India aims to grow its textiles sector by building skilled manpower. As textiles are a major export commodity from India, its textile industry needs adequate resources such as skilled and trained manpower, financial capital for both current capital and long-term infrastructure improvements, research and development, promotion and marketing efforts.

Recently, the cabinet committee of economic affairs, under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved a new skill development programme for the Indian textile industry with an outlay of 13 bn Indian Rupees (Rs. 1,300 cr) for a two-year period. Human skills will be enhanced based on demand in specific fields within the textile sector and will be implemented through industry via in-house training and other institutions that have links with the industry. One important aspect is to re-tool or re-skill the labour to adapt technologies and to be employable in emerging fields.

One million people are expected to go through the skill development programme with majority being trained in unconventional fields within the industry. Being the second largest job provider in India, Indian textiles sector needs investments to enhance its human capital and infrastructure. The new scheme will focus not only on new entrants, but also on middle level managers and especially entrepreneurs.

Coimbatore-based The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has welcomed this support scheme from the government. P Nataraj, Chairman of SIMA said, as India is lagging in productivity, with China ahead of the game, the new scheme will enable workers to achieve higher productivity. Indian industry wants to adopt scientific principles to upgrade its productivity, improve quality and cut costs.