Are Edtech Startups Making an Impact to the Education Sector of Our Country?

India is transforming and the major reason behind this transformation is because the way our country is leveraging the technology to re-create and revolutionalize different sectors. According to a Mckinsey report, newer digital tools like Cloud Computing, Advanced Genomics and many others could have a combined global economic impact of $550 billion to $1 Trillion a year by 2025.

Several tech startups in India are quietly changing the dynamics of the education landscape of our country. With our governments resilient push by increasing the digital reach to drive progress and economic growth our education sector is now ripe and ready. According to Edustars survey, 61% of the companies in India have built mobile and tablet apps in the education space. 54% of them leverage the cloud for their startups while 32% use video technology. A satisfactory 32% of the edtech startups present in India are earning between Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore per year and 25% of the startups are earning over Rs. 1 Crore Per Annum.

Zishaan Hayath, Founder of Toppr, an online test preparation platform says that India’s Education sector is the next front that needs to be conquered using technology. He adds that via technology their platform is able to adapt question papers to a personal level. This way they can figure out the weaknesses of a student based on past performance and serve him or her appropriate content and questions.

Videos have always been the most engaging form of content on the internet space. Most of these edtech startups use technology to compress data so that video streaming or pre-recorded video content can be sent over even at the speed of a 2G Connection. The segment that has most players involved in the edtech space is the Online Test Preparation. The entrance exams like IIT, IIM, UPSC or Bank Exams are the focus of many edtech startups.

Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures, an investor in a startup called SuperProfs and also one of the business mentors, says that due to startups like SuperProfs a student is not constrained to major hubs of IIT and IIM Coaching. SuperProfs have tied up with 200 Professors across the country to upload their video lectures. Students post lectures can also get their doubts cleared by booking a slot for a live online session with professors. They ensure to bring the best of the teaching talents from cities like Kota, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, etc.

Vedantu is another growing edtech startup of India, which is disrupting the online tutoring market. Vedantu works as an online marketplace where students and teachers can meet and select one another. They charge Rs. 150 to 250 per hour for coaching students from 6th to 12th standard. Students can rate teachers, which is visible to the new students to make an informed choice. Although, we feel that Online Education is still in its initial phase, but we see a much larger number of investors, which is total 60 being drawn to edtech space in India than in the same time in 2014, which was 35. Even globally, as the data from VC investment tracking firm CB Insights suggests that there is a phenomenal 71% increase in the investments to ed tech space from the year 2013 to 2014. Financing grew from $944 million in 2013 to $1.6 billion in 2014.

There is a definite traction for ed tech products in the market, but edtech startups are facing several problems as well. As per the Edustars Survey, when startups were asked about the challenges faced by them, 50% of the startups said elongated sales cycle as their biggest problem. With 39% stating their biggest issue was user adoption. Lack of awareness was the problem with 32% of the startups. While the rest pointed out at several issues like unable to attract talented employees, raising funds and difficulty running a for-profit model in the education space.

The majority of startups in India from edtech space are in early stages, but fortunately, most of them are reporting sizable traction, but the overall scenario is positive and both investors and entrepreneurs seem to be thrilled about the potential of the sector.

A Review Of Engineering Education In India

Engineering and Technical education in India have been developing faster than anywhere else in the world since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialization and economic growth. Indian now has the second largest number of engineering students in the world. English is the only medium if instructions in all engineering institutions. In a recent assessment by the United Nations, the Indian economy was rated as the sixth largest in the world and is expected to move into the fourth place by the end of this century Recent advances in scientific, industrial and technological areas, particularly in space, nuclear and missile technology, computer engineering and information science have earned India world recognition as an emerging global power.

The word “engineering” derived from the Latin word “ingeniare” means “to design” or “to create”. Engineering can be defined as “the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines and structures” and “technology” as the “application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose, especially in industry”. Engineering education in India has a long tradition, the beginning of which goes back to the year 1847. In that year was established the Thomason College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee, later to become the Roorkee University (1949), the first engineering university in the country. The development of technical education has been one of the major achievements of the post-Independence period. The creation of the All-India Council of Technical Education in 1945, and the Report of the Scientific Manpower Committee (1947) has a far reaching influence in this development.

The growth of educational facilities has been phenomenal during the last decade. The outturn of graduates in engineering doubled within a span of 10 years from about 30,000 in 1987 to 60,000 in 1996. During the same period, the outturn of polytechnic diploma holders increased from 56,560 to 95,283. In view of the large-scale proliferation of institutions, the AICTE is keen to ensure that the quality of programmes offered by them is not compromised with. It has, therefore, setup the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) which has introduced a system of accreditation of each program offered by the recognized institutions.

Civil engineering is considered to be the oldest of the main branches of engineering. Two other comparatively older branches are Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. As a result of scientific and technology breakthroughs, today new fields of engineering and technology are continually emerging. At the same time, boundaries between various branches are becoming less and less clear-cut.

Levels of Engineering Education.

