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Over the previous decade, our dependence on technology has increased multifold, even in our routine lives. The flourishing start-up ecosystem makes AI-led technology the new normal, and the consumption of mobile application for figuring out even the daily needs is possible. It was evident for this wave of technological advancement to redefine the Indian education space as well. Integration of online learning and assessment tools has been incorporated in the leading metropolitan schools and the established private schools of mini-metros for quite some time now.

The transformation was further cemented due to the ongoing pandemic where even the out and out traditional school formats, whether private or public resorted to technology to facilitate education and continue the learning – teaching momentum. India has pockets of excellence in management education but the quality of average business schools needs a significant upgrade for MBA qualification to retain its credibility and value. Doubtlessly, management education has an important role to play in global digitalization and is necessary for coping effectively with the digitalized world. Management education has already become part of the digital world.

At the moment, the gap between the necessary level of digital management skills and their availability is huge. In fact, the chasm between management education and the industry is only getting wider because of different speeds of change in the two. There is still very little movement of experts between industry and academia. Very few industry experts take sabbaticals to share their knowledge with students and very few teachers strive to work with companies and learn the intricacies of live business. Typically, students come out of B-Schools knowing only the concepts and face a sharp learning curve before they can actually manage anything independently.

Technology allows exploring diverse pedagogies. It is also observed that the engagement quotient is higher via Ed-tech due to the quick access to information, supplementation of digitised information in innovative formats, simplification of time-consuming tasks, flipped learning methods and more. The room for experimentation is higher through ed-tech, thus making learning more fun and informative for the already digitally inclined Gen Z. Education Technology also encourages more inclusivity and participation, even from students who are generally not that forthcoming in a traditional classroom format. The online education platforms enable the educators to take regular feedback from students on assignments and their understanding of subjects in real-time as well as progress and feedback mapping help foster an interactive and productive engagement and learning.

COVID-19 has changed the way the world will conduct its day-to-day business activities. While some sectors have been severely affected and would continue to get affected in the near future, EdTech as a sector would be one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Parents would look at allocating some of their spends towards Ed-tech to ensure that their kids get the best-in-class learning solutions from the comfort of their homes. As an ecosystem, we have not even scratched the surface when it comes to innovation and growth. I believe a lot of entrepreneurs would be entering this already exciting space, leading to more investments and job creation in this sector.

While the pros outweigh the cons in educational technology factors like disconnection of social exchanges, cheating on assignments, individual customisation of the platform still needs to be worked upon to derive at an optimum solution. Also, there is a huge digital divide between urban and rural India. Apart from economical and easily accessible bandwidth, even the set-up cost of the hardware is a challenge that needs to be collectively worked upon by the government authorities, educational institutes and the technology providers.

India has pockets of excellence in management education but the quality of average business schools needs a significant upgrade for MBA qualification to retain its credibility and value.

However, the growing digitization is forcing a change in management practices across the board. Automation technologies require decisions to be rules based and logical and allow minimal role for discretion. B-Schools need to factor that into teaching management. The ways of learning and practicing management need to change in the digital economy and young Indian managers must learn to work with new business technologies, processes and structures. A big upgrade is required in India’s management learning ecosystem to make Indian companies competitive in the new economy.

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