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Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004

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Role for CLRI in raising leather sector standards

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Mr Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Ocean Development (left), and Mr T. Ramasami, Director, CLRI, at a meeting in Chennai on Monday — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , June 21

THE Central Leather Research Institute is the implementing agency for the Central government's programmes that aim to promote a technology culture in the Indian leather industry and raise its practices to match the best in the world.

At a meeting in CLRI on Monday, Mr Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science & Technology and Ocean Development, said a recently commissioned human resource development mission would link technologies to at least 2.5 lakh people working in the leather industry.

Mr Sibal said additionally, an effort to use the best global practices as a reference point for the leather industry was being supported by a special programme.

CLRI, which implements the two programmes for the leather industry, leads the world in filing of patents and copyrights in leather. The institute would be central to modernisation initiatives in the industry, Mr Sibal said.

The Minister said the Central government desired that about three lakh new jobs be created in the leather industry by the end of the 10th Five-Year Plan. He forecast that India would emerge as a leader in the manufacture of finished leather goods.

In the context of the main goal of his Ministry, Mr Sibal said the government would launch "application missions in key areas of the economy" to transform lives in rural India and the informal sector of the economy.

Mr Sibal highlighted the role played by the Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC) in the design of cyclone shelters and rehabilitation of structures affected by earthquakes. He referred to them as "excellent examples of local transformation" through the medium of science and technology.

SERC is also engaged in software development. The software, FINEART, would provide the means for global leadership in a competitive area, said Mr Sibal.

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