Kochi, Oct 28 (UNI) Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today inaugurated the Kunjali Marakkar School of Marine Engineering at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) campus, near here.
Delivering his inaugural speech, Mr Achuthanandan said the marine engineering sector was facing a shortage of skilled staff and the school should be able to provide competent professionals for the industry.
He said the government in association with the authorities concerned would construct a Shipping Campus, at a cost of Rs four crore and was in consultations with the Ministry of Defence to provide a redundant warship for training purpose.
The school, the only one of its kind in the country, would also provide training to students from the SAARC and Gulf countries, he said.
The importance of marine engineering had increased manifold as there was an increase of 20 to 25 per cent in trade and the majority of trade was through the sea.
The Chief Minister noted that the CUSAT should maintain its status quo and scale new heights in the field of education in the state.
Mr Achuthanandan said the Kollam-Kottappuram National Waterway would be inaugurated soon, ushering in a new era in passenger and cargo transport.
Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister M A Baby said considering the educational backwardness of the Malabar region, the government was planning to set up a central university or a centre of higher edcuation in the region.
He said the government was chalking out policies to increase the standard and quality of basic and higher education in the state.
The Marine School offers four-year B Tech course and has advanced facilities like marine engineering overhauling shop, test rigs and model block, and a Full Mission Engine Room Simulator lab.
The school is also planning to offer M Tech and Ph D in marine engineering.