Says they can be encouraged to opt for it by making special efforts
Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Saturday made a strong case for recruiting women as seafarers, hitherto a male profession, saying they could be encouraged to opt for it by making special efforts, including better accommodation and gender-friendly atmosphere on board.
“Today women excel in all sectors and there is no reason why the maritime sector should be exclusive preserve of males,” he said while addressing the India Maritime Human Resources Summit here.
Noting that India was the fifth largest contributor of seafarers to the global shipping industry, he said studies had indicated that the next few years would see substantial growth in global maritime trade that would result in corresponding increase in fleet. “As a consequence, the demand for seafarers is estimated to grow by 20 per cent by 2015. Our objective is to increase India's market share to at least 10 per cent of the global market within the next five years.” The Minister explained that with the advent of containerisation and specialised cargos such as LNG and LPG, shipping was becoming more and more a technology-driven industry.
“So there is a dire need to increase our training capacity and infrastructure. Proper assessment systems and grading systems have to be put in place to ensure quality in training and to prevent mushrooming of sub-standard institutes. Mr. Vasan said his Ministry had taken many initiatives to promote maritime sector. Indian tonnage crossed 10 million Gross Tonnage (GT) for the first time in August, 2010.
“The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has ordered 26 new ships and is planning to acquire another 40 ships during the next five years,” he said.
Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust Atulya Mishra, Vice-Chancellor of Indian Maritime University Vijayan and Gateway Media Executive Director Ramprasad were among those who participated.