(GS Paper 3) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate


Sources: GOI Websites, Home and Defence Ministry reports)



  • The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force.They have HQ at Delhi.
  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defence.
  • Additionally, the Indian Armed Forces are supported by three paramilitary organisations (Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard and Special Frontier Force) and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.

Indian Army

  • Motto:Service Before Self
  • The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army and finally the national army after independence.
  • It has third largest active military personnel in the world.
  • It is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India serves as Commander-in-Chief of the army, and it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
  • The Indian Army is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division. It has 34 Divisions.
  • It is divided into six operational commands (field armies) and one training command.
  • Ghatak Commandos is a special operations capable infantry platoon.

Role and Mandate of Indian Army

  • The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and unity, defending the nation from external aggression and threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders.
  • It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances, like Operation Surya Hope (response in Uttarakhand following the June 2013 North India floods), Operation Megh Rahat (Jammu Kashmir Flood in 2014).
  • It can also be requisitioned by the government to cope with internal threats.
  • The army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Vijay (Kargil War 1999), Operation Meghdoot  ( to capture the Siachen Glacier in the Kashmir region in 1984), Operation Cactus (to foil 1988 Maldives coup d’état attempt by a group of Maldivians led by Abdullah Luthufi and assisted by armed mercenaries of a Tamil secessionist organisation from Sri Lanka).
  • Apart from conflicts, the army has conducted large peace time exercises like Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer.
  • It has also been an active participant in numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions including the ones in Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia. In 2014 India was the third largest troop contributor with 7,860 personnel deployed with ten UN Peacekeeping Missions of which 995 are police personnel, including the first Female Formed Police Unit under the UN.

Indian Air Force

  • Motto:“Touch the Sky with Glory”
  • Its the World’s 4th largest Airforce.
  • It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. (Air Force Day: 8 October)
  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of all Indian armed forces and by virtue of that fact is the notional Commander-in-chief of the Air Force. Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of Air Chief Marshal is the Commander of the Indian Air Force. He is assisted by six officers, all with the rank of Air Marshal
  • Command: The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. Two functional commands – Maintenance Command and Training Command.
  • Wing: A Wing is a formation intermediate between a Command and a Squadron. It generally consists of two or three IAF Squadrons.
  • Squadron: A squadron is mainly a unit comprising a number of aircraft and their aircrews, usually of the same type. The current squadron strength of the force is 33. A squadron comprises around 18 to 20 aircraft. Target is 42 squadron.

Role and Mandate of Indian Air Force

  • Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict.
  • Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay (the annexation of Goa from Portugal), Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai (to air-drop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka on 4 June 1987 in support of Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War).
  • It is also involved during humanitarian crisis. Operation Raahat was an operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia.
  • Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Garud Commando Force

  • The Garud Commando Force is the Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force. It was formed in September 2004.
  • Garud is tasked with the protection of critical Air Force bases and installations; search and rescue during peace and hostilities and disaster relief during calamities. Presently, Garud’s are deployed in Congo as part of the UN peace keeping operations.

Air Force Network (AFNET)

  • The Air Force Network (AFNET), a robust digital information grid that enabled quick and accurate threat responses, was launched in 2010, helping the IAF become a truly network-centric air force. AFNET is a secure communication network linking command and control centres with offensive aircraft, sensor platforms and ground missile batteries.

Indian Navy

  • Motto: शं नो वरुणः (May the Lord of the Oceans be auspicious unto us)
  • The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), in the rank of Admiral, commands the navy.
  • The Indian Navy has its origin in 1947.
  • The Indian Navy operates three Commands. The Eastern (Vizag), Western (Mumbai) and Southern (Kochi) Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the rank of Vice Admiral.

Role and Mandate of Indian Navy

  • The primary objective of the navy is to secure the nation’s maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief. In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone rapid modernisation to replace its ageing equipment and developed blue-water capabilities and enhanced its position in the Indo-Pacific region.

Marine Commando Force (MCF)

  • The Marine Commando Force (MCF), also known as MARCOS, is a special forces unit that was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism.
  • In 1988, the MARCOS successfully rescued several hostages, including Maldives’ then-Minister of Tourism, aboard a ship hijacked by PLOTE mercenaries during Operation Cactus.
  • During the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the MARCOS were also involved in the rescue mission of hostages captured by the terrorists in Taj  hotel in Mumbai in November 2008.

Integrated Space Cell

  • The Integrated Space Cell is the nodal agency within the Government of India which oversees the security of its space based military and civilian hardware systems. It will be jointly operated by all the three services of the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The Integrated Space Cell has been set up to utilize more effectively the country’s space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.
  • It functions under the Integrated Defense Services headquarters of the Indian Ministry of Defense.

