DIGITIZING INDIA : Addressing India's education challenges through the Internet of Everything

  • Updated: Aug 04, 2015 12:54 IST

Technology is proving to be a disruptive influence on education today. With technology as a catalyst, education is moving from a knowledge-transfer model to a collaborative, active, self-directed, and engaging model. This change couldn’t have come at a better time for India.


The urban population in India is expected to grow faster than its overall population by 2030. This will create a huge pressure on the economy and the education system. Along with this there are other challenges in our education system. First is the sheer capacity to deliver education to all sections of our society. The quality of existing educational institutions is another challenge. Technology has the capability to address all these issues. Trends such as the growing penetration of high speed broadband, low cost computing devices and a strong thrust from the Government are accelerating the transformation of India’s education system.


We’re at the dawn of the age of the Internet of Everything (IoE) enabled by network, WiFi, IT security, cloud surveillance and software applications for learning. Deploying these solutions will not only help institutes save costs, but provide connected learning experience that will make it easier for higher education institutes to collaborate on research projects.

Although these are early days, IoE is opening up a new world of educational opportunities, not limited by time and place, for students to learn more, and in new ways, by connecting to resources around the globe.

Cisco predicts that worldwide, IoE in education has a 10-year net present value of US$175 billion, which will be delivered through streamlined and personalized instruction, and through the collection of data for making better decisions and reducing expenditure on instructional resources. This value is based on the global adoption rate of IoE increasing from less than 5% in 2013 to 32% by 2022.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on the Digital India campaign looks to increase the scope of technology across the country. The campaign aims to ensure better connectivity and maximise the potential of India’s much talked about demographic dividend.

Creating broadband highways across the length and breadth of the country would go a long way in revamping the educational space digitally. The shortage of education institutes and faculty can be addressed when content on cloud or relevant technology is made accessible to everyone.

The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) Scheme meanwhile aims to leverage the potential of ICT for teaching and learning processes. The Mission has two major components - content generation and providing connectivity along with provision for access devices to the institutions and learners. Under the NMEICT Mission connectivity to 419 Universities/ University level Institutions and 25000+ colleges and polytechnics in the country has been envisaged to be provided.

A report titled “India E-Learning Market Outlook to FY2018 – Increasing Technology Adoption to Drive Future Growth’ estimates that Indian e-learning market will grow at CAGR of 17.4% over the period FY2013 to FY2018. Indians are among the most aggressive users of the massively open online courses (MOOCs). In March 2014, of the 2.9 million registered users of Coursera, more than 250,000 were from India. The Indian registrations are second only to those from the USA.

As richer data emerges and capabilities increase, IoE will continue to connect the formerly unconnected, close the gap in education, and develop practical solutions that improve the quality of education for all students. For Cisco, IoE is about giving students and educators new windows to the world, and new opportunities to learn without limits. Cisco can facilitate institutes by delivering a solid network infrastructure and key enabling technologies that serve as a platform for innovation.

In this new ecosystem, education in several institutes is gradually migrating fromcampusbasedlearningtoeLearning or blended learning, curriculum on Internet/cloud, learning through mobile computing devices over secure WiFi, collaborating over video, assessment through online tools and integrating all this for AnyTimeAnywhereLearning through applications like LMS (Learning Management Systems).

It is time for India to ride the technology wave since it offers many distinctive advantages.

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Source: Cisco

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