May, 2009 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

While the need is for a positive, proactive and professional approach to education, training and career development, I am not very clear of DGS Notice No.11-TR(18)/2004-II dated27th April, 2009 Re-Affiliation of Maritime Training Institutes, which states:- Affiliation of private institutes with the IMU is not mandatory.

The institutes which are affiliated with other universities will continue to be recognized by DGS. Why not under the same umbrella of IMU under one fold, as a whole for ensuring uniformity in quality of maritime education imparted, standardization of reasonable course fees and value etc. to reach out to the candidates on pure merit, who are physically and mentally fit to work on the high hard seas. ? Demonstration of professionalism can be worked out only through industry institution interface, resulting in better taught and research subject`s examination, this vital quality is to emerge.This happens only with administration of strong management support, provoking deep, in-depth thoughts-through best policies. Shore-based, ship-inspection and management also needs its own occupational/professional standards, and cannot be expected to excel without its own system of training and development and continuous monitoring with the changing better-mechanism to suit to the times, as this is a neglected area owing to which, non consistent movement in the maritime discipline we find under-graduates as Vice/Pro Chancellors, Deans, Professors, HOD`s etc. while on the other hand UGC insists upon PG`s qualifying the N.E.T. entry examination for appointment as Lecturers and specialized Doctorates in the respective field of study for working as HOD`s and Professors. Hence, the training institutions have an important place in the development of professional competence, employing mentors and dedicated trainers – to promote practical knowledge and a measure of assurance that best practice is always followed. Therefore, it is high time we instil dedicated training and assessment staff, to view simultaneously seafarer`s and shipping company`s feedback and ensure that those afloat are keeping up their morale high and operating safely and efficiently. Career development is also becoming accepted in the shipping industry, importantly both, as it attempts to recruit and retain the best possible professionals, and to develop better talents, with improved knowledge.

Discouraging feedbacks: Is it not that, change not necessary deemed purposefully, egoism for neglection, which was in bad faith? Which is for all the valid expositions of deficiencies, defects, systemic failures etc. said through the editorials of “Marine Waves”. Is it, that we can see real signs of rejuvenation, by merely opening up an Indian Maritime University? As we progress into the crucial middle of 2009, these questions keep taunting and hurting the sentiments of good citizen, who really wished to contribute. Was it not to resist and protect a section of bad elements, from scrutiny over the whole affairs? Was this not a discouraging factor to those who really wanted to contribute for the national development?

Pollution: The world is selfish. Much talked about marine pollution ignoring the control of pollution by the dwellers near the sea coast who pollute to sea (coastal pollution) significantly . Has any soul on earth considered viewing, the noise pollution that exists in the engine room of the ocean going vessels, marine engineers lead a silent death with noise and chemicals used within their work process? Seafarers, owing to their inability to voice, neither get together and express, their genuine grievances, nor do they grumble unlike those who work ashore with tall claims. Pressure is now mounting on the UN`s International Maritime Organization and the EU to tighten laws governing ship`s emissions, owing to computer age and improved communication media or else during postal mail days, they spend their working days cool with dine and dance with cozy living. Bunker Supplier`s say “our goal is to have the highest quality of marine fuel products delivered” with the most efficient and safe process, by the most experienced people, at the best price, but where is the practical check to the low-quality of fuel being used to cut on costs, the pollution from the 90,000 ocean-going cargo ships that operate 24 hours a day, it is so huge that it puts the combined pollution from both aviation and auto industry to shame. The bunker suppliers thrusts upon the poor supply of fuel and the marine engineer has no fool-proof check for Lab. facility or time to check and signify, the acceptance in quality of fuel supplied. So will the emission standards for marine carriers across the planet be set anytime soon? Looks unlikely for now, isn`t it? Owing to stakeholders disinterest?

STOWAWAYS, like PIRATES, are an age-old feature of shipping and sea trade. Both are a maritime-ripple of upheaval on land And, as with the growing threat of piracy off some of the world`s more troubled regions, the incidents of stowaways at sea are rising. The United Nations` Refugee Agency (UNHCR) places the phenomena as part of a tide of refugees and economic migrants that take their chance at sea. There were some 57,000 irregular arrivals by sea in Southern Europe and 50,000 in Yemen last year alone. The Standard Club has warned that the world economic crisis threatens to bring a further surge in attempted stowaways. The P&I club has had to deal with 982 of these cases this decade, involving more than 2,000 stowaways and leading to more claims costs of $9.2m. Worryingly for ship-owners, claims data also indicates that after a steady drop in incidents and numbers in recent years, reports of incidents have begun to climb again since 2007. Of course, anyone looking to illegally embark on a vessel can take their chance at any port in the world. But, incidents are prevalent in ports and terminals where the ISPS Code is not implemented with vigor, particularly in Africa and Latin America. Ship-owners and masters face the problem of identifying the presence of stowaways before a ship leaves port or preventing their boarding a vessel in the first place. However, most stowaways are discovered once a vessel has set sail. And dealing with an incident has major economic consequences, involving master and owner with timeconsuming negotiations with club, agents and authorities. “The costs alone from disruption of the ship`s schedule can be considerable,” says Standard. So what can ship-owners do in the face of this challenge? Stowaways, along with piracy and people trafficking, are aspects of the underside of globalisation. Shipping can follow preventative procedures, but solution lies however in port or, ultimately, on land.

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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