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Directorate General of Shipping celebrates 59th National Maritime Day

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MUMBAI : Merchant Navy Week Celebration Comes to a Close; ‘Propelling Indian Maritime to Net Zero’ – this year’s theme. Union Minister of state for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Shripad Naik graces the occasion

As National Maritime Day is being celebrated across India,‘Merchant Navy Week’ celebration by Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai, came to a close with a glittering ceremony at Domestic Cruise Terminus, Mumbai Port Trust today, 5th April 2022.

National Maritime Day is dedicated to recall the role of maritime trade in the development of the Indian economy, and the role of India and its strategic location in global trade. “Propelling Indian Maritime to Net Zero” – was the theme adopted for this year’s celebration.

National Maritime Day is celebrated on 05th April to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian commercial vessel SS Loyalty that set sail from Bombay (Mumbai) to London, on 05th April 1919. The ship was owned by Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd, the biggest large-scale Swadeshi shipping company of that time.

Chief Guest and Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shripad Y. Naik congratulated all stakeholders of maritime fraternity on the occasion. He mentioned that gender equality in Indian maritime sector is our prime objective and gave the detailed account of steps taken to increase the participation of women in maritime sector. Now India has 3000 women in active employment in the sector.

He stressed upon the need to foster academic partnerships with leading global maritime Universities and take Training and skill enhancement of Indian maritime institutes to global standards so as to achieve the goals of Maritime Vision 2030. He also apprised the maritime fraternity about various steps taken by the government for the promotion of tonnage under Indian Flag.

Shripad Naik further said that at present we have 156 maritime training institutes in the country. Indian maritime response to Covid-19 pandemic was exemplary, he said. On enhancing maritime skills, the minister informed that with collaborating with IITs and leading education institutions in maritime sector will help bring in skilled maritime human resources. Maritime sector is a key industry for achieving Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, the Minister added.

On the occasion, a Coffee Table Book on ‘Dufferin, Rajendra, Chanakya’ was also released. TS Dufferin (1927-72), TS Rajendra (1972-93) and  TS Chanakya (1993 – till date)  are the Training Ships of the Indian Maritime University, Mumbai. While Dufferin and Rajendra were actual floating ships, TS Chanakya is a shore based training academy in Navi Mumbai offering various training programmes including the much sought after B.Sc (Nautical Sciences) degree.

Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar in his keynote address mentioned that the path towards net-zero target in the maritime sector would require to deliberate upon the overall operational supply chain including ports, future alternate fuels, technological modifications in ships, revamped logistics requirements and proper training and sensitization of the seafarer in particular and the whole maritime sector in general. He mentioned that the Directorate is the process of implementing online Certificate of Competency examination for Seafarers and establishment of Maritime Knowledge Cluster to drive coordinated and collaborative research in maritime field.

During the program, following Sagar Samman Awards were conferred:

r. No.Name of the NMDC AwardsRecipients
1Sagar Samman Varuna Award:Late Capt Harry Subramaniam(posthumously).
2Sagar Samman Award for Gallantry:Capt. Sushil Kumar Singh and crew of vessel “Greatship Ahalya”
3Sagar Samman Award for Best  Maritime Training Institute:The Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies, Lonawala, Pune
4Sagar Samman Award for Best Indian Ship-owning Company:The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)
5Sagar Samman Award for Best Indian Employer of Seafarers:The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)
6Sagar Samman Award for Best Foreign Employer of Indian Seafarers:MSC Crewing Service Pvt L

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets recalled India’s glorious maritime history on National Maritime Day.  Stating the  importance of maritime sector towards India’s economic growth, he said that in the last eight years the Government of India has focussed on port-led development which includes expanding port capacities and making the existing systems even more efficient. He further said that waterways were being harnessed to ensure Indian products get access to new markets. He also emphasized that Government of India is taking adequate care to ensure the marine eco-system and diversity.

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal in his message emphasised the important contribution of seafarers during the tough COVID times in making country self-reliant and keeping global supply chain operational.  The Minister informed that during the height of COVID pandemic over 2.10 lakh Indian seafarers served on Indian and Foreign ships.  He further elaborated that the share of Indian seafarers in world shipping has grown by 25% between 2016 and 2019.  “The Government is promoting ‘Ease of Doing Business” to reduce logistics costs and facilitate shipping to make India a pre-eminent player in the maritime sector.

Maritime personalities, Seafarers and their families, officers and staff from Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, New Delhi, DG Shipping, Mumbai, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), IRS, Shipping Companies, Maritime Training Institutes, Unions in Maritime field from India and abroad and Sagar Samman award winners and their families, other departments of Government of India and state governments participated.  

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