How To Join Merchant Navy

 


From  LIFE AT SEA By Nandkishore Gitte 

Introduction

Since time immemorial, ships at sea have beckoned the brave and adventurous. The attraction of riches in this profession has been subject of many a folklore. Even today, the situation remains more or less the same, except that today the ships are far more safer than they were in the times of Vasco-da-Gamma and Columbus. Today, there is hardly any career which can fetch such high salaries at such a young age that the Merchant Navy offers. Unfortunately, the knowledge on the subject of "What is Merchant Navy & How do i join it ?" still remains the privilege of very few people who already have relatives and friends in this industry. With this in background, in this section we wish to tell you all about career in Merchant Navy.  The ships today are highly sophisticated and technology intensive. Safety and efficiency of the ship are crucial and depends upon the professional ability, competence and dedication to duty, of a seafarer, on board ship. Naturally, a seafarer is expected to be highly professional for the safe and efficient operation of the ship. The training in India is of exceptionally high standards and the Indian seafarers are one of the most sought after commodity in the shipping industry worldwide.  Needless to say that an Indian seafarer demands and does gets highly paid. 
 
The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet, which deals with transporting cargo and occasionally, passengers, by sea. Its fleet is therefore composed of passenger vessels, cargo,liner tankers, carriers, as well as other special types of vehicles. A career in this field is full of adventure and long voyages to exotic places. Above all this, the excellent pay and promising promotional opportunities make the career lucrative and exciting in spite of all the hard work life and long absence from family and home.  

The main positions open in the merchant navy are for navigating officers, radio officers and marine engineers. They are usually employed by shipping companies on a contractual basis, which is generally of six to nine months' duration. Earlier a career in this field was considered purely for men. Women were not generally known to take up jobs in merchant navy but the past few years have seen a positive change with many women taking up jobs as ship doctors and radio officers. 

In Merchant Navy, major tasks performed are in three basic areas of a ship. The Deck, the Engine and the Service Department. There are thus, many career options that are available for any youngster who has dreams to join the merchant navy. The deck officers include the captain, chief officer, second officer, third officer and other junior officers. The engine department consists of the chief engineer, radio officer, electrical officer and junior engineers. The service department manages the kitchen, laundry, medical and other services. Jobs are available with shipping companies in India and other countries.

Prominent institutes conducting courses in this field are TS Chanakya, Mumbai and Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), in Kolkata and Mumbai. 

 

WHAT ARE THE PAY AND PERKS ?

 

The pay and perks depend upon the type of the ship, experience and competency of an individual. At the starting level, a rating may get 700 - 1000 US $. Among officers a 3rd Officer/4th Engineer gets about 2400 - 3000 US $, 2nd Officer / 3rd Engineer - 3200 - 3500 US $, Chief Officer/2nd Engineer - 4000 - 4500 US $ and a Chief Engineer / Master - 5000 - 8000 US $. An individual can attain the rank of 3rd officer at the age of approx. 23 yrs and Master by the age of about 35 yrs.

 

 WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS JOBS?

 

(a)    Deck Officer - The officers from this branch primarily look after the ships navigation, loading/unloading of cargo and the general maintenance and administration of the ship. The officer joins in the rank of 3rd officer and is subsequently promoted to the rank of 2nd officer, Chief Officer and finally the Master of the ship. Off course, the promotions are subject to the individual passing his competency exams and his performance onboard the ship. In addition to navigation duties, normally  a 3rd officer looks after the life saving appliances, 2nd officer the passage planning and the navigation equipment, the Chief Officer looks after the cargo work and the Master is the overall in-charge of the ship. 

(b)    Engineering Officer - These are the officer who are qualified in Marine Engineering. They join as 4th Engineer and step by step, get promoted to 3rd, 2nd and Chief Engineer, subject to their passing the competency exams and performance onboard the ship. The Engineering department in addition to looking after the main engines, are also responsible for associated equipment like power generation equipment, cargo pumps and air - conditioning etc. The4the Engineer  is responsible for operation and maintenance of engine room auxiliaries. The 3rd engineer for fuel, water and the boiler room equipment. The 2nd engineer for lubricating the system, engine room auxiliaries, and electric equipment. In addition, there is an electrical officer, who is responsible for the electrical equipment.

