- How important is education pertaining to the gems and jewellery industry in India and what is your take on the current education scenario in the countryThe current education system still follows the traditional way of imparting education. The education sector is in dire need of new thinking and introduction of some radical steps. The book-based teaching method should be complemented with digital and other practical learning tools. A very small percentage of students are deriving benefits of digitized and practical education.
Coming to the Gems and Jewelry education, there should be greater emphasis on PPP initiatives in the education space since capacity expansion, for educational institutions, is critical. This shortfall cannot be addressed by the government alone. Innovative new mediums and tools need to be adopted to address the twin issues of access and quality in education in the Gems and Jewelry industry.
We applaud the government move to set the ball rolling on a new education policy. We are happy that the rethink is happening at such a critical juncture when the country is set to witness a surging youth population with the Gems and Jewelry industry estimated to create 3.59 million additional jobs till 2022 as per the report released by NSDC and KPMG. The vision document has already factored in pressing concerns such as re-assessing government spend on education, access to quality education, innovation, research, regulation and education financing. The implementation will depend on the extent of the government’s calibrated approach.
In this context, we hope to see visible impact in the short term. We must be mindful of our large, impatient young population and its aspirations.
- Can you throw some light on the employment oriented program run by the government of India through the National Skill Development Council and how will it impact the industry in terms of education and employment?The Government has taken some important initiatives. National Skill Development Corporation (’NSDC’) has set up sector focussed councils for skill development. One such initiative for the Gems and Jewelry industry was the setting up of the Gems and Jewelry Skill Council of India (‘GJSCI’) with the motive to spread awareness of education in this industry and to equip the students with relevant skills and knowledge to enable them to work successfully in this industry. GJSCI is also funding skill training and development program with their training partners. To an extent some positives can be taken from these initiatives.
However, there exists certain weaknesses in this scheme. Several of the training courses offered are theory and presentation oriented. In a capital intensive industry where precious materials are dealt with on a daily basis, employees and entrepreneurs need practical skills of the highest level without which they cannot succeed. Training and education in the Gems and Jewelry industry is not about a stamped certificate but about enhancing the capabilities of the students with required skills and practically grooming them for a successful career in the industry.
Secondly, certain courses have a deceitfully short duration (a week, 10 days, etc.) and the syllabus being inadequate. This creates confusion in the minds of the students. With such kind of training, students are forced to learn on the job which in turn creates a burden on the employers. Hence it becomes difficult to land jobs for such students. To enable students to be industrially equipped, efforts need to be taken to ensure comprehensive training is provided to enable the students to be hands-on with the relevant field knowledge.
Though the outcome of these initiatives is still to be seen, one can sense the optimism created in the industry and the awareness that is being created towards Gems and Jewelry education. In near future, more emphasis needs to be given to technology adaptation and comprehensive practical learning.
- Briefly tell us about the activities of J.K. Diamonds Institute of Gem & Jewelry and its advantages to the students passing out after completion of the specific programs of the institute?Founded by Kirit Ajmera, J K Diamonds Institute of Gems & Jewelry (JKDIGJ) is a renowned institute pioneering in Gems & Jewelry education conducting High Quality Practical Training since 1989® on Polished Diamond Grading, Rough Diamond Grading, Gemology and Jewelry Designing.
JKDIGJ has taken coveted efforts to ensure contribution to skill development in India in a resourceful manner by providing a platform for educational development in the G&J industry. We believe in the concept of ‘commitment to quality’ and it aims to provide superior training and opportunities for students and professionals in the industry. The Institute has built a sublime platform to implement excellence in Diamonds, Gemology and Jewelry trainings through our unique systems to ensure practical oriented quality training resulting in skilled job as well as business prospects.
Since inception, we have catered to students across several industries and varied backgrounds such as engineering, doctors, Chartered Accountants, MBAs and other professionals as well as businesses, house wives, hobbyists, etc. Students from 17 countries have been trained at our institute, including students from Belgium, Canada, France, Israel, USA and Spain. We have also organised trainings in different parts of India including Kolkata, Bangalore, Indore, Bhopal, Jamshedpur and others.
With unparalleled credentials, several jewelers across India have enrolled for courses at JKDIGJ. Several students have, in fact, turned to the booming Entrepreneurial market joining their own brands directly after completing their courses at JKDIGJ such as BN Jewellers, Siroya Jewellers, Surana Jewellers of Jaipur, Mukti Gold, among others. There exists many professional opportunities for students such as diamond manufacturer, Grader, diamond merchant, jewelry design related careers, jewelry manufacturer, retailer, etc.
- Designer jewellery is seen as a sunrise and lucrative segment in the gems and jewellery industry. What is your advice to the students pursuing jewellery designing courses and what is the future that you foresee for the segment?The demand for designer jewelry is indeed on a rise and with rising income levels, the growth of this trend is inevitable. There is no end to the field of jewelry design as the same is required for diamond jewelry, gold jewelry, fashion jewelry, etc.
Students of Jewelry Design courses should focus on practical education and practice as much as possible during the duration of their respective courses. To be well aware of the current trends in design, from cultural background in different eras of design to modern trends and styles, for those who are not already getting this knowledge at the place of learning, or otherwise, should keep a tab on social media as well as latest magazines for latest designs and try to simulate and innovate based on such designs. Being alert about market trends is the most effective way of progressing in this industry.
There is massive scope for jewelry designers since new designs are a need of the hour with the increasing use of jewelry in the day to day lives due to which the demand of jewelry designers is also on a rise. New showrooms and brands are coming up while the existing brands are setting up more stores. This has resulted in increasing the popularity about the industry effecting new prospects and opportunities for jewelry designers. Hence, a sparkling future awaits them.