Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday asked the Indian Cost Guard to stay in the highest state of alert considering that terrorism recognised no boundaries.
He also called for greater cooperation with the coast guards of neighbouring countries and other littoral states to counter terrorism and sea-based crimes.
Speaking at the Coast Guard Investiture Ceremony, he said this could be achieved by putting in place MoUs with the countries concerned for sharing information and cooperative engagements.
The minister expressed concern at manpower shortage in critical areas of operation of the Indian Coast Guard and said he "recognised the need to make the service more attractive."
Antony said encroachment of the country's maritime zones by fishermen of foreign origin had to be dealt with firmly. He presented President's Tatrakshak Medal to Inspector General Achutan Rajashekhar, commander, Coast Guard Region (West) for playing a key role in saving 361 lives in the Bombay High fire last July and seizing 200 kilograms of cocaine from Bombay High this June 2006 from a merchant ship.
Tatrakshak medals for gallantry were awarded to Commandant Satish Kumar, Commandant Praveen Gaur, Commandant Sujeet Dwivedi and Deputy Commandant Chandra Shekhar Joshi.
DIG Suresh K Goyal, Commandant Vivek Vajpayee, Commandant K Janardanan, Pradhan Adhikari V Radhakrishan, Pradhan Yantrik Manoj Kumar Singh and Pradhan Navik Mandeep Singh were awarded medals for meritorious service.