The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has invited public consultation on its proposed amendment to the ‘Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions, Programmes and Platforms’, according to a press release by the body issued on March 14th. The statement says that all educational institutions, including universities, colleges, schools, coaching classes and EdTech platforms will be subject to these guidelines. According to the press release, of all the ads processed by ASCI this year, 27 percent came from the education sector. Of this 27 percent, 22 percent came from the traditional education sector and 5 percent came from the EdTech sector. In January, the organisation also released the EdNext Study, which revealed that advertisements of Ed-Tech platforms have a lot of impact on parents, with “nearly nine out of ten parents relying on ads” for choosing an online education course. The report also proposed a framework for creating mindful and responsible ads, which focus on parameters like diversity, the broader perspective of learning, upfront information on courses, fees, etc. Why it matters: The EdNext report called out Ed-tech companies for their misleading advertisements comprising unsubstantiated claims about achievements, aggressive sales tactics, and for their over-emphasis on marks and scores, rather than a value-added learning process. These are some recurring issues in the operations of educational platforms. With incoming digital developments in the education sector, it will be worth exploring if the updated advertising guidelines will address the needs of the users and tackle unethical, industry-related practices. What do the guidelines…
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