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    About Nios
    What is NIOS
    NIOS is an “Open School” to cater to the needs of a heterogeneous group of learners up to pre-degree level. It was started as a project with in-built flexibilities by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 1979. In 1986, the National Policy on Education suggested strengthening of Open School System for extending open learning facilities in a phased manner at secondary level all over the country as an independent system with its own curriculum and examination leading to certification.
    Consequently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India set up the National Open School (NOS) in November 1989. The pilot project of CBSE on Open School was amalgamated with NOS. Through a Resolution (No. F.5-24/90 Sch.3 dated 14 September 1990 published in the Gazette of India on 20 October 1990), the National Open School (NOS) was vested with the authority to register, examine and certify students registered with it up to pre-degree level courses. In July 2002, the Ministry of Human Resource Development amended the nomenclature of the organisation from the National Open School (NOS) to the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) with a mission to provide relevant continuing education at school stage, up to pre-degree level through Open Learning system to prioritized client groups as an alternative to formal system, in pursuance of the normative national policy documents and in response to the need assessments of the people, and through it to make its share of contribution:
  • to universalisation of education,
  • to greater equity and justice in society, and
  • to the evolution of a learning society.
    What does NIOS do?

    The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) provides opportunities to interested learners by making available the following Courses/Programmes of Study through open and distance learning (ODL) mode.

