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Ready for the Startup India Learning Programme?

By Ranju Sarkar
January 18, 2017 12:19 IST

The 4 week online learning programme is available in English and Hindi, and will soon be offered in some regional languages.
Ranju Sarkar reports.

UpGrad, a start-up which offers online courses that helps professionals upgrade and acquire skills, is offering a free month-long course on entrepreneurship.

The course, with Invest India as partner, is part of the government's Start Up India initiative to boost entrepreneurship.

Invest India is a joint venture between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, ministry of commerce, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and state governments to promote and facilitate investments.

About 17,000 had enrolled in the course till Monday noon, registration for which started five, six days back.

"We expect one lakh (100,000) people to enrol in three, four months. The government wants one million to take this course every year," said Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder, Upgrad, who built and sold the UTV media business to The Walt Disney Company.

Christened The Startup India Learning Programme, the four-week online learning programme is available in English and Hindi, and will soon be offered in some regional languages.

It has been condensed from a three-month programme in entrepreneurship that UpGrad offers. But why offer this course for free?

"It will take a lot of time for online to become a credible option in India for students, parents or companies," said Screwvala.

"That eco-system at scale has to shift to online... Many of these people may turn entrepreneurs... it's about building credibility for online that could also help us build the brand."

"People are often casual about online courses -- they go in and get out soon," Mayank Kumar, co-founder, UpGrad, said.

"Online gives you anonymity; it's easy to enter and exit, and only 5 to 10 per cent people complete online courses."

"In this programme, we make them share it on social media, which builds peer pressure against dropping out."

UpGrad offers four courses in data analytics, entrepreneurship, digital marketing and project management.

"This initiative will give us scale in online courses. Every three, four years, people need to upgrade," added Screwvala.

"People who enrol for the free course may come back to do a course in project management, data analytics or digital management."

Photograph: Kind courtesy Upgrad

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Ranju Sarkar
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