How to get self-employment opportunities with skill based NIOS vocational education programs

Want to do a Diploma program in dress designing but cannot afford the fee? Looking for NIOS vocational programs admissions? This article provides complete information on the essential features of NIOS vocational courses in various sectors, including medical and health, beauty and fashion, engineering, etc You will know the complete list of courses offered by NIOS, eligibility requirements, course fees, contact programs at NIOS study centres, and the application process for admission.

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. It provides a platform for lakhs of students to complete their schooling, including Class 10 and Class 12, through the open distance learning mode if they were unable to do so through the formal academic system. NIOS is also recognized as an awarding Body for the assessment and certification from the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Govt. of India. Accordingly, skill training is offered in the same or related area combining it with two academic subjects that will earn a Secondary or Senior Secondary certificate along with individual certificates for each vocational course. There are also stand-alone vocational courses.

Through NIOS you can thus complete a qualified skill-based vocational course that will benefit you in getting a job opportunity or in becoming an entrepreneur. Age no bar for enrolling for a NIOS course!

NIOS Vocational Programs - Essential Things to Know

Admissions to the NIOS vocational courses are available through the year, with the first Block from 1st January to 30th June, and the second Block from 1st July to 31st December. Since admission is on a first-come-first-served basis and there are limited seats per batch (NIOS has increased the batches to four from the earlier two at each centre), you must be quick to register and apply once the admission notification is released.

The biggest benefit of these courses is that, other than a few courses, the fee is not high and hence those who cannot afford the fees of reputed institutes, can enrol in NIOS courses. The advantage of doing an NIOS course is that it not only provides flexibility with personal contact programs (these are called PCPs) available but also that you get practical training and some courses come with the added benefit of an internship at a study centre, with on-the-job training provided. What's more, the admission is valid for five years. That is, you can complete the course within a maximum period of five years, starting from the date of registration for the course.

NIOS study material will be sent to your registered address by the Accreditated Vocational Institute (AVI)/Special Accredited Institute for Educationally Disadvantaged (SAIED) which are all "Study Centres". Do not pay the AVI/SAIED staff any fee for the study material, as this is included in the course fee. On successful completion of the course, you will receive a NIOS Certificate/Diploma, as applicable. For details on the PCPs, refer to the information provided in the last section of this article.

It is important to know that these vocational courses are not correspondence courses and are self-learning programs. There are no teachers, but a library, audio-video programs, and other facilities are available at the AVI/SAIED, and the personnel here will clarify general doubts, and get your assignments/practicals books corrected.

You must complete the required contact hours at the study centre because this is mandatory in order to undergo the theory and practical training aspects of the vocational course and appear for the public exam. The public exams are scheduled twice a year, in April-May and then in October-November (refer to the prospectus to know the eligibility to appear for the first time). There may also be internal assessments at the AVI/SAIED. Also, ensure at the outset itself which course you wish to pursue and which is your choice of AVI and SAIED, as these cannot be changed once you get admission. You are allowed to register for only one vocational course at a time. Registrations for multiple courses at one go are not permitted.

Eligibility requirements

Age: The minimum age for admission varies from 14 years to 18 years as per the course. In the case of a course for which the entry-level for the learner is literate/5th class, the minimum age of enrolment is 11 years. There is no upper age limit for any of the courses.

There are other minimum qualifications for each course as mentioned in the next section.

List of NIOS Vocational Programs

The NIOS vocational programs are currently in 8 broad areas. The programs that come under the purview of each, the educational qualification required (it is known as the entry-level), and fees are as follows-

Agriculture and Animal Husbandry NIOS Courses

6-month certificate courses: Mushroom Production, Vermicomposting, Bee Keeping, Paddy Farming, Poultry Farming, and Bamboo Cultivation. Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate.
Fee: Rs. 2,500/- for the bamboo cultivation course, and Rs. 3000/- for the other courses.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Senior Secondary Level Courses (12th Standard)]: Plant protection, and Soil and Fertilizer management.
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee for all these courses: Rs. 3000/-.

Home Science and Hospitality NIOS Courses

6-month certificate courses: Cutting and Tailoring (Fee- Rs.2000/-), Dress Making (Fee- Rs.2000/-), Certificate in Indian Embroidery (Fee- Rs.2,500/-), Beauty Culture and Hair Care, Beauty Therapy, Hair Care and Styling, and Hand & Foot Care. Qualification: Basic literacy for the first three courses, and 8th pass/self-certificate for the other courses. Fee: Rs.3000/- for the beauty/hair and last course.

1-year package programs: Cutting, Tailoring and Dress Making, Certificate in Children's Wear, Certificate in Ladies' Wear, Certificate in Men's Wear.
Qualification: Basic literacy for the first course, and 8th pass/self-certificate for the other courses.
Fee: Rs.4000/- for all the courses.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Senior Secondary Level Courses (10th Standard)]: Laundry Services, and Bakery & Confectionery.
Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate.
Fee: Rs.3000/- and for the first course, and Rs.6000/- for the second course.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Senior Secondary Level Courses (12th Standard)]: Housekeeping, Catering and Management, Food Processing, Hotel Front Office Operations, and Preservation of fruits and vegetables.
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee: Rs.6000/- for the catering course, and Rs.5000/- for the other courses.

