Friday, December 28, 2012

Takasu, Tamils’ adversary in UN Security Council?

Yukio Takasu, the 2009 President of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the critical month of February, was one of the key UN officials who allegedly prevented Sri Lanka from being dragged into the UNSC for the unfolding mass scale killings in Mu’l'livaaykkaal, public statements made by UN officials during media stakes reveal. While some UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent members may have agreed with Takasu’a views, in a media stake out, Takasu lays out his "own" critical view of the "terrorist LTTE," and the primacy of political and security need to "defeat" the Tigers over imminent large scale civilian casualties. Political observers believe that Japanese cultural views on refugees, asylum seekers may provide clues to Takasu’s approach and conduct in the UNSC that led to the disastrous outcome for the Tamil refugees trapped in Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Yukio Takasu was the President of the UNSC during February 2009 and later in 2010. He was also Japan’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Yukio Takasu, President UN Security Council Feb, 2009In the three media briefings on 9th, 20th and 27th February at the UN, Takasu, lays out the strategy adopted at the UNSC. Political observers commenting on the video pointed to the unmistakable hand of Takasu in adopting the chillingly cruel UN strategy to allow, in the name of security and politics, Colombo a free hand in the impending brutal massacre of more than 40,000 civilians (from Petrie Report).
In articulating first the UN’s motivations, and then responding to probing questions from a few journalists, Takasu is seen drawing his decades of experience in being a UN bureaucrat, as he switches between his three roles, the President of the UNSC, the Ambassador and as a Japanese private citizen, to deliver his message: that LTTE is the problem, and needs to be taken out. As a private citizen he confesses that no one wants to see “damage” to civilian people, but it is unfortunate [that we should allow that to happen in this instance]."
The videos and the associated news coverage by Innercity Press’s Matthew Lee during the civilian carnage at Mu’l'livaaykkaal, establishes, with reasonable certainty, Takasu’s involvement in continuing to refuse to taking up the matter at the Security Council.
Yasushi Akashi, Former Japanese Envoy to the Tokyo Co-ChairsTamil activists also accuse another Japanese, Yasushi Akashi, the former Special Envoy of the Tokyo Co-chair to the Peace Process, for allegedly supporting US South Asia’s Secretary Blake, in architecting the defeat of Tigers. The co-chairs assembled a coalition of countries to first proscribe, then to arrest activists in the US, Australia, Canada, and in several European cities in a well-coordinated action to blunt the support from the Tamil diaspora by inculcating fear. Political observers say the Blake-led action, supported by co-chairs provided a internationally muted, clear political space for Colombo to carry out the massacre.
On Akashi’s visit in August 2012, three years after the Mu’l'livaaykkaal massacre, a Jaffna social activist commented: “Architects of the genocidal war cannot be mere listeners. They are answerable to the affected people and to the world. There is no foreign establishment involved in the island that doesn’t really know what is happening. Therefore, the boldness with which the grass-root aspirations of the nation of Eezham Tamils has to be politically translated in a befitting way should never be compromised in the island and in the diaspora."
Observers also point out that specific to Japan-Sri Lanka relationship, the role of common bond through religion [Buddhism] and sympathetic overtures offered by Sri Lanka towards Japan following the WWII defeat, reinforce the skewed position of Japan in speaking in favor of Sinhala-centric political goals in Sri Lanka.
Research indicates that the Japanese society abhors refugees and asylum seekers to maintain a homogeneous population, and activists argue that this cultural instinct may have played a role in the Japanese officials’ mindset to allow humanitarian issues take a secondary role, and a factor behind the perceived insensitivity of the Japanese officials to the plight of Tamil civilians as hundreds of thousands were made refugees in their own homeland by deliberation action of the State. Takasu charaterizes the "impending crime-of-the-century" as "damage" to the "civilian people."
Japan also remained the biggest donor nation to Sri Lanka for many decades as the state sponsored discrimination of Tamils and pogroms against Tamils plagued the Island- another Japanese, Colombo affiliation that may have likely played in the Takasu-Akashi involvement in the war which led to disastrous consequences to the Tamil civilians, political observes point out.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Directorate General of Shipping (DGS)'s new directive: Admit only sponsored students to DNS course:

Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly (edition dtd Dec 26, 2012)
"It is worth recalling here that Sagar Sandesh had been burning midnight oil by continuously publishing news articles about the plight of the 10,000-odd DNS cadets, who are yet to complete their courses for want of 18-month seatime."

The Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) has dished out Christmas and New Year gifts to DNS cadets, who would be languishing in future begging for sea-time, by issuing a directive to the maritime institutes, which are eligible for admitting students for February-2013 Batch, to admit only ‘sponsored candidates.’
While the new condition on selection of candidates for the new batch would drastically reduce the intake for the season, it’s not going to provide any solace to the 10,000-odd students, stuck without sea-time training.
In its latest circular, released on Dec. 17, to the 11 maritime institutes in the country that are allowed to admit students for the February-2013 DNS Batch, the DG Shipping categorically said that the institutes should select only such candidates for whom they can provide the on-board training for 18 months (SSTP) through proper tie-up with the shipping companies / ship management agencies/ RPSL, or who are sponsored.
The whole admission process is being held by the Indian Maritime University, Chennai.
Besides, the DGS has also come out strongly that the responsibility of putting such selected candidates for 18-month Shipboard Structured Training Programme (SSTP) will be that of the Maritime Training Institutes.
Candidates selected by the Maritime Training Institutes will have to pass the entrance examination (CET) conducted by the Indian Maritime University, Chennai, which is likely to be held on Jan. 20, 2013.
Furthermore, the DG Shipping instructed the institutes to send the list of such selected /shortlisted candidates for the DNS Course of February 2013 Batch, after ensuring their onboard training arrangements, to the IMU before Jan. 15.
According to academic experts who are closely following the DNS debacle, the latest posture by the DGS towards maritime institutes would help weed out problems that are plaguing the whole system for years.
However, they also made a fervent appeal to the DG Shipping to keep a constant vigil over these institutes to ensure smooth SSTP for the cadets who would be admitted in the February 2013 DNS Batch.
It is worth recalling here that Sagar Sandesh had been burning midnight oil by continuously publishing news articles about the plight of the 10,000-odd DNS cadets, who are yet to complete their courses for want of 18-month seatime.
During such relentless campaign for the hapless DNS cadets through news reports, the first positive response came from the current Vice-Chancellor of the Indian Maritime University, who openly advocated for scrapping the course, if there is no market.
Though the DGS’ latest circular can be termed a half victory in the long-drawn battle, coming out with proper options for the waiting DNS cadets would alone help the maritime education to reach its pinnacle once again, experts feel.
The list of institutes conducting February-2013 Batch of one-year DNS Course leading to B. Sc (Nautical Science)
1. Anglo Eastern Academy, Karjat.
2. Applied Research International, New Delhi.
3. Great Eastern Shipping Co. Training Institute, Lonavala.
4. HIMT College, Kanchipuram.
5. International Maritime Institute, Greater Noida.
6. MMTI’s Educational Trust, Khalapur, Raigad
7. Sailors Maritime Academy, Visakhapatnam.
8. Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Lonavala
9. Southern Academy of Maritime Studies, Chennai.
10. T S Rahaman, Navi Mumbai.
11. Viswakarma Maritime Institutes, Pune.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Indian Coast Guard Station Mayabunder commissioned in North Andaman Islands


