Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)

India has become the world’s first country to issue a biometric seafarer identity document (BSID) to all its sailors and seafarers.

What is the Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)?

  • The Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) is a unique ID which captures the facial biometric data of the sailors and sea-farers of India.?
  • This project has launched the Minister of Shipping in New Delhi and 5 seafarers were also handed out their BSID cards.
  • The news BSID cards contain an advanced facial biometric technology to capture the unique traits of a seafarer. The card will have a biometric chip embedded in and to ensure data sanctity, at time of the data capture, the live face will be cross-matched with the photo of the applicant on the passport using facial recognition software.
  • The card has also has additional security features like the optical security features which are micro prints/micro texts on the card and a unique guilloche pattern.
  • This makes the new card better than the previous 2-finger or iris-based bio-metric cards.
  • With its modern features, The identity of the BSID card is safer and it makes the identification of the SID holder more effective, efficient and reliable.
  • The new BSID card will help in getting a foolproof recognition of the seafarers of India and allow them to easily plan their movement, improve their ease of getting jobs and ensure their identification even in the most remote parts of the world.

What happens now?

  • The BSID project is started in close collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai.
  • To capture the data of the seafarers, the government has established 9 data collection centers in port cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla.
  • The government estimates that the total number of seafarers who would need the BSID card are 3,50,000 and plans to give them a BSID within the coming 2 years.


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