2-year Diploma program: Diploma in Dress Designing.
Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate.
Fee: 8000/-.

Teacher Training NIOS Courses

1-year certificate courses: Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education (E.C.C.E.), and Certificate in Toy Making and Joyful Learning.
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee: Rs.3000/- for the first, and Rs.3500/- for the second course.

Computer and ICT NIOS Courses

6-month certificate courses: Basic Computing, Desk Top Publishing (DTP), Web Designing and Development, Data Entry Operations, IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software (this is an online course in collaboration with CISCO), Web Development, CRM Domestic Voice, Computer Hardware Assembly & Maintenance, and Computer and Office Applications.
Qualification: Basic literacy for the first course, 10+2 Pass or CCA from NIOS for the last course, and 10th pass for the rest.
Fee for all these courses: Rs. 3000/-.

1-year certificate course: Certificate in Computer Applications (CCA).
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee: Rs.6000/-.

Engineering and Technology NIOS Courses

6-month certificate courses: House Wiring and Electrical Appliance Repairing (Fee-Rs.5000/-), Motor and Transformer Rewinding (Rs.3000/-), TV repairing (Rs.7000/-), Construction Supervision (Civil) (Fee-Rs.12,000/-), Plumbing (Fee-Rs.5000/-), Four Wheeler Chassis Technician (Fee-Rs.4000/-), and Four Wheeler Engine Technician (Fee-Rs.4000/-).
Qualification: 10th pass for the first four courses, and 8th pass for the plumbing and technician courses.

1-year package courses: Electrical Technician (Fee-Rs.8000/-), Radio and T.V. technician (Fee-Rs.8000/-), Certificate in Footwear Design and Production (Fee-Rs.12,500/-), Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Fee-Rs.8000/-), Certificate in Four-Wheeler Technician (Fee-Rs.8000/-), and Certificate in Two-Wheeler Technician (Fee-Rs.6000/-).
Qualification: 10th pass for the first three courses, 8th pass/self-certificate for the next two, and 5th pass/self-certificate for the last one.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Secondary Level (10th Standard)]: Carpentry, Solar Energy Technician, Bio-Gas Energy Technician, and Welding Technology.
Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate.
Fee for all these courses: Rs. 5000/-.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Senior Secondary Level (12th Standard)]: Furniture and Cabinet Making, and Electroplating.
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee for both courses: Rs.5000/-.

Health and Paramedical Sciences NIOS Courses

6-month certificate courses: Ayurveda Assistant, and Panchkarma Assistant.
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee for both courses: Rs.3000/-.

1-year certificate courses: Care of Elderly (CCE) (Fee- Rs.6000/-), Community Health (this course is for health workers) (Fee- Rs.5000/-), Homeopathic Dispensing (Fee- Rs.18,000/-), and Ayurvedic Therapy (this course is for Panchkarma Technician) (Fee- Rs.15,000/-).
Qualification: 10th pass for the first two courses, and 10th pass with 2 years of relevant experience, or 12th pass for the third course.

2-year Diploma programs: Diploma in Radiography, Diploma in Medical Imaging Technology, Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (these last two are a collaboration with the Indian Medical Association and hence have an accreditation fee of Rs.22,000/-).
Qualification: 12th pass in Science with Biology (min.40% for the second and third courses.
Fee: Rs.14,000/- for the first two courses, and Rs.45,000/- for the second and third courses.

Yoga and Naturopathy NIOS Courses

6-months certificate courses: Yoga course, and Yoga Assistant Course.
Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate for the first course, and 10th pass for the second course.
Fee: Rs.1000/- for the first course, and Rs.3000/- for the second.

1-year certificate courses: Yoga Teachers Training Program (YTTP), Diploma in Naturopathy & Yogic Science, and Diploma in Yogic Science.
Qualification: 12th pass. Those who have completed a one-year Yoga & Naturopathy Diploma program from any NIOS-recognised institution/university can take direct admission in the second year of the Diploma in Naturopathy & Yogic Science course but must pass the first year exam. For the Diploma in Yogic Science course, those who have passed the NIOS YTTP course can take admission directly in the second year.
Fee: Rs.10,000/- for YTTP, and Rs.15,000/- for the other two courses.

Business and Commerce NIOS Courses

1-year Certificate and Diploma programs: Secretarial Practice (PA/PS), Diploma in Modern Secretarial Practice, and Diploma in Insurance Services.
Qualification: 10th pass for the first, and 12th pass for the last two.
Fee: Rs.5000/- for the first course, Rs.6000/- for the second course, and Rs.7000/- for the third course.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Secondary Level Courses (10th Standard)]: Typewriting (Hindi), Typewriting (English), and Typewriting (Urdu).
Qualification: 8th pass/self-certificate.

