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marine studies in india: How multidisciplinary approach to Maritime Studies helps


With a view to bolstering higher education and research, the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Studies (CEMAS), University of Mumbai, recently invited applications to interdisciplinary programmes in MA (Maritime Studies), MCom (Maritime Studies) and MSc (Maritime Studies) for 2021-22 admissions. The Centre, set up in 2021, is expected to cover the entire gamut of Maritime Laws, Trade, Commerce, Logistics, Science and Technology, and attract both Indian and foreign students, as it takes cognisance of the borderless realms of marine and Maritime Studies.

The three programmes under its wing in Arts, Science and Commerce respectively, have a common thread running through them. For instance, they all have an intake capacity of 20 seats each and will follow choice-based credit system. “The curriculum delivery of the programmes will work on blended mode of teaching and learning, leveraging on the resource pools and expertise that are both, on site and off site for academics and research. This will help the Centre adapt to the principles of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020,” says Anuradha Majumdar, dean, Faculty of Science and Technology I/C director, Centre of Excellence in Maritime Studies (CEMAS), University of Mumbai.

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India, she says, is strategically located across the world’s shipping routes, with maritime trade comprising about 95% of India’s trade by volume and over 70% by value. “The Government launched the ambitious Sagarmala Programme in March 2015 that envisions port-led development and growth of logistics-intensive industries. Under the Sagarmala Programme, $123 billion is expected to be invested across 415 projects in the areas of port modernisation and new port development; port connectivity enhancement; port-linked industrialisation; and coastal community development. This programme is expected to create four million new direct and six million indirect jobs and is estimated to enhance India’s GDP by up to 4%. Meanwhile, the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 has been passed by the Lok Sabha in July 2021. This will boost domestic cargo movement with potentially lower rates. Further, the Deep Ocean Mission Programme was passed in the cabinet in June 2021 which will exponentially boost research in oceans and allied areas,” she adds.

Dearth of Maritime Studies institutions

Despite these rapid strides, there are very few universities in India, that are offering programmes and research opportunities in Maritime Studies, which covers a wide span of marine and maritime subjects, including humanities, law, science & technology, and commerce & management, Majumdar says.

“Maharashtra and Goa have a few institutions that cover some of these subjects, like Indian Maritime University (IMU), Mumbai and Navi Mumbai; Samudra Institute for Maritime Studies (SIMS), Lonavala; Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training (MANET), Pune; Institute of Maritime Studies, Goa; and other institutes/bodies for the Indian Navy, like INS Hamla, Mumbai; INS Shivaji, Lonavala; Naval War College (NWC), Goa; and National Institute of Hydrography (NIH), Goa as well as Maritime History Society (MHS), Mumbai. There is also an existing Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS) at Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. The various civil institutions mostly run graduate and PG programmes for the Indian Merchant Marine. On the East Coast, Pondicherry University has a Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS), which conducts research and academic programmes in Maritime Studies, covering subjects of maritime security, connectivity and regional cooperation,” she adds.

At the international level, in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), there is a Centre for Maritime Studies at Maldives, which is also focused entirely on training for the merchant marine. There is another Centre for Maritime Studies at Singapore, which conducts research in issues related to the maritime industry, including trade, ports and shipping, and offers PG programmes in Maritime Technology and Management, Majumdar informs. However, at the international level in the Indian Ocean Region, there is a paucity of academic institutions with an interdisciplinary approach to Maritime Studies. It is to bridge this gap that the CEMAS started the three Maritime Studies programmes, Majumdar adds.

Concept of Blue Economy

“The Centre with its interdisciplinary concepts, is catering to develop not just the individual through Maritime laws, securities, transport, etc, it has also introduced the concept of Blue Economy – which allows prioritising the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health,” Majumdar says.

Through the academic ride, an individual will be groomed to utilise the theoretical value by adding it to mini and minor projects, book review, field work, laboratory experiments which allow them to approach the world in real time, she adds.

Career prospects

“We expect the graduates of these courses to become an important segment of the maritime ecosystem in times to come, says Cmde Srikant Kesnur, a member of the Board of Management of CEMAS.

“While those undergoing Arts programme could find openings in civil services, think tanks, academic, maritime governance and administration structures and policy bodies, UN and other International organisations, NGOs and Civil Society organisations in the field of maritime issues, in maritime and general media and journalism; those in the Commerce stream could look at careers in law boards and bodies dealing with maritime issues, shipping agents, logistics services, warehousing, stevedoring and other waterfront services, etc,” he adds.

The Science students, on the other hand, could look to be employed in the domains of Oceanography, Marine Botany and Zoology, Fisheries, basic and applied research institutions in maritime world, hydrographic studies, ocean meteorology and related fields, workshops and maintenance facilities for construction, repair and refit of maritime equipment and platforms be it in civil or mechanical engineering, electronics and computer systems such as radars, communication systems etc, Cmde Kesnur says.

As the maritime industry burgeons, one may expect several new avenues to open up. “Further, the multidisciplinary approach to nautical studies will imply that graduates of this programme could, possibly, work across streams and learn on the job building on the core concepts brought out in the curriculum framework, Cmde Kesnur adds.

Course structure

MSc (Maritime Studies) is expected to impart fundamental and applied knowledge in maritime science and allied subjects over 12 courses in areas such as Maritime History Security and Laws, Introduction to Maritime Sciences – Oceanography, Meteorology, Climatology and Ocean Chemistry, Marine Pollution Climate Change, Coastal Hazard, etc with elective subjects that include Artificial Intelligence and Monitoring, Fisheries Management System and Technology, Ship Construction.

MCom (Maritime Studies) will includeamong others,Overview of Maritime History Security and Laws, apart from Research Methodology, Maritime Finance and Advanced Maritime Trade; with electives encompassing Logistics and Ware Housing, Sustainable Maritime Transport etc.

Master of Arts (Maritime Studies) will cover subjects related to humanities along with few interdisciplinary courses. Overview of Maritime History Security and Laws, Maritime Strategic Environment & Geo Politics in Indian Ocean Region, etc will be taught along with electives in International Laws on Maritime Safety & Security, Maritime Trade Labour and Environmental Laws etc.

Last date to apply: September 7, 2021

The link:
uom-admissions.mu.ac.in





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