Download the BYJU'S Exam Prep App for free IAS preparation videos & tests - Download the BYJU'S Exam Prep App for free IAS preparation videos & tests -

Difference Between Paramilitary, Military and Central Armed Police Force

There is a common misconception that any armed uniform personnel is either part of the military, paramilitary, central armed police force or sometimes with  either of the three services

All the three are different in every aspect save for the single goal of protecting India from an existential threat, external or otherwise.

Paramilitary Forces are auxiliary units that assist the defence forces and they include the Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force (SFF)

The Military comes under the general term of “Defence Forces of India” which is mandated to protect the country from external forces. It includes the army, Navy and the Air Force.

The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) is responsible for acting against any internal security threat. It includes forces such as the Central Industrial Security Force and ITPB (Indo-Tibetan Border Police)

Aspirants can check our IAS Exam page to get up-to-date content for UPSC and the Civil Services. 

The differences between Paramilitary, Military and Central Armed Police Force are given in the table below:                                             

Differences between Paramilitary, Military and Central Armed Police Force

Paramilitary Military

Central Armed Police Force

Protection of resources from internal threats like Left-Wing Extremism, Insurgents etc Protecting the external borders of the country from terrorism and aggression from other countries These forces provide security to key economic installations from any existential threat they also function on the borders to check illegal border crossings, encroachments, smuggling 
Varied. Dependent upon the forces in question. For example, Assam Rifles reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs while the Coast Guard reports to the Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Assam Rifles
  • Indian Coast Guard
  • Special Frontier Force
  • Indian Army
  • Indian Air Force
  • Indian Navy
  • Central Reserve Police Force
  • Central Industrial Security Force
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force
3 Star Officer of Equivalent Rank of Director General of Police 4 Star Officer of Equivalent Rank of General of Army As it comes under the Home Ministry it is headed by an IPS (Indian Police Service) Officer A CAPF cadre can officially reach the post of Assistant Director-General of Police but the Director-General post is reserved for IPS
Some of the paramilitary wings such as the Assam Rifles originated in 1835 while the Coast Guard originated as late as 1978 The Indian Military in its current form began from the native armies of the East India Company, which later became the British Indian Army and later was merged into the national army upon independence The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is the largest industrial security force with over 165,000 personnel

There are many exams through which one can join these prestigious services. The following links and other allied articles will be of immense help

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

Difference Between Military, Paramilitary and Central Armed Forces- Download PDF Here

FAQ about Paramilitary, Military and Central Armed Police Force


How many forces are in paramilitary?

The paramilitary forces in India refer to three organisations which include Assam Rifles, Special Frontier Force, and Indian Coast Guard. These forces assist the Indian Armed Forces.

Name the forces under Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)?

The Ministry of Home Affairs maintains seven CAPFs which include Assam Rifles (AR), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

Related Links

NCERT Books UPSC Exam Pattern Current Affairs Quiz
IFS Eligibility World Current Affairs PIB Summary and Analysis
Global Talent Competitiveness index Administrative Reforms Commission List of National Parks in India

Daily News


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.