Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Maritime Information Databank – A Suggested Model

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Maritime Information Databank – A Suggested Model

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

In these current days of Globalisation and competition associated with almost all facets of day to day life and business, there is a need for right information at the right time. With so much of information available on internet, it is very difficult to identify the right one. Therefore it is necessary that each sector of information needs to be classified, researched, verified and authenticated to become dependable and readily usable/ acceptable. In this connection concepts of developing a data banks is a well identified one, provided the same is fluidic to get updated with every small but effective change. Maritime sector being an International Sector, all the information needs to be drawn from all across the globe, collated after authentication in order to make an effective databank.

2 Definition and Concept of Maritime

'Maritime' can be defined as matters connected with the sea, especially in relation to seaborne trade or navies. These can be nature related, human related, territory related, jurisdiction related etc. Today, we live in a society supported by a global economy, which simply could not function if it were not for shipping. Shipping serves global trade by carrying huge quantities of cargo, all over the world, cost-effectively, cleanly and safely. Establishing a sustainable maritime transportation sector is essential to the development and growth of the world's economy (1).

3Maritime History & Trade in India

India has a very rich maritime history dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE when the denizens of the Indus Valley civilization initiated maritime trading contacts with Mesopotamia. The world's first dock at Lothal in modern Gujarat (2400 BCE) was located away from the main sea currents to avoid deposition of silt, thereby indicating possession of considerable knowledge of oceanography, hydrography and maritime engineering. Kingdoms on the west coast of India engaged in active sea trade with ancient Persia, Arabia and Egypt, and through them with ancient Greece and Rome (2).

Indian Maritime Trade depends on water bodies of the country. India is almost an island as far as trade is concerned. The country also shares maritime boundaries with seven nations in the Indian Ocean. India has a coastline of over 7500 km, and a population of over 1 billion (one-seventh of the world population) is dependent, directly or indirectly, on the marine resources available along its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Its strategic geographical position with a long coastline acts as a great advantage in the maritime trade field.

The Indian Peninsula juts into the Indian Ocean, covering major shipping lanes of the world, providing the shortest route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Indian trade taking place through the sea-lines of communication (SLOC) or maritime trade routes join the major regions in the western and eastern part of the world. Seaborne trade passing through the Indian Ocean has amounted to almost 15 percent of the entire world trade (3).

India has about 7516 kilometers of coastline serviced by a total of 182 ports, 12 of them under a special status as Major Ports being under the purview of the Central Government. Seventy other ports termed as minor ones come under the jurisdiction of the respective State Governments. Ennore in Tamil Nadu has been declared as the 12th Major Port (4).

4Definition and Concept of Maritime Information

Information is related to data and knowledge. Information reduces uncertainty. Data that is (1) accurate and timely, (2) specific and organized for a purpose, (3) presented within a context that gives it meaning and relevance, and (4) can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty. Information is valuable because it can affect behavior, a decision, or an outcome (5).

In an international sector as diverse and as varied as Maritime there are hundreds of activities taking place round the clock all over the world. …

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