Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways

Weeklong National Maritime Celebrations begins with PM wearing the ‘First Merchant Navy Flag’

To commemorate the occasion, the flag was pinned on lapel of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi by Union Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal

Posted On: 30 MAR 2023 6:48PM by PIB Delhi

Gearing up for a week long celebration of National maritime Celebration from April 5, the ‘First Merchant Navy Flag’ was pinned on the lapel of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal  in presence of Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) and other senior officials in New Delhi today. A memento was also presented to the Prime Minister.


To mark the importance of the day government is celebrating by organising the National Maritime Week from 30.03.2023 to 05.04.2023 paying tribute to services of seafarers and celebrating the proud moment for India when the first Indian Steamship S.S. LOYALTY” of M/s. Scindia Steam, Navigation Co. Ltd., Mumbai ventured into international waters on her maiden voyage from Mumbai to London (UK) in the year 1919 on this day and the same is marked as National Maritime Day.”

Speaking on the occasion, the Shri Sonowal said, “The  seafarers from India have played a pivotal role in keeping the global supply chain operational. The service provided by these unsung heroes of our sea will be celebrated in this National Maritime Week celebrations. We have the immense pleasure & honour to have our dynamic Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, lending support to this initiative as he wore country’s first Merchant Navy flag on his lapel marking the beginning of this week long celebrations.” 

The MoPSW will recognise the services of seafarers and services of other persons connected with it. MoPSW is presenting awards to the eminent personalities who have excelled in the maritime sector which are as follows:

  1. Sagar Samman Varuna Award: Varuna Award is to recognize and honour persons for their sustained and outstanding contribution to Indian Shipping and/ or allied Maritime Industries.
  2. Sagar Samman Award for Excellence: To recognize and honour persons for their lifetime exceptional and distinguished achievements or performance at the senior functional level in Indian Shipping or Indian Maritime Industries in the areas of Management of Shipping Business, Commercial Operations, Human Resource Development, Management of Maritime Technology and Industrial Relations.
  3. Sagar Samman Award for Gallantry: Gallantry at Sea award to Indian Seafarers (including officers) in recognition of their exemplary acts of Gallantry in the Merchant Navy in India or elsewhere.
  4. To recognize and honour the outstanding Maritime Training Institute, outstanding Indian Shipping Company, outstanding Indian Employer of Seafarer, outstanding Foreign Employer Seafarer, outstanding Indian Port and outstanding Indian Terminal for their sustained contribution to the cause of Indian Shipping and Indian Seafarers and at the same time motivate and encourage them to maximize their efforts towards this cause.

On National Maritime Day, government is paying tributes and homage to the Seamens Memorials who laid down their lives while on high seas in 1st and 2nd world wars marking their bravery and sacrifice to the nation at wide.

The National Maritime Day Celebrations Committee has been set up at Mumbai for organizing and co-ordination of  various programs for the celebrations of the National Maritime Day/Merchant Navy Flag Day. The central committee conducts the affairs of the National Maritime Day Celebrations Committee. The Committee is composed of representatives of Ship owners, Seafarers, Port Trusts, Maritime State Governments, and Ministry of Shipping etc. The Committee secures funds through voluntary contributions from the Ship owners, Port authorities, various semi Government and non-Government organization interested in Shipping.



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