Ecosystem Response
The ecosystem responded with range of measures to ensure continued learning during school closures

Central Government Response

Guidelines & Initiatives

Central Government Response
Guidelines for parents, teachers, students and school administrators were released to enable at-home learning

Central Government Guidelines (July-September 2020)

Pragyata guidelines
(MHRD, 2020)

Learning enhancement guidelines
(NCERT, 2020)

Alternative academic calendar (AAC)
(NCERT, 2020)

Launch date

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020


Eight steps for digital and online education, i.e.
Plan, Review, Arrange, Guide,
Yak (talk), Assign, Track,Appreciate

Continuous learning plans, models of learning enhancement for students without or with limited access to digital devices, roles of various stakeholders and how these will change in the post pandemic world

Under PM-e-Vidya, week-wise plans with curriculum related activities and challenges that teachers and parents can
opt for


Students, state officials, school heads, parents and teachers

School heads, state officials, parents and teachers

Students, parents and teachers

Central Government Response
Various initiatives were launched to enable at-home learning and ensure learning continued during school closures

MoE launched SWAYAM PRABHA TV channels to telecast educational content
for grades 1-12

Used 289 community radio stations and CBSE’s Shiksha Vani podcast to deliver content for grades 9-12 and 1-12, respectively

Several kinds of home learning e-content were made available on online repositories, such as NROER (NationalRepository of Open Educational Resources), DIKSHA and NCERT’s YouTube channel

Central Government Response
Online resources for continued professional development of teachers were provided

The response was primarily in areas of providing e-content for teachers on online platforms, and conducting trainings online. These trainings aimed to continue teacher professional development that was disrupted by the pandemic, with a renewed focus on training for facilitation of remote learning.


  • CBSE developed term handbooks to aid teachers in aligning their classrooms with a competency framework (CBSE, 2020)
  • Courses on several topics, such as experiential learning, were launched on DIKSHA to help teachers adapt to remote learning
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)

Online training

  • NCERT shifted NISHTHA to an online mode by integrating teacher training, using the DIKSHA platform
  • CBSE, KVs and JNVs undertook a large scale exercise to build online teaching capacities of their teachers as soon as the lockdown started, to ensure continuity of learning through online means, wherever possible (CBSE, 2020)

The MoE trained about 30 lakh elementary school teachers digitally during 2020-21 and plans to train around 56 lakh teachers across the country in 2021-22 (Indian Express, February 13,2021)

State Government Response

At-home Learning

State Government Response
Various mediums for remote learning were adopted, each with its own advantages and limitations




Printed Book

Mobile Apps/ Web-based Portals

  • Easily scalable, suited to reach low income households
  • Does not require parental supervision to operate
  • Widely available
  • High recall value
    (audio + visual)
  • Particularly suited for teaching subjects that need demonstration
  • Allows easy interaction with community (teachers, students, parents)
  • Two-way communication, can also be used for assessments
  • Used to deliver content to remote households that do not have access to internet, radio, TV and smartphones
  • Learning material can consist of advanced and adaptive learning software solutions
  • Teacher-student interaction can be facilitated through “virtual classrooms”, including synchronous learning
  • One-way communication, limited broadcasting hours
  • Limited scope for tailoring content
  • One-way communication, limited broadcasting hours
  • Needs basic understanding of SMS and might require parental help to operate
  • Difficult to ensure offline delivery during the pandemic
  • Limited scope for innovative virtual learning
  • Feature phones or smartphones are needed to access apps
  • Needs internet access
  • Might require parental supervision or support, especially for young children

Content Dissemination
Mediums with varying degrees of reach across different population segments in India


Home Stations: 420 stations; reaching nearly 92% of India and 99.19% of total population in 23 languages (EY, 2019)


Households with TV: 210 million (BARC, 2021); with 80%penetration rate of paid cable and satellite TV (Statista, 2020)  


Urban Telephone Subscribers: 647.36 million, Rural Telephone Subscribers: 524.44 million
88% of Indian households have a mobile phone(TRAI, 2020) (ice360, 2016)

Mobile Apps

Internet: Overall: 40% | Urban India: 54% | RuralIndia: 32%
433 million (12+ years) and 71 million (5-11 years; on family devices) (IAMAI, 2019)

