December, 2008 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.”

`Innovation comes from connecting with the best of minds` …….. Albert Einstein

It`s high time our national maritime administration pools-up a team of loyal, duty-conscious qualified policy makers who look at shipping globally with a wider perspective angle, serve with integrity, since shipping is international. Remain agile within the acceptable limits of elasticity in approaches and workable operations, fact-based decisions within reasonable time, enhancing organisational-effectiveness by implementing leading-edge initiatives in the areas of recruitment, retention, training, evaluation etc. serving the coastal and ocean going shipping sector. Entry level mariners ought to be fully screened to meet the challenges of hard work out at sea and at the same time take the good image of our nation world-wide. “Life at sea is never a bed of roses”, while living with all the limitations onboard with varied conditions i.e. manpower, machineries, materials, for source of accessibility while at sea, to combat piracy as in the case of terrorism, meet emergent needs while living away from their close and near dear ones. Discipline is instilled in them, as the discipline plays a vital role in all spheres of life.

This means in human resources, Company policy needs to be unilaterally applied to hiring practices, after viewing all probabilities, taking into account of uncertainties as well, meeting international standards of quality, employee performance management, technology, evaluation and assessment worldwide. We need to compete all the time for talent, without any reservations but with the best of competencies. Our Cee Cee Industrial & Marine Management Consultants division continues, to transform itself to be both a services-led and technology- enabled company. Last but not least, our human resources function are organised and positioned to help drive our top-line growth, with a holistic and pragmatic approach. Our services consultative division sees the need for a certain kind of services-oriented skill set and consultative behavioral model for employees. Our HR Division concentrates on thoughts, qualified discussions and decisions for better recruiting and retaining people with the right skill- sets, to be more productive in nature. It is increasingly difficult, however, to find new employees with the expertise as we desire, unless we have evolved a yardstick of required quality, as a basic step and to gradually improve upon, upgrading them. Owing to no laid down common standards of curriculum.

Indian seafarers must maintain and constantly enhance their proficiency, continue to be admired for their hard, loyal and skilled service. Like other enterprises, they must be agile and adaptable to changes. Shipping being a service industry, transforms itself into services- 80% of the revenue derives from services and 20% from technology. With this mind-shift from tech to services, we need to implement a different type of specialized performance management. Seafarers live with risks and sacrifices, which is their part of life-style which is going unrecognised, in respect of their welfare, since they cannot get together unlike other tradesmen or professionals. Some wolves are exploiting them, which I have been saying time and again in my issues of “MARINE WAVES”.

We have been seeing maritime/ colleges/ academies/institutions etc. springing up in 90`s and finding them a unique set-up, amongst the existing conventional colleges/ institutions of higher learning, i.e. mariners (Captains and Chief Engineers) holding senior positions as: Director, Dean, Principal, Capt. Supdt., Faculty & instructor, purely on the strength of the Certificate of Competency which is to operate and manage ships, having worked onboard the ship as a Master or a Chief Engineer, though not academically strong, while with a background of 10+2/11th Standard/ or seaman entry through ranks which could be even without a school final/drop-outs. Hence, the old timers who are generally academically poor/under-graduates, why place in school of higher learning, while IITian, IIM graduates, PG`s, PhD`s, working in the same institutions, whose salary package comparably be mud and sky below, not considered fairly? This is a cause of discontentment within the teaching faculty of the same institution. Why not consider second mates and Mates & Masters (Class One) passed out from 90`s, as Graduates, PG`s respectively, for onward studies in taught and research studies, in their related discipline? This is similar to recognition of training and experience of Indian Navy personnel, for rehabilitation and resettlement into civil service. The shipping industry is dynamically and rapidly changing, academia has to rise to the occasion, a challenge. Technical education needs rejuvenation. Cannot be left with the old timer mariner`s alone, who have not been keeping abreast with the changing surge of technology. Excellence and Perfection are the only principles of Education that can safeguard the knowledge bank of any country, a pre-requisite to nurture talents, for seafarers of tomorrow.

Un-Fair fixation of pay scales: DG Shipping website invites application for Ship`s Surveyor, Engineer & Ship Surveyor, Nautical Surveyors in Directorate General of Shipping / Mercantile Marine Departments in the pay scale of Rs. 15600-39100+7600/-(Approximate Rs. 37584/ – p.m. in Class-I cities). Simultaneously, application invited for Radio Inspectors in the pay scale of Rs. 15600-39100+5400/- Grade Pay (Approximate Rs. 34,572/- p.m. in Class-I cities). This is not a fair proposition, since marine radio officers (telegraphers) inducted onboard to receive and send messages. Those working ashore are Class 3 employees; unless they are qualified graduate engineers in electrical/ electronics, they should not be appointed in the same starting basic wage as that of Chief Engineers and Masters.

The imperative need, to create a harmonious network for seafarers, in the website of every maritime nation, to interact and obtain timely realistic feedback, for timely corrective action, early reforms with better quality standards in technology, managerial for workable operations of the highest order, sourcing-out competent shipboard personnel. Monitoring, seafarer`s welfare at each stage, starting from recruitment, training, processing, enjoining their assigned vessel and evaluating their progress. Introduce incentive plans / compensation schemes as their morale will be boosted high to produce better results. Maritime nations to create its own monitoring and evaluation of seafarer`s needs, to make them more competitive, having the right attitude. MARINE WAVES is open to any Suggestions from social activists, joining us as our associates. Recommendations and remarks from any groups and private individuals is welcome-to promote better welfare-services for our dear seafarers, who lives with risks and sacrifices.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ph.D; MBA; D.Sc; FIE(India), PgDIMS(UK), PgTED; FIIPE; MSEI; MSNAME(USA),
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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