(c)    Radio Officers - The Radio Officers looks after all the electronic communication and the related records. In addition, he also looks after electronic navigation aids such as radar, depth measuring devices, long range navigation equipment and global positioning system etc. However, this category of personnel has been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers. To be qualified as Radio Officer an individual need to do a two week GMDSS course.

(e)    Purser - He is an officer who looks after all the administrative work related to pay and perks of personnel onboard. However, this category of personnel has also been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers.

(f)    Ratings  - There are three kinds of ratings - deck, engine room and catering. Deck rating is responsible for cargo handling, mooring/ unmooring and general maintenance of the ship. Similarly the engine room ratings assist the engineering officers in maintenance and operation of engines and associated equipment.   The catering crew consists of Steward / Cooks and as the name suggests, they look after the catering and the house keeping of officers cabin.

 

Ways to Join Merchant navy


        Career in Merchant Navy can be pursued either as an officer or a rating in mainly two specialized fields, i.e. Marine Engineering and Nautical (deck). To become a seafarer, following streams of entries (Pre-Sea courses) are available to Indian citizens in the Government as well as in private training institutions (recognized and approved by Director General of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping):-

 

          Officers                             

  1. 3 year degree course in Nautical Science for (10+2) students.

  2. 4 year degree course in Marine Engineering for (10+2) students.

  3. 2 year course for Diploma Holders.

  4. 1 year course for Graduate Mechanical Engineers.

  5. 3 month course for Deck Cadets for (10+2) students.

 

     Rating  (Entry standard Xth)

  1. 4 month Pre-Sea Course for General Purpose (GP) rating.

  2. 3 month Pre-Sea Course for Deck rating.

  3. 3 month Pre-Sea Course for Engine rating.

  4. 4 month Pre-Sea Course for Saloon rating.

 In addition, a candidate can join as utility hand or Petty Officers (Fitters) after completing 4 Basic Courses, i.e. FPFF, EFA, PSSR and PST.

 

Educational qualification

The minimum eligibility for courses in Nautical science and Marine engineering is 10+2 or an equivalent examination with physics, chemistry and mathematics. He should also pass a medical fitness test for sea service under standard norms and with eyesight 6/6 with no colour blindness.

Candidates wishing to enter the navigational and engineering fields of Merchant Navy need to complete a Bachelors degree in Nautical Science or Marine engineering, before they can gain admission to the field. 

 

 

Training Institutes 

 

 

 T.S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai

This is a shore based academy, which carries the reputation and tradition of T.S. Dufferin and T.S. Rajendra.  The Institute is of international repute and the alumni of the institute are well known worldwide. The admission to this Institute for three year degree course is done through Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) conducted by IIT.  The candidate should not be more than 20 years of age, on 1st October and should have cleared screening test of IIT, to apply for this course.  After qualifying the screening test of the IIT, the boy who is keen to pursue the career in Merchant Navy, as a Deck Officer, has to fill up an application form which is available at Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai, and at the selected branches of Syndicate Bank all over India.  The advertisement for this, is published in leading news papers of the country in the month of July and December every year, giving procedure for admission.  After completing a 3-year course at T.S. Chanakya, a student is awarded Degree in Nautical Science by Mumbai University and is  required to go on board ship for one year sea training. The cost of the training in T.S. Chanakya is about Rs. 30,000. per year including tuition fees, hostel and messing.  Personal expenses are to be borne by the student. T S. Chanakya also conducts 3 month Pre-Sea Deck Cadets Course.  The candidates should be less than 20 years of age on the commencement of the course and should have minimum 60% of marks in P.C.M. at 10+2 level or 55% marks in the B. Sc. and should be below 22 years of age or should have passed BE/B.Tech. from a college recognized by AICTE and is below 24 years of age. The advertisement for this course is published 2 months before the commencement of the course in Employment News and other leading news papers.  After completion of the course, the candidate is to obtain requisite sea time of 2 to 3 years before appearing for 2nd Mate competency exam.  During their sea attachment, these candidates, usually, are paid nominal pocket allowances by the shipping companies, in addition to free messing and accommodation on the ship.  For further details, contact Capt. Superintendent, T.S. Chanakya at the following address : Capt.Superintendent, Training Ship Chanakya, Karave, Navi Mumbai., Tel. 022- 770 3876.

 

 

 Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI), Kolkata.

