Despite University Grants Commission’s (UGC) chairman Jagadesh Kumar refuting the idea of running coaching classes for Common University Entrance Test (CUET), the ed-tech industry seems to have made a beeline for the same. “We have already received around 15 lakh registrations as of May 22, 2022 for the first batch. When compared with other exams such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), this has crossed the numbers. In the next five years we expect more than 30 lakh applications for CUET exam preparation courses,” Satya Narayan R, founder, chairman, Career Launcher told FE Education. The company claims to receive approximately one lakh applications for JEE and 14 lakh applications for NEET courses every year.
As per industry experts, while some ed-tech companies are targeting institutions and schools, there is a section of companies that are directly reaching out to students. While the first round of the exam in academic year 2022-23 is to be rolled out soon, in its initial year, some ed-techs seem to have incorporated the coursework in a partial manner. “At Filo, many students from the existing batch of 11-12th grades have enquired about CUET coaching classes. For the next academic year, we plan to launch a dedicated course on CUET, in a few months. At currently we are in the process of onboarding of teachers for CUET,” Imbesat Ahmed, CEO, Filo, said.
With CUET likely to be held in July, it has been observed that ed-tech firms have begun to create course work. According to Narayan of Career Launcher, it has designed an hourly basis course structure for CUET aspirants. It claims that these course work vary from 20-50 hours, where students can curate their suitable hours and subjects. Currently mock test series, suggestive questions, and NCERT based study materials are provided to the students. While, ed-tech company Adda 247 claims to have introduced dedicated CUET courses in complete online, live teaching format.
Most of these players such as Adda 247, Career Launcher, and Filo, currently earn course fee directly from CUET aspirants. According to Anil Nagar, CEO, founder, Adda 247, the fee structure for these courses vary between Rs 3,000-4,000. Similarly, Career Launcher, runs various courses where the fee varies from a range of Rs 3,000 to Rs 75,000 depending upon the number of hours, and course structure. “In two-three months we will start a few more batches and live classes with recording videos, keeping in mind about the students who will join late,” Nagar said. Adda 247 aims to enrol more than 10,000 students in CY23.
While the industry players believe that the CUET as a new emerging course has already gained impetus in the ed-tech ecosystem, it seems to contradict the objective of the UGC, which aims to provide a ‘level-playing ground’ for students, irrespective of any geo-political or socio-economic background.