Andaman and Nicobar Command

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command is a Tri-service theater command of the Indian Armed Forces, based at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a Union Territory of India. It was created in 2001 to safeguard India’s strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca by increasing rapid deployment of military assets in the region.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command is India’s first and only joint tri-service command, with rotating three-star Commanders-in-Chief from the Army, Navy and Air Force reporting directly to the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

Cold Start Doctrine

  • Cold Start is a military doctrine developed by the Indian Armed Forces for use in a possible war with Pakistan. (it is not ‘official’ ). The Cold Start doctrine is intended to allow India’s conventional forces to perform holding attacks in order to prevent a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan in case of a conflict
  • Cold start doctrine involves following:
  1. Limited but precise strikes in enemy state to prevent nuclear retaliation.
  2. Capture small but strategic territories in Pakistan- which can be traded for concessions later on.


  • The term “paramilitary forces” in India has not been defined in any acts or by authorities officially however they are conventionally used to refer to three forces i.e. Assam Rifles, Special Frontier Force and Indian Coast Guard. They  assist  Armed forces  very  closely  and  led  by  officers  of  Indian  Armed forces.
  • Previously  term  ‘Paramilitary  forces’  was  used  to refer  to variety  of armed  services that aid  the  operation of  law  enforcement  agencies  of  India  and  Armed  forces but  in  2011  on  request  of  army  a  new  definition  was adopted  which  excluded  Central  Armed  Police  forces. From March 2011, Ministry of Home Affairs adopted a uniform nomenclature of Central Armed Police Forces for five forces namely CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB (which are generally led by IPS office and is under Home Ministry) to avoid confusion

Indian Coast Guard

  • Motto: वयम् रक्षामः (We Shall Protect)
  • Emergence of the Coast Guard in India in 1977 as a new service was the result of an awareness that had been growing for some time in the Government for the requirement to enforce National Laws in the waters under national jurisdiction and ensure safety of life and property at sea. The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India as an independent Armed force of India . It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • It protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • The Indian Coast Guard organisation is headed by the Director General who is located at Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ), New Delhi.
  • Except Director General who is an Indian Navy officer, all others are directly appointed.
  • The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces.

Role and Mandate of Indian Coastal Guard:

  • Ensuring safety and protection of the artificial islands, offshore installations and other structure in our maritime zones.
  • Providing protection to fishermen and assistance to them at sea while in distress.
  • Preservation and protection of our maritime environment including prevention and control of maritime pollution.
  • Assistance to the Department of Custom and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations.
  • Enforcement of MZI Acts.
  • Initiating measures for the safety of life and property at sea.
  • Law enforcement in territorial as well as international waters
  • Scientific data collection and support
  • National defence during hostilities (under the operational control of the Indian Navy)

Additional responsibilities:

  • Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the chairman of OSCC constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • National Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Authority (NMSARCA) – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the NMSARCA for executing / coordinating search and rescue missions
  • The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the commander of coastal command and is responsible for overall coordination between central and state agencies in all matters relating to coastal security.
  • Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) – For coastal and sea borders.

Assam Rifles

  • Motto: Friends of the Hill People
  • HQ: Shillong
  • The Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India.The unit can trace its lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy. The Force was raised mainly to guard the alluvial plains of Assam from the wild and unruly tribes inhabiting the surrounding hill tracts. Since then the Assam Rifles have undergone a number of name changes before the name Assam Rifles was finally adopted in 1917  in recognition of its contribution to the war effort during World War I.
  • The Force has been officered by Army Officers since 1884.
  • The Assam Rifles contribution towards assimilation of the people of the North-East into the national mainstream is truly monumental. Their long association with the region reflects in the force being fondly called “The Sentinels of the North-East” and “Friends of the Hill People”. During its long history, the Assam Rifles has earned many laurels both in aid to the civil administration as also fighting alongside the Army.
  • It is now under Assam Rifles Act, 1941.

Role and Mandate of Assam Rifles

  • Assam Rifles is under the governing control of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and they perform many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.
  • In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.
  • A helping hand for humanitarian causes and in natural calamities.
  • Undertakes development activities in the North-East by way of construction of roads and tracks, water sup schemes, schools, community halls, play grounds for village children and repair/ maintenance of buildings in the remote areas.
  • Since 2002 It is Border Guarding Force for the Indo – Myanmaar border as per the government policy “one border one force” and is also its lead intelligence agency.
  • It is also involved in active counter insurgency operations and law and order.

