The Indian government recognised the necessity for a force that could blend in with civilians while still functioning as an intelligence gathering machine after the Chinese assault in 1962. To assist India's national intelligence agency, the Special Service Bureau—now known as Sashastra Seema Bal—was established. However, the force's close to 1 lakh jawans are now principally in charge of patrolling two borders: those with Nepal and Bhutan. After the Kargil conflict, the government chose to implement the idea of "one border, one force," which resulted in the change in role.
On December 15, 2003, the SSB was renamed Sashastra Seema Bal and designated as a border guard unit under the minister of home affairs following the Kargil war. After one year, it also received responsibility for securing the Indo-Bhutan border and took over as the primary intelligence agency for that border. Its initial assignment was to protect the Indo-Nepal border. The SSB is currently dispersed across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh along the international boundary.
The Indian government decided that borders needed unarmed soldiers as well, who could support the military forces in the event of any activity from the enemy side, following the battle with China in 1962. Planning for the Special Service Bureau (now Sashastra Seema Bal) began in November 1962, and it was formally established four months later with the main goal of ensuring "complete security preparation" in border regions.
Assam, North Bengal, the hill districts of Uttar Pradesh (later to become Uttarakhand), Himachal Pradesh, some areas of Punjab, and the Ladakh region of the former Jammu & Kashmir state were among the states where the Special Service Bureau was first established. The SSB's jurisdiction was expanded to include Manipur, Tripura, Jammu, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Rajasthan, South Bengal, Nagaland, and Mizoram as a result of its success in border regions.
The SSB had a coverage area of over 6 crore people, dispersed over 80,000 villages and 9,917 kilometres. These areas were divided into sections, which were then subdivided into areas and subareas, and finally into circles. In the SSB's early years, there were 10 divisions, each headed by a divisional commissioner, 49 areas, 117 subareas, and 287 circles, all under the supervision of circle organisers. It also had two dozen battalions that trained volunteers in using weapons before conflict. To train these volunteers, the SSB opened a number of training facilities.
Seven major training facilities and seven women's advanced training schools were present in the force by 1990. The population living along the border in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, sections of J&K, UP, North Assam, North Bengal, and South Bengal received training. Locals were taught how to defend themselves with small arms in case of an attack or a warlike situation. These volunteers also served as the SSB's eyes and ears.
However, following the Kargil conflict, the Indian government made the decision to revise its border policy and finalised a "one force, one border" strategy.
The SSB was moved from the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) to the ministry of home affairs's direct administration in 2001. The force's primary mission was modified, and it was assigned to guarding the borders between Nepal and Bhutan. The new paramilitary group was given the moniker Sashastra Seema Bal.
In June 2001, the SSB assumed a new duty that included being designated as a central armed police force (CAPF) and taking over as the main intelligence organisation for the Indo-Nepal border. The force was also given the responsibility of securing the 699 km long Indo-Bhutan border, which runs through states like Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. For the first time in the history of any central armed police agency, it also made the decision to hire women for its battalion.
STRENGTH AND STRUCTURE
The force, which has close to one lakh members, is headed by a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer at the level of director general. All inspector generals (IGs) and a second director general-rank officer are under the direct supervision of the DG. The force is divided into several divisions that report to IG-level officials, including operations and intelligence, personnel and training, administration, etc. Additionally, the force is split into borderlands, which include Ranikhet, Lucknow, Patna, Siliguri, Guwahati, and Tezpur. These frontiers are likewise supervised by IG-level commanders. 16 IGs and one ADG are employed by the SSB and report to the DG. The IAS officer also oversaw the force from 1968 to 1972. In 2016, the SSB witnessed history as a senior female IPS officer became the first woman to command a central armed police unit. For over a year, Archana Ramasundram served as the DG SSB.
For the fiscal year 2022–2023, the SSB has been allotted Rs. 7653.73 crore. Since the force is stationed in a few key areas in Arunachal Pradesh, the government has boosted the budget for it in recent years.
The field uniform of the SSB task force is apt, weather-resistant, and camouflage-patterned. Aspects like the personnel's operational settings and deployment locations were taken into consideration when designing the uniform, which comes in a variety of colours like brown, olive, and khaki. SSB officers occasionally sport ceremonial olive uniforms in addition to their battle gear.
Because SSB jawaans work in a range of weather conditions, the uniform contains a number of climatic elements. Their combat jacket, for example, has the same disruptive pattern as their battle apparel to give them greater warmth without compromising their safety due to the camouflage design.
All SSB officers in India can purchase the battle dress, khaki uniform, or SSB jackets online from the SSB uniform collection of www.uniformer.in in accordance with the uniform requirements that SSB personnel must adhere to. With free shipping and an easy return policy, the company uniformer has made a name for itself as a supplier for the best uniforms for police and paramilitary services in India.