Tablets spur digital education boom in India

Jayanth Kolla/Convergence Catalyst
11 Apr 2012
The launch of Apple's iPad in India two years ago and subsequent introduction of affordable Android-based tablets has spurred a flurry of activity in digital education.
Many players across the digital education value chain have been partnering to offer customized solutions to both educational institutes and individual consumers. A few examples:
- AcrossWorld Education in partnership with Delhi-based Go Tech has launched a 5,000 rupee ($100) ‘ATab’ device with bundled education content targeted at schools and colleges
- Delhi-based Classteacher Learning Systems has launched ‘Classpad’. Targeted at school students, Classpad provides educational solutions based on NCERT syllabus
- iProf India has launched the iProf tablet and has also made his solution available on other Android-based tablets such as Samsung Galaxy Tab, HCL devices and Reliance Tab
- HCL Infosystems recently launched a 7,999 rupee ($160) Android-based tablet MyEduTab (ME U1) to enable students, teachers and parents to connect, collaborate and share information as well as content over the Cloud.
- Indian mobile device OEM Micromax has launched a 6,499 rupee ($130) ‘Funbook’ with an e-reading app that provides content from publishers like Pearson and Universal Tutors with content for over 500 courses.
The Indian government has also been instrumental in driving the adoption of digital technologies in the education sector. The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has been set up under the 11th Five Year Plan to drive convergence in the higher education sector.
The mission has earmarked approximately $2 billion for content digitization and connectivity in higher education institutes to be disbursed between 2008-12. As a part of its plans, NMEICT has set up a program to offers web-based audio/video lectures to students. NMEICT has also launched “Sakshat”, a one-stop open house web portal for knowledge transfer and interaction between students and teachers at various levels.
As for connectivity, NMEICT has tasked BSNL with providing 1 Gbps link to every department of 100 central institutions and 7.5-10 Mbps links to 18,000 other colleges.


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