Company of Master Mariners of India (SMMI) held a webinar, “How UK manages to retain its No 1 position of Maritime Destination” on September 12, 2020. Capt. Kaustubh Pradhan, Deputy Master, CMMI and General Manager at Elite Mariners Pvt. Ltd., presented some guidelines to enable the proceedings of the webinar to continue uninterrupted.
Capt. B.K. Jha, Master of CMMI and MD of ASM Ships, welcoming the panelists stated that what UK had done was commendable because it was difficult to continue to maintain the top spot. It was expected, he continued, that the world maritime destination top spot would shift to Far East but it did not materialize. He presented several reasons why, though the business shifted, UK continued to be no. 1 maritime destination.
He informed that CMMI has 17 chapters including 2 international chapters in Dubai and Singapore. They are looking forward to start one in UK and another in Hong Kong as well.
Dr. (Capt.) Suresh Bhardwaj CMMI warden and resident Director & Principal, MASSA Maritime Academy, Chennai, who Capt. B.K. Jha moderated the session, sharing some important data of international shipping centre developing index of top 10 shipping services cities, disclosed that London had continued to retain the No. 1 position while Singapore was No. 2. During 2019, Shanghai had replaced Hong Kong in the No.3 position. Mumbai, had moved up to No. 7, from No. 10, earlier.
He stated that the location contributed to only 20% while environment and sustainability contributed to 80% fo attaining this covetous position of N0. 1
Capt. Ajit Jacob, Chief Examiner, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Southampton, UK asserted that credit for UK being at number one position goes to the entire team as this is a combined effort. “Nothing can be achieved in isolation,” he averred. He disclosed that they worked closely with all the stakeholders as a government body so that they could reach high standards. He spoke about maritime training and education and the challenges they face in getting fresh talent in the maritime industry. He said this was because of the rising scope in other fields.
He believed that the government support, in the form of smart funding, for maritime training helps in attracting new talent. This funding, he elaborated was for merchant navy candidates. He disclosed that due to non-availability of courses during the lockdown it was difficult to get qualified officers.
Capt. Ajit continued that since technology was evolving, the government had produced a road map known as maritime 2050. The road map gave an idea of how the maritime industry would look like in the next 30 years. “Maritime Skills Commission (MSC),” he revealed, “has been formed for not just shipping but ports and legalities too.” He spoke about MCA conducting oral examinations for standardization. However, he continued, due to the pandemic these examinations were now held online.
He stated informed that the maritime future technology team was formed within MCA to look into maritime emission reduction and automated vessel technology.
Mr. Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, UK Chamber of Shipping, London, speaking about the UK Chamber said it is the Trade Association and main representative body of the UK shipping industry. “They have around 200 member companies half of which are shipowners and ship managers and the other half are maritime service related providers,” he disclosed. He stated that the Chamber worked very closely with the government, the parliament and the international organizations. One of the key priorities, he said, was their 5 year plan. The two main objectives of these Plans were decarbonization and support of climate change and promotion of safety.
Mr. Bob spoke about the four main areas that help UK retain number one position that is history and geography, strong relations with the government, industry and the manufacturers, vibrant shipping sector, which is the maritime cluster and the respect that the country has for its seafarers.
Dr (Capt.) Syamantak Bhattacharya, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Southampton -Solent University, UK underscored the vital role of education in a person’s life. Differentiating between maritime education and maritime training he said that training was for securing a job and was non-transferable whereas education was a gift for life and could be transferred. He spoke about the increasing use of online learning and the need for right use of technology. He also highlighted the need for the right kind of curriculum. He also spoke about closely working and contributing to the road map 2050 project.
Capt. Derek Chadburn, Master, Honourable Company of Master Mariners, HQS Wellington, London, UK spoke about the Willington Company London and provided details about it. The mentors at the Company helped the cadets on the ships. He also highlighted the relationship between mentors and mentees of the company. They have two Indian charter master mariners that are in UK and Hong Kong respectively. He gave extensive details about the charter ships and their functioning.
Capt Mohan Naik the Warden of CMMI moderated the Question and Answer session.
Vote of thanks was given by CEO Capt. Sashi Kumar .
Mr. Deepak Shetty, Former Director General, releasing the online version of Command magazine published by CMMI, hoped that the online version would continue even after Covid-19 Pandemic. In his valedictory address, after the panel discussion, he thanked the CMMI and Dr (Capt.) Suresh Bhardwaj, who moderated the event. He said the event was very insightful and it had been a great learning experience for him. Mr Shetty said “This Webinar has been eventful and a Great learning experience in terms of derivative lessons for me. The presentations have been of an exceptionally high order. They gave a window into how London has been able to retain an enviable record of being Numero Uno since 2014 till now.”
He added “Mumbai has moved from the 10th slot to the 7th slot, this is an indicator of the times to come in the future. This must be seen in the context of where we are in the contemporary times.
Mr. Shetty touched upon the spat between US and China and how it had impacted the global economy currently. He stated that right atmosphere was important for a company’s growth. He also stressed on the need for the companies to subscribe to environmental, social and governmental standards. He emphasized on the need to have robust and sustainable international mechanisms of coordination and collaboration between the government, industry and the academia. He averred that over the past few years there had desirable trend of pushing India to become a destination of global maritime standards.