-V-C steps in as a saviour of would-be sailors
If market is not there, I think, we should freeze the DNS course, Mr. G. Raghuram, the new Vice-Chancellor of Indian Maritime University (IMU), has said.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh after the recent media reports that brought to light the plight of thousands of DNS cadets who are yet to get their mandatory seatime training, he made it known in crystal clear terms: “If market is not there, I think, we should freeze it (DNS course). First of all, there are issues of employment, as shipping is in a recession and there are thoughts (in the IMU circle) as to why not making it a B.Sc directly (by doing away with DNS diploma).”
These students are stuck due to non-availability of sea-time and due to shortage of slots for 18-month onboard training, and hence they are unable to get their B.Sc degrees, Mr. Raghuram added.
To a question about the reported tug-of-war between IMU and DG Shipping over their roles, the Vice-Chancellor replied: “I am not aware of it as I assumed office as the V-C only a few days ago. But, their (DGS) role is clear and our (IMU) role is clear. Ours is educational and DG Shipping has the regulatory role on those people who are going onboard a vessel.”
Spelling out his priorities to streamline different courses in the country’s prime maritime university, the Vice-Chancellor said there are plans to give more impetus to P-G law course, with a specialization on maritime law and MBA in Ports and Shipping in the university. He said: “After all, there are so many issues that are specific to maritime like accidents of ships, salvage, insurance, spoiled cargoes and so on. So, a post-graduate degree (LLM) will enable a person to practise in maritime law a little better.”
“Keeping the demand for maritime law professionals in mind, IMU has already started the P-G law programme. Unfortunately, it is yet to take off and there are plans to take it to a new level,” Mr. Raghuram said.
MBA in Ports and Shipping:
The Vice-Chancellor further stated: “People who are not seafarers can also do an MBA to understand ports and shipping, because trade is not just shipping lines, it is also about shipping companies that own ships. So, in a shipping company there are so many jobs other than onboard a ship and there are many people who need to understand the ship. So, MBA in Ports and Shipping will help them to get shore-based jobs.”
Other courses for returning seafarers: Mr. Raghuram also told this scribe: “We need a
programme for seafarers and returning seafarers. After 15 or 20 years of sailing, they would like to start a second career. They need a transitional programme that’s very important.”