In the early sixties, the then Department of Extension Programme for Secondary Education launched a Scheme entitled “Seminar Readings Programme for Teachers and Heads of Secondary Schools.” The scheme provided an opportunity to teachers to write detailed papers in English or in any other modern Indian language on teaching procedures or techniques, which they found most effective. The papers were submitted to the Extension Service Department of the NCERT. From time to time, changes were made in the Scheme and its scope was widened with regard to its nomenclature, nature of participation, eligibility criteria, specification of themes, procedure of submission of papers, short listing of papers, number of awards, eligibility for cash prize, amount of cash prize etc.
Till 2004-05, the Scheme was known as “All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments for School Teachers and Teacher Educators”. There was a provision of 100 cash prizes of Rs. 2,000/- each (70 for school teachers: 50 for elementary level and 20 at secondary level, and 30 for teacher educators: 20 for elementary teacher educators and 10 for secondary teacher educators
The scheme was reviewed by the NCERT during 2005-07 with the help of faculty members of RIEs and some external experts in the area of school education and teacher education. The review led to the reformulation of the Scheme as „All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education for Schools and Teacher Education Institutions.?
After the implementation of the Scheme for about ten years, it has been felt that individual teachers and teacher educators attempting innovations need to be accorded recognition by giving them awards at the national level. Therefore, the scheme has been rechristened as ‘National Awards for Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education for Schools and Teacher Education Institutions’ from 2017-18 onwards.