July, 2009 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where the knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken-up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward by thee into ever widening thought and action into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake……. Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them……Rabindranath Tagore

The Shipping Industry contributes significantly to the global and sustainable development and prosperity of the maritime nations carrying 90% of the world`s trade safely, efficiently and with the least environmental impact and cost, while comparing to all other powered modes of transport.The role of the SEAFARERS, as human element in shipping, plays a vital role. Unlike the traditional seafarers, who had their varied work and life-styles, living on trial and error methods, on their own customary style and systems? Now that, the implementation of the Standard of Training and Certification of Watch keeping (STCW) Convention with updates, ensures that these seafarers are properly educated and trained to meet the needs of safe shipping operations, taking into past experiences. “Marine Waves” believes in continuous improvement of ” Quality & Safety standards ” by incorporating the Quality (ISO 9001-2000), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS – 18001) standards and ISM Code requirements which is certified, approved and religiously followed with periodical internal audits on all our Ships and Offices with concern reporting directly to the highest level in the organization.

Acute shortage of SEAFARERS, the human element in shipping, which is responsible for the carriage of over 90 per cent of the world trade, has been a source of concern to even the advanced maritime nations. The periodic studies by specialized maritime labour agencies i.e. BIMCO, ISF and the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) Cardiff University, 52 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT,Wales, UK.reported, highlighting the anticipated shortage of qualified officers worldwide, while recent studies, according to reports from the International Maritime Organisation`s secretariat predicted shortage of around 83,900 earlier to 2015, expressing anguish indicating the problems, which requires urgent solution, as the vessels world-wide must be entrusted to seafarers who are competent in all respects, to sail them in a safe, secure, and efficient manner. INDIA, a maritime nation with abundance of man-power, while restricting unreasonably their supply domestically and global, should cause concern to any enlightened citizen, since the supply has been globally insufficient. The domestic/coastal shipping cries shortage within, to meet their needs and even proposed to employ from overseas, is a poor state of affairs. Such, deliberatively created shortages, are pathways to rampant corruption, inviting middlemen for underhand dealings to corruption. While DG approved Maritime Institutions, prepares the candidates to pursue a career in shipping companies or shipping related activities ashore. The Candidates who successfully complete training at such Institutes should be eligible for taking up jobs as navigating officers/ Marine Engineers on board any ship sailing anywhere in the world.

Access to Higher Maritime Education, is still inadequate, and the Government, therefore, must take measures to expand and diversify the opportunities, for every citizen to benefit from higherlevel skills and qualifications – for a career oriented profession with which they can enter the world of work opportunities. Besides the apparent shortage of supply in some parts of the world, particularly within the traditional maritime countries, the re has been reluctance on the part of young people, to choose seafaring as a profession. Those who even decide to make a career out at sea have been reluctant / unwilling to remain at sea to make a successful sea-career, owing to many attractive employment-options ashore, more particularly owing to harassment by examiners of the national shipping administration who are more or less ill conceived not keeping abreast to the times, to match up with the new generation, versed with computer and communication technology, facing the unwanted, unreasonable, illogical and outdated formalities in the Mercantile Marine Department, that consume the valuable time of their hard-earned leave ashore etc. The global shortage of seafarers, has tremendously caused concern to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and hence began a “go to sea” campaign last year, to attract entrants to the shipping industry. The campaign is still on and it is not yet clear as to how far it can influence the choice of the youths globally to take up challenging career at sea, considering the prevailing lacunae in our own national shipping administration, which being the bottle-neck.

While INDIA a maritime nation, could have made significant and better contribution, with their abundance of man-power, consisting of physically and mentally fit young men and women who are more knowledgeable, English-speaking youth, to take up challenging career at sea as seafarers but situation speaks loud of “unless our system is revolutionized, our country INDIA would end up, having the largest number of hungry, angry, frustrated unemployable youth” since successfully passed out candidates from DG approved Colleges/Institutions/Deemed Universities are shabbily treated in MMD`s of DGS, frustrating them with very poor illogical resul ts, declared by Examiners of MMD. In reality, failure of candidates should be barely negligible (minimum), or else the failed candidates be convinced, of where their weakness lies for improvement, while they are product of DG approved Maritime Institutions. Marine Waves, is focused upon doing service to the voiceless seamen, who are victim of circumstances. “You are where your thoughts have brought you; you will be where your thoughts take you”- regional self-interest in opposition to a global approach, one that demands compromise but has the potential to deliver higher economic benefits to all…… James Allen.

Mariners serving in the office of the DGS and MMD`s, need improved interface with the serving and retired seafarers, if they need to catch up to the day to day times, particularly keeping abreast to the happenings and changes out at sea. Public-Relations (PR) is an extremely important activity which touches every facet of an organization. Greater transparency is an unstoppable force. There is an imperative need for the human side of the industry to raise its voice when confronted by injustice.

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

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