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HT City
New Delhi
Tuesday Aug 22 '2000

MBA On The Net?  It’s happening!

Shweta Rajpal loyalists had predicted long ago that online education will replace the formal classroom structure.  But even as egghead dot.coms kept mushrooming in cyberia (we’re told there are as many as 120 homegrown education portals), none of them attempted to provide recognised courses on the Net., therefore, has a clear first-mover advantage.  This ‘e-learning portal’, as they call themselves, has exclusive tie-ups with leading universities and institutions to bring degree, diploma and certificate courses online.  “This is for the first time ever that online students have an opportunity to get recognised degrees,” insists Ashish Jain, the company’s 27-year-old COO.

And he’s not making virtual reality claims, for he has notched up a list with impressive names like the All India Management Association (AIMA), Institute of Management Technology (Ghaziabad), National Institute of Advertising, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and Regional Engineering College, Jalandhar.  “We are holding talks with 35 more universities,” claims Jain, who’s a management graduate from New Jersey, USA.

What this means is that you can enroll for a course and get your degree like a full-time student without physically attending a single class.  “Students enrolled for the IMT, Ghaziabad, management programme, for instance, will be treated on par with the institute’s residential students,” informs Jain.  “The cost of getting the degree online is 20-50 per cent cheaper than in the real world.  It has several advantages like lower cost of courseware delivery, greater interactivity and practically zero printing costs.”

Jain hit upon the idea after he realised a number of universities were keen on taking their courses online, but didn’t have the infrastructure to do so.  His cousin (and now partner), Anurag Jain, 31, owns Excel Publishers, which specialises in publishing courseware for distance learning programmes.

Says Anurag, CEO of OpenLearningWorld:  “Most universities have realised the need to digitalise their content as it can give anytime-anywhere access to students.”  The biggest advantage, though, is that universities can regularly update their course material as and when they like.  “We’ll host regular chat sessions between the faculty and the students too make the course more interactive,” promises Jain.  It seems ‘paperless education’ is finally here.


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