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India : FICCI Moots R&D Policy For Indian Textiles Industry (June 26, 10)

India : FICCI Moots R&D Policy For Indian Textiles Industry

FICCI today, emphasised the need for formulating a comprehensive R&D policy for Indian textiles industry. Pointing out that only a small fraction of revenue of Indian textiles industry is derived from innovative, technology intensive or new products, FICCI said that in order to make Indian textiles sector fundamentally strong and to enter new areas the sector requires a need based and industry focused R&D policy. FICCI has submitted its detailed recommendations to Ministry of Textiles on the broad contours of R&D policy for Indian textiles industry.

FICCI observed that currently the strength of Indian textile industry has been in low

value and commodity products which are susceptible to intense competition and few

entry barriers.

Giving an example, FICCI observed that India’s share in US imports of Special Purpose

Fabric and Non-Woven Fabrics (both are high value added and technology intensive items) was merely 2.6% and 1.2% in 2009 as compared to China’s share of 15% and 2%.

In contrast to traditional textiles and apparel products, both these items witnessed high growth in US imports with Non-Woven fabric imports of US growing by over 23% and

those of Special Purpose Fabric witnessing a growth of over 15% in 2009, FICCI pointed out.

Evidently, these technology intensive products are the future and India needs to

strengthen its capabilities to tap this growing market, FICCI emphasised.

Outlining the objectives of such a policy, FICCI said that the policy should provide special focus on textile materials that reduce carbon footprint and are obtained from renewable sources. Development of eco-friendly and sustainable linkages is key to competitiveness. In addition, the competitive edge for Indian textile industry will also come from adoption of new and advance materials with functional properties (like antimicrobial fabrics for patients’ dress) in the textiles sector. The policy should aim at achieving 7% share in global market of advance technology based products and high value added items in next five years.

FICCI has also suggested setting-up of National Textiles Research Council with seed

money of Rs.30 crores and an annual grant of Rs.10 crore. This could be the apex body

for undertaking and providing direction to research in textiles in the country. In addition, there is a need to strengthen the existing infrastructure of textile research association in India. Government and Government aided engineering colleges need to be given more funds (for 19 colleges for five years). The total funding requirement for all the above mentioned proposals would be around Rs.495 crores for five years.

Some of the other suggestions made by FICCI to strengthen the R&D capacity of

domestic textiles industry are:

• Create Incubation centres for technology transfer and acceptability by the

industry

• MoUs with leading international research institutions for conducting joint research projects

• Government needs to adopt innovative technology either locally or internationally developed into their own programmes to serve as role model for the industry

• Encourage adoption of advance synthetic fibers and understand the applications of genetic engineering, bio-technology, and cellular biology in both natural and synthetic fibre-base


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