India is a major maritime country and has a vast coastline. Nearly 95% of foreign trade in terms of volume and 65% in terms of value is handled by sea.
Therefore, there is a need for large fleet of ships to meet the country’s requirement as only about 10% of our trade is carried by ships with Indian flag.
The ships manufactured in India even carry less cargo.
If India has to emerge as a major economic power in future, it would require greater integration in terms of trade with the rest of world requiring huge shipping tonnage.
The existing facilities for ship building in India are inadequate even for the limited demand at present let alone the demand that would be generated by high growth.
Further, to ensure the safety of our vast coastline, the Naval requirement of sophisticated
and modern vessels is also growing rapidly. In this background, the importance of ship building both from the civilian as well as from Defence perspective need not be over emphasised.
Growth of domestic ship building is a critical need. Ship building is vital for inclusive manufacturing growth.
It can generate lot of employment both in rural and urban areas, especially those with limited skill sets.The Government of India felt the need for setting up a Maritime University.
The Indian Maritime University was set up on 14th November, 2008. This is the first of its kind in the country for meeting the educational requirements of the maritime sector.
The Govt. of India is committed to boost the shipping industry in the country since it has tremendous potential. The Minister of Shipping has a long term plan for its growth.
However, there are constraints like acute deficit of persons with medium and advanced skills in the sector.
The University should start more and more modules and bridging courses in naval architecture, ship design, advance manufacturing technologies like welding, metallurgy etc.
which could equip the practising conventional engineers including marine engineers for the sector.
The University should lay stress on integrating theories with practice.The University should provide maritime education, training and consultancy based on local and global business.
I am very sure with its panel of dedicated and experienced faculty members, the IMU is well poised to continuously progress and play a key role in the development of the human resource required for the maritime sector.
I wish Prof. Raghuram the Vice Chancellor, the faculty, administration and students all the very best of luck and success on the University Day to be celebrated on 14th November, 2012.