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Design Policy

Links to Design Policy for India



The Union Cabinet approved on 8th of February 2007, the 'National Design Policy'.

The details are as follows:


Strategic importance of design for national and industrial competitiveness is now universally recognised. Value addition through innovations in designs can play a pivotal role in enhancing the competitiveness of both manufacturing and service industries.

Realising the increasing importance of design in economic, industrial and societal development and in improving quality of products and services, the Government of India had initiated a consultative process with industry, designers and other stakeholders to develop the broad contours of a National Design Policy. The vision behind initiating a ‘National Design Policy’ is to have a “design enabled Indian industry” which could impact both the national economy and the quality of life in a positive manner.

The vision for a National Design policy envisages the following:

i. preparation of a platform for creative design development, design promotion and partnerships across many sectors, states, and regions for integrating design with traditional and technological resources;

ii. presentation of Indian designs and innovations on the international arena through strategic integration and cooperation with international design organizations;

iii. global positioning and branding of Indian designs and making 'designed in India' a by-word for quality and utility in conjunction with 'Made in India' and 'Served from India';

iv. promotion of Indian design through a well defined and managed regulatory, promotional and institutional framework;

v. raising Indian design education to global standards of excellence;

vi. creation of original Indian designs in products and services drawing upon India’s rich craft traditions and cultural heritage;

vii. making India a major hub for exports and outsourcing of designs and creative process for achieving a design-enabled innovation economy;

viii. enhancing the overall tangible and intangible quality parameters of products and services through design;

ix. creation of awareness among manufacturers and service providers, particularly SMEs and cottage industries, about the competitive advantage of original designs;

x. attracting investments, including foreign direct investments, in design services and design related R&D; and

xi. involving industry and professional designers in the collaborative development of the design profession.

The strategy to achieve this vision would focus on strengthening quality design education at different levels, encouraging use of designs by small scale and cottage industries and crafts, facilitating active involvement of industry and designers in the development of the design profession, branding and positioning of Indian design within India and overseas, enhancing design and design service exports, and creating an enabling environment that recognizes and rewards original designs.

Action Plan:

The Action Plan for implementation of the National Design Policy will have the following components:

(i) Setting up of specialized Design Centres of “innovation Hubs” for sectors such as automobile and transportation, jewellery, leather, soft goods, electronics/IT hardware products, toys & games which will provide common facilities and enabling tools like rapid product development, high performance visualization, etc. along with enterprise incubation as well as financial support through mechanisms like venture funding, loans and market development assistance for start-up design-led ventures, and young designers’ design firms/houses.

(ii) Formulation of a scheme for setting up Design Centres/Innovation Hubs in select locations/industrial clusters/backward states, particularly in the North East.

(iii) Preparation of a plan for training of trainers and for organizing training programmes in specific processes/areas of design and continuing education programmes for practicing designers from Design Centres/Innovation Hubs.

(iv) Preparation of a mechanism for recognizing and awarding industry achievers in creating a brand image for Indian designs through the award of a India Design Mark on designs which satisfy key design criteria like originality, innovation, aesthetic appeal, user-centricity, ergonomic features, safety and eco-friendliness.

(v) Encouraging Indian firms and institutions to develop strategic alliances with design firms and institutions abroad to gain access to technology and know-how improving Indian design.

(vi) Creating mechanisms for sustainable quality improvement in designs in India.

(vii) Laying special focus on up-gradation of existing design institutes and faculty resources to international standards, particularly the National Institute of Design (NID) and its new campuses/centres. With a view to spreading quality education in designs to all regions of India, four more National Institutes of Design on the pattern of NID will be set up in different regions of the country during the 11th Five Year Plan. The possibility of new models for setting up of such institutes, in keeping with the current economic and educational paradigms, will be explored. In this context, the public-private partnership mode could also be an option.

(viii) Initiation of action to seek “Deemed to be University”, or ‘University’ under section 3 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, status for the NIDs, so that they can award degrees of B.Des and M.Des. instead of just diplomas as at present.

