Global Affairs Desk

Tue Jun 18 2024

National Maritime Day, 5th April, 2023

~ By Samidha Jain on 4/22/2023

National Maritime Day, 5th April, 2023

Since 1964, India has observed April 5th as National Maritime Day (NMD) every year. On 5th April, 1919 an Indian commercial vessel SS Loyalty, of Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd., also regarded as the first ever large-scale sailing ship entirely owned by Indians set sail from Mumbai to London. At that time India was colonialised by Great Britain. With every mile of sailing, SS Loyalty changed the course of history for us. It made us self-sufficient and became an epitome of our prowess and capability in defending, guarding and maintaining intercontinental sea lanes and taking leaps and bounds in international trade.

To spread awareness about maritime and global trade and to honour those who have helped shaped India’s role in the strategic, crucial and inevitable maritime zones and national waters, since 1964, April 5th has been observed as National Maritime Day.

With an environment respective and global outlook, there is a theme for celebrations. Lat year’s theme was, "Sustainable shipping beyond Covid-19". This theme brought out the inevitable role in the shipping and maritime sector and how India tackled the Covid-19 obstacle and chose to develop its sector with it. This year’s theme is “Amrit Kaal in Shipping”. The theme is in line with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations to commemorate 75 years of Independence.
An NMD (National Maritime Day) award of Excellence is also given on the occasion to those individuals and firms who have made terrific contributions to the sector at the senior level.
We should take proud in the development made in the maritime sector of India in the post-Independence era.

From the statistics of Ministry of Ports, Shipping and waterways, we can coin the country's 90 percent maritime trade at a value of 70 percent. Despite the technological advances, 90% of the visible trade volume is transported through shipping.

Maritime Industry is the oldest industry of the country and today, India is the 20th largest maritime industry. With the inauguration of Vadhavan Port in Maharashtra India currently has 13 major and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports (non-major) scattered around a 7500 km coastline. In 2021, the hon'ble Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi unveiled Maritime India Vision 2030, a 10-year blue print to bring about a revolution in the Maritime Industry. It is the most ambitious venture of the Sagarmala Project. In this, Rs. 3.4 Lakh crore are planned to be invested in various port projects throughout the country to tune the 2,600 million tonnes of cargo load and 20 lakh jobs are assured to be generated in the sector which will lead to increase in 20,000 crores of revenue for the state-owned ports. An initial investment of 2,500 crores is also to be made to establish the Maritime Department Fund (MDF).

With 75 years of Independence, we have achieved so much in each and every sector and yet there is more to look forward to and achieve. With the above-mentioned developments and reforms, we hope that the Maritime Sector will record an all time high development in the coming years.
Jai Hind!

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