Merchant Navy

Top 10 Government Merchant Navy Colleges in India

Last Updated on September 21, 2019 by Amit Abhishek

There’s no better job than being marine engineer or merchant navy officer; if you want a lavish life style, handsome salary, better career growth, time flexibility, work culture and opportunities to travel across the world. It’s almost a dream come true for many who failed to selected in IIT’s for various reasons.

Looking back in time, it was just a bare luck to know about it and join merchant navy. I was unaware of this field as an option that time. I believe its the same for most for you.

Being a merchant navy officer or marine engineer from any D.G approved college makes you eligible for this job. But having a government backed institute really have an impact on campus selection. Placement statics raise from 60% to 90-95% in government marine institute. I learned it hard way how it can accelerate your carrier growth; when it was too late to decide. So to help you out; I will discuss all aspects of this carrier with top government institute and how to join them.

What is merchant navy?

In simple word’s it is the other name for commercial shipping/Merchant Shipping/Merchant marine. It is an operation of assisting global trade by non-military ships. Transportation being the sole force behind economic prosperity; its important to keep this economic engine moving. Ships are what global transportation is based on; after all it accounts for more than 90% of total commercial transportation across the globe.

With high demand and enhanced safety standards, merchant navy have become one of the best option to pursue as a carrier. It’s a vast industry with ships carrying cargo ranging from wines, woods, grains, finished good to oil and gases. Ships are advanced sophisticated piece of machinery which require skillful labor for operation and maintenance.

Difference Between Navy and Merchant Navy?

After telling what merchant navy is all about; I have a gut felling that you have some idea between their differences. But to make it even clear and detailed; let’s dig deep into the main differences between Navy and Merchant Navy:-

Merchant Navy
  1. It is the naval division of combined armed force of a nation.
  1. It is the naval element of global commercial transportation.
  1. Their main task is to secure the interests of their country in national and international waters.
  1. Their main interest is to make money.
  1. They are under supervision and control of their national government.
  1. They are run by big commercial shipping companies.
  1. Every nation maintain a level of training for navy cadets based on their country.
  1. They maintain a minimum training standards based on international shipping laws.
  1. Have large amount of main power for task like arms, engine, deck and galley.
  1. Maintain only the minimum amount of crew on board required by law at all times. It is generally 20-25.
  1. They are bound to national interests, laws and orders.
  1. They are bound to international laws for pollution, safety and shipping.
  1. The applicant must be citizen of the nation to join Navy.
  1. The applicant may or may not be the citizen of that nation.
  1. They are paid as a regular soldier or officer.
  1. They are paid on a contact basis.
  1. Have lower pay scale but with many other benefits.
  1. High salary with no othe incentive.
  1. A navy officer can easily join merchant navy after retirement.
  1. A merchant navy officer can never join navy.

-> Above all they have similar but different ranking structure.

Merchant Navy Salary and Carrier Graph

Marine engineering carrier graph
Image Credit: Neeraj Singh, Marine engineer from MANET, PUNE.

One of the most common and fascinating question asked by dedicated students; who wants to pursue their carrier in this field. It’s a simple and obvious question which arise in all of our minds; even me before pursuing my carrier as a marine engineer. Based on the hierarchy of ranks, it can be in between 15,000 to 15,00,000 rupees (Indian) per month.

Crew on the bottom of the rank chart or so called UN-licensed deck/Engine staff like Boson, Trainee O.S, Able Seaman, O.S, Wiper, Motor man, Engine and deck cadet get lower income. While on the top like captain and chief engineer earn 10-15 lakhs on a monthly basis. In engine side a junior engineer can start his/her carrier at 30 to 40 thousand and get promoted to the rank of chief engineer over 10 to 15 years of work experience.

There’s a constant growth among ranks and salary with lots of added benefits. For example; you not have to pay taxes on your income if you sail on a foreign going vessel. Actually, according to the laws of different country including India; you are exempted from any taxes if you live more than 183 days outside India or that country of nationality.

It will develop your personality as; its not just a carrier but a life style which will make you smart, teach team effort and give chance to meet new people across the world.

How to Join Merchant Navy?

