61st National Maritime Day celebrated with full Valour

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The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), celebrated Sports Day event commemorating the National Maritime Day. The Sports Day event was held at Commonwealth Sports Stadium, Akshardham, New Delhi on April 05, 2024. The event witnessed a jubilant gathering of maritime enthusiasts, professionals, and dignitaries, marking a vibrant celebration of the maritime industry’s legacy and resilience.

The day is celebrated to commemorate embarkation of the first Indian-owned vessel “S S Loyalty” on her maiden voyage from Mumbai to London, on this day in 1919. SS Loyalty, a symbol of maritime prowess, not only navigated through the high seas but also exemplified the spirit of unity and fortitude that defines the maritime community.

This year’s Sports Day event organised by DG Shipping under MoPSW encapsulated the essence of camaraderie and athleticism, bringing together participants from various sectors of the maritime industry. Attendees indulged in a myriad of sporting activities, fostering team spirit, and promoting a healthy lifestyle amidst the dynamic backdrop of maritime culture.

The event commenced with a ceremonial inauguration, graced by esteemed personalities and industry leaders, who shared inspiring anecdotes reflecting the maritime sector’s rich heritage and promising future. Participants then delved into an array of competitive sports, including football, volleyball, discus throw, shot put, javelin throw, high/long jump, relay race, 100 mtr/200mtr/400 mtr race echoing the adventurous spirit synonymous with maritime endeavours.

Speaking at the event, Shri TK Ramachandran, Secretary, MoPSW appreciated the efforts for the unwavering dedication and contribution of the maritime community towards global trade, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship. He reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to fostering innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity within the maritime sector, thereby ensuring its continued growth and resilience in the face of evolving challenges.

It is noteworthy that the event commenced with the pinning of the ‘Merchant Navy Flag’ on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lapel on March 29, 2024, by the Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, in the presence of the Director General of Shipping and other senior officials in New Delhi.

On National Maritime Day, various ports and maritime organizations under MoPSW, commemorated the velour and dedication of seafarers, exemplifying MaritimeExcellence. WhileNew Mangalore Port Authority observed the 61st National Maritime Day with tributes paid at Seamen’s Memorial and a Sail Past by the Port flotilla, the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata celebrated the bravery of captains of NSD docked ships, highlighting their fearless strides against the waves. Paradip Port Authority (PPA) marked the day with Chairman lauding the indomitable spirit that propelled PPA to become the No.1 Major Port.

VPA commemorated the day with various competitions ofschool children on ‘Sustainable Shipping: Challenges and Opportunities,’ emphasizing the significance of maritime sustainability. DPA Kandla hoisted the Maritime Flag and held a sail past of Port Tugs, showcasing the collective reverence for the maritime legacy. Shipping Corporation of India received recognition as the Outstanding Indian Employer of Seafarers, underscoring its commitment to maritime excellence. These celebrations underscored the vital role of the maritime industry in advancing national prosperity and sustainability.

On this day the prestigious Sagar Samman Awards were also awarded, acknowledging exemplary contributions within the maritime sector.

1. SagarSammanVaruna Award:  Shri. Dhirendra Kumar Sanyal

Contribution: Highest honor for outstanding and sustained contributions to the Indian maritime sector.

2. SagarSamman Award for Excellence: Capt. Kamal Kant Choudhury

Contribution: Recognizes consistently excellent contributions to the maritime sector.

3. SagarSamman Award for Gallantry: Capt. SubirSaha, Capt. OM Dutta

Contribution: Honors acts of gallantry by Indian seafarers, encouraging emulation of their exemplary conduct.

The National Maritime Day Celebrations (Central) Committee Awards (NMDC Awards) for Outstanding Maritime Training Institutes and Recognitions were also announced, recognizing institutions and employers for their exceptional contributions to the maritime industry. In the category of Pre-sea training institutes conducting courses for Officer Cadets (Nautical & Engineering), Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy secured the 1st Rank, followed by Tolani Maritime Institute, Talegaon, Pune in 2nd place, and The Great Eastern Institutes of Marine Studies in 3rd place. For Post-sea training institutes conducting Competency Courses, Hindustan Institute of Maritime Training, Tidal Park, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai clinched the 1st Rank, with Hindustan Institute of Maritime Training, Kilpauk, Chennai securing the 2nd Rank, and FOSMA Maritime Institute And Research Organisations, Kolkata attaining the 3rd Rank. The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) received recognition as an Outstanding Indian Employer of Seafarers.

In the category of Outstanding Foreign Employers of Indian Seafarers, BW Maritime Pvt Ltd. secured the 1st Rank for Shipboard berths between 501 to 1000 GT, while Suntech Crew Management Pvt. Ltd achieved the 2nd Rank. For Shipboard berths above 1000 GT, Synergy Maritime Pvt Ltd emerged as the 1st Rank holder, followed by Anglo Eastern Ship Management Pvt Ltd. in 2nd place, and MSC Crewing Services Private Limited in 3rd place. These awards highlight the exemplary standards set by these institutions and employers in the maritime training and employment sector, contributing significantly to the industry’s growth and excellence.

Over the last 9 years, the number of seafarers has increased by 140%. In 2014, the total count of active Indian Seafarers was 117,090 which are 280,000 in 2023. Under the Maritime India Vision 2030, India aspires to emerge as a premier seafaring nation by establishing world-class standards in education, research, and training within the maritime sector. India is a signatory to both the STCW Convention and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). Indian seafarers occupy 12% of international seafaring jobs, and the Maritime Vision 2030 recommends that this figure reach 20% by 2030.

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