Web-based Portals

Broadband Subscribers: 734 million (TRAI, 2021)11% of Indian households have access to a computer device(TRAI, 2020) (NSSO, 2019)

Printed Books

Textbooks distributed among 86.8%children/ parents (~96, 000 children) in rural India (ASER, 2021)

Rapid Education Response
States responded rapidly with multi-modal content dissemination programmes; many states designed and implemented them within 3 months of schools closing down in March 2020

Focus on Content Delivery
Education response* of states was multi-pronged with content delivery as primary focus

Mobile apps

Web-based portals






Content delivery




CHT, HR,     MP




Monitoring and feedback










Doubt resolution


State abbreviations

CHT: Chhattisgarh
HP: Himachal Pradesh
HR: Haryana
JH: Jharkhand
KR: Kerala
MP: Madhya Pradesh
RJ: Rajasthan
TN: Tamil Nadu
UP: UttarPradesh

* The coverage of state responses is not exhaustive but limited to those states for which we were able to collect extensive and verified information

WhatsApp as New Age Teaching Tool
WhatsApp emerged as an important medium for at-home learning

WhatsApp deployed across states



Study from Home

3,200 school groups, 35L+ students


Ghar se Padhao

200+ school groups, 10L (50%)students


Learning by WhatsApp

30,000 school groups, 10L students

Madhya Pradesh


50,000+ school groups, 19L parents


Project SMILE

9,226 school groups, 12.78L households

Uttar Pradesh

Mission Prerna

~1.4L school groups, 25L students

Source: MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education

WhatsApp is clear frontrunner for content delivery

Source: ASER,2021

State Initiatives

At-home Learning*

Top 3 Dissemination Platforms
States primarily deployed three channels to facilitate at-home learning*


Most states used WhatsApp to launch initiatives and cover a range of objectives, such as content delivery, assessments, monitoring and feedback, and doubt resolution

Examples & initiatives

Rajasthan: Aao Ghar mein Seekhein, Project SMILE
Chhattisgarh: Har Ghar School
Haryana: Ghar se Padhao
Himachal Pradesh: Har Ghar Pathshala

Web platforms & mobile apps

States launched platforms or apps easily used by students to synchronously and asynchronously access content, ask questions and resolve doubts

Examples & initiatives

DIKSHA , ConveGenius, Top Parent,Digi App, Learnytic, Sampark Didi, Shala Samvad, Gyan Pitara

Radio & TV

Several states utilized existing reach and dissemination lines of TV and radio to broadcast educational content

Examples & initiatives

Madhya Pradesh: DD, AIR
Tamil Nadu: KalviTholaikatchi
Haryana: EDUSAT
Uttar Pradesh: English Seekho on AIR, DD





Shikshavani: content broadcasted at 11am daily

Channel: DD Rajasthan

SMS/ IVRS/ Mobile phones

Audio bridge classrooms: Students used feature phones and landlines to connect to teachers without digital devices

Mobile apps

Bright Tutee

Use: Provides digital learning content Target group: Grades 9- 10
(Bweducation,April 2020)

Use: Partnered with ConveGenius, which uses AI-based WhatsApp chatbots to offer personalized assessments, doubt learning services and content recommendations to students (Bweducation, October2020)

Use:Teachers provided material to children and resolved doubts with Aao Ghar mein Seekhein & Project SMILE initiatives.Video content was also available on YouTube & DIKSHA (Dainik Bhaskar, 2020)(ETGovernment, 2020, 15)

Use: Delivered content and engaged parents with Har Ghar School campaign

Web-based portals

DIKSHA Content: 2,500+ topics from 28 books
Target group: Grades1-10

Shala Samvad (Rajshaladarpan, 2020)
Use: Other than e-learning content, special “talk to talk” interface allowed students to ask questions on the content, which were answered by a panel of experts.

E-platform under Padhaai Tunhar Duvaar (Cgschool, 2020)
Use: Provides children with content, such as live classes, offline video lectures, worksheets and podcasts.

