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India will work with Seychelles against piracy, terror

To ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Embarking on her 10-day farewell tour to Seychelles and South Africa, President Pratibha Patil on Sunday expressed the hope that it would help improve economic and strategic relations with these two nations.Ms. Patil said the Presidents of both the countries had visited India and she was "reciprocating." On her visit to Seychelles, the President said it was of strategic importance as India and Seychelles were bound together by the waters of the Indian Ocean."We are committed to working together closely in order to ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean region in the face of threats of piracy and terrorism. We are determined to continue to work with the government of Seychelles to ensure a secure environment for the mutual benefit of our peoples."She said Seychelles was also in proximity to lanes from where global trade took place. Since there was the menace of piracy and terror, India was cooperating with it in tackling them. A business delegation is accompanying the President to promote trade with the island nation.President of Seychelles James Alix Michel will be receiving Ms. Patil, who is scheduled to attend a meeting of the ...

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Setting up of Major Ports and Ship Building Yards

India's port development The Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan has informed the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply to a question that the Government has requested all Coastal States in the Country to explore the possibility of setting up a new Major Port or a new Ship Building Yard or a composite Port-cum-Shipbuilding yard in their States and submit a comprehensive proposal to the Ministry of Shipping.The Minister stated that as per Indian Ports Act, 1908, the development of non-major ports (Minor Ports) vest with the respective State Governments.The Minister has further stated that the ports and the approach channels are being deepened by Capital dredging to attract bigger vessels, Mechanization of berths by installing conveyors and pipelines are taken up, shore equipment are being added to increase the loading/unloading rate and reduce ship idle time and existing berths are being strengthened.In order to handle huge traffic at ports in the country, the Government has taken the initiative for construction / upgradation of berths, deepening of channels, rail / road connectivity projects, equipment upgradation / modernization schemes etc. , he added.Source: Press Information Bureau, The Government of India

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Piracy Bill Introduced in India

Piracy Bill 2012 - recognising it as a crime and lays down norms for prosecution of pirates Displaying seriousness to deal with piracy, the government introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that provides for recognising it as a crime and lays down norms for prosecution of pirates apprehended by Indian authorities with punishment up to life term.The Piracy Bill, 2012, has been brought as India does not have a separate domestic legislation on piracy and prosecution for piracy as a crime has not been included in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.The bill, brought in the backdrop of rising incidence of piracy including within India's Exclusive Economic Zone, is aimed at bringing "certainty" and "clarity" in the law and provides sound basis for effective prosecution of pirates held by the Indian authorities irrespective of their nationalities.The bill, moved by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, provides punishment for an act of piracy, attempt to commit piracy and accomplice to piracy and has a provision for extradition of persons involved in an act of piracy.It confers power on any gazetted officer of the central government or of a state government with ...

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Indian shipping firms to carry Iran crude despite reduced insurance

Tough new European Union sanctions Indian shipping firms will continue to transport Iranian crude even if limited insurance coverage due to tightening Western sanctions leaves them financially exposed to a spill or accident, a top executive and industry sources said.Tough new European Union sanctions aimed at stopping Iran's oil exports to Europe also ban EU insurers and reinsurers from covering tankers carrying Iranian crude anywhere in the world from July. Around 90 percent of the world's tanker insurance is based in the West, so the measures threaten shipments to Iran's top Asian buyers China, India, Japan and South Korea.The sanctions seek to stem the flow of petrodollars to Tehran to force the OPEC member to halt a nuclear program the West suspects is intended to produce weapons.Shipping Corp of India, which is the country's largest shipping firm, Great Eastern and other Indian tanker firms have asked state insurers to step in and provide up to $50 million in third-party liability coverage per tanker voyage.The amount is a fraction of the typical $1 billion coverage that a supertanker carrying around 2 million barrels of crude would have from reinsurers against personal injury and pollution claims.India's shipping companies would run the risk ...

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EU seeks bigger Indian role against piracy

More warships in the area are needed Even as India presses for "clear demarcation" of piracy-infested waters as well as clarity on the issue of deploying armed guards on merchant ships, the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) wants New Delhi and other independent players to deploy more assets to fight sea pirates in the Indian Ocean.Holding that Somali pirates had now even started carrying out attacks in the Northeast Indian Ocean region after facing heat in the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR operation commander Rear Admiral Duncan Potts said more warships in the area from independent players like India, China and Japan would be a stronger deterrent against pirates.India, however, wants all nations to come together under the UN flag to battle the menace of piracy before it becomes "cancerous" by developing a nexus with terrorism. Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, during the recent Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in South Africa, stressed the need for "clear demarcation'' of piracy-infested waters as well as setting up "standard operating procedures'' to boost inter-operability among the different navies and taskforces operating in the region.In wake of the recent killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast by Italian naval personnel ...

