(Last Updated on : 06/03/2009)
Indian Defence Forces shoulder the responsibility of the nation`s security. While the President of India acts as the supreme commander, the Cabinet is responsible for national defence. The entire functioning of the Indian defence forces is controlled by the Ministry of Defence, a Government of India department. Modern India shares its border with seven countries, such as, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and with the rest five it shares maritime borders. In the contemporary era the task of the Indian defence forces have undergone massive changes. Today the economic condition of a nation is largely dependent on its maintenance of peace and stability regionally and internationally.
The organisation of the Indian armed forces dates back to the Colonial era when India was ruled by the British. Post independence the Indian armed forces were reorganized to suit the interests of an independent nation. New policies and rules were introduced with the Constitution of India clearly vesting the supreme command of the armed forces in the President. The Indian Defence forces comprise the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Coast Guards, Territorial Army and National Cadet Corps. Besides guarding the borders the internal security of the nation is of paramount importance too. Hence there are forces to take care of such issues. These include the Indian Police Services, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, National Security Guard, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Assam Rifles, State Police Services and others.
Chivalry, integrity and dedication best define the Indian defence forces. The main objectives of the Indian defence forces are to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unity of the nation. Defence forces, such as, the Indian Air Force ranks as the fourth leading air force in the world. Similarly the Indian Army enjoys the status of being the world`s second largest army in terms of military personnel. The highest rank in the Indian Army is Field Marshal. It is a largely ceremonial rank and the President of India, on the advice of the Union Cabinet of Ministers, makes appointments and that too in exceptional circumstances. Among the other Indian defence forces, the Indian Navy is a significant one. In terms of manpower, it is ranked as the fourth largest navy in the world.
Besides these there are twelve Paramilitary forces that look after the internal security. These include the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Special Frontier Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force and National Security Guard. While the Indian Defence forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defence; the Paramilitary forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The law and order in the Indian states are maintained by the Indian Police Forces. These are independent units in the state administrations. The police organisation includes well trained and disciplined body of men who detect and prevent crime. Apart from this the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), a part of the Indian Defence forces, is another wing for managing the national security of India. The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is one of the 191 battalions that constitute the CRPF.
The Indian defence forces, thus, play a pivotal role in maintaining the security and integrity of the subcontinent.