If India wants big bang reforms in the maritime industry, we should invest in innovation and research. With due pressure from International Maritime Organisation and United Nations, shipping giants are now slowly shifting towards ecological fuels like methanol and LNG. Autonomous ship technology is not a distant dream. Under ambitious Sagarmala programme, India expects an investment of Rs 14 lakh crores in India’s shipping and ports sectors. To enable rapid change, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping and Surface Transport laid foundation stone for National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coast (NTCPWC) at IIT Chennai (previously called as IIT Madras). The Ministry of Shipping and IIT Chennai has signed MoU to set up a state-of-art innovation centre.
NTCPWC is being set up at a cost of Rs 70.53 crore and will give technological support to ports and maritime sector.
NTCPWC, being set up under the Shipping Ministry’s flagship programme Sagarmala, will act as a technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping for providing engineering and technological inputs and support for Ports, Inland Waterways Authority of India and other institutions. It will carry on applied research in the areas of 2D and 3D Modelling of ocean, coastal and estuarine flows, sediment transport and morphodynamics, navigation and maneuvering, dredging and siltation, port and coastal engineering-structures and breakwaters, autonomous platforms and vehicles, experimental and CFD modeling of flow and hull interaction, hydrodynamics of multiple hulls and ocean renewable energy. The centre will provide indigenous software and technology, make technical guidelines and standards and address port and maritime issues with models and simulations. The centre will not only help generate new technology and innovations but also work towards their successful commercialization. It will provide learning opportunities for the people working in Ministry of Shipping.
NTCPWC is being set up at a cost of Rs 70.53 crore to be shared by Ministry of Shipping, IWAI and the Major Ports. Ministry of Shipping’s grant is towards capital expenditure for creating facilities like Field Research Facility (FRF), Sedimentation and Erosion Management Test Basin and Ship/Tow Simulator. The centre will be self-sustainable in three years through industry consultancy projects for Indian and global port and maritime sector.
The setting up of NTCPWC would give a boost to the development of indigenous technology relevant to the port and maritime sector in India. This would also be a major shot in the arm for the Government’s ‘Make in India” programme, and provide a push to its Sagar Mala programme. Envisioned as a world-class state-of-the-art centre, NTCPWC will be a hub for latest technology tools and reduce our dependence on foreign institutions. It will also reduce the cost of research drastically and result in cost and time savings for work in the port and maritime sector.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni
Source – PIB