April, 2008 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

Marine Engineers deal with multi-disciplinary areas (mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics, chemical etc.), besides operation and maintenance, requisite documentation work, exercise control over various original equipment stores/genuine spares, fasteners, consumable spares etc. Hence they need to identify disciplinary interface, during their day to day work, which would assure improvement and development of technology for present and the future, in the timely replenishment to avoid any bottleneck.

Importantly in shipping perhaps, are also the potential interfaces between countries, cultures, and even corporate competitors etc.This means more joint ventures and partnerships not only in the commercial world but also in Research & Development. To date, 95% of worldwide research expenditure is concentrated in the northern hemisphere. The need to carry-out meaningful practices with modern updated theory, to instill and upgrade quality standards, such guys would be the real achievers. Monitoring bodies, to co-ordinate actions and as well remain a watchdog. Feedback gives the timely and corrective action alert. Foremost, our approaches and intentions need to be crystal clear. “Many of us have a growing feeling that the distinction between developing and developed countries is disappearing, more particularly in our marine profession,”

Learn to love reality, for development and professional happiness through discovering the true meaning of professionalism. “Innovation percolates within hard work overtime, therefore must impact Education”. Our need is to train and groom to global-standards and beyond, while Maritime Universities have sprang up, without much hassles in our country, undoubtedly there is tremendous untapped potential.” It is not Educationists role to provide only a theoretical background. We need to foresight the next generation for their jobs, by bridging the gap between academic and real situations in sea-life, to meet all eventualities. The curriculum that to be built-in to be with more exposure to reality. Helps to enhance, the independence of the next generation. The students also need time to digest what they have learnt. Ultimately, this means creating opportunities to combine academic knowledge and field observations of practice, inter-actions and feedback producing abstract experience and understanding. The best way to achieve this, is to write about one`s own rich experience – to produce a case study, to benefit the rest. Why? during this modern age of Knowledge Management, accept old timers, i.e. school drop-outs, under-graduates without recognized teaching qualification as Professors, HOD`s, Deans and Vice Chancellors of Maritime University/ Academies / Institutions, merely on the strength of COC`s, of set paper exams. Does this make sense? Isn`t it illogical? Mariners in the national maritime administration also lack sea-experience to keep abreast for skills out at sea. Outsourcing should have rather been considered from a consortium of highly qualified and experienced mariners. Instead, why not at least regulate the fees to enable the economically weaker section, to gain admission on their merits, rather than depriving them. Meaningful regulation of fees/ Salary of the faculty staff in Maritime Institutions/ Academies/University? Various regulators actually did quite well at acting in a coordinated fashion, but unfortunately they coordinated in the wrong direction. It is high time, Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of Labour extend their support to the Directorate General of Shipping, and setright the inequalities, to avoid discrimination, thereby enhancing the good image of indian seafarers, in land and overseas. Free, Frank and Fearless media to expose realities, supporting fair and good governance.

As a citizen of India, in a sovereign democratic republic country, after a period of six decades, I don`t find in practice Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity ensuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation that is enshrined in our national constitution. To file a suit, it takes beyond weeks and months for the same to be listed itself but for the simple reasons of court clerk on leave. Once listed, the same is dragged for years on adjournments. The accused goes scot-free, with the help of changing politicians and unreliable advocates who collude with their colleagues of the opposite party. What would be the mental state of the common man who seeks justice? Similarly an employee appointed on an all India open advertisement, in the government of India enterprise, can be thrown out of service, like a fish out of water, when he has a family to support, the sincere though outspoken denied his dignity, for no fault of his and deprived of all benefits like VRS, medical disability benefit etc. includes the fair and final settlement as on date. Hence, why should it be wrong, to sneer at bureaucrats and officialdom for this state of affairs, when they appear to be practicing unfairness, to ones basic rights of natural justice. Is it not the people`s government? Continuous meddling in areas of one`s personal life is wrong; which they seem to know nothing about, cause`s harassment of irritation and humiliation. Not only that, it`s an important expression of widely accepted democratic freedoms that the people can express dissent about unfair rules of practice. By swimming with hungry crocodiles I know is not most people`s idea of thrill and fun, which I have undertaken, in the general interest of seafarer`s welfare, which is though a selfless and thankless job. My mission was to expose the reality, while they continue to be clouded instead of transparency, during this RTI age. India is running on obsolete laws which British made to fit in their colonies. In many cases, laws are not amended suiting to the times properly. If one goes through all the laws, you can see discrepancies, in their respective discipline. Laws are not amended fairly with an open mind but for inflicting interest of some politicians or high profile bureaucrats. Rightly said by the VITU Chancellor G.Viswanathan, that the corruption in politics and administration can be rooted out only when the people at the top change their attitude. Laws can`t be superior to individual rights, liberty and dignity, nor law content have loopholes to inflict further injury of injustice, to the innocent in the society. Many of these rules have been made by the corrupt and mafia lobbies and remnants of British Empire to gag others so they can continue loot and plunder and all sorts of crimes. In the prevailing maritime scenario, it is though certainly easy, to make fun of few pertinent issues, despite their admitted complexity, all this owing to right people not in the right place, neither fully knowledgeable for job assigned nor with the will to work with honesty and sincere devotion to their tasks assigned, but for building vagueness of applicable coverage and set of loopholes to deviate, with vested interests.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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