Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 55 – Q 4.What are paramilitary forces? What role do various paramilitary forces play in India’s internal security? Explain.

4. What are paramilitary forces? What role do various paramilitary forces play in India’s internal security? Explain. 

अर्धसैनिक बल क्या हैं? भारत की आंतरिक सुरक्षा में विभिन्न अर्धसैनिक बलों की क्या भूमिका है?


A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military. The term “Paramilitary forces” in India has not been defined in any acts or by authorities officially.


Different paramilitary forces:

  • The Assam Rifles (AR) – led by Indian Army officers reporting to the Ministry of Home Affairs: 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 civilians in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas
  • The Special Frontier Force-led by Indian Army officers reporting to Indian Intelligence: SFF was raised with covert operations in mind, mainly along the Indo-China border, however SFF has been fielded by R&AW and the Indian government in various covert and overt operation theatres.
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF): It is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force and also considered to be World’s largest Paramilitary Force. It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India. The CRPF has played an increasingly large role in India’s general elections.
  • Border Security Force (BSF): It is a Central Armed Police Force charged with guarding India’s land border during peacetime and preventing transnational crime at the same, it has various active roles during an outbreak of war. It is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP): It is one of the CRPF. The ITBP was intended for deployment along India’s border with Tibet
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): its duties are guarding sensitive governmental buildings, the Delhi Metro, and providing airport security. It is directly under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): It is mandated with significant role of guarding and intelligence across borders, especially India-Nepal and India-Bhutan
  • National Security Guard (NSG): It is a counter terrorism unit under the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs. The NSG is trained to conduct counter terrorist task to including counter hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air; Bomb disposal (search, detection and neutralization of IEDs); PBI (Post Blast Investigation) and Hostage Rescue missions.
  • Special Protection Group (SPG): It is an armed force of the Union for providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and former Prime Ministers of India and members of their immediate families wherever in the world they are.


Paramilitary forces play their role in almost all the critical matters of internal security, from riots and insurgency to terrorism and smuggling. They are also an important part of defence intelligence required for internal security and integrity of India.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email