DMET-MERI Brief History
DMET-MERI A Brief History The Marine Engineering and Research Institute (MERI), formerly known as the Directorate of Marine Engineering Training, is India’s national institute for the training of Marine Engineers. It was formed on June 6, 2002, by the integration of four government-owned Maritime Institutes: L.B.S. CAMSAR, Training Ship Chanakya, MERI Kolkata and MERI Mumbai.
MERI offers a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree program in Marine Engineering admissions for which are made through the highly prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) conducted by IITs. The degree is however granted by the renowned Jadavpur University. Prior to 2000, the 4-year course was conducted under the aegis of Director General of Shipping. Based on the recommendations of the Board of Assessment for Educational Qualifications, the Indian Government’s Ministry of Education and Culture decided to recognize this course as equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering from 1983 onwards.
Marine Engineering Training in India had its formal beginning in 1927 on board the Training Ship Dufferin. 8 years prior, the first Indian owned vessel, S.S. “Loyalty” sailed out of Bombay Harbour on April 5, 1919 for London. The vessel was owned by M/S. Scindia Steam Navigation Company. The Master and the other officers were British. Subsequently, Sir P. S. Sivaswamy Iyer, KCSI, CIE moved a resolution in the Indian Legislature to train Indians for the merchant marine. The R.I.M.S Dufferin was acquired by the Department of Commerce and commissioned as a training ship. On November 23, 1927, the first batch of 50 nautical cadets joined the I.M.M.T.S. Dufferin under the command of Capt. Superintendent Sir Henry Digby Beste. In 1935,training of engineering cadets also commenced on the Dufferin with each batch consisting of 25 nautical and 25 engineering cadets. Some famous graduates were Capt. M. J. Sayeed of NOL, Vice Admiral R. D. Katari, India’s first Indian Chief of Naval Staff, DMET’s founding Deputy Directors Mr. S. Kasturi (who later went on to head INS Shivaji) and Mr. T.K.T. Srisailam. At least 8 of the Dufferin’s graduates rose to be admirals.
In 1947, the newly independent country’s founders foresaw the need for an up to date and modern Merchant Marine. Article 246 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India mandates that the Indian Union has jurisdiction and the responsibility for “Maritime shipping and navigation, including shipping and navigation on tidal waters; provision of education and training for the mercantile marine and regulation of such education and training provided by States and other agencies.”
Vast technological changes during the war years, challenges in a post-colonial world and realigned world order necessitated updated training systems. As a result, on the recommendation of The Merchant Navy Officers Training Committee constituted in 1947, by the Government of India, the function of pre-sea training of Marine Engineers was transferred ashore under a new name. The ‘Directorate of Marine Engineering Training’ commenced operations on August 10, 1949 in temporary facilities in Boribunder in Bombay and Gorachand Road in Park Circus, Calcutta with an intake of 50 students. The institute finally moved into new facilities in Taratala Road and Lower Parel in 1953. The new building in Calcutta was formally inaugurated as the Marine Engineering College on December 14, 1953 by the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru with the Transport Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in attendance. J. S. H. Stephenson assumed Directorship in Bombay with additional charge as the Chief Engineer of the Dufferin. S. Kasturi was Deputy Director with additional charge as the Second Engineer of the Dufferin. T. K. T. Srisailam, K. S. Subramaniam, Motee L. Jagtianie andB. D. Merchant were appointed as Officers in the Calcutta branch. Their vision and subsequent adoption and inclusion of modern subjects such as Control Engineering and Electronics, which were new topics in those days, lay a firm foundation for the academic curriculum at the nascent Institute.
Students had to undergo training at marine workshops during the day and attend classes by at night for 3 years of the program. The 4th year was devoted fully to classroom instruction at Calcutta. In August 1958, the intake was increased to 60 students and to 100 in the subsequent year. In 1962, an all-India entrance examination was introduced to streamline the standard of the incoming class.
Marine Engineering Training at M.E.R.I., Calcutta underwent several changes in the 1970s. In 1977-78, an expert committee nominated by Govt. of India, headed by Prof. Shankar Lal, ex-Director of I.I.T. Kharagpur, recommended changes in the D.M.E.T. course curriculum mainly pertaining to class contact hours, practical
training etc.. The successful incorporation of these changes led to the recognition of the graduation certificate of the 4 year course at D.M.E.T., as being equivalent to a first degree in Marine Engineering, by the Government of India, starting calendar year 1983.
Since inception, the Institute has had to cope with many challenges. It has had to operate with a small or flat budget, lack of funds for the modernization of infrastructure, challenges regarding content of the curriculum, loss of faculty due to retirement and better pay at sea, dilemma of developing DMET as a purely academic institution or as a paramilitary type training institute, neglect of the authorities at the Ministry of Shipping etc. But, its students developed a reputation for being the world’s best marine engineers. The Indian marine engineer became synonymous with DMET. It is no coincidence that almost every major shipping company in the world has at least one DMETian in its onshore management personnel or floating staff. Many of the world’s largest vessels: the ULCCs, are manned by Indian marine engineers. The star of DMET graduates has continued to rise, as they built up a formidable reputation for quality engineering skills. Many DMET graduates went on to found marine engineering workshops, build successful companies, develop surveying standards, and of late, make the transition to the New Economy by pursuing successful careers in Management.
