Textiles being Pakistan’s largest industrial sector generate the country’s highest export earnings of about 54%, providing the bulk of employment (38%) to a largely under-utilized workforce. The high levels of unemployment and underemployment are mainly on account of the low skill levels, low literacy and poor managerial efficiencies of the job market. Recognizing this gap, TIP was founded in 1994 under the aegis of APTMA, to fill the much growing vacuum. The key objective was to provide professional education and training to a new class of young professionals by honing their practical skills in addition to providing the necessary theoretical knowledge.
In order to run TIP independently, APTMA created a trust under the name of National Textile Foundation (NTF). This foundation is the caretaker of TIP and looks after its financial and capital needs. The institute was purpose built (200,000 sq.ft. covered area) along with a state-of-the-art architectural design by a leading architect on 50 acres of land located on the National Highway, about 40 km from the Karachi city center. The architectural features of interior and exterior design are in consonance with the climatic and topographical need to soften the harshness of Karachi’s physical and social environment. While not being ostentatious, the premises are air-conditioned and fitted with pleasant fixtures, wood work and finishing. The exterior is adorned with beautifully sprawling lawns and an artificial lake complete with related fauna in its natural habitat.
Realizing the importance of this segment to Pakistan’s export potential, the Export Promotion Bureau (now Trade Development Authority of Pakistan) has played a significant role in the development of TIP in the shape of generous financial assistance through the EDF (Export Development Fund). The campus houses all requisite facilities as per internationally acceptable standards, such as, an extensive library with individual and group study facilities together with an audio-visual room. The entire campus is Wi-Fi enabled based on dedicated 8Mbps Fiber Optic internet connectivity. The computer lab also has a separate CAD lab equipped with specialized software related to the field of textile design, weaving and apparel. The science and textile laboratories, including spinning, weaving, knitting, wet processing, apparel and testing labs, have all been equipped with the specialized machinery for imparting hands-on training to the students. Computers have also been installed in the hostels to enable hostelites to avail this facility for homework and other assignments. The entire faculty, management, staff and students are transported to and from the campus on TIP’s air-conditioned vehicles covering all major parts of Karachi city.
Since its establishment, TIP has served the needs of industry to a large extent and is gearing up its resources to meet its further requirements. So far, all TIP graduates have been taken up by the domestic textile industry with the exception of those who have gone abroad in pursuit of higher education. With an independent charter granted by the Government of Sindh, TIP is authorized to award its own degrees under the recognition of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). TIP’s course content and syllabi were developed by faculty at the Clemson University, USA. TIP also has had various higher education links supported by the British Council and with the University of Manchester. This has helped TIP to adopt and upgrade its educational standards according to the changing global industry and market.
At TIP, a student is exposed to an environment where he/she is given the opportunity to actively participate in activities such as public speaking, stage appearances, social and cultural activities, art, music, etc. to help foster well-rounded personalities besides serving as a form of recreation.
In this modern era of rapidly evolving technology, it is imperative for any nation to stay in touch with the latest technological trends. Bearing this in mind, TIP has established Textile Research and Innovation Centre (TRIC) under its wings. This would help Pakistan’s textile sector innovate new products and become competitive in the global race. The Vision of TRIC is to foster genuine leading-edge research linking the industry and other institutions within Pakistan and abroad and provide a new dimension to textile education in Pakistan. The initial focus of TRIC is to promote Advanced Materials Research such as technical textiles and nano-technology and to incorporate such research within the existing technology available in the Pakistan’s textile sector.
It must be stated in the end, that Pakistan’s effort in the industrial sector in the past 60 years had been, at best, haphazard and sporadic. Individual mills may or may not have adopted universal standards and operating practices. Today, with the setting up of a formally structured learning centre at TIP, APTMA has demonstrated its ability to piece together an effort in a concerted way preparing us for the impending global challenges that are anticipated by all of Asia as well as the textile world.