Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs): India

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

The armed forces of India are supported by three paramilitary forces

Assam Rifles,

Indian Coast Guard and

Special Frontier Force (SFF).

The Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs): India come under the Ministry of Defence.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF): India are

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) ,

Border Security Force: India

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

National Security Guard (NSG)

All CAPFs come under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sometimes even leading publications confuse the two categories. News items and information given to the Parliament about CPMFs and CAPFs together have been put on the page Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs): India



How well do you know India's paramilitary forces and their roles? | Edited by Sanjana Agnihotri, citing Factly |New Delhi, March 23, 2016 | India Today

Assam Rifles (AR)

Established in 1835, Assam Rifles is the oldest of all paramilitary forces. There are currently 46 battalions of AR under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

AR's job is to counter insurgency and hold border security operations. Since 2002, they are also guarding the 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border.

According to recent reports, the central government was considering to task the Indo-Tibetan Border Police for the Indo-Myanmar border but yesterday Home Minister Rajnath Singh ruled out the withdrawal of Assam Rifles.

Border Security Force (BSF)

BSF came into being in the wake of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, to ensure the security of the borders of India. It is headed by an officer from the Indian Police Service just like all other paramilitary forces except Assam Rifles.

Nearly 2.4 lakh personnel are a part of this force and it is also called as the 'First Wall of Defence of Indian Territories'.



The Times of India, Aug 22 2016

Manpower, Central Paramilitary Forces and Armed Forces; The Times of India, January 14, 2017

Bharti Jain

Centre mulls pooling training facilities for paramilitary forces 

Concerned at underutilisation of training facilities individually maintained by central armed police forces (CAPF), like the CRPF and BSF, due to erratic intake of officers over the years, the home ministry is mulling pooling these resources to allow multi-organisation use. At present, each CAPF takes care of its own training needs. While CRPF runs its officer training facility at Mount Abu, BSF has its facility at Tekanpur, ITBP in Mussoorie, CISF in Hyderabad, and SSB in Srinagar and Uttarakhand.

Specialised training in jungle warfare and counterinsurgency is also separately handled by each force.CRPF has a National Institute of Jungle Craft in Belgaum, counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist school in Silchar and an IED school in Pune. The BSF Academy is located in Tekanpur and the training school in Hazaribag. SSB has a counter-insurgency and jungle warfare school at Chamoli.

Seeking to cut costs and enable optimum utilisation of training infrastructure, the home ministry is examining if multi-force institutes can be brought under a single training directorate.

A senior home ministry officer said a closer look at the syllabi of basic training courses of various central forces revealed a lot in common. In the 1+52 week basic training for officers, provided by each force, 38 weeks are devoted to creating common soldierly skills. Specific training for the particular force is only for 12 weeks.

Data on intake of officers into various forces between 2008 and 2014 indicate major variations in numbers, irrespective of the capacity of the training institutes. However, the overall variation is less if the combined figure for all CAPFs is taken. The overall intake was 376 in 2008, 680 in 2009, 753 in 2010, 497 in 2011, 401 in 2012, 424 in 2013 and 136 in 2014. However, the intake into CRPF has varied from 326 in 2010 to 28 in 2014, into BSF from 388 in 2009 to 11 in 2011, etc.

“Each basic facility has indoor classes, sand model rooms, IED model rooms and firing ranges, which are similar for each CAPF. However, such facilities remain idle in years when the intake is less,“ an officer said.

The home ministry has suggested combined training at two or three such academies with a capacity of training 500-600 officers.

“Existing facilities with each CAPF can be converted into basic and specific training central institutes like National Academy for Basic Training, Central Institute for Jungle Warfare, Central Institute for Commando Training, etc, without extra financial burden. This will also allow inter-organisational exchange of experiences among trainers and trainees,“ the officer said.

2010-14: Attrition rate

Attrition in paramilitary dropped below 10,000

Deeptiman Tiwary The Times of India Mar 06 2015

Slew of Steps For Anti-Red Forces Stops Resignations

2010-14: The Attrition rate drops

Thanks to a host of measures taken by the government to ease pressure on security forces fighting Maoists and positive expectations from the seventh pay commission, lesser number of men in uniform are hanging up their boots. For the first time in the past five years, the cumulative annual attrition from paramilitary forces has dropped below 10,000.

