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61st National Maritime Day – April 5 2024

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National Maritime DayNational Maritime Day (NMD) is annually observed across India on 5 April to highlight the significance of the national maritime sector in the development of the Indian economy, global trade, and economic exchange across countries.

  • The day also commemorates the maiden voyage of  SS Loyalty, India’s first Swadeshi Ship(owned by Scindia Steam Navigation Company) from Mumbai (Maharashtra) to London (United Kingdom) on 5th April 1919.

5 April 2024 marks the observance of the 61st National Maritime Day.

  • Merchant Navy Week 2024 (National Maritime Week) is celebrated alongside National Maritime Day 2024 from 30th March 2024 to 5th April 2024.

Theme: The theme of National Maritime Day/Merchant Navy Week 2024 is “Sustainable Shipping: Challenges and Opportunities.”


i.National Maritime Day was initiated by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), Government of India

ii.The 1st ever National Maritime Day was observed on 5 April 1964.

National Maritime Week:

The National Maritime Week (or Merchant Navy Week ) is annually observed to pay tribute to the invaluable contributions of seafarers

i.Week-long events are annually organised to recognise their services. This includes Merchant Navy Flag Day,  seminars, medical camps, blood donation drives, Wreath Laying Ceremony to honour the sailors who sacrificed their lives during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, etc.

ii.The events serve as a focal point for commemorating the achievements of the Indian maritime industry and paying homage to the courageous sailors.

Events 2024: 

i.On 29 March 2024, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi was honoured with the ‘Merchant Navy Flag’ pinned on his lapel in anticipation of NMD in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Additionally, a memento was presented to the PM.

ii.The PM was honoured by TK Ramachandran, Secretary of the MoPSW in the presence of  Shyam Jagannathan, Director General of Shipping, and other senior officials.

Sagar Samman Awards:

Sagar Samman Awards are annually presented by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways to honour and recognise individuals, organizations and entities that have made outstanding contributions or demonstrated excellence in the maritime sectors.


i.Sagar Samman Varuna Award (highest category): The award includes a statue of the lord Varuna, a Certificate, and a Citation.

ii.Sagar Samman Award for Excellence (second highest category): The award consists of a Ship Model, a Certificate, and a Citation.

iii.Sagar Samman Award for Gallantry.

Maritime India Vision 2030:

i.Maritime India Vision 2030 aims to establish India as a premier seafaring nation by enhancing education, research, and training standards within the maritime sector.

ii.Since 2014, the number of active Indian seafarers has increased by 140%, from 117,090 to 280,000 in 2023.

iii.India is committed to upholding global maritime standards as a signatory to crucial conventions such as the:

  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW); and
  • Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

iv.Currently, Indian seafarers hold 12% of international seafaring positions. Maritime Vision 2030 sets a target for Indian seafarers to occupy 20% of global seafaring roles by 2030.

About Directorate General of Shipping:
Director-General– Shyam Jagannathan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in– September 1949