Merchant Navy

DNS (Diploma in Nautical Science)

DNS (Diploma in Nautical Science) started with the objective of producing more Deck officers for the Shipping industry globally because of the high rise in demand for seafarers. The initial stages as always come with difficulties and challenges for any program, so it came with DNS too. India was creating a good number of Deck officers globally but was not able to provide jobs to all, which was the drawback for the DNS course at that time. The only way to deal with the drawback was to provide jobs to all and that’s how the government came up with the rule that if you want to pursue a DNS course you will have to take sponsorship first from a company which means you will have a job before even getting into the college and now India ranks 3rd globally for producing Deck officers for the shipping industry. Now let us discuss what exactly DNS is and how one can make a glorious career in Merchant Navy by pursuing DNS.

Introduction to Diploma In Nautical Science (DNS)

Diploma in Nautical Science is an undergraduate course of one year. The course consists of two semesters and provides an opportunity for class 12 students to pursue a career as a Deck Officer. The one-year pre-sea training course is followed by 18 months of sea time training, during which cadets are entitled to a stipend and free boarding and lodging. Upon completing 18 months of pre-sea, the candidate obtains an Advanced Nautical Technology Certificate. Subsequently, you are eligible second mate CoC examination for the post of 3rd mate conducted by the Mercantile Marine Department of the Government of India.  

After completion of on-board training of 18 months, a cadet must obtain an SSTP completion certificate from the institute and must attempt/ appear for IMU Semester III, IV & V Exams.  Subsequently, the cadet has to attend 4 months of post-sea (shore-based) training (Semester VI) which is the preparatory course for the ‘Second Mates’ examination conducted by the Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS), at approved institutes. The cadet also has to complete mandatory STCW courses (ROC/ARPA, GMDSS, PSCRB, AFF, MFA, and ECDIS) for his/her ‘Second Mates’ (Foreign Going) license which takes approximately 2 months. 

On successful completion of Second Mates examination and STCW courses, a cadet is awarded Second Mates (F.G) Certificate of Competency by D.G. Shipping, Govt. of India and qualifies to join any seagoing vessel as a third officer. 

After completing all six semesters, a cadet is awarded a degree of B.Sc. (Applied Nautical Science) by Indian Maritime University.

DNS Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria of DNS course are as given below: –

AGE The maximum age is 25 years, and the minimum age is 17 years on the date of commencement of the course. A relaxation of 5 years for SC/ST and 2 years for women candidates.
Educational qualifications At the 10+2 level, A minimum of 60% in aggregate ( min 70% in AEMA and 65% aggregate) in PCM subjects is necessary to apply for a DNS course.  A candidate who has completed B.Sc. in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry or Electronics (with Physics) from a recognized university, with an average of more than 50% marks in the final year and more than 60% as a PCM aggregate at 10+2 level.  A candidate who has completed a B. Tech degree from a university recognized by UGC with a minimum of 50% in the final year and more than 60% marks in PCM at the 10+2 level.
English Candidate should have obtained not less than 60% marks in English as a separate subject, at either 10th or 12th standard or in the Degree course conducted by a recognized Board/   University. No relaxation for SC/ST candidates in English.
Physical fitness and Medical Criteria Candidates should be physically fit with 6/6 eyesight without visual aids and no color blindness or night blindness, as specified by DG Shipping.

DNS Admission Procedure

For admission in the DNS course, one needs to have the sponsorship of a shipping company and also must have cleared IMUCET (a good rank helps in merit).

Talking about IMUCET (Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Examination), It is an examination that takes place all throughout the nation, conducted by the Indian Maritime University. The duration of the examination is 3 hours, and it consists of 200 MCQ format questions which are divided into sections of Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry, Aptitude, and General Knowledge. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers but there is always a chance of change in pattern in the future. For example, during the pandemic period, the IMUCET exam could not be conducted, and students were given awarded ranks as per 10+2 basis (called Normalization).  For DNS aspirants, IMUCET is conducted twice each year in the month of June (for the August batch in which around 50000 students apply) and December (For the February batch in which around 15000 students apply). 

For more details for the IMUCET exam click on the link below: –


Now for admission into the DNS course, the second most important part is getting a sponsorship from a good shipping company. 

First, Let Us Know What is Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a process in which shipping companies have already selected you as a future employee before the start of your pre-sea training. This means that the company has already provided you with a job offer and you do not need to worry about placements after the completion of the course. In simplified terms, it means getting campus placements even before joining the college, which is one of the biggest advantages of the DNS course. So, the question of JOB SECURITY never arises in your mind. 

How and When to Apply for Sponsorship?

The application process for sponsorship starts much before the IMUCET exam. So, one must be very vigilant as different shipping companies and colleges take out their forms at different times.  Below we will be mentioning the best colleges and shipping companies for the DNS course, with their website links, and please also find below the link of the telegram group “IMUCET DECODED” which is a must for all the IMUCET aspirants as this group is being mentored by Chief Engineer Praneet Mehta.