Special Frontier Force

  • The Special Frontier Force (SFF) was created on 14 November 1962. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War.
  • The SFF came to be known as ‘Establishment 22′ due to its first Inspector General, Major General (Retd.) Sujan Singh Uban of Indian Army, who used to be commander of 22 Mountain Regiment during World War II.
  • Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, the force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency.
  • SFF was extremely successful against Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan Military Conflict of 1971. They trained the Bangladeshi underground unit, Mujib Bahini for their secret missions.
  • SFF was used in combating communal riots in mid 1970s and later was used in Operation Blue Star in 1984. It was also used briefly for VIP security in late 1984 around the Prime Minister following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Later this role fell upon the Special Protection Group.
  • In 1975 a new rule pertaining to the SFF was issued, this prohibited the SFF from being deployed to within 10 km of the Indo-Chinese border unless under explicit instructions. This came about after several incidents in which SFF was found to be conducting unsanctioned cross-border raids and intelligence operations.
  • Currently, one SFF battalion is stationed in the Siachen Glacier.


  • The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) refers to five security forces in India under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs. They are Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
  • Five CAPFs, the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF & SSB, are organized on police lines. These CAPF have their own cadre of officers, but headed by officers of the Indian Police Service.
  • On  the recommendation of Border Management Task Force which was constituted after Kargil war, provision was made for One  Border  One  force  and  accordingly  various  forces were created.

Border Security Force

  • Motto: “Duty Unto Death”. Its ethos is “Any task, any time, any where”
  • Border Security Force Act, 1972
  • Headquarters at New Delhi
  • The Border Security Force (BSF) is the primary Border Guarding police force of India. It was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965, “for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected there with”. Till 1965 India’s borders with Pakistan were manned by the State Armed Police Battalion.
  • The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General (DG), since its raising has been an officer from the Indian Police Service.
  • It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Wall of Defence of Indian Territories.
  • BSF is the only Central Armed Police force to have its own Air Wing, Marine Wing and artillery regiments, which support the General Duty Battalions in their operations.
  • The BSF maintains a Tear Smoke Unit (TSU). The TSU is responsible for producing tear gas munitions required for the Anti-Riot Forces.
  • The BSF also has a national level school for breeding and training of dogs.
  • Three battalions of the BSF, located at Kolkata, Guwahati and Patna, are designated as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The battalions are equipped and trained for all natural disasters including combating Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) disasters.
  • Creek Crocodile Commando: In order to thwart landing of terrorists through the sea route, BSF has formed its first commando unit—Creek Crocodiles—to man the hostile creek area where India shares a border with Pakistan.

Role and Mandate the BSF:

  • It guards Indo-Pak border,and Indo-Bangla border.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is considering a proposal to entrust the border-guarding duty along the Indo-Myanmar border to the Border Security Force (BSF). Presently, the 1,640 kilometres Indo-Myanmar border is being guarded by Assam Rifles. As of March 1st 2015, it was decided by the Ministry of Home Affairs to keep the authority of this border with Assam Rifles only.
  1. Peace time:
      • Promote a sense of security among the people living in the border areas.
      • Prevent trans border crimes, unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India.
      • Prevent smuggling and any other illegal activity.
      • In the last few years the BSF has, in addition to their duties, been deployed for counter insurgency and internal security duties
  2. War Time:
      • Holding ground in less threatened sectors so long as the main attack does not develop in a particular sector and it is felt that the local situation is within the capability of BSF to deal with.
      • The BSF units can continue to remain deployed in particular sector even in a war situation to release the Army for offensive tasks.  In the even of a major attack developing, which is not within the capacity of the BSF to deal with, the Army can be expected either to reinforce the BSF with Artillery or other support, or relieve the BSF from its role in the particular sector.
      • Protection of vital installations particular air-fields against enemy commandoes/para troopers or raids.  The role can be entrusted to the BSF Units which are placed under the Army’s operational Control.
    • Limited Aggressive action against para military or irregular forces of the enemy within the overall plan of the Armed Forces .
    • Performing special tasks connected with intelligence including raids.  These are tasks which might be entrusted to BSF Units by the Army in a war situation according to local necessity.
    • Acting as guides in an area of responsibility where routes are known.
    • Maintenance of law and order in enemy territory administrated under the control of Army.  Normally, ordinary civil police force would be utilised for this task but the BSF could be used to supplement the civil police or to act in lieu thereof in a situation where civil police is not readily available.
      • Guarding of prisoners of war cages
      • Assistance in control of refugees.
      • Anti – infiltration duties in specified area

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

  • Motto: Service and Loyalty
  • Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949
  • The Central Reserve Police Force is the largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces.
  • The Central Reserve Police Force came into existence as Crown Representative’s Police on 27th July 1939. It became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28th December 1949.
  • The CRPF is headed by a Director general who is an Indian Police Service officer.
  • The CRPF has three battalions staffed entirely by women.

