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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Set sailing on a challenging career

Article Collected by - Education is My Passion

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A career in shipping is not only satisfying, but also challenging, writes SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE  

RIGHT OPTION: A career in marine engineering is glamorous and has all the adversities to give the thrill of real life adventure. 

From the days of Christopher Columbus to Vasco da Gama, shipping has played a vital role. Initially, ships were used for exploration and discovery of new lands and civilisations. Later, it became the main lifeline for inter-continental trade and development. Today, it is believed that ‘without ships, half the world would starve and half the world would freeze'. At present, the shipping industry caters to over 90 per cent of the world trade.

This makes a career in shipping not only satisfying, but also challenging. Conquering the high seas has been the dream for generations, and a career in merchant shipping satisfies that desire. It is glamorous and has all the adversities to give the thrill of real life adventure. It not only promises lucrative pay and perks (with income tax exemptions), but also long paid leaves to be with the family.
Basically, there are two entry points: Deck side and engine side. On the deck side one joins as navigating officer as early as 18 years and could rise to become the master or captain by the age of 30 years. Similarly in the engine side one becomes a chief engineer by the same upper age.

Navigating officers

The duty of navigating officers revolves around navigation of the ship and management of its assets. The navigating officers are responsible for ferrying the cargo and the passengers (in case of passenger ships and cruise liners) safely to the destination and loading and unloading of cargo.

The minimum qualification is 10+2 with 60 per cent aggregate in mathematics, physics and chemistry (MPC) and one should be over 18 years and below 25 years. The eyesight should be a minimum of 6/6 and no colour blindness. There are many institutes catering to the programme and one has to clear the entrance test conducted by Indian Maritime University (browse application dates and procedures) for admission into the institutes.

IMU itself has got campuses at Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam. The students are subjected to one-year pre-sea (on land) training as per the norms of Director General Shipping, followed with 18 months of on-board training. After the completion of 18 months of on-board training, the students have to undergo a four-moth preparatory course at any of the DGS approved post-sea maritime college before joining a ship as second mate. Subject to completion of all the training modules, the students will be awarded a B.Sc degree in nautical sciences.

Engineering officers

A marine engineering officer is responsible for the running and upkeep of the engines, generators and other machinery on board. The minimum qualification is 10+2 with 60 per cent aggregate in MPC. The age limit is from 18 to 25. BE or B.Tech engineers (Mechanical or Marine) can also enrol, subject to the maximum age limit of 25 years.

The entrance test is again conducted by IMU, but at the same time a few private institutes (approved by DGS) do conduct their own admission tests.

Apart from the BE and B. Tech students, who have to undergo only one-year on campus pre-sea study at any of the DGS approved institutes, the others have to take up the four-year technical course at the institutes. This will be followed by six months of on-board training and MEO class IV part B examination (sea competency course) before joining a ship as full-time marine engineers.

Top institutes

Indian Maritime University (Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and Kolkata) -
Anglo Eastern Ship Management (Mumbai)– www.angloeasterngroup.comor
Tolani Maritime Institute (Induri – Maharashtra) –
Sailors Maritime Academy (Visakhapatnam) – www.
Praveenya Institute of Marine Engineering and Maritime Studies (PRIME) – Visakhapatnam.

Source : The Hindu

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