June, 2007 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

The importance of shipping in our economy can hardly be overstated for ensuring growth benefits to all sections of society and all regions of our vast country. Its high time, major changes are brought into Maritime Education, with total commitment, quality and accountability at all levels amongst maritime professionals, whether in the private or public educational institutions. The quality of education is a reflection of the quality of teachers.

Major improvements in their training and working conditions will determine as to how our country fares in the pursuit of economic and social development in the years to come. The need is of high time, to humanize and sensitize our “Maritime Educational System.” Unless, the “Maritime Education” is treated as for the public good, citizen friendly and national pride, with wider thoughts in a broader perspective angle, since seafaring personnel`s are of global demand, who bring in substantial foreign-exchange to our country. Cannot be taken lightly, as in the conventional Educational field, need to be always on the move on the globalize world with a pursuit to excellence, if to be on the top of the world of international standards.

Employability of adequate coastal vessels around our Indian coastline would help the nation to ease growing road traffic congestion and pollution problems, thereby deliver significant social and economic benefits. It is the most fuel-efficient, economical mode of transport. “The government spends on roads and on rail, yet shipping continues to neglect coastal shipping. “Such a vital sector of the economy cannot afford to rely on the whims of offshore decision-makers” as our arteries being clogged to a standstill. We should make better use of the neglected, too often ignored mode of coastal shipping, to help achieve transport sustainability.” This is an era where knowledge and skills play a significant role in organizational success.

Insights, into Maritime Education and Training. The need to clearly redefine “Maritime Education”, `Academy`, `Institution`, `College`,`Curriculum`, `Teacher and Learner`. Knowledge based training will only allow specialization and growth for in-depth study. Uniform with appellate similar to that of Flag Officers in Indian Navy would not suffice, to cover up the weaknesses of academic qualifications in academic institutions, with only certificate of competency, meant for operation and maintenance of ships. It is an Awakening towards truth and reality. There are institutional issues such as improving the quality of shipping and its research and making it more relevant to the actual needs from time to time. Planning Commission and HR Ministry to highlight the key features of detailed presentation suggested for revitalizing our maritime education sector.

Shore-based conventional academic studies on teaching i.e.Trained teachers: Montessori Nursery and primary teachers, TCH. Graduate Entry Teachers for Maths, Science, English, B.Ed; M.Ed; NET, M.Phil, Ph.D`s. What is the state of Maritime Training Colleges/ Academies/Institutions of higher learning etc.? Curriculum for each level of training/studies ? In an era of unprecedented opportunity, for Science and Technology, Qualities to be nurtured “Research and Enquiry, Creativity and Innovation, use of high-fi Technology entrepreneurial and moral leadership ” focusing on the changing role of maritime education, the need for removal of digital illiteracy, bridging science talent gap and meaningful application of science and technology. “Maritime law” must provide certainty and equality to seafarers. Build attitudes, not just sophisticated transportation. Where is transparency, purity in reality? The media has still a very long way to go, in the exposition of facts, to march with real progress. Watchdog to keep the industry in check?

If India, with its vast human resources, wanted to become a world leader, steps should be taken to ensure that at least 50 per cent of its youth entered the portals of universities in the next 15 years on pure merit, from the present seven per cent. The need therefore to ensure, that Education was not influenced only by profit managed institutions, nor with investment of crores of rupees for providing scholarships. The government needs to look at various aspects of improving the working infrastructure of the regulatory agencies such as the UGC and AICTE, Directorate General of Shipping approving maritime institutions without integrating with the academic regulatory authorities. This includes how to fund them realistically in time and monitor them. Also addressing public debates, arranged in metropolitan-cities of the country simultaneously inviting reasonable complaints and suggestions into the website and responding to the same, exposing lack of transparency, redressal for unfairness meted out by the aggrieved, this encourages constructive criticisms for subjective development.

We need to open up, “Learning beyond times, depth and length “with a sense of urgency about the need to address the deficiencies and defects in the emerged system, which would result in timely corrective action and development. Mushrooming of maritime institutions in 1990`s were a cause of serious concern resulting in “off the shelves certificates” available for a price, which was addressed by the Secretary, Mr.Naresh Birwadkar, Forward Seamen`s Union of India, Mumbai, published in the Times of India newspaper of Mumbai edition. It is not out of place to mention here that the same person has once sailed with me, as an oilman during my engineer-watch. He very much realizes the sentiments of seamen out at sea; who has practically seen his fellow seamen being exploited and grown up to be a seamen`s leader, to protect their real interests and welfare. Proved to be the savior, for the exploited canteen workers on offshore vessels, streamlining them into the fold of seamen for wages, common benefits and privileges.

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

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