The Quality Council of India (QCI) and the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) officially entered into a collaborative agreement on Wednesday to elevate the quality of KVIC’s products, provide training for artisans, and introduce a distinctive ‘Made in India’ label for khadi.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was formalized at Kochrab Ashram, established by Mahatma Gandhi, with the presence of Jaxay Shah, QCI’s chairperson, and Manoj Kumar, KVIC’s chairperson.
Shah highlighted the significance of the partnership, emphasizing its goal of enhancing the overall quality of the khadi ecosystem. The objective is to ensure that khadi maintains its timeless appeal and evolves into a global symbol of quality and sustainability. He outlined QCI’s commitment to supporting KVIC by employing various interventions, including a third-party assessment framework, accreditation, and quality checks for khadi products. Additionally, QCI will assist in promoting khadi products both domestically and internationally. Shah noted that QCI’s product assessment mechanism is recognized and approved by 140 countries.
In an effort to streamline the process and ensure fair compensation for artisans, Shah expressed the intention to eliminate middlemen from the khadi ecosystem. He emphasized the goal of placing Made In India khadi products on the world map. Beyond assessing manufacturing processes and supply chain quality, QCI will engage in skilling and capacity building of artisans to enhance the overall quality of khadi products. Furthermore, QCI will provide guidance to KVIC on branding, marketing, and selling their products on e-commerce platforms. The collaboration will also see the introduction of the ‘Made in India’ label for khadi.
Manoj Kumar, during the event, described khadi as a symbol of India’s self-reliance and sustainability. He highlighted the phenomenal growth in the khadi industry, with production experiencing a 268% increase from 2013-14 to 2022-23. Kumar shared that KVIC’s revenue, which was Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 crore in 2013-14, has now reached Rs 1.35 lakh crore. The additional income of Rs 1 lakh crore over the past nine years has played a pivotal role in lifting millions of people out of poverty. This growth has also translated into the creation of 9.54 lakh jobs in the fiscal year 2022-23 alone.
Expressing the need to instill an understanding of khadi’s importance among the youth, Kumar expressed confidence that with QCI’s intervention, khadi products will attain new heights globally. He emphasized khadi’s environmental friendliness, citing its minimal water usage compared to other fabrics. Kumar expressed optimism that the quality standards set by QCI will contribute to increasing the exports of khadi products.