National Maritime Day Of India: The 55th Inauguration

National Maritime Day Of India

Celebrated with utmost honor and valor on 5th April since 1919, the National Maritime Day is among the most prestigious days of India. The auspiciousness of this day is marked because on 5th April 1919, SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd journeyed toward United Kingdom. This was one of the most crucial steps in Indian shipping history at a time when sea routes were controlled by the British.

Also, National Maritime Day is celebrated to illustrate the awareness in support of intercontinental commerce & global economy. By that as it may, it marks the importance of organized, safe, sound and environmentally responsive approach of carrying goods from one place to another.

The theme of the 55th National Maritime Day in India being celebrated on 5th April 2018 is “Indian Shipping-An Ocean Of Opportunity”.

Here are a few interesting facts about National Maritime Day:

  • It was officially celebrated on 5th April 1964.
  • Persons with outstanding and sustained contributions towards Indian Maritime Sector are honored and awarded the Varuna Award on NMD. This is one of the highest awards instituted by the Committee of National Maritime Day Celebrations.The award will consist of a statue of Lord Varuna & a citation.
  • People who have been recognized for their life time distinguished and exceptional achievements or performance(s) at the senior functional level in Indian Maritime Sector would also be honoured & awarded on this day. They would be given the “NMD Award of Excellence”. The award will consist of a trophy and a citation.
  • Recognition and honoring of individuals who have contributed to the Maritime Education and Training is also done on NMD. They are given ‘Outstanding Contribution to Maritime Education and Training’ award. This award will consist of a Trophy and a Citation.
  • A notable growth in the Indian shipping sector has been witnessed during post-independence era. In order to protect and prevent pollution from ships, India became a part of International Maritime Organisation in 1959. United Kingdom has nominated this agency in its maritime history.
  • The International Maritime Organisation convenes maritime conferences as well as drafts worldwide maritime conventions on a standard & regular basis.

The National Maritime Day(NMD) therefore marks the importance of shielding, preserving and defending maritime zones of the country. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Defence Minister of India, who assumed office on 3rd September 2017 knows the importance of maritime zones.

For the same reason, the Defense Minister of India, reviewed Indian Navy’s Maritime prowess off the western coast on 9th January,2018. She even interacted and had discussions with all on board sailors. The topics of discussions included interceptions, missiles, gun, rocket firing, etc.  

During the Seventh Moscow Conference on International Security held on 4th April 2018, Nirmala Sitharaman, addressed and expressed her concerns over the resurgence of territorial disputes in the maritime domain.

Coming back to the importance of NMD, let us first understand the meaning of maritime. In literal terms, maritime means connected with sea, especially in relation to naval matters or seaborne trade. To initiate the correct progress of such commerce a lot of ships have been commissioned as well as decommissioned.

Here is a list of commissioned ships:

  • INS Chennai(D65)
  • INS Vikramaditya
  • INS Kamorta
  • INS Kolkata
  • INS Kadmatt(P29)
  • INS Viraat
  • INS Arihant
  • INS Shivalik
  • INS Godavari
  • INS Kalvari (S50)
  • INS Kochi
  • INS Mysore
  • INS Talwar (F40)
  • INS Shakti (A57)
  • INS Trishul (F43)
  • INS Beas
  • INS Ganga (F22)
  • INS Mumbai
  • INS Makar
  • INS Delhi
  • INS Tir
  • INS Sandhayak
  • INS Satpura

List of Decommissioned Ships:

  • INS Viraat
  • INS Godavari (F20)
  • INS Tir (A86)
  • INS Mahish
  • INS Kiltan
  • INS Sindhurakshak
  • INS Vindhyagiri
  • INS Dunagiri
  • INS Pondicherry
  • INS Vagli (S42)
  • INS Nilgiri
  • INS Vela (S40)
  • INS Agray (P36)
  • INS Sindhudurg
  • INS Hosdurg
  • INS Malvan

Also, the maritime sector in India comprises of Ports, Shipping, Shipbuilding & Ship repair as well as Inland Water Transport System. The Ministry of Shipping is the central agency administering the issues related to Maritime sector. Moreover, India has a coastline of 7517 km which includes 13 Major Ports and almost 200 minor ports along the coastline and Island. The NMD or National Maritime Day marks the importance of commerce through sea and all other factors related to maritime sector.

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