The Centre is all set to give a boost to textile technology in the Northeast to provide more value to products.
The Planning Commission-constituted working group on handlooms, which looked in great detail at means to upgrade the textile sector, has called for providing greater infusion of technical expertise in the region.
“At present, most of the existing institutes are working sub-optimally because of lack of infrastructure and trained manpower. Therefore, degree courses in textile technology are an urgent need in the region. These should be dovetailed through National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Calcutta, NIFT, Shillong and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Institute for Fashion,” the report said.
The report has called for developing one apparel design training institute in the region at a cost of Rs 1 crore and scholarships for at least 10 young weavers every year for enrolment in prestigious institutions like NIFT and National Institute of Design. It said funds to the tune of Rs 50 lakh should be allotted for this purpose and these young graduates should then be integrated into the garment manufacturing units and export houses.
This apart, it said professional training on fashion designing and merchandising would enable integration of the handloom sector with the garment industry. “Tie-ups with NIFT, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Institute for Fashion, export houses and garment manufacturers outside the region can also enable assured demand for the NER handloom sector,” it said.
The committee was asked to suggest ways and means to provide better livelihood to handloom weavers of the region through training, human resource development and research and development programmes to undertake technological improvements in loom technology, pre and post-loom processes to enhance productivity, quality and reduction in fatigue in the Twelfth Plan.
It suggested setting up of new textile institutes with updated knowhow/teachers and experts should be developed to promote textiles of the Northeast. “More focus should be given to develop their infrastructure and to provide technical support in areas outside Assam so that the far-flung states also get the required institutional support. At the same time, the existing institutes, including regional NIFT and Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Guwahati, should be evaluated, their teaching staff upgraded and teaching curriculum and buildings updated,” it added.
“Emerging new technologies in weaving, spinning, processing, finishing, non-woven knitting and others should also be imparted to develop a base of skilled manpower for this region. Similarly, every state in the region should have a weaver’s service centre (WSC) or a small regional office in each state to provide contemporary and marketable designs. The WSCs in the region should be actively involved in advocacy of handloom schemes including the Handloom Mark Scheme,” the report suggested.