Indian Coast Guard Station (ICGS) Mayabunder, the first in the North Andaman Islands, was commissioned by Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma today (Dec 24).
An official press release said the station is part of ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen maritime and coastal security and the assets based at Mayabunder will help augment patrolling along the Northern Group of Islands for safeguarding Indian maritime 
Mr Sharma lauded the efforts of the Coast Guard in maintaining a high state of vigil in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands resulting in apprehension of a large number of poachers and saving of precious human lives during search and rescue operations. 
He said that the implementation of the Coastal Surveillance Network project would be a major milestone in ensuring near gap-free radar surveillance of these Islands. 
Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Air Marshal P K Roy stressed the need for maintaining continuous vigil of this strategically important archipelago. He further stated that the Coast Guard had initiated several far-reaching measures to augment force levels and manpower to meet existing and future maritime challenges. 
Coast Guard Station Mayabunder will function under the administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (A&N) through the Commander Coast Guard District Headquarter-9 located at Diglipur. Commandant (JG) Umed Singh has been appointed as the Commanding Officer of the station. 
 Inspector General V S R Murthy, Commander Coast Guard Region (A&N) and senior officials from the A&N administration were also present on the occasion. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

IMU curbs on DNS Course

Published in Sagar Sandesh, dtd Dec 19, 2012 edition
Also at:

Taking a right step in the interest of safeguarding maritime education, the Indian Maritime University (IMU) has decided to restrict admission for February 2013 DNS Batch only for the sponsored candidates.
In an e-mail reply to Sagar Sandesh on queries about the future of Common Entrance Test 
(CET) for DNS Course, Mr. M. Anand, Registrar of IMU, said the University has received an intimation on Dec. 14 evening from the Director General of Shipping  to restrict CET – DNS for February 2013 Batch to the candidates sponsored  by the training institutes only who would be required to have made the necessary tie-up for on-board training for their candidates with shipping companies or ship manning companies (RPS).”
Accordingly, the modalities to conduct CET for DNS by IMU will be promulgated at an early date.
It may be noted here that Sagar Sandesh has brought to light in black-and-white about the plight of more than 10,000 DNS cadets who are stranded due to non-availability of mandatory sea-time training to complete their courses.
It is learnt that restricting the course to only sponsored candidates would considerably reduce the intake every year and it would eventually help the 10,000-odd DNS cadets to get sea-time training in the coming years.

Link for previous stories on DNS course:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ICS Sets Out Future for Arctic Shipping


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents over 80% of the world merchant fleet, has issued a new position paper on Arctic shipping.
As the Arctic becomes more accessible, ICS has set out some key principles with regard to the future governance of Arctic waters.
Offshore support vessel activity is already significant, while destination shipping is anticipated to grow as the extraction of energy and raw materials is developed.  Use of the Northern Sea Route is also a reality for a small but increasing number of ships in the summer months.    
ICS therefore stresses the importance of Arctic nations respecting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and relevant IMO Conventions and Codes such as SOLAS and MARPOL.
ICS Director of External Relations, Mr Simon Bennett explained: “As the volume of Arctic shipping gradually increases, there is a growing awareness about the need for a high degree of care when ships navigate Arctic waters.  However, the proper forum for addressing these concerns is the International Maritime Organization, which is currently developing a Polar Code that is expected to be mandatory.  It is most important that Arctic nations avoid unilateral measures that might cut across IMO Conventions or the provisions of UNCLOS.”
ICS stresses that individual coastal states should not impose discriminatory treatment that might prejudice the rights of ships registered with non-Arctic nations under international maritime law, such as unilateral ship construction, design and equipment standards.
ICS also identifies some issues that require clarification as Arctic waters become more accessible.  For example, ICS believes that the UNCLOS regime of ‘transit passage’ for straits used for international navigation takes precedence over the rights of coastal states to enact unilateral measures against international shipping.
Until recently this issue seemed rather academic, as did the question of nations using straight baselines to determine their territorial sea.  But as remote Arctic sea routes become accessible these issues are becoming more important.” said Mr Bennett.
Amongst the intended audience for the ICS paper are high level policy makers in environment and foreign ministries who may not be regularly engaged in shipping issues. 
However, the paper also outlines ICS’s approach towards the development of the IMO Polar Code, which is expected to be finalised next year.
“The development of the Polar Code needs to be risk and performance-based” said Mr Bennett. “For example, pending the future development of unified requirements for the construction and operation of ‘ice-class’ ships, the Code should not arbitrarily require conformity with any particular ‘ice-class’ standards to the exclusion of others that deliver comparable performance.”
The paper also sets out ICS’s position with respect to the development of infrastructure to support safety and environmental protection, the need for full market access and freedom of navigation, transparency with respect to national regulation and the need for reduced bureaucracy and the setting of appropriate fees for services.
“If frequent and reliable international shipping services are to be provided between Arctic ports and the rest of the world, or natural resources in the region are to be developed in a manner that reconciles the need for both environmental and economic sustainably, this will require the provision of maritime services that are competitive and cost efficient” said Mr Bennett.