According to latest home ministry data, in 2014, only 7,700 odd personnel quit various central armed police forces as against over 11,000 in 2013 and 13, 000 in 2012.

Sources say the positive change has come about following various measures taken by the government (both UPA and NDA) to ease the hardship of men fighting in Maoist areas and the borders. What has also contributed to the low attrition are expectations of bet ter remuneration from the seventh pay commission next year. It has led to those planning voluntary retirement holding back their decision.

Past few years have seen heavy attrition from forces due to denial of leave, consistent posting in hard areas, poor working conditions, lack of pay parity and separation from family . Between 2009 and 2012, over 44,000 personnel had quit paramilitary forces either through resignations or by opting for volun tary retirement. During the period, more paramilitary men committed suicide (398) than died fighting terrorists (328). The situation had got the government so alarmed that it hired the services of IIM-Ahmedabad to look into the reasons for such a high churn and suggest remedies.

Attrition from CRPF and BSF which face tough working conditions has dropped significantly .

Injuries, deaths on duty

2014- 2016

13 times more CRPF men hurt in 2016 than in 2014-15, Mar 29, 2017: The Times of India

The government informed Parliament on Tuesday that 2,744 CRPF personnel were injured while dealing with the riots and protests, which was 13 times higher than the last two years. In 2014 and 2015, 271 and 208 CRPF personnel were injured in such incidents , respectively.

In all, 3,436 paramilitary personnel were injured between 2014 and March 21, 2017.

Among the police personnel in 29 states and seven Union Territories, 1,501 police personnel were injured in 2015, 1,349 in 2014 and 1,930 in 2013 respectively .

Officials in CRPF said that major chunk of the injuries to its personnel in 2016 could be attributed to the riots which ensued in Jammu and Kashmir after July , when Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed by security forces. CRPF has 70 battalions stationed in J&K for law and order duty and more than 150 companies were sent last year after several districts of the state saw mass protests and stone pelting for almost five months. Officials said that the situation is under control at the moment.

In a reply to the Lok Sabha, Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that government was providing protective gear to the paramilitary forces. CRPF alone has bought protective gear worth Rs 54.48 crore for its personnel in the last three years.

Ahir said that central paramilitary forces have been equipped with tear gas shells, launchers, water canons, chilli grenades, PAVA shells etc to handle the protests effectively .

“Further, protective gear such as full body protector, helmet with visor, lathi and shield, bullet resistant jackets, bullet proof helmets etc have been provided to CAPFs as per their operational requirement.The personnel are also imparted requisite training and regular mock drills to deal with such situations effectively,“ he said. He also said that all paramilitary personnel who die in action are considered martyrs.

Personnel issues

Housing/ house rent

Delhi High Court: provide HRA to all ranks

Dec 19, 2022: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has held that house rent allowance (HRA) should be extended to all in the paramilitary forces, irrespective of rank.

A bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Saurabh Banerjee said they, as judges of the high court, and civilians, respect the will power of those in uniformed services to stay away from their families, and directed the Centre to take necessary steps within six weeks to grant the benefit of HRA to all ranks.

The HC's order came on a batch of petitions by several Group A officers holding the ranks of assistant commandant, deputy commandant and second-in-command in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF).

The petitioners challenged central government office orders granting HRA only to personnel below officers' rank (PBOR) in the forces for keeping their families at locations other than where they are posted. TNN

S everal Group A officers in CRPF and BSF, in their petition to the Delhi high court, have submitted that authorities failed to appreciate the nature of duties and places of postings, which on occasion do not even have basic amenities to allow them to stay with their families.The court set aside the rejection of the petitioners' request for HRA by authorities and said that "the respondents cannot be permitted to take discriminatory view for personnel of different forces deployed in common areas for grant of HRA”.

The HC also directed that the government must "take necessary steps within six weeks of this judgment, in consultation with the ministry of home affairs as well as the ministry of finance, to grant benefit of HRA to petitioners and similarly situated personnel with effect from passing of this judgment.”

Noting that the Seventh Pay Commission also recognised the lack of proper compensation and need of paying HRA, the court, in its 12-page order, remarked that it failed to understand why a policy discriminating within the forces should be permitted to continue when the officers spend their lives serving the nation.