A job in merchant navy either in the form of marine engineer or deck officer is a lucrative offer. You need to acquire decent amount of knowledge with spirit to work even under bad sea condition. You need to be conscious, aware and watchful at all times; as working at sea demands those qualities from every person on-board ship. Working on ships can master your skills and let you meet people across the world.

One can join merchant navy after His/Her diploma, Intermediate (12th) or graduation. While you can join after graduation or diploma, its always preferred and better to join merchant navy course after 12th. It has become one of the popular courses to do after 12th. One can pursue one of the following courses to join merchant navy:-

  1. Bachelor of Nautical Science
  2. Bachelor in Marine Engineering
  3. B.Tech in Naval Architecture
  4. B.Tech in Marine Engineering

Bachelor of Technology in Marine Engineering is a four year course offered in many government and private col ledges in coastal India. It is the course of proficiency for class four marine engineer as per the norms of D.G Shipping (Govt of India). On another hand; Bachelor of Nautical Science is a three year course for proficiency in deck officer as per the norms of the D.G.Shipping.

Admission Procedure

The admission procedure includes online-offline examination, Psychometric test, Interview and medical Examination. The entrance test questions are all multiple choice question similar to that in JEE Mains (But a little easier). Questions are asked on basic educational knowledge at 10th and 12th standard including English, science, math, G.K and reasoning.

All selected candidates are then asked to go through a medical examination and then alloted confirm admission. Medical test include checking of eyesight, blood, any sign of disease, signs of hernia or minor/major medical condition. They will also look for your age, height, weight along with other medical conditions to meet the medical standards set by D.G. Shipping (Medical Examination Rule 2000).

Entrance Test (Tips and Myth’s)

A lot many candidates with relatives in merchant navy know a fact; that its quite easy to get job if you have a relative in the field. It’s not 100% true but not false either; But you won’t get the job if you don’t get the admission or simply don’t pass the competitive exam. Each year thousands of candidates go through these tests, of whom only a few hundred succeeds. Don’t worry; here i am to guide you through the process.

The test consist of four section with fifty questions for each; General awareness, Science, Mathematics, English and reasoning. Its better to start from general knowledge and reasoning as they are fairly moderate (Difficult) while others are considerably easy. (Maybe this is what i feel during my test 7 years before).

Keep an eye on the clock as you only get two hours to solve the paper. If you don’t know the answers don’t hesitate to guess (there is no negative marks). It has been found in various studies that most likely the correct answer in multiple choice question is either B or C. See for the trend in question you know answers of and act accordingly.

Top 10 Government Marine Colleges in India

Merchant navy is a vast field with lots of economic and job opportunities. You will always get a job but having a government college to back is always helpful. These institutes have better placement records (Campus) and a trust value that won’t let you wait for your first ship or get job from outside (Off-campus).

Back in my time i was literally unaware of these colleges (which i learn only i join merchant navy) and regret for the first year in my college. So to help you choose the best out of best, I have came with a little list of top 10 Government marine colleges in India:-

  1. Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata
  2. Indian Maritime University, Vizag Campus
  3. Indian Maritime University, Chennai Campus
  4. SCI Maritime Training Institute, Mumbai
  5. College of engineering, Andra university
  6. RL Institute of Nautical Science, Madhurai
  7. D.R B.R.Ambedkar institute of technology, port blair
  8. Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Mumbai
  9. Indian Maritime University, Chochin
  10. SCI Maritime Training Institute, Kolkata
Female Ship Crew
Female Crew Operating Marine Sextant

Is Merchant Navy Safe For Girls?

Giving a thought to join merchant navy knowing its a men dominated profession is itself a bold move. Women have gone out of their comfort zone to join different carrier in the last decade. In fact around thousand women are working in this field; which is only going to expand in near future.

I expect you would like to female mariners views, but as a male marine engineer its even harder for me to know all your concerns. The only concern i can think of is safety and work. Yes working as a girl on board is not that easy, you are expected to prove yourself while adjusting to work side by side to other male counterpart. I know it can be hard some times you can’t have everything separate; you have to share something with other crew out of your comfort zone.

I have worked on one of my sail with a senior marine engineer (Female); she was really professional and help break the slightest of stereotype i have in my mind. Yes there had been incidents in the past when some drunk crew misconduct with fellow female officer. Things have changed, strict laws are placed on board for their safety.

