India is set to get its second maritime university, with the first course likely to be rolled out in 2018. Chairman and chief executive officer of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), AK Rakesh, said, “At present, the Indian maritime institutes offer pre-sea and post-sea training programmes. Majority of courses cater to technical job roles, mainly those of seafarers or deck officers. But they largely ignore the commercial side of the shipping industry.”
Taking that into consideration, the new Gujarat Maritime University will focus on commercial maritime courses instead of technical programmes that are being offered in over 130 Indian training institutes. Globally, the ratio of commercial to technical programmes is 45:55 but according to the data available with the Directorate General of Shipping, only 8 per cent of the available maritime courses in India catered to the commercial side of the industry.
“The government of Gujarat has already given an in-principle approval for the establishment of the university. Memorandums of Understandings with two international universities – Plymouth University, United Kingdom and Global MET Support Centre of Korea Maritime and Ocean University, South Korea – have been inked. Process is on for a third MoU with Southampton Solent University of the United Kingdom,” added Rakesh.
Maritime law, maritime policy, marine insurance, shipping trade and finance, maritime management, maritime human resource management, marine administration, maritime transportation and logistics, marine safety, commercial yachting, hospitality and eco-tourism are some of the commercial subjects that the proposed university will offer.
Although the location of the university hasn’t been finalised by the GMB and the Gujarat government, the campus is most likely to be situated close to the metropolis of Ahmedabad and may spread over 100-150 acres. Having it near an urban set-up will facilitate seamless faculty exchange.