Many parents choose to send their children to India’s top-ranking CBSE schools, so they get a better education. However, there are also other national and state level as well as international education boards that have affiliations with hundreds of schools all over India. For instance, there is the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and International Baccalaureate (IB) education boards.
The CBSE Education System in Indian Schools
Most public and private schools as well as higher secondary schools in India are affiliated with the CBSE education board. CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. It is an autonomous organisation that was formed in 1929 and is administered by the Ministry of Education under the Government of India. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
The academic curriculum along with examination patterns that are set by CBSE vary from those which are set by ICSE and state-level education boards. Thus, the CBSE curriculum is followed in more than 22,800 schools across India. The curriculum is set for standards I and up to XII (or 10+2). It follows the grading system (A, B, C, D, and E) for promoting the students from secondary school to senior secondary level, and the cut-off marks/percentile also vary every year. The minimum passing score is 33% for all subjects.
Also, read these articles:
Top 20 Boarding Schools in India [link to article]
Top 20 Commerce Colleges in India [link to article]
Let us now take a look at some of the top-ranked CBSE schools in India.
List of 20 Top-Ranked CBSE Schools in India for Boys and Girls
The following list (sorted in alphabetical order) includes names of the twenty best CBSE schools for boys and girls across India.
Note: Due to the limitation of this article, we advise our readers to visit the respective school’s website provided here to know more details about the admission, fee structure, regulations, accommodation, other facilities etc.
1. Army Public School
City: Jalandhar, Punjab
The Army Public School is a co-educational English medium institution situated in Jalandhar Cantt, Punjab. The school was founded in 1971 as a Nursery School called Vajra Army School. It went through a name change in 1988. After its expansion becoming a high school, it also was approved for affiliation with the CBSE board.
The school has two wings, the Junior (standards I to IV) and Senior (standards V to XII) Wings. The school has the latest educational technologies that help students realize their optimal academic potential and assimilate moral, social and ethical values, an ideal combination of tradition and modernity. Besides academic excellence, the students are provided with ample opportunities to participate in cultural, sports, drawing and painting competitions, right from the school level to the national and international levels.
Admission is granted for standards I to XII.
2. Bhavan Vidyalaya Chandigarh
Bhavan Vidyalaya is a co-educational school located in Sector 27-B, Chandigarh, and for which, it is called Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27-B, Chandigarh. The school is also known by the name Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, which was founded in the year 1938 by Shri K.M. Munshi, a noted freedom fighter and politician in India. The school is affiliated with CBSE. The school also lays equal significance on the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities at all levels and for all age groups.
Bhavan Vidyalaya has two branches, a Junior Wing and Senior Wing. Bhavan Vidyalaya (Junior) is located in Sector 33-D, Chandigarh, and Bhavan Vidyalaya is located in Sector 13 (Phase-I), New Chandigarh. The school’s Junior Wing is comprised of classes from Pre-Nursery to standard V, while the Senior Wing is for Standard VI to XII. They unveiled its new branch at New Chandigarh. This new campus at New Chandigarh will be the third under the umbrella of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chandigarh Kendra founded in 1983.
Admission is granted for Pre-Nursery and up to Standard XII.
3. Birla High School
City: Kolkata, West Bengal
The Birla High School is a privately-owned co-educational institution that was established in 1941 as Hindi High School by Shri Lakshmi Niwas Birla and is located in Kolkata, West Bengal. Its name was changed to Birla High School in 1997. It is affiliated with the CBSE board. This school is the first in India to combine Indian cultural and western techniques to provide value-based knowledge to students which makes it the top CBSE school in India.
The school has separate sections, the Junior (standards Nursery to V) and Senior (standards VI to XII) Sections, both located on Moira Street. The school’s managing committee has also opened a parallel school, Birla High School, Mukundapur. The curriculum of Birla High School (Junior Section) is based on the guidelines provided by NCERT and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005.
Students who fare well in high school are eligible to apply for admission to the Birla School of Management which is situated on the campus.
4. Chinmaya International Residential School
City: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Chinmaya International Residential School (CIRS) is a co-educational school that has students from across Indian states and overseas. The school was founded in 1995 by Swami Swaroopananda, who also is the head of the founding committee. CIRS is located in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It is affiliated with CBSE and the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), Geneva, Switzerland. It follows the education board’s syllabus and examination pattern.
