Country''s first Coast Guard Academy to come up in Kerala

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Kollam, Feb 27 (PTI) With coastal security becoming amajor area of concern, India''s first Coast Guard Academy wouldbe set up at Azheekkal near Kannur in north Kerala, DefenceMinister A K Antony said here today.

164 acres land for the Academy had already been acquiredby KINFRA, state''s infrastructure development agency, Antonysaid after dedicating the Titanium Sponge Plant at the KeralaMinerals and Metals Limited at Chavara near here.

The Defence Ministry decided to set up an Academyexclusively to bring out personnel with specialised trainingin coastal security operations, he said.

Indian Coast Guard had become an important agency inmaintaining security of the country''s territorial waters inview of terrorist threats and increasing presence of pirates,Antony said, adding the Academy would have the potential tobecome one of the best such institutions in Asia.

It is the Coast Guard which carries out rescue operationsin times of natural calamities and helps fishermen when theyare in distress so ensuring the safety and security offishermen along the Indian coast was also important, he said.

The Rs 143.11 crore Titanimum Sponge Plant, fully fundedby ISRO, is a major Centre-state joint venture project ofstrategic and scientific importance.

With the commissioning of the plant, India would joinselect nations having the capability to develop titaniumsponge after US, China, Russia, Japan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

PTI COR JRK NM BN

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