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Life At The Sea- Men Who Rein The Ocean And What It Takes To Be A Marine Engineer

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We humans have made the greatest strides in technology in the last century or two. This has been the single biggest reason that we have been successful in bringing the world and people closer than that can ever be. Mankind is steadily taking steps to reach out to places beyond the expanse of our imaginations, unmanned missions into the dark unknown space with the hope that it’s not just this planet Earth but many more places in this galaxy and beyond that may support life in various forms, a possibility that we cannot just let pass. But the infancy of our technology is also the reason that has limited our reach today.

But how well do we know our own planet in the first place? Do you realise that there are places on this very earth that are yet untouched by humans? That there are places in the Amazon and Congo that have humans still living a primitive life, no different from the very apes we are hypothesized to have evolved from?

This planet we call home, is 71% water, 29% land. This is what we know of the 29% land. Imagine the expanse of the oceans! Explorations so far have been made of only 2% of the oceans, of the mysteries, unseen sights, unexplored species. We have at least done a better job over the water. Thanks to one amongst the top advancements of mankind. Ships.

A commercial paper once published claimed that if we were to stop these ships for a week, we could have a big part of our population starving.

So these ships keep the people and economy running. But what keeps these behemoths running? The largest reciprocating engines known to man, the largest engines humanity has ever built; these are assigned to the care of Marine Engineers.

WHO ARE MARINE ENGINEERS?

Marine Engineers are the best example to the adage ‘Jack of all. Master of none’. A ship is built to be self sustaining. Its has engines to propel itself, air conditioning plants for the comfort of the crew, refrigeration plants for the food and cargo it carries, sewage treatment plants for the daily waste generated, incinerators for food and other operational wastes, fresh water generation plants to produce an unending supply of fresh water for drinking and daily use for its occupants, boilers for steam requirements like  propulsion by turbines like earlier times, heating fuel oil, running pumps, etc. and most importantly power generators for the electricity requirements.

So a Marine Engineer is an engine mechanic, a refrigeration mechanic, electrical and electronic engineer and a plumber and a steam engineer. But the knowledge being limited to operation, maintenance and some ingenious ideas, the vessel designing and building remains alien.

Ships servicing the commercial requirements of global economy are together called ‘Merchant Navy’, which can be any amongst an oil carrier(crude oil, finished products), bulk carrier(food grains, iron ore, cement), container ships (chartered containers of miscellaneous cargo), LPG and LNG carriers, Chemical carriers and Ro-Ro’s (Roll On-Roll Off which carry vehicles).

Merchant Navy is often confused with the Defense Navy, even though these ships play a silent role incase of actual war scenarios, where they are deployed on support duties. But that falls under exceptional duties. Otherwise, these ships are strictly commercial, run by the owners, agents and charterers.

THE TECHNICALITIES.

Every ship has three departments- the navigators, the engineers and the galley department comprising groups of people doing round the clock duty. The navigators, join as deck cadets or able bodied seaman and rise up the rank based on their sea time and exams, all way to be a Captain.

A Captain is called the ‘Master of the Ship’. He owns the ship, while it is at sea, and has been given complete authority to make decisions for the running of the ship and the safety of the crew and is responsible for the life of every person on board, because in an adversity it is his decisions that may decide the fate of the people working under him. It is based on this moral responsibility that captains often go down with the ship, in the event he has been unsuccessful in saving the life of every soul on board in an emergency.

Crew first, ship second, cargo lost. This is the priority given while acting in an emergency, meaning no ship or machinery or cargo is more valuable that of a human life. It takes a vast area of knowledge to direct a ship in waters- chart-work, handling, reading the weather, and the most important, celestial navigation to steer the ship without the aid of modern day radars or even a compass in case of a failure of equipments.

The galley department takes care of the food requirements of the crew the ship carries. A tedious task considering the diversity of nationalities of people aboard.

Then there is the Engine Department. A ship is only as good as its engineers. Its one job where your knowledge, understanding and expertise are the greatest assets.

Life at sea is not easy. The pay is good. All other expenses including food and accommodation are paid for, and the salary is tax free. You are a NRI back home. Sailors do earn in a month what people on shore earn in a year. But is it all worth? The greed for money cannot keep you going there. The day you lose the interest in your job, the moment you miss your family, it’s the end of the story. Many have fallen prey to this greed, but couldn’t sustain themselves. There is only one ingredient that makes a real hardcore Marine. Passion! Love for the job and the sea. Being in your accommodation you do not feel much of what’s outside, but the endless expanse of the horizon can be haunting, unless you really love the waters.