Nowadays the only thing you had to sacrifice is your personal and social life; as you will be almost cut off from the rest of the world for months. I would say; go out near harbor, see ships, watch videos and get feeling of life on board ship and if you feel like to join, go ahead.

Is Merchant Navy a Good fit For Me?

No matter how your school was, how intelligent you are and how much marks you get in 12th. If you do have a right attitude, willing to work and medically fit – Its natural to join merchant navy. Suppose you are weak in science (PHY+CHEM) but average in mathematics go ahead for nautical science. If you have passion for machinery and tools, stay interested in technology then marine engining is a best fit for you. If you lack even that, go ahead and start from oiler, fitter, ordinary seaman etc.

There is always a job for you in merchant navy with more than what your friend with 20-30K expects; provided you have the required work culture, willing to learn and right attitude. After all its your personality and nature which plays role in merchant navy. If you have a love for adventure, sports, visiting new places, interacting with people; you are good for merchant navy.

Even if you don’t have the above quality don’t be disappointed, I am with you on the same ground. It took me two months to adapt to ship culture as its never that hard to adapt. So don’t hold yourself back and say good bye to old school eight to eight hectic work schedule.


Research have shown that the demand for merchant ships is only going to increase in the future with little bumps on the road. There will be times with economic and transportation loom; but demand will only increase in the long run. With up coming growth in shipping industry with sophisticated equipment’s and modern navigation system; more and more experienced knowledgeable people will be required on ship.

Therefore young students will find easy to get job in off-shore, on-shore, main fleet and other shipping industry. There is a boom coming at the horizon after this looms ends around 2020. Its the perfect time to get into this field which provide financial stability from the start of your carrier. There’s a new world order waiting; be prepared and explore the world that you only see in televisions and magazines.

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116 thoughts on “Top 10 Government Merchant Navy Colleges in India”

      1. Yes, there is an option for a diploma in marine engineering after 10th but need 60% overall passing %. Good Luck!

    1. While the requirement vary from university to university ( vary from 50 -75 % ); but in general 60% is required to join merchant navy.

  1. What are the syllabus and what to study for The Merchant Navy entrance test I am now in 11th science and preparing for merchant navy sir please give me the required information

    1. First its nothing special in terms of examination. All question asked in the examination are from 11 and 12th standards ( PCM ) so just study what you are taught in school; and you be just fine. The only extra they ask is the general aptitude + G.K and little bit of English; which won’t be a problem for someone like you.

    1. Any thing is good as long as you feel its worth giving your time effort and something of your interest. For example i had an interest in engines machines and tools together with the intrest in merchant navy and so i go for marine engineer while many of my friends are in deck side perusing nautical science.

        1. IMU-CET, I have written in detail how to prepare for this exam on one of my older articles. Just search on this site for “IMU CET”. The Registration process will start in April while exam will held in Jun 2020. Best of Luck!

          1. Since you have said you are already a graduate and from BMS stream you are left with option to join the ship as an ordinary seaman and proceed through the ranks.

  2. Sakshi Pradeep Gurav

    Sir, can you please provide me information about merchant navy colleges in which girls are trained ?

    1. Almost all major maritime institute allow women / Girls to take admission. But the best way would be to give exam for IMUCET and pick a college from there. Only a handful of college such as great eastern and samudra institute don’t allow for girls; on other hand SCI, Anglo eastern give scholarship to girls.

  3. Sir if in eye checkup a person is not able to read a givtn something by experts then what happens??..
    Can a man with spectacles join??

    1. In marine engineering or engine side cadet it is allowed till some power 6/9 without spects and 6/6 with spects in eye but you have to say good bye to deck department because there they need 6/6 vision. But you can get it fixed by laser treatment as here unlike traditional navy it is allowed to use laser technique to fix your vision.

  4. Sir , I am a girl and I want to join merchant navy through nautical science, but the problem is that I am not getting which government college is best and how to apply for the college

    1. In government college there is no other alternative to IMU CET Exam. Yes if you want to go for private institute there are many options of which i would personally recommend Tolani; not because its good campus or have good faculty but it provide 100% placement guaranty. It’s so because the one who can’t get placed is directly accepted by Tolani Maritime shipping company. So i would recommend to fill the IMU form, give exam and alongside apply for Tolani Maritime Institute. Any way best wishes and best of luck !