Raise hand (ask question) section of platform
Use: Allows students to post questions, which are answered within 24-48 hours

Gamefied assessment solutions of platform
Use: Questions tagged to NCERT learning outcomes & rendered into small games (eg: online cricket) (Expresscomputer, May 2020)

Printed books/ offline learning

Loudspeaker schools: Teachers collaborated with local community/ panchayat for loudspeakers to relay audio lessons in remote areas

Tamil Nadu

Madhya Pradesh


Radio School: Launched in collaboration with AIR
Content: Stories and academic content broadcasted daily for 1 hour in the mornings and evenings
Target group: Grades 1-8


Channel: Kalvi Tholaikatchi
Content: Educational content broadcasted daily with fixed timetable (also available online with YouTube content)
Target group: Grades 2-12

Channel: DD MP
Content: Special educational programme,‘Classroom’ aired twice a day, 5 days a week
Target groups: Grades9-12

SMS/ IVRS/ Mobile phones

‘Humara Ghar Humara Vidyalaya’ campaign:Teachers visit student homes or phone them to track progress

Mobile apps

Use: Teachers used groups to send content and assignments to students and resolve doubts

Use: Partnered with ConveGenius, which uses AI-based WhatsApp chatbots to offer personalized assessments, doubt learning services and content recommendations to students (India education diary, 2020)


Delivers content & allows parents to track child’s progress through continuous report cards

Use: Delivery, curation, and monitoring of content under DigiLEP scheme

Web-based portals

Tamil Nadu e-learn Platform
10,000+ e-Learning content, 390 digital textbooks & 2,000+ aggregated YouTube videos

Energized textbooks that can be accessed via QR codes, 14,000+resources
Target group: Grades1-12

Gyan Pitara
Online textbooks & videos
Target group: Grades3-8

In collaboration with Room to Read, digitized flip books with stories were sent to students every Sunday to inculcate the habit of reading (Times of India, 2020)

Printed books/ offline learning

Teachers distributed hard copies of weekly learning planners defining learning outcomes for students each day, based on their assessments and workbooks/ textbooks

Himachal Pradesh



Content broadcast via AIR stations in the state


Channel: DD Himachal
Target group: Grades1-10

Channel: DD Jharkhand
Lessons streamed for 4 hours everyday under
Hamara DoorDarshan Hamara Vidyalaya
Target group:

SMS/ IVRS/ Mobile phones

Mobile apps

Sampark Didi
Virtual classes
and animated lectures at home
Target group:
(ETGovernment,April 22, 2020) (BusinessLine,April 16, 2020)

Use -partnered with ConveGenius, which uses AI based WhatsApp chatbots to offer personalized assessments, doubt learning services, and content recommendations to students(TheLogical Indian, 2021)

Use: Used under ‘Har Ghar Pathshala to deliver content to and evaluate students through worksheets

Use: Delivered content for students and teachers as per structured calendar under digiSATH


Developed by Jharkhand Education Project Council to deliver content to students
Target group: Grades1-8
(Prabhat Khabar, 2020)


Developed by Jharkhand Education Project Council to deliver content to students
Target group: Grades9-12
(Prabhat Khabar, 2020)

Web-based portals

Samarth assessment dashboard
Use: Managed & assessed learning profiles of students

Platform: Official website of the state
Use: Hosts e-content including videos related to curriculum and worksheets for students

Printed books/ offline learning

In certain remote areas (such as Kaza), text books and hard copies of worksheets were circulated among students

Mohala schools: For students without digital access, teachers in green zones initiated classes for8-10 students with social distancing norms

Teachers go door to door to engage with students, get their feedback, and spread awareness about government initiatives



Uttar Pradesh


AIRand other channels used to broadcast audio-based learning programmes. English Seekho programmes were aired in partnership with UNICEF


Channel: EDUSAT TV channels  
Target group: Grades1-12

Channel: VICTERS educational channel
Targetgroup: Anganwadi to 12

Channel:Doordarshan UP

SMS/ IVRS/ Mobile phones

Ghar se Padhao  Abhiyaan: Content sent via SMS

Teachers review student work via follow up calls and messages: 1,800 mentors call 15 parents each for feedback every week

Teachers used phones to collect feedback from parents and resolve doubts of students.Authorities are informed of the feedback, based on which suitable solutions are developed.

Content broadcast via AIR stations in the state

Mobile apps

Use: Under the Ghar se Padhao WhatsApp campaign, class groups were used to share content, daily activities, homework, and keep track of student performances (HindustanTimes, 2020)

Use: As part of Mission Prerna kie-Pathshala, teacher-to-student WhatsApp groups exchanged content.

