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Aiming to make India major design hub for exports: Sharma

The government has aimed to make India a major design hub for exports by producing 15,000 topdesigners in five years, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Saturday said in Hyderabad.

"Finland has 145 designers per million population, Japan 90 per million whereas India has a dismal two designers per million population. This needs to change in the next five years and we should aim to create a pool of 15,000 top designers. India should eventually become an outsourcing hub for designers," Sharma told media.

He called for weaving in a philosophy of design into education and building linkages with education system.

Earlier in the day, Sharma laid a foundation stone for the proposed National Institute of Design (NID) at Gopannapalli near Hyderabad.

The NID, which is coming up on 30 acres of land on the campus of University of Hyderabad at a cost of Rs.155 crore, is expected to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2015-16 for 500 students.

This will be the fourth NID campus in the country. The institute was established in Ahmedabad in 1961 and has its campuses in Gandhinagar and Bangalore, offering graduate and postgraduate diploma courses in 18 disciplines.

NID Hyderabad is one among the four NIDs being set up under the national design policy of 2007.

The minister Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the second NID in Haryana's Kurukshetra district.

Sharma said two more NIDs were planned in Jorhat (Assam) and Bhopal to cater to the students of the respective regions.

The institute will help student community towards shaping their career in most creative sectors and is also expected to benefit the industry to improve their quality of products.

The NID is useful to a broad spectrum from industrially mass produced good to handicrafts, handlooms and skill oriented artisan communities like potters, painters, weavers, carpenters, leather, brass, silver craftsmen.

Sharma pointed out that national design policy was announced with the aim of building on traditional knowledge skills and capabilities and to ensure that "our shop floor workers, craftsmen and artisans become equal partners in manufacture of innovative products and contemporisation of traditional crafts".

The minister said World Pharma Trade Centre would soon be set up at Hyderabad keeping in view the large presence of pharmaceutical companies and research institutions in and around the city.

He said Indian Institute of Foreign Trade would also come up soon at Visakhapatnam with the aim of creating a pool of trained manpower to deal with foreign trade.

Foundation stone will also be laid for a new footwear design and development institute at Hyderabad in the next month.

Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy were among those who attended the ceremony.