Tuesday Aug 22 '2000
MBA On The Net? It’s
Dot.com 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.
OpenLearningWorld.com, 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
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.