Saturday, August 2, 2008

Open Letter To The Media After Successful Fight Against Newton Legion

After my successful fight against the Newton Legion of the Royal Canadian Legion during 1993/94, I issued a well-deserved and urgently needed “Open Letter to the Media”.

I would like to thank all those who have supported me, and other Sikh Veterans in connection with the events which occurred at the Newton Legion, Surrey, B.C Canada, on last Remembrance Day. Without your support:-

  • we would not have received the Public Apology on B C T V from the President of Newton Legion and a Press Release from the Royal Canadian Legion.
  • the Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion would not have amended its by-laws to treat the head-dress of the Jews and Sikhs faiths as religious, and to allow the Jews and Sikh Veterans wearing their respective religious head-dresses admission, into all areas of 1720 Legion Branches across Canada, effective November 28, 1993.

    I would especially like to thank Penny Priddy MLA who stood with us throughout this ordeal. I would also like to thank other Politicians, especially the Media and hundreds of thousands of Canadians who supported us. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of those Canadians who have worked with me tirelessly to ensure that the discriminatory rules framed and practised by some of the Royal Canadian Legion Branches across Canada, were changed by the Dominion Command, the highest Legion Authority, in Canada. Through this experience, I have learnt that the vast majority of Canadians are wonderful and tolerant people.

    Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
    Other connected articles:
    Veteran victory for religious tradition
    Veteran Remembrance Day
  • War on Terror Jinxed

    Vital intelligence on the Taliban may rest with its prime sponsor – Pakistan’s ISI By Rahul Bedi in New Delhi.

    Pakistan’s sinister Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) remains the key to providing accurate information to the US-led alliance in its war against Osama bin Laden and his Taliban hosts in Afghanistan. Known as Pakistan’s ‘secret army’ and ‘invisible government’, its shadowy past is linked to political assassinations and the smuggling of narcotics as well as nuclear and missile components.

    The ISI also openly backs the Taliban and fuels the 12-year-old insurgency in northern India’s disputed Kashmir province by ‘sponsoring’ Muslim militant groups and ministering its policy of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ that so effectively drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan and led to their political demise.

    The goings on behind the ISI’s nondescript headquarters, located behind high walls on Khayban-e-Suharwady avenue in the heart of the capital Islamabad and its operational offices in the adjoining garrison town of Rawalpindi, have dominated Pakistan’s domestic, nuclear and foreign policies – especially those relating to Afghanistan – for over two decades.

    Following links, give an insight and indepth know- how to Intelligence screw ups!
    When we (Pak Officials) asked them for more information, Bush laughed and said "When we share information with your guys, the bad guys always run away."
    Pak warned of action in case of another attack
    Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say
    CIA confronts ISI over alleged al-Qaeda links
    CIA needs ISI more than ISI needs CIA
    CIA confronts ISI for Indian Embassy bombing
    Vital intelligence on the Taliban may rest with its prime sponsor – Pakistan’s ISI
    India’s world-class counter intelligence activities on CIA and ISI of Pakistan! Rabinder Singh was allowed to escape!
    Fulcrum of Evil ISI - CIA - Al Qaeda Nexus

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Pending Court Cases in India

    The total pendency of cases, both civil and criminal in the 21 High Courts as on December 31, 2007 is 37,43,060. The pendency in Madras High Court is 4,28,832, including 3,92,824 civil cases and 36,008 criminal cases. Increasing the strength of judges to 60 is expected to considerably increase the rate of disposal and reduce the pendency in the Madras High court.
    Additional judges’ term extended by two years
    Indian judicial & crime statistics
    Huge case backlog clogs India's courts
    2.59 crore cases pending in courts across the country
    41 court martial cases pending

    Comment: The population of India on July 2008 stands at 1160 million and nearly 30 million of its citizens (approx 3%) are fighting legal battles. Justice delayed is Justice denied. Can citizens ever dream of speedy deliverance. The Armed Forces Tribunal recently has come into vogue. Can the Defence Forces expect speedy Justice?

