The initial flow of companies setting up design centres has led to as many as 15 institutes introducing courses in automotive or transportation design in the country.
Auto design is also getting more classroom space in design centres that have traditionally focused on other industries.
The National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, launched a postgraduate course of two-and-a-half years’ duration in transportation and automobile design in 2006. MIT, Pune, and IIT Madras also have programmes on automobile engineering, but the industry says that finding design manpower is still a problem because between the institutes, only about 300 designers graduate every year.
“It’s a turning point in the Indian auto industry,” says Pradyumna Vyas, mentor, transportation and automobile design, and head, education, NID. “The role of design, more than ever, in the Indian auto industry is gaining increasing importance if the ongoing auto show is any indication of the shape of things to come. ” NID has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian design houses and schools such as Pininfarina SpA and Domus Academy where their students go on exchange programmes.