Sashastra Seema Bal
Emblem of the Sashastra Seema Bal
Flag of Sashastra Seema Bal
Flag of Sashastra Seema Bal
Common nameसशस्त्र सीमा बल
MottoService, Security and Brotherhood
Agency overview
Formed20 December 1963; 60 years ago (1963-12-20)
Employees94,261 active personnel[1]
Annual budget8,485.77 crore (US$1.1 billion) (2024–25)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIndia
Operations jurisdictionIndia
Governing bodyMinistry of Finance (India)
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyCentral Armed Police Forces

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB; transl. Armed Border Force) is a border guarding force of India deployed along its borders with Nepal and Bhutan. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The force was originally set up under the name Special Service Bureau in 1963 in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War to strengthen India's border areas against enemy operations.


The Sashastra Seema Bal was originally set up under the name Special Service Bureau (SSB) on 15 March 1963 (current raising day[clarification needed] is 20 December, after the date of presidential assent to the SSB Act, 2007), following the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The primary task of the force was to provide armed support to the foreign intelligence division of Intelligence Bureau, which later became Research and Analysis Wing (after its creation in 1968). The secondary objective was to inculcate feelings of national belonging in the border population and assist them in developing their capabilities for resistance through a continuous process of motivation, training, development, welfare programmes and activities in the then NEFA, North Assam (the northern areas of the Indian state of Assam), North Bengal (the northern areas of the Indian State of West Bengal) and the hills of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The programme was later extended to Manipur, Tripura, Jammu in 1965; Meghalaya in 1975; Sikkim in 1976; the border areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat in 1989; Manipur, Mizoram and further areas of Rajasthan as well as Gujarat in 1988; South Bengal (the southern areas of West Bengal); Nagaland in 1989; and the Nubra Valley, Rajouri and the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir in 1991.[3]

Its primary purpose was to counter an act of aggression by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The previous thinking had been that, militarily, the Chinese were "superior" to India and in the event of a war, the Chinese might attempt to overwhelm Indian forces. So, in 1963, a unique force was created, which would, in the event of such an attempt by the Chinese to invade and occupy Indian territory, merge with the border population, donning civilian attire, working a parallel administration and carry out the war of India with the help of guerrilla tactics.[4]

In 2001, the SSB was transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs from R&AW and assigned the duties of manning the Nepal and Bhutan borders. The SSB was renamed the Sashastra Seema Bal, in accordance with its new role, and came under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. This was done after the Kargil War with the adoption of the "one border one force concept".

The SSB claims to have presented a "benign face" of the government in border areas and that this was appreciated by the people of those areas.[5]

Pursuant to the recommendations of a group of ministers on reforming the national security system, SSB was declared as a Border Guarding Force and Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for Indo-Nepal border (June, 2001) and assigned the task of guarding the 1751 km long Indo-Nepal border along the states of Uttarakhand, (263.7 km with 3 districts), Uttar Pradesh (599.3 km—with 7 districts), Bihar (800.4 km—with 7 districts), West Bengal (105.6 km—with 1 district) and Sikkim (99 km). In March 2004, SSB was assigned the task of guarding the 699 km stretch of Indo-Bhutan border along the states of Sikkim- (32 km), West Bengal (183 km—with 2 districts), Assam (267 km—with 4 districts) and, Arunachal Pradesh (217 km—with 2 districts).[3] Since then SSB was re-christened into Sashastra Seema Bal and reached new heights. SSB is the first border guarding force that has decided to recruit women battalions. It is doing excellent job as Border Guarding Force on Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Border.

SSB is also engaged in Counter-Insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Anti-naxal operations in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. It is also performing internal security duties i.e. Election duties and law and order duties in different parts of India.

SSB celebrated the year 2013 as Golden Jubilee year marking 50 years of its raising. The celebrations have commenced with the Flag-off of a Mount Everest Expedition on 2 April 2013 from Delhi. The team led by Commandant Somit Joshi successfully reached at the peak at about 9:45 a.m. (IST) on 21 May 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

In 2014, the government of India approved the recruitment of women as combat officers in SSB.[6]


Sashastra Seema Bal postal stamp issued in 2013

The previous role of the Special Service Bureau was to motivate and mobilise India's border population for national security during times of peace as well as war and to promote a sense of security and brotherhood among the population, in furtherance of national integration. Its present-day role consists of preventing cross-border crime and smuggling as well as other anti-national activities.

In pursuit of achieving this mandated task, the SSB has been conferred with certain powers under the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973, the Arms Act of 1959, the NDPS Act of 1985 and the Passport Act of 1967. The Government of India also contemplates conferring additional powers under the Customs Act of 1962.

These powers are to be exercised within a belt of 15 km in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, running along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders, as well as in any other area of SSB operation.


