Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais ceremonially inaugurates the celebrations of 61st Merchant Navy Week

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: Mumbai, March 31, 2024

The Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais inaugurated Merchant Navy Week at Raj Bhavan Mumbai on Saturday (March 30, 2024). The Director General of Shipping Shri Shyam Jagannathan ceremonially pinned the miniature flag of Merchant Navy Day on the apparel of the Hon’ble Governor to mark the beginning of the 61st Merchant Navy Week. The CMD of Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.(SCI) Capt B K Tyagi and heads of the various Organisations and unions in maritime sector were also present on the occasion.

The first Indian Steamship “S.S. LOYALTY” of M/s. Scindia Steam, Navigation Co. Ltd., Mumbai embarked on her maiden voyage from Mumbai to London (UK) on 5th April 1919. This day stands for a remarkable moment in Indian maritime history and is therefore celebrated as National Maritime Day every year. A week from 30th March to 5th April will be celebrated as Merchant Navy Week with this year’s theme as ‘Sustainable Shipping: Opportunities and Challenges’.

The Governor of Maharashtra extended his best wishes to all the stakeholders of maritime industry and seafarers for celebration of the Merchant Navy week. He appreciated the important contribution of the merchant navy for economic development of India and stated that India maintained excellent maritime trade relations with the neighboring nations since ancient times. He expressed deep concerns about the disturbing political situations in the world after COVID-19 pandemic and mentioned that the theme adopted for celebration will definitely give necessary guidance in this difficult time. He said that maritime field has helped India to be one of the top 5 largest economies in the world.

The DG Shipping, who is also the Chairman of National Maritime Day Celebrations (NMDC) Central Committee, informed that nearly 95% of India’s overseas trade by volume and 75% by value is carried through maritime transport and approximately 92% of these goods are carried through foreign flagged vessels. Indian merchant marine fleet today stands at 1523 ships with tonnage of 13.6 Million GT.  India has more than 500 thousand registered seafarers out of which about 285 thousand are employed in a year, 85% on foreign flag and 15 % on Indian flag ships. He added that the Directorate is also taking steps for gender equality which is a prime objective on Indian Maritime Administration, for encouragement of entry of women into profession of shipping. Today, the number of Indian women seafarer has risen to 11,532, marking an impressive 578% increase over the past decade.

The week long celebrations are designed to show case the role of the Shipping Industry in all its aspects by exchange of knowledge and information through publications, meetings, seminars, symposium, workshops, exhibition, competitions etc. Selected luminaries will be felicitated with ‘Sagar Samman Awards’ for their outstanding contribution to Indian Shipping and special recognitions will be given to the maritime organizations for their outstanding and praiseworthy contribution in the maritime sector.




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Source PIB