Paramilitary Forces of India
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India is a big country and now holds a dominant position in world affair. With its large area, range and kilometers of borders, India needs specialized forces to maintain law and order in its disturbed area apart from keeping a vigil on its border. Main responsibility of protecting our country lies on the shoulders of brave soldiers of Indian Armed Forces, but the security mainly the border security and internal matters are also being dealt by courageous men working in other security forces which are termed as Paramilitary Forces.

The Paramilitary Forces of India (PMF) are those agencies of the Government of India which aid the operations of the law enforcement agencies of India and the Indian Armed Forces. The Paramilitary Forces of India is regarded as the world’s second largest of the world and most powerful among other paramilitary forces. In the year 2007, the whole strength of the paramilitary force was above 1.5 million personnel.

The first row of the PMF is the Central Police Organizations (CPO) while the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) forms the second row. The primary difference between the two is that the CPO works independently or in coordination with the Indian Federal Agencies, State Police Forces and other Indian Law Enforcement Agencies, whereas the CPF works in close cooperation with the Indian Armed Forces (which includes the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force). During a war, the CPF would work directly under the control of the Armed Forces unlike the CPO. All branches of the PMF, excluding the Indian Coast Guard, are agencies of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Coast Guard, a component of the CPF, is an agency of the Indian Defense Ministry and works in close coordination with the Indian Navy. Some of the administrative ranks of the paramilitary forces are shared.

There are number of Paramilitary forces with a wide variety of roles. These forces broadly follow the role of gendarmerie and and carry out counter-insurgency or anti-terrorist missions. The Central Reserve Police Force, which primarily assists the Indian Police in maintaining law and order, is the largest of the paramilitary forces in India. Others, such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), aid the Indian Army in guarding the international borders of India.

In comparison to civilian police forces, Paramilitary Forces may provide a more disciplined force whose military capabilities make them more capable of dealing with all types of violence. Paramilitary Forces may also provide various military and police services. For instance, the Paramilitary forces are used in border patrolling, crowd and riot control, counter-terrorism, policing at sea, control at security at airports, official buildings, honorary services, VIP protections, rescue and security of important industrial sites.

Paramilitary Forces plays an important role in re-establishing law and order in conflict areas. These forces are also used in Peacekeeping missions, for instance in Srilanka, Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia etc. Their primary mission is internal security.

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