Inspired by the men in uniforms, fearlessly defending India's honour in various parts of the country and across conflict-ridden zones, and terrains? If your answer is 'yes' or close to being a 'yes', then take a re-look at what the paramilitary forces have on offer. With growing concern for domestic security, there is a lot more opportunities open for those aspiring to be in the paramilitary forces. Let's take a quick look at how one can make it to the forces and what the job entails.
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What are the paramilitary forces?
These forces were set up to protect the internal security of the country as well as support the defense services in securing the borders of India. All paramilitary forces function under the purview of Ministry of Home Affairs (on the other hand, the Indian Army, Navy & Air Force come under the Defence Ministry) and have different components and roles. Majorly, it 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.
Apart from maintaining India's internal security by patrolling the Indian borders - from the northeast to the Thar desert, the paramilitary is also being deployed for diverse roles such as ensuring fair and peaceful conduct of elections, protection against terrorists & Maoists, VIP protection and providing help in the midst of a natural calamity.
Here is a list of the paramilitary forces in India:
Central Paramilitary Forces
- Border Security Force (BSF)
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
- Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
- National Security Guard (NSG)
- Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
- Assam Rifles (AR)
- Rashtriya Rifles (RR)
- The Special Frontier Force (SFF)
- Defence Security Corps
Central Police Organizations
- Railway Protection Force (reports to the Railway Ministry)
- Provincial Armed Consultancy
- Civil Defense
- Rapid Action Force
- Indian Home Guard
- Central Reserve Police Force
- Special Protection Group
- Special Frontier Force
- Provincial Armed Constabulary
- Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA)
Positions and careers in paramilitary forces
While a career in paramilitary forces is sought after because of its perks and allowances, getting in is not a cakewalk. Aspirants need to fulfil physical fitness and mental aptitude criteria and appear for written exams, the latter applicable mostly for officers.
Here is how to get into the premier forces of the nation:
Border Security Force
A career in the BSF is one of the most prestigious ones, where you have the responsibility of protecting the country's land border and securing it against transnational crime. BSF guards Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangla borders. Typically, the paramilitary forces' jobs (including the BSF) comprise recruitment of individuals at various positions such as General Duty Cadre (Sub-Inspector and Constable), Head Constable, Assistant Commandant, Assistant-Sub Inspector, and Communication set-up Head Constable. For the post of an officer, UPSC selects candidates through written tests, preliminary medical exams, physical efficiency test, GDs and interviews. If you crack all these levels, you would be eligible for a year of basic training and then given your first posting.
Officers also get deputed to premier forces like the National Security Guards and Special Protection Group. Engineers can find jobs in the technical branch whereas doctors can apply for medical branch.
Those in paramilitary forces with experience can also apply for positions such as Director General, Special and Additional Director General, or Inspector General. Remuneration starts from Rs. 8,460 per month for a Constable to Rs. 80,000 per month for Director General.
Central Reserve Police Force
The CRPF is the "Peace Keeper of the Nation." Recruitment in the CRPF happens at multiple levels. Regular UPSC tests are held for recruitment for hiring of Assistant Commandants. This is followed by physical examination tests (PET) and interview. Senior positions like those of the IGs, DIGs, and Commandants, come through promotions or are filled by deputed officers from the defence or police services. There are also requirements for CT (Tech/Tradesmen), Specialist Doctors and General Duty Medical Officers, Paramedical staff, HC/MIN, Assistant Stenographer and Constables.
You can pursue a career in Assam Rifles at the position of Constable, Specialist Doctor, GDMOS, Directorate General Tech Trade, Rifleman and Veterinary Doctor.
Central Reserve Police Force
A lucrative career awaits at the CRPF for the positions of Assistant Commandants, Constables and other gazetted positions. Currently, the government has announced 123 vacancies for specialist medical officers in important disciplines such as Orthopedics, Surgery, and Medicine.
Sashastra Seema Bal
SSB guards Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan frontiers. There are several job positions at Sashastra Seema Bal including Constable, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Sub-Inspector, Additional-Judge and Attorney General.
Indo Tibetan Border Police
ITBP mainly guards the India-China frontier and is a specialised mountain force with professional mountaineers and skiers. They have been carrying out many rescue & relief operations in case of natural disasters in the Himalayas. It recruits young men at the four levels: Assistant Commandant (UPSC exam), Sub-Inspector (SSC exam), Head Constable & Constable (recruitment rallies.)
As of June, 2014, paramilitary forces in India are facing critical shortage of specialist doctors. Therefore, the government has taken the initiative to recruit over 600 fresh professionals in different disciplines such as surgery, medicine, and orthopedics. The candidates will be selected for the rank of Assistant Commandants (medical officers) and Deputy Commandants (specialist doctors). Specialist doctors are in demand in the fields of Radiology, Gynaecology, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesia, Psychiatry, etc.
Pay and remuneration
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.
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.