India: Biometric Based Seafarer’s Identity Document To Be Developed

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 10th June 2015, approved the Ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 185 on the Seafarers Identity Document (SID).

A biometric based seafarer’s identity document will be developed, mainly, to ensure a foolproof security system to ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks. India’s ratification of this Convention will benefit Indian seafarers, who may otherwise find a threat to their job opportunities, in the near future, in the global maritime sector if India doesn’t ratify the Convention.

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The proposed SID has provisions for bar coding of the biometrics based identity of seafarers and a centralized 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 the global maritime sector. Around 1.8 lakh seafarers will benefit from the ratification of this Convention.

The SID project is proposed to be taken up in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). The SID is proposed to be issued from the three enrolment centres (offices of the Shipping Master at Mumbai, Kolkota and Chennai). The issuance of the SID involves the collection of biometric and demographic details of seafarers, their verification and then issuance of SID to them. The total number of Indian national seafarers who will be required to be issued SIDs will be around 1.8 lakh. SIDs will also be issued to new seafarers, thereafter.

The SID project will be self-sustainable and will not entail any expenditure by the Government.

Reference: pib.nic

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