The glittery, silky robes used during convocation/graduation ceremonies at state universities will soon be replaced with cool handloom fabrics, as the government seeks to promote the ailing textile sector.
Following a suggestion by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to all state governments to help promote handloom fabric, the state higher education department is all set to communicate to state-run universities to embrace the desi cloth.
Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, Department of Higher Education, said, “It is a positive move and we will write to all our higher education institutions and universities to adopt the practice of using handloom fabric in their events, including for convocation robes.”
In a recent communication to state higher education departments, universities and higher education institutions across the nation, the UGC requested to use handloom fabric while designing ceremonial robes.
The state higher education department will now write to all vice-chancellors.
The circular issued by the UGC said, “Using ceremonial robes made from handloom fabric would not only give a sense of pride of being Indian, but also be more comfortable in the hot and humid weather. Greater usage of handloom garments for apparel would promote the handloom industry in the country.”
The UGC has also asked state higher education departments to submit action-taken reports and inform the commission about the adoption of handloom fabric for special occasions like convocations.
Prof K R Venugopal, Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, welcomed the move. “It is a positive step as handloom fabric is much better than others and acts as the symbol of our pride. It looks good and promotes village industries as well,” he said.
The handloom sector, which faced existential challenges by power looms and big industries, has been pushed into a crisis ever since demonetisation. The higher education department’s step is expected give a boost to village industries.