Every year, National Maritime Day in India is celebrated on 5th April. It is a day celebrated to show gratitude to the men who spend many months in the sea, to carry out the bulk of India’s trade and commerce at a global level. Since 1964, National Maritime Day has been celebrated in India on April 5.
Indian National Maritime Day is celebrated on April 5 because, on this date in 1919, SS Loyalty, the first Indian flag merchant ship, sailed from Mumbai to London. Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd was the owner of SS Loyalty.
This article will provide information about one of the important days celebrated in India – National Maritime Day in the context of the IAS Exam.
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National Maritime Day, 2021 – An Overview
- The 58th National Maritime Day was celebrated by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
- The role, courage, zeal, and hard work of the maritime community during the Covid-19 pandemic was appreciated by the Minister of State(I/C) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (Shri Mansukh Mandaviya) on the occasion of National Maritime Day.
- The Minister exuded confidence that India would lead the world through the Maritime sector.
- On the occasion of 58th National Maritime Day, an e-magazine was launched as a souvenir and awards were presented, which was instituted by the National Maritime Day Celebration Committee.
- The National Maritime Day recognises the service of seafarers and services of persons and organisations connected with the promotion and development of the National Maritime industry by giving them awards, scholarships and facilitations.
The theme of the National Maritime Day, 2021 in India: ‘Sustainable Shipping beyond COVID-19’. This theme is in line with the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat initiative of the Government of India.
India Maritime Sector – Ports, Inland Water Transport, Ship Recycling
The below information gives a brief overview of the Indian Maritime sector, covering the segments related to ports, inland water transport and ship recycling. Globally, India is ranked in the 21st position in shipbuilding. India is ranked in 5th position when it comes to the supply of trained manpower in the global maritime sector.
Ports in India
- India has 12 major ports.
- There are more than 200 non-major ports in India.
- The Maritime Sector carries 65% of India’s trade value.
- 95% of India’s trade volume is carried out through the Maritime sector.
- Out of the total cargo handled at ports in India, 54% of cargo is handled by 12 major ports.
- In the list of top 40 global container ports, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) is ranked at 33rd position and Mundra is ranked at 37th position.
Inland Water Transport in India
- Over the last few years, India has been witnessing good growth in Inland Water Transport.
- Over 5,000 km of navigable inland waterways are under development in India.
- Globally, India is ranked in 2nd position in ship recycling.
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Maritime India Vision – 2030
To secure a leading position in the global maritime sector, 10 Key themes have been outlined in the Maritime India Vision 2030. These 10 key themes are mentioned below:
- Enhance Global Share in Ship Building, Repair and Recycling
- Strengthen Policy and Institutional Framework to Support all Stakeholders
- Enhance Logistics Efficiency through Technology and Innovation
- Drive E2E Logistics Efficiency and Cost Competitiveness
- Develop best-in-class Port infrastructure
- Lead the World in Safe, Sustainable & Green Maritime Sector
- Become Top Seafaring Nation with World-Class Education, Research & Training
- Enhance India’s Global stature and Maritime Cooperation
- Promote Ocean, Coastal and River Cruise Sector
- Enhance Cargo and Passenger Movement through Inland Waterways
Sagarmala Programme – Government of India
On 25th March 2015, the concept of the Sagarmala was approved by the Union Cabinet. On 14th April 2016, the Prime Minister of India released a National Perspective Plan (as part of Sagarmala) for the comprehensive development of India’s 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and 7,500 km coastline of India, at the Maritime India Summit 2016.
Sagarmala Programme – Components
- Coastal Shipping & Inland Waterways Transport
- Coastal Community Development
- Port-linked Industrialization
- Port Connectivity Enhancement
- Port Modernization & New Port Development
Sagarmala Programme – Objectives and Concept
- By developing port proximate discrete manufacturing clusters, improve export competitiveness.
- Lowering logistics cost of bulk commodities by locating future industrial capacities near the coast.
- Reducing the cost of transporting domestic cargo through optimizing the modal mix.