Online education start-up co-founder Ronnie Screwvala has initiated an online scholarship fund, Asia’s first, with a first closing of Rs 100 crore and an aim to get to Rs 400 crore over the next 3-4 years.
Online education start-up co-founder Ronnie Screwvala has initiated an online scholarship fund, Asia’s first, with a first closing of Rs 100 crore and an aim to get to Rs 400 crore over the next 3-4 years. He has invested an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore and will raise the rest from like-minded individuals and companies as well as from CSR funding. The Fund will also partner with UpGrad, an online education platform co-founded by Screwvala.
“We need 125 million young Indians in post-graduation studies and not more than 30 million today are engaged in higher studies, as a majority of them need to start working early in their career and so online learning/education is the real answer for India.
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“Along with our need to Up-Skill, we need to Up-Smart too in order to make our core demography employable,” said Screwvala, stating the reason for his launching of this fund. The fund will give scholarships ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh. It will also facilitate loans for those that would not qualify for scholarships but would look for funding to repay once they get promoted after their online studies.
There will be quotas for those in need but the core aim is to propel excellence.
Recent reports from IDFC, World Economic Forum and others have highlighted huge contradictions in India’s education sector, with almost 75% of students (mostly under-grads) are unemployable while 48% of Indian employers have difficulty filling their jobs with the right people.
“Our overall policy focus has largely been on blue collar skills and not the white collar jobs and we need the right mix of priority and we at UpGrad believe that it’s going to be all about striking the right balance between online and Offline capacity building for this 21 century challenge” said Screwvala.