The Indian Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.