In supercession of Training Circular No. 15 of 2006

D.G. Shipping Circular No. 1 of 2007

No.11-TR(39)/2006                                                            Dated: 1 March, 2007

Sub: In supercession of Training Circular No. 15 of 2006

Rationale

  1. This circular is issued consequent on a section of the training institutes describing procedural difficulties in implementation of guidelines contained in training Circular No 15 of 2006, to address issues affecting the sustainability of the quality of maritime education and training, and may be read in supersession thereof.
  2. It is a matter of concern for the Maritime Administration that there is a very large and rapidly growing backlog of trainee officers who have completed their pre sea courses but are unable to get their Certificates of Competency in the entry grade because of their inability to fulfill their sea time training that is an essential requirement for their Certificates of Competency (CoC). The issuance of the Certificate of Competency by the DGS requires that every trainee officer should have put in the minimum period of sea service prescribed under the META manual and the MS (STCW) Rules, 1998. So far, DGS approvals to training institutes to start maritime courses or increase intake therein have been given on the understanding that the training institutes would exert themselves to liaise with shipping companies or ship manning companies duly registered with the DGS to provide sea time training berths for their students. The growing backlog of trainees gives evidence that such expectations have not materialized; institutions are not adequately addressing this aspect and trainees are being left to fend for themselves in regard to their sea time training to obtain their CoCs.
  3. The Directorate has consequently reviewed the position, and considers that the present procedure of pre sea course approvals is deficient in taking the marine student to the logical end of his course of training. The Directorate finds it necessary to make provision to ensure that he is provided with due support to complete the essential requirements of the MS (STCW) 1998 to obtain his CoC and thereby employment.
  4. Integrating Sea Time Training into Pre-Sea Courses

  5. In partial revision of the existing guidelines, therefore, and in addition to the guidelines and conditions contained in the DGS Order No. 1 of 2003 and subsequent guidelines on the subject, the Directorate hereby makes the sea time training a mandatory and inseparable part of all marine courses which prescribe sea time as an essential requirement for the CoC. Training institutes will be obliged to make provision for sea time training of all their marine students. No marine course for cadets will be considered completed till the sea time is completed.
  6. Procedure

  7. Training institutes will make provision for sea time training by working out a 'tie-up' with shipping companies, or their ship manning agents duly registered with the Directorate for all students enrolled by them in courses that require sea time training to be eligible for COCs. Such tie-up shall be in writing and shall specify the sea time trainee berths committed, the shipowner who has made the commitment (directly or through his registered manning agent) and the duration for which the commitment is made to the training institute, and may be by an agreement or by a formal exchange of letters between the Institute and the registered manning agent or the shipowner.
  8. Training institutes will make provision for sea time training by working out a 'tie-up' with shipping companies, or their ship manning agents duly registered with the Directorate for all students enrolled by them in courses that require sea time training to be eligible for COCs. Such tie-up shall be in writing and shall specify the sea time trainee berths committed, the shipowner who has made the commitment (directly or through his registered manning agent) and the duration for which the commitment is made to the training institute, and may be by an agreement or by a formal exchange of letters between the Institute and the registered manning agent or the shipowner.
  9. n the commencement year, in order to give adequate time to existing institutes to make the sea time berth tie-up (i) the date of intimation of arrangements made will be by July 30, 2007 for batches due to pass out in 2007-2008; and (ii) arrangements for sea time training would be acceptable if they are made for at least 80% of the students due to pass out in 2007-2008.
  10. Training institutes will be expected to regulate their intake in each course according to their ability to obtain sea time slots. Starting from the summer session of 2007, if, on self-assessment, an institute feels that it does not have the ability to reasonably obtain sea time training berths from one or more shipping companies or their registered agents to match its enrollment, including the backlog of previous years, it will be incumbent upon it to voluntarily reduce its intake commensurately and to ensure that in any given year, the cumulative backlog of candidates awaiting sea time training slots does not exceed 20% of the sea time training slots available. Intake in excess of this number on assurances of future increase will not be advisable, or acceptable, as that will only serve to prolong the mismatch between academic and shipboard training needs and increase the backlog of trainees awaiting sea time slots, It would, therefore, be in the interests of good management for the institute to strive to obtain long term commitments and tie'ups.
  11. In arriving at the cumulative backlog, Institutes will not discount students who have not been successful in the exit examinations until they have been allowed to persevere for success in three examinations, with extra coaching from the institute without extra charge.
  12. Simultaneously, to counteract pressures generated by the need to arrange adequate sea time berths, and to ensure consistent emphasis on quality, training institutions will also be required to reduce intake commensurate to failure rate above 80% in the first attempt and 10% repeater attempts.
  13. It is also clarified that no institute shall charge new fees or enhance its existing fee structure or put a rent on provision of sea time training berths, in any form whatsoever from and on the student.
  14. Monitoring

  15. In order that the Directorate can monitor the implementation of these guidelines and, where necessary, regulate the process, Institutions will submit to the Directorate, by 30th April of every year -
    1. the tie up agreement or letters, to examine and satisfy itself as to their reliability, by verifying the arrangements if need be with the shipping companies and against the META manual requirements;
    2. the proposed intake every year in each course, against its sanctioned strength, with their rationale for their proposal;
    3. the number of students, course wise, sent every year on sea time training, against the admitted strength, with changes in the number from the agreed or anticipated numbers being highlighted;
    4. the results of the exit examinations of each course, giving students passed, and giving the repeaters data separately;
    5. the course wise fee structure every year, highlighting increases and giving their rationale; and including also other charges on the student which are not classified in their accounts as 'fees', so as to give complete details of charges on the student for each course;
    6. the refund to students, giving names and details of the students and the refund, whom the institute has not been able to put through sea time training;
    7. the final placement figures for each course, after the students have obtained CoCs, in comparison with their intake into the course.
  16. In the event the information is not submitted, or the Directorate is not satisfied with the provision of sea time training berths in keeping with the letter and spirit of these guidelines, or with compliance to the action directed hereto, the Directorate will suspend intake in the institution and take necessary action to withdraw permission to operate a particular course or as an approved marine institute.
  17. Future Direction

  18. Further, to ensure that this sea time training obligation is taken seriously by the institutes as an integral part of the essential learning of every marine course, and in order to establish a praxis between the sea time practical training and the class room learning, it shall be the endeavour to embed, or sandwich, the sea time training between two spells of class room learning, so as to give certificates/diplomas/degrees only after successful completion of the course including sea time training, and the Directorate would encourage the training institutes and the shipowning companies or their registered manning agents to work closely with it to plan the details of coordination of such embedded practical training and integrated marine courses.
  19. It shall be in the best interest of the training institutes and the manning agents and ship owners join together in a society or other federated mode of collective functioning and work cooperatively to self regulate the above process of integrating sea time training in pre-sea courses, as well as otherwise advise and participatively partner the Directorate in improving the quality of the national marine training programme.
  20. Consequent on coming into force of this circular, the Training Circular 10 of 2006 is hereby repealed. The cases pending or rejected on the basis of Training Circular 10 of 2006 will be considered afresh only subject to the conditions set forth herein. Training Circular 15 of 2006 stands superceded.

Sd/-

(Mrs Kiran Dhingra)

Director General of Shipping &

ex-officio Addl Secretary to Govt. of India

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