1) What is Merchant Navy?
Merchant Navy is the commercial shipping of different types of cargo like oil, bulk, container, gas and chemical from one port to another and one country to another. Over 90% of world trade is done by sea and Merchant Navy is this fleet of ships or vessels where Seafarers in different rankings operate these ships and engage in safe and secure transportation of such cargo.
2) What is the course about and what is its scope in India and abroad?
Since there is a need for trained manpower to safely operate the ships at sea and carry out safe transfer of the cargo, various maritime training institutes design and conduct these courses to train officers to operate ships. Trainings can be either for becoming an Officer or Rating. For becoming an Officer, one needs to be trained as a Cadet for a minimum of one year on a pre-sea course. The pre sea training is carried out for both Deck and Engine side. In due course of time, a Deck Cadet can rise to the rank of Captain, whereas, the Engineering Cadet can rise to the rank of Chief Engineer. Deck Cadet Trainees can join a course called Diploma in Applied Nautical Sciences (DNS) which is actually the first year of the three year BSc in Nautical Sciences Degree course. Candidates can join this course after having completed 12th standard with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or higher. On the other hand, for the Engine side, one can join the 4 years B.Tech Marine Engineering Course after having completed 12th standard with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or a one year Graduate Marine Engineering (GME)course after having completed graduation in Mechanical Engineering or Naval Architecture. There is also a 4 Months Electro Technical Officer (ETO) Course. ETO in a merchant navy vessel utilizes his expertise in handling all electrical equipment of the vessel unlike other engineers on board who are responsible for all marine engineering equipment. The Merchant Navy needs a large number of officers and India is one country which has been producing high quality officers for the Merchant Navy. As there is a serious shortage of quality officers manning the ships, there is tremendous scope not only in India but all over the world for trained seafarers. Merchant Navy officers generate foreign exchange for the country.
3) What are the areas in which students are trained? (Subjects)
A deck cadet studies academic subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and English, along with professional subjects like Navigation and Chart work, Ship stability, Seamanship, Cargo work, Ship operation, Maritime History, etc. All these subjects are suitably supplemented by training on various equipment in workshops and labs.
All engine room cadets study subjects like Internal Combustion Engines, Marine Auxiliaries, Marine Boilers, Automation, Naval Architecture and Ship Construction apart from obtaining hands on training in workshops, labs and also various live machineries fitted in the Ship-in-Campus. These are further supplemented by courses like Engine Room Simulator. Over and above this, both the streams undergo four basic Safety courses.
4) What is the duration of the courses?
The pre-sea cadet course for Deck and Engine sides are of one year duration each at the Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies. On completion of one year in our institute, the Deck Cadets can join onboard ships managed by our Group Company – M/s Executive Ship Management Pte Ltd (ESM), Singapore for 18 months for onboard training called Structured Shipboard Training Programme [SSTP]. Thereafter, they come ashore for another six months to complete a few courses to appear for Second Mate’s examination. Cadets who complete the B.Tech Marine Engineering & Graduate Marine Engineering serve on board an ESM managed ship for about 6 months as a junior engineer. ETO course involves four months’ residential pre-sea training at the institute which is followed by eight months of onboard training as a trainee ETO on successful completion of the course.
5) What are the fees for the course?
As for the fees, different institutes charge different fee structure for the courses. Our fees for the 1 Year DNS course is approximately Rs. 6, 00,000/-. For 1 Year GME Course it is Rs. 5, 25, 000/-, for 4 Year B.Tech Marine Engineering course, it is Rs. 15, 75, 000/- and for Electro Technical Officer (ETO) course, Rs. 400000/-. Please do bear in mind that this is an all-inclusive fees consisting of tuition fees, admission fees, boarding and lodging, sports facilities, uniform, bed linen, caution deposit and all other related expenses. There is no further money that the candidate has to pay. It is important to note that the institute has a tie-up with banks which give education loan for pursuing this career. Many of the students who join our institute avail this beneficial educational loan.
6) What kind of placements do the students get after completing the course?
All cadets completing the courses successfully are placed onboard the ships managed by our Group Company – M/s Executive Shipment Management Pte Ltd., Singapore. Therefore the placement is 100% and it is in house. A cadet who completes the DNS Course joins as a Deck Cadet. B.Tech & GME Cadets join onboard as Junior Engineers & ETO Cadets join onboard as trainee ETO.
7) What is the remuneration?
