May, 2008 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

“The world is mainly of ocean, neither one nation nor one navy, can meet all of the world`s maritime challenges. Administrators and seafarers of the world, have to work united in common, since shipping is international, in their respective places with coordinated efforts. Don`t we need a place that is secure for all, in this globalised world ? “Don`t we not understand that the maritime threats to our security are real, such as criminal organizations, threats violations of the fishing grounds, pandemic diseases and piracy,”

All of us suffer devastating natural-disasters, threat that earthquakes, tsunami, storms, floods and mudslides etc. may impact us. “Seventy percent of the world is covered by water, 80 percent of the population lives probably within about 100 miles of a coastline, and finally, 90 percent of the world`s trade directly depends on the oceans, the seas, bays, inlands, islands, coastal areas, rivers and even the airspace above them,” “The maritime matters; maritime is important. In a globalizing world, it`s more important than ever.”

The national maritime administration (directorate-general of shipping), is found to have their own priorities of vested interests, neglecting to protect the interest of the very high risk contingent of seafarers. Heartlessly, inflicted injuries to a survivor of the sunken- vessel, by causing unreasonable delay, literally denied, holding up issue of COC NCV Class IV; till date of this publication, thereby said seafarer is at mercy, put into hardships of unemployment. The survivor was picked-up from the sunken vessel, after three long days in deep-seas, by the Indian coastguard. Applaud to the disciplined, committed and dedicated workforce of Indian Coast Guard. Aftermath of the mental and physical trauma, of the survivor, the concerned MMD officials, ought to have behaved in a socially responsible manner, with a human touch, enquiring his welfare but instead harassing and humiliating the Seafarer, NCV 2/ENGR.,Gopal Chandra Paul, inflicting injuries. Such atrocities cannot be tolerated. A good heart can only gauge the unbearable internal pain, starvation owing to un-employment for want of valid COC as held by him earlier. He has all along served as watch-keeper of small and medium vessel`s power plant, with vast experience over three decades as watch-keeper, a veteran on coastal/NCV. Fair and Just Policies, towards Justice and welfare to seafarers, turning into a distance dream. Mariners inducted into the department, serving in the directorate general of shipping, knowing very well that nothing will happen to them, even if they intentionally, corruptly ignore fair practice. Remedy of this lies with accountability of the government machinery. Seafarers, look forward for transparent dealing. Owing to discrimination in MMD services, a small section of seafarers derive the benefits while much larger section of seafarers, pay the costs. Many are living silent deaths. If `curse` has a real meaning, one has to answer for their own deeds. Is there a system in place to protect active seafarers from sailing in war risk area?

While in this dynamic, national and international environmental outlook, considering safety and health of seafarers, the challenge to policymakers is to ensure, instilling the best fair practices, in policy and procedures, terms and conditions of employment for both officers and ratings, are comparatively logical, reasonable and fairly on board, domestic and foreigngoing vessels. Thus, ensure `Seafarers` employed by companies experience favourable terms and conditions of employment and this should remain a common concern for respective national maritime administrations and both INSA (Indian National Ship-owners Association) and the relevant unions(RE-UNFAIR Pay-scales in the name of non-promotional categories, while a floating staff engineer thrown out of service, like a fish out of water, from a government of India enterprise(SCI), for no fault of his but for blood-pressure (H.T.), in 1994, was neither awarded medical disability nor VRS nor a fair final settlement of accounts, as yet. High time a feasibility study for outsourcing, “services to seafarers”, may be considered

News of Fake CDC`s(Continuous Discharge Certificate), in Bombay open market :A CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate) is an identification document, a seaman needs to sail. It is issued by the Shipping Ministry through the Directorate-General of Shipping to those who have cleared the pre-sea and STCW course examinations from an authorized institution of the directorate general shipping. Bombay Police have always been efficient to track fake CDC`s, from 1980`s in the open market, now and then, which was on the news, particularly surrounding the “Jahaz Bhavan” at Walchand Hirachand Marg, (wherein housed the office of the directorate general of shipping), e.g. opposite GPO, where the off the shelves STCW Course certificates and CDC`s were made available for a price, primarily for those seeking employment in gulf countries. Seamen with a CDC and a passport, along with an official letter from the shipping company, can travel abroad or enter the country without a visa. Although the forged CDCs were largely being used by unqualified men to secure jobs on ships, the fact that it also allows entry and exit without a visa, has now set alarm bells ringing at national security angle, owing to the terrorists known these days. It is high time cross reference to entry of CDC, INDOS and passport of seafarers are made, to curtail illegal entry of intruders into the country, and as well for statistical figures of Indian sailors leaving and returning back to their country. It is high time CDC norms were tightened. Free issue of CDC, to those who just undergo short-term course in the name of GMDSS, is another loophole for securing CDC and taking placement in other trades. Directorate declaring 1500 CDC`s been issued during the year 2005-2007, under the category of “Purser” explicits corruption within since the figure is unrealistic, while this category is restricted to passenger vessels while in India, hardly few engaged in A&N. All this corruption with connivance of those within MMD. 3 year diploma from the State Board of Technical Education is nevertheless to be considered less than 10+2. As a matter of fact, Diploma – EEE, should have been considered much superior than 10+2, for GMDSS course particularly while pursuing for higher technical studies. The Engineering Diploma holders of the State Board of Technical Education, are eligible for admission into BE/B.Tech. with remission i.e. for Graduation in engineering, approved by the University Grants Commission. Hence, under the circumstances, failing to consider such candidates for GMDSS admission, is a grave injustice Security measures have not been taken into consideration, considering reference co-relating local ration-card, local police verification, passport etc. “Marine Waves” emphasizes “Seafarers to be groomed well during training ” to carry the good image of the nation, overseas.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ph.D; MBA; D.Sc; FIE(India), PgDIMS(UK), PgTED; FIIPE; MSEI; MSNAME(USA),
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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