E-learning is the New Norm in India After 2020

ICT (Information Communication and Technology) is not a new phenomenon in India. Distance learning pedagogy and app-based learning (including Whatsapp) have played an effective role in higher education as a platform for sharing and learning between students.

An online survey conducted in 2020 among students belonging to various institutions/ Universities from 17 states in India, 61.43% participants agreed that students can take the advantage of web-based learning and felt that ICT based education can help students explore the new edge of education. [1]

While the conventional model of face-to-face school learning holds its ground, the new technology driven learning models [applications, video conferencing, YouTube, etc.] are bridging challenges of accountability in education, especially in rural India which witnessed ‘absenteeism of teachers’ and ‘technology under lock & key’.

E-learning programs by State and civil society

The Vidyavahini app [2] launched by Bihar Education department is one in which students of classes 1-12 can download their books. Following this, within the public sector initiatives in the field of education, the most prominent of the efforts is the Mera Doordarshan Mera Vidyalaya/ Eckovation Platform [video learning module for school students-about 50,000+ in Banka district] for 6th till 12th standard students.

There are limited STEM applications in the country and more-so in Bihar. Traditionally, there has been out-migration in search of coaching of IAS and IIT by students from smaller towns in Bihar. However, state supported applications and digital initiatives [like Vidyavahini and Eckovation] are not yet widely prevalent, and “Toppers as Tutors” model are even more novel.

Turn the Bus (website:, an Education NGO that works on leveraging mobiles to reach students of about 800 high schools in Bihar, is adopting a slightly different approach. The organization works with a pool of skilled and relatable tutors to bring assortment of learned professionals or “Toppers as Tutors” for teaching students of class 10th and 12th in West Champaran district of Bihar. The organization’s model looks at bringing the teachers and students from the various cities to the remote areas for quality content for e-learning that can be downloadable at no price, customized to local context and local community of students and accessible at any time.

While these new efforts focus on STEM learning enhancement, one question remains: “how to keep the students motivated to perform better?”. This is a particular challenge which organizations are trying to address, especially for students at the threshold of their careers.

With the digital platforms we need to create learner’s readiness to meet the challenges and complexities of the future and that is possible only through such new possibilities and sustained efforts in this stride to reach the scale of 80 million youth in Bihar.

[1] Outcome of Online Teaching-Learning over Traditional Education during Covid-19 Pandemic, International Journal of Advanced Trends in Computer Science and Engineering, 2020

[2] E-learning in India during COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities, European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2020

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