Merchant Navy is a vast industry in its own right. It needs a huge number of people to run efficiently and hence offers a job opportunity in a myriad of specialties. The chance of sailing to different locations, have a good career and earning opportunities appeals to many youngsters.
People can join merchant navy right after 10th pass to after graduation. Please check your vision, should be normal or corrected by a lens not more than +/- 2.5. You should be unmarried Indian Citizen and have a minimum of a ship orientation course.
You need to choose a basic B.E degree stream that deals with ships and people involved in it. This would include mechanical, civil, electrical, marine, naval, nautical and harbour engineering-related degrees. You can also look at human resource management, catering etc.
The pay packet and rules depend on the level of education and the rank of your starting job. The starting pay for a fresher as an engineer would be around Rs 30 -40 thousand and in around 8 years time can reach a salary of 4 Lakhs/month This comes with an attractive set of benefits (free accommodation, duty-free goods to purchase and use and leave of 4 months in a year. Recently merchant navy income is also being taxed (there are various rules, you can check it).
The government colleges include College of Engineering, Anna and Andhra University, Indian Maritime University, Mumbai and Calcutta (also referred to as MERI and DMET), International Maritime Academy, Chennai.
The other good colleges include
Tolani Maritime Institute
Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training
Hindustan Institute of Maritime Training
This is a very good link give you an idea as to how to join merchant navy as an officer with an engineering degree and the salary at each level (http://www.maritimetraining.in/engineer-officer.htm).
Some officers join the merchant navy, reach the level of Captain and then settle down as academic teachers at the well known maritime colleges.