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National Curriculum Framework (NCF)

The Union Education ministry launched the National Curriculum Framework for foundational stage education, National Curriculum Framework (NCF)..

Why in New?

The Union Education ministry launched the National Curriculum Framework for foundational stage education of children in the three to eight years age group.

What are the National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs)?

  • The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) aims to devise 4 NCFs, for which a comprehensive strategy has been worked out jointly by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and NCERT.
  • The National Steering Committee under the chairmanship of (former ISRO chief) K. Kasturirangan was set up by the MoE to undertake and develop NCFs.
  • These 4 NCFs are –
    • National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCFECCE)
    • National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE)
    • National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE)
    • National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education (NCFAE)
  • NCFs aims to bring about a paradigm shift in education with focus on holistic development of children, emphasis on skilling, vital role of teachers, learning in mother tongue, cultural rootedness.
  • The NCF has been revised four times in the past (in 1975, 1988, 2000, and 2005). If implemented, the suggested modification would be the 5th one.
  • It’s important to note that the NEP 2020 and the NCFs, based on the education policy, are not binding on the states.

Pre-draft of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE):

  • It covers the framework of curriculum for age groups 3 to 18 years.
  • A key part of the document is inclusion of values and its “rootedness” in India.
    • This is in content and learning of languages, in the pedagogical approaches including tools and resources and in philosophical basis.
  • It advocated the teaching of three languages (referred to as R1, R2 and R3) in classes 6, 7 and 8, and two languages in classes 9 and 10 (R1 and R2).
    • No guidelines were provided for language learning in classes 11 and 12.
    • R1 denoted the mother tongue or home language, R2 could be any other language (including English), and R3 was any language that wasn’t R1 or R2.
  • The document leans towards making students acquainted with true sources of knowledge, which have been a philosophical preoccupation of ancient Indians.
    • These sources focus on six pramanas:
      • pratyaksa (perception through five senses),
      • anumana (using inferences to come to new conclusions),
      • upamana (knowing through analogy and comparison),
      • arthapatti (knowing through circumstantial implication),
      • anupalabdhi (perception of non-existence), and
      • sabda (something an individual can only directly know a fraction of all reality).

The Final Version of the NCFSE:

  • Holding the Class 12 board exam twice a year: To ensure students have enough time and opportunity to perform well.
    • Students can appear for a board exam in subjects they have completed and feel ready for.
    • They will also be allowed to retain the best score.
  • Mandatory and optional subjects:
    • So far, the students from Classes 9 to 12 studied five mandatory subjects, with an option of adding one more subject.
    • Now, the number of mandatory subjects for Classes 9 and 10 is seven, and it’s six for Classes 11 and 12.
    • Optional subjects have been grouped in three parts in the NCF.
      • The first optional group includes art education (both visual and performing arts), physical education and vocational education.
      • The 2nd group includes Social Science, the Humanities, and interdisciplinary areas.
      • The 3rd group includes Science, Mathematics, and computational thinking.
  • Emphasis on Indian languages: It mandates the compulsory instruction of 3 languages (referred to as R1, R2 and R3) up to Class 10. At least 2 of these 3 languages must be native to India.
    • In classes 11 and 12, students will have to study two languages and one of them has to be an Indian language.
    • The final NCF makes the study of Indian languages imperative across schools and boards, contrary to the optional nature of these subjects at present.


The NCF is a government initiative that was first proposed in 2006 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is designed to help standardise and improve the quality of education across India. Additionally, it also aims to preserve and promote India’s culture and heritage. As part of the NCF, a National Culture Fund has been set up to provide financial assistance to institutions working in the field of culture. The full form of NCF is the National Curriculum Framework/National Culture Fund. This acronym can be confusing, so make sure you are clear on what it stands for before using it in your writing.

Question 1: What is the primary aim of the National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) in India?

a) To standardize cultural practices across states
b) To establish a uniform education curriculum worldwide
c) To improve the quality of education and promote holistic development
d) To prioritize vocational education over academic subjects

Question 2: Who chaired the National Steering Committee responsible for developing the NCFs?

a) Narendra Modi
b) K. Kasturirangan
c) Arun Jaitley
d) Prakash Javadekar

Question 3: How many National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) are being devised as per the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020)?

a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4

Question 4: Which age group is covered by the National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCFECCE)?

a) 3 to 8 years
b) 6 to 14 years
c) 11 to 18 years
d) 18 to 24 years

Question 5: What is the main objective of including values in the curriculum, as highlighted in the context?

a) To promote religious teachings
b) To encourage political activism
c) To foster a sense of cultural rootedness and ethical values
d) To prioritize technical skills over moral principles

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