1-year stand-alone certificate courses [Senior Secondary Level Courses (12th Standard)]: Typewriting (Hindi), Typewriting (English), Typewriting (Urdu), e-Typewriting (Hindi), e-Typewriting (English), Secretarial Practice, and Stenography (Hindi/English/Urdu).
Qualification: 10th pass.
Fee for all these courses: Rs. 3000/-.

Other NIOS Courses

Additional courses are (i) in the category of 'Vocational Stream', such as handloom weaving, beauty & wellness, etc; (ii) in the category of 'Miscellaneous Programs' such as security service, diamond grading, library science, etc; and (iii) collaborative programs with ITDC. Please refer to the official prospectus for details on these courses. NIOS also has introduced new one-year certificate courses, one in Artificial Intelligence, and the other in Data Science. The qualification for both is 10th pass. Fee for both: Rs.6000/-.

An important note about course fees: Students should refer to the official prospectus to know the breakup of the fee, that is, 60% AVI Share + 40% NIOS Share. NIOS will charge the learner only the NIOS fee share as applicable, and the balance AVI share has to be paid by the learner to the allotted AVI only.

Application procedure for NIOS vocational courses admissions

Before you begin the application process, ensure that you read the instructions carefully and scan the original documents/certificates that are required to be uploaded in jpg or jpeg format.

You can either register online directly at or do so at (i) an Accreditated Vocational Institution (AVI) or (ii) a NIOS Regional Centre or (iii) a Common Services Centre (CSC) of the Ministry of Information and Technology, Govt. of India. In addition to the course fee payment online, there will be a fee of Rs. 50/- towards online processing charges. This course fee payment is to be done only through online mode, and the AVI/Regional Centre/CSC will assist you with this. You cannot pay the fee in cash to the officials there or by cheque, DD or other modes. The fee once paid is non-refundable.

The list of documents includes the marksheet (of the highest qualification obtained), valid proof of date of birth, valid proof of residence, valid ID proof, a recent passport size colour photo, signature in black ink on white paper, and Caste certificate/BPL certificate/Ex-serviceman certificate/Disability certificate, as applicable.

Could not collect your marksheet in person? Learn how your Guardian can collect it on your behalf.

As mentioned earlier, you must select the course carefully as you cannot change it later. Select the Sector (refer to the list above), the duration of the course, type of program, and the specific course in which the admission is sought.

Note- If you are having a High School/Secondary Certificate from a Foreign Board/University, then you must produce a certificate that the exam that you passed is equivalent to the Indian High School/Secondary School Exam. You can obtain the Equivalency Certificate from the Association of Indian Universities, Kotla Road, New Delhi-110002, India.

After completing the registration and payment process, in the 'Learner's Corner' section of the NIOS website, you should check that the details are correct on receiving the email for confirmation of admission. You should also be receiving an online ID card. In case any corrections are to be made in details, such as in your name, photo, etc you must make the corrections before the issuance of the Admit Card for the first exam and within 3 years of the date of registration. There will be a fee to be paid online for applying for corrections.

How to participate in NIOS Live PCPs

You can participate in the live PCPs and ask questions on Phone number 0120-4626949 and on the Toll-Free number 1800-180-2543 between 3 p.m. to 3.45 p.m. Monday to Friday. The live PCPs can be accessed on the NIOS website as well as on the NIOS YouTube Channel

DTH options: NIOS education channels are available for secondary/senior secondary vocational students through Doordarshan Free Dish, Dish TV set-top box, and JIO TV. You can also tune in to PM e-Vidya Channel no. 10 for live video programs on vocational education, from Monday to Wednesday, between 4 p.m. to p.m.

NIOS Learner Support Centre (LSC) Contact details

There is a Toll-Free number provided to learners- 1800-180-9393. You can contact this number for any issues related to admission, exams, results, etc. After you call on this number, you can get help in Hindi (Dial 1 for it) and English (Dial 2 for it). You need to then press the number key as per the specific issue- 1 is for admission, 2 is for exams, 3 is for results, 4 is for academic courses, 5 is for vocational courses, 6 is for life skills, and 7 is for accreditation. In case you wish to speak directly to the LSC executive right away, then press the number key 9 on the dial pad.

NIOS Contact information

NIOS Address: A-24-25, Institutional Area, Sector-62, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh-201309.

For queries regarding online admission, you can send an e-mail to
In case any problem or grievance has not been dealt with to your satisfaction by the Study Centre or the Regional Centre, then you can write to the Chief Grievance Officer, National Institute of Open Schooling at the address given above or send an email to the email ID given above or call at the Toll-Free No. 1800-180-9393.

In case you do not receive the study material, you have to contact- The Incharge, Material Distribution Unit, Central Warehouse, Near Mohan Nagar Red Light, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, U.P. Ph.-011-27416329/27240012. Email:

Note- whenever you communicate with the NIOS Study Centre/NIOS Regional Centre, you must mention your reference number, name, enrolment number, and complete address.
Website: /

Students are advised to check the NIOS prospectus for vocational admissions for the year that they will apply for a NIOS course, as NIOS sometimes introduces new vocational courses, and may revise the syllabus of other programs.

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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