IIT-G study proposes strategic design management in Assam's 'Eri' and 'Muga' silk sector
Dr. Pratul Ch. Kalita, IIT Guwahati, hands over the report on Eri and Muga Silk Sector

Guwahati: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, conducted extensive field research for ‘Eri‘ and ‘Muga‘ silk from a Design Management perspective. Being among the first such reports in the sector, the final report has been already accepted by World Bank consultants.

Titled ‘Diagnostic Study on Weaver’s need in respect of Eri and Muga Silk,’ the research output of this study will play a significant role in formulating the development strategy in this sector.

The Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS) is keen on implementing the strategies proposed in the report. The project is seen as a strategic contribution of the Department of Design, IIT-G, towards the socio-economic development of Assam.

The study was conducted by IIT Guwahati’s Dr Pratul Ch. Kalita, Associate Professor, Department of Design, and Prof. Amarendra Kumar Das, Department of Design.

The survey, which encompassed 1,282 weavers, was carried out with primary data collected through a structured questionnaire for weavers, sellers, cluster level designers, dyers and yarn suppliers. The study reached out to weavers in eight districts: Jorhat, Kamrup, Majuli, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Charaideu and Biswanath.

Dr Pratul Ch. Kalita identified five strategic design management interventions for alignment of the demand and supply side of the Design Value Chain of Eri and Muga Silk. The report describes the strategies with a detailed plan.

The five design management strategies formulated are:

  • Skill development & Skill-up gradation strategy,
  • Design Studio and Digital Design Bank
  • System Design Solution for integrated Supply Chain Management
  • Frame Loom and a new Semi-Automatic Loom to improve productivity and quality
  • Attracting weavers for Eri-Muga weaving.

Dr Pratul Ch. Kalita further elaborated that the Business to Business Model of System Design Solution proposed under the study is expected to structure and streamline the entire value chain of Eri and Muga silk. At present, it is much unstructured.

Information on the production quantity of individual weavers was collected for Eri and Muga silk separately. The detailed report shows the descriptive statistics of the production of various types of Eri and Muga products in all the districts considered under the study. The number and percentage of weavers in each district who have been part of the production is also mentioned in the report.

Based on their experience gathered during the study and previous endeavours on similar studies, the researchers were able to determine the skill level of weavers on various types of looms, equipment and machinery. Detail methodical approach for skill development and skill upgradations, along with structured methods for assessment of the effectiveness of training has been proposed in the report.

It is worth noting that Dr Pratul Ch Kalita and Prof. Amarendra Kr. Das from the Department of Design, IIT Guwahati, had provided design, technology and management consultancy to Sivasagar Mega Handloom Cluster during 2016- 2019.

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  1. Indeed a good step towards the development of the Eri & Muga Silk of Assam. Directorate of Handloom & Textiles, Assam has assigned the “Diagnostics study on Weaver’s need in respect of Eri and Muga Silk” to IIT-Guwahati under World Bank funded APART project. Directorate of Handloom & Textiles, Assam is implementing the APART project in eight districts of Assam especially for development of Eri and Muga Silk. IIT-Guwahati was selected as consultant for the study after following all the procurement norms of World Bank and the rate quoted by IIT-G has been paid for providing their consultancy services. Hope the findings of the study will help us to add some new dimension to the Eri and Muga sector of Assam. IIT-G submitted the report to Directorate of Handloom & Textiles on 18th June 2021. The final report is available with the Directorate and Operational Project Implementation Unit (OPIU)-H&T will work on the findings of the report.

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