India agrees to end PISA boycott

Having not participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) since 2012, India has now decided to end its boycott of the examination. PISA — introduced in the year 2000 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) — tests the learning levels of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science. The test is carried out every three years. India stayed away from PISA in 2012 and 2015 on account of its dismal performance in 2009, when it was placed 72nd among the 74 participating countries. The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, under Prakash Javadekar, formally decided to end this boycott. The PISA assessments were started in 2000, but India made its debut in PISA in 2009 with 16,000 students from 400 schools across Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In 2012, schools of Shanghai in China topped the reading, mathematics and science test, followed closely by Singapore. In 2015, Singapore, Japan and Estonia were ranked as top three countries, in that order.