(ix) Encouraging the establishment of departments of design in all the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and all the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) as well as in prestigious private sector Colleges of Engineering and Architecture.

(x) Upgrading quality of engineering design, machinery design, process design, design materials, environmentally sound and socially and culturally relevant designs.

(xi) Encouraging the teaching of design in vocational institutes oriented to the needs of Indian industry, especially small scale and cottage industries, in primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary educational institutions.

(xii) Introducing short-term training courses and continuing education programmes by NID and other design institutes targeting on needy sectors and catering to the diverse sectors including agricultural and artisanal sectors.

(xiii) Organising workshops and seminars to create more awareness than at present among industrialists, particularly in small scale and cottage sectors, in different parts of India especially on the intangible aspects of design processes.

(xiv) Sustaining and strengthening India’s traditional knowledge, skills and capabilities while being sensitive to global heritage so that our shop floor workers, craftsmen and artisans could be engaged in manufacture of innovative products and contemporarisation of traditional crafts for broad spectrum of uses and niche markets.

(xv) Facilitating the establishment of a Chartered Society for Designers (on the lines of the Institution of Engineers, the Institution of Architects, the ‘Medical Council’, the Bar Council, etc.), to govern the registration of Design Professionals and the various matters relating to standard-setting in the profession.

(xvi) Setting up an India Design Council with eminent personalities drawn from different walks of life, in particular, industry, whose functions, inter alia, would be as follows:-

· Undertake design awareness and effectiveness programmes both within India and abroad;

· Act as a platform for interaction with all stakeholders;

· Undertake R&D and strategy and impact studies;

· Accredit design institutions;

· Develop and standardize design syllabi, etc. for all institutions in India imparting design education;

· Conduct programmes for continuous evaluation and development of new design strategies;

· Develop and implement quality systems through designs for enhancing the country’s international competitiveness;

· Coordinate with Government to facilitate simplification of procedures and systems for registration of new designs;

· Assist industries to engage the services of designers for their existing and new products;

· Encourage design and design-led exports of Indian products and services including outsourcing its design capabilities by other countries;

· Take effective steps towards “cradle to grave environment-friendly approach” for designs produced in India so that they have global acceptance as ‘sustainable designs’;

· Enable the designers in India to have access to global trends and market intelligence and technology tools for product development and innovations;

· Encourage close cooperation between academia and industry to produce proprietary design know-how while encouraging creation of new design-led enterprises for wealth creation; and

· Encourage and facilitate a culture for creating and protecting intellectual property in the area of designs.

A Committee has been set up to prepare a Detailed Action Plan for implementation of the National Design Policy. The Committee held its first meeting on the 14th March, 2007.

(Sourced from dated 8th February 2007



The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the National Institute of Design (NID), and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) with inputs from people involved with design from around the country, are working towards formulating a National Design Policy to look at many issues concerning design education, design application, design promotion, design standards, etc.

Draft National Design Policy (pdf) (dated October 2005)

It is important that you send your comments and feedback to:
N N Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
email :

Earlier Draft Concept Paper towards a National Design Policy (doc)
(dated November 2004)

Final version of the National Design Policy (pdf dated February 2007)
(dated 8th February 2007)

Exerts from concept paper...
Need for a Policy Statement:
There has not been enough attention given to the design at the strategic level and for promoting Indian products, services and ideas on the global arena. A policy statement by the Government would provide long term guidance to coordination of efforts in a society to promote national awareness and consensus on the use of design as a Strategic tool for economic prosperity and to incorporate it firmly within national planning and priorities. The importance and significance of design has been missed out in the Science and technology and Education policies. . . . . .

India related links:

      Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion website link

      CII online: Government decides to roll out National Design Policy
         (8th December 2004)

      Discuss National Design Policy at DesignIndia Forum
Other related links:
      UK Design Council: Design policy actions for Government

      Japan: Toward the New Design of Competition Policy (pdf)

      Korea: Design Policy Plan (pdf)

      Dutch Design Foundation's Policy Plan (pdf)

      John Thackara on Design Policy

      Bureau of European Designers Association on Design Policy

Design in India

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