India to offer Zim jewellery manufacturing scholarships
THE Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery (IIGJ) in Jaipur has made a commitment to help Zimbabwe acquire skills in jewellery designing and has proposed to offer scholarships to Zimbabwean students with an interest in jewellery manufacturing.
IIGJ is a non-profit organisation and a project of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council India (GJEPC). The entity is the only institute in India that offers education in all the domains of jewellery manufacture. It offers 11 courses including a PhD in Gem and Jewellery Sector, Master of Arts in in Gem and Jewellery Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Gem and Jewellery Technology Phase and a Diploma in Gem and Jewellery Technology.
The chairperson of GJEPC India, Mr Pramod Agrawal told the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raji Modi, on Sunday in Jaipur that India does not only want to extract raw precious stones from Zimbabwe but would like to see Zimbabwe being able to add value to it’s gems.
“I am aware that you already have a jewellery manufacturing industry but it is not at the level that sees you make reasonable money from it. Unlike others who do not want to see you (Zimbabwe) develop, India wants to have a win-win situation with Zimbabwe.
“We cannot come to your country and take your minerals and leave you with nothing. We cannot get everything and leave you hungry. Therefore, I am proposing that we give scholarships to Zimbabweans interested in jewellery manufacturing.
“We will obviously have to work on the modalities of how we can do it but the desire (to help Zimbabwe) on our side is real,” said Agrawal who is also chair and director of Derewala World Jewellery, India’s largest manufacturer of jewellery.
He said IIGJ could equip Zimbabwe with the right skills for jewellery manufacturing.
“I understand that Zimbabwe is able to cast jewellery but it lacks the final finishing skills to make your jewellery compete in the world market.
“Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, Jaipur offers courses in that. You are aware that Jaipur is the world capital of jewellery manufacturing, so you are in the right place,” Mr Agrawal said.
Jewellery casting is the process of making jewellery pieces that involve pouring liquid metal alloy into a mould. It is usually referred to as lost-wax casting because the casting mould is created using a wax model that is melted away to leave a hollow chamber in the middle of the mould. The technique has been used for thousands of years, and is still widely used today by both master craftsmen and home crafters to make precise reproductions of original jewellery pieces.
Jewellery finishing is the process in which the surface of a piece is cleaned or polished or textured. Finishing is the final step of the jewellery manufacturing process and usually all jewellery items require finishing. Finishing is an essential part of a jewellery manufacturing process as it gives beauty and brilliance to a jewellery piece.
In response, Deputy Minister Modi told Mr Agrawal that Zimbabwe had already embarked on a mineral beneficiation programme after realising that it could greatly help develop the country.
“While we realise that we cannot keep all minerals for ourselves, we made a decision to add value to our minerals.
“We will obviously export a certain percentage of raw materials in raw form but we also want to be involved in jewellery manufacturing in a big way so we are grateful that you are considering giving us the skills to compote in the gem and jewellery international market,” said the Bulawayo South National Assembly representative.
“Zimbabwe is open for business and you are most welcome to do business with us and as you said the business should be a win-win situation.
“All sides should be happy after every business transaction we make. We are happy that India is genuinely interested to help rebuild our country. You will not regret doing business with us.”