The Director General of Shipping (DGS) will allow maritime training institutes to give on-board training to cadets on tugs, as it looks to widen the training slots and help clear a back log of aspiring seafarers. India has some 164 maritime training institutes, some of which are conducting pre-sea training courses for trainee officers/cadets and trainee ratings as well as post-sea training institutes which offer specialized programs for full-fledged officers in both nautical and engineering streams. 55 more institutes have been given in-principle approval since January this year after the government lifted a ban on opening new pre-sea and post-sea institutes.

With the government looking to increase the number of training slots, the DGS cast its eyes wider to include vessels that were earlier excluded from training purposes, but which could potentially generate more on-board training opportunities.

India has some 300-400 tugs but they lacked accommodation for crew/cadets to stay during the night.

“So, we thought why not use tugs for training purposes also. The problem is only on staying for the night. For this, we have come up with a plan to allow cadets to train from morning till evening. Then, they can go back to the shore and return the next day. We have now opened this up for trainee engineer officers and ratings,” the DGS official said.