India launchs world’s first facial biometric-based ID for seafarers
In a bid to boost employment in the coastal shipping sector, India has become the first country in the world to issue a Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) to its seafarers. The new document will give a foolproof identification to Indian seafarers which will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world. The BSID has the dimensions of a smart ID card. It introduces modern security features like an embedded biometric chip, as well as optical security features such as micro prints / micro texts and Unique Guilloche pattern. The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015. The total number of existing Indian seafarers who will be required to be issued BSIDs is around 3, 50,000. All the existing seafarers will be given BSID within the next two years. After this, it is estimated that around 15,000 new seafarers will be issued BSIDs annually.