    Travails of a WWII Widow: Indian Bureaucracy at its Peak

    Ex JC-23212 Subedar Sohal Singh (Signals) put his life on the line during World War II in North Africa, leaving his aged parents, young wife and a small child behind at the mercy of others. He fought for Democracy in which different people could live together and enjoy freedom in peace. Whereas hundreds of thousands of Allied Forces men and women sacrificed their valuable lives, he was lucky to survive while fighting against Germans and Italians, in most dangerous and trying conditions.

    Years after his retirement, Subedar Sohan Singh and his wife Smt Swarn kaur, being in their advanced ages, migrated to Canada to spend final parts of their lives under the care of their children. Unfortunately, Subedar Sohan Singh died on 27.11.1993. Intimation to this effect was forwarded by Smt Swarn Kaur to all concerned authorities. On receipt of numerous forms from Signals Records, the Widow returned them duly completed in all respects. After months of up and down correspondence, Smt Swarn kaur’s family pension was sanctioned vide CCDA (P) Allahabad P P O No. F/NA/5413/96. The Widow was asked to report to the Defence Pension Disbursing Officer (DPDO) Hoshiarpur, with her Pension Book to draw her first pension.

    As bad luck would have it, 79 years old Smt Swarn kaur was admitted in Burnaby Hospital in Canada on 19.2.1997 due to sudden attack of paralysis, leaving her Left side paralyzed. Medical report issued on her by Doctor Thakor Lal on 13.3.1997, declared her “unfit to travel” until and unless she makes some recovery, which was highly unlikely. A copy of her Medical Report was forwarded to the D P D O Hoshiarpur. He transferred the widow’s pension file to the State Bank of India, Jalandhar as the widow had opened an N R O Saving Bank account in the State Bank of India, Banga which falls under the jurisdiction of State Bank of India Jalandhar. A copy of the Medical Report on Smt Swarn Kaur was also forwarded to the State bank of India, Jalandhar with a request to credit her pension in her Saving Bank account with Banga Branch without her personal appearance, as she was ’unfit to travel’ on medical grounds to come to India.

    Unfortunately, Smt Swarn Kaur’s condition took a turn for the worse. She was bed and wheelchair bound and unable to feed herself. She was therefore, fed through a tube inserted in her stomach. She was told clearly and unequivocally by her doctor that she could never leave the hospital. While she was lying in a precarious condition in hospital, all activities on her family pension case were brought to a grinding halt by officials dealing with it.

    I had personally dealt with the family pension case of Smt Swarn Kaur from the very beginning. After many years of my vain effort, I got disappointed and decided to write personal letters to a great many serving and retired friends, asking them to help the bedridden poor widow on grounds of extreme compassion. I also wrote letters to the Army Headquarters requesting them to intervene in the matter. Since the Banking Industry comes under the Ministry of Finance, I also wrote a letter to the Finance Minister giving complete details of the case and requesting his intervention. Sitting thousands of kilometers away from India, there was precious little else, I could do in the matter.

    I was pleased that the CCDA (P), State Bank of India, and other officials dealing with Smt Swarn Kaur’s pension case, buckled under the intensive pressure from the Army Headquarters and the Finance Minister. As a result, the widow’s family pension file started moving and picking up speed. Ultimately, on 12.8.2003, the State Bank of India Banga informed the her that her family pension including from 28.11.1993 has been credited to her Bank account and her family pension effective 1.8.2002 onwards, is being regularly credited.

    With a view to operate her bank account from Canada, Smt Swarn kaur requested her banker viz State Bank of India Banga, to supply her a Cheque Book. Reply denying her request was as follows:-

    “ We advise that as per Bank’s Rules, Cheque Book is issued to a person who can sign on cheques. Thumb impression is not accepted on cheques.”

