Types Of Army In India

Types Of Army In India

List of types of army in India. India is a country which a very rich history and culture dating back more than 10,000 years. It is also one of the most populous countries in the world, and a country with a great deal of ethic and social diversity. To further worsen issues, India is under constant threat and faces a lot of challenges from external and internal threats. Such a situation naturally calls for a robust defense mechanism. The Indian Armed Force and the Central Armed Police Force ensure the national security of India with a reasonable amount of success.

In this post we want to narrow our searchlight to the various arms of the Indian armed forces, who are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the people, property, and institutions of the country of India. We want to understand them, know more about how they operate, their areas of concentration, and how they integrate into the greater whole which is the Indian armed forces.

Types Of Army In India

Indian Armed Force

The Indian Armed Force is the number one defense wall of the country India. They serve under the authority of the Ministry of Defense. Their main duty is to manage external security threats mostly coming from the land borders, coming from India’s hostile neighbors.

The Indian Armed Force has four main divisions:

  • Indian Army

The Indian army is the land-based branch of the Indian armed forces. It is also the largest part of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Army is one the biggest institutions in India, and the arm of government chiefly saddled with the protection of the territory of India. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, but directives and commands come from the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general.

 India has a long and rich history of having an army, and the ancient kingdoms of India had armed forces to defend them. However, the Indian Army as it is today originated from the armies of the East India Company, which was later named the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, and then after independence it was finally named the national army. Presently the Indian Army has 1,237,117 active personnel, 960,000 reserve personnel on standby, and 245 manned air-craft. 

Types Of Army In India
Indian Army
  • Indian Navy

The Indian Navy is the main sea warfare branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy, while the Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, commands and controls the navy.

The Indian Navy as is today traces its origins back to the East India Company’s Marine which was founded in 1612 to protect British merchant ships which were constantly pillaged by pirates at that time. In 1793 it was called the British East India Company, and by 1830 the colonial navy was His Majesty’s Indian Navy. In 1934, it was renamed the Royal Indian Navy. When India became a republic in 1950, the ‘Royal’ prefix was dropped, and the force was named Indian Navy. The primary objective of the navy is to safeguard the nation’s maritime borders, and in cooperation with other Armed Forces of the country, to act to deter or defeat any threats or acts of aggression against the territory, people or maritime interests of India, both in war and peace. Apart from such actions of force, the Indian Navy works through joint exercises, goodwill visits and humanitarian missions, which include disaster relief to build bilateral relations between India and other nations.

  • Indian Coast Guard 

The Indian Coast Guard is an armed water based force that protects India’s maritime assets and enforces maritime law. The Indian Coast Guard has jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and sea ports. The Indian Coast Guard was formally established and empowered on the 18th of August 1978, by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. Although a separate arm, the Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy. It also has a good working relationship with the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and also the Central and State police forces.

The Indian Coast Guard presently has 15,714 active personnel, 178 vessels, and 44 aircraft.

  • Indian Air Force 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. It functions as a separate body, although in close cooperation with the army. The Indian Air Force is a very large institution; Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the world’s Air Forces. Its main mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. They have also been deployed to patrol the country’s land and sea borders. The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. After India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the force continued to operate with the name Royal Indian Air Force was retained, but with the government’s transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed. The Indian Air Force is a large force, it has 139,576 active personnel, and 1,748+ aircraft.

Central Armed Police Force

The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) functions mainly to combat and manage internal security threats and only aid in combating external threats when necessary. The force is empowered by the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 There are seven main divisions into which the CAPF is divided:

  • Assam Rifles

    This is one of the oldest modern paramilitary forces in the country and was established in 1835. Presently, its main job is to monitor the North East international borders and counter whatever insurgency actions in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland regions.

  • Border Security Force (BSF)

    The main role of the Border Security Force as the name implies is to keep a watch over international borders against intrusion. The BSF is not a new security force; it was established in 1965. 

  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

The job of the Central Industrial Security Force is to monitor the Central Government industrial complexes, and defend them from any security threats to persons and properties therein, including theft, arson and others. The CISF was set up in 1969 after the recommendations of Justice B Mukherji.

  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

    The Central Reserve Police Force has the main job of working to assist the State Police or Union Territory Police in maintaining law and order. The force was established in 1939. The Mahila Battalion,  which is the 88th Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force was commissioned on March 30, 1986, has the distinction of being the world’s first paramilitary force made up entirely of women.

  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

 The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) now has the responsibility of monitoring the borders, particularly on the side of China, in order to stop smuggling and illegal immigration. The force was established in 1962, after the Chinese attack. Keep in mind that they are an armed force, the first to meet on the northern borders, and are fully authorized to engage any hostile enemy.

  • National Security Guards (NSG)

    The National Security Guards (NSG) is a highly trained force which deals with the issue of militancy, and such treats, which may be politically motivated. The National Security Guard was established in 1984. It was created because it was deemed necessary to have a designated force to respond to such threats.

  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

    The Sashastra Seema Bal was established in 1963.  Their main objective is to control anti-national activities and foster a feeling of nationalism and integration among the border population. They guard the Indian border with Nepal as well as the Indian- Bhutan borders. 


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