Online education in India has developed itself with the help of technology. Indian government is opening up the market for online education. Nowadays you can find numerous courses online. If you have time and are interested to study something, then you will surely get the chance online. In terms of technology, India is developing at an exponential rate. The advancement in technology has caused the growth of online education. The rise of Internet has changed the lifestyle of Indians. Due to the availability of high-speed Internet and smartphones, technology has penetrated into the lives of people.
Growth of online education
Online education is a part of the digital India initiative. Today people have become fond of Internet, which is the reason for carrying out many activities online. This applies to education also. Online education market in India was valued at $247 million in 2016. It is expected to reach nearly $1.96 billion by 2021. This shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52%. The total number of users enrolled in different online courses was around 1.6 million in 2016. This is expected to reach around 9.6 million by 2021 end. The cost of classroom education is increasing day by day. This has led to preference of online education since it is cost effective. The target market for online education in India are people with high aspirations but lower income. There is high acceptability of online education in the younger demographic. There is good potential in India.
Advantages of online education
Usually people opt for online education when they do not have access to classroom education. But online education is better than classroom education in some ways. They are
One can learn anywhere and at any time
The primary requirement of online education is high-speed Internet. Other than that, it needs desktop, laptop or smartphone. This flexibility helps students and working professionals. They can pursue new courses without giving up on anything. Students can learn new course during their vacations. Working people can learn on weekends and holidays. Anyone can learn something in free time. The course materials are available in the portal.
One can save money and time
The cost of online education is much lower than classroom education. It helps the students who cannot afford classroom education for the same course. It saves time because you do not have to study at a fixed time. You can take the course whenever you want. If you are busy anytime, then you can pursue the course at some other time.
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Learning at your own pace
Everyone has a different pace of learning. In a classroom where many students are taught together, some students find it difficult to follow. This is a disadvantage of classroom education. But online education solves this issue. In online education, students are provided with course materials first. This is good because they get an idea about the course by viewing the materials. Then the students learn the course by taking their own time. Students can clarify their doubts through that forum.
Recognition of online degrees
Many companies in India are accepting online degrees. But the degrees should be approved by Distance Education Council (DEC) of India. Some organisations ask their employees to get online education. If you complete an online course from a valid forum, then you can mention it in resume.
Online education industry in India
Online learning has changed the scenario of education in India. It is growing at a good rate. Online education goes beyond secondary and tertiary education. It also includes courses for competitive exams, non-academic subjects and enhancement of professional skills. The categories of online education are
Primary and secondary supplemental education
Online learning acts as a supplement to school learning. It is for school students studying in primary and secondary classes. Online education has replaced tuition classes of students. This is convenient for students and saves their time.
Online education acts as an alternative to traditional higher education courses. Though classroom education is best for higher education, yet it is an option for students who cannot avail traditional education.
There are numerous entrance exams that occur throughout the year. There are online learning programmes which aim at training students in the preparation of competitive exams. This is physically convenient for students who cannot commute for classroom education. Some online programmes are an addon to the classroom education offered by an institution. You may have seen this feature in some coaching centres where they have an online portal. Students can practice questions and take tests online in that portal.
Reskilling and online certifications
There are some online courses which reskill professionals. They assist people in enhancing skills and offer certifications. The certifications encourage people to take up online courses.
Language and casual learning
Online learning does not teach only academic content. They offer learning on various areas like languages and hobbies. We can learn anything through online medium.
Online education industry is thriving in India and it will show tremendous growth in future.
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Drivers of online education in India
Online learning is growing at a swift pace in India due to certain factors. They are
Internet and smartphone penetration
Internet has become a part of our life due to its accessibility. It is expected that the number of Internet users in India will reach 730 million by the end of 2020. India may become the second largest user after USA. Smartphone has also become a part of our life due to its usefulness. The number of smartphone users is increasing day by day. India is the third largest smartphone market in the world. It is only because of internet that people are able to enrol in online courses. The young demographic is an active consumer of Internet and smartphone. They look out for online education in order to fulfil their requirements. Internet makes it possible even for rural population to access different courses and certifications from around the world.
Traditional education is unable to fulfil additional capacity
The aim of government is to increase the number of literate people in India. But considering the total population in India, it is somewhat difficult to cater to all educational needs of people. The existing infrastructure of education cannot meet the additional capacity. Online education can fulfil this gap to a considerable extent. Online learning can supplement conventional education. For tuitions, online learning is of great help. Due to the vast population everyone does not get opportunity to go to tuition classes. But they can have that through online mode.
Digital friendly government policies
Government has launched many programmes under initiatives like Digital India and Skill India for spreading digital literacy. The aim is to create a knowledgeable society in India. Government wants to implement three principles of the Education policy which are access, equality and quality. For establishing digital infrastructure, Government has launched National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN). That aims in expanding broadband connectivity and fast network.
Platforms of online education
There are various platforms of online education. Some of the platforms are Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, edX, Udacity, Academic Earth, Codecademy, Alison, Pluralsight, Open Yale Courses and MDN Web Docs.