Textiles Minister lays foundation stone of Integrated Textile Office Complex at IIHT, Varanasi
The Government of India has decided to set up an Integrated Textile Office Complex (ITOC) at Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT), Varanasi. The proposed office complex will house all offices in Varanasi under the Ministry of Textiles, which work for the welfare of weavers. The Union Textiles Minister Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar laid the foundation stone for the integrated complex at IIHT today.
Co-location of offices of various allied agencies under Ministry of Textiles in the proposed building will provide a common platform to all stakeholders, including weavers, exporters and marketing agencies. This will enable them to better reap the benefits of Government schemes and with less effort, resulting in saving of time and money. This will thereby contribute to higher productivity, income and better livelihoods for weavers.
In addition, situating ITOC in the IIHT campus will facilitate obtaining of necessary approval for starting the Degree course B. Tech in Handloom & Textile Technology" at IIHT Varanasi campus on the lines of the course in IIHT Salem. This in itself will fulfill the long-felt need for such a course in this part of the country.
Furthermore, bringing a NIFT extension counter in the IIHT campus will not only catalyze the students learning process, but will also bring in better synergy between their academic projects and the design related activities of Weavers Service Centre, resulting in value-addition to the weavers products.
The proposed Integrated Textile Office Complex (ITOC)" is expected to be ready within two years. The construction will be undertaken by CPWD, at an estimated cost of 64 crore rupees.
The 5-floor building will have a total plinth area of 13,799 square metre. It will house offices of IIHT, Weavers Service Centre, Central Silk Board, NITRA Powerloom Service Centre and NIFT extension centre. The building will also provide for educational facilities for IIHT, such as classrooms, laboratories and library; and common facilities such as auditorium, seminar hall, cafeteria, sports club, gymnasium and guest house.
Varanasi Mayor, Shri Ram Gopal Mohale; MLA from Varanasi North, Shri Ravindra Jaiswal; Secretary, Textiles, Dr. S. K. Panda and Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Shri Alok Kumar were also present on the occasion.
During this visit to Varanasi, the Textiles Minister also launched an ERP system for National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC) today.
The glorious history of IIHT, Varanasi dates back to 1911 with the inception of an experimental weavers training centre. The then Govt. Central Weaving Institute became Indian Institute of Handloom Technology in a phased manner, in the year 1956. Functioning under the aegis of the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, the Institute has been offering three-year Diploma in Handloom Technology since 1959. Considering industry requirements, a one-and-a-half year Post Diploma in Textile Chemistry had also been started in the year 1982. With the fast growing technological developments in the field of Handloom & Textile Technology, the curriculum of both courses have been revised from time to time resulting in the present nomenclature of Diploma in Handloom & Textile Technology and Post Diploma in Textile Processing respectively. A Weavers Service Centre and Eco-Lab of Central Silk Board also started functioning in the same premises in 1956 and 1992 respectively.
The building infrastructure in the IIHT campus has been developed in a phased manner. For maintaining the educational values and standards, it has become imperative to expand the building infrastructure to accommodate latest machinery and equipment. Requirement of a higher education course in the field of handlooms strengthened the case for a new building, to satisfy the norms and standards of AICTE for starting a four-year degree course in Handloom & Textile Technology. In addition, keeping in view the Governments thrust on launching various schemes for the welfare of handloom weavers, such as cluster development, implementation of CFCs, introducing certificate course for Handloom Entrepreneurs, the infrastructural facilities in the Institute and Weavers Service Centre need to be expanded further to deliver effective output in terms of both quantity and quality.
Apart from the above, it is also relevant to consider that other offices like NITRA Powerloom Service Centre and Central Silk Board, functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, are also striving for the welfare of the weaver community in the area. In the present scenario, the weavers need to visit different offices for availing benefits. The Integrated Textile Office Complex (ITOC), housing all allied offices at one location, would end this hardship being faced by the weaver community.