National Handloom Day  

National Handloom Day  

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “National Handloom Day”. The topic “National Handloom Day” has relevance in the “Indian Economy” section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

What is National Handloom Day? 

What are Govt Initiatives for Handlooms? 

For Mains:

GS2: Modern History
GS3:  Indian Economy 

Why in the news?

The Prime Minister attended the National Handloom Day celebrations at the Bharat Mandapam in Delhi on August 7th.


National Handloom Day  

  • National Handloom Day is observed on August 7 to honor handloom weavers and acknowledge their contributions to India’s economy and culture.
  • The day underscores the industry’s importance and empowers its workforce.
  • It’s a chance to show gratitude to the hardworking weavers who create exquisite, handcrafted pieces.


National Handloom Day 2023

  • The theme for National Handloom Day 2023 is “Handlooms for Sustainable Fashion.”
  • The focus is on promoting handloom weaving as an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to machine-made fabrics.
  • The theme aligns with the current emphasis on sustainable fashion in the industry.
  • In the event, the Prime Minister inaugurated the e-portal of Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh, a repository of textiles and crafts created by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
  • More than 3000 handloom and khadi weavers, artisans, and stakeholders from the textile and MSME sectors attended the event.
  • The initiative unites handloom clusters nationwide, NIFT campuses, Weaver Service Centres, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology campuses, National Handloom Development Corporation, Handloom Export Promotion Council, KVIC institutions, and different State Handloom Departments.


Historical Significance 

  • The inception of National Handloom Day traces its origins to the Swadeshi Movement of 1905.
  • It marks the remembrance of the Swadeshi Movement’s initiation on 7 August 1905, a movement aimed at refraining from foreign goods and embracing products made in India, thereby fostering indigenous industries, especially the handloom weaving sector.
  • The first National Handloom Day was celebrated on August 7, 2015.


India’s Handloom Sector

  • India’s handloom sector, a major unorganized economic activity, boasts a rich tradition of exceptional artistry that epitomizes and conserves the vibrant Indian cultural heritage. 
  • With 23.77 lakh looms, the handloom industry stands as the largest cottage industry in the nation. 
  • Moreover, it is the second-largest employment provider in rural areas, engaging over 3 million individuals directly and indirectly.
  • As per the Handloom Census 2019-20, the sector employs around 3,522,512 workers, with women constituting a significant portion at 72.29% of the total workforce.
  • This sector offers a diverse range of products, spanning from traditional sarees, kurtas, shawls, and ghagra cholis to contemporary items like fashion fabrics, western dresses, and home furnishings. 
  • An advantage of the handloom industry is its low capital requirement, eco-friendly practices, minimal power consumption, and adaptability to market trends.


Challenges in the Handloom Sector

  • Lack of Working Capital and Inputs:
    • Weavers struggle with inadequate access to working capital and raw materials.
    • Limited credit availability hampers investment in the handloom industry.
  • Marketing Issues:
    • Lack of consumer preference knowledge and inability to distinguish between handloom and powerloom products.
    • Ineffective promotional strategies contribute to marketing challenges.
  • Quality and Supply Chain Management:
    • Ensuring consistent product quality and efficient supply chain management is crucial.
    • Addressing quality inconsistencies and supply chain inefficiencies is essential.
  • Competition from Power Looms and Mills:
    • The handloom sector faces significant competition from power looms and mills.
  • Technological Stagnation:
    • Embracing contemporary technologies is vital for enhancing industry efficiency.
  • Lack of New Designs and Decreasing Weavers:
    • Encouraging innovation among experienced weavers is essential.
    • Counteracting the decline in the number of skilled weavers is a critical aspect of industry development.


Key Government Initiatives for National Handloom Sector 

  • National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)
    • The NHDP program aids various aspects of the handloom industry. Its Cluster Development Programme (CDP) benefits 66 clusters in 2021-22, while Handloom Marketing Assistance (HMA), Urban Haats, and awards support industry growth. 
    • The Government plans to provide Rs. 30 crore to 10,000 handlooms for mega clusters.
  • Market Access Initiative (MAI)
    • The Market Access Initiative (MAI), valid until March 2026, boosts exports systematically.
    • Based on product-specific strategies, MAI focuses on global product marketing, capacity building, compliance, research, trade facilitation, and aiding traditional industries.
    • It allocates budgets for industry aspects like trade fairs, research, and buyer-seller meets.
  • Promotion of Khadi and Village Industries: 
    • This includes urging citizens to buy Khadi products, resulting in increased production and sales of Khadi clothes. 
    • The government’s efforts have led to the growth of the Khadi and village industries turnover from around Rs 25-30 thousand crores to over one lakh thirty thousand crore rupees.
  • Financial Support and Schemes:
    • This includes providing loans without guarantees through the Mudra Yojana, offering concessional rates for raw materials like yarn, and offering various benefits such as free ration, housing, and healthcare.
  • Skill Training and Education: 
    • Textile institutes offer scholarships of up to Rs. 2 lakh to the children of weavers for skill training.
    • Over 600 handloom clusters have been established, and thousands of weavers have been given training.
  • GeM Portal: 
    • The government has established the GeM Portal (Government e-Marketplace), allowing artisans, craftsmen, and weavers to directly sell their products to the government. 
    • This initiative aims to connect these artisans with the benefits of the Digital India campaign.
  • One District One Product Scheme: 
    • The government is promoting special products from every district under the ‘One District One Product’ scheme. 
    • Special stalls are being set up at railway stations for the sale of these products.


In order to uplift India’s handloom sector, concerted efforts are needed. Strengthening credit access, enhancing marketing strategies, fostering innovation, and embracing technology are pivotal. Government initiatives like NHDP, MAI, and skill training are crucial support systems. Collaboration between stakeholders and public awareness can drive sustainable growth, preserving India’s rich cultural heritage and empowering its skilled artisans.

National Handloom Day 2023: Celebrate the rich legacy of India with these handwoven saris ( 

plutus ias current affairs eng med 10th August 2023


Q1. Consider the following statements : 

Statement-I: 7th August is declared as the National Handloom Day.

Statement-II: It was in 1905 that the Swadeshi Movement was launched on the same day.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements? (Previous Year Question – CSE 2023) 

(a) Both Statement-1 and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I.

(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I.

(c) Statement-I is correct but Statement-II is incorrect.

(d) Statement-I is incorrect but Statement-II is correct.

Answer: (a) 


Q2. Consider the following :

  1. India’s handloom sector is a majorly organised economic activity.
  2. India’s handloom sector is the largest employment provider in rural India.
  3. The Market Access Initiative allocates budgets for industry aspects like trade fairs, research, and buyer-seller meets.

How many of the abovementioned statements are correct ?

(a) Only one 

(b) Only two 

(c) All three 

(d) None 

Answer: (a)

Q3. Discuss the significance of the handloom sector in India’s socio-economic landscape. Analyse the challenges and enumerate the policy measures taken by the government to promote the growth and sustainability of this sector.

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