Will DG Shipping turn a saviour of the previous batch pleading for sea-time?
IMU still bent on leaving more DNS cadets in the lurch
The real task before the DGS is to secure training slots for the pending cadets as well as take suitable stringent action on those institutes which failed
to deliver the promise of getting sea-time training for their students
Rubbing salt on the wounded emotions of thousands of Diploma in Nautical Science [DNS]-cadets, who are left in the lurch and still waiting for their mandatory sea-time training to complete their B.Sc degree in NS, Indian Maritime University (IMU) has begun counselling for candidates for admitting in DNS stream in the current academic year.
Though admission to DNS stream this time could be done only after the presentation of sponsorship certificates from shipping companies by the candidates, the affected cadets, who were left to rot after completing their first slot of 12-month pre-sea training (of total 34-month course) from different institutes since 2010, rued that they would be simply forgotten in the arena.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, one of the frustrated cadets on condition of anonymity said: “Instead of taking immediate remedial measures for the thousands of suffering cadets, the DG Shipping and the IMU came out with a novel idea to continue the DNS stream with sponsorship.”
“They failed to understand our plight, which is drifting further with that new option, where the shipping companies would naturally prefer the fresh candidates than the out-of-touch cadets for sea-time training,” the cadet further lamented.
According to educational experts, though the stop-gap arrangement introduced by the DG Shipping is to minimize entry of DNS candidates to job-market in the coming years, the real task before the DGS is to secure training slots for the pending cadets as well as take suitable stringent action on those institutes, which failed to deliver the promise of getting sea-time training for their students.
The DNS issue began in 2009, when the DG Shipping came out with an order (M.S. Notice 21 of 2009) in May (2009) stating that a decision has been taken to allow the Indian Maritime University to start the Diploma in Nautical Science [DNS] programme leading to B.Sc degree in Nautical Science from August, 2009 onwards on the same lines as the DGS-IGNOU programme which was promulgated through Training Circular No.20 of April 2004.
When the DG Shipping came out with the order allowing IMU to conduct the course, they failed to gauge the adverse job-market conditions in the field that was developing after the economic slowdown in the global market.
Instead of taking corrective measures sooner than later to secure sea-time training and subsequent job opportunities for candidates completing Diploma in Nautical Science [DNS] programme leading to B.Sc degree in Nautical Science, the callous attitude of the IMU finally played with the lives of more than 6,000 cadets.
It may be noted here that Prof. Raghuram, during his short tenure as the second Vice-Chancellor of IMU, indeed tried to scotch the DNS-mess and even vouched for complete stoppage of the course.
However, his plan was defeated due to “strong support” from a section of educationists citing “heavy investment in infrastructure for DNS in their institutes.”
With Sagar Sandesh and other such media consistently raking up the DNS-mess with the authorities, the DG Shipping came out with an order of compulsory sponsorship certificate for admission into DNS course in February this year.
Though DG Shipping has taken well-deserved safeguarding steps for the future cadets in the stream, it conveniently forgot the plight of thousands of cadets, who had completed the one-year DNS course and are now waiting for sea-training slots.