Mr. V. Bhaskar
Joint Secretary, DIPP
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Room No. 236, Udyog Bhavan
New Delhi 110011
10. March 2011
Dear Mr Bhaskar
We look forward to meeting you on 18th March 2011. We would like to make a brief powerpoint presentation as part of our discussions with you.
We are following up on a letter sent to you by Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, about the plans for expanding the design education infrastructure in India.
We represent Vision First, an initiative of concerned citizens of India who have made a lifelong commitment to promoting design practice and design education in India. We are excited that the government of India has decided to set up four new schools of design (NIDs). We believe that this is a significant step towards leveraging design to enhance India’s ability to innovate, and for using design to enhance the quality of life in the country.
We are also concerned and responsible for following due diligence in expanding the design infrastructure of India. We approached Mr. Pitroda because he shares our vision of building a design infrastructure in India.
Through this letter we would like to propose a plan of action that has already been outlined in a Vision First document that we first presented to Mr. Pitroda, and has thereafter been circulating in numerous social networks and mainstream media. We are attaching the proposal for your perusal.
We have two objectives in requesting an audience with you.
- There is a growing enthusiasm amongst the Indian design community and diaspora to help the government expand the design education infrastructure through mobilization of ideas, feedback, and insights gained from the past fifty years of design practice. This enthusiasm is spreading rapidly in the social media. The Vision First team would like to take the initiative in facilitating mobilization of a state-of-the-art vision for India’s future design education infrastructure. The current NID model has evolved from a visioning exercise commissioned by then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The Indian design community believes that a similar visioning exercise needs to be commissioned before assigning consultant contracts for building infrastructure for extending the current model of NIDs. This visioning activity needs to be carefully planned and implemented without undue haste. The DIPP needs to commit financial support for this activity before committing large funds for the infrastructure.
- We also believe that worldwide design competencies are being recognized, not merely as a skill serving the industry, but as different public, social, and industrial sectors, and therefore, design education in India needs to be decentralized and replaced with a new model that accommodates the needs of different sectors and regions based on local needs and resources. Replication of a centralized national institute needs to be challenged, re-examined, and redefined before committing large public funds for an education infrastructure designed to shape the next fifty years of India. We, therefore, want to use our social network and campaign in media to bring focus on building infrastructures for design competency at different levels of education and across different sectors of the economy, and on serving regional needs, resources, and aspirations. From our interactions with Mr. Pitroda, we feel encouraged that the office of the Prime Minister has a vision for expanding the design education infrastructure and Regional Innovation clusters, which could benefit from the wisdom of the designers, design educators, and design thinkers who have worked in the trenches for the past five decades. Therefore, our second objective is to facilitate a visioning exercise that enriches the vision emanating from the highest level in the government so that we can broaden and deepen the reach of design competencies.
While we continue to mount a public campaign for Vision First, we would like the Vision First initiative to be a conduit in bringing greater transparency to the current government thinking in implementing the process of expanding the design education infrastructure.
on behalf of Vision First Core Group