  5. Hello! I’m sourabh joshi an engineering student and pursuing my final semester of my automobile stream and by 15 of may I’ll complete my degree too . I’m looking my career in merchant Navy governed by govt authority. Now, is it possible for me to join merchant Navy as I’m doing engineering in automobile stream and if yes , then please guide me

    Sourabh joshi

    1. Sourabh It’s easy as you just have to do a GME ( Graduate Marine Engineering Course ) and then you are eligible for applying for job interviews and pursuing company to join. Basically it’s a complete 1 year course to teach all the required information about marine technology and how to maintenance ship engine and accessorizes. Best of luck !

    1. It is not best to study in private college but certainly not that bad too. Its like if you can get in for government colleges why to go for private college which are good but take more fees.

  6. sir i had just passed my 12th and i want to make my carrier in merchant navy. As the information provided by you is very helpful.Can you tell me the questions asked in IMU CET 2019. So that i can prepare thoroughly.

    1. I have already told in brief in one of the comment reply but Since i have been receiving lots of similar request even in mail i will soon post a new article about the same.

  7. I am weak in phy and chem but good in maths but in class 12 i got 47 marks in class 12 with over all 72 % please suggest me which course is easy for me.

  8. Ishwarpreet Singh

    sir i have 72% in higher secondary and i am 22 years old so could you suggest me which course would be beneficial for me as minimum age to join merchant navy is 25 years. which would be best for me according to my age ( Diploma in nautical science or bachelors of nautical science

    1. Concerning your Age if you want to join in quick you should definitely do the diploma course but if you manage to secure 3 year bachelor course from government institute then its a pretty good option as it ensures 90% placement against 50-70% in diploma course. Otherwise you had to pay to agents to get your seat in any ship. I hope it helps!

    1. You should apply the IMU-CET Examination and any other examination of top private merchant navy college like Tolani. That’s All ! Just fill the form, get selected in examination and pass the medical then; you just have a few years to study before joining the ship. I have done it and so can you; its not that hard. I have already discuss in brief in the article. Good Luck !

  9. Sir can u tell me that,
    does all the courses are expensive and if yes then how can we get admission in government college and which post has good financial status from beginning. Sir plzz help me about this.

    1. Diploma are less expensive than others but if you go for gov college as i mentioned their names above you can save a lot of money. Just fill the form of IMU-CET and secure a higher rank much like the jee-mains. And of the salary diploma holder start from lower position so less salary at start but in long run its all the same.

  10. Ankit chaudhary

    dear sir
    I complete 10th graduate in got 75 percent then 11th class science stream bio and phys,chemsitry should I join in merchant navy

    thank you

    1. Yes why not many of my fellow seafarers are from bio stream. Its just that you can’t pursue marine engineer just me but there is another option of nautical science for the deck people. For your knowledge let me remind you captains are from deck side. So best of luck young boy!

      1. sir my friend waana join merchant navy but theres a little bit problem with him he don’t have fingers in his left hand but he is from pcm can he join sir please guide and he is obc or sc st

  11. My rank is 2985 in IMU CET 2019. What are my chances in getting admission in one of the top ten
    government colleges given that I am medically fit and OBC.

    1. Well that rank in hand you can hope to get a chance if in waiting list ( If seats not fill up ) otherwise its gonna be tough. But don’t worry there are a lot more college in the list to choose from; its just they are not the very best but still good. Wish you a very best luck!

    1. Yes you can, but with specs on you should have 6/6 for engine side ( many rules apply and they will ensure your eyesight will not degrade in future; only 1/10 such case pass ) or get a lazer treatment 6 month earlier than you apply for the course. In fact one of my friend had too bad vision before lazer but he is good now and currently on sail. So get your eyes fixed with lazer treatment, do not worry its not not defense navy where they don’t accept 6/6 visiion with lazer treatment, here in merchant navy no one cares how you get 6/6 naturally or through some treatment. All that matters is 6/6 vision! I hope i answered your doubt, and thanks for sticking with us!

