The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established in November,1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of National Policy on Education 1986 by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Government of India. NIOS is providing a number of Vocational, Life Enrichment and community oriented courses besides General and Academic Courses at Secondary and Senior Secondary level. It also offers Elementary level Courses through its Open Basic Education Programmes (OBE).Government of India through a gazette notification vested NIOS with the authority to examine and certify learners registered with it upto pre degree level courses whether Academic, Technical or Vocational. Association of Indian Universities, vide letter No. EV/11(354)/91/ 25 July, 1991 issued Equivalence of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination of NIOS.

NIOS is an autonomous organization registered under the Societies’ Registration Act (1860). The Headquarters of NIOS is located at A-24/25, Institutional Area, Sector-62 NOIDA (U.P.). Policies of NIOS are framed through its General Body headed by the Union Minister of Human Resources Development.

Vision: "Sustainable inclusive learning with universal and flexible access to quality school education and skill development"


  • Providing relevant continuing and holistic education up to pre degree level through Open and Distance Learning System
  • Contributing to the Universalisation of School Education
  • Catering to the educational needs of the prioritized target groups for equity and social justice
  • Reaching the unreached

Objectives: The NIOS plays a very important role in the National System of Education and it has its own distinct characteristics. The main objectives of NIOS are:

  • To provide professional advice to the Government of India, and to the States, regarding proper development of Open and Distance Learning System at school level in response to requests from the concerned Government/s or suo moto
  • To develop need based Academic and Vocational Education Programmes for livelihood and lifelong learning up to pre-degree leve
  • To attain excellence in developing quality Open and Distance Curricula and courseware for learners
  • To accredit institutions for developing effective learner support system to facilitate learning up to pre-degree level
  • To strengthen the Open and Distance Learning System through research and development activities
  • To promote open schooling at national and global level by networking, capacity building, sharing of resources and quality assurance

Anybody irrespective of caste, creed and location can seek enrolment in the courses/programmes offered by NIOS.

Its prioritized target groups are:

  • Rural and urban people
  • Disadvantaged groups
  • Underprivileged sections of the society
  • Unemployed and partly employed people
  • School dropouts
  • People with special needs i.e., physically and mentally challenged persons
  • Minorities

Programmes and Activities: NIOS carries out six major sets of activities. These are-

  • Providing academic education at the Open Basic Education level
  • Providing academic education at the Secondary and the Senior Secondary levels
  • Teacher Education (D.El.ED. Programme for training of untrained elementary teachers as mandated by RTE Act, 2009)
  • Vocational Education
  • Research and Training
  • Learner support services

(The secondary and the senior secondary certificates issued by the NIOS are recognized by the Association of Indian Universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC), several universities and institutes of higher learning, several boards of school Education, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour & Employment)

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