This Institute was established in 1949 to impart training to marine engineering cadets and is presently situated at Kolkata.  The Institute conducts 4 year degree course in Marine Engineering recognized by AICTE and affiliated to University of Jadhavpur.  The admission to this course is also done through Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) of IIT and the eligibility for this course is same as of Training Ship Chanakya and the admission to this Institute is also conducted along with the selection to the T.S. Chanakya on the basis of the merit list provided by JEE, IIT.  The admission procedure and the fees for this course is also in line of T.S. Chanakya as mentioned above.  For any further query, the Director, MERI, Kolkata, may be contacted at the following address : Marine Engineering & Research Institute, P-19, New Taratalla Road, Kolkata � 700 088, Tel. 033- 401 4673

 

 

 Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI), Mumbai.

This Institute is situated at Mumbai at Haybundar and provides 1 year Pre-Sea Training to graduate Mechanical Engineers to enable them to go on ships as Junior Engineers.  To be eligibile for this course, the candidate should have passed engineering degree in mechanical or in Naval Architecture from the AICTE recognized Institute.  The selection is done on the basis of merit and the advertisement for this course is published in Employment News and other leading news papers in the month of November every year.  The fees for this course is around Rs. 1,40,000/- including messing, uniform and accommodation. The address is : Marine Engineering & Research Institute,  Hay Bunder Road, Mumbai � 400 033, Tel. 022- 3723577,E-mail -  meribom@vsnl.com

 

 

 Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research, Mumbai

Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research is a premier post-sea Maritime Education and Training Institute offering a comprehensive range of courses for Merchant Navy Officers. The college was established by the Ministry of Transport, Government of India, in 1948. 

In addition to Government Training Institutes, there are number of private training institutes which are conducting pre-sea courses for Nautical as well as Engineering candidates both for 10+2 students and engineering candidates. These institutes follow their own selection procedure, which is published regularly in the news papers.  For further details, these institutes may be contacted.  The institutes provide training to the students and are recognized by the Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India. But on completion of the training, the students have to appear for the competency examination, which enable them to be employed on board Merchant Ships.  It is necessary for all candidates to obtain a Certificate of Competency from Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India, the certificates are recognized and respected by all the countries.  The examinations for these certificates are conducted by the D.G. Shipping through Mercantile Marine Departments.  The 1st  exam for 2nd Mate (Deck) and MEO IV (Engineering) is to be given by the candidates after successfully completing the Pre-Sea Training in the above institutes and required sea time on ships.  After acquiring the Certificate of Competency, the officer is eligible to be appointed as 3rd Officer / 5th Engineer on board Merchant Ship and draw a handsome salary.  For subsequent promotion, he has to render further sea service and pass higher examinations and post-sea courses at LBS College (Govt. of India) or in other private training institutes.

In addition to the above entries for officers, the candidate can join Merchant Navy as rating on board ship.  The minimum qualification for rating is 10th standard with Maths and Science and the age limit is less than 24 � years at the commencement of the course.  After completing the course, the trainees are required to go on ship minimum for 6 months to earn their watchkeeping certificate.  After obtaining the Watch Keeping Certificate, they can sail on ships as rating for Deck/Engine Room/Saloon/Petty Officers and are paid handsome salary.

 

List of Training Institutes approved by D.G. Shipping

indosId

Name of Institute

City/State

625

C.V. Raman College of Engineering

Bhubaneswar

805

Academy of Maritime Education & Training

Chennai

817

Balaji Seamen Training Institute

Chennai

839 Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research Chennai

815

Chennai School of Ship Management

Chennai

812

Chidambaram Institute of Maritime Technology

Chennai

820

Cosmopolitan Technology of Maritime

Chennai

808

Hindustan Institute Of Maritime Training

Chennai

840 GKM College of Engineering & Technology Chennai

814

Indus Seafarers Training Academy

Chennai

821

International Maritime Academy

Chennai

819

Maritime Foundation

Chennai

826

MASSA-INTERFACE Maritime Academy

Chennai

802

National Maritime Academy

Chennai

906

S.B.Vignesh Marine Training Centre

Chennai

818

Southern Academy of Maritime Studies

Chennai

838

Vel's Academy of Maritime Education & Training

Chennai

816

Vel's Academy of Maritime Studies

Chennai

830

Coimbatore Marine College

Coimbatore

064

Marine Training Academy

Daman

416

Oceanic Maritime Academy

Dehradun

412

Sriram Institute of Marine Studies

Delhi

69

Agnel Maritime Academy

Goa

74

Francon's Marine Academy

Goa

308

Institute of Maritime Studies

Goa

032

NUSI Maritime Academy

Goa

058

Seascan Marine Services Pvt Ltd

Goa

624

Indian Centre for Advancement of Research & Education

Haldia

409

Amer Maritime Training Academy

Kanpur

072

MMTI's Education & Research Trust

Khopoli

829

Mohammed Sathak Engineering College

Kilakarai(Tamilnadu)

