Paramilitary Forces of India

Paramilitary Forces of India

Paramilitary Forces of India

What is a Paramilitary force?

  • Paramilitary Forces of India semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) functions are similar to those of a professional military but which is not included as part of a state’s formal armed forces.
  • Though a paramilitary is not a military force, it is usually like the military’s light infantry force in terms of training, and organizational structure.
  • Paramilitary forces help in maintaining law and order to maintain internal peace and also act as forces of defence in case of external aggression.

The list of Paramilitary Forces of India is given below, followed by the description of each:

  1. Assam Rifles
  2. Border Security Force (BSF)
  3. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  4. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  5. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBF)
  6. National Security Guard (NSG)
  7. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

Assam Rifles:

  • The Assam Rifles was established in 1835.
  • It is considered the oldest of all paramilitary forces.
  • This force plays a crucial role in North East India, handling counterinsurgency and border security operations.
  • They have also guarding the 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border since 2002.
  • It is the only paramilitary force with a dual-control structure.
  • It is often referred to as the“Friends of the Hill People”, “Friends of the North East People” and the “Sentinels of the North East”.
  • It is headed by an Army officer of the rank of Lieutenant General. It currently reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The administrative control of Assam Rifles is with MHA while the operational control is with the Ministry of Defence.

Border Security Force (BSF) :

  • The BSF is the border guard of the country and is called ‘India’s First Line of Defence’.
  • This Union Government Agency under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs came into being in the wake of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war. It was established on 1st December 1965.
  • It ensures the security of the borders of India and is headed by an officer from the Indian Police Service.
  • It also undertakes defensive actions during wartime to free up Indian Army troops for offensive operations.
  • Of late, the BSF has also been tasked with assisting the CRPF and army in counter-insurgency operations.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) :

  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was established in 1969, under an Act of Parliament, “Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968.”
  • It provides integrated security cover to the Public Sector Undertakings, airports, and SEZs on a case-to-case basis.
  • It is currently providing security cover to nuclear installations, space establishments, airports, seaports, power plants, sensitive government buildings, heritage monuments, and large special economic zones.
  • CISF is also responsible for protecting the persons classified as Z Plus, Z, X, and Y.
  • CISF is the only force with a customized and dedicated fire wing.
  • CISF is a compensatory cost force.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

  • The Central Reserve Police Force was established by the enactment of the CRPF Act in 1949.
  • Initially, it came into existence as Crown Representative’s Police in 1939 for internal security.
  • The primary mission of the Central Reserve Police Force is counter-insurgency operations.
  • It also assists the State and Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order.
  • Apart from this, the force participates as a police force in UN peacekeeping missions.
  • The CRPF maintains a special operation unit known as the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) to combat Maoist insurgents.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police was established on 24th October 1962, after the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict.
  • It was created under the CRPF Act.
  • It guards the Indo-Tibetan border and the mountainous regions of the India-China border and monitors the northern borders.
  • ITBP replaced Assam Rifles in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in 2004. The Indo-China border covering the following state is guarded by the ITBP (From the Karakoram Pass in Jammu & Kashmir to Jechap La in Arunachal Pradesh):
    • Jammu & Kashmir
    • Himachal Pradesh
    • Uttarakhand
    • Sikkim
    • Arunachal Pradesh
  • It detects and prevents border violations.
  • The force also keeps a check on illegal immigration and trans-border smuggling.
  • It has been deployed in UN peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Western Sahara, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and Sudan.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

  • The Sashastra Seema Bal was set up in March 1963.
  • They guard the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
  • They are also deployed during elections as polling booth security.
  • Its area of coverage includes 15 states.
  • Previously, it was known as the Special Service Bureau and they are deployed to control anti-national activities and inculcate feelings of national belonging in the border population. It also acts against smuggling and other illegal activities.

National Security Guards (NSG)

  • It was established on 22nd September 1986.
  • The National Security Guards is a special forces unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • It is established to counter the surge of militancy in the country.
  • It has a highly trained force that deals with exceptional situations when local police and special forces need assistance.
  • It was raised to combat terrorist activities and to guarantee the states do not experience any internal disturbances.
  • They played a crucial role in countering the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Special Protection Group (SPG)

  • It was raised in 1985.
  • The Special Protection Group is the most elite, nodal protection agency in the country.
  • It is an armed force of the Union for providing immediate security to the Prime Minister of India, the former Prime Minister, and members of their close family members.
  • The Special Protection Group (SPG) under the Cabinet Secretariat commences under the Special Protection Group Act, of 1988.

What are the various problems faced by paramilitary forces?

  • Poor quality of food
  • Shortage of gazetted officers (GOs) and personnel
  • The old pension scheme is not being provided to personnel joining service after December 31, 2003.
  • Lack of training and skills.

Related Links:

Myanmar Military ConflictThe Places of Worship Act 1991
DRDOEnforcement Directorate