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Coordinates: 22°30′58″N 88°18′40″E 22.515991, 88.311029


Marine Engineering and Research Institute

  • Location & Contact Information
    • Address, Directions, & Map:
      • P-19, Taratolla Road, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    • Telephone Numbers:
      • (033) 2401 4673/ 4674/ 4675/ 4676/ 4678/ 3677, 2401-1943/ 1944/ 1945
      • (033) 2401 4431/ 4333 (fax)
    • Official Website: [1]
  • History & Memorable Moments

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. [1]

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." [1]

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 and B. 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. [1]

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 Image:DMET docs.pdf 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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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