National Technical Textiles Mission: Boosting India's Potential in the Technical Textiles Sector

Mains Marks Booster     5th August 2023        
Samadhaan

Introduction

Technical textiles play a vital role in various industries, providing functional fabrics designed for specific applications. They find applications in sectors such as automobiles, civil engineering, agriculture, healthcare, industrial safety, and personal protection. The demand for technical textiles is closely linked to a country's development and industrialization. The Ministry of Textiles recently approved 23 strategic research projects worth approximately Rs 60 crores under the National Technical Textiles Mission. 

India's Position in the Technical Textiles Sector

  • India is the 5th largest producer of technical textiles in the whole world with a market size of nearly $22 billion, which we hope to build up to $300 billion when we turn 100 by 2047.
  • Technical textiles account for more than 25% of all fiber consumed and nearly 50% of total textile activity in certain industrialized countries.
  • Asia, particularly China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and India, is rapidly establishing itself as a technological textile’s powerhouse in terms of production and consumption.

India's Domestic Technical Textiles Landscape

  • India currently utilizes products from all 12 technical textile segments, but not all of them are manufactured domestically.
  • India excels in the production of technical textiles in the Packtech, Clothtech, Hometech, and Sportech segments.
  • However, many technical textile products are heavily imported, unlike the traditional textile industry, which relies on exports.
Technical Textile

Market Size and Consumption of Technical Textiles in India

  • Technical textile accounts for approximately 13% of India's total textile and apparel market and contributes to India's GDP at 0.7%. 
  • Packtech is the most important segment, accounting for around 36% of domestic consumption. Clothtech represents about 17% of total technical textile consumption.
  • Mobiltech and Hometech account for 8% and 12% of total consumption, respectively. The growth rate for these segments is expected to be 11-12% per year over the next five years.

About the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM)

  • The National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM) was granted approval by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 2020, with a substantial budget of Rs.1480 Crore.
  • Spanning four years, from FY 2020-21 to FY 2023-24, the NTTM aims to elevate India's standing as a global leader in Technical Textiles, propelling the domestic market size from USD 40 billion to USD 50 billion by 2024.
  • Additionally, the mission supports the 'Make in India' initiative by fostering domestic manufacturing of machinery and equipment related to technical textiles.

Key Components of NTTM

  • Research, Development, and Innovation: Research activities will focus on both fiber-level exploration and application-based advancements in various sectors.
  • Market Promotion and Development: The mission seeks to achieve an average growth rate of 15% to 20% per annum by 2024, thus increasing the adoption and utilization of technical textiles within the country.
  • Export Promotion: NTTM places significant emphasis on export promotion, aiming to escalate technical textile exports from Rs 14,000 crores to Rs 20,000 crores by 2021-2022, with a consistent annual growth rate of 10% until the conclusion of the mission. 
  • Education, Training, and Skill Development: The fourth component focuses on nurturing expertise in technical textiles through education and skill development at higher engineering and technology levels, with a specific focus on areas related to technical textiles and their applications.

Implementation and Governance

The NTTM will be executed through a three-tier institutional mechanism, comprising the following entities:

  1. Mission Steering Group: This group holds the authority to approve financial norms, schemes, components, and programs associated with the mission as well as Scientific and technological research projects under the mission.
  2. Empowered Programme Committee: Responsible for approving projects (excluding research projects) within the financial limits set by the Mission Steering Group.
  3. Committee on Technical Textiles on Research, Development & Innovation: Tasked with identifying and recommending research projects to the Mission Steering Group for approval. These projects primarily focus on strategic sectors such as space, security, defense, paramilitary, and atomic energy.

Issues in Textile Sector:

Shortage in supply of raw material, increase in cost of raw material, Inflexible labor laws, Pressure to meet stringent social and environmental norms, Infrastructural bottlenecks, highly fragmented, Uneven regional development: 

Other Initiatives Related to Technical Textile

  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles Sector
  • The government has approved the PLI Scheme for Textiles products which aims to enhance India's manufacturing capabilities and boost exports with an approved financial outlay of Rs 10,683 crore over five years.
  • Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) Codes for Technical Textile
  • In 2019, the Government of India dedicated 207 HSN codes to technical textiles to monitor import and export data, provide financial support, and offer incentives to manufacturers.
  • 100% FDI under Automatic Route
  • The Indian government allows 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under the automatic route. 
  • Technotex India
      • Technotex India is a flagship event organized by the Ministry of Textiles in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
      • It includes exhibitions, conferences, and seminars involving stakeholders from the global technical textile value chain.
  • PM MITRA Park Scheme
    • The PM MITRA parks are Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel parks to be established in different states.
    • These parks align with the vision of 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat'. The parks will be developed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
    • The parks are inspired by the '5F' vision of the Prime Minister of India, which encompasses farm to fibre, fibre to factory, factory to fashion, and fashion to foreign.

Way Forward

  • Addressing the technological gap in the field of technical textiles should be a priority.
  • Identifying research areas in technical textiles through industry interaction and promoting their use through conferences, exhibitions, and buyer-seller meetings are crucial for increasing exports and domestic usage.

Conclusion

The technical textiles sector in India is projected to grow at a rate of 12% per year. To achieve its potential of nearly 20% annual growth, proactive measures are needed, including expanding the market, promoting the use of technical textiles in government schemes, raising awareness among citizens and institutions, adopting advanced technology, fostering foreign collaboration, and investing in domestic demand. 

Samadhaan