Saturday, January 17, 2009

Army to set up another Officers Training Academy to address man-power shortage

New Delhi, Jan 14 2009
Facing a shortage of about 11,300 officers, the Indian Army is planning to start a second Officers Training Academy (OTA) on the lines of its Chennai-based institution, to increase the intake, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor said here today. He said the army was "more than willing" to depute its officers and other ranks to the elite National Security Guard (NSG) force, which is setting up its hubs in four main cities in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks.

"We are looking at starting a second OTA and the aim would be to train those officers who are keen on Short Service Commission (SSC) and bring them into the mainstream," Kapoor said at his annual Army Day eve press conference here.

"Thereby (we are looking at) enhancing the total intake and bringing down the deficiency level, which currently stand at around 11,300-odd," he said.

The Chennai-based OTA at present trains about 500 officers annually under the SSC recruitment scheme of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The aim, Kapoor said, was to reduce the deficiency so that the army could carry out its assigned tasks better and also meet requirements of other institutions like the NSG, Assam Rifles, National Cadets Corps (NCC) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
Army to set up another Officers Training Academy to address man-power shortage

IESM: Poineering vision for future India

Report my signal forum/ blog is a pioneer of this great movement of IESM. There have been lot of achievements and many more to come. This movement should ultimately culminate into growth and National development, besides achieving all listed IESM objectives.

In democracy numbers matter a lot. Our strength: Patriotism, highly disciplined, educated, experienced, talented and graet numbers. Ex and serving together with family members, their relations, friends, sympathizers, like- minded citizens and supporters are a reckonable FORCE.

The indifference of so called GOI represented by few self seeking and short sighted bureaucrats and politicians is glaringly visible. National security and many other national interests are being compromised. WE cannot remain as passive citizens. We cannot achieve our intended objectives by passive movement alone. As the movement is getting galvanized it is time for the think tank to give shape and lay foundation for future IESM activities with vision of ultimate national prosperity.

Our numbers in democracy are in multiples of millions: ex- servicemen & serving 4.5+1.5= 6 million with multi- factor of spouses, children and their spouses, relations etc. This composition are all over the country with higher numbers in few states/ districts. We can exercise considerable swing in voting results in the near parliamentary elections- of victory or defeat of a candidate.

Appeals and all those efforts should be supplemented by demographic strength also. The Govt of the day is aware of this strength and force, they are concerned and even fear of IESM GETTING ORGANISED. Therefore pursue all those issues with position of strength. We as citizens, senior citizens should get organized. We should grow out of colonial and old beliefs that politics is untouchable activity and national defense is prerogative of few individuals.

In the immediate future ESM groups should get organized and exercise their vote banks for defeat/ victory of a candidate. In few constituencies where ESM are in considerable strength they should contest as independents with affiliation to IESM.

In democracy and in present political scenario of coalition govts we have seen how few MPs (even single digit indep) have used and abused national resources for their selfish ends. There were no limits. Therefore we should not shy away from this activity of political... active participation. One needs to be optimistic and need not be pessimistic on this score.

Our objectives and goals should include national interests. Having seen how the systems are being abused we must check these by political participation. We have done enough as soldiers to defend this country from external aggression. Now it is time to defend the country from internal sabotage. Our legitimate pay/ pension with parity (WITHOUT DISPARITY) is a RIGHT. That level of pension without protecting our national interests would not give desired happiness to us and our future generations.

Lt Col ABG Reddy (Retd)

Mumbai Mayhem: Pakistan Terror Tactics

Associated Press: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Thursday that the Pakistan-based leadership of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba is now in Pakistani custody.

JANUARY 16, 2009 Pakistan Says Lashkar Leaders Are in Custody, in Hint of Thaw With India By ZAHID HUSSAIN
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan said it has arrested all the Pakistan-based leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba since November's terrorist attacks on Mumbai, which the U.S. and India charge were planned and carried out by the militant group.

"The entire top, middle and lower-level leadership has been arrested," Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.

Mr. Malik's announcement of the arrests made over the past six weeks suggests Pakistan intends to show it is cooperating with international calls to shut down Lashkar and is becoming less resistant to the conclusion that the group planned the attacks.
Pakistan Says Lashkar Leaders Are in Custody, in Hint of Thaw With India: Wall Street Journal

Comment: Pakistan harbours bandits, smugglers, money launderers, dope peddlars, gun runners, and criminals of various degrees. The religious jihad is a farce and a guise for International treachery orginating in the Power Portals of Pakistan (PPP).

IESM: Report of Fast for Justice Rally- Navi Mumbai

Letter of Brig Dharam Prakash from Navi Mumbai addressed to Chairman IESM Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

Dear General
As planned, Ex servicemen of NAVI MUMBAI were on DHARNA on 15 & 16 Jan 2009 at CBD Belapur railway station in sympathy with our fasting Veterans at Delhi.

Ex servicemen response was very good, we had Veterans coming from far places like Ratnagiri, Nava Shiva Port, and others from Panvel, Kharghar, CBD Belapur, Nerul, Vashi,Airoli, Thane. Arrangements had to be doubled midway due to response. Briefing on IESM and OROP was done. Veterans were happy with steps being taken for OROP. Membership forms of IESM were distributed, till today about 25 completed forms with cheque have been received , more are expected in few days time. All completed forms will be couriered in few days. Some forms are likely to be sent directly to Gurgoan.

Above event was very well covered by print and electronic media. On 15 Jan 2009 we had 5 TV channels and 6/7 press reporters who attended press briefing by Brig Dharam Prakash and Lt Col DP Singh.Dharna is being shown on local/Regional channels like DRISHTI, NMTV, A PLUS, KARNALA TV and local cable network.Some news papers (Hindi,Marathi &English) are likely cover it shortly.

