India has the world’s biggest Paramilitary Forces- What are they?

Para means “near” or “resembling”. Hence they are organized in the same way as the Military but they are not part of an Official Army. Paramilitary Forces are mostly used for petrol and search operations. They are rarely engaged in arms action with terrorists or other countries’ forces. They have to just maintain the defence line along the borders or maintain security inside the country or particular premises.

Here is a list of the paramilitary forces in India:

  1. Assam Rifles
  2. BSF(Border Security Force)
  3. CISF(Central Industrial Security Force)
  4. CRPF(Central Reserve Police Force)
  5. ITBP(Indo-Tibet Border Police)
  6. NSG(National Security Guards)
  7. SSB(Sashastra Seema Bal)
  8. RPF(Railway Protection Force)
  9. NDRF(Natural Disaster Relief Force)

Assam Rifles

paramilitary forces

Assam Rifles is among one of India’s oldest paramilitary forces. Assam rifles were established in 1835 during the British India era. Their main task is to guard the border along with Myanmar. Sometimes they have to also deal with the terrorist organization of Nagaland and militant group of Myanmar. There are more than 60,000 soldiers in Assam rifles. They are very well trained in Gorilla warfare and search operation along with the forest areas. The soldiers of Assam rifles are mainly local Indians from the northeast region.

Main taskThey guard the Indo Myanmar border.
Active Personnel64,000

BSF(Border Security Force)


You may be familiar with BSF or Border Security Force which guards the border along the line of control of India and Pakistan. They were established in 1965. Before 1965 Indian Army was responsible to guard the border between India and Pakistan but due to the need of Army in Kashmir valley and other parts of India it was necessary to give this important task to a highly trained force. So BSF was created. There are nearly 2,58,000 soldiers in BSF. Their main task is to guard and petrol the fencing and border of LOC.

Main taskThey guard the Indo-Pak border.
Active Personnel2,57,400

CISF(Central Industrial Security Force)


First of all, we need to know that CISF is the world’s biggest industrial force. There are more than 165000 soldiers in CISF which guard India’s biggest companies and industries like PSU and Navratna companies. This soldier is well-trained to defend India’s economic zones. CISF was established in 1969. These soldiers are also well educated so that they could handle any unconditional situation in industries if a threat rises.

Main taskThey guard PSUs of India.
Active Personnel1,65,000

CRPF(Central Reserve Police Force)


They were established in 1939. They are the second-largest Indian Paramilitary Forces. In terms of combat experience, they are highly trained and experienced forces not only in India but in the entire world. On each and every day of their service, they are on the grounds to protect India from various internal threat. Before the creation of BSF, they were used to guard the border of India and Pakistan. Their main task is to corporate counter Naxal operations and search operations. There are more than 3 lakh CRPF soldiers deployed all over India.

Main taskBefore 1965 they guarded the Indo Pak border but now they are used for Counter Naxal operation, help state police to maintain law and order, and help in UN peacekeeping mission.
Active Personnel3,14,000

ITBP(Indo-Tibet Border Police)


The soldiers of ITBP are deployed on the borders of India and China. They were established in 1962. These soldiers are trained for high-altitude warfare and they could survive in extreme cold condition. They are nearly 90000 soldiers in ITBP. The soldiers also serve in African countries as a member of the UN peacekeeping mission. They are also called the mountain soldiers of India.

Main taskThey guard the Indo-Tibetan border and help in UN peacekeeping mission.
Active Personnel90,000

NSG(National Security Guards)


They are the highly trained paramilitary forces in India. They conduct counter-terrorist and insurgence operation with marine commandos. NSG was established in 1984. These commandos are also called Black cats. It was formed as a result of consequences made by Operation Blue Star so that further such incidents could not take place. They are also used for the high-security purpose to provide security to VIP and important members of the society. There are 7350 soldiers in NSG.

Main taskTo provide security to VIPs and conduct an anti-terror operation like hijacking, Bombs disposal, etc.
Active Personnel7,350

SSB(Sashastra Seema Bal)


SSB was created in 1963 with the purpose to guard the border along with the Bhutan and Nepal. They control the Anti National activities and the smuggling of gold and trucks along the border of Nepal. They are also tasked to control the infiltration of the terrorist from the Nepal border. There are around 80000 soldiers in SSB.

Main taskThey guard Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan border and also control Anti-National activities.
Active Personnel80,000

RPF(Railway Protection Force)


It is also one of the oldest paramilitary forces in India which were created during the British era. It was established in 1872 with the purpose to protect the railway property and its passengers. There are also tasked to protect the area which comes under the control of the Indian railway. There are around 75000 soldiers in RPF. These soldiers travel along with trains and they also guard the platform and railway tracks. They are also responsible to respond to any theft or uncertainty as occurred to any passenger.

Main taskThey Protect Railway property, Railway Passengers and Railway area.
Active Personnel75,000

NDRF(Natural Disaster Relief Force)


NDRF is the only paramilitary force in India that is responsible for or taking action against any natural calamities that occurred in any part of the country. They have to respond quickly and help the people affected by the natural calamity. It was established in 2006. There are around 13000 soldiers in NDRF. They are Special Indian Paramilitary trained for Natural calamities.

Main taskThey help people during any Natural calamities and Disasters.
Active Personnel13,000



This is the biggest paramilitary force in India. They are not the centralized force rather than come under the state government. Their main task is to help the police and maintain the internal security of the country. They are used as guards in the home and office of VIP and public and government sectors. There are around 500000 home guards in India which are serving different states. They were established in 1946 but it took them 20 years for recognition and in 1966 they finally recognized by the central government.

Main taskTo serve as auxiliary to police and help in maintaining internal security.
Active Personnel4,86,401
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