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New Delhi 
Friday Aug 4 ‘2000

 Degree courses Offered cheaper on the Net

Thomas K Thomas
New Delhi  

Delhi-based e-learning portal,, has tied up with 15 educational institutes, including All India Management    Association  (AIMA), Institute of Management Technology (IMT) and National Institute of Advertising  (NIA), to offer degree courses on the Internet at prices lower by 20 to 50 percent than off-line distance education.

"For instance a course in management from AIMA, which costs Rs 8,000, would now be available for Rs 5,000 as we would be saving on the printing and paper costs. We would also save on buying content as we can source it from our own off line publishing venture which has been developing study material for various long distance programmes," said Ashish Jain chief operating officer Openleanimg is expected to bag projects worth Rs 25 crore through similar tie ups with 35 other institutes be year end enabling users to get degrees on-line in the areas of management, advertising, computers and public relations among others.

“According   to   a   ID research, on-line education would be between $35-50 billion by 2005. To tap this market, we are offering a complete solution by taking care of the entire web development, launching of the course, chat session and e-mail facilities with faculty from renowned institutes like IIMS, IIT, FMS-Delhi, said Ashish Jain, adding that coaching for various entrance tests is also provided at the website.

For those who do not have access to Internet, the company    would be offering the services at AIMA’s 60 nodal centres and IMT’s 37 study centres spread across the country.

The portal is also planning tie-ups with other websites, including books portal first and,  'to   offer   click through facility on their home pages.

This would enable users to  purchase OpenlearningWorld publications through the Net.

'To tap the corporates, a subsidised package of short-term courses is also being developed. We are in talks with organisations, including GE and Thapar Institute, to offer our courses to middle-level managers." said Jain, adding that the portal would be going in for-its first round of venture capital funding for about  $2 million in six months time.

As part of the alliances strategy, is tieing up with leading publishers like McGraw Hill, Prentice Hall to offer a digitalised online library to students.

The portal is also targeting leading management consultants to host their courses and lectures on the web.

The portal has 8,000 registered users of which 3,500 are exclusively for the on-line programme.

Jain said the on-line students are at an advantage not only because of lower price but also because of the presentation and packaging of information on the website.

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