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The NCERT performs the important functions of conducting and supporting educational research and offering training in educational research methodology.   Different Departments of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs), Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education (PSSCIVE) undertake research programmes on different aspects of school education and teacher education. NCERT also supports research programmes of other institutions/organizations by providing financial assistance and academic guidance. Assistance is given to scholars for publication of their Phd theses. Research fellowships are offered to encourage studies in school education to create a pool of competent research workers.

Developmental activities in school education constitute an important function of the NCERT. The major developmental activities include development and renewal of curricula and instructional materials for various levels of school education and making them relevant to changing needs of children and society. The innovative developmental activities include development of curricula and instructional materials in school education in the area of pre-school education, formal and non-formal education, vocationalisation of education and teacher education. Developmental activities are also undertaken in the domains of educational technology, population education, and education of the disabled and other special groups.
List of Major Regional Institute of Education in India:

RIE Ajmer  RIE Bhopal  RIE Bhubaneshwar 
RIE Mysore  NE-RIE Shillong   

Pre-service and in-service training of teachers at various levels; pre-primary, elementary, secondary and higher secondary, vocational education, educational technology, guidance and counseling, and special education are the areas of training in which NCERT works. The pre-service teacher education programmes at the Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs) incorporate many innovative features. The RIEs also undertake the training of key personnel of the states and of state level institutions and training of teacher educators and in-service teachers.

NCERT publishes textbooks for different school subjects for Classes I to XII. It also brings out workbooks, teachers’ guides, supplementary readers, research reports, etc. In addition, it publishes instructional materials for the use of teacher educators, teacher trainees and in-service teachers. These instructional materials, produced through research and developmental work, serve as models to various agencies in States and Union Territories. These are made available to state level agencies for adoption and/or adaptation. The textbooks are published in English, Hindi and Urdu. For dissemination of educational information, or the NCERT publishes six journals: The Primary Teacher is published both in English and Hindi and aims at giving meaningful and relevant educational inputs to primary school teachers for direct use in the classroom; School Science serves as an open forum for discussion on various aspects of science education; Journal of Indian Education provides a forum for encouraging original and critical thinking in education through discussion on current educational issues; Indian Educational Review contains research articles and provides a forum for researchers in education; and Bharatiya Adhunik Shiksha, published in Hindi, provides a forum for encouraging critical thinking in education on contemporary issues and for dissemination of educational problems and practices. Besides these, a house journal called NCERT Newsletter is also published in English and Hindi (Shaikshik Darpan).

NCERT interacts with international organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, NFPA and the World Bank to study specific educational problems and to arrange training programmes for personnel from other countries. It is one of the Associated Centers of APEID. It also acts as the Secretariat of the National Development Group (NDG) for Educational Innovations. The NCERT has been offering training facilities, usually through attachment programmes and participation in workshops, to educational workers of other countries. The NCERT acts as a major agency for implementing the Bilateral Cultural Exchange Programmes entered into by the Government of India with the governments of other countries in the fields of school education and teacher education. Educational materials are exchanged with other countries. On request, the faculty members are deputed to participate in international conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia, etc.