Role and Mandate of CRPF:

  • It is a reserve force to assist state police in law and order
  • Contain Insurgency
  • Crowd Control
  • VIP security
  • Participate in UN peace keeping missions
  • Environmental Protection
  • Besides Law and Order and counter-insurgency duties, the role of CRPF in the General Elections, held repeatedly during the past few years, has been very significant and vital.
  • It is also operating abroad as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions. It is performing a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.
  • In recent years, the Government of India has decided to use each security agency for its mandated purpose. As a result, the counter-insurgency operations in India have been mainly entrusted to the CRPF.

Parliament Duty Group

  • Parliament Duty Group is an elite CRPF unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House.

Rapid Action Force (RAF)

  • Motto: “Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing”
  • The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised wing of the CRPF. It was established on 11 December 1991 with headquarters in New Delhi, to deal with riots, riot like situations, crowd control, rescue and relief operations, and related unrest.
  • The RAF is divided into two ranges headed by a DIGP at New Delhi and Mumbai.
  • It currently has 10 specialised trained and equipped battalions, located at New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahemadabad, Bhopal, Aligarh, Meerut, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Coimbatore and Allahabhad.
  • The CRPF female and male contingents under the arrangements of RAF are deployed in United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Monrovia and Zwedru in UN Peacekeeping mission since 2007-08. CRPF Female Formed Police Unit was the first of its kind in the world, which was deployed under the aegis of UN Peace Keeping Mission.


  • Motto: “Victory or Death”
  • COBRA (COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a specialised unit of the CRPF created in 2008 to counter the Naxalite problem in India.
  • This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country who are specifically trained in guerilla warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups.
  • Cobras are trained in the Army’s elite Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Mizoram and CRPF’s anti terrorist school in Silchar. They are adept in the art of camouflage and jungle warfare.
  • There are currently 10 COBRA units

Central Industrial Security Force (C.I.S.F)

  • Motto: Protection and Security
  • Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968
  • Its headquarters is at New Delhi. The CISF is headed by an Indian Police Service officer with the rank of Director-General.
  • The  CISF  came  into  existence  in  1969  with  a modest  beginning,  having  three  battalions,  to provide  integrated  security  cover  to  the  Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • With globalization and liberalization of the economy, CISF is no longer a PSU-centric organization. Instead, it has become a premier multi-skilled security agency of the country, mandated to provide security to major critical infrastructure installations of the country in diverse areas.
  • CISF is currently providing security cover to nuclear installations, space establishments, airports, seaports, power plants, sensitive Government buildings and ever heritage monuments. Among the important responsibilities recently entrusted to the CISF are the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, VIP Security, Disaster Management and establishment of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the UN at Haiti.
  • After the Mumbai terrorist attack on November 2008, the mandate of the force has been broadened to provide direct security cover to private sector also by amending the CISF Act.
  • In CISF there are some reserved battalions which works with the state police to protect law and orders. CISF plays a major role in Disaster Management.
  • Unique thing which the CISF has is a Fire Wing which helps during fire accidents in Industries where CISF is on guard.

Sashastra Seema Bal

  • Motto: Service, Security and Brotherhood
  • Sashastra Seema Bal Act, 2007
  • It was formerly known as the Special Service Bureau
  • Special Service Bureau (SSB) was set up in early 1963 in the wake of the Indo-China conflict to inculcate feelings of national belonging in the border population and develop their capabilities for resistance through a continuous process of motivation, training, development, welfare programmes and activities in the then NEFA, North Assam, North Bengal, hills of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh. The scheme was later extended to Manipur, Tripura, Jammu, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram and some border areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat, South Bengal, Nagaland and Nubra Valley, Rajouri and Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Pursuant to the recommendations of the Group of Ministers on reforming the National Security System, SSB was declared as a border guarding force and lead intelligence agency (LIA) for Indo-Nepal border (January, 2001) and Indo-Bhutan border( March, 2004). SSB was renamed as “Sashastra Seema Bal” in accordance with its new role and come under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2001. This was done after Kargil War when ” one border one force concept” was adopted.

