The textiles ministry has roped in the IITs to address both immediate and medium-term action plans for the industry in the post COVID-19 situation in the country. Textile minister Smriti Zubin Irani has constituted five Technological Task forces for the entire textiles value chain.

  • IIT Madras-led group to work on indigenous machine manufacturing.
  • IIT Kharagpur is in charge of textile MSMEs, data analytics for traditional sectors.
  • IIT Kanpur responsible for reorienting tech for weavers and artisans.

Textiles industry, the second largest employer after agriculture, is hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown and global restrictions. Government’s action is crucial as the sector’s share in India’s GDP and GDP of manufacturing sector are 2.2% and 12.22%, respectively and a large part of the value chain is informal. “The ministry is looking at big game changer ideas. Opinions are being taken and discussions are on for post-Covid-19 recovery. Intensive work is happening on that front,” said one official.

The forces were set up after Irani held discussions with Principal Scientific Adviser, Scientists, technologists and academicians on manufacturing units in post COVID-19 situations in the textile sector on Saturday. Another task force will work on raw materials and waste product utilization technology in IIT Delhi while boosting textiles MSMEs. Similarly, IIT Bhubaneswar will take up pilot studies for post Covid-19 handloom and handicraft reorientation, data integration of artisans and weavers and technological interventions in Odisha.