This should probably drive the last nail in the coffin of the Indian perception that considers fashion education as irrelevant.
In a move designed to fulfil a longstanding need, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has decided to award a doctorate degree that is a first of its kind in the country — Ph.D in fashion. Assuming the title of Doctor, therefore, would now also be a prerogative of those associated with the field of fashion.
“There is no institution in our country which provides the opportunity to conduct research work in fashion. Many of our faculty members have shown interest in pursuing a doctorate degree in this subject, but only institutes abroad offer this option. There has been a need to plug this hole and NIFT will take the first step by floating a Ph.D. programme by the end of September,” said Rajiv Takru, Director General, NIFT.
“People, for example, could write a thesis on the impact of Indian fashion on the global scenario. This would require them to study style trends in the past 30 to 40 years to find out how international designs have drawn inspiration from Indian sensibility,” said Sanjay Gupta, Dean (Academic).
NIFT hopes to first start this programme in its centres based in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The institute in Gandhinagar, Takru informed, could also be considered.
“For the first year of registration, we will absorb only 15 to 20 candidates across all the six to seven centres. We can’t take too many because each candidate would require a good supervisor and for this purpose we may have to rope in people outside the NIFT fraternity,” he added.
The programme would span of a period of not more than three years and include one year of compulsory course work. At present, the institute awards degrees via the NIFT Bill, which was passed and came into effect from April 1, 2007.
Established designers such as Ritu Kumar and Puja Nayyar have welcomed the move saying that a Doctorate degree would only help encourage much-needed research in the field of fashion.
“A Ph.D will add weight and impart a tag of seriousness to fashion education,” said Nayyar, who is part of the eminent alumni of NIFT, Delhi.