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Indian Coast Guard

Indian Coast Guard
Bharatiya Tatrakshak
Indian Coast Guard crest
Active 1978–Present
Country  India
Type Coast Guard
Size Active duty: 10,440 personnel
Part of Ministry of Defence
Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters New Delhi
Motto वयम् रक्षामः (Sanskrit: We Protect)
Anniversaries Coast Guard Day: 1 February
Director General Vice Admiral Anurag Gopalan Thaplial, AVSM
Additional Director General ADG Rajendra Singh, PTM, TM
Aircraft flown

HAL Chetak

HAL Dhruv
Patrol Dornier Do 228

The Indian Coast Guard (Hindi: भारतीय तटरक्षक, Bhāratīya Taṭarakṣaka) (ICG) is the fourth branch of the armed force of India. Its mission is the protection of India's maritime interests and enforcement of maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.

ICG was formally established on 18 August 1978 as an armed force of the Union (aka BSF, ITBP, CISF) by the Coast Guard Act, 1978. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.[1]

The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, Department of Fisheries, Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces.


  • Mission 1
  • History 2
  • Personnel 3
    • Coast Guard officers 3.1
      • General Duty officers 3.1.1
      • Pilot officers 3.1.2
      • Technical officers 3.1.3
      • Law officers 3.1.4
    • Enrolled persons 3.2
    • Training 3.3
  • Organization 4
    • Establishments 4.1
    • Equipment 4.2
      • Surface vessels 4.2.1
      • Aircraft inventory 4.2.2
  • Planning and improvement 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Coast Guard Office in Kochi, Kerala
Coast Guard helicopter at Chowpatty, Mumbai

The Indian Coast Guard's motto is वयम रक्षामः (Vayam Rakshamah), which translates from Sanskrit as We Protect.

Missions of Indian Coast Guard:[2]

  • Safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore terminals and other installations
  • Protection and assistance to fishermen and Mariners at sea
  • Preservation and Protection of marine ecology and environment including pollution control
  • Assistance to the Department of Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations
  • Law enforcement in territorial as well as international waters
  • Scientific data collection and support
  • National Defence during hostilities (under the operational control of Indian Navy)

Additional responsibilities of the Indian Coast Guard:[3]

  • Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) - The director general of Indian Coast Guard is the chairman of OSCC constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG).
  • National Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Authority (NMSARCA) - Director general of the Indian Coast Guard is the NMSARCA for executing/coordinating search and rescue (SAR) missions
  • Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) - For coastal and sea borders
  • Coastal Security - Director general of the Indian Coast Guard is the Commander coastal command and is responsible for overall coordination between central and state agencies in all matters relating to coastal security


A coast guard ship at the Naval Dockyard (Bombay)

The establishment of the Indian Coast Guard was first proposed by the Indian Navy to provide non-military maritime services to the nation.[4] In the 1960s, sea-borne smuggling of goods was threatening India's domestic economy. The Indian Customs Department frequently called upon the Indian Navy for assistance with patrol and interception in the anti-smuggling effort.

The Nagchaudhuri Committee was constituted with participation from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to study the problem. In August 1971, the committee identified the requirement to patrol India's vast coastline, set up a registry of offshore fishing vessels in order to identify illegal activity, and establish a capable and well-equipped force to intercept vessels engaged in illegal activities. The committee also looked at the number and nature of the equipment, infrastructure and personnel required to provide those services.[4]

By 1973, India had started a program to acquire the equipment and started deputing personnel from the Indian Navy for these anti-smuggling and law enforcement tasks, under the provisions of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act. The Indian Navy sensed that the law enforcement nature of these duties diverged from its core mission as a military service. Admiral Sourendra Nath Kohli, then Chief of Naval Staff, hence made a recommendation to the Defense Secretary outlining the need for a separate maritime service to undertake those duties and offering the Navy's assistance in its establishment. On 31 August 1974, the Defense Secretary submitted a note to the Cabinet Secretary proposing cabinet action on Admiral Kohli's recommendation.

