IAMAI forms India Edtech Consortium (IEC) to build a ‘Code of Conduct’ for edtech firms

Edtech companies will observe and adhere to a common ‘Code of Conduct’ and establish a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that business is conducted with high transparency and with customer interest in mind.
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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has announced the formation of the India Edtech Consortium (IEC), an autonomous and independent body, to ensure every learner will have access to quality and affordable education.

Under the aegis of IAMAI, edtech companies will observe and adhere to a common ‘Code of Conduct’ and establish a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that business is conducted with high transparency and with customer interest in mind.  

Edtech startups such as BYJU'S, Careers 360, Great Learning, Harappa Education, Times Edutech and Events Ltd, Scalar, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu, WhiteHat Jr, and many others have joined the consortium. 

The comprehensive ‘Memorandum’ will assist edtech companies in seamless transition to self-regulation and guide them on various dimensions like appropriate/ethical sales practices, marketing communication, robust financing / loans / refunds, and fair and transparent functioning of a grievance redressal mechanism, with escalation to an Independent Grievance Review Board with independent members

IAMAI will constitute an ‘IEC Management Committee' composed of representatives of the signatories to the Code and IAMAI, which will administer the implementation of the memorandum and the Code of Conduct.

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 sector. 

Indian edtech operators have been solving for accessibility and affordability through quality courses from best 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 our learners and all edtech companies are committed to this.

Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and MD, upGrad, and Co-Chairperson, IAMAI Edtech Committee, 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."

"This initiative will go a long way in strengthening the edtech sector and establishing India as the teaching capital of the world,” he added.

IAMAI aims to develop a process to seek periodic updates from the signatories regarding their progress with respect to compliance with the provisions of the code.

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 and 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. As an industry, we are committed to offering quality education services and industry relevant courses to our students and also ensuring ethical standards to protect learners on online educational platforms.

At its core, IEC is committed towards nation building by supporting national efforts to make India ‘self-reliant’ and the global education hub for ‘growth and innovation.’

Vamsi Krishna, Co-founder and CEO, Vedantu, said,

“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 sound 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.”
Edited by Megha Reddy

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