As venue was at public place, lot of general public enquired about OROP and were very sympathetic with the cause. Senior citizens association at Belapur was represented by its President and All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCON), General Secretary also joined the Veterans in expressing their solidarity with the cause.
Brigadier Dharam Prakash (Retd)

Dear General
The Steering Committee of IESM highly appreciates the initiative taken by Brig Dharam Prakash to have initiated the IESM activities in Navi Mumbai and around.
In Service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

IESM: Fast for Justice rally at Jantar Mantar- thirty first day

Jantar Mantar

Mohali ESM

Karnataka ESM

Date: Friday, 16 January, 2009, 9:51 PM

Dear Colleagues,
The battlefront got further reinforcements today. A mixed contingent of Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana is holding it. New membership is in high gear. The stream of visitors continues unabated. 61 ESM had visited the venue (upto 1645 hours). These included, among many others:
• Col Rajan from Bangalore along with Col Kumresh, Wg Cdr Nestor de
Conceicao, Capt Santanam Joseph and others of his team – they are all camping overnight.
• Cpl Kumbhra and his Punjab warriors.
• Maj Gen KN Singh, Maj Gen Don Khurana, Air Marshal Sethi, Col GR Singh, Col KK Malhotra.
• Jagan Reddy – he is a firebrand from Andhra who is also the Deputy Secy General of the National Ex-Servicemen Coordination Committee. He is touring all corners of the country. He is also keeping the govt on its toes by sending well- researched and well- documented queries.
• The 20th NDA/ 29th DE Course and their spouses namely, Col & Mrs Vijay Sekhri, Mrs Babbar, Col & Mrs Arora, Maj Gen & Mrs MM Bhatia, Col KK Lall, Col & Mrs YS Ahlawat, Brig & Mrs PC Uppal, Col & Mrs NS Behl, Col YPS Toor, Col JC Verma, Col & Mrs SK Verma, Col SK Kundra, Col GS Hora, Col RN Kapoor.
• The usual IESM Core Group members who are regulars on daily basis– Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Maj Gen Satbir, Maj Gen & Mrs Renjen Col & Mrs Krit Jyoshipura, Lt Gen & Mrs Raj Kadyan (also came as 20th NDA member). Three group photos of the day as above.

Do remember 08 Feb 2009– the ESM must fill the High Streets in each city and town.

Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Friday, January 16, 2009

Got nothing in defence, Army fails to woo talent

TOUGH JOB: Having to stay away from the family is one of the biggest demoralisers.

Vishal Thapar / CNN-IBN. Published on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 15:50

New Delhi: It was a New Year shocker for the nation — a handful of terrorists holed up in a jungle at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir held out against a battalion of the Indian Army for a week before slipping past the security cordon early January.

Is the motivation of the Army which has famously done battle from Flanders to Ferozpur finally getting frayed?

"We are of this belief that insurgents, even if they flee once, will return to the same area, to strike in a similar fashion," Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor said.

As the military challenge to India mounts, the number of men who were ready to stand up and defend India is diminishing.

While on one hand, men in uniform are queuing up to leave, on the other, enlistment at India's military academies is at an all-time low.

The number of officers from the Army's cutting-edge combat leadership wanting to quit has increased four-fold in the last five years.

In 2008, the number jumped up to a record 1,200, most of them high-performers. Not enough money and having to stay away from the family are one of the biggest demoralisers.

"After some time, you want to give the best to your family but where will the money for that come from," Former Army Officer Amar Kwatra said.

But it is the drying up of recruitment academies which has really stunned the defence establishment.

At courses in 2008, there were no takers for two-thirds of the slots at the Indian Military Academy.

Only 86 of the 250 vacancies at the 124th course were subscribed. At the National Defence Academy, cadet intake hit an all-time low of 190 against a training capacity of 300, and after only 11 recruits showed up for a course meant to train 107 engineers at the Officers Training Academy, the course was scrapped.
Got nothing in defence, Army fails to woo talent: IBN Live

Army Day 2009

Editor: Seema Mustafa Friday, January 16, 2009 Consulting Editors :John Dayal & Rahul Bedi

On 15 January, the Army would be commemorating another Army Day, but this one is special, as it is the 60th. While the other two services would participate in the various events and felicitate the army on their diamond jubilee, the citizens of our nation will not even know about this special day. The reason is that over the years the interest of the media in the army has waned considerably. The government too continues to be under the impression that platitudes are good enough during important speeches of our political leaders. It is a matter of major concern that the army as well as the other services are remembered only when an adverse security situation develops internally or externally.

This day was selected as the Army Day, as it was on this day in 1949, that the first Indian General (later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa had taken over as the head of the Indian Army. The day is marked by an impressive parade at Delhi Cantonment, which is reviewed by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). This day is dedicated to all ranks of the Indian Army as well as the veterans, who had served the nation in the past. During the parade, the Chief would no doubt thank them for their steadfastness, sacrifices, courage and loyalty. He would also honour brave individuals, as well as units which have excelled, by presenting gallantry and distinguished service awards to individuals and unit citations for collective achievements by units.

The parade is followed by a semi formal 'Reception' by the COAS, at his official residence, where political as well as civil and military dignitaries get a chance to mingle with the awardees of the morning. It is always a memorable occasion, where one meets a wide spectrum of people, from the President and the Prime Minister, to leaders of many political parties, to a selection of serving and retired military officers, and of course the decoratees of the morning, proudly displaying their well-earned medals and honours.

Army Day is a day of joy as it marks the passage of one more successful year for this potent and last resort instrument of the nation. At a different plane, however, it is a day of stock taking of every facet of the functioning of the army. The main question that arises in everyone's mind is whether the army is fit in all respects for carrying out its task of ensuring the security of the nation in a professionally robust and befitting manner. In my opinion, the answer is in the negative.

Let us start with the important aspect of modernisation, which is a continuous process that needs dedicated and sustained infusion of the correct and relevant weaponry, equipment and materials. Unfortunately, little modernisation has been carried out, not only last year, but also in the preceding years. Besides paucity of funds, there is the lethargy of the ministry of defence in taking procurement decisions. Resultantly, a large portion of the meager funds allotted for modernisation would again be surrendered, as in earlier years. Such slackening of the modernisation process results in losing the race vis-a-vis our adversaries.

This year the defence budget was the lowest in the past nearly two decades. As a percentage of the nations GDP, it has plummeted down to less than 2 per cent, whereas the minimum requirement is 3 to 3.5 per cent. The acute shortage of officers' continues, as does the status of the military. After the major lowering of the status following the Sixth Pay Commission, I visualise a further reduction in the strength of the officer cadre, as even the little attractiveness of the army as a career that had earlier existed has now vanished. That the Sixth Pay Commission has been an unmitigated disaster for the armed forces is by now too well known to bear any elucidation. The army will no doubt plod on, but it will be the security of the nation that will suffer.

