Govt approves model pact with foreign countries for seafarers” competency certificate

The government on Wednesday said it has approved a model pact with foreign countries for recognition of seafarers” competency certificates.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

This will pave the way for mutual recognition of maritime education and training of seafarers by the countries involved.

“The proposed bilateral MoU will enable India and another country with which such an MoU may be entered, to mutually recognise maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, documentary evidence of training and medical fitness certificates, issued to the seafarers who are citizens of respective countries,” the Shipping Ministry said in a statement.

The pact will facilitate unilateral recognition certificates issued by the Directorate General of Shipping to Indian seafarers by another country, without seeking similar acknowledgment by India of the certificates issued by that country, it added.

Under the pact, Indian seafarers will be eligible to be placed on ships under the flag of that country for employment, thus leading to increased employment opportunities, the ministry said.

The bilateral MoU would therefore, make the seafarers of both the countries to be eligible for employment on ships of either party based on the certificates so recognized, it added.

“The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Model Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for unilateral/bilateral recognition of Certificates, pursuant to Regulation 1/10 of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978 as amended to be signed between the Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India and its counterparts in foreign countries, with the approval of Minister-in-charge of Shipping and the Minister of External Affairs,” the statement said.

India being a seafarer supplying nation with large pool of trained seafarers will stand to be benefitted.

Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya has recently said the initiatives taken in the last four years have resulted in increase in number of Indian seafarers to 2.08 lakh, and the count will reach five lakh in the coming years.