Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandates

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
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  • India has several security forces and agencies responsible for maintaining law and order, safeguarding national security, and addressing various threats.
  • The various Security forces of the Union of India have separate mandates and are handled by different ministries. 
  • The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs jointly manage external and internal security threats in India, including border areas.

The various security Forces Under Defence Ministry and their Mandates

Overall issue associated with all 3 wings of Indian armed forces

  • Lack of clearly articulated integrated military strategy.
  • Lack of modernisation and large share of old equipment.
  • Inadequate Budgetary support for new procurement.
  • Lack of expert in the field of weapon design and technology
  • Faulty Human resource policies.

The various security Forces Under Ministry of Home affairs and their Mandates


  • Collective name for central police organizations in India under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Formerly known as Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF).
  • Term changed to "central armed police forces" in 2011 to remove the word "paramilitary."
  • Responsible for internal security and guarding the borders.

 CAPF comprises following Security Forces

 Overall issue associated with all CAPF forces

  • Limited Resources: CAPF forces face constraints in funding and equipment.
  • Staffing Shortages: Additional personnel needed to meet operational demands.
  • Training and Skill Development: Limited opportunities for training and skill enhancement.
  • High Operational Demands: CAPF forces deployed in challenging situations.
  • Work-Life Balance: Extended duty hours and limited leave opportunities.
  • Welfare and Healthcare: Addressing accommodation, healthcare, and pension benefits.

Indian Coast Guards Mandates

  • Maritime Safety and Security: Protecting vessels, ports, and coastal areas from piracy, smuggling, and terrorism.
  • Search and Rescue: Conducting operations to save lives and assist mariners in distress.
  • Maritime Law Enforcement: Enforcing laws against illegal activities like drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and illegal fishing.
  • Pollution Control: Preventing marine pollution and responding to oil spills and environmental hazards.
  • Maritime Surveillance: Patrolling and monitoring to maintain situational awareness and deter unauthorized activities.
  • Humanitarian Assistance: Providing aid and disaster response during natural disasters and emergencies at sea.

Issues with ICG

  • Limited Resources: The Coast Guard faces resource constraints impacting operational capabilities.
  • Technological Upgrades: Challenges in acquiring modern equipment and surveillance systems.
  • Maritime Domain Awareness: Achieving comprehensive maritime domain awareness across vast coastal areas, including remote and difficult-to-access regions, requires enhanced surveillance capabilities and coordination with other agencies.
  • Human Resource Constraints: Recruitment, training, and retention challenges for a skilled workforce.
  • Coordination with Multiple Agencies: Weak coordination with other maritime entities affects it's working.

Steps taken by Government to remove discrepancies associated with Security Forces

  1. Theaterisation of Armed forces
    • What is theaterisation?
    • It is a concept that seeks to integrate the capabilities of the three services -- army, air force and navy -- and optimally utilize their resources for wars and operations
    • What will it entail?
    • The current theaterisation model under consideration seeks to set up at least six new integrated commands.
    • The first phase involves the creation of Air Defence Command and Maritime Theatre Command.
    • Why Theaterisation of Armed Forces Necessary
      • Theaterisation of armed forces enhances operational efficiency and coordination among different branches within a specific theater of operations.
      • It enables a holistic approach to address modern security challenges by integrating land, sea, and air domains.
      • Theaterisation allows for optimal resource allocation and cost-effectiveness in military operations.
      • It promotes interoperability, joint training, and collaboration, fostering a culture of cooperation and coordination.
      • Theaterisation provides strategic flexibility, swift deployment, and concentrated forces for effective deterrence and rapid response to threats or contingencies.
    • key challenges involved in the theaterisation process.
    • Inter-service rivalries and competition.
    • Establishing effective command and control structures.
    • Achieving operational synchronization among different services.
    • Infrastructure development and logistical challenges.
    • Shifting training and education approaches to foster jointness.
    • Resource allocation and competing demands.
    • Revisiting legal and administrative frameworks.
    • Overcoming traditional service-centric mindsets.
  1. SRIJAN Portal: To facilitate indigenisation by Indian industry including defense MSMEs.
  2. Agneepath Scheme: To reduce age profile within forces
  3. Appointment of CDS

 Way Forward

  • Increase resource allocation for better operational capabilities.
  • Adopt advanced technologies for enhanced maritime surveillance and communication.
  • Focus on capacity building through training and skill development.
  • Strengthen coordination with other maritime agencies for seamless operations.
  • Develop infrastructure for improved coastal security.
  • Foster international cooperation for information sharing and joint operations.
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