AurionPro wins 2012 IBM beacon award

“AurionPro has demonstrated its ability to provide value by incorporating world class seamless integrated single payment solution for e-banking,” Mark Hennessy, general manager, IBM said

AurionPro Solutions was named winner of the 2012 IBM beacon award for smarter industry—best industry solution for banking. This award is given each year to a select number of IBM business partners to recognise information technology excellence, commitment to skills attainment, industry knowledge and innovative solutions based on IBM technology and services.

Mark Hennessy, general manager, IBM global business partners & mid-market, remarked, “We congratulate aurionPro on winning the beacon award for smarter industry—best industry solution for banking. It has demonstrated its ability to provide value by incorporating world class seamless integrated single payment solution for e-banking spanning across retail, corporate and channel payments on IBM payment framework.”

In the early afternoon, aurionPro was trading at Rs120 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2.44% down from the previous close.


Sesa Goa announces acquisition of Goa Energy

Goa Energy owns and operates a 30 MW waste heat recovery power plant in Goa

Sesa Goa, a majority-owned subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Goa Energy Pvt Ltd (GEPL). It had announced on 3 November 2011 that it had signed the definitive share purchase agreement with Videocon Industries, along with other shareholders of GEPL, under which Sesa Goa had agreed to acquire 100% of the outstanding common shares of GEPL. The acquisition was for an enterprise value of Rs101 crore on cash-free and debt-free basis including normative working capital of Rs2.75 crore.

GEPL owns and operates a 30 MW waste heat recovery power plant in Goa, which utilizes the waste heat and gases from Sesa Goa’s coke making and pig iron facilities.

In the early afternoon, Sesa Goa was trading at Rs213.30 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.33% up from the previous close.


Maritime incidents involving fishermen—a deeper issue impacting our global economic status

The impact of this on our economic strength has been discussed in the past also in this journal, and matters have only become worse since then, but at some stage there comes a time when this sort of an approach—that India is content being a soft state—has to stop

Yet another incident has taken place in the till now tranquil waters off Kollam/Quilon involving what appears to be a “hit and run” leading to the death of at least two, if not more, Kerala fishermen. This is on the heels of the more infamous Enrica Lexie/St Antony episode, where also some fishermen were murdered, while out in waters where their forefathers have gone fishing for generations.

Let this article place things very clearly once again, as far as the relationship between fishing vessels and other vessels is concerned—basic International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGS), also called ROR or “Rules of the Road”, which all seafarers have to know by heart and by application before they can be so much as permitted near the door of even a simulator room, leave alone the bridge of a ship, the relevant portions in Rule 18 state in no uncertain terms that:

Responsibilities between vessels: “Except in narrow channels, traffic separation schemes, and when overtaking ... A power-driven vessel must give way to... a vessel engaged in fishing”

Now, the next point—why is it that it appears that merchant ships in and around the Indian coast are getting into tangles with fishing boats of late?

The answers are many, simple, often un-related, but together they add up to a recipe for disaster—for which we are paying the bill today:

1) There are more fishing boats venturing further out, for multiple reasons, lately. Some of them are difficult to spot till you are literally on top of them.
2) There are more merchant ships running courses closer and parallel to the coast, again for multiple reasons, lately. These include huge ones, which tower way above sea-level.
3) The VTS (Vessel Tracking System) project of the Government of India has been hanging fire for years now.
4) The quality of competency of seafarers on board ships is different, and this has been pointed out variously, in maritime forums globally. Working conditions on board most ships are so miserable now that the dedication expected in this job is difficult to find.
5) Ship-owners trying to save money often do not provide the manpower required for a look-out on the bridge in addition to the watch-keeper who is usually buried in paperwork and electronic gadgets.
5) Fatigue on board merchant ships is a global problem and cause for worry, and you will have errors and incidents, if a man is working an average 110-120 hour week on a typical merchant ship.

Some simple immediate solutions would be:

1) Simple and cheap aids for easier long-range sighting of fishing boats which are not fitted on many low-profile wooden boats, thus making them extremely difficult to spot targets on radar, need to be provided rapidly. This could be polished shiny tin drums mounted on the masts, metallic chaff/strips flying from the mast and roof, and electronic AIS equipment. In addition to usage of bright day-glow colours like orange, yellow and lime-green—and paint schemes which stand out—thick diagonal stripes are often seen on fishing boats worldwide.

