India with a long coast line and extensive network of port infrastructure provides tremendous potential for sea trade. The Merchant Navy fleet of the country comprises of around 480 ships and categories viz. passenger ships, cargo liners, tankers, ore carriers and other specialised ships. These ships are managed and operated by private and public sector shipping companies and are manned by efficient and technically qualified personnel. The deck department of the ship is manned by Nautical Personnel, the engine department by the Engineering Personnel and the Saloon department by the Rating/Crew specifically trained for the purpose. The Directorate General of Shipping under the Ministry of Surface Transport is responsible for ensuring standards of training for the Indian Merchant Navy. The requirements of trained manpower in Merchant Navy are met with through Government Training Institutes like, T.S.Chanakya, Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI) and various other institutes in private sector.
The cadets on their successful completion of training at these institutes are directly employed onboard various foreign going Indian and Foreign Flag vessels. After acquiring requisite sea time and obtaining the certificate of competency in the respective discipline, they can rise upto level of Master, Chief Engineer and even further more, as the case may be of a Merchant Navy Ship with handsome salaries and status.