    • Open Basic Education (OBE) Programme for 14+ years age group, adolescents and adults at A, B and C levels that are equivalent to classes III, V and VIII of the formal school system.
    • Secondary Education Course
    • Senior Secondary Education Course
    • Vocational Education Courses/Programmes
    • Life Enrichment Programmes
    The OBE programme
    Envisages schooling by providing a learning continuum based on graded curriculum ensuring quality of education for children, neo-literates, school drop-outs/left-outs and NFE completers. 
    For implementation of OBE programme, the NIOS has partnership with about 341 Agencies providing facilities at their study centres. It is a sort of academic input relationship with partnering agencies. The NIOS provides resource support (such as adaptation of NIOS model curricula, study materials, joint certification, orientation of Resource Persons and popularisation of OBE) to the voluntary agencies and Zila Saksharta Samities (ZSSs) etc., for implementation of its OBE programme.
    At the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels, NIOS provides flexibility in the choice of subjects/courses, pace of learning, and transfer of credits from CBSE, some Board of School Education and State Open Schools to enable learner’s continuation. A learner is extended as many as nine chances to appear in public examinations spread over a period of five years. The credits gained are accumulated till the learner clears required credits for certification. The learning strategies include; learning through printed self-instructional material, audio and video programmes, participating in personal contact programme (PCP), and Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA). Enrichment is also provided to the learners through the half yearly magazine “Open Learning”. The Study Material is made available in English, Hindi and Urdu mediums. The On-Demand Examination System (ODES) is in operation at Secondary and Senior Secondary stage. NIOS offers 26 subject in seven mediums (Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati, Malayalam) for Secondary Examinations and 19 subjects in Hindi, English and Urdu mediums for Senior Secondary Examinations. Besides these, NIOS has provision of offering 10 Vocational subjects in combination with Academic subjects at secondary stage and 20 vocational subjects in combination with Academic subjects at Senior Seondary level.
    Acknowledging the fact that the young entrepreneurs will be the wealth of the nation, the learner friendly Vocational Education programmes of NIOS provide excellent prospects for the learners. It offers 86 Vocational Education programmes in different areas such as Agriculture, Business and Commerce, Engineering and Technology, Health and Paramedical, Home Science and Hospitality Management, Teacher Training, Computer and IT related sectors, Life Enrichment Programmes and General Services. Knowledge, skills and qualities of entrepreneurship have been made essential components in curricula for Vocational Education with emphasis on practical and on the job training in related industrial units. 
    In order to upscale and place the Open Vocational Education Programme on a sound pedestal, NIOS is seeking collaboration with leading organizations in different educational development sectors like Industries, Medicines, IT etc. 
    Within the overall provisions of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF-2005), NIOS has brought out a significant documnet titled “Vocational Educaiton and Training: A Framework on Curriculum Imparatives with a Foucs on Knowledge Acquisition and Skills Development: Initiative through Open and Distance Learning”. It is hoped that this document with prove useful as the basis for preparing a well deliberated Programme of Action (POA) for implementation of Vocational Education Programmes through ODL.
    The NIOS programmes pay special attention towards requirements of the first generation learners, physically, mentally and visually challenged learners and candidates from disadvantaged sections of the society.
    How Does NIOS Function ?
    NIOS operates through a network of five Departments, eleven Regional Centres and 3367 Accredited Institutions (Study Centres) in India and abroad. It has a current enrolment of about 1.5 million students at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels which makes it the largest open schooling system in the world.
    Aims and objects for which the Society is established are the following:
    1. To provide sound professional advice to the Government of India and to the States, regarding the proper development of Distance and Open Learning System, at the School level, in the country, in response to requests from the Government concerned and to give financial contribution wherever considered necessary to the States for establishment and development of State Open Schools (SOS) and State Centres of Open Schooling (SCOS);
    2. To develop and prescribe or offer a wide spectrum of courses of study, for purposes of general vocational and continuing education, either leading to certification at the school stage up to the under graduate level (including Certificates/Diplomas) or for life and job enrichment and without certification;
    3. To take the responsibilities of researching, innovating and experimenting in the area of Open Schooling and Open Learning and disseminating tested innovative practices to States;
    4. To play a nodal and lead role in developing a network of Open Schooling in the country and help the States in adapting/adopting the course material as well as developing courses in regional languages;
    5. To share with the SOS and other Open Schooling agencies in the areas of common curriculum, printed instructional materials, and media
      materials etc;
    6. To plan and organize intensive training for capacity building in the area of open schooling at both national and international levels;
    7. To make arrangements for transfer of credits;
    8. To establish data base on Open Learning;
    9. To emerge as a nodal resource/capacity building centre for developing countries so as to develop itself as a resource organisation to serve the open learning system;
    10. To develop and prescribe or offer Vocational Courses to the students of the Open Channel;
    11. To develop study materials, using print, non print and media;
    12. To collaborate with agencies and institutions who would be willing to provide learning assistance to the students and to accredit such Learning Support Centres or Study Centres including study centres abroad;
    13. To establish Regional Centres, for purpose of promoting the proper functioning of the Learning Support or Study Centres;
    14. To publish or cause to be published and to print the learning and other materials developed by the National Institute of Open Schooling;
    15. To prescribe rules and conditions for the registration of students, for eligibility for appearing at the examinations, for its conduct, and for all other rules consonant with and necessary for the proper fulfillment of the teaching, examining and certifying authority vested in the Society;
    16. To prescribe and demand payment of such fees and other charges as may be authorized by the Rules, and as amended from time to time;
    17. To undertake studies, research and surveys in the aspects of Open Schooling;
    18. To organize training programmes of various kinds and for various categories of personnel, both for the internal staff and for others;
    19. To provide consultancy services and to engage in model building, in close collaboration with States and a variety of other agencies or institutions;
    20. To serve as an agency for effective dissemination of information related to Distance Education and Open Learning; hence to publish newsletters bulletins, or journals and use such other means as seen necessary to further this purpose;
    21. To identify and promote standards of learning in Distance Education System and Open Schools which may be set up in different parts of the country, through Research and Evaluation and to maintain standards of equivalence with the formal system, while retaining its own distinct character;
    22. To exercise normative and co-ordinating functions while promoting standards in Distance and Open Learning Systems in the country and thus makes its own contributions to the evolution of a Learning Society;
    23. To take over the administration and management of the Open School of the Central Board of Secondary Education , New Delhi, with all its assets and liabilities and to amalgamate it with the Society;
    24. To purchase or otherwise acquire or take on lease or hire, premises for the various works of the Society;
    25. To invest and deal with funds and monies of the Society;
    26. To set up a Research and Learning Resource Library, containing books and learning materials in other media;
    27. To obtain or accept grants, subscriptions, fees, donations, gifts, bequests and properties, both movable and immovable, from Governments or from any person, for the purposes of the Society;
    28. To build, construct and maintain buildings and after, extend, improve or repair or modify any existing building and suitably equip such building for the use of the Society;
    29. To appoint committees or sub-committees as seen fit to carry out the objects of the Society and to prescribe rules and guidelines for the proper functioning of such committees;
    30. To frame Service Rules and Bye-Laws for the personnel administration of the Staff of the Society and rules and bye-laws for the proper management of the several functions and responsibilities vested in the Society, including welfare measures for the staff and to amend these
      from time to time;
    31. To delegate any or all its powers to any of the Officers or to any of the Committees or Sub-committees constituted by it, for more effective management and functioning of the Society;
    32. To do all such lawful acts and things, whether incidental to the powers aforesaid or not, as may be required in order to further the Aims and Objects of the Society;
    33. It is thus envisaged that the attainment of these aims and objects will, in turn, enable to Society to fulfill the Mission of the Society, which is to provide relevant, continuing and developmental education, at the school stage, upto the pre-degree level through the Open Learning System, to prioritized client groups, as an alternative to the formal system, in pursuance of the normative national policy documents, and in response to the need assessments of the people, and through it to make its share of contribution;
      • To universalisation of education;
      • To greater equity and justice in Society; and
      • To the evolution of a Learning Society.
    The National Institute of Open Schooling, with international recognition and presence, provides access to sustainable and learner-centric quality school education, skill upgradation and training through open and distance learning and ensures convergence of open schooling organizations, resulting in an inclusive learning society, human resource development, national integration and global understanding.
    The Mission of NIOS is to provide relevant, continuing and developmental education at school stage upto the pre-degree level through open learning system and through it to make its share of contribution to
    1. universalisation of education;
    2. greater equity and justice in society ; and
    3. the evolution of a learning society.

