The Kothari Commission 1964-66: Revolutionising Education in India

The Kothari Commission 1964-66: Revolutionising Education in India
The Kothari Commission 1964-66: Revolutionising Education in India
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The Kothari Commission, founded in 1964 and active until 1966, was essential in changing India’s education system. The panel, led by renowned educationist Dr. D.S. Kothari, sought to examine the difficulties confronting the Indian education sector and give detailed suggestions for its development. This article’s objective is to investigate the Kothari Commission’s origins, aims, and principal recommendations, emphasizing its considerable effect on changing the country’s educational scene.

(image source: google)


 The Kothari Commission (1964-1966) was also known as the National Education Commission. The Indian government formed an ad hoc commission to review all areas of the Indian educational system, build a broad framework for education, and provide suggestions for laws and regulations to set guidelines for the Indian education sector. Daulat Singh Kothari was the chairman of the Kothari Commission.

Due to his experience and extensive understanding of the Indian school system, Dr. D.S. Kothari, an outstanding name in the field of education, was appointed to chair the panel. The major goal of the commission was to analyze the current educational landscape and make suggestions to promote holistic development and fair access to education throughout the country.

Kothari Commission (1964-66):

 From 1964 to 1966, the Kothari Commission conducted an exhaustive study of the Indian education system. It aimed to address concerns such as a lack of access to excellent education, regional inequities, insufficient infrastructure, and the need to link education with the nation’s socio-economic growth.

What exactly is the Kothari Commission?

In 1964, the Government of India created the Kothari Commission to modernize education. Its mission was to investigate and suggest reforms in the education sector to satisfy the country’s increasing demands. The commission investigated different sectors of education, including schooling, vocational training, higher education, teacher education, and educational administration.

The Commission consisted of 12 task forces:

  • School Education,
  • Higher Education,
  • Technical Education,
  • Agricultural Education,
  • Adult Education,
  • Science Education and Research,
  • Teacher Training and Teacher Status,
  • Student Welfare,
  • New Techniques and Methods,
  • Manpower,
  • Educational Administration and,
  • Educational Finance.

In addition to the task force, it also had seven working groups:

  • Women’s Education,
  • Education of Backward Classes,
  • School Buildings,
  • School-Community Relations,
  • Statistics,
  • Pre-Primary Education, and,
  • School Curriculum.

The Need for the Kothari Commission (1964–1966):

 The Kothari Commission was formed in response to the pressing need to rectify the flaws of India’s present education system. The post-independence era saw tremendous social, economic, and technical developments, and the educational system had to adjust to meet these changing demands. The Commission recognized the importance of education as a catalyst for national development and tried to close gaps that were impeding progress.

The Kothari Commission’s (1964-66) objectives were as follows: 

The Kothari Commission established a number of goals to guide its reform efforts. These goals comprised the following: 

1. Expansion and development of educational opportunities at all levels.

2. Ensuring that all members of society have equal access to education.

3. Encouraging a more flexible and diverse educational system.

4. Improving educational quality and relevance.

5. Ensuring that educational resources are used effectively.

6. Promoting national integration and community solidarity among varied populations.

(image source: google)

The Kothari Commission on Education’s main recommendations are as follows:

1.   To enhance enrollment rates, free and mandatory schooling is provided to children between the ages of 6 and 14.

2.   The implementation of a new educational framework known as 10+2+3, which consists of phases for preschool, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and higher education.

3.   The creation of two different types of secondary schools: high schools with 10-year programs and upper secondary schools with 11- or 12-year programs.

4.   The inclusion of national service, social science studies, and science in the curriculum at all educational levels.

5.   At all educational levels, the use of regional languages is the instruction medium.

6.   The common school system’s implementation to give kids nationwide equal opportunity.

7.   Promotion of part-time education in both general and vocational courses at the lower and higher secondary stages.

8.   To provide early access to school, the entry age should be set at least 4 years.

9.   The requirement of work experience for higher-level general and vocational education.

10. The implementation of national initiatives to raise educational standards.

11. Improving educational institutions’ infrastructure and amenities, such as adding libraries, in order to increase enrolment and retention.

12. The creation of State Education Departments in each state to deal with issues relating to education.

13. Establishing a National Board of Education to offer guidance to the Union Government on educational matters.

14. The implementation of a three-language curriculum at the lower secondary level, where pupils study their home tongue or regional language, Hindi, and another contemporary Indian or European language.

15. Government-sponsored scholarship programs for female college and university students.

These suggestions attempted to improve education’s accessibility, quality, and relevance; they also supported the promotion of regional languages and equitable chances for all students. The recommendations of the Kothari Commission provided the foundation for considerable improvements in the Indian educational system, and they still influence educational policy in the nation.

Recommendations of the Kothari Commission

The Government of India included several of the Kothari Commission’s key recommendations in the National Policy on Education. Some examples are as follows:

  • Adoption of the 10+2+3 year educational framework.
  • All children up to the age of 14 should get free and compulsory education in accordance with Article 45 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Application of the three-language formula, as well as the growth of Sanskrit and regional languages.
  • Adoption of a unified school system to ensure equitable educational opportunity across the country.
  • Science education and research will be given top emphasis. In addition, emphasis should be placed on the advancement of agricultural and industrial education.
  • Gaming and sports activities should be promoted to help pupils enhance their physical fitness and sportsmanship.

Benefits of the Kothari Commission

Following the adoption of the Kothari Commission’s recommendations, the following fundamental changes to the current education system occurred:

  • Under Indira Gandhi’s direction, the National Education Policy Bill was approved by the Parliament.
  • The alignment of the educational system to the 10+2+3 pattern was altered with the creation of the new National Education Policy.
  • The Kothari panel also had a role in formulating the 1986 National Policy on Education.
  • The Central Board and the State Board were created as autonomous administrations within the educational system.

Kothari Commission drawbacks, 1964–1966

Despite this, the Kothari Commission was effective in altering the educational system. It contains several flaws, which cannot be disputed. The following are the Kothari Commission’s drawbacks or shortcomings:

  • Lack of explanation – It offered a few options but didn’t explain how to put them into practice or get there.
  • Huge financial investment is necessary, according to the Kothari Commission, for the restructuring of the educational system.
  • Conflicting – A lot of individuals believed that the majority of the Commission’s suggestions were debatable and would cause future disputes.
  • Head positions: There were no recommendations or suggestions made on the positions of heads of schools or colleges.


Wide-ranging suggestions provided by the Kothari Commission affected India’s educational system. The Commission put out a number of recommendations to strengthen and broaden India’s educational system. It also underlined the need for curriculum, teaching, and assessment changes to improve the effectiveness of the educational system and its relevance to societal requirements. The Kothari Commission’s suggestions are still applicable today and are being implemented in many Indian educational systems.

The Kothari Commission made significant contributions to Indian educational policy, and its final report included a thorough assessment of the current system and recommendations for its reform. The Commission’s recommendations have had a significant influence on Indian education and played a significant role in forming the nation’s educational framework.

The Kothari Commission was the first significant attempt to develop an extensive educational strategy for India. Its proposals served as the blueprint for the future educational reforms carried out in India after Independence. The Commission underlined the importance of modernizing educational infrastructure and adding new technologies. Additionally, it emphasized the need to give all societal segments equal chances and include the local community in the educational process. The Kothari Commission’s recommendations became the cornerstone of India’s future educational reforms.

In the history of Indian education, the Kothari Commission report marked a turning point. The Commission’s recommendations gave the Indian educational system direction and influenced the development of the nation’s educational policy. The Commission’s recommendations have had a long-lasting effect on India’s progress in education.

Luja Swain

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