Central Armed Police Forces

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A member of India's Border Security Force

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) (Hindi:केंद्रीय सशस्त्र पुलिस बल), also referred to as Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs), and Central Police Organizations(CPOs), including by the Government, are Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Forces, organized on military lines. There are seven CAPFs - Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashashtra Seema Bal (SSB), Assam Rifles (AR), and National Security Guard(NSG)- with a combined strength several hundred battalions, and over 800,000 personnel. [1]:p 453, para7.19.11

Organization and Leadership[edit]

Five CAPFs, the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF & SSB, are organized on military lines. These CAPF have their own cadre of officers, but are barred from filling top jobs reserved for officers of the Indian Police Service on deputation. They have for many years now demanded improved promotional prospects. [1]:p 455, para 17.19.19 But the higher echelons in these organisations, including the head of the organization, designated as Director General, is reserved by the MHA for Indian Police Service (IPS) officers [1]:p 457, para 7.19.31 The DG's of five CAPFs, namely BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF & SSB, were upgraded by the Manmohan Singh led UPA Government following the 6 CPC the apex scale, ie, a grade higher than that of Lt Generals of the Indian army.[1]:p 167,para3.2.11

The NSG, which has also been categorized as CAPF, is unlike the other CAPFs. It has special forces mandate, and it core operational capability is provided by Indian army officers and men. It's police component, which also does VIP security, is drawn from the other CAPF organizations. The head of NSG so far has been reserved by MHA for IPS.

Assam Rifles the latest to be designated as CAPF, is the oldest paramilitary organization, which till it was placed under MHA under the army. It is headed by an army Lt General, designated as DG AR, which unlike the head of other CAPFs was not upgraded by the UPA Government. [1]:p 139, para 2.4.4

Central Armed Police Forces[edit]

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)[edit]

A CRPF Commando

The Central Reserve Police Force is the largest of the Central Armed Police Forces units with 325,000 personnel in 245 battalions.[2][3][4] The Central Reserve Police includes:

Border Security Force (BSF)[edit]

The primary role of the Border Security Force is to police border areas of the country, except the mountains. It has all police powers in its jurisdiction. It has 240,000 personnel in 186 battalions,[6][7][8] and is headed by an Indian Police Service Officer.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)[edit]

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is deployed for guarding duties on the border with China from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh covering a total distance of 2488 km.[9] It has 77,000 personnel in 55 battalions.[10][11]

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)[edit]

One of the largest industrial security forces in the world, the Central Industrial Security Force provides security to various PSUs and other critical infrastructure installations across the country. It has a total strength of about 165,000 personnel in 132 battalions.[12][13]

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)[edit]

The objective of the Sashastra Seema Bal (English: Armed Border Force) is to guard the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Borders. It has 82,000 personnel and 73 battalions, as well as some reserved battalions.[14]

National Security Guard (NSG)[edit]

NSG set up in 1984, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, by the Indian Congress party of Rajeev Gandhi, unlike the other five CAPFs, is composed of police and army personnel. Its main component, Special Action Group (SAG), is manned and officered by Indian Army personnel. The support component, Special Rangers Group (SRG), is composed of personnel on deputation from other CAPFs-State Police Forces. [1]:p 455, para7.19.17Even though a sizable component of the force is from the army, the post of the head of the post, for political reasons, has been reserved for an officer from the IPS.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sixth Central Pay Commission (March 2008). "Report of the Sixth Central Pay Commission" (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Ministry of Finance. p. 9. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  2. ^ GreaterKashmir.com (Greater Service) (2011-04-18). "CRPF ALL SET FOR IMAGE MAKEOVER". Greaterkashmir.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  3. ^ "CRPF to induct 38 new battalions in the coming years". Zeenews.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  4. ^ "‘CRPF to raise 37 new battalions by 2018’". Indian Express. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ "COBRA to sting Naxal virus: new force gets Centre nod". Financial Express. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  6. ^ IBTL (2012-12-01). "Border Security Force ( BSF ) - Duty unto Death | Dec 1, 1965 Foundation Day - IBTL". Ibtl.in. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  7. ^ "First ever women BSF to guard the Indian borders". Ibnlive.in.com. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  8. ^ "::Welcome to". Newsbharati.com. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  9. ^ "Indo-Tibetan Border Police". Archive.india.gov.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  10. ^ "ITBP to have 90,000-strong force by 2015". Hindustan Times. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  11. ^ "ITBP to get 15 new battalions". Indian Express. 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  12. ^ "About CISF". Cisf.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  13. ^ "Govt to recruit 20,000 women in paramilitary forces in 3 years". NDTV.com. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  14. ^ "Guarding the Nation’s Frontiers | eGov Magazine". Egov.eletsonline.com. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]