    National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) : Precise Information

    Setting up of NIOS
    • Started as a project on “Open Schooling” under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 1978.
    • Established in 1989 as the National Open School (NOS) by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). In 1990, the Govt. of India through a Gazette notification vested NOS with the authority to examine and certify learners registered with it up to Pre-Degree level Courses.
    • Re-christened as the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) in July 2002.
    Regional Centres
    Hyderabad , Pune, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Kochi, Delhi, Jaipur, Patna, Allahabad, Bhopal, Dehradun, Bhubaneshwar, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru, Imphal
    Darbhanga and Vishakapatnam (Sub Centre)
    Number of Study Centres
    1. Academic (AIs) : 2319
    2. Vocational (AVIs) : 1167
    3. U.A.E & Nepal
      (AIs & AVIs) : 20+3=23
    4. Open Basic Education
      (OBE) (AAs) : 401
    The Study Centres are known as Accredited Institutions (AIs) for Academic Courses, Accredited Vocational Institutions (AVIs) for Vocational Education
    Courses and Accredited Agencies (AAs) for Open Basic Education (OBE) courses.
    Year Academic Vocational Secondary - 54%
    2009-10 419702 61811
    2008-09 371625 36111
    2007-08 340342 23674
    2006-07 290983 22166 Senior Seconadry - 37%
    2005-06 267026 22879
    Cummulative enrolment 1689678 166641 Vocational - 9%
    • NIOS is the largest Open Schooling System in the world.
    • Admission round the year for Academic Courses and for Vocational Courses.
    • NIOS has also started admission on-line
    Courses Offered
    • Open Basic Education (OBE) (A level, B level, C level equivalent to Class III, V, VIII respectively of formal Education) courses are offered through Accredited Agencies (AAs).
    • Secondary – leading to Secondary School Certificate.
    • Sr. Secondary – leading to Senior Secondary School Certificate.
    • Open Vocational Education.
    • Life Enrichment Programmes.
    Highlights and flexibilities
    • Freedom to choose subjects; continuous assessment through Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA).
    • Facility of On Line Registration for Admission and Examination Credit accumulation facility;
    • 9 chances in 5 Years to complete a course;
    • Provision of Re-admission after 5 years.
    • Learning support through Personal Contact Programme (PCP);
    • Transfer of credits (up to 2 subject) from some other Boards.
    • Media Programmes are telecast and broadcast.
    Study Materials
    • Printed Self Instructional study materials supported by Audio- Video programmes. A half yearly Magazine “Open Learning” is also provided to the learners.
    • 10 Million copies of Combined study materials were produced and distributed to the learners during the year 2007-08.
    Mediums of Instruction
    • Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati and Malayalam mediums at Secondary stage.
    • Hindi, English, Urdu mediums at Sr. Secondary stage.

    Sanctioned Staff strength : 251

    Budget (2008-2009)
    • Plan Rs. 4.15 Crore
    • Non-Plan Rs. 59.72 Crore
    Year Secondary (Class X) Sr. Secondary (Class XII) Vocational OBE
    2009-10 104356 54659 12474 25996
    2008-09 73471 60683 13682 62886
    2007-08 84543 70364 12420 73131
    2006-07 94391 80825 12622 52913
    2005-06 103410 95213 13784 30547
      120739 114893 13438  
    Total No. of learners certified since 1991(Sec.+ Sr.Sec. +Voc)= 21,02,036

    Total No. of learners certified under OBE = 1,69,632

    • Conducts examination twice a year in Apr-May and Oct-Nov.
    • On-Demand Examination at Secondary & Sr. Secondary level at the NIOS, Headquarter and at all the Regional Centre
    National Consoritum for Open Schooling
    • NIOS provides Professional support to States to set up and develop State Open Schools particularly with Regional Mediums. The secretariat of NCOS in located in NIOS.
    • State Open Schools (SOSs) have been set up in 14 states viz., Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala,Jammu &Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi.

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