The rural youth at textile hub at Shirpur in North Maharashtra, will no longer have to content themselves merely labouring for the country’s most vibrant sector. Center for Textile Function (CTF) of NMIMS Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering devised a unique PGDTP course for BSc Chemistry graduates with practical training, inducting local youth into skilled and technical roles in the industry. The course serves dual purposes of providing high-grade employment while serving the needs of national and multinational companies in textile wet processing industry.
The course was ideated by NMIMS Chancellor Shri Amrish R. Patel to impart skills to Shirpur’s youth. “The curriculum of the programme was designed and developed by a senior technical executives of textile wet processing industry to groom students with practical exposure to latest technology. Students conduct R&D activities under the guidance of industry experts and CFT faculty. As the training is useful to the textile industry, students are paid stipend under work and learn scheme,” informs Dr P. P. Raichurkar, Associate Dean at Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering at Shirpur.
The course fee is set at Rs 24,000 per annum for the two-year programme. However, students undergo a six-month training in the textile processing unit in the third semester. For this, they are paid Rs 4,000 per month, allowing them to earn back a year’s fee.
Since CTF conducts many programmes to provide remedial measures for practical problems in the cotton knits processing industry, they have a built relationship with major players in the industry like Alok Industries, Welspun and PSSGL. Coupled with the reputation that they have garnered over the years, CTF was able to reward its students much better for their project work. Birla Century in Ahmedabad recognized the programme’s value, and doubled the stipend provided for the internship at their factories, allowing students to recover their entire fees for the course.
The curriculum which concentrates on imparting practical knowledge right from the beginning of the course improves the employability of the students immensely. “This has course provided an opportunity to work in my native place and develop local industries with the technical knowledge I have learned during programme,” says Sandeep Patil who was employed right from the campus after his course in 2010. He is currently employed at Deesan Shirpur Textile Park with an annual salary of Rs 4.2 lakhs per annum.
Yet another former student, Swati Patil is thrilled that the course fulfilled her dream to work as an officer in a reputed company. She is a Lab Technical Advisor at Dystar.
Bridging the skill gap
The textile industry is growing bountifully while modernizing and automating its processes. The wet processing industry which employs 15 million people, falls short of two lakh skilled technicians annually. Added to that, the textile industry is located in rural areas, forcing a large chunk of textile technology graduates to take up jobs in the allied industry located elsewhere.
“Textile industry recruits local non-technical people with low qualifications like in 12th, B.Sc., B.A. B.C. et cetera and undertake the job of training them. Teaching technical aspects of textile manufacturing is time consuming leading to low production, bad quality products and frequent breakdown in the manufacturing process,” says Dr Raichurkar, enumerating problems faced by the industry.
The course creates a win-win situation in the industry as students are well-versed in practical processes of the industry and work culture. The six-month training programme allows companies to peruse the capabilities of students before employing them. Not only do students gain from employability close to their home towns, the industry receives high-performing and well-trained employees.