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How to join Merchant Navy

Avoid joining any merchant navy course directly through any college/institute without placement.

How to Join Merchant Navy?

Q1. What is Merchant Navy?

Ans. Ships that carry goods, people or render services of a non- military nature constitute the merchant navy.

Merchant Navy touches every body's life in one way or other. Material for building a house may have been brought by a bulk carrier, the fuel used in your vehicle was brought by a tanker and fruits in the market from different countries were brought in a refrigerated container carried on a ship.

Q2. Why Join Merchant Navy?

Ans. Merchant Navy is a very lucrative career, some of the many attractions of this profession are listed below:-
o High income (Tax Free)
o Independence and responsibility at a young age
o Quick promotions
o No expenses whilst on board (High class accommodation and cuisine)
o Travel around the globe and experience the world
o Adventure – No two days on the ship are the same
o Long Vacations - Time to pursue your hobbies
o Future opportunities to pursue a career ashore

Q3. Who should join Merchant Navy?

Ans. If you are adventurous person who likes to be outdoors and is not interested in a monotonous 9 - 5 job, then Merchant Navy is the best career option for you.

Q4. How is Merchant Navy better than any other career option?

Ans. A student who passes his/her 10+2 exams and takes up any stream for further studies spends at least another 4 years in college before becoming eligible for a job in the particular stream. Whereas a candidate who joins Merchant Navy, has to undergo only 1 year of training at an approved institute and then starts earning whilst doing the onboard training. Moreover the stipend received during the training period itself is higher than the starting salaries in many career streams ashore.
At the age of 21 when a normal student graduates from any stream and starts looking for a job, the candidate who has joined Merchant Navy has already completed his/her training and starts working as an officer on board the ship and earns wages to the tune of more than 1 Lakh rupees per month.

Q5. Sea of Opportunity?

Ans. There are various types of ships but the main job of a ship is to transport goods or people from one place to another. Ships are responsible for transporting 96% of goods around the world and is the most important service helping to keep the wheels of the global economy moving smoothly. Shipping is a vital link in world trade and today it is one of the booming sectors of the industry. If you join the merchant navy you could choose to be a navigating officer (also known as a deck officer) or an engineering officer.

Q6. What are the qualifications required to join as a deck cadets?

Ans. Educational Qualification:
For 10+2 Science students: from a recognized Board/University with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM), with not less than 60% marks in PCM aggregate.

For BSc students: With Physics as an individual subject in any one of the years of B.Sc., with not less than 50% marks in the final year of B.Sc., from a recognized University provided that the candidate must have passed 10 + 2 examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) from a recognized Board.

For BE / B.Tech Students: or its equivalent degree from I.I.T. or from a college recognized by AICTE/UGC/DEC. STUDENTS AWAITING RESULTS CAN ALSO APPLY

English: Should have passed with not less than 50% marks in English as a separate subject, at either 10th or 12th standard or in the Degree program conducted by a recognized Board/University.

Note – For Diploma Candidates: The candidates with three year Diploma from a recognized polytechnic are also eligible for making application for the entrance test as the three-year polytechnic Diploma is equated with 10+2 examination and accordingly their PCM aggregate in the Diploma program shall not be less than 55%.

Age Limit: Not more than 25 Years at the commencement of course (Course commences on 1st Monday in February and August every year)

Physical and Medical Standards: Medically fit as per the standards set by Merchant Shipping Medical Examination Rules and eyesight 6/6 in each eye without visual aids

Q7. What is the best choice to join, after 12th or after graduation?

Ans. The Deck Cadet Training program leads to a diploma and thereafter a BSc degree in Nautical Science on successful completion of the full Cadet Training program.

After completion of the 1st and 2nd semester in the Pre-sea institute (total 1 year) the candidate is awarded an advanced Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS). He/she then has to complete the remaining 3 semesters (3, 4 & 5) as onboard training. During the onboard training the candidate is given the training material for the Distance Learning Program, which is to be completed and submitted to the Pre-sea Institute at the completion of each semester.
After the successful completion of all the 3 semesters the candidate has to attend 4 months of college for preparing for their 2nd Mates exams. On clearing the written and oral exams the candidate obtains a certificate of competency and is also awarded a BSc degree in Nautical Science by IMU. For more information visit http://www.imu.tn.nic.in/

Since the course itself leads to graduation, it would be best to pursue the course immediately after the 12th standard which would give the candidates a head start over the students joining after their graduation.

Q8. Do we need IIT rank to qualify, what is the difference in qualifying through IIT ranking and direct joining?

Ans. The entrance exam for Merchant navy is conducted by the Indian Maritime University and the exam is called CET – common entrance test which is a test one can take to join any shipping related stream – deck, engine, Naval architecture. This exam is conducted in December and June of each year at around 15 centers all over India. The eligibility criteria for attempting the IMU -CET are as given in Q6.