The only silver lining I see is the continuing faith, regard and love of the people of India for the Indian Army, but can this be a substitute for a well equipped and well satisfied military? Serving personnel need to be happy with their status in society; must get adequate remunerations for their turbulent life; must be compensated in their pensions for their early retirements; and they must have faith that the civil administration will look after the interests of their families during their absence. At present, all four have been diluted to ridiculously low levels. There is also frustration and anger amongst the 30 lakh military veterans, as even the ministry of ex-servicemen's welfare is blasé about them. Do these affect morale? Of course they do.

Despite the negatives, the tasks of the army continue to increase manifold, as the other instruments of the nation are either incapable or unwilling to carry out their assigned tasks. That the army has continued to deliver, despite shortages, speaks highly for the selfless service and dedication of our officers and jawans and the institutional strength of the army, but highlights the constraints under which it functions.

After the Mumbai terrorist attack of November last year, the security situation within the country and in our immediate neighbourhood has worsened. Much more would be expected from the army in the coming year by both the people and the government. With the current heavy commitments and continuing calls for varied sundry tasks, the army would find it difficult to carry out its primary tasks of securing the nation, unless the anomalies pointed out are quickly resolved. The strengths of the Indian Army are many and multifarious. Our army exudes professionalism and is highly respected by world militaries, but no army can continue to deliver if the morale is not at its peak. Let the nation resolve that 2009 would be the year of change for the Indian Army.

By Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
The writer is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS)

IESM: Our "status quo" concious Civil Servants

The other day when Lt Gen Raj Kadyan and his IESM team met some bureaucrats in the South Block, they were quizzed about the historical background of OROP. If I remember correctly, the question posed was,

"Has the military ever had OROP in the past? If so, until when; and if not, why has it become necessary now?"

The question is relevant as well as pertinent, and therefore, it must be answered. It challenges the very foundation of our quest for justice. Consequently, I took out my papers and discovered that it is fairly well answered in the book which I wrote in 1988. Since the work was based on 'primary evidence' I take it that it shall be possible to substantiate it with cogent proof. I have, therefore, chosen to reproduce verbatim from page 95-96 of "Wages Down the Ages"

"In the case of officers, a 'standard service' concept was in vogue. Thus, as long as an officer had rendered the length of service given in the table below, he was entitled to a fixed amount of pension irrespective of his pay at the time of retirement. And if he served longer than that, no additional benefit was given to him.

  • Capt and below...20 years
  • Major..............22 years
  • Lt col..............24 years
  • Col.................26 years
  • Brig................28 years
  • Gen officers......30 years

    This was done to induce an officer who was not promoted to leave service without having to stick on for earning a higher pension. In the case of PBOR the pension was based on the 'top of the scale' for each rank and pay group, which was, once again a figure. (Their weightage was a constant figure of five years, irrespective of rank, at that point of time) The point to note is that the pensions were not a percentage of the pay, though there was a loose linkage between the two"

    As per my records, the above format existed from times immemorial and was in vogue right up to the time when the Third Pay commission was implemented. They then drew up a system of weightages ( Capt and below 09;Maj 08; Lt Col & Col 07; Brig and Lt Col-TS 05 and Gen officers 03) which are used even today. I can also say with some authority that all through the period when the rank based pensions were granted (We can now call it OROP) there was no quibbling over the issue of pensions. I dare the government to quote one single instance when any soldier went to the court on the pension issue during the above period, and indeed, demonstrations hunger strikes of the present kind were inconceivable. We have several second generation soldiers in our fold (I am one, myself) Does any one remember his father complaining about 'anomalies' in his pension before 1973?

    The entire problem started when we began to enforce civilian formulae for regulating military pensions. The demise of OROP is the root cause of all evil. And the solution now lies in determining those simple rank based figures and applying the service condition in a rational manner. In my view, the salaries from 1.1.2006 to 1.9.2008 have been altering due to a number of factors. They are a sort of 'transients' However, by now the steady state has been achieved, and so all we need to do is to study the pattern of salaries admissible to soldiers at various ranks and arrive at appropriate figures. In my view, all that we need to do is to restore "staus quo ante" Go back on the time line, for answers and solutions.

    I would be very glad to have comments from the members of our fraternity.
    With best wishes for the forth coming Republic Day,
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh
    Somewhere I read that, a bureaucrat is defined as a person who holds on to 'status quo' because it is safe to let the existing state of affairs to perpetuate. If, however, he loses 'quo', he clings on to 'status' for all he is worth!
  • Army puts its best foot forward on 61st Army Day parade

    Watch Video: click here
    BEST FOOT FORWARD: The Army will also re-dedicate itself to the service of the nation with a brand new slogan.

    New Delhi: Hoping to put a difficult year behind it, the Indian Army will put its best foot forward at the 61st Army Day Parade in the Capital on Thursday, January 15.

    Army Day commemorates the taking over of General K M Cariappa as the first Indian Chief of the Indian Army.

    It's also a day of stock taking. It comes in the wake of tensions with Pakistan and the major security revamp forced by the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

    The Army will keep it's guard up on the border and play the lead role in beefing-up counter-terrorist forces across the country.

    The 1.1-million-strong force is also putting in place institutional checks following the alleged involvement of an officer in a terrorist attack. The Army will also re-dedicate itself to the service of the nation with a brand new slogan.

    Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor said, “Our troops have stood up to uphold the faith which the nation reposed in them to come up to the expectation and for that I humbly feel proud and keeping that as the perspective, the theme for the army day celebrations this year as been 'Nation above all.'”
    Army puts its best foot forward on 61st Army Day parade

    Centre to set up anomaly panel

    Photo credit:Shyamal
    SCPC- Red Tape Cycle- Anomalies growing like branches in a tree!

    New Delhi: The government has decided to set up an Anomaly Committee to settle disputes arising out of implementation of the sixth Pay Commission recommendations. It will receive representations on anomalies up to six months from the date of its constitution and will dispose of them within a year.
    Centre to set up anomaly panel
    GOI Letter dated 12 Jan 2009: SCPC Anomaly Committee

    Comment: The Armed Forces Salaries and Pension of Ex- Servicemen are riddled with bullets inflicting devastating injuries! An earlier anomaly committee has caused further injuries rather than healing the hurt. What can we expect from another anomaly committee?

    Is this how we treat our military?

    Thursday, 15 January, 2009
    RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW. He is author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan. He is Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review.

