Human beings have always been fascinated by the high tides and vastness of oceans. Throughout the history of civilisations they have shown remarkable will to tame these and utilise them for the betterment of culture and expansion of civilisation. But, behind all these efforts, there lay the person who very well understood the ergonomics of ships and designed the ships in a such a way that the sailors were able to conquer the world. In the modern era these persons are called Marine Engineers and the discipline they need to know is called Marine Engineering.
Marine Engineers are responsible for the safe running of ship engines, boilers, all the machineries of the ship, steam connections as well as maintenance, repair, upgradation and construction of all the relevant marine machinery. They are the overall incharge of the engine and its crew and ensure the safety and standards of the marine body. With modern development, the role of Marine Engineers has widened and smoothened, too, Electronis navigation has helped the Marine Engineering a lot.
The responsibilities of a Marine Engineer are large and therefore require some essential personal attributes. The person should have organising ability, team spirit, ability to get on well with others, be cool and cope well under pressure, should be able to handle crisis, good at conceptualising forms and structures, excellent communication skills, physical fitness and above all, liking for sea. The admiration of sea itself will develop and enhance these qualities.
The very nature of the job fascinates many youngsters to take Marine Engineering as their career. They too, like their ancestors, dream of sea faring and modern technological developments have made their dream more reachable than evey before.
The minimum educational qualification is 10+2 with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics). However, Biology at 10+2 is an added advantage. There are also certain medical norms (physical fitness) that need to be met to get entry into the Marine Engineering courses. One should have a good physique with sound health. The minimum height should health. The minimum height should be 150cms with correlated weight and proportionate chest with minimum 5-cm expansion.
There are two main training centres-Training Ship Chanakya, Mumbai and Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Kolkata - which conduct courses in Marine Engineering. The New Delhi - based International Maritime Institute also conducts courses related to the field. The degree offered in these courses is that of Engineering or B.Sc. in Nautical Sciences. A number of private institutes also offer courses in Marine Engineering. However, such courses must be approved by the Mumbai-based Director General of Shipping. It is to be noted that in most of the institutes only male candidates are allowed to carry on the courses. However, there are a few institutes, which also allow female candidates. Aspirants must check up with such institutes before appearing in the entrance examination.
Prospects and Remunerations:
A Marine Engineer has a number of options after he earns the degree. Marine Engineers primarily work in the Indian Merchant Navy. The Merchant Navy mainly comprises of tankers, liners, passenger vehicles, ore carriers and other type of specialised ships. These Merchant Navy ships are operated by public sector as well as private sector shipping companies. One has diversified option to select the ship one wants to join. A Marine Engineer enters as a Junior Engineer.
Even at the entry level, the remuneration received by a Marine Engineer is high one. A person who joins the Merchant Navy as Junior Engineer earns around Rs.25,000 to Rs.30,000 per month in any foreign vessel. But, the most important benefit is that, by virtue of travelling for more than six months outside Indian borders, he gets the status of an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) and thus gets exemption from taxes plus he also gets other benefits too. Apart from ships, Marine Engineers are also employed for the designing, research, consulting, training and education purposes in the related field.
WHERE TO STUDY
* Training Ship Chanakya Karave, Nerul, Navi Mumbai - 400 706
It offers three-year B.Sc. in Nautical Sciences, which is affiliated to the University of Mumbai.
* Marine Engineering Research Institutes, Kolkata
It offers four-year Graduate Certificate in Marine Engineering.
* International Maritime Institute, New Delhi.
* Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi.
It offers B.Sc. (Nautical Science).
Leading shipping companies that hire Marine Engineers :
* Shipping Corporation of India. 13, Strand Road, Kolkata - 700 001.
* Shipping Corporation of India. 245 Cama Road, Mumbai - 400 021
* Binny International 101, Marine Lines, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021.
* The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd. T.S.Jawahar Pilot Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai - 400 005.
* Tolani Shipping Company Ltd. 10 A, Bakhtawar Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021
* Kerala Lines Ltd. Wheel House, Indira Gandhi Road, Willingdon Island, Cochin, Kerala - 682 003.
* National Institute of Port Management Training Coordinator (Marine), East Coast Road, Ulthnadi, Chennai - 600 096.
* Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. Dredge House, Port Area, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh - 530 035.
* Poompuhar Shipping Corporation 304 - 305 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 018.
* Gujarat Marine Ltd. 6/28 Silver Apartments, Akurli Road, No.1 Kandivili East, Mumbai - 400 001.