Will Chetan Chauhan be a good administrator as NIFT (National institute of Fashion Technology) Chairman…? This is the question everyone has been discussing post his appointment, especially when not even a single person from fashion industry has been appointed for the same post since the Institute’s establishment in 1986.
The NIFT Act, 2006, states that the chairperson of the statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles is expected to be an eminent academic, scientist or technologist or professional to be nominated by the Visitor of the Institute, who is the President of India. The Central Government is already facing the heat on such appointments, like Gajendra Chauhan as Chief of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
The appointment of Chetan has provoked the industry people as well as social media, and the Government is now facing lot of criticism as Chetan, Ex-Cricketer, two-time BJP MP, and VP of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has no concern with fashion industry. But Textiles Minister (I/C) Santosh Kumar Gangwar supported the decision and said, “If Chauhan gives 20 per cent of his time to NIFT, it will be an achievement for the institute as others (his predecessors) never gave even this much of time to the Institute. Additionally, Chauhan has demanded an office after his joining, as till now all the chairpersons used to come only to attend meetings four times in a year and they never had an office here.”
The Minister added that he was aware of the scenario that people will feel bad after Chauhan’s appointment as NIFT Chairman, but he is not worried about it. “NIFT is a reputed institution and a retired Government employee used to be made its chairman till now. We decided to appoint a non-Government employee for the advancement and success of this Institute. He is a renowned cricketer, had been an MP twice in the past and served as a Bank Officer for 24 years. He has had better exposure in the country and abroad.”
Gangwar said that apart from Chauhan, the NIFT board comprises 11 prominent members belonging to different walks of life, including businessmen as well as designers like Sunil Sethi, Chairman at Fashion Design Council of India; Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman of Welspun Group; and PK Gupta, Chairman of Sharda Group of Institutions and Chancellor of Sharda University, to mention a few.