Indian Coast Guard engage aircraft in ‘Operation Oliva’, the coastal patrolling as part of its annual mission to ensure the safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles in Odisha.
About Indian Coast Guard
- The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India
- It is an Armed Force, Search and Rescue and Maritime Law Enforcement agency that protects India’s maritime interests and enforces its maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone
- It operates under the Ministry of Defence
- It works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces.
History of Indian Coast Guard
- The establishment of the Indian Coast Guard was first proposed by the Indian Navy to provide non-military maritime services to the nation
- Nagchauduri Committee was constituted with participation from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to study the problem of sea borne smuggling.
- 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.
- In 1974the Indian cabinet set up the Rustamji Committee 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 committee submitted its recommendation for the establishment of the Indian Coast Guard under the Ministry of Defence on 31 July 1975
Role of Indian Coast Guard
The Indian Coast Guard’s motto is “Vayam Rakshamah”, which translates from Sanskrit as “We Protect”.
Missions of Indian Coast Guard:
- 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 the Indian Navy)
Additional responsibilities of the Indian Coast Guard:
- Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) – The Director-General of the 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) – The 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 – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the commander of coastal command and is responsible for overall coordination between central and state agencies in all matters relating to coastal security