The government on Wednesday approved setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of Rs 1,480 crore aimed at positioning the country as a global leader in technical textiles.
Making the announcement after the CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Textile Minister Smriti Irani said the idea behind the mission is to integrate technology and manufacturing.
The Minister said the step would position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and that the goal was to be self-dependent in this field to nullify the trade deficit in the area which was already declining.
Technical textiles have various applications ranging from agriculture, roads, railway tracks, sportswear, health on one end to bullet proof jacket, fire proof jackets, high altitude combat gear and space applications on the other end of the spectrum. The Minister said that the first component of the mission will focus on research, innovation and development and have an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. The focus will be on carbon fibre, aramid fibre, nylon fibre, and composites, according to a release.
Application-based research will be conducted in CSIR, IIT, Research Design & Standards Organisation of Indian Railways, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Defence Research & Development Organisation, National Aeronautical Laboratory, Indian Road Research Institute and other such reputed laboratories, Irani said.
“We have mandated use of technical textiles in 9 ministries and 92 products and our hope is that with convergence of efforts with the technology group we will see a new future for especially MSME and technologists in the field of technical textiles, thereby making India self sufficient specially in strategic fields like defence and aerospace,” the Minister said.
Indian technical textiles segment is estimated at $16 billion that is approximately six per cent of the $250-billion global technical textiles market. The penetration level of technical textiles is low in India varying between 5 per cent and 10 per cent against the level of 30-70 per cent in developed countries.
“The Mission will aim at increasing the size of the domestic market to $40 billion which would require an average growth of at least 10 per cent per annum,” Irani said.