Minister of Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya launched the Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) project in New Delhi on August 28, handing over new BSID cards to five Indian seafarers.
The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two finger or iris based bio-metric data, with modern security features.
The Minister said, “The shipping sector is seeing major developments in the areas of coastal shipping, inland waterways and other maritime activities. This will lead to generation of employment in the sector, which is evident in the growing number of Indian seafarers in the international shipping industry.”
In the last two years, the number of Indian seafarers employed on Indian and foreign flag vessels increased by 35 percent to 208799 in 2019. The new BSID cards will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.
A record of each SID issued will be maintained in a national database and its related information will be internationally accessible.
The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015.
In India, the BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai. Nine data collection centers have been setup at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla for issue of BSID.
Every Indian seafarer who possesses a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by the government is eligible for issue of a BSID card. The Ministry plans to provide the cards to eligible seafarers within the next two years.
Sea News, August 29