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Indian Coast Guard Day is celebrated on February 1st – Know all about this special day!

Every year on February 1, India honours the Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) Raising Day. This year marks the 46th Raising Day for ICG. It’s worth noting that the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is the country’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue department, with jurisdiction over all of India’s territorial waters, including the contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.

The Indian Coast Guard was established on February 1, 1977, under the Indian Parliament’s Coast Guard Act, 1978. On August 18, 1978, the Coast Guard, which is part of the Ministry of Defence, was established.

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The ICG has saved over 10,000 lives and prosecuted over 40,000 criminals since its inception, living up to its tagline “Vayam Rakshamah,” which means “We Protect.” Aside from that, the ICG is responsible for rescuing a lot of people at sea on a daily basis. The Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs), and the Central and State police forces all work closely with the Coast Guard.

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What is the role of ICG?

ICG’s principal duty and responsibilities, aside from saving lives, are to ensure the safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore ports, and other infrastructure. It also ensures that fishermen and sailors are safe at sea. In addition, the ICG protects and maintains maritime ecology and ecosystems, including pollution control.

The Coastal Guard assists the Department of Customs and other agencies during anti-smuggling operations, and it offers national defence in times of conflict.

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The leadership of the ICG

The Director-General (DG ICG) of the Indian Coast Guard is situated at Coast Guard Headquarters in New Delhi (GCHQ). He is joined by four Deputy Director-Generals, each of whom holds the title of Inspector-General, as well as other high-ranking officials in command of other staff divisions. The current Director-General is Virender Singh Pathania.

The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is on par with the Vice-Admiral of the Indian Navy. There are five zones in ICG. Each area is led by an officer with the rank of Inspector-General. Each area is further divided into districts, which often cover a coastal state or a union territory.

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The motto of the ICG is “Vayam Rakshamah” or “We Protect”.

The mission of the Indian Coast Guard:

The mission of the Indian Coast Guard is offshore security, marine safety, and coastal security. It has also been given the task of securing India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The ICG is responsible for the protection of the marine environment and providing scientific assistance, according to its official website. The Coast Guard is also tasked with national defence, in times of war.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGC has continued to monitor India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). On a daily basis, the military has deployed around 12 planes and 50 ships. The ICG also aided Sri Lanka in battling a large fire on board the Singapore-flagged cargo ship MV X-Press Pearl last year.

Under the organization’s ‘Preventive and Measured Response,’ around 40,000 fishermen and 6,000 fishing boats will be guided to safe harbours during cyclonic storms in 2020. The Coast Guard has been able to prevent significant loss of life and property as a result of this.

The Indian Coast Guard’s jurisdiction is confined to Indian territorial seas. The Indian Navy, on the other hand, mostly operates in the Persian Gulf, Somali Peninsula, and Malacca Straits. It’s also sent to the South and East China Seas, as well as the Mediterranean. The Navy prepares soldiers and equipment for a fight in the case of a conflict, as well as to ensure freedom in international waterways.

Over 20,000 active personnel, 160 boats, and 62 aircraft make up the Indian Coast Guard. On the other hand, the Indian Navy has around 67,000 active members and over 75,000 reserve men. It possesses over 150 ships and submarines, as well as 62 aircraft. In addition, the Navy is building more than 50 ships and submarines.

In the North-East, Eastern, Andaman & Nicobar, Western, and North-Western sectors, the Indian Coast Guard operates 42 stations along the country’s coastline. With 67 sites, including seven under construction, the Indian Navy is divided into three commands: the Western Naval Command, the Southern Naval Command, and the Andaman and Nicobar Naval Command.

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