January, 2011 – Social and Rights Issue
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From the Editor`s Desk
S a f e G u a r d O u r S e a S
Social & Rights Issue: The real Seafarer`s Welfare-Man needs to acquire a mindset, with broader outlook and wider thoughts, to narrow-down to general and specialised realistic needs of the seafarers.
One has to be of an impeccable selfless character of simplicity and humility, with wider knowledge, have a patient hearing to redress the genuine grievances of the seafarers, if to really serve the needy seafarers with their legitimate social and rights issues, keeping abreast to the changing times ensuring justice without bias and prejudice.
Mariners inducted into the Shipping Directorate should never forget the hard-life of the seafarers, out on the deep seas. Seafarers are sacrificing their good part of their human life-cycle, living away from their near and dear ones, and bringing considerable foreign-exchange to their country of origin, keeping the Global Trade alive. Seafarer`s tough sacrificial-life is not each and everybody`s- bread, conscience of each one of us know, regret the conscience of Mariners inducted into the National Maritime Administration, though with their stint period out at sea, do not recognise, because of their placement, in par with the senior bureaucrats, though with their short sea-service of operation and maintenance background, placed for administrative works, misfits while many are under-graduates (since trade-apprentices to start with), while many eminent specialised in other fields, at doctorate-levels in the country, are not honoured as much as they are. They should learn to be honest, grateful and thankful to god. It`s Obvious, all owing to poor Recruitment Policy without wide publicity, to appoint whom they like and not on merits, unlike other UPSC entry. The need, therefore for “Fair and Effective Procedural Laws”. While,”A Right of remedies is also a Fundamental-right. The prevailing violation of Fundamental Rights” are due to procedural flaws. Seafarer`s Profession though international, their welfare and after service benefits, below national- level for citizen`s protection, are worst than the unorganised sector ashore. The need for comprehensive protection and livelihood rights. It is high time, the Examiners in the office of the Directorate General Shipping, paves the way for Indian Maritime Standards, towards meeting the requisite comprehensive training, sensitive handling of seafarers for various grades of CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY, by closely liaising, inter-acting with the maritime institutions and relevant educational authorities and associated departments. Professional-life, flowers best in situations where collaboration and partnership with others is the norm, and where there is mutual trust, respect and understanding. When, seafarers are driven to deliver results on the basis of unhealthy comparisons, there is trouble. As a matter of fact, in reality the Viva Voce (Oral) examination, needs to be dispensed off, as they are incompetent. It is causing harassment and humiliation to the seafarers, or else for transparency provide copy of their corrected answer paper. Reasonably convince those calling for services at MMD, * when detained in various port cities, away from their home-town(during their hard-earned leave). Failed candidates by MMD, be convinced where they subjectively lack, instead of continuously neglecting them, which is inhuman.
Generally, Institutions of higher learning, wherein faculty staff needs to be qualified by N.E.T., M.Phil./Ph.D. Whereas, MMD Examiners of the office of the Directorate General Shipping should not forget that they are the ones who gain early entry into the department obviously with less, neither sea-service nor superior by their entry qualification, as trade apprentices without much competition, unlike other UPSC Class One posts, (records will speak), is just a resultant of candidates compromising with the government scale of pay, for various reasons i.e. medical, domestic, occupational hazards at sea etc. on comparing with the high salary paid to floating staff, but for the increased commitment, responsibility and professional risks (prone to occupational hazards and personal sacrifices, living away from their close and near dear ones.). Furthermore, Mariners joining the department are performing more of administrative desk jobs and documentation-work, similar to Bureau of Indian Standards, where grave omissions existed during my sailing. BIS was convinced, which was owing to the incompetent Mariners in the office of DGS. The office of the DGS “Committed to fulfil the national and international obligations through administration of MS Act, 1958 and implementation of the international Conventions and Protocols, so as to serve Indian Maritime in an efficient manner and not to lag behind, while India boasts of “Knowledge Management” which would benefit the industry and the country as a whole in implementing IMO Conventions considering domestic conditions, but claims false superiority over others, doing more harm to the active working seafarers at sea. This is to remind our colleagues (mariners), of their path into MMD, having opted early for shore-service in central government; A Principal Officer of MMD had abused his powers, advising maritime institutions not to sponsor “Marine Waves”, hence all Advertisement to “Marine Waves” monthly maritime newsletter, were stopped many years back, which was abuse of powers resulting personal animosity. Expresses, his poor veracity of origin and cheap street smartness, expressing guilt, for his own reasons of attitude. `Law needed against such black sheep in Mercantile Marine Department`s of our nation, who can`t maintain the decency and decorum of the office held. However, “Marine Waves” subscriptions grew enormously from seafarers, state public libraries, private colleges/universities, etc. Unfair practices ruins national development.
The imperative need therefore for a holistic approach, by the office of the DGS, where every aspect of seafarer`s lives – physical, psychological, emotional and social is integrated and be looked into realistically. A value-driven organization has a different mindset. The open way of functioning, would ensure that each seafarer is valued for what he can contribute. No unfavorable comparisons are made. If at all, comparison be meant is to create a higher quality benchmark and so is inspirational. Marine Professionals are required to be not just excellent in their jobs out at sea but also display evolved qualities that makes less militant and more cooperative, less of a complainer and more of a doer. This should not be exploited by the employer for self-interest, by unfair trade practices but for best practice solutions, considering in-depth understanding of maritime legal requirements and strategic business knowledge on the industry`s expectations of turning out quality cadets and result-oriented officers and engineers. MARITIME INSTITUTIONS to impart, latest updates keeping abreast of the various regional and international Shipping and Maritime Regulations. The fees collected from students, should also have reasonable relation to the cost and consider admissions based on merit. Residential Institutions, to ensure reasonably good food in quantity and quality, is served hygienically, timely etc. and good housekeeping of the candidate`s accommodation, subject to periodical and surprise checks by duty-conscious authorities concerned. Merchant Navy, being the second line of defense, uniformed, disciplined service to the nation it belongs and stringent administrative rules and regulations to be instilled in the educational campus, giving no room for any in-disciplinary acts, but for smooth functioning, congenial living and studying atmosphere and a peaceful soothing effect to the parents of students who have entrusted their wards investing their hardearned money and / or from educational-loan availed. Implement fair practices.
Dr. Chandran Peechulli, Ph.D ; D.Sc., F I E (India), F.I.I.P.E., M.S.E.I., Pg.DTED, Pg.DIMS(UK), MSNAME(US), Fellow – Institution of Engineers (India),
Indian Institution of Plant Engineers & Ex. Vice Chairman TN Chapter, Life Member & Ex.Executive Member-Indian Institute of Standards Engineer T N Chapter,
Indian Institute of Occupational Health, ManagingEditor & Publisher – “Marine Waves” International Maritime Newsletter. Corporate Member, Chennai Press Club. Ex. Chief Engineer (Marine) & General Manager (Tech), Consultant – Cee Cee Industrial & Marine Management Consultants. firstname.lastname@example.org
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