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AIFW 2016: Aiming to take ‘Made in India’ a notch higher

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New Delhi: Indian designers, in tandem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative and aiming to promote ‘Made In India’ fashion globally, will present at the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Spring-Summer 2016 a gamut of creations using Indian textiles, weaves, crafts and embroidery. The five-day gala begins here on Wednesday.

To be held at NSIC Ground here at Okhla, not only will the opening show by designer Sanjay Garg of brand Raw Mango give a glimpse of contemporary innovation around Mashru textile, the finale show, hosted by Amazon India, will explore creativity around weaves from Banaras.

The finale show aims to bring back the richness and heritage of Banaras and will see 16 designers — including Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya, Abhishek Gupta, Abraham & Thakore, Ashish Soni, Manish Arora and Rajesh Pratap Singh — presenting three ensembles each.

picture credit: #AIFWSS16
picture credit: FDCI

According to Sunil Sethi, president, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) — the country’s apex fashion body and organiser of the bi-annual AIFW — India is a huge market for designers, and so, the ‘Made in India’ brand is something that should be focussed on.

“We have realised that there is a majority of designers for whom India is a main market. Gone is the aspiration when everybody thought that unless they are not displayed in the best of stores internationally, they won’t arrive.

“The ‘Made in India’ brand is something that I have personally started from the beginning of my career, and we are very happy with Indian designers promoting Indian arts and crafts,” Sethi said.

Designer Samant Chauhan, who is known in the Indian and global fashion market for revolutionising the delicate Bhagalpuri silk, also feels that there are many designers who are promoting India on an international level.

It’s a good change, said Chauhan, and added: “A lot of designers are closely working with traditional craft and weavers. Even we are working on such concepts and use fashion week as a platform for the promotion of textiles.”

In all, 115 designers are taking part at the fashion week this time. In terms of business, FDCI is expecting yet another successful year by attracting key buyers from across the globe

“Both Indian and international buyers are coming this season too like always. I believe that FDCI has become the ‘Mecca’ of fashion. Orders are written irrespective of the change of venue (initially the fashion week was staged at Pragati Maidan) and buyers will still come because it is a must for them,” Sethi said.

Some other highlights of the event are internationally acclaimed Indian designer Rahul Mishra’s installation from his Paris Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2016 collection on October 11 at the French embassy; and that apart, FDCI is also paying a tribute to late fashion photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta with an exhibition.

There will also be a three-day programme of ‘Fashion Forward’ talks from Thursday. These will explore design processes, taking up uniquely Indian aesthetics and juxtaposing them in the international context. Meanwhile, designer duo Shivan and Narresh will be showcasing their creations at an offsite show at the Imperial Hotel here.

 

(Nivedita, IANS)

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Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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VOA
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

Also Read: The Mental Health ‘Epidemic’: About Six in Ten Teen Say, They Feel A Lot Of Pressure To Get Good Grades

He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)

One response to “Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?”

  1. If the employment picture is bleak despite the construction of so many more Kilometers of roads, railways, air ports, bridges, toilets and other infrastructures compared to the five or even ten years of UPA government, imagine where we would be if we had UPA III government .