MANET: A Beacon of Excellence in Maritime Education and Training 

Established in 2001 at MIT, Kothrud Campus in Pune, the Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training (MANET) was founded with the aim of producing skilled and dedicated seafarers for the global shipping industry. Presently, MANET is located at the scenic Rajbaug campus in Loni-Kalbhor, Pune, and is affiliated with the esteemed MIT Art, Design and Technology University. The institution holds approval from the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, and is also certified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan.

MANET is committed to providing STEM-based education to its cadets. One of its standout features is the presence of a real ship on campus, known as the Training Ship Vishwanath. This unique facility allows cadets to gain firsthand experience and practical training in line with industry requirements, familiarising them with the actual operations of ships. The ship-in-campus training is invaluable for aspiring seafarers as it exposes them to real-life working conditions aboard vessels.

Another remarkable asset of MANET is its state-of-the-art 360-degree simulator, which provides cadets with astonishing simulations, preparing them to adapt to various situations they are likely to encounter while at sea. Additionally, the institution boasts several well-equipped laboratories that offer hands-on training to cadets, ensuring they acquire practical skills.

To deliver high-quality education, MANET has a dedicated faculty comprising competent and experienced professionals. They strive to leave no stone unturned in imparting knowledge and skills to the cadets, ensuring they become not only knowledgeable but also proficient in their respective fields of work.

Comprehensive Curriculum and Practical Training

A comprehensive and practical curriculum and training program are indispensable when it comes to honing the skills of young cadets who aspire to make it big in this industry. MANET believes in imparting training in such a way that students are not only able to work safely and effectively with respect to technical skills but are also well-equipped to make sound decisions, be team players and manage minuscule tasks on board the ship with ease and sincerity.

MANET has two programs, namely B.Tech (Marine Engineering) and B.Sc. (Nautical Science). B.Tech is a four-year program that is designed for aspirants who wish to work with the humongous machinery of the ship. They are valuable engineers who are responsible for the maintenance of the ship and ensuring that it sails in a safe and secure manner. Meanwhile, B.Sc. Nautical Science is a three-year program that is specially designed for young cadets who wish to eventually sail as captains or masters of the vessel.

The eligibility criteria to join these programs is as per the Directorate General of Shipping, India guidelines. Aspirants need to have a minimum of 60 per cent in PCM and 50 per cent in English to qualify for the program. They also need to clear (IMU CET) entrance examination and meet the criteria set with respect to medical fitness. They need to have a valid passport during admission. These stringent norms ensure that aspirants are qualified and have an aptitude to work on board ships.

The syllabus for these programs is designed as per IMO Model courses 7.04 and 7.03, thoughtfully adhering to industry guidelines and approved by the Directorate of Shipping, Govt. of India. Weightage is given to both theory and practical. Advanced State of the art 180 degrees Bridge Simulator, along with a real-life replica of the Ship named T.S Viswanath Ship- in- Campus, is stationed at MANET to promote realistic training. Cadets are also trained to be disciplined and assertive through their daily activities and well-mapped schedule. Physical training, Sports, training sessions in swimming and a well-equipped gym ensure that cadets maintain the physical fitness that is an essential part of the life of officers on board vessels.  Regular up-gradation of the syllabus also ensures that cadets are aware of latest trends in shipping field and are well armed to deal with both traditional and modern-day issues that they might encounter in their everyday work.

Focusing on Keeping Cadets Updated

The Merchant Navy industry is constantly evolving, with changing dynamics and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and modern machines. In order to keep pace with these advancements, MANET remains vigilant and makes necessary modifications to its syllabus and curriculum. These changes are submitted for approval to the Directorate General of Shipping (D.G. Shipping) and implemented once approved. Additionally, several activities are carried out to ensure that cadets stay informed about the changing demands of the industry.

MANET organizes a National Level conference on global trends, encouraging cadets to conduct research and participate in paper presentation competitions. The institute leverages industry experts, both internal and external, who are invited as guest speakers on various occasions, sharing their valuable real-life experiences and imparting the latest knowledge to the cadets. Students are also encouraged to participate in conferences related to the Merchant Navy, benefiting from the learnings shared at these events.

Moreover, MANET boasts a well-equipped laboratory housing prominent Marine magazine, motivating cadets to enhance their knowledge through monthly publications. The faculty at MANET adopts innovative teaching methods and incorporates the latest developments in their everyday teaching, enabling students to connect traditional and modern aspects of the Merchant Navy.

To further enhance practical skills, special training sessions are organized through the School of Corporate Training and Innovation (SCIL, MIT ADT University), providing hands-on training opportunities for cadets.

MANET’s Approach to Maritime Education

The modern maritime industry is undoubtedly becoming more complex with each passing day. However, these complexities are both inevitable and necessary for the progress and development of the industry. Rather than fearing these complexities, MANET emphasizes teaching cadets to embrace them and work alongside them. This approach ensures that cadets not only deal with the challenges but also thrive with a solid understanding of technology.

