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Handloom programmes need a new curriculum

Special Correspondent



R.N. Choubey, Development Commissioner for Handlooms, New Delhi, speaking at the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology in Salem on Thursday. –

SALEM: The curriculum for handloom programmes at the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT) here should be revamped to meet global needs, said R.N. Choubey, Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Union Government.

Participating at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Institute here on Thursday evening, he said that the studies should be made more attractive.

The institute should be provided more facilities. Semester system would be introduced at the institute from the next academic year, he said. Steps would be taken to get funds to upgrade machinery at the institute. Many vacancies for faculty were existing and action would be taken to fill them.

Vacant houses on the campus should be used for accommodating girl students till a hostel was constructed. He claimed that the number of handloom weavers and artisans were fast coming down.

Additional Development Commissioner (Handlooms) S. K. Jha, industrialists S. Devarajan and M. Nachimuthu among others spoke.

K. Mariappan, president of the Salem District Small Scale and Tiny Industries Association, said that rural crafts persons in Salem district were producing attractive handloom and handicraft products, which had good demand in domestic and global markets.

“The Salem handloom industry is one of the most ancient cottage industries and producing quality sari, dothi and angavasthram out of silk yarn and cotton yarn.

“In the recent past, home furnishing items are also woven, mainly for export purposes. More than 75,000 handlooms are working and the total value of cloth produced per annum is estimated at Rs.5,000 crores,” he said.

He called for a holistic development of a cluster in Salem district under “Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Programme,” which would involve artisans through the formation of self-help groups providing/enhancing their skills by organising Skill Development programme with the help of professionals in dyeing, weaving and export.

He said that a cluster-based programme for capacity building in handloom clothing should at Salem would benefit nearly 2 lakh skilled, unskilled youth force here.

The faculty and alumni of the institute, including those from Sri Lanka and Tanzania, and G. Sukumar Nair, president of Alumni Association of IIHT attended the function. . Antao Irwin Josico presided over the function.

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