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Centre exploring opening overseas campus for NIFT

ByRajeev Jayaswal
Apr 22, 2024 03:19 AM IST

Ministries of textiles and commerce are coordinating closely on the matters of NIFT’s overseas plans, officials said

The central government is exploring the possibility of opening a foreign campus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) soon, two officials said, citing the backdrop of the government having forged alliances with universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Finland, Sweden and Nepal.

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 (File)

Opening of an overseas campus of NIFT is under consideration and it could be in a place where the institute already has a collaboration, the officials said. New Delhi is also in talks with an institute at Tashkent in Uzbekistan for collaboration, the officials said.

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Ministries of textiles and commerce are coordinating closely on the matters of NIFT’s overseas plans as Piyush Goyal handles both portfolios, officials said.

“Textile ministry, in cooperation with other government departments, including commerce, is working to make NIFT an internationally recognised educational institute. It is a work in progress,” one of them said.

NIFT has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with universities in Mauritius, the UK, Bangladesh and Nepal to collaborate for student exchange programmes in different formats, such as semester exchange and short-term programmes, the second official said. The collaboration could eventually help in dual-degree arrangements and around 12 MoUs were signed by NIFT with international institutions during the Bharat TEX 2024 in February.

NIFT already has 18 campuses in India and the 19th one is set to become operational in Varanasi this year, they said, asking not to be named. “So far, 18 campuses of NIFT have 13,698 students and 680 faculty members. Varanasi campus will start this year,” the second official said.

In December 2015, the textiles ministry proposed a NIFT extension centre in Varanasi to run customised short-term courses to help local textiles units, but now, Varanasi may have its own campus, the first official said.

Officials said the government would handle setting up overseas campuses, and NIFT would 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 currently has a dual-degree programme in collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in the USA. Key new collaborations are in the pipeline with Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, New Zealand; Milano Fashion Institute, Italy; and University of the Arts London, Kashyap 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.

Currently, NIFT runs its campuses in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Daman, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Kangra, Kannur, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Panchkula, Patna, Rae Bareli, Shillong and Srinagar.

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