Role and Mandate of SSB:

  • As a border guarding force and lead intelligence agency (LIA) for Indo-Nepal border and Indo-Bhutan border.
  • To promote sense of security among the    people living in the border area.
  • To prevent trans-border crimes and unauthorized entries into   or exit from the territory of India.
  • To prevent smuggling and other illegal activities.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force

  • Motto: ValourDeterminationDevotion to Duty
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police was conceived on October 24, 1962, , in the wake of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. ITBP was initially raised under the CRPF Act, however in 1992, the parliament enacted the ITBPF Act
  • ITBP is a mountain trained Force.  Forces are called “Himveer”.

Role and Mandate of ITBPF:

  • Presently, battalions of ITBP are deployed on border guard duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh, covering 3488 km of the India-China border.
  • ITBP is a multi-dimensional force which primarily has 5 functions:
    1. Vigil on the northern borders, detection and prevention of border violations, and promotion of the sense of security among the local populace.
    2. Check illegal immigration and trans-border smuggling
    3. Provide security to sensitive installations and threatened VIPs
    4. Restore and preserve order in any area in the event of disturbance
    5. to maintain the peace
    6. New challenging role that has emerged for ITBP is disaster management. Being the first responder for natural Disaster in Hamalayas, ITBP was the first to establish 06 ( Now 08) Regional Response Centres in HP, Uttaranchal and North East and carried out numerous rescue and relief operations in various disaster situations. ITBP has established a National Centre for Training in Search, Rescue & Disaster response at Bhanu, Haryana which is imparting training to personnel of ITBP and other Paramilitary / State Police Forces. there is also a training center for the Dogs.
    7. Presently ITBP Commando’s are providing security to Embassy of India Kabul,Consulate General of India, Jalalabad and Khandar in Afghanistan since November, 2002. Besides this 02 Coys of ITBP are providing security to BRO personnel for their Delaram – Zaranj road construction project in Afghanistan since July 2004.
    8. ITBP has also excelled in UN peace keeping operation. The Force personnel have been deployed for peacekeeping operations in Angola, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mozambique and Kosovo.
    9. ITBP is also providing security to the pilgrims during Annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from 1981.
    10. ITBP is in the forefront of movement for the preservation of Himalayan environment & ecology. Being the only human presence on forward areas, it has taken on itself the task of maintaining the delicate balance of flora and fauna.
    11. ITBP being deployed in mountains has developed the expertise in rescue & relief operations
    12. ITBP conducts a large number of medical civic action programmes in remote border and terrorist affected areas to provide free and expert medical, health and hygiene care to the civilian population in remote villages.

National Security Guard (NSG)

  • Motto: (Sarvatra Sarvottam Surakhsha) Omnipresent Omnipotent Defense
  • HQ: New Delhi.
  • The National Security Guard (NSG) is a force under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was raised in 1984, following Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Indira Gandhi, “for combating terrorist activities with a view to protect States against internal disturbances”
  • NSG is headed by an Officer from IPS.
  • Thus the primary role of this Force is to combat terrorism in whatever form it may assume in areas where activity of terrorists assumes serious proportions, and the State Police and other Central Police Forces cannot cope up with the situation. The NSG is a Force specially equipped and trained to deal with specific situations and is therefore, to be used only in exceptional situations. The Force is not designed to undertake the functions of the State Police Forces or other Para Military Forces of the Union of India.
  • The NSG personnel are often referred to in the media as Black Cat Commandos because of the black dress and black cat sign-age worn on their uniform.
  • The NSG’s is trained to conduct counter terrorist task to including counter hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air; Bomb disposal (search, detection and neutralization of IEDs); PBI (Post Blast Investigation) and Hostage Rescue missions.
  • In 26 November 2008 Mumbai attacks —NSG carried out Operation Black Tornado and Operation Cyclone to flush out terrorists & rescue hostages after multiple attacks across Mumbai.
  • Post the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike, four regional hubs of NSG were operationalised in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata to reduce reaction time.
  • The NSG was modeled on the pattern of the SAS of the UK and GSG-9 of Germany. It is a task-oriented Force and has two complementary elements in the form of the Special Action Group (SAG) comprising Army personnel and the Special Ranger Groups (SRG), comprising personnel drawn from the Central Para Military Forces / State Police Force.
  1. The SAG is the main offensive or the strike wing of the NSG.
  2. SRG renders logistical support to the SAGs during operations and are deployed for guarding high-risk domestic and international VIPs/VVIPs. However VIP/VVIP Security is not mandate of NSG.

Railway Protection Force (RPF):

  • The Force is under the authority of Ministry of Railways (India).
  • The RPF Act, 1957
  • RPF is headed by Director General who is usually an Indian Police Service officer.


  • To protect Railway property.
  • To  do  all  conducive  means  for  the  free  movement of the railways.
  • Protection and safeguarding the passengers.

