A bill to upgrade the Footwear Design and Development Institute to deal with international standards and address the shortage of trained human resource in the sector was introduced in the Lok Sabha today. The Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill 2017 was introduced by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha. Being a highly labour intensive industry, the requirement for trained human resources for leather and footwear sector is immense. India is the third biggest market of footwear and a prominent exporter of the footwear and leather goods. The bill seeks to declare the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) an institution of national importance for the promotion and development of quality and excellence in education, research and training in all disciplines relating to footwear and leather products design. "The global footwear market is expected to reach USD 220.2 billion by 2020 from the current level of USD 198.7 billion. "The opportunity cost of not investing in human resources required for this sector in India at this juncture would result in increased imports, thereby impacting the domestic and exports sector of footwear and leather products," Sitharaman said on the objects and reasons of the bill. The bill proposes that FDDI shall be established as a body corporate.
The existing institute is centrally-funded for meeting its capital expenditure. The institute shall consist of a governing council having a chairperson who shall be an eminent academician, scientist or industrialist from the leather sector, to be nominated by the central government. The central government shall have the power to remove the chairperson or other members or reconstitute the governing council, if it considers it appropriate to do so. To enable the institute to discharge its functions efficiently, the central government may, after appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay to the institute in each financial year sums of money in a manner it deems fit. The institute shall nurture and promote quality and excellence in education and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields. It will develop and conduct courses leading to graduate and post graduate degrees, doctoral and post-doctoral courses and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields thereof. The institute will undertake research, survey and studies and application thereof, for improved quality and design, testing and international marketing. The institute will conduct skill development programmes and provide technical assistance to artisans, craftsmen, manufacturers, designers and exporters. It will also develop an international centre for creation and transmission of information, with a focus on educational, professional and industrial commitments. The Footwear Design and Development Institute was established in 1986 with the objective of providing skilled human resource to the leather sector.