The court said it also failed to understand why the Seventh Pay Commission only thought of giving parity to the PBORs of the Central Armed Police Forces, on a par with the PBORs of the defence forces, while leaving behind the proposal of extending the same benefit to company commanders, that is, officers of the level of assistant commandants and deputy commandants.

Voluntary retirement scheme

Voluntary retirements/ 2015-16

More and more quitting paramilitary, Feb 8, 2017: The Times of India

The government informed Parliament that there was a rise in the number of applications for voluntary retirement in central paramilitary forces, with BSF and CRPF topping the chart.

The two forces were recently at the centre of a controversy after a BSF jawan posted in Kashmir made videos complaining about “poor-quality food“, and a CRPF jawan posted one seeking parity with Army soldiers.

MoS for home Kiren Rijiju said 151 paramilitary officers had opted for voluntary retirement or resigned in 2016, compared to 117 in 2015. At 1,400, the figure for subordinate officers was almost double -up from 707 in 2015. For other ranks, the figure stood at 7,415 against 3,052 in 2015.

450% rise in 2016-17

Paramilitary VRS up 450%, Rijiju tells RS, Mar 30, 2017: The Times of India

The government informed Parliament that the number of personnel opting for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in central paramilitary forces rose to around 450% in 2016-17 as compared to the previous year. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju cited personal and domestic reasons, among others, for personnel going for VRS. He, however, said these resignations are “essentially a personal choice“. An up-to-date data provided by the minister stated that 201617 saw the maximum number of personnel (9,065) going for VRS in the last three years from forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP , CISF, SSB and Assam Rifles.

While in 2014-15, a total of 5,289 personnel of these forces had taken VRS, the figure had come down to 2,105 in 2015-16.

The attrition has been plaguing the almost 10-lakhstrong central paramilitary forces for a long time now.Sources in these forces said while domestic reasons force most of the men to leave, career stagnation, lack of pay parity and tough working conditions also play an important part in such retirements.

Officials say these retirements leave a huge gap in the vacancies in the forces, which are being used for major law and order duties on the border, J&K, Maoist-affected states, elections, VIP security and other purposes.

The maximum cases of VRS in 2016-17 were reported from the Border Security Force (4,274), followed by the Central Reserve Police Force (3,280) and the Central Industrial Security Force (765).

Providing a separate data on the personnel who left these forces by way of resignation, Rijiju stated that a total of 1,187 officials left in 2016-17, 1,840 in 2015-16 and 1,989 in 2014-15.

“The Central Armed Police Force personnel proceed on voluntary retirement and resignation mainly due to personal and domestic reasons, including children and family issues, health or illness of self or family members, social or family obligations and commitments, among others.Some personnel sought voluntary retirement to enjoy a static life as well as pensionary benefits after completing 20 years of service,“ he said.

2015-18: number of personnel quitting rises 3-fold

Neeraj Chauhan, No. of paramilitary personnel quitting rises 3-fold since 2015, March 7, 2018: The Times of India


In all, 27,862 jawans/officers of central paramilitary forces have taken voluntary retirement and resigned since 2015 till January 31, 2018.

Numbers include gazetted officers of central paramilitary forces – CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and Assam Rifles.

In a disturbing trend, the number of jawans and officers leaving central paramilitary forces for better career opportunities has increased in the last three years. In all, 27,862 jawans/ officers of central paramilitary forces have taken voluntary retirement and resigned since 2015 till January 31, 2018.

According to the latest ministry of home affairs figures tabled in Parliament, 14,587 personnel including gazetted officers of central paramilitary forces – CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and Assam Rifles—have resigned or taken voluntary retirement from service in 2017 as compared to only 3,422 in 2015 and 8,912 in 2016.

The statistics reveal an increasing trend, particularly in the two largest forces – CRPF and BSF, crucial for border and internal security of the country. While 11,198 personnel have left BSF, which guards India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh since 2015, 10,620 gave up their jobs in CRPF — responsible for law and order duty and fighting extremists in left-wing affected states, Jammu and Kashmir and north-east.

While the government has said it is trying its best to work for the welfare of central armed police forces, the trend shows that the maximum number of people have left service in the last three years, with the pace accelerating in 2017. For example, the number of constables/head constables and other lower staff in CRPF who left the force in 2015 was only 1,156 but in 2017, 4,154 jawans decided to leave. Similarly, while only 35 gazetted officers had left CRPF in 2015, 59 such officers left the force last year.

