Following the latest National Education Policy’s emphasis on improving foundational learning in the country, the Education Ministry directed States and Union Territories to admit students to class 1 only at the age of “6+” years instead of the earlier practice of “5+” years.
According to sources, the Department of School Education and Literacy has directed all States and UTs to align their age of admission with the new education policy and provide admission to Grade-I at the age of 6+ years. The department also directed them to ensure accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children, whether they are studying in anganwadis, or in preschools run or aided by the government, by NGOs or by other private institutions.
As per a response shared by the Central government of India in the lower house of the Parliament, there are wide variations in the age criteria currently followed by different states.
In Gujarat, Assam, Puducherry, Telangana and Ladakh children at the age of five are allowed to get admitted to Class 1. Whereas, in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Goa, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Kerala, the minimum age is five plus.