Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships.
Union Minister of State for Shipping interacted via video conference with the Ship Liners, Shipping Companies, Maritime Associations, Seafarers Unions regarding the change of crew at Indian Ports and reconnoitered the situation of Indian seafarers working as well as stranded in the International waters.
Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) has welcomed the issuance of SOPs for sign-on and sign-off of Indian Seafarers at Indian Ports.
The unilateral MoU would facilitate unilateral recognition by another country of the certificates issued by the Directorate General of Shipping to Indian seafarers, without seeking similar recognition by India of the certificates issued by that country.
India has become the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial biometric data of seafarers.
The number of active Indian seafarers – that is Indian seafarers employed by Indian or foreign-flagged ships -has grown by about 45 percent in the last three years.
The Government has set up a mechanism to safeguard the interest of Indian crew members on board Indian or foreign ships and sailing vessels especially in exigencies like a pirate hijacking or fatal accidents.
During the Ramadan period and prior to Eid, a time for giving, sharing and family time, there remain some Indian seafarers who continue to live in desperate conditions abandoned at sea.
The shipping sector has witnessed an unprecedented growth of 35 per cent in the number of Indian seafarers employed on Indian or foreign flag vessels this year.