The National Council of Educational Research and Training was established in New Delhi on 1stSeptember, 1961 for providing academic support in improving the quality of school education in India. It is the academic adviser to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) of the Government of India. It is concerned with all problems of school education in the country, and endeavors to improve such education through developing various programmes of research, publication, extension training. NCERT also provides technical advice to states as to how to improve the standard of state science exhibitions and their exhibits for national science exhibitions.

          NCERT has the National Institute of Education located at Delhi. NCERT has a large publishing house. It published model text-books, hand-books, guide books and children’s literature or supplementary reading materials. NCERT possesses a production workshop with huge qualities of materials flowing in and flowing out. The central Institute of Education which is a constituent college of the University of Delhi maintained by the NCERT and provides facilities for courses of study leading to the B.Ed and M.Ed degrees. NCERT maintains four regional colleges of education at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Mysore. NCERT assists several states in their curriculum development, writing of text books and reviewing of school text-books.
        The success of the NCERT will depend on the extent to which it gains confidence of the entire country and gets accepted by the professional group of various states in the field of school education. The impact of NCERT text books on the classroom practices has been tremendous. Beside CBSE affiliated schools, the organizations like the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan (KVS) and the Navodaya Vidyalaya Sanghatan use NCERT text books. One hopes and wishes that the NCERT’s vision is spelt out soon through a policy decision/declaration in which all undefined aspects of text book preparation and production are spelt out clearly.
          Ministry of Education of Indian Government established NCERT in 1961. NCERT is an autonomous-organization, working as an academic using of the Ministry of education. It assists the said Ministry in the formulation and implementation of its policies and programmes in the field of education. It is expected to encourage student teachers and teacher educators to conduct educational research. In order to fulfill these maintain objectives, it has established National Institute of Education (NIE) at Delhi and four regional colleges of education at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Mysore. It also works collaboration with the departments in the states, the universities and institutes, following objectives of school education. It also maintains close-contact with similar national and international institutions throughout the world. It communicates result of its researches to a common man by publishing books and journals.
            The establishment of NCERT in 1961 was a major step taken for the development of school education which involves teacher education also. Amongst the significant contribution of NCERT are:
·         Revamping of Elementary and Secondary Teacher education curriculum.
·         Reorganizing of student teaching and evaluation.
·         Institution of All-India surveys on teacher education.
·         Focus on continuing education of teachers through establishments of centers of continuing education.
·         Recognition to contributions to education by outstanding school teachers and teacher educators through a scheme of national awards.
               The general body is the policy making body of the NCERT with the Union Minister for Human resource Development as its president. All the Ministers of Education in the states and union territories are its members. Besides, experts in the field of education are also nominated as members. Its membership pattern helps in taking policy decisions at the highest level.
             The governing body of the NCERT is the Executive Committee, again with the Union Minister for Human resource Development as its ex-officio president. The union minister for education is its ex-officio vice president assisting the executive committee is three standing committees dealing with finance, establishment matters and programmes.
            The principal executive and academic of the NCERT is the director who is assisted by the joint director and the secretary. All of them are appointed by the government of India.
·        To launch, organize and strengthen research works in various aspects of education.
·        To ensure success of the process, a good no of curricular/learning materials have to be brought out by the NCERT.
·        To arrange for pre-service and in-service training at the higher level.
·        To provide guidance and counseling services on large scale.
·        To establish a National Institute of Education and manage for the development of research and higher training for educational administration and teachers.
·        To publish necessary textbooks, journals and other literature for achieving the objectives.
·        To organize extension centers in training institutes with the cooperation of state governments and extend facilities pertaining to new methods and technologies among them.
          The functions of NCERT broadly relate to (a) research and development, (b) in-service and pre-service training, and (c) extension and dissemination work- all these tuned to achieve the main objective of improving the quality of school education.
The NCERT, therefore
·         Develops curriculum, instructional and exemplar materials, methods of teaching, techniques of evaluation, teaching aids, kits and equipments, learning resources, etc.
·         To monitor the administration of NIE/ Regional colleges of education.
·         To prepare and publish study material for students and related teacher’s handbooks.
·         Organizes pre-service and in-service training of teachers, teacher educators and other educational personnel;
·         To undertake aid, promote and co-ordinate research in all branches of education for improving school-education.
