The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the State Police Chief, in coordination with DG Shipping, to conduct an inquiry into the unrecognised marine technical courses conducted by institutes in the state under the cover of approval of any university without DGS clearance.
The court also directed the DGS to take appropriate action to close down such institutes to prevent the exploitation of the student community. A Division Bench comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice C K Abdul Rahim passed the order while dismissing an appeal against a Single Judge’s order.
The Single Judge had rejected the petition challenging the Ernakulam City Police Commissioner’s order asking the institute to stop the conduct of Diploma in Marine Mechanical Fitter course and Advanced Diploma in Marine Mechanical Fitter course.
The court also directed the DGS to consider the authority under which various universities and National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) authorise to conduct marine courses under their banner without DGS approval of their syllabus and to prohibit the same.
The court reiterated the need to have sufficient institutes with infrastructure and instructional facilities to coach and train aspiring youngsters to equip them for employment in ships
which could be achieved by increasing the capacity of eligible institutes, like the ones run by Cochin Shipyard and Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat). The court pointed out that the institutes of the appellant and other institutes, about which details were collected by the state police, do not have any recognition from the DGS. The DGS informed the police that only three institutes in Kerala, one run by Cusat, another by Cochin Shipyard and the third by M/s Euro Tech Maritime Academy are the only institutes approved by the DGS. The court said that marine diploma courses that can qualify students for employment in ships with CDC / Seafarers Identity Documents to be issued by the DGS, can be conducted only by institutes which have the facility to provide training on board ships in shipyards and during sailing.