Address by the President elct Mr C V Subba Rao
President, Shri Dilip Mehrotra, Vice President, Shri Vijendra Jain, Hon Gen Secretary, Shri Uday Purohit, Past President & Election Officer, Dr. B K Saxena, Hon Editor MER, Shri S M Rai, outstandingly diligent Members of the Governing Council, Chairmen, office bearers & staff of this Institute’s Branches and Chapters, Honorable Past Presidents, Past Vice Presidents, Past Hon General Secretaries and Distinguished Members of this august body.
At the outset, I must congratulate Shri Mehrotra for guiding this Institute during the last two years, with equanimity and empowerment within the rank and file. The HGS has openly admitted that, but for the freedom he has been given, as HGS he would not have been able to operate with such efficiency. I would like to emulate this trait of Shri Mehrotra.
The Institute has always been blessed with a host of people who have worked hard, voluntarily, to take its goals forward. It is my duty to thank all of them, before I lay out my objectives.
I have two years in the Chair, so I propose “TARGET 2020”, built around the three pillars:
Our institutions are seats of education and knowledge. Yet, we remain skeptical of the quality of the people who graduate from them. My view is we are more focussed on setting up schools than focussing on learning. If we focus on schooling for learning, and learning for a vocation, our entire approach would change. Could you identify the key metric here? Is it the curriculum, the admission process or the faculty that is affecting quality? Let me put this unequivocally. If the institute focuses on the quality of its faculty, it would have the courage to set up a good curriculum and a rigorous admission process. We cannot deny that in most places we are short of good faculty. Faculty must be encouraged to obtain suitable qualification to be fit to teach.
We need to address this, NOW! When India first set up the IITs, NITs and other engineering colleges of repute, we did not have good quality faculty. India set up TEQIP (Technical Education Quality Improvement Program) with World Bank Assistance. We had to borrow teachers from overseas destinations. Today, we are in the midst of MEQIP (Maritime Education Quality Improvement Program), and we need to fast track this to improve the quality of faculty.
Technology is evolving by the day. Is our curriculum, the faculty and the examiners for the competency examinations in line with the modern day ship operation? Today,with a host of factors such as UMS (Unmanned Machinery Spaces), TBO (Time between Overhauls), CBO (Condition based overhaul), PMS and AMC (Annual Maintenance Contracts - by authorized service vendors), the engineer of today is less hands-on, unlike in the past, when breakdowns were frequent and equipment less reliable. One could recall with great pride of such yesteryear skills, but I would wager that the business world certainly appreciates the greater efficiency of the day. I would like IMEI to work with DG Shipping to interface technology into the process of Competency certification, involve more of simulator based exercises and on line assignments, and less of viva voce. Let us limit subjectivity in evaluation, while pinning our focus on learning.
Disruption is a game changing process of thought or action, by design or chance, seen in the initial stages as an idea which won’t work, but evolves so rapidly against the grain of contemporary logic that it leaves a trail of obsolescence in its wake. In the process, it gives rise to operational efficiency.
IMEI must prepare for disruption of its environment and assist its fraternity.Let me explain:
We need to reverse the trend, we need to make learning enticing, enriching and suitable to the trade. In due time, this would protect jobs. We would also need reskilling into versatile roles, integrated with technology, look at alternative avenues, if possible, into modern day industries ranging from wind turbines, solar or other such sectors.
We have a few issues to address within the house that have been riding over the past six years. A building issue at Cochin, the Maritime museum here, and the HO finances. FD or interest rates could fall, the government will go the e-governance way, so windows like the Facilitation Centre could close someday. Our costs would rise as this building needs maintenance, apart from a safety audit, if I guessed right. I feel we need to look at other sources of revenue, other than the generous contributions to the building fund.
I feel we must bring the Corporates into our fold.We need to acknowledge their contribution to the growth of the IMEI. They have contributed to our forums and have permitted their executives to work for the body. In short, they have spared money and time. We could surely honour their promoters with a Hon Fellowship of the IMEI.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we need to disrupt our profile of leadership and the way we think and act. I count on your support and ideas to fast track my strategy built around the three pillars.
As I conclude, I congratulate the Vice President (Elect), Mr. Uday Purohit and HGS (elect) Mr. Pravin Kirolikar on their election. I offer my heartiest congratulations to all the newly elected members to the Governing Council and the office bearers across all the Branches and Chapters.
I pray that the Heavens’ choicest blessings be showered on the Chennai branch as they prepare for their mega event, World Shipping Forum 2017.
I wish you all and your families a very happy festive season ahead, and a wonderful 2018.