·         Conducts and promotes educational research.
·         To search talented students for the award of scholarship in science, technology and social sciences.
·         Disseminates improved educational techniques and practices and research findings.
·         To undertake functions assigned by the Ministry of education (now HRD) for improving school-education.
·         Acts as a cleaning house for ideas and information on all matters relating to school education and teacher education.
            The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), with six constituents has been serving the cause of qualitative improvement of school education since its inception in 1961.
The constituents of NCERT are:
·          Fourteen departments of the National Institute of Education (NIE) at NCERT headquarters, New Delhi.
·         Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), NIE campus, New Delhi.
·         Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education at Bhopal.
·         Educational Research and Innovation Committee (ERIC) at NIE campus, New Delhi.
·         Four Regional Institutes of Education at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Mysore.
        The programmes formulation is based on the National Policy of on education, interactions with the state education authorities, assistance sought by the central educational organizations, and the assessment of educational needs of the country for qualitative improvement of school education by the faculty of the NCERT.
         The NIE’s activities are mainly confined to (a) research and development (b) in-service training and (c) publishing and dissemination programmes. The NIE also develops prototypes of science kits which are in fact mini-laboratories for schools. Other important areas of its work are the non-formal education for out-of-school children, early childhood education, and education of the disabled and programmes for the educationally backward minorities
          In order to fulfill the objectives of NCERT, NIE functions through nine departments, seven units and two cells as under:
Departments of NIE
v  Academic Departments
v  Production Departments
v  Department of Math’s Education
v  Department of Textbooks
v  Department of Teacher Education
v  Department of Teaching Aids
v  Department of Educational Psychology Publication Department
v  Department of Educational Psychology Workshop Department
v  Department of Text-books.
Units of NIE
v  National Talent Search Unit
v  Survey and Data Processing Unit
v  Policy, Planning and Evaluation Unit
v  Library and Documentation Unit
v  Vocationalisation of Educational Unit
v  Examination Reform Unit
v  Examination Research Unit
Cells of NIE
v  Primary Curriculum
v  Journals Cell
              The CIET is the sixth constituent unit of the NCERT. It aims at promoting the use of educational technology, particularly mass media, for improving and spreading education in the country, and for developing an alternate system of education.
             The CIET develops (a) software in mind educational needs, (b) trains personnel working in the field of educational technology, (c) conducts research and evaluation systems, programmes and materials, (d) documents and disseminates information concerning educational media and technology.
            The CIET is equipped to take up programmes covering most of the areas of educational technology, viz., distance education, educational television, radio, films and low cost material.
Functions of CIET are as under:
·         To encourage the use of educational technology in the spread of education.
·         To organize training programmes in connection with school-broadcasting and educational television.
·         To develop learning aids based on educational technology.
                 The council has four Regional Colleges of Education (RCEs) one at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Mysore. These campus colleges with the demonstration multipurpose schools attached to them. Such schools help the faculty to develop methodologies and test them in the actual classroom situation. Each college has modern laboratories, well -equipped library and residential quarters.
            All the RCEs conduct in-service training programmes both for school teachers and teacher educators. Besides teaching and extension work, the colleges also take up research and development programmes. Now they are converted in Regional Institutes of Education.
             The Educational Research and Innovations Committee (ERIC) of the NCERT funds research programmes taken up by scholars both within and outside the council. The projects, however, are to have a direct bearing on either school education or teacher education. The ERIC also holds periodic conferences of educational research workers. Having funded publication of surveys of educational researches in India earlier, it has now taken upon itself the task of compiling such research volumes as well.
           The NCERT offers financial assistance to professional associations in the field of education for holding annual conferences and publishing journals.
    The publishing programme of the NCERT is a part of its total effort to improve the quality of school education. The NCERT textbooks published in English, Hindi and Urdu languages have the unique distinction of being at once attractive and inexpensive. These textbooks are freely adopted by states under their nationalized textbook programme. They are also used widely in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Tibetan schools and several public schools. The NCERT brings out a wide variety of publications such as (a) research literature, (b) school textbooks including workbooks and teachers guides, (c) general books for children of different age groups, and (d) educational journals viz., Indian Educational Review (quarterly), Journal of Indian Education and Bharatiya Adhunik Shiksha(bi-monthlies), School Science(quarterly), The Primary Teacher and Primary Shikshak (both quarterlies), and NCERT Newsletter and Shaikshik Darpan (both news magazines primarily meant for in-house circulation.
