The government will support the edtech industry in formalizing guidelines to curb misleading ads

The government on Monday called on edtech companies to crack down on unfair business practices while supporting the industry to formalize guidelines to curb misleading ads in the segment.

In a statement, IAMAI said the self-regulatory body, the Indian Edtech Consortium (IEC), met with Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh to update him on self-regulation progress.

“…the Secretary for Consumer Affairs has agreed to support the IEC in constituting a joint working group to establish advertising guidelines to further sanitize the edtech ecosystem,” the Internet and Mobile Association of India said.

It is pertinent to mention that on July 1, the Secretary of Consumer Affairs convened a meeting of edtech companies and warned them against unfair business practices, including misleading advertising.

At the time, the Center had also told players that it would be forced to come up with strict guidelines if players in the industry did not self-regulate. The problem of the increase in fake reviews had also been a major concern.

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The IAMAI statement on Monday quoted the secretary as saying that “We want Indian Edtech to grow, but until we eliminate the wrongdoing completely, we will not be able to achieve our mission.”

“We would like to work closely with the IEC to formalize established templates and operating guidelines for Edtech companies to keep unethical practices within advertising and communications at bay. It will foster a holistic operating environment for both entrepreneurs and consumers to offer a fair opportunity to grow and learn,” Singh said, addressing the quorum.

Currently, IEC, a self-regulatory body under the auspices of IAMAI, comprises Indian edtech companies and represents 95% of the Indian student community.

The meeting was joined by representatives from IAMAI, along with IEC member companies including upGrad, BYJU’S, Unacademy, Times Professional Learning and; Great learning, the statement said.