News Excerpt
Recently, government approved setting up of National Technical Textiles Mission with total outlay of Rs. 1,480 crore with a view to position the country as global leader in technical textiles.

Pre-Connect
•    Technical textiles are textile materials and products used primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.
•    Some of the examples of ‘Technical textiles’ are ‘mobiltech’ ( products in vehicles such as seat belts and airbags, airplane seats) ; ‘indutech’ (flame-resistant clothes used in the manufacturing industry) ; meditech ( diapers, napkins, packs, bandages and sutures); agrotech (products go into the manufacture of poly houses and nets); and geotech (used to hold back soil).
•    Earlier National Technical Textiles Mission, which was launched for a period of five years (2010-11 to 2014-15) was extended till March 2017.    

Highlights
    The mission will also promote technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles.
    Skill development will be promoted and adequate pool of highly skilled manpower resources will be created for meeting the need of relatively sophisticated technical textiles manufacturing units.
    The mission will focus on usage of technical textiles in various flagship missions and programmes of the country including strategic sectors.
    The use of technical textiles in agriculture, aquaculture, dairy, poultry, Jal Jivan Mission, Swachch Bharat Mission, Ayushman Bharat will bring an overall improvement in cost, water and soil conservation, better agricultural productivity and higher income to farmers per acre of land holding in addition to promotion of manufacturing and exports activities in India.

Analytica
Opportunities for the Technical Textile Industry
    Huge Market potential of technical textiles in the country.
    Huge potential for usage of technical textiles by institutional buyers like Defence, Security, Space & Marine, Health, Roads and Infrastructure, Medical etc.
    Huge export potential of technical textiles.

Weakness
    Dependence on import of technology and machinery for most of the high-end technical textiles products.
    Available resources have not been augmented and updated with changing trend
    Non-availability of skilled man power for technical textiles.
    Absence of regulatory measures for usage of technical textiles.
    Non-availability of indigenous high performance specialty fibres for manufacture of technical textiles.

Threats
    Cheap imports of technical textile items from countries like China.
    Bilateral and multilateral agreements particularly with developed countries like the USA and EU.
 
Research initiative
    The research institutions have been developing technologies for technical textiles. For example, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has developed a liquid based on ‘phosphorous functionalised graphene quantum dot’ technology (pf-GOQ).
    The space agency ISRO has developed a high silica cloth, which it calls ISROSIL. It can withstand temperatures up to 1,650 degrees Centigrade.


Way Forward
Indian technical textile sector is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. However, following concrete steps need to be taken to ensure efficient industry ecosystem to transform India into global technical textiles hub:
    Increasing awareness about the products will lead to higher adaptation of these products.
    Development and implementation of standards for technical textile products.
    Regulatory reforms supporting the usage of standardized technical textile products.
    Incentivising research and development in the field of technical textiles.
    Dedicated courses on technical textiles for entrepreneurship training.
    Promotion of exports of technology intensive technical textiles.


Some Facts about Technical Textile
    Technical Textile Sector is the Sunrise Sector of the Textile Industry.
    Technical Textile Sector in India is one of the fastest growing segments of the Indian Economy.
    As per baseline survey of Technical Textile Industry in India, there are around 2100 units manufacturing Technical Textiles in India. Most of the units are concentrated in Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
    India has 4-5% share in the global Technical Textile Market size across twelve segments of Technical Textiles.
    Technical Textiles constitute 12-15% of the total textile value chain in India, However, in some of the European countries technical textiles constitute 50% of the total textile value chain.


HSN Code
    Stands for “Harmonized System of Nomenclature”
    Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and it came into effect from 1988
    HSN code is a 6-digit uniform code and is accepted by about 200 countries making it near universal.
    This system has been introduced for the systematic classification of goods all over the world.
    This brings in a uniform classification of goods and facilitates international trade.


Details of Initiatives of Ministry of Textiles
     Notification of 207 HSN(Harmonized System of Nomenclature) Codes in Technical Textiles.
     Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT)
     Focus Incubation Centre (FIC)
     Scheme for Promoting usage of Agro-textiles in North East Region
     Scheme for Promoting usage of Geotechnical textiles in North East Region
     Scheme for Promoting usage of Agro-textiles in India (Excluding North East Region)
In addition to these, Government of India has identified 92 application areas for mandatory use across 10 Central Ministries/Departments. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has developed standards for 348 technical textiles products.