APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, formerly UPTU, is all set to introduce designer gowns of Indian tradition for its students graduating this year on December 24.
Recently the university has invited designers from across the globe to share ideas for designing the Indianised ceremonial gown. Besides that the University has also asked its students from four fashion designing colleges to pitch in with ideas.
The circular has been issued to these colleges by the university. Vice-chancellor of the University says, “the designs should be based on Indian traditional drapes and folds and use handloom fabric or textile material and also students have been asked to keep UP's cultural heritage in mind while designing the gown. The gowns can also have some chikankari."
Interestingly it was Kalam who had first described the convocation robe as a British relic. Delivering the third convocation address in a Central university in Lucknow in 2010, Kalam had said, "The gown should go. It is British gown. We must have a simple Indian dress instead— an Angavastram or a Lucknow dress, maybe, which is lighter and suitable for all seasons."
To encourage creativity, university will also award the selected designs.
UGC had urged the universities to revive the handloom and improve earnings of handloom weavers and issued the circular - "Handloom fabric not only forms an integral part of our rich culture and heritage but also provides livelihood opportunity to lakhs of people living in rural areas,"