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March 19, 2018

Gujarat assembly clears 800 Cr. proposal for setting up maritime university

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat state assembly on Friday approved a proposal to set up a Gujarat Maritime University under Gujarat Private Universities Act, 2009.

The project to be implemented by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), the regulator for all maritime activities in Gujarat, will come up near Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar at a total cost of Rs800 crore, GMB said in a media statement.

The idea of setting up a maritime university was conceptualized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, it said.

The state government had given in-principle approval to the project in July 2014, following which consultants were hired to study the demand-supply mismatch in the maritime sector. Based on the recommendations of GMB, after detailed scrutiny, the final approval to kickstart the project was given on 1 March, 2017.

“A secondary research carried out by us showed that the focus of Indian Maritime University (Chennai) has been predominantly on technical courses. Our focus during the initial years would be on the commercial aspects. The project, envisaged by our Prime Minister is a world class maritime university which would encourage and enable research and development, maritime education and skill development for the entire value chain of the maritime sector,” according to Ajay Bhadoo, VC & CEO of GMB.

The proposed university would require about 100 acres of land and GMB has already initiated the identification process. The funding for the first phase of the project would require about Rs.275 crore and GMB would initially fund it from its own resources.

A two phase launch plan, with each phase of 6 years, has been proposed for the new varsity. In the first phase, programs focused on commercial aspects of the maritime industry such as logistics, law, maritime management, shipping trade and finance would be rolled out. The university would offer programs on technical disciplines such as marine engineering and nautical science and it would also diversify into liberal arts and social sciences in the next phase.

“The government of India has undertaken several key initiatives to drive the growth of maritime sector in the country. Sagar Mala is one such strategic initiative of the Government of India. It envisages transforming the existing ports into modern world class ports and developing new world class ports. Skill development is one of the important components of Sagar Mala,” J.N. Singh, state chief secretary said in a statement.

GMB’s media statement said that there is a huge demand supply gap of qualified manpower in commercial sectors as only 8% of programs offered by maritime educational institutes in India cater to commercial disciplines that contribute 49% to the maritime sector jobs globally and about 40% to the maritime sector jobs in India.

“Skill development in the maritime industry would also be a critical contributor to India’s economy as the maritime sector’s contribution to GDP is likely to increase from the present 1.5% – 2% to ~4 % by 2025. The sector is expected to generate additional employment for 2.5 million persons (0.5 million direct and 2.0 million indirect) by 2020 in the country,” according to the statement.

Gujarat Maritime University also plans to collaborate with leading global maritime education institutes and it has already signed pacts with Global MET Support Centre of Korea Maritime & Ocean University, South Korea and Plymouth University, United Kingdom.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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