In addition to English which is compulsory, every student has to take two more languages up to standard VIII and one in standard IX – X. Students can choose from Sanskrit, Hindi and French. For standard XI CBSE, a second language is not compulsory. To obtain an IB diploma, a second language is mandatory, and the options are Hindi and French.
Admission is granted to students from standard V up to XII.
5. D.A.V. Public School
City: New Delhi
D.A.V. Public School is one of the premier public schools under the D.A.V. College Managing Committee (DAVCMC). The school was established in 1957 and is located in New Delhi. The school is affiliated with CBSE and follows the board’s academic curriculum pattern.
The D.A.V. school has provisions for teaching from Nursery to Standard VIII. In addition, the school offers other facilities to the students which include computer education, Judo-Karate classes, classical music, Kathak dance, art and craft, Smart-board, snap homework, etc. It also conducts regular biannual health check-ups of the students.
6. Delhi Public School
City: New Delhi
The Delhi Public School (DPS) is a well-known co-educational school with having presence in different cities across India. The school was started in 1949 by the DPS Society. The DPS Society is a non-profit, non-proprietary, private educational organization. It currently has a global network of over 200 English medium, co-educational, secular schools which provides education from Pre-Nursery/Nursery to Standard XII (or 10+2). Its network of schools is affiliated with the CBSE education board.
It provides its students with scholarly education and extracurricular activities such as sports, club activities, music, dance, art, craft, cultural activities, etc. It grants admission from pre-nursery to standard XII and also has residential facilities for the students.
DPS has branches in almost every Indian state along with over 200 franchises.
7. HAL Public School
City: Bengaluru, Karnataka
HAL Public School is a co-educational school founded in 1999 by Dr Krishnadas Nair. The school is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka and is affiliated with the CBSE board. The school functions under the aegis of the school managing committee registered as a society under Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960.
The school adheres to the CBSE curriculum and caters to the Science Stream for standards XI and XII consisting of two groups, namely Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology (PCMB), and Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science (PCMC). English Core is the language offered in both streams.
Admission is granted for classes from LKG to Standard XII (Science stream). The school follows the CBSE syllabus and the medium of instruction is English. Hindi, the second language, is introduced from the LKG level.
8. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
City: Alappuzha, Kerela
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) is a co-educational boarding school situated in Alappuzha, Kerala. The school is also popularly known as JNV Chennithala and was founded in 1992. It is affiliated with CBSE. Being a boarding school (aka residential school), JNV Chennithala provides hostels for boys and girls along with many facilities. The school also has health and medical check-up facilities.
Admission is granted to students for standards VI up to XII.
9. National Academy For Learning
City: Bengaluru, Karnataka
The National Academy For Learning (NAFL) is a co-educational day-cum-boarding school situated in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The school was established in 1994 by Dr K.P. Gopalkrishna and is part of the National Public Group of Schools, or the NPS Family. NAFL is affiliated with CBSE, IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and “A” Levels education boards. The courses offered by NAFL are based on the requirements of the Indian and international education systems. All subjects are tackled laterally or thematically which makes for more sensible learning.
The curriculum includes core subjects, i.e. Languages, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. Additionally, there are general subjects provided like Computer Science, Art and Design, Music (Western and Indian), Dance, Drama and Work Experience. Specialist teachers at NAFL provide instruction and guidance in all these areas to the students.
Admission at NAFL is granted for Montessori (for mentally handicapped children from 3 to 5 years) and Kindergarten and up to Standard XII.
10. National Public School
City: Bengaluru, Karnataka
The National Public School (NPS) is a regional, linguistic, minority co-educational institution which is owned and managed by The National Education Trust. The school was established in 1985 and has a presence in four major cities of Southern India that include Bengaluru, Chennai, Indiranagar, and Rajajinagar. Among these, its Bengaluru branch is the most popular one.
The school follows the CBSE Delhi syllabus and teaches through English Medium on the public school pattern. NPS has been recognized by internationally renowned affiliated institutions and well-known examination committees.
The National Public School grants admission from Kindergarten and up to Standard XII. The school campus has all the necessary amenities like a science lab, cyber lab, maths lab, health care centre, library, dance and music centre, auditorium, art room, resource room, audiovisual room etc.
