As India strives to compete in a globalized economy largely for sectors like Business, Finance, manufacturing and technology, these core sectors require highly skilled professionals in order to explore, innovate and sustain the economy. Skilled labour force is created through good quality education. Thus the quality of higher education (both offline and online) becomes the deciding factor for such opportunities.
Most of the Indian colleges and universities lack basic infrastructure and facilities to garner the interest of the young minds. Old-School teaching methods, declining research standards, overcrowded classrooms and widespread geographic, income, gender, and ethnic imbalance and you feel you have just chipped the tip of the iceberg in the lacunae's surrounding the educational sector in India.
A recent evaluation of universities and research institutes all over the world, conducted in 2014 by Shanghai University in Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), shows that there has not been a single Indian university in the world's top 300 rankings, while China, our closest competitor in Asia has six. The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, comes somewhere in the top 400's and IIT, Kharagpur, makes an appearance after that. Although some institutions of higher education like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have been globally acclaimed for their standards of education, the gap in quality of education delivered in these Top 20 and other 80 institutes are like a steep cliff and we have consistently failed to produce world class universities like Harvard and Cambridge.
Higher education in India has undergone considerable changes in the last decade. However the curriculum still remains urban centric and no attempt is made to reach out to students from other parts of the country. From a wider perspective India needs to reallocate its resources (financial and intellectual) into expanding more centrally funded universities. The ministry should emphasize for inclusive approach on improving higher education and research learning facilities through a PPP (Public Private Partnership) model and this is where e-learning deployment in tier 2 and tier 3 cities can be taken up.
Recent studies have shown that e-learning or digital education can bridge this gap very well after seeing its success factor ratio in areas of its implementation. The shift, experts say, can occur only through a systemic change of approach through the development of its human resource, and networking the systems through centralized information and communication technology.
A Research finding of British Council on higher education last year established that by 2020, India will need 40 million universities, an increase from the existing 26 million - and 500 million skilled workers. With over 600 million people in India currently under 25 years old by 2020, the system is under tremendous pressure to expand its wings and online education can cater to this caveat successfully. The study also states that while in general university and diploma courses account for the majority of students (2/3 of tertiary enrolment), there has been much faster growth over the last five years in professional courses (1/3 of tertiary enrollment), that include Engineering, Medical, Management, Law, Accounting and other Vocational courses. Potential opportunities in the untapped space of online test preparation market is said to only upsurge.
According to a UGC report there are currently 634 government recognized degree awarding universities in India and over 35000 affiliate colleges. However the market requirement for 500 million skilled professionals by 2020 might not be accomplished by the system with just traditional or existing forms of pedagogy and we have to but look for alternatives who can supplement the demand.
The global trends in the scalability of online education technologies are greater and efficient. E- Learning or Digital Learning is slowly morphing itself into an alternative education space.
In India, these digital modes of pedagogy are yet to attain the same status that the society bestows upon the Traditional forms of education. But over the past decade, many online educational firms are utilizing the best expertise of these educators from both private and government institutions on a shared B-2-B model and have successfully been able to demonstrate that "Digital divide" and "quality dissemination" can be tackled straightforwardly.
He is the CEO and Founder of Superprofs.com. He completed his education in B.Tech and M.Tech from IIT Kanpur. After graduating from IIT Kanpur, he enrolled into the graduate program at Stanford University, USA. With the corporate work experience he had already gained by internship with Technology giants like Yahoo, Microsoft Research, USA and Deutche Telekom from Germany. Piyush ventured into online Test Preparation market to regulate the industry and with a hope to make quality education available to all students in India.