Dr. Manmohan Singh graces the glittering SCI’s Golden Jubilee Valedictory Function in Mumbai
The hon'ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh graced the Valedictory Function of Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) held in Mumbai on October 1, 2011. The SCI, a Navratna Central Public Sector Undertaking, was established on October 2, 1961. The function was attended by VVIPs, VIPs, many dignitaries from the State and the Centre as well as a large number of luminaries from corporate India, senior government officials and SCI employees. On the dais were the hon'ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Sankaranarayanan, Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Hon'ble Union Minister of Shipping Shri G. K. Vasan, Hon'ble Minister of State for Shipping of Shri Mukul Roy, Secretary General IMO Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping Shri K. Mohandas, C&MD of SCI Shri S. Hajara. Amongst the VIPs from the State were Shri Milind Deora, Union Minister of State for Communiccation & IT, MP Shri Eknath Gaikwad, MLA Shri Jagannath Shetti, among others.
Today, the Shipping Corporation of India is India's largest shipping company and most diversified shipping company operating in the varied shipping sectors. Starting out with a small fleet of 19 vessels at inception in 1961, SCI has grown from strength to strength over the last five decades and now has a modern fleet of 82 owned vessels in different categories aggregating 5.87 million deadweight tonnage accounting for about a third of the country’s total tonnage. Additionally, SCI also manages 44 vessels of other organizations. SCI offers a comprehensive range of services including Liner and Passenger Services, Container Services, Break-Bulk Services, Passenger-cum-Cargo Coastal Services, Bulk Carrier Services, Tanker Services, Specialised Vessel Services, Lighterage Operations and Offshore Services. SCI’s ships sail to destination throughout the world and its corporate network spans 4 Indian metros as well as an office in London.
The impressive function, that was held at the Shanmukhananda Auditorium, commenced on arrival of the Hon'ble Prime Minister. This was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp.
In his welcome speech Shri Mukul Roy, expressed happiness on behalf of the entire Indian shipping industry at the inspiring presence of the Prime Minister and said that the industry looked forward to his words of encouragement and guidance. Welcoming the Governor and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Roy said that their presence was significant as Maharashtra was one of the most industrialized states and an important maritime state, and their presence showed the State's commitment to the development of industries and maritime sector. Shri Roy also welcomed Minister of Shipping and his senior colleague in the Ministry of Shipping, Shri Vasan and mentioned that under Shri Vasan's leadership as head of India's maritime fraternity, the Ministry of Shipping had taken several initiatives for the development of India's maritime sector. Welcoming Mr. Mitropoulos, Secretary General of International Maritime Organization, Shri Roy mentioned the important role being played by IMO and its significance for India at the present juncture. Thereafter, he welcomed other dignitaries and the august gathering.
A corporate film highlighting SCI's journey, produced for this occasion was screened, which was well appreciated by the dignitaries and other invitees. Thereafter, the dignitaries addressed the audience.
In his speech Mr. Eftimios Mitropoulos, Secretary General of International Maritime Organization complimented SCI and its employees on this occasion. He lauded the achievements of SCI, which, he said, reflected the dynamism of the Company's Management. He gave his best wishes for Company's future growth. He mentioned the valuable contribution of India to IMO's work and recalled the visionary role played by SCI's founder CEO Dr. C.P. Srivastava in shaping the IMO during his tenure as its longest serving Secretary General.
Addressing the audience, the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan called this a proud moment in country's maritime history and highlighted the growth of SCI and its contribution to India's maritime sector as well as country's seaborne trade. He also mentioned the various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Shipping to strengthen the port infrastructure and capacity in the country and to augment the tonnage of Indian Shipping. He referred to the challenges being faced by the shipping industry and particularly referring to the menace of piracy, he brought out the various measure taken by the Ministry to tackle this problem. Shri Vasan also highlighted the steps taken by the Ministry of Shipping to prevent marine accidents and expressed confidence that these measures would make Indian coastline safer and cleaner. He complimented SCI's Management, Officers and staff and urged them to redouble their efforts to take SCI to greater heights. Shri Vasan expressed confidence that that SCI, as the flag bearer of Indian shipping, would lead the shipping fraternity and make India one of the top maritime nations in the world.
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Prithviraj Chavan complimented SCI and the Ministry of Shipping. He highlighted the importance of country's maritime sector in its economic growth and reiterated the support of the State Government to the development of the sector. Recalling the state's glorious maritime past from the pages of history, he stated that his Government would endeavour to ensure all round growth its maritime sector.
Thereafter, Dr. Manmohan Singh released the commemorative Golden Jubilee book that captures glimpses of SCI’s fifty years. Shri G.K. Vasan presented the first copy to the Prime Minister.
In his speech, the Prime Minister, lauded SCI's achievements and and its contribution to the growth of country's merchant shipping. He highlighted the importance of good transport network for country's economic development and stressed the need for coordinated development of shipping industry, land-based logistics and ports. The Prime Minister particularly underscored the importance of development of ports including minor port and the connectivity to the hinterland. He called upon the India's shipping and logistics industry to make full use of the emerging opportunities in the country's growing economy. He urged the shipping industry to increase their training and development initiatives to enhance the human resource in the shipping sector. He mentioned Government's concern over the issue of piracy and expressed the need for increasing to effort to tackle this menace. He highlighted SCI's role as the country's largest shipping to ensure greater participation of Indian ships in country's seaborne trade. He expressed the confidence that the country will see still more glorious innings in the next fifty years from SCI.
Shri Hajara, Chairman and Managing Director of SCI proposed a vote of thanks. he thanked the Prime Minister for gracing this event. He also thanked the dignitaries for their august presence. He also thanked the audience for their august presence. He also took this opportunity to highlight the achievements of Indian shipping and SCI.
The main function was followed by a Classical Dance Programme from a renowned performer.
It may be recalled that last year SCI's Golden Jubilee Year celebrations were inaugurated by Her Excellency the President of India Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil on October 02, 2010 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi at an impressive ceremony. The Valedictory Function marks conclusion of these celebrations.