11. Pinegrove School
City: Solan, Himachal Pradesh
Pinegrove School is a residential co-educational senior secondary school located in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. The school was founded in 1991 and is affiliated with the CBSE board. The curriculum follows the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the medium of instruction is English. The school is a member of the Indian Public Schools’ Conference (IPSC). It is also a member of the IAYP (International Awards for Young People’s Programme), which previously was known as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Pinegrove School Solan has two wings, Dharampur Wing (for standards I to V) and Subathu Wing (for standards VI to XII). The school provides spacious classrooms, a student activity centre, well-designed laboratories, sports and cultural facilities in the school campus, library, computer centre, canteen, hostel etc.
Admissions are opened in February every year for standards I to VIII only. A few admissions are obtainable, subject to the availability of seats for standards IX and XI.
12. R.N. Podar School
City: Mumbai, Maharashtra
R.N. Podar School is a private, co-educational school established in 1998 and located in Santa Cruz, Mumbai. It is affiliated with the CBSE board. It offers a nationally accepted and extremely challenging CBSE curriculum. The course plan not only includes the CBSE structure but has also been expanded where necessary to prepare students for real-world application. The CBSE curriculum is followed from standards I to XII.
R.N. Podar is one of the few schools in the country that offers a CBSE-i curriculum. It is the first school in the country to introduce the Flipped Learning method in the classroom. A Flipped Classroom allows learning to be self-directed, self-paced, personalised and customised. It enhances the classroom experience by bringing higher-order learning skills and a spirit of exploration.
Admission is granted for standard I and up to standard XII.
13. Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith
City: Deoghar, Jharkhand
Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith is a boys-only residential secondary school founded in 1922 by the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission with its headquarters located in Belur Math, West Bengal. The school is affiliated with CBSE. The school offers science education only in the upper grades of secondary school. Admission to its second section is limited only by standard VI. However, a few students from other schools are also admitted to standard XI, in case the seats are available for them after giving entry to its students who do well in the standard X board examination.
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are worldwide, non-political, non-sectarian spiritual organisations which have been engaged in various forms of humanitarian, and social service activities for more than a century. The organisations have about 265 branch centres located all over the world. Of these, 198 centres are located in India and the remaining 67 are in 24 other countries. Further, there are 44 sub-centres (14 within India and 30 outside India) functioning under its branch centres.
Ramakrishna Mission consists of the eternal principles of Vedanta as lived and experienced by Sri Ramakrishna and expounded by Swami Vivekananda.
14. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya
City: New Delhi, Delhi
Sardar Patel Vidyalaya (SPV) is named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who served as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India (from 1947 to 1950). The school is located in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. SPV was founded in 1957 by the Gujarat Education Society as a co-educational institute and it is affiliated with CBSE. The school is governed by a governing body consisting of the President and Secretary of the Gujarat Education Society, as well as the Principal and the School Superintendent.
The school follows a bilingual medium of instruction. It is the only private school in India that uses Hindi as a medium of instruction at the elementary level. English is the medium of instruction from standard VI onwards and Hindi and Sanskrit are mandatory till standard VIII. In standard IX, students are offered a choice between Hindi and Sanskrit languages. Students of standards VI and VII can choose from four regional languages – Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu or Bengali as a third language.
Admission at SPV is granted from Pre-Nursery and up to Standard XII.
15. Silver Hills Public School
City: Calicut, Kerala
Silver Hills Public School is a co-educational senior secondary school established in 1975 and situated in Calicut, Kerala. The school was initially opened at St. Thomas Mount, Marikunnu, and later, was moved to the present location. The school is provisionally affiliated with the CBSE board and the medium of instruction is English. The minority institution is managed by St. Thomas Province located in Kozhikode, Kerala, which is one of the several leading educational institutions envisioned and administered by the fathers of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI).
The school provides a caring and supportive environment in which all students can develop their talents to the full in an atmosphere of ideal learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom.
Admissions at Silver Hills Public School are granted for Kindergarten and up to standard XII.
