Indian government warns students against edtech companies offering free online courses

Indian government has asked students to do background checks on edtech companies offering free online courses

The Department of School Education and Literacy, run by the Ministry of Education, has warned students against Ed-tech companies offering free online courses to students. The department advised students and parents to carefully evaluate the offer of free online courses promised by some companies, as some educational technology companies apparently attract parents by offering free services and having the electronic transfer mandate signed. of funds (EFT). or by activating the direct debit function, targeting in particular vulnerable families.

“Avoid the auto-debit option for paying subscription fees. Some ed-tech companies may offer the Free-Premium business model where many of their services may appear free at first glance, but to access learning students must upgrade to a paid subscription. Enabling Direct Debit may result in a child accessing paid features without realizing that they are no longer accessing the free services offered by the ed-tech company,” says a press release issued by the department.

The Department also advised students to check the background of educational technology companies offering such courses and asked students to record evidence of spam calls or forced enrollment in any training program without full consent to file. a grievance. “Look for student/parent reviews online of ed-tech tech company for any registered grievances and marketing gimmicks. Also share your suggestions and criticisms that could be beneficial to others,” adds the Ministry of School Education and Literacy.

How Students Can Avoid Being Duped In The Name Of Free Online Courses

Students have been asked to avoid doing the following to ensure that no financial transactions take place without their consent:

  • Avoid blindly trusting advertisements from ed-tech companies.
  • Do not install any ed-tech mobile application without verifying its authenticity.
  • Avoid saving credit or debit cards on apps for subscriptions.
  • Avoid adding data such as emails, contact numbers, card details or online addresses, as the data can be sold or used for further fraudulent attacks.
  • Do not share your bank details and OTP number with marketing staff.

Students have also been urged to access free online learning services provided by the Ministry of Education such as Diksha, Swayam and NIOS among others.

Where to Report Fake Free Online Courses

Students can report any adverse incidents on the following links:

  • https://ascionline.in/
  • https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/
  • https://pgportal.gov.in/

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