How is CAPF different from Indian Armed Forces (IAF)?

Updated On -

Mar 22, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

The Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts UPSC NDA & NA, UPSC CDS (Combined Defence Services) and AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) to recruit for the Indian Armed Forces. Catch up on UPSC CAPF related news here

On the other hand, the CAPF Exam is organized by the same conducting body to recruit candidates for Paramilitary Forces and under the same conducting. Gel all government exam related news here

Here we will clarify the definitions of CAPF and IAF and the basic differences by which anyone can differentiate these two services.

What is the Central Armed Police Forces(CAPF)?

Central Armed Police Forces(CAPF) is the uniformed nomenclature of security forces in India under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They are also referred to as “Paramilitary Forces”.

There are five branches: Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Security Guard (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

What is the Indian Armed Forces?

Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

It consists of three uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. The candidates are selected through UPSC NDA & NA, UPSC CDS (Combined Defence Services) and AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) for the respective posts

Additionally, the Indian Armed Forces are supported by the Indian Coast Guard and paramilitary organisations, the Strategic Forces Command, the Andaman and Nicobar Command and the Integrated Defence Staff.

Differences Among Indian Armed Forces, CAPF AC and Paramilitary Forces

To clarify the confusion in details, here we have given a detailed chart of the Indian Armed forces, CAPF and Paramilitary Forces traits :

Traits Indian Armed Forces CAPF (Central Police Forces) Paramilitary Forces
  1. Indian Army
  2. Indian Navy
  3. Indian Air Forces

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  1. Border Security Force
  2. Central Reserve Police Force
  3. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  4. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  5. National Security Guard (NSG)
  6. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
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  1. Assam Rifles
  2. Indian Coast Gaurd
  3. Special Frontier Forces
  4. Rashtriya Rifles (RR)
  5. Defence Security Corps
Operational Structure Protecting the borders of our nation from any external threat from terrorist and other nations and forces. Protection from internal threats from Left-Wing Extremism, North-East Insuregesnce, Ethnic Violence, internal riot etc. Protection of resources against the internal threat from Left-Wing Extremism, North-east Insurgency, Ethnic Violence etc.
Reporting Ministry of defence Ministry of Home Affairs Assam Rifles - Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian Coast Guard - Ministry of Defence Frontier Force - Indian Intelligence
Head 4 Star Officer Of Equivalent To The Rank Of General Army 3 Star Officer Of Equivalent To The Rank Of Director-general Of The Police 3-star Officer Of Equivalent To The Rank Director General Of The Police
Recruiting Exam CDS (Combined Defence Services) CAPF (Central Armed Police Force Exam)
  1. Assam Rifles Recruitments
  2. Indian Coast Guard Exam, etc.
Salary in training INR 56,100 - 1,77,500/- INR 56,100 - 1,77,500/- INR 37,000/- (approx)
Educational Eligibility Alteaast Graduation degree or appearing in the final year of graduation. For more click here. Alteaast Graduation degree or appearing in the final year of graduation. To know more, click here. Any graduation or equivalent or appearing in the final year of the eligible degree.

If you are an Aspirant of joining the Indian Defence Force, you must know that it is the hardest field job of protection that the Government of India has entitled to do.

With all intelligence and Physical strength, one needs the psychological strength and utmost patriotism to go through such hardships.

It is an honour to be a part of the Indian Defence Forces regardless of their branches. And here we nurture your all spirit and hard work to be the part of such an honourable example for the next generation.


Ques. Which is the biggest post in the Indian Army?

Ans. The Field Marshal rank is the highest rank in the Indian Army. It is a ceremonial or wartime rank and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and Field Marshal KM Cariappa have been the only two officers to be elevated to the rank of Field Marshal.

Ques. How strong is the Indian military?

Ans. With a strength of over 1.4 million active personnel, it is the world's second-largest military force and has the world's largest volunteer army. India also has the third-largest defence budget in the world.

Ques. How many Defence forces are there in India?

Ans. India has a total of 1.4 million active army and 11.55 reserve forces, as well as 20 lac paramilitary forces. Here are some honourable mentions: Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Assam Rifles, Special Frontier Force, Central Armed Police Forces, etc.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.