For the cadets, upon joining ships for further training they are paid a handsome stipend. As of today, a Deck Cadet receives about Rs.15000-Rs.20000/- per month as a stipend, whereas a Junior Engineer is paid about Rs.35000/- per month. Service onboard specialized ships like oil / chemical /gas tankers afford higher remunerations. The moment the Deck Cadet completes his BSc Nautical Science and completes Second Mate’s examinations, he is entitled to join ship as a Third Officer and draws a salary between Rs.1, 50,000 - Rs.1, 90,000 per month depending upon the type of ship. Similarly, when a junior engineer joins as Fourth engineer he draws an equivalent salary. It is interesting to note that these salaries are, in general, tax free.
8) Mention a few centres offering this course in various parts of India?
There are more than 125 maritime training institutes in India for all aspiring sea-farers in various disciplines from officers to ratings. As far as DNS course is concerned, there are about 24 Institutes conducting this course as of today and about 15 Institutes conducting GME Course, in various parts of the country. The list of institutes can be found on the website of Directorate General of Shipping, which is www.dgshipping.com.
9) We have heard that your institute is the biggest – is it true?
There are numerous maritime training institutes within the country and many are considered to be very good. There are few select Institutes which are considered as world class, and Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Lonavala befits the special status due to its various facilities and on campus hands-on training. Further details can be found on our website – www.samundra.com
10) How to apply?
Interested students may apply online by completing the application form in the website www.samundra.com. Links for applying are as follows :-
B Tech Marine Engineering https://www.samundra.com/html/Applications/CombinedDNSandGMEApplication/application_Btech.html
11) Is there any fee to fill the form for the course?
Yes, you are required to submit Rs. 1100/- as registration fees. Payment of fees can be made by way of bank transfer by RTGS or NEFT made in favour of Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Payable at Mumbai. Our Bank details are as indicated below:-
A/c Title : Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies
A/c No. : 04742320000055
Bank : HDFC Bank Ltd
Branch : Lonavala
IFSC Code : HDFC0000474
In case of bank transfer, please send transaction reference number, account holder’s name and name of candidate immediately to the e mail ID email@example.com
12) When are the courses starting?
DNS – August & February every year
GME – September & March every year
B.Tech - August every year
ETO – April / August / December
For exact dates in regard to commencement of courses, please communicate with our Admission team.
13) I have cleared my 12th Std. My age is exceeding 20 years, can I apply?
Since the upper age limit for candidates is 20 years, you are not eligible to apply.
14) What is the pattern of the DNS written exam and the subjects on which the questions are asked in the paper?
Written test paper consists of 37 multiple choice questions (MCQs) totaling to a maximum of 90 marks and another 10 marks for English writing. The duration of the test is 1 hour for MCQs and 10 minutes for written English part. MCQ Test paper comprises of questions from following subjects:
Visual Perception and Processing
Information Processing Speed
Science & Abstract Reasoning
Spoken and Written Language
15) What is the pattern of the B.Tech Marine Engineering written exam and the subjects on which the questions are asked in the paper?
Written test paper consists of 36 multiple choice questions (MCQs) totaling to a maximum of 88 marks and another 12 marks for English writing. The duration of the test is 1 hour for MCQs and 10 minutes for written English part. MCQ Test paper comprises of questions from following subjects:
Logic & Reasoning
16) What is the pattern of the GME written exam and the subjects on which the questions are asked in the paper?
The Written exam paper consists of 37 multiple choice questions (MCQs) of total 88 marks and 12 marks for questions on English comprehension. The duration of the exam is 1 hour for MCQs and 15 minutes for the English part. The MCQ paper comprises of questions from following subjects:
17) What is the pattern of the ETO written exam and the subjects on which the questions are asked in the paper?
The Written exam paper consists of 48 multiple choice questions (MCQs) of total 88 marks and 12 marks for questions on English comprehension. The duration of the exam is 1 hour for MCQs and 15 minutes for the English part. The MCQ paper comprises of questions from following subjects:
Electronics & Control
18) What is the 16PF test?
The test is a personality assessment test which is administered to a candidate with an aim to ascertain the suitability for a career at sea.
19) Can I re-appear for the same batch in case I failed in online test or interview?
No! you cannot apply for the same batch if you fail to qualify at any stage of the SIMS entrance test. However, you can apply for the next batch provided you continue to meet the eligibility conditions for that particular course and batch.
20) Is there any ragging done to the newly joined cadets?
Ragging is a criminal offence and most stringent measures will be taken against the offenders. All candidates who join SIMS are asked to get an affidavit of anti-ragging notarized by the Oath Commissioner.
21) Where can I attend SIMS online test?
Once you complete the Registration process you get the options of venue booking for online test. The test centres are as follows:
22) In case my class 12th or degree results are not published, even then, can I apply for a course?
Yes you can apply. Also you can attend the SIMS entrance test.
23) What if I didn’t qualify my Class 12th in first attempt & there is a gap between my class10th & 12th board exam? Can I still apply?
