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Indian Coast Guard

  • 02 Feb 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News

On 1st February 2022, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) celebrated its 46th Raising Day.

  • ICG was established in August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 as an independent Armed force of India.
  • As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has played a significant role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing regulations in the maritime zones of India.

What are the Functions of ICG?

  • Background:
    • It is an Armed Force, Search and Rescue and Maritime Law Enforcement agency under the Ministry of Defence.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • The concept of forming ICG came into being after the 1971 war.
    • The blueprint for a multidimensional Coast Guard was conceived by the visionary Rustamji Committee.
    • For effective command and control, the Maritime Zones of India are divided into five Coast Guard Regions, namely, North-West, West, East, North-East and Andaman & Nicobar, with the respective Regional Headquarters located at Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Port Blair. .
  • Functions:
    • Preventing Smuggling: One of the primary duties of the ICG is prevention of smuggling through maritime routes.
      • It has jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India including contiguous zone and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
      • It is responsible for marine environment protection in maritime zones of India and is coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian waters.
    • Aid to Civil Authority: It has also rescued approximately 13,000 personnel till date during various ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ operations viz. assistance provided to civil authorities during floods, cyclones and other natural calamities; most recently during the recent floods in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.
      • It is also working in close coordination with Central and State agencies to put in place a robust coastal security mechanism.
    • Maritime Security: It is also collaborating with littoral countries to combat transnational maritime crimes and enhance maritime safety in its area of responsibility and in the Indian Ocean Region.
    • Role in Disaster Management: The ICG has successfully averted major ecological disasters and emerged as the ‘First Responder’ in the region.
      • For example, by undertaking a major fire-fighting and pollution response operation off the Sri Lanka coast, the most recent being ‘Sagar Aaraksha-II’ onboard Chemical carrier MV X-Press Pearl.

Source: PIB

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