HOW TO GET INTO MERCHANT NAVY?

There are many streams today. General Purpose ratings, in many institutes across the country, where courses are conducted for six months, teaching you both about the deck and engine departments, and putting the onus upon you to chose, where you want to work, starting as an oiler/wiper in the engine department, or an ordinary seaman in the deck department. Doing mechanical engineering and then the one year training on specialisation, or a direct B.E/B.Tech Marine Engineering can put you on the ship as a junior engineer. Whereas as a Diploma/Bachelor in Nautical Studies can put you onboard as a Deck Cadet. That’s how you can start off at the sea.

WHAT NEXT?

The initial months are never easy. You may have to take orders from everyone, be ready for e fiercest ragging, you should be available on call 24/7 and sleep is a luxurious commodity and you may as well need to clean the common toilets. These are topics are not forthcoming enough to speak of.
It takes nerves of steel to survive the initial days. But later as you get accustomed to the people, pressure and the environment, you learn to work hard and party harder. And juniors are taken care of by seniors like their own children on port visits and ship parties.

WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THIS INDUSTRY?

My sincere advice- Stay away, unless you are crazy enough to still want it for life after this warning. Post the recession of 2008, the shipping industry has literally sunk to the bottom of the ocean. And a revival may take many more years. Moreover, shipping companies have themselves started training candidates, so its an advisable field only you can make it to such institutes. Else, finding a job is impossible, and yes, reference of anyone may not be of much use either. It’s the ultimate test of patience. And even if you find a job, it can get frustrating with the endless exams and re exams to prove yourself time and again, in order to climb that ladder of hierarchy. You would still be studying, when everyone else is working and mostly probably enjoying too.

To a lay person, the mention of sea, can be scary, to say the least, but there are some topics which would never fail to entice, exhilarate and amuse- Bermuda triangle, mermaids, etc.

There are two places on earth where the magnetic north of the compass aligns with the true north. All route plans are based on the heading and any alterations in the apparent direction misplaces all plans. But considering the overall traffic through the region of the Bermuda triangle shows that there has not been any significant difference in casualties as compared to any other regions of such traffic.
If anything, the Bermuda triangle is nothing but a manufactured and propagated hoax, the mystic of the story creating obvious interests. But the majority reported losses belong to the U.S. Navy and Air Force and not any civilian airplanes, ships or cargo ships. Mermaids are, unfortunately, another hoax.

To conclude, all I can say from my first hand experience so far for any aspiring sailor is that, when thinking of turning to this field for your bread and butter, first and foremost gauge yourself well even before contemplating to join; do you really have it in you and will the zeal last enough to sustain you throughout the journey? Also, be prepared to forsake the world on land, at least for those few sailing months, and learn the basics well or else, and there are always those cliche 9 to 5 jobs to grab. The pressure, homesickness and exhilaration of the sea have the potential take a toll on the ones who may be mentally and physically sub-prepared and honestly, it may not be everyone’s and anyone’s cup of tea!

Anit Antony
Saboo Siddik College

Times of Youth is an International Youth Magazine read by the youth of more than 82 countries. Times of Youth brings the latest Youth Opportunities, News, Interviews, Fully Funded Scholarships, Paid Internships, Future Stars, Rising Stars, etc. For further details you can email us at: [email protected]

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Heroes

19 Year Old Pakistani Wins Princess Cup

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Hammad Hadi Khan wins 29th Princess Cup International Youth Tournament
Pakistan continues to dominate the world of youth scrabble! Hammad Hadi Khan wins 29th Princess Cup youth scrabble championship in Thailand. The runner up, Moiz Baig is also from Pakistan.
The three-day 29th Princess Cup Youth tournament kicked off at Bangkok, Thailand. The Princess cup is an annual event sponsored by the royal family in Thailand and is attended by the top players from all over the world.

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Heroes

Muniba Mazari wins Karic Award in Serbia

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The most beautiful lady on the wheel who inspires millions around the World.

If you feel demotivated & depress & now you can’t do anything, you are helpless then you must Google one name; The great Muniba Mazari. The biggest example of positive attitude, passion for life, passion for work and strongest will power. The greatest example of courage & will power that can even beat death & any disability!

