During the seventies a pressing need was felt for the protection of our offshore assets. There was also a requirement of ensuring Maritime Laws in our waters. Furthermore, during the early seventies large scale seaborne smuggling was reported.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee called RUSTOMJI COMMITTEE was set up in September 1974 to examine the requirement and type of force that was needed for safeguarding our national interests in the EEZ. This committee recommended to the Government that there was a need for the formation of a force called the COAST GUARD.
With the enactment of the Maritime Zone Act in 1976, the EEZ range was extended upto 200 nm from the coastal line of India, thereby increasing the area to be guarded to approximately 20,00,000 sq km. A Coast Guard Cell was set up in January 1977 to lay the foundation of the Coast Guard which resulted in coming into force of the Coast Guard Act, 1978. The Coast Guard formally came into being on 18 August 1978 with its motto as ‘VYAM RAKSHAM’, i.e. ‘ WE PROTECT’.