Various Security Forces and Agencies and Their Mandate is in GS3 UPSC civil service examination syllabus.Various security forces & agencies and their mandate will be detailed in this session.This comes under security of india both internal security & border security.Since indian borders are vulnerable this is important for preparation.

Various Security Forces and Agencies and Their Mandate

  1. Indian Armed Forces
  2. Paramilitary Forces
  3. Central armed Police forces
  4. Central intelligence and investigation
  5. Central Forensic Institute
  6. State armed police force
  7. Others

Various Security Forces and Agencies and Their Mandate

  1. Indian Armed Forces

Indian armed force includes Indian Army,Indian Air Force,Indian Navy.The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defence.

Indian Army.

  • Motto: “Service Before Self
  • The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army and finally the national army after independence.
  • It has third largest active military personnel in the world.
  • It is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India serves as Commander-in-Chief of the army, and it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
  • The Indian Army is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division.
  • It has 34 Divisions.
  • It is divided into six operational commands (field armies) and one training command.
  • Ghatak Commandos is a special operations capable infantry platoon.

Role and Mandate of Indian Army.

  • The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and unity, defending the nation from external aggression and threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders.
  • It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances, like Operation Surya Hope (response in Uttarakhand following the June 2013 North India floods), Operation Megh Rahat (Jammu Kashmir Flood in 2014).
  • It can also be requisitioned by the government to cope with internal threats.
  • The army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with China.
  • Other major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Vijay (Kargil War 1999), Operation Meghdoot  ( to capture the Siachen Glacier in the Kashmir region in 1984), Operation Cactus (to foil 1988 Maldives coup d’état attempt by a group of Maldivians led by Abdullah Luthufi and assisted by armed mercenaries of a Tamil secessionist organisation from Sri Lanka).
  • Apart from conflicts, the army has conducted large peace time exercises like Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer.
  • It has also been an active participant in numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions including the ones in Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia. In 2014 India was the third largest troop contributor with 7,860 personnel deployed with ten UN Peacekeeping Missions of which 995 are police personnel, including the first Female Formed Police Unit under the UN.

Indian Air Force.

  • Motto:“Touch the Sky with Glory”
  • It is the World’s 4th largest Airforce.
  • It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. (Air Force Day: 8 October)
  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of all Indian armed forces and by virtue of that fact is the notional Commander-in-chief of the Air Force.
  • Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of Air Chief Marshal is the Commander of the Indian Air Force. He is assisted by six officers, all with the rank of Air Marshal


  • The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. Two functional commands – Maintenance Command and Training Command.


  • A Wing is a formation intermediate between a Command and a Squadron. It generally consists of two or three IAF Squadrons.


  • A squadron is mainly a unit comprising a number of aircraft and their aircrews, usually of the same type. The current squadron strength of the force is 33. A squadron comprises around 18 to 20 aircraft. Target is 42 squadron.

Role and Mandate of Indian Air Force.

  • Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict.
  • Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay (the annexation of Goa from Portugal), Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai (to air-drop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka on 4 June 1987 in support of Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War).
  • It is also involved during humanitarian crisis.
  • Operation Raahat was an operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia.
  • Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Garud Commando Force

  • The Garud Commando Force is the Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force. It was formed in September 2004.
  • Garud is tasked with the protection of critical Air Force bases and installations; search and rescue during peace and hostilities and disaster relief during calamities. Presently, Garud’s are deployed in Congo as part of the UN peace keeping operations.

Air Force Network (AFNET)

  • The Air Force Network (AFNET), a robust digital information grid that enabled quick and accurate threat responses, was launched in 2010, helping the IAF become a truly network-centric air force. AFNET is a secure communication network linking command and control centres with offensive aircraft, sensor platforms and ground missile batteries.

Indian Navy

  • Motto: शं नो वरुणः (Sanskrit); Sham No Varunaḥ (IAST); May the Lord of the Water be auspicious unto us (English)
  • The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), in the rank of Admiral, commands the navy.
  • The Indian Navy has its origin in 1947.

The Indian Navy operates three Commands.

  1. The Eastern (Vizag),
  2. Western (Mumbai) and
  3. Southern (Kochi) Commands.
  • Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the rank of Vice Admiral.

Role and Mandate of Indian Navy

  • The primary objective of the navy is to secure the nation’s maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief.
  • In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone rapid modernisation to replace its ageing equipment and developed blue-water capabilities and enhanced its position in the Indo-Pacific region.

Marine Commando Force (MCF)

  • The Marine Commando Force (MCF), also known as MARCOS, is a special forces unit that was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism.
  • In 1988, the MARCOS successfully rescued several hostages, including Maldives’ then-Minister of Tourism, aboard a ship hijacked by PLOTE mercenaries during Operation Cactus.
  • During the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the MARCOS were also involved in the rescue mission of hostages captured by the terrorists in Taj  hotel in Mumbai in November 2008.

Integrated Space Cell

  • The Integrated Space Cell is the nodal agency within the Government of India which oversees the security of its space based military and civilian hardware systems.
  • It will be jointly operated by all the three services of the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The Integrated Space Cell has been set up to utilize more effectively the country’s space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.
  • It functions under the Integrated Defense Services headquarters of the Indian Ministry of Defense.

Andaman and Nicobar Command

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command is a Tri-service theater command of the Indian Armed Forces, based at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a Union Territory of India.
  • It was created in 2001 to safeguard India’s strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca by increasing rapid deployment of military assets in the region.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command is India’s first and only joint tri-service command, with rotating three-star Commanders-in-Chief from the Army, Navy and Air Force reporting directly to the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

Cold Start Doctrine

  • Cold Start is a military doctrine developed by the Indian Armed Forces for use in a possible war with Pakistan. (Not ‘official’ ).
  • The Cold Start doctrine is intended to allow India’s conventional forces to perform holding attacks in order to prevent a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan in case of a conflict
  • Cold start doctrine involves following:
  1. Limited but precise strikes in enemy state to prevent nuclear retaliation.
  2. Capture small but strategic territories in Pakistan- which can be traded for concessions later on.

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