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet. ICS membership comprises national shipowners’ associations from 36 countries, including nations located within and outside the Arctic Circle.
Reported changes to the world’s climate appear to be increasing the accessibility of the Arctic to international shipping.1These changes, as well as new interest in developing the Arctic’s natural resources, are likely to increase shipping traffic navigating through the region.
As the volume of Arctic shipping gradually increases, there is a growing awareness and concern within the international community about the potential sensitivity of Arctic ecosystems to the impact of such activity and the necessity for a high degree of care when ships navigate Arctic waters. These concerns are fully acknowledged and shared by international ship operators, as represented by ICS which is totally committed to the protection of the environment and the prevention of pollution.
The following position paper is therefore intended to establish some key principles with respect to the governance of maritime activity in the Arctic and the regulation of ships navigating Arctic waters.
Arctic shipping has become a key issue of focus at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO). This includes the current development by IMO Member States of a mandatory code to be complied with by all ships operating in polar waters.
When finalised, it is anticipated that the International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (‘Polar Code’) will become mandatory through amendments to the IMO Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the IMO Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).2These IMO Conventions are already widely ratified and enforced on a global basis.
Indications of thinner ice and longer ice free (northern) summer periods have opened up the possibility of increased international shipping activity:
• Increased offshore support vessel activity (supporting offshore exploration and extraction of oil and gas);
• Increased destination transport, with ships moving raw materials (and goods) from and between Arctic ports and the rest of the world;
• The beginnings of commercially viable intercontinental Northern sea routes, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Northeast Passage/Northern Sea Route and, potentially in the future, via the Northwest passage.

Offshore support vessel activity already represents a significant form of shipping in the Arctic region, while destination transport is anticipated to grow considerably in the next few years as new sources of raw materials, such as iron ore, are developed.
Although the expected timeline for the opening up of intercontinental sea routes is currently very unclear, and for the immediate future their impact on traditional shipping routes should probably not be overestimated, use of the Northern Sea Route is already a reality for a small but increasing number of merchant ships during the northern summer months.
Independent of climate change, the development of new technologies that make possible operations in remote regions with hostile sea and weather conditions is stimulating an increased interest in Arctic shipping. This is driven to a large extent by rising commodity prices and the search for natural resources such as gas, oil, metal ores and minerals throughout the Arctic region. As well as increasing the demand for shipping services that can support the extraction of seemingly abundant natural resources, maritime trade between Arctic destinations and the rest of the world is expected to increase as a result of this new economic activity. The demand for maritime tourism in the Arctic is also expected to grow, facilitated by increasing accessibility and improvements to ship design and maritime safety.

ICS and its member national shipowners’ associations advocate the following principles with respect to the governance of maritime activity in the Arctic and the regulation of ships navigating Arctic waters:
1. Formulation of a mandatory, uniform regulatory framework concerning Arctic shipping to ensure maritime safety and environmental protection
IMO is the appropriate forum for the development of standards for vessels operating in the Arctic, as it has the necessary legal and technical expertise to facilitate engagement by, and take into account the interests of, all of the world’s maritime nations including flag States and coastal States.
In order to ensure a workable and enforceable regulatory approach that will deliver safe marine navigation and security, enable commercially viable operations and optimise environmental protection, all current national maritime regulatory regimes applicable to Arctic waters, within the jurisdiction of States that are members of the Arctic Council,3should be harmonised in conformity with the final IMO ‘Polar Code’, as well as all other relevant IMO Conventions and Codes, consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Arctic nations should only apply requirements to foreign flag ships consistent with ‘generally accepted international rules and standards’ (GAIRAS).
ICS believes that the development of a mandatory IMO Polar Code needs to be undertaken in a manner that is genuinely risk-based, so that requirements imposed on ships take full account of the hazards relevant to the type of ship operation, the ship location and the season of operation. Furthermore, the risk mitigation measures that are adopted into the Code should be performance-based. For example, pending the future development by IMO of unified international requirements for the construction and operation of ‘ice-class’ ships, the Code should not arbitrarily require conformity with any particular ‘ice-class’ standards that currently exist to the exclusion of other standards that deliver comparable performance with respect to safety and environmental protection.
The particular interest and engagement in maritime issues exhibited by those nations that comprise the Arctic Council is welcome and fully acknowledged. However, it is important that the Arctic Council or any other nations or bodies with an interest in Arctic shipping refrain from calls to develop alternative instruments or requirements that cut across or cause conflict with regulations or guidance developed by IMO.
Any country, including Arctic nations, that has not yet ratified UNCLOS is strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
Regional Memorandums of Understanding on Port State Control may also have a role in developing uniform procedures for the inspection and enforcement of regulations that have been adopted by IMO within the Arctic region, including the Polar Code.

