I had talk with 15 people in my office and among my friends regarding this subject. To my first observation; I found that except me all of the 15 people were from ICSE board. With this I firstly concluded that most of the people around us are from ICSE board.
ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) is a state government level education committee, whereas CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) as understood by its name itself is a central government level committee. The study pattern in ICSE board is very vast as compared to CBSE board. CBSE board concentrates mainly on making the students aware about basics without making the syllabus too big. The number of subjects in ICSE board is more than that of CBSE. This makes students to spend more time with books whereas in CBSE board co-curricular activities are also encouraged highly. It becomes a very difficult task for CBSE board to find any kind of faults and make necessary changes accordingly in the syllabus. But it is quick with ICSE.
One of the most prominent positive points about CBSE board is that, it is a very good option for the children of defense personals; who get transfers after every few years. Since all over India the syllabus of CBSE board is same, it becomes simple for these students to cope with studies at any place of transfer. But with ICSE board the syllabus is different in all the states. Many people believe that ICSE board's students have better English skills whereas some believe the same for CBSE students. But in my point of view English speaking skills are mainly developed because of school's environment and by the kind of activities the student is exposed to.
Previously most of the people used to opt for ICSE board. But now a day's most of the parents prefer CBSE board for their child. The main reason behind this may be that now a day's both husband and wife are working and these companies have policy to transfer its employees to its different centres. In ICSE board the student has to opt for the local language, which was in old days very necessary. But in today's world as compared to local language, Official language (Raj Bhasa) Hindi and English is more important for any student who aspires to work for big companies or to go out of his state or country for work or higher studies.
There may be different opinions and requirement of different people based on which they can opt for any of these options. But one must understand that the motive of both the boards is to provide its student a better understanding about things around it. They want their students to excel in their career and be a successful person.
icse does not have different syllabus for states the syllabus is uniform throughout the country ,it is not a board it is just a certificate course ,it is not run by state government level committee but was established by university of cambridge local examinations syndicate,a student can study this course from any part of the country.
I have read this old article right now. The author has tried to compare the syllabi of ICSE/ISC Board with CBSE. From my personal experience, I can say that both the Boards are all India boards and the syllabi of these two Boards are uniform all over India. Furthermore, the syllabus of ICSE/ISC English is of a higher standard than the English syllabus of CBSE. Except for English, there is not much difference between the syllabi of both Boards.
However, it can be stated that most of the CBSE Board schools follow NCERT books because NCERT books are written strictly as per the CBSE syllabus. Most of the competitive examinations also follow NCERT books. So, CBSE students get a marginal advantage in various entrance examinations for professional courses. There is not much difference of standard in the syllabi of both Boards (except in English).