As a result, in September 1974, the Indian cabinet set up the Rustamji Committee, under the chairmanship of Khusro Faramurz Rustamji, with participation from the Navy, the Air Force and the Department of Revenue to examine gaps in security and law enforcement between the roles of the Indian Navy and the central and state police forces. The discovery of oil off Bombay High further emphasised the need for a maritime law enforcement and protection service. The committee submitted its recommendation for the establishment of the Indian Coast Guard under the Ministry of Defense on 31 July 1975. Bureaucratic wrangling followed, with the Cabinet Secretary making a recommendation to place the service under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Then prime minister Indira Gandhi overruled the Cabinet Secretary and decided to accept the original recommendation of the Rustamji Committee to place the service under the Ministry of Defense.[4]

An interim Indian Coast Guard came into being on 1 February 1977, equipped with two small corvettes and five patrol boats transferred from the Navy. The duties and functions of the service were formally defined in the Coast Guard Act, which was passed by India's parliament on 18 August 1978 and came into immediate effect.

Vice Admiral V.A. Kamath of the Indian Navy was appointed the founding director general. Prime Minister Morarji Desai inspected the Guard of Honour at the service's inauguration. Vice Admiral Kamath proposed a five-year plan to develop the ICG into a potent force by 1984, but the full potential of this plan was not immediately realised due to an economic resource crunch.[4]

One of the historic operational successes of the ICG occurred in October 1999, with the recapture at high seas of a Panamanian-registered Japanese cargo ship, MV Alondra Rainbow, hijacked off Indonesia. Her crew was rescued off Phuket, Thailand. The ship had been repainted as MV Mega Rama, and was spotted off Kochi, heading towards Pakistan. She was chased by ICGS Tarabai and INS Prahar (K98) of the Indian Navy, and apprehended.[5] It was the first successful prosecution of armed pirates in over a century.

The Indian Coast Guard conducts exercises with the other coast guards of the world. In May 2005, the ICG agreed to establish liaison links with Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). In 2006, the Indian Coast Guard conducted exercises with its Japanese and Korean counterparts.

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Indian government initiated a program to expand the ICG force, assets and infrastructure. The force is expected to be tripled between 2010 and 2019 in manpower, vessels and aircraft.[6][7]


Coast Guard officers

The officers in the Coast Guard have the same rank structure as the Central Armed Police Forces. The director general Coast Guard is usually a vice admiral rank officer on deputation from the Indian Navy.[8][9]

Officers are appointed in the Coast Guard in one of four branches, as either General Duty officer, Pilot officer, Technical officer or Law officers. Lady Officers have two branches i.e. General Duty officer OR Pilot officer and serve on shore establishments/Air Stations/Headquarters. They are not deployed on board Indian Coast Guard ships.[10]

General Duty officers

ICG offshore patrol vessel ICGS Vishwast visiting Kobe, Japan

The command of ships at sea can only be exercised by officers of the General Duty (GD) branch. The key functions of a General Duty officer would be to operate weapons, sensors and different kinds of equipment on board a ship. The safety of the ship and the men would be GD officers responsibility.[11] All the District Commanders (COMDIS) and Commander of Coast Guard Region (COMCG) appointments are exercised by a GD Officer of the Indian Coast Guard. GD officers are graduates in Science or Engineering.

Pilot officers

Pilot officers are also part of GD branch. A Pilot officer gets an opportunity to work at shore Air Stations along the Indian coasts and also embark ships. ICG operates fixed wing aircraft for surveillance of the exclusive economic zone. In addition, helicopters are embarked on Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) to provide local surveillance and perform search and rescue mission at sea.[11] Pilot officers are graduates in Science or Engineering.

Technical officers

Technical officers are responsible for operation of advanced technology and sensor systems on board Coast Guard vessels and aircraft, as well as on shore installations. They also command the maintenance wings of the force. Technical officers are graduates in Engineering.

Law officers

Law officers act as legal advisers to their respective commanders. They represent the Indian Coast Guard in legal actions filed by or against the organisation. They also perform the duties of trial law officers in Coast Guard courts, convened to try delinquent Coast Guard personnel. The Directorate of Law at Coast Guard Headquarters is headed by a Deputy Inspector General.

Enrolled persons

Enrolled persons in the Coast Guard serve as either a yantrik (technician) or navik (sailor).[10]

Yantriks are responsible for operating and maintaining mechanical, electrical or aeronautical equipment and systems on board the Coast Guard vessels and aircraft.

Naviks may further serve in the General Duty or Domestic branches. The General Duty naviks serve as sailors, weapons systems operators, communication specialists, divers, etc. or in specific maritime or aviation support roles. Domestic branch naviks serve in roles such as stewards, cooks, etc. on board Coast Guard vessels.