    It was pointed out to the State bank of India Banga that the widow being an illiterate, used her thumb impression on all documents /forms submitted by her in connection with her family pension. Her thumb impression was accepted by all authorities including her Bank officials. In view of this, the refusal by bank officials to accept her thumb impression on cheques is not understood. Apparently, the bank officials had a cavalier attitude to accept this particular case. They did not care a hoot, nor bothered to reply to the above reasoning.

    All pleas from Smt Swarn Kaur and myself to State Bank of India, Banga, requesting for issue of a cheque book to the widow, fell on deaf ears of its officials. This amounted to nothing short of disservice by the Bank not only to the widow of a World war II Veteran, but also to the military pensioners at large. This callous behavior on the part of Bank officials should not be accepted under any circumstances. Both Smt Swarn Kaur and myself were disgusted with the despicable attitude of the bank officials. Therefore, I wrote another personal letter to the Finance Minister by name, requesting for his personal intervention in the matter one more time. I am pleased to say that under direct orders from the Finance Minister, State Bank of India Banga dispatched a Cheque Book to the Widow.

    I regret to say that before poor sick Smt Swarn Kaur could physically receive and use her long awaited cheque book, she breathed her last on 24.4.2004. Intimation to this effect was sent by her son Balwant Singh Parmar to all concerned.

    It is of utmost annoyance that it took 10 full years of hectic correspondence to get the family pension of World war II Veteran late Subedar Sohan Singh’s widow in her bank account. Of what good was that pension to her when she could not draw it in her life time, in the absence of a cheque book? Is this the reward Smt Swarn Kaur received for what her husband put his life on the line during World war II? The widow lying on her deathbed, could not draw and use even a penny of her pension? Thanks to the Bank’s Rules. This is an injustice of the highest proportion. The undesirable attitude of concerned individuals and bank officials for the inordinate delay in paying the widow her pension and for not issuing a cheque book, amounts to dereliction of duty. It essentially calls for an inquiry and exemplary penalty to those found guilty.

    I full well know, the pitiable and deplorable state of health Smt Swarn Kaur was in, when lying on her deathbed in hospital? Her stress had reached a critical level, “Seeing is believing” as it cannot be explained in words. I wonder how many more widows of World Wars Veterans are suffering like late Swarn Kaur in Canada and other Countries of the world, where our military pensioners have settled permanently. Remedial measures need be taken at the highest level, to prevent such cases from occurring in the future.

    Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
    Founding President Indian Ex-Service men Society British Columbia

    Wind Power will compete with Coal and Nuclear Power

    Texan energy companies are investing heavily to build wind turbines following a landmark ruling last week

    LONDON, England (CNN) -- From Dallas, Texas to Dabancheng, China, energy companies are staking fortunes on harnessing wind power. US and China lead way in tapping wind power. Texas currently leads the world in wind capacity at about 5,500 MW.

    But Junfeng Li of the China Renewable Energy Industries Association has a more optimistic outlook. In a paper last month, he wrote: "China is witnessing the start of a golden age of wind power development and the magnitude of the growth has caught policymakers off guard. It is widely believed that wind power will be able to compete with coal generation by as early as 2015."

    "By 2020, wind power capacity is predicted to reach 30 gigawatts," said Wang in a meeting at China's annual parliament. "Around the mid-21st century, wind power is very likely to take the place of hydropower as the second-largest source of electric power generation after coal." He added that wind power could surpass nuclear stations as a source of energy within 20 to 30 years.
    US and China lead the way in tapping wind power
    Wind turbines to power China

    Status in India
    The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal Ministry of the Government of India at the Federal level for all matters relating to new and renewable energy. The Ministry has been facilitating the implementation of broad spectrum programmes including harnessing renewable power, renewable energy to rural areas for lighting, cooking and motive power, use of renewable energy in urban, industrial and commercial applications and development of alternate fuels and applications. In addition, it supports research, design and development of new and renewable energy technologies, products and services. Till date only 2000MW of wind Power is the installed capacity. More needs to be done to tap wind power to our advantage and reduce the Power shortages. Is the Nation battling the bureaucratic controls?
    Ministry of Renewable Energy

