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Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday 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.

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.

Goyal 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.

The minister 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the institutes to align themselves to these five visionary vows. He 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.

Goyal 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. 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. Goyal opined that every campus must become incubators for startups and must strive to nurture and develop innovation and entrepreneurship.

The minister 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. Goyal 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.

The minister called for modernization of campuses, equipment, testing labs and technologies to make them world class. He 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.

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