Digital India is a transformative vision of the government to create a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. The Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown which was implemented earlier this year has given a new perspective on India’s capability to foster the Digital India vision. The pandemic has been a watershed moment for India’s EdTech sector. It has forced schools, colleges and educational institutes to go online. Digital technology is playing a key role during this transition to the new normal.
The education sector is undergoing a tremendous revolution as it adopts the digital medium so that students across age groups can continue their learning. With a plethora of EdTech companies present in the market, online learning and homeschooling have seen sharp growth. Teachers have been extremely swift in adapting to this change and have encouraged students to continue learning from the comfort of their homes.
Digital technologies are increasingly being used to teach children at home. The availability of digital content and EdTech tools has empowered parents to make homeschooling a reality. Gone are the days when students would be forced to stay away from their homes to prepare for competitive exams. With more than 15 million students in India preparing for competitive exams, there is a vast market for online test preparation startups. The reach of the internet in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns has increased the scope for students to prepare for multiple entrance exams after K12 and graduation. Adoption of vernacular languages by EdTech startups is another reason for the rising popularity of online test preparation segment in India. With the amalgamation of technology and digitization what seemed like a distant dream is now a reality. Who had thought that with the click of a button students could have access to online lessons for various subjects, prepare for competitive exams and compete against their peers online to solve test assignments!
With universities and schools closed, India’s EdTech sector is cashing in on this rush of interest. It has become the country’s newest and most profitable tech startup space this year, with millions of students going online and professionals seeking to upgrade existing skills or obtain new ones. The digitalization of skills and education in India has caught the eye of global investors making the EdTech space raise the highest funding during the ongoing pandemic. The internet is bridging the gap between equal access to quality education across geographies by providing a one-stop platform for students to continue their learning process.
In addition, EdTech firms are integrating AI-based solutions onto their platforms, intending to streamline services. AI-enabled systems are now able to assess skill levels and progress made by everyone through large caches of meta-data and reliable academic sources. Furthermore, even the government now has plans to integrate AI solutions into their university administration and examination mechanisms to be able to score and process millions of entries to avoid mishaps. Automation of this magnitude has become a precursor in eliminating human errors, which have become ubiquitous in manual working conditions.
The growth of digital infrastructure in India has eliminated the need for physical infrastructure in ensuring quality education and has thus made it possible to overlook the existing roadblocks in the sector by reaching out to the remote corners of the country. For decades, the lack of educational qualifications and the absence of educational aids and tools made education inaccessible to large parts of rural India. EdTech has permanently transformed this situation by facilitating high-quality content and teaching methodologies through economical means i.e. through affordable smartphones and remote learning. They are now beginning to expand these services further by offering courses in vernacular languages, making it easier for students to chart their learning outcomes and knowledge growth.
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