New Delhi, Jul 22: The number of active Indian seafarers – that is Indian seafarers employed by Indian or foreign flagged ships -has grown by about 45 per cent in the last three years, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.
In a written reply here, Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya informed that the number has increased from 1, 43,940 in 2016 to 2, 08,799 in 2018.
He said the Government has taken several initiatives and policy decisions to help increase the share of Indian seafarers at the global level. For example, seafarers are being employed on ships through secured paths i.e. either by Indian ship-owners on Indian flag ships, regulated under Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 or on foreign flag ships through registered Recruitment and Placement Services License (RPSL) under Merchant Shipping (R&PS) Rules 2016.
With employment and welfare of Indian seafarers being regulated through relevant rules framed in consonance with Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, more and more foreign ship-owners are engaging Indian seafarers on board their ships. 'Important initiatives have been taken in recent years to enhance employment opportunities for the youth in the maritime sector. These include increasing on-board training opportunities, improving the examination and certification system and facilitating ease of doing business,' he added.
The Minister informed that a decision was taken to allow on-board training of officers and ratings on tugs and offshore vessels also. This has opened additional on-board training berths for nearly 4000 trainees. Training institutes are being held responsible for on-board ship training of the students. Further, constant monitoring of the Recruitment and Placement Services License (RPSL) has encouraged unregistered Recruitment and Placement Services (RPS) to come under the RPSL regime. In the year 2013 there were approximately 300 registered RPSL which rose to 485 in 2018.
The Training curriculum for officers and ratings were revised in 2016 to meet global standards and the expectation of the foreign employers. The Government has brought in major regulatory relaxation for obtaining Indian Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) which is a pre-requisite for boarding a vessel for the purposes of employment.
He further informed that the Ministry of Shipping has lifted an earlier ban on conduct of post sea modular courses, pre-sea GP ratings and pre-sea courses. (UNI)