National Maritime Day (NMD) or Merchant Navy Flag Day is annually observed across India on April 5 to raise awareness about the economy and global trade and to commemorate the sailing of the 1st Indian Steamship “S.S. Loyalty” of the Scindia Steam, Navigation Co. Ltd., in 1919, from Mumbai (Maharashtra) to London (United Kingdom).
- 5th April 2023 marks the observance of the 60th edition (diamond jubilee) of National Maritime Day.
The theme of National Maritime Day 2023 is “Amrit Kaal in Shipping” (Golden Era in Shipping).
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 5th April 1964.
India’s Maritime Sector:
i. India is one of the fastest-growing and large economies in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.1% (as of 2018-2019).
ii. Approximately 95% of India’s merchandise trade is done through sea ports.
iii. India is one of the world’s biggest peninsulas, with a (~) 7,516.6 km coastline with 200 major and non-major ports.
iv. In FY22, the capacity of India’s major ports was 1,598 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
v. India’s merchandise exports in FY22 were at USD 417.8 billion, up 40% from 2021. In FY23 (until September 2022), merchandise exports reached USD 231.88 billion.
Maritime India Vision 2030:
i. The MoPSW has developed Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030), a blueprint to ensure coordinated and accelerated growth of India’s maritime sector in the next decade, with the objective of elevating India to the forefront of the global marine sector.
ii. MIV 2030 was developed through more than 250 brainstorming sessions, the research of more than 50 Acts and Statutes (including state and environmental laws), and the study of over 100 global benchmarks and best-in-class examples.
National Maritime Week 2023:
i. National Maritime Week started on 30th March 2023 and ended with the celebration of National Maritime Day on April 5.
ii. The ‘First Merchant Navy Flag’ was pinned on the lapel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, in presence of Sudhansh Pant, Secretary of MoPSW and other senior officials in New Delhi, Delhi.
iii. A memento was also presented to the Prime Minister.
Directorate General of Shipping:
Director General- Rajiv Jalota
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
About the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW):
Union Minister- Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha Assam)
Minister of State- Shantanu Thakur (Constituency- Bangaon, West Bengal), Shripad Yesso Naik (Constituency- North Goa, Goa)