Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


Basics and Background:
  • OECD originated in 1948, as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). OEEC was renamed as the OECD in 1961 when the USA and Canada joined to reflect a broader membership.
  • Reformed in subsequent years as OECD by the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. OECD members are democratic countries that support free-market economies.
  • The OECD member states collectively comprised 2% of global nominal GDP (US $49.6 trillion) and 42.8% of global GDP (Int $54.2 trillion) at purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2017.
  • OECD is known as a statistical agency, as it publishes comparable statistics on a wide number of subjects.
  • OECD is an official United Nations Observer.



The objectives of the OECD include fostering economic development and cooperation and fighting poverty through the promotion of economic stability.

  • To promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
  • Over the years, OECD has raised the standards of living in multiple countries.
  • To stimulate economic progress and world trade.
  • To provide a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy.
  • To provide a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.


Focus Area:
  • Restore confidence in markets and the institutions that make them function.
  • Re-establish healthy public finances as a basis for future sustainable economic growth.
  • Foster and support new sources of growth through innovation environmentally friendly “Green Growth” strategies and the development of emerging economies.
  • Ensure that people of all ages can develop the skills to work productively and satisfyingly in the jobs of tomorrow.
  • The OECD also maintains a “blacklist” of nations that are considered uncooperative tax havens.
  • It also took efforts to eradicate tax avoidance by profitable corporations and in the G-20 countries. It also encourages the G-20 countries to promote tax reforms.


  • Most OECD members are high income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
  • 36 member countries along with emerging countries like Mexico, Chile and Turkey.
  • The European Commission participates in the work of the OECD alongside the EU member states.


  • Exchanges between OECD governments benefit from the information, analysis, and preparation of the OECD Secretariat.
  • The secretariat collects data, monitors trends, and analyses and forecasts economic developments.
  • Under the direction and guidance of member governments, it also researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, education, agriculture, technology, taxation, and other areas.


  • Representatives of member and observer countries meet in specialized committees on specific policy areas, such as economics, trade, science, employment, education or financial markets.
  • There are about 200 committees, working groups and expert groups.
  • Committees discuss policies and review progress in the given policy area.


Specialized Bodies:
  • Africa Partnership Forum (APF)
  • Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC)
  • Development Assistance Committee (DEC)
  • OECD Development Centre
  • International Transport Forum (ITF) (formally known as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport)
  • International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
  • Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN)
  • Partnership for Democratic Governance (PDG)
  • Sahel and West Africa Club
  • Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)


  • The OECD administers and publishes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
  • A regular assessment of the attainment of 15-year olds in three areas of knowledge.
  • PISA is the only international education survey to measure the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds, an age at which students in most countries are nearing the end of their compulsory time in school.
  • PISA is also unique in the way it looks at:
    • Public policy issues.
    • Literacy.
    • Lifelong learning.


India ends PISA Boycott:
  • India and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has signed an agreement to enable India’s participation in Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA)to be held in
  • India has participated in the PISA test only once before, in 2009.
  • India stayed away from PISA in 2012 and 2015 on account of its dismal performance in 2009, when it was placed 72nd among the 74 participating countries.
  • India criticized the method saying that questions were “out of context”. Thus, India chose not to participate in the 2012 and 2015 cycle of PISA.


Important features of India’s participation in PISA:
  • Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh will participate.
  • PISA uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. OECD has agreed to contextualize the questions for Indian students.
  • Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning. The CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.
  • It would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.


  • OECD Economic Outlook
  • OECD Communication Outlook
  • OECD Internet Economy Outlook


India and OECD:
  • India is not a member of OECD.
  • India became the 27th member of the OECD’s Development Centre.
  • India has had a co-operation programme with the OECD since 1997.
  • The OECD Council at Ministerial level adopted a resolution on 16 May 2007 to strengthen co-operation with India, as well as with Brazil, China, Indonesia and South Africa, through a programme of enhanced engagement, defining these countries as Key Partners of the OECD.
  • As a Key Partner, India is included in OECD analysis and statistical databases.
  • Its participation in OECD bodies and fora is encouraged as a means of allowing Indian policy makers to benefit from the OECD’s technical expertise and analytical capacity.


Mutual Benefits:
  • OECD statistics, sector-specific country reviews and targeted joint activities are key to advancing India’s domestic reform agenda while increasing the OECD’s relevance in global governance.
  • This interaction also benefits OECD members and other Key Partners’ engagement with India as a major player in the global economy. At fora like the G20, this dialogue supports a coordinated approach to addressing pressing policy challenges through leveraging the Organisation’s policy advice.


Areas of work:
  • OECD-India collaboration continues to build, in areas such as anti-corruption, corporate governance, economic policy, environment, fiscal relations, as well as, responsible business conduct, steel, taxation, trade and investment.


India’s Participation in OECD General Activities:
  • India participates in selected OECD Committees and their subsidiary bodies. India is also a member of the Development Centre, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Process, the International Transport Forum, the Financial Action Task Force, and an Association Country of the International Energy Agency. Engagement in the G20 context includes India’s active role in the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacityand its adherence to the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.
  • Indian ministers and officials have also attended the OECD Ministerial Council Meetings.


India designated Vice-Chair of OECD Working Group on GLP:
  • India has been designated the ‘Vice-Chair’ of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognizing the contribution of the Indian GLP programme.
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a quality system, which has been evolved by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Human and Veterinary), agrochemicals, cosmetic products, food/ feed additives, and medical devices, etc., can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.
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