Discuss the role of Indian Coast Guard to deal with the contemporary maritime challenges.

Discuss the role of Indian Coast Guard to deal with the contemporary maritime challenges.


  • Give a brief introduction about Indian Coast Guard.
  • Discuss the various maritime challenges.
  • Then, explain the role of Coast Guard to deal with challenges.
  • Conclude with suggestions.
Model Answer :

The Indian Coast Guard is a multi-mission organization, conducting round-the-year real-life operations at sea.  Despite being relatively small, it has a wide range of task capabilities for both surface and air operations. 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.

Maritime challenges:

  • Maritime terrorism is a major challenge that makes our 7517 km long coastline vulnerable to attacks. Example-26/11 attack of Mumbai.
  • Rising incidents of pirates in the Indian Ocean. Example-Somali pirates.
  • Threats to national security like arms-smuggling, terrorist infiltration as well as crimes like illegal fishing, human-smuggling and drug-trafficking.
  • Natural disasters like cyclones as well as man-made disasters like oil spills.
  • China’s growing naval presence in Indian Ocean.

Role of Coast Guard in dealing with maritime challenges:

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is responsible for coastal security in territorial waters.
  • ICG ships and aircraft undertake regular patrols to enforce maritime laws, and other regulations and international treaties to which India is a signatory.
  • ICG works to mitigate the effect of maritime accidents, and help in ensuring safety and security from natural or man-made disasters.
  • ICG provides assistance to fishermen in distress at sea like during cyclones, earthquake etc.
  • It also backs-up the navy in case of war.
  • It also assists the Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations.

India needs a multidimensional approach like a multi-disciplinary maritime advisory body, modernization of ports and infrastructure, capacity building of coast guards, coordination among marine police, coast guards and navy etc. to handle all the maritime challenges effectively.

Subjects : Security Issues

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