The 3rd meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on shipping between India and Denmark was held on Wednesday (December 16, 2020) virtually.
The delegation from Indian side was led by the Secretary – Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways – Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan and included Director General of Shipping – Shri Amitabh Kumar, CMD of Cochin Shipyard Limited – Shri Madhu Nair and Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust- Shri Sanjay Sethi.
The Danish side was represented by Director-General, Danish Maritime Authority – Mr. Andreas Nordseth and the Ambassador of Denmark in India – Mr. Freddy Svane among other senior officials. The JWGheld focused discussions to identify areas of co-operation between the two countries.
On COVID-19 situation both parties assured that crew change may be facilitated by respective countries and in case of any problem the Director Generals of the two countries may be contacted in case of emergencies.
Both partiesalso agreed on cooperation on matters of mutual interest in the International Maritime Organisation [IMO], by holding a series of web-meeting of the experts from both sides in negotiations concerning greenhouses gas emissions.
The parties also expressed satisfaction about conclusion of the agreement for mutual cooperation between Gujarat Maritime University and Copenhagen Business School.
The Indian side suggested cooperation with Denmark on the following matters:
(a) On-line Maritime Knowledge Cluster:
The Indian side proposed to extend invitation to the Technical University of Denmark (DPU), which is doing pioneering work on developing new technology and propeller designs and Maersk Maritime Technology to become a global partner in the Maritime Knowledge Cluster being developed by India.
It also proposed to invite Copenhagen Business School to become a global partner for research areas relating to Maritime Law, Finance and Governance.
(b) Maritime Education &Training:
It was suggested that it will be in the interest of both the Indian seafarers and the Danish Ship-owner Association to employ more Indian seafarers who are globally recognized for their knowledge and efficiency.
Indian side proposed that the Danish Ship Owners’ Association may be requested to allocate more ship board training berths for the Indian cadets.
(c) Maritime Security:
Considering that the piracy situation in the Gulf of Guinea has not changed much since last year and this area continues to remain the hotbed of piracy, the Indian delegation felt that the present system of data collection and sharing by European Union in the Gulf of Guinea needs to be further augmented to support the countries in the Gulf of Guinea to augment their capacity and have effective operational collaboration to curb the menace of piracy.
It was proposed that the two countries may consider employing a joint strategy to tackle the problem of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
(d) Digital Certificates of Seafarers and Ship Registry:
Both India and Denmark are developing their own systems for grant of digital certificates for the seafarers; both sides are also working on development of an online ship registration system.
Denmark has indicated that their on-line ship registration module would be based on block-chain technology.
Indian side proposed that it would be useful if a presentation by the developer is organized for the Indian side so that the use of block chain technology in ship registration module could be considered by India.
(E) Investment in India:
Informing that India has identified a number of projects in the Port Sector for public-private partnerships and for use of green technology in the Port Sector , the Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, expressed that along with investment by Danish Companies in these projects, technical co-operation for floating solar power stations and shore-based power supply at Indian Ports can be considered.
The Indian side also nominated three nodal officers, to take the discussion forward from the Indian side. They are: i) DG, Shipping – For all matters related to shipping, maritime education & training and knowledge cluster; ii) Chairman, Cochin Shipyard Limited – For green shipbuilding; iii) Chairman, JNPT – For green port project and investment in port sector.
Cochin Ship Yard Limited has developed substantial expertise in building Hybrid Electric Boats for urban transportation and autonomous vessels. Co-operation in design testing for new battery operated vessels, 3D printing and other technology can also be explored between Cochin Ship Yard Limited and Danish companies.
The Danish delegation proposed that along with the next meeting of the JWG, an India-Danish web conference can be organised in month of April, 2021.