What is NIOS?

NIOS is an “Open Schooling Institute” to cater to the educational needs of a heterogeneous group of learners up to pre-degree level. It was started as a pilot 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. 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.

The mission of NIOS is 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 to contribute towards:

✦ providing an educational platform for the special children

✦ universalisation of education up to Sr. Secondary level

✦ greater equity and justice in society, and

✦ evolution of a learning society.


How does NIOS function?

NIOS operates through a large network of departments and regional centres. NIOS has a current cumulative enrolment (last five years) of about 2.59 million learners at the Secondary, the Senior Secondary and the Vocational Education courses which make it the largest open schooling system in the world.

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


  • “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.

  • NIOS is catering to the educational needs of the special children by drafting workable and implementable action plans. The priority of these plans is reaching the unreached and uplifting these children in the social structure by providing relevant and need based quality education.

Secondary Course

This Course is equivalent to the Xth standard. You can choose subjects from the Scheme of Studies given. However, you will be required to successfully complete a minimum of five subjects with at least one language or at most two languages, which is compulsory for certification. . However, you are free to take up to two additional subjects. Thus, in all you can choose a maximum of seven subjects.

For obtaining a pass certificate, you are required to pass in a minimum of five subjects including one or maximum of two languages from Group ‘A’ and other three or four subjects from the other Group.