Wednesday, November 14, 2012

MAIL BOX: Post of Director Shipping Needs Streamlining


Post of Director Shipping Needs Streamlining

Thanks for an important article on Shipping sector in the Islands. Hence the following points may kindly be perused by the concerned department to provide safe running of DSS and management of PMB.
The Posts of Harbor Master  & Director of Shipping Service have been continuously carried out in non-conformation by violating the norms of Recruitment Rule approved by UPSC and notified by A & N Administration vide Gazette Notification no.143 dated 29th September, 1993.
Further this has been ascertained that the designation of Director, Shipping Services is equivalent to Harbor Master and the Recruitment Rule for both the posts are same. In this regard a reference may kindly be drawn to the clause no 4.5  & 4.6 of the Order no 955 dated 21st Feb 1989 issued by Mr. BV Selvaraj, then Secretary (Shipping & Transport) of A & N Administration (Later as The Administrator of Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands).
In order to avoid any kind of confusion between the existing Harbor Master then and Harbor Master for which the post was in creation for Port Management Board; the existing post of Harbor Master in Pre-Marine then was re-designated as Director of Shipping. 
PMB/DSS have persuaded in Contempt of Apex Court Order by ignoring Supreme Court Judgment for the case no-(2004) 04 SCC 540 continuously due to their inadvertent misconception  & deliberate ignorance to certain extent.
It is pertinent to refer the declaration of Certified Judgment of the Supreme Court verdict for the case no. (2004) 04 SCC 540, resulting in deletion of section 80 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as amended till date thus approving the distinction between Certificate of Competency (Held by FG Master Mariners from Merchant Navy) and Certificate of Service (Held by Commanders/Captains from Indian Navy), which is clearly based on intelligible differentia.
Cdr. Ashwini Kumar (Present Harbor Master, holding charges for CPA  and DSS) or any other Cdr/Capt from Indian Navy are not in possession of Certificate of Competency as Master (Foreign Going) and don't have any expertise as Registered Pilot of any port trust, which being one of the prime criteria of Recruitment Rule as approved by UPSC and further notified by A & N Administration vide Gazette Notification no.143 dated 29th September, 1993. Cdr. Ashwini Kumar (Certificate of Service) has been further continued on extension by contract after retirement from his parent department in spite of the fact that he does not qualify for the said post vide Recruitment Rule and further have exceeded his superannuation age too.
In this regard a reference may kindly be drawn to the Circular No. 45/2000-PW, issued on 8th August, 2007 by Smt Rinku Dhugga, then Secretary (Personnel) of A &N Administration, in adherence to OM No. 26012/6-2002-Estt (A), dated 09/12/2002, which directs that no proposal for employment of a Government servant beyond the age of superannuation of 60 years shall be considered. This order also further clarifies that no person can be appointed/reappointed to Central Government service after the date of superannuation of 60 years through contract.
Merchant ship's design, construction, operation, manning and management practices have become considerably specialized and vastly different from those of naval ships. Thus Port operation/management is carried out especially for the commercial interest and national revenues which is not possible without the merchant ships and Master Mariners or Extra Masters.
The fair practice to screen candidates during the process of selection should be with the ultimate objective of selecting candidates with higher eligible qualifications and none of the candidates from Indian Navy is in possession of Certificate of Competency as Master (FG), nor has any experience as Registered Pilot. It is therefore quite transparent in reference to the Recruitment Rule and their respective clauses that Educational Qualification  & Experience cannot be substituted or dispensed with and it is the most essential criteria for any method of recruitment. The decision regarding short listing the number of candidates who have applied for the post must not be based on any extraneous consideration, but only to aid the process of selection of the best candidates among the applicants for the post in question.
This process of short-listing shall not amount to altering or substituting the eligibility criteria given in statutory rules or prospectus. In the present case of Harbor Master, for the purpose of short listing  & recruitment, a stipulated period of experience as Pilot has been prescribed as an additional criterion in respect to holding of Certificate of Competency as Master (FG). If the duties (Responsibilities of Port operation, Surveying & Navigational facilities) of Harbor Masters (Including Assistant Harbor Master) & Directors of Shipping (Including Deputy Directors) are performed by non-qualified personnel; does not only quake the risk of safety of lives but quintessentially becomes a severe non-compliance of shipping and port rules/Acts as constituted by Central Government of India. Thus it has been made mandatory matrix to be qualified as Master Mariner (Foreign Going) in all ports of India as well as rest of the world.
 Since method of appointment for Harbor Master  and Director of Shipping being first by promotion, secondly by deputation and finally by direct recruit and as there is no qualified candidate available vide Recruitment Rule for first or second method why should not the available candidate, qualified as per RR be selected through duly processed selection committee, fulfilling all the necessary and essential ingredients of the Recruitment Rule and none available with more qualification than that of the candidate available in these archipelagos of AN Islands?
Certificate of Competency (COC) as Master (FG) that is issued by Director General of Shipping under the Ministry of Shipping, the only authorized agency in India for International Maritime Organization and responsible for implementation of STCW-95/98 convention and Naval Commanders are in possession of Certificate of Service (COS) which is never equivalent to COC due to intelligible differentia, these regulations are approved by the DG shipping on behalf of the Ministry of Shipping and have come into force from 1st February, 2002; as per IMO regulation under UNCLOS.
Capt Piyush
Port Blair

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