Indian Coast Guard Training Academy News

Indian Coast Guard Training Academy News

Govt approves New Coast Guard Academy in Kerala

The youngest and smallest of the four armed forces under the defence ministry, the Indian Coast Guard ( ICG ) is now finally set to get a training academy of its own under the ongoing revamp of the country’s coastal security infrastructure.

The Cabinet Committee on Security, Chaired by PM Manmohan Singh on 24th September, 2012 evening, cleared the setting up of the ICG academy at Azhikkal in Kannur district of Kerala at a cost of [rupee] 661 crore, which includes land, infrastructure and manpower needs.

“The state government has offered 164 acre of land at Azhikkal for the academy. The ICG needs professionally trained officers and enrolled personnel to carry out its mandate at sea to meet the ever – changing challenges in the field of maritime security,” said an official on 26th September, 2012.

The proposed academy, the second major military academy in Kerala after the Indian Naval Academy ( INA ) at Ezhimala, will be capable of training 650 trainees as well as catering to the training needs of naval, BSF ( water wing ) and marine police personnel.

INA itself is poised for a major expansion at a cost of around [rupee] 340 crore to ensure the existing annual capacity of 750 trainees can be taken up to 1,200 cadets from 2015 onwards.

The government decided to bolster the “assets” and manpower of ICG, which has suffered from relative neglect since it came into existence in August 1978, after being jolted by the 26 / 11 terror attacks in Mumbai four years ago.

“Apart from using Navy’s training facilities, ICG also has a makeshift training centre at Kochi. But these temporary arrangements have proved to be inadequate due to growing needs of ICG,” said the official.

Plans are afoot to ensure Coast Guard can increase its force – levels to around 200 ships and 100 aircraft by 2018 to effectively tackle its operational tasks, which include piracy and the terror threat emanating from sea, say officials.

At present, ICG is making do with just about 110 “surface units”, including just six advanced and 11 other offshore patrol vessels, and 51 “air units” comprising 28 Dornier surveillance aircraft, 19 Chetak and four Dhruv helicopters.

Moreover, it has 1,714 officers, 9,196 enrolled personnel and 1,553 civilians. This when at least triple those numbers are required to effectively protect India’s vast 5,422 – km coastline, 1,197 islands and 2.01 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone ( EEZ ).

India’s EEZ, incidentally, will expand by another one million sq km after the proposed delimitation of the Continental Shelf, which will then make it almost equal to the country’s actual landmass.