Smriti Irani represents India

World Cotton Day celebration was observed from October 7 – 11, 2019 at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva

The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, participated in World Cotton Day celebrations observed from October 7 – 11, 2019 at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. The WTO organised the World Cotton Day event in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, participated in the plenary session of the event which was attended by heads of states and heads of international organisations.

WTO hosted the event at the request of the Cotton – 4 countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to celebrate their official application for the recognition of October 7 as World Cotton Day by the United Nations.

World Cotton Day celebrated the many advantages of cotton, from its qualities as a natural fibre, to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption. It also served to shed light on the challenges faced by cotton economies around the world because cotton is important to least developed, developing and developed economies worldwide.

Between 2011 and 2018, India implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) of about USD 2.85 million for seven African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria. The technical assistance focused on improving the competitiveness of the cotton and cotton-based textiles and apparel industry in these countries through a series of interventions which had significant outcomes leading to demand for a follow on project.

At the Partners Conference in Geneva, Textiles Minister announced that India will launch the second phase of the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) for Africa. In the five year long second phase, the programme will be scaled up in size and coverage and will be introduced in five additional countries, namely Mali, Ghana, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania. The Cotton TAP programme will now cover 11 African countries including the C4.

Cotton is a global commodity that is produced all over the world and a single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for five people on average.

Promotion of Pashmina Shawls

Government of India has been providing marketing facilities for all handloom products including Pashmina Shawls all across the country under Handloom Marketing Assistance (HMA), a component of National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP). Since 2016-17, a total of 678 Handloom Marketing events/expos have been organised in different states to help weavers from all across the country to sell their products. The above product is also registered as Kashmir Pashmina vide application No.46 under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity in August this year.

The certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads of Ladakh.

Technical textile industry in India

In addition to their commercial use, technical textiles have been identified for mandatory use across various important missions, programmes and schemes of the Government of India. 207 technical textiles items have been brought under separate head in the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) code under the Foreign Trade Policy.

With a view to derive the benefits of technical textiles in various fields of applications, currently 92 application areas have been identified for mandatory use across 10 Central Ministries/Departments. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has developed standards for 348 technical textiles products.

On request from the Industry, Ministry of Textiles has included 6 additional courses for technical textiles in its Skill Development Programme called Samarth.

Scheme for Promoting Usage of Agro textiles in North East Region: The usage of Agro textiles in the North East Region has led to average increase in farmers' income by 67% to 75%. Increase in intensity of crop cycles by 3 to 4 crops in a year is seen as there is cultivation throughout the year. It has led to reduced water consumption by 30%-45% and has prevented damages to crops due to birds and hailstone.

Scheme for Promoting Usage of Geotechnical Textiles in North East Region: Use of Geotextiles in infrastructure projects has led to improvement of serviceability of the infrastructure and increased maintenance intervals for infrastructure such as roads and hill slopes.

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT): Two new NIFT campuses will be set up at Panchkula (Haryana) and Ranchi (Jharkhand). At present, NIFT has 16 Campuses all over India.

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