Nearly a decade after the idea was first floated, the Gujarat government has recently given in principal approval for the Gujarat Maritime University which will be set up by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) under the public private partnership model in next three years.
Through the university government plans to train youth in marine technology, port management, logistics, port finance and other related sectors.
“With the development of port sector coming up in a big way we see port development in Gujarat excelling,” said H K Dash, chairman, GMB. He said that Gujarat ports, both public and private, were already handling nearly 40 per cent of the countries traffic.
“Now, the port sector needs to focus on creating skilled manpower as there is tremendous growth potential for the sector. Going forward there will be requirement for trained people for shipping industry be it ship building, repairing, port communications and or logistics,” Dash said, adding that for this very reason there is requirement of marine universities across the country.
In case of Gujarat the state government has given in principle approval for setting up of the Gujarat Marine University.
“Now we will conduct a study to finalise the location of the university. We expect the university to begin course in three years time. If possible we may begin some courses even earlier,” Dash said. According to Dash the idea of the marine university was floated in the early 2000s but it could not get materialised.
The GMB also signed memorandum of understanding with Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Korea and Plymouth University, United Kingdom. The agreement with the universities is for knowledge sharing and academic support and if needed they would also provide course design support.
The government will also seek contribution from the industry players in setting up the maritime university.
GMB also plans to set up marine clusters near new or developing ports. “Once the port comes up there are a lot of haphazard development in its vicinity. To avoid this we have planned marine clusters. We could begin with one in Mundra or Pipavav,” said GMB vice chairman and CEO A K Rakesh.
The marine clusters will have planned residential, industrial zones besides facilities for business establishments and warehouses.