On this Day:5thApril National Maritime Day

  • National Maritime Day in India is observed on 5 April every year. The day is celebratedto commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian flag merchant vessel ‘S.S LOYALTY’ from Mumbai to London, on April 5th, 1919.
  • For the first time this day was celebrated in 1964 to inform people and spread awareness about intercontinental commerce and the economy worldwide.
  • In the India’s navigation a history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd journeyed to the United Kingdom. This was a crucial step in India’s shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British.
  • In 1959, India became an associate of International Maritime Organisation which is for maritime protection and to prevent pollution from ships.
  • The theme of Indian National Maritime Day 2021 is ‘Sustainable Shipping beyond Covid-19’on the lines of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Government of India.
  • In India, more than 90% of the goods of a country’s trade are moved through maritime transport. The percentage itself is enough to make an individual aware of the importance of ports and most importantly their contribution, in sustaining the growth and development of the economy on a national basis.
  • The number of vessels in the Indian Shipping Register has increased from a paltry 59 in the year 1947 to an impressive 1,392 ships in 2019, with the gross tonnage rising commensurately to over 12 million GRT.
  • This day marks the inevitability of shielding, preserving and defending our maritime zone.
  • Since 2018 on the National Maritime Day,several awards have been instituted by the Directorate General of Shipping which are conferred on entities or organisations for people who have made an outstanding contribution to the Indian maritime sector.
  • The Varuna Award which has a statue of Lord Varuna and a scroll honouring the awardee is presented to them for their sustained and outstanding contribution.
  • People are alsohonoured with the NMD award for excellence for the lifetime contribution and distinguished achievements which they made, at the senior functional level in the maritime sector.