Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cadets’ future will be taken care of: National Shipping Board Chairman

Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly on Nov 7, 2012

Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, President of R. L. Institute of Nautical Sciences (RLINS), Madurai, Tamil Nadu, presenting a memento to Capt. P. V. K Mohan, Chairman of National Shipping Board, during a one day workshop on NCV Manpower Development in Mumbai on Nov. 1. Also seen (from left) Mr. J. N. Das, Director, Shipping Corporation of India, Mr. G. S. Bhalla, Chairman, ICC Shipping Association and Mr. Amitava Banerjee, Chief Surveyor, Government of India;Mumbai

Congratulating the management of RL Institute of Nautical Sciences (RLINS), Madurai, for taking bold initiatives to ensure better future for its cadets, Capt. P.V.K Mohan, Chairman of National Shipping Board, has openly declared that the Union Shipping Ministry and DG Shipping will extend their helping hand to accomplish the Institute’s endeavours.
Addressing an elite gathering of maritime fraternity during a one day NCV Manpower Development Workshop, jointly organized by ICC Shipping Association, Mumbai, and RLINS, Tamil Nadu, in Mumbai on Nov. 1, Capt Mohan said: “I came to know that Dr. Lakshmipathy, President of RLINS, has been looking at some alternative methods of employing the people (cadets) who are unable to get sea time. I believe that it is in the final stages of tying up with reputed organization like BITS (Pilani) to see some degree can be given to cadets, so that they can take up shore jobs for initial survival. And they can get back to sea job once the situation improves. This is a good initiative from RLINS and I hope it would fructify into something good. If RL Institute can work out something like this, then I am sure that the administration, DG Shipping and from the (Shipping) Ministry, we will give you helping hands to achieve such a thing.”
Outlining the latest concern in DG Shipping, on-board training slot for cadets, he pointed out: “We are looking at several initiatives like what is to be done. We are also talking to INSA, MANSA, FOSMA and several other institutions to see how best we can increase the on-board training slots.”
Capt. Mohan further stated: “We will come forward and even give Government assistance if there is a system of matching grants we could look at that. We could even look at the stand alone funding if required, if somebody can come up with suitable model.”
Earlier, elaborating on the objectives of the workshop, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy vehemently stressed: “We have assembled here to find out a solution to manpower demand for National Coastal Voyage (NCV) vessels and also simultaneously create opportunity to Nautical Science and Technology cadets to complete their sea time requirement, which will help them acquire the required level of competency and fulfill their mandatory sea time training.”
Appealing to the officials concerned to initiate corrective measures immediately, bearing in mind the grave mismatch between the demand and supply of cadets, the President noted in right earnestness: “My prayer now to the DG Shipping, the Shipping Ministry and Indian Maritime University (IMU) is that let them sit together and find out a permanent solution to the burgeoning problem.”
Suggesting a few important steps to get back the maritime education on stream, Dr. Lakhsmipathy  observed: “Keep the DNS course under suspended animation like the Ratings were done earlier, cut down the number of seats of intake in Nautical Science and Technology courses till the situation improves and find out options to appoint more cadets in ships.”
Spelling out the lurking danger as fall out of less jobs in the market, he concluded: “Unemployment among the deck cadets is a very serious issue and unless and until something is done for it, it will seriously affect the growth of the country. So, I appeal to the concerned departments to take concrete steps at once.”

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