Maritime India Summit 2016: Key Takeaways

Maritime India Summit 2016 (MIS 2016) is a maiden flagship initiative of the Ministry of Shipping.

Maiden = First time ever. First time ever translates to a higher probability of it finding its way in the IAS Prelims this year.

Why do we say so? If you wrote the IAS prelims in 2014, you would remember the National Biodiversity Express initiative launched by GoI that year and how a few questions from E&B found their source in the released pamphlet. So, no harm in giving this a look, right?

Focus Area for intervention which are important for your review:

  • Port Modernization
  • New Port Development
  • Inland Waterways
  • Green Initiatives in Ports

Maritime Potential of Indian States

If you are loath to read through the commentary, make sure you go through this infographic (in desktop mode – click on the pic to enlarge) & make quick notes.


#1. Port Modernization

India has 12 Major Ports, administered by the Central Government, and around 200 notified Non-Major Ports, administered by the State Governments. In 2014-15, out of the 200 Non-Major Ports, 69 ports were reported to have handled cargo traffic.

  • Kandla was the last major port built by India – 1950
  • India plans to add 8 major ports to this list of 12. Source: ET

Fodder points – 

  1. The infrastructure sector, particularly the Maritime Sector, is expected to grow significantly with the increase in international and domestic trade volumes
  2. Since about 95% of India’s trade by volume is via the maritime route (Source : NTDPC), there is a continuous need to develop India’s ports and trade related infrastructure to accelerate growth in the manufacturing industry and to aid the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

#2. New Port Development

Why is there a need you may ask?

  1. Capacity Saturation – Ports such as JNPT, Paradip have limited capacity to expand and are saturated with traffic
  2. Non-availability of Ports – There are few specific stretches along the coastline which do not have an operational port. In absence of the port at such locations, the cargo is forced to travel longer distances to use alternate ports
  3. Strategic Locations – The southern tip of India is optimally located as it falls under the East-West trade route. However most of transshipment cargo from India is dependent on ports of Colombo and Singapore. Hence, we need to fulfill this need

Potential Projects? Greenfield major ports to be developed at

  • Vadhavan (Maharashtra) – MOU was signed by JNPT. Read here.
  • Sagar Island (West Bengal) – This island, also known as Gangasagar or Sagardwip, is a place of Hindu pilgrimage
  • Paradip Satellite Port (Odhisha) – What is a satellite port?
  • Cuddalore/Sirkazhi (Tamil Nadu)
  • Machilipatnam/Vodarevu

Question: Find out the difference between Greenfield and Brownfield projects. A term often used in PPP parlance. 

#3. Inland Waterways

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. Of the total navigable length of 14,500 km, 5200 km of the river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanized crafts.

India has recognized 106 waterways of which 6 are declared as national waterways – 

#4. Green Initiatives in Ports

  • Solar and wind based power systems at all the Major Ports across the country
  • What’s the plan? Solar energy capacity at 8 major ports + Wind energy capacity at 3 major ports

Key initiatives (Fodder points):

  • The Ministry of Shipping has recently introduced an incentive scheme under which the Ministry will share up to 50% of the total project cost that promote the use of green energy
  • Anti-fouling System Convention of International Maritime Organization has been incorporated in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
  • Use of bio-diesel at Haldia Dock Complex



If you have time and you want to venture out and see the other heads of developments, do go and visit the website, especially carved out for this summit. 

By B2B

Revisiting the Basics

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