Import of second hand machinery woth subsidies provided by the government is affecting the technical textile sector and garment designers, Union Minister Smriti Irani today said.
"If you look at the Indian economy from a textile perspective, most of our subsidies have gone in importing of second hand machines in our country which widely impacts any designer -- be it a designer for a garment or technical textiles," Irani said, while addressing the convocation of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) here.
"As a nation that prides itself of self sufficiency, I think that it is a department that needs strengthening with all the support that we can possibly give," she added.
The convocation was also presided over by ex-cricketer and former BJP MP Chetan Chauhan.
A controversy recently surrounded Chauhan's appointment as the Chairman of the NIFT, with political parties and fashion designers questioning the government's decision.
Set up in 1986, the institution with centres across the country, comes under the Union Ministry of Textiles.
As per the NIFT Act 2006, the Chairperson of its Board of Governors should be eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, who is to be nominated by the Visitor -- in this case, the President of India.
Later, the Minister presented certificates to NIFT students who had completed the graduate and post graduate courses.
She hailed the courage and perseverance of two physically challenged students -- Devanshi and Anil -- who successfully completed the course, battling all odds.
Irani told students to make design interventions in areas like zero waste fashion, handcrafted products and self-defence garments by leveraging their skills.
The Minister said a programme is on the anvil, which would enable international academicians to come and teach at NIFT, New Delhi, at no extra cost to the institute or the student.
She said that this would be on the lines of Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education, a programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.