Web-based portals

Platform: Gharse Padhao website
Hosts a variety of links to several kinds of home learning content

Platform: Samagra
Use: KITE*
created an online learning platform, which is a repository of academic and edutainment content. Content is also made available on YouTube and Facebook
Targetgroup: Grades1-12

Platform: Website of Department of Education
Use: hosts several e-resources(textbooks, activity charts, etc.)

Use:To deliver content

Printed books/ offline learning

State Government Response

Parental Engagement

Tech-enabled Parental Engagement
States took several initiatives as part of their education response to Covid-19

Madhya Pradesh


Uttar Pradesh

  • Launched ‘Top Parent’ app as part of the DigiLEP – Aapki Padhai Aapke Ghar scheme
  • Provided content through the app and WhatsApp groups, which allowed parents to get information their children’s progress through continuous report cards
  • E-MegaPTM
  • Class teachers and school headsassigned to talk to parents
  • ABRC/ BRP/ DIET faculties monitored at least 15 parents and 5 teachers/ heads of their clusters
  • Launched ‘TopParent’ app, which currently houses three high-quality EdTech apps for children – Chimple, Maths Masti and Google Bolo
  • Families of students, without access to WhatsApp, were invited to school once a week to discuss study plans for students
  • Collaborated with Rocket Learning, an NGO that uses WhatsApp and Facebook messenger, to send content to parents and mobilise communities of teachers and parents around Early Childhood Care and Education

State Government Response

Teacher Capacity Building

Teacher Training
States collaborated with NGOs and content partners to roll out online teacher training modules


Tamil Nadu


Web portals & online resources

  • Online state-level training conducted for primary teachers through VICTERS educational channel, webinars, web portals, and social media
  • Specific ICT trainings provided online to 81,000 primary school teachers
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)
  • TNTP* empowered teachers with training and support material, e-learning content, digital textbooks, interactive quizzes and aggregated YouTube videos
  • Madhi launched SEED*, a programme that co-created capacity development with the state;  300 officials already signed up (Madhi, 2020,  Covid Response)
  • Continuous Learning Programme for Professional Development of Teachers through TEACHER App
  • Content for teachers is also available offline once downloaded and shared via SMS
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)



Himachal Pradesh

Mobile apps

  • Partnered with 22+ NGOs to train teachers**
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)
  • Online Capacity Building Programme (OCBP)** provided pedagogical support to teachers. The content is provided via the Chalkit app
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)
  • Continuous Learning Programme for Professional Development of Teachers through TEACHER App
  • Content for teachers is also available offline once downloaded and shared via SMS
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report Digital Education)

Madhya Pradesh


Uttar Pradesh


  • Launched ‘Top Parent’ app as part of the DigiLEP – Aapki Padhai Aapke Ghar scheme
  • Provided content through the app and WhatsApp groups, which allowed parents to get information their children’s progress through continuous report cards
  • Launched its own LEAD programme leveraging DIKSHA to ensure teacher training
    (India Today, 2020, July 4)
  • Launched initiative to shift all teacher training activities online via DIKSHA for 5.5 lakh teachers through 200+ courses
    (MHRD, 2020, India Report DIgital Education)

NGO Response

Last Mile Delivery

Mix of Ed-tech & In-person Support
NGOs supported at-home learning through blend of ed-tech enabled and in-person initiatives


Saarthi Education

  • Implemented WhatsApp-based learning programme for nursery to grade 5 students in Delhi
  • As of August 2020, worked with
    8,000+ families across 10 communities. During lockdown, worked with 3,000 children, with
    90% daily response rate and 2,700 parents, who submitted work for grading every single day
  • 85% of students were able to meet their learning targets
    (Yehaindia, August 6, 2020)


  • Foundational Learning Over WhatsApp (FLOW): Provides continuous foundational learning to students of grades 1-3 in low income households of Tamil Nadu. Designed to work with infrequent internet connectivity, in local languages, and for those unfamiliar with the technology used
    (Madhi, 2020, Covid Response)


  • Launched Karona, Thodi Masti, Thodi Padhai: Series of curated content, such as text, audio, and video, centred around music, art, theatre, as well as academics, is sent across WhatsApp and SMS. Content is available in 10 regional languages and English
  • Collaborated with 11 state governments to create content leveraging WhatsApp and SMS for specific grades, content from and the
    Pradigi App, radio and IVR

