The National Maritime Day is celebrated every year on April 5 in India. This year, the country celebrates 57th National Maritime Day. The day is celebrated to spread awareness in supporting intercontinental commerce and the global economy. In 1919, navigation history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd travelled to the United Kingdom from Mumbai. National Maritime Day of India 2019: The Significance and History of the Day Dedicated to India’s Nautical Legacy.
It was a crucial step for India shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British. The day was first celebrated on April 5, 1964. As of December 2018, India had over 43 shipping companies owning 1,401 ships. Mumbai, Paradip, JNPT-Navi Mumbai, Cochin and Kandla are amongst the import ports of India.
In 2018, the Central Committee of the National Maritime instituted the highest award " Varuna Award" to recognise and honour individuals for their sustained and outstanding contribution in the field of Indian Maritime. The award consists of a statue of Lord Varuna and a citation. Meanwhile, The National Maritime Day Award of "Excellence" is given to individuals for their lifetime exceptional and distinguished achievements in the Indian Maritime sector. World Maritime Day 2019: Know All About Theme & Significance of The Day on Its 71st Anniversary.
The committee also gives award for "Outstanding Contribution to Maritime Education and Training" to individuals for their sustained contribution to the Maritime Education and training. Each year, the day is celebrated with a particular theme. Last year, the theme for the 56th edition of the National Maritime Day was "Indian Ocean - An Ocean of Opportunity".