A Battle of Two Counterparts: CBSE vs. ICSE Schools

A Battle of Two Counterparts: CBSE vs. ICSE Schools

A Battle of Two Counterparts: CBSE vs. ICSE Schools


Choosing a school affiliated to CBSE or ICSE plays a significant difference in the educational development of a curious and growing child. Being in two minds is one of the chief concerns for the parents to choose the best one between two equally good affiliated schools-a CBSE-affiliated school or an ICSE-affiliated one. The question that often pops up-which is better for the child and which is not better? Even these are the vital questions for an aspiring entity to establish a new school. There are many similarities and a few differences in the affiliation norms, popularities, acceptability along with the pros and cons of both the boards.

A private school may be given a green signal to a CBSE affiliation if it is established by societies registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 of the Government of India or under Acts of the State Governments. With all the fairness and frankness, these schools should be a set-up of educational, charitable, or religious societies having non-proprietary character.  Even a private school ventured by Registered Trusts or Companies registered under section 8 of the Companies Act-2013, having education as of its objects without the motive of commercialisation of education may seek the CBSE affiliation.  Like the CBSE Affiliation, a private school should be run or established by a Registered Society, a Trust or a Company (under section 25 (I) (a) of the Companies Act 1956 or as amended for objective of delivering the education, not with the deliberation of profit making. Both boards are enumerated down by the two different legislatures, but the common intention of imparting education without the objective of making a profit. However, as per the CBSE Affiliation By-Laws notified on 18thof October 2018, a private institution can be affiliated to CBSE even by a company registered under section-8 of Companies Act-2013.  The Companies Act-2013 has been superseded Companies Act-1956 in a partial manner after receiving the consent of the President of India.

As per the CBSE rule, a school, seeking CBSE affiliation, shall have a minimum of 8000 square meters of land surrounded on all sides by a pucca boundary wall of sufficient and adequate height. In some cases, not less than 6000 square meters of land if a school has, may be granted with the affiliation. This criterion has been further revised to 4,000 square meters of land if the school is situated, in the city with a population exceeding 15 lakhs or in the capital city of the state or state of Jammu and Kashmir or a city of National Capital Region, etc. Furthermore, a school located in Ahmedabad or Bengaluru or Pune or Hyderabad shall have land requirements of 2000 square meters for Secondary School and 3000 (4000) square meters for Senior Secondary School respectively. Metropolitan cities such as Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim will require land of 1600 square meters for Secondary School and 24,00 (or 3200) square meters for Senior Secondary School respectively.

ICSE, on the other hand, requires a minimum of 2000 square meters of land to venture into a new school which seeks its affiliation.

Within the pucca boundary of these said land as per the rule, it is mandatory for the schools to build the advanced building with a compulsory playground with adequate facilities.  As per the CBSE norms, a well-ventilated class of 8m.X 6m.(approximately 500 square feet), giving a floor space of at least 1 square meter per student shall be constructed or existed.  Moreover, a science laboratory shall be fully equipped to perform the experimentations to retain the maximum takeaways after the class learnings. A composite laboratory for secondary and separate laboratories such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology for Senior Secondary respectively should be equipped with the area of 9m. X 6m. (approximately 600 square feet). Within the premises of the school, a library with an area of 14m X 8m. should be developed with the reading arrangements. The library contains e-Books, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reference Books, Encyclopedias, Periodicals, Magazines, and Newspapers. Apart from these, the school seeking CBSE affiliation should also develop the Computer Lab with at least 20 computers along with excellent internet connectivity, and Mathematics Laboratory. To explore the creative side of the students, the school also has separate rooms for extracurricular activities such as music, dance, arts, and sports.

ICSE, on the other hand, wants a school to develop a library with 2500 books in the beginning and it prohibits stock notes and examination guides. To accodomate all the classes or sections, the classroom of the ICSE seeking school should be large with an area of 37 square meters (400 square feet). Just like CBSE, ICSE school should have sperate laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Computers.

