Number of seafarers rises to 2.08 lakh: Govt

Number of seafarers rises to 2.08 lakh: Govt

Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya. (File Photo)

The initiatives taken in the last four years have resulted in an increase in a number of Indian seafarers to 2.08 lakh, and the count will reach five lakh in the coming years, the government said on Wednesday.

The sector is seeing major developments in the areas of coastal shipping, inland waterways and other maritime activities. This is leading to a generation of employment in the sector, which is evident in the growing number of Indian seafarers in the international shipping industry, Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said.

"Maritime sector is a very big opportunity for employment generation. The initiatives taken by us in the last four years has resulted in an increase in seafarers from 1 lakh to 2.08 lakh.

"Today we have reached 2.08 lakh. In the coming years, we will take it to 5 lakh. Five lakh youth will get job opportunity in the maritime sector," the minister said.

He was speaking at the launch of the world's first-ever face recognition based seafarer identification document in India.

India has become the first country in the world to issue the bio-metric seafarer identity document (BSID) capturing the facial biometric data of the seafarers.

The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two-finger or iris-based bio-metric data.

Till now the seafarers have issued a Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) booklet, like a passport, which also works as their identity document.

"With this unique, I card for the Indian seafarers the job opportunities will also open outside India as they will go with clarity and the entire history of the candidate will be provided through the card," the minister said, adding that for the ease of doing job, a very big arrangement has been made.

The new smart card-based identity card will have the biometric chip embedded in it.

Bio-metric seafarer identity document introduces modern security features and a record of each seafarer identity document issued is maintained in a national database and its related information is internationally accessible.