Various security forces and agencies and their mandate

Various security forces and agencies and their mandate


Various security forces and agencies and their mandate




  1. The Assam Rifles came into being in 1835, as a militia called the ‘Cachar Levy’. With approximately 750 men, this Force was formed to primarily protect British Tea estates and their settlements against tribal raids. 
  2. Subsequently, all these Forces were reorganised and renamed as the ‘Frontier Force’ as their role was increased to conduct of punitive expeditions across the borders of Assam.
  3. The Post-Independence role of the Assam Rifles continued to evolve ranging from conventional combat role during Sino-India War 1962, operating in foreign land as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in 1987 (Op Pawan) to peacekeeping role in the North-Eastern areas of India in the face of growing tribal unrest and insurgency wherein the maintenance of law and order, countering insurgency and reassuring the people of the region became important tasks for the Assam Rifles.



  1. The Force remains deployed in some of the most remote and under developed areas and provides security to locals. 

  2. Assam Rifles has grown substantially over the years from 17 battalions in 1960 to 46 battalions at present. The Force also has a Training Centre and a number of Logistics Units. 
  3. Through its long deployment in the tribal belt, the Assam Rifles has earned the complete confidence of the locals and has helped considerably in bringing the people of this region into the national main stream.
  4. The humane, just and ever helpful approach of the men of Assam Rifles has truly managed to win hearts and minds earning the Assam Rifles the sobriquet of ‘Friends of the North East’.


  1. The Border Security Force (BSF) is the primary border guarding force of India. It was established in 1965 with the aim of securing India's borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  2. The primary mandate of the BSF is to guard India's borders and prevent trans-border crimes, such as smuggling, illegal immigration, and terrorist activities. It also plays an important role in maintaining internal security, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and other border areas.
  3. The BSF is responsible for guarding over 6,000 kilometers of land border and 2,000 kilometers of coastline. The force is also deployed in areas affected by left-wing extremism and provides security to key installations, such as airports, seaports, and nuclear power plants.



  1. At present, BSF is holding 192 (including 03 NDRF) Battalions and 07 BSF Artiy Regiments guarding International Border with Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

  2. In addition, BSF is also performing Anti-Infiltration role in Kashmir Valley, Counter Insurgency in North East region, Anti Naxal Operations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh states.
  3. Security of Integrated Check Posts along Pakistan and Bangladesh International Border.


3. Central Industrial Security Force

  1. CISF is an armed force of the Union established under an Act of Parliament, “Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 (50 of 1968)”.

  2. In the year 1969, the strength of the force established with the help of 3129 personnel, was increased to 1,63,613 as of 01.06.2021.
  3. CISF has 74 other formations including 12 reserve battalions and 08 training institutes.

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  1. According to the mandate, CISF provides security to the premises staff along with the security of property and establishments.

  2. CISF is providing security to the strategic establishment, including the Department of Space, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Airports, the Delhi Metro, the ports, the historical monuments and the basic areas of Indian economy such as petroleum and natural gas, electricity, coal, steel and mining.
  3. CISF is providing protection to some private sector units and important government buildings in Delhi.
  4. Presently, CISF is also providing security to the protected persons classified as Z Plus, Z, X, Y.
  5. CISF is the only force with a customized and dedicated fire wing.


4. Central Reserve Police Force

  1. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security. Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central para military forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force). 

  2. CRPF was raised as a sequel to the political unrest and the agitations in the then princely States of India following the Madras Resolution of the All-India Congress Committee in 1936 and the ever-growing desire of the Crown Representative to help the vast majority of the native States to preserve law and order as a part of the imperial policy.
  3. After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949.



  1. Internal Security: CRPF is responsible for maintaining internal security in the country. The force is deployed in various states to assist the local police in maintaining law and order. The CRPF also provides security to VIPs, vital installations, and important events.

  2. Counter-Terrorism: The CRPF is actively involved in counter-terrorism operations in the country. It works in close coordination with other intelligence agencies and security forces to prevent terrorist attacks and neutralize terrorists.
  3. Border Security: CRPF is also responsible for securing the borders of India. The force is deployed in areas near the border to prevent infiltration, smuggling, and other illegal activities.
  4. Disaster Management: The CRPF is also involved in disaster management operations. The force provides assistance during natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and landslides.
  5. VIP Security: The CRPF provides security to important personalities like the Prime Minister, President, and other VIPs.


