The Future of Education hosted by the Indian Express Online Media brings together stakeholders from the education sector under one roof to discuss and deliberate on the evolution of the system in India. With approximately 29% of the country’s population being in the age group of 0 to 14 years, the education sector is one of the largest and fastest-growing. According to IBEF, the sector which was valued at $180 billion in FY20, is expected to increase to $350.3 billion by 2025. Data further reveals that India has over 250 million school going students. Moreover, it is house to one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world. The number of colleges and universities in India reached 39,931 and 993, respectively, in FY19. India had 37.4 million students enrolled in higher education in 2018-19. Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education reached 26.3% in FY19, as per IBEF. Also, in 2020-21, there was 9,700 total AICTE approved institutes. Of the total, there were 4,100 undergraduates, 4,951 postgraduate and 4,514 diploma courses in AICTE approved institutes.
Total foreign direct investment (FDI) which flowed in the education sector stood at $3.24 billion between April 2000 to March 2020 according to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). In India, the edtech market which is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2022; received investments worth $ 1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020, against $ 409 million in 2019.
The education sector has come a long way in the country -- more so last year as the spread of Covid-19 saw physical classrooms making way for online learning. Further, with the rollout of the new education policy (NEP) in 2020, the government has paved a way forward for what is known as ‘blended education’. From here on, the aim will be to provide students across levels with the necessary wherewithals including the right course work, the opportunity to learn vocational skills, the right set of infrastructure. The virtual conference has been designed to understand various aspects including challenges as well as the development required.