ashokan period relic of the 3rd century BCE which was found in excavations near Maske in Raichur district, Karnataka. The goal has been taken from the Isha Upanishad and means ‘life eternal through learning’. The intertwined hands symbolize the integration of the three aspects of the work of NCERT:
1. Research and development
Main objectives of NCERT are as follow:
- To promote and conduct educational research, experimentation of innovative ideas and practice.
- To develop a 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
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.
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 live outside of school
- the shift from the rote method of learning
- enriching the curriculum for the 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