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India Signs Agreement with OECD for PISA 2021

India Signs Agreement with OECD for PISA 2021


  • GS2 || Governance|| Human Development||Education

 Why in news?

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

 About the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA):

  • It is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years.
  • First conducted in 2000, the major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle. PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as collaborative problem solving.
  • By design, PISA emphasizes functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling.
  • PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries, and is conducted in the United States by NCES. Data collection for the most recent assessment was completed in Fall 2015.

 Why is it important?

  • India had last participated in the exercise in 2009, where the country achieved a low rank of 72 among 74 participating nations.
  • The MHRD under the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had withdrawn from the test and dubbed the questions in the test as “out of context”.
  • 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.
  • The PISA is conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) every three years. PISA results are known to have an impact on the way education is practiced in several countries.


  • India had taken part in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries. Then UPA government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
  • 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.

 About OECD :

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
  • It is a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seeking answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
  • Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
  • Headquarters – Paris, France
  • Members – 36 member countries (India is not a member)