Maritime activities in our country are mostly devoted to any one of the four purposes: Defence, Commercial, Academic and Sports. There are a number of courses and institutions to cater to those engaged in or aspiring to join any of these streams. Such institutions include some of the universities, the IITs, a few Government departments like the Civil Defence Department and the Ministry of Defence and a host of government-aided and approved institutions (of which SEI is a prime example).
The principal objective of the Seminar on Maritime Education and Training was to initiate a meaningful coordination and networking among these different courses and institutions so that the best synergistic effects may be realized for all of them.
The Ganga flows along the edge of Calcutta not only as a silent witness to the chequered history of the city, but also as its very lifeline. The city lives off the river.
In spite of our absolute dependence on its bounty, city-dwellers tend to show little gratitude. The outcome of this insensitivity has been that today both the city and the river of the poetâ€™s fancy, the common manâ€™s daily concern and the academicâ€™s interest are in crisis.
Drawing attention to the alarming magnitude of the problem, SEI organized the seminar on The River and the City on 17 March, 1998, with an eye towards evolving a meaningful policy and recommendation for improvement of both the river and the city.
The seminar brought together concerned academics, technocrats and policymakers from relevant government departments in order to inspire viable suggestions for resurgence.
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SEI experimented with rafting for the first time with its â€˜Mountain to Seaâ€™ expedition from Sikkim to Sagar in 2003. It was an enchanting as well as educative experience for the team of seven seafarers led by Mr. Tapas Chowdhury.
The voyage was flagged off from Singchutam in Sikkim on March 21st, 2003. Four days of white water rafting in the swirling waters of the Teesta, cradled by lofty mountains, across Singtam, Baradung, Monipal, Mamring, Ranpo, Melli Bazar, Rangit, Kalijhora and Teesta Bazaar brought the team to Coronation Bridge in Siliguri on March 24th. The second phase of the expedition commenced on March 29th, with an added strength of two women â€“ Sushmi Saha and Keka Jana â€“ on the side. Battling the tides on kayaks, the crew voyaged from Farakka past the Feeder Canal into the mainstream of the Bhagirathi. They reached Sagar after rowing past seven districts of West Bengal in 10 days and then journeyed back to the Institute on Outram Ghat, mooring their crafts on April 12th, 2003.
The Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of West Bengal, provided financial and logistic support for this expedition, which was a joint venture with the Academy of Adventure Sports, Government of West Bengal.