Know how Smriti Irani has been silently transforming the textile sector

Smriti Irani was shunted from the Ministry of HRD to Textile Ministry. For her detractors, it was a news which gave them TRPs as they ran the news of “demotion” and “downfall” of Smriti Irani. However, much away from the media limelight, she has been working hard and transforming the textile sector of India. On the ocassion of Good Governance Day, 2016, Union Minister of Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched following initiatives of the Ministry of Textiles in New Delhi today.

  • ‘JUTE-SMART’ an online portal to facilitate purchase of Jute bags from the Jute Industry by the State Procurement Agencies;
  • Dashboard for Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) hosted on the NIC Cloud with access to public; and
  • Bunkar Mitra – a Helpline for handholding of Handloom weavers.


It is an e-Governance Initiative is a Smart Tool for Procument of B-Twill Sacking. JUTE-SMART seeks to provide an integrated platform for use by all the stakeholders to allow easy access to information, more transparency and ease of doing business for the jute sector. B-Twill Supply Management & Requisition Tool, in short, JUTE-SMART is a web based application developed to facilitate end to end transactions relating to procurement of B-Twill sacking. It is designed to uploading the Inspection report by the Inspecting Agency, uploading of dispatch information by loaders/jute mills for transport by Rail/Road and CONCOR and generation of bills by the jute mills and ultimately release of payment by this office from the respective banks to the jute mills. It will also help in the generation of complaints online and ensure real time reconciliation of funds remitted by the State Procurement Agencies.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) decided to transfer the operation of purchase and supply of B-Twill sacking by the State Procurement Agencies (SPAs) from the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) to the Office of Jute Commissioner, Kolkata with effect from 1st November 2016. Annually about Rs. 5500 crore worth of jute sacking is procured through support by the Government of India to support the Indian jute workers and farmers. At present the JUTE-SMART software has become operational and indents of 3.01 lakh bales worth of Rs. 700 crores (approx.) have already been placed through JUTE-SMART in the month of November and December 2016 by SPAs from Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, AP, Telengana and Bihar and orders have been placed for these bales to the jute mills located in 7 states.

Integrative Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) Initiative

The strength of the textile industry, especially the textile and clothing sector, can be leveraged in two ways. While skilled workforce will provide competitive edge to the textile industry in the global market, it will also be a tool for participative and inclusive growth by providing job opportunities to the unemployed rural youth preferably below matriculates and from marginalized section of the societies. Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS), the flagship demand driven placement linked skilling programme of the Ministry is an initiative towards this direction. The Ministry is partnering with State Government Agencies, industry, major textile training institutions, Textile Research Organizations and industry associations for implementing the scheme. Third party assessment of trainees after training has been made mandatory across the scheme. Out of the 12th Plan target of 15 lakh persons under the scheme, the Ministry has so far trained a total of 8.82 lakh persons.

With an objective to ensure transparency in implementation and also to maintain accountability, Ministry has taken following measures under the scheme:

i) Outcome based approach with mandatory placement of 70% of trainees.

ii) Towards digitization, a web based centralized Management Information System (MIS) platform giving interface to all stakeholders has been operationalized for ease of monitoring of implementation of training programme.

iii) Biometric attendance of trainees is captured mandatorily during the training cycle and the data is pushed to MIS on live basis.

iv) Aadhaar platform has been introduced in MIS for identification of trainees and to avoid duplicity in enrolment.


Currently 28 Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs) are functioning across the country to provide technical assistance to handloom weavers in improving their skills. For seeking assistance, weavers have to personally visit the WSCs. As on date, there is no single point of contact where weavers can seek solutions for their technical issues/problems. In order to enable poor weavers to overcome these problems, the Central Government has decided to establish a “Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre” where professional queries of weavers will be answered by the experts in the field.  This helpline will function from 10.00 a.m to 6 p.m. and initially it will be provided in 6 languages viz., Hindi, English and 4 other regional languages (Telugu, Tamil, Bengali & Assamese)

Inputs from Press Information Bureau ( https://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=0 )

Kshitij Mohan


Related Articles