The thinning moral compass of the Indian EdTech industry

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India is a land of competition. After all, there are 1.3 billion of us, vying for the same limited resources, fighting for the same jobs, and struggling to forge a unique identity to set ourselves apart from our 130 crore brethren.

The Indian startup ecosystem is no different. This is precisely why you see dozens of firms with similar business models and little to no differentiator in almost every space. Most of the new startups hastily copy their entire value proposition, strategy, and business model from existing western startups. It is just a race to who can plagiarize the fastest.

The meteoric rise of India’s EdTech sector is just a reflection of changing times. We already had a booming education business even before the internet was widespread — The Kota Factory. This small town in Rajasthan has become synonymous with coaching for competitive exams, primarily the JEE and sees more than 150,000 students come in from all over India annually. …


The COVID silver lining for air quality in Indian cities

As COVID ravages economies around the world, India is no exception.

However, there is a silver lining in all of this. Due to the nationwide curfews, decrease in industrial activity, and an overall reduction in human outdoor traffic, Air Quality in India has improved significantly over the last 4–5 months.

As per the 2019 World Air Quality Report from IQAir, India is the 5th most polluted country, only behind Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan.

It is also home to 21of the top 30 most polluted cities in the world, with New Delhi being the most polluted capital city of the world, narrowly beating Dhaka, Bangladesh. …


Drawing on 13 years of personal experience

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Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

I have been married for 5 years now. And been in a relationship for 13.

During more than a decade of togetherness, my partner and I have seen most there is to see. We’ve lived together and on opposite coasts of the nation. Fought, broke up, made amends. Hurt the other and tended to them. Shared cuddles and had screaming matches.

For us, getting hitched was purely ceremonious and there was no discernible change in our relationship. It did help that we were, in all but the legal framework, “already married” for years. …


How an invisible virus crippled the world economy

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

We’ve all known for some time that 2020 would be a bad year for the world economy. Ever since the global spread of COVID19, estimates for the global GDP in 2020 haven been revised downwards and continue to do so.

Morgan Stanley, in Dec 2019, expected the world GDP to grow by 3.2% YoY, a 0.2% increase over the 2019 growth rate.


And why it should be reversed at the earliest

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Photo by Sam Doucette on Unsplash

Cannabis is banned in India because it, like almost every nation, is subject to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which was an offshoot of the US outlook on the use of any form of cannabis.

It can all be traced back to the derangement of one single man. This racist asshole — Harry J. Anslinger.


Universities, teachers, students, and parents alike need to embrace the shift

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) are the future of education.

There are many inherent advantages an open online course has over the standard educational pedagogy that has been the norm for years now.

  • Scalability: In the conventional set-up, if you want to increase the number of students in a class, you need to move to a bigger classroom. Or in all likelihood, revamp the infrastructure. With an online classroom, scaling up the course batch size is a few clicks away.
  • Optimal resource utilization: Imagine a Nobel laureate administering a course at UCLA. At the max, he/she can only teach a class of 100–300. In their lifetime, they might be able to directly tutor a few thousand young minds. …


A case for undoing decades of the Nehru clan’s revisionist history

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The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, named after Rajiv Gandhi for reasons unknown. Picture credits: Pixabay

The National Film Awards are India’s highest recognition in the field of cinema. Having started in 1954, they truly celebrate the diversity of Indian film-making by recognizing mainstream Bollywood along with our many flourishing regional movie industries.

Among the various accolades it bestows upon actors, directors, producers, composers, cinematographers, etc., there is a peculiar one that stands out — the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. No other award is named after a living person, with the exception of the Lifetime Achievement Award, named after Dadasaheb Phalke, one of the towering figures of Indian cinema.

There is no reason why this exception should be there. Moreso considering that Indira Gandhi had nothing to do with Indian cinema. It is not a coincidence that this award was first established in 1981, a year after Indira came to power. …


How Leftist Historians, Professors, and Journalists tried to lead the nation astray on the Ayodhya verdict but failed.

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Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

As India witnesses the bhumi pujan for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, let’s revisit the decades of attempts to obfuscate the truth by people who were supposed to uphold it instead.


But its efficacy would depend on timely and proper implementation

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Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

India just updated its Education Policy after three and a half decades. And the changes proposed sound amazing on paper.

The current Education system leaves a lot to be desired, including, but not limited to:

  • What is being taught: Everything. Without any thought about its relevance to the job industry. An outdated curriculum. And an inflexible one. “Read this”. “And this too”. “No, you don’t get to choose your subjects, not at least till the last 2 years of your schooling”.
  • How it is being taught: “Take notes, kids”. “Copy everything that is there on the board”. “Reproduce it verbatim in the examinations to get full credit”. 90% of the ‘teaching’ happens in closed classrooms where all students face the teacher who delivers hour-long monologues. …


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Photo by Eila Lifflander on Unsplash

You are just scared that you won’t succeed spectacularly

Fear of failure is so ingrained in the psyche of people today that there is a formal term for the fear of failing — Atychiphobia.

But most of the time, what people perceive to be “fear of failure”, is nothing more than the subconscious apprehension of finding out that you are not special, that you are just “average”.

Boring, middle-of-the-pack, unremarkably average.

Dwayne Johnson was one of the biggest wrestling stars of all time. I mean, he still is, but even that insane achievement of his now pales in comparison to his current star value in Hollywood, in particular, his perception as being the “Franchise Viagra”. …

About

Deepak Mehta

5x Top Writer on Quora (2014–2018), Over 100 mn content views. Writes about Life, Happiness, Self-improvement, Books, Pop Culture, and Current Indian Affairs.

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