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15 | Creating viable business models for inclusive growth through the National Optical Fiber Network • Revenue stream: The education service provider recovers per-classroom usage fee from the school • Government support: The model hinges on the beneficiary school reimbursing the per-student fee to the private education service provider, as part of a monthly contract. This could be brought under the ambit of the existing education schemes that the Government sponsors. From the experience of CSR pilots conducted by Cisco, the cost of enabling a remote learning model for one student for a year would be around INR 600. A commercially sustainable model may require a slightly higher contribution per student, but this would still be a very small percentage of the annual allocation of more than INR 4,000 per student under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Refer exhibit 2). Therefore, the possibility of channeling allocations from some of these Government schemes could be explored to enable remote learning in rural government-run schools. • Benefits: –– Government: Improved quality, coverage and penetration of education. Lower drop-out rates expected in the long term –– Private education service provider: New commerciallyviable market segment • Critical success factors: –– Viability gap funding –– Awareness and word of mouth –– Encouragement from the rural teaching force Cisco has established a price point of around INR 50 through their successful pilots conducted in Raichur, where over 2,000 students received remote classroom education in English, Science, Mathematics and Social Sciences. The project has achieved improved enrolments, attendance and student achievement. Source: CISCO Exhibit 2: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan Possibility of harnessing funds from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (primary education) • Elementary education remains a priority for the Government, accounting for 52 percent of the total allocation for education in FY 2012-13. • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the largest primary education scheme, accounting for 67 percent of the total elementary education budget. In FY 2013-14, the Government has allocated 27,258 crores to SSA, up from 7,166 crores in FY 2005-06. • The per-child allocation from this scheme has more than doubled from Rs 2,004 per year in 2009-10 to Rs 4,269 per year in 2011-12. Utilization of these funds, however, has been on a decline (from 79 percent in FY 2008-09 to 70 percent in FY 2010-11). The SSA funds are categorized under the following expenditure heads - Teacher, Schools, Children and Others. This ‘Others’ segment includes a component of computer education, a provision of INR 50 lakhs per district per year available to the States for Computer-Aided-Learning (CAL). Source: Budget Briefs, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Possibility of harnessing funds from schemes such as ‘ICT in Schools’ and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (secondary education) The ICT in Schools Scheme, launched in 2004 by the HRD Ministry, aimed to set up 150 secondary smart schools across the country at the district level. There was a grant of INR 25 lakhs for each school and a recurring grant of INR 2.5 lakhs per year. This would enable provision of at least fortycomputers in each school. Private education providers are invited to participate using a BOOT model. The ICT in Schools program is in its third phase now. The possibility of extending such schemes to the block or Panchayat level may be considered to enable digital classrooms in secondary education. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), launched in March 2009, intends to enhance access to secondary education and improve its quality. From 52.26 percent in 2005-06, it intends to achieve an enrolment rate of 75 percent at the secondary level within 5 years of implementation by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation. The RMSA has some provisions for ICT. Out of a total of Rs 8,601.9 crores budgeted over 2009-10 to 2012-13, about Rs 6,801.4 crores have been spent (79 percent utilization). Till December 2012, 19,641 computer rooms have been approved as part of strengthening 34,300 existing schools. Source: Department of School Education and Literacy (MHRD)
Creating viable business models for inclusive growth through the National Optical Fiber Network | 16 Model 2: Broadband-aided vocational training delivered via CSCs Job creation and the creation of a skilled workforce are of utmost priority for rural India. However, the lack of suitable teaching personnel and other infrastructure forms a key bottleneck. Using the NOFN infrastructure, it is possible to train rural youth through e-learning content spanning important skills such as basic accounting, BPO training, basic paramedical training, computer fundamentals, web designing, spoken English courses, computer hardware engineering, etc. Advanced courses such as MS-Office, CorelDraw, Tally, etc. can also be made available. Along with training, it is also important to be able to provide placement assistance to the trainees. Unlike primary education, the willingness to pay for such courses is relatively high, and this demand-pull can be used to create sustainable business models in vocational training. One of the possible delivery models for vocational e-training could be private training service providers partnering with the CSCs to deliver such content. The infrastructure in connected primary schools can also be leveraged for this service after school hours, with some additional manpower requirement. There is no economic support required from the government in this model, but the government can lend support by endorsing or certifying some of the courses offered through this model. Such endorsement is likely to enhance the credibility of these courses in the job market, and therefore, create demand. Proposition: Skill development and employment generation through certified vocational training courses delivered remotely with the help of ICT Figure 4: Business model for vocational training and employment generation Source: KPMG analysis • Input –– Connectivity: Fiber connectivity at the CSCs, provided as part of NOFN. As seen from the example of Sahaj, this model is already in operation and is not dependent on high-speed broadband connectivity. However, the planned 100 Mbps envisioned in the NOFN can enable richer media content and evolved services such as interactive learning –– Training and manpower: To be provided by the private training service provider for a limited period of time. Afterwards, the Village Level Entrepreneur can take charge, with the help of the resources that he employs at the CSC –– Physical infrastructure: Building/room, power supply and backup (including alternative renewable energy sources such as solar power), computers, headphones, speakers, etc. The existing infrastructure in functional CSCs or schools running remote learning programs could be leveraged for this service.