"...because I am you" initiative does not necessarily subscribe to all the views/figures expressed in these letters. These are personal opinions of Mr. Govindarajan and is being shared on our platform with his consent to reach a larger audience and particularly make the aspirants aware of the profession they wish to join. Readers are requested to ratiocinate before believing any of our posts !
S.GOVINDARAJAN D 4 Juniper Apartments
Spear_226@yahoo.co.in AK 55 TAS enclave
Mob: 93817 43705 Anna nagar, Chennai 600040
29th October 2011
Dr.Satish. B. Agnihotri, IAS
Director General of Shipping
Jahaz Bhavan, Walchand Hirachand Marg, Mumbai
I refer to my letter dated 21 Sept 11, now more than one month since appeal to your good selves.
Perhaps, the content of my appeal are under scrutiny, or not is even not known to me as on date. However, I wish to bring to your kind attention following further points, which may assist expediting your actions over my requests made in my earlier letter.
It is the foremost responsibility of the D G Shipping to well safeguard the handful of young citizens who have trusted their approvals of training Institutes and enthusiastically stepped into the marine education. The waiting cadets are not looking for lifelong protection of their jobs by DGS. They are only looking for shipboard slots of training that they could undergo to take up their 1st level of certificate of competency. This is not asking too much. DGS first made training circular 15 of 2006, to put the onus on the training Institutes to obtain training slots at the end of the graduation, failing which they should compensate the student by return of his fees spent. Then through DGS circulars 1 of 2007 and 2008, as a measure of relaxation, your esteemed office again modified the strategy putting the responsibility on the training institutes to tie up with shipping companies to get training slot for their cadets, failing which they should reduce their intake. Three years have passed by; DGS is yet to take stern view of training Institutes towards bringing remedy to the suffering students. During this time DGS also have not even curbed the intake by training Institutes through a strict enforcement as the Administrative Authority.
When the subordinate organisations (such as training Institutes) have failed, the entire responsibility for the outcome is squarely on the shoulders of DGS only as the Superior Authority. DGS hold all options in their hands to exercise their influence /Authority with Indian /foreign flag owners/managers/agents to create additional training slots for the new aspirants.
In my opinion, DGS certainly should be able act on the following lines, under the circumstances:
1. Immediately stop the 4 years and 3 years stream of engineering and nautical degrees to curb the emerging graduates, at least for a period of time, as DGS being the sole controlling Authority to safeguard the situation.
2. Consult INSA/MASSA/FOSMA for finding maximum shipboard training slots, and absorb waiting cadets of nautical and engineering streams. They may relax some rules of restriction with regard to life boat capacities on coastal vessels, especially by addition of life rafts on board.
3. Cadets may be paid a small token of stipend during this time, if not the current level practised by most reputed companies.
4. Ensure that there will be no malpractice by touts and unauthorised agents who hold trainees for a ransom demanding a lot of money to seek their due on-board slots.
5. If some immediate subsidy is needed for this from DGS level, certainly they could look at spending from the 1% fees which DGS have earned from training Institutes all along.
6. Pressurise training Institutes to spend a part of the fees to sponsor cadets for the on-board slots.
In this juncture the professional Bodies such as Institute of Marine engineers (IMEI), Nautical Institute, Company of Master Mariners can pool out their strength and discuss to find positive solutions to the current plight of the cadets, rather than passively watching or simply stating that this is recession time! IMEI and other Institutes may device to sponsor loans to needy cadets and can retrieve the same once the cadet successfully complete his 1st level of competency and progressed further.
To activate with speed, DGS may set up a panel to make urgent, (time targeted) study on how if the acquired training ships could be put under one or more ship managements whose sole function is dedicated to overseeing training for the minimum period required of the basic STCW/CoC level.
IF READY TO INNOVATE, THERE ARE UMPTEEN WAYS THE PROBLEM COULD BE HANDLED, WITH WHOLE HEARTED COOPERATION FROM THE ENTIRE MARINE FRATERNITY WITH SINGLE MINDED DETERMI
NATION TO NOT ONLY TACKLE BUT TO
SUCCESSFULLY CLEAR BACKLOG OF ALL AWAITING CADETS OF BOTH STREAMS. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT SERVICE THAT OUR
GENERATION WOULD BE DOING FOR THE NEW ASPIRING MARINERS, IF THEY SHOULD
GRATEFULLY REMEMBER US EVEN AFTER WE STRIKE OUR GRAVES.
NOW TIME TO PUT ALL OUR STRENGTH TO
BAIL OUT OUR IDLING CADETS DYING IN FRUSTRATION, OR ELSE WE KEEP LOSING OF
MARKET SHARE OF MARINERS OF FUTURE TO FOREIGN NATIONALS.
In my letters addressed to your esteemed office, it may be felt that I have not given due weight of words demanding a protocol. I humbly request your forgiveness, as I hold your office in sincere reverence and wish to uphold your position of Authority, viewed as the Single effective arm of protection for the cause for which the letters had been addressed.
Yours most sincerely,
Marine Engineer Consultant