The Growing Market for e-LEARNING

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India is a growing market for education where traditional classrooms are being steadily replaced by interactive whiteboards with projectors and speakers all over the country. Various government initiatives are being adapted to boost the growth of distance education market, besides focusing on new education techniques, such as E-learning and M-learning, observes T Radhakrishan of Elets News Network (ENN).

The country is witnessing a revolution in education sector like never before. Powered by the growing demand for quality education by families and for skilled development by working professionals, educational organisations are introducing better learning options — e learning or online education.

mlearning educationThrough the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is aiming to increase digital literacy to at least 50 percent among Indians from the present 15 percent in next three years, private organisations including multinational companies (MNCs) are coming out with innovative solutions for a better learning and 24×7 education options, with the help of technology and Internet.

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Traditional classrooms are being replaced by interactive whiteboards with projectors and speakers all over the country. The computer-based and Internet-based method of learning means that new technology is being introduced to enhance the learning process.

“India is a growing market for education,” said Tim Barton, Managing Director, Global Academic Publishing Division, Oxford University Press (OUP), while launching online courses in India recently. The OUP has launched online courses in India to help the academia in research activities. “Through Epigeum, high-quality online content assembled globally by experts will reach more Indian universities through online and blended learning,” he said.

According to Barton, India has an ever growing ambition to operate in the global arena and that authors care about making an impact within and beyond India.

Education and Training
India holds an important place in the global education industry and has become the second largest market for e-learning after the US.

Some Central Government Initiatives are:
The Union budget 2016-17 has made the following provisions for the education sector:

  • 10 public and 10 private educational institutions to be made world-class.
  • Scheme to get `500 crore ($ 73.36 million) for promoting entrepreneurship among Schedule Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ ST)
  • Digital Repository for all school leaving certificates and diplomas
  • Rs 1,000 crore ($ 146.72 million) allocated for higher education financing
  • Rs 1,700 crore ($ 250 million) allocated for 1500 multi-skill development centres
  • 62 new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) to provide quality education
  • Digital literacy scheme to be launched for covering six crore additional rural households
  • Objective to skill one crore youth in the next three years under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY)

The Government of India has signed a financing agreement with The World Bank, for International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$ 300 million, for the Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project, which aims to improve student outcomes, especially of disadvantaged groups in selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and increase the effectiveness of the higher education system in Madhya Pradesh.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has entered into a partnership with private companies, including Tata Motors Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and real-estate firm Hubtown Ltd, to open three Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), at Nagpur, Ranchi, and Pune.

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi launched the Skill India initiative – ‘Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’. Under this initiative, the government has set itself a target of training 400 millioncitizens by 2022 that would enable them to find jobs. The initiatives launched include various programmes like: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Skill Loan scheme, and the National Skill Development Mission.

PMKVY is the flagship program under the Skill India Initiative and it includes incentivising skill training by providing financial rewards on completion of training to the participants. Over the next year 2.4 million Indians are believed to be benefitted from this scheme.

Skill Loan Scheme has been designed to disburse loans of `5,000 (about $75) to Rs 150,000 (about $2,260) to 3.4 million Indians planning to develop their skills in next five years.

The National Skill Development Mission is developed to expedite the implementation of skilling activities in India by providing robust institutional framework at the centre and the state.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will train bureaucrats from the HRD ministry, experts from schools boards and primary school teachers in Mathematics and Science Subjects to enable them to learn skills to formulate lesson plans that stimulate students’ learning and thus contribute to improving the quality of Mathematics and science education.

The Government of India has launched a digital employment exchange that will enable industrial enterprises to find suitable workers and job-seekers to find employment.

The Government of India has launched the National Web Portal for promotion of National Apprenticeship Scheme for Graduates, Diploma holders and 10+2 pass-outs vocational certificate holders.

India and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost partnerships between the two countries in the fields of higher education and research, including technical and professional education, schools, vocational education and training.

The National Skill Development Corporation of India (NSDC) under a Public Private Partnership promoted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Center for Research and Industrial Staff Performance (CRISP), India to explore national and international opportunities for strengthening skills development in India.

“We have several plans for online education in India,” says Narendra Ranade, Marketing Director, School Education & ELT, Oxford University Press India.

“The higher education market is the key driver for the elearning market in India,” says Paras Bansal, Business Head, Higher Education, Oxford University Press India.

India has become the second largest market for e-learning after the US.

Road Ahead
Various government initiatives are being adopted to boost the growth of distance education market, besides focusing on new education techniques, such as E-learning and M-learning.

With human resource increasingly gaining significance in the overall development of the country, development of education infrastructure is expected to remain the key focus in the current decade. In this scenario, infrastructure investment in the education sector is likely to see a considerable increase in the current decade. Hopefully, its influence on the Indian education system and quality will reflect prominently among generations to come.

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