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.