    Comment: The Defence Forces need to invest heavily in wind power to make available uninterrupted power supply to all Military Cantonments, Establishments, (like Military Hospitals, Air Fields, Ordnance Depots and so forth), and remote areas in the NE. Surplus power can be sold to the National Power Corporations wherever feasible. The assets can be looked after and entrusted to Veteran Bodies. For financing these projects, wind fall profits made by CSD and under the MOD,(approx Rs 4000 Crore per annum) can be utilised for this venture and thereby creating valuable National Assets, instead of distributing piece meal amounts to Units for Troops welfare, which is grossly misused. This venture will go a long way towards Troops Welfare (Power Supply) and also employing large number of Veterans in the process.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Indian Army reveals Curry Bomb latest recipe in War on Terror

    India's weapons development experts have developed an eye-watering spice bomb, packed with a potent mix of red chilli and pepper which will be used to smoke out militants during counter-insurgency operations.

    Experts from India's Defence Research and Development Organisation have already tested their new "grenade masala" in a series of "spice raids" close to the Line of Control which separates Indian and Pakistani forces in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

    "The field trials have been completed with success in several areas along the Line of Control. The grenades would be successful in forcing out militants from their hideouts." Curry bomb! Indian Army reveals latest recipe in war on terror

    Comment: The ideal weapon causes no physical injury but makes the terrorists weep for their sins. This technique should be used universally to combat terror.
    In conjunction also read:
    Once we smoke the terrorists out with our mirchi bombs and stench guns, we need to have a plan for their rehabilitation, a program where they will get a permanent amnesia of their evil plans, something that can totally screw their minds into thinking all is well with the world. For that, I recommend the Bollywood bomb, a proven screwer of minds and a dependable pulverizer of logic. Masala missiles and curry bombs

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Beijing 2008: The Games of the XXIX Olympiad

    The Olympic Rings
    As an image of Olympism, Coubertin thought the rings had deep significance: that of the union between men. He multiplied the image to create a total of five rings. He designed and commissioned the Olympic flag to mark the 20th anniversary of the IOC's founding, on 23rd June 1914 in Paris.

    The Olympic Movement
    On 23 June, 1894, Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in a ceremony held at the University of Sorbonne in Paris. Demetrius Vikelas from Greece became the first president of the IOC. Two years later, in 1896, the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in Athens.

    Every emblem of the Olympics tells a story. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games emblem "Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing" is filled with Beijing's hospitality and hopes, and carries the city's commitment to the world.

    Slogan"One World One Dream" expresses the common wishes of people all over the world, inspired by the Olympic ideals, to strive for a bright future of Mankind. In spite of the differences in colors, languages and races, we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games, and together we seek for the ideal of Mankind for peace.
    IOC member: Beijing Games will be spectacular

    India’s Olympic team for Beijing 2008

  • Archery
    Dola Banerjee, Pranitha Vardhineni, L Bombayala Devi, Mangal Singh Champia.
  • Athletics
    Anju Bobby George (Long Jump), Krishna Poonia (Discus), Harwant Kaur (Discus), Preeja Sreedharan (10,000m), Manjit Kaur (400m), Chitra Soman (4x400m relay), Sini Jose (4x400m relay), MR Poovamma (4x400m relay), Mandeep Kaur (4x400m relay), S Geeta (4x400m relay), K Mridula (4x400m relay), J J Shobha (Heptathlon), Sushmita Singh Roy (Heptathlon), G G Pramila (Heptathlon), Vikas Gowda (Discus), Renjith Maheswary (Triple Jump), Surender Singh (10000m).
  • Badminton
    Anup Sridhar, Saina Nehwal
  • Boxing
    Jitender (51kg), Akhil Kumar (54kg), A L Lakhra (57kg), Vijender(75kg) and Dinesh Kumar (81kg)
  • Judo
    Khumujam Tombi Devi, Divya.
  • Rowing
    Bajrang Lal Takhar (Single M1X), Devnder Khandwal and Manjeet Singh (Light Weight Double Scull)
  • Shooting
    Manavjit Singh Sandhu (Clay Pigeon Trap), Mansher Singh (Clay Pigeon Trap), Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Clay Pigeon Double Trap), Gagan Narang (10m Air Rifle), Abhinav Bindra (10m Air Rifle), Samresh Jung (10m Air Pistol), Sanjeev Rajput (50m Rifle 3 Position), Anjali Bhagwat (50m Rifle 3 Position), Avneet Kaur Sidhu (10m Air Rifle)
  • Swimming
    Virdawal Khade (50m, 100m, 200m Freestyle), Ankur Poseria (100m Butterfly), Sandeep Sejwal (100m, 200m Breaststrokes), Rehan Poncha (200m butterfly)
  • Table Tennis
    Achanta Sharath Kamal, Neha Aggarwal.
  • Tennis
    Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (doubles), Sania Mirza (singles and doubles), Sunitha Rao (doubles)
  • Weightlifting
    L Monika Devi (69kg)
  • Wrestling
    Sushil Kumar (66 kg Freestyle), Yogeshwar Dutt (60 kg Freestyle), Rajiv Tomar (120 kg Freestyle)
  • Yachting
    Major NS Johal (Heavyweight Dinghy)

    All the best to Indian Olympic Team
  • Procedure For Drawal Of Pension While Residing Ex-India

    CDA (Pensions) Allahabad

    Pensioners who are living abroad and have changed their Nationality are required to follow the procedure as indicated below:
    1. Open a non-resident Bank account in any scheduled Bank.
    2. Execute a Power of Attorney in duplicate on Indian non-judicial Stamp paper of Appropriate value or where non-Judicial Stamp paper is not available, on plain paper affixed with adhesive Indian Stamp of Appropriate value. The value of the stamp will be determined with reference to practice as obtained in the place where the Power of Attorney is executed. The Power of Attorney will be executed before Notary public or Indian Mission abroad. It must be signed in the presence of an Indian Official of Indian Embassy/Mission abroad who should attest the signature of the pensioner.
    3. If the Power of Attorney is executed on a plain paper and not affixed with the adhesive Indian Stamp, the pensioner may be requested to write to his agent in India advising him take the same to the Collector within 3 months of its receipt for getting it stamped according to Indian Stamp Act.
    4. Submit an arrear claim on IAF (CDA)-651, if the pension has not been drawn for more than one year.
    5. Submit Pension Claim on IAFA-380(a).
    6. Submit Life Certificate duly attested by an authorized official of an Embassy/ High Commission of India or Consuls of Indian Consulates or a Notary Public or Officers of an Indian Public Sector Banks attached to a Branch in the Country where the pensioner is residing, once in a year in November each year.
    7. Furnish a Nationality Certificate on the following lines:-
    Certified that the Pensioner was an Indian National at the time of his retirement and has changed his Nationality thereafter and became a naturalized citizen of a foreign state.
    8. To forward an attested copy of pensioner’s Pass-Port.
    The above documents along with pensioner’s Pension certificate are to be forwarded to pensioner’s agent in India. ie Pension Disbursing Authority for onward transmission to Chief C D A (Pension), Allahabad.

    The Life and Nationality certificates referred to at item 1 and 2 above to be submitted initially with the first claim and thereafter once in a year along with the claim for the month of April each year. In addition a declaration certifying the Act/deed done by the pensioner’s Attorney shall also be submitted in April each year. Those documents may be sent to the Attorney well in time by the pensioner so as to enable him to submit them with the claim for the month of April. It may be noted that the pension will not be paid beyond the date on which the next Life Certificate, Nationality Certificate rectification deed is due.

    Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
    Founding President Indian Ex-Servicemen Society British Columbia
    We thank Col Pritam Singh for the useful information
    For more information click link below:
    Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions)

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Indian Bureaucracy Makes Veteran Widow Crazy

    Britain Honours WWII Veteran in India

    The President Of India Intervenes In NRI Widow Pension Case.
    I helped Mrs Pritam Kaur Basi, widow of late Major Paramjit Singh Basi, who put his life on the line in World War II along with me, in her fight for widow pension from the Indian Pension Authorities. I personally conducted sustained and vigorous correspondence with various Indian Pension Authorities on her behalf to enable the aged blind, sickly-looking lady get her pension. Regretfully, the case was not moving for years. Hence, I wrote personal letters to many retired and serving Officers friends, requesting to help the lady. Despite my best efforts, it took the lady 14 long years to get her pension in her bank account in India.

    I, having got totally disappointed and disgusted with 14 years delay in Mrs Basi’s pension case, could not help writing about it to the President of India and Supreme Commander of Indian Armed forces, giving comprehensive details of the case and expressing great concern with the manner in which the widow of World War Veteran was neglected by Indian Pension Authorities. I also enclosed with my letter, a copy of my detailed article on the subject published in the Link Newspaper for information. I was delighted to receive an email dated June 26, 2003 from Mrs Padmaja, Under Secretary (NRI-I) to the President of India, Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Its contents are as follows:-

    “Please refer to your letter dated April 30, 2003 addressed to the President of India regarding the Pension case of Mrs Pritam Kaur Basi. To enable us to coordinate with the Controller General of Defence Accounts, will you please send us the relevant details of the Pension case including copies of the correspondence made by Mrs Basi with concerned authorities.”

    Responding to the above email, I compiled a comprehensive and detailed case of Mrs Basi’s Pension consisting of 107 sheets, bound them properly in a binder. The binder was forwarded to the President of India, through the Diplomatic Bag of the Consulate General of India, Vancouver on July 16, 2003.

    Mrs Basi’s World war II Veteran husband Major Paramjit Singh Basi died in Canada on March 25, 1989. She submitted her application for family pension which was sanctioned vide CDA (P) PPO No M/F/F/89, in seven months. She was directed to report to the Manager of the Bank of India Jalandhar with her Pension Book to receive her first pension.

    As bad luck would have it, Mrs Basi’s health took a turn for the worst and she was declared medically Blind, amongst many other complications, and was in no way fit to travel to India. As such, she requested her Banker viz the Bank of India , Jalandhar to credit her pension including arrears to her saving Bank account on extreme compassionate grounds. The Banker refused to budge. All her further pleas were ignored.

    Being demoralized and disgusted, Mrs Basi wrote letters giving details of her ill health and an unending delay in her pension to all conceivable related authorities for help in getting her pension. It was only after excessive pressure exerted by the higher-ups on her Banker that he acted. Even then, it took her no less than 14 years to get her pension deposited into her bank account.

    Having personally handled the entire pension case of Mrs Basi, I brought the most inordinate delay of 14 years to the notice of the President of India. I requested him that the culprits responsible for the delay in this particular case be awarded maximum penalties, and necessary orders be issued to all authorities so that no widow suffers this type of loss and pain as Mrs Basi did.

    Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World war II Veteran
    Founder President Indian Ex-Servicemen Society British Columbia

    Comment: The Bureaucrats responsible for the delay are accountable to no one except God. May God help the bureaucarcy to see light! Contrast this with how British honour the Veterans in India. The Photocopy of news item shown above is the proof.

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    RTI Act will prevail over Official Secrets Act

    NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 14, 2007: Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has said he is presuming the Government is undertaking a review of the 1923 Official Secrets Act (OSA). Major General V K Singh (Retd) is its latest victim, booked for writing on corruption in the RAW, in view of the transparency regime ushered in by the 2005 Right to Information Act.

    Speaking to The Indian Express, Habibullah said: I am very clear that when there is a direct conflict between the OSA and RTI Act, it is the RTI which prevails. The OSA cannot be used in a manner in which it is inconsistent with provisions of the RTI Act.

    The OSA is a colonial law that protects the Government from the public. In a democracy, the public is the Government. Earlier, OSA was the guiding principle in terms of custody of information held by the Government. Now custody of information held by the Government has been given to the RTI Act, he said.

    According to Habibullah, even on the question of supplying information or documents marked secret (thereby, bringing it under OSA), the competent authority or information officer could use discretionary powers to disclose details. This, he said, was relevant, for instance, to Section 8 (j) of the RTI where a Central Public Information Officer can disclose personal information that has been sought provided public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

    As per provisions of Section 8 (d) and (e) of the RTI, in case the RTI request pertains to commercial information or information to a person in his fiduciary relationship, the competent authority, if convinced that larger public interest is served, may part with it. The competent authority, Habibullah said, is the Department of Personnel and Training which holds administrative supervision of the RTI.

    Even documents marked secret or confidential, which would normally attract provisions of the OSA, can be disclosed since the discretionary provision is there in the RTI Act. And if these requests are turned down, the applicant can always appeal to the CIC and argue about the public interest served. With such RTI provisions, the relevance of OSA has become very limited, he said. His comments are significant given the fact that the Second Administrative Reforms Commission has recommended scrapping of the OSA. The Ministry of Home Affairs is examining the recommendation.
    RTI Act will prevail if there is any direct conflict, says CIC

    The Government that appointed the second Administrative Reforms Commission? After a comprehensive review of the RTI Act, this Commission, headed by Mr Veerappa Moily, declared that the time had come for the Government to move “from the prevailing culture of secrecy to a new culture of openness”. As regards the Official Secrets Act, it said that this law had “illiberal and draconian provisions” and that it was an anachronism in its present form.
    RAW:Shutting out the truth

    Good News: All the Welfare Organisations (Governmental and Non Governmental bodies) claiming to provide succour to Service Personnel and Ex- Servicemen under the Society Act of 1860 are subject to Public Scrutiny. It is mandatory for list of beneficiaries and quantum of assistance received by each to be displayed in the public domain. Similarly all veteran organisations with laudable goals should publish full details of beneficiaries in consonance with the directives of the Society Act. It is the moral duty of the Governing body to ensure the aims of the society is amply fulfilled. It is also the duty of every proactive Veteran to ensure that resources of Welfare Organisations are not fretted away.

    Fifth Central Pay Commission Goof Ups Plague Ex- Servicemen

    People like me are with every sentiment of ESM as well as those, who have yet to join this class after retirement. The struggle will go on. For many of us not much time is left.

    All of us do not have energy or know how to go to the courts. Now that AFT Act 2007 has been passed, there should be a cell of IESL or whatever, to project our simple language cases to the AFT.

    MINE IS: why as a retired Major General, (next higher rank to Brigadier) I have been getting lesser pension than a Brigadier, for the last 18 years? Applications are filed by the same Babus whom we blame for the pay commission and its anti- armed forces stance.

    With regards,
    Maj Gen Satish Chandra (Retd)

    Question: Will the newly constituted Armed Forces Tribunal reverse the smart moves of Bureaucrats who have who have dumped the Defences Forces to an irretrievable morass?

    Fifth Central Pay Commission Goof ups:

  • Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence had recommended that a member of the Pay Commission be nominated from the defence forces.
  • There were major anomalies in its recommendations, one of them being that it gave a Brigadier more pension than a Major General. It also removed the running pay band given by the previous Pay Commission to compensate for the limited promotions in the armed forces. (The rank pay promised was screwed up but deviously merged with pay and corresponding amount deducted from pay. The bureaucrats feathered a double cap to their mathematical genius.)
  • For the purpose of pension, the defence personnel were equated with civilian employees but the condition of 33 years of service to earn full pension stayed, placing the armed forces at a great disadvantage. Over 90 per cent of the defence personnel retire early and therefore do not fulfil the criteria of 33 years of service to gain full pension. As a result, a former Sepoy gets less than half the pension of a retired peon.
  • Not only did the Fifth Pay Commission ignore the hardships of a career in the armed forces, it did not compensate them adequately for truncated careers, extremely limited promotions, long separations from families and risk to life and limb. In most democracies, these are termed as the X factor and adequately compensated.
    Panel seeks defence nominee on pay commission
    Silly observations, blunders and goof-ups by the 6th CPC
  • Kabul Suicide attack on 07 July 2008

    Sunita wife of Indian Army officer RD Mehta, who died on Monday, 07 July bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, holds an Indian national flag, along with her husband's military cap and belt, as she and other relatives attend his cremation service in New Delhi, Tuesday, July 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)

    Chief of Army Staff, Gen Deepak Kapoor led senior officials from all three forces in paying tribute to Brig Mehta. He offered his condolences to the family by personally going to Brig Mehta’s wife, father and children.

    His son, Flt Lt Udit Mehta, himself an Air Force pilot said: "I was, am and will always be proud of my father. He was my hero and I would like to remember as he lived, not as now."

    One of his relatives, who is a serving air-force officer said that "he was what every officer should be like." A retired officer, Maj Gen Popli said that it was a failure on part of the intelligence that this attack could not be anticipated and hence, averted.

    Kabul attack: Brig RD Mehta cremated in Delhi
    Kabul Sucide Attack

    Suicide attacks are not always motivated by a jihad, but they are also not always nationalistic. Suicide attacks in India cannot be lumped together with those in Algeria, Afganistan,Palestine and those in London. These attacks are part politico-military tactic, part complex internationalised religious ideology, and part local grievance. All of these factors converge with varying levels of importance every time a suicide attack occurs. Only the Intelligence agencies can crack the international and homegrown menace.

    Need for Explosives Detection:
    Identify, prioritize, and execute research and development projects that satisfy inter- agency requirements for existing and emerging technology in explosives detection and diagnostics. Emphasis should be placed on a long term, sustained approach leading to new and enhanced technology for detection and identification of improvised explosive devices, including vehicle- borne devices.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Lack of Emergency Drills in the Cities

    Mock Emergency Drill: Starts from School

    Precious lives can be saved if timely help can be rendered to the injured and wounded in an emergency. Do the city officials have emergency drills worked out? Are citizens warned and trained for emergency situations? Do we have a traffic control system, instead of clogging all roads and citizens running helter skelter as seen (TV broadcasts) in the recent Bomb Blasts? We need emergency drills and periodically practised/ rehearsed to ensure lives are not lost due to lack of mobilising our skills and resources at the right time to reduce the impact. Do the Intelligence agencies possess the "Threat Perception Level" state wise? How is information shared with the citizens and local state police? What are the response systems brought to action during emergency? Are we groping in the dark? Shouldn't the Intelligence Agencies be made accountable for internal security of the Nation as well? Should the nation accept failures?

    The law and order situation needs to be drastically improved to defeat miscreants and terrorist activities. Rampant illegal parking of cyclists, motorcyclists, four wheelers and other vehicles near crowded areas in the cities is the root cause for easy positioning of bombs to cause loss of precious lives and material damages. Over crowded buses is yet another easy target.

    The Police and Citizens need to evolve a better communication system so that any suspicious activity reported is quickly investigated and culprits apprehended. It is the duty of every citizen to be vigilant, disciplined and proactive in pinning down the terrorists before they strike.
    Nearly 200 dead in 8 terror attacks in India in the last two years
    29 dead, 100 wounded in India serial blasts

    Vijay Divas Kargil Remembered

    On 26 July, 1999 we captured our last hill from Pakistan. We lost our most valuable, great warriors, brave brothers. It is time to remember them.

    Col Shree Kumar Menon (Retd)

    Kargil Remembered: A Homage to the Indian Army Martyrs by Dr Subhash Kapila


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