Defence officers academy

Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in India

About CAPF

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in India encompass five prominent security forces operating under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs. These forces play a critical role in ensuring the security and well-being of the nation. The CAPF includes the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Eligibility for Assistant Commandants:

  1. Gender Equality: Both male and female candidates are eligible for appointment to the post of Assistant Commandants within the CAPF.

  2. Educational Qualification: To be eligible for the position of Assistant Commandant, candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a government-recognized university. The university should be incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India. Additionally, educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared as deemed universities under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, are also considered acceptable. Candidates who have appeared in the qualifying examination and have not yet received their results can apply for the CAPF Exam. However, admission is provisional until proof of passing the examination is provided after qualifying the entrance test.

  3. Age Limit: Candidates must be at least 20 years old and not exceed 25 years of age. There is a provision for relaxation of the upper age limit by up to five years for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories, and up to three years for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC). Applicants must be Indian nationals. Those who have been previously selected through the CAPF exam are not eligible to apply again.

Roles and Responsibilities of Assistant Commandants:

Assistant Commandants (AC) play a pivotal role in leading a company of approximately 150 armed personnel. Their duties encompass various areas, including:

  1. Election Security: ACs are deployed to ensure the smooth conduct of elections and the maintenance of normalcy, in addition to their primary responsibilities of border guarding and protection of industrial corridors (CISF).

  2. Operational Planning: They are responsible for planning and conducting operations to address security challenges.

  3. Training: ACs ensure that on-the-job training is provided to maintain their company in a constant state of operational preparedness for any situation that may arise.

  4. Intelligence: They organize independent intelligence networks to enhance operational efficiency.

  5. Armament Maintenance: ACs are responsible for ensuring the efficacy and serviceability of armaments within their company.

Scheme of Examination for CAPF:

The CAPF examination consists of various stages, including:

Written Examination:

  • PAPER-I – General Ability and Intelligence (Objective Type): This paper carries 250 marks and assesses the candidate’s general knowledge, aptitude, and intelligence.

  • PAPER-II – Essay, Precis writing, and comprehension (Conventional Type): This paper carries 200 marks and evaluates the candidate’s writing and comprehension skills.

Physical and Medical Standard Test: This stage is conducted only for candidates who qualify the written examination. It assesses the physical fitness and medical standards of the candidates to ensure they meet the necessary requirements for the role.

Training and Career Advancement in CAPF:

Upon successful recruitment as an Assistant Commandant in one of the CAPF organizations, candidates undergo comprehensive training programs to equip them for their roles. The training typically encompasses physical fitness, weapon handling, tactical operations, leadership, and specialized skills based on the specific force they join.

Career advancement in CAPF is performance-based, and there is a structured hierarchy for officers. An Assistant Commandant can rise through the ranks, becoming Deputy Commandant, Second-in-Command, Commandant, and beyond, based on experience and merit. These promotions bring greater responsibilities and leadership roles, and with time and experience, an officer can reach the highest positions within the force.

Duties and Deployment:

CAPF personnel, including Assistant Commandants, are deployed in a wide range of situations and locations. Their duties include:

  1. Border Security: Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are primarily responsible for safeguarding India’s borders with neighboring countries.

  2. Crowd Control and Law Enforcement: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is often deployed in conflict areas to manage law and order, counter insurgency, and assist local authorities in maintaining peace.

  3. Industrial Security: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is tasked with securing critical infrastructure, including airports, seaports, and industrial complexes.

  4. Safeguarding Borders: Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) plays a significant role in border guarding in regions where other forces do not have a presence.

  5. Challenging Terrain: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is responsible for guarding the border in mountainous and harsh terrains.

Challenges and Risks:

Working in CAPF can be demanding and challenging. Personnel, including Assistant Commandants, often face risks such as border skirmishes, insurgent attacks, and dealing with large crowds during civil unrest. They work in diverse and often difficult environments, ranging from deserts to dense forests and high-altitude areas, which can be physically and mentally demanding.

Importance of CAPF:

The Central Armed Police Forces are a critical component of India’s security apparatus. They contribute significantly to the nation’s defense, internal security, disaster management, and more. Their roles are multifaceted, and they provide support in various challenging situations, including natural disasters, terrorist threats, and border security.

Recruitment and the Role of UPSC:

The recruitment of Assistant Commandants in CAPF is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). UPSC is responsible for conducting the CAPF examination, which includes a written test and physical and medical standard tests. The examination ensures that candidates meet the required standards in terms of knowledge, physical fitness, and medical fitness.