2. Development of Arctic maritime infrastructure to support safety and environmental protection
While the IMO Polar Code will provide the regulatory framework, the infrastructure needed to ensure safety and environmental protection in the Arctic must also be developed. This includes inter alia aids to navigation, nautical charts, means of satellite communication, bunkering facilities, port reception facilities for ship’s waste, pilotage in shallow passages, possible ice-breaking assistance, as well as search and rescue infrastructure developed for defined incident scenarios and the provision of adequate ‘places of refuge’ should ships be in distress.
In particular, a commitment is required by IMO (and IHO) Member States to conduct the necessary hydrographic surveys in order to bring Arctic navigational charts up to a level acceptable to support safe navigation, as well as systems to support the real-time acquisition, analysis and transfer of meteorological, oceanographic, sea ice and iceberg data.
Serious challenges related to life-saving and oil spill clean-up capability in remote or hostile waters or where sea ice potentially presents an obstacle must be also addressed. In particular, in co-operation with IMO, this requires increased co-ordination amongst Arctic nations to promote the region’s Search and Rescue (SAR) capability.6
3. Full participation of shipping nations
Given the important implications for all IMO Member States of current and future regulatory discussions, it is vital that all maritime nations, in their capacity as flag States and coastal States, are fully and actively involved in all decision making processes that impact on Arctic shipping.
ICS believes that it is particularly important that non-Arctic nations are fully included in any regulatory discussions affecting Arctic shipping from the outset. The rights of coastal States located within the Arctic (Canada, Denmark including Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the United States) must be acknowledged. However, such rights must always be exercised in a manner that remains consistent with UNCLOS and IMO Conventions.
Coastal States should not impose discriminatory treatment or other measures upon ships registered with non-Arctic nations that might prejudice the interests and rights of nations or ship operators under international maritime law. Examples of potentially prejudicial measures include: unilateral ship construction, design and equipment standards; navigation requirements including mandatory navigation or ice-breaker service fees; and the imposition of additional insurance requirements.
4. Full market access and freedom of navigation
Unilateral, national or regional regulations governing ship safety, environmental protection and other shipping matters should be avoided and they must not disadvantage ships registered with non-Arctic States. This includes regulations and enforcement mechanisms that Arctic coastal States might seek to introduce within ice-covered waters inside the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which should be addressed internationally via the regulatory framework provided by IMO.
ICS believes that the UNCLOS regime of transit passage for straits used for international navigation (as codified in Part III of UNCLOS) takes precedence over the rights of coastal States under Article 234. Maintenance of this principle also has implications for other international straits outside the Arctic that have vital strategic and political significance.
Regulations governing market access should be consistent with commitments made by governments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and, where relevant, with the Principles of Common Shipping Policy adopted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2000.
5. Need for legal clarity about status of Arctic
ICS suggests that the legal status of Arctic waters needs to be clarified at the United Nations level.
In general, in all waters save ‘internal waters’, the right of ‘innocent passage’ within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ ), as enshrined by UNCLOS, must always apply. However, clarification is needed about the definition of internal waters, including the use of straight baselines with respect to islands situated off a mainland, as Arctic sea routes become more accessible.
The relationship between UNCLOS Article 234 and the UNCLOS regime of transit passage for straits used for international navigation also needs to be clarified, now that straits in the Arctic region are actually starting to be used by international shipping.
The above notwithstanding, Article 234 of UNCLOS permits coastal States to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the limits of EEZ, where particularly severe climatic conditions and “the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year” create obstructions, or where “exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance”.
However, ICS believes a debate is required as to what is meant in UNCLOS by “most of the year” as Arctic waters become ice free for longer periods. Questions need to be resolved about the rights of coastal States to enforce unilateral laws and charges when Arctic waters are indeed “ice free”, the definition of “ice free”, and the extent to which hazards to navigation may be regarded as “exceptional” during ice free periods.
It is also vital that international ship operators have clarity with respect to which nations or organisations are responsible for ensuring the safety of maritime transport in Arctic waters. This applies particularly to waters beyond the territorial sea.
The need for answers to political questions about the extent of the continental shelf of Arctic nations is also of indirect concern to shipping. So long as it remains unclear which nations are entitled to develop natural resources in the Arctic, uncertainty about demand for shipping services and the need to invest in supporting infrastructure will remain. The right to navigate ships in the Arctic should not be treated as a bargaining counter in disputes about the right to exploit natural resources.
6. Transparency of national regulations
As stated above, national regulations should be consistent with UNCLOS, IMO Conventions and Codes, and the principle of ‘generally accepted international rules and standards’ (GAIRAS).
Wherever national rules apply to ship operations in Arctic waters, they should be transparent and comprehensible. As well as being made readily available to shipping companies and ships’ crews via the internet, they should always be available in the English language.
7. Reducing bureaucracy and setting appropriate fees for services
Consistent with coastal States’ rights and obligations under UNCLOS, the development of Arctic shipping must take the commercial requirements of ship operators into consideration. For example, national requirements concerning long periods of advance notification prior to use of some Arctic sea routes are often impractical and incompatible with the way in which international shipping markets operate. In bulk shipping, moreover, the destination ports frequently change during the course of a ship’s voyage.
While the environmental challenges associated with operations in the Arctic are fully acknowledged, the especially high level of fees for some ice-breaking and other navigational services also needs to be examined if Arctic sea routes are to provide a commercially viable alternative to the Suez Canal or trans-Pacific sea routes. Likewise, if frequent and reliable international shipping services are to be provided between Arctic ports and the rest of the world, or natural resources in the region are to be developed in a manner that reconciles the need for both environmental and economic sustainably, this will require the provision of maritime services that are competitive and cost efficient.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

100 years of disaster relationship… (Titanic to Costa Concordia)

Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly's Dec 12 (12-12-12) edition

-Whereas the Titanic collided with an iceberg, the Costa Concordia hit an underwater rock
-Trust in technology may in both cases have affected the attitude of the navigators of such ships

