Present maritime education is equipped enough to bring alternate jobs.
Topic for debate this year on National Maritime Day (o5th April)
For the motion
I have talked with many an ex-mariners who are now successfully placed in many other sectors, ranging from ship owning, brokering and chartering, sales, marketing, human resource, Civil Services, owning a Business, etc.
Looking at that, I feel that an exposure of sea, of being a real master and commander , does not go wasted provided people have skill and knowledge to convert this exposure into another saleable product. The basic essential for achieving the feat of joining another sector is to have a will, and then knowledge, inspired from one’s personal interest – to chase his dream.
Sea exposure puts us through various legislation process, and of varied stringent levels – say from third world nations of African continents, to the most advances nations today—US, Europe, japan, and Australia. Can there be any doubt that such men are not worth their salt. Maybe that is why some could gain access to the power corridors through Civil Services, and a few a marine lawyers, or a P& I surveyor.
Then, sea farers also get a regular experience of working among multinationals, which in itself, is worth great for many shore based industries. Perhaps, it is this which can explain why some could turn up to be in Sales and marketing.
Then, an exposure of handling the most strategic commodity, the Crude Oil and its products, that of handling vast categories of cargo has lead some to become good Logisticians, some to own their own ships, and some to become Forwarding agents, Ship brokerers and Ship Charterers.
Marine Engineers have had a regular placements in industries which require upkeep of power generator or refrigeration machineries. Many have found jobs in India and also overseas , looking after the uninterrupted power supply to plants which are working day in and day out.
Against the motion
Some of you may give examples of many a well placed mariners who have diversified into non-seafaring jobs, but I personally would like to pin point that such achievements have been quite a personal quest only, not an offshoot of the basic education of maritime field which these achievers had acquired. On a real close look of these people, in many a cases I have found that such achievers have been nothing but an escapist, who had quit seafaring as early as they could to find their peace and satisfaction. These people have started early, finished their maritime competencies faster and then taken plunge into their alternation vocations, sometimes, not even caring for keeping seafaring as their Plan B. That was their thirst.
And they have unequivocally reported of seafaring not being able to deliver out what the rest of the world wants... A highly specialised task man collaborating with what his basic marine qualification has been. Marine engineers , in this regard, have been a small bit of exception, but for the nautical officers the world has been even more disappointing. The experiences of bridge equipment did not make them good operators for the fields which have similar gadgetry in use. With lessons of meteorology, they have not become a meteorologist. With lessons of chartwork, they don’t become a cartographer. With knowledge of oil cargo handling, they don’t become the incharge of oil depots across this country. With lessons of safety, there is hardly any scope to join Disaster management, or road or industrial safety in-charge. With exposure to ISM paper work, we still don’t become system installation consultants for up coming business, or even a good Public Administrators. With exposure of marine law, there are hardly any marine lawyers in India with sea faring background. With excessive drill on pollution prevention, we have hardly contributed to cleansing of our river systems. Let’s face the truth...The education has done what the basic Indian thirst has been... to make our fast bucks and live a happy life. Hardly have we succeeded or felt inspired to contribute to the social wellness. We have become what often know ourselves to be.. Jack of all trades, master of none. And truth, my friend, is that 20th century itself had become an era of specialist—the era of professionals who are highly sophisticated in their skills, the True Masters of their field.
The present maritime education had only produced money minters, no more that brand of sea farers who ventured into the sea to find the new unexplored territory, the ones who saw cultures and make the world swing with their knowledge of polity, sociology and economics; the one’s who challenged the creation of god by propounding the theory of evolution; the one’s who felt the change of magnetism on earth surface and helped towards discovery of tectonic plates. It has produced short, norrow- sighted visionaries who have made fast-bucks and returned home to safety.