488 Indian Seafarers may have certificates suspended by DG Shipping within a week

Close on the heels of the MCA, UK revoking the accredition of an institute in India for providing sub-standard training for the modular STCW courses, comes the news that the DG Shipping has taken action against another institute on similar grounds.

On 21 June 2019, the DGS issued a circular stating the blacklisting of “R M Maritime Academy” (MTI No.: 204021) located at Unit no. 118, NBC Complex, Plot no. 43, Sector 11, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai – 400614 and putting 488 seafarers who had done their courses from the above institute between the period 01st March 2019 to 3lst May 2019 on notice.

The affected seafarers would have to report to DGS and submit satisfactory evidence of their training so that the suspension could be lifted.

The major non-conformities found against the institute are:
1. Issuance of course certificates to candidates without imparting training.
2. Using infrastructure facility which is not approved by the Directorate.
3. Conducting multiple batches in one classroom.
4. Course certificates not issued to candidates even after completing the course.

The following action has been taken against the institute:
1. The license of “R M Maritime Academy”, Navi Mumbai has been suspended.
2. The company has been blacklisted and it’s directors, Mr. Mukessh Gupta and Mrs. Rekha Mukesh Gupta, have been barred from any kind of of business related to the Directorate General of Shipping for a period of minimum 5 years.
3.The Principal, Capt. P.M. Choudoor and Course in-charge Capt. L.Y. Juvale have been blacklisted and their Certificate of Competency suspended for a period of minimum 5 years for their involvement in issuing course certificates without imparting training to the candidates. .
4. Temporary suspension of the INDoS number, Continuous Discharge Certificate and other certificates of 488 candidates on 27th June 2019, if they fail to submit satisfactory evidence of their practical training to the Directorate. The temporary suspenion would be revoked only after satisfactory investigation by the Directorate.

The DG Shipping show cause notice can be found here.

While the action taken is commendable, again candidates are being left to fend for themselves. There is no mention if the fees claimed by the institute under the guise of providing training will be given back to the candidates. At the same time, candidates should report inconsistencies or deficiencies in training to the relevant authorities in order to safeguard their time and money.

One can only hope that this will serve as a wake up call to the many fly-by-night operators of training institutes who will now either provide proper training or shut down.

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