Prior to 2001, the force was known as the Special Service Bureau (SSB). As per its revised role, the uniform wing worked under the operational command of civilian officers. It was in 1985 that a 15% quota of Area Organisers, for promotion to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General, was given to the commandants of the uniform wing. The civil wing worked in the Area of Operations (AOPs) along the Indo-Tibet and Indo-Pakistan border. Recruitment in uniform wing would be from among Indian youth of the border area who have undergone advanced training in guerrilla warfare and also selected by the respective operational commander such as by the Divisional Organiser, Area Organiser, Sub-Area Organiser and Circle Organiser.

The Divisional Organiser was equivalent in rank to that of Inspector-General of Police, specifically earmarked for the respective AOPs to which they belonged and were activated by. The repercussions of the closure of the old role have been debated and deliberated in the defence establishments and now the relevance of the old role of SSB has been realised for the security of the border area, as such a role is likely to be revived.

The All India Police Hockey Championship, organized by the Sahastra Seems Bal. Above, Sankar Baruah, the DG of the Assam Police, receives the ceremonial salute.

The highest-level headquarters of the force is Force Headquarters (FHQ), also called the Directorate-General of SSB, located in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Force Headquarters (FHQ) is commanded by an officer of the rank of Director-General. The Director-General is assisted by the Additional Director-General. Various Directorates including Operations and Intelligence, Personnel and Training, Administration, Provisioning and Communication, Medical, as well as others, function under the DG. Each Directorate is headed by an IG and assisted by a DIG and other officers.

Frontier Headquarters (FTR HQ) is commanded by an officer of the rank of Inspector-General (IG), who is placed next in the chain of command after the FHQ. FTR HQR, in turn, exercises command and control over the sector HQs.

The SSB Battalion, is commanded by an officer of the rank of commandant and who is assisted by officers of the rank of second-in-command, deputy commandant, and assistant commandant. The battalion is further divided into companies and border out-post (BOP). There are seven companies in a battalion, each company consisting of three border outposts. The company is commanded by an assistant commandant and the BOP is commanded by sub-Inspectors, with each BOP comprising several border check points.



Present rank structure is as follows:

Combatised wing

Gazetted officers (GOs)
Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Sashastra Seema Bal[7]
Additional director-general
Inspector general
Deputy inspector-general
Deputy commandant
Assistant commandant
Non-gazetted officers (NGOs)
Rank group Junior commissioned officers Non commissioned officer Enlisted
This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: The use of standardized military personnel categories such as Senior NCO, Junior NCO, and Enlisted are without sources, and furthermore distorts the India national personnel category system. All of these ranks are non-gazetted officers. Please help improve this article if you can. (April 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Sashastra Seema Bal[7]
No insignia
Subedar major
सूबेदार मेजर
Sub inspector
Assistant sub inspector
Head constable
Lance naik
लांस नायक


  1. Assistant commandants—Assistant commandants are appointed (as officers are appointed and personnel below officer are recruited in any government organization) through a Competitive Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) along with assistant ommandants (Comn) recruitment conducted by SSB. Sub Inspectors in GD/TEL/COMN are appointed (as SOs) through a competitive examination conducted by SSC and other special vacancies. Recruitment of constables and Head constables in different branch are also come every year generally.

Training centres

Both civil and uniformed cadres of SSB are equally trained in various warfare's and other specialised courses such as Guerrilla warfare, Counter-Insurgency, Intelligence, Demolition, Jungle and Snow survival etc. The various training centres within the Force and in the training centres of other organisations/agencies.

List of SSB chiefs

Before 2001, SSB was one of the four organisations under the Directorate General of Security and was headed by a director. The director reported to the principal director, DGS, who in his turn, reported to DG (security). On shifting of SSB to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the post of principal director, DGS, was shifted alongside as director general, SSB. The post of director, SSB got re-designated as additional DG, SSB. Lists of directors,[8] principal directors[9] and directors general are given below.