              The NCERT also brings out supplementary readers under the ‘Reading to learn’ and National Integration Series. These books are specially written keeping in view the needs of school children, to promote a healthy reading habit in them.
            The NCERT develops ‘National Curriculum Frameworks’ in which, among other things, the policy directives of the National Policies on Education are kept in view. The textbook development programme of the NCERT is supposed to be guided, inter alia, by the provisos of the National Curriculum Framework. Among other things, the societal concerns mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework should find reflection in the textbooks developed by the NCERT.
          The NCERT’s international cooperation ranges from working with the United Nations institutions like UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA etc., to assisting third world countries. The NCERT is one of the major institutions to assist the Ministry of Human Resource Developing for implementing cultural exchange agreements between India and other countries. The NCERT has been implementing a number of UNICEF assisted and UNESCO sponsored programmes and project with the help of states and union territories. The NCERT is also implementing and monitoring the UNFPA funded project on population education in both the formal and non-formal education sectors.
        Over the years the NCERT has stimulated professional growth of teachers, teacher educators, educational administrators and other educational personnel by involving them in most of its programmes including seminars, workshops, conferences and orientation programmes-through which it works. The NCERT’s work covers the entire spectrum of school education ranging from planning to evaluation. Its programmes benefit all the children from 3 and half to 18 years of age and also those who aspire to be teachers or are already in the profession.
           NCERT’s programmes are within the parameters of school education. A interface in the area of vocational education between the NCERT and the UGC is already in operation. The NCERT is also collaborating with IGNOU in training courses through distance education mode. It has been involving the Directorate of Adult Education in organizing programmes for training the faculty of District Resource Units of the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and principals of DIETs.
           The NCERT-CIET contributes substantial number of Educational Television and Radio programmes for children and teachers in the context of the Programmes of Mass Orientation of School Teachers (PMOST). The NCERT and the Doordarshan collaborated effectively. With the main emphasis on universalization of elementary education, NCERT has organized Special Orientation of Primary Teachers (SOPT) in collaboration with the respective states. The NCERT has been now advising and assisting the states under the Centrally Sponsored District Primary Education Programme.
         The department of women studies set up in the NCERT to formulate and implementing projects/programmes for promoting education for girls, who constitute a major segment of non-enrolled population has conducted studies and developed instructional strategies for them.
          NCERT has been providing technical support to the states in the planning and implementation of various programmes to promote vocationalisation at the plus two stages. It has also been engaged in development of competency-based curricula for different vocational courses, development of guidelines for implementing different aspects of vocationalisation of education, development of syllabi and instructional materials, training of vocational teacher educators, teachers and other personnel.The NCERT has developed a framework for semesterisation in collaboration with Boards of Secondary and Senior Secondary Education.
         NCERT has also developed conceptual materials related to educational evaluation, preparation of criterion-referenced texts and the training of test item writers in different subject areas. It has also developed a sample cumulative card along with procedures for maintaining records of pupil’s achievement and guidelines for introduction of grading and scaling in examinations. NCERT has also undertaken a programme to identify talented children in rural areas as per requirement of admission to Navodaya Vidyalays.
          National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an apex resource organization set up by the Government of India, to assist and advice the central and state Governments on academic matters related to school education. NCERT also provides technical advice in how to improve the standard of science based education. The NCERT performs the important functions of conducts and promotes educational research, improve educational techniques, practices and research findings, develops curriculum instructional and exemplar materials, methods of teaching, techniques of evaluation, teaching aids etc. The NCERT offers the pre-service and in-service training of teachers at various levels such as pre-primary, elementary, secondary and higher secondary and also in such areas as vocational education, educational technology, guidance and counseling and special education. NCERT has a large publishing house. It publishes model text books, hand-books, guide books and children’s literature or supplementary reading books. The constituents of NCERT are NIE, CIET, ERIC, RIEs etc. NCERT aims at bringing about improvement of education through various kinds of educational technologies.  It is a major step taken for the development of school education which involves teacher education also.