By Capt S Bhardwaj
Titanic was supposed to be the ‘unsinkable’ then; Costa Concordia was also a masterpiece of modern technology. Despite more than 100 years of regulatory and technological progress in maritime safety, accidents do occur.
Both the cases involved state-of-the-art cruise ships - although the same state and the stage have obviously changed dramatically in the 100 years in between.
Whereas the Titanic collided with an iceberg, the Costa Concordia hit an underwater rock. In both the incidents the ships were subjected to an unexpected and massive flooding.
While the maritime technology has changed beyond recognition between 1912 and 2012, human factors and organizational factors have not.
Organizations have, of course, changed in the way they carry out their work, due to increased horizontal and vertical integration made possible by ubiquitous information technology.
But the thinking and attitudes of management have changed less and may possibly not have changed at all, at least when it comes to such issues as risk taking and prioritization of issues relating to operational safety.
The purpose is rather to show that accidents still happen for the same underlying human and organizational reasons, despite the technological progress in the past 100 years and despite all safety regulations and precautions. It is remarkable that certain underlying conditions are still the same today as at the time of the Titanic.
It is even more remarkable - and worse, regrettable - that the accident investigations and the reactions to accidents more or less are the same now as they were 100 years ago.
Authority gradient and its influence on communication
The term “authority gradient” refers to the distribution of decision-making and the balance, or imbalance, of authority and power in a group or organization, usually in relation to a specific type of situation. Although it is rarely considered by the maritime industry, it plays an important role in, e.g., health care or aviation. It is used to describe how easy or difficult it may be for someone with a lower authority to question or challenge somebody with a higher authority. The authority gradient is itself influenced by a number of other factors, such as education, social background, gender, age, professional roles and perceived expertise.
Cognitive hysteresis - resistance to revising a situation assessment
 The term cognitive hysteresis – or psychological fixation - describes the situation where people fail to revise their initial assessments in response to new evidence, particularly evidence that diverges from the expected (Woods et al. 2010). While the initial situation assessment may have been appropriate at the time it was made, the cognitive hysteresis means that neither the assessment nor the chosen course of action is revised even if an opportunity for that arises.
A similar case of the Titanic or the Costa Concordia may have contributed to a situation where the masters held on to an imprecise or incorrect picture of the situation. He might have been so convinced by this wrong mental picture of the situation that it would have required some external questioning by his officers to force him to realize that the situation was different from what he assumed.
Unanticipated consequences of new technology:
 Another reason for underestimating risks may be reliance on new technology. The Titanic was considered a masterpiece of naval architecture in 1912. This might have led to the belief that a collision with an iceberg could be survived and that the ship would stay afloat even with severe structural damage to the hull.
In 2012, the Costa Concordia was equipped with significantly better technology. The navigation equipment alone provided an accurate position of the ship at any time on the sea chart and also showed the predicted future positions given the current course and speed.
Trust in technology may in both the cases have affected the attitude of the navigators of such ships.

Organizational influences (latent conditions)
Today ISM gives “overriding authority” to Master. Even Titanic master received a letter which he had to sign and return. The letter stated that “You are to dismiss all idea of competitive passages with other vessels and to concentrate your attention upon a cautious, prudent and ever watchful system of navigation, which shall lose time or suffer any other temporary inconvenience rather than incur the slightest risk which can be avoided.”
But there was also a conflicting message from management. In the Titanic accident report, Lord Mersey, the Judge heading the investigation, commented “Its root is probably to be found in the competition and in the desire of the public for quick passages rather in the judgement of the navigators”.
A similar dilemma can be found in the case of Costa Concordia, where the company advertised that the ship would sail a “touristy” sailing course close to land. The case is not simply that organizations (the blunt end) give one message - like “safety first” - but neglect to follow-up on it. The case is rather that organizations want to have their cake and eat it too, by emphasizing both safety and productivity. This creates a psychological and social conflict at the sharp end, where the outcome is uncertain.
In shipping operations, as in any other industry, time and resource constraints affect the day-to-day routines. The time and the measures taken to ensure safety operations have to be balanced with economical considerations in the commercial operation of a ship.
The desire to arrive in time with the ship has indeed often played a fatal role in accidents, such as Herald of Free Enterprise in1987 (DoT 1987), Estonia in 1994 (Joint Accident Investigation Commission 1997), the MSC Napoli in 2007 (Marine Accident Investigation Branch 2008) and of course the Titanic.
Maritime accident investigation & persistent human factors issues
Accident investigations very often seem to be constrained by the principles of What-You-Look- For-Is-What-You-Find and What-You-Find-Is-What-You-Fix Maritime accident investigations have traditionally looked for one or more distinct causes and tried to address them one by one, as if they were independent of each other.  The near universal assumption, expressed by the causality credo, is that every effect has a cause, and that the cause usually can be determined to be a failure or malfunction of a “component” - be it technological, human or organizational.
According to this logic, if we can find and fix the failure or the malfunction, then the risk will be reduced or even eliminated and safety therefore increased.
The causality credo, however, limits the scope of investigations to concrete and tangible causes, but neglects a host of other factors that are less conspicuous and have a more indirect influence. As the comparison of the fates that befell the Titanic and the Costa Concordia however shows, accidents seem to happen for the same underlying human and organizational reasons even though they are separated by a century of improvements to technology and safety regulations.
In the wider perspective, the really important question is therefore not why these and many other ships have foundered, but rather why these reasons remain and why accident investigations and the reactions to them are more or less the same now as they were 100 years ago.
One explanation is that safety thinking that focuses on things that go wrong or could go wrong, such as near misses, incidents and accidents.
The alternative perspective, called Safety-II, focuses on the situations of everyday work where things go right. In this case the purpose of safety efforts is to facilitate the performance adjustments that are necessary for everyday work to succeed, i.e., not only try to avoid things going wrong, but also try to ensure that they go right.
This cannot be done without understanding how things happen, including the many human and organizational factors that determine how work is carried out, for example the authority gradient, group think, cognitive hysteresis, unanticipated consequences of new technology, latent organizational  conditions, and the ubiquitous trade-offs between efficiency and thoroughness.
If no one is looking for the human and organizational factors described in this write-up, no one will find them. And if no one finds them, no one will do anything about them. Yet investigations of accidents in today's complex work environments cannot afford to look only at “component” malfunctions and failures. Actual safety improvements will not occur until we understand how functions depend on each other and at how seemingly subtle changes and performance variability can lead to out-of-scale outcomes.

Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs & Michael Baldauf (Maritime Risk and Safety (MaRiSa) Research Group, World Maritime University)
E. Hollnagel, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. 

The similarities
- Both the masters were very experienced and had immaculate service records prior to the accidents. They had spent their entire professional life at sea without larger accidents.
- Both of them were aware of the potential dangers, but felt that the risks were so small that they could easily be controlled.
- In the case of the Titanic, no officer on the bridge objected to the navigation of the ship. So far, no information has been published to show that officers on the Costa Concordia disagreed with the manoeuvres of the master.
- In both the incidents, the shipping companies (White Star Line and Costa Crociere respectively) either tacitly approved or even encouraged the masters' decisions to prioritize performance over safety.
- Both accidents resulted in emergency situations for which the ships were not built (beyond design-base accidents). Both scenarios were also considered as being highly unlikely.
- In both accident scenarios, difficulties during evacuation occurred.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pearl Harbor as a Noble Lie

