Career in Paramilitary Forces


The Paramilitary Forces of India (PMF) are those agencies that help the Law Enforcement Agencies and the Indian Armed Forces in their operations. It has over a million personnel active in its service. PMF is regarded as the world’s second largest paramilitary organization (second only to the Chinese People’s Armed Forces) and its head officers and other senior officers being members of Indian Police Service (IPS).

The first tier of the PMF is formed by the Central Police Organizations (CPO) and the second tier is formed by the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF). The main difference between the two is that CPO works independently or in coordination with Indian Federal Agencies, State Police Forces and other Law Enforcement Agencies whereas the CPF works in cooperation with the Indian Armed Forces. All the branches of PMF excluding the Indian Coast Guard are under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The largest force of the PMF is the Central Reserve Police Force which assists the Indian Police in maintaining law and order.

# Railway Protection Force – it consists of about 45,000 personnel who provide police security to the Indian Railways.
# Indian Home Guard – consists of 400 to 600,000 personnel
# Civil Defence – it consists of 35,930 personnel
# Sashastra Seema Bal – it consists of 32,500 personnel who guard the indo-Nepal and indo-Bhutan borders
# Special Protection Group – it consists of about 3000 personnel
# Special Frontier Force – it consists of about 10,000 personnel and is an elite, parachute qualified commando unit deployed along sensitive areas of border with china.
# Provincial Armed Constabulary – it consists of 250 to 300,000 persons who act as mobile armed reserve
# Central Reserve Police Force – it consists of 172,000 personnel in 200 battalions
• Rapid Action Force – it consists of a 10 battalion semi-independent part of CRPF
• Commando Battalion for Resolute Action – it consists of a 10,000 strong force

Border Security Force – it consists of 215,000 personnel
National Security Guards – it consists of 30,500 personnel who are charged with the protection of very very important people (VVIP’s) such as ministers.
Central Industrial Security Force – it consists of 105,000 personnel

Nature of Work:
CRPF – The promotions in CRPF are structured. Generally an Assistant Commandant may reach the rank of DIG or IG in a 20 year service. After training at the academy, Assistant Commandants complete their field training. They move to the rank of deputy commandant in five to six years. As Commandants they are in command of about 1000 men. Movement upwards to the position of DIG is dependent on selection, based on service records and vacancies. During these years, opportunity for special training is available eg. in mountaineering, communication, management etc. Many refresher courses keep the personnel updated in all aspects of work. Officers of CRPF are given opportunity to serve with National Security Guards and Special Protection Groups. This earns them special allowances.

B.S.F – Newly selected candidates begin their careers as AC (Assistant Commandant) and within 20 years the career graph ascends to the rank of DIG or IG. Officers of these organisations also get the opportunity to work for special groups like National Security Guards and Special Protection Group. They are deputed to these groups for three to four years, after which they are replaced by another batch of officers sent on deputation. They receive special allowances for their important duties like protecting VIPs during deputation. CRPF, BSF, ITBP act as feeders for these special groups doing important duties.

CRPF – Selection Boards of Central Police Organisation recruit personnel for the CRPF. While selection to non-gazetted posts of constables is made through a selection test open to non-graduates, the gazetted positions are open only to graduates. Graduates from any stream can apply if they fall in the 19 to 25 years age group.

They begin their careers as Assistant Commandants/Company Commanders, Quartermasters and Deputy Superintendents. The prescribed qualification is a 1st Class/2nd Class Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks. Special relaxation in marks is made for graduates who have the certificates of N.C.C. For officer cadres, preference is given to certificate holders. Selection is made through a written examination, physical efficiency test (PET) and an interview. Senior positions of IGs, DIGs, Commandants are filled through promotions or by deputed personnel from the defence services or from the Police Services.

Police – Entry is open to the police service to both men and women. The police constabulary is a large force. Physically robust young boys/girls are recruited. For recruitment to the post of sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors, a degree is essential. Both boys and girls are eligible. These posts are advertised from time to time and selection is carried out at the state level. Gazetted posts above the sub-inspector level are filled by selection conducted by the State Public Service Commissions. Indian Police Service (IPS) appointments move to their respective state cadres to fill the senior most positions of Superintendents of Police, DIG, IG etc.

CISF – Recruitment to the posts of sub-inspectors and assistant commander are open to graduates, while for junior positions, eligibility is a school leaving certificate. Preference is given to NCC certificate holders.

Admission Procedure

Selection Test for graduate entry to all paramilitary services

Graduates take the written exam which is a selection test for recruiting cadets. The entrants also go through a physical efficiency test (PET). Those who qualify, face an interview board and take the medical test. Selected candidates undergo rigorous training before taking charge. Technical graduates too go through the PET and medical examination.
The written part has two papers – Paper I of 200 marks is a test of general awareness, basic intelligence and reasoning and numerical ability. Paper II of 100 marks is an assessment of ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and also the ability to express the ideas clearly and correctly. This comprises essay (in Hindi or English), precise writing and comprehension of a given passage, (in English only).

Physical efficiency test -This is a test to ensure physical fitness. It compromises of 100 meters (16 sec men, 18 sec girls), 800 meters races (3 min men, 4 min. girls), long jump, high jump for both men and women and shot-put for men only.

Interview – Beginning with questions pertaining to the bio data, the interviewers move on to hobbies, subjects of study, general awareness and general intelligence. The candidates psyche, aptitude, mannerisms and etiquette along with the dedication to the cause of the nation are also assessed by the Board. Preference in selection is given to outstanding sports men & NCC cadets who have outstanding record.

Physical Standard – Height 165 cms. for men & 157 cms. for women, Chest 86 cms. with expansion weight 50 kg. for men & 46 kg. for women. Physical /mental health should be good. Knock knees, flat foot and squint in eyes are not permitted. Perfect colour vision/corrected vision J-I/J-II permitted/corrected distant vision 6/6 or 6/9 and 6/9 and 6/9 or 6/12 permitted.

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