Monday, June 17, 2013

"Selection in Merchant Navy" _ the present day travesty of entrance to merchant navy

I think this entire business of "Selection in Merchant Navy" is the cause which creates an illusion of achievement among young guys who have just cleared 12th or so.
    Earlier, "selection" meant that the entire process of training and sponsorship will be given by the company, because you were selected by the Company. Today, due to the globalised job market situation, the Government of India has been forced to open the employment marker irregularly in the interest of the shipping companies to help them find indian seafarer abundantly.
      Towards this, the training "selection" is done by the IMU whereas the Sponsorship is left to the market forces (of supply and demand). Young school students have the sense of Achievement just when they are "selected" by the IMU to take-up a studies in the maritime colleges. This is the point where the Illusion begins- of deceit, betrayal and increased risks of life of young people. the training institutes are duty-bound to mention the risk on the monetary investments by the parents/self of young school students. This, they fulfill by putting the disclaimers in the college prospectus. However, by word of mouth, their own business pressures are to "entice" (the first deceit) the people to join them, while they assure them of job, or that by sermon-ing "life is struggle everywhere. Nothing venture, nothing have" to elaborate the struggle of finding the sponsorship.
      The government, in its own faith of services to the citizens, has created a system of RPSL to keep the frauds out of business; however, it has arranged to create the forces in the shipping job-market to help the frauds find more business.
       At this point, I should mention that young people refer to these frauds as "Agents", going by the Bollywood cultured understanding of who is an "Agent". Agent, agency and the Agency Laws as a business term mentioned in the Contract Law and other procedures, and as used in the elite urban circles, is most vehemently 'not known' to these young students or even their guardians. Should one expect these rural citizens of India to know of the RPSL and those things, in the light of the fact that even the common business rules, such as Principal and Agency is not known to them-- is a question to ask.
  Some students take "selection in merchant navy" at the cost of selling away their ancestral lands.
    Selection against big reputed companies, however, continues to go standard and usual as in the past. Younger unsponsered students have developed a kind of a lobby- 'versus' Sponsored and the Unsponsored- in their psyche. This psyche is created by means of changing the philosophical viewpoint of "how hard life is. Struggle (to find Sponsorers for on-board training) is the truth of life".
    Away at another platform, the new industrial attitude emerging is about the standards of training of the unemployed "selected" students. This is rather opposite of what the government of India was intending to achieve by way of opening to the private players, almost uncontrolled and mushrooming, the Maritime Training Colleges. At the same time,people from other nations, such as Phillipines,have started coming upto standards in the Training , as well as English-speaking . Further, their Cultural Attitudes are also more congenial towards businesses, multi-national living, and labour laws. Indians are/will soon be recognised for Violations of Contract, particularly those of labour laws against their own fellow citizens. "Indians don't keep harmony in the working environment where ever they are there ( on ships, or, on shore as ship superintendants)" is an frequently noted viewpoint.
     In its objective to keep the standards of training(aka studies in maritime colleges) high, the government has attempted to bring about an environment of mutual competition between them. However, given the cost and the vast infrastructural investment requirement for bringing up the training facilities, the colleges have stared collaborating , instead of Competing with each other. "For PSCRB course, my guys will go to your college, for TASCO, you send your guys to us".
   In the parallel world to all the above, the transportation-by-sea business has its own ups and down connected with the Global money markets and the geo-politics prevailing. The shipping transportation is seeing a market slump as the international trade is slowing down. The oil industry has its own bigger geo-political and the environmental issues which is brought it to stationery position now. It is not seeing growth anymore , while it is lord's mercy on seafarers that oil transportation has not slumped down atleast. With increased number of oil tanker ships, the business of oil tankers is, however, seeing hard days already. Tough chartering employment of ships has the consequence of rolling downwards as tougher times of finding employment by the seafarers. In that, there is yet a competition among the seafarers-  between nationalities; between different training qualities; between different "agent charges" paying worth; between different Cargo Endorsements, trade-types; and so many. Thus, the market forces of supply and demand are squared much in favour of the few unsponsered entrants to the merchant navy.
  However, as the larger truth goes, even the Education in India is not about creating Knowledge and thereof the Conscientiousness ; It is about creating illusion - a new type, a new place. The reality of the market forces and everything else, is made to be swallowed along with those lectures on Life at the early stage of the "selection", thereby sustaining the never-ending illusion of the Indian psyche.