Students pursuing the postgraduate programme in maritime law will receive training at the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta.

Buoyed by the growing demand for maritime lawyers, the Indian Maritime University (IMU) has decided to come up with a specialised postgraduate programme in maritime law from this October onwards. The programme will be offered at the Chennai and Kochi campuses of the IMU.

Elaborating on the highlights of the programme, P. Vijayan, Vice-Chancellor of IMU, told The Hindu-EducationPlus in an interview in Kochi that the course is being launched in association with the International Maritime Law Institute at Malta. The academic collaboration will help in offering high quality academic programme to the students, he said.

Pointing out that there was a shortage of maritime lawyers in the country, Dr. Vijayan said that the disputes in the sector were growing, with the overall development of the field.

Dispute resolving assumes greater significance at this stage and only professionally trained lawyers could take up the job, he said.

Explaining that there were 10 maritime States in the country and the demand for skilled professionals in all areas related to the maritime sector was growing steadily, Mr. Vijayan said that the duration of the postgraduate programme in maritime law will be 18 months.

He said that the students pursuing the postgraduate programme in maritime law will receive practical training in the court. They will also receive training at the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta, Mr. Vijayan said.

Stating that the faculty would come from Malta and teachers here will also visit the country, as part of the agreement, Mr. Vijayan said that such tie-ups will help the students to attain international standards in their profession. It will also expose them to the various developments in the field happening across the world, he said.

The total intake for the course at the Chennai and Kochi campuses is 30 each. Admission will be based on the entrance test conducted by the IMU for admission to its academic programmes. Any law graduate can apply for the programme.

IMU had also entered in to an agreement with the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), as part of offering maritime law education to the student community. As per the MoU, IMU will offer two elective subjects in Maritime Law to undergraduate students.

Kochi campus

The courses being offered on the Kochi campus of IMU include B.Sc. degree in nautical science, B.Sc. degree in ship building and repair, postgraduate diploma in marine engineering, and MBA in shipyard and port management. Nearly 190 students are now pursuing the programmes on the campus.

Referring to the increasing manpower requirement in the Indian maritime industry, Mr. Vijayan said there is huge demand for people in the supervisory level in the area of ship building and repair. He said the IMU's B.Sc. degree course in ship building and repair, being offered only on the Kochi campus, would help in moulding professional supervisors and technicians.

The three-year course is divided into six semesters. Students undergo on-site training at the shipyard during the final three semesters of the programme. The intake is 40 and students are admitted on the basis of their performance in an entrance test. The programme is offered in association with the TEBMA Shipyard.

The vice-chancellor said that the new campus of the IMU coming at nearly 10 acres provided by the Cochin Port Trust at Kundanoor is likely to become operational by October 2011.

He said that the Union government had allocated Rs.26 crore for the development of the IMU Kochi campus. IMU had also generated Rs.10 crore from its internal resources, Mr. Vijayan said.

The Kochi campus is now functioning on a land provided by the Cochin Port Trust. There will be separate complexes for the schools of law and business management here.

The Kundanoor campus will house the Departments of Nautical Sciences, Marine Engineering, and Ship Building and Naval Architecture.

Other facilities on the campus include hostels for students, laboratories and academic blocks.