Engineering and technical education is available at five levels. At the lowest level is the training in different traded offered by a large number of Industrial Training Institutes (it is) across the country. The duration and eligibility requirements vary depends upon the nature of the trade. At the next higher level are the three year diploma courses in different branches of engineering and technology available in polytechnics. The eligibility requirements for admission to diploma course is a pass in class 10 examination. In some states polytechnic offered post 10+2 diploma and post diploma course also. The first degree programmes leading to B E / degree are four year duration except Architecture (B.Arch) which needs five years to complete. The eligibility requirements for B.E (B.Tech) and B.Arch course is a pass in 10+2 examination in the science stream with mathematics as one of the combinations. The post graduate programmes leading to award of M.E/M.Tech and M.Arch degree are of 18 months duration (Three semesters). Candidates are required to take up a specialized topic in the branch of their study at the first degree level.

IIT Mumbai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Chennai offer integrated M.Tech courses of five year duration. IIT Chennai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Mumbai also offer duel degree programmes of 5 year duration in several branches. A small number of universities offer B.Tech course of three year duration mostly in branches of technology open only to B.Sc degree holders. In many universities, polytechnic diploma holders are permitted lateral entry to the second year of regular B.E / B.Tech programmes through separate entrance tests e.g Lateral Entry Engineering Test (LEET). There is also provision for Certificate holders to enter the Diploma programmes and the Diploma holders to Degree programmes. Admission to degree course, however, is made on the basis of an All India Entrance Test.

Top 10 Engineering Colleges in Chennai

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras):

IIT Madras was established in 1959. The college is one among the foremost institutes of national importance in higher technological education, basic and applied research. IIT Madras is a residential institute with nearly 460 faculty, 4500 students and 1250 administrative & supporting staff and is a self-contained campus located in a beautiful wooded land of about 250 hectares.

Entrance Exam: The entrance exam for IITs is JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) Advance. Students clearing the JEE Advance can seek admission to various IITs.

Campus Facilities: The college infrastructure includes facilities like Library, Classrooms, Computer Center, Workshop, Banks, Canteens, Guest Houses and Transport.

Placement: The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras is one of the most reputed institutes for technological education and research in India. Some of the top recruiters are 3DPLM Software Solutions Ltd, Bank Bazaar, Citicorp Services India, Deloitte, Essar Group, FMC Technologies India Pvt Ltd, Hewlett Packard, Infosys Ltd, ITC Ltd and ONGC.

College of Engineering:

The College was started as a Survey School in the year 1794, and was established as a college in 1859. It was finally set up into a technical institute in 1978. The Guindy College of Engineering is one of the oldest Engineering Colleges in the country today.

Entrance Exam: The entrance exam to seek admission in the College is TANCET (Tamilnadu Common Entrance Test).

Campus Facilities: The College has the provision for Library, Sports, Auditorium, Workshops and Laboratories in the premises.

Placement: The Centre for University and Industrial collaboration (CUIC/Placement cell) provides the infra-structural facilities to conduct group discussions, tests and interviews besides catering to other logistics. The industries, which approach the institute, come under the purview of Core Engineering industries; IT and IT enabled services, Manufacturing Industries, Consultancy Firms, Finance Companies, Management Organizations and R and D laboratories, etc.

Madras Institute of Technology (MIT):

MIT was established in 1949 by Shri.C.Rajam. It was the rare genius and daring of its founder that made MIT offer courses like Aeronautical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, Electronics Engineering and Instrument Technology for the first time in our country. Now it also provides technical education in other engineering fields such as Rubber and Plastic Technology & Production Technology. It was merged with Anna University in the year 1978.

Entrance Exam: MIT accepts students through the single window counseling that is conducted by the Anna University, Chennai. The single window counseling accepts applications to constituent colleges and colleges affiliated to Anna University.

Campus Facilities: The College campus has facilities for Library, Hostels, Health Centre, Classrooms, Sports Facilities, Computer Centre and Workshop.

Placement: The placement cell at MIT is attached to the Centre for University and Industrial Collaboration (CUIC). The placement activities of the constituent colleges of Anna University are scheduled by the CUIC.

SRM University:

The SRM University is a deemed university and was established in 1985. It was formerly known as SRM Institute of Science and Technology. SRM is accredited by NAAC with ‘A’ Grade in the year 2013. SRM University is placed in “A” category by MHRD.

Entrance Exam: The entrance exam to seek admission in SRM University is SRMJEEE (SRM Joint Engineering Entrance Examination).

Campus Facilities: The college infrastructure has facilities like Laboratories, Libraries, Wi-Fi, AC Auditorium, Hostels and Book stores, Dining Halls, Cafeterias and Gymnasium.

Placement: The consistent placement record illustrates the commitment to the success of the University. SRM University has a 100% job placement record. Students have no trouble finding coveted positions in reputed corporate and business houses that visit the campus every year, offering an excellent salary package on par with international standards.

Sri Sairam Engineering College (SSEC):

SSEC was established in 1995. The college is affiliated to Anna University, Chennai, approved by AICTE, New Delhi and accredited by NBA.

Entrance Exam: The entrance exam to seek admission in the college is Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission (TNEA) exam.

Campus Facilities: The College campus has the facilities like Library, Classrooms, Laboratories, Healthcare Center, Sports and Games, Cafeteria, Bank, Transport and Hostel.

