Nearly a decade after threats to coastal security was magnified during the 26/11 terror attacks, the country’s first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning from the next month along the Gujarat seafront.
The Union home ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) from a campus of Gujarat’s Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha in the newly created Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
An official order, said the first-of-its-kind institution of the country will be created and run by a multi-agency team of paramilitary and defence forces and sharpen the response and skills of the marine forces of multiple states which have sea lines.
As per the order, while the Union home ministry’s policing think tank — the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) — will pilot the establishment and running of the academy, the Border Security Force (BSF), that guards the Indian frontier in Gujarat with Pakistan, the navy and the Coast Guard will form the core to run the academy.
The BSF will also provide security to the campus which on the Arabian Sea coast and is at a flying distance from the Pakistan coast.
The navy and the Coast Guard, as per the home ministry order, will help design “the training curriculum, providing skilled trainers and ensuring access to jetties and boats” for the trainees of the academy.
The home ministry has also directed the Gujarat government to provide two interceptor boats to the academy that are stationed by it at Okha for patrolling of the sea by the marine unit of the state police.
The academy, that will have faculty from the Navy, Coast Guard and the BSF, will train police personnel and other security agencies staff in maritime laws, seamanship, boat work, navigation, weapons handling, usage of sea guidance and surveillance gadgets and survival skills for long haul operations on the sea or during distress times when they may get stranded in these waters running up to 12 nautical miles from the shore.
“There is no institute in the country that trains marine or coastal police forces in these subjects in a professional manner. That is why the academy will be first-ever and the best practises of various agencies like the navy, the BSF and the Coast Guard will be borrowed by it for teaching purposes,” a senior official privy to the development said.
This was specially required since India faced its major sea-borne terror attack in November 2008 in Mumbai.
“The academy will run temporarily for about three years from the fisheries department campus at Okha. In the meantime, a new permanent campus will be created for the academy in Devbhoomi Dwarka district,” he said.
The official added that 24 quarters of the fisheries department will be used to run the academy for the initial period and a budget of Rs 1 crore has been allocated by the home ministry for taking over of these assets.
The official said home minister Rajnath Singh may inaugurate the campus in late April. India has a vast coastline of 7,516 kms touching 13 states and union territories (UTs). It also has around 1,197 islands.