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The Future Of Education In India Heavily Relies Upon Online Learning: Ashwin Damera, Executive Director, Emeritus Institute of Management

With a lot of focus on e-learning, ed-tech has gained much prominence. Ashwin Damera, Executive Director of Emeritus Institute of Management talks about relevance in digital age, new developments in education system and digital learning. Edited Excerpts:

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With a lot of focus on e-learning, ed-tech has gained much prominence. Ashwin Damera, Executive Director of Emeritus Institute of Management talks about relevance in digital age, new developments in education system and digital learning. Edited Excerpts:

To stay relevant in the internet age, there is an increased focus on continuous re-skilling. What are your views on this?

The increasing rate of technological innovations and industry disruptions caused by it has led the organisations and executives to seek and focus on re-skilling opportunities. Digital disruptions in traditional sectors like banking, IT and retail have given rise to new opportunities; along with the need for working professionals to up-skill themselves. A recent survey conducted by Emeritus found that over 50 percent of executives who seek re-skilling opportunities have over 15 years of experience. Thus further emphasizing that re-skilling is the key area of focus for organizations and professionals.

How e-learning is getting its sheen back?

E-Learning received a boost from technological advancements such as interactive videos, micro learning, social interaction, live teaching and mobile learning. Furthermore, adoption of technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality), gamification and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will offer higher engagement and deeper, interactive learning experience for participants.

How govt. push for digital learning will further accentuate the growth of e-learning in India?

Digital Initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Skill India have signaled the intent by the government to transform India into a knowledge economy. Furthermore, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology have identified e-learning as an area of focus with the objective to develop tools and technologies to promote it. These initiatives underline the government’s ambition to promote e-learning. As half of the population is under the age of 25 and the number of internet users expected to reach 500 million, the future of education in India heavily relies upon online learning. Thus the push for digital learning will strengthen the e-learning ecosystem.

What are the new developments taking place in the industry?

Globally, the dynamic landscape of e-learning is evolving at a tremendous pace. The rising utilisation of mobile gadgets and devices are driving up the demand for e-learning. Today, the popular e-learning trends are mobile learning, micro learning, Virtual Reality, Gamification and AI; while the trending e-learning themes revolve around technical and soft skills, leadership development, compliance and business acumen.  

How AI is been used in the system?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in e-learning is still at a nascent stage, but has immense potential to address the numerous e-learning challenges. Some of the applications of AI in e-learning include adaptive learning (using AI to adapt to the learners goals, needs and preferences) and chatbots (interacting with learners in a human-like manner). AI will definitely have a bigger part to play within the e-learning space in the coming years.

How Emeritus is helping the Indian education system?

Traditional classroom-based learning forms an integral part of the Indian education system – and it is losing out to the increasing internet access and adoption. This method of learning cannot be updated real-time and thus fails to deliver knowledge and skills relevant in our fast-paced, dynamic professional world. At Emeritus, we develop programs focusing on the learning themes applicable in our professional environment. Emeritus offers management education programmes in collaboration with three top-ranked global business schools, MIT Sloan Executive Education, Columbia Business School Executive Education and Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth College.