Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal asked eminent institutions of design in India 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.
Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal, Secretary, Textiles, Ms. Rachna Shah, Special Secretary, DPIIT, Ms. Sumita Dawra, Special Secretary and Financial Advisor, DPIIT, Shri Shahank Priya and other senior officials from various departments were also present at the interaction.
The Minister pointed out that this was the first such interaction of the 5 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 5 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.
Shri 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, he opined. He also asked corporates to generously support eminent educational institutions.
The Minister referred to the paanch pran enunciated by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra 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. No child must be left behind, he reiterated and sked institutions to also institute scholarship programs.
He also suggested that the institutions work to develop a sustained connect with eastern and north eastern parts of the nation and bring in much more diversity among both faculty and students.
The Minister asked the institutions to strive to remove any traces of colonial mindset in processes, practices, and style of working. He opined that colonial practices often create exclusionary tendencies which intimidate and alienate the common man. Shri Goyal spoke of the need for us to go back to our roots and observed that there is a tremendous scope for us to learn from tradition and heritage and offer it to the world.
The Minister called for improving campus placements by marketing ourselves better to the world. Shri Goyal opined that every campus must become incubators for startups and must strive to nurture and develop innovation and entrepreneurship. He asked the institutions to introspect if their education is tailormade to cater to the needs of tomorrow. He said that we must aspire to take India’s fashion technology to the developed markets of the world. He also observed that there is a need to expand our faculty base and invest greatly in faculty development.
He asked them to do much more case studies and publish more papers in the form of case studies. He also asked them to pioneer cutting edge research and be prolific publishers of research papers. He called for modernization of campuses, equipment, testing labs and technologies to make them world class. 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.
During the interactions, the 5 institutes made presentations on the salient aspects of their structure and functioning and shared their suggestions and requirements for further growth and expansion.
Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal asked the institutions to develop a connect with District Industrial Centres (DIC) to empower them to lend impetus to centres initiatives such as One District One Product, Districts as Export Hubs etc.
Secretary, Department of Textiles, Ms. Rachna Shah suggested that a core group of the heads of the institution and senior ministry officers may be constituted for more intensive and sustained exchange of ideas and collaboration. She also called for more international exposure to our students and faculty.
Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Anurag Jain called for more focussed, industry-relevant research in the institutions and said that there was a need to incentivise such research efforts.
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.
Suggestions were made on collaborating with foreign institutes through student and faculty exchange programs and on community or Sector development like handloom and handicraft cluster through design interventions or adoption.