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The Context
India, with a population surpassing 1.4 billion, is a vast South Asian country. Its education system is structured into four main stages: primary, secondary, higher, and vocational.

  • Primary education is free and compulsory for all children aged 6 to 14, as mandated by the Right to Education Act. The language varies by state, including English, Hindi, and regional languages.
  • Secondary education is split into lower secondary (grades 6 to 8) and higher secondary (grades 9 to 12). The higher secondary stage culminates with students taking national exams, primarily through the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
  • Higher education encompasses universities and colleges, with India hosting over 1,000 universities and more than 50,000 colleges, reflecting a robust system.
  • Vocational education is designed to equip students with specific technical skills for various careers.

Despite making significant progress, the education sector in India is still faced with numerous challenges, such as limited access, teacher shortages, and inadequate funding in many regions. As a solution, the government is stepping up efforts to promote digital learning initiatives and increasing its budget to tackle existing issues. Schooling plays a crucial role in the continued development of India and is essential for empowering its vast and diverse population.

ST Foundation’s Presence
The DU Program was launched in 2003 with the support of the Greater Noida ST plant and its volunteers. Its aim was to provide new educational opportunities and resources that were not available locally. Over time, the initiative expanded, reaching more people across the country. This success and the potential for further growth led to the establishment of a local, independent legal entity, ST Foundation India, which started its operations in 2018.

From its inception, the program offered various standard courses such as Introduction to  Computer Basics (ICB), Tablet for Kids (T4K), and Advanced Courses. These foundational courses laid the groundwork for further educational development. As the program progressed, particularly during the pandemic, it evolved, introducing innovative educational initiatives. One notable addition was the Tablet for Seniors (T4S) course, aimed at helping the elderly stay connected in an increasingly digital world.

By the end of the first quarter of 2024, the courses were operating smoothly, benefiting over 146,000 individuals since the program’s beginning. These efforts underscore the program’s commitment to enhancing educational access and proficiency among diverse population segments, demonstrating a flexible approach to evolving educational needs.