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UGC urges educational institutes to incorporate khadi in ceremonial events


Statutory body under the Ministry of Education in India, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a directive urging higher educational institutions to incorporate khadi products in their ceremonial events such as seminars, conferences, and workshops. This move aligns with the Prime Minister's call in 2015 to prefer khadi products and promotes the ethos of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

On February 15, 2024, Manish Joshi, Secretary, issued the directive emphasising the use of eco-friendly khadi products like angavastram and shawls for felicitation purposes. The directive aims to reaffirm India's ties with the freedom struggle while showcasing the nation's rich textile tradition. Additionally, it seeks to empower local artisans and promote their craftsmanship.

The backdrop of this directive includes previous circulars issued by the UGC. On January 15, 2024, the Commission reminded universities of circulars dating back to July 15, 2015, and June 7, 2019. These circulars urged universities to consider using handloom fabrics for ceremonial robes during special occasions such as convocations. The Commission highlighted the comfort of handloom fabrics in India's climate and noted that many universities had already made the switch to handloom fabrics.

However, some universities had yet to adopt this practice, prompting the UGC to reiterate its recommendation. The use of handloom fabrics not only fosters a sense of national pride but also supports the handloom industry, which provides employment opportunities, especially in rural areas.

Moreover, the UGC emphasised the importance of sharing the actions taken by universities regarding the use of khadi and handloom fabrics. Universities were encouraged to upload photographs, videos, and other documentation on the UAMP portal.

The directive underscores Prime Minister Narendra Modi's advocacy for khadi and the revival of handloom traditions, citing Mahatma Gandhi's association with khadi during India's struggle for independence.

In line with the directive, the UGC has urged vice-chancellors to disseminate the advisory on khadi and handloom fabrics to colleges affiliated with their universities, thereby encouraging broader adoption of these traditional Indian textiles in academic ceremonies and events. 



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