Augmenting India's Ports and Waterways (E)
Maritime transport is of great importance for the global economy as it accounts for around 80% of worldwide trade – In-fact, 90% of India’s trade is done through sea ports. We have 12 major ports and some 200 medium and minor ports – the advantage India has over many nations is its massive coastline of about 7500 kilometers. We also have large rivers making inland water ways which are viable transport means. Augmenting India’s ports through the Government of India’s 'Sagarmala' project to improve port infrastructure and connectivity is imperative as India continues its thrust to become one of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs through the Mission of Make in India – what is also a crucial requirement is training our sailors to navigate Indian ports and waterways under varying conditions such as night time, poor visibility, heavy rains, and winds. For this, we have been largely dependent on our mariners outside the country for training, which is a logistically difficult and expensive option. However, this is now changing - with indigenously developed training facilities - the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways & Coasts (NTCPWC) established in IIT Madras, to train sailors for complex ship navigation by using 360 degree projection simulators under varying conditions. We also look at indigenous night navigations systems being developed for inland ships and vessels – both these initiatives, which leverage technological innovations and capacity building in India, are part of the larger mission of a Self-reliant India. This and lots more on our upcoming episode on Science for a Self Reliant India – only on India Science.