History of Indian Armed Forces
The organization of Indian Armed Forces dates back to the colonial era, when India was ruled by the British. Post Independence, Indian Armed Forces were reorganized to suit the interests of a free nation. New policies and rules were introduced, with the Constitution of India clearly vesting the supreme command of the armed forces in the President.
Different Indian Armed Forces
Indian Army enjoys the status of being the world's second largest army in terms of military personnel. It is a land-based unit and the largest section of the Indian Armed Forces. The highest rank in the Indian Army is that of a 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. Indian Navy is known to be the fourth largest navy in the world, in terms of manpower. It is the naval unit of the Indian Armed Forces, responsible for protecting India’s maritime borders. Indian Air Force ranks as the fourth leading air force in the world. It is the air branch of the Indian Armed Forces, responsible for protecting Indian airspace. The three Indian Armed Forces receive support from National Cadet Corps. It is a tri-services voluntary organization, with allegiance to the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. It functions to make the youth of the country disciplined and patriotic citizens and recruits cadets from high schools, colleges and universities present throughout India.
There are 12 Indian Paramilitary Forces that look after internal security. Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), India's largest Central Armed Police Forces helps in police operations and counter insurgency in state/ union territories, in order to maintain law and order. Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialized wing of Central Reserve Police Force. It started functioning to handle riots and unrest, controlling crowd and participating in rescue and relief operations. Other paramilitary forces are the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Special Frontier Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Central Industrial Security Force, Indian Coast Guard and National Security Guard. While the Indian Armed Forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense, Indian Paramilitary Forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Besides guarding the borders, the internal security of a nation is of paramount importance. Hence, there are forces to take care of internal security. Law and order in Indian states are maintained by the Indian Police Forces. These are independent units in state administration. A police organization includes well trained and disciplined body of men, who detect and prevent crime.
Significance of Indian Armed Forces
Modern India shares its border with 7 countries namely, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Apart from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India shares maritime borders with the rest of the countries. This suggests the need to maintain armed forces in India. In the contemporary era the task of the Indian defense forces have undergone massive changes. Presently, the economic condition of a nation is largely dependent on the maintenance of peace and stability, regionally and internationally. Therefore, it can be said that Indian Armed Forces play an important role in the economy of a country.