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India takes measures to prevent piracy at sea

India participates in the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia The Government of India has initiated various preventive/mitigating security measures to deal with piracy at sea. These are as follows:An Inter-Ministerial Group of Officers (IMGO) has been set up to deal with hostage situation arising out of the hijacking of merchant vessels with Indian crew on board.Issuance of Notices by Director General of Shipping detailing elaborate anti-piracy measures (Best Management Practices) including safe house/citadel.Banning of sailing vessels to ply in waters south or west of the line joining Salalah and Male.Naval escort provided by Indian Naval Ships in Gulf of Aden.Enhanced vigil by Indian Navy in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and westward up to 65 degree east longitude.Besides, India is participating in the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) meetings, which is a United Nation (UN) initiative, to address the piracy related concerns. Since its inception, the Government have actively participated in all efforts of the CGPCS to share information, coordinate actions of its navies, raise public and merchant marine awareness of the risks of piracy and examine legal and criminal justice issues with respect to the apprehended pirates.India has successfully brought ...

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The London P&I Club issues alert re Passage planning offshore India and the additional premium area

Extention of the Additional Premium Area for War Risks The London P&I Club issues news alert regarding passage planning offshore India and the additional premium area as follows:Members will be aware that, due to the continuing pirate attacks on merchant ships traversing the Gulf of Aden area and the widening geographical range of attacks despite the presence of a number of international navies, the Additional Premium Area for War Risks in the Indian Ocean ("the AP Area") has been extended to up to 12 miles offshore from the Indian Coast.In the light of this extension, James Mackintosh & Co Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai Correspondent, has written to the Association (see attached) highlighting the dangers of trying to avoid the AP Area by navigating the inshore route (i.e. within 12 miles of the Indian coast), especially with regard to passage planning in and around the Mumbai area. As Members will note from the attached advice, their conclusion is that, given all the dangers (including crossing traffic lanes in contravention of accepted practice around Mumbai, navigating around offshore installations, and avoiding shallows), a prudent Master would in their view be within his rights to refuse to navigate the inshore route as it ...

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India: Shipyards Plan to Expand Their Capacities by Building up Two International Size Shipyards

Maritime States have been requested to identify suitable location The National Maritime Development Programme has envisaged setting up of two International size shipyards. Maritime States have been requested by the Ministry of Shipping to identify suitable location for setting up of international size shipyards, one each on the East Coast and West Coast of India respectively. Private investors have already gone ahead with plans to create new international size shipyards. The Government owned Cochin Shipyard Limited is also planning to expand its capacity by setting up of a ship repair facility at an alternate location as well as by having an additional dry dock facility.This information was given by the Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K Vasan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.Source: Shipbuilding Tribune

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India: Government to issue notification on armed anti-pirate guards

Merchant ships will be allowed to hire private guards Indian merchant ships may soon be allowed to have armed guards to counter pirate attacks, two senior government officials said.The Directorate General of Shipping plans toissue a draft notification allowing merchant ships to deploy armed guards on board, said Satish B. Agnihotri, who heads the regulatory agency.Agnihotri did not give any details. H. Khatri, nautical surveyor-cum-deputy director general of shipping, who is preparing the draft, could not be immediately contacted.Mint reported on 5 June that the government was considering allowing merchant ships to have armed guards to deal with the growing menace of piracy.The International Maritime Organisation, a global overseer of operational and safety rules, in May approved employing privately contracted armed security personnel onboard ships transiting through the high-risk piracy area off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean.There were 266 pirate attacks worldwide in the first six months of this year, compared with 196 in the same period last year, according to a July report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a non-profit organization that deals with maritime crime and malpractice.At least 60% of the attacks were by Somali pirates, mostly ...

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India considers not to allow Indian sailors on ships which are not equipped to ward off pirates

India considers raft of new anti-piracy measures The government of India is considering a proposal not to allow Indian sailors on ships that are not equipped to ward off pirate attacks.The proposal comes at a time when more than four dozen Indians are held hostage by Somalian pirates following attacks on various ships.Senior officials involved in discussions to get the sailors released said they had urged the Indian government to enforce stringent measures for recruitment of Indians on foreign ships."One of the preventive mechanisms is deployment of armed guards on ships. So far we have not had a single incident of pirates hijacking an armed vessel. The Indian government can ensure that its nationals get employed only in such vessels," the official said.Meanwhile, the Indian government has said that it is considering a proposal to deploy armed security guards on Indian merchant ships to thwart attacks by pirates in international waters.India's Union Minister for Shipping G K Vasan, said that the government will shortly take a view on this aspect.According to him the Indian Navy has been carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since October 2008. A total number of 25 Indian Navy ships have been deployed ...

