Difference Between Indian Navy and Indian Coast guard

Jai Hind future warriors today we are going to discuss an important topic that is the difference between Indian Navy(IN) and Indian Coast Guard(ICG), which many aspirants new to the defence community are not much aware about.

Indian Navy vs Indian Coast guard 1


Indian Coast Guard

  • Ensuring the safety and protection of artificial Islands, offshore terminals, installations and other structures and devices in any maritime zone.
  • Providing protection and assistance to fishermen in distress while at Sea.
  • Preservation and protection of our maritime environment including prevention and control of marine pollution.
  • Assisting the Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations.
  • Enforcement of Maritime Zones of India Act.
  • Precautionary measures for the safety of life and property at sea and collection of scientific data.

Indian Navy

  • In conjunction with other Armed Forces of the union, act to deter or defeat any threats or aggression against the territory, people or maritime interests of India, both in war and peace
  • Project influence in India’s maritime area of interest, to further the nation’s political, economic and security objectives
  • In cooperation with the Indian Coast Guard, ensure good order and stability in India’s maritime zones of responsibility.
  • Provide maritime assistance (including disaster relief) in India’s maritime neighbourhood.
  • For the complete role of the navy (as it alone would require a full article) refer to Role of Indian Navy in official website.

Differences between Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard:

  • While both the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard come under the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Navy is part of the three armed forces whereas ICG is more like a para-military force/CAPF. That is, in case of a war it will be the Indian Navy, responsible for attacking the enemy’s ports/ships/submarines or blocking the enemy’s access to the sea whereas the Coast Guard will be responsible for surveillance and defence of offshore posts/ports.
  • While protection of the high seas is vested with the Indian Navy, the area between 10 and 30 nautical miles from the shore is under the charge of the Coast Guard and from the beach to five nautical miles with the coastal police as well as the Coast Guard.
  • The Navy may be sent anywhere in the world by the government to attack an enemy port or take control of an island whereas the Coast Guard is just used in domestic offshore surveillance
  • Indian navy takes part in various exercises and rescue operations at the international level, but the coast guards do not do so.
  • (July 2021 data) The Indian Navy possesses 1 aircraft carrier, 1 amphibious transport dock, 8 Landing ship tanks, 10 destroyers, 13 frigates, 1 Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, 16 conventionally powered attack submarines, 23 corvettes, 8 Landing Craft Utility, 10 large offshore patrol vessels, 5 fleet tankers and various auxiliary vessels and small patrol boats

The Coast Guard has around 173 patrol vessels and 67 aircraft (surveillance and patrol) under its armpit

Therefore it’s no guess who is more powerful. But this difference has more to do with their roles, as it is the Indian Navy which is getting more ships due to our huge access to the Indian Ocean thus more chance of blocking Chinese access whereas the Coast Guard has a domestic role

  • The officers of the Indian Navy are commissioned whereas officers of ICG are appointed as Class ‘A’ gazetted officers.
  • In ICG, rank names are similar to para-military forces but unlike para-military forces (where above DIG rank are from IPS cadre) they have full hierarchy from their own force (earlier naval forces were also there because of lack of seniority of an officer of ICG)

 The Rank Structure in the Indian Navy for officer cadre is:

image 19

Whereas the ICG follows the rank structure similar to CAPFs for its officer cadre:

image 20
  • Personnel of ICG do not get Ex-Servicemen status after retirement, whereas their counterparts in the Navy do.
  • The Defence Budget of India includes only the budget for Army, Navy and Airforce. The ICG budget is not part of it. The ICG is paid through the ‘Civil Estimates’ of the MoD.
  • MSP (Military Service Pay) is not there in ICG.
  • ICG has NPS as a pension system, unlike the Navy which has a regular pension system.
  • The Indian Coast Guard Academy is under construction in Azhikkal, Kerala. The officers of the Indian Coast Guard undergo basic military training at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala along with the officers of the Indian Navy


In short, routine policing, anti-smuggling, patrols, and stochastic anti-pollution duties were too demanding for the expensive assets and highly trained and specialized naval personnel. Naval ships are prohibitively expensive and are very specialized. Hence, the navy felt the need for a coast guard, which was set up by the navy, by naval officers.

Hope this post was informative for you. For more such posts related to defence exams and SSB interviews stay tuned.

To join the Indian Navy and Coast guardc, you can join our written exams online courses and SSB interview live classes batch and we recommend you to Enroll SSB INTERVIEW ONLINE COURSE. Trusted by thousands of defence aspirants.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Join Indian Navy In 2022

  • Comment (2)
  • You forgot to mention what Navy calls coast guard “Biscuit Factory”, Naval Officers are no were near comparison with Coast Guard officers. CG offers are idiots and they don’t have to pass through SSB. It’s been more than 40 years still CG don’t have its own training facility, Infrastructure and found always dependant and demanding from Navy.

    • This is how you are going to prepare for Armed forces? This is not an OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES
      You said coast guard doesn’t have SSB here I can clearly see your knowledge. ICG has its own SSB like procedure.
      And in 2018 MOD rejected the proposal to cede ICG under MHA and stated that ICG is the fourth INDIAN ARMED FORCE of India.
      As far as your comment is concerned many defence aspirants choose ICG as a career in defence.

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