National Council of Education Research and Training or NCERT was established by Ministry of Education, Government of India in 1961 to improve the qualitative standard of school education. It was formed by merging the then present seven institutes to regulate education system in the country. The key objectives of NCERT are:
- To administer basic childhood education
- To encourage education of girl child
- To promote value education
- To work for education of students with special needs
- To implement a National Framework Curriculum
- To provide vocational education
- To assess, examine and reform IT education
- To bring universalization of Fundamental Education
- To produce a teaching and learning experience
- To improve thought and attention of learners
- To advance teacher education
NCERT publishes textbooks for all subjects from Classes 1st to 12th. Besides this, NCERT prints sample question papers and books based on CBSE syllabus for use in private and government schools across the country. The books published by NCERT are recognized by all schools as benchmark study material and are recommended for preparation of national level undergraduate competitive exams like AIPMT, IIT JEE, and AIIMS etc. Recently, NCERT has launched online textbooks services where all NCERT published subject books for classes 1st to 12th (in English, Hindi and Urdu medium) are available for download.
NCERT offers training programs and workshops involving departments of NIE (National Institute of Education) and RIE (Regional Institute of Education). They organize programs in backward and rural areas to meet the educational demands of these areas. Some of the programs run by NCERT include:
- NTSSC: Under the National Science Talent Search Scheme, a national level exam called NTSE is conducted to recognize and award scholarship to exceptionally talented students of the country. The scholarships are awarded by NCERT for advanced studies (doctoral level) in basic sciences.
- AIES: NCERT conducts All India Educational Surveys on a periodic basis to gather, compile and distribute information about the overall growth in school education in the country. This helps in development of educational programs, checks the schooling facilities, curriculum, student enrollment, incentive schemes, teaching and infrastructural facilities in the school etc.
- Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition for Children: NCERT organizes science exhibition at national level to instil, popularize and persuade scientific temper in children. Students are given an opportunity to showcase their talents and understanding of subjects like Mathematics and Science in everyday life through this exhibition.