Nod to global convention to ward off terror attacks via sea

 To ward off potential risk of breach of security and possible terror attacks, India has approved ratification of an international convention to provide biometric based identity document for seafarers, Parliament was informed on Monday.

New Delhi: To ward off potential risk of breach of security and possible terror attacks, India has approved ratification of an international convention to provide biometric based identity document for seafarers, Parliament was informed on Monday.

About 8 lakh sea-farers will benefit from the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on seafarers identity document (SID), Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

"Government has approved...Ratification of ILO convention no 185 on the SID. The Ministry of External Affairs has been requested to arrange for the instrument of ratification and to obtain the signature of President of India on the instrument," Gadkari said.

The biometric based SID will be developed mainly to ensure a security system to "ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks", he said.

India's ratification of this convention will benefit the country's seafarers, who may otherwise find a threat to their job opportunities in the near future, he said.

The proposed SID has provisions for bar coding of the biometrics based identity of seafarers and a centralised data base maintained in the issuing country, which can be accessed globally through an inter-operable and standard biometric template.

"Indian seafarer holding SID will be able to have unrestrictive movement in foreign shores during leave, get recognition as identified seafarers in the global market and will have easy access to better job opportunities in global maritime sector," Gadkari added. 

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