905

Cochin Shipyard Limited

Kochi

811

Euro Tech Maritime Academy

Kochi

835

Institute of Marine Engineers (India)

Kochi

807

Univan Maritime Training Academy

Kochi

623

College of Maritime Studies & Research

Kolkata

703

Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd

Kolkata

616

Indian Institute of Port Management

Kolkata

617

Marine Education Charitable Trust

Kolkata

602

Marine Engineering & Research Institute

Kolkata

607

Maritime Academy of India

Kolkata

606

Mercantile Marine Academy

Kolkata

605

Sea Explorer's Institute Educational Trust

Kolkata

604

Seacom Marine College

Kolkata

608

Sensea Maritime Academy

Kolkata

404

Centre for Maritime Education & Training

Lucknow

622

Trident College of Marine Technology

24-Pargans(S)(W.Bengal)

813

RL Institute of Nautical Science

Madurai

411

J. Sons Merchant Navy Institute

Meerut

022

Anglo Eastern Maritime Training Centre

Mumbai

070

Arya Marine Academy

Mumbai

019

Don Bosco Normar Maritime Academy

Mumbai

083

Gurship Education Trust Maritime Training Institute Mumbai

011

Institute of Marine Engineers (India)

Mumbai

046

International Marine Academy

Mumbai

018

International Maritime Training Centre

Mumbai

007

Marine Engineering & Research Institute

Mumbai

024

Marine Medical Clinic

Mumbai

030

Marine Training Academy

Mumbai

008

Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

034

Mumbai Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

033

Naval Maritime Academy West

Mumbai

023

OERC Academy

Mumbai

075

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Mumbai

042

Seafarers Marine Institute

Mumbai

021

School of Synergic Studies

Mumbai

028

SCMS Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

010

St. Xavier's Technical Institute

Mumbai

045

Suraksha Marine

Mumbai

009

TS Rahaman

Mumbai

068

Vasantdada Patil Pratisthan's College of Engg.

Mumbai

080

Fleet Management Training Institute

Navi Mumbai

012

BP Marine Academy

Navi Mumbai

039

MASSA Maritime Academy

Navi Mumbai

082

Pentagon Maritime Training & Research Institute Navi Mumbai

084

Ramana Academy of Maritime Studies Navi Mumbai

037

Sagar Gayan Academy

Navi Mumbai

066

SNS Maritime Training Institute

Navi Mumbai

006

TS Chanakya

Navi Mumbai

026

United Marine Academy

Navi Mumbai

043

Yak Management & Marine Education Centre

Navi Mumbai

63

Yak Educational Trust

Navi Mumbai

402

Applied Research International

New Delhi

413

Aquatech Institute of Maritime Studies

New Delhi

403

International Maritime Institute Ltd

Noida

612

Orissa Maritime Academy

Paradip

619

Institute of Marine Education & Research Pvt Ltd

Patna

620

Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering

24-Pargans(S) (W.Bengal)

614

Maritime Education Training & Research Institute

24-Pargans(S)(W.Bengal)

833

Sri Chakra Maritime College

Puducherry

615

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Govt. Polytechnique

Port Blair

081

Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies

Pune

061

Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training

Pune

017

Tolani Maritime Institute

Pune

834

Commander Ali's Academy of Merchant Navy

Secunderabad

806

Srivenkateshwara College of Engineering

Sriperumbadur (Tamilnadu)

079

Columbus Maritime Training Institute

Thane (Maharashtra)

065

Baba Marine Institute

Thane(Maharashtra)

044

Mariner's Academy

Thane(Maharashtra)

810

Tamilnadu Maritime Academy

Thoothukudi

837

PSN College of Engineering & Technology

Tirunelveli(T.Nadu)

418

Asha International Institute of Marine Technology

Varanasi

708

Hindustan Shipyard Limited

Visakhapatnam (AP)

841

Praveenya Institute of Marine Engineering & Maritime Studies

Visakhapatnam (AP)

836

Sailors Maritime Academy Vizianagaram (AP)

                                                                                               Nandkishore Gitte

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