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The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body located at New Delhi, Capital City of India. It makes the curriculum related matters for school education across India. The NCERT provides support, guidance and technical assistance to a number of schools in India and oversees many aspects of enforcement of education policies. Other curriculum bodies governing school education system are:
The state government boards: Most of the state governments have one "State board of secondary education". However, some states like Andhra Pradesh have more than one. Also the union territories do not have a board, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry Lakshadweep, share the services with a larger state.
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which conducts examinations at the 10th and 12th standards that are called as board exams
The Council of Indian School Certificate Examination(CISCE). CISCE conducts three examinations, namely, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE - Class/Grade 10); The Indian School Certificate (ISC - Class/Grade 12) and the Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE - Class/Grade 12).
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) conducts two examinations, namely, Secondary Examination and Senior Secondary Examination (All India) and also some courses in Vocational Education.
International schools, which offer 10th and 12th standard examinations under the International Baccalaureate, or the Cambridge Senior Secondary Examination systems.
Secondary education covers children aged 12 to 18. The final two years of secondary is often called Higher Secondary (HS), Senior Secondary, or simply the "+2" stage. The two halves of secondary education are each an important stage for which a pass certificate is needed, and thus are affiliated by central boards of education under HRD ministry, before one can pursue higher education, including college or professional courses.
UGC, NCERT and CBSE directives state qualifying ages for candidates who wish to take board exams. Those at least 15 years old by 30 May for a given academic year are eligible to appear for Secondary board exams, and those 17 by the same date are eligible to appear for Higher Secondary certificate board exams. It further states that upon successful completion of Higher Secondary, one can apply to higher education under UGC control such as Engineering, Medical, and Business Administration.
After passing the Higher Secondary Examination (the Standard 12 examination), students may enroll in general degree programs such as bachelor's degree in arts, commerce or science, or professional degree program such as engineering, law or medicine. India's higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission (India), which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the Centre and the state.