The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said on Wednesday that leading education technology companies had formed a consortium – the India EdTech Consortium (IEC) – to adhere to a common “code of conduct”.
Companies and start-ups such as Byju’s, Careers 360, Great Learning, Harappa, Times Edutech & Events Ltd, Scalar, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu and WhiteHat Jr have now joined the IEC.
“In line with recent government recommendations, the IEC will ensure that every student has access to quality and affordable education that not only improves their academic performance but also prepares them for the future,” IAMAI said.
Edtech companies also informed the Ministry of Education in writing of their move to form a consortium. In their letter to the edtech ministry, the companies said that in addition to a common code of conduct, they would also set up a two-stage grievance mechanism to ensure business transparency.
Referring to the size and size of the edtech ecosystem, the consortium said it was “essential” to adopt a framework that would protect the rights of students and companies. The framework will cover areas such as ethical sales practices, marketing communications, loans and refunds, the fair and transparent functioning of a robust complaint mechanism and the proposed independent complaints panel, the paper said.
Edtech companies were under government pressure and faced much criticism with reports that children from lower income groups enrolled in expensive classes by forcing their parents to agree to the terms of the expensive loans that these classes would pay.
Following these reports, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on January 3 that although the government respects these companies and does not oppose the growth of their business, it cannot come at the cost of exploiting students and guardians. Pradhan then also said that his ministry had negotiated with the law and also with the ministries of IT about a common policy for these edtech companies.