Central Armed Police Forces

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A member of India's Border Security Force in ceremonial attire

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) (Hindi: केंद्रीय सशस्त्र पुलिस बल) refers to uniform nomenclature of five security forces[1][2] in India under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs. They are the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).[3]

Organisation and leadership[edit]

Each of the five CAPFs (the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF and SSB) has its own cadre of officers, but they are headed by officers of the Indian Police Service. They have, for many years, demanded improved promotional prospects.[4]:p 455, para 17.19.19 However, 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 [4]:p 457, para 7.19.31 The DGs of those five CAPFs were upgraded by the Manmohan Singh led UPA Government following the 6 CPC the apex scale, a grade held by DGs of various state police.[5]:page 5[4]:p 167,para3.2.11 They were allocated a total of 52,443 crore (US$8.1 billion) for the fiscal year 2017-2018.[6]


Recruitment is conducted mainly in three modes.

Gazetted Officers[edit]

Officers in CAPFs are recruited through Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandants) Examination conducted by UPSC. They are appointed as Assistant Commandants and are Gazetted Officers generally referred as DAGOs (Directly Appointed Gazetted Officers). DEGOs (Departmental Entry Gazetted Officers) are who have been promoted through departmental exams conducted internally for Subordinate Officers.

Subordinate Officers[edit]

Sub Inspectors are recruited through competitive examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission and they are referred as DASOs (Directly Appointed Subordinate Officers). DESOs (Departmental Entry Subordinate Officers) are who have been promoted through departmental exams conducted internally for Constables, Head Constables and Assistant Sub Inspectors.


Constables are recruited through competitive examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission.

Apart from above modes, CAPFs conduct recruitment for specialized posts such as Engineers, Doctors etc. among DAGOs and Wireless operators, Technicians, Nursing Staff etc. among subordinate officers and constables directly under their own authority.

Recruitment Department[edit]

The recruitment of the candidates in the CAPF is done by the Union Public Service Commission as well the Sashastra Seema Bal for the various posts according to the qualification of the candidates. For the higher levels posts, it is done via army

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)[edit]

The Central Reserve Police Force is the largest of the Central Armed Police Forces units with 325,000 personnel in 245 battalions.[7][8][9] The Central Reserve Police includes:

Border Security Force (BSF)[edit]

Women personnel of Indian Border Security Force

The primary role of the Border Security Force is to guard the border of the India with Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is deployed both on the IB and the LOC. The BSF also has active roles during times of war. It has 245,000 personnel in 186 battalions,[11][12][13] 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.[14] It has 77,000 personnel in 56 fighting and 4 reserve battalions.[15][16]

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 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and other critical infrastructure installations across the country. It has a total strength of about 165,000 personnel in 132 battalions.[17][18]

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.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pers II, MHA. "Adoption of Nomenclature for CAPFs" (PDF). www.mha.nic.in. MHA, GoI. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "For the paramilitary, all's in a new name". The Telegraph. The Telegraph Calcutta. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Central Armed Police Forces -". mha.nic.in. 
  4. ^ a b c 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. 
  5. ^ "6th CPC Notification" (PDF). http://mod.gov.in/. MoD, GoI.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ "Rs 78,000 crore budget for MHA; Rs 1,577 crore for Intelligence Bureau in Budget 2017". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  7. ^ GreaterKashmir.com (Greater Service) (2011-04-18). "CRPF ALL SET FOR IMAGE MAKEOVER". Greaterkashmir.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  8. ^ "CRPF to induct 38 new battalions in the coming years". Zeenews.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  9. ^ "‘CRPF to raise 37 new battalions by 2018’". Indian Express. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  10. ^ "COBRA to sting Naxal virus: new force gets Centre nod". Financial Express. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  11. ^ IBTL (2012-12-01). "Border Security Force ( BSF ) – Duty unto Death | Dec 1, 1965 Foundation Day – IBTL". Ibtl.in. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  12. ^ "First ever women BSF to guard the Indian borders Nerswn". Ibnlive.in.com. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  13. ^ "::Welcome to". Newsbharati.com. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  14. ^ "Indo-Tibetan Border Police". Archive.india.gov.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  15. ^ "ITBP to have 90,000-strong force by 2015". Hindustan Times. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  16. ^ "ITBP to get 15 new battalions". Indian Express. 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  17. ^ "About CISF". Cisf.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  18. ^ "Govt to recruit 20,000 women in paramilitary forces in 3 years". NDTV.com. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  19. ^ "Guarding the Nation’s Frontiers | eGov Magazine". Egov.eletsonline.com. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]