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Keeping the Indian Ocean safe from pirates

India and the EU cooperate to tackle piracy India and the EU will be working together to help tackle a problem that has dealt severe harm to international shippingThe worst affected areas lie off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, the Singapore Strait and Indonesia," explains the EU's new ambassador to India, Joao Cravinho.In 2011, according to International Maritime Bureau figures, there were 439 verified attacks on merchant vessels worldwide, of which 237 involved Somali pirates. Twenty-eight of the 45 hijackings happened off the Somali coast.Piracy has had a profound impact on the international shipping industry. Nagesh Rao, a senior Indian Shipping Ministry official, said shipping companies are being forced to take out war insurance to guard against the risk. Alarmed over the prospect of hijacking, their crews are demanding huge compensation.Rao said shipping lines based in the EU, South Korea and Japan have been requesting help from India in securing their ships. To date no Indian merchant vessel has been attacked, but Indian seamen have been kidnapped and freed only after ransoms were paid by their EU employers.According to Cravinho, the problem has made it increasingly harder for European shipping companies - already reeling from losses caused by the global ...

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CMA CGM Inaugurates Its New Headquarters in India

Located in Mumbai CMA CGM, the world's third largest container shipping company, has inaugurated on April 18, 2012, its new head office in India, located in the heart of the Mumbai business district.Installed in a new modern building with easy access by road and public transport, the new premises were inaugurated in presence of the CMA CGM delegation conducted by Jacques Junior Saadé and Elie Zeenny with Mr DP Goel, CMA CGM partner in India and Ludovic Renou, Managing Director of CMA CGM India.After a traditional Indian benediction ceremony, Shri. L. Radhakrishnan chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Mr. Jean Raphael Peytregnet French Consul in Bombay inaugurated the new offices and cut the red ribbon.The new office will enable teams to deliver a premium service to Indian customers. With more than 3000 sqm of modern spaces, the new design of the office is in full compliance with the image of CMA CGM offices worldwide.This inauguration was also the opportunity for CMA CGM to assert its ambitious development program for India in a challenging period for the whole shipping sector. CMA CGM support the economic growth of India connecting the country to the world with 7 weekly services. "CMA CGM ...

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India proposes norms for Indian Ocean anti-piracy patrols

Preparing a naval standard operating procedure to jointly fight piracy With the Indian Ocean region infested by Somali pirates, India is spearheading an effort to create a naval standard operating procedure (SOP) for the 32 littoral nations of the region to jointly fight the menace.The effort at preparing the SOP is currently in progress at the India-initiated Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) that is in progress in South Africa since Wednesday, according to the Indian Navy here.IONS came into being in February 2008 when India invited the navy chiefs of the 32 littoral nations, including Pakistan, for the first session of the initiative in New Delhi.The 2012 edition of IONS is chaired by the South African Navy chief. Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma is in Cape Town to attend the meet.The IONS meet was declared open by South African Minister for Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu Wednesday.The proposal for a common SOP for all Indian Ocean region's navies was made by Verma while addressing the IONS Thursday and the issue was discussed by the navy chiefs from the region Friday, and Indian Navy official said.Chairing a panel discussion, Verma highlighted the contributions of the Indian Navy in addressing ...

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IndiaUS Naval Cooperation

Counter-piracy operations Last Saturday in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, the 16th annual "Malabar" exercise started, as part of ongoing cooperation between U.S. and Indian military forces. These 10 days joint exercises will consist of both ashore and at-sea trainings, including seminars on air defence, carrier aviation operations, integrated anti-submarine warfare operations and counter-piracy operations, ending on April 16th.The U.S. naval budget has undergone cuts and the resizing of the naval fleet since 2006 has led to significant reductions in ships number, despite news of future increases.India recently increased military expenditure with the purchase of two Russian-built nuclear submarines and plans to further strengthen anti submarines capabilities. China's increased military and naval capabilities explain India's attractiveness as a partner for the U.S. in the region.Source: Neptune Maritime Security

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Indian maritime environment fragile

According to the Indian Coast Guard Sending out an early warning to the country's security establishments about the prevailing conditions on the high seas, a senior Coast Guard official on Thursday said that the Indian maritime environment was 'fragile.' Addressing a gathering of past and future mariners during the culmination of 49th National Maritime Day celebrations here, Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma, Commander of Coast Guard (East Region), said, "Not many incidents of sea piracy and petty thefts on board vessels on Indian waters were being reported to the Indian Coast Guard as much as they were reported with international organisations outside the country.""I am pained to inform you that not on many occasions, these incidents (of piracy and petty thefts encountered at mid-sea) get reported at the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) of the Indian Coast Guard," Sharma said.However, instant communication (about such events) is made to the Piracy Reporting Centre of the IMB (International Maritime Bureau) at Kuala Lumpur and ReCAAP (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia) of Singapore, the Commander said."It is important for us to neutralise any such incidents instantly rather than give it wide publicity as it ...

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