NCC naval cadets may be inducted into merchant navy

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on July 04, 2021

Plan aimed at increasing job opportunities (Representative image)   -  The Hindu

Move follows a meeting between Defence Secretary, DG Shipping, among others

The government is weighing a plan for inducting NCC naval cadets as ratings in the merchant navy.

The Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping), the country’s maritime administration, has formed a eight-member panel led by Kumar Sanjay Bariar, Additional Director General of Shipping, to identify the gaps in the subjects taught by NCC and private training institutions for ratings and suggest measures to explore induction of NCC naval cadets into merchant navy as ratings, according to an office order issued by the DG Shipping on July 1.

The move follows a meeting held on June 19 between Defence Secretary, DG Shipping, vice-chancellor of the Indian Maritime University and DG NCC to suggest steps for a scheme in this regard.

While the plan is aimed at increasing job opportunities, it could pose challenges as general-purpose ratings (GP Ratings) passing out of maritime training institutes are themselves finding it tough to get jobs on-board ships due to intense competition.

Skill-oriented approach

Under the National Education Policy (NEP-2020), the UGC has issued guidelines to all universities for introduction of NCC as General Elective Credit Course (GECC). Students can select their subjects and not be restricted to only what their institutions can offer.

“This will make learning more skill/vocational-oriented, eventually facilitating career prospects. Thus, with a bridging course for joining merchant navy, many of these students can be eligible to work as ratings on board vessels,” said a shipping industry source.

“It will increase competition but manning and recruiting firms may be able to get a slightly better disciplined cadets,” he said.

An official looking after crewing in a private shipping company said: “It is a good idea to take NCC naval cadets in the merchant navy. It supports the saying ‘catch the people with the right attitude/philosophy young’.

“However, gaps must be identified. They must be sponsored by companies. Currently, fresh GP ratings are going through hell for a career breakthrough. We need to do more,” he said.

Published on July 04, 2021

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