The Council has been so constituted as to secure suitable representation of: Government of India, State Governments/Union Territories in which there are Schools affiliated to the Council, the Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Education, the Association of Indian Universities, the Association of Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools, the Indian Public Schools’ Conference, the Association of Schools for the ISC Examination and members co-opted by the Executive Committee of the Council.
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.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations is committed to serving the nation's children, through high quality educational endeavours, empowering them to contribute towards a humane, just and pluralistic society, promoting introspective living, by creating exciting learning opportunities, with a commitment to excellence.
As a leader in the provision of world-wide educational endeavours, the Council's vast experience and wisdom is called upon in many forums such as the Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE), State Education Departments, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the Ministry for Human Resource Development and the Planning Commission, affirming the intrinsic integrity and credibility of the Council and the system it espouse
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations conducts three examinations, namely, 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