As part of a revamping of the entire marine engineering training process in India, in October, 1991, the Government of India appointed a Committee on Maritime Education and Training – COMET, under the chairmanship of Dr. Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, ex-Secretary General of International Maritime Organization, to study the current status of all Maritime Training Institutes in the country and present recommendations. Based COMET’s finding, the Merchant Marine Education and Research Trust – M.M.E.R.T., was formed with the assistance of ship owners’ associations, as a first step, towards the formation of an Indian Maritime University, which will, in the future, supervise and control maritime education at Indian Institutes.
The four government owned Maritime Institutes, namely, L.B.S. CAMSAR Mumbai, T. S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai, M.E.R.I. Kolkata, and M.E.R.I. Mumbai were integrated under the auspices of the Indian Institute of Maritime Studies(IIMS), a society registered under the Society Registration Act 1860, on June 6, 2002. The dilemma mentioned above has been debated by mariners and other practitioners.
The decision has been taken to start a Deemed University with headquarters in Chennai and subsequently to a full fledged University. The society is at present functioning through the Board of governors, which have broad based representation including representatives of Government, Shipowners, professionals etc. The Minister of Shipping is the President of the IIMS and The Secretary(Shipping) to the Government of India is the Chairman of the Board of Governors.
With the advent of liberalisation, many more private Marine Engineering colleges have been established all over India, some of whom have invested in quality equipment and dedicated faculty. This has been augmented by Shipping Companies, who have set up their own training centres in India, many of them running very high quality training courses, including pre-sea and post-sea training.
Directors of the Institute
The Institute has been headed by some of India’s most respected marine engineers. All of them possessed the Extra First Class Engineer’s qualification, which was the highest qualification that marine engineers could aspire to. With the Extra First Class Engineer’s examination no longer being offered by the DoT, UK, India’s Director General of Shipping has taken steps to replace the Extra First Class Certificate of Competency with the Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Operation and Management offered by IIT as its equivalent.
J. S. H. Stephenson
T. K. T. Srisailam
K. S. Subramaniam
S. D. Srivastava
S. Ganguly (acting)
D. C. Agnihotri (acting)
B. N. Bera
Training Marine Engineers for the World
M.E.R.I. has a large Workshop with adequate machinery, equipment and Steam and Diesel power plants for training and to meet I.M.O. and A.I.C.T.E. requirements. In addition, students also visit marine workshops for on the job training. Adequately equipped laboratories are provided for cadets/students to conduct various practical experiments. Class rooms and teaching aids are in compliance with A.I.C.T.E.’s requirements.
The Ministry of Education and Culture accorded approval to the graduation certificate issued by the Institution as being equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering with effect from 1980-1983 course for the purpose of recruitment to superior posts and services under the Central Government.
The Graduation certificate issued by the Institution also received recognition from The Institution of Engineers (India) as an exempting qualification from their A & B examinations from 1982 onwards.
In order to meet the IMO requirements for Marine Engineers working on board the ship the training curriculum in this Institute has also been oriented to comply with the requirements of the STCW 95 convention. For Quality accreditation, the ‘System Manual’ and the ‘Procedure Manual’ have already been prepared and the Institute is a certified ISO-9001 institute. It also complies with the Indian Government’s Right to Information Act.
The selection for admission to the 4-year course leading to B.E. (marine) Degree at these Institutes will also be required to furnish details in a separate ‘Form’ issued by Indian Institute of Maritime Studies.
There are 120 seats available in T.S.Chanakya, Navi Mumbai, 120 in MERI, Kolkata and 40 in MERI, Mumbai. Out of these, 10 seats are reserved for foreign nationals in T.S. Chanakya, MERI, Kolkata and MERI, Mumbai the details of which, can be directly obtained from Indian Institute of Maritime Studies. Of the remainder, 15% are reserved for SC and 7-1/2% for ST, as per Government of India rules, subject to availability of suitable candidates.
Candidates should have cleared their 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and with minimum age as mentioned in prospectus with relaxation of 5 years for SC/ST candidates. The application form along with the information brochure giving the details of the Training Programme at the above three Institutes, Medical standards etc. can be obtained from the designated branches of Syndicate Bank all over India.
LAND AREA: 33 acres (approx.) fully residential institute at P-19, Taratala Road, Kolkata 700088 with hostel facilities for 600 cadets.
LABORATORY: State of the art laboratories _ Mechanical Lab, Hydraulic Lab, Heat Lab, Electronic Lab, Electrical Lab, Control Lab, Boiler Lab, Computer Lab, Marpol Lab, Fire Fighting Lab, Simulation Lab, Seamanship Lab.
LIBRARY: The institute has a large, full fledged technical library and services comparable to the very best in the country in terms of books, journals, videos and periodicals etc.
WORKSHOP: There is an in-house workshop with a Test Rig, Diesel Engine and working models of ship machinery and components.
HOSTEL: Residence in the hostel is compulsory and in dormitories for men and women.
UNIFORM: Cadets must wear uniform throughout their period of training.
