Indian students to participate in PISA 2021


  • The HRD Ministry signed a pact with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the participation in Programme for International Student Assessment- PISA 2021.
  • PISA-2021 is a competency-based test, which tests the learning levels of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and science.
  • With the signing of the pact, Indian students aged 15 will be able to take the Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA, which is conducted every three years.

India’s participation in PISA

  • Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh will participate.
  • Within the country, PISA covers a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling i.e. public, private, private aided etc.
  • PISA 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.
  • It would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.
  • 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.

Key features of PISA:

  • PISA is a triennial international survey (every three years) which aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
  • Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem-solving.
  • Participation in PISA allows benchmarking performance against a wide range of countries.


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