    Morale of armed forces
    At this critical juncture, India needs to demonstrate its resolve, and ensure the strength and morale of its armed forces. Instead, however, the self-pride of the armed forces is being subverted by parochial interests and narrow considerations. If some planted stories in the media are to be believed, the revised pay demands of the armed forces have not only been met, but enhanced by the government

    Sixth pay panel let down
    This is a travesty of truth. In reality, the basic demand of the armed forces for pre-Sixth Pay Commission status quo has been brushed aside with complete disdain. There are three major demands of the armed forces: one, a hike in pension (70 percent of the last pay drawn) in respect of personnel other than officers; two, restoration of the status of Lt Cols in the higher pay band (Pay Band-IV); and three, restoration in the status of Lt Generals vis-à-vis Director Generals of Police (DGPs).

    The government’s willingness to enhance pension for lower ranks does not actually translate in an actual raise, as the reduced slab announced earlier was based on the flawed premise that post-retirement they would be absorbed in the paramilitary forces, something which is still on the drawing board.

    Are our forces lower caste?
    The other two demands, for restoration in status of Lt Cols and Lt Generals have either been rejected or have come with riders. The most ridiculous clause is the pay package of Lt Cols and their equivalent in the other two services. While their pay package have been upgraded to Pay Band-IV, it has been stipulated that their status in this Pay Band with regards to their Grade Pay, which determines their status, would be only applicable when they are serving on combat duties and not when on deputation. The term ‘combat duties’ has confounded all ranks. This smacks of a disdainful ‘take the money and forget about status’ attitude on part of the government.

    The junior officers, that includes Lt Cols and their equivalents in the other two services, form the cutting edge of the armed forces. It is the same grade of officers, who dislodged Pakistani troops from the Kargil heights, by some most tenacious and daring assaults, without any parallel in the history of high altitude warfare. The demand for status parity for Lieutenant Generals with the DGP Police has been rejected. In Uttar Pradesh alone, there are more than two-dozen officers in the rank of DGP.

    Indian army, foreign hand
    Is this the way the to treat the Indian Armed Forces, which are respected for their professionalism in most parts of the world? Our vote-bank driven politicians have no direct stake in the armed forces. In the United Kingdom, the males of the Royal family invariably serve in the armed forces. In the US, a military past is a political asset, with most Presidents proudly proclaiming their military background. The Indian politicians, leave alone sending their sons, discourage even their even sons-in-laws from the military.

    Full article click: Is this how we treat our military?

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally at Jantar Mantar- thirtieth day

    Date: Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 10:38 PM
    Dear Colleagues,

    The relay fast continues. The Haryana ESM are sitting out today. Karnataka arrives Jan 16. Today there were 21 visitors at the battlefront, including Veteran Air Marshal MS Bawa.

    Among the new IESM members are Lt Gen RS Dayal, Lt Gen Depinder Singh, Vice Admiral JJ Baxi and Vice Admiral AC Bhatia. Our hearty welcome to all these senior veterans. We look forward to their guidance.

    Our colleagues in Navi Mumbai are sitting on a two-day fast. A report appearing in DNA is reproduced below:
    EX-ARMY personnel plan two day dharna at CBD, Mumbai

    The demand for OROP for retired servicemen across the country will be taken up in the city as well. Ex- Army personnel from Navi Mumbai will sit on two-day dharna at Belapur Railway Station on Jan 15 and 16 from 10 to 5 pm. Currently a relay hunger strike is being held by members of IESM at New Delhi in a bid to remind the government to implement the OROP at the earliest.

    The decision to hold the dharna in the city is a means to show solidarity towards fraternity's efforts in bringing about a change in the pensioning system of ex-servicemen.

    "OROP is highly emotive issue wherein two soldiers of same rank with equal length of service retire to find out that they get different pension because they retired on different dates. The absolute irrationality towards this disparity is inexplicable," Lt Col (Retd) DP Singh Aluwalia said. "The reasons cited by officials are based on the lack of fund and the possibility of civilian pensioners seeking similar demands. Both grounds are too flimsy. For having defended the country at the best of age and then having to retire so as to keep a young army, the amount of Rs 600 crores shouldn't be a big deal. Likewise, comparing serviceman's duties to that of the civilians is uncalled for. Unlike servicemen, civilians have no rank, retire late in their life and are not exposed to life threatening risks or disabilities," Brig Dharm Prakash said.

    "Our demand is that pension should be at par to that of rank and duty, it shouldn't be different because the retirement dates were different. It's sad that veterans who gave the best of their years in defending the borders and fighting terrorists are forced to fight for their physical survival after retirement on insufficient and irrational pension.," the Brigadier added.

    A happy Army Day to all defence veterans and families as well to those still in uniform.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Conscription for civil officers and politicians should be made mandatory

    Express News Service: Chandigarh

    The Indian Army is the best in the world. The performance of its men is unparalleled as they have shown valour during the two World Wars, post-Independence battles and during natural calamities. They have fought, lived and worked in a true spirit of the armed forces keeping intact the nation’s integrity and unity. Our army is truly secular, having its men from different religions but performing their duties with unflinching loyalty.

    The Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations are highly damaging and have demoralised the defence fraternity. The Centre should restore their dignity and status and look after their interests properly. When confronted with a similar situation, Second World War veteran Gen Omar Bradley of the US Army aptly said: “Inferior inducements bring second rate men. Second rate men bring second security. In war, there is no prize for a runner up.”

    Our politicians and civil officials sitting and working in air-conditioned rooms are unable to visualise the service conditions of the armed forces. A quick flying visit by a minister or a civil official for an hour or so to difficult terrains like Siachin does not give the true picture of the terribly inhospitable conditions.

    Troops face acute loneliness, difficulty in breathing, cases of pulmonary edema and snow blindness, not to forget that there are no fresh vegetables and greens, delayed mail and emotional vacuum. It is not easy to serve in the Army. Almost two-thirds of the soldier’s service life is spent in non-family field areas.

    The element of risk and danger is perpetual in most of their operational deployment scenarios. The work schedule is round the clock for days on end. When one unit gets a peace tenure, it is usually in a remote station, which offers no job for spouses and where educational facilities are primitive. A few lucky ones get posted in metros and have to wait for nearly 12 to 18 months before being allotted the entitled accommodation.

    Lack of monetary benefits, difficult service conditions, separation from family, attitude of civil officials towards the armed forces are the main factors, which force young men not to join the forces.

    They go for lucrative jobs in private sectors with more pay and perks, less risk to life, hardly any separation and cosy family life.

    As a result, there is a shortage of 14,264 officers in the armed forces.

    In the Army alone, 11,238 officers slots are vacant, while the Air Force is short of 1,565 officers and Navy needs 1,461 more officers. Not only this, a large number of officers have applied for pre-retirement.

