Textile education future challenges in India

Textile education future challenges in India

The production and supply chain of textiles industry is very vast and one facet of the industry is different to another in varied skill sets for manufacturing of the products, explains Dr J Anandhakumar.

Indian textile industry is one of the leading textile industries in the world. Indian textile industry largely depends upon textile manufacturing and exports. It also plays a major role in economy of the country. The sector contributes about 14% to industrial production, 4% to the GDP and 17% to the country’s export earnings.  It provides direct employment to over 35 million people. The textile industry is the second largest provider of employment after agriculture. India has the potential to increase its textile and apparel share in the world trade from current level of 4.5% to 8% and reach $80 billion by 2020.

The global technical textile industry is estimated at $127 billion and its size in India is pegged at $11 billion. Thus, the growth and all round development of industry has a direct bearing on the huge requirement of technocrats. To develop this industry human need to research, invent new technology which helps to develop garments and clothing industry. So many countries has a large number of textile universities, colleges and institutes which provides different types textile degree including postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma degree, etc.  If anyone wants to build their career in textile industry, he/she should take up a textile related degree which helps them more.


In India, technical education has been drastically growing from the past few decades. Previously only a hand full of students was able to access this technical education. But in today’s scenario, Technical Education is one of the most popular choices of lakh of students.  The southern most states of India accounts to have more than 69% from the total count of technical education. Last year around 8.19 lakh student enrolled in 2,297 engineering colleges all across the country. In the present academic year, Tamil Nadu alone has around 85 new self-financing colleges which were approved by the AICTE. This regional disproportion and quality are at present the serious apprehension of the authority concerned.

The production and supply chain of textiles industry is very vast and one facet of the industry is different to another in varied skill sets for manufacturing of the products. For example- The RMG industry requires specialised job roles for cutting, stitching, washing, packing etc for apparel making. Further, each skill level has been segmented into different levels depending upon the importance and assigned role in the supply chain. For example, the cutting activities in RMG industries by job roles like cutting, cutter, cutting master etc.. The skill gap analysis will provide detailed information on present available workforce on each job role, industry requirements, may also project the future requirements of each job role etc.

Technical education scenario

India has established vast infrastructure facilities with regard to the Technical education. This has provided the country with a niche advantage in the globalized economic environment. The technical education will aid for the growth of a countries economy and also in national growth. In the past 25 years the growth rate of technical education was phenomenal. There was a huge rate of increase in the total number of institution from 158 in the year 1980 to 1,346 in the year 2005. This has also increased the intake of students in the Engineering degree level from a minuscule of 28,500 to around 4,52,260 in the same period. At present, the total intake has grown to 8,19,000 in the last year. The manifold boost in the intake and augmentation in the total number of technical institution has resulted in a major increase of pressure on the excellence of educations of engineering and technology field.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE): This can be easily seen in the obvious increase of courses being offered in these institutions. The engineering courses have almost quadrupled recently. Previously there were just three basic branches in the engineering which were commonly known as Civil, Electrical and Mechanical. These courses were on the basis of Soil, Coil and Oil branches. At present, these 3 major branches have been stretched and expanded to 41 courses in under graduation alone and more than 100 courses in Post graduation. Some of the latest and very popular areas include Biotechnology, Nanotechnology etc. Environmental Engineering, Ocean Engineering and Climate Change etc are few other courses in relation to the advancement of the branches in engineering. To perk up the technical education and arrive at global standards there are certain areas which require immediate attention.

Significance of technical education: Education is an imperative feature for each person in a country. It has a very important role which aid in changing the gaze of a nation. No country will get in the path of success unless and until every person is educated enough to meet the challenges which might occur. Education is the only means through which a person gets a realisation about himself and the future goals. Fundamentally, education is alienated into three clusters. The first part teaches and educates a person about the concerns of the society, which is commonly known to be as the Social Education. The second will uplifts ones personality through Spiritual Education and the third one deal with the professionalism and is known as the Vocational Education. Technical Education comes beneath the branch of Vocational Education. This deals with different areas like trade, commerce, agriculture and also medicine and engineering.

