Now, digital universities to soon offer higher education
As part of its Digital India programme, the government has started the process of formulating a policy for digital universities across the country.
Once formulated, such universities will be set up to enable people to access high-level education at their convenience. These universities will be given accreditation and courses will also be recognised by the government, a senior official from the ministry of IT and electronics told DNA Money on condition of anonymity.
In India, online education mainly for schools has been gaining steam over the last many years with many private players venturing into this segment. Even ministry of IT has started providing e-learning courses in some schools in villages where there is internet connectivity. Besides, many state governments have started smart classes to impart education.
A draft proposal for digital universities is already in the works by the ministry of human resources and development and has been circulated for inter-ministerial views, the official said. The structure and course content of the digital universities will be at par with global standards.
The next phase of Digital India is crucial as the government is targetting to make the country $1 trillion digital economy by 2022. 'Digital India 2.0' will usher in a new India, which will increase the digital economy 3.5 times from currently Rs 20 lakh crore to Rs 70 lakh crore by 2022.
"The cost of education will be low through online universities. Besides, the quality will be at par with physical ones. Moreover, with this initiative, we can compel students, who leave studies after school, to study further. One can even work while studying with such universities," the official explained.
Also, this will be beneficial in places where basic high-level education infrastructure is not up to the mark, the official said.
Through Digital India programme, the ministry of IT has already started skilling programme to train people in Information Communication Technology or ICT skills. It has also been financially supporting research and development projects in the area of e-learning at various academic educational institutes and labs.
According to a report by KPMG and Google last year, online education industry will be a $1.96 billion industry by 2021 in India. The paid user base will grow six times from 1.6 million users in 2016 to 9.6 million users in 2021. Reskilling and online certification was the largest segment in online education at $93 million in 2016, expected to reach $463 million by 2021. Primary and secondary education category had the largest addressable audience and expected to become the largest category by 2021.
Source by Daily News & Analysis