Comments from Dr Swapan Das Sarma, GlobalMET Director

NL 52

Dr Swapan

GlobalMET Director

Swapan Das Sarma, Ph.D.
President, American Digital University, Inc.

1. Your views on current Maritime HR challengesThis will differ from one country to other. For India, the challenge is in the areas of recruitment where the quality standards vary widely across the MET institutions. The other area is the need for timely communication with onboard crew from the shore-based office; the crew must feel as part of the organization and feel that the company cares about his contribution and are in touch with his family, as needed.

2. Your views on current technologies such as Electronic Navigation, the advantages, and the pitfalls: The advantages are related to improved navigation, reduction of fatigue and stress on watchkeeper and maintaining an on-board record of navigation which can be investigated as necessary. This also allows ships to be monitored from ashore. The particular advantage will be in restricted and congested waters with traffic separation where a surveillance is active from shore based facilities. Reduction of shipboard manpower will also be a benefit. Disadvantage is on over-reliance on automation and encouraging lack of attention, and


from situational awareness while on watch. However, this cannot stop more automation coming on bridge, the advance of technology can never be stopped; how do we make automation more human centered will be the question to result in less mistakes.

3. Behavioral Science skills for seafarers: Working with small and multi-cultural crew with variant language skills presents many problems; IMO has introduced some teaching modules to encourage thinking in this direction. However, more structured courses are necessary at the undergraduate levels which should be a mix of ethics, understanding individuals and working as a team with some leadership keys.


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