To obtain sponsorship, one must clear the online test, psychometric test followed by an interview, and medical rounds for that particular shipping company. So, the challenge is if you have applied for the sponsorship for three shipping companies, even though the exam pattern may remain the same that is online test followed by a psychometric test and then followed by an interview round, but the questions asked by the companies can be entirely different. For example- Scorpio focuses a lot on aptitude and reasoning questions whereas Anglo Eastern focuses on Mathematics a lot and on the other hand Great Eastern focuses on GK, Current Affairs a lot. The challenge does not end here, it’s the interview that tests your excellence where one can be asked anything from nontechnical questions like introduction, strengths, and weaknesses, why merchant navy to technical questions like simple trigonometric formulae, Reflection, Refraction, Questions from GK, Current Affairs, Geography, and the list goes on. So a student must not only be good at communication skills but have a good understanding of subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. 

NOTE: – As per Chief Engineer Praneet Mehta who is the founder of Merchant Navy Decoded and the Director of JMDi Academy Dehradun ( it is the sponsorship that defines your career. Getting sponsorship from a good shipping company means your future is in safe hands. It is better to wait or quit on your dreams, than joining a bad shipping company or taking a shortcut to get into the merchant navy.

Please note, sponsorship does not mean that the shipping company will be paying for your education.  The good news is that educational loans can be obtained from any bank explaining that The DNS program eventually leads to a BSc Nautical Science degree. Since it is a common misconception that it is a Diploma Course only and one cannot go for higher studies in future.  

If you want to know more about education loans visit the link down below to read the whole blog regarding education loans.

Reputed Companies Offering Sponsorships are Listed Below:-

Companies offering SponsorshipsColleges
Anglo-Eastern group Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA).
Great Eastern Shipping Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies (GEIMS).
Executive Ship Management Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS)
Synergy Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI) and   International Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida, TS Rahaman.
Scorpio TMI, Applied Research International (ARI), and IMI Noida, TS Rahaman.
Shipping Corporation of India Shipping Corporation of India – Maritime Training Institute (SCI-MTI)
Torm Shipping ARI, Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)
Fleet Ship Management ARI, International Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida and Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), TS Rahaman.
Dockendale Ship Management International Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida 
Mediterranean Shipping Company International Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida , Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)
Tolani Shipping Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)
Wilhelmsen Ship Management. Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)
MSI Ship ManagementInternational Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida 
Pacific International LinesInternational Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida 
MMSI ShippingInternational Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida 
V ShipsInternational Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida 

Sponsorships are essential for a secure future in shipping. The college will ask you to submit the documents regarding your sponsorship and other personal details, after which the candidate will be asked to take admission to the college. It is important to note that the Government of India has made it mandatory for students to obtain a sponsorship before joining DNS pre-sea training.

Best DNS Colleges

Given below is the list of all the DNS colleges that are recommended by Merchant Navy Decoded and other relevant information regarding those colleges. These colleges have been shortlisted on the basis of their facilities, infrastructure, faculty, and training standards. DNS aspirants should attempt to achieve one of these colleges given below, rather than settling for something lesser. 

• Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA)– It is considered the best training institute today, and has its own shipping company (Anglo-Eastern Ship Management), which has more than 700 ships in its fleet. It is in Karjat, Maharashtra. For the August Batch total of 160 candidates and for the February batch total of 80 candidates are selected. Anglo-Eastern Ship Management is the only company providing sponsorship in AEMA. 

AEMA Campus - Best DNS Colleges
AEMA Campus 

The college offers :-

 • Good employee treatment once placed in the company. 

 • Institute of one of the biggest shipping companies today. 

 • Top of the class training facility. 

It conducts its own examination named Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA) online written test. The DNS course fees in this institute is around 7.60 lakhs.

 AEMA DNS Admission Procedure:

Senior School Certificate/
Higher Secondary Examination/
Class XII/ 10+2

From a recognized Board/ University with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM), with not less than 70% marks in PCM and 65% aggregate/ Equivalent GCE – UK “A” level/ International Baccalaureate Diploma
Online Entrance Test The test consists of 2 sections,  for a total duration of 3 hours.  Part-1  Topics  English, Aptitude, and Mechanical   Engineering Topic.  Duration: 2 Hours  Marks  Total 100 Marks (No Negative marking   applies)  Levels  The level of difficulty for this test is based on the Degree level Syllabus. Part-2  PSY Test  “Personality based   questions” Duration: 1 HourPanel interview  Shortlisted candidates who’ll pass the online tests, shall be notified via email to appear for   an interviewMedical Examination and Eye-test  Candidates, who’ll pass the interview, will be directed to undergo a medical examination conducted by   Company-appointed doctors will also be conducting an Eye Test that conforms to the requirements of medical examination rules of the Directorate General of Shipping.  (

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