Capt. Shri Prakash is the Principal/Director at Haldia Institute of Marine studies and Research. He has 17 years of academic responsibility and has trained more than 1000 Marine students. He has a penchant for marine studies and continuously evolves and adapts to the new trends taking place in the domain. Read here in his interview what he has to say.
What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?
“It is essential to spend time with the cadets to groom their personality”
I always believe if cadets have to be successful, then all-round personality development is an essential aspect. Personality cannot be groomed in the classroom. You have to be with them in all activities whether it is PT, Parade, Games, Assembly, Classroom, Mess room or even in MI room. I have been ensuring this by personally involved in the above activities. It helps to build rapport and confidence.
“The curriculum of three years B.Sc Nautical Science is well structured and revised continuously to meet industry requirements. Equal emphasis is given to co-curricular activities. There is a right mixture of application knowledge and skill. We follow the latest STCW regulation”
How does the curriculum of Haldia Institute of Maritime Studies and Research ensure the best practice of industry?
“We equip and make sure our cadets are prepared to sail in foreign vessels”
We follow the curriculum of MAKAUT, which has been vetted by D.G.Shipping. In addition to the university curriculum, we conduct many value-added courses for enhancing the employability as well as skill. The curriculums are revised regularly to make it dynamic and not static. This makes our cadet equally and adequately competent to work in foreign going vessels.
Any insights into how your university could be more welcoming to students of different races or economic backgrounds?
“There are multiple scholarship schemes that help our students to study at our campus”
We are a student-friendly institute. We cater to all the needs of the cadets and make sure they are not deprived in any possible circumstances. Our University gives concession in tuition fees to economically challenged candidates. In some meritorious cases the entire tuition fees are waived off. They also provide insurance in case of demise of their parents or health issues.
What do you think your roles and responsibilities to the University and the students are?
“I monitor and ensure our cadets are future ready when they join shipping companies”
My single and sole responsibility is to ensure and monitor that cadets are trained in accordance to what they will be on-deck when they join ships. I want them to become an asset in any shipping company and not the liability. I ensure that they gain knowledge and have experience in applying that knowledge, whether it is navigation or stability or maintenance. Attitude development is the main focus area.
“The priority for the next ten years would be to evolve and become a mark of excellence in marine studies. Also, to update the curriculum in light of new education policy. We will have to phase out old and obsolete courses and adopt emerging courses. The focus will shift towards innovation.”
What do you see as the Haldia Institute of Maritime Studies and Research greatest strengths?
“Our faculty and their adaptability to bring in new prospects to train our students”
We provide maritime education and training with appropriate infrastructure, teaching methodology, technology, trained faculties and upgraded curriculum to meet the expectation of industry in emerging markets. The second most significant strength is its location. The location and ambience make the cadet feel that they are on the ship. We are located just next to the Haldia Port. All activities of the Haldia port can be seen visually.
What are some of the biggest challenges for Haldia Institute of Maritime Studies and Research?
“The transaction, which is technology based will leave an adverse effect on the current workforce”
We are transacting from traditional and conventional methodology and pedagogy to online and field-based training. As the technology is emerging, we are required to incorporate the latest trends in shipping. 2020 will be known for COVID 19, which changed the very concept of training. There will be a paradigm shift from physical to digital. Shipping will have challenges in terms of MASS (Maritime automated surface ships) incorporating AI and ML. The biggest challenge will be how to maintain a fragile balance between man and machine. What will be our response for retraining existing workforce to keep them employable?