    It is high time that pay, perks, status and service conditions were improved to make the armed forces attractive and worthy of service with dignity and honour.

    Three to five years service should be mandatory for all IAS, IPS and other Class I government officers.

    It will enable then to understand the problems of the armed forces and develop respect for those who serve the nation and defend its borders.

    One to two years attachment with the armed forces for politicians and their wards should be made compulsory to have first-hand knowledge of the armed forces. It is how we can have better armed forces to serve the country.
    ‘Conscription for civil officers and politicians should be made mandatory’

    Time -scale Colonels to get more pay

    Vijay Mohan
    Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 14

    While Lieutenant Colonels may have to wait a bit for enhanced pay scales, there is good news for officers promoted to the rank of Colonel on a time-scale basis. They would now get the same remuneration as selection grade Colonels in Pay Band - 4.

    Orders issued on the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission were silent in regard to time scale colonels and consequently they were drawing lower emoluments than selection grade officers of the same rank.

    Sources said they were now expected to get their revised salaries from next month and would also be entitled to consequential arrears from January 1, 2006. The orders granting them equivalent remuneration were issued a few weeks ago. Time-scale Colonels would now also get a grade pay of Rs 8,700 per month.

    Meanwhile, the upgradation of Lieutenant Colonels to Pay Band 4, though agreed upon by the government, is expected to take a few more months to finally come through.

    The Sixth Pay Commission had placed Lieutenant Colonels in Pay Band - 3 (Rs 15,600-39,100), but moved their civilian counterparts into Pay Band - 4 (Rs 37,400-67,000).

    Sources said that another pay commission related glitch addressed recently is payment of dearness allowance (DA) on military service pay (MSP) to Army officers. Interestingly, DA on MSP was being paid to Air Force and Navy officers, but for some reason being denied to Army officers.

    The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts had referred the matter to the law ministry, which clarified a few days ago that DA was admissible on MSP. All armed forces officers are entitled MSP of Rs 6,000 per month.

    There are also reports that the rates of DA may be enhanced for government employees in the near future.
    Time-scale Colonels to get more pay

    Indian Army commemorates 61st foundation day

    New Delhi: The Indian Army commemorated its 61st Foundation Day Thursday by paying homage to martyred soldiers.

    Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Fali Homi Major paid floral tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate here.

    Army Day is celebrated on Jan 15 every year to commemorate the appointment in 1949 of General K.M. Cariappa as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army - the first Indian officer to hold the post.

    On the occasion, the army chief took the salute at a parade held at the Delhi Cantonment. He also presented Sena Medals for gallantry and unit citations.

    Addressing the gathering, General Kapoor said: "The country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, has been facing challenges from elements who want to destroy peace in India and we are working to tackle it."

    The Army Day parade showcased technological prowess and achievements of the Indian Army. Several serving and retired defence officers were present on the occasion.

    Source: Indo-Asian News Service
    Indian Army commemorates 61st foundation day

    Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor has commended the services of 392 personnel, while Lt Gen N Thamburaj Army's Vice Chief has commended the services of 176 personnel. These awards of Commendation Cards have been announced on the eve of the Army Day.
    Army Personnel Commended by Army's Chief and Vice Chief

    IESM personnel plan two day dharna at CBD- Navi Mumbai

    Railway Station: The Railway Station is spread over 93,000 sq.m. The deck level of the Belapur Station Complex has a well integrated plaza with shops, departmental stores, showrooms, Communication centers, travel agencies, book stalls, restaurants and banks and is the largest amongst prestigious commercial complexes of Navi Mumbai. The International Standard Complex is equipped with constant water and electric supply with efficient drainage facilities. The adjoining areas of the railway station, comprise of a well planned business district, supermarkets, parks and gardens.

    The demand for OROP for retired servicemen across the country will be taken up in the city as well. Ex- Army personnel from Navi Mumbai will sit on two-day dhrana at Belapur Railway Station on Jan 15 and 16 from 10 to 5 pm. Currently a relay hunger strike is being held by members of IESM at Nw Delhi in a bid to remind the govenment to implement the OROP at the earliest. The decision to hold the dharna in the city is a means to show solidarity towards fraternity's efforts in bringing about a change in the pensoning system of ex-servicemen.
    "Our demand is that pension should be at par to that of rank and duty, it shouldn't be different because the retirement dates were different. It's sad that vererans who gave the best of their years in defending the borders and fighting terrorists are forced to fight for their physical survival after retirement on insufficient and irrational pension.," the Brigadier added.
    EX-ARMY personnel plan two day dharna at CBD, Mumbai

    Where has Satyam Funds Migrated? Maytas inflating the real estate balloon!

    Inflatable Balloon

    Maytas and Inflatable Condom Synonymous?

    Maytas, which is promoted by India's fourth largest IT consultant and software exporter Satyam Computer Services, will invest Rs 2500 crore in the SEZ project. The funds for the project will be raised through a mix of debt and equity.

    It is not clear how a company which has been tainted for misdemeanor is going to function by infusing money. It seems the major part of the money will be in the form of salary to some of the highest paid guys who were party to the scam. We are made to understand that the scam is only at the top and rest in the hierarchy are not aware. It is also known that many of the clients in US and other parts of the world are canceling the order on Satyam, so what is the job these so called experts in Satyam are going to do?

    Before the government commits itself to the public money it should make sure about the operating methodology of such companies where most of the works is carried out in virtual world. It requires smart operators (not the Police) to ferret out information or otherwise the money will vanish through the route created by Ramalinga Raju- (Maytas the Real Estate Inflated balloon- the thin rubber enveloped by air of bureaucrats vanishing into thin air- no proof no evidence!)
    Can bailout package help Satyam
    Satyam in the News: 87 Pictures smoke- screening the money launderers

    Maytas companies have been given contracts worth over Rs 30,000 crore by the Andhra Pradesh state government and have accumulated a huge amount of land. “One example is the Rs 12,220 crore Hyderabad Metro Project. It has now come to light that the managing director of DMRC had written to the deputy chairman, Planning Commission in September 2008, protesting against the PPP model adopted in the case of Hyderabad Metro, where 296 acres of prime land has been made available to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) operator for commercial exploitation,” the CPM said.
    CPM demands probe into land allotment to Maytas

    IESM: Fast for Justice at Jantar Mantar- Twenty Ninth Day

    Date: Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, 10:45 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Manch front continues under charge of team from Punjab. Navy is sailing full steam. We welcome Commodore Thakur (Secy Navy Foundation) and Cdr Tushar Dutt as new IESM members. More are hopefully to follow. Lt Gen Sher Amir Singh from MHOW has been in telephone contact with me. Extracts of his latest email are given below: Quote

    I have been following the events and dedication with which you and your team are conducting the activities of the IESM. It has deeply moved me and others in Mhow. A number of us are going to became members of the ESM and will also be individually sending their contribution for this great cause that you all have taken up. Own my part I will be sending my contribution of Rs 2,100 to you by cheque by post ,as there is no HDFC bank branch in Mhow.

