Paramilitary forces of India

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For police forces formerly considered paramilitary forces, see Central Armed Police Forces

Indian Armed Forces
Military Manpower
Active troops 1,325,000 (3rd)
Reserve forces 1,155,000 (7th)
Paramilitary forces
and CAPF
1,293,300 (4th)
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Indian Air Force Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg
Indian Navy Naval Ensign of India.svg
Paramilitary forces of India
Central Armed Police Forces
Strategic Nuclear Command
Military history of India
Air Force ranks and insignia
Army ranks and insignia
Naval ranks and insignia

The term "paramilitary forces" in India has not been defined in any acts or by authorities officially however they are conventionally used to refer to three forces i.e. Assam Rifles, Special Frontier Force and Indian Coast Guard

Central Armed Police Forces were formerly referred as Paramilitary Forces however from March 2011, Ministry of Home Affairs adopted a uniform nomenclature of Central Armed Police Forces for five forces namely CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB to avoid confusion.[1]

Indian Coast Guard[edit]

Main article: Indian Coast Guard
An Indian Coast Guard ship.

The Indian Coast Guard (Hindi: भारतीय तटरक्षक, Bhāratīya Taṭarakṣaka) (ICG) is a non military[2] maritime force that protects India's maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone. The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.

Assam Rifles[edit]

Main article: Assam Rifles

The Assam Rifles can trace their lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy. Since then the Assam Rifles have undergone a number of name changes before the name Assam Rifles was finally adopted in 1917.[3] Over the course of its history, the Assam Rifles and its predecessor units have served in a number of roles, conflicts and theatres including World War I where they served in Europe and the Middle East, and World War II where they served mainly in Burma. In the post World War II period the Assam Rifles has expanded greatly as has its role. There are currently 46 battalions[4] of Assam Rifles under the control of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and they perform many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.[5] In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.

Special Frontier Force[edit]

The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is a paramilitary unit of India. It was conceived in the post Sino-Indian war period as a guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan who are residents of India whose main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in case of another war between the People's Republic of China and India.

Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, SFF is also known as the Establishment 22.[6][7] The force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Office Memorandum" (PDF). MHA. MHA, GoI. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Detailed History of Indian Coast Guard[ In Detail ]". Indian Coast Guard. ICG. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  3. ^ The Assam Frontier Police (1883), the Assam Military Police (1891) and Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913), before finally becoming the Assam Rifles in 1917. See Sharma 2008.
  4. ^ See History of the Assam Rifles
  5. ^ Sharma 2008.
  6. ^ "Army Establishment". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  7. ^ The SFF became morle famous within the administration as the "Establishment 22" because its first Inspector General (IG) Major Gen. Sujan Singh, a Military Cross holder and a legendary figure in the British India Army. Singh commanded the 22nd Mountain Regiment during World War II in Europe and a Long Range Desert Squadron (LRDS) in north Africa.
  8. ^ "Bollywood Sargam - Special: Tibetan faujis in Bluestar". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]