Indian Coast Guard celebrates 48th Raising Day
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) celebrated its 48th Raising Day on February 1, 2024, in New Delhi, commemorating its remarkable journey from a modest beginning in 1977 to becoming a formidable force in maritime security. With 152 ships and 78 aircraft in its arsenal, the ICG is on track to achieve its targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 100 aircraft by 2030.
Under the motto “Vayam Rakshamah” (We Protect), the ICG has saved over 11,554 lives since its inception, including 200 lives in the year 2023. This commitment to safety and security has positioned ICG as one of the renowned Coast Guards globally.
Maintaining a 24×7 vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, the ICG deploys 50 to 60 ships and 10 to 12 aircraft daily, contributing to the nation’s goal of ensuring free and secure seas for sustainable progress in the blue economy and safe maritime transportation.
In response to the evolving challenges in maritime security, the ICG has significantly strengthened Maritime Law Enforcement, resulting in the seizure of weapons, contraband, and narcotics worth Rs 15,343 crore since its inception, with Rs 478 crore seized in 2023 alone. Collaborative actions have created an effective deterrence against smugglers, making penetration nearly impossible.
Pioneering the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ missions, the ICG has inducted numerous indigenous ships, aircraft, and equipment. With 21 ships under construction, including Pollution Control Vessels (PCVs), and ongoing procurement of aircraft, the ICG continues to improve its operational capabilities.
The ICG is enhancing the operational capabilities through the procurement of eight Dornier aircraft and six Multi-Mission Maritime Surveillance aircraft. Six Dornier aircraft have been upgraded with state-of-the-art systems/sensors for the modernization of ICG aircraft as part of the 17 ICG Dornier Mid-Life Upgrade contract with M/s HAL, Kanpur. It is noteworthy that the majority of the Coast Guard’s assets are domestically manufactured, with approximately 90% of the capital budget allocated to indigenous assets.
In a strategic move towards a ‘Digital Armed Force,’ the Ministry of Defence and TCIL have entered into a transformative agreement for the Digital Coast Guard (DCG) mission, aligning with the government’s vision for a paperless office.
On the marine environmental front, the ICG, as the Central Coordinating Authority for Oil Spill response in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), has ensured no major oil spill incidents in Indian waters in the past year. The ‘Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar,’ and ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ campaigns, aligning with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on cleanliness, garnered mass participation of volunteers.
Sanction for the creation of 195 posts by the Government of India in the last year demonstrates the commitment to bolstering the ICG’s capabilities as a credible, reliable, and omnipresent maritime force. The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Raksha Mantri have extended their greetings and congratulations to the Indian Coast Guard, recognizing its remarkable role in advancing the nation’s interests in the Maritime Zones.