Packaging is often considered as a matter of outward appearance for a product. However, it is a more serious business than that. Not just the outward show, it also has to take care of quite a few crucial issues such as the shell life of product, its physical and chemical qualities, the logistics by which it would be transported and customer’s comfort with the package, among many others.

Packaging plays an important role not only in brand image, but also helps preserve and improves the quality of a product. For example, milk has to be packed in white colour pouches to minimise the affect of heat, which can spoil its quality.

The packaging materials need several simulation tests before they are used, to check their endurance, physical and chemical qualities. Having involved the arts, sciences, engineering and management subject areas, packaging is a full-fledged discipline in itself.

Realising the importance of having a separate academic institution for packaging, Ministry of Commerce established the Indian Institute of Packing (IIP) in 1966 in Mumbai.

Now, the institute operates from total five campuses including that of New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. IIP is still one of its kind institute in entire Asia-Pacific and the only place after Michigan State University, USA to offer postgraduate programmes in packaging, informs B.K. Karna, Deputy Director, IIP.

The institute offers three major courses, two-year PG Diploma in Packaging, 18-month PG Diploma programme in distance mode for in-service employees and a three-month certificate programme. While the full-time PG Diploma is offered only at Mumbai and New Delhi campuses with 100 seats, rest of the courses are offered from all the centres. The certificate course has 20 seats at each centre and correspondence course has no upper seat limit.

The admission notifications for the PG Diploma and certificate programmes are already out and the last dates for applying are May 31 and August 31 respectively.

The PG programme is open to graduates in science, technology, engineering and allied fields and admissions will be given on the basis of previous academic record and performance in an all-India level entrance test, followed by an interview.

For certificate course, any graduate is eligible to apply and admission will be given on the basis of their performance in interview.

Deadline for the distance mode course is already over. Those who want to join the programme should either have degree and one-year work experience, or diploma and two years experience. For more details, visit ‘ www.iip-in.com’.

Course fee for the PG Diploma programmes is Rs. 36,000 and Rs. 30,000 per semester respectively and a 12.36 per cent service tax would be charged additionally. For the certificate programme, it is Rs. 25,000.

Opportunities

The IIP has 100 per cent placement record for all its courses since its inception. “Packaging is a Rs. 90,000-crore industry in India today and still it is a sunrise industry, growing at 15 per cent rate per year. Besides that, since we work with almost all the companies in market, it is easy for us to place our students,” says Mr. Karna. The beginning salaries would range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month for PG Diploma students Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 for certificate holders, he informs.

K. VIJAYA BHASKARA REDDY

In Hyderabad