India seeks to scale up textile design, eying world’s China shift trend

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, November 12: Zero Covid Policy of China has wrecked the global supply chains, including textile manufacturing. European countries are particularly looking at options to shift their China bases, and India is seeking to scale up capacities to attract the manufacturing orders.

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has asked institutions of design to increase their student intake by a minimum of 10X. He was interacting with the Heads and Senior Faculty Members of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), National Institute of Design (NID), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) in New Delhi today.

The Minister pointed out that this was the first such interaction of the five eminent institutes that work under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Textiles. “The Minister called for intensive collaborations between all five institutions so that they may work together and develop synergies to improve and grow.  He asked the institutes to consider having common campuses for more effective utilization of resources and think about merging bodies to bring strength to them,” stated the Ministry of Commerce in an official statement.

It may be noted that while India has scaled up significantly in the contract manufacturing of shoes for the global brands, the thrust currently is to gain the scale in the textile sector for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre has set up ambitious targets. Incidentally, the European clients are shifting out of China to the neighbouring East Asian nations, while Bangladesh has gained significantly on account of cheap labour.

Goyal asked the Institutes to focus on creating a robust alumni program and build an extensive alumni network. “Alumni networks have an immense potential to contribute to growth of the alma mater,” said Goyal, while urging the corporates to generously support eminent educational institutions.

The Minister referred to the ‘paanch pran’ enunciated by Modi and asked the institutes to align themselves to these five visionary vows. The Minister said that educational and vocational training institutions must focus on developing human resources throughout the length and breadth of the country and not just in cities.

He also called for every campus becoming incubators for startups and must strive to nurture and develop innovation and entrepreneurship. Goyal said “we must aspire to take India’s fashion technology to the developed markets of the world”. The Minister also urged campuses to locate prospective GI products and nurture and develop them whenever possible. India has the potential to have upto 2000 GI products, he noted.

The meeting focussed on encouraging convergence between the institutes to create synergies, share resources and best practice experiences, which would lead to open innovations. “Deliberations were held on fostering industry-academia collaboration and interface of the institutes with industry by presenting latest technology, engaging in R&D and market specific innovation needs of the industry. Discussions were held on building a global professional network by interfacing and engaging with the alumni of the institutes to maintain a symbiotic relationship with them and enhance their contribution to their alma mater,” added the Ministry in the statement.

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