1.     Background & Objective:


This Shilp Guru Award for master craftpersons was introduced during the year 2002 on the occasion of “Golden Jubilee Year of Handicrafts Resurgence in India”. Shilp Guru Awards are being conferred to legendary master craftpersons of handicrafts whose work and dedication have contributed not only to the preservation of rich and diverse craft heritage of the country but also to the resurgence of handicrafts sector as a whole.


2.    Eligibility:


Any Indian master craftpersons who is either a National Awardees or a State Awardees of exceptional standing or master craftpersons of extraordinary skills and having immense contribution to handicrafts sector and who is not below the age of 55 years is eligible for the Award provided he/she has contributed significantly to the welfare and development of the craft and craft community. A maximum of 5 Shilp Guru Awards will be given in a year. 


3.    Award Contents:


Each award shall consist of one mounted gold coin, one shawl and a citation. In addition, financial assistance to the extent of Rs.7.50 lakhs will be given to each selected Shilp Guru to innovate and create 10 new products of high level of excellence, high aesthetic value and high quality befitting the stature of the Guru. This assistance will be give as per parameters contained in Design & Technology Up-gradation scheme of Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts). A copy of the scheme is enclosed. In addition to Award which consists of Gold Coin, Shawl, citation and financial assistance of Rs.7.50 lakhs for creation of 10 masterpieces by the Shilp Guru, following packages can also be given: -









4.    Involvement of Shilp Gurus with other exclusive events:


Over the years the level of excellence and master craftsmanship in traditional handicrafts items have deteriorated owing to inadequate return on investment made by the craftpersons, mechanization & stiff price competition, inability to keep pace with market related design and product demand, lack of correct appreciation by consumer of the aesthetic aspects, quality and master craftsmanship of the product and lack of sustained patronage in this specific traditional sector. This has led to demoralization of the community of craftpersons in different regions of the country and lack of confidence in their own creative expression & spirit which at one point of time was the major driving force for creating brand image of Indian heritage in crafts sector.


It has therefore been decided to given sustained patronage to craft persons to enable them to produce high quality traditional handicrafts products of high national culture & heritage value with high aesthetic sensibility.


5.    Submission of applications:


The eligible master craftpersons may submit their applications to the Secretary Industries (In-charge of Handicrafts) of the concerned State/UTs, Regional Director, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) or Heads of notified institutions after appearance of the advertisement in this regard in Newspaper.


6.    Procedure for Selection:


The process of selection will be of two stages.


The first stage selection will be done at the level of Secretaries of Industry (looking after handicrafts) of State Govt./UTs, Regional Director, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) or Heads of notified Institutions (Annexure – I), who will receive the applications, scrutinize them and recommend to Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) only those names who are found fit for selection as Shilp Guru.


After receiving applications duly recommended by the concerned authorities, the second stage selection will take place. Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) will organize to place these recommendations before a “Selection Committee” constituted for selection of Shilp Guru Awards. The committee will make final selection out of the applications received from the 1st stage screening.



7.    Composition of Selection Committee:


The “Selection Committee” will have the following constitution.


(i)         Secretary (Textiles)      Chairman

(ii)       Eminent experts in handicrafts (2)      Members

(iii)     Academicians with experience in Handicrafts sector (2)      Members

(iv)    Development Commissioner (Handlooms)      Members

(v)      Development Commissioner (Handicrafts)      Convener

(vi)    Addl. Development Commissioner (Handicrafts)      Co-Convener


8.    Time Schedule of Selection Process:


Selection of “Shilp Guru” will be done as per the following time schedule.


(i)         Advertisement in Newspaper inviting applications – on _____________________


(ii)       Issuing letter to all Secretaries Industries (looking after handicrafts) every year of State Govt./UTs, Regional Directors, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) or Heads of notified institutions – on or before ________________.


(iii)     Last date of depositing application with Secretaries Industries (In-charge of handicrafts) of State Govt./UTs, Regional Directors, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) or Heads of notified institutions – Till ___________.


