A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between the Union Ministry of Shipping and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur for setting up Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology (CICMT). The MoA will focus on indigenization of ship designing, building, and testing.
It is a state-of-the-art center which will be set up under the flagship Sagarmala Programme, a government initiative to enhance the performance of India’s logistics sector. It will be Rs.69.20 crore, is being funded under Sagarmala program. The funding for the project is for 5 years after which revenues generated from end users will make it sustainable. It will provide technical support, testing, research and experimentation facility to agencies involved in inland water transport, shipbuilding, ports.
CICMT will focus on ship design for coastal as well as inland waterways, shipbuilding technology & structural design, cryogenic cargo handling, transport systems & logistics, renewable energy harvesting from coastal and inland waters and artificial intelligence (AI) and automation for maritime operations.
It will be 1st of its kind facility and will be a hub for the latest technology tools for the maritime sector and will reduce India’s dependence on foreign institutions. It will also drastically reduce the cost of research and will result in cost and time savings for work in the port and maritime sector.
CICMT is of strategic long-term interest for India’s port and the maritime sector as it will provide tremendous impetus to Inland water transportation and coastal shipping.
At present, there is no experimentation and testing facility available in India for inland and coastal vessels thus for when required shipbuilders have to approach many European countries where these facilities are available. Thus, CICMT is being set up to address this long felt need and to provide impetus to the development of inland waterways and country’s coastal shipping.
Since indigenous technology is the need of the hour for the maritime sector, thus MoA will further the dream of governments’ Make in India initiative and reduce the recurring cost incurred in the import of technology.