February, 2010 – Editor’s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

Seafaring professionals are out of sight, hence out of the minds of our government, since seafarers have no tall claims, who are working out on the deep seas and the oceans of the world, on hazardous working conditions living with risks and sacrifices, staying away from their near and dear ones, sacrificing the prime part of their youth-life living out at sea and during their precious earned leave spend with their near and dear ones.

They have no regrets even for their losing the citizen`s voting rights while they are out at sea, not realizing the cause of negligence by the politicians who count only on ballot votes, for which they exist in power. Similarly the politicians do not realize that these seafarers bring in valued foreign-exchange to our country.The government needs to introduce appropriate welfare schemes, measures like rehabilitation and resettlement of merchant navy personnel for on shore employment, to those invalidated on medical grounds and those leaving sea services on compassionate grounds. MARINE WAVES have expressed concern over the “casual manner” in which successive Governments had dealt with various recommendations made in plain words of truth, exposing the deficiencies and defects by it for streamlining the system. `Law needed against the black sheep in MMD`s of our country.`

In the recent crack down against the growing menace of deemed universities by the Ministry of Human Resources, derecognising 44 universities, of which Academy of Maritime Education and Training, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. And Vel`s Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced studies (VISTAS), Chennai, Tamil Nadu were the two deemed maritime universities that appeared in tamilnadu, such string pulling where a shear necessity, for awakening all those flouting all norms wherever feasible and going unchecked. It is imperative to therefore ensure a minimum and common standard of curriculum of education, reasonable fees structure, with the requisite infrastructure facility, qualified and willing faculty staff to impart quality education. It is more of honing the requisite work-skills, sincere-efforts, quality and valuing time.

Reasons known for Derecognising of Deemed Universities by HRD:

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry`s review has cited several reasons for the derecognizing of 44 deemed universities. The most common reason was that most of the private deemed universities were run by undesirable management, where families rather than professional academics who controlled the functioning. Besides that several other common reasons are mentioned below:

Most of the institutions had violated the principles and guidelines prescribing excellence in teaching and research and were engaged in introduction of thoughtless programmes.

Little evidence of noticeable efforts in case of emerging areas of knowledge

little or no commitment towards research.

Institutions increased their intake capacity disproportionately beyond their infrastructure and number of faculties.

Under-graduate and post-graduate courses were fragmented with concocted nomenclatures which were aimed to attract high number of students with the sole aim of making money.

Higher fee structure than reasonably prescribed.

Foster values: A consequence of increased globalization, birth of quality-visionary, is the recognised need to assure the quality of education beyond national borders, or the mutual recognition of quality standards. namely:-

The development of a “learning organisation” which encourages collaboration and scholarship

The encouragement of a “research culture” with a world-leading reputation

The pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning

A willingness to undertake new challenges and develop international opportunities

The encouragement of scholarly debate and community interaction.

The need to be innovative and to develop meaningful links with private industry.

The recent debate on the need for comprehensive regulatory reform in the Indian maritime sector needs to be viewed against the urgent measures needed to spur its growth and modernization to keep pace with the developments elsewhere in the world. Indeed, while the regulatory reform process is bound to be long and winding, it makes a lot more sense to peg the reform process to more concrete objectives of achieving specific milestones in the growth and modernization process. This is perhaps also essential because at the current stage of development of the maritime industry, it is best left to its own possibilities of growth and development. “Whoever commands the sea commands the trade and whoever commands the trade commands the riches of the world”.

Environmental Safety & Standards in International Shipping: Poor monitoring and compliance with international safety standards by Flag of Convenience (FOC) countries, coupled with recent ship accidents, the case of “Erika” and MT “Prestige” incident, off the Spanish coast still fresh in mind the issue of environmental safety and standards is likely to be a major issue of concern to all national ship registries and is likely to make new stringent demands. Tankers: which has major share of global fleet and seaborne cargo is going to be particularly affected. International: Transport Workers Federation (ITF), Green Peace International and World Wildlife Fund have stepped up their campaign against what they call “substandard” shipping and have sought urgent UN intervention, to primarily raise their image for more funds as Greenpeace in India.

The US Terrorism Act & Implications for Shipping: following the September 11 happenings, the worldwide concerns about national security have resulted in unprecedented demands on national ship registries and ocean liners to fall in line with series of new regulations and norms for port clearance of cargo. This is likely to substantially increase legal and insurance costs and other indemnity obligations and liabilities and build greater pressures on reorganization of terminal loading operations, which will affect shipping. The US Terrorism Act, which seeks to tightly regulate cargo movements into and out of the United States, a major partner in world trade, now comes into force from December 2002 and is likely to seriously impact US bound cargo logistics and trade supply chains across the world.

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

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