    I am very happy to note that the movement has gathered momentum and the response from ESM is increasing by the day. This is the only way out with present insensitive setup both at political and bureaucratic levels. Even the media has shown itself in its true colours; no one wants to risk its' neck for the cause of those who have given their lives and precious years to the country. May better sense prevail on them. Unquote

    Thank you, sir, for your words of encouragement and your support to the ongoing efforts.

    Subscriptions/ Contributions
    We are sorry we are lagging behind in sending receipts/acks to those who have sent their subscriptions and contributions. We have not hired any accounting staff and are doing everything ourselves. Gens Satbir and Renjen are both at it. Each member will get his ack. I beseech your patience at the delay.

    MOD Meeting
    The scheduled meeeting with Secretary Ex Servicemen Welfare Department and his staff took place on 14 Jan 2009. Gens Satbir, Parvesh Renjen and self attended from IESM. There was Maj TC Rao (Chairman, AICC Ex Servicemen Haryana Cell) and two other Colonels. The relevant points that emerged are given ensuingly:
    • The govt is concerned that respectable people like the ESM have had to go on hunger strike.
    • The principle of OROP (pension equality based on length of service and rank) was reiterated and was endorsed by all ESM present. The Secy said that he is now clear on what it is.
    • We declined to give any figure on financial outlay, as we do not have access to data. Mrs Pannu (FADS) however mentioned that Finances are not an issue. This was a departure from the common perception and we thanked her for the clarification.
    • On being asked whether in the history OROP was ever in existence, we expressed ignorance of history and clearly stated that even if it never existed, it must do so now. We drew attention to Madan Lal Khurana Committee, which had clearly stated that if there was no precenedent for OROP, it (precedent) must be created.
    • We conveyed that the ESM were edgy and angry. The IESM as the unbrella has been exercising control but we do not know how long we can do it.
    • It was conveyed that the ongoing protest might also affect the serving though we do not wish it so.
    • On being repeatedly asked for the govt response that we could carry back to Jantar Mantar, the Secy merely said the govt is considering the issue. We then stated that this was no assurance and the ongoing fast would continue.
    • The 11 Dec 2008 pension letter came up in discussion. After the usual efforts to defend it, they agreed to amend the instructions.

    Positive step
    As a first meeting, it was a positive step. The Secretary’s claim that the meeting was only at his own behest and not on directions of political leadership carried little conviction. We believe more meetings would follow.

    Clarification/ present status
    Some members have asked progress about Lt Cols being put in PB 4. The govt orders have been received in writing, including a suggestion that Lt Cols not be sent on deputation hereafter. The Army HQ have on 14 Jan 2009 reverted to govt and raised, inter alia, following observations:
  • Non-deputation of Lt Cols is unacceptable.
  • The Grade pay of LT Cols is raised from 8,000 to 8700 to maintain their status.
  • The non-combat posts need clarification as every officer is ever ready for combat.

    The issue is likely to take time and there may not be a gift on 26 Jan 2009 as Col Janakiraman Reddy and others are hoping.

    Next Major Rally
    After consultation with some others, it has been decided to have the next Rally on Sunday, 8 Feb 2009 instead of 10 Feb 2009. We must put in our best in all corners of the country. Thousands must line the streets and show our strength in a peaceful manner.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Making National Investigating Agency Work

    On January 1, the National Investigation Agency Act as well as the Unlawful Acrtivities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill became law. Ironically, on the same day, seven years after it was set up for coordinating intelligence intelligence sharing, the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) also became functional through an executive order. It has the charter of transferring intelligence received by central agency automatically to the State Police and visa versa.
    Full article click: Making NIA Work

    Bureaucrats attempt to Muzzle Media draws a flak

    Photo Credit
    India needs Free Press/ News Channel for enlightening its citizens

    New Delhi, January 13: News channel editors Tuesday unanimously sought a withdrawal of the government's proposal to restrain the media from the coverage of incidents like the Mumbai terror strikes, and told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the decision would be against the principles of free media.

    A meeting was held here by the editors to discuss the government's proposed move to amend the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act and form a Media Consultative Committee which would oversee and regulate the release of footage of emergency situations to all the channels.

    All major media bodies, including the Editors Guild of India, came together to oppose the government's move and sought an appointment with the Prime Minister, who also holds charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
    News channel editors resent Centre's move to muzzle media: Press Trust of India

    Indian Military: Wasteful Effort

    Defence Estate Department has a very large inventory of land having no use for the military. Military possesses huge land and related infrastructure unwanted or most sparingly used - that cost a great deal in terms of manpower and expenditure to maintain. Airfields uneconomical are owned and maintained by the Air Force. The military possesses large useless inventory that has been criticised by CAG. Weapon systems beyond useful life are maintained at extraordinary effort and cost since they are not replaced in time. We operate at least four different aircraft and use five different engines that had become obsolete and do not fly anywhere else in the world! Upgradation of the Air Force fleet comes at the near end of the life of a weapon system when there is no replacement in sight - to give it a fresh life. This is a bad strategy. The West talks about mid-life upgrades and never an upgrade at the end of life! Our MIG-21 upgrade, the BISON project has still not been completed. It is now a race to complete the upgrade before the technical life gets over! There is plenty of scope to improve interoperability between the three services. Many systems used by the three services have many commonalities. Currently, the logistics systems followed by the services are not linked. A spare which one service needs may be in surplus with another but there is no way to know it. Facilities are duplicated or even triplicated without being aware. Besides improving efficiency, costs and manning could be significantly reduced through integration among the Services.