Special Protection Group (SPG)

  • Motto: Bravery, Dedication, Security
  • Special Protection Group Act, 1988
  • The SPG was constituted and trained specially to provide protection to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in view of the threats to him from several sources. But, the organization created for the proximate security of Prime Minister Gandhi, did not contemplate provision of protection to him when he ceased to be Prime Minister, and faced magnified threats. SPG cover for Rajiv Gandhi was withdrawn once he ceased to be Prime Minister. After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991, the SPG Act was amended in 1991 to provide security to former Prime Ministers and their immediate families for a period of 10 years from the date on which the former Prime Minister ceased to hold office. Security could be provided even beyond 10 years as per threat perception.
  • Family members of a serving Prime Minister (PM) may decline security. Former PMs and their immediate family members may also, if they choose, decline SPG security.
  • The director of the SPG since its inception has been an officer from the Indian Police service. Personnel of the Special Protection Group are drawn from Central Armed Police Forces & Railway Protection Force.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):

  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a police force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • The “apex Body for Disaster Management” in India, is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister. The ‘nodal Ministry’ in the central government for management of natural disasters, is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a force of 12 battalions, organized on paramilitary lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India: 3 BSF, 3 CRPF, 2 CISF, 2 ITBP and 2 Sashastra Seema Bal. The total strength of each battalion is approximately 1,149. Each battalion is capable of providing 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics.
  • NDRF in addition to being able to respond to natural disasters, has Four battalions capable of responding to radiological, nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.
  • These NDRF battalions are located at nine different locations in the country based on the vulnerability profile to cut down the response time for their deployment. During the preparedness period/in a threatening disaster situation, proactive deployment of these forces will be carried out by the NDMA in consultation with state authorities.

Role and Mandate of NDRF:

  • Specialized response during disasters
  • Proactive  deployment  during  impending  disaster situations
  • Acquire  and  continually  upgrade  its  own  training and skill
  • Liaison, Reconnaissance, Rehearsals and Mock Drills
  • Impart basic and operational level training to State Response  Forces  (Police,  Civil  Defence  and  Home Guards)
  • Community Capacity Building Programmes
  • Public Awareness Campaign
  • Exhibitions : Posters, Pamphlets, literatures


National  Investigative  Agencies  (NIA)

  • National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a federal agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
  • The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
  • NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.

Special NIA Court:

  • Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for trial of the cases registered at various police stations of NIA under the NIA Act 2008. Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government. These are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.
  • Supreme Court of India has also been empowered to transfer the cases from one special court to any other special court within or outside the state if the same is in the interest of justice in light of the prevailing circumstances in any particular state.
  • The NIA Special Courts are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for trial of any offense.
  • An appeal from any judgement, sentence or order of a Special Court lies to the High Court.
1. Can a State Government request the NIA to take over the investigation of a case?
Ans.  A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offences as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.

2. Can the Central Government issue directions to Suo-Moto take over the investigation of a case?
Ans.  As per the NIA Act, the Central Government can order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offence anywhere in the country.

3. Can the State Government investigate cases under the scheduled offences?
Ans.  Yes. NIA Act provide for such a provision.

4. What will be the role of State Police during investigation of a case by the NIA?
Ans.  NIA will seek assistance from the State Police during investigation of cases by the NIA, and in that situation, it is incumbent on the State Police to assist the NIA.

Role and Mandate:

  1. In-depth professional investigation of scheduled offences using the latest scientific methods of investigation
  2. Ensuring effective and speedy trial.
  3. 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.
  4. Developing a professional work force through regular training and exposure to the best practices and procedures.
  5. Displaying scientific temper and progressive spirit while discharging the duties assigned.
  6. Inducting modern methods and latest technology in every sphere of activities of the agency.
  7. 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.
  8. Assist all States and other investigating agencies in investigation of terrorist cases.
  9. Build a data base on all terrorist related information and share the data base available with the States and other agencies.
  10. 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.

National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB)

  • The National Crime Records Bureau is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC). NCRB is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was established in 1986.

Role and Mandate:

  • To prepare an enabling IT environment – policy framework, guidelines, architecture, best practices for Police Forces throughout the country
  • To improve knowledge based pro-active policing with the use of IT for improving internal efficiency, effectiveness and public service delivery.
  • To create and maintain secure sharable National Databases on crimes, criminals, property and organized criminal gangs for law enforcement agencies and promote their use for public service delivery
  • To obtain, compile, analyze and publish the National Crime Statistics
  • To obtain, process and disseminate finger print records of criminals including foreign criminals to establish their identity; promote automation of State Finger Print Bureaux and encourage research for the development of Finger Print Science
  • To provide training in IT and Finger Print Science for capacity building in Police Forces
  • To coordinate development of Modern State Crime Records Bureaux
  • To interact with Foreign Police Forces to share IT practices and crime information.

