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Careers in Paramilitary Forces

Domestic security has been a major area of concern in recent times in India. It is here that the role of paramilitary forces come into play. Paramilitary force organisations are protective forces that have been formed to maintain domestic and internal security. There are lot of opportunities that paramilitary forces can offer.

What are Paramilitary forces?

Paramilitary forces are agencies of Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Home Affairs. These forces are considered as part of the Indian Armed Forces as they provide additional support in guarding the national borders. The Indian Paramilitary Forces are the world’s second largest paramilitary organisation after the Chinese Paramilitary Force. The five central armed police forces which come under the Ministry of Home Affairs are:

  • Border Security Force
  • Central Industrial Security Force
  • Central Reserve Police Force
  • Indo Tibetan Border Police
  • Sashastra Seema Bal

Border Security Force (BSF)

Working for the BSF is a matter of pride as you get to guard prime borders of India like Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangladesh. It is currently the world’s largest border guarding force.  The recruitment of the BSF is under the following cadres:

General Duty Cadre

  • Constable
  • Subinspector
Communication Set Up

  • Assistant Commandant    
  • Assistant Sub Inspector (Radio Mechanic)    
  • Head Constable (Radio Operator)

Head Constable

For details on BSF, click here

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

The Central Industrial Security Force or CISF started with only three batallions in 1969 to provide security to PSUs or Public Sector Undertakings. Today the force boasts of one lakh thirty nine thousand and four hundred personnel. CISF is currently providing security to airports, sensitive public and government buildings, nuclear and power plants, Delhi Metro. It also provides security to VIPs and provides help in disaster management. For details on CISF, click here

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF is the country’s premier police force for internal security originally constituted in 1939 as Crown Representative Police. After independence it was named as Central Reserve Police Force and instituted as an armed force of the Union. It played a crcucial role during the Chinese aggression in 1962 and then again in 1965 and 1971 in Indo-Pak wars. CRPF batallions were posted in the disturbed areas of Manipur and Tripura which witnessed heavy violence by the extremists especially during the late 70s. Today it safeguards the North Eastern states of India and and Jammu and Kashmir against militants and extremist groups and naxalism.  One can join in the rank of Assistant Commandant before moving on to Deputy Commandant till the level of IGP. For details on CISF, click here

Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

Constituted in 1962, the Indo Tibetan Border Police is a multidimensional force. It is one of the main paramilitary forces that works in the harshest of conditions. It is a specialised mountain force as ITBP is exposed to avalanches, blizzards and landslides. The ITBP personnel are required to work in high altitude and extreme temperatures that dip to minus 40 degree Celsius. Today ITBP is deployed in Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and manning Border Out Posts at an altitude ranging from 9000’ to 18500’ in the Western, Middle & Eastern Sector of India China Border.ITBP plays the most important role during disaster management especially during natural disaster in the Himalayas, Uttaranchal, HP and the Northeast. ITBP has also excelled in UN peace keeping operation and provides security to the pilgrims of the annual Mansarovar expedition. For details on ITBP, click here

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

Sashastra Seema Bal or SSB was set up in 1963 after the Indo-China war. It aims to develop a feeling of motivation and development through activities North Assam, North Bengal, hills of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh. It also safe guards Indo Bhutan border. Its main aim is to prevent transborder crimes and unauthorised entry and exit. For details on SSB, click here

Recruitment to Indian Paramilitary Forces


For recruitment to any of the above posts, you should be able to crack the UPSC examination which includes written and GDs and personal interview. All graduates need to take the written test and Physical Efficiency Test or PET. Selected candidates undergo rigorous training before being inducted in the the forces.

The written test consists of two parts - Paper I is of general awareness and numerical ability while Paper II tests the ability of expressing ones idea clearly. PET includes races and high jumps of different distances.

Pay and Perks


The pay and perks vary depending upon the ranks in the paramilitary forces. The Assistant Commandents get paid between Rs 1.8 lakhs to  Rs 4.5 lakhs a year Other than the annual salary, all are entitled to medical, insurance, LTA and HRA benefits.

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