Placement: The placement cell at SSEC is an integral part of the institute. Training activities are organized throughout the year in an effort towards preparing the prospective students for the campus selection programs. Some of the top recruiters are TCS, HCL, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Voltas, Syntel, Oracle, Aircel and Ford.

Sathyabama University:

This University was established in 1987, formerly known as Sathyabama Engineering College by Jeppiaar Educational Trust. The Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India has granted Deemed University status to the college in 2001 and University status in 2006 under section(3) of the UGC Act, 1956. The University has been awarded B++ grade by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and ISO 9001:2000 for professional quality management.

Entrance Exam: The admission to B.E., / B.Tech. Programmes are done solely on the basis of the performance in the All India B.E/B.Tech Entrance Examination conducted by Sathyabama University.

Campus Facilities: The College has provision for Library, Laboratories, Internet Facility, Hostel, Health and Fitness, Conference Halls, Bank and ATM, Transportation and Sports.

Placement: The University have full-fledged placement cell, which monitors the employment opportunities and arrange campus interviews for the final year students. Some of the top recruiters are Alstom, American Express, Asian Paints, Apsara Innovations, BirlaSoft Technologies, Blue Star Air-Conditioners, BPL, CADS Software, Cater Piller and CITOS.

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT):

VIT was established under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, and was founded in 1984 as a self-financing institution called the Vellore Engineering College. NAAC has re-accredited VIT University with an ‘A’ grade.

Entrance Exam: B.Tech degrees from VIT University are achieved by successfully getting through the VITEEE (Vellore Institute of Technology Engineering Entrance Exam) conducted every year.

Campus Facilities: The campus facilities include Conference Facilities, Computing Centers, Smart Classrooms, Library Facilities, Campus Amenities, Sports & Gymnasium, Hostels & Dining, Swimming Pool, Transport and Health Service.

Placement: VIT University has been consistently setting records of campus placements amongst private institutions in India. Over 400 recruiters from Core Engineering and Software companies visit each year. Some of the top recruiters are Accenture, Cognizant, Wipro, Infosys, Reliance Industries, Reliance Power, Tata Power, Tata Bluescope Steel and Crompton Greaves.

St. Joseph’s College of Engineering (SJCOE):

The Jeppiaar Educational Trust was formed in 1987 under the leadership of Dr. Jeppiaar, Founder-Chairman & Managing Trustee. St. Joseph`s College of Engineering was established under the guidance of Jeppiaar Educational Trust in the year 1994 as per the rules of government of Tamil Nadu. It is a Christian Minority Institution and is one of the Tier-1 Institutions in Tamil Nadu.

Entrance Exam: The students have to write JEE Mains and Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination (TNPCEE) to seek admission in the college.

Campus Facilities: The college infrastructure includes Indoor auditorium, conference hall, open air theatre, central library, book bank, internet facility, hostel, mess, transport, bank, gym, etc.

Placement: It nurtures Industry institute interaction and moulds and mentors the students to be fit for the placement. It also provides job opportunities by bringing companies for campus recruitment to all eligible students of the final year. It enhances and employs current practical and technical knowledge of the students. Some of the top recruiters are L&T Infotech, Cognizant, Wipro, Mphasis, Infosys, Virtusa, NTT Data, Federal Bank, Verzon, MRF, SAPE International, Sasken, etc.

Vel Tech Dr.RR & Dr.SR Technical University:

The University was established in 1990 by Vel Tech group of educational institutions by a well known industrialist couple Dr.R. Rangarajan and Dr.R. Sakunthala Rangarajan dedicated to public service. Vel Tech has earned accreditation by the National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi for all the degree programmes. It has been duly declared as deemed to be university by the UGC and notified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi.

Entrance Exam: The entrance exam for B.Tech. Degree programmes is VTUEEE (Veltech Technical University Engineering Entrance Exam) conducted every year.

Campus Facilities: The colleges has facilities like Library, Classrooms, Laboratories, Resource centre, Canteen, Conference Hall, Computing Laboratory, Transportation, Hostels and Medical facilities.

Placement: The placement cell of the university provides placements to students as they enter their pre-final year. Some of the top recruiters are Accenture BPO, Bajaj Allianz-Life Insurance, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Global Technologies, HDFC Life Insurance, Infosys Technologies LTD, MAX Newyork, Life Insurance, Mphasis (EDS), Reliance Infocom and Thomson Scientific.

B.S. Abdur Rahman University(BSAU):

B.S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur, (formerly B.S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Engineering College) has been established under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956, which has now been upgraded as B.S Abdur Rahman University, was an institution acclaimed throughout India for its quality in teaching and research.

Entrance Exam: BSAUEEE (B.S. Abdur Engineering Entrance Examination) is the entrance exam which is conducted for taking admission to 4 years Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programme.

Campus Facilities: The campus has facilities like well stocked library, well maintained laboratories, community hall, mosque, convention center, computer center, cafeteria, health center, outdoor game courts and transport service.

Placement: Some of the top recruiters are L&T Infotech, Igate, Mphasis, Mindtree, Prime Focus Technologies, Polaris, Saint Gobain, IBM and Wipro among the others.