16. Sri Kumaran Children’s Home School
City: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Sri Kumaran Children’s Home School is a co-educational English medium higher secondary school founded in 1995 in Doddakalasandra, Karnataka. The school is managed by Sri Kumaran Children’s Home Educational Council and is part of the Sri Kumaran Group of Institutions. The school is affiliated with the CBSE board. To ensure that its students stick to the cultural ethics of India, it emphasizes Indian values while teaching. This school aims to develop its students as responsible citizens. It prioritizes the overall development of children. It has five campuses located in Karnataka, namely Mallasandra, Doddakalsandra, Padmanabhanagar, and Tata Silk Farm, Bengaluru.
The school grants admissions to students for Nursery and up to Standard XII (10+2). For the higher secondary level (standards XI and XII), it offers streams in Commerce, Arts, PCM and PCB.
The school also has many facilities, such as separate labs for various subjects, an auditorium, a medical facility, a library, IT infrastructure, a swimming pool, transport, a gymnasium, indoor games, a dance room, etc.
17. Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
City: Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh
Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School (SSSHSS) is a residential co-educational school that was established in 1981 through inspiration from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The school is located in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh. The region of Puttaparthi is widely known as the birthplace of the Indian spiritual leader and guru Sathya Sai Baba and his ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam. It is said that Sathya Sai Baba gave daily philosophical viewpoints (the local term ‘Darshana’) to his devotees in this ashram.
The school is affiliated with the CBSE board and the primary medium of instruction is English. In addition to providing academic education to the students, the school lays the foundation of a noble character in the young minds by instilling in them the eternal and universal values of brotherhood, patriotism, sacrifice and moral integrity, so that they grow up as ideal leaders who can shape the destiny of the nation and the world.
Admission at SSSHSS is granted from Standard I and up to Standard XII.
18. The Heritage School
City: Gurugram, Haryana
The Heritage School is a co-educational school that was established in 2003 and is located in Gurugram, Haryana. It is an English Medium school and emphasizes student-centric education based on experimental learning. The experimental curriculum of this school is based on the best practices of different countries, including Expeditionary training, Integral Education, USA; Waldorf Education, Germany; Reggio Emilia, Italy and realistic mathematical education in partnership with Jodo Gyaan.
The school has three campuses which are located in Gurugram, Vasant Kunj, and Rohini. Its campuses offer the best infrastructure for academics, technology, and sports for personal development. It also has a physical education curriculum based on the National Association of Sports and Physical Education, and a music curriculum incorporating the Kodaly methodology.
This co-educational English medium school grants admissions to students for Nursery and up to standard XII.
19. The Hindu Senior Secondary School
City: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The Hindu Senior Secondary School is a co-educational school which was founded in 1978 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is one among the three schools run by The Hindu Educational Organisation (H.E.O.), a non-profit organisation. The school is affiliated with CBSE and has classes from Standard I up to Standard XII, with English as the medium of instruction.
The school intends to help young minds to achieve academic excellence with high moral and ethical standards. The school encourages each individual with a supportive environment to improve the overall personality to serve the community and to achieve this goal through quality education.
The school also has well-equipped Science and Maths Laboratories, Computer Science Lab, Library. Audio-Visual Room, and Multi-purpose Hall. In addition, it provides co-curricular activities and other programmes to the students.
20. Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School
City: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School is a co-educational, CBSE-affiliated institution situated in the Mylapore region of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The school was opened in 1960 by the MLC School Society (Mylapore Ladies’ Club) and was then called Vidya Mandir Matriculation School. The prominent founders of the school were Sister Subbulakshmi Ammal, Mrs Padmini Chari, and Sri Subbaraya Aiyer. The MLC School Society also established the Adyar School in 1989, which today stands independent as Bala Vidya Mandir.
For its Primary Section (Standards I to V), as per the State Government directive, Tamil has been designated as the second Language in all the Classes, while Hindi is the third Language. Also, there are no exams conducted for standards I to V. The school follows CBSE and ICSE (standards VI-VIII) syllabi from standard VI onwards and the medium of instruction is English. Other languages are also offered i.e., Sanskrit, Tamil and Hindi, respectively.
Admission at Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School is granted from LKG and up to Standard XII.
The best CBSE schools in India for boys and girls are determined by various factors, such as quality of education, professional faculty, learning interest in students, up-to-date academic curriculum, extra-curricular and development facilities, and more.
Most of the above-mentioned CBSE schools also have branches and/or centres located in various parts of India.