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Indian Government Warns Ed-Tech Companies Against Unfair Trade Practices | 2YODOINDIA

Indian Government Warns Ed-Tech Companies Against Unfair Trade Practices

Indian government has warn ed-tech companies against unfair trade practices in India. In a meeting with industry body India Edtech Consortium (IEC), Consumer Affairs Secretary said that stringent guidelines would need to be work out for ensuring transparency if self regulation does not curb the unfair trade practices in the sector.

The meeting was attend by IEC member companies including Byju’s, upGrad, Unacademy, Vedantu, and WhiteHat Jr, among many others.

Ed-tech platforms gain massive attention during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic as schools and colleges were shut down due to lockdowns.

But the growing adoption later point out the gaps that need to be fill.

Consumer Affairs Department Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh discuss issues relate to unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements impacting the ed-tech sector.

Rohit Kumar Singh said :

“certain advertisements and practices do not seem to conform to prevalent guidelines and existing regulations.”

In addition to pointing out the issues with advertisements and trade practices, Rohit Kumar Singh discuss ways to better manage consumer interests across India’s ed-tech ecosystem.

The meeting also raise concerns of increasing fake reviews.

The secretary advise IEC to form a joint working group with relevant stakeholders to create standard operating procedures to “continue with positive efforts to serve the ecosystem.”

The meeting was attend by representatives of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) with IEC member companies including Byju’s, upGrad, Unacademy, Vedantu, Great Learning, WhiteHat Jr, and Sunstone.

As per report release by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) highlight that the advertisements coming from the education sector primarily relate to ed-tech companies, emerge as the largest violator of the advertising code for the period between April 2021–March 2022.

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The education ministry in December also issue an advisory to caution people against ed-tech companies in the country.

The ministry had urge consumers to avoid auto-payments for ed-tech platform subscriptions and advise them to read the terms and conditions before acknowledging any acceptance of learning software or device.

That advisory came after some reports suggest a lucrative behaviour of major ed-tech companies including Byju’s in which parents and students were allegedly shown to be target to pay for online content that they couldn’t even afford.

As a result of the initial outage, the IAMAI in January form the IEC as a unified group of leading ed-tech companies to “safeguard consumer interest” and self-regulate by using a common ‘Code of Conduct’ as well as establishing a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism.

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