Safeguards In Place, Says Edtech Consortium on Mis-selling Courses

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100% of the complaints received till June 2022 have been resolved, while the complaints received in July are going through active screening: Indian Edtech Consortium

Of 5,532 complaints received by the ASCI, the edtech space accounted for less than 2% of the total complaints, claims IEC

Member firms have resolved more than 99% of the company-level complaints in the last six months: IEC

Amid reports of the government pulling up the edtech companies for mis-selling courses, the Indian Edtech Consortium (IEC) has issued a clarification on the matter.

“Edtech as a strong community has been far more prompt than our traditional counterpart in managing consumer complaints and grievances,” said IEC chair and upGrad managing director Mayank Kumar.

In a statement, the IEC said that the industry body has created a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism to address consumer complaints. 

“So far, 100% of the complaints received by the IEC until June 2022 have been resolved completely while the complaints received in July are going through active screening for faster resolutions,” said IEC.

The industry body also noted that the all member edtech companies have appointed a dedicated grievance officer internally to address and resolve complaints. The IEC also said that the member firms have resolved more than 99% of the company-level complaints in the last six months.

The IEC also addressed concerns surrounding the recent data released by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) which claimed that 33% of the total 5,532 complaints received by it pertained to the education sector. The industry body said that the edtech sector formed 6% of the total complaints, while the remaining 94% belonged to traditional education players.

Essentially, the edtech sector accounted for less than 2% of the total complaints, noted the IEC statement.

The disclosures were part of the self-reported data that was presented before the Consumer Affairs Department at a meeting held last month. 

At the meeting, the IEC claimed that its member companies suggested forming a joint working group with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the ecosystem. The consortium also added that its member firms are also registering at the national consumer helpline to streamline issues related to grievance resolution. 

Of late, the edtech companies have landed in soup for a slew of reasons. Earlier this month, officials warned the edtech players against unfair trade practices, warning them of stringent action.

In addition, the industry is also in dock for misleading advertisements. Government officials had previously pointed out that ‘certain ads did not appear to conform to prevalent guidelines and existing regulations’.

Tightening the noose around the errants, the government, last month, formed a panel to probe exorbitant claims made by edtech platforms. Prior to that, the University Grants Commission (UGC) also issued an order to higher educational institutions to withdraw any degree or diploma programmes offered in partnership with edtech companies.

The IEC is a sister organisation of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and is a self-regulatory body that ensures that the member companies follow a specific code of conduct. The members of the Consortium include major players such as BYJU’s, Careers 360, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu, WhiteHat Jr, among others. 

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