Goyal asks eminent design institutions in India to increase their number of students

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Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday asked eminent design institutions in India to increase their student numbers by at least 10X.

He was interacting with 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 the Institute of Footwear Design and Development. (FDDI) in New Delhi.

The minister pointed out that this is the first such interaction between the 5 eminent institutes that work under the umbrella of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Textile.

Goyal called for intensive collaborations between the 5 institutions so that they can work together and develop synergies to improve and grow. He asked the institutes to consider having joint campuses for more efficient use of resources and to think about merging the bodies to strengthen them.

The minister instructed the institutes to focus on creating a strong alumni program and building a broad alumni network. Alumni networks have immense potential to help grow the alma mater, he said. He also called on companies to generously support prominent educational institutions.

The Minister referred to the paanch pran enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the institutes to align themselves with these five visionary vows. He said education and vocational training institutions should focus on human resource development across the country and not just in cities. No child should be left behind, he reiterated and called on institutions to institute scholarship programs as well.

Goyal also suggested that institutions strive to develop a lasting connection with the eastern and northeastern regions of the nation and bring much more diversity among faculty and students.

The minister asked the institutions to strive to eliminate all traces of colonial mentality in the processes, practices and style of work. He felt that colonial practices often create exclusionary tendencies that intimidate and alienate the common man. Goyal spoke of the need for us to return to our roots and observed that there is a huge opportunity 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. Goyal believed that every campus should become incubators for startups and should strive to nurture and grow innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Minister asked institutions to reflect on whether their education is tailor-made to meet the needs of tomorrow. He said that we must aspire to bring Indian fashion technology to the developed markets of the world. Goyal also observed that there is a need to expand our faculty base and invest significantly in faculty development.

He asked them to do a lot more case studies and publish more case study articles. He also asked them to pioneer cutting-edge research and be prolific publishers of research papers.

The minister called for upgrading campuses, equipment, testing labs and technologies to make them world-class. He also urged campuses to locate potential GI products and nurture and develop them whenever possible. India has the potential to have up to 2,000 GI products, he noted.

During the interactions, the 5 institutes made presentations on salient aspects of their structure and functioning and shared their suggestions and requirements for further growth and expansion.

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