Muniba Mazari wins Karica Brother Award. The Karic Brothers Award has been established as a result of a firm belief in the inexhaustible capacity of intellect and value, primarily of our own people. Its purpose is to stimulate and motivate all those who create and produce value that will result in more pleasant living conditions. On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the BK Company, the Karic family and the Karic Foundation introduced the Karic Brothers Award. It is presented for the highest achievements in the following categories: culture and arts, scientific research work, publishing and journalism, economy and commerce, humanitarian activity in support of peace, cooperation and amity amongst people. The award is presented annually. Individuals, organisations and institutions all have the right to propose a candidate. The proposal should be submitted in written form to the Karic Foundation. The Executive Board decides on the laureates. A team of experts proposes to the Board three candidates in each category of whom one is subsequently chosen. The award was originally presented in 1998 and the names of its winners best attest to the justified ambition of becoming, with time, the Serbian equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

“Thank you very much Karić Foundation for acknowledging the efforts and for giving this huge honour! While I am nothing without the support of my mother, family and friends I’ll dedicate this award to all the people of the world who suffer discrimination of any sort. To all the people who are made to believe they are lesser of a human. Let’s hope for a tomorrow free of discrimination be it gender, racial, religious or against people with physical or mental challenges. Let’s be there for one another, let’s embrace everyone the way they are. In the end, a little more kindness and a little less judgment is all we need to make this world a better place to live. So let’s be kind and be human!” 
-Muniba Mazari

Written by Rohayl Varind

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Pakistan

5 year old Child from Pakistan wins Global Award

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5 year old Child from Peshawar, Pakistan wins global award.

A local boy Essa Zaheer who is five-year old made Pakistan proud when his two-minute film won first prize in the “Peace in the Street Global Film Festival (PSGFF)” at the United Nations headquarters.

The short film by Essa Zaheer, “I will be your Spiderman,” stood first among the 320 movies made by young.

The film shows how a kid becomes Spiderman and spends all his savings to buy uniform and books for a young girl working in his house as a maid.

Essa Zaheer was presented with the prize in the United Nations Headquarters in New York while his family accompanying him was given tour of the UN offices and the United States State Department. 

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Featured

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for International Student 2018/2019

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Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. Recipients are selected by the awarding body, the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are aimed at young researchers from abroad who have completed a master’s degree or PhD and at foreign artists holding a bachelor’s degree.

Eligible Regions: Open For All

Types of scholarship

Research Scholarship – Available to post-graduate researchers in any discipline (who hold a master’s degree as a minimum) who are planning to come to Switzerland to pursue research or further studies at doctoral or post-doctoral level.

Research scholarships are awarded for research or study at all Swiss cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and the two federal institutes of technology. Only candidates nominated by an academic mentor at one of these higher education institutions will be considered.

Art Scholarships – Open to art students wishing to pursue an initial master’s degree in Switzerland.
Art scholarships are awarded for study at any Swiss conservatory or university of the arts. This scholarship is available to students from a limited number of countries only.

Benefits of Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for International Student 2018/2019 

The scholarship covers a monthly payment, exemption of tuition fees, health insurance, air fare, housing allowance, etc., as applicable. Please refer to the country-specific fact sheets for exact scholarship benefits.

Eligibilities

Please refer to the country-specific fact sheets for general and specific eligibility criteria.

The FCS assesses scholarship applications according to three criteria:

a) Candidate profile
b) Quality of the research project or artistic work
c) Synergies and potential for future research cooperation

Location: Switzerland

Application Deadline: September-December 2017

Official Link to Apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for International Student 2018/2019 

https://www.sbfi.admin.ch/sbfi/en/home/bildung/scholarships-and-grants/swiss-government-excellence-scholarships-for-foreign-scholars-an.html#2146630976

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Featured

One Young World Summit 2017- Leading Pakistan Award (Fully Funded)

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One Young World has launched a global ‘Local Organising Committee’ model. Known as NYLOCs ( ‘National Young Leaders Organising Committees’)

The One Young World NYLOC for Pakistan is chaired by Naila Mir. Naila has 16 years experience centered around sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, partnerships, and strategic communications. She recently established her own not-for-profit network, P3 Collective, to help young people achieve their purpose and collectively make an impact. Naila is a passionate champion of young leaders and is working hard to support bright young talent from Pakistan to participate in the upcoming One Young World Summit in Bogotá.

One Young World’s newly established Local Organising Committee for Pakistan is proud to announce one Delegate scholarship place for an impactful young leader from Pakistan to attend the One Young World Summit 2017 in Bogotá, 4-7 October.

What does the scholarship include?

  1. Access to the One Young World Summit 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia
  2. Hotel accommodation on a shared basis between 4 October and 7 October
  3. Catering which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. Transport between the Summit accommodation and the Summit venues
  5. Summit hand-outs and support materials.
  6. The cost of travel to and from Bogotá.
  7. Post-Summit, all ‘Delegates’ become lifetime members of the One Young World Ambassador network which spans 196 countries with over 8,000 members.