No, if you have not qualified your Class 12th in 1st attempt then you are not eligible to apply. In case there is a gap between your class 10th and 12th board exams, you can still apply provided you have a genuine reason for the existing gap which could be medical or such like. In case you have passed your Class 12th in the first attempt but have gone for a second attempt to improve your scores, then, you continue to meet our criteria provided you take the second attempt in all subjects and obtain a score of minimum 70% in PCM
24) What are the medical parameters for joining merchant navy?
Physically fit and meet the standards laid out by Director General of Shipping & SIMS. More details can be found in DG Shipping website at www.dgshipping.com
25) Do I have to pay for my medical test?
Yes, you will have pay for the medical test directly to the SIMS company approved doctor. Please note that medical exam conducted by a SIMS company approved doctor alone will be accepted by our management for joining our institute.
26) I am applying for DNS / B.Tech course. Do I need to qualify in IMU-CET?
Yes you must qualify in IMU-CET in case you are applying for DNS / B.Tech course.
27) How do I apply for the loan?
Loan process will be your responsibility and you will have to choose the bank that will be willing to give you the loan. We will assist you in providing letters to assist in loan process
28) Can anyone having minor physical deformities like knock-knees etc. join the merchant navy?
It depends on the extent of the physical deformity and as long as the deformity does not form any kind of disability to perform the duties assigned onboard a ship, one should be fit for sea service. However this will be confirmed only by the company Doctor.
29) Any health problems related to seasickness and staying away from the land?
It is usual for a seafarer to have seasickness when he starts his sea career, but, everyone gets used to the sea within a short period of time.
30) What is seasickness and does everybody get it?
Seasickness is a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases vertigo, experienced after spending time on a craft on water. It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the craft, but people who are particularly vulnerable to the condition can feel seasick simply by setting foot on a boat, even if the vessel is in dry dock. It is not necessary for everyone to get it.
31) I wear spectacles; is an eye operation enough to make me eligible for Merchant Navy?
For Deck side, requirements are: 6/6 vision in the better eye and 6/9 in the other eye (without visual aids); no color-blindness is permitted. It will be an individual's decision to do whatever is required to meet the requirement and as long as one meets the above requirement, he will be eligible for Deck cadet training. For Engine side, spectacles are permitted. Requirements are, 6/9 in the better eye and 6/18 in the other eye (without visual aids) or 6/12 in both eyes.
32) Can anyone leave the job in the Merchant Navy and join later after few years?
Yes, it is possible but you will have to ensure your certificates are valid at the time of re-joining and you may also require to undergo some refresher training. In addition there are possibilities that you will be offered a demoted rank for a period of time.
33) What is the maximum number of days a seafarer has to sail on ship?
Typically, at times the voyage could be up to 30 days or more.
34) What is the continuous duration of stay on board a ship during the training period?
Duration could be six months or so during training.
35) Despite of high salary structure, why are there so much shortage of officers?
Many of the shipping companies are not investing enough in training cadets and only expect to employ experienced officers. This is one of the reasons for shortage. Other reason could be, more ships built in a very short span of time not taking into account the availability of manpower resulting in acute shortages.
36) Can we take family on board?
At this stage, top 4 senior officers (Master, C/O, C/E, 2/E) are allowed to carry family onboard.
37) Are girls also eligible for joining these merchant navy courses?
Yes, girls are eligible for joining the merchant navy.
38) Will I get the salary when I am not sailing and on leave?
No, you will not be entitled for salary when you are on leave. During the training period the trainees are paid stipend and not salary.
39) What is the retirement age?
As per Seamen's Employment Office Order the retirement age of a person from seafaring profession is at 60 yrs. This rule also provides discretion to the Director, Seamen's Employment Office, to permit employment of seamen over 60 years of age, but not exceeding 65, provided the ship owner accepted the engagement of the seaman and the prescribed medical authority declared him 'Fit', prior to engagement.
40) What are the shore opportunities when I stop sailing?
It depends, but, if you stop sailing after becoming Master or a Chief Engineer, there will be many opportunities at shore for Marine Superintendent, Technical Superintendent, Manning Superintendent, Vetting Superintendent, etc.
41) How safe is it to be on board a ship?
Merchant Navy is one of the safest and most economical medium for transportation. Ships are built to operate in the safest way but the safety depends on the human beings who operate the ship.
42) Can I visit the countries that the ship arrives without a visa?
In majority of the countries, seafarers are issued a special pass to go ashore when the ship is in port. In some countries such as USA, you will need a visa to go ashore.
43) Which international authority governs Merchant navy and takes care of seafarers?
The International Maritime Organization (IMO).