Director, Special Service Bureau
Sr No. Name From Till Remarks
1 Bhola Nath Mullik, IP 15 March 1963 17 December 1963 concurrent with Director, Intelligence Bureau
2 Dhyan Swarup Sharma, IP 17 December 1963 12 October 1964
3 Bhola Nath Mullik, IP 13 October 1964 6 May 1966 concurrent with Director General (Security)
4 Madan Mohan Lal Hooja, IP May 1966 January 1968 concurrent with Director General (Security). Transferred as Director, Intelligence Bureau
5 Sardar Balbir Singh, IP January 1968 October 1968 concurrent with Director General (Security). Formerly, founder IG of ITBP
6 Prem Nath Kaul, IAS 24 October 1968 20 April 1972 formerly of Indian Army and Indian Frontier Administrative Service; had worked as Consul-General of India in Lhasa
7 Pitri Sharan Raturi, IPS 28 June 1972 11 July 1977 formerly of the INA. Promoted to Principal Director, DGS
8 Thiruvalanchuly Muthukrishna Ayyar Subramaniam, IPS 21 November 1977 31 March 1979 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
9 Sudarshan Singh Bajwa, IPS 31 March 1979 3 February 1982 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
10 Onkar Singh, IPS 9 February 1982 31 August 1982 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
11 Satish Dutt Pandey, IPS 1 September 1982 1 November 1985 promoted to Director General, CRPF
12 Hari Baboo Johri, IPS 1 November 1985 31 July 1990 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
13 N. Natarajan, IPS 24 October 1990 31 October 1991 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
14 Ghansham Dass Khemani, IPS 1 November 1991 31 August 1993
15 Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, IPS 1 September 1993 1 November 1993 later became DG, ITBP and NSA, Mauritius
16 Rajendra Mohan, IPS 2 November 1993 30 September 1996 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
17 Robinder Ohri, RAS 13 November 1996 31 October 1997 originally IPS (15RR), then CRPF (1966)
18 Nachhattar Singh Sandhu, IPS 1 November 1997 25 October 1999 promoted to Principal Director, DGS
19 Ram Prasad Kureel, IPS 29 October 1999 14 January 2001 re-designated as Additional DG, SSB
Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal
Sr No. Name From Till Remarks
1 Nachhattar Singh Sandhu, IPS 15 January 2001 31 August 2001
2 Vinod Kumar Malik, IPS 1 September 2001 31 May 2003 later, member, Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission
3 Bhushan Lal Vohra, IPS 2 June 2003 21 September 2003 concurrent with DG, Civil Defence. Also worked as DGP, Tripura and Manipur.
4 Divakar Prasad, IPS 22 September 2003 31 July 2004 formerly, DG, Civil Defence
5 Himanshu Kumar, IPS 1 August 2004 31 October 2005
6 Vijay Shankar, IPS 1 November 2005 12 December 2005 concurrent with DG, Civil Defence. Promoted to Director, CBI
7 Jyoti Kumar Sinha, IPS 15 December 2005 7 February 2006 concurrent with DG, CRPF
8 Tilak Kak, IPS 15 December 2005 30 September 2007
9 Gopal Sharma, IPS 1 October 2007 30 November 2008 formerly, DGP, Jammu and Kashmir
10 M. V. Krishna Rao, IPS 4 December 2008 31 October 2010 formerly, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad
11 Yudhvir Singh Dadwal, IPS 10 November 2010 31 October 2011 formerly, Commissioner of Police, Delhi
12 Pranay Sahay, IPS 1 November 2011 10 December 2012 formerly, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat. Later, Director General, CRPF
13 Arun Chaudhary, IPS 10 December 2012 30 April 2014
14 Arvind Ranjan, IPS 1 May 2014 14 August 2014 concurrent with DG, CISF. Formerly, DG, NSG
15 Banshi Dhar Sharma, IPS 14 August 2014 31 January 2016
16 Archana Ramasundaram, IPS 3 February 2016 30 September 2017 formerly, Director, NCRB
17 Rajni Kant Mishra, IPS 30 September 2017 30 September 2018 later, DG, BSF
18 Surjeet Singh Deswal, IPS 30 September 2018 11 January 2019 later, DG, ITBP
19 Kumar Rajesh Chandra, IPS 11 January 2019 31 December 2021 formerly, DG, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security
20 Sanjay Arora, IPS 1 January 2022 31 May 2022, in additional charge concurrent with DG, ITBP
21 Sujoy Lal Thaosen, IPS 1 June 2022 3 October 2022 transferred as DG, CRPF
22 Anish Dayal Singh, IPS 3 October 2022 2 March 2023, in additional charge concurrent with DG, ITBP
23 Rashmi Shukla, IPS 3 March 2023 31 December 2023 formerly, Commissioner of Police, Pune; formerly, SDG, CRPF. Transferred as DGP Maharashtra.
24 Anish Dayal Singh, IPS 31 December 2023 Incumbent transferred as DG, CRPF

See also


  1. ^ "Force Profile- SSB Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. Of India".
  2. ^ "Rs 1.85 lakh crore allocation to MHA in budget". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Sashastra Seema Bal, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. Of India".
  5. ^ Sashastra Seema Bal, Archived 7 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Government approves women recruitment as 'combat officers' in Sashastra Seema Bal". 13 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Sashastra Seema Bal Rules, 2009" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. 2009.
  8. ^ List of Directors and DsG, SSB
  9. ^ List of Directors, SSB and Principal Directors, DGS