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Integration of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in India

Context

  • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval proposed integrating Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to improve cost efficiency and operational consistency.
  • The integration aims to save money, ensure uniform deployment, and enhance interoperability among the CAPF.

Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)

  • Central Armed Police Forces is the collective name for central police organisations in India, operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • These forces were previously known as “Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF)” and were referred to as paramilitary forces.
  • In 2011, India adopted the term “Central Armed Police Forces” to replace the word “paramilitary”.
  • CAPFs are tasked with maintaining internal security and guarding the nation’s borders.
  • The Central Armed Police Forces comprise seven distinct security forces, all functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs:
    • Assam Rifles (AR)
    • Border Security Force (BSF)
    • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
    • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
    • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
    • National Security Guard (NSG)
    • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
  • Each of these seven forces has its own cadre of officers but is headed by officers from the Indian Police Service.

Role of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)

Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in India play a crucial role in maintaining internal security and safeguarding the nation’s borders. Here is the key responsibilities of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs):

  • Assam Rifles (AR): Guards the Indo-Myanmar border.
  • Border Security Force (BSF): Primarily guards the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP): Guards the Sino-Indian border.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): Guards the borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF): The largest CAPF, it assists states in maintaining law and order, combating terrorism and insurgency, and conducting various election-related duties. It also has specialized units like the Rapid Action Force (RAF) for riot control and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) for counter-Naxalite operations.
  • National Security Guard (NSG): An elite counter-terrorism unit that handles hostage rescue, counter-hijacking, and counter-terror operations.
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Provides security to critical infrastructure and government establishments like airports, seaports, power plants, and defence undertakings.

Additional Responsibilities of CAPFs

  • All CAPFs can be deployed to assist the Indian Army in case of war.
  • They can also be called upon for disaster relief and humanitarian operations.
  • Some CAPFs, like the CRPF, are involved in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

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