WiFi for ALL

Ever since the pandemic hit, two things became amply clear. Education and Work, changed forever.

Work From Home

Work from Home was a concept, not much appreciated in India. Even with global companies in the IT/ITES space, it was grudgingly approved. The fact is, WiFi at home wasn’t as reliable and internet speeds were not high enough. The fact also is, we Indians who are managers have a lurking suspicion that the executive WFH will goof off 😊.

So we would become James Bond and track every minute of that WFH executive !!

Come the pandemic, it forced us all to WFH and we took to it like the proverbial duck to the water. Yes, many executives end up working longer hours from home and the distinction between work and home is nearly gone. BUT, the benefits outweigh the challenges.

My guess is WFH is the new normal.

Study From Home

As expected schools and colleges shut down completely in the first few weeks of the pandemic. Then the online classes started. Initially when we spoke with our ShikshaDaan partners, they said they were able to barely reach 30% of their students.

Slowly that percentage reached nearly 90%. Mind you, these partners work with the poorest of the poor. There are challenges of not being able to access the phone at all times. The BPL and lower middle class families have “a” phone but for everyone to use. Smart phones are a luxury still despite falling prices.

Schools and colleges have also realised that studying from home is possible and we can expect that online programs will have a greater acceptance going forward. Honestly, I don’t like the Study From Home option because student life is all about interacting with others.

At the same time, we need to evaluate and adopt the benefits that study from home provides. First, is the access to the best professors, teachers and innovators. Second, the democratization of education. EVERYONE, irrespective of their Socio economic status can access good education. Ofcourse we are some years away from online education becoming very effective but expect Study From Home being part of the new normal.

WiFi for ALL

Saw this news item early in the morning today.

Absolutely thrilled to read this. The pandemic proved the fact that every Indian has access to “a” phone. Now with this move, every Indian will have access to high speed, reliable internet.

It’s exciting to think of how this will change India. We are seeing some serious innovators amongst our Mentees and today they struggle without access to good internet. This move will change all that.

#NewIndia #DigitalIndia

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