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ships and floating vessels.


also calledshipwrights,

follow a specialized occupation that traces

its roots to beforerecorded history.

and ship repairs, both

commercial and military, are referred to as

"naval engineering".

Even with an eternal history of shipbuilding, India was

never a major shipbuilding nation. With cheaper labor
and efficient working conditions on offer, India has
started emerging as a force to reckon with in this sector.
India, which plans to make all kinds of commercial ships,
aspires to be aUS$ 20 billion industry by 2020


of the littoral have been

competent mariners for thousand
of years.
They first sailed in primitive rafts
made from estuarine rushes, then
formed the Kattumaram, still in
Traces of shipbuilding activity in
India can be traced to the
Harappan days, but in the
modern sense, it took off in the
1990s when Indias share in the


years before
Independence,More than 100
years ago India wasone of the
largest ship building countriesin
the world.


shipbuilding was centered

along the Western Coast in
Kalyan, Bhivandi and Mumbai, in
South India at Narsapurpeta
(near Masulipatnam) and in
Bengal at Chittagong and


in India carried on despite

improvisations in the Arab or Chinese coast.
Indian shipbuilders did not abandon their
obsolete practices enshrined in the
Yuktikalpataru, not until the arrival of the
They then readily adopted the iron nail
fastener and the transom stern, in some
cases, as an easier hull form to mount a
The Europeans were much impressed by the
competence of Indian shipbuilders and
carpenters. They entrusted the building of
their warships and trading vessels to Indian
yards, established especially for the purpose.


modern era began with the

building of adry dock at Bombay

about 1750; a second was erected in
Calcutta about 1780.

the 19th century, the industry

was in a period of expansion and

prosperity. However, for the last 100
years, the yards have been in a
general decline.


Shivajis reign,as per

estimates, more than300 ships of

300 tonscapacity were launched.

The Wadias alone builtmore than

350 ships during1735-1863,170

war vessels, 34 man-of-war defense
vessels for the British Navy, 87
merchant vessels for private firms,
and three vessels for the Queen of
Muscat at Bombay docks.


1870, the shipbuilding on the

Western Coast moved to Mumbai.


1872, Jamshedji Wadia, from a

Parsi ship-building family,

constructed the Cornwallis, This
led to severalorders from the
British Navy.


of lack of competent rulers to hold the

Indian maritime industry fort, Indian shipbuilding


lack of competence from the Indian

perspective also ensured a further oppression for
the Indians from the British rulers.


industrysuffered a backlash,
construction of several British ships were awarded
to the Indian ship yards which kept alive the
hopes and promises of the Indian ship
construction industry in the chaotic times.


third major center forship

building was Narsapurpeta(near
Masulipatnam) port which was a
major center of exports of steel,
diamonds, saltpetre
because of better jointing
technology and elimination of
metal sheeting. Indian
shipbuilders hada special system
where wood was seasoned in
partial vacuum, with oils for
timber improvement


the advent of the European voyagers

likeVasco da Gamain the 13thcentury,
shipbuilding in India suffered as these
voyagers laid the foundation stone of
colonisation in the country.
However due to the political alliance formed
between the Indian rulers in the Western
part of the country to counter the
shipbuilding and naval efforts of the
Westerners, shipbuilding in India saw a
resurgence of sorts towards the


shipbuilders, colonialists
ensured through tariff and other
barriers, that Indian
shipbuildingwasprevented from
continuing to develop, even
though it had a proven ability to
adapt to changing technological
needs and thus finally killing it.
Indian shipbuilding expertise
ruledthe world till colonialism
killed it.

Indian Shipbuilding - Current


has close to 32
shipyardsincluding those owned by
Central Government, State Government,
Defense Ministry, listed and privately held.
Indian shipyards werent idle. Most newbuilding orders during recession were from
government companies such as ONGC,
SCI and other firms such as coast guard,
navy, etc. The orders received during the
shipping upturn period are due to be
completed by 2011-12.


Cochin Shipyard
2. Hindustan Shipyard
3. Hooghly Dock
1. Mazagon Dock
2. Goa Shipyard
3. Garden Reach Shipyard
1. Alcock Ashdown
2. Shalimar Works
1. ABG Shipyard
2. Bharati Shipyard
3. Pipavav Shipyard

22: some of the leading ones



our shipbuilding industry is very small by

present global standards.
Indian-built ships constitute less than 0.5% of the
global fleet, and accounts for only 10% of the Indianowned ships.
Our economic growth is also symbiotically related to
overseas trade and nearly 80% of the international
trade is moved by sea, being the most economical of
all methods.
According to the government's Hydrocarbon Vision2025, the likelihood of an extensive shortfall in the
national availability of natural gas and oil may require
us to import 62 million tonnes of natural gas by 2012
and 84 million tonnes by 2025. Simply put, we do not
have enough Indian-owned ships to carry our energy
requirements in vessels, and thus require additional
LNG, crude and product carriers.


of this critical cargo on

Indian-owned vessels is of great
significance, especially during
times of national crisis, so as to
reduce our present dependency
on foreign-owned ships.
Secondly, the overall share of
Indian merchant shipping in the
country's foreign sea-borne trade
has declined from about 36% in
the late 1980s to about 14% in


of Indian hulls are old and

due for scrapping in the next five
years. From the present .4
million gross tonnage, we need to
add another 16 million gross tons
by 2010 at a cost of nearly 20
billion US dollars, to maintain the
present level of international
trade on Indian ships.