5. Indo-Tibetan Border Police 

  1. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Force was raised on 24 October, 1962. At present, the ITBP guards 3,488 km long India-China borders ranging from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. 

  2. Apart from this, the Force also has important roles in many internal security duties and operations against the Left Wing Extremism in the state of Chhattisgarh.



  1. ITBP is a specialized Armed Police Force of the Nation which trains its personnel in various disciplines including mountaineering and skiing apart from intensive tactical training, thereby creating a distinctive image of the Force.
  2. ITBP also conducts relief and rescue operations as 'First Responders' for natural calamities in the Himalayan region. The Force has responded in hundreds of search, rescue & relief operations over the years to provide succour to thousands of citizens in distress due to various calamities.
  3. The Force has a glorious history of the past 6 decades in which the jawans of the ITBP have made many sacrifices in the line of duty and in the service of the Nation.


6. National Security Guard

  1. The National Security Guard (NSG), commonly known as Black Cats, is a counter-terrorism unit of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It was founded on 16 October 1984, for combating terrorist activities and protect states against internal disturbances.

  2. It was formalised in the Parliament of India under the National Security Guard Act, 1986. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of India.



  1. Counter-Terrorism: The NSG is primarily responsible for counter-terrorism operations in the country. The force is deployed in various parts of the country to neutralize terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks. The NSG is also involved in protecting important personalities, vital installations, and critical infrastructure.
  2. Bomb Disposal: The NSG has a specialized bomb disposal squad that is responsible for identifying and defusing explosive devices. The squad is deployed in various parts of the country to prevent terrorist attacks and to provide assistance during bomb blasts.
  3. Hostage Rescue: The NSG has a specialized hostage rescue team that is responsible for rescuing hostages from terrorists. The team is deployed in various parts of the country to rescue hostages and prevent terrorist attacks.
  4. VIP Security: The NSG also provides security to important personalities like the Prime Minister, President, and other VIPs.
  5. Training: The NSG conducts various training programs for its own personnel as well as personnel from other security forces. The force has a training center in Manesar, Haryana, where various courses are conducted.


7. Sashastra Seema Bal

  1. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB; transl. Armed border force) is a border guarding force of India deployed along its borders with Nepal and Bhutan. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  2. The force was originally set up under the name Special Service Bureau in 1963 in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War to strengthen India's border areas against enemy operations.



  1. The previous role of the Special Service Bureau was to motivate and mobilise India's border population for national security during times of peace as well as war and to promote a sense of security and brotherhood among the population, in furtherance of national integration. 

  2. Its present-day role consists of preventing cross-border crime and smuggling as well as other anti-national activities.
  3. In pursuit of achieving this mandated task, the SSB has been conferred with certain powers under the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973, the Arms Act of 1959, the NDPS Act of 1985 and the Passport Act of 1967. The Government of India also contemplates conferring additional powers under the Customs Act of 1962.
  4. These powers are to be exercised within a belt of 15 km in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, running along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders, as well as in any other area of SSB operation.



1. Intelligence Bureau

  1. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India's internal security and counter-intelligence agency under Ministry of Home Affairs. It was founded in 1887 as Central Special Branch, and is reputed to be the oldest such organization in the world.

  2. Until 1968, it handled both domestic and foreign intelligence after which Research and Analysis Wing was formed specifically for foreign intelligence following that IB was primarily assigned the role of domestic intelligence and internal security.



  1. Shrouded in secrecy, the IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks. 
  2. The Bureau comprises employees from law enforcement agencies, mostly from the Indian Police Service (IPS) or the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and the military. 
  3. In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmat Singh Committee (also known as the North and North-East Border Committee), a task entrusted to the military intelligence organisations prior to independence in 1947. 
  4. All spheres of human activity within India and in the neighborhood are allocated to the charter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau. The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951 until 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing was formed.