Who can apply?

In order to apply you must: 

  1. Aged 18 – 30
  2. A national of Pakistan

Candidates must demonstrate:

  • Evidence of commitment to creating positive change in Pakistan. This commitment can come in many forms; ranging from a high level of involvement in community initiatives to social entrepreneurship or from leading responsible business practices to public service
  • Leadership ability and examples
  • Concern and knowledge of local and related global issues must be evident
  • Ability to generate, articulate and achieve impactful ideas
  • Teamwork

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Application Deadline: August 18th 2017

Official Link to Apply for One Young World Summit 2017- Leading Pakistan Award 

https://www.oneyoungworld.com/leading-pakistan-award-0

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Featured

Fellowship to COP 23 in Bonn, Germany (Fully Funded)

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Climate Tracker is launching its COP23 opportunity, and it is stacked with opportunities and prizes for Trackers from everywhere in the world!

If you want to be part of this incredible transition, it’s time to raise your voice, and join their opportunity for a Fully Funded trip to COP23, in Germany in November.

With the signing of the Paris Agreement almost two years behind them, it is time to step up their game. The Renewable Energy Transition is unstoppable! Even if Trump wants to pull out of the Paris Agreement, now he wants Solar Panels on Border Wall.

Around the world, Renewable energy is driving bigger changes than we have seen in generations, and the pressure is on for countries to take their transitions even further. 

Benefits

  • Fully funded fellowship (including accommodations, travel, allowance)
  • Join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 23rd conference of parties

Am I eligible to apply?

Participants from all countries between the ages of 18 and 30 years old are eligible.

They do have one special set of Countries, and they will definitely select at least one person from the following Countries:

Indonesia | The Philippines | India | Ethiopia | Nigeria | Egypt | Bangladesh | Peru | Pakistan | Turkey

But they have 4 other spots available for anyone in the world!

They encourage young writers from around the world (like yourself) to help us write inspiring stories and to publish them in media, and we will reward five of you with a spot to COP 23 in Germany!

Publish 3 articles on the topics of:

  1. Renewable Energy,
  2. Climate Finance,
  3. and Climate and Health.
Deadline: September 30, 2017

Official Link to Apply for Fellowship to COP 23 in Bonn, Germany (Fully Funded)

http://app.climatetracker.org/competition/52aa87a3-3ed2-4392-8c50-e5473a9b36a2/information

Deadline: September 30, 2017

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Featured

The TED 2018 Fellowship program (Fully Funded)

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The TED 2018 Fellowship program (Fully Funded)

The TED Fellows program opens applications to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers. The TED Fellowship program has the ability to slingshot your career forward. As a Fellow, you will be introduced into a powerful network of innovators that can be future collaborators.

Eligible Regions: Open for All

Benefits

  • Once applicant are selected as a TED Fellow, then organizer will cover applicant flights (or equivalent) to and from the TED conference, any visa that may need, room, board + food while at the conference, and a conference pass.
  • TED will provide a formal letter of invitation that should be sufficient for most countries’ visa applications.
  • Your formal letter of invitation can also be used to document the trip if applicant are a student studying in another country. TED do cover visa application fees.
  • Fellows have access to personal mentorship opportunities

Eligibilities Requirement:

  • Applicants of ages 21-40 and anyone over age 18 is welcome to apply.
  • After get selected as ted fellow, applicant will be required to block off a total of eight consecutive days (April 21 – 28, 2018 in order to be a TED Fellow)
  • English proficiency is required.

Deadline: September 10, 2017

Official Link to Apply for TED 2018 Fellowship program (Fully Funded)

https://www.ted.com/participate/ted-fellows-program/apply-to-be-a-ted-fellow

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Inspirational

Heartbroken bride throws feast for the homeless after wedding called off

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A woman who called off her $30,000 wedding has invited homeless people to come and eat the food prepared for the reception.

Sarah Cummins, 25, broke off her wedding, then realised that her sit-down reception dinner for 170 at the Ritz Charles was non-refundable.

Feeling “really sick” about throwing away the food she had ordered for the reception, she began contacting local homeless shelters and has invited people to come along.

“We’re doing all the same stuff, just arranging the tables differently, so there’s no head table for the bridal party, no cake table or gift table,” Cummins told Media.

Purdue University pharmacy student Sarah Cummins, 25, has spent the past few years planning her dream wedding. She’s spent years saving and working overtime to pay for the $30,000 extravaganza.

Cummins arranged for two buses to pick up about 170 residents and their families.

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