Tim Kelly
December 7, 2012
Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, rumors began to circulate challenging the official narrative that it was an unprovoked surprise attack. The cumulative evidence gathered over the last seventy years by scholars, journalists, and investigators vindicates those suspicious of treachery from the top; for it comprises a solid circumstantial case that Franklin D. Roosevelt and his top advisors deliberately provoked the attack and deliberately looked the other way before it came.
What was the reason for their treachery?
Roosevelt wanted to plunge the United States into the European war on the side of Great Britain but was unsuccessful in provoking Germany in the North Atlantic. So he decided that provoking a Japanese attack upon U.S. military bases in the Pacific would be the best way to achieve that objective. Since Japan was allied with Germany under the Tripartite Pact, Roosevelt calculated a war with Japan would sooner or later bring the United States into the war against Germany.
Most historians when pressed on the matter now grudgingly concede that Roosevelt lied when he told the American people that he would never send their boys to fight into foreign wars, but they excuse his treachery as a “noble lie,” a deception perpetrated against the public by the political elite to achieve a supposed greater good.
The Pearl Harbor noble-lie argument usually goes something like this: “Given the evil of Nazism and the threat that Hitler posed to the world, Roosevelt was justified in maneuvering the United States into a war with Germany.”
Robert Stinnett adopts this view in his book Day of Deceit, where he writes, “I sympathize with the agonizing dilemma faced by President Roosevelt. He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom.”
The standard justification for U.S. entry into the war is that otherwise Hitler would have defeated Britain and Russia and completed his conquest of Europe. With all the resources of the continent at his disposal, Hitler then would have been able to move against North America to achieve his dream of world domination.
There are several problems with this analysis. First, it greatly underestimates the difficulties of a trans-Atlantic invasion and grossly exaggerates Germany’s military capabilities even when she was at the apex of her power. It also confuses the conditions of December 1941 with those of June 1940. By the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, the fortunes of war were already beginning to turn against Hitler.
Moreover, there is no evidence that Hitler ever entertained plans for world domination. His primary objective was the abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, which had disarmed Germany and led to her territorial dismemberment. Hitler was determined to reclaim these territories, and although negotiations were his preferred method, he was willing to wage war if necessary. His only overt plans for war involved an anticipated confrontation with Communism and the reacquisition of the “living space” that Russia had ceded to Germany in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.
The outbreak of a general war in Europe was not a part of Hitler’s game plan but a consequence of Britain and France’s declaration of war against Germany after her invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939.
Furthermore, although Hitler’s armies had overrun France in the spring of 1940, total victory was denied to them when the British Expeditionary Force escaped capture at Dunkirk. The defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain forced Hitler to cancel his cross-channel invasion plans. Britain had made it through the darkest hour, and as 1940 drew to a close her survival was essentially assured. As for Hitler, his hopes for a quick end to the war in the West were lost.
Germany’s June 1941 invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa, though remarkably successful in its initial stages, had failed by the end of the summer to achieve its primary objective: the destruction of the Red Army. Even as early as August 1941, the failure of the blitzkrieg was apparent, as Roosevelt began receiving reports indicating that Russia would, indeed, hold out. The onset of the Russian winter, the inability of German forces to take Moscow, and a major Russian counteroffensive on December 6 had dashed Hitler’s hopes for victory in 1941 and raised the specter of a mutually exhausting war that was unlikely to end in Germany’s favor.
While the ebb tide against Hitler was greatly assisted by the American Lend-Lease program, the crucial point is that both the British and Russians were able to blunt major German offensives and deliver severe blows to the Nazi war machine without direct U.S. military intervention.
So if U.S. entry into the war was unnecessary to prevent a victory by Nazi Germany in Europe, what remains of the case for Roosevelt’s “noble lie” regarding Pearl Harbor?
Imperial Japan was indeed on the move in East Asia, but it was unclear how that threatened the United States. Roosevelt never explained to the American people why they should be concerned with protecting European colonies in Asia from the Japanese. Moreover, Japan’s desire for a “Co-Prosperity Sphere” of economic and political predominance was hardly unique in a world where France, Britain, and the United States had all carved out spheres of influence. Japan’s crime in the eyes of the Western powers was being a latecomer to the colonial banquet. As one Japanese diplomat wryly remarked, “Just when we learn how to play poker, they change the game to bridge.”
True, Japan could be a cruel colonial master, especially in China. But it should be noted that while Roosevelt was quick to call out the Japanese for their atrocities, the United States had not flinched from resorting to brutal methods to pacify populations in her own colonies (See Alfred W. McCoy’sPolicing America’s Empire).
Some have argued the danger to the United States did not come from Germany or Japan but from the possibility that the two powers, along with Italy, would combine to encircle the western hemisphere. But this view greatly exaggerates the military capacity of the Axis Powers and misrepresents theTripartite Pact, which was a defensive alliance primarily intended to deter U.S. entry into the then-separate conflicts in Asia and Europe. Moreover, Germany and Japan never developed a coordinated military strategy.
Japanese ambitions were viewed by some geostrategists as a threat to U.S. naval operations in the Pacific and contrary to America’s long-term economic interests in the region. Such concerns are telling; for they betray a presumption of imperial entitlement that casts the Pacific war in a very different light than the standard historical account. Rather than being the crusade for freedom, the war begins to resemble a realpolitik clash of two mercantilist empires. Some have also suggested that American sentimentalism towards China and the hope for a restoration of the Open Door Policy were important in determining Roosevelt’s policies towards Japan.
But these were only contributing factors that facilitated Roosevelt’s drive to war. The lodestar of U.S. foreign policy in 1941 was entry into the European war against Germany. Frustrated by Hitler’s forbearance in the North Atlantic in the face of repeated provocation by U.S. warships, Roosevelt looked to the Pacific as the back door to war in Europe.
The standard history treats U.S. entry into World War II as moral and strategic imperative. But as demonstrated above, that assessment does not bear careful scrutiny. Nazi Germany was not about to conquer the world, nor was she in any position to threaten the United States. Indeed, Hitler’s bid for continental supremacy had been thwarted by Britain and Russia long before the United States entered the war. Imperial Japan was bogged down on the Asian mainland, hungry for raw materials, and anxious for a modus vivendi with the United States.
This history also ignores the enormous costs and horrifying consequences of direct American intervention. The Anglo-American bombings of German and Japanese cities killed more than a million civilians, most of whom were women and children. Most of the destruction in Western Europe occurred during the period of Allied liberation in 1944–1945 (See William Hitchcock’s The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe). And the decision by President Truman to drop atomic bombs on a prostrate Japan in August 1945 accelerated a nuclear-arms race that still threatens the incineration of the world.
On the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack, most Americans believed that there should be no large standing armies and that their government should heed George Washington’s admonition to steer clear of foreign entanglements. They ruefully remembered President Wilson’s “war to end all wars” and were in no mood for another crusade to “make the world safe for democracy.” That is why on December 6, 1941, the vast majority of Americans still opposed entering the war.
Pearl Harbor transformed the nation. The American people were outraged over Japan’s diabolical “sneak attack” and marched off to fight “the Good War.” A vast military-industrial complex was developed to stock the “arsenal of democracy.” After the war, more noble lies were told to justify a permanent national-security state, and the United States became the globe-girdling empire it is today; corrupt, bankrupt, bellicose, and shrouded in secrecy.
In his introduction to the Pentagon Papers, Mike Gravel quoted the British novelist and historian H.G. Wells:
The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession,” and its days are numbered.
Remember that quote when you come across Roosevelt apologists excusing his treachery as a “noble lie” and praising him for his foresight and statesmanship. Deceit is neither praiseworthy nor noble.
This article was first published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crusading cause of cadets (DNS), IMU still dilly-dallying, Time for DGS to act

