The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its 45th Raising Day on 1 February 2021. It is a Maritime Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue Agency which operates under the Ministry of Defence. The ICG was raised on February 1, 1977, and thus the Indian Coast Guard Day is celebrated every year on 1 February. However, the Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It safeguards India's maritime interests and executes its maritime law, with jurisdiction over the consecutive zone and limited economic zone. The primary task of ICG is to protect India's vast maritime zones. These maritime zones are conceptual divisions of the Earth's water surface areas using geopolitical criteria. They are recognized as internal waters, territorial sea, the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and many more. The Indian Coast Guard works extensively to serve the nation and protect the coasts of the Indian subcontinent. However, there are several interesting facts about the Indian Coast Guard which are still not largely known by people, and here are some lesser-known facts about the Indian Coast Guard.


Eight Lesser-known facts about the Indian Coast Guard:

1. A team which started with barely 7 surface platforms in 1978, has grown into a tough force with 146 ships and 62 aircraft in its inventory.

2. The Indian Coast Guard is the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world. Currently, the ICG has 42 Coast Guard Stations, 5 Coast Guard Air Stations, and 10 Coast Guard Air Enclaves. The western region of ICG comes in Mumbai, the eastern region comes in Chennai, the north-eastern region comes in Kolkata, the north-western region comes in Gandhinagar and Andaman & Nicobar region comes in Port Blair.

3. The ICG is headed by the Director-General (DG ICG) who is located at Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ), New Delhi. The current DG of the ICG is Krishnaswamy Natarajan. At the CGHQ, the DG is assisted by 4 Deputy Generals of the rank of Inspector General, and other senior officers heading multiple staff divisions.

4. The motto of ICG is ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ (वयम रक्षामः), which translates from the Sanskrit as ‘we protect’. On an average, the Indian Coast Guard saves one precious life every second day at the sea.

5. The Indian Coast Guard Conducts various exercises with the other coast guards of the world. In 2004, the ICG agreed to establish liaison links with Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). And in 2006, the ICG also conducted exercises with its Japanese and Korean counterparts.

6. After the Mumbai terrorists attack in 2008, the Indian government started a programme to expand the force, assets and infrastructure of the ICG. Now the ICG force aims to have 200 ships and 100 twin-engined aircraft by 2023.

7. In 2019's cyclones, the ICG ensured that more than 6,000 fishing boats with about 40,000 fishermen were escorted to safe harbours by their team. The strict patrols both at sea and air by the ICG helped to eliminate the black-market worth about Rs 2000 crore, with the uncertainty of more than 30 foreign fishing boats with about 120 criminals illegally operating in the Indian ocean in 2019.

8. The ICG also functions in close coordination with Central and State agencies to provide a powerful Coastal Security mechanism. ICG similarly collaborates with littoral nations to combat transnational Maritime crimes and enhance Maritime safety in its region of accountability.


The Ministry of Defence believes that the sea can become a medium of any type of dangers financed by several anti-national aspects. And thus it is incredibly crucial to develop a collaborative and cooperative approach with surrounding nations. For many years, the Indian Coast Guard has played a crucial role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing the regulations within the different regions of India.