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Self regulation by Edtech

Date: 15 January 2022 Tags: miscellaneous

Issue

Leading Edtech companies of India have set self-regulations by adopting a set of guidelines to conduct their businesses.

 

Background

The formation of a self-regulating consortium was necessitated after the government announced that it was working on a policy to regulate the sector.

 

Details

India EdTech Consortium has been formed by the companies, which will work under the aegis of the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

 

Edtech

  • Edtech works on the principle of combining Education and Technology. Edtech is involved in enhancing learning outcomes using technological tools.

  • During the pandemic, Edtech became the only alternative as institutions, students, guardians, and authorities switched to the digital mode.

  • Before it was mostly restricted to ‘modern’ families, who could afford to buy courses for their wards, apart from regular school.

  • The Edtech industry has grown rapidly over the past 1-2 years. Six Indian Edtech startups with valuations of $1 billion and above have come up over the last year.

 

Unicorns in Edtech

Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, upGrad, Vedantu, and Lead School are the companies currently having a valuation above $1 billion and called unicorns. Vedantu, upGrad and Eruditus joined the unicorn club in 2021.

Need for self-regulations

  • There were growing concerns that many edtech firms were indulging in various forms of business malpractices to attract consumers.

  • The government released an advisory of do’s and don’ts for students and guardians looking to sign up for online courses offered by these companies.

 

Complaints against Edtechs

  • People were asked to enroll for courses after careful evaluation as many courses billed as free in advertisements were found to be paid.

  • Companies were found to lure parents into free courses and later getting the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) mandate signed for activating the auto-debit feature.

 

The self-regulation mandate

  • The code of conduct will address the concerns raised by the government. This is an attempt to put values and ethics in their business strategy.

  • Companies which are part of consortium include Byju’s, Careers 360, Great Learning, Harappa, TimesEdutech & Events Ltd, Scalar, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu, and WhiteHat Jr.

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