Ratnesh Jha, an education thought leader in India, traveled to Tel Aviv last year to attend the Israel Education Summit. Intrigued by what he saw and the people he met, he is returning to the conference this June with a delegation of more than a dozen policy makers, school operators, and education thought leaders from India.

?We saw cutting-edge, deep innovation happening in Israel at last year?s summit,? says Jha, who is India Education lead, FICCI Chair and currently leading CUP South Asia. ?We are coming back with the expectation that we can build long-term relationships internationally, and bring some of this learning to India.?

Jha was joined at the 2018 summit by Dr. Anju Kumar, the deputy chief of mission for the Embassy of India in Israel, on a panel focusing on India?s education ecosystem and emerging opportunities in India. The country has more than 1.5 million K-12 schools, 36,000 colleges and universities, and 22,000 vocational training centers.

Kumar spoke about the huge potential for growth in educational technology and innovation across India — which has more than 290 million people enrolled in school. Expanded internet access means that parts of the country that lack high-quality schools, now have access to the Web and various online learning opportunities. Meaningful educational technology programs can be a game changer.

Jha points to the rapid growth of BYJU?S, the Indian company founded in 2011 that leverages gamification for its online study programs. Today, with a value of $5.4 billion, BYJU?s is the world?s largest edtech company. ?Technology is playing an important role in both the quality and equity space in India right now,? says Jha.

Another critical factor in India?s education market is that the country agreed to participate in PISA international exams again in 2021, after boycotting in the wake of the 2009 exams, when India ranked 72 out of 74 countries internationally. ?That is certainly giving us a push in terms of how we teach all across the country,? says Jha. ?We are moving from more rote learning to an active learning model.?

Finally, Jha points out that the India market is complicated by the fact that at least 22 languages are officially recognized across the country, making it hard to standardize educational content. Once again, technology can hold the key.

?I hope our Indian delegation is exposed to Israeli innovation and technology, and perhaps leave the summit with some new ways of thinking about the educational ecosystem,? says Jha. ?And I hope that the rest of the international audience is able to see that there could be an India strategy for them.?

The Indian delegation accompanying Jha to the Israel Education Summit includes leaders from Aurobindo Society, Narayana Group of Educational Institution, EdTechReview, Heritage Group, Nehru School, Learning Paths School and St Kabir School. Many of them will also expand their visit to Israel beyond the two days of the summit to participate in Education Innovation Week, which gives guests the chance to go on fieldtrips around Israel and enjoy a more immersive experience during their stay.