Indian Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman laid the foundation stone of the planned Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ) in the southern Indian city of Udupi last week. The new institution is being set up in conjunction with the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad.
Also at the event were Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary Manoj Dwivedi and GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya.
The IIGJ, which is a gem and jewellery industry training initiative run by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), already runs training centres in Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur, with another coming up in the northern Indian city of Varanasi.
The planned centre in Udupi will offer gem and jewellery skill development courses for those with no prior exposure to the jewellery industry; up-skilling programs for those with prior domain learning and work experience in the sector; and emphasise design and a technology orientation to make the local industry more competitive in global markets.
The institute will offer computer aided design (CAD) as well as manufacturing courses with a curriculum developed jointly by the IIGJ, the Indian Diamond Institute in Surat and the NID.
The Minister observed that the best of jewellery around the world is hand-made, with giants like Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef commanding premium prices for their hand-made product. India, with a traditional strength in hand-crafting intricate jewellery, should capitalise on this global opportunity by building the necessary infrastructure to build up the industry.
Manoj Dwivedi noted, “With over 100 retail stores and a workforce of over 5,000 people, Udupi boasts of a rich jewellery lineage. By setting up the IIGJ here, the GJEPC envisions the productive use of the talent available here by providing required training and guidance.”
The GJEPC Chairman commented, “The IIGJ in Udupi is one of the ambitious projects taken up by the GJEPC to tap the unutilised potential of youth in this region.”