Indian Maritime University holds first convocation

If India is to emerge as a major economic power, it will require substantial increase in the quality of maritime personnel and addition to country’s ship-building capacity, said President Pranab Mukherjee.

India has a coastline of over 7,500 km and its ports handle 95 per cent of the country’s trade by volume, and 70 per cent by value. Despite this, only about 10 per cent of the trade is carried through Indian ships and our share of global seafarers is only 6 per cent.

Ships manufactured in India carry even less cargo. Ship-building has the potential to generate a lot of employment, both in rural and urban areas, he said at the first convocation of Indian Maritime University.

The Centre is committed to strengthening the shipping industry because of its potential. The Maritime Agenda 2020 of the Government of India targets enhancing the share of Indian seafarers in international shipping to 9 per cent from the current level of 6 per cent by 2015.

It was with the objective of providing quality personnel against the backdrop of a mounting demand for professionals in marine engineering, nautical sciences, shipbuilding and repairs that the Indian Maritime University was formed in 2008 with headquarters in Chennai, he said.

“I hope the IMU shall in future lay stress on integrating theories with practice. I would urge the university to study the international and national best practices in port and shipping management, logistics and transportation, marine environmental management, maritime risk and system safety, maritime administration covering law, policy and security and train academics as well as professionals in these areas. I would like to see more women seafarers,” he said.

Shipping Minister GK Vasan said there is a need to maximise training and education system and to update knowledge in tune with the changing technology and maritime environment.

After the setting up of the IMU with its headquarters in Chennai along with its constituent units in Mumbai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam, it is intended to open campuses of the university in all the coastal States.

The Ministry has already opened campuses at Kandla in Gujarat, Kochi in Kerala and Karaikal in Puducherry. “We have plans to open campuses in Karnataka, Goa and Odisha,” he said.

In September, Vasan inaugurated the Maritime Training Institute of Shipping Corporation of India at Tuticorin to cater to the needs of southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

At the convocation, 1,339 candidates from 2009-10 batches onwards were awarded degrees, including UG, PG and PG Diplomas.

(This article was published on February 22, 2014)
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