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Career in Paramilitary Forces

1. What are Paramilitary Forces?

The Paramilitary forces of India are the forces which were in addition to the Armed Forces Of India. It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. These forces came into existence during 1980s and 1990s for maintaining the law and order of the internal state and enhance internal security. However with passage of time, the roles of these forces were defined further. In addition to security and guard duties, paramilitary organizations assisted local and state-level police forces in maintaining public order and shielded the army from excessive use in "aid-to-the-civil-power" operations. These operations essentially involve quelling public disorder when local police forces prove inadequate to the task. The forces has a two-tier structure - the first called the Central Paramilitary Forces, and the Central Police Organizations. While the former works with the Indian Armed Forces, the second one works in collaboration, or independently, with the Indian police force and the federal agencies.

The forces which comes under Paramilitary Forces are:

« Border Security Force (BSF)

« Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF)

« Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

« National Security Guard (NSG)

« Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

« Assam Rifles (AR)

« Rashtriya Rifles (RR)

« The Special Frontier Force (SFF)

2. What are the duties of Paramilitary Personnel?

The role of the paramilitary forces depend upon the force that one wishes to serve into.

a. A career in the BSF is one of the most prestigious ones, where the responsibility of protecting the country's land border and securing it against transnational crime lies on the force personnels.. BSF guards Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangla borders.

b. The CRPF is the "Peace Keeper of the Nation". The Central Reserve Police Force is the country's oldest paramilitary organization. It maintains internal order when local and state-level forces prove inadequate to the task.

c. The ITBP serves primarily in the north eastern states. It was established in the aftermath of Indo China war. It is responsible for securing the nation at the India-China border areas.

d. NSG is an elite counter terrorism unit.They are trained to combat terrorists in urban areas, counter hijacking operations, and Hostage rescue mission. The NSGs are trained to take only headshots and in order to remain in the force they need to have a striking rate of 85%.

e. SSB duties consists of preventing cross-border crime and smuggling as well as other anti-national activities.

f. Assam Rifles (AR) is the oldest paramilitary force in India whose primary role is to protect part of India 's Northeastern border. It also maintained law and order in the tribal areas of Assam , a role now being performed by to the police forces in the States and Union Territories in Northeastern India .

g. The Rashtriya Rifles are the largest Counter insurgency/anti-terrorist force in the world made up of soldiers deputed from other parts of the Indian army, who receive special incentives while serving in the Rashtriya Rifles. One half of the RR come from the Indian Army's infantry, and one half from the rest of the Indian Army.

h. Special Frontier Force:The Special Frontier Force is a paramilitary special force of India that was created in 1962 to conduct covert operations against China. It is also known as Maverick Regiment or Vikas Force.They are highly trained in jungle and mountain warfare and guerilla tactics. They are also trained in various forms of martial arts.

2. What are the types of Service Posts one can join into?

One can join as Assistant Commandant( Officer entry).

The Officer's entry has the following posts:

(a) Asst. Commandant General Duty

(b) Asst. Commandant General Duty (Pilot)

(c) Asst. Commandant Technical (Electrical/Electronics)

(d) Asst. Commandant Technical (Mechanical/Aeronautical)

(e) Asst. Commandant General Duty (Law)

(f) Asst. Commandant (Commercial Pilot License-SSA)

3. What is the working culture in PF?

The service in Paramilitary Forces is not just a employment, but a lifestyle.Each day in service is filled with promise, and each mission is different in an inimitable way. It's a challenging lifestyle which the brave and the adventurous can look forward to. A job which teaches one to put nation before self, the act of brotherhood and the skills of surviving challenges with ease. It is the utmost challenging job which provides the thrill of a new and a risky adventure everyday. The working conditions are tough and unknown as it can vary with extreme border areas.

4. What are the Knowledge areas that one needs?

The knowledge areas are described according to the post one joins into, for eg: A personnel joining as Lawyer must have a Law degree and for an officer to join as a Mechanical Engineer they must possess a B. Tech degree. The knowledge areas are not pre defined as the training is provided during the training period to suit the job demands.

However Maths, English and Science at basic level are required for Sailor's entry.

The joining at Officer's level requires a bachelor's degree suitable for the post.

5. What are skills that are required?

The skills that are tested at the recruitment for both the Entries are:

a.Commitment to serve the country

b. Robust physical health

c. Team player

d. Dedication

e. Disciplined outlook

f. Leadership ability

g.Fit to serve offshore

h. Honesty


j. Efficiency

However there is a significant difference in skills demanded for the different entries.

6. What abilities one should have to join PF?

The abilities that are common to both the entries are:

a) Physical fitness

b) Verbal skills

c) Mathematical Reasoning

d) Analytical thinking

e) Stress tolerance

f) Vigilant

g) Operational thinking

7. Personality traits one should have to join PF?

The qualities that are assessed during Selection Interviews for Officer entry are called as Officer like Qualities (OLQs).

The 15 Officer Like Qualities (OLQ’s) are:

1. Effective Intelligence:Effective Intelligence is the competency of a person to tackle practical problems and find out the best effective solution using all the available resources.

2. Reasoning Ability:It tests the logical and rational thinking of a person under extreme situations and evaluating other solutions and choosing the best one.

