Consumer Protection E-commerce Rules – The EduTech Impact

Background

The last few years have seen customers and industry alike benefit from their increased focus on digital platforms in a changing world. Education technology, which is a prominent business vertical of the education sector, stands out for diversifying the means of learning and teaching to an extent that both students and parents have accepted online teaching models as supplement to the formal education system. While the Edutech space was steadily gaining traction, Covid’s sudden impact on physical learning afforded this sector an unparallel opportunity. The approximately USD 800 million investment into the sector in the first six months of 2020 justifies the narrative of emerging as the `next big thing.’
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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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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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Introduction

The EdTech sector is seeing significant investments and expenditure by governments, schools, universities, students and professionals globally. By 2030, it is expected that global EdTech expenditure will grow to USD 10 trillion[1]. The growing popularity of online learning, further necessitated due to the nationwide lockdown, has provided a major push to the sector in India, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 52% to become a USD 2 billion industry by 2021[2]. The key growth drivers propelling EdTech in India are the ability to serve a large audience at significantly lower costs compared to traditional in-classroom learning, significant growth in internet and smartphone penetration across India, steady rise in disposable income of the Indian households, and a large consumer base with over 37% of India’s around 1.35 billion population falling in the 5-24 age bracket.


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COVID-19 Impact Responses by State Education Regulators

Background

To tackle the COVID-19 crisis, India has seen significant legislative and policy changes. The thrust of the new rule book has been aimed at softening the blow delivered by the crisis to various stakeholders in the society, including parents and students, and in certain cases, balancing this with the interests of the school management and staff.

Following in the footsteps of its global counterparts, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has announced three successive lockdowns till date – March 25, 2020, April 15, 2020 and May 1, 2020. The guidelines issued by the MHA pursuant to the lockdowns has prohibited operation of all educational, training, research and coaching institutes. However, the MHA and the state governments have encouraged education through online medium. Various state governments had taken similar steps even prior to the issuance of the MHA guidelines, and had also passed orders promoting all students till class VIII / IX to the next class without exams.

The interim shutdown of schools has come with its fair share of peculiar challenges, with fee collection drawing the most attention. While several states have taken measures in this regard, this post highlights the actions taken in six states – Delhi[1], Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
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The use of digital technology in the education sector is growing at a remarkable pace in India. With news reports giving Byju’s, a Bengaluru based learning app, a valuation of over USD 2 billion in its latest round of investments, the investors’ interest in the education technology (edtech) sector is on the rise.
Continue Reading M&A Trends in the EdTech Sector