- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO).
- The move will facilitate “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels”.
- It will bring IALA at par with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).
- The IALA, having headquarters at St. Germainen Laye (France) was established in 1957 under French law.
- It is governed by a General Assembly having 83 National members, with its Council as the executive body.
- The IALA council consists of 24 National Members and India is one of the council members represented through the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping.
- DGLL establishes and maintains Aids to Navigation in general waters along coast of India including A&N and Lakshadweep group of islands, as per Lighthouse Act 1927.
- In its Xll session held in La Coruna, Spain in May 2014, International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) General Assembly adopted a resolution stating its firm belief that the status of IALA from NGO to IGO will best facilitate lALA’s aims in the 21st century.