Jan 18
The E-edge
The E-edge
THE COVID-19 pandemic has wrought at least one positive outcome – it has reshaped the education spectrum. Today, school and college students and those seeking professional training are refashioning themselves online. This is the world of e-learning or EdTech.
Though a robust EdTech ecosystem has already sprung up in several technologically advanced countries, in case of India it is still at a nascent stage. Some simple statistics will paint the picture – global and national – clearer: while the penetration of online education is at 1.15 % in India, the world average is slightly over 3%. China, on the other hand, has emerged as a leader with over 10% of its students-professionals already in the e-learning universe.
Facts provide a deeper perspective of what has brought EdTech to the forefront and its potential as the next means in the field of education and skilling. In India, there are nearly 250 million school-going children in the Kindergarten to XII (K – XII) segment. Of these, 130 and 120 million attend government and private schools, respectively.
While the K – XII segment comprises students in the 3-18 years age group, those in the 18-25 years are in the higher education segment and the ones in the 21-50+ age group constitute the professional segment.
The higher education segment – comprising engineering, medicine, business management, etc. – has about 33 million students. This segment is further categorised into three sub-segments – engineering (3.3 million), other technical (6 million) and arts & commerce (23 million).
Surpassing  both the school and higher education segments by far,  the real  bulge rests in the professional segment. It has over 450 million ‘blue collar’ and 50 million  ‘white collar’ women and men.
Keeping these potentials in mind and to help India catch up with the rest of the world so far as e-learning is concerned, L&T, last October, launched a new business venture – the L&T EduTech. It is a “pioneering global initiative to reinforce learning for students, upskilling workforce and practicing professionals through seamless bridging of industry application and technology, thereby enhancing employability”.
It adds to L&T’s ever-growing tech-based and tech-driven digital businesses manifested in Group Companies like Mindtree, L&T Infotech (LTI) and L&T Technology Services (LTTS).
With the tectonic shift towards digital education, L&T EduTech believes that leveraging technology to bring the wisdom and experience of industry beyond the walls of conventional universities is going to be the new normal in the education industry. This will complement and reinforce learning while bringing real-time experience to students to be job ready from day one.
Online education is accelerated by two key factors. First, the COVID-19 pandemic which has made hybrid learning almost a “way of life”: 61% of households in India used the internet in 2021, compared to just 21% in 2017. Over 130 million users went online in 2020 and 2021.
A second boost has come in the form of a Central government move – the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) – which promotes the use of technology in teaching and learning so to remove language barriers. More specifically, in addition to cross-functional credits and industry-academia partnership, NEP  offers students the flexibility to opt 20% credits by taking up relevant online courses.
All these enabling circumstances perfectly suit L&T EduTech. Its offerings are pivoted on reinforcing conceptual learning with application engineering, exposing learners to the tenets of engineering practice from industry’s standpoint. Therefore, the learner will be better positioned and aligned with the requirement of the industry after graduation.
Further, as an add-on to the learning platform there will be special certifications/assessments linked to different jobs in the industry. The learners can choose their area of interest, assess themselves and craft their own learning path for better employability.
L&T EduTech has at least five distinct advantages as compared to other players in the field – (i) leveraging L&T’s several decades of experience in core engineering and technology across diverse spectrum, (ii) first-hand knowledge of the requirements of the industry, (iii) offering industry-specific courses that increase employability quotient of the learners, (iv) delivering high quality learnings tested in real- life industrial scenarios and (v) offering the option of physical visits to manufacturing and project sites.
“It is often said that on one hand people complain about not getting a job, and on the other hand industry complains about not getting the right talent to execute. This is because, in most cases, graduates across India lack the skills specifically required by the industry and it is important to bridge the industry-academia gap. L&T, with its applied knowledge in varied industries, is the only company in India who can do that,” says Mr Sabyasachi Das, the Chief Executive of L&T EduTech.
As part of its aggressive business plans, EduTech is going to have offices in multiple cities. “In the next five years, we have a target to occupy the top slot in India’s e-learning spectrum. To drive this ambitious target, we are now hiring aggressively for sales, content development and product team having at least 5+ years of experience,” added Mr Das, who previously was heading North American division for delivery of banking and financial services in one of the top multinational IT companies.

Keeping the K - XII segment aside, L&T EduTech is mainly focusing on the higher education and professional skilling segments, with the mantra being “learn” (practical and application-oriented learning), “skill” (content-led  skilling interventions and  practice platforms), “assess” (diagnostic and summative assessments) and “certify” (joint certification by academic bodies and L&T).
Even as the company’s structural foundations are being laid and staff hirings are slowly picking up across most parts of India, its three business “pillars” have taken a definite shape.
The first pillar is ‘College Connect’ that empowers students with practical and application-oriented learning and expose them to the tenets of engineering from industry’s standpoint. The curriculum involves immersive and interactive learning experience. The courses, being offered to students online through their respective institutions, will be endorsed by the Board of Studies of the respective universities and will be an integral part of the students’ mark-sheet.
The second pillar is ‘Professional Skilling’ which will   enable   professionals to upskill themselves for accelerated career progression. This would be done through immersive learning coupled with real world engineering problem solving and case studies.
The third pillar is ‘Vocational Skilling’ that will cover upskilling the blue-collar workforce to improve their employability. For this, courses have been designed on the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) framework and are delivered in a hybrid mode. Learners are reached through training partners/channel partners who are running physical mode of training.
What really sets apart L&T EduTech is that not only do concepts meet application – pivoted on reinforcing conceptual learning with applied engineering, all the three pillars have integrated assessment systems designed to assess and certify students/professionals across various competencies even when they are pursuing a course.
The College Connect courses are designed to award 3 credits as laid out by the universities. The four components of the courses are: i) e-learning content, in which concepts will meet application and will be delivered through interactive modules along with instructor-led videos, ii) project work for hands-on exercise, iii) formative and summative assessments that will involve two mid-course and end-course assessments and iv) an immersion programme that includes site visits for select set of students.
The second pillar – Professional Skilling – is extremely important, considering the country’s needs in general. It involves a 360-degree upskilling of aspiring students and professionals in psychometric and behavioural, managerial, finishing school, IT, IT upskilling, trending technologies, communication and English language skills.
The third pillar – Vocational Skilling – is to add value to the learning of the blue-collar workforce. Very few of them undergo formal skilling, and those who do, are not properly oriented about the basics, best practices and productivity. EduTech’s e-learning content on vocational skilling will reduce in-class contact hours required by trainers, and the learners will benefit from standardised high-quality e-learning for their job roles.


While the curricula and the course work are organically tied to the engineering sectors and streams, the other good news is the galaxy of experts and senior academics associated with some of India’s top engineering colleges.
L&T EduTech’s Advisory Council has some of the stalwarts from the industry who provide necessary governance and set the directions.
Two other structures – the Academic Advisory Council and the Streamwise Academic Council – form the backbone of L&T EduTech. These committees are constituted by academicians of national repute from some of the best engineering institutions in the country– IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IISc Bangalore, etc.
In many ways, L&T EduTech is a pioneering effort, especially at a time when India’s answer to the unemployment question needs a stupendous effort of will. L&T has, time and again, risen to the occasion to meet the nation’s needs and EduTech is poised to be a trailblazer as it will be an important element in India’s education superstructure. It will help push online learning and skilling and thereby give prospective students and professionals tremendous knowledge support.

L&T EduTech’s journey so far has been steady and sure. In the just about two months of being in the business, it has already been accepted by several reputed engineering institutions in the country.

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