Global certifying standards

The inclusion of large number of manufacturing industry in the 1990’s and the addition of IT industries in the late 1990’s has generated a huge demand for quality and skilled engineers in large quality. As a matter of fact, the professional services from skilled engineering professionals are required highly for the planning and execution of ideas. The main factor which acts as the corner stone’s for success in similar practical oriented courses are the infrastructure and faculty strength. By getting official approval by national agencies like NBA will definitely helps in ensuring quality of these educational institutions. At present the standards and procedures are not as rigorous as that of international agencies like ABET, IET etc. Consequently a widespread authorisation system has to be changed for setting up unvarying global standards for the promotion of global community.

Ethical framework – The invisible element: A professional course is intended for crafting professionals, whose awareness and behavior possibly will be trusted at face value. Ethics and proper principles like self-discipline, dedication, temperament and truthfulness are as important as intellectual vividness. It is paradoxical that ethics, which are supposed to be part of the personality and line of work, is persisted and passed on through additional special lectures and add-on courses. This is even followed for the most experienced engineers even now. Students are clearly unaware of such standards and imparting it is more intricate as compared to passing on knowledge. It has to be taken in from excellent teachers and senior colleagues who are supposed to serve as role models.

Facilitation for the deprived category: India being an agrarian country, around 70% of the nation’s population is in the rural areas. Most of these areas are deprived from the advanced facilities available in the urban settings. This results in the lower rate of reach of students in to the Technical Education. This divide of rural and urban must be eliminated by facilitation. The education system must give serious attention to the language and communication skills along with various cultural and practice in these areas through molding methods.

Major challenges in textile education

Some of the major challenges faced in the field of Technical education include implementation of a science based modernizing engineering environment in the institutions. This includes creating technology savvy campuses, using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to augment teaching effectiveness. The ICT will also help to develop a knowledge centric learning environment. Developing a research centric culture at all level of education is another major issue. The institutions which offer technical education must be capable of offering the right mix of knowledge, skills and competencies as to deal with the presently rigid core specialties and also increase autonomy.The growing skill gap in India is given in Fig 1.

Fig 1: Skill gap in India

Technology: Education technology is a major part of the 21st-century learning experience. When incorporated properly in the classroom, tools such as computers, video conferencing, and even artificial intelligence can be used to supplement children’s education, provide support to students with disabilities, and have a wide variety of additional applications and benefits. However, implementing education technology in the classroom is not always done smoothly or successfully. Many teachers and administrators face obstacles that prevent them from sourcing, installing, and using technology that they can use to enrich their students’ educations. Read on to learn about the top seven challenges facing the adoption and use of education technology today.

Budget limitations: By far, the greatest factor limiting the efforts of teachers and administrators to provide education technology to students, budget cuts and limitations are a major hurdle that proponents of education technology must overcome in order to successfully introduce tech into their classrooms. A recent study even demonstrated that 75.9% of respondents saw budget restrictions as the biggest challenge preventing them from embracing education technology. Budget limitations are especially challenging to overcome because great education tech tools don’t come cheap: while tools like Google Cloud can be a powerful tool for education, simply adopting that one tool also requires schools to provide Chrome books to students and fund training sessions for teachers, which strained budgets simply can’t handle. Finding the funds to implement and sustain technology in the classroom can be a major barrier to its adoption in cash-strapped schools.

Lack of professional training: Increasingly new and advanced education technology appears every day. Teachers need to be able to know not only how to get the most out of each new tool themselves, but also how to train their students in its use. Providing classrooms with a shiny new tool that neither teacher nor student can use is unlikely to make an impact in any child’s educational experience, and requiring busy teachers to teach themselves how to use a new tool can be frustrating and time-consuming. Although professionally training teachers, faculty, and staff may require time and money, it’s necessary if students are expected to get the desired effects out of their technological experience.

