How EdCIL driving educational excellence

EdCIL is a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of the Ministry of Education, which offers management and consultancy services in all areas of education and human resource development, both within India and overseas. Since joining the company as chairman and managing director, Kumar has brought vital process improvements and strategic transformations in EdCIL. He details the organisation’s activities in an interview with Dibyajyoti Sarma

16 Oct 2023 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

Manoj Kumar has steered EdCIL towards a growth path to increase its revenue to Rs 439-crore (unaudited)

Dibyajyoti Sarma (DS): EdCIL celebrated its foundation day on 17 June. Can you briefly explain the role EdCIL has played in addressing the challenges of the education sector in India in the past 42 years?
Manoj Kumar (MK):
It has been a remarkable journey. EdCIL, as a pioneer in the field of education consulting, has diligently served the nation, transforming lives through its diverse range of projects. From shaping educational policies to implementing innovative solutions, EdCIL has been at the forefront of driving educational excellence. EdCIL is a nodal agency of the government of India and has been offering consultancy and technical services in different areas of education and human resource development for 42 years. With a strong focus on areas of bridging the quality gaps, EdCIL has conducted recruitment of teachers for the governments of Odisha, Delhi, KVS and NVS. Recognising that digitisation holds the key to improving education, EdCIL has been providing tech-based education equipment, including smart classrooms, to schools in various state governments like Karnataka, New Delhi, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.

India has the third-largest higher education network in the world. However, there exist some challenges, such as insufficient infrastructure, low GER (gross enrollment ratio), and less employability. EdCIL has been focusing on rendering advisory services to set up standard institutions by preparing the detailed project report (DPR) of many institutes, such as IITs, IIMs, ISER, IIITs, and NITs, along with central universities.

Additionally, we assist many higher education institutions in design, infrastructure building and procurement. The company also has a vertical to supply university management systems and school and classroom management systems to improve the monitoring and management of schools and higher education institutes. Moreover, to scale up the internationalisation of the Indian higher education system, two of our verticals, the study in India scheme and overseas education services, facilitate admission of foreign students in India, faculty secondment to different countries and student/faculty exchanges.

DS: Digitisation has been a game changer in the education sector. What is the role of EdCIL in ensuring the implementation of digital technology in the education sector?
EdCIL believes that digitisation is a game changer in the education sector, and it can address challenges of quality, quantity, and governance needs in both school and higher education institutions. The company accordingly focuses on all emerging areas of IT/ICT applications in the education sector and facilitates various IT/ICT tools in India and overseas. Some of the key services and noteworthy initiatives of our company in this regard include digital classrooms, digital university management system, wi-fi and network solutions, state-of-the-art IT labs, virtual classrooms, online admission system, eContent preparation and educational MIS (management info systems) for schools.

DS: The National Education Policy of 2020 puts emphasis on promoting India as a global study education. How has EdCIL made a contribution towards it?
EdCIL, through its dedicated overseas education services division and study in India scheme, promotes India as a global study destination. Through the OES vertical, we facilitate the placement of international students through various scholarship schemes sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs and other organisations and carry out the placement of Indian faculty in overseas institutes, helping them to improve their education ecosystem. 
Similarly, the Study in India scheme, a tech-driven program implemented by EdCIL collaborates with renowned educational institutions across the country and serves as a bridge between Indian institutes and prospective international students through its online portal,

Through this scheme, we assist the students to apply to Indian institutes of their choice and help them make their education journey smooth in India. Since its inception, the programme has been facilitating admission to students from 100+ countries. Moreover, the extensive 360-degree marketing efforts helped us to reach newer markets like Indonesia, Eswatini, Liberia and Ivory Coast. We have been actively involved in branding India in higher education space by organising online and offline events, such as webinars, on-ground education fairs, workshops and conclaves to showcase the academic excellence and diverse opportunities offered by the Indian higher education system.

DS: EdCIL has become a diversified company. Can you highlight some of the recent works towards strengthening the education sector?
Since the establishment of the organisation, we have focused on enriching the education ecosystem across India. For instance, our advisory services division prepared DPR for the establishment of Sindhu Central University in the Leh district of Ladakh, which is the first trans-Himalayan central university in the country at the highest altitude. The university is in the process of beginning its academic session in August 2023.

Furthermore, we crafted the DPR for the creation of a deemed university, categorised as De-novo, in Andaman & Nicobar Island and for setting up of a one-of-a-kind, University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences to be set up at Kamrup district in Assam. We are also working on restructuring the vision of the Indian Institute of Heritage to align its academic programmes in line with NEP 2020. Apart from this, EdCIL has been successfully organising Pariksha Pe Charcha for the past three years.

DS: What are the areas that EdCIL is focusing on for further expansion?
: As an established organisation, EdCIL constantly makes strategies to expand and scale up through its verticals. By harnessing the power of technology, our online testing and assessment (OTAS) vertical intends to introduce greater efficiency into the recruitment space and enhance the way talent is identified and nurtured. We are proud to have recently partnered with the Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) and conducted Indian Army Agniveer Exam across 375 centres in India. 

Furthermore, recognising the transformative potential of digital education services in the education sector, we envision playing a pivotal role in various domains like teaching-learning, assessments, governance, etc. To ensure comprehensive coverage and cater to diverse regions, we have plans to establish regional offices to foster geographic diversification and offer tailored solutions that address specific regional needs.
In line with this expansion, the infrastructure and procurement vertical is also targeted to grow as the company seeks to bridge the existing service gap present in the education sector. 

Additionally, through overseas education services and study in India scheme, our global footprint has been steadily expanding. Given the huge potential of internationalisation being made an important theme of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and education being recognised as one of 12 champion services by the Ministry of Commerce, this vertical is all set to grow manifolds.

DS: Lastly, as a pioneer in providing consultancy to national and international clients, can you throw some light on the awards and accolades bestowed on EdCIL in recent times?
Over the years, EdCIL’s unwavering commitment has resulted in achieving notable milestones. 

A few recent and notable accolades are the India Pride Awards in the category of India Image Enhancement for EdCIL’s digital education project in Mauritius (FY-17) by Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Chamber of Commerce’s PSE Excellence Award for Operational Excellence in the Mini-Ratna Category - I, SKOCH Order of Merit Awards in blue technology category by SKOCH group in FY-18 for its transformational work in the digital education in Mauritius, Best Media Plans for International Markets awarded to Study in India at Economic Times Media Strategy Awards in 2022, Appreciation Award by Ministry of Education for successfully organising Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020, 2021 and 2022 consecutively, ICAI National Award for Excellence in cost management. 

The most recent one is the award for Excellence in Strengthening Education Ecosystem by ASSOCHAM National Council on Education.n

Tags : EdCIL;