Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill 2017 on March 14 in the Lok Sabha. Apart from declaring FDDI an institution of national importance, the proposed legislation aims to facilitate and promote teaching, training and research in all disciplines relating to design and development of footwear and leather products.
The Bill proposes that Footwear Design and Development Institute shall be established as a body corporate. The existing institute is centrally-funded for meeting its capital expenditure. If the Bill is passed, the institute shall consist of a governing council having a chairperson who shall be an eminent academician, scientist or industrialist from the leather sector, to be nominated by the central government.
An international centre for creation and transmission of information will also be developed, with a focus on educational, professional and industrial commitments.It will develop and carry out courses leading to graduate and post graduate degrees, doctoral and post-doctoral courses and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields thereof.
The institute shall nurture and promote quality and excellence in education and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields. The institute will undertake research, survey and studies and application thereof, for improved quality and design, testing and international marketing. The institute will conduct skill development programmes and provide technical assistance to artisans, craftsmen, manufacturers, designers and exporters.
“The global footwear market is expected to reach $220.2 billion by 2020 from the current level of $198.7 billion. The opportunity cost of not investing in human resources required for this sector in India at this juncture would result in increased imports, thereby impacting the domestic and exports sector of footwear and leather products,” Sitharaman said on the objects and reasons of the bill.
Being a highly labour intensive industry, the requirement for trained human resources for leather and footwear sector is immense. India is the third biggest market of footwear and a prominent exporter of the footwear and leather goods.