|Demand of the question Introduction. Contextual introduction. Body. Discuss how Indian textile industry can play an important role in India’s inclusive growth and significance of technical textiles mission. Conclusion. Way forward.|
The textile industry has been a symbol of India’s cultural heritage. It represents a rich and diverse spectrum of activities with the handwoven sector on the one end and the capital intensive mill sector on the other. The textile industry plays a significant role in Indian economy by providing direct employment to an estimated 35 million people, by contributing 4% of GDP and accounting for 35% of gross export earnings. By contributing towards employment generation and in terms of social welfare it can play a significant role due to its unorganised structure.
Textile industry’s role in India’s inclusive growth:
- Employment generation: Textile industry is labour intensive and offers maximum employment in the country. It is a source of employment both in rural and urban areas. Textile industry in India can provide indirect employment to many million people, such as cotton growers, processors, cloth dealers, shop keepers, exporters and importers.
- Farmer’s welfare: Textile industry needs raw material which is mostly procured locally. For instance, cotton is the main material used for the production of yarn and cloth. The development of the industry encourages farmers to grow more cotton, which leads to income generation in the agricultural sector.
- Higher wages: To the members of unionized labour, it provides secure jobs with wage rates significantly higher than those prevailing in the unorganized sector of the industry.
- Government revenue: It is a source of revenue and means to earn foreign exchange for the government. The industry plays an important role in providing foreign exchange resources by exports. This helps the government to spend more on social welfare and poverty alleviation measures.
- Women empowerment: Textile industry plays a significant role in women employment, especially in rural areas. The number of women employed in the textile industry is on the increase ever since the liberalisation. According to CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) the industry provides employment to about 15 million women.
- Reduce inequalities: It plays an important role in reduction of inequalities in income and wealth and more even distribution of economic power in the country. It thus plays an important role in the removal of poverty and technological and economic self-reliance of the nation.
Significance of Technical Textiles Mission: Technical textiles are textiles materials and products manufactured primarily for technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic characteristics.
- Research, Innovation and Development: The mission will focus on promoting both fundamental research at fibre level and application based research in geo-textiles, agro-textiles, medical textiles etc.
- Promotion and Market Development: The penetration level of technical textiles is low in India varying between 5-10% against the level of 30-70% in developed countries. The mission aims at an average growth rate of 15-20% per annum through market development, market promotion, international technical collaborations, investment promotions and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
- Export Promotion: It aims at export promotion of technical textiles enhancing. An Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles will be set up for effective coordination and promotion activities in the segment.
- Education, Training, Skill Development: The Mission will promote technical education at higher levels. Skill development will be promoted and adequate pool of highly skilled manpower resources will be created.
- Inclusive growth: The Mission will focus on usage of technical textiles in various flagship programmes including strategic sectors. The use of technical textiles in agriculture, dairy and in programmes like Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Ayushman Bharat will bring an overall improvement in economy, better agricultural productivity and higher income to farmers.
- Infrastructure: The use of geo-textiles in highways, railways and ports will result in robust infrastructure, reduced maintenance cost and higher life cycle of the infrastructure assets.
- Waste disposal: It will also develop suitable equipment for environmentally sustainable disposal of used technical textiles, with emphasis on safe disposal of medical and hygiene wastes.
- Indigenous manufacturing: There is another important component in the research activity aiming at development of indigenous machineries and process equipment for technical textiles, in order to promote ‘Make in India’ and enable competitiveness of the industry by way of reduced capital costs.
Textile industry occupies a place of unique importance in the economy of the country by virtue of its significant share in industrial production and large workforce employed. A sustained and balanced growth of this industry is, therefore, vital to the economic growth of a country as also for fulfilment of the most essential needs of the people. In this direction technical textile mission is important.