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19 Jun 2017
Increase the representation of Indian Seafarers on Foreign flag ships : Capt Sanjay Prashar
Credit : TSO Bureau


"The attached presentation shows that there's always shortage of 600 C/Es every Year.Thus we hope DG Shipping accepts that Industry is facing shortage of C/E. Year 2016 saw employment of 6601 Masters VS 5961 C/Es. We are employing Foreign Nationals as C/E and 2/E. Such data could have been asked by DG Shipping and we should have continued to the statistics of 33% shortage of C/E and 2/E. There's no comparison of No of COC (Cert of Competency) issued by Philippines , China, Russia or Ukraine. Indian output is more meaningful when we know Global statistics on this. I am sure this information can be obtained through Indian Embassies. Let's have global study sanctioned. RPSL Companies: a. Give RPSL companies MSME status. Presently shipping companies word doesn't exist in MSME policy. This will allow us to get some advantage. b. There are 380 RPSL companies and 80 of them don't even send one Seaman in a year. There should be a simple one page report from companies every year to DG and DG compiles the data for public consumption. No one knows how many RPSL office staff is getting 1.44 Lakh Seafarers onboard ships. c. Skill development for office staff should be there to deal with Fleet Personnel issues. Present system is hands-on training of freshers by any office and left to each company. d. Workshop with ROs is missing. RPSL Audits and problems faced by RPSL companies are never analysed. RPSL Companies: They have offices mainly at 4 Metros. Mumbai is the hub. Only Crewing company to have an office in Europe, Dubai, Singapore , HK is still a far away thing. We want to reach out to them. Can Indian Embassy give space (Hall / Auditorium like what UK Embassy gives to their business houses in India or Other Countries) and Embassy Authorities atleast have a shipping desk where we can reach out to. Example: I called Netherlands Consulate in May 2017 and wanted to know how to open Crewing company in Netherlands. I had 45 minutes meeting and now we exactly know the costs and probable returns. Never seen such a support from any Indian Embassy although self has met Indian Staff at Embassies in China, Myanmar, HK, Singapore etc. It's very cold response by Embassies and they say they are overworked. Comprehensive Inspection Program (CIP): Inspections at Post Sea Courses Institute and pre Sea Training Institute needs to be made meaningful. How can Post Sea Courses Institute get A 1 Grading with passing percentage of students in COC exams for Class 2 & 1 MEO being 35%? No data anylsis of passing percentage done by many institutes. Data analysis of Examination results: We need to have this going. Only Engineers Exams are presently displayed. It should be system generated and for public consumption every quarterly. Oral exams : It's future not mention in the paper. Oral exams should be first done at Maritime Training Institutes. Video facility and mock orals be part of syllabus. E-Learning: DG Shipping website has the facility. Can we have some data of how many users exists and can we put Video of Orals too? We understand that in one year 4000 students have registered although 16000 appear every year. E-Migration program: Trial period must start. Self is keen to be part of committee which infact sees the trial period. The statements made in the paper item F needs correction. Ease of Travelling – The E-Migrant system should be deterrent to NON Registered RPS and give ease to travel to Seafarers joining through RPSL Companies. It should be auto system once a Company has signed on a seafarer in Form 1 of DG Shipping. This is infact 2 seconds activity through the system. I have seen the system and it's presentation and thus can speak with certain amount of confidence. DG Shipping data can then show departure date and time of Seafarer as it gets from Immigration desk at Airport / Seaport. OK to Board and Travel: DG Shipping, Ministry of Shipping has been advised the present status where many countries are now asking for Visa for Indian Seafarers. This is really painful. Government needs to make this as agenda and ease the travel for Seafarers. Status report be generated on this matter and displayed to Industry. E-Visa should be 12 hrs affair as we have agents globally to ensure crew joins ship. E-Visa should not become another hurdle due to time issues as many countries not put Visa on Hold due to their CID / Police clearance. Stop NON RPSL Companies from operating. There are 1200 agents and most of it around Shipping Master office, Belapur and Fort area. No action is taken. Thus pls ensure DG Shipping has action plan to deal with such thing. No DG Approved Institutes: Can DG some advise for us on this too.