NEW DELHI: The government will be asking the private shipping companies to provide slots on board for training
to maritime institutes. Now this facility is being offered by the state-owned Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) only.
This was decided at a recent high-level meeting. Sources said that the shipping ministry asked director general
of shipping to convene a meeting of the Indian ship owners to persuade them to give training slots in the general
interest of maritime training in India
The ministry of shipping is also of the view that the charge of Rs 1.2 lakh for six-month training should be
waived off and instead the companies should be asked to pay the cadets a stipend. SCI has been charging the fee
for on-board training. .
Lloyd's Register has taken the initiative on maritime security, the amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea
(SOLAS) Convention covering maritime security that come into force on July 1, 2004 have raised concerns within
the shipping industry that the parties involved - shipowners, managers, port facilities, flag states and class
- will be unable to cope with the workload within the deadline. It is therefore imperative that both classification
societies, in their pending capacity as Recognised Security Organisations (RSOs), and shipping companies act
quickly to ensure that the run up to compliance does not result in a stampede immediately prior to the deadline,
as was the case with the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Moreover, the timely
formulation and adoption of ship and company security plans, both of which are required under the International
Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code enshrined within SOLAS, will ensure that a 'security culture' is
established, rather than turning the implementation of the ISPS Code into a mere 'paper exercise'.
The government is also likely to permit premier private institutes to conduct certain specialised courses
which are conducted only by the government institutes. For starting this, the government may first develop
a mechanism whereby institutes are graded by rating organisations authorised by directorate general of shipping.
Training institutes may then be allowed to take up the courses according to grading. The ministry's re-thinking
has been prompted after the meeting took stock of the situation where certain courses were permitted to be
conducted only in the government institutes.