Getting a N.O.C (No Objection Certificate) from the appropriate State Government before seeking affiliation from CBSE and C.I.S.C.E. (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations) is one of the mandatory requirements. No school whether being CBSE or ICSE can be operational or incepted without the prior approval of the State Government or Central Government.  An ICSE affiliation-seeker school is by-law-bound not to use the word such as “following ICSE Curriculum or ICSE Pattern.” Using such words for the name of the school or anywhere else as its USPs, C.I.S.C.E strictly prohibits whereas CBSE is not that stringent in ratifying the affiliation when this is the case. It is indispensable for a CBSE affiliation-seeker school to maintain and develop a school’s website, detailing the vital information about the admission process, facilities, libraries, and latest essential updates, etc. whereas to take off an ICSE school project doesn’t necessarily develop a website.

CBSE school, one of the most preferred schools in India, has very structured, highly predictable, time-honored, and composed syllabus in accordance with NCERT ((National Council of Educational Research and Training). Due to the transferable nature of jobs of the day, a private or government employee migrates from one place to another place quite often. A uniform syllabus throughout the chain of CBSE schools in sync with NCERT will not hamper the performance of a bright and even, indigent students. The CBSE board conducts two necessary examinations — the All India Secondary School Examination, AISSE (Class X) and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination, AISSCE (Class XII).

ICSE schools, on the other hand, conducted by CICSE (The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination) Board, is similar to AISSE. ICSE has derived a lot of structure from the NCERT and known to be the toughest board for the 10thgrader as well as 12thgrader on account of its detailed and exhaustive syllabus.

CBSE approves both English and Hindi as a medium of instruction, but ICSE doesn’t recommend Hindi as a medium of instruction. CBSE schools have the recognition of Indian Government whereas ICSE doesn’t carry such recognition. However, the certificates awarded by both the boards are globally acceptable and valid and carry their own weight.

A large volume of schools in different States, Union Territories, many big and small cities and even abroad has been affiliated to CBSE. This board gives permission to its both- regular and private students to appear in the examinations — regular student studies in a CBSE affiliated school whereas a private student in a non-affiliated school. However, a student enrolled in an ICSE affiliated school can only appear in the exam. ICSE schools are more pervasive in cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. However, CBSE schools are prevalent in the rest part of India including the countryside. Migration from one place to another is a lot easier for a CBSE student due to the widespread presence when compare to an ICSE student.

CBSE, a dynamic board, is one of the most experimentative boards out of 41 boards in the country. All policies, government schemes and novel ideas in the field of education are rolled out as a pilot project in CBSE-affiliated schools through the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India (MHRD).

The prescribed syllabus of CBSE is designed in sync with the competitive exam like JEE, AIEEE, and NEET, etc and because of which many students switch at +1 level (Class-X) from ICSE to CBSE board. Studying in CBSE school exposes many career options such as MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BBA, BA LLB, and Bachelor in journalism, etc. However, ICSE syllabus has an added edge over languages like English Literature, etc.

Moreover, parents are more aware these days that the CBSE board, because of its added edge over ICSE, competition-bent, and demystified syllabus, lays the very foundation to ace India’s toughest entrance exam to get admission in the best professional courses.

As per the latest data, CBSE alone has more than 21500 plus affiliated schools in its wing in India whereas ICSE-affiliated schools are declining at an alarming rate of 2 to 3 percentage because many ICSE-affiliated schools are switching to CBSE boards. Owing to this ongoing trend, venturing into a primary school with CBSE pattern/curriculum will give the required foundation to establish the senior division of that school, and it will tap the better reputation along with the center of attraction in the arena of education in the times to come. Besides their pros and cons, both act as a stepping stone for the educational progress of the rising and shining India.

Erocon understands these complexities and tediousness of both boards affiliation norms in order to get the ratification for a CBSE as well as an ICSE school in sync with the appropriate State or Central Government. Erocon’s creative and customized approach in getting affiliation, and dealing with numerous other stumbling block is well-appreciated by our clients all across India. We as a one-stop solution strategize, chalk out and provides the plan for the hassle-free and successful execution of a school, addressing the numerous bottlenecks from the outset until the successful end of the project. We always adopt the most simplified approach to the due needs of your school in the most satisfying manner.

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