\ INDOS Number be rep;laced with AADHAR Card no. Indian CDC no should not be mentioned in any of the document like COC etc. It should be Aadahar card no. E-Governance: Now also Indian ratings submit 52 pages to get watchkeeping and COP. Can we reduce this. Unemployment of Trainees: DG Shipping can easily generate this data through enforcement of compliance with MTIs and RPSL. Deck Cadets employed in the year 2016 was 5440 (slide 17). They need 18 months. Trainee Marine Engineers employed in the year 2016 was 4048 (slide 17). They need 6 months sea time. There is no mention of how many Cadets passed out from MTI (Production not mentioned and consumption given). Thus data should be there for both. How many employed and how many produced. Ratings: There is shortage of Stewards and Cooks. Because they get jobs on Cruise ships also and can serve Hotel Industry too. Surprisingly we produce very low Catering Trainees. MTIs should be asked to have more batches. There;s need to go up by 30%. Trainee Saloon ratings employed in the year 2016 are 621. We don't know how many produced. Also no mention is these trainees were having previous experience also. As many companies keep Trainee ranks for less cost to Owners in difficult times. GP Rating: We see always one opening and 20 candidates. I am sure such data should be captures. There;'s no mention of data analysis and SWOT for such unemployable generated by MTIs or failure of RPSL companies to provide employment. Deck Rating and Engine Rating: No mention how many COP holders and how many with only watchkeeping. Such data is important fort us. We are now short of COP holders and DG nominated task force has not commented on this. If 1957 Deck Trainee Rating and 1026 Engine Trainee Ratings got placed, there's no mention how many were freshers. We all know NON RPSL Agents take Freshers more than RPSL companies. Such matters should be stated by task force. A creamy layer report can be dangerous as admitting problem is the first step we all know to resolve it. Fee structure for course (Pre Sea Training and Post Sea Training) should have been displayed, what's average fees to do which course and comparing same with other countries. There are 163 Seafarers in Various Jails of foreign countries. There's no mention of same. Casualty Investigation: Need IMO Instrument Implementation Code compliance. Top Urgent. Need working cell at DGS. Presently it's dead rubber. Seafarers Identification Document: SID – Timelines missing and now in cold storage. Awards at NMD: We are always seeing 10 companies taking award for last 30 years. Well, it's time for DG Shipping to see the relevance of such awards. RPSL and MTIs should feel encouraged with awards / appreciation. Where as the form which a company fills for the award in itself is more than 10 yrs old. Can we have a business coordination cell at DG Shipping? DG Shipping is now fill of IRS, UPSC and IAS. Can we have some C/Es and Master Mariners there? Can we have all sub committees attached to DG Shipping be displayed on website? Limited people and few associations have been running all sub committees which we understand are 22 in numbers. We have never seen their agenda, minutes of meeting, credentials of attendees etc. Can we be more open there? RPSL Companies grievance cell should be made: When RPSL companies report about Seafarers who have damaged ship, medical problems abut made false declaration resulting in diversion of ship, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, serious acts of indiscipline, acts onboard resulting in loss of business, WE HAVE NO WHERE TO GO. Awareness campaign should also include social media. Today Facebook is primary source of fake recruitment. Attached list of fake agencies duping seafarers as rec'd by self from one facebook browser. We have tried to incorporate the address of all. Several still don't have any registered address however I have still included their names in the list. It was seen that several candidates were unsure if the agency had an RPSL or not. ROZGAR Samachar, Employment office and State education boards: We suggest be utilised when going for such awareness campaign. There are many associations now (IMF, FOSMA, MASSA, DRACEA, CMMI, IMEI, NUSI, MUI, FSUI Etc). We suggest DG Shipping make credentials check of each and utilize strength of each. Thereafter a Placement committee be formed with on rep from credible association. A 6 monthly meet can help to formulate many strategies. SKILL: Can we have skill development master book for all ranks of merchant navy. Many companies have it now. We can have standard one for public / RPSL companies. Example our OILER cannot do welding whereas Chinese and Filipino Oilers are god even at Welding / Fitting jobs. Thus skill development will really help here. Fishermen Children: There should be higher age relaxation/ qualification for them to start sea career. CDC availability on 5 STCW courses will be great help. In the year 2016 only 997 ETO COC were issued against total ETOs 5284. No doubt we are still suffering with ETO COC issue. Presently we have got 2000 ETO COC issued where as another 4000 are without COC. A study should be made why we ended up in such a place. This will help NOT TO FAIL in future. Well, it's first time that such an exercise of this scale being done involving all RPSL and MTIs. Wish we could get some Seafarers viewpoint too on exam system. Capt. Sanjay Prashar Managing Director V R Maritime Services Pvt Ltd"
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