List Of Top Education Boards In India

List Of Top Education Boards In India

To understand the education system, we must first understand what “Education?” is It is very beautifully said by Swami Vivekanandji that – “Education is the manifestation of perfection present already in man.” Human beings are gifted with natural qualities. They are presented subconsciously. Education makes us work on, understand and enhance those qualities. Educations shake our thoughts or let’s say motivates it and to enhance these thoughts or qualities is our responsibility.

The real meaning of education is learning, either you can learn from your parents or society or school or college. 

“Why education is important?” 

This view can differ from person to person or from situation or even from places. Monetary gain is not the ultimate motto of education. We are a social animal, our development happens with society and our education should be used in the betterment of society.

A good education makes an individual develop personally, socially as well as economically. Irrespective of race, creed and gender, education makes it possible for people to stand out as equal with the other entire person from different walk of life. 

For the betterment of humankind, the strong foundation of education is built from the beginning. Every country has its own education system. Over the past few years, a number of new education systems have emerged to be popular in India.  Here we are going to discuss the leading boards in India with their learning and evaluation criteria. 

As Sydney J. Harris said- “The whole purpose of education is turn mirrors into windows”

Here we will try to provide a clear and fair idea about the features, functions and benefits of different boards in India.

In this article, you can find different boards with their details like curriculum, syllabus, focus, promotion, subjects etc.

  1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
  2. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)
  3. State Board
  4. International Baccalaureate (I.B.)
  5. International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

#1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national level board of education in India for public and private schools, controlled and managed by Union Government of India. 

CBSE was officially formed in 1962 with a purpose to make a common standard and platform for every student in the country. 

“The secret in education lies in respecting the students” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The main objective of the CBSE is to fulfil the education requirement of those students whose parents were employed in transferable jobs. 

CBSE Curriculum 

CBSE education institution follows the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) curriculum. NCERT is autonomous organizations which promote and conduct educational research, experimentation of innovative ideas and practice. 


CBSE affiliates all the Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School), all the Jawahar Novodaya Vidyalayas, Private Schools and most of the schools approved by Central Government of India. 


For promotion from secondary to senior secondary and senior secondary to college, students must obtain for all the subjects 33% overall, without any minimum theory marks required for the secondary exam (10th Std) and with 33% in both theory and practical examinations (if applicable) for the senior secondary exam (12th Std)

For the student who does not manage to pass in exactly one subject, he/she can write the compartment for that subject in July. For those who fail the compartment or those who fail in two or more subjects, he/she must rewrite all the subjects taken in the next year. 

CBSE Board is common in India, so moving from state to state is not a problem. 

The Focus Of The CBSE Board

  • It provides skilled learning by adding more job oriented programs
  • Innovation in teaching and learning methods by providing student-friendly programs
  • 3 Regularly conducting in-service training programs or workshops
  • Reforms in examination and evaluation practices
  • Being student-oriented board; the examination pattern is relaxed and spread over the year
  • The board has adjustable approach in Std. XI and XII where students get to pick  combinations of their choice like they choose Science while doing Commerce or Economics
  • CBSE syllabus is easier than other boards mainly because of fewer subjects and more compact structure
  • Secondary subjects like Environmental Education are not compulsory
  • The subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology falls under the topic of Science and History, Civics and Geography falls under the topic of Social Science
  • It primarily focuses on competitive exams like- JEE (Main) examination, this is the entrance exam for admission in various undergraduate engineering courses. It  also conducts All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT)
  • CBSE has created F.S.C i.e. Foreign School Cell, which will ensure that CBSE schools outside India are given right academic and administrative support

As Dr A P J Abdul Kalam said – “Education is drawing out and developing creativity inherent in students.”

The CBSE syllabus is very structured, highly predictable and controlled. A number of private schools have started to offer CBSE Board. 

#2. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)

Education gives us an understanding of the world around us and offers us an opportunity to use that knowledge wisely.

“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything” – George Bernard Shaw.

The national policy on education is an extensive document that covers all aspect of education from elementary to university level and even adult education in both rural and urban India. This policy formulated by the Government of India to promote education amongst India’s people. The first N.P.E was made in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi and the second by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. ICSE Board was designed to fulfil the recommendation of this policy. 

The ICSE is an examination conducted by the council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. It is a private, non-governmental board of school education in India for class 10th and 12th. The mode of examination in the ICSE board is English. 


