Indian Ministry of Shipping has facilitated more than 1,00,000 crew change on Indian ports and through charter flights. It is the highest number of crew changes in the world. Crew change consists of replacing one of the ship’s crew members with another one and involves sign-on the ships and sign-off the ships procedures.
Maritime sector is among the worst hit sectors due to Corona pandemic. Despite that, all the Indian Ports were operational and providing essential services throughout the pandemic and main pillar for the smooth supply chain for India and world were the seafarers.
Seafarers had to suffer due to closing of Sign on & Sign-off and lockdowns and movement restrictions imposed by the various countries worldwide.
Union Minister of State (I/C) for Shipping, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya has appreciated the continued efforts done by the DG, Shipping during the briefing, especially for facilitating the stranded seafarer during this difficult time. Minister instructed DG Shipping to come up with robust grievances redress mechanism to facilitate the seafarers. He has strongly emphasized to ensure that seafarers should be able to approach the ministry during the difficult time and no seafarer should suffer due to poor grievance redress system.
To sustain the maritime transportation during the pandemic situation, DG Shipping has taken various initiatives like extensions of various certificates required for sailing, Online E-pass facility for travel etc. “An online utility has been created for verification of seafarers for charted flights and for uploading details of stranded seafarers along with online ship registrations and online charter licensing”, DG, Shipping Shri Amitabh Kumar added while briefing the Minister.
DG Shipping received communications via emails, tweets, and letters from more than 2000 Maritime Stakeholders and took immediate responsive action to facilitate their needs. E-learning for module courses and online virtual course have also been conducted by DG shipping and more than 35,000 students enrolled for e-learning. Online Exit Exam is being conducted for the seafarers after completing online courses and they can now appear in the exam from the comfort of their homes in this unprecedented time of COVID-19 pandemic.