July, 2008 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

There should be a reasonably good salary for MARINERS OPTING FOR EMPLOYMENT ASHORE with private companies, with their unique service of risks and sacrifice, since they do not have after service benefits as in the government service. Whereas, mariners in our national maritime administration, who have been inducted not for either their long rich sea service, nor higher standing qualification, nor merit based on an individuals acumen in subjective theory or practice but for an easy walk-in, without competition.

Its competing through (UPSC) without actually competing is all about, unlike other Class 1 posts. They exempt themselves from the other mariners who have put in longer sea service, nevertheless qualified, with the task of attending STCW courses, re-validation courses etc. during their hard earned leave ashore. Where is the merit to justify logic behind that? A fresh thinking needed.

If so, Distance learning/self study should have been encouraged for floating staff as well, wherever feasible. A fresh thinking needed for National shipping administrations, to look at citizens without any disparity and discrimination in a fair and just manner, with a concern for ethical standards and a pragmatic approach. The executives of the directorate shall maintain the honour, integrity and dignity in all his/her professional actions to be worthy of the trust of the associated community and the profession. Shall maintain utmost honesty and fairness in making or giving witness and shall do so on the basis of adequate knowledge. Should neither solicit nor accept financial gratification or other considerations from anyone related to a project or assignment of which he is in the charge or through deploying middlemen. Only educated and qualified mariners with a lean towards academics are allowed to enter faculty, for the noble profession of imparting education, to further improve employability of Indian seafarers. The need for maximising awareness and minimising risks, owing to hazardous work of seafarers at sea.

To heighten the maritime profession, need for zeal and energy with theory and practice, onward dedicated research and development is of prime importance. Age restricted people should be employed onboard vessels, who are physically and mentally fit with operational and maintenance skill of the highest order, realistic manning which would be neither more nor less, alertness, activeness and smartness to meet exigencies out at sea, with a pragmatic approach.

During this age of transparency after implementation of the RTI Act, we need to collectively view with a national spirit and expect the government employees in their respective discipline to give their best in performance and have official website to express their services and counter corruption, by openly inviting feedback from every citizen of their services. Constructive criticisms are entertained, with broad-mindedness and in good spirits, for timely corrective action, to improve upon the situation, which adds on mutual respect, cooperation, better under-standing. Most regrettable is that of the static unmoved situation, for all the exposures made through the editorials of “Marine Waves”. However, we will continue to strive for the welfare of the seafarers doing our best.

The marine apprenticeship world of yesterdays with a boxful of tools and COC, result of set paper exams conducted within even without a photograph is not enough in the present day world of innovated education. The need for theory and practice to initiate the right specialized skill. However realistically when those who are supposed to initiate such measures are corrupt and narrow minded, I would suspect the effectiveness of all this. According to me there is no radical solution for an over all change in the right direction given India`s diversified polity. It`s a very unique case that has been shaped by such different culture, section, language, tradition etc. The effect of which is what we see as a decadent social psyche and that is where most of the problems are rooted. It`s in the social psyche and as such it is hard to pin point a particular problem and cause. The only way to approach is to start some `movement` (I have to leave it abstract at this point, knowing clearly as to what I am talking about). I have no faith in government or similar organizations, non-considering the systemic failures. Human dignity takes precedence over every other parameter. A minimum form of control is necessary in an organization to eschew chaos and indiscipline. This leaves the responsibility upon us.

Hence, if a group of similar like minded people can come forward together and facilitate a social system, empower the seafarers, to heal the wrongs of the past, this hopefully should produce some result in the long run. Initially this may sound a bit utopian and there is no immediate results, but given there is proper planning it would give a direction if not a change. The underlying principles are nothing but give our youth of present generation a direction, and let the wheel of changes evolve for a bright good future.

Fear is not the natural state of civilized people………………………….Aung San. Svaki

No man is above the Law and no man below it …………………………Theodre Roosevelt

Turn your wounds into wisdom. ………………………………………. ….Oprah Winfrey

Follow your instincts. That`s where true wisdom manifests itself. …Oprah Winfrey

Well-trained and qualified Mariners with an aptitude to teaching wholeheartedly, would help to boost maritime sector, on imparting the necessary maritime education and training coupled with strict crew selection would be a boon to the shipping industry. Indian Maritime Regulatory Commission be formed, imposing stringent maritime measures to make sure that deserving examinees pass the test of various grades for seafarers, genuine grievances be looked into for rehabilitation and resettlement of seafarers, pay scales of officers and crew are regulated and looked into fairly, the whistleblowers are not victimized as I fell a prey in S. C. I. etc

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

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