  12. Sir, i got 59 marks in pcm in 12th. I really want to join merchant navy please suggest me some good colleges.i got 716 rank in imu-cet .and i am from obc category.

    1. Well i think you might just miss some institutes by 1% due to PCM 60% requirement. Well for your rank i am suggesting you some really good colleges within IMU; 1. C V Raman College of Engineering, Bhubaneswar 2.Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy, Mumbai 3. Maritime Training Institute, (SCI) Mumbai, 4.Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI, IMU Kolkata campus) 5. Indian Institute of Port Management 6. Indian Maritime University – Visakhapatnam Campus 7. National Maritime Academy or IMU Chennai campus 8. Maritime Training Institute, (SCI) Tuticorin 9. Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune 10.The Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies, Mumbai.

      As you asked for good colleges i include both private and government colleges. But the college i recommend to stay away from is “Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training, PUNE”. I can say that; because i have studied from there and it keeps getting in and out of IMU affiliation due to Poor and inconsistent placement record, otherwise a good college.

  13. Sir,

    I really dont know much about Merchant Navy .My son is Pursuing +2 in (PCM).While going to internet i found their are two lines one is officer Rank(after +2) and another is engineering which one do you recommend?

    1. Both have their plush and Minus. IF your ward or son is passionate about ships in sense more towards how does it work, what are its parts etc then i can say he should be in engine side ( Marine Engineer ) but he wants to be in this field to be financially stable, learn new things, prove himself, face challenges and good in team spirit then he is suited for deck side. Choosing deck will lead him to be chief officer and later captain while choosing engine will make him 2nd and chief engineer. I am personally a marine engineer, many a friends are from deck side so it doesn’t matter much at last as long as you are in this field. Being engineering degree just give me extra protection as i can go and switch my field which deck officers can’t so easily. Don’t worry let him choose what he want, most institute allows top 10% ( Top scorer ) to switch stream if he or she want after 1st semester.

  14. hello sir, sir i have complete this year.i want to do GME. actually sir i want to know that after the completion of graduation does 12th marks mattesr?

    1. Good Question, It depends as if you have great records in graduation with proof of extra curricular activities or voluntary service of any kind they won’t see your 12th results. In fact i had to give 7 interviews in different companies before finally getting a chance to join; and no one ever asked or see my resume. So i can say that 90% of chance they don’t even bother looking; unless you talk about anything related to past. Only time it ever matter is before interview as 15% companies look for 12th and Graduation marks together; for short listing candidates for interview.

  15. Whether all top 10 govt colleges give 100% placement? Which is safe in placement aspect to study in govt college or private college like samudra ? How is family life of marine engineers?

    1. Yes all government colleges give 100% placement guaranty provided you were eligible for appearing in interviews. Meaning you should be all clear in subjects by the time company visit your campus. On another hand private colleges provide 100% placement assistance which mean they will try their best but can not guaranty anything. And about the life of marine engineers we ( My friend arpit actually )are currently writing on it and will publish soon.

    1. Different institute have different fee structure for bsc nautical so there is no fixed number to give. But vary in-between ₹ 50-150000 per semester.

  16. My pcm percent is 59 %and I belongs to sc category and now i have admission in imu chennai in bsc nautical science …can I get a good placement ?

    1. Well there is no reservation or preferential treatment in placement as per the law. So unless you have someone close in the shipping company working in their placement office; you will have to just study hard ( Never fail in any subjects ) and good ( Above 60% marks in aggregate ) just like most of us. So yes you can get good placement being an average student.

  17. thanku soo much for your guidelines.Now its clear to me.if you dont mind can we talk only for 2 minutes.It would be more helpful for me.

  18. Atharva kulkarni

    Hellow Sir,
    I want to join merchant navy but i am not having a proper knowledge of colleges but i want to complete DNS will you please prefer a better college for me which will give me a better placememt.

    1. As told earlier there is no match of IMU goverment institutes when it came to placement. But since not everyone can get into them i will also suggest Tolani, great eastern institute and other private and semi private institute affiliated to IMU.

