Meghalaya govt seeks support for textile upgradation

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Shillong, Aug 12 (UNI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy has requested the Union Ministry of Textiles for support of technological upgradation to increase production and value addition of sericulture in the state.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) here yesterday, Dr Roy said Meghalaya has established traditions of weaving, which are in need of additional training, demonstration and production centres upgradation of infrastructure, and induction of improved looms, jacquards and computer-aided design facilities.

''There is dire need for opening two power looms service centres and two weavers service centres in the state,'' the Chief Minister said.

Dr Roy said the establishment of the Shillong Centre of the NIFT had fulfilled the long-felt need of the people of the North Eastern region.

He said the inherent creative and innovative orientation of the people can find expression through this institution.

''We would expect the NIFT Centre to take the lead in documentation of the craft heritage of the region, and to incorporate this legacy in its academic programmes, so that the students can be made aware of these traditions,'' he said.

Meghalaya State Planning Board Chairman Purno A Sangma, who mooted the idea of setting up the NIFT in 1982 during his tenure as the Union Minister for Textiles, said the concept emerged out of a need to promote textile exports which was then stagnating due to lack of innovative styles and designs.

Director General of NIFT Rajiv Takru said the opening of the institute in Shillong was an event by itself since it marked the convergence of profession and occupation in a region, which is rich in arts, crafts and designs.

At present, NIFT, Shillong is situated on the old NEIGRIHMS campus. The institute will have its permanent campus in New Shillong.

The first batch of 30 students of NIFT, Shillong, include 11 boys and 19 girls. Only three of the students, all from Assam, are from the Northeast.

The four-year course at NIFT, Shillong will have eight semesters.

Initially, classes at the institute will start with five faculty members.

Faculty member M Blah, who hails from Shillong, said NIFT would help tap the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast and promote the handloom sector in Meghalaya.

UNI RRK DPM/src1339

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