National Institute of Fashion Technology
In acknowledgement of the stellar role NIFT has played in developing Indiaâ€™s textiles and fashion industry, it was recently accorded the status of an Institute of National Importance
The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) â€” the countryâ€™s premier fashion design, management and technology institute â€” was promoted in New Delhi in 1986 under the aegis of the Union ministry of textiles and Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York. Over the past two decades, the institute has promoted seven regional affiliates in Kolkata, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore. Its pan-India presence has enabled NIFT alumni to assume leadership positions in Indiaâ€™s fast track textiles, garments and haute couture industries.
In acknowledgement of the stellar role it has played in developing Indiaâ€™s fashion industry, NIFT was recently accorded the status of an Institute of National Importance by President Abdul Kalam. The award places NIFT on a par with the blue-chip Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
"Our institutional objective is to develop NIFT into a centre of excellence and innovation and a growth catalyst of the fashion business through education leadership. Benchmarking performance and processes in the areas of fashion education, research and development, training and consultancy are our chosen methodologies for attaining excellence. Integrating design, management and technology and empowering the crafts community to retain regional characteristics and position their cultural identity in the global market are also high on our agenda," says Gauri Kumar, director general of NIFT.
Undoubtedly, since it was somewhat hesitantly promoted in the national capital two decades ago by the then floundering Union ministry of textiles, NIFT, Delhi, if not its seven regional clones, has built an excellent reputation for producing high fashion garments and trendsetting couturiers including JJ Valaya, Ritu Beri, and Manish Arora. The regional institutes too, have shaped top-rung fashion designers such as Manish Malhotra and Narendra Kumar (Mumbai), Prasad Bidapa (Bangalore), and several mondaine page 3 fashion gurus and divas. More significantly, NIFT has contributed over 5,000 well-trained textiles and garment industry professionals who are masterminding Indiaâ€™s global charge as a major textiles and garment player in the new post-WTO international order.
Modelled after Indiaâ€™s highly respected and successful IIMs and IITs which were also promoted by the Central government, the teaching-learning process in the seven NIFTs involves creation of a cohesive, contextual and nurturing environment for students. The emphasis is on professional development through standardised pedagogy. "This involves sharing of learning processes between faculty and industry whose feedback and guidance is crucial to studentsâ€™ understanding, development, and maturity," says NIFT spokesperson Pavan Kaushik. Moreover NIFT faculty are trained in some of the leading design and fashion institutes of the world, and bring to the classroom professional capabilities, wide exposure and years of hands-on industry experience. "The examination system focuses upon task-based assign-ments, interactive industry projects, intern-ships, research surveys and written examinations throughout the year," explains P. Joshi, a faculty member. In 1997, a common board examination (CBE) based on evaluation in core subjects was introduced across all NIFT centres to ensure uniform bench-marking. Moreover evaluation matrices for all disciplines incorporate the process of continuous and term-end evaluations.
With effect from 2006, NIFT centres propose to introduce a new curriculum based on a US-style 10+2+4 pattern for undergrad programmes, which NIFT spokespersons say is consonant with the global professional education system. This will also enable NIFT graduates to become more acceptable to design, management and technology education institutions of higher education abroad. The new multi-disciplinary curriculum is being designed to incorporate IT, CADD and web-based technologies closely allied to industry practices for holistic development of future fashion professionals.
Following the examples of the IIMs and IITs, NIFT has accorded utmost importance to infrastructure, including state-of-the-art machines and equipment to match contemporary trends. For instance NIFT, Delhi is sited on a four-acre campus with two buildings housing 13 classrooms, a national resource centre (library) with 15,000 volumes, 130 magazine and journal subscriptions, a CD collection, laser printers and digital scanners, two computer labs and archival collections of its star alumni. As against over 20,000 admission applications in the year 2005, NIFT offered 1,410 seats in its seven affiliates across the country. An additional capacity of 15 percent is reserved for foreign nationals and NRIs.
