A higher degree

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As NID becomes an institution of national importance, it can award degrees and carry out research

The National Institute of Design (NID) has been declared an institution of national importance through an act of Parliament, bringing it on a par with the Indian Institutes of Technology. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 7 and by the Lok Sabha on July 9.

The law will enable NID to conduct research and training in all disciplines related to design as well as award degrees, diploma, certificates and other academic distinctions and titles in disciplines relating to design. The authorities are now awaiting the gazette notification to this effect.

The institute provides cross-disciplinary education on its campuses in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Gandhinagar. However, the fact that it offers four-year graduate and 2.5-year postgraduate diploma programmes frequently leads to hesitation among aspirants and parents who prefer degrees.

“Though we provided students with the best education, facilities and faculty, parents would sometimes not encourage students to join us because they felt that after all the effort, students would just get a graduate diploma in design or a PG diploma in design. Students would not be able to apply for scholarships abroad because some universities would not ac cept a diploma. This move will change all of that,” says Pradyumna Vyas, director, NID.

The focus on declaring a design institute as an institution of national importance is significant for design education in the country. “We will attract scholars from India and abroad and neighbouring countries and conduct independent and joint research. The focus on design education along with technology is the need of the hour. Public facilities like public transport, hospitals, security, online design education, etc, can make an economy robust. Even the government wants to integrate technology with design for the masses,” says Vyas.

NID was set up in 1961 as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, as an autonomous institution.

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