What is Indian Coast Guard? Know its Importance & Job Role

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Here we are going to discuss the Indian Coast Guard & its importance. Sea is regarded as the biggest ecosystem of the world. The blue water has a lot of potential hidden, fisheries, oil and natural gas are few areas which are dependent on it. Apart from this 90% of trade takes place through the sea routes. So you can understand the importance of the sea.


Indian Coast Guard: Sentinels of the Sea

After independence, there was a severe need for two forces, one which could protect the national resources and a force that can engage in times of war.

Why Indian Coast Guard?

The Indian Customs department called on Indian Navy for assistance with frequent patrols and interception of smugglers.

The Indian Navy, then proposed the government to establish a non-military arm that would provide non-military maritime protection.

What is Indian Coast Guard? Know its Importance & Job Role

Creation of Indian Coast Guard:

The Nagchaudhuri Committee then planned with Indian Navy and Indian Air Force for the role of a coastal security force. Finally, in 1974, the Rustamji Committee proposed the establishment of the Indian Coast Guard.

The motto of Indian Coast Guard: Vayam Rakṣāmaḥ (We Protect)

Initially, the Coast Guard was allotted 5 patrol ships and Vice Admiral V A Kamath was then appointed the founding Director General.

Role of Indian Coast Guard:

The Indian Coast guard is a multi-mission force that protects the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the nation. As the motto says “we protect”, following are the responsibilities undertaken by the coast guard.

  1. Safety & Protection of Artificial Islands & Offshore terminals
  2. Protecting Fishermen & providing them assistance
  3. Preservation & protection of the marine environment
  4. Executing anti-smuggling operations
  5. Protection & Safety of life & property at sea
  6. Collection of scientific data
  7. Search and Rescue Operations
  8. Coastal Security


Headquarters of Indian Coast Guard:

The Indian coast guard has 5 headquarters each operating in 5 regions as shown:

Coast Guard Regions

HQ Location







Andaman & Nicobar

Port Blair



Ranks of Indian Coast Guard:

The Indian Coast Guard is headed by a 3 star General of rank Director General who resides at Coast Headquarter (CGHQ), New Delhi. The Director-General is equivalent to Vice Admiral of the Indian Navy. Below is a table that shows the rank of equivalence:

Indian Coast Guard

Indian Navy

Indian Army

Indian Air Force


Vice Admiral

Lieutenant General

Air Marshal

Special Director-General

Vice Admiral

Lieutenant General

Air Marshal

Additional Director-General

Vice Admiral

Lieutenant General

Air Marshal


Rear Admiral

Major General

Air Vice Marshal

Deputy Inspector-General



Air Commodore




Group Captain

Commandant (Junior Grade)


Lt. Colonel

Wing Commander

Deputy Commandant

Lt Commander


Squadron Leader

Assistant Commandant (2 years)



Flight Lieutenant

Assistant Commandant

Sub Lieutenant


Flying Officer



The Indian Coast Guard conducts biennial recruitment for both Officers and Personnel Below Officer Ranks.

Join the Indian Coast Guard as an Officer:

The Indian Coast guard conducts recruitment for the post of Assistant Commandant twice in a year. The Applicants can join in 4 branches as shown:

  1. General Duty: A General – Duty Officer’s key functions would be to operate on board ship weapons, sensors and various types of equipment. The ship’s and men’s security would be the responsibility of GD officers.
  2. Pilot Officers: A pilot officer gets a chance to work along the Indian coasts at shore air stations and also take ships on board. ICG operates Exclusive Economic Zone Fixed Wing Aircraft.
  3. Technical Officers: Technical officers are responsible for operating a state – of – the – art technology and sensor systems on board vessels and aircraft of the Coast Guard as well as onshore facilities. They also control the force’s maintenance wings.
  4. Law Officers: In legal actions filed by or against the organization, they represent the Indian Coast Guard. They also carry out the duties of Coast Guard court trial law officers, convened to try delinquent Coast Guard staff.




Educational Qualification

General Duty

21- 25 Years


Bachelor’s degree with a total of 60 per cent marks in a university recognized by the Central / State Govt./UGC and a minimum of 60 per cent in Class XII Std with a 10 + 2 + 3 education scheme with math and physics as subjects.


19-27 Years


12th passed or equivalent to 60 per cent marks in 10 + 2 + 3 or equivalent scheme and should have the current Commercial Pilot License at the selection date

Technical Officers

21-20 Years


Degree with a total of 60 percent marks in Naval Architecture / Mechanical / Marine / Electronics / Design / Production / Aeronautical / Metallurgical / Control Engineering or equivalent and a minimum of 60 percent in class XII Std of 10 + 2 + 3


Below 45 Years


A degree in Law with 8 yrs of experience

Should be eligible for the post of an Advocate

Join the Indian Coast Guard as a Personnel Below Officer Rank:

The Indian Coast Guard also conducts recruitment for Personnel Below Officer Rank:

  1. Yantrik
  2. Navik

A Yantrik is responsible for operating and maintaining on board the vessels and aircraft of the Coast Guard mechanical, electrical or aeronautical equipment and systems.

A Navik serve in the branches of General – Duty. The Naviks of the General Duty serve as sailors, operators of weapons systems, specialists of communication, divers, etc., or in specific roles of support for maritime or aviation. They also serve on board vessels of the Coast Guard in roles such as stewards, cooks, etc.



Educational Qualification


18-22 years

10+2 from an acknowledged board with 50% marks and 50% in math and physics


18-22 Years

Matriculation or equivalent and Diploma in Electrical / Mechanical / Electronics and Telecommunications (Radio / Power) Engineering Approved by the Technical Education Council of All India (AICTE) with a total of 60 percent.

Equipment of Indian Coast Guard:

The Indian Coast Guard operates different types of Ships and Aircraft that are specially designed for reconnaissance, natural calamities and prevention of environmental pollution.

Following are the various types of equipment used by the Indian Coast Guard:

  1. Reconnaissance Aircraft: They are used to conduct aerial surveillance of an area and can be used for the purpose of the survey, search and rescue, imagery etc. Some of the aircraft are – Dornier Do, HAL Dhruv, HAL Chetak.
  2. Pollution Control Vessels: The Pollution control vessels are those which help in combating oil spillages from offshore oil refineries. Some of the vessels are – ICGS Samudra Prahari
  3. Offshore Patrol Vessels: They are used to conduct patrolling of any incoming boats and are also used to combat any smuggling operations. Some of the vessels are – ICGS Vikram
  4. Interceptor Craft: They are fast boats that are specifically designed to combat smugglers and rescue hostages. Some of the vessels are – ICGS Rajshree
  5. Hovercrafts: An amphibious craft that can travel across land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces.


The Indian Coast Guard has already released the notification for the recruitment of Assistant Commandant 1/23. As the Stage I exam is scheduled for the last week of March 2022, there is not so much time left for the exam. You can check our Online Classroom program that will enhance your preparation and will boost your chances of getting selected also, and you can check our Defence Mock Test series that will help you to test your preparation. You can also check the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Assistant Commandant (AC) 2022 Syllabus to get an idea about CGCAT Exam. 

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