Kendriya Vidyalaya Students Uniform All Set to Become Colorful Soon
Nearly 50, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan feels it’s time for a face-lift. For starters, it has changed the look of its students. The solid blues and whites have been replaced by smart checks; pants have replaced salwars. The KVS unveiled the new uniform designs — changed for the first time since the school-system’s inception in 1963 . The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) developed the new style and the ministry of textiles was involved too.
The development of the design took about five months and was preceded by a survey conducted at Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) in 10 locations across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu and even Silchar in Assam. Students, parents and teachers — “stakeholders” in KVS-official-speak — shared their inputs. Parents found the white of salwars and dupattas difficult to maintain and students found the blue “sarkari.” They are both out. In their place is a bright check in three colours — red, blue and grey over white — with grey pants/skirts. “Even socks are coloured as white get dirty very easily,” says Upinder Kaur, associate professor, NIFT, and one of the designers.
A team of five from NIFT worked on the uniform for five months — a member each from fashion design, textile design, knitwear design and accessory design departments and a researcher. The designs for different grades were finalized, prototypes developed and the board of governors approved the look on May 18, 2012. Then KVS went looking for models.
“I asked students who were a little tall and could carry the uniform well,” says a teacher. Two XII graders from the branch where she teaches were part of a batch of students handpicked from KVs to model the uniform. The shoot for the launch photos happened 10 days ago. “The students haven’t seen the new uniform, but word has got out and they are very happy about it,” she says.
The design-launch was the first move KVS has made to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Saying the re-design was long overdue, Avinash Dikshit, commissioner, KVS, added the anniversary is an opportunity to “remodel and reshape” the KVS system in general, to “let go of whatever is outdated and not in step with time.” Salwars are out of the uniform for senior girls; pants are in.
Kids inducted into the KV school-system this year will be the first ones to wear these uniforms. First-graders will get little checked tunics (for girls) or shorts (boys) from this session; others will have till July, 2014, to phase the current uniform out. The cost was an important factor. The old set cost about Rs 2,900; the new one — winter, summer and sport — costs between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,500. “The prices will go down as the number of students buying them increases,” says Dikshit. Kaur adds that the same pair of shoes can now be used for both general and sports use.