The UGC has directed the institutions imparting textile education to develop a curriculum for technical textiles. This directive has been issued as part of the National Textiles Mission, an initiative by Ministry of Textiles which aims to promote the technical textiles sector. The Textile Ministry has also issued ‘General guidelines for enabling of academic institutes in Technical Textiles’. The ministry will fund the HEIs to upgrade the labs and train the faculty to teach the subject. New courses on technical textiles will help students to boost their productivity in textiles industry, increase exports and sustainability.
Technical textiles are engineered products with a definite functionality, which finds its use in industries such as automobiles, construction, healthcare, and geotextiles and more. In addition to this, there also exists a domain of smart textiles and such textile material can be used to make clothes that get adjusted as per the environmental and climatic conditions. Smart textiles can be used in designing the special clothing for the army personnel deployed in adverse climatic zones. As part of pursuing a course on technical textiles, students would be introduced to the concept of geotextiles. This type of textile material is used in providing the proper layering to roads which is essential to prevent the water seepage. The institutes will introduce short courses offering credit of 1-2, at the UG and PG level. Engineering, Design, and Fashion Technology students are eligible for the courses.
As per reports, the government has allotted a financial outlay of Rs, 1,480 crore for 2020-21 to 2023 -24 academic session to implement the National Textiles Mission. The course is being introduced with the aim to promote technical textiles. The government has announced four components — Research, Innovation and Development; Promotion and Market Development; Export Promotion and Education Training, and Skill Development, under education, training and skill development measures for promotion of technical textiles.
Speaking to Education Times, SR Shah, head, department of Textile Chemistry, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, says, “We would modify the existing curriculum of textile streams and include the concepts of technical textiles for textile processing technology and other functional textile courses. In addition to this, we are in the process of starting short-term courses on technical textiles once they get approval from the governing body of our university,” says Shah. “The curriculum for these short-term courses would be decided by the expert committee of our department,” he adds. The chemical modification of textile eventually enhances its usability. For instance, if cotton produced genetically acquires antimicrobial and absorbency properties, it becomes usable in the healthcare sector. The aim is to equip the students in chemical processing to increase the utility.
“Textile Engineering and Chemical textile students will have to study 60% theory and 40% of practical work, based on the revised curriculum,” adds Shah.
Gujarat and several other southern states are a hub of textile industries. The new courses in the textile sector will boost productivity and sustainability by skilling the students.
Elangovan N, former director, NIFT Kannur (Kerala), says, “There is an urgent need to develop the curricula relating to technical textiles in the institutes that are located around the textile hubs of the country as students residing in these areas need to be skilled in this domain. It is also essential to upskill students in this emerging domain as the industry needs technically skilled manpower. The technical textiles should have been in focus much earlier. Students also need to be motivated to pursue courses related to technical textiles as it is an emerging field.”