The board follows a spiral curriculum approach in which the basic facts of the subjects are taught first and then more details are introduced. Emphasis on basics is laid time and again so that they get into the student’s long term memory. The curriculum for the next year is built on what the student has learnt in the current year.  


The syllabus for ICSE is considered extensive, that means its area of knowledge or we can also say that it goes very deep in understanding the concept.

Syllabus design for ICSE Board is:

Group 1-

Compulsory Subjects

•    English
•    History
•    Civics
•    Geography
•    Indian Language

Group 2-

Select any two subjects from the following subjects

•    Mathematics
•    Science
•    Agricultural Science
•    Computer Science
•    Commercial Studies
•    Technical Drawing
•    Economics
•    A Modern Foreign Language
•    A Classical Language

Group 3-

Select any one subject from the following subjects

•    Computer Application
•    Economic Application
•    Home Science Arts
•    Programming Arts
•    Cookery
•    Fashion Designing
•    Physical Education
•    Yoga
•    Technical Drawing Application

There is 20% weightage for internal assessment in Group 1 and 2 and 50% weightage in group 3.


In ICSE the pass percentage is 35% - 40% depending upon the school. Passing in English and Mathematics is mostly compulsory. In matters of failing in one or multiple subjects till 8th, the decision to promote or demote is at the discretion of the head of the school. 

Criteria to get promoted to class 10th in ICSE is if your all over percentage is 35%, then you are eligible to promoted to 10th Std because minimum percentage required in 9th Std to get admission in 10th Std is 33%. So with 35%, you are eligible to promote to 10th Std. 

The Focus Of ICSE Board

  • The syllabus of ICSE is detailed and requires the students to remember a lot
  • ICSE balances its equal focus on Language, Arts and Science
  • In ICSE internal assessments are vital and practical tests aggregated with overall scores
  • ICSE lays more emphasis on lab work
  • English Literature or language is best suited for ICSE students
  • The focus is mainly on learning through experience and experimentations rather than through one-way of teaching. 

ICSE is conducted by yet another board CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination). It is similar to AISSE conducted by CBSE. ICSE has taken in a lot of structures from NCERT. At grade 10th, it is as of now is the toughest board examination. Class 12th is equally difficult to crake owing to its extremely detailed syllabus. 

At the end I would like to add that, ICSE is well structured and compressive. It aims to impart analytical skills, problem-solving skills and practical knowledge to the students. 

#3. State Board

State boards refer to any of the boards of education operated by State Government individually. State board syllabus is apt for those who wish to continue their education in the state and with greater emphasis on local language and locally relevant curriculum.

In India education is looked after by different agencies, both government and private. These are three main stages of education- 
•    Schooling
•    College
•    Higher Studies

The government bears the full responsibility for helping the students with at each level with different provisions. 

As Benjamin Franklin said – “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Functions of State Board

Usually, State Board schools are affordable which makes education accessible for families in the lower economic strata. 

  • The syllabus is designed for students who want to take the State Public Service Commission Examination. The syllabus is more locally relevant students. 
  • State Board syllabus is simple as compared to CBSE and ICSE. This makes students score 5% to 10% marks higher and it results in easy admission in colleges. 
  • Favourable for parents who are self-employed or are working in non-transferable jobs
  • Seats are reserved for state-recognized colleges. 


The syllabus is usually limited as compared to other boards. Regional language has a place in the syllabus. Some states follow NCERT books. 

According to Agnes Repplierg – “It is to withhold education from the receptive mind as it is impossible to force it upon the unreasoning. “

State Board syllabus helps the students to study and focus on extracurricular activities at the same time. 

#4. International Baccalaureate (I.B.)

International Baccalaureate (I.B.) formerly known as International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is an international education foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. 

The objective of the I.B. was to provide internationally acceptable university admissions qualification suitable for the growing mobile population of young people whose parents were part of the world of diplomacy.  

The Mission Of I.B.

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. 

I.B. organization works with schools, government and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. 

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people with their differences can also be right. 

As Frederick Douglass Aptly said that – “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”


In order to teach I.B. programs school must be authorized. Every school authorized to offer I.B. programs is known as I.B.  World School. 

Their curriculum is divided into 3 programs

Primary Year Program (PYP)

The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. 

Age Range – 3-12 yrs (Kindergarten to Class 5)

Subjects in PYP

  • Language
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Arts
  • Personal Social and Physical Education

Middle Year Program (MYP)

A challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. 

