National Knowledge Commission of 2005

National Knowledge Commission of 2005

National Knowledge Commission, is a commission, constituted on 13 June 2005, by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The National Knowledge Commission worked in the time-frame of three years i.e. 13th   June 2005 to 2nd October 2008. The main work of the commission was to discuss and advise the prime minister’s  office the possible policies that would polish India’s Education system. It was to give a virtual advantage in the education sector so that to make India a forerunner in the field of the knowledge economy.

The National Knowledge Commission was a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society. In its endeavor to transform the knowledge landscape of the country, the National Knowledge Commission has submitted around 300 recommendations on 27 focus areas during its three and a half year term. While the term of the NKC has come to an end, the implementation of NKC’s recommendations is currently underway at the Central and State levels.

What is Knowledge Economy?

National Knowledge Commission, was an Indian think-tank charged with considering possible policies that might sharpen India’s comparative advantage in the knowledge-intensive service sectors.

The knowledge economy, a term popularized by Peter Drucker in his book The Age of Discontinuity, the use of knowledge to generate tangible and intangible values by making use of technology to transform a part of human knowledge to machines so that to use such knowledge in decision making in various fields to generate economic values.

The Real Motive behind the Formation of NKC could be read out of these words of Dr. Manmohan Singh “The time has come to create a second wave of institution building and of excellence in the field of education, research, and capacity building so that we are better prepared for the 21st century.”

Members of National Knowledge Commission

Sam Pitroda, Chairman
Dr. Ashok Sekhar Ganguly, Corporate leader
Nandan Nilekani Chairman of (UIDAI)
Dr. Deepak Nayyar, former Vice-chancellor, University of Delhi 

Dr. Jayati Ghosh, economist at JNU
Dr. Sujatha Ramdorai, professor of maths, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Dr. Padmanabhan Balaram director of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Former VC, Jammu University

Terms of Reference of NKC

  • Build excellence in the educational system to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century and increase India’s competitive advantage in fields of knowledge.
  • Promote the creation of knowledge in S&T laboratories.
  • Improve the management of institutions engaged in intellectual property rights.
  • Promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.
  • Promote the use of knowledge capabilities in making government an effective, transparent and accountable service provider to the citizen and promote widespread sharing of knowledge to maximize public benefit.


India was waiting for a change in the present education system. The overarching aim of the National Knowledge Commission was to enable the development of a vibrant knowledge-based society. This entails both a radical improvement in existing systems of knowledge and creating avenues for generating new forms of knowledge.

Greater participation and more equitable access to knowledge across all sections of society are of vital importance in achieving these goals.

Keeping the views the NKC seeks to develop appropriate institutional frameworks to:

  • Strengthen the education system, promote domestic research and innovation, facilitate knowledge application in sectors like health, agriculture, and industry.
  • Leverage information and communication technologies to enhance governance and improve connectivity.
  • Devise mechanisms for exchange and interaction between knowledge systems in the global arena.


Commission submitted the recommendations based on these five broad areas

  1. Access to Knowledge

Providing access to knowledge is the most the fundamental way of increasing the opportunities for individuals and groups. Therefore, it is essential to revitalize and expand the reach of knowledge in society. In this context, NKC has submitted recommendations on areas such as Right to Education, libraries, language, translation, portals and knowledge networks.

 R-1 Right to Education

R-2 Language

R-3 Translation

R-4 Libraries

R-5 National Knowledge Network

R-6 Portals

R-7 Health Information Network

2. Knowledge Concepts

School Education

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Higher Education

More Talented Students in Maths and Science

Professional Education

More Quality Ph.Ds

Open and Distance Education and Open Educational Resources

3. Creation of Knowledge

Intellectual Property Rights

Legal Framework for Public Funded Research  

National Science and Social Foundation



4. Knowledge Application

Traditional Health System


Enhancing Quality of Life   

Traditional Health System


Enhancing Quality of Life

5. Delivery of Services


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