Published in Sagar Sandesh English Maritime Weekly Tabloid on Dec 5, 2012 edition


While resentment against the continuation of Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) programme among the more than 10,000 sea-time waiting cadets is growing day by day, conflicting signals, instead of positive, are emanating from Indian Maritime University (IMU) about the future of the course.
According to the latest notification from the IMU, decision to conduct IMU Common Entrance Test (CET) for February 2013 batch is yet to be taken in consultation with DG Shipping. “The same will be notified (to the affiliated institutes) after the decision is taken,” read the notification.
Normally, notification for IMU-CET February batch for the one-year DNS course leading to B.Sc. Nautical Science Programme on IMU campus and its affiliated institutes will be issued by November every year and the test will be conducted around December.
“While these 10,000-odd cadets are still waiting for mandatory 18 months sea-time to complete their degree, why IMU is still thinking of continuing the course, which would only add to the already bulged list,” is the agony of the affected students.
Meanwhile, Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) in a circular requested all the pre-sea institutes to submit the placement records of the candidates passed out from their institutes, during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Whereas the submission of placement record has been made mandatory as per DGS Circular No.1 of 2008, till date many institutes have not submitted the required placement records - the circular noted the state-of-the affairs in maritime education.
According to sources, the move would help the DG Shipping to analyze the demand and supply pattern in the industry which is likely to influence on the future of the DNS programme.
Stop the DNS course at once to give opportunity for those 10,000-odd cadets, who came to maritime institutes with loads of dream of becoming officers onboard,” declared Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, President of R.L. Institute of Nautical Sciences, Madurai (RLINS).
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, Dr. Lakshmipathy said: “My prayer now to DG Shipping, the Shipping Ministry and Indian Maritime University (IMU) is that let them sit together and find out a permanent solution to this burning problem.”
“From my point of view, as a responsible man inculcating maritime education to thousands of students  for more than a decade, banning the DNS programme, like the ban on the Ratings enforced earlier, will be the perfect answer to those 10,000 plus students who are at crossroads,” Dr. Lakshmipathy opined.
This ban should not be lifted at any cost unless and until the entire glut is totally cleared and confirmed with appropriate proof that the hapless cadets are absorbed by the shipping companies and suitably placed, he suggested.
Dr. Lakshmipathy lamented that the IMU is plagued by corruption, nepotism, favouritism and the like.
Maintaining this ‘white elephant’, a Himalayan blunder committed by the predecessors, is a Herculean task for the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. G. Raghuram, and the new Chancellor, Dr. V. Krishnamoorthy, but they alone -with their past history of integrity, commitment and determination – can clean the Augean table with an iron hand coupled with a soft corner for the uncared for cadets. While appreciating the goal and intention of the present VC and DGS, he appealed to them to mercilessly weed out the unwanted elements and remove the excess staff who are indeed a pain in the neck of IMU, apart from being a burden to the august body.
With regard to the Union Shipping Minister’s version of fund crunch, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy urged the  Central Government to make separate allocation in the annual Union Budget. It is not fair and proper to allow or ask the educational institutions to raise funds to make good the deficit, from the hard-earned money of students, who sell their property and jewels or secure loans from banks, to pursue their studies in the ambition of becoming a seafarer.

When Sagar Sandesh brought to light the issue of growing mismatch in demand and supply in DNS programme a few months ago, Prof. G. Raghuram, Vice- Chancellor of Indian Maritime University (IMU), had said that if the market is not there, the varsity should freeze the DNS course.
He also made it in crystal clear terms that there are thoughts (in the IMU circle) as to why not make it a B.Sc directly due to non-availability of 18-month sea-time slots for DNS cadets (by doing away with DNS diploma programme).
It is learnt that the IMU is under tremendous pressure from its affiliated institutions not to take any decision on DNS programme soon. According to informed sources in IMU, many institutions, which have invested heavily on infrastructure creation to accommodate any multiples of 40 students in a batch, are against any such a decision by IMU and any forced reduction in the prescribed intake of students or total suspension of the course would affect them very badly.
At this juncture, Dr. Lakshmipathy came down heavily on those money-minting institutions which take shelter in the name of infrastructure, claiming that they will have to suffer a huge loss if DNS or any such course is banned. If an embargo is enforced in all earnestness on these institutions, which may have proper infrastructure like chart-rooms and class-rooms, the already created ‘infrastructure’ can very well be utilized for teaching other courses or for any other academic related matters. Hence the question of incurring loss does not arise at all. Some of the avaricious institutions without basic amenities admit any number of ambitious students, make them the scapegoats in due course and leave them in the lurch subsequently – only to amass wealth to the coffer of the managements!
“Come what may, loss is not the matter but the cause is my concern. In R.L. Institute of Nautical  Sciences, we have stopped admission for B.Sc. (Nautical Technology) Course for the past two years as we do not want to produce cadets whose future will be in jeopardy”, he pointed out.
It is a pity to note that amidst this critical situation, these institutes have been approved with an intake capacity of 120, 160, 240, 247 etc.
DGS / IMU should pay immediate attention to collect the placement details of these institutes and monitor them with regard to DNS - both the placement as well as the infrastructure.

