BSF…the defender of Indian borders, shielding the country from threats both external and internal.

In 1965, the government constituted the Border Security Force to man the extensive national boundaries, security of the border regions as well as to control any activities, which could threaten our Defence structure. Since then the BSF has grown into the largest para-military force of India.

The BSF has three main operational arms:
· The General Duty branch, which is in charge of vigilance.
· The Technical branch, which maintains equipments, telecommunication networks and is also in charge of construction work.
· The Medical branch, which provides all kinds of medical facilities to BSF troops as well as civilians.

The force has been entrusted with the task of:
· Keeping vigil on the borders and protecting people in border areas.
· Preventing trans-border crimes, unauthorized entry or exit, smuggling and related illegal activities.
· Providing intelligence reports from the border regions
· Protecting vital installations and major operational areas such as bridges, roads, airstrips, etc.
· Providing protection to people in border areas.
· Controlling riots, insurgencies and natural disasters.

You will have patrol mountainous terrains, deserts and long coastal stretches on camelback, horseback, on foot, speedboats or in helicopters.

During war-time you will be required to hold ground in less threatened sectors so long as the main attack does not develop in a particular sector. Protection of vital installations against enemy commando raids will also form part of your responsibilities.

Apart from being deployed on the border, you will also be required to carry out internal security, anti-infiltration and counter insurgency roles.

Civil, electronic and electrical engineers find employment in the technical branch. One of the most important departments of this branch is the Signals Arm. Here, you will be in-charge of the line of communication for passing information on matters relating to internal security.

In the Medical Branch you will be required to take care of BSF personnel as well as civilians. You will dispense medicines to the civilian population as well as attend to the sick.

In addition you will be involved in numerous civic actions. These include developmental works, providing assistance during natural calamities, supplying essential commodities like sugar, kerosene oil, etc.

After completing your graduation in any stream, you can apply to the BSF through an all India based competitive examination for the post of Assistant Commandant-BSF. Men and women in the age group of 19-23 years who have completed their graduation in any stream are eligible for this examination.

Written Test
It consists of two papers:
Paper I of 200 marks is a test of general awareness, basic intelligence, reasoning and numerical ability.

Paper II of 100 marks is an assessment of ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and also the ability to express ideas clearly and correctly. This comprises essay (in Hindi or English), precise writing and comprehension of a given passage, (in English only).

Physical Test
This second stage is for those who clear the written test. It's called Physical Efficiency Test (PET). This test consists of:
100 metres sprint (to be completed in 16 seconds by men and 18 seconds by women)
800 metres run (to be completed in 3 min by men and 4 min by women)
Long jump and high jump
Shot-put (for men only)

Personal Interview
This is the last step where in you have to appear for a personal interview where your psyche will also be assessed along with your general intelligence, general awareness and other attributes. Preference in selection is given to outstanding sports men & NCC (National Cadet Corps) cadets who have an good record.

The final merit list is prepared after a detailed medical examination. The following are the minimum required physical standards:
Height -165 cms. (Men) and 157 cms. (Women)
Chest 86 cms. with expansion
Weight 50 kgs. (Men) and 46 kgs. (Women)
Physical /mental health should be good. Knock-knees, flat foot and squint in eyes are not permitted.
Perfect colour vision/corrected vision: J-I/J-II

Engineering and Medial professionals can also enter the Technical and Medical wings at the level of Assistant Commandant through the same procedure.

BSF men and women are required to be a perfect policeman during peace and a professional soldier during war. Management of international borders, restoration of law and order situation in the interior and fighting a conventional/unconventional war are the major challenges faced by today's BSF personnel.

Assistant Commandants are taught various skills like shooting, driving, controlling riots, mountaineering, etc. This is done at BSF Academy Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Assistant Commandants with minimum B.Sc. (Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics) with Electronics are deputed as Assistant Commandant (Technical) after undergoing further technical courses.

After successful completion of the training these officers are put on 'general duty,' which apart from normal field duties involves administrative responsibilities. Managerial and administrative responsibilities increase with seniority and promotions.

You will mostly be deployed on the Western borders with Pakistan or on the Eastern borders with Bangladesh. In addition you may also be deployed in internal security duties during general elections and law and order problems such as riots. In states like Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, you will be involved in anti-militancy operations.

From time to time you will be required to do advanced courses in counter insurgency and commando operations, specialised weapons training, etc.

Newly selected candidates begin their careers as AC (Assistant Commandant) and within 20 years the career graph ascends to the rank of DIG or IG.

Besides attractive pay package, BSF officers enjoy a number of allowances and extra facilities such as dearness allowances, group insurance schemes, leave benefit and travel concessions, furnished accommodation, soft loans, free ration, medical care, etc.

The promotions in the BSF follows a fixed pattern and is as follows:

i) Assistant Commandant to Deputy Commandant
Six years service having completed courses like Commando & Weapons training or having two years command experience as company commander.

ii) Deputy Commandant to 2nd -in-Command
Total 5 years service as Deputy Commandant. Qualification in advanced courses is also required.

iii) 2nd-in-Command (2IC) to Commandant
4 years service as 2IC with 2 years service as 2IC in a battalion. Should have qualified Senior Command Course.

iv) Commandant to Additional DIG
Total 18 years service with 3 years service as Commandant. Should also have undergone Higher Command Course

v) Additional DIG to DIG
Total 20 years service with 2 years as Additional DIG.

vii) DIG to IG
Total 24 years service with 4 years as Additional DIG.

The BSF offers great opportunities to pursue sports at the national and international levels. It has got the privilege of having 12 Arjuna Awardees on its roll. Numerous BSF personnel have represented India at the SAF Games and the Asian Games. Sports that have produced champions from the BSF include Volleyball, Hockey, Athletics, Shooting, Wrestling, Cycling and Equestrian among others.

BSF personnel are also well known internationally for their ability to manage crisis situations. This is the reason they are regularly deployed in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Past operations in which the BSF have been involved include Cambodia (1992), Angola (1995) and Bosnia (1996-1999).

Officers of the BSF also get the opportunity to work for special groups like National Security Guards- the Black Cat Commandoes and the Special Protection Group, which is involved in protecting the prime minister and other top leaders.