High earnings and the fascination of travel to foreign lands attract youth towards a career in Merchant Navy. Thrills, the element of danger, adventure and challenges are a part and parcel of the lives of merchant mariners. Merchant Navy comprises vessels that carry passengers or cargo or oil. Ships are belonging to Indian shipping companies and foreign shipping companies. Onboard a merchant marine vessel, one gets to sail through varied climatic zones, visiting many shores, meeting people of all cultures, shopping for mementos but almost always on duty with an extended leave coming up only at the end of the contract.
Merchant mariners spend extended periods at sea and earn leaves. Most are hired for voyages that last for several months and there is no job security after the voyage is finished. Therefore, employment is contractual and you can join a new company after every voyage. Life in the Merchant Navy is unpredictable, to say the least. You could be amidst the high seas fighting the elements or sailing under a starry sky or have nothing more interesting to look at except the endless expanse of water on all sides. That’s what life is like in the high seas. It can be even more boring when you are completely out of touch with your friends and family for months at a stretch. Significant events of life could be missed out owing to job commitments.
But the positives are also there. You can easily earn Rs. 30,000- 35,000 in your early twenties. You get to travel the world, mix with people of all cultures, get to handle modern technology while onboard, study sea-life and at the end of the life be with your family for two-months at a stretch. The rest of the time can be spent looking for new contracts and appearing for competitive examinations.
Certain personality attributes are found helpful in Merchant Navy. Among all, practicality and resourcefulness are ranked highly. When stranded amidst the seas, there is nothing more useful than these qualities. The aspirants must have the ability to take responsibilities and make instant decisions. They must show a willingness to take orders and accept their place in the hierarchy. For women, self-sufficiency is important because they will be one among very few women and can feel lonely at times. You should also not feel conscious of standing out in front of a crowd.
The responsibility for adequate training of personnel for the Indian Merchant Navy has been taken by the Government Of India through the Ministry of Surface Transport. Training Ship Chanakya (T.S. Chanakya), Navi Mumbai and Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Kolkata are the two primary pre-sea training institutions for marine education. T.S. Chanakya conducts a 3-year course leading to a B.Sc. (Nautical Science)degree while MERI conducts the 4-year Marine Engineering Degree course. The two courses are quite distinct from each other though they both lead to a seafaring career. They are both conducted in English. The annual expense of training along with living costs and sundries ranges between Rs. 50,000-1,00,000 .
LIST OF GOOD MARITIME TRAINING INSTITUTES IN INDIA
|C.V. R. College of Engineering Bhubaneswar|
|College of Maritime Studies and Rsrch. Kolkata|
|Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Govt. Polytechnique Port Blair|
|Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd Kolkata|
|Haldia Inst. of Maritime Studies & Rsrch. Haldia|
|Marine Education Charitable Trust Kolkata|
|Maritime Academy of India Kolkata|
|Maritime Education Training & Rsrch. Inst.|
|Mercantile Marine Academy Foundation, Kolkata|
|The Neotia University / Neotia Inst. of Technology, Management and Science|
|Amer Maritime Training Academy|
|Anglo Eastern Maritime Training Centre|
|Applied Rsrch. International|
|Aquatech Inst. of Maritime Studies|
|Asha International Inst. of Marine Technology|
|Asha International Inst. of Marine Technology (Campus)|
| Centre for Maritime Education and Training|
|Chidambaram Inst. of Maritime Technology|
|Indian Register of Shipping|
|Inst. of Marine Engineers (India)|