Poor network infrastructure: Simply handing a room full of students a box of laptops or notebooks won’t have any beneficial effects if the school doesn’t have the network infrastructure it needs to support them. A strong network infrastructure requires fast, high-quality WiFi at school and at home, as well as data privacy and security, access to digital resources, and much more. Designing, building, and supporting a strong network infrastructure must be done with a great amount of care and forethought, as it is necessary for the effective and responsible continued use of technology in education.

Resistance to change: Many teachers have demonstrated a resistance to change and unwillingness to adopt education technology. However, studies have shown that this resistance is not because teachers dislike technology. Rather, it’s partly because teachers view learning a new teaching tool as a risky approach for which they’re not adequately trained. It’s also partly because their school administrators don’t present a united front by highlighting which specific tools can have positive outcomes for their students. Although this resistance to change can be difficult to overcome, working with teachers to support them in adopting new education technology can help make them more likely to embrace it.

No systems in place to utilise technology in curriculum: Although granting teachers access to tablets and smart boards may help boost their comfort with education technology, many teachers simply have not thought about how they can best utilize technology in their curriculum. Indeed, the way a history teacher utilizes laptops in the classroom may be very different than the way a math teacher utilises a smart board. Both likely require plenty of time for trial, error, and experimentation to bring their lesson plans up to date. A major challenge in the adoption of new tools is not providing teachers with the guidance they need to make education technology work for them in their specific classroom.

Unreliable devices and software: The lack of a strong infrastructure can also be compounded by a lack of reliable devices and software, all of which can present major barriers to the adoption of education technology. An unreliable device can simply be a notebook that doesn’t function properly, or it could be a bug causing students to have trouble accessing tests or staying logged in at school. In more extreme cases, Common Core test disruptions in 2015 and other test-based technical glitches represented an unforeseen challenge associated with using education technology to administer testing. Although education technology can be a powerful tool, devices and software need to be consistent and reliable for it to remain a viable option in the future.

Administrators don’t see the need for more technology: Finally, another challenge facing technology in education is the fact that many administrators are simply unwilling to immediately adopt it. The reasons for this vary but are likely due to budget considerations as well as the fact that the benefits of education technology are not yet well-defined. This makes it challenging to pinpoint specific areas in which this technology could help raise test scores or boost other metrics. However, with distance learning on the rise and education technology becoming increasingly widespread, it seems likely that administrators’ resistance to adopting technology will soon become a thing of the past.

Six steps to overhaul textile education

Education technology is a new field that continues to evolve every day. At WPG Consulting, we provide technical support and top-notch professional guidance for a variety of IT systems. From Cloud Computing to IT Consulting & Product Management, our dedicated and experienced staff has the skills and dedication to help you learn more about education technology and how to avoid common pitfalls in its implementation and maintenance.


The future of technical education must be in harmony by providing equal weightage to science, engineering and technology. Students must be job-supplier relatively than job-seekers. Technical The number of textile engineers produced each year does not reflect the size of the industry. Textile engineering offers decidedly more opportunities to graduates than most other engineering disciplines. Textile technologist’s work closely with chemical engineers to develop new materials for a variety of purposes. Textile engineering has received relatively less attention from young people entering technical colleges – it lacks the gloss of some of the other fields, although the opportunities it presents are perhaps similar. As in any branch of applied science, the scope of opportunity lies in the way you look at the field, and what you choose to do with the knowledge you gain.


The Author would like to express his sincere gratitude to The Director, Directorate of Technical Education (DOTE), Chennai for their continued support and encouragement to carry out this research work.


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About the author

Dr J Anandha kumar is currently working with with the Department of Textile Processing, GRG Polytechnic College, Coimbatore, India. He has completed his Doctorate in Textile Processing from ANNA University Chennai. His area of interest in Research includes Bio-processing of textile materials, Polyester fabrics hydrolysis, Colour analysis of textile substrates, Eco printing of Textile Materials and salt free reactive dyeing of cotton materials.

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