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The CAM Corporate Team can be reached at cam.mumbai@cyrilshroff.com

Indian EdTech beyond the first phase - A booster shot for long term growth

Part one of this blog-series[1] discussed how factors like Covid-19 pandemic and introduction of the National Education Policy 2020 (“NEP”) enabled expansion of the educational technology (“EdTech”) sector and how it has grown by leaps and bounds in less than a year. Considering the demographics of our country and the deep-rooted conventional educational culture, this blog seeks to look at the key challenges and opportunities for the EdTech sector.
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Indian Edtech in 2020: The Effective First Shot

The outbreak of Covid-19 brought an unprecedented opportunity for the educational technology (“EdTech”) sector in India. The traditional face-to-face interaction between a teacher and students suffered a setback and almost instantaneously, there was a paradigm shift to the unconventional mode of online learning. This change brought the spotlight on EdTech industry following which it received the requisite financial and policy impetus to thrive through the financial year (FY) 2020-2021. A massive inflow of investments, acquisitions and emergence of new start-ups in the previous fiscal bear testimony to EdTech sector’s meteoric growth.
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Year 2020 in Review - The Funds Perspective

Remembering the year 2020 could easily turn one pensive. The year posed unprecedented challenges for the funds industry, driving-forth fundamental changes in the manner business would be conducted alongside the pandemic. The year also marked an important milestone in the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, with several amendments critical for funds and fund managers being rolled out.

FDI IN DIGITAL MEDIA - A CASE FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION

 

The Government of India recently issued a clarification on FDI in digital media sector. The pre-cursor to this clarification is Press Note 4 of 2019 (“Press Note 4”) that allowed up to 26% FDI in entities engaged in uploading/ streaming of news and current affairs through digital media platforms under the Government approval route, similar to the print media sector. We have analysed the implications of the recent clarifications on entities that are engaged in the digital media sector.

Press Note 4 did not provide a definition of “Digital Media” and accordingly there were concerns regarding entities that fall within its ambit. The Government of India therefore issued the “Clarification on FDI Policy for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through Digital Media” on October 16, 2020 (“Clarification”). The Clarification inter alia provides that Press Note 4 shall apply to the following types of entities registered or located in India:
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NEP 2020 - VOCATIONAL EDUCATION - FUEL FOR THE INDIAN DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has defined ‘demographic dividend’ as the growth potential that results from shifts in a population’s age structure.[1] A study conducted by the UNFPA noted that India has an important window of demographic dividend opportunity from about 2005-06 to 2055-56 with 62.5% of the population falling in the working age group of 15 and 59 years. It is expected that the slice of working age group will rise to 65% (approximately) by 2036.[2] This study also recognised the importance of imparting vocational education (VE) to avail the benefits of the demographic dividend.

The National Education Policy, 2020 (Policy) recognises the seminal role of VE in building the Indian demographic dividend. The Policy observes that less than 5% of the Indian workforce within the age bracket of 19–24 years received formal VE when compared to countries such as the USA (52%), Germany (75%), and South Korea (96%).[3] While identifying the need to hasten the development of vocational skills, the Policy highlights the importance of removing rigid distinctions between vocational and academic streams, and eliminating harmful hierarchies between different areas of learning.
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Nep 2020- An Interplay Of Education And Technology

The National Education Policy, 2020 (“Policy”), unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (“MHRD”), is revolutionary in every sense. While the Policy focuses on multiple aspects, including the need for early childhood care, inclusive education and revamping of the current curriculum, an inherent thread that runs through the Policy is the interplay of education and technology.

Over the last decade, India has transformed itself into an ‘information intensive society’ and there is a growing requirement to embrace the usage of technology in the field of education. In this regard, the Policy notes that one of the central principles steering the education system will be the ‘extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access as well as education planning and management’.
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AGRI-SPACE AS A KEY INVESTMENT DESTINATION

1. Background

  • India is an agrarian economy. It has the second highest population in the world, as well as the second highest arable land area in the world. With rising demand and natural resources under pressure, agriculture as a sector is drawing sharp attention from a necessity as well as interest perspective.
  • It must be noted that the agri-sector has wide reach, as it covers within its ambit not just the core cultivation sector, but also allied sectors that are just as critical. In recent times and, more specifically in 2020, the Indian government has also made special efforts to support this wider sector.
  • Hereunder, we will share a brief overview of the recent reforms in the sector and the viability of the sector from an investors’ point of view.


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NEP 2020 AND FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES - WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE REGULATORY DOMAIN

Background

The National Education Policy, 2020 (“NEP”), is only a few days old and has been garnering a lot of attention. Indeed, this is only natural, given the impact it can have on the large student community of India. In addition, given that it is the first education policy in 34 years, both in subject matter and approach, it has demonstrated significant shifts. In some ways, it is substantially different from last year’s draft National Education Policy, 2019 (“Draft Policy”).

One of the areas in our country’s education policy that has always garnered attention and curiosity is the role that foreign educational institutions can play in India and their direct entry into the country. Hereinbelow, we will check what the NEP says in this regard, and what could be expected in the regulatory landscape as a result.
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The disruption that Covid-19 has brought about is for everyone to see. Businesses across all sectors have been severely impacted due to the several versions on lockdown orders issued by the central and state governments from time to time.

Given that all enterprises continue to scamper to preserve cash and reduce costs, one of the major payouts that all businesses are actively trying to avoid or minimize exposure to is rental payouts. Two of the most obvious questions in this regard have been:


Continue Reading The Doctrine of Suspension of Rent – A Silver Lining for Tenants?

REITs in India - A prescription for regulatory inoculations and booster shots

In our previous piece , we had gazed into our crystal ball for predictions on the future of REITs in India, specifically in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. However, putting the largely untameable forces of macroeconomic factors, sectoral outlooks and market perceptions aside, there are some regulatory changes which, if introduced by the relevant regulators in a timely manner, could provide the real estate sector and specifically, REITs in India, with the necessary shot in the arm to thrive in the times to come. Set out below is a short wish-list.
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