DISCIPLINE: High standard of paramilitary type of discipline is maintained in this Institution. All cadets must carefully read and understand the standing orders, rules and regulations etc. and abide by them at all times. The Director reserves the right to impose on a cadet punishment including fine, suspension and dismissal from the training in the event of any breach of discipline.
The DMET Vernacular (in a lighter vein)
Cadet: A Student at DMET
LC: Leading Cadet
JCC: Junior Cadet Captain
CC: Cadet Captain
SCC: Senior Cadet Captain
Stud : Stud , Alpha Male
Khud : Slouch
First Year : Freshman
Second Year : Sophomore
Third Year : Junior
Fourth Year: Senior
OIC: Officer in Charge ( usually of certain designated functional areas such as Hostels, Exams etc)
Lending: The act of carrying out ( by a first year) menial tasks assigned to him by a Senior Cadet.
Lendu: Someone who is perpetually involved in Lending
Telu: Someome who is adept at massaging egos – usually that of a superior ( a cadet from senior batch, an OIC etc) – in order to curry favours
Pimp : A Snitch – a Telu on Steroids – A Telu with more ambitious goals combined with aggressive methods to attain it.
Jahannum Chowk: An infamous intersection close to the junior hostel, where innocent first years are preyed upon for lending
Supplee: A supplementary exam one has to take when he flunks an exam
Suplee King: The Cadet in each batch with the most number of cumulative supplees
Supplee Seva Samiti: A committee of noble first years who work in a coordinated fashion to help the senior supplee holders with their supplees.
PGM : Presidents Gold Medal – supposedly The Ultimate Prize on the cadet’s horizon – Awarded each year (almost) to the Cadet likely to become the finest marine engineer – Most of these gents subsequently leave shipping, to pursue some other career ! It is especially interesting to note, that given the ‘behind the scenes’ maneuvering that goes on to secure this award, it is sometimes referred to as the Pimp’s Gold Medal.
The Marine Engineering Training in India had its formal beginning in 1927 on board the Training Ship ‘T.S. Dufferin” which provided facilities for training both of nautical and engineering merchant navy personnel. The main consideration, when this Training Ship was inaugurated, was mainly to inculcate sea-sense in cadets.
With the country obtaining Independence in 1947, it was realized that the newly
independent vast country was in need of a large Merchant Navy. At the same time vast technological changes brought in by the gigantic war efforts of the developed countries during World War II, also showed inadequacy of the training systems. As a result, on the recommendation of Merchant Navy Officers Training Committee’, constituted in 1947, by Govt. of India, immediately after independence, the function of pre-sea training of Marine Engineers was transferred to ‘Directorate of Marine Engineering Training’ from the year 1949 with its headquarters in Kolkata and a branch at Mumbai.
Marine Engg. Training at MERI, Kolkata has undergone several changes in 70 – decade. In 1977 / 78, an expert committee nominated by Govt. of India, headed by Prof. Shankarlal recommended certain reorientation in Course curriculum, Class contact hours, Practical Training / Pattern.
(MHRD accorded approval to graduation certificate issued by the Institution as equivalent to First degree in Marine Engg. with effect from 1982-entry for the purpose of recruitment to the Senior posts and services under Central Govt.)
(The Graduation certificate issued by the Institution also got recognition of The Institution of Engineers (India) as an exempting qualification from their A & B examinations from 1982 onwards.
*Further the course has also got the approval of AICTE.
*In order to meet the IMO requirements for Marine Engineers working on board the ship the training curriculum in this Institute has also been oriented to cover the STCW 95
*For Quality accreditation the ‘System Manual’ and the ‘Procedure Manual’ have already been prepared and the Institute is in the process of getting ISO-9000 certification.
33 acres (approx.) at P-19, Taratala Road, Kolkata 700 088.
4 Nos. which can accommodate 120 cadets & 10 Nos. which can accommodate 40 cadets.
State of the art laboratories _ Mechanical Lab., Hydraulic Lab., Heat Lab., Electronic Lab., Electrical Lab., Control Lab., Boiler Lab., Computer Lab., Marpol Lab., Fire Fighting Lab., Simulation Lab., Seamanship Lab.
Facility of full fledged technical library comparable to the very best in the country is available to the candidates in the training center and services available in terms of books, journals, videos and periodicals etc.
Fully equipped in-house workshop having Test Rig and working models of ship’s machinery and component parts.
Residence in the hostel is compulsory. Final year cadets are given single seated rooms while junior cadets share accommodation in the hostels. All cadets are required to be members of the joint mess run by the cadets which is subsidised by Grant-in-Aid from the Govt. A cooperative store is run by the cadets for their benefits. All cadets are required to be members of the cooperative store.
Cadets must wear uniform throughout their period of training. At the commencement of training, articles of uniform as per printed “list of uniform” of this Directorate are to be purchased by the cadet.
High standard of paramilitary type of discipline is maintained in this Institution. All cadets must carefully read and understand the standing orders, rules and regulations etc. and abide by them at all times. The Director reserves the right to impose on a cadet punishment including fine, suspension and dismissal from the training in the event of any breach of discipline.
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