With a view to meeting the Government’s aspiration to substantially increase its seafarers to nine per cent of the world share, the Shipping Ministry has decided to lift the ban imposed on new approvals of pre-sea maritime degree courses.
Making the big announcement during the inauguration of Shipping Corporation of India’s (SCI) Maritime Training Institute (Thoothukudi campus) on Sept. 7 at V. O Chidambaranar Port, Mr. G. K .Vasan, Union Minister for Shipping, said: “The (Shipping) Ministry has decided to lift the ban imposed on new approvals of pre-sea maritime degree courses and will now allow new approvals for the three-year B.Sc Nautical Science and four-year B.E. Marine Engineering courses.”
Dwelling upon the crucial role played by seafarers in securing the country’s growth, Mr. Vasan added: “We must be proud as Indians because our seafarers have the reputation of being the most disciplined and best trained seafarers, accounting for 7 per cent of the global seafarers. Indeed, the country has positioned itself as a major supplier of the most efficient and cost effective manpower.”
The Minister stated: “Today’s seafaring field is very competitive and the seafarer needs to be highly trained to handle the state-of-art vessels. It has been our endeavour to further strengthen our global share by improving and expanding our capacity to impart quality maritime education to our future seafarers.”
Heaping praise on SCI, the Shipping Minister remarked: “When it comes to providing quality maritime education, SCI is second to none in the country. The Maritime Training Institute (MTI), Mumbai, was set up in 1987 to meet the training requirements of SCI’s own fleet personnel as well as Indian seafaring community in general.”
“SCI’s training institute has trained about 1.5 lakh candidates including more than 2, 500 deck cadets (of which about 50 are female cadets) so far. Now, aspiring seafarers from this region will also boast of a world class maritime institute right at their doorsteps to pursue a successful seafaring career,” he pointed out.
The Minister also urged the management of SCI, VOC Port Trust and all others concerned to see that the (newly inaugurated) institute grows from strength to strength and justify the hope that has been generated with its opening.
The classes for the first batch also commenced on Sept. 7 in the existing facilities provided by V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust and it would continue till the new campus for the Maritime Training Institute is constructed in the four hectares of land identified on the eastern side of Tuticorin Thermal Power Station Camp-II campus.
Mr. Vasan also laid the foundation stone for the construction of a permanent training institute with class room, workshop, swimming pool, residential accommodation for cadets and faculty/staff on the port land situated at the eastern side of Camp-II quarters of TTPS, etc.
Besides others, the function was attended by Mr. S.R. Jeyadurai, MP; Mr. S. S. Rammasubbu, MP; Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping; Dr. P. Vijayan, Director (Chennai Campus), Indian Maritime University (IMU); Mr. S. K. T. Ramachandran, former MP; Mr. S. Natarajan, Chairman, V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust; trustees of V. O Chidambarnar Port Trust and Directors of Shipping Corporation of India.