In his address at the first convocation of the Indian Maritime University, Union Minister for Shipping G K Vasan said that presently Indian seafarers account for 7 per cent of the global strength.
Presently India has 135 maritime institutes offering pre-sea and post-sea training in various streams. The Indian Maritime University was set up in 2008 aimed at consolidating these efforts.
“As set out in the Maritime Agenda 2020, we aspire to substantially increase the strength of our seafarers to 9 per cent of the world share,” said Vasan.
The minister said, the Indian Maritime University, as a young institution, had faced several challenges which it has overcome and now, there is a need to take stock of the present status and set goals for the future, and look at the way in which education and training is imparted in other countries so that useful lessons could be learnt from them. There is also a need to maximise our training and education system and to update our knowledge in tune with the changing technology and maritime environment.
Vasan said, after setting up of the IMU with its headquarters in Chennai along with its constituent units at Mumbai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam, it is intended to open campuses of the university in all the maritime states.
“We have already opened campuses of the University at Kandla in Gujarat, Kochi in Kerala and Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry. We have plans to open campuses in Karnataka, Goa and Odisha,” said Vasan.
In September, 2013, the minister inaugurated the Maritime Training Institute of Shipping Corporation of India at Thoothukkudi to cater to the needs of the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.