2. Research and Analysis Wing

  1. The Research and Analysis Wing is the foreign intelligence agency of India.
  2. The head of R&AW is designated as the Secretary (Research) in the Cabinet Secretariat, and is under the authority of the Prime Minister of India without parliamentary oversight. On an administrative basis, the Director reports to the Cabinet Secretary, who reports to the Prime Minister.
  3. Prior to the inception of the Research and Analysis Wing, overseas intelligence collection was primarily the responsibility of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which was created by the British Raj.
  4. Foreign intelligence failure during the 1962 Sino-Indian War led then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to order a dedicated foreign intelligence agency to be established.
  5. The Indira Gandhi administration decided that a full-fledged second security service was needed and thus, RAW into being on 21st September, 1968.



  1. The present R&AW objectives include:
  2. Monitoring the political, military, economic and scientific developments in countries which have a direct bearing on India's national security and the formulation of its foreign policy.
  3. Moulding international public opinion and influence foreign governments.
  4. Covert Operations to safe guard India's National interests.
  5. Anti-terror operations and neutralising elements posing a threat to India.

3. National Investigation Agency (NIA)

  1. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the primary counter-terrorist task force of India. The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states under written proclamation from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

  2. The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008, which was passed after the deadly 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.


  1. In-depth professional investigation of scheduled offences using the latest scientific methods of investigation and setting up such standards as to ensure that all cases entrusted to the NIA are detected. Ensuring effective and speedy trial.
  2. Developing into a thoroughly professional, result oriented organization, upholding the constitution of India and Laws of the Land giving prime importance to the protection of Human Rights and dignity of the individual.
  3. Developing a professional work force through regular training and exposure to the best practices and procedures.
  4. Displaying scientific temper and progressive spirit while discharging the duties assigned.
  5. Maintaining professional and cordial relations with the governments of States and Union Territories and other law enforcement agencies in compliance of the legal provisions of the NIA Act.
  6. Assist all States and other investigating agencies in investigation of terrorist cases.
  7. Build a data base on all terrorist related information and share the data base available with the States and other agencies.
  8. Study and analyse laws relating to terrorism in other countries and regularly evaluate the adequacy of existing laws in India and propose changes as and when necessary.


4. Financial Intelligence Unit – India

  1. Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) was set by the Government of India on 18th November 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. 
  2. FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and financing of terrorism. 
  3. FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.



  1. The main function of FIU-IND is to receive cash/suspicious transaction reports, analyse them and, as appropriate, disseminate valuable financial information to intelligence/enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities. 

  2. Collection of Information: Act as the central reception point for receiving Cash Transaction reports (CTRs),Non-Profit Organisation Transaction Report(NTRs), Cross Border Wire Transfer Reports (CBWTRs), Reports on Purchase or Sale of Immovable Property (IPRs) and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) from various reporting entities.
  3. Analysis of Information: Analyze received information in order to uncover patterns of transactions suggesting suspicion of money laundering and related crimes.
  4. Sharing of Information: Share information with national intelligence/law enforcement agencies, national regulatory authorities and foreign Financial Intelligence Units.
  5. Act as Central Repository: Establish and maintain national data base on the basis of reports received from reporting entities.
  6. Coordination: Coordinate and strengthen collection and sharing of financial intelligence through an effective national, regional and global network to combat money laundering and related crimes.
  7. Research and Analysis: Monitor and identify strategic key areas on money laundering trends, typologies and developments.


5. Directorate of Enforcement (ED)

  1. The Directorate of Enforcement or the ED is a multi-disciplinary organization mandated with investigation of economic crimes and violations of foreign exchange laws. 

  2. The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed in the Department of Economic Affairs for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47).
  3. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’, and another branch was opened at Madras. Presently, the Directorate is under the administrative control of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.


The Directorate of Enforcement is a multi-disciplinary organization mandated with investigation of offence of money laundering and violations of foreign exchange laws. The statutory functions of the Directorate include enforcement of following Acts:

  1. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA): It is a criminal law enacted to prevent money laundering and to provide for confiscation of property derived from, or involved in, money-laundering and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. ED has been given the responsibility to enforce the provisions of the PMLA by conducting investigation to trace the assets derived from proceeds of crime, to provisionally attach the property and to ensure prosecution of the offenders and confiscation of the property by the Special court.
  2. The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA): It is a civil law enacted to consolidate and amend the laws relating to facilitate external trade and payments and to promote the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India. ED has been given the responsibility to conduct investigation into suspected contraventions of foreign exchange laws and regulations, to adjudicate and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.
  3. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA): This law was enacted to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. It is a law whereby Directorate is mandated to attach the properties of the fugitive economic offenders who have escaped from the India warranting arrest and provide for the confiscation of their properties to the Central Government.
  4. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (FERA): The main functions under the repealed FERA are to adjudicate the Show Cause Notices issued under the the said Act upto 31.5.2002 for the alleged contraventions of the Act which may result in imposition of penalties and to pursue prosecutions launched under FERA in the concerned courts.
  5. Sponsoring agency under COFEPOSA: Under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA), this Directorate is empowered to sponsor cases of preventive detention with regard to contraventions of FEMA.



