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Kanpur, July 17, 2023: The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur (IICD) to empower rural artisans and enhance market appeal for various products. The MoU was signed between Prof. A. R. Harish, Dean of Research and Development, IIT Kanpur and Dr. Toolika Gupta, Director, IICD. The MoU will help local artisans develop a design sense and enhance the appeal of their products as per market needs.
From IIT Kanpur’s end, the Ranjit Singh Rozi Shiksha Kendra (RSK) will oversee the implementation of the MoU objectives. RSK was set up in IIT Kanpur in 2021 with generous contribution from IITK alumnus, late Dr. Ranjit Singh (BT/MME/1965), and his wife, Ms Martha Carreno. RSK IIT Kanpur has been working with rural communities and artisans for several years, aiming to uplift their livelihoods. The center provides essential training and fosters entrepreneurship among rural youth, enabling them to produce high-quality apparel, bags, potlis and pouches, clay pottery, and ready-to-eat snacks.
IIT Kanpur initiated this collaboration with IICD by recognizing the significance of design inputs in elevating the market appeal of local and rural produce. IICD, being a renowned crafts and design institution in India, has a rich history of empowering the craft sector across the nation. This collaboration would bring their expertise closer to the artisans for enhancing the appeal of their products.
The primary objective of this collaboration is to preserve the traditional art and craft forms, develop enhanced processes, and create innovative designs for locally made products, thereby establishing a strong connection between artisans, craft communities, and consumers. IIT Kanpur and IICD plan to work cooperatively on research, design, and development within the craft sector, with the aim of making these products more usable and marketable.
"We are delighted to collaborate with the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur, on this transformative initiative. By combining our expertise in research, design, and development with their rich legacy in the crafts and design sector, we aim to empower rural artisans, preserve traditional art forms, and create marketable products. We hope that this partnership will contribute largely to the socio-economic development in Uttar Pradesh,” said Prof A. R. Harish, Dean of Research and Development, IIT Kanpur, upon signing the MoU.
In order to foster the growth of design thinking within the craft and handmade products sector of Uttar Pradesh, IITK and IICD will engage in student exchange programs, joint projects, and collaborative activities. By leveraging the expertise and resources of both institutions, the initiative seeks to cultivate a culture of design thinking among artisans and craft communities throughout the state.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be on working with a select group of potters from Bithoor to develop a product line with greater market appeal. Subsequently, the project will gradually encompass various products produced under the One District One Product (ODOP) scheme.
The collaboration between IIT Kanpur and IICD holds immense potential for empowering rural artisans, preserving traditional art forms, and enhancing the marketability of their products. By combining knowledge, skills, and resources, this partnership aims to create sustainable opportunities for rural communities, while also aiding the socio-economic development of Uttar Pradesh.
About Ranjit Singh Rozi Shiksha Kendra (RSK):
The Ranjit Singh Rozi Shiksha Kendra (RSK), was set up in IIT Kanpur in 2021 with generous contribution from IITK alumnus, late Dr Ranjit Singh (BT/MME/1965), and his wife, Ms Martha Carreno. Since inception, the center has been working on assuring quality education for all, promoting sustainable agriculture practices, and building a community of skilled rural entrepreneurs, through various activities. The center runs outreach activities across villages to educate people, enhance digital literacy and promote learning through sports and science.
About IIT Kanpur:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur was established on 2nd November 1959 by an Act of Parliament. The institute has a sprawling campus spread over 1055 acres with large pool of academic and research resources spanning across 19 departments, 22 centres, and 3 Interdisciplinary programs in engineering, science, design, humanities, and management disciplines with 540 full-time faculty members and approximately 9000 students. In addition to formal undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the institute has been active in research and development in areas of value to both industry and government.
For more information, visit www.iitk.ac.in.