Online Education Takes Off in India

The business of distance learning on the subcontinent is becoming so big that foreign universities and venture capitalists are taking note
Indian schoolchildren use a laptop to browse a new self assessment and diagnostic Internet site tool in Hyderabad. NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images

It's a Sunday afternoon and class time for 39-year-old IT worker Seema Shetty. Her feet curled under her in a swivel chair, she sits in front of a computer monitor, adjusts a set of headphones, and scribbles in a notebook. Shetty, who works for consulting firm Mastek in Mumbai, is in a virtual classroom in the Vile Parle suburb, where a dozen computers link students to some of India's elite management institutions. Today's class is a three-hour general management lecture, part of the online education course conducted by the Xavier Labor Relations Institute in Jamshedpur, in the remote northern Indian state of Jharkhand.

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