  1. Budget Constraints: The defense budget for the financial year 2022-23 was set at INR 4.78 lakh crore ($64.4 billion). This represents a modest increase of only 1.5% from the previous year, which is inadequate to meet the modernization requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. A report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense noted that the allocated budget was not enough to meet the needs of the Armed Forces, and recommended a significant increase in defense spending.

  2. Human Resources: The Indian Armed Forces are facing a shortage of officers and personnel in critical areas. According to a report by the Ministry of Defense, the Indian Army is facing a shortage of over 7,900 officers, while the Navy and Air Force have a shortage of over 1,300 and 800 officers, respectively. The report also noted a shortage of over 50,000 personnel in the Army and 15,000 in the Air Force.
  3. Modernization and Upgradation: The Indian Armed Forces rely on a mix of indigenous and imported equipment. However, many of the weapons and equipment are outdated, and there is a need for modernization and upgradation. According to a report by the Ministry of Defense, over 68% of the Army's equipment is vintage and needs replacement. Similarly, the Air Force has a significant number of aging aircraft, and the Navy's submarines are also aging and in need of replacement.
  4. Border Security: India shares borders with several countries, including Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh. The Indian Armed Forces are responsible for securing these borders and countering any threats. According to a report by the Ministry of Home Affairs, there were 328 incidents of cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistan in 2020, which resulted in the deaths of 25 civilians and 12 security personnel. Similarly, there have been several incidents of border incursions by Chinese troops in recent years.
  5. Internal Security: The Indian Armed Forces are also responsible for maintaining internal security. The country faces several challenges in this regard, including insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast, and left-wing extremism in some parts of the country. According to a report by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, there were over 320 insurgency-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, which resulted in the deaths of over 225 people, including civilians and security personnel.
  6. Coordination and Integration: The Indian Armed Forces consist of three branches – the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Coordination and integration between these branches remain a challenge, particularly in joint operations. A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General noted that the lack of coordination between the Army and Air Force was a key factor in the failure of the 2016 surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.


  1. The forces' unplanned expansion has made human resource management a huge problem.

  2. The CAPFs' deployment state is extremely upsetting: Throughout the year, approximately 95% of the force remains deployed.

  3. There is a growing gap between the men and the officers: The sense of community and camaraderie are gradually diminishing.

  4. Politicization: It has weakened the hierarchy.

  5. Chain of conduct Waste of personnel: When a state government receives a CAPF, it prefers to keep it for as long as possible, depriving other states that require them of it.

  6. Promotions: There are four entry levels for the CAPF, police, and army, while there are only two entry levels for the army.



  1. In recent times the defence reforms undertaken should be seen as a great opportunity to achieve greater indigenisation. Therefore, the challenges are immense.

  2. Certain very pragmatic initiatives have recently been taken by the Government such as the iDEX (innovation for Defence Excellence) and the DISC (Defence India Start-up Challenge) which will strengthen the innovation eco-system. These programs aim to mobilise the capabilities available in the larger Indian start-up eco-system to develop products for the armed forces and harness the available talent within the country.


  1. As technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds there is an incessant need for adopting it to innovate and develop new systems with greater potential in the future. Technology is impacting the platforms as well as system design in numerous ways. 

  2. The unprecedented pace of evolution in technology needs to be harnessed with upgrades of existing systems and the development of new highly capable systems. The unmanned platforms for the surface and the underwater domain will play a significant role in the next decade and such systems need to be developed for the extended role with manned platforms.
  3. This calls for the Armed Forces to prepare an overall perspective plan to embrace these technologies and place greater thrust on training its personnel to learn these technologies and also reskill service and civilian personnel with advanced training and learning management systems.


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