Logistics

Puducherry-based Marine Officers’ Training Academy in the eye of the fake certificate scam

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on October 25, 2019 Published on October 25, 2019

India’s maritime administration has issued show cause notices to 3,762 seafarers who are alleged to have secured the bogus certificates issued by 1-2 institutes

Puducherry-based Marine Officers’ Training Academy (MOTA) is said to have issued the most number of fake qualification certificates to seafarers without attending classes, according to the Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping).

India’s maritime administration has issued show cause notices to 3,762 seafarers who are alleged to have secured the bogus certificates issued by 1-2 institutes without attending classes and receiving training.

In July, the DG Shipping issued a show cause notice on MOTA on the basis of complaints that the institute was not conforming to the rules laid down by the regulator for conducting courses.

The “serious major non-conformities” cited by the regulator in the notice includes issuance of course certificates without attendance and without imparting training, conduct of number of batches in excess of approval, issuance of course certificates to seafarers sailing on-board, permanent faculty working in multiple institutes, issue of course certificates from non-approved premises and submitting incorrect data on e-governance.

BusinessLine has reviewed a copy of the show cause notice.

The DG Shipping alleged that MOTA opened satellite offices at Srikakulam, Kochi and Noida from where fake certificates were issued through agents appointed by the institute after taking money.

Institutes are not allowed to start satellite centres anywhere as per rules, a government official said.

As a result, candidates have no proof to show that they have attended classes, which is mandatory. Training institutes have to keep the bio metric record of candidates attending classes- the candidates don’t have this because nobody attended.

Neither has MOTA kept any recordings of the courses, video recordings of all practical classes – also a mandatory requirement- because nobody attended, the official revealed.

MOTA, an institute approved by the DG Shipping, has not undertaken the annual Comprehensive Inspection Programme (CIP) for the last two years, a requirement mandated by the regulator for all training institutes.

“We have issued the show cause notice because we want to close down the institute,” the official said.

MOTA did not respond to an e-mail sent on October 20 seeking comments.

Aryavart Maritime Institute, located in Ropar, Punjab was also involved in the issue of fake certificates to seafarers. This institute has since been closed down by the DG Shipping.

Published on October 25, 2019
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