All personnel are trained in operation of weapons systems in cases of emergency.


Currently, Officers of Indian Coast Guard undergo Basic Military Training at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala along with their counterparts of Indian Navy. This helps in the mutual interchange of Officers among these two sister services. While the Indian Coast Guard Academy is under construction in Azhikkal, Kannur district, Kerala.[12] The Sailors of Indian Coast Guard gets trained along with Indian Naval Sailors at the Indian Naval training establishment INS Chilka. All the training undertaken by Indian Coast Guard Officers and Sailors are the same as those under taken by Indian Naval Officers and Sailors.


Indian Armed Forces
Triservices Crest
Triservices Crest.
Military Manpower
Active troops 1,325,000 (3rd)
Reserve forces 1,155,000 (7th)
Paramilitary forces
and CAPF
1,293,300 (4th)
Indian Army
Indian Air Force
Indian Navy
Indian Coast Guard
Paramilitary forces of India
Central Armed Police Forces
Strategic Nuclear Command
Military history of India
Air Force ranks and insignia
Army ranks and insignia
Naval ranks and insignia

The Indian Coast Guard organization is headed by the Director General (DG ICG) who is located at Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ), New Delhi. At CGHQ, he is assisted by four deputy director generals of the rank of inspector general, and other senior officers heading various staff divisions.

The current Director General (DG ICG) is Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM.[13]

Indian Coast Guard has recently got its first three-star rank officer Shree Rajendra Singh Additional director general, PTM, TM, who has the distinction of being the first regular direct entry officer of the Indian Coast Guard to be promoted to the rank of ADG on 11 Jan 2013. Additional director general of Indian coast guard is equivalent to vice admiral of Indian Navy.[14]

The ICG as of now is headed by a naval officer of the rank of Vice Admiral on deputation to the Coast Guard as a direct entry Coast Guard Officer is yet to reach the age/service to become equivalent to Vice Admiral as it is the youngest of all the all Armed Forces started in the 1970s. Two of the director generals (the 12th and 16th), Director General of Indian Coast Guard Rameshwar Singh DG, PTM and Director General of Indian Coast Guard Dr. Prabhakaran Paleri DG, PTM, TM, were career Coast Guard officers, in the sense that they were Indian Navy officers on permanent secondment to the Indian Coast Guard.[15] DG Rameshwar Singh had spent twenty years in the Indian Navy, before he was seconded permanently to the Indian Coast Guard. His tenure lasted for six months, between March 2001, and September 2001. Dr. Prabhakaran Paleri,DG was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1969, and permanently seconded to the Coast Guard in 1981.[16] His tenure lasted for five months, from February 2006 to August 2006.[17]

The Indian Coast Guard operates five regions. Each region is headed by an officer of the rank of inspector general.

Coast Guard regions Regional HQ location Regional commander
Western Region (W) Mumbai IG Surinder Pal Singh Basra, YSM, PTM, TM
Eastern Region (E) Chennai IG Satya Prakash Sharma, PTM, TM
North East Region (NE) Kolkata IG VSR Murthy, PTM, TM
Andaman & Nicobar Region (A&N) Port Blair IG K Natarajan, PTM, TM
North West Region (NW) Gandhinagar IG Kuldip Singh Sheoran, TM

Each of the regions is further divided into multiple districts, typically covering a coastal state or a union territory.


By the end of 2012, the Indian Coast Guard is on track to operate:[18]

  • 42 Coast Guard Stations
  • 5 Coast Guard Air Stations
  • 10 Coast Guard Air Enclaves


