Discussion about Assam Rifles which is a security force in the Syllabus of General Studies Paper 3 of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (Also freely subscribe to our YouTube Education channel with about 100 free videos on UPSC IAS and other competitive examinations):
Assam Rifles – History
- Assam Rifles is the oldest Central Para Military Force in India.
- It was raised in 1835 (in its earlier name of Cachar Levy).
- The Force was raised mainly to guard the alluvial plains of Assam from the wild and unruly tribes inhabiting the surrounding hill tracts.
- Variously designated and reorganised from time to time as:
- Assam Frontier Police (1883),
- Assam Military Police (1891),
- Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913),
- Assam Rifles (1917) – the present name.
- During World War I, the Assam Rifles fought alongside the Indian Army in Flanders.
- During World War II, many sub-units of Assam Rifles fought alongside regular British and Indian troops in the fiercely contested battles of the Burma Front from Ukhrul to Kohima.
- Post 1965, the force has come under the Ministry of Home Affairs while the operational control of the force continues to be with the Army.
Assam Rifles – Introduction
- At present, the Force has 46 battalions.
- It has a sanctioned strength of 66,411 personnel.
- At present, it is governed by the Assam Rifles Act, 2006.
- As per this Act, Assam Rifles is an armed force of the Union, for ensuring the security of the borders of India, to carry out counter insurgency operations in the specified areas and to act in aid of civil authorities for the maintenance of law and order and the matters connected therewith.
- It is a Central Armed Police Force of the Union (as mentioned on the MHA website itself), and its administrative control is under the MHA.
- But, it is under the operational control of the Indian Army.
- It has a dual role of maintaining internal security in the North-Eastern region and guarding the Indo-Myanmar Border.
- It performs many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.
Assam Rifles – Organisation
- The highest HQ of the force known as the HQ Directorate General of Assam Rifles (HQ DGAR) is located at Shillong.
- The Force is commanded by Director General (DG) who is an officer of the rank of Lieutenant General of the Army.
- At present, the Director General Assam Rifles Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan, AVSM,YSM,SM,VSM.
- HQ Inspector General Assam Rifles (HQ IGAR) comes next in chain of command after HQ DGAR. HQ IGAR is commanded by an officer of the rank of Major General from the Army. HQ IGAR in turn exercises command and control over the sector HQs.
- The Sector HQ are commanded by Army Officers of the rank of Brigadiers from the Army.
- The Sector HQ exercises direct command and control over the Assam Rifles Battalions deployed in its area of responsibility.
Assam Rifles – Role and Tasks
- Since 2002, Assam Rifles has been guarding the Indo–Myanmar barrier as per the government policy of “one border one force“.
- Conduct counter insurgency operations in the north-east and other areas where deemed necessary, under control of the army.
- During peace and ‘proxy war’, ensure security of the borders.
- In times of war, Assam Rifles can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas, if needed.
- It acts as penultimate interventionist force of the central government in internal security situation, wherever required.
- It has been deployed in a number of developmental activities in the north-east region as it has worked to bring order and security to it. As such, role of Assam Rifles has been further expanded to include the provision of medical assistance and basic education, assisting in reconstruction and agriculture and handling communications in remote areas.
- It has also been deployed in counter insurgency operations on Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka between 1988 and 1990.
Watch the YouTube video with full explanation:
This video discusses brief details of the Assam Rifles which is a security force covered under the item “Various Security Forces and agencies and their mandate” mentioned in the Syllabus of General Studies Paper 3 of the UPSC Civil Services Examination.
This video is useful for the aspirants of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (for IAS, IPS, IFS, and Group-A Central Services), and also for aspirants of other competitive examinations.
This video has been prepared by Dr. Ashok Dhamija, a former IPS.
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