The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established in November,1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of National Policy on Education 1986 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. NIOS is providing a number of Vocational, Life Enrichment and community oriented courses besides General and Academic Courses at Secondary and Senior Secondary level. It also offers Elementary level Courses through its Open Basic Education Programmes (OBE).Government of India through a gazette notification vested NIOS with the authority to examine and certify learners registered with it upto pre degree level courses whether Academic, Technical or Vocational. Association of Indian Universities, vide letter No . EV/11(354)/91/ 25 July, 1991 issued Equivalence of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination of NIOS.
Vision : Sustainable inclusive learning with universal and flexible access to quality school education and skill development.
Mission : (i).Providing relevant, continuing and holistic education up to pre-degree level through Open and Distance Learning System. (ii). Contributing to the Universalisation of School Education. (iii). Catering to the educational needs of the prioritized target groups for equity and social justice
Quality Policy : “We at National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) are committed to provide Excellent, Sustainable, Inclusive and Flexible Education upto Pre-Degree level through Open & Distance Learning (ODL) mode & Compliance of requirements to ensure satisfaction of Learners and continual improvement of our Quality Management System.“
The Academic Department and the Vocational Education Department can be said to be the two most important departments of the NIOS. These two departments develop education programmes and/or courses to give opportunity to the learners to pursue the course of learning of their choice. Both the departments collaborate with each other to develop functional and need/based courses to benefit the learners.
The Academic Department takes care of academic courses which encompasses the entire school education continuum from primary to predegree level. The Academic Department is engaged in development of curriculum and self learning materials, revision of learning materials, together with research and development activities and also provides support in the area of evaluation of learners.
The NIOS Academic Department has the following units.