India signs agreement with OECD for participation in PISA 2021

The Union Human Resources Development Ministry has signed an agreement with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for India’s Participation in Programme for International Student Assessment- PISA 2021.

Jan 29, 2019 10:06 IST
facebook IconTwitter IconWhatsapp Icon

The Union Human Resources Development Ministry on January 28, 2019 signed an agreement with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for India’s Participation in Programme for International Student Assessment- PISA 2021.  

The agreement was signed by Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, MHRD and Andreas Schleicher, Director (PISA) in OECD in the presence of the Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. Speaking on the occasion, the HRD Minister said that the format for the student assessment will be offline. He added that the question to Indian students will be related to India's perspective only.


The student assessment by PISA will ensure learning outcome through education. It would lead to an improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country.

It would also indicate the health of the education system of the nation and would motivate other schools and states in the subsequent cycles.

Key Highlights

The students will be selected by PISA through random sampling. The schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh would be participating.

The OECD has agreed to ask some of the questions based on Indian context.

Within the country or specific geography to be covered in case of large countries, PISA will cover a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling including public, private and private aided.

The learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning.

The CBSE and NCERT will be a part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.

More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000.  

The next round of PISA is going to be held in 2021.  The list of registered countries includes Brazil, China (certain areas like Shanghai and Beijing) and countries from South-East Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.


India’s participation in PISA- 2021 would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.

What is PISA?

PISA is a triennial international survey that aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.

It is a competency-based assessment which unlike content-based assessment, measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies that are essential for full participation in modern societies.

The survey will assess the students in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem-solving.

The participation in PISA will allow benchmarking performance against a wide range of countries.

The survey uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. The test items are adapted to the local context and language, pilot tested and validated before being used for the test.


India first participated in PISA in 2009 with 16000 students from 400 schools across Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

However, the students performed miserably in the 2009 test, placing India at 72nd among the 74 participating countries.

Following the poor score, India decided to stay away from PISA in 2012 and 2015. The decision to boycott PISA was undertaken by the then UPA government, which blamed “out of context” questions for the poor show in 2009.

Later, the HRD Ministry, under the NDA-II government, revisited this decision in 2016 and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up a committee to review the matter and submitted its report in December 2016. The report recommended for participation in test in 2018.

However, India missed the application deadline for the 2018 cycle.

India agrees to end PISA boycott; will participate in PISA 2021

Download our Current Affairs & GK app For exam preparation

डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए