How Much Does a NSG Commando Earn? (With Other Job Information)

Updated 17 April 2023

NSG (National Security Guard) is an elite Indian security force that focuses on various manifestations of terrorism throughout the country. NSG trains dedicated soldiers, experts in resolving complex, high-intensity threats to national security such as terrorist attacks and hijackings. Learning about the challenging induction process and the skills required for this prestigious role can help you decide if it is the right fit for you. In this article, we discuss the brief history of NSG, learn the duties and responsibilities and find out how much does a NSG commando earn.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

How much does a NSG commando earn?

NSG operative is one of the best-paid jobs in the Indian army. NSG commandos get a fixed stipend of ₹18,000 per month while in training. After they complete their training and enter NSG, they receive anywhere between ₹40,000 to ₹85,000 per month. The salary of an NSG commando is the same as their respective armed forces' salarybefore recruitment and after being their induction into the NSG, they are also eligible for various allowances.

NSG operatives receive a special allowance which is ₹27,000 per month after the seventh pay commission of India and a deputation allowance which is ₹5000 per month. These allowances, added to their average salaries, comprise their total earnings. The salary for NSG commandos may vary depending on factors such as rank, experience and special skills. There is also the possibility of a raise and added allowances with time and experience.

Related: What Is Pay Grade?

Various benefits and allowances for NSG operatives

After induction, NSG operatives are eligible to receive various allowances and job benefits which include:

  • special forces allowance

  • deputation allowance

  • special security allowance

  • travel allowance

  • field area allowance

  • dearness allowance

  • high altitude allowance

  • parachute pay

  • kit maintenance allowance

  • air/Rail travel concession

  • medical facilities

  • free stay in government quarters

  • free ration and canteen facilities

  • free education for their children

  • low-interest loans

  • lifelong pension

Other than this, NSG operatives also get an annual leave of two months and casual leaves of twenty days. NSG gives study leaves up to two years (with full salary and benefits) and the MBS program for retired NSG officers. Operatives may also get death cum retirement gratuity and foreign postings.

What is the National Security Guard?

The National Security Guard is an elite counter-terrorism unit protecting the country against various manifestations of terrorism. In 1984, the union cabinet planned the idea of a federal contingency force that was motivated, well-trained and equipped to tackle terrorism. It received the approval of the president on September 22, 1986, and NSG began its service for the country.

The mission of the NSG is to prepare an effective special force to combat terrorism. It is an organisation that lives up to its motto, “omnipresent pre-eminent security.” NSG handles exceptional situations without taking over the functions of the State Police Forces or other Para-Military Forces. The force operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Related: How Much Does BSF Make? Salaries, Prospects and Benefits

What is the job of an NSG operative?

NSG operatives undertake a variety of security tasks. Here is an overview of their primary duties:

Carry out counter-terrorism operations

NSG agents go through extensive training throughout their service period. They handle terrorist activities and undertake counter-terrorism operations in all parts of the country. There are various groups among NSG with separate tasks. Among these, counter-terrorism is the domain of 51 SAG and 11 SRG. These units spread out to contain any threats to national security in any part of the country. Counter-terrorism is the primary focus of NSG units.

Complete hostage rescue

NSG conducts hostage rescue operations and trains its operatives for complex hostage situations. The extensive training helps them to plan the most efficient strategies. In the past, NSG has also provided security to various political VIPs who needed protection, although NSG is no longer tasked with the VIP security detail. It is now a dedicated counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking force.

Detect and defuse explosives

NSG agents also train for situations involving IEDDs (improvised explosive device disposal). The training includes searching for explosives, detecting threat levels and neutralising the threat. Post-training, NSG operatives can resolve complex operations involving bomb threats. They are also responsible for carrying out investigations after blasts, collecting and presenting evidence.

Handle hijacking situations

NSG also handles hijackings situations and rescue operations. NSG commandos have the skillset ideal for such high-intensity situations and they can carry out anti-hijacking missions in-air and on land. Operation Ashwamedh is an instance where NSG resolved a hijacking with success. The 52 SAG unit of NSG specialises in handling anti-hijacking operations.

What are the different subgroups under NSG?

Here are the different groups that fall under NSG:

Special Action Group

Special Action Group (SAG) is an NSG group that selects its members from the Indian Army. The SAG has further subgroups: 51 SAG and 52 SAG. 51 SAG and 11 Special Rangers Group (SRG) make up the counter-terrorist force and carry out counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, while 52 SAG handles anti-hijacking operations.

Related: How Much Does a Para Commando Make? (With Perks and Benefits)

Special Rangers Group

Special Rangers Group selects members from the border guarding forces such as Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). The SRG recruits also come from Internal Security Forces, such as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Assam Rifles. The SRG has further subgroups: 11 SRG, 12 SRG and 13 SRG. SRG 12 and 13 had to protect India's at-risk high-profile targets in the past, but as of 2020, they are back to being elite counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking force.

Special Composite Group

Special Composite Group (SCG) selects from both Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and conducts counter-terror operations in the area under their command. It is under the supervision of a group commander (a Colonel from the Indian Army). NSG has five regional hubs of regional deployment. These are:

  • 26 SCG Mumbai

  • 27 SCG Chennai

  • 28 SCG Hyderabad

  • 29 SCG Kolkata

  • 30 SCG Gandhinagar

Electronic Support Group

Electronic Support Group provides communication and technical support. It is a crucial part of NSG and is under the supervision of a Group Commander on deputation. The ESG group provides communications and technical support from Manesar, Haryana.

How to become an NSG commando

To be a part of NSG, candidates have to follow a specific process. Here are the crucial steps they need to go through before getting inducted:

1. Find out the eligibility criteria

To be eligible for selection in the NSG, the Indian army requires candidates to have experience from one of the Indian Armed Forces, like the Army or CAPF. Candidates can enroll and serve in the Indian armed forces and cultivate relevant experience before applying. Different NSG groups recruit members from separate defence forces. For example, SAG selects members from the Indian Army, whereas SRG selects members from the border guarding forces such as BSF, ITBP and SSB. The process requires candidates to be in the best shape to handle high-risk situations.

Related: What Is Relevant Experience?

2. Clear the pre-selection phase

The initial stage of the recruitment process deals with the selection process. The Indian army requires interested candidates to fit the required eligibility criteria. The criteria comprise factors such as age, service period, physical state and service report. After clearing this, candidates qualify for the training rounds coming next. The Indian army requires candidates to clear extensive background checks. Extensive psychological testing is done to ensure that they are mentally prepared for services in the NSG.

Related: What Is a Background Check?

3. Start initial training

The soldiers have to undergo 14 months of training after they advance the initial selection process. The process is challenging and the dropout rate in this stage is 70-80%. In the first three months of the total 14-month training, commandos train on the basics in Manesar, Haryana. The primary focus during this period is on the physical training of the candidates and it involves twenty-six elements. Trainees perform tasks such as cross-country obstacle courses, scaling varying terrains, jumping from heights, target shooting and martial arts. After this round, applicants move on to advanced training.

4. Take the advanced training

In the advanced training phase of the process, candidates receive training to prepare them for specific security threats. This involves understanding and honing skills necessary for a variety of challenging tasks, including counter-terrorism operations, counter-UAV (unmanned aircraft system) and anti-drone operations along with underwater operations. Trainees also learn and master crucial skills, such as hostage intervention, bomb detection and disposal and conducting investigations after a bomb blast.


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