How carpet tech is gaining popularity

Students from across India are enrolling in the four-year BTech programme in Carpet Technology

While India is known for its traditional carpet industries, it has rarely been seen as a rewarding career option for students. After Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT), Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh formalised a BTech course in 2000, the course has gained importance. It is no longer an alternate occupation of the village artisans who worked on traditional weaving looms.

Set up in 1998, IICT started by offering diplomas/ short-term certification. However looking at the increasing interest, business prospects and technical evolution, the institute started to offer a BTech course in 2001 with only 20 seats. However, now the number of seats has gone up to 60, with students from all over India learning carpet technology.

“This four-year degree programme was launched to offer technical support to enhance quality and quantity of carpet weaving,” says professor Sanat Kumar Pal, IICT, Bhadohi.

Bhadohi is internationally recognised for housing several carpet-weaving units producing exquisite carpets that are exported across the globe.

“The course involves carpet designing, manufacturing, testing, marketing and production planning. We make the students work with the industry to understand the changing demand and modern technologies,” Pal adds.

The IICT, affiliated to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Lucknow, has been conducting commercial testing of threads, and other textile materials to elevate the quality of the products. Apart from offering BTech in carpet and textile technology, the institute also has 17 short-term programmes for local artisans to help them improve their skills. The centre welcomes carpet weavers from villages of UP, who intend to better their production by learning new technology and marketing skills.

“Admission to BTech is offered on the basis of score obtained in JEE Main. However, the domicile of Uttar Pradesh can apply for the admission on the basis of Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Examination (UPSEE) score,” Pal told the Education Times. “Till date, we have had a 100% placement record. Most students after finishing the graduation get absorbed in the major national and international carpet and textile manufacturing companies in India. Most of them get a remuneration ranging from Rs 3-6 lakh per annum,” says Pal, adding how a few companies from Dubai have recruited students from IICT.

Besides Bhadohi, Jammu & Kashmir is equally famous in carpet manufacturing. However, the Srinagar campus of IICT offers only short-term courses on carpet weaving to the local artisans. Since IICT is an autonomous institute set up by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, it aims at popularising Indian carpets in the export sector.

“India being a pioneer in handmade carpet manufacturing will see trade growth in the next five years. We have been exporting carpets to developed countries such as the US, Germany. Now we are targeting to increase export to Asian countries as well. India exported carpet worth USD 1.92 million in the year 2018-19,” says Ravi, multi-tasking officer (MTO), Carpet Export Promotion Council India, New Delhi.

Talking about the impact of the invasion of machines taking over the traditional form and markets getting dominated by products from China and other countries, Ravi adds that handmade carpet cannot be compared with machine-made carpet.

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