Know the Difference Between CAPF, Military, and Paramilitary

There is a popular misunderstanding that all armed uniform personnel either belong to the military, paramilitaries, or the central armed police force. In all three respects the single aim of guarding India against external danger or otherwise is unique. So precisely, what are the military, paramilitary, and the central armed police forces ?

  • Paramilitary forces are additional units that back the defense forces, including Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, the Special Frontier Force (SFF), etc.
  • The military is part of the specific term ‘Defence Forces of India,’ which is ordered to defend the nation from external forces. The army, the Navy, and the Air Force included.
  • The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) is accountable for handling all threats posed by internal security. Including forces like BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, and SSB.

Are you preparing for any of these exams? Make sure that you go through the UPSC NDA details. Each force has its own budget and every service is governed. The distinctions between paramilitary, military, and military powers of the Armed Police Force are as follows:


A military or a defence force is a specialized association. It is a legal force of the country to use potent or lethal force and arms to protect the state’s rights. Though people know the defence, its actions are protection and attacking. The military, navy, air forces, and the Coast Guard normally consist of it.

Paramilitary Forces

Any force with military officers who oversee it. This force is under the control of MHA is paramilitary according to international use. The main paramilitary forces are – the Indian Coast Guard, Assam Rifles, and the Special Frontier Forces.


These forces also make up the State Reserve Police Forces. They require special law regulations that are similar to the Armed Forces to help the civilian authorities. They cannot work if the state government orders a disrupt area. It is because they do not provide police powers.

Central Armed Police Forces

Central Armed Police Police operate on the border to inspect unauthorized border breaches, interferences, smuggling, etc. (BSF, SSB, ITBP), internal security responsibilities (CRPF), or protection facilities (CISF).

Border Security Force, Shashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Force, Central Reserve Police Force, and Central Industrial Security Force are the five CAPFs of India.

The Coast Guard Ambiguity

The Coast Guard is a paramilitary force. Its costs are covered by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Ministry of Defense controls it. It’s partly because the machines used by the coast guard are almost the same as the machines used by the Navy. CG wants someone skilled in handling them.

Training is also provided by military agencies. These are INA and AFA to the coast guard staff. This is why a senior naval officer runs the Coast Guard. It has the same selection procedure as the military officers.

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