Online education industry

How Big Is The Online Education Industry In India?

The Indian education system is often the topic of arguing over the outdated syllabus, cost of education, quality of faculties and lack of infrastructure. On the positive side, our nation boasts of world-class institutes such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). We also have one of the largest and oldest education systems in the world. But we need to shift towards E-learning.


The formal education in India still running with the traditional way of learning or the brick-and-mortar classes. Students have to go to schools and colleges to get their education. While the standard system is the commonly accepted model of many education over the world, the education profession is starting up to online education or e-learning as it is also referred otherwise.
Everything is going online. And, so is education.

E-learning in india

Scope of E-learning

Online education goes beyond the domain of secondary, post-secondary and tertiary education. It also has courses and modules for competitive exam preparation, professional skill enhancement, and other non-academic subjects.

Online learning is Big in India

According to the current report, the Indian e-learning market size was USD247 million, contain 1.6 million learners in 2016. It is expected to have an 8X growth to reach USD1.96 billion and the recent user base will increase at 44 percent CAGR to 9.6 million learners by 2021.

In fact, India’s e-learning market is the second largest after the US, which is predicted to grow by 15.64 percent and increased $48 billion by 2020.

The E-learning in India is changing at a rapid pace unsettled to the following factors:

1. Growth In Internet & Smartphone Penetration

growth in internet  & smartphones

The number of internet users is expected to reach 730 million by 2020, nearly double from what it is today at 432 million. India may replace China to have the second-largest internet users after the US.

2. Cost Of Online Education Is Low

A survey tells that there has been a 175 % increase in the average annual private spending for general education between 2008 and 2014. During the same period, the annual cost of professional and technical education has risen by 96%. Parents spend Rs36,000 on secondary education in a government school for six years, and Rs3,96,000 in private schools. If the students are studying in boarding, the cost is about to Rs 18 lakhs. The graduation and post-graduation degrees in engineering, medicine, science, and commerce are very costly.

3. Traditional Model Unable To Fulfill The Additional Capacity

The focus of the government is to raise its current gross enrolment ratio to 30% by 2020.  At the end of 2020, India will have the world’s largest young-age population and second-largest graduate talent generator internationally. However, the existing educational infrastructure is not supplied to meet the additional volume. The e-learning can supplement the standard model, and fill the gap to a significant extent.

4. Digital-Friendly Government Policies

The ruling government has announced several policies under the initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’ to promote digital literacy, develop a knowledge-based society in India, and apply three principles ‘access, equity and quality’ of the Education Policy.

digital friendly government

In order to form digital infrastructure, the government has also launched National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) which focus to expand broadband connectivity and faster network.

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