Over the years, NIFT has negotiated several collaboration agreements with renowned fashion and design institutions worldwide. Its alliance partners include the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; Nottingham Trent University, UK and recently the Royal Melbourne Institute of Textiles, Australia. The agreements facilitate faculty and student exchanges, joint research and academic activities, and e-learning initiatives. NIFT is also a founder member of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), a council of 23 fashion schools.
NIFTâ€™s placement activities are centralised and its placement cell ensures on-campus recruitment of graduating students in all seven affiliates. The institute boasts a 100 percent placement record since inception and has placed its 8,000-plus alumni in highly reputed domestic and international organisations, with an average start-up remuneration of Rs.2.5 lakh per year.
Study at NIFT
For admission into NIFTâ€™s undergrad programmes, the eligibility criterion is successful completion of Plus Two with physics, chemistry and maths. For postgrad programmes, a B.Tech or equivalent is mandatory. Admission is based on performance in an all-India entrance examination held in various cities across the country in May. Shortlisted candidates are called for a group discussion and interview.
NIFT offers the following study programmes: Neeta Lal (Delhi)
Undergraduate (three years). Fashion design and accessories design
Postgraduate (two years). Apparel marketing and merchandising management; fashion communication; textile design and development; knitwear design and technology; leather apparel design and technology; garment manufacturing technology
Tuition fee (annual). For Indian students Rs.55,000. For foreign and NRI students Rs.3 lakh.
For further information contact D.K. Rangra, Registrar, Ph: 011-26965080; email: email@example.com
Yale University, USA
With its high quality faculty comprising a plethora of nobel prize winners and its needs-blind admissions policy, yale attracts the worldâ€™s brightest and best studentsAt the apex of Americaâ€™s much admired higher education system are the three Ivy League colleges â€” Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Of these Yale University is relatively low profile, but perhaps the most prestigious. Ranked third in the 2006 ratings of Americaâ€™s best colleges by the US News and World Report, Yale is internationally reputed for its excellent undergraduate liberal arts education and graduate curriculum. The universityâ€™s assets include a $15.2 billion endowment (the second largest among academic institutions worldwide) and a library which houses a mind-boggling 11 million volumes. With a highly qualified faculty of 3,200 comprising a plethora of Nobel prize winners, Field medallists and Pulitzer prize winners, Yale has an enrollment of 5,200 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students pursuing a wide range of disciplines including the arts, the sciences, humanities, engineering and social sciences.
Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School in the home of Abraham Pierson, its first rector, in Killingworth, Connecticut, Yale is the third oldest academic institution in the US. In 1716 the school moved to New Haven following the generous endowment of nine bales of goods, 417 books, and a portrait and coat of arms of King George I by Elihu Yale, former governor of the Madras Presidency who made his fortune in the spices business. In 1718, the Collegiate School was renamed Yale College.
During Yaleâ€™s magnum tercentennial celebration in 2001, president Richard C. Levin summarised the universityâ€™s institutional goals: "As we look to the future, Yale remains committed to undergraduate education and a determination to educate leaders. Leaders of the 21st century will operate in a global environment. Therefore, Yaleâ€™s curriculum is increasing its focus on international concerns and having strong international representation among our student population."
New Haven. The third largest city in the state of Connecticut, New Haven is characterised by low buildings, tree-lined avenues and pockets of stores and restaurants. A habitation which prides itself on its Yale connection, local education and cultural centres, offices and businesses proudly employ students for part-time work, social service projects and internships. The downtown area, where the university is located, has numerous restaurants, cafes, stores, banks, offices, boutiques and a variety of small retail shops easily accessible by foot. For a â€˜Yalieâ€™, New Haven offers the resources of a large city with a stimulating local environment and a close-knit community.
The cityâ€™s best-known geographic features are its large harbour, and two reddish basalt â€˜trap rocksâ€™ which rise to the northeast and northwest of the city centre. These trap rocks are known respectively as East Rock and West Rock, and are each housed in extensive parks.
