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Huge world beyond engineering and medical sciences: Dir NIFT

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Saturday, January 14, 2023

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Hoorian Jeelani who is pursuing BA in fashion design said National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) itself is a pioneer of design institutes in India. “Initially I only knew about NIFT Delhi and as my research grew, to my luck I found NIFT Srinagar. This indeed came as a surprise for a student like me who wanted to pursue career mostly for encouraging art and crafts,” she said.
“I had a personal experience of observing people in the streets of Kashmir with blunt style and taste in their outfits. Even many people lack sense of styling and fashioning themselves,” she said.
A Srinagar resident she knew there was no better choice for her than joining NIFT, to give wings to her dream. “I want to preserve heritage crafts and art of Kashmir,” she said.
Hoorian plans to launch her own clothing brand that will mostly revolve around the idea of uplifting arts and crafts of Kashmir. She wants to incorporate traditional crafts into textiles.
“I would also look forward to do my masters, maybe from NIFT itself or any foreign institute. In Kashmir we usually think we need to move to big cities to gain exposure and confidence but this NIFT is simply whole India brought to Srinagar,” she said.
Supratim Chowdhury from Kolkata, who is pursuing masters in fashion management from NIFT Srinagar, said there are many reasons behind taking admission at the NIFT.
“I always believe that the NIFT centre will provide me the same education. It’s just in our hand how we can take advantages of it. I always believe the study of fashion is to be done in a peaceful and nature friendly environment,” he said.
“I knew that life in Srinagar will be tough, but I knew that if I wanted to be the best manager then first I need to move out of the comfort zone. I ended up here. After coming here I realised this is the best decision I took in my entire life,” he said.
Mohammad Raza from Budgam, pursuing Fashion Communication UG program, said joining NIFT was no coincidence as being a dynamic and artistic, NIFT was the best choice.
“I was ready to push past my limits. I was eager and energetic and I had to put this to best use. My experience has been the best so far, NIFT is the way of life. I couldn't have imagined a place better. It is not confined and limited. It's a variety. NIFT is Art, Fashion, Design, Communication, photography and the true means of education,” he said.
NIFT Srinagar started its academic programs in 2016 from Temporary Campus at Rangreth. It runs under the Ministry of Textiles and is part of 18 pan India campuses that are spread across the country.
Director NIFT Srinagar, Dr Javid Ahmad Wani said in 2016 two UG programs, one in Fashion Designing (FD) and Fashion Communication (FC) were started at Rangreth campus.
He said that the major achievement in 2022 was shifting to the permanent campus at Ompora, Budgam which was the dream come true moment for the institute and students.
“The Campus is fully residential and has separate hostel for boys and girls as well as residential quarter for staff,” he said.
Besides high-end labs and classrooms, it has all the facilities like Business Incubator, Amphitheatre, Auditorium, Sports fields, Coffee Shop, Canteen, Hostels, Guest House, Residential Quarters, Community Centre etc.
In addition to the already existing bachelors’ courses, the institute has introduced Bachelors in Lifestyle Accessories and Masters in Fashion Management from 2022. In 2023 another UG program in textile designing would be started.
NIFT was made a statutory institute in 2006 by an Act of the Indian Parliament with the President of India as ‘Visitor’. The emphasis has been to train students to derive from the core strength of art and culture and apply it to the modern and dynamic world of fashion.
The director said there has been a good response from the students as the admission has increased almost three times compared to the previous years. He said fashion and design are an emerging career option.
Wani said admissions are held following a national level entrance examination. However, 35 percent reservation is given to candidates of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh provided, they qualify in the examination.
“The response is increasing day by day. We get good students from Kashmir. Last year, we had best student of the year from Kashmir. In Kashmir it is relatively a new field and new institution,” he said.
At the NIFT Srinagar, all graduates who pass their programs all of them are self-employable. They get such training that they can start their own business very immediately. “Secondly, if they want to join the industry there is 100 percent placement for the students,” he said.
The director said there is a centralized placement cell that is linked with all the 18 campuses of NIFTs across the country. Many pan India organizations approach the NIFT in case they want to employ people and NIFT Srinagar students get equal opportunities.
Notably, recently, the NIFT Srinagar worked for documentation of some seven crafts for GI registration that has been initiated by the Directorate of Handlooms & Handicraft, Kashmir.
The director said there is a huge world beyond engineering and medical sciences and there are good opportunities available in fashion, design and textile industry.
“Parents should discuss which field suits their child, based on their potential and capabilities. There are vast opportunities and the only thing is that we need to connect right person to right career & to right institution,” he said.
Over the past two years, the NIFT has been involved by the government of J&K and Ladakh for some craft-based projects which include craft promotion and development.
“The best thing is that we designed packaging of five crafts. We handed over the same to Handicrafts Department and they introduced the same deigns in the industry. That is one of the opportunities in which NIFT is playing a pivotal role for branding of crafts,” he said.

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