In a couple of weeks from now we will be again celebrating our National Maritime Day on April, 5. There are certain issues which we need to consider.
- Our premier Indian Shipping Company, the Shipping Corporation of India, is functioning efficiently and profitably? If not how can we take steps to improve it? Do they have a consultative committee comprising professionals to oversee their functioning to improve technical excellence, reduce wastage and enhance profits?
- We have the DG Shipping, which is the respected administrative body. Is there any mechanism to ensure that the officers of both the SCI and DGS are meeting at least once in three months to examine any lack of co-ordination and bottlenecks that hinder progress in the right direction? Is the deliberation of such an exercise, printed anywhere or made available on the DGS/SCI website?
- DGS has reportedly authorized certain institutions to conduct courses and carry out examination for NCV Certification. Has this been done with due notification and whether any rules have been formalized for such an outsourcing?
Selection group comprising seniors having adequate sea venturing experience should scrutinise persons who are examiners for NCV.
- In GP rating training, the cadets finding entry in various colleges are mostly being drawn from a particular region perhaps because certain brokers in this region are more proficient and active than others. Are youth hailing from north east getting adequate representation?
- We have made good progress with regard to shipping activities, Port development and development of ship building and repair facilities. In an exhibition held in October 2013 we saw lot of marine equipment manufacturers ( including the engines) and equipment reconditioners and the shipyards displaying their range of capabilities which should make us proud. Our Main engine and Auxilliary engine manufacturers have made excellent progress and their brochures (books and CDs) are very technically enlightening. We have achieved good progress in off shore technology which is laudable. Yes Sir! Many good things have been achieved. Let us hope we march on the path of progress with very effective co-ordination.
Procedures should be made easy for ship repairers and suppliers to serve the ships more expeditiously, considering short port stays. Customs and Port security personnel should have an interaction with the shipping companies for better mutual understanding of the difficulties involved. All people are good and helpful if they are regularly briefed on issues involved and importantly made to feel that their contribution is equally important in national renaissance.
The health of Indian Seamen should be our priority. So far we have been concentrating on medical testing in a routine way but overlooking its preventive side. We can set up counters at major ports where we may sell good quality Ayurvedic and patent medicines to promote health ( example, Triphala in tablet form). Seaman must have easy access to visit a homeopath, Ayurveda vaidya or Unani practioner. Prevention is better than cure in almost all matters, health, fire safety, navigational safety etc: This will further promote our indigenous traditional medicines and alternative therapies.