Indian Coast Guard – The Fourth Armed Force That We Are Less Aware Of

indian coast guard

We all may be very much aware of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army and their functions. We all have been taught well about the three armed forces of the Union of India, but there is also the fourth armed force which is the Indian Coast Guard that many of us are less aware of. So, as the Coast Guard celebrates its day on February 1st, we bring you the detailed information about the wing and its achievements.

Indian Coast Guard

Coast Guard enforces maritime law, and thus protects India’s maritime interests within the jurisdiction of Territorial waters of India including contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone. The Indian Coast Guard was raised on February 1st, 1977. It is established under the Indian Coast Guard Act on 18th of August 1978 as an independent armed force. It is operated by the Defence Ministry of India.

Coast Guard of India works in cooperation with the Indian Navy, Department Of Fisheries, Revenue Department, Central and State police forces.

Responsibilities Of Coast Guard

  • The Eastern and Western seaboards will be under the surveillance of the Coast Guard ships and air crafts and coast guard also protects the artificial islands and offshore terminals

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  • Coast Guard conducts community interaction programmes for the fishermen community to offer them various information that let them stay safe on the sea

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  • Coast Guard also offers required assistance to the fishermen who are in distress at the sea

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  • It also works on the preservation and protection of the flora and fauna and the marine environment by engaging with the environmentalists

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  • Coast Guard even works on preventing the environmental damage by conducting training programs for oil agencies, stakeholders

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  • It even works in cooperation with the customs and other enforcement agencies and prevents any smuggling activities on the sea

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  • The ships and aircrafts of the Coast Guard will be on patrol regularly and help in enforcing the international treaties, maritime laws that India is signatory to

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  • The ships and aircrafts also help in reducing the risks, and effects of maritime accidents, thus protecting from man-made or natural disasters

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  • The ICG ships while on their patrols collect oceanographic and meteorological information that will be used by the scientists

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  • Under the operational control of Indian Army, the ICG works on national defence during hostilities

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Achievements Of Indian Coast Guard

  • Shoor, a ship of the Coast Guard of India helped in fighting the fire that Merchant Vessel Daniela, a commercial ship has caught on the Colombo coast in April 2017

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  • In July 2017, the Coast Guard captured a merchant ship that is carrying 1500kgs of heroin off the Gujarat coast. The Heroine caught valued at about 3,500 crores

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  • Indian Coast Guard rescued and saved the lives of two Pakistani marine commandos in April 2017 with the help of Coast Guard ship Ankit, ICGS Samrat, and ICGS Arinjay

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  • The Coast Guard has rescued about 198 fisherman and 18 fishing boats during the Ockhi Cyclone that shook the coastal regions Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep

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  • The ships of Coast Guard of India and Japan conducted a joint drill in the Chennai Coast recently

indian coast guard 20Coast Guard Profile

The Coast Guard is headed by the Director-General who will be operating from the Coast Guard headquarters, New Delhi. He is assisted by four other Deputy Director Generals and other senior officers. The Coast Guard operates in five regions Western Region, Eastern Region, North-East Region, Andaman & Nicobar Region, North-West Region. Each region is headed by an officer of Inspector General rank.

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Motto – वयम् रक्षामः (In Sanskrit: We Protect)

Headquarter – New Delhi

Director General – Rajendra Singh

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Additional Director General – V.S.R. Murthy

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Coast Guard Commander – Krishnaswamy Natarajan

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Vessels It Possess:

  • 64 patrol boats
  • 42 patrol vessels
  • 27 patrol crafts
  • 18 hovercrafts
  • 17 offshore patrol vessels
  • 3 pollution control vessels

Coast Guard Stations – 42

Coast Guard Air Stations – 5

Coast Guard Air Enclaves – 10

Other Duties Of ICG

  • Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Director General of ICG as Chairman
  • National Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Authority (NMSRCA) – the Director General of ICG executes and coordinates the rescue and search missions
  • Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for safeguarding the coast and sea borders
  • The DG of ICG is the commander of the coastal command. He is also responsible for the coordination between the Central and State in the Coastal security-related matters

Some Interesting Facts About Coast Guard

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  • ICG uses very small, fast patrol ships which are very much different from the bigger and slower Indian Navy ships
  • Indian Navy proposed setting up of Coast Guard for providing non-military maritime services
  • Coast Guard came into existence with two small corvettes and five patrol boats by borrowing them from India Navy
  • Initially, it was recommended to put under the Ministry of Home Affairs, but according to the recommendation of the Rustamji committee, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi placed it as a wing under the Ministry of Defence
  • A personnel in the Indian Coast Guard can serve up to the age of 60 unlike the other armed forces

Also Read: Indian Navy Has Just Got Its First Woman Pilot – Shubhangi Swaroop

Prime Minister Congratulates The Indian Coast Guard

Are These Heroes The Less Respected?

So, after knowing all these interesting things, responsibilities of the Coast Guard, if you are thinking that why this organization is less respected than the other armed forces in India, then you are thinking it the wrong way. This organization may be the lesser known among the other armed forces but those who know about it and its work, responsibilities, achievements have the ultimate respect towards it like they have for the other armed forces.

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So, we hope you have known about this fourth armed force well and gained respect towards it. Spread this knowledge to your family and friends and let them know about these heroes.

We hope this detailed information about the lesser known armed force of India has helped you in knowing the ICG better.

On its special day, we salute the 5200 personnel and the 1000 officers at ICG for their commendable and dedicated service for the nation.

A feminist by thoughts. She would love to have discussions about anything. Always ready to take up new challenges that comes her way. With a Masters degree in Commerce, she is into blogging and is thoroughly enjoying it. As a foodie, she would love to taste various foods. She loves to watch food and travel shows.


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