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State-of-the-art technology gives INS Shivaji an edge


By Sangeeta Saxena Published: December 2012

New Delhi. Naval power has long been a key advantage for any nation and the 20th and 21st centuries are seeing an avalanche of new naval systems.


The Indian Navy pioneers in keeping the man behind the machine compatible with the state-of-the-art technology. Peaceful, picturesque hills and environs of the Sahyadri range in the Western Ghats, between Mumbai and Pune near Lonavla is where the Indian Navy trains men to be friends with their machines.

The Naval College of Engineering is actually part of the Navy’s Engineering Training Establishment, designated INS Shivaji, located there. An ISO 9001:2000 facility, it imparts training to technical officers and engineering sailors of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard and personnel from foreign navies also, including Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Maldives, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and some others.

INS Shivaji conducts 81 courses with an annual throughput of approximately 5,500 personnel. The role of the college is to impart training in engineering and marine technology to both officers and men whilst simultaneously ensuring a balanced overall development of individual personality and naval values. To this end, the establishment conducts ab-initio and specialisation courses for officers and sailors.

The spectrum of officers’ training encompasses cadets training, professional graduate level training at the Naval College of Engineering and post graduate Marine Engineering Specialisation Course (MESC) at the Centre of Marine Engineering Technology. It also conducts the entry-level courses for sailors starting with DEME courses of six months’ duration to three-year diploma courses for Merged Artificer Apprentices.

In addition, specialisation and qualifying courses are conducted for sailors in the mid-level for varying durations from six to eleven weeks.

The Naval College of Engineering was commissioned by the late Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon long back. The name of the college has changed from Engineering and Electrical College to the present one, the Naval Engineering College later.

INS Shivaji had its humble origin as replacement for the ‘Stokers’ Training School’ at HMIS Dalhousie, in Naval Dockyard, Bombay (now Mumbai). Commissioned by the then Governor of Bombay, Sir John Colville, as HMIS Shivaji on 15 February 1945, it became INS Shivaji on 26 January 1950.

Since then, the institution has dynamically evolved into a premier technical training institution of the Navy keeping pace with the fast changing technology in all facets of marine engineering.

To provide scope for further expansion and to isolate the trainee sailors from the country’s politics, the Royal Indian Navy decided to shift the training establishment from Bombay to a quieter place. While the Britishers were on the lookout for a suitable location, coincidentally an air accident took place in the Sahyadri Ranges. Those who came to investigate the accident found more than what they sought. Sandwiched between a sheer vertical rock face, covering the entire height of the hill range (the Tiger’s Leap) on one side and another imposing rock formation (the Duke’s Nose or Nagphani) on the other, here was this flat piece of land.

No wonder this spot was immediately finalised for the establishment by Commander Nott, Chief of Staff to the Flag Officer, Bombay.

Lt Cdr Joe Nuttal was given the responsibility of executing the move under the guidance of Lt Cdr John Coverdale Smith, the officer-in-charge of the Mechanical Training Establishment, who went on to become the first Commanding Officer of HMIS Shivaji.

At Shivaji, the philosophies of ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ and ‘Work is Worship’ have been amalgamated to form the ‘SKILL AT WORK’ motto.

The arm wielding the hammer, rising above the water, signifies the human power and the dexterity of the man behind the machine, denoting a meaningful liaison between subtle skill and gross power.

The 1000 plus strong Sagar Prahari Bal, the Navy’s security force formed after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai to protect country’s coastal areas, also undergoes training at INS Shivaji. Operations and maintenance of equipment in technical training courses is also imparted.

The campus has a Naval Engineering Museum that depicts evolution of marine propulsion and Naval engineering systems and a Motivation Hall which provides glimpses of the evolution of INS Shivaji. Other facilities include an Olympic- size swimming-pool and a Watermanship Training Centre located at Shivasagar dam. There is an outdoor classification range and an indoor firing range.

Spread over 876 acres, INS Shivaji has three institutions, the Naval College of Engineering, Centre of Marine Engineering and Technology, and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence (NBCD) School. There is a Cadets Training Department too.

The Naval College of Engineering undertakes B.Tech. courses at the entry-level for technical officers’ entry into the Service. It is affiliated to JNU. The faculty is a mix of (Defence Research and Development Organisation) DRDO scientists and Naval officers.

The Centre of Marine Engineering Technology (CMET) is a vast facility equipped to undertake ab initio, qualifying and marine specialisation courses for officers, sailors and civilians. It also undertakes a specialised pre-commissioning training of officers and sailors on actual equipment fitment onboard war vessels prior to appointment.

The training wings also include the EPCT School. It has a Cadet’s Training Department which is similar to an Officers’ Training Academy which undertakes training of cadets in personality development, leadership qualities and waterman ship, so as to groom them into effective leaders of men and efficient managers of technology.

The NBCD School imparts training in nuclear, biological and chemical aspects, damage control and fire-fighting. It has a world class damage control simulator namely Akshat. It is an excellent facility for practical training in simulated damage control procedures onboard ship.

Notably, all combat assets of the Indian Navy, including warships, have NBC safefuards.

Needless to say, INS Shivaji plays a key role in marrying minds and technologies.

  © India Strategic  
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