Sagarmala Programme Current Affairs - 2019

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CICMT: MoA signed between Ministry of Shipping and IIT Kharagpur

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between the Union Ministry of Shipping and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur for setting up Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology (CICMT). The MoA will focus on indigenisation of ship designing, building and testing.

About Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology

It is a state-of-the-art centre which will be set up under the flagship Sagarmala Programme, a government initiative to enhance the performance of India’s logistics sector.

Project Cost: It will be Rs.69.20 crore, is being funded under Sagarmala programme. The funding for project is for 5 years after which revenues generated from end users will make it sustainable.

CICMT Project (IIT Kharagpur): It will provide technological support, testing, research and experimentation facility to agencies involved in inland water transport, shipbuilding, ports etc.

Function: CICMT will focus on ship design for coastal as well as inland waterways, shipbuilding technology & structural design, cryogenic cargo handling, transport systems & logistics, renewable energy harvesting from coastal and inland waters and artificial intelligence (AI) and automation for maritime operations.

Reduced Dependence: It will be 1st of its kind facility and will be a hub for latest technology tools for maritime sector and will reduce India’s dependence on foreign institutions. It will also drastically reduce cost of research and will result in cost and time savings for work in port and maritime sector.

Strategic Interest: CICMT is of strategic long-term interest for India’s port and maritime sector as it will provide tremendous impetus to Inland water transportation and coastal shipping.

Need:  At present there is no experimentation and testing facility available in India for inland and coastal vessels thus for when required shipbuilders have to approach many European countries where these facilities are available. Thus, CICMT is being setup to address this long felt need and to provide impetus to development of inland waterways and country’s coastal shipping.

Significance: Since indigenous technology is the need of the hour for maritime sector, thus MoA will further the dream of governments’ Make in India initiative and reduce the recurring cost incurred in import of technology.

India & Portugal to set up National Maritime Heritage Museum

India and Portugal will cooperate in setting up of a national maritime heritage museum at ancient Indian site of Lothal in Gujarat. Lothal (literally means the mound of dead) was one of port cities of Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization).

Key Highlights

  • Background: In March 2019 Government of India allocated a grant for building maritime museum and foundation stone for project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then during Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho visit to India in April 2019, initial discussions were held between India and Portugal for developing maritime museum.
  • Feature: The proposed maritime museum in Indian is likely to come up on lines of similar museum at Lisbon, which is administered by Portuguese Navy.
  • Implementing agencies: Museum Project will be implemented by Union Ministry of Shipping through its Sagarmala programme, along with involvement of State government, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other stakeholders.
  • Indian Navy is also keen to be a stakeholder in project and Portuguese Navy has agreed to assist the former with their experience of administering maritime museum in Lisbon.
  • Purpose:
  • It will showcase and preserve India’s rich and diverse maritime heritage.
  • It also seeks to highlight ancient shipbuilding and navigational technologies developed by India.

Why Portugal?

Portugal is home to the Navy Museum (a maritime museum) in Lisbon, which is administered by Portugal Navy. So the two countries discussed that India could also follow the similar mode. Soon a Defence Ministry-led delegation would also be visiting Portugal to study existing museum in Lisbon.