    Air Chief Marshal (Retd) S Krishnaswamy, PVSM, AVSM, VM & Bar,
    Fellow Ae Sl is Member, National Security Advisory Board.
    (Vol 22.2 September 16th, 2007.)
    Extracted: IDR: Shaping of the Indian Military

    Comment: Well articulated about the Defence Estate Department. This is one arm next only to MES in the scale and scope of corruption in the Armed Forces. Literally a Mafia (no guns of course) organisation dealing with politicians, local thugs, money laundering and palming off defence lands stealthily in connivance with MOD bureaucrats. Huge unwanted lands of the Military need to be assessed on ground and properly accounted for and utilised for Nation Building and not given away to real estate sharks for a song.

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar, twenty eighth day

    Date: Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, 10:08 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The Punjab ESM continue the relay fast at Jantar Mantar. The Karnataka contingent arrives on 16 Jan 2009. The Gujarat party has sent intimation that they will arrive to take their turn on 30 Jan 2009. The flanks are extending. In the East we have already reached Varanasi.

    We are happy to extend a very hearty welcome to Vice Admiral Harinder Singh and Rear Admiral KR Srinivasan as our new members. Considering that Harinder is also the President of Navy Foudation, it is a very significant milestone in the history of IESM. The Movement’s umbrella is getting bigger by the day.

    10 February 2009 has been chosen as the day for holding rallies throughout India. The modalities for Delhi are getting shaped. Other cities/towns may please plan their own rally. The participants must be in large numbers. And of course whatever we do will be within the law and our ingrained discipline.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally twenty seventh day

    Date: Monday, 12 January, 2009, 10:30 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Punjab continues to hold the battlefront. Visitors continue in stream. The Core Gp met this evening. It has been decided that unless our demand of OROP is met before that date, we will hold a large (largest so far) during second week of Feb 2008 when the Parliament session is on. Till that time the relay fast at Jantar Mantar will continue.

    I will implore all IESM branches in India to hold a similar rally in Feb coinciding with the Delhi Rally. In the interim, every effort should be made to build up the tempo for the big rally. Interaction with the media, educating/ informing the public and political leaders should form part of it. An information leaflet will be prepared centrally and will be mailed shortly. This, duly translated in local language can be used as an informational tool. We must go all out in our efforts.

    You may be aware, I had written a letter to the RM on 20 Dec 2008. Reproduced: Quote

    Dear Hon’ble Minister,
    You are aware that the Ex Servicemen are on a relay fast at Jantar Mantar since 16 Dec 2008 against non-acceptance of our demand for one-rank-one-pension. Eleven Ex-Servicemen led by an officer have been observing the fast on a 24-hour shift. However, one of our senior veterans, Sepoy Sulaiman Khan, who is 68 years old, has voluntarily converted his protest into ‘fast unto death’ since 0900 hours on 17 Dec 2008. There are others who are insisting on following his example; we have so far succeeded in restraining them. Even though you already know of the above development, as Chairman of the Ex Servicemen Movement I consider it my moral duty to officially apprise you of this. Unquote

    In reply to the above letter, the MOD has called Gen Satbir and self on 14 Jan 2009 in the office of Secretary (EWS), to discuss the demand of 'One Rank One Pension'. Both of us have received identical letters from the MOD. Will keep the ESM community updated.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Dear All,
    It is indeed a "D" Letter day for us at the IESM that after the 2 Former Chief's viz Admiral Arun Prakash and General Ved Malik we are now joined by Vice Admiral Harinder Singh(Retd) the present President of Navy Foundation Delhi Charter and the former C-In C Andaman and Nicobar (CINCAN) and also the ex DCNS at NHQ.

    With his joining the IESM we are sure that now the retd Naval brethren would be joining the cause in large numbers. Already a good number of my Navy Seniors are enquiring the same like Adm Hitendra Singh / Cmde Anil Dhir / Cmde Satish / Cmde R Seth / Capt Deepak Sikand / Cdr Jamwal / Cdr Awasthi / Cdr V Chawla / Cdr K Raghav etc and would be joining the IESM in the next few days.

    This news has pumped in fresh Oxygen to the ESM Punjab team at the Jantar Mantar holding the fort in these cold days. Please pass this on this message to all your friends in service and Civilian friends.

    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Core Group IESM

    IESM: Need for Dissemination

    1. IES Movement is undoubtedly laudable as it is centric on issues of all ex service (ES) personnel as much as it has been perceived by the leading group burning with passion and zeal to get the justice to the community now getting humiliated and agitated yet remaining within the bounds of self taught discipline and dignity. However, the day these self proclaimed and defined limits are over-stepped and exceeded, an uncontrollable situation can develop from where there will be no going back. This is what I have assessed after interacting with only a few veterans on relay hunger strike. Their passion was strikingly clear and visible. It is undoubtedly an admirable asset for the IESM.

    2. For a movement to survive and achieve its objectives, dissemination of the information to all concerned is absolutely essential. There can be no two ways about it. What I see as of now is that there is effort on dissemination but it appears to be limited to within its members and e-net-work but this needs to be enlarged to be clearly visible to the public. While our approach to the Govt is admirable and has been going on for many years ,and many times even through the political high-fi, but the net result has been denial ultimately. We have not created public awareness so far to our advantage. This appears to be the missing link. As on today, general public feels that the defence forces are well looked after and the men have got good raise in pay.

    3. We have failed in creating the correct perspective in the minds of the public, the indian citizens, as far as the mission and objectives of the IESM are concerned. We have to get hold of the Media for dissemination of the information. This propaganda has to be vigorous and aggressive. Every indian must know what we, the ES and the men in uniform, are suffering from and why our legitimate demands are being denied by the Govt. Ideally we should have our own News Paper which could take the cause of the Defence Forces and the IES, boldly. But this may not be possible at this stage and therefore, the need to patronize a news paper which could devote a portion of its page to our cause on daily basis as long as the agitation continues; this is the bare minimum requirement.

    4. Without funds no movement can progress and hence liberal contributions are required from the members, the fraternity of ES and the to be ES. Our appeals to them should continue on daily basis. The daily collections on account of donations and the members enrolled be put on the net (blog) for every member to know and encourage others to follow. All our efforts should be united and emerge from one single platform and hence all the respected senior ES including the Ex Chiefs should formally join the movement as already propagated through "Report My Signal Blog".

    Gp Capt (Retd)

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Do we have a Doomsday survival Plan in the event of a Nuclear attack?

    A highly important consequence of the tremendous power of the nuclear explosions was the formation of enormous numbers of flying missiles consisting of bricks (and other masonry), glass, pieces of wood and metal, etc. These caused considerable amounts of secondary damage to structures and utilities, and numerous casualties even in the lightly damaged areas. In addition, the large quantities of debris resulted in the blockage of streets, thus making rescue and fire-fighting operations extremely difficult.

