India's edtech industry has emerged as a role model in self-regulating advertising practices as the sector had the least number of complaints in the 2022-23 period, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said in a statement, citing a report from the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
The report, published earlier in the day, said that the edtech sector accounted for only 2.7 percent of the 8,951 complaints filed with the ASCI in 2022-23. The report further suggested that 7,928 of the 8,951 complaints were processed. IAMAI said that the India Edtech Consortium (IEC), which operates under the aegis of the IAMAI, played a 'pivotal' role in spearheading these efforts.
The consortium has conducted internal meetings and engaged in discussions with the Consumer Affairs Department of the Government of India, and other relevant agencies, providing them with information on complaint registration and resolution rates, IAMAI said. The number of complaints has significantly decreased while achieving a remarkable resolution rate above 95 percent, IAMAI claimed.
Last year, the IEC conducted a joint study with the ASCI titled "Raising the Bar on EdTech Advertising," according to IAMAI. The study aimed to gather feedback from randomly selected students, parents, and industry experts, with a commitment to acting upon the feedback and enhancing the overall learning experience.
IAMAI said that the survey revealed that 9 out of 10 parents considered advertisements as important factors in selecting classes or courses for their children's education and three fourth of the advertisements did not make exaggerated promises or guarantee academic success. The study also revealed that advertisements significantly influenced parents' decisions when selecting an edtech platform, with 49 percent of parents finding advertisements helpful in making choices.
ASCI's report and IAMAI's comments will be encouraging for edtech companies like Byju's and Unacademy in India, which have come under fire over the last 12-15 months for alleged mis-selling of courses and overstating outcomes.
Last year, another survey by IEC showed that Indian edtech companies spent Rs 3,500 crore on the learning ecosystem comprising teachers, content, pedagogy, and faculty.
In an interview with Moneycontrol, Dr Justice BS Chauhan, former Judge, Supreme Court of India, who is currently the chairperson of the Independent Grievance Review Board (IGRB) of the IEC said that the board advised edtech companies to avoid using ambiguous language in advertisements.
IEC comprises Indian edtech companies and represents 95 percent of the Indian learner community, according to IAMAI.