Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces - CAPF vs Paramilitary

By K Balaji|Updated : January 25th, 2023

The major difference between CAPF and paramilitary forces is that CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) is the security forces of India that works under the Ministry of Home Affairs, whereas the paramilitary force is not a part of the formal army that looks into external security. However, many people often get confused about the difference between CAPF and Paramilitary forces.

Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces PDF

Every country ensures its external and internal security. All countries protect their sovereignty and maintain law and order with the help of different groups that work under different forces. India also invests in the most powerful armed defense groups. The two important groups in India include CAPF and Paramilitary forces. Here, we have discussed the difference between CAPF and paramilitary forces, along with a brief introduction.

Table of Content

Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces

There are several other important difference between CAPF and Paramilitary in the structure of operation, different forces included, and their commanders. The following table provides a clear understanding of the differences between the forces.

CAPF vs Paramilitary

Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces

CAPF

Paramilitary Forces

The Ministry of Home Affairs is the governing body of CAPF.

The Ministry for Home Affairs for Assam Rifles and the Ministry of Defense for Special Frontier Force is the governing body of Paramilitary forces.

The responsibilities of CAPF include securing country borders from illegal border insurgence and smuggling from the borders.

The responsibilities of Paramilitary forces include protecting from internal threats like left-wing extremism, Naxalites, and Maoists.

An IPS Officer heads CAPF.

The Director-General of Police heads paramilitary forces

CAPF and Paramilitary

The uniformed name for the security forces in India that operate under the Ministry of Home Affairs control is Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Additionally, they are known as "Paramilitary Forces."

Below we have provided the difference between CAPF and Paramilitary forces and a basic introduction.

What is CAPF?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) central police organizations in India are collectively known as Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Technically speaking, these are paramilitary forces formerly known as the Central Para-military Forces (CPMF).

  • Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF), Para-Military Forces (PMF), and Central Police Forces (CPF) were all terms used interchangeably to refer to CAPF in the past.
  • The Central Armed Police Forces, which fall under the Ministry of Home Affairs, were renamed by a circular issued by the Indian government in 2011.

The CAPF is further divided into three groups: the Assam Rifles (AR), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB); Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF); and the Special Task Force- National Security Guard (NSG).

What are Paramilitary Forces?

The paramilitary force is semi-militarized. The officials working in the paramilitary force follow training, tactics, and structure similar to the military force. A paramilitary group operates in a civil or military capacity and is structured like an army.

  • Both internal and border security are crucial functions of the paramilitary forces.
  • The paramilitary forces, directed by officers of the Indian Army or Indian Navy, include Assam rifles and special frontier forces (SFF), which support the Indian Armed Forces particularly closely.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces

The key Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces is that CAPF is Central Armed Police Force responsible for acting against any internal security threat, whereas Paramilitary Forces are supplementary branches that help the security forces.

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FAQs on Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary Forces

  • The Difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary forces is that the CAPF maintains internal security by monitoring the country's borders and safeguarding them from illegally entering people and goods while the paramilitary force engages in resolving internal conflicts and threats

  • The Assam Rifles protect the Indo-Myanmar border. It is one of India's Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and is governed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, but the Indian Army maintains operational responsibility over it.

  • The main difference between CAPF and Paramilitary forces is based on their governing body. The Ministry of Home Affairs controls the CAPF, while paramilitary forces can be controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defense, depending on the force.

  • The paramilitary force is semi-militarized. The officers working under the paramilitary force obey training, tactics, and system equivalent to the military force. A paramilitary group functions in a civil or military power and is structured like troops.

  • There is no difference Between CAPF and Paramilitary forces concerning the security they ensure. Both forces are employed to maintain the internal security of the country.

  • The CAPF is a paramilitary group that reports to the Indian Home Ministry and is responsible for internal issues, while the military handles external ones. These issues relate to the nation's security from all threats.

  • The difference between military and paramilitary is that the line of work of the Military Forces is to safeguard the country from all types of external hazards, while the Paramilitary Force is charged with the work of guarding the residents of the country against internal brutality, ethical riots etc.

  • Based on their branches, the difference between CAPF and Paramilitary forces is that the branches of CAPF include the Border Guarding Forces (BSF, ITBP, NSG, SSB), whereas the paramilitary forces include Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force.

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