(iv)     Last date for receiving applications duly recommended by the Secretaries Industries (In-charge of handicrafts) of State Govt./UTs, Regional Directors, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) or Heads of notified institutions in the O/o DC (Handicrafts) – Till _____________________________. 


(v)       Selection of Shilp Guru by the Selection Committee – Before _______________.


9.    Criteria for Selection:


The following are the main criteria for selection of Shilp Guru.


§         The Selection of Shilp Guru’s should be made from amongst those who are hereditary masters, who received the National Award at the very inception of the scheme and who are alive or whose children are carrying on with the tradition and have made valuable contribution in the development, creativity and expansion of knowledge in their craft.


§         There may be some extraordinary skilled masters whose work has not been recognized and they deserve the title of Shilp Guru because of their contribution in keeping alive the craft skills, reviving a dying craft, setting up of institutions and training of master craftpersons. Selection of Shilp Guru may be made out of such category of persons.


§         Under exceptional circumstances the selection of Shilp Guru could also be made of a person, who may not be a hereditary craftsperson, but who has mastered the technique and has been responsible for the revival of tradition, training of masters, contributing to the development of technology.


§         The individuals who have not trained masters to carry on the tradition shall not be considered for awarding the title of the Shilp Guru.


§         One important criteria of selection is the contribution of the Shilp Guru to the welfare and development of crafts community and craft sector as a whole.


10.     General:


(i)        The non-official member of the selection committee may be reviewed/changed every year. A new member with similar background in the filed of handicrafts may be co-opted to make the selection process more transparent and unbiased.


(ii)      The entries received by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) but not selected by the Selection Committee will be returned to concerned persons within 30 days with an appreciation letter.


(iii)    It is expected that concerned State Govt. will utilize the services of Shilp Gurus trading them as “National Resource” and extend all possible assistance to them.


(iv)   Institutes like NID, NIFT, IICD, IICT etc. will involve the Shilp Gurus in the “on campus” and “of campus” activities relating to handicrafts sector.


(v)     Services of Shilp Gurus will be utilized in advisory capacity by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) as and when needed.


Application form for the selection of Shilp Guru Award







Father’s Name



Full Residential Address with Telephone No.



Age as on ______________



Place of Birth









Traditional or Contemporary



Brief history of the craft



Detailed description of techniques used to make the product



Educational/Vocational Qualification



Guru or Teacher from whom got initiation & training



Year of receipt of National Award/State Award/any other Important Award



Contribution to the welfare and development of the community and craft as a whole.



Has the National Awardees imparted training to carry out he tradition in any training institute or elsewhere. How many craftpersons of younger generation trained.



Whether new designs developed/new technology introduced. Mention in details



Details of major National/International/Seminar/ Programmes/Exhibitions in which applicants participated either for demonstrating his skill or for displaying his creations.



Nat attach two page resume for the outstanding contribution in the field of handicrafts.



Any review/publication on his/her work. If yes, copies of the same may be attached.




a)     Two Passport size photographs of the craftsman.

b)    Minimum four 8" x 10" size photographs of the products.



I …………………………………………………. S/o, W/o, D/o Shri ……………………………………………..... solemnly hereby declare and undertake that the above statement is correct to the best of my knowledge, if found false, I shall be liable for the action as deemed proper by the competent authority.




Signature of the applicants

Address …………………………


Format to be filled by Recommending Authority








Recommending Agency




Brief account of the applicant towards development, improvement of the craft, its techniques and revival of tradition.




Has the applicant imparted training to carry on the tradition in any training institute or elsewhere and number of craftpersons of younger generation trained.




His/her contribution to the welfare and development of the community and craft as whole.




Details of recognitions/records, if any.




Any other detail concerning to the applicant which have not brought out in other columns.




I certify that he/she ………………………………………………… is a genuine National/State Awardee of exceptional standing and recommend his/her name for the selection of Shilp Guru Award.









Signature of the recommending authority with seal