IIT-JEE exam ranking is used for joining in a 3-year BSc Nautical Science degree course at a Government institute. These institutes are few and seats limited.

Q9. I fulfill the criteria for joining so what is the process of joining Merchant Navy?

Ans.Joining Merchant Navy as a deck cadet can be done in the following ways:
Method 1:1. Apply to Shipping Company for the post of Deck Cadet or Trainee Engineer.
2. The company will invite the applicant for a selection test provided the applicant fulfills all the qualification criteria set by DG Shipping and the Company as mentioned above.
3. Applicant undergoes company selection test which includes a written test, a Psychometric evaluation, Interview and Medical Test.
4. If applicant is successful in clearing the selection test then he is told to appear the IMU entrance test
5. On successful passing of the IMU entrance test the applicant is advised to undergo a 1 year pre-sea course at an institute of the company's choice.

Method 2:6. Applicant appears for IMU entrance test.
7. Applicant passes the IMU entrance test.
8. Applicant is counseled and he is allocated a Pre-Sea College anywhere in India.
9. Applicant waits for companies to conduct campus recruitment or applies to companies on completion of the course.

Q10. Of the 2 methods described above which one is preferred?

Ans. The 1st method is preferred as you are employed by a company before having done the course, and you also have an assurance of a sea berth for completing your training. This is not the case with the 2nd method where you have to look for a job on completion of the course.
In the 1st method you are classified as a sponsored cadet.

Q11. What do you mean by a Sponsored Candidate and Non-Sponsored Candidate?

Ans. The term Sponsored candidate is used for as a candidate who will be sponsored of berth on before/completion of training and not sponsorship of tuition fees.
A candidate who has met all the qualifying criteria; will be sponsored for a sea berth by the Shipping Company.
Candidates who are in the course of the selection process will declare themselves as a non-sponsored candidate in the Form A of the IMU entrance exam. These candidates can later declare themselves as a sponsored candidate if they are selected by the Shipping Company.

The term Non-Sponsored candidate is used for as a candidate who are only doing the course but sea training is not assured by any Shipping Company.

Q12. What is Pre-Sea Training?

Ans. As per stipulations from D.G. Shipping every candidate desirous of joining as an officer or an engineer on ships has to undergo one year of pre-sea training ashore. Pre-sea training can be undertaken in any one of the approved pre-sea training institute across India.
Cost of pre-sea training is approximately Rs.3.5 to Rs.7.0 lakh and has to be borne by the candidate.

Q13. Don't you think the cost of Pre-Sea training is quite high?

Ans. You must remember that Pre-Sea training is not subsidized by the government, there are various requirements that have to be considered in order to conduct pre-sea training and the cost of carrying these out is very high and has to be borne by the institute.

Q14. Is there any education loan's available?

Ans. Yes, once you have been selected by us we can arrange for banks to give you education loans at existing market rates, you could also approach a bank individually to obtain educational loans at favorable interest rates.

Q15. Please explain the selection process as a Deck Cadet?

Ans. Selection process for a Deck Cadet is as follows:

The written test: On receiving applications, applicants are contacted and asked to send a draft or on receipt of the draft the examination date is set.

The examination comprises of:
1. A written or online test of 2 hours duration.
2. A 1 hour psychometric paper.

Questions asked in the Written Test: The Written/Online test is based on 10+2 level Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and English subjects, Aptitude and General Knowledge are also asked in the question paper. The Written/Online test paper is in the form of Multiple Choice Questions. Similarly the psychometric evaluation requires candidates to answer Multiple Choice Questions in a specific time period, there is no preparation required for a psychometric test, except for a good understanding of English.

The Interview: Applicants who pass the written/Online test and the psychometric evaluation are called for an interview. The Interview is generally held in 4 Metro's, so be prepared to travel to your nearest Metro at a short notice.

The Medical Test: All candidates who qualify the Written and Interview stage are then sent to undergo a Medical test through company appointed doctors.

Candidates will also have to undergo eyesight test conducted by the "Mercantile Marine Department" at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
On passing all the above tests/examinations the candidate is declared selected as a Deck cadet.

IMU Test: It is stipulated by the Government of India that all candidates who wish to undergo Pre-sea training as a Deck Cadet must appear and pass the IMU written test. Please ensure that you appear for this test to fully qualify.

Candidates who fail the IMU test will have the Selection nullified.

Q16. What is IMU?

Ans. The IMU or Indian Maritime University was formed by an Act of Parliament; the headquarters of the University is at Chennai with its campuses at Mumbai, Kolkata Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. Information about IMU can be obtained from their website www.imu.tn.nic.in

Q17. What happens after the selection process?

Ans. After you have fulfilled and completed all the selection formalities i.e. Fulfilling Company and Directorate of Shipping requirements, you will be directed to undergo a 1 year pre-sea training at a Maritime Institute of our choice. You will be informed about the institute in due course of time. The 1 year pre-sea course is a residential course i.e. you will be residing in hostel inside the campus.

