• The open book examination (OBE) approach emphasizes teaching, developing, and empowering students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.
  • OBE fosters curiosity and innovation, which are intrinsic human qualities.
  • Its objective is to solve real-world problems through discussion, debate, and critical thinking, marking a significant departure from the colonial-era focus on conformity over creativity.


  • While the traditional educational system has been instrumental in producing leaders across various sectors, adopting OBE is essential for educational reform driven by globalization and technological advancements. Example: Modern leaders in technology and business, like Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella, benefit from a blend of traditional education and innovative thinking.
  • Integrating traditional wisdom with contemporary teaching methods is crucial for preparing Indian youth for global leadership roles.  Example: The incorporation of ancient Indian texts and philosophies with modern pedagogical techniques can provide a well-rounded education.
  • The traditional focus on rote memorization has been significantly altered with the introduction of OBE. Recognizing the limitations of the current system, which favors memorization over analytical thinking, is necessary to make this transition.
    Example: In the CBSE board exams, the introduction of competency-based questions is a step towards reducing rote learning.
  • The aim is to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills, innovative application of knowledge, and advanced problem-solving abilities, which are crucial in an era dominated by AI and digital technology.Example: NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs encourage students to develop problem-solving skills through hands-on learning.
  • OBE questions should challenge students to demonstrate understanding and application rather than mere memorization.
    Example: The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasizes the need for critical thinking and creativity in the curriculum.


This paradigm shift is essential in an era where traditional academic achievements, measured by grades, are increasingly misaligned with the requirements of higher education and the professional world, as highlighted by initiatives like the Common University Entrance Test.

OBE creates a learning environment that transcends the limitations of memorization. This shift began several years ago with an increase in competency-based, analytical, and applied questions in exams.

Example: The NEP 2020’s emphasis on continuous and comprehensive evaluation mirrors the traditional gurukul system’s holistic approach to education.

By incorporating innovative teaching techniques and ongoing assessments, OBE can replicate the effectiveness of traditional gurukuls, fostering a creative and critical learning atmosphere.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 10, 2024