New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) There is a shortage of 834 officers in Indian flag vessels as of June this year, the government today said, quoting a report of the Indian National Shipowners' Association (INSA).
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Shipping Minister T R Baalu said the government had taken note of the shortage of skilled manpower in doemstic shipping lines and initiated a slew of measures to tide over the crisis.
Mr Baalu said efforts were being made to expand the facilities for marine education and training by allowing private colleges to be opened in the sector.
He said action had been initiated for facilitating induction of retired naval officers into the merchant navy while the introduction of tonnage tax had made it obligatory to the shipping companies to provide onboard training to cadets.
Another step was to ensure quality training at the maritime institutes as per international standards and introduction of several new courses for pre- and post-sea training, he pointed out.
Mr Baalu said the government had launched an action plan that would encourage girl candiadtes to join the maritime sector by permitting them two years' age relaxation and fee concession.
In addition, the training and examination systems have been reviewed to minimise the avoidable dealys for obtaining certificate of competency.