The central government is in work on a policy to modulate edtech platforms, which have entered the academic space in a huge way during the pandemic.
Dharmendra Pradhan who is the education minister made the announcement while an online All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) event was going on, where regional language technical education books and free online course coupons for students from economically weaker sections were inaugurated.
Pradhan stated about related policy issues also, one of them certainly is EdTech or education technology, which has controlled the Indian education system given the hybrid nature of learning ever since the starting of Covid-19.
“We have found that some EdTech companies are exploiting students in the name of loan-based courses… The companies are welcome to do business in India, but they cannot exploit students,” stated Pradhan.
“I have asked all departments to issue strict advisories in this regard. We are also talking to the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology as well as the law department about how we can have a common policy on EdTech platforms in India,” the minister further stated.
According to a September 2021 report presented by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) — a think tank concentrating on public policies and government finances as of April 2021, in India 4,530 EdTech start-ups were in operation, 453 of which came up only in the last 2 years.
Till now, there has been no framework of rules by the government of these EdTech platforms.
On 23rd December the Ministry of Education had presented an advisory for parents of students, requesting them not to get “lured” by “free services” given by EdTech platforms and opt for any of them only after doing their research.
“Given the pervasive impact of technology in education, many EdTech companies have started offering courses, tutorials, coaching for competitive exams, etc. in an online mode…Parents, students, and all stakeholders in school education have to be careful while deciding on opting for online content and coaching being offered by a host of EdTech companies,” the advisory had stated.
The government had even stated at the time that it has got information about parents being certainly exploited by EdTech platforms.
Minister Pradhan repeated this Monday. “There cannot be a monopoly in India…the Government of India has a welfare model, we believe in wealth creation…you can come and do business in India but you cannot exploit students,” he stated.