May 30, 2024

Govt mulls opening overseas campus for National Institute of Fashion Technology | Latest News India

The government is exploring the possibilities of opening an overseas campus of its premier education brand – the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) – even as it has recently forged alliances with universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Finland, Sweden and Nepal, and is currently holding talks with an institute at Tashkent in Uzbekistan, two officials said.

NIFT already has 18 campuses in India and the 19th one in Varanasi is set to be operational this year (File)

NIFT already has 18 campuses in India and the 19th one in Varanasi is set to be operational this year, they said asking not to be named. “Textile ministry in cooperation with other government departments, including commerce, are working to make NIFT an internationally recognised educational institute. It is work in progress,” one of them said. The ministries of textiles and commerce are coordinating closely on this matter as minister Piyush Goyal handles both the portfolios.

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“So far, 18 campuses of NIFT have 13,698 students and 680 faculty members. Varanasi campus will start this year,” the second official said.

After the textiles ministry in December 2015 proposed a NIFT extension centre in Varanasi, which ran some customised short duration continuing education programmes to help local textiles units, now, Varanasi may soon have its own campus, the first official said.

NIFT has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with universities in Mauritius, UK, Bangladesh, and Nepal to collaborate for reciprocal student exchange in different formats such as semester exchange programme, short-term programmes, the second official said adding that the collaboration could eventually help in dual degree arrangements. About two-dozen MoUs were signed by NIFT with various international institutions during the Bharat TEX 2024 in February this year.

Officials said while matters related to setting up overseas campuses would involve bilateral discussions at the government-level, NIFT will focus on academic collaborations. International collaborations involve activities such as exchange of students, exchange of faculty members, promotion of lectures, workshops and exhibitions, exchange of information, joint research and joint academic publications, said Tanu Kashyap, director general of NIFT.

NIFT already has a dual degree programme with Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) of USA. Some of the key new collaborations in the pipeline are with Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, New Zealand; Milano Fashion Institute, Italy; and University of the Arts London, she said.

“NIFT will benefit by having active collaborations with a large number of international institutes. The academic strategy of NIFT embraces a global approach. The core activities of the institute have enhanced its international visibility and standing,” she said. Students will get international exposure at the world’s best institutes and learn different cultures, traditions, crafts and industries, besides helping them to develop strong global networks.

The 18 existing campuses of NIFT are in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Daman, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Kangara, Kannur, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Panchkula, Patna, Rae Bareli, Shillong and Srinagar.

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