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NATIONAL EDUCATION COMMISSION 1964-66 | Kothari Commission B.Ed Notes




Immediately after achieving Independence we began making efforts to reform the education system of our country.

In this context the first great step of the Government of India was the appointment of the University Education Commission.

This Commission gave many concrete suggestions to raise the standard of University education. Some of its suggestions were implemented and as a result some improvement occurred in the field of higher education, but it failed to achieve the desired objectives.

The second great step of the Government of India in the field of education was the appointment of the Secondary Education Commission.


This Commission suggested many concrete measures to orgfanise secondary education. Some Provincial Governments even started restructuring the secondary education, in their provinces, according to its recommendations but they also failed to achieve the desired objectives. Therefore, to think comprehensively on the reorganisation of education and to prepare a uniform education policy for the whole country, the Government of India on 14 July, 1964 appointed a 17 member National Education Commission. The Chairman of this Commission was Dr. D.S. Kothari, the then Chairman of the University Grants Commission. On the name of its chairman thi Commission is also termed as Kothari Commission.

Objectives and Terms of Reference

The Government of India declared that the objective of the appointment of thi Commission is that the Commission will advise the Government on the national pattern of education and on the general principles and policies for the development of education at all stages and in all its aspects.

The Commission in its report stated this objective in the following words: "This Commission is formed to advise the Government on the educational policies, national standards of education and the potential for development in every sphere of education ".


From the point of view of this objective the terms of reference of this Commission were to survey the existing system of education of the country and to suggest measures for its reform. Its field of work may be understood more clearly in the following form:

(1) To make an indepth study of the existing Indian system of education and to find out the reasons for the widespread discontent against it and to suggest measures for it reform.

(2) To decide policy matters for the organisation and administration of education for the whole country and to advise the Government in this context.

(3) To propose a uniform system of education for the country, a system which would help in an all-round development (social, economic and political) of the country. This system should be such which while preserving the traditional qualities of Indian education should fulfil the needs of the present and help in the construction of the future.


(4) To find out the ways and means for the expansion and qualitative improvement of any type of education at any level, for the country and to give suggestions to the Government in this context.

Suggestions of the National Education Commission

The National Education Commission studied the contemporary Indian education comprehensively and gave its suggestions in the context.

The Commission believes that education is the key to national progress. The report of the Commission itself begins with the sentence: "The destiny of India is being shaped in her classrooms."

The second main characteristic of this report is that some of the problems of education have been discussed comprehensively, for example, national goal of education, structure of education condition of teachers, equality of educational opportunity, women education and adul education, whereas some problems have been discussed in the context of the level specific education; like-aims, curriculum and teaching methods of school education and aims, curriculum and teaching methods of higher education etc.

Evaluation of the National Education Commission, 1964-66


The evaluation of an object, idea or activity is done on the basis of some fixed criteria or standard.

Education is a social process, therefore evaluation of any idea related to should be done from two view points - First, the prevailing condition of the concerned society and second, its utility in fulfilling the future demand. However a long time had already elapsed since it was implemented. So we will evaluate it from the point of view and the present condition of India and its future needs and aspirations. We will also see, the extent to which it provided correct direction to the Modern Indian Education.

Evaluating on these criteria the merits and demerits of this Commission are as follows:



1. Formulation of Principles for Policy on Education :

The National Education Commission declared education to be the subject of national importance and suggested to spend 6% in place of 2% of the Central budget on it.

It suggested to establish a powerful administrative structure at the Centre and similar structure in the Provinces too.

It presented a uniform education structure for the democratic India.

As a result a uniform education structure was declared for the whole country in both the National Policies on Education, 1968 and 1986.

2. Guidance to the Education Planners :

The National Education Commission pointed out the importance of educational planning and clarified its basic principles.

It clearly stated that the educational planning should be sequential and time bound and it should be planned on the basis of the present and the future demands and on the basis of the national goals and the availability of the resources.

Keeping in view the demands of the democratic India, its economic condition and the availability of resources, the Commission suggested- 

first, to organise free and compulsory education, within a period of 20 years for the children in the age group 6-14 years,

second to organise secondary education as a complete unit for the 70% children seeking admission at the secondary level,

third, to prepare the remaining 30% children for higher education and

fourth, to organise higher education for the able and selected youths from amongst this 30%. These suggestions are as much relevant at present as they were in the past.

3. Broad Aims of Education Consistent with Time :

The Commission first of all determined the general aims of education- 

  • to increase in production,
  • to achieve social equality and national integration,
  • to develop democratic values,
  • to preserve the culture of the nation and
  • to develop the social, moral and spiritual values.

These aims are as much relevant at present as they were at that time. In the National Policy on Education, 1986 the attainment of national goals was also added to these aims.


4. Demand Based Vocational and Technical Education :

The Commission emphasized unorganising region specific vocational and technical education to lessen educated unemployment.

At the same time it also emphasized on updating their curriculum, to provide all facilities to these institutions and place equal emphasis on theoretical knowledge as well as practical training. All these suggestions are as much relevant at present as they were in the past.

5. Emphasis upon Science Education and Scientific Research:

The Commission pointed out the necessity of science education for the modernisation of the country.

It suggested to spend more on higher education of science and scientific research work.

It is because of the implementation of these suggestions that India is progressing in industrial field, marching ahead in space technology, has become a strong competitor in the software field and has become the sixth atomic power of the world. We have to continuously move ahead in this direction.


