Education

How to join the Merchant Navy in India?

Globetrotting as a part of work profile, the call of adventure on the high seas, and an opportunity to get high remunerations make many youngsters aspire to join the Merchant Navy. A specialized branch of the Indian Navy, Merchant Navy largely offers commercial services. However, under exceptional circumstances, mariners may be called to assist the Navy in military operations. Overall, the Merchant Navy is the pillar that supports international trade by transporting and bringing cargo from different parts of the world.

The merchant ships are large vessels and accommodate a large number of seamen who deliver and carry goods from one country to another. Reputable marine institutes in India train aspirants to handle both commercial and technical operations aptly. However, once s(he) joins the Merchant Navy, a specific role in a particular branch is allotted to them. Many youngsters get attracted to this profession because of the glamour and prestige attached to it; however, one should always remember that Merchant Navy career isn’t about solely money or status. One must be ready to take challenges head-on. 

Courses that make you eligible to join the Merchant Navy

At the senior secondary level, the aspirant should have studied Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Then, s(he) may join one of the following courses to become a part of the Merchant Navy. 

· B.Sc. Nautical Science

· B.E. Marine Engineering

  • B.Sc. Marine Catering
  • B.E. Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
  • B.E. Mechanical Engineering
  • B.E. Civil Engineering
  • B.E. Electrical Engineering
  • B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
  • B.E. Petroleum Engineering
  • Electro-Technical Officer Course

An aspirant may also join a Merchant Navy course after the matriculation. 

· Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)

· Commercial Diving

· General Purpose Rating

 Other prerequisites 

 Candidates need to fulfill the following criteria for their candidature to be considered. 

  • The applicant should be unmarried Indian Citizens (male or female).
  • Normal vision is required but plus or minus 2.5 in eyesight is also permitted. 
  • One also needs to pass the interview and medical test after clearing the written test.
  • The on-ship training course is necessary before employment. It is a short-term course where the candidates are taught the basics of voyaging.

Visit the official website to ensure that you fulfill all the prerequisites to join the Indian Merchant Navy.

 Globetrotting as a part of work profile, the call of adventure on the high seas, and an opportunity to get high remunerations make many youngsters aspire to join the Merchant Navy. A specialized branch of the Indian Navy, Merchant Navy largely offers commercial services. However, under exceptional circumstances, mariners may be called to assist the Navy in military operations. Overall, the Merchant Navy is the pillar that supports international trade by transporting and bringing cargo from different parts of the world.

The merchant ships are large vessels and accommodate a large number of seamen who deliver and carry goods from one country to another. Reputable marine institutes in India train aspirants to handle both commercial and technical operations aptly. However, once s(he) joins the Merchant Navy, a specific role in a particular branch is allotted to them. Many youngsters get attracted to this profession because of the glamour and prestige attached to it; however, one should always remember that Merchant Navy career isn’t about solely money or status. One must be ready to take challenges head-on. 

Courses that make you eligible to join the Merchant Navy

At the senior secondary level, the aspirant should have studied Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Then, s(he) may join one of the following courses to become a part of the Merchant Navy. 

· B.Sc. Nautical Science

· B.E. Marine Engineering

  • B.Sc. Marine Catering
  • B.E. Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
  • B.E. Mechanical Engineering
  • B.E. Civil Engineering
  • B.E. Electrical Engineering
  • B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
  • B.E. Petroleum Engineering
  • Electro-Technical Officer Course

An aspirant may also join a Merchant Navy course after the matriculation. 

· Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)

· Commercial Diving

· General Purpose Rating

 Other prerequisites 

Candidates need to fulfill the following criteria for their candidature to be considered. 

  • The applicant should be unmarried Indian Citizens (male or female).
  • Normal vision is required but plus or minus 2.5 in eyesight is also permitted. 
  • One also needs to pass the interview and medical test after clearing the written test.
  • The on-ship training course is necessary before employment. It is a short-term course where the candidates are taught the basics of voyaging.

Visit the official website to ensure that you fulfill all the prerequisites to join the Indian Merchant Navy.

Placement scenario

There is no dearth of employment opportunities in this field. Candidates who complete one of the courses (either basic or advanced) mentioned above get placed easily through marine institutes in India, consultants, and even placement agencies. One may get a chance to work on cargo ships, container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, passenger ships, refrigerators ships, roll-off/roll-on ships, etc. However, the probability of finding a job on a cargo ship is higher as compared to the other options.

Emoluments

The salary for seafarers in the Merchant Navy ranges between Rs.12000 to Rs.8 lakhs per month. The factors that affect pay structure include the stature of the company, city, experience, and education of the candidate, the export-import needs, seniority, etc. Free meals are provided to all the crew members and officers on board. Senior officers also get the permit to take their wives/children on the voyage.

Generally, a fresh graduate may join as a Junior Engineer and is paid around Rs. 30,000 per month, along with free boarding and lodging. The next two levels are that of the Second Engineer and finally, the Chief Engineer on a ship. Remuneration increases significantly with each promotion; however, promotion depends on many factors such as performance, posts available, seniority, etc. For example, it takes 6-10 years for a Junior Engineer Officer to get promoted to the rank of Chief Engineer.

Third Officer’s salary is around Rs. 50,000 per month (along with free boarding and lodging). The highest rank is that of a Captain. A Captain’s pay package is Rs. 2 lakhs per month or more. 

Women in Merchant Navy

It is true that even in the 21st Century, sailing on the high seas is by and large a male-dominated profession. However, the entry of Indian women into the seafaring trade has become a gradually increasing phenomenon. As shared by India’s first woman Merchant Navy Officer, Ms. Radhika Menon, in one of her interviews, “…in 1991 there were no girls. But now more than 500 females are serving at various ranks and they are serving as efficiently as their male counterparts.”

In terms of rules, no law forbids women from entering the Merchant Navy in India. The government encourages women to take it up as a career to bring gender parity in this field. Women from the Merchant Navy Cadet are highly preferred for jobs in PSU shipping companies and many private maritime companies. 

However, irrespective of one’s gender, the candidate aspiring to join the Merchant Navy should be ready to face the hardships and tough work conditions, which are a part of this profession. After all! No gains without pain.

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