The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on January 12 announced the formation of the India EdTech Consortium (IEC) that includes leading edtech companies such as Byju’s, Simplilearn, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu and others.
Aligned with the government’s recent advisory, the IEC will ensure that every learner shall have access to quality and affordable education, which not only improves their academic performance but also makes them future-ready, a statement said.
With consumer interest at the core of the consortium, the edtech companies have committed to observe and adhere to a common ‘Code of Conduct’ and establish a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that the positive impact of the industry reaches every deserving consumer while protecting their interests and promoting their rights, it added.
“IAMAI and members of the IEC are deeply committed to ensuring ethical standards to protect learners on online educational platforms. IEC seeks to empower the learners by not just helping them make informed decisions but by also having their grievances redressed timely,” IAMAI President Subho Ray said.
He added that the formation of this self-regulatory body is an important step towards protecting learners as more and more students, teachers and stakeholders are becoming a part of the online education ecosystem.
Several edtech entities have joined the IEC such as such as Byju’s, Careers 360, Classplus, Doubtnut, Great Learning, Harappa, Times Edutech & Events Limited, Scaler, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, UNext Learning, Vedantu and WhiteHat Jr have joined the consortium.
The move to set up IEC comes at a time when Indian edtech players are creating immense value for the global audience, the IAMAI said.
The disruptions led by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns compelled both parents and educational institutions to implement tech-enabled learning solutions, thereby accelerating the growth of the edtech sector.
Indian edtech operators have been solving for accessibility and affordability through quality courses from best teachers, instructors and faculty members to ensure that students across all age groups are benefiting from the innovation in the education sector, the IAMAI noted.
This has elevated India’s position on the global map as an education hub, it added.
upGrad co-founder and MD and Co-Chairperson of IAMAI EdTech Committee Mayank Kumar said with the sole purpose of improving the delivery of education services, it is now crucial to foster and sustain stakeholder trust by safeguarding their interest as a practice.
“This initiative will go a long way in strengthening the EdTech sector and establishing India as the teaching capital of the world,” he added.
The overall Indian edtech ecosystem impacts over 500 million school students, college students and working professionals across India.
At this scale, it is critical that the ecosystem follows a framework that will protect the rights of learners and all edtech companies are committed to this, the statement said.
“We are completely aligned with the government’s principles on safeguarding consumer interests and welcome the creation of guidelines that help students reach their learning goals in a manner that makes them future ready and conceptually strong. We have always believed that the student should be at the centre of the education system and as educators we must do everything possible to create the right set of processes and methods to empower and enhance their learning,” Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of Byju’s, said.
Vamsi Krishna, co-founder and CEO of Vedantu, noted that the Indian edtech sector has grown considerably over the last two years with funding and consolidations strengthening the ecosystem.
“However, while business growth is critical, so is consumer protection since this will allow students and parents to make more informed decisions about the future. Therefore, as part of the newly institutionalised IEC, we will build a sounder and more ethical ecosystem for students so that we can ensure their safety and mitigate any risks they may encounter in their journey to be future-ready,” Mr. Krishna added.