New Delhi: Some of the big challenges facing the education sector in India are the poor infrastructure and the shortage of trained teachers.

However, the Indian education market is expected to be valued at $180 billion by the year 2020, according to a report by management consulting firm Technopak. And the biggest reason for this could be the growth of the digital learning market, buoyed by the estimates that as many as 550 million Indians will have regular access to the internet.

The domain of education technology, also known as Ed-Tech, has seen multiple new start-ups and platforms arrive on the scene over the past year and a bit.

Some of them are helping students prepare for competitive exams such as the Common Admission Test (CAT), while some are streaming lectures live over the Internet, as if you are sitting in class. We look at the best online platforms for the cloud campus.

Talent Edge

Talent Edge has partnerships with top educational institutions in India, as well as around the world—these include courses from IITs, IIMs, XLRI, MICA, Parsons School of Design and Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI).

The way this works is that you sign up for a course, and Talent Edge will recreate virtual yet fully interactive classrooms, and interact live with faculty from the institute as well as your batchmates.

The range of courses available for you is exhaustive—business management, analytics, entrepreneurship and finance are just some of the larger brackets.

Even though you are attending classes on a digital platform and not in a physical campus, you will still follow the specific timetables for classes, semesters and assignments.

You will pay the fees depending on which course you sign up for. For instance, the PG Certificate Program in Business Management from MICA, Ahmedabad, will cost around Rs1,10,000, and is payable in three instalments.

Un academy

This platform has been around for around six months now, and yet has seen over 3,00,000 students sign up—there are more than 2,400 courses available online. Everything is categorised clearly. There are test preparation courses for entrance exams such as CAT, CLAT, IES and even UPSC, among others. You also get courses on English and French, programming languages and business management, among others.

Each course is further broken down—for instance, the CAT preparation will be broken down into quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, data interpretation, verbal ability, etc. You follow educators and will get notifications about new courses.

Testbook is an online test preparation platform for competitive exams such as SBI, SSC CGL, IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, LIC AAO, GATE and CAT.

For each, there are a set of tests that you can access for free, while you’ll pay for some of the more advanced ones—there are also subscription options, with an annual validity, and will include all the tests for that course. The advantage is that you can try to conquer each of the purchases tests any number of times during the validity of the subscription.

Testbook says that more than 3,752,058 tests have been attempted on their platform, across all options.