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB):

  • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the apex coordinating agency, chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.
  • The Director General of NCB is an officer of the Indian Police Service or the Indian Revenue Service. Headquarters is located in Delhi
  • The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health. The government’s policy on the subject which flows from this constitutional provision is also guided by the international conventions on the subject.
  • India is a signatory to the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into effect from the 14th November, 1985 made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.
  • In presence of this provision, the Government of India constituted the NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU on the 17th of March, 1986. The Bureau, subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government, is to exercise the powers and functions of the Central Government for taking measures with respect to:
    • Co-ordination of actions by various offices, State Governments and other authorities under the N.D.P.S. Act, Customs Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and any other law in connection with the enforcement provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985. (like: Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.)
    • Implementation of the obligation in respect of counter measures against illicit traffic under the various international conventions and protocols.
    • Assistance to concerned authorities in foreign countries and concerned international organisations to facilitate coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in these drugs and substances.
    • Coordination of actions taken by the other concerned Ministries, Departments and Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI):

  • DRI is the major intelligence agency which enforces prohibition of smuggling of drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, counterfeit Indian currency, etc.
  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence functions under the Central Board of Excise and Customs in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue.

Role and Mandate:

  • Collection  of  intelligence  about  smuggling  of contraband  goods,  narcotics,  under-invoicing  etc. through  sources  of  India  and  abroad,  including secret sources.
  • Analysis  and  dissemination  of  such  intelligence  to the field formations for action and working on such intelligence, where necessary.
  • Keeping  watch  over  important  seizures  and investigation  cases.
  • Associating  or  taking  over  the investigations  which  warrant  specialized  handling by the Directorate.
  • Guiding  important  investigation / prosecution  cases.
  • Keeping  liaison  with  foreign  countries,  Indian Missions  and  Enforcement  agencies  abroad  on anti-smuggling matters.
  • To  keep  liaison  with  C.B.I.  and  through  them  with the INTERPOL.
  • To  refer cases registered under  the Customs  Act  to  the  Income  Tax  Department  for action under the Income Tax Act.
  • To  keep  statistics  of  seizures  and  prices/rates  etc. for  watching  trends  of  smuggling  and  supply required  material  to  the  ministry  of  Finance  and other Ministries.
  • To study and suggest remedies for loopholes in law and procedures to combat smuggling.

Central  Bureau of  Investigation (CBI):

  • Motto: “Industry, Impartiality, Integrity”.
  • At an early stage of World War-II, the Government of India realised that vast increase in expenditure for war efforts had provided opportunities to unscrupulous and anti-social persons, both officials and non-officials, for indulging in bribery and corruption at the cost of public and the Government. It was felt that Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies under the State Governments were not in a position to cope with the situation. An executive order was, therefore, passed by the Government of India in 1941, setting up the Special Police Establishment (SPE). Subsequently, Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 was brought into existence.
  • The  CBI was renamed the Central Bureau of Investigation on 1st April, 1963.
  • CBI derives power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Section 2 of the Act vests DSPE with jurisdiction to investigate offences in the Union Territories only. However, the jurisdiction can be extended by the Central Government to other areas including Railway areas and States under Section 5(1) of the Act, provided the State Government accords consent under the Act.
  • The CBI is under the control of Department of Personnel and Training  of  the  Ministry  of  Personnel,  Public  Grievances and  Pensions.
  • The amended Delhi Special Police Establishment Act empowers a committee to appoint the director of CBI. (Selection committee was constituted under The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013) The committee consists the following people:
    • Prime Minister – chairperson
    • Leader of Opposition – member
    • Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge recommended by the Chief Justice – member

Mandate of CBI:

  • Cases in which public servants under the control of the Central Government are involved
  • Cases in which the interests of the Central Government or of any public sector project or undertaking, or any statutory corporation or body set up and financed by the Government of India are involved.
  • Cases relating to breaches of Central Laws with the enforcement of which the Government of India is particularly concerned, e.g.
    a. Breaches of Import and Export Control Orders
    b. Serious breaches of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act,
    c. Passport frauds
    d. Cases under the Official Secrets Act pertaining to the affairs of the Central Government.
    e. Cases of certain specified categories under the Defence of India Act or Rules with which the Central Government is particularly concerned.
  • Serious cases of cheating or fraud relating to the Railways, or Posts & Telegraphs Department, particularly those involving professional criminals operating in several States.
    a. Crime on the High Seas
    b. Crime on the Airlines
  • Important and serious cases in Union Territories particularly those by professional criminals.
  • Serious cases of fraud, cheating and embezzlement relating to Public Joint Stock Companies.
  • Other cases of a serious nature, when committed by organized gangs or professional criminals, or cases having ramifications in several States, important cases of kidnapping of children by professional inter-state gangs, etc. These cases are taken up only at the request of or with the concurrence of the State Governments/Union Territories Administrations concerned.
  • Collection of intelligence about corruption in the public services and the projects and undertakings in the public sector.
  • Prosecution of cases investigated by this Division.
  • Presentation of cases before Enquiry Offices in which departmental proceedings are instituted on
    the recommendation of CBI

Bureau  of  Police  Research  and  Investigation (BPR&D):

  • The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) was set up on 28th August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernisation of police forces.


  • To Raise the Standards of Professionalism in Law Enforcement Policing
  • To Optimally Blend Humanity with Technology to Produce Sustainable Institutional Cost – Efficient Outcomes.
  • To Foster a Scientific, but humane, spirit of public-centric improvement in the Law Enforcement Policing and Prison Correctional Services across the country.
  • To Devise Ways and Set Minimum Standards for Improving Police-Public Interface.
  • To identify  problems  and  needs  of  Police  and  initiate research in this field.

Multi Agency Centre

  • MAC is a multi-agency centre for  Counter  Terrorism  whose  mandate  is  to  share terrorism related inputs on a day-to-day basis.
  • It was formed after Kargil War.

Intelligence Bureau (IB):

  • The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India’s internal intelligence agency. IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW):

  • The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. It was created after the Sino-Indian War 1962 and Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 which exposed gaps in intelligence gathering undertaken by the Intelligence Bureau (which until then handled both domestic and foreign intelligence). This convinced the Government of India that a specialised, independent agency was required for foreign intelligence gathering.
  • The primary function of R&AW is gathering foreign intelligence and counter-terrorism. In addition, it is responsible for obtaining and analysing information about foreign governments, corporations and persons to advise Indian policy makers.  It is also involved in the security of India’s nuclear programme.


  • The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Government of India to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies. It was first proposed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008. NATGRID is being implemented in four phases, the first two of which will be operationalised by 2014.
  • NATGRID is an intelligence sharing network that collates data from the standalone databases of the various agencies and ministries of the Indian government. It is a counter terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel. This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies, which are: Research and Analysis Wing, the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation, Financial intelligence unit, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Central Board of Excise and Customs and the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence.
  • NATGRID faced opposition on charges of possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information. Its efficacy in preventing terror have also been questioned given that no state agency or police force has access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action. NATGRID claims to be protected by several structural and procedural safeguards and oversight mechanisms including that of external audits.

National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC)

  • The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) is a proposed federal anti-terror agency to be created in India, modelled on the National Counterterrorism Center of the USA. The proposal arose after the 2008 Mumbai attacks aka 26/11 attacks where several intelligence and operational failures revealed the need for a federal agency with real time intelligence inputs of actionable value specifically to counter terrorist acts against India.
  • The proposal has however met with much criticism from the Chief Ministers of various states who see this as a means of weakening India’s federalism.

Central Forensic Institutes:

Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL):

  • The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which fulfills the forensic requirements in the country.
  • There are four central forensic laboratories in India, at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh and New Delhi.
  • These laboratories (except) are under the control of the Directorate of Forensic Science Services (DFSS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The laboratory in New Delhi is under the control of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Directorate of Forensic Science Services:

The mandate of DFSS:

  1. To formulate plans, policies, and legislations to promote and regulate quality, capacity, and capability building for forensic services in the country.
  2. To facilitate high quality, on time and credible forensic services to the Homeland Security and Justice Delivery System.
  3. To encourage Research & Development activities
  4. To establish linkages with the national and international scientific and forensic institutions and universities for cooperation
  5. To disseminate knowledge on forensic services to the stake-holders by supporting/organizing training, awareness programmes, workshops and national/international conferences.
  6. To advise Central and State Governments in forensic matters and extend forensic assistance to manage national disasters/calamities.
  7. To develop National Forensic Information Grid (NAT-FORENS-GRID)
  8. To promote the concept of Quality Assurance and Quality Control in forensic services.

Central Finger Print Bureau

  • CFPB is placed under the administrative control of the newly formed National Crime Records Bureau.
  • The main functions of the CFPB have been mainly to maintain a database of fingerprint of criminals, National & International, and to disseminate the information.

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