They say delay in awarding of degree certificates is the reason why most of them are unemployed till now

Among the first things a potential employer asks a graduate is a degree certificate, and most graduates of the Indian Maritime University (IMU) in recent years are unable to produce one. The delay in awarding of their degree certificates, say graduates, is the reason why most of them are unemployed till now.

“The shipping sector has very few jobs on offer these days. We are offered not more than Rs. 8,000 a month, despite being a management graduate. And employers, mostly shipping companies, don’t even want to consider candidates who do not have all the necessary certificates, especially their degree certificate,” said a woman who finished her MBA in port management two years ago, and is yet to receive her degree certificate.

IMU offers management courses in international maritime law and port management. The institute has at least 70 students graduating in management from each of its six campuses every year and several others in courses pertaining to nautical sciences.

“They have given me a letter stating I have completed my MBA. It has no details about my course structure or marks. No employer takes it seriously,” the graduate said.

Officials at the institute said they had been providing provisional marksheets and were in the process of getting degree certificates ready. Those who graduated from the five other campuses of IMU are awaiting their degree certificates too.

“Officials here tell us the certificates have to come from Chennai and they cannot do anything about it. Most of us have given up hope,” said a 2011 graduate of the Cochin IMU.

“We have to run after the officials to get our marksheets months after the exams get over. The delay is the reason why many of us are not even to go on the sea to finish our mandatory sea time, because even the companies offering training at sea insist on knowing if we have cleared certain practical subjects,” said a student of nautical sciences.

One of the senior members of the executive council of IMU, James Joseph, who resigned recently and attributed his resignation to high-handedness by some shipping ministry officials with regard to the affairs of the university, said he was aware of the problem faced by the graduates.

“The central university has a whole range of issues which have affected the future of students gravely. It is time the government appointed proper heads to review its proceedings,” he said.

The university, ever since its inception in 2008, has been embroiled in various controversies, starting from a raid by Income Tax officials on its campus to the recent resignation of vice-chancellor G. Raghuram, following allegations of irregularities in the recruitment of 32 teachers.

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