The Secondary School Leaving Certificate (commonly referred to as SSLC) is a certification obtained by a student on successful completion of an examination at the end of study at the secondary schooling level in India.
The Indian system of education fundamentally consists of five years of primary schooling, followed by five years of secondary schooling. The SSLC must be obtained at the end of term of study at the secondary school. On obtaining this certificate, the student is deemed to have completed his basic schooling or basic education. After successful completion of SSLC, a student wishing to pursue his education further would join a course based on the specialization he chooses and which gives him knowledge sufficient for him to enter a university which is sometimes called a Pre-University Course (PUC), for two years. After this twelve-year period of study a student may enter a university for undergraduate studies. Alternatively, after obtaining the SSLC, a student may choose to attend an industrial training institute where one can be trained in skills necessary for technical occupations. The other options include joining polytechnic for a three-year course of diploma in engineering and then further pursuing degree in engineering after the completion of diploma.
The SSLC is obtained by passing a public examination, i.e., an examination that has been formulated by the regional board of education that the school is affiliated with, and not by members of the faculty of the school. The performance of a student in the SSLC examination is one of the factors in admission to Pre University Courses in India. Therefore, the SSLC is often regarded as the first important examination that a student undertakes.
The SSLC certificate was used as the primary form of proof for Date of Birth during the time when Registration of Births and Deaths was not mandatory in India. It is still a valid form of proof of Date of Birth for those born before 1969 according to the MEA website for the Indian civil authorities to issue civil documents such as passports.