Highlights

  • ''This company is worth 21 billion dollars. Our entire Indian educational budget is not worth that much''
  • China cracked out on edtech and imposed a ban on listing, in a sweeping message that education was meant for public good

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Watch: 'Byju's is a loan shark must be monitored', a call for edtech regulation

The comments come after reports highlighted practices of the edtech giant Byju’s using tactics to make people who can’t afford the products buy them, signing people up for loans. 

Byju's is getting schooled for it's alleged predatory tactics in acquiring new customers for it's online teaching platform. Taking the stage in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Member of Parliament (MP) from Tamil Nadu Karti Chidambaram asked the Union Education Minister to monitor and put in place strict regulation for ed tech platforms.

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The MP said "In fact, this company sponsors the Indian Cricket Team now. You know exactly as to who I am referring to. This company is worth 21 billion dollars. Our entire Indian educational budget is not worth that much. So, it is very essential to have some concerted effort to monitor these companies and prevent them from doing these predatory marketing practices where they are auto-debiting the accounts of unsuspecting people,”

The comments come after reports highlighted practices of the edtech giant Byju’s using tactics to make people who can’t afford the products buy them, signing people up for loans they never knew they were signing up for.

The BBC in an article published on December 7 questioned these tactics by putting the spotlight on cases that had even taken India's most valued startup to court.

The BBC spoke to many parents who said the services they were promised never materialised. In at least three different cases, India's consumer courts have ordered Byju's to pay damages to customers in disputes related to refunds and deficiency of services.

Byju's told the BBC that they had reached a settlement in these legal cases, and their grievance redressal rate was 98%.

Calls for regulation and monitoring of edtech is not new or specific to India. Mainland China cracked out on edtech and imposed a ban on listing/profiteering from these ventures in a sweeping message that education like healthcare was meant for public good.

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