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J&K gets maiden twin Centre of Excellence in Handicrafts, Carpet Sector

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SRINAGAR: Craft Development Institute (CDI) and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT), Baghi-Ali-Mardan, Nowshera, Srinagar have been declared as J&K’s maiden “Centre of Excellence” (CoE) in Handicrafts and Carpet Sector.

The Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir (DHHK) had submitted two proposals in February 2022 to the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council of India for recognizing CDI and IICT as Centre of Excellence in Traditional and Heritage Crafts.

The twin Centre of Excellence in the skilling ecosystem have been envisioned to be one-stop resource centres for raising training standards, boosting productivity, addressing emerging skill gaps, and aligning training & research with the current industry needs with the intent to overcome skill demand-supply mismatch and having a continuous supply of skilled workforce and disseminate best practices.

The key objectives of the Centre of Excellence CDI/IICT include conducting high-quality training in the Handicrafts and Carpet sector with a special focus on reviving the languishing crafts and new/future crafts with emerging technologies.

The CoE shall also work towards developing an association between academia and industry for the benefit of the skill development sector, conduct Research and Development in the Handicrafts and Carpet sector and disseminate the results of the R&D and other activities through the filling of patents and transforming them into sustainable business proposals/solutions.

It shall also provide support to creative and innovative designs concerning crafts based on emerging national and international demands and establish a sound new institutional base for executing the programmes/projects by strengthening the existing infrastructure.

Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir said, “These CoE institutions are first of its kind in the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector in J&K and have been envisioned to work towards realizing the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat wherein the traditional and heritage crafts from J&K shall be taken to the global level by introducing frugal design innovations and develop a unique academia-industry model for the better product development to revive the Handicrafts and Carpet industry of the UT.”

Besides, the two CoE shall work to foster relations across countries, and between governments, provide incubation, mentoring & support to start-ups in the entrepreneurship education domain, and establish an Entrepreneurship cell for interested youth in the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector.

These shall also conduct training of trainers for master trainers and shall also host exclusive art galleries.

The CoE shall offer skill development courses as per the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) to increase the employability of the artisans and job seekers in the Handicrafts & Carpet sector for different job roles, certifying up to 500 candidates and training as many as 100 master trainers in next 3 years.

In recognition of this, two skill development courses have already been started in Papier-Machie and Carpets at CDI and IICT respectively. These courses are being run under the aegis of NCPUL and Central Wool Development Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Both the CoE at CDI and IICT is recognized by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through the National Council of Vocational Education and Training.

This comes against the backdrop of launching the GI certification and labeling for all the crafts for which J&K UT has become a pioneer in the country.

Besides, the DHHK has recently received the sanction for setting up two Raw Material Banks under Wool and Pashmina.

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