    1. Yes you can but only if you want to be on deck side meaning pursuing nautical science and not marine engineering. For marine engineering you must should have math as your main or 6th subject. Do not worry you be just fine with nautical science as you can become deck cadet, chief officer and captain but not fourth engineer and chief engineer. If you are preparing for IMU-CET do not forget to read my old post “How to prepare for IMU-CEt” on this site.

        1. I think you don’t read the article thoroughly and just ask question. Under admission procedure topic i have clearly mentioned about the medical procedure ( physical criteria required for merchant navy ) with a link. Just follow through; you will get the answer.

    1. Just simply continue with the studies. You are lucky to get sponsorship, you should be proud not confused. Anyway if you wish you can change your company in future.

    1. Even you know its not good enough but still asking! Anyway its an average college with little to no past ( Meaning its quite new ). Can’t comment on its placement but i am sure it won’t be too good but you can take your chances. Good luck!

    1. Registration for IMU-CET Jan/Feb Batch for DNS will start on the second week of December and entrance exam will be conducted in the first week of January.

  19. As I am a PCB student am I eligible to apply for the courses or do I need to give the exam for 12th standard again?

  20. Hello sir, I completed my btech in Electronics and Communication engineering. Can I join merchant navy and which college is best which have good facilities and low fees. Can i take the study loan by the bank.
    Please Guide Me sir!!

    1. You need to get a diploma degree in marine engineering or nautical science. Any bank can give you a loan for that diploma course which itself doesn’t cost more than 2-3 lakhs even with private college.

  21. Sir currently I am in class 12 and hoping to get 90% or above surely.My height is 174 cm but my weight is somewhere around 52-54kg.Am I eligible for joining merchant navy?

    1. Apply for IMU_cet prepare and join reputed college. You can find how to prepare for IMUCET on this site ( just search for it in search bar ).

  22. Hello sir, I completed my 12 in 2019. And I have 1year gap , so I can give imu_cet exam and also can I get admission in gov. College

  23. I want to join in merchant navy with bsc nautical science is amet university,chennai is best either tell me best collages in india for bsc nautical and my eyesight is not6/6 is bsc nautical best for me

    1. Amet university is good but since you already said your eyesight is not 6/6 then you might won’t pass the eye test during admission. You could still treat your eyes with laser therapy and apply. I can say it because one of my batchmates had undergone such treatment before admission and he is now sailing for 3 years with no issues. Anyway best of luck!

  24. 1. Is AMET University reputed and provide campus selection for BSc. Nautical Science?
    They are telling MAERSK is in collaboration with them and will provide selection to MAERSK for BSc. Nauatical students.
    2. Is it true or necessary to get sponsorship from shipping companies before doing course? Is their any such sponsorship?
    Pls reply.

    1. AMET University is good not as best as other gov colledges but still quite good for studies and placement. About sponsorship programs; there are many companies ( anglo eastern, V-Ship, Wallem, Wilhelmsen etc ) that take individual scholarship exams on top or against the IMUCET exam. These scholarship exams are not meant to finance 100% of your educational cost but to ensure a 100% guaranteed placement.

  25. Hi sir may i known government training institution for admission after 10th or 12th for my brother and even he has one big mark on his leg so their is any problem in medical

    1. Government colledges have better placement rates ( 98% average ) in comparison to private colledges with just 82% on average ( Min:56% Max 90% ).

  26. sir i completed my intermediate in 53% and i completed my B.SC in 70%
    my age is 22 years
    any chance to join merchant navy ?

  27. Sir I wanted to know about the medical criteria for merchant navy ,because in my recent findings from SSB(service selection board) medicals state that my right kidney is smaller than average , although my RFT’s and KFT’s are normal.
    Sir can you please guide me ,that should I appear for merchant navy exams with the same.

    1. You can go for the merchant navy under this condition as long as you do not have any further complications. Your current situation may disqualify you from a few international shipping companies which has set higher medical standard than average. Otherwise it’s fine.

    1. You need to have 60% average in PCM for most cases but many private institutes take you for as low as 50%. Good Luck!

  28. is there any way of entering these colleges after not getting a 60% aggregate in PCM ?
    I am about to give a re-test for phy which will balance the criteria as I only need 12 marks more
    would that work?

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