Tata Trusts ties-up with Khan Academy for free online education

Mumbai: Tata Trusts on Sunday announced it will be supporting US-based non-profit Khan Academy to provide free online education to Indians through one of the biggest open-access online platforms.

Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata did not specify the aggregate value of resources which will be granted to Khan Academy during the five year partnership by Tata Trusts, which control 66 per cent of the shares of Tata Sons, the holding company of the over USD 100 billion group.

Tata said the promise of free access to quality education is a “new era” and a “compelling opportunity” with a potential to multiply literacy rates which attracted the Trusts towards making the commitment.

“What the Khan Academy has created is a concept which provides free education and knowledge to anybody, anywhere. Therefore, for me, as an Indian and as a citizen on this planet, it’s a great privilege. I look at this as a great opportunity where we will do something to create a difference for generations,” Tata told reporters.

The hedge fund analyst-turned-founder of Khan Academy, Salman Khan, said that Indian students already use Academy’s content but it is now in the process of creating specialised content in English and Hindi for the benefit of India, one of the youngest nations in the world.

He said the Tata Trusts has been supporting education for over a century now, which involves giving grants, providing scholarships for students going abroad for studies etc.

The concept brought in by Khan Academy is “refreshingly different” and will make a “tremendous difference” in India by turning illiterates into literates.

Stating that his ideas were called “delusional” when he first spoke of having top quality content and giving it for free and without subjecting the children to advertisements, Khan, who was present on the occasion, said times have changed now and there is a sense of appreciation.