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Code of conduct for edtech platforms: IAMAI establishes new consortium

Edtech entities like BYJU’S, Unacademy, upGrad and Vedantu are part of the consortium.

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Mumbai: Leading edtech companies under the aegis of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Wednesday announced the formation of the India EdTech Consortium (IEC). 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. 

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.

Several edtech entities have joined the IEC such as BYJU’S, Careers 360, Classplus, Doubtnut, Great Learning, Harappa, Times Edutech & Events Ltd, Scaler, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, UNext Learning, Vedantu and WhiteHat Jr.

The move to set up IEC comes at a time when Indian edtech players are creating immense value for the global audience. 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 industry. 

Indian edtech operators have been solving for accessibility and affordability through quality courses from teachers, instructors and faculty members, to ensure that students across all age groups are benefiting from the innovation in the education sector. 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.

“IAMAI and members of the India EdTech Consortium (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," said Internet and Mobile Association of India president Subho Ray. "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.”

Commenting on the formation of the IEC, BYJU'S co-founder Divya Gokulnath 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 center 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."

Vedantu co-founder and CEO Vamsi Krishna commented, “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.”

upGrad co-founder and MD and IAMAI edtech committee co-chairperson Mayank Kumar said, “We are honoured to be a part of the IEC at a time when the EdTech sector is accelerating its growth momentum. The last two years have witnessed the rise of online education as a connecting bridge to access flexible and quality education for students as well as working professionals. With the sole purpose of improving the delivery of education services, it is now crucial for us to foster and sustain stakeholder trust by safeguarding their interest as a practice.”

In the recent past, the education sector has undergone significant transformation and edtech has supplemented in driving new-age academic excellence.  Having created a significant impact by offering quality and affordable education services, EdTech entities have also improved learnability & employability for users to address the evolving needs of the job market. The adaptive learning solutions have ensured that learners are not merely ‘knowledge receivers’ but ‘knowledge creators’ as well. The industry has also created a large number of employment opportunities. However, as the sector and end-users grow at a fast pace, it is critical to establish a standard code of conduct for all Indian edtech entities to adhere to and ensure that ‘learners’ remain at the core of all the business practices. 

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