With the maritime educationists openly advocating for freeze in intake for DNS programme until the  demand-supply ratio settles at a healthy point, Mr. Gautam Chatterjee, the new Director General of Shipping (DGS), who took over the hot seat recently, has a big task in his hand to streamline the whole system before it assumes a monstrous proportion.
If the new DG Shipping takes some bold measures to fix the problem at once, it would indeed be a welcome gesture for those thousands of cadets who are still waiting for their sea-time slots to get IMU’s B. Sc Nautical Science degree.
Besides, a section of maritime educationists have also demanded the DG Shipping to take steps to reduce the intake of cadets for future DNS batches in recognized institutes on par with their placement records.
“If the system is strictly followed, only sponsored candidates would get their chance to pursue the course which will ultimately help the industry,” a senior member of the fraternity told Sagar Sandesh.
The DNS course is a six-semester (three year) programme constituting three stages. Initially, a candidate is admitted to the one-year residential (2 semesters) presea course and on completion of I & II Semesters, the candidate will be awarded Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS).
This diploma programme is followed by one and a half year (3 Semesters -18 months) on-board ship training and the candidates will be awarded Advanced Diploma in Nautical Science.
After completion of the on-board training, the cadet has to do the sixth semester (the 6 months post-sea training) at the institute. Subsequently he has to appear for both written and oral examinations, conducted by Directorate General of Shipping. On successful passing out he gets 2nd Mate (FG)
Certificate of Competency from DGS and B.Sc. (Nautical Science) degree from Indian maritime University.
After the opening of the maritime training to private sector in 1996-97, there has been mushroom  growth in the number of such institutes conducting pre-sea courses, and as on date 138 institutes are approved for conducting various pre-sea training courses of both the discipline --Nautical and Engineering.
In a recent review by the DG Shipping on the approved intake of pre-sea courses against the training berths (sea-timing) the availability has revealed that the intake capacity created for pre-sea courses significantly exceeds the training berths actually available.
During the review, DG Shipping had expressed that the large and rapidly growing backlog of trainee officers who have completed their pre-sea courses, but are unable to get the training berths on board ships -- a pre-requisite for their Certificates of Competency in the entry grade -- is really a matter of serious concern.
As the Directorate felt that the situation is slowly going out of its control, it has initiated action by imposing a restriction on new approvals/ increase in capacity of the one-year DNS course in 2011.
It may be recalled here that the new approvals of GP and CCMC courses are also under ban since 2003 and 2007 respectively.
As the maritime institutes expressed apprehensions that the effect of elusive sea-time for trainee cadets could spell doom on their future, the DG Shipping discussed the matter in detail with the representatives of the Government, Indian Maritime University and the Shipping Industry to chalk out a real solution.
During the meeting, members agreed that due to bottlenecks of shortage of training berths vis-à-vis the annual output of pre-sea trainees from training institutes, there is an oversupply of cadets who are yet to complete their structured ship board training programme.
Taking a firmer step, the DG Shipping imposed a ban on increase in capacity by restricting new approvals /increase in intake in all pre-sea courses leading to entry level Competency either at the Second Mate level or at the level of MEO Class IV, whether Foreign Going (FG) or Near Coastal Voyage (NCV) .
Though the DG Shipping banned the increase, IMU and its affiliated institutes still continue to admit students in DNS course, thus playing havoc with the lives of innocent youths, who chose the seaborne career for their economic prosperity.
According to information available, the Directorate in 2006 came out with a training circular to put the  onus on the training institutes to obtain training slots on-board ships at the end of the graduation, failing which they should compensate the students by refunding the fees they have remitted. Then through DGS circulars in 2007 and 2008, as a measure of relaxation, it modified the strategy putting the
responsibility on the training institutes to tie up with shipping companies to get training slots for their cadets, failing which they should reduce their intake.

Both the cadets with Diploma in Nautical Science and B.Sc have to undergo training, i.e. at the trainee level.
The DNS cadets complete one-year pre-sea training to be awarded the Diploma in Nautical Science Certificate. Then the cadets are required to do the on-board training as a deck cadet for a minimum of
18 months plus 6 months post-sea training prior to the B.Sc (Nautical Science) and the 2nd Mates written and oral exams. Then they, as per the company requirements, are posted as 3rd Officer in the respective ships.
While the B.Sc (NS) cadets are awarded B.Sc Nautical Science Degree from the college after the completion of 3-year pre-sea training in the college, the B.Sc. Nautical Science cadets have to complete a minimum of 12 months of onboard training as a deck cadet. Then appear for 2nd Mates (FG) exams only, after which they are posted as 3rd officer in some ship.
- 1-year Pre-sea Training
- A minimum of 18 months Structured Shipboard Training Programme (SSTP) and
- 6-month course ashore
- 2nd Mates Written and Oral exams
- Award of COC as 2nd Mates (FG) by DGS
- Award of B.Sc. (Nautical Science) degree by IMU
--- then the 3rd Officer
- 3-year Pre-Sea training (B.Sc Degree awarded by the affiliated university)
- 12 months SSTP (minimum) * 2nd Mates Oral exam Conducted by DGS
- Award of COC as 2nd Mates (FG) by DGS
--- then the 3rd Officer
Legal remedy for the malady
It is worth recalling here that the DGS had issued a directive in 2008 to admit only sponsored students so that they do not encounter any problem for sea-time followed by placement. But this direction has been thrown into the winds and the unscrupulous institutions make hay while the sun shines by fleecing the gullible students. Those maritime institutions which sincerely impart education as per schedule and norms are learnt to have made up their minds to seek legal remedy for this ugly malady prevalent on the  campus, if the DGS directive is not implemented in letter and spirit forthwith.