In 1952, an All India Certificate Examinations Conference was held under the Chairmanship of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Minister for Education. The main purpose of the Conference was to consider the replacement of the overseas Cambridge School Certificate Examination by an All India Examination. This set the agenda for the establishment of the Council.

In October 1956, at the meeting of the Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Education, a proposal was adopted for the setting up of an Indian Council to administer the University of Cambridge, Local Examinations Syndicate's Examination in India and, to advise the Syndicate on the best way to adapt its examination to the needs of the country. The inaugural meeting of the Council was held on 3rd November, 1958.

In December 1967, the Council was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. In 1973, the Council was listed in the Delhi School Education Act 1973, as a body conducting "public" examinations.

Examinations

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations conducts three examinations - the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE - Class X); The Indian School Certificate (ISC - Class XII) and the Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE - Year 12). The subject choices and syllabuses prescribed for these examinations are varied and aimed at nurturing the unique gifts of individual pupils.

ICSE (CLASS X)

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education has been designed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986, through the medium of English. Private candidates are not permitted to appear for this examination.

ISC (CLASS XII)

The Indian School Certificate Examination is an examination, through the medium of English, designed in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986, after a two-year course of studies beyond the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (Year 10) examination or its equivalent examination.

C.V.E (YEAR 12)

The Certificate of Vocational Education Examination (CVE - 12) has been created as an examination, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) through the Joint Council of Vocational Education (JCVE) established under the National Policy of Education 1986. This examination can be taken by candidates after a two year course of studies beyond the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (Year 10) examination or its equivalent examination, through the medium of English.

The C.V.E. course is intended to prepare candidates for specific vocations. Private candidates are not permitted to appear for these examinations.

National Competitions

The Council conducts, the Frank Anthony Memorial All-India Inter-School Debate and the Albert Barrow Memorial All-India Inter-School Creative Writing competitions, thereby underpinning the critical importance of creativity and the ability to articulate one's thoughts in writing and speech in school education.