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Iron ore exports from India seen falling to 8-year low

Because of higher costs and slow efforts in a key state to resume shipments Iron ore exports from India are likely to fall by more than a quarter to their lowest level in eight years because of higher costs and slow efforts in a key state to resume shipments, a Reuters poll showed.Iron ore sales from the world's third-largest exporter are forecast to fall to 71.25 million tonnes in the current year to next March, from 95 million tonnes in the previous year, according to the median estimate in a Reuters poll of 10 iron ore miners, exporters and analysts.That would be the lowest export volume since 2003/04 when shipments stood at 62.57 million tonnes."More tariffs and higher costs along with outright bans will further limit exports," said an iron ore trader with an international brokerage based in London.Tight Indian supplies are expected to keep spot iron ore prices <.IO62-CNI=SI> firm, along with strong demand from top steel producer China. Prices of the steelmaking ingredient rose to record highs above $190 a tonne in mid-February.India's Karnataka state, which accounts for about a quarter of the country's iron ore exports, banned shipments in July last year to curb illegal mining. In ...

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Armed guard cover on Indian ships on high seas in the offing

Complaints of shipping firms and guards being harassed by port authorities To combat piracy, the shipping ministry has issued an order to all Indian ports to allow foreign ships to touch base with their armed guards.Earlier, there were several complaints of shipping firms and guards being harassed by port authorities and other officials in case fire weapons were found on guards.Sources said though foreign ships used to get armed guards on board, they either used to drop their weapons in the sea or hid them in their vessels before entering into Indian ports. Usually, the ministry of external affairs had to be roped in to settle the disputes.Now, the ministry's initiative envisages allowing Indian shipping firms to deploy armed security guards in vessels passing through the piracy-infested zone on high seas. The ministry is considering deployment of armed guards on board to reduce chances of pirates taking over the vessels."If we wait for an amendment to the Private Security Guards Act by the home ministry, there would be much delay. So to avoid procedural hurdles, we will soon issue the order specifying the parameter for security agencies, who could supply trained guards. Ex-armymen are likely to be preferred for the ...

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India and Mozambique agreement for maritime security

To make Indian Ocean a safe region for maritime trade India and Mozambique have agreed to work together on the issue of maritime security so as to make Indian Ocean a safe region for maritime trade.This was agreed to during the delegation level talks between the visiting Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyussi and Defence Minister AK Antony on June 28. Nyussi thanked India for the help rendered by Indian Navy in the rescue of a Mozambican shipping vessel from pirates off the Mozambican coast last year. The issue of piracy off the East Coast of Africa prominently figured during talks between the two leaders.Both sides had a fruitful discussion on various bilateral defence cooperation issues. A number of fresh areas for cooperation were identified to enhance and strengthen the existing bilateral relation between the two countries.The Mozambican Defence Minister also met Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh and the Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall NAK Browne. During his five-day visit he will visit key defence installations including the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, National Defence Academy and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune ...

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Five stranded fishermen arrive from India after Somali pirates ordeal

They put the blame on the government Amidst a shower of rose petals, loud cheering and applause, five fishermen, who had been stranded in India for almost four months, were welcomed by their families when they returned home on Monday night.The five, Sajjad and Auragzeb from Karachi, Farhad Rind Baloch and Lal Bux from Kakrand, district Thatta, and Mohammad Umair from Mirpurkhas, came home after seven months - the first three spent in the captivity of the Somali pirates and the later in the custody of Indian police officials.Dozens of people, many of them belonging to the native villages of the sailors in interior Sindh, thronged the Karachi Airport to receive the men, who came home after spending nearly four months at the Yellow Gate police station in Mumbai.A delighted Sajjad Hussain speaking to The News had all praise for the Indian government. "It was the Indian Navy which rescued us, the Indian government gave us food and shelter, and the Indian media highlighted our issue."Talking about his ordeal amongst the pirates, Hussain said that the Somalis had captured them in a bid to use them as bait when capturing naval ships. "The pirates had planned to push us forward ...

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India and Mozambique to Discuss Piracy

Cooperation in training and maritime patrolling Mr. Filipe Jacinto Nyussi, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique, arrives in New Delhi on Monday, June 27, 2011 on a five day visit to India. He will be accompanied by a five member high level delegation.During his stay, Mr.Nyussi will hold talks with the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the Service Chiefs. He will visit key defence installations including the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, National Defence Academy and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune besides the prestigious Army Research & Referral Hospital in New Delhi.Cooperation in training and maritime patrolling are expected to dominate the talks between the two sides. The issue of piracy off the East Coast of Africa will figure prominently during the talks between the two ministers.India and Mozambique have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations. In March, 2006 the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation. Subsequently, two meetings of the Joint Defence Working Group were held in 2008 and 2010.The scope of the MoU covers all the three Services, envisaging cooperation in the field of military technical cooperation, logistic support and training. It also deals with joint activities include maritime ...

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