MANET implements a comprehensive training program designed to impart technical knowledge and skills to cadets. In addition to technical training, cadets receive education in mental health. They are made aware of the importance of assertiveness, stress management techniques, problem-solving, and decision-making. The institution encourages cadets to enhance their leadership skills through various courses and training programs. This holistic approach equips cadets to be both technologically adept and mentally resilient, enabling them to excel and make their mark in the maritime world despite its complexities.

Adapting to Technological Advancements

The maritime industry is currently experiencing significant changes, largely driven by technological advancements. With the increasing influence of digitalization and decarbonization, ships are required to navigate an ever-changing environment. Consequently, the skills of maritime professionals must align with these evolving needs. To meet these requirements, Maritime Education and Training (MET) institutes must adapt and provide the necessary training and retraining.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) emphasizes the importance of a quality, motivated, and appropriately skilled labor force for the thriving of the shipping industry. MET institutes develop their syllabus in accordance with the Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STCW) regulations, focusing on the delivery of IMO Model Courses. The STCW Convention and Code, along with its amendments, serve as the international benchmark for the training and education of seafarers. The 2010 Manila amendments were a significant revision aimed at ensuring the Convention and Code remain up to date with recent and foreseeable developments in the industry.

Emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), present new and exciting possibilities for maritime training. As amendments are made to the STCW Convention, these technologies will gradually be incorporated to enhance training methods and provide more effective learning experiences for seafarers.

Empowering Cadets for Successful Placements

Placement holds significant importance in the cycle of any university, and at MANET, the team is dedicated to providing 100% placement assistance to its cadets. When a company approaches the institute or when the institute approaches a company and receive their requirements for cadets, MANET meticulously gathers complete details about the company. Based on their specific requirements, MANET selects cadets who not only excel academically but also possess a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. To ensure their subject knowledge is up to par, it engages an external agency to conduct mock interviews.

Now, let’s delve into the inspiring story of Abhishek Mantri, a B.Tech. cadet who currently heads the Cadet Development program at Maersk Tankers and serves as the chief cadet placement officer. During his time at the institute, Abhishek encountered significant financial challenges that posed numerous obstacles. However, his sheer determination propelled him to pass all his subjects with excellent marks and secure a position at a reputable shipping company. Presently, he has transitioned to a shore job with Maersk and confidently supports his family. Abhishek’s success story is just one among many, highlighting the journeys of cadets who overcome adversity and thrive.

SCIL takes care of developing employability skills, aptitude, logical reasoning, and other crucial aspects. They provide additional hands-on training and safety-related instructions to the cadets. SCIL also prepares a detailed report on the cadets’ mock interviews, which is then handed over to the cadets for self-improvement and course correction.

Embracing Inclusion and Diversity

The Merchant Navy is a versatile field that not only accepts diversity but thrives on it, making it one of the few industries today with such a characteristic. At MANET, inclusion and diversity hold great importance, and it is deeply embedded in our core values. Our vision is to establish an academy that promotes a culture of peace, encourages values, and produces marine officers who exemplify world-class leadership, earning the trust of our customers.

The commitment to inclusion and diversity begins right from the first semester at MANET. Cadets come from different parts of the country and learn to live cohesively, regardless of their caste, religion, or gender. In fact, MANET takes pride in having the highest number of female cadets among all maritime academies. The placement of girls from MANET in top-notch companies is envied by others, reflecting the recognition of their talent and potential. Cadets are encouraged to participate in various cultural and extra-curricular programs and activities, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation for diversity.

To promote gender sensitization, MANET provides training to cadets in line with the guidelines of the Directorate General of Shipping (D.G. Shipping). We celebrate and appreciate the diverse backgrounds, states, cultures, and most importantly, the amalgamation of differences among our cadets during events and programs. This contributes to a culture of sensitivity and respect. At MANET, cadets feel a sense of belonging and, unknowingly, embrace and practice the values of diversity and inclusion, making it a home away from home.

Recognition for Offering Excellence 

MANET has received several prestigious recognitions and awards for its outstanding contributions in the field of maritime education and training. In 2014, the Devang Mehta Foundation bestowed upon MANET the ‘Education Leadership Award,’ acknowledging its excellence in educational leadership. The following year, in 2015, ABP News recognized MANET as the ‘Best Maritime Training Institute,’ highlighting its exceptional training programs and industry-relevant curriculum.

MANET’s commitment to providing a top-quality learning environment was further acknowledged when it received the ‘Best Campus Award’ from ASSOCHAM in 2017. This award recognized MANET’s campus infrastructure, facilities, and overall conducive learning atmosphere. In 2018, MANET was honored with the prestigious ‘Best Private State University in India Award,’ reflecting its commitment to providing quality education and holistic development to its students.

Additionally, MANET has been granted an A1 or Outstanding rating by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), further validating its commitment to maintaining high standards of education and training. These recognitions and awards serve as a testament to MANET’s dedication to excellence in the maritime education sector.

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