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Sarbananda Sonowal Announces Multiple Initiatives to Unlock Potential of Blue Economy at IMU Convocation

The blue economy is about more than just market opportunities; it also protects and develops intangible 'blue' resources. It establishes an inclusive model through which coastal states, which may lack the capacity to manage their abundant ocean resources, can begin to extend the benefits of those resources to all.

Shivam Dwivedi
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, at 7th IMU convocation, Chennai
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, at 7th IMU convocation, Chennai

Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, announced a number of initiatives today at the Indian Maritime University's (IMU) 7th convocation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Union Minister also dedicated an IMU Centre for Policy Research in Maritime Studies (C-PRiMeS).

The C-PRiMeS centre will conduct maritime research and serve as a think tank for the advancement of the marine economy. To supplement the vision of the government's Sagarmala programme, Sonowal announced the launch of several initiatives today at the IMU convocation to unlock the enormous potential of the Indian Ocean's Blue Economy.

"It gives me immense pleasure to attend this important event here today," Sonowal said on the occasion. “As India progresses through the Amrit Kaal to become an Atmanirbhar Bharat, the role of the Blue Economy in propelling India's growth story is enormous. Through its Sagarmala programme, the Ministry is working to strengthen the country's coastal economy under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While we work to improve our infrastructure, we must also equip ourselves to make the best use of the opportunity at hand, as the ocean-based blue economy is the next sunrise sector for development."

"Aside from traditional sectors like shipping, offshore mineral exploration, fishing, undersea cable, and tourism, we must equip our economy to take the best advantage of the upcoming sectors like Aquaculture, marine biotechnology, ocean energy, and sea bed mining," the Union Minister added. This can only be accomplished by providing our talent pool with the best possible knowledge and training on modern marine technologies, which is now possible at IMU. I am confident that we will continue to work to provide the best possible training to our students and cadets so that the ultimate goal of marine economy-led growth can be realised for the growth of the Indian economy.

Students are being trained under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) scheme in order to improve the training module and expose them to the best minds in the industry. To strengthen IMU's capacity in industrial research, consultancy, and policy studies, the IMU has established a Chair position with the support of the Institute of Marine Engineers India (IME-I), and professional exposure for cadets and students is being done with the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI). A three-year Cumulative Professional Development Allowance (CPDA) of Rs 3 lakhs has also been introduced for faculty training.

The IMU also collaborates with the National Institute of Advanced Study (NIAS) in Bengaluru and the Research & Information System (RIS) in New Delhi on maritime economy policy research. At Antwerp Port Training Centre in Belgium, a Career Advancement Scheme at IMU is underway to accelerate faculty career growth and nominate students for various training programmes. A project worth 21.94 lakhs awarded to IMU by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for the 'Development of Energy Efficient River survey drifter drone (Autonomous survey craft)' on Self-Propulsion Model (SPM) is just one example of IMU's recent achievements.

In addition, the Tamil Nadu Government approved a project worth 57.50 lakh for an offshore reconnaissance survey of a Sangam Age Korkai Port in Tamil Nadu, which is one of the most recent research projects undertaken by IMU in collaboration with NIOT, Chennai. Earlier, at the IMU Convocation, Sarbananda Sonowal presented Gold & Silver medals to outstanding students from various disciplines.

Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and Tourism, as well as the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and Tourism, attended the event. Dr. Malini V Shankar, Vice Chancellor of IMU, had earlier declared the convocation open. 401 students were personally awarded their Doctoral degrees, Post Graduate degrees and diplomas, and Undergraduate degrees from all schools. 3179 students received their diplomas virtually. Beautiful memories were captured and gathered during the ceremony. K. Saravanan, Registrar; Commodore Kishore Dattatraya Joshi (Retd.), Controller of Examinations; and other senior IMU officials and authorities attended the grand ceremony.

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