In the 1 year pre-sea course, you will be imparted training in shipping related fields and on general related topics. It is imperative that you pass both the semesters in order to satisfy requirements for going on board ships.

After completion of the 1 year pre-sea training successfully, all your travel document requirements have to be in order before you can be placed on board ship. For this reason you must apply for your passport immediately on selection as a deck cadet or at least have your passport ready with you before completion of the 1st Semester.

Once your travel documents are ready, you will proceed for your onboard training. The onboard training period is for 18 months, during this time the company will be paying you a stipend of USD 400/- per month during your stay on board ship.

Once you complete the onboard training period of 18months you will have to appear for promotional exams conducted by the Government of India, once you qualify in this test you are eligible to become an officer of a ship.

For Career progression refer to the brochure attached, you can also visit our website www.maritimetraining.in

So to recap in order to become an officer onboard a ship you must undergo a 12 month shore based training in a Maritime college, followed by 18 months training onboard ships.

Both these training has to be completed for a trainee to qualify to appear an examination as an officer.

Q18. Which boards are not recognized by IMU?

Ans. Kindly logon to the following link to check the list of boards which are not recognized by IMU - http://www.ima-maritime.com/fake.htm

Q19. Does onboard training of 18 months to be completed at a stretch?

Ans. No, We believe that a trainee must get an all-round experience on various types of ships and therefore we have broken up the 18 months in 3 intervals of 6 months each, after completing 6 months onboard one type of a ship the trainee is sent back home for a short vacation before sending him back on another ship for 6 months.

Q20. What are cadets; are they some kind of trainees?

Ans. Yes, you are right. Trainees who train in the deck department too become Navigating officers are called "deck cadet", similarly trainee in the Engineering department is called a "Junior Engineer".

Q21. Do we have to sign a bond?

Ans. Shipping Companies spend a huge amount of resources in training its cadets and Junior Engineers so it is only natural for us to expect that the cadets once they become officers stay on with the same company and as Shipping Companies trained cadets enjoy benefits of faster promotion and continued employment in the organization it is a win-win situation all round.

Q22. What qualification will I have on completing this course?

Ans. On completion of training the candidate is awarded a BSc in Nautical Science from affiliated university and also 2nd Mates Certificate of Competency from the Govt. of India, ministry of Shipping which qualifies him/her to sail as an officer on board ships.

Q23. What are the duties of a deck officer on board the ship?

Ans. The following are some of the duties and responsibilities of deck officers on board the ship:-
o Navigate the ship from the bridge in watches (shifts) while at sea
o Ensure safety regulations are observed
o Co-ordinate cargo loading and discharge operations
o supervise the maintenance and upkeep of the ship
o Co-ordinate and supervise the activities of the crew
o Follow instructions from the captain with regards to ship operations
o Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all activities

Q24. What if I want to give up sailing in the future after becoming a Captain of a ship? Can I get employment ashore?

Ans. There are plenty of jobs available for Captains and Chief engineers ashore in marine related or engineering related fields.

Q25. How to apply for joining as a deck cadet?

Ans. Please send your CV to mail@thefirstchoice.in or log on to our website www.thefirstchoice.in to apply online. You may also download the application form, from the bottom of the same page.

Q26. Do Sponsored candidate also have to appear for the IMU test?

Ans. Yes, Sponsored candidate will also have to undergo the IMU entrance test

Q27. When selecting companies what should I look for?

Ans. Choosing the right Shipping company is the key: Join a company which provides you
o a career path and
o has a structured training program
o has a good safety and quality record
o has a sizeable fleet of ships to be able to provide continuous employment and varied experience

Check out the companies past track record. Stipend remuneration should be your least priority, if you are a well-trained officer the money will follow. The period that you spend on board as a cadet is the time for learning, what knowledge and experience you gain during this period will stand you in good stead as an officer in the later years. The company that provides extensive training is the one you should be looking for.

Q28. What is CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate)?

Ans. C.D.C means a Continuous Discharge Certificate-cum-Seafarer's Identity Document. This document certifies that the person holding this is a seaman as per The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended 1995. Every seafarer must carry this document while on board, which is also an official and legal record of his sea experience.

Types of CDC - Indian, Liberian, Panama, Belize, Marshal Island, Bahamas, Dominican Republic.

Grading of CDC – INDIAN is better than all. Liberian is better than Panama. Panama is better than others.

Q29. At what Circumstances Does the Admission get cancelled?

Ans. We follow a very clear policy of transparency. Admission can be cancelled if the student is declared Medically Unfit by our panel Doctor (approved by D.G. Shipping, India.) or Candidate fails to pass the Qualifying Examination required of him to join the course. (e.g. Degree, Diploma, S.S.C, H.S.C).

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