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Kothari Commission (1964-66)

Last Updated : 15 Sep, 2023
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Kothari Commission, also known as National Education Commission, 1964 was formed under the chairmanship of  Dr. D. S. Kothari with 17 other members on July 14, 1964. It was the ad hoc commission formed by the government of India to comprehensively assess the entire educational system in the country, formulate a comprehensive educational framework, and propose recommendations and policies for the overall development of education in India.

What is Kothari Commission?

Kothari Commission 1964-66, chaired by Daulat Singh Kothari, was formed in 1964 to create the fundamental principles and policies for the development of the education system from the primary level to the highest. It also gave suggestions on the standardization of education patterns in India. However, the scope of the Commission did not extend to medical and legal studies.

The Commission was formed for two years from 1964 to 1966 and the report was submitted by the Commission on 29 June 1966. The Commission established twelve Task Forces to address various sectors of education, including School Education, Technical Education, and Higher Education Agricultural Education, among others, and seven Working Groups were instituted to examine specific issues and provide comprehensive reports.

The Commission recognized education as an important tool for societal reconstruction and for making citizens aware of their important participation in the nation-building and developmental process along with the government. People’s participation in national development formed the cornerstone of the Kothari Commission’s report.

Why was the Kothari Commission Formed?

The Kothari Commission was established to provide a roadmap for educational development and policy formulation that could contribute to the progress and growth of the nation. It was formed to address the following needs:

  • The Indian education system needed a comprehensive evaluation to address shortcomings and identify areas for improvement across different levels of education, from primary to higher education.
  • To address disparities in educational access and quality, especially in rural and marginalized areas.
  • There was a need for holistic reforms in education, covering curriculum, infrastructure, teacher training, and quality enhancement.
  • To align the system with the changing needs of a developing nation.
  • To establish a standardized and uniform national pattern of education.

What is Kothari Commission Report?

The Kothari Commission report entitled ‘Education and National Development’ was submitted on 29 June 1996. It was based on the idea that education is the most important pillar for national development. It was divided into four sub -parts. These are:

  • Part I: Focused on the General issues.
  • Part II: Studied the Stages of Education.
  • Part III: Provided Recommendations and programmes.
  • Part IV: Deals with additional papers.

It was based on four main themes, which are as follows:

  • Increase of Productivity
  • Promoting National and social integration
  • Modernization and Education
  • Developing moral, social, and spiritual values

Recommendations of the Kothari Commission

Commission believed that to achieve various national objectives, education should be closely linked to the lives, needs, and aspirations of the people. The Main Recommendations of the Kothari Commission were:

  • The Commission proposed a common school system that would provide equal educational opportunities to all children, regardless of their socio-economic background.
  • The Commission recommended free and compulsory education for children up to the age of 14 to ensure universal access to basic education.
  • The Commission emphasised the importance of a flexible and balanced curriculum that would promote creativity, critical thinking, and holistic development of students.
  • Three language formula of Kothari Commission was suggested. Students in schools should learn three languages: the mother tongue or regional language, the official language of the state, and English.
  • Recommended standardization of the educational system based on 10+2+3 pattern throughout the country. The structure of education should be as follows:
  1. 10 years of School Education (Class 1-10): This phase covers ten years of compulsory school education, starting from Class 1 to Class 10. It is also known as the “secondary education” stage.
  2. 2 years of Higher Secondary Education (Class 11-12): After completing the ten years of basic school education, students enter the higher secondary stage. During these two years, students pursue specialized streams such as science, commerce, or arts.
  3. 3 years of Graduation (Bachelor’s Degree – Class 13-15): After successfully completing higher secondary education, students have the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. This phase comprises three years of higher education, leading to the completion of an undergraduate degree.
  • The Commission recommended maintaining an appropriate teacher-student ratio to ensure personalized attention and effective teaching.
  • Commission stressed on women’s education and proposed establishing schools and hostels, especially for them.
  • The Kothari Commission recommended improving the quality of teacher education and training to ensure well-qualified and motivated educators.
  • Commission emphasised on making the study of science, maths, social and national service an integral part of education, from primary to university education.
  • The Commission suggested expanding higher education opportunities, establishing more universities, and promoting research and innovation.
  • The Kothari Commission stressed the need to develop technical and professional education institutions to meet the growing demands of various industries.

Impact of the Kothari Commission

Based on the recommendation of the Kothari Commission National Policy on Education was formed. It accepted the various recommendations of the Commission, such as:

  • The education system was aligned on the 10+2+3 pattern.
  • Free and compulsory education was provided to all from 6 to 14 years of age.
  • Equalization of educational opportunity to all sections of the society.
  • The pay scale and status of the teachers were revised.
  • Two separate boards were formed: The Central board and the State board. The Board of Higher Secondary Education was formed in 1986.
  • The recommendations of the Kothari Commission also formed an important base for the National Policy of Education,1986.

Limitations of the Kothari Commission

Some of the limitations of Kothari Commissions are as follows:

  • The Commission did not adequately address the regional diversity and cultural variations within India.
  • There were implementation challenges as some of the proposed changes required significant financial resources, infrastructure development, and coordination between various levels of government, leading to delays and uneven progress in certain areas.
  • The Commission’s recommendations did not adequately address the issue of higher education funding, leading to ongoing financial constraints for universities and colleges.

While the Kothari Commission faced these criticisms and challenges, it laid the groundwork for subsequent discussions on educational reforms in India, and its recommendations continue to influence educational policies and initiatives to this date.

FAQs on Kothari Commission and Its Reports

1. Write a short note on Kothari Commission.


The Kothari Education Commission, also known as the National Education Commission (1964-1966), was ad hoc commission established by the Government of India to comprehensively examine various aspects of the education sector, suggest reforms, and develop a general pattern of education for the country. The commission was chaired by Dr. Daulat Singh Kothari, who was also the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) at that time. It submitted the report entitled ‘Education and National Development’ on 29 June 1966

2. What were the Objectives of the Kothari Commission?


The objectives of the Kothari Commission were to assess the state of education in country, identify short comings and disparities, and recommend measures to improve the quality and accessibility of education at all levels. The commission aimed to ensure that education contributes effectively to the nation’s development and social progress.

3. What were the main Recommendations of the Kothari Commission?


Some of the main recommendations of the Kothari Commission are as follows:

  • The commission recommended for free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14.
  • It suggested a flexible and integrated curriculum that would promote a holistic understanding of subjects, focusing on the development of skills and creativity.
  • The commission stressed the importance of vocational education to train students with practical skills and improve their employability.
  • Emphasis was placed on improving the quality of teacher education and training to enhance the teaching-learning process.
  • The commission recommended expansion and improvement of higher education institutions, including universities, colleges, and research centers.

4. What is the Kothari Commission 3 Language Formula?


The Kothari Commission’s Three Language Formula, proposed in 1964, suggested that students sholud learn three languages: mother tongue, Hindi, and English. This approach aimed to address the linguistic diversity of India by promoting proficiency in three languages, to foster both regional identity and national integration.

5. How did the Kothari Commission influenced the Indian Education System?


The Kothari Commission had a significant impact on the Indian education system. Many of its recommendations were incorporated into educational policies and reforms in the subsequent years. The commission’s focus on universalization of education, curricular reforms, and vocational education influenced the direction of educational development in India. National Policy of Education, 1986 was formed on its bases.

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