3. Organizing Ability:It tests the ability of a person to arrange the resources and schedule adopted by him in daily life. The organizing ability reflects the clarity of thoughts.

4. Power of Expression:It tests the ability of a person to express his thoughts clearly and put across his ideas effectively irrespective of the language.

5. Social Adaptability:It is the ability of a person to adjust well with the surroundings, the people esp. his colleagues, superiors and subordinates.

6. Cooperation:The phrase “one-man army” is a misnomer in the dictionary of defence as teamwork is the most important aspect. Cooperation is the ability of a person to

7. Sense of Responsibility:It is the ability of a person to take up duties and execute the task to the fullest.

8. Initiative:A mark of a great leader is to take the first step in an unfamiliar condition, sustain it and complete the task assigned to him.

9. Self Confidence:It is the faith in oneself to accomplish to task successfully. It is the quintessential trait of a great leader.

10. Speed of decision:At times of war, a quick decision can save countless lives and also can lead to winning a war. Hence the speed of decision is of utmost importance.

11. Ability to influence the group:A leader motivates his soldiers and faces the enemy even when the odds are against him. A candidate must have this ability to inspire others and convince them to achieve the desired objective.

12. Liveliness:A candidate must have the capacity to remain happy at all times when facing stressful situations. A leader must be cheerful and inspire his colleagues and juniors to be the same.

13. Determination:The determination is the tenacity to succeed even after facing numerous setbacks in pursuing a cause. A great leader should be determined to achieve his target even after when it seems too difficult to achieve.

14. Courage:Courage is the ability of a person to pursue what is morally correct even when the situation is not favourable.

15. Stamina:It is the endurance and capacity to withstand physical as well as mental stress. It is a test of will power to sustain the strain and achieve desired goals.

8. What is the eligibility criteria?

Medical Standards:As per laid down procedures, updated from time to time. However, broad guidelines are as follows,

(a) Height.

(i) Asst Commandant (GD) and Technical: 157 cms minimum. Reduction in height for candidates from hilly areas and tribal areas will be in accordance with the Central Govt. regulations.

(ii) Asst Commandant (Pilot) and Asst Commandant Commercial Pilot License (CPL) holders for Short Service Appointment (Men/Women): Minimum Hight 162.5 cms, Minimum leg length 99 cms.

(b) Weight.

Proportionate to the Height and Age, + 10 % acceptable.

(c) Chest.

Well proportionate, minimum expansion 5 cms.

(d) Eye Sight.

(i) Asst Commandant (GD)

6/6 6/9 – Uncorrected without Glass.

6/6 6/6 - Corrected with Glass.

(ii) Asst Commandant GD(Pilot)

6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in other /CPL Holders SSA

correctable to 6/6.

(iii) Asst Commandant (Tech)

6/36 6/36–Uncorrected without Glass.

6/6 6/6 - Corrected with Glass.

(iv) Asst Commandant (Law)

6/60 6/60 -Uncorrected without Glass.

6/6 6/12- Corrected with Glass

9. What is the selection procedure?

For paramilitary forces recruitment, graduates should pass in the UPSC examination with a minimum score requirement. Paper 1 consists of numerical ability, reasoning, basic intelligence, and general awareness. Paper 2 consists of an essay, precise writing and comprehension. Aspirants who pass the UPSC examination or respective selection tests with the minimum required score have to undergo a physical efficiency test and a medical test. This is followed by an interview where the candidate's aptitude, psyche, etiquette, mannerisms, and dedication to serve the nation are assessed. Preference is given to NCC cadets and sportsmen with outstanding experience. In addition to this, the candidate should meet the necessary physical standards to be selected for paramilitary forces jobs.Only residents of India are eligible to appear for the UPSC examination held for recruitment in different positions in BSF, ITBF, CRPF, and CAPF. For non-gazetted positions, recruitment is based on a selection test for non-graduates. For gazetted positions, graduates from any field can apply if they are within the age group of 19 to 25.

11. The Job Outlook

In paramilitary forces, the pay and remuneration vary depending on the force and rank. Typically, Assistant Commandants fall in the pay band of Rs. 1.8 lakhs per annum to Rs. 4.5 lakhs with grade pay. This is exclusive of perks such as medical allowance, travel expense reimbursement, free ration, etc. A lucrative pay and generous perks make paramilitary forces jobs a sought-after profession.

The salary(pm) of personnel according to their ranks are:

10. Frequently Asked Question?

a. What are entry levels for PF?

The various entry levels are:

Officer level: UPSC issues notification for the appointment of Men/women at the officer level in paramilitary (CAPF) forces every year. They are appointed at the level of Assistant Commandant. Eligibility: Graduate

Sub-officer level: Appointment at the level of Sub- officer is done by SSC annually . They are appointed at the level of sub inspector (BSF,CISF,CRPF,SSB,ITBP) and ASI (CISF). Eligibility: Graduation

Constable Level: The appointments are done by SSC annually for all CAPF. Eligibility: 12th

b. Is Paramilitary force different from Armed Forces?

Yes, PF are different from Armed Forces. While Armed Forces of India comes under Ministry of Defence, PF comes under Ministry of Home Affairs.


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