The first batch of M. Tech students passed out from the Visakhapatnam campus of Indian Maritime University here on Thursday.

Awarding the certificates to the four students who completed the two-year post-graduate programme in naval architecture and ocean engineering, Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari pointed out that the maritime sector plays an important role in the nation's economic development and each of the professionals have a role to play in making the country a super power.

The Minister pointed out that maritime education was an intellectual discipline and the industry has tremendous potential.

She said, “when it comes to manpower supply to the maritime industry there is a stiff competition from the Balkans, especially after the break up of the erstwhile USSR and China is fast moving up. Keeping this in mind the maritime education sector should not compromise on quality.”

She said that public-private partnership in the education sector was good, but the ventures should not be set up only for commercial gains.

Referring to a query on grants for the university from the UGC, Ms. Purandeswari said that if IMU was notified under Section 12 B of the UGC, then it was eligible for UGC grant.

She also suggested the university officials to tie up with banks for scholarships for SC, ST, EBC, and BC students.

Earlier, IMU Vice-Chancellor P. Vijayan, in his address, said that the State government allotted about 105 acres of land at Sabbavarm mandal for setting up a full-fledged campus.

At present, the Visakhapatnam campus is housed at the former NSDRC building.

Overview

Giving an overview of the IMU, Dr. Vijayan said that the university that was headquartered at Chennai has six campuses located at Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Kandla, Kolkata, and Kochi. “Each campus specialised in one or two areas of maritime study,” he said. “While the Visakhapatnam campus specialises in naval architecture and ship design, Mumbai specialises in nautical sciences, Chennai in port management and Kolkata in marine engineering,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor also said that the university tied up with various other foreign universities such as Netherlands Maritime University and University of Antwerp for various academic exchange programmes. On new courses, Dr. Vijayan said that a new LLM course on maritime law was introduced at the Chennai campus.

Suresh Chandra Misra, Director of the Visakhapatnam campus, said that the campus has two colleges -- The School of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering and School of Maritime Design and Research. “We offer both degree and PG programmes and the admission for the degree programme is through IIT-JEE,” he said.

He also said that within a short span, the campus was awarded 13 study and research projects and its student and faculty members successfully presented 11 papers in various international fora.

“We have the state-of-the-art library facility and have a vision to start new courses such as port and harbour engineering, maritime technology and sub-sea and offshore technology shortly,” said Dr. Misra.

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