THE Director General of Shipping in India, Malini Shankar, has said that the nation has overtaken China and Indonesia in maritime manpower.
Speaking in an interview with the New Delhi's Indian Express Dr Shankar said Philippines was by far the leader in maritime manpower.
'We were fourth, today we are second, we have overtaken China and Indonesia. We spent four months collecting data since 2010 on this and validating it. We have crossed 1.5 lakh (150,000) seafarers who are active on boat.
'There is a steady increase in all cadres. When we opened it up to the private sector in 1997, we had only five government institutions that formed a part of the Indian Maritime University. We opened it up to the private sector because there was a huge growth in shipping. So now we have over 160 private institutions. We removed the cap, so existing institutions cannot sit smug if their quality suffers.'
The Director General also stressed that there is evolution in technology in ships and people need to be trained, take refresher courses. 'If you don't upgrade yourself you can't get a job on these ships with upgraded technology.
On piracy, she said that it has come tremendously adding that the issue has been addressed at different levels. 'On the shipping side, they have agreed to what is called the best management practices. Within the ship, you don't leave certain things open, there is something called the citadel, it has to be known to the crew. Many of these instances of piracy happen in cases where they practices are not followed.'