National Maritime Day 2021 : Daily Current Affairs

National Maritime Day 2021

In News

The day of 5th April is celebrated as National Maritime Day every year since 1964.


The first Indian made ship ‘SS Loyalty’ commissioned by Scindia Steam Navigation on 5th April, 1964 sailed for its maiden voyage from Mumbai to London.

Indian shipping accounts for about 9% of global seafarer professionals. Approximately 50% of the global oil passes through Indian Oil Region (IOR).

India has pre-historic connection with maritime activity from Gujarat to Mesopotamia, Arabia and East Africa. During ancient times even Cholas were involved in sea trade and other maritime activities.

Project Sagarmala and other maritime developments

Project Sagarmala, launched in 2016 was meant to strengthen the maritime infrastructure of India. It focuses on coastal berth, fisheries harbours and skill development projects, and the projects are under various stages of implementation by Central Ministries, State Governments, and Port Agencies etc.

  • Current cargo handling capacity of Indian ports is 1500 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne per Annum) that is expected to reach at 2500 MMTPA.
  • To meet the growing demands a blueprint to enhance the capacity of Indian ports to more than 3300 MMTPA by 2025 is charted out.
  • Project Unnati has been launched to improve the efficiency and productivity of 12 major ports.
  • Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) owns and operates about one-third of Indian tonnage and it has been accorded ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment to improve its efficiency.

Indian shipping industry faced shortage of manpower and disturbed shipping cycles during pandemic. The standard arrangement like necessary underwater repairs and machinery overhauls had to be relinquished due to shortage of manpower in the repair docks, and multiple ships were dumped at anchorage for long durations.

The passenger liners and Cruise ships met quarantine and containment issues and the business was unfavorably affected. The long-term solution that came up during the pandemic crisis is to implement Digital transformation in the Shipping and Port industry and make the Supply Chain Management systems stronger.

According to Capt DK Sharma, “India is today the ‘preferred security partner’ and the ‘first-responder’ in any maritime crisis in our area of responsibility. Collaborative competence building is a win-win approach for Indian maritime growth with a visible partnership across the oceans.”

‘The naval growth including warship construction has been the fore-runner of today’s “Aatma-Nirbharta”.

Port infrastructure development through ‘Sagarmala’ and ‘Unnati’ is set to transform the nation through `Blue-Economy’ sector. The Indian Navy itself is the operational manifestation of the SAGAR policy (Security and Growth for all in the Region) of the Government of India. Even as the pandemic hit the global canvas, Indian Navy was at the forefront through Mission Samudra Setu and Mission Sagar in multiple avatars to enable Indians to travel back to their motherland.

As 2021 heralded the vaccine for the pandemic, the Indian Navy enabled “Vaccine Maitri” to reach across the oceans, to the world,’ Capt DK Sharma concludes.