National Maritime Day

National Maritime Day: 5th April marks the National Maritime Day of India. Since times immemorial, using sea routes to travel to other countries was what every country did, and  Indus valley civilization was no different. For trade and discovery of new lands sailing the seven seas and oceans to amass wealth and conquer lands was the goal. There were also journeys taken for spiritual progress and propagation of religion. India was known to have the very first dock at Lothal in the year 2400 BCE. It was a marvel that said about the excellent knowledge of the Harappans who used hydrography and maritime engineering to build a trapezoidal dock.

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The archeological excavation showed that during the Neolithic Age, the indigenous people knew how to build boats that got deciphered from the tools they used. Several travelers and invaders used the sea route to come to India. Till the British who came and ruled over India, all while taking away the riches of the country. They all traveled the sea to reach and took away the valuable through this route as well.

Celebrating National Maritime Day on the 5th of April 

Now to the recent naval fleet of India after independence, we are prepared with

  • 33 ships
  • 538 officers securing the coastline

which is 7500 km long, also 1280 islands.

There has been exponential growth till date with

  • 43 shipping companies
  • 1401 ships (gross 12.69 million tonnes) 

The navy conducts annual joint military exercises with other commonwealth navies, and the relations with western countries have developed to perform exercises with the US navy and Israel so that they are well prepared in case of war and other contingencies. There are now fleets made indigenous with the help of other countries which includes

  • Frigates
  • Corvettes
  • Submarines
  • Destroyers

That gets now designed and manufactured under a specified production program.

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The use of the Indian navy during several instances have risen to the occasion in true spirit to protect the integrity of the land.

  • Operation cactus (counter-terrorism operations)
  • Peacekeeping missions by the UN
  • Indian integration of Junagadh
  • Liberation of Goa
  • The 1965 war
  • The 1971 war
  • The repatriation of Indian nationals from Kuwait (during the first gulf war)

The first National Maritime Day was celebrated on the 5th of April 1964. The first indigenous steam navigation company journeyed to the UK. It was a significant step because, until then, all the sea routes were controlled by the British. It later became a day for letting the people know about intercontinental commerce as well as the global economy.

Each year the Maritime day gets celebrated with a theme. There is an award ceremony for the outstanding contribution made by the Indian Maritime Sector. The awardees are given the highest award for their sustained and unimaginable contribution. The Varuna award gets presented with a citation. It consists of a lord Varuna statue and a scroll of honor to the recipient of the award.

Another award, NMD award of excellence, gets presented with a trophy and citation as well. This award carries a lot of importance because it’s given to persons who get awarded for lifetime contribution for distinguished achievements and exceptional performance in the senior functional level in the Maritime Sector.

There is yet another mentionable award for the contribution to Maritime Education and Training. The award consists of a citation as well as a trophy for deserving persons in the field mentioned above.

After independence, India has gone back to being notable in the shipping arena. India has become a member of the Maritime organization. This organization works towards the maritime protection caused by pollution from the ships by the UK.

The maritime day signifies that the naval force will be shielding, preserving, and defending the maritime zone. This year is the 57th year of celebration. 

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