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Education

Deckside education gives navigational expertise to aspirants in phases from a cadet to a master of the ship. The pre-sea courses are of a duration ranging from three months to three years. The person has to undergo adequate sea-time depending on the course to become eligible for the next level. Three months courses are carried out by many institutes in India that mainly require job sponsorship from a shipping company, which is a member of Indian National Shipowners' Association (INSA), Foreign Shipowners and Management Association (FOSMA) and Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA). After attending the course, the person joins as a cadet on the ship, where he undergoes an onboard training for the next three years. He becomes eligible to undergo the course for the next level of Second Mate.

At present, three years degree course in nautical science is conducted in only two institutes in India. "Training Ship Chanakya" was the only institute till 1999 to offer this course. It is the first Government institute offering the maritime course in India. The person taking the course joins the ship as a Cadet and after completion of one year seatime becomes eligible for the level of Second Mate.

The next level courses and examinations are conducted by the post-sea training institutes. These consist of familiarization, modular and competency courses. After STCW'95 Convention of IMO, these post-sea training institutes started mushrooming, owing to the liberalization policy taken up by DG Shipping. The only Government institute offering this course is Lal Bahadur Shastri Advance Nautical College, Mumbai.

The posts of deck side officers were monopolized by OECD nationals because of their leadership quality, experience, good training standards and knowledge of English. They were preferred and got respect across the world and were highly paid for the same. With the loosing of interest in the offshore career by OECD nationals concomitant to the cost reduction strategy taken up by the shipowners worldwide, other nationals also entered the international field. Indian officers have created their own place in the international seafaring market with good training standard, fluency in English and comparatively low wage level.

Engine side Education

Engine side gives support to the deck side for smooth running of the engine and technical parts of the ship. The hierarchy in the ship starts from the level of Junior Engineer leading to the Chief Engineer, who is responsible for the engine side. Engineering graduates in electronics, electrical or mechanical streams can undergo the six months pre-sea training about the ship in an institute like Marine Engineering and Research Institute (MERI), Mumbai to join the ship at the Junior Engineer position. The marine engineering graduation course gives direct eligibility for the person to join the ship. The Government institute offering this course is Marine Engineering and Research Institute (MERI), Calcutta.

The post sea courses for the engine side are also conducted in the same institutes where the post-sea courses for deck cadets are offered. Some of these post sea courses are for both deck side as well as engine side candidates. These courses are offered in many colleges mainly after the liberalization of maritime education in 1997. The Government college offering these courses is Lal Bahadur Shastri Advance Nautical College, Mumbai.

Ratings Education

Ratings are the supporting people to the officers of both sides of the ship i.e. deck side as well as engine side. In India, 12 DG Shipping approved colleges give the pre-sea rating training. There are very few exclusive rating training institutes in India as that is not a high profit area for the businessmen. Training Ship Rehaman is the first Indian maritime training institute, which is the first institute to provide pre-sea rating training in South-East Asia also. The post-sea certified level rating training is offered in the officers' post-sea training institutes only. The ratings after completion of the requisite sea-time, with the sponsorship from the shipowner can undergo the pre-sea officer level course to enter that cadre.

Philippines supplies maximum ratings to the industry. Being a maritime nation, shipping is a preferred career in Philippines, where the community is English speaking, hardworking and ready to work on wages far below the world standards. Comparatively, Indian ratings are not much in demand in the seafaring market