''The challenges posed by terrorism require Indian Coast Guard to be in the highest state of alert and preparedness,'' Mr Antony said after giving away one president's tatrakshak medal and ten tatrakshak medals at the Coast Guard investiture ceremony here.
He also pointed out that transnational crimes, human trafficking, maritime frauds, piracy and armed robbery were on the rise the world over.
''The need of the hour is to put in place a mechanism for having memorandum of understanding with neighbouring countries for information sharing and cooperative engagements.'' This, he said, called for heightened regional cooperation within India's immediate neignbourhood and beyond.
India has already signed an MoU with Pakistan in this regard in October last year.