SRINAGAR: The Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Baghi-i-Dilawar Khan Srinagar, the last government institute where Urdu calligraphy was formally taught, has wound up this course as no one is coming forward to learn this craft. The principal of the institute said that the calligraphy course had to be closed as no student was opting for this subject.
With technology now being used for writing Urdu, the role of calligraphists who found jobs in writing newspapers and Urdu texts has become redundant. So has the inclination to learn this craft. A few decades ago, the seats in the calligraphy course would be almost full and every year 20 to 21 students would pass out from this institute. Since five years ago, the number of students taking this course had come down to almost zero. The government has now decided to wind up this course.
Not only Urdu calligraphy, courses in carpentry, watch and clock repairing, painting, and masonry have also been closed down at the institute for the same reason. Speaking with Kashmir Reader, principal of the institute Engineer Mohammad Ahsraf Wani said, “We wound up these courses as we were receiving very low response from students for them.” Declining number of students is also seen in many other courses like those for Fitter, Instrument Mechanic, Machinist, and Turner.
“There are just 3 students in the Turner course, 16 in the Fitter course, 15 in the Instrument Mechanic course, when the intake capacity in these courses is 21 for each. Same is the case in the Machinist course where we have only 9 students as against the intake capacity of 16,” Wani said. He said some of new professional courses have been introduced in the institute in recent years. “Last year, the government of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had introduced two new courses in this institute – papier mache and wood carving – for which we received good response from students,” Wani said.
The Industrial Training Institute Srinagar was established in December 1957. The institute is run under the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), DGET, Ministry of Labour and Employment, GOI, and the State Council for Vocational Training (SCVT), Department of Technical Education, Government of Jammu & Kashmir. The institute also offers vocational training in short-term and part-time courses.