Saturday, 21 May 2011

India to Set Up Coast Guard Academy in Kerala

With coastal security becoming a major area of conern, India's first Coast Guard Academy would be set up at Azheekkal near Kannur in north Kerala, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Sunday. Speaking after dedicating the Titanium Sponge Plant at the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd at Chavara near here, Antony said 164 acres land for the Academy had already been acquired by KINFRA, state's infrastructure development agency.

As coastal security was a major area of concern, the role of Coast Guard had increased in recent times. It was in view this that the Defence Ministry decided to set up an Academy exclusively to bring out personnel with specialised training in coastal security operations, he said. Indian Cost Guard had become an important agency in maintaining the security of the territorial waters of the country in view of terrorist threats and increasing presence of pirates.

Antony said the Academy would have the potential to become one of best such institution in Asia.

In ensuring the safety and security of fishermen along the Indian coast was also important. It was the Coast Guard which engage in rescue operations in times of natural calamities like Tsunami and helping the fishermen when they were in distress.

The Rs 143.11 crore Titanimum Sponge Plant, fully funded by ISRO, is a major Centre-state joint venture project of strategic and scientific importance. With the commissioning of the plant, India would join select nations having the capability to develop titanium sponge after America, China, Russia, Japan, Ukraine and and Kazhakistan.