6. Proper Suggestions Related to Teacher's Standard and Teacher Training:

The suggestion of the Commission is universally true that unless and until the social and economic status of teachers is raised, this profession will fail to attract able persons in its fold.

It suggested to increase the pay scales of teachers and to improve their service conditions.

At the same time it suggested reforms in the teacher training programmes to improve the teachers' educational qualification and teaching skill.

Most of its suggestions like continuous increase in the salary of teachers, payment of dearness allowance to them like the government employees, to provide benefits of G.P.F., insurance and pension to them, to select able persons for the teacher training and to give more importance to practical training in the teacher training programme are of much significance at present as they were in the past.

7. Emphasis on the Equality of Educational Opportunity :

Equality of educational opportunity is the demand of democracy. The Commission placed great emphasis on this and to achieve this it suggested-

  • similar curriculum for boys and girls;
  • equal opportunity to pursue any course;
  • monetary aid to poor and able students:
  • special economic assistance for the children of backward, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe and hilly tribes;
  • to make primary education free and the provision of scholarships in secondary, higher and vocational education.

These suggestions of the Commissions in this context are of great importance.



1. Ill Defined Administration :

The Commission on the one hand assigned the right, to prepare educational policies and plans to the Centre and entrusted it the responsibility of higher education and on the other hand it bestowed the right to organise and to plan education according to the need and resources to the State Governments thereby creating a dilemmatic situation, both for the Centre and the States.

Next, it though suggested the Central Government to spend 6% of its budget on education but failed to suggest the way how it should be spent. It also gave vague suggestions regarding the Central and the State Governments, educational responsibility and the expenditure on education. The result is that instead of supplementing each other's work the Central and the State Governments are going their own way.

2. Jumbled Structure of Education :

  • The Commission proposed the duration of
  • pre-primary education to be 1 to 3 years,
  • primary education to be 4 to 5 years,
  • upper primary or junior secondary education to be 2 to 3 years,
  • secondary education to be 2 to 3 years,
  • graduation education to be 3 years and
  • the post graduate education to be 2 to 3 years,

Two defects are observed in this proposed structure, first- it is not clear and second, it is not uniform for the whole country.


It is the demand of democracy that there should be a uniform structure of education for the whole country. It is for this reason that a uniform structure of education i.e., 10 + 2 + 3 is accepted in the National Policy on Education. 1986 for the whole country

3. Unnecessary Educational and Vocational Guidance from the Primary Level:

The Commission emphasized on educational and vocational guidance and counselling, and suggested to organise it from the primary level. But when a common, free and compulsory primary education is to be organised for everyone the need for guidance and counselling automatically becomes redundant. And now when a 10 year core curriculum is proposed for the whole country in the New National Policy on Education, 1986, there is no need for such guidance and counselling at this stage. Whatever may be the general educational problems of the students at first ten year stage, such as, coming late to school taking no interest in learning some subject or performing some activity, not completing home work in time, etc. may be solved by the teachers with love, sympathy and cooperation.

4. Contradictory Ideas about Secondary Education :

The Commission has presented very contradictory ideas about secondary education. At one place it has suggested to bifurcate the secondary education into literary and vocational categories and stated that 50% of the average students will be given admission in the vocational category so that they may earn their livelihood after its completion and the rest 50% students will be given admission in general category so that they may enter higher education after its completion. And at other place the Commission mentioned that the secondary education will be a complete education for 70% students. These two suggestions are contradictory to each other. Not only this, at one place it speaks about the vocationalisation of secondary education and at other place it suggests to provide secondary level vocational education in polytechnic schools


5. Defective Language Policy :

The Commission talked about making the education of only mother-tongue compulsory at the primary level and the education of mother tongue along with the Union language (Hindi) or co-language of the Union-English at the higher primary or the junior secondary level.

At the secondary level the study of 3 languages under the 3 language formula is made compulsory and for the third language it made the study of either English, French, Russian or any classical language compulsory It is opposed to the basic objective of 3 language formula.

At the same time it also expressed its view that the education of English language should be properly organised Indirectly it is the policy to perpetuate the English language. It is very harmful for the independent India.

Impact of the National Education Commission


The National Policy on Education was prepared on the basis of the recommendations of the National Education Commission, 1964-66 and was declared on 24 July, 1968.

And thus the implementation of the recommendations of the National Education Commission started. Efforts began to implement the 10 + 2 +3 structure of education in the whole country and NCERT prepared the core curriculum for the first 10 years of education, The study of 3 languages according to the 3 language formula; study of science and technology for the modernisation of the country and the work experience were made compulsory.

In some provinces the curriculum of the first 10 years of education was prepared on this basis and was implemented.

In some provinces different types of vocational courses were also started at the + 2 level, but they failed to succeed.

Degree course in higher education was changed from 2 years to 3 years duration. Concrete steps were taken for the expansion and upliftment of higher education, vocational, technical and management education.

In 1969 National Service Scheme (NSS) was started in the universities and colleges.

At the same time reforms began in teacher education and the programmes of adult education were made more extensive.

Implementation of the suggestions which this Commission gave for the equality of educational opportunity also began.

The second remarkable thing in this context is that the National Policy on Education, 1986 was also prepared on the basis of the National Policy on Education, 1968.

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