Age Range – 11-16 yrs (Class 6 to Class 10)

Subjects in MYP

  • 1st Language
  • 2nd Language
  • Humanities (History and Geography)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry Physics)
  • Mathematics (Numbers, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and Discrete Mathematics)
  • Arts (Visual Art and Performing Art)
  • Physical Education
  • Technology (Computer)

Diploma Program (DP)

This program aims to develop students who have excellent acceptability to vast knowledge. 
Age Range – 16-19 yrs. (Class 11 to Class 12)

Subjects in DP

DP students choose any one subject from each of the following six subject groups.

  • Group 1 – 1st Language (English)
  • Group 2 – 2nd Language (French, Hindi etc)
  • Group 3- Individuals and Societies (History, Economics, Business and Management etc)
  • Group 4 – Science (Biology, Chemistry Physics and Environmental System)
  • Group 5 – Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Group 6 – Electives (Either Visual Arts or a second subject from Group 3, 4 and 5)

Career Related Program (CRP)

This program addressed the needs of students engaged in career-related education. 

Age Range – 16-19 Yrs. 

In addition to DP, students must study a two year’s course called ‘Theory of Knowledge’ (TOK), Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity Action and Service (CAS). 

What are TOK, EE and CAS?

‘Theory of Knowledge’ (TOK) is an essay of 1200-1600 words written from given titles from a choice of 10, followed by 10 minimum presentation on the essay. 

Extended Essay (EE) is independent research leading a DP student to produce an essay of 3500-4000 words in any chosen subject or title.

Under Creativity Action and Service (CAS), each DP student must complete at least 150 hours spread out over one and half years engaging in some form of creativity such as participating in sports, other physical action and doing social services. 


The I.B. program is practical and application-based and has a broader spectrum of subjects that leads to the all-round development of students. The I.B. exam tests the knowledge of student instead of speed. 

Since the I.B.’s mission focuses on ‘how to learn’ rather than ‘what to learn’, there are no externally evaluated examinations until the class 10 exam or MYP. 

India has just 40 I.B. World Schools and the official list is available on the I.B.O Website.

#5. International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

IGCSE syllabus developed by Cambridge International Examination (CIE) in 1988, IGSCE is a very popular English language curriculum. Over 10,000 schools in 160 countries are teaching the IGCSE syllabus. It is the most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds offering them more than 70 subjects. 

Few key points to understand IGCSE board

  • IGCSE provides a variety of subjects and combination and stream is no bar.
  • It is valid worldwide, so we can choose the most recommended textbooks and reference book, it has no fixed syllabus.
  • As compared to study pattern in India which emphasizes learning and recalling concept in its theoretical aspect, IGCSE demands to learn the variety of criteria to gain knowledge and its application in daily life. 
  • Unlike other mediums in our country, IGCSE is valid on the global standards and deals in only one medium, English.
  • IGCSE is student-centric and focuses on knowledge and making mind creative for learning. The syllabus is quite demanding and the approach is focused on applications rather than learning theory only. The curriculum focuses on courses like International Baccalaureate Diploma program and the North American APT (Advanced Placement Test)
  • IGCSE provides a range of over 70 subjects so the student can opt for subjects according to his/her ease. There is no bar for the stream or anything. Every subject is designed to learn global research and perspective. 
  • It is a comprehensive two-year program spread over class 9th and 10th and leads to final examinations offered every year in May and November.
  • IGCSE assessment is conducted by two UK assessment bodies:
  1. Edexcel (also known as London Examination)
  2. Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)
  • A student, who has passed IGCSE, is eligible for any +2 level qualifications, like class 12th CBSE/ICSE or any international pre-university program like IB Diploma, Advanced Placement Diploma (US) etc. 
  • CIE (Cambridge International Examination) has declared that launch of its New Cambridge International Primary Program. The introduction of this program means students will be able to study the IGCSE from Age 5 through Age 18.

Subjects of IGCSE Board

  • Group 1 – Language (First Language, Second Language, Foreign Language etc)
  • Group 2 – Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography, English Literature, History etc)
  • Group 3 – Science (Biology, Physics, and Chemistry etc)
  • Group 4 – Mathematics (Mathematics, Additional Mathematics)
  • Group 5 – Creative, Technical and Vocational (Accounting Business Studies, Computer Studies, Music etc)

In the end, IGCSE is an academically rigorous internationally used, specialized English Language curriculum. In this student can apply to foreign universities, wherein CBSE and ICSE, the board is not recognized. 

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.

Education is a very important factor for development in our country. India since the early days of independence has always focused on improving the literacy rate and it is reflected in our economic policies.