1st February is celebrated as Indian Coast Guard Day (ICG). In 2023 it is 47th foundation day. It is in the form of the fourth largest coast guard in the world. This is a multi mission organization. It was formally established on 1st Feb 1977. But, it was inaugurated on 19 August 1978 by the prime minister Shri Morarji Desai.
Motto of ICG is ” VAYAM RAKSHAMAH” in Sanskrit ( we protect). The coast guard is commanded by the director general. Nowadays the DG of ICG is ‘ Virendra Singh Pathania. He was appointed by the Government of India and DG of ICG was reported to the Defence ministry. Which means ICG works under the Defence minister.
The union cabinet approved the setting up of a coast guard in 1977 with two frigates and five petrol beats transferred from the Indian Navy like, norh, east, west, north east and Andaman and Nicobar.
● Preventing smuggling by sea
● Controlling sea pollution
● Protecting the marine environment
● To provide protection and assistance to fishermen at sea.
Starting with 7 surface platforms in 1978 the ICG was grown into a formidable force with 158 ships and aircraft in its inventory.
It is expected to achieve a target force level of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.
It became the first force to deploy women in operational roles in coast guard ships.
It has seized drugs and contraband worth nearly Rs. 4000 crore in the past year. Indian coast guard’s mission is offshore security, marine safety and coastal security. While preventing accidental border crossing by fisherman as well as terrorist infiltration.
Despite the covid-19 pandemic, the ICG has maintained its vigilant patrolling of India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).