Campus resources. Yaleâ€™s 310 acre campus is a network of grassy courtyards surrounded by aesthetic structures which offer top-grade state-of-the-art educational and co-curricular facilities. Its library is the seventh largest research library worldwide with its complement of 11 million books, 66,867 serial subscriptions and 284,336 e-books. The university library apart, Yale is home to over 40 departmental and professional school libraries, as well as libraries in each of the 12 residential colleges. Yale Universityâ€™s arts and humanities faculties host the Yale University Art Gallery, The Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Yale Centre for British Art.
Extra-curricular facilities include the Payne Whitney Gymnasium where 12 acres are devoted to sports and fitness infrastructure. An ice skating rink, tennis courts, riding facilities, softball and soccer fields, a yacht club, and a championship golf course are a few of the sports facilities open to Yale students. The university also maintains an Outdoor Education Centre, and the Yale Office of Outdoor Education and Club Sports sponsors numerous intramural and club sports which complement sports programmes such as crew, soccer, squash, and ice hockey. Moreover there are over 240 student clubs and organisations on campus.
Admission. For the 1,300 university seats offered annually, the Yale College Admissions Committee has to choose from over 20,000 applicants. During its deliberations, the admissions committee gives weightage to "academic ability and achievement combined with such personal characteristics as motiv-ation, curiosity, energy and leadership ability". Its â€˜needs-blindâ€™ admissions policy extends to international students and ensures that the college will be accessible to candidates from any part of the world who show academic and personal promise.
Students whose native language is not English are required to write the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the SAT II Writing Test and score a minimum of 600 and 250 respectively. For admission into Yale it is also mandatory to submit Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) and any three SAT III Subject Testsâ€™ scores. SAT I and SAT III exams are conducted in all major cities of the world. For further information visit www.collegeboard.com.
Applications must reach the Yale Admissions Committee by December 31 for the term starting in September of the following year. Application forms can be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, P.O. Box 208234, New Haven, Connecticut 06520; e-mail: undergraduate.admissions@ yale.edu; website: www.yale.edu/admit. Students can apply online at app.commonapp.org.
Accommodation. Yale University comprises 12 residential colleges sited on its scenic campus in New Haven. All undergraduates are affiliated to one of the dozen colleges and each hall of residence has its own dean and master. All colleges offer a library, seminar rooms, dining, lounges, laundry facilities, recreation rooms, kitchens, exercise and computer rooms. Moreover the colleges complement the undergraduate curriculum by arranging lectures by poets, playwrights, businessmen and people in government.
Full-time graduate students have the option of living in university owned apartments or in dormitories on campus.
Degree programmes. A defining characteristic of Yale University is the large number of undergraduate courses it offers â€” more than 2,000 â€” and its commitment to liberal education which "prepares students for an unpredictable future, not by training them for particular careers, but by teaching them how to learn".
At the undergraduate level Yale does not offer professional programmes in agriculture, medicine, dentistry or other technical and vocational fields. However, Yale University has ten professional schools for postgrad students (art, architecture, divinity, drama, medicine, nursing, music, forestry and environmental studies, law and management) and a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Scholastic options at Yale
Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate programme), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and ten professional schools (art, architecture, divinity, drama, medicine, nursing, music, forestry and environmental studies, law and management).
Among the majors offered at the undergraduate level by Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are: accounting, African studies, agrarian studies, American studies, anthropology, applied mathematics, applied physics, archaeological studies, architecture, art, astronomy, biological & biomedical sciences, cellular & molecular physiology, chemistry, computer science & mathematics, history, economics, environment, French, genetics, geology, international & developmental economics, Islamic studies, linguistics, literature, management, mathematics & philosophy, microbiology, music, neurobiology, pharmacology, physics, political science, psychology, public health, epidemiology and religious studies, sociology, Spanish, statistics, theater studies, womenâ€™s, gender, & sexuality studies.
Tuition and fees (per year): $31,460 Room/ board (per year): $9,540
NB $ = Rs.46Summiya Yasmeen