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NIFT takes lead in turning Budgam the fashion centre of Kashmir  

NIFT Srinagar had started its activities against heavy odds during the year of a street turmoil in 2016

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Srinagar on Monday celebrated its third Convocation at its new Campus at Ompora, Budgam. The ceremony was held for the batch of 40 outgoing students.

The event was attended by Union Secretary of Ministry of Textiles Upendra Prasad Singh as the Chief Guest while Director General NIFT Shantamanu was the Guest of the Honour at the occasion. Dean Academics NIFT Prof. (Dr.) Vandana Narang also attended the occasion.

NIFT is the pioneering institute of fashion education and has been in the vanguard of providing a professional human resource to the textile and apparel industry. It was made a statutory institute in 2006 by an Act of the Parliament with the President of India as its ‘Visitor’.

The Srinagar campus was functional from 2016 at the SIDCO industrial estate at Rangreth. Now the permanent campus has come at Ompora, Budgam, with an expenditure of Rs 250 crore. With space for academic block, administrative block, auditorium, residential quarters, amphitheatre, sports fields, canteen and other facilities, it has been made functional last month. Until now, four batches of students have acquired degrees from NIFT Srinagar. Many of them are local Kashmiri girls aspiring to find a career in the fashion industry. The third convocation on Monday was celebrated to award degrees, gold medals and other felicitations in different categories to the outgoing meritorious students of the campus.

In a two-hour-long ceremony held at the institute’s amphitheatre, the students began with the graduation pledge wherein they promised to uphold the sanctity and dignity of their profession. Secretary Textiles UP Singh asked the students to make their career a beautiful journey and avoid falling in a rat race. “You have to be at the right place at the right time to do well in your life because you are taking off and you should make best use of your passion, career and life,” he said.

Singh said that the NIFT Srinagar was iconic and one of the ideal campuses of NIFT given the serene location, surroundings and the space wherein all the facilities, including a fully residential campus, had been set up within the premises. He said that the Union Ministry of Textiles had provided a financial support of Rs 250 crore for establishment of the permanent campus at Ompora, Budgam.

“We have also made good efforts in strengthening the campus in terms of the faculty. From last year, we have made progress in recruitment of the faculty. We are giving a 20 percent additional incentive to the faculty to retain them at Srinagar campus,” he said. About the courses, the Secretary said the institute, at the beginning, started with the two courses while last year two more courses were introduced. “Next year we will introduce two more courses and efforts will be to gradually increase the number of courses to 10,” he said.

Singh said that around 35 percent reservation was given to local students. He advised the campus director to make more and more awareness about the campus and the courses offered at the institute in order to attract more local students.

Director General NIFT Shantamanu said that he had an emotional connection with NIFT Srinagar as he was involved in the establishment of the campus, first as Secretary Industries and Commerce in the Jammu and Kashmir Government and later as DG NIFT. “I am thankful to the government for having this campus at such a serene location,” he said. “The campus should be utilized for carrying forward the activities of other departments and should also become a must-visit destination for tourists.

He also advised the students that rather than package, they should focus on their passion and creativity after graduating from the campus.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director NIFT Srinagar Dr Javid Ahmad Wani extended gratitude to the guests and other audience present at the occasion and also briefed about the academic report of the institute. He greeted the graduating batch with the advice that they should have a passion to serve the nation.

The graduating students from Fashion Communication and Fashion Technology Department were awarded their degrees while some students were felicitated with gold medals, cash prizes and other felicitations for their outstanding performances in their courses. Muskan Reyaz from the Department of Fashion Designing was honoured for having been declared as the best student of the year.

NIFT Srinagar had started its activities against heavy odds during the year of a street turmoil in 2016.  Its first convocation was held at SKICC Srinagar in 2020 when the Union Minister of Textiles and Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani was the chief guest. Union MoS Textiles and Railways Darshana Vikram Jardosh was the chief guest at its second convocation at SKICC in November 2021.

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