Perplexed over MHRD's college rankings? These edu startups can help make better academic decisions
Choosing the best institutions based on Global ranking system has often left students in a state of bewilderment. According to The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), India is home to 795 universities and 39,671 affiliated colleges.
The domestic ranking of higher education institutes in India came as a relief amidst the entanglement of accuracy. IIT Madras, IIM Bangalore, IISc Bangalore, and Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences topped the list in their respective categories. Students looking for scholarships to study abroad may now reassess their plans.
India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and US. Infusion of quality and clarity are need of the hour to make India a nation of world-class educational institutions.
Besides relying on the government’s initiatives, we can also look at few startups that are helping students make easier and wise academic decisions.
Careers360 – The Education Hub
Careers360, launched in 2009 by Maheshwer Peri, is an online tool that uses data from students and institutions to help predict and recommend academic and career-related results and choices. The startup offers advises and information on management education, engineering, medical and allied sciences, and law. Having associated with 17,000 institutes across India, the startup is currently serving 15 million students.
Funding Spree: In June 2014, Career360 had raised angel funds from Ranjan Pai, Mahesh Murthy, and Founder of Career Launcher Satya Narayanan. Recently, it had raised an undisclosed amount of investments from MeritTracc, a whollyowned subsidiary of Manipal Global Education Services.
Merger and acquisition: The startup has made two acquisitions in December last year – Delhi-based Entrancecorner.com and Mumbai Angels-funded education startup NoPaperForms.com.
CareerAnna – Personalized learning platform
CareerAnna was founded by Varun Saxena in October 2014. It offers two-way interactive online live classes conducted in video mode, study materials, and videos distributed over a cloud platform and analytics driven assessment platform. Moreover, CareerAnna mobile App allows students to attend a full-fledged live interactive class from any geographical location.
Metrics and Traction: CareerAnna has 8,000–8,500 daily unique visitors, 5.42 lakhs registered users, 580 average transactions per week, 168 numbers of products, partnership with 59 institutes and 121 students.
Pagalguy – Simplifying the entrance exam procedures
Pagalguy started as a forum for students to share news related to the MBA entrance exams. Gradually, it has expanded to Banking, SSC CGL, Engineering, and UPSC. Founded in 2003 by Allwin Agnel, the startup had launched its new mobile learning platform in 2015 – Prepathon App, which has 1,50,000 downloads so far, is tailored for learning, discussions, and coaching.
Mentorship for students: Pagalguy assigns a personal coach to monitor, mentor, and motivate the students. To help personalise students' performance at scale, they have launched bots that monitor the performance of the students and provide insights to the coaches. With 20,000 active users per day, Pagalguy will be scaling by adding more courses and soon will open the platform for other course creators.
Collegedunia – Get information on higher education
Collegedunia, founded by Sahil Chalana in 2014, collates information on higher education in India and abroad, with 20,000 colleges, institutes, and universities along with data on one million fees structure. It covers areas like fee, placement, alumni record, rankings, awards, and extra-curricular activities. The startup has gained 60,000 daily visitors and 25,000 mobile downloads, with 30,000 reviews of 9,000 colleges.
Categorisation of information: The exam section gives information on 18 streams, along with practice papers and tips, whereas the course section provides over 6,000 courses details available across India. The clients of Collegedunia include NIIT Group, Educomp Business Schools, NMIMS, Alliance Business School, Lovely Professional University, British Council, and IDP Global.
Funding: Collegedunia recently raised Rs 3 crore pre-Series A round from Gaadi.com Co-founder and CEO Umang Kumar to enhance mobile offering, product development, and team hiring.
Startups in the edtech space are betting big not only in finding the best institutions, but also making quality education accessible in Tier II and III cities. Vedantu, Simplilearn, Toppr, Iprof, Talentedge, and embibe.com are some of the names one would likely take to leverage the education methods and technologies like real-time book updates, online tutoring, edutainment, and online test preparation.
Government initiatives, innovative technologies, and the contribution of startups will collectively fuel the vision of augmenting the educational status of India in the global map.
According to the EY report on ‘Higher Education in India: Vision 2030’, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world by 2030. With 140 million in the college-going age group, one in every four graduates in the world will be a product of the Indian higher education system.