Coast Guards…the caretaker of India's coastline.


The Maritime Zones of India Act was passed on 25 Aug 1976. Under this Act, India claimed 2.8 million sq km of sea area in which she has the exclusive rights for exploration and exploitation of resources, both living and non-living at sea.
The Coast Guard in its present shape was formally inaugurated on 18 Aug 1978 as an independent armed force of the union with the enactment of the Coast Guard Act 1978. Though an offshoot of the Navy, they are an independent organisation. Their motto is 'Vayam Rakshamah' which means 'We Protect.'

The role of the coast guard is to protect India's ocean and offshore wealth including oil, fish and minerals. They are responsible for the security of the oil rigs and ensure that no illegal mining or fishing is carried out in Indian waters. They enforce the maritime laws and assist the customs and police forces in apprehending smugglers at sea. Vessels plying on Indian waters report their position at least twice a day to the nearest coastguard vessel.

Apart from their regular duties, the coast guard also conducts various tests like checking the pollution level and marine life. In peacetime they supervise and conduct round-the-clock surveillance of India's waters upto 200 nautical miles into the sea. There are also a number of smaller duties such as helping boats that are lost at sea, warning other vessels during bad weather, etc.
The Indian Coast Guard is the National Maritme Search and Rescue Co-ordinating Authority for executing and coordinating search and rescue missions. This is done using multi-mission stations located along the coastline, Coast Guard ships and Coast Guard aircraft all of which are linked by an extensive communication network.


The Coast Guards are split into three branches.
* General Duty Branch
* General Duty Branch (Pilot/ Navigator)
* Technical Branch


General Duty Branch
This is the operational branch of the Coast Guard. As a General Duty Officer you will operate weapons and sensors and perform the command function, which demands a wide sphere of knowledge of your equipment. The safety of your ship and men, the manoeuvre of your ships will be your responsibility


General Duty Branch (Pilot/ Navigator)
This branch operates aircraft like the Dornier from air stations for surveillance purposes. In addition, helicopters also operate from Coast Guard Vessels to provide local surveillance and perform search and rescue missions at sea. You will pilot and navigate these aircrafts day and night and in all weather conditions.


Technical Branch
Modern ships and aircrafts are abound with advanced technology and machinery. In the technical branch you will be responsible for the up keep all these equipments. You can also work on shore jobs in Coast Guard repair organisations.

You will be on the ship most of the time. When you are not busy chasing criminals or saving lives you will be catching up with a lot of paper work. This is only till the time you get some information about a criminal activity on Indian waters. Then you are immediately on your way in an interceptor speedboat, or a helicopter or even a hovercraft!

Recreation comes in the form of indoor games, books and music. You get to travel along the entire coast of India and even visit a few neighbouring countries. Life is calm and follows a routine. That is till you receive an SOS to rescue!



Name Of Post/Branch/Age as on 1st Julyof the year of recruitment/Education Qualification/Physical Standard

Assistant Commandant/General Duty/21-25 years of years (5 years relaxation for SC/ST and 3 years for OBC men-women/Degree with Mathematics and Physics as subject upto intermediate or class XII of 10+2+3 scheme/Height 157, weight 45 kgs, eye sight 6/6 & 6/9 without glasses

Assistant Commandant/General Duty (Pilot/Navigator)/19-27 years (5 years relaxation for SC/ST and 3 years for OBC/12th class in 10+2 scheme or equivalent posessing a commercial pilot licence or B.Sc with Physics and Mathematics/Height min. 162 cms max 198 cm, leg length Min 99 cms, weight 91 kg (Max), eye sight 6/6 without glasses

Assistant Commandant/Technical Branch/21-30 years (5 years relaxation for SC/ST and 3 years for OBC)

Degree in Naval Architecture-Mechanical-Electrical-Electronics-Marine-Design Engineering/Height 157 cm weight proportionate to height, eye sight 6/12 and 6/36


Job Opportunities

The recruitment of Asst. Commandants is conducted bi-annually through advertisements in leading national newspapers. The shortlisted candidates are called for Preliminary Selection (PSB) as per their choice centres at Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and Delhi. This selection procedure consists of a Mental Ability Test and interview. The candidates who clear the PSB are called for Final Selection Board (FSB) at New Delhi. The candidates subject to medical fitness are selected as per merit list.
Basic training is imparted at Naval Academy, Goa for 20 weeks. This is followed by afloat training onboard a Coast Guard Ship for 36 weeks. The technical courses are at held at various naval schools over the next 48 weeks and the training ends with watch-keeping onboard Coast Guard Ships for a period of 24 weeks.
After this you would be commissioned as an Assistant Commandant and serve on board any of the coast guard ships, patrol boats or interceptor craft.

Money & Other Benefits

In addition to an attractive pay package, officer is entitled to paid annual leave, medical facilities, leave travel concession like in any other armed service wing.


Career Prospects

The promotion prospects are good in this wing of the armed forces. An Assistant Commandant on completion of 6 years of service becomes a Deputy Commandant. After 2 years of service as DC you will be promoted as Commandant. After eight years as DC you pick up the rank of DIG and thereafter IG in another six years.


While working with the Coast Guard, you can take numerous postgraduate courses in engineering, search and rescue operation, pollution control, computers, etc. You can utilise these skills after you come out of the service in the private sector.