Interview

Craft-Centric Courses Enable Creative Stimulation and Self-Expression

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Craft-Centric Courses Enable Creative Stimulation and Self-Expression
Vijaya Deshmukh

Vijaya Deshmukh
Director, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Jodhpur

NIFT Jodhpur conducts eight to 10 skill development programmes every year for artisans from Rajasthan through the State Government. We are involved in design intervention programmes to them with knowledge of trends and marketing strategies to improve livelihood of artisans, especially women, says Vijaya Deshmukh, Director, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Jodhpur in an exclusive interview with Sreetama Datta and Shivani Babbar of Elets News Network (ENN).

What makes NIFT Jodhpur different from the other NIFTs across India?

NIFT Jodhpur is a fully residential campus. It has students from all parts of India. Here students have space to follow their passion and showcase their talents. There is provision for sports and cultural activities along with other extracurricular activities.Students here celebrate festivals from different states along with national and international festivals. They pursue their dreams here.

We encourage innovation. The learners are motivated to find out whether the education they acquired has had an impact on their goals and what were the levels of satisfaction.

What are the flagship programmes offered by NIFT Jodhpur?

Our flagship programmes are Master of Fashion Management (MFM), Bachelor of Design (B.Des) and Bachelor of Fashion Technology (BF.Tech). Among these courses, MFM is a PG course for two Years and B.Des and BF.Tech are UG courses for four years and in B.Des there are four streams Accessories Design (AD), Fashion Communication (FC) , Fashion Design (FD) and Textile Design (TD).

What is the total strength of the institute?

There are 800 students study in the NIFT Campus, Jodhpur.

What are the basic skills a prospective candidate must possess in order to get admission in NIFT Jodhpur?

In MFM, candidates should be graduates from any discipline with no age limit, and in BF.Tech, the eligibility is 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics with age up to 23 years, and for admission in B.Des, 10+2 from any discipline with age up to 23 years. Creativity is the main factor that candidates must possess along with critical thinking skills and how you do it differently.

According to you, how can the skill of craftsmanship are inculcated from an early age? What is your message for the academia and policymakers for the same?

Craft-centered education creates a balance between theory and monotonous learning through creative stimulation and self-expression. It helps in reducing discrimination between manual and intellectual skills and overcoming prejudices through respect for socially meaningful work that meets the needs of urban and rural Indians. Academia and policymakers should understand the learners and give them time and space. Learning should be complementary and interconnected.

Has NIFT Jodhpur collaborated with the MSDE or RSCDL in order to impart specific art and crafts skills among the youth? If not, is there any such plan in the pipeline?

Craft-Centric Courses Enable Creative Stimulation and Self-ExpressionNIFT Jodhpur conducts eight to 10 skill development programmes every year for artisans from Rajasthan through the State Government.We are involved in design intervention programmes to them with knowledge of trends and marketing strategies to improve livelihood of artisans, especially women.

The core activities of the institute have enhanced its international visibility and standing. NIFT has entered into MoUs and strategic alliances with 34 leading international fashion institutes and organisations that share the same academic direction. This integrates NIFT students with the global mainstream of fashion. The international Exchange programmes have been further strengthened to provide opportunities for students and faculty exchanges and joint research projects.

How is NIFT Jodhpur instrumental in promoting India’s rich artistic treasure in the international market?

Our exchange programmes and students taking internships and working abroad in decision-making positions are instrumental in shaping the future of fashion, promoting Indian design sensibility in order to bring India on the global, domestic and export sector of in India in global markets. NIFT Jodhpur also works with exporters in providing design intervention for making the products in line with the latest trends, improving quality and adding aesthetic and functional value.

What is your message for the readers of eGov magazine?

An institute should have innovative courses which add value, encourage critical thinking, lead to innovations and are unique. The institutions also have the responsibility for socio economic development of the region and not just become degree granting institutions. The courses should have a multidisciplinary approach and should lead to holistic development where knowledge, research, consultancy finally lead to betterment of the society. Instruction based learning is scuffling creativity and there is no space to think, explore, practice, observe, develop and stimulate the brains leading to lack of problem solving approach.

We need to end the long academic feud and isolation and glorification of our disciplines and learn to see what is good in others and respect other disciplines if we are really interested in doing something good for the society. Students with their young minds should be respected as partners and their ideas and concepts should be encashed. Student with their fresh, creative and innovative ideas will make research more fruitful. The ability to think laterally and synthesise information has no limits, because we are unburdened by experience and conventions. As we grow up, our education and experience clutter our ability to think in an unrestricted fashion and at times, we make solution seems difficult than they are. Solving problems with the help of creative, lateral methods or ideas with an aim to achieve desirable solutions is needed. Thinking of solutions comes only after synthesizing the foundation of problem.

Education is not about facts. In information age they come free. It’s about encouraging creativity and empowering students to change the world for better. Institutions need to become storehouses of ideas and not storehouses of facts. It’s about Openness.

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