Mix of Ed-tech & In-person Support


App and tech-based solutions


  • Launched Happy Learners in partnership with the Tamil Nadu government, this initiative uses a combination of IVRS calls, printed books and worksheets  to deliver daily learning content to children with little or no access to internet and technology
  • A digital tracker has been designed for teachers to monitor the progress of their students on a weekly basis
  • Programme launched in Chennai and Tiruvannamalai districts, where over 9,500 children were provided with Happy Learners books, and over
    450 teachers were inculcated into
    the programme
    (Madhi, 2020, Covid Response)


  • Launched mobile-based learning app with digital content for grades 1-12, which is now used by 1.5 lakh local language students (Digitallearning, April 24, 2020)


  • Launched expansive pan India campaign: #EdtechforNayaBharat
    (Insightsuccess, 2020)
  • Social enterprise under the campaign aims to provide high-quality education and essential resources to 100 million underprivileged students
  • Innovated WhatsApp based AI chatbot solution for doubt solving of students, and partnered with several state governments to implement the solution

Moreover, for profit edtech solution enterprises such as Byju’s, Vedantu, Udemy, and Doubtnut made most of their content, including live tutorials, available for free once the pandemic struck,to further enable at-home learning for students.

WhatsApp used in multiple ways by all stakeholders in the ecosystem

Rocket Learning:
Case Study on How NGOs
Used WhatsApp

Communication channels: Several states used the app to interact with students, parents and teachers, and establish communication groups between BRCs, CRCs, school heads, teachers and all stakeholders

  • Launched in March 2020, brought
    e-learning materials to more than one lakh children in Chandigarh, Maharashtra (Aurangabad, Mumbai) and UP (Lucknow, Varanasi, Mahoba, Agra, Barabanki) by reinforcing learning through digital content sent to parents
  • Uses custom built tech to create and mobilise communities of parents and teachers around Early Childhood Care and Education, with the help of AI and automation.
  • Content available in Hindi and Marathi
  • Content delivered through WhatsApp and Facebook messenger (Millenniumpost, 2021)

Photo Source: Rocket Learning

Assessments: Used by stakeholders to conduct assessments and resolve doubts

Content delivery: Used by teachers and officials to deliver content to parents and students; by state officials to deliver content to teachers; and by other system officials for training

Feedback: Teachers used the app to interact with parents and elicit information on student performances

Awareness and Effectiveness of Ecosystem Initiatives

Learning Tools Dissemination Challenges
Despite various at-home learning initiatives, many students did not receive learning material during school closures

ASER1, which surveyed 52,227 rural households in September 2020, found that reach of at-home learning materials were limited in government as well as private schools:

  • Proportion of enrolled children who received learning material was higher in higher grades than in lower ones; and higher among students in private schools than in government ones
  • Among households that reported not having received any learning materials, most said that the school had not sent

Delhi NCR Covid-19 Telephone Survey (NCAER, 2020)

The DCVTS Round 4 was conducted from 23 December 2020 and 4 January 2021 and interviewed 3,168 rural and urban households in
Delhi NCR

  • Nearly 25% of children were neither offered online classes nor given any recorded lessons from school when remote learning was the norm
  • About 32% of children did not receive any learning material from school and 27% were not given any homework or assignment
Source: ASER 2021        

WhatsApp & Textbooks Key Mediums
Content shared over WhatsApp and textbooks were primary materials used by children learning at home

Tech-based tools for studying & learning

*n= 1862      **n= 1537

Traditional mediums for studying & learning

Teachers Favoured WhatsApp
Teachers overwhelmingly used WhatsApp to provide at-home learning

Technology based tools used for teaching

Traditional means used for teaching

Reaching Students Biggest Challenge
Teachers faced a host of challenges in teaching during remote learning, accessing their students being the biggest hurdle

Challenges faced by teachers to conduct online classes

Parents Unsure of Value of At-Home Learning  
Parents perceive children’s learning at-home to be lower than learning in-school

Parents’ perception of how children are learning now

Perceptions of overall learning progress

Remote Learning Tools Seen as Less Effective
Teachers perceived all remote learning tools to be less effective than in-person classroom teaching