No sweeping under the carpet

SRINAGAR: Attendance of carpet weavers at Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) centers in the Valley will now be directly monitored by the textile ministry in New Delhi.

To ensure learners’ punctuality during the training process, the IICT has switched to biometric attendance system that will be linked to and directly monitored by the ministry.

The new system is already operational at eight advanced carpet training centers (ACTC) in the Valley are run by the IICT, which offers four month certificate course in carpet manufacturing.

“The aim of biometric system is to ensure transparency in functioning of these centers. With this, we can ensure that the trainees attend sessions on a regular basis,” IICT’s director Zubair Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.

“The system was already in place and working well, but now are linking it to the server and portal of the ministry at New Delhi,” he added.

Zubair said the trainees and staff at the centres will be assessed on their “in-time” and “out-time” recorded on the biometric machines. “Any dereliction during training period does affect the whole purpose of learning. Biometric system works fine as it makes the trainees more punctual,” he said.

The institute has put in place other tabs to keep a track on the progress of their centers. This includes taking a daily report of production output by each group working on a carpet loom at the centre, visits by technical staff to see that the centres are not facing difficulty in terms of manpower or raw material. Besides, the village heads are encouraged to give feedback about the centres.

To make the trainees industry-ready, IICT is providing training to them on silk instead of wool.

“The choice of material for the state-run centres has been wool, but it would hamper a switch over to the silk, which is mostly used in our carpet manufacturing,” Zubair said. “Use of silk as raw material works well.”

The IICT also provides post-training facilitates to its pass outs to secure artisan registration from the State Handloom departments that qualifies them to secure loans and other benefits.

According to the procedures, IICT screens all the trainees for the certificate course for four months, with each centre having an intake capacity of 35.

About 72 percent of the 1937 persons trained in the past three years are presently working in the manufacturing sector as full or part time workers.