Arun Jagannathan, CEO, CrackVerbal, shares with Elets News Network (ENN) an insight on bridging the educational gap through technological solutions in the higher education sector
According to you, does reservation in higher education defeat the purpose of imparting the best possible education to meritorious candidates?
Historically, reservation was necessary in the Indian milieu. However, I believe that with respect to higher education, especially management education, you are essentially competing in a global workspace. In my opinion, it is not helpful or beneficial to enforce reservation in management education. However, there are certain exceptions – for instance, since most organisations are setting targets for a gender ratio at senior management positions, premier management colleges might seek to cater to this requirement by setting their own gender diversity targets.
In the light of Supreme Court ruling, what would be the impact of doing away with all forms of reservation in institutions of higher education?
In the short-term, removing reservation completely from all institutes of higher education could cause a lot of angst in some segments of the society. However, keeping aside the political and civicorder ramifications for a moment, I believe that such a ruling would cause far less of a ripple in the management education institutions than in primary, secondary and undergraduate educational institutions.
‘Access’ to all & ‘Quality’ of education are the major fault lines in the education system in India. What role can technology play in bridging these fault lines?
The Internet has drastically changed the landscape of education in India. Today, we have so many success stories in the Internet-enabled education space – Khan Academy, SimpliLearn, Vedantu, to name a few. Technology has eased many of the traditional fault lines of Indian education. Now, with the help of online learning, these concerns can be managed very effectively. Technology has opened up avenues to prepare for competitive exams, and enables the growing popularity of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that provide niche, highquality education, delivered by professors from premier institutes around the globe.
Being into the technologyenabled learning space, how your organisation can contribute/ is contributing in bridging the education faultlines?
One of the basic philosophies at CrackVerbal is to constantly elevate student experience with innovative methodologies. As I see it, there are two gaps in test-prep education that we are focused on bridging. Firstly, our students want flexibility in studying as per their own convenience. Given the hectic schedules, they just want a course that fit into their daily routine. Secondly, they want access to the best faculty for that particular subject and are no longer satisfied who they have access to in their own cities. We have zeroed in on this trend to create online various avatars of our GMAT and GRE courses. Though we got into the online space many years ago, we have recently launched the new GMAT and GRE on-demand courses that are completely revamped from groundup. Besides, we have a mobile app for GRE students, called WordToonz, an innovative, mnemonic-driven method to learn GRE words, anywhere and anytime.
How technological transformations and innovative learning tools can change the education landscape in India in the coming decade?
I see two major transformations that are revolutionising education. The first is the fact that online learning enables the rise in popularity of the ‘flipped classroom’. Here, students learn the basic concepts and theory through instructional videos, and interact with teachers in order to work on higher-order problems and activities. With online learning, students can learn at a pace that is comfortable to them, rather than being forced to keep up. A decade down the line, we are likely to see a classroom that is starkly different from the classroom of today, with teachers using innovative pedagogies and teaching tools that are evolving even as we speak!