2) Suo-moto implementation by the Indian shipping authorities of a rule being imposed in some other parts of the world too, imposing an obligation on merchant vessels calling Indian ports or in transit through Indian economic zone waters to provide for an additional watch-keeper onboard as well as imposing an obligation on such vessels to keep a lookout person on the bridge in addition to the watch-keeper at all times—and submission of this adherence by electronic methods in advance of such transit to the Indian authorities ashore working under the Port State Control regime.
3) Making it a punishable offence for merchant vessels in transit through Indian waters if they switch off their AIS equipment. Insisting that merchant vessels in transit Indian waters keep their funnels and name/port of registry aft lit at night. Ensure that the Indian Coast Guard does random or selective “stop and board” kind of searches as well as alcohol testing on ships arriving/departing Indian ports and in transit through India’s EEZ.
4) Ensuring stricter compliance on lights and shapes to be displayed by fishing boats, especially at night, and providing the fishing boats with these equipments. Such compliances do not cost much and if the boat-owners are not able or willing to do the needful, then there needs to be some sort of government or similar involvement in this.
Accidents at sea have been part of the perils of working on board ships and boats that venture beyond land—this comes with the territory. But this phenomenon of “hit-and-run”, this is not part of the horizon. One reason it is happening is that there is an assumption that India is a “soft state” and anybody as well as everybody can swing bye and do as they please, because they will not be caught—and if they are caught, then somebody ashore will clean things up for them with minor bribes here and there.
The impact of this on our economic strength has been discussed in the past also in this journal, and matters have only become worse since then, but at some stage there comes a time when this sort of an approach—that India is content being a soft state—has to stop. If merchant ships on tight schedules have to be told to heave to and searched as well as checked on a random or other basis while in transit in Indian waters, then so be it.
Till yesterday it was all sorts of ships drifting into our ports and harbours. Today it is fishing boats and fishermen being killed. If this is allowed to continue, next it will be the oil exploration industry, and then worse. India, and its maritime authorities, are getting a reputation abroad in shipping circles that anybody can come and do anything—and well hidden behind the corporate veils of global shipping so ably supported by our institutions in all fields, get away with murder after throwing some silver on the ground.
The message has to get across. Either that or we can take our economic superpower dreams, and place them aside while more of our second line of defence, our fishermen, fall victims to rogue ships and the people onboard. If the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have to be given an independent dispensation to enforce discipline and adherence to laws in Indian waters, in lieu of the civil maritime administration that appears to be incapable of doing anything other than feathering their halcyonic nests, then so be it.
Our economic security is far too important to risk—and these hits on our fishing fleet are simply advance indicators of the shape of things emerging out of the oceans. These are not simple accidents anymore.

(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved actively in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves. Mr Malik had a career in the Merchant Navy which he left in 1983, qualifications in ship-broking and chartering, a love for travel, and an active participation in print and electronic media as an alternate core competency, all these and more.)




5 years ago

Hot on the heels of some rather strange reportage about a "man overboard" from the Prabhu Daya, comes another totally unconfirmed report about the ship divertng to Chennai via Trincomalee?

Anyways. On another aspect altogether, here is a point of view from a friend who is at sea, and wants to keep his identity confidential and shielded:- ""BTW: That article in Moneylife about another incident of loss of fishermen's lives off Kerala - I wish there would be some scathing reportage on the manner in which the fishing boats are allowed to operate. They display lights that are anything but Colreg compliant. They jam VHF frequencies with their ceaseless chatter seriously interfering with watchkeepers concentration and ability to send out/ listen in on safety/distress traffic. They always want/claim right of way - even when they are not engaged in fishing and thus are just power driven vessels. They cut across bows with gay abandon giving heart attacks to young OOW's who may have been given strict CPA's to maintain by Masters in their standing/night orders. There is not a single 'no-fishing' zone established at the entrances by any of the coastal state governments for any of our busy ports. Mumbai port approaches are a nightmare for navigation due to the clutter of fishing boats. The DGS shrugs its shoulders (in reality it has no powers over fishing vessels and near coastal and inland waterways vessels). Coastal admins do not enforce even the basic requirements e.g. radar reflectors, proper nav lights, clear display of registry and name (so that ships can report violations), they do not publicise the means of lodging complaints e.g. contact details and address of office responsible etc - against navigation rule violations. It's a mess. Those guys getting run over - they asked for it. I have no sympathy for them - having faced inumerable anxious moments myself in my career. All this whine they give about nav lights being costly or radar reflectors or painting their boats brightly (for better visual detection) is bunk. Or claiming that they have the right to impede safe navigation in constrained waters (e.g. port entrance zones) when they clearly know that the freighters too have every right to navigate in safety. ""


5 years ago

Crucial Data lost from Enrica Lexie - Manorama News

Investigation conducted by the Marine Mercantile Department reveals that VDR has not been locked by the Captain after the incident. This is a criminal negligence on the part of the captain.


5 years ago

When 1.2 billion Indians can not have a indian as the leader of ruling party, what else can be expected to happen to Indians?



In Reply to PPM 5 years ago

you said it.


5 years ago

Two fishermen killed in the 'hit and run' incident. Three persons are still missing. What happened to them? Are they abducted by the Ship?

The Coast Guard and Navy still could not track the vessel involved in the "accident"? Why?



In Reply to KUTTY 5 years ago


"Yes we Italians are in the hands of powerful and ruthless aliens, whose ultimate goal is the domination of the whole earth. The fishermen incident is just a minimum, insignificant hassle of this millennial plan. A grain of sand in their inhuman, relentless domination machine"

Commented by a person "Martyr of Truth" in Killing of Indian seafarers off Kerala—what lessons need to be learnt?

Read full comments:


In Reply to Kutty 5 years ago

Kutty ji, I would suggest that Marty ji was being sarcastic.



In Reply to malq 5 years ago

Marty ji seems to be from Southern Italy !

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