The Indian government has issued a warning to ed-tech businesses about, unfair trade practices. The secretary of the department of consumer affairs, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh said If self-regulation fails to halt unfair business practises, stringent regulations must be put in place to ensure transparency.
The self-regulatory organisation India Edtech Consortium (IEC), which is overseen by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), met with the secretary of the department of consumer affairs, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh in New Delhi Today.
In addition to IEC member businesses upGrad, BYJU’S, Unacademy, Vedantu, Great Learning, WhiteHat Jr., and Sunstone, representatives of IAMAI also attended the meeting.
Unfair trade practices and deceptive advertising for the Indian Edtech Sector were hot topics throughout the discussion.
The Secretary talked on how to handle consumer interests more effectively across the entire Indian edtech ecosystem. IEC is made up of Indian start-ups and represents the majority of Indian learners.
The members emphasised the need to improve the Indian EdTech ecosystem in order to better protect consumer interests through seamless, transparent, and practical services for consumers as part of the agenda.
Unfair Trade Practices: Robust checkpoints that align with the consumers’ interests is a must
The Secretary pointed out that it has been reported that certain advertisements and practices do not seem to conform to prevalent guidelines and existing regulations. Therefore, it’s imperative to work together to maintain robust checkpoints that align with the consumers’ interests. The problem of increasing fake reviews was also a major point of concern which needed to be contained.
It is noteworthy, a recent report by ASCI revealed that education category is the largest violator of advertising code in 2021-22. The Secretary also advised IEC to continue with their positive efforts to serve the ecosystem and form a joint working group with relevant stakeholders to create the SOPs in this regard.
The industry members briefed the Secretary about the progress of the IEC and the direction of ongoing efforts to improve awareness and welfare of learners.