Surface vessels

Ships belonging to the Indian Coast Guard are prefixed ICGS, abbreviation for Indian Coast Guard Ship.
Ship Class Type Origin Displacement In service Notes
In Service: 93 ships
Samudra class Pollution Control Vessel(PCV) India 3300 tons 2 [19]
Samar class Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel India 2005 tons 6
Vishwast class Offshore Patrol Vessel India 1800 tons 3
Vikram class Offshore Patrol Vessel 1220 tons 5 2 Decommissioned
Aadesh Class Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) India CSL 290 tons 4 20 ordered, 8 launched, 4 commissioned[20]
Rajshree class Inshore patrol vessel India 275 tons 7 1 more under construction.
Rani Abbaka class Inshore patrol vessel India 275 tons 2 3 more under construction.
Sarojini Naidu Class Extra Fast Patrol Vessel (XFPV) India 270 tons 7
Priyadarshini Class Inshore Patrol Vessels 215 tons 8
Tarabai Class Inshore Patrol Vessels India/Singapore 236 tons 6
Rajhans Class Seaward Defence Boat 203 tons 2 3 decommissioned
Jijabai Class Inshore Patrol Vessels India/Japan 181 tons 0 7 decommissioned
Pulicat Class Patrol Boat USSR 80 tons 0 5 decommissioned
ABG fast interceptor crafts Interceptor Boat India/Australia 75 tons 13
Bharati class interceptor boat Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) India 65 tons 1 Total 15 ordered.
AMPL Class Interceptor Boat India/UK 44 tons 9 1 transferred to Mauritius
Swallow Craft Class Inshore Patrol Craft South Korea 32 tons 5
Mandovi Marine Class Patrol craft India 10 tons 5 status unknown
Timblo Class Interceptor Craft India 7 tons 10
Bristol Class Interceptor Craft 5.5 tons 4
Vadyar Class Interceptor Craft 2.4 tons 8
Griffon/Grse Class Air Cushion Vehicle (Hovercraft) UK N.A. 10
Under Construction/Order: 156 ships [21]
Samar class Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel India 2230 tons 1
GSL Class Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel India 2400 tons 6 2 Keel laid
Samudra class Pollution Control Vessel(PCV) India 3300 tons 1
Aadesh Class Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) India CSL 290 tons 16 20 ordered, 8 launched, 4 commissioned[20]
Rajshree class Inshore patrol vessel India 275 tons 1 8 ordered, 7 commissioned
Rani Abbaka class Inshore patrol vessel India 3 5 ordered, 2 commissioned
HSL class Inshore patrol vessel India 8
Griffon Class Air Cushion Vehicle (Hovercraft) UK N.A. 7 12 ordered, 5 commissioned
Air Cushion Vehicle (Hovercraft) UK N.A. 6 As per Griffon's website, status unknown,
L&T fast interceptor crafts Interceptor Boat India 90 tons 34+18 36+18 ordered, 9 commissioned
Bharati class interceptor boat Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) India 65 tons 14 15 ordered, 1 commissioned
Pipavav Class Fast Patrol Vessels Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) India 14
Pipavav Class Training Vessel Training Vessel India 1
Timblo class patrol craft Patrol craft India 15 tons 30

Aircraft inventory

The Coast Guard operates a fleet of 38 Dornier Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft, 9 HAL Dhruv and 19 HAL Chetak utility helicopters.
Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Comment
Fixed-wing aircraft (38)
Dornier Do 228  India
Maritime surveillance, search and rescue Do 228-101 38 By 31 July 2013.[22]
Helicopters (27)
HAL Dhruv  India Utility helicopter 9 16 more ordered on 24 July 2014.[23]
HAL Chetak  India
Utility helicopter 18

Planning and improvement

See also


  1. ^ "About the Ministry". Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  2. ^ "Mission". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d "History". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  5. ^ "Alondra Rainbow revisited, A Study of related issues in the light of the recent judgment of Mumbai High Court". South Asia Analysis Group. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Indian Coast Guard to triple by 2020". 31 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  7. ^ "Antony clears several proposals to augment coastal security". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  8. ^ "Rank And Pay Structure". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  9. ^ "Nausena Bharti". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Careers in Indian Coast Guard". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ "First Coast Guard academy in Kannur". The Hindu. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  13. ^ "Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Indian Coast Guard Gets First 3-Star officer". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Coast Guard's New Director General". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  16. ^ Social Post (1 March 2006). "Prabhakar Paleri new Director General of Coast Guard". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  17. ^ "Directors General". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  18. ^ """The Indian Coast Guard – "Committed to Serve – Making a Difference. Press Information Bureau, Government of India. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  19. ^ "Defence News – Indian Coast Guard Pollution Control Ship 'Samudra Paheredar' Commissioned". 23 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  20. ^ a b "ICGS Abheek commissioned". Frontier India. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Coast Guard aims for ambitious expansion". StratPost. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  22. ^ "Coastguard inducts fourth Dornier for coastal surveillance". PTI. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Indian Navy And Coast Guard To Get 32 Dhruv Helicopters". Defense World. 24 July 14. Retrieved 25 July 14. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Ministry of Defence site
  • Indian Coast Guard orders six Griffon hovercraft
  • Indian Coast Guard Recruitment Website
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