BSF is the worst hit when it comes to attrition. Out of 11,198 personnel who left the force, 5,505 jawans, 839 subordinate officers and 71 gazetted officers resigned or took VRS last year.

“Life in central paramilitary forces is extremely hard. These boys and girls don’t get time for their families and they are posted in areas with awful living conditions, zero connectivity.,” said former CRPF chief K Durga Prasad when asked about the likely reasons for the trend. A senior official said this trend will continue till 2024.

Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said in Parliament that force personnel proceeded on voluntary retirement and resignation “mainly due to various personal and domestic reasons.”

Women personnel and suicides

The Times of India, Jul 23 2015

Women personnel and suicides, Central Para-military Forces: 2014 ; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Jul 23 2015

Atul Thakur & Deeptiman Tiwary

Women account for 2% of central forces, but 40% of suicides

All cases from MP, Telangana, Bihar and J&K

Women constitute less than 2% of central pa ramilitary personnel but account for over 40% of the suicides in these forces, data collated from National Crime Records Bureau and Bureau of Police Research & Development shows. MP , Telangana, Bihar and J&K accounted for all these suicides. The NCRB data on accidental deaths and suicides shows that in 2014, 175 people in central armed police forces ­ including BSF, CRPF, CISF ­ committed suicide. As many as 73 of them or 41.7% were women. Data from BPRD shows that of nearly 9.3 lakh people employed in these forces, just a little over 18,000 were women compared to over 9.1 lakh men.

The data clearly suggests women face a much higher degree of stress. Sources in the forces said they were surprised at the data and said the pattern had not been studied. What that means is that the suicide rate for women in paramilitary forces is 396.9 per lakh compared to just 11.2 per lakh for men. Incidentally , suicide rates for men in paramilitary forces are actually a little lower than in the general population, where it is about 13.9 per lakh. For women, obviously , the rate is way above the rate in the general population, where it is just 7.1 per lakh.

What makes this gender skew even more shocking is that women personnel are not deployed in combat positions.

CRPF has sent its first batch of women personnel for combat roles in Chhattisgarh as a pilot project, but they have not been part of any operation so far. So the reason cannot be stress associated with duty in conflict situations.

The NCRB data suggests that marital discord is the biggest cause of suicides among central paramilitary personnel. Of the total 45 persons suicides due to this reason, who killed themselves because of marriage-related issues 21 were men while 24 women.

Sources from the forces expressed surprise at the data and said there is no study that has examined the high suicide rates among female personnel.They speculated, however, that a major factor could be that it is generally far more difficult for women to work in these forces. Many of them, they pointed out, join the forces in their twenties, which is around the same time as they get married or have children.

Quotas for women in paramilitary forces: 2016

The Times of India Jan 06 2016


33% In CRPF & CISF, 15% In BSF, SSB, ITBP

The government on Tuesday took an impor ant step to improve gender equality in the paramilitary by approving 33% reserva ion for women at the constable rank in two major central paramilitary forces -CRPF and CISF and also setting a 15% quota in the border orces BSF, SSB and ITBP.

These forces together comprise around 9 lakh personnel of whom only around 20,000 are women as of now.

The 33% reservation in constable level posts in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Securi y Force (CISF) and 14-15% posts in Border Security Force BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal SSB) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will come into ef ect immediately .

The decision was taken by home minister Rajnath Singh after a meeting on Tuesday , said sources. “With a view to enhance representation of women in central armed police forces, Singh has approved 33% posts at constable level for being filled up by women,“ a home ministry statement said. The move came following the recommendation of the committee on empowerment of women in its sixth report, that said there is an urgent need to pro vide due representation to women in paramilitary forces.

The CRPF has about 6,300 women in its ranks. The par liamentary standing committee on home affairs recently found that women personnel constitute only a little over 9% of the Delhi Police force.

“The committee notes that as on date, the representation of women in Delhi Police is 9.27% only . However, on March 20, 2015, Government of India has approved reservation of 33% for women horizontally and in each category (SC, ST, OBC and others) in direct recruitment in non-gazetted posts from constable to sub-inspector in the police forces of all Union Territories,“ the committee observed.

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