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  Fashion technology institute to be set up in Srinagar
From Afsana Bhat

SRINAGAR, DEC 17 -- A National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is likely to be set up in Industrial Estate, Ompora, here.

"NIFT is proposed to be set up here at a cost of Rs.70 crore under the Prime Minister's package. An amount of Rs.15 crore has been kept aside in the current year's state plan for the purpose," said S. S. Salathia, Minister for Industries and Commerce, on December 15 during his vist to Rangreth SIDCO Industrial Complex, spread over 1150 kanals.

The minister said, SIDCO has been asked to provide temporary accommodation for conducting classes as well as providing hostel facilities to students and faculty at the complex so that NIFT is in a position to enroll the first batch of students for the 2010 session.

Salathia went round various industrial units to take stock of manufacturing activities here. He also inspected IT units that include Info Solutions Private Limited, BOE Software Micro Mind, Srinagar Technology Private Limited and DOEACC.

While visiting Software Technology Park of India, M. Muazzam, Managing Director, SIDCO, informed the minister that about 1500 persons are being provided employment in various functional units in the complex.

Regarding DOEACC functioning, the minister was told that the Centre is currently imparting training to 500 candidates through long-term courses and around 5000 through short-term training programmes.

Salathia was informed that eight IT units promoted by local entrepreneurs with a turnover of over Rs. 13 crore are functioning and providing employment to more than 200 IT professionals.

The minister accompanied by Kackoo Isfandyar Khan, Director, Industries was told that about Rs. 1150 crore has been invested for the development activities in the complex while an additional investment of Rs. 100 crore has also been planned.

Two days later, Salathia visited Silk Handicraft Park, Zakura to review its pace of work. The park is being constructed by the Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (SICOP) at a cost of Rs. 9.38 crore, of which Rs. 5 crore has been utilized so far.

While interacting with the media, the minister said that despite silk and handicrafts being the age-old traditional industry of Kashmir, no exclusive area was earmarked for it in the industrial complex.

"Given the tremendous market potential of this heritage trade of Kashmir, the government has established an exclusive park for this industry with the assistance of Government of India," said Salathia.
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