    The Doomsday Blueprints elaborated a comprehensive national survival plan developed by the US President, the National Security Agency and various crisis agencies, most recently the Federal Emergency Management Agency and that encompassed every federal agency and department. The Blueprints were elaborated in a series of regulations – running into several hundred pages-called the Code of Emergency Federal Regulations. Action plans based on them were held by all agencies and duplicates were kept at each relocation site. The plans relied on redundancy. If one location was vaporized, others would take up the slack. Officials were divided into three squads – Alpha, Bravo and Charlie – and one team would remain at headquarters while the other two redeployed at other sites.

    In pursuit of its plans, the United States government issued nearly 55 million wallet-sized instruction cards on what to do during an attack. Senior government officials were given a special emergency phone number to call in the event on an attack which bypassed the commercial phone networks and connected directly to crisis operators. Users had a secret codeword – "FLASH" – that indicated to the operators that the call was "essential to national survival." Kept with the President at all times were the Presidential Emergency Action Documents and "Plan D" – a summary of the new dictator’s options for responding to the surprise attack – without a Congressional declaration of war, of course.
    Read More: The Feds of united States Plan To Save Themselves During a Nuclear War

    Has Pakistan Outwitted India?

    An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battles between Indian troops and militants inside the hotel. David Guttenfelder/ AP

    Despite its outrage over November's Mumbai terrorist attacks, which originated in Pakistan, India has been restrained in its response. Fears that the fallout from the massacre could spark a military confrontation between the hostile, nuclear-armed neighbors proved unfounded, and even India's diplomatic efforts to shame Pakistan and pressure the nation to act against militants operating from its soil have been viewed in India as timid and incoherent. Six weeks after the attacks, the issue has been bumped off the global diplomatic agenda by the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation in Gaza, and India's options are shrinking. In the eyes of many in India who take a dim view of Islamabad's handling of cross-border terrorism, the game is going in Pakistan's favor.

    Many Indians had hoped the Mumbai attacks would provide a tipping point in India's — and the West's — tolerance for Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. But until now, even India's modest demands — that suspects be extradited to India and terrorist infrastructure on Pakistani soil be dismantled — might go unmet, despite the Pakistani authorities' moves to close down some groups in response to a U.N. Security Council ruling. "Terrorist infrastructure will remain, there will be more attacks, history will keep repeating itself," says Chellaney. "Soon we will return to the familiar cycle."
    Has Pakistan Outwitted India?

    SCPC: Have government funds dried up for Ex- Servicemen getting their legitimate pension?

    Dear Friends,
    In an idle reverie, I drew up a table, comparing the pay scales granted by the Pay Commission in March last year with the figures finally sanctioned. It makes interesting reading. The salaries of Lt, Army Cdrs and the Chiefs have remained unaltered. All else has improved significantly. The revised figures are given against the Pay Panel amounts, since the pay scale of Lt Col is under revision, I have assumed that they will be granted the pay admitted to the civilians in the S-25 scale, which starts at 15,100 and that is also the start point for Lt Col. It will be noticed that the improvement in respect of Lt Col to Lt Gen is quite significant. So those of us who averred that the Pay Panel report in its existing form was skewed and dared the Government to implement it in that form have been proved right. Our assertion stands vindicated.

    Now, it is also evident that the pensions of the post 2006 retirees will improve in the same proportion. Hence the only section of people for whom the government funds have dried up are the hapless past pensioners. The fight which is on is fully justified and must be carried on to its logical conclusion. Our serving brethren who are not taking our protest seriously are like the children in the Bollywood movie "Baghbaan" They have become a partner in this process of throwing crumbs at their mentors.

    Regards and best wishes,
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    The movie is about the concept of a Baghban, a gardener, who plants a tree for the future and nurtures it so that it will give him re-assurance in later life. Same is the case with Raj (Amitabh Bachchan) who lives with his wife (Hema Malini) and their 4 children. Raj has a good life when working, investing heavily into the future of his children and giving them the best, with the expectation that they will take care of him later. In this, he disregards any need for savings, and instead invests even his pension and gratuity. He also takes care of an orphan, Salman Khan, showering him with love as well (and this is where the true of fruits coming later in life show themselves).

    IESM: Letter from Chairman to Youngest Leader Rahul Gandhi

    Photo: Tribune

    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Chairman
    11 January 2009

    Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi,
    I write this on behalf of the Ex Servicemen of India. We have had some welfare related problems, mainly the ‘one rank one pension’ that have not been adequately addressed by the Government. Our repeated efforts to get a just and fair deal have not borne fruit. Frustrated at being stone-walled, the Ex Servicemen have been compelled to state their case in public forums. It is an unprecedented step forced on the disciplined community of over two million military pensioners. One fears that the problem of ‘one rank one pension’, if not addressed urgently, might have an adverse effect on the serving soldiers, who are all future pensioners. This would be an unfortunate development keeping in view the criticality of the role that the defence forces play in the security and integrity of the country.

    The millions in India see you as the future leader. I, along with some of my colleagues would like to meet you and explain our problem to you in person. I shall be grateful if you could give us time as convenient to you.

    With best regards,
    Your sincerely,
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

    To: Mr Rahul Gandhi, MP, AICC Headquarters, 24 Akbar Road, New Delhi

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally twenty sixth day

    Date: Sunday, 11 January, 2009, 10:09 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The battlefront remains under the charge of the Punjab ESM, who are there in good number. The visitors continue to come and give them encouragement. The IESM is grateful to Brig PC Uppal for his contribution of Rs 2,000.00 to the Movement.

    The GOI letter of 11 Dec 2008 on pensions gives less pension to Maj Generals and Lt Generals than Colonels. In this connection a letter to RM, that is being despatched on 12 Jan 2009, is attached below for information.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Copy of LETTER TO RM
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    IESM/OROP/RM/2009 dated 11 January 2009

    Dear Hon’ble Raksha Mantri,
    I write to you regarding the provision of pension for pre-1.1.2006 armed forces personnel/family pensioners. In this connection, a copy of letter No. 17(4)/2008(1)/D(Pen/Policy) dated 11 December 2008 issued by the Ministry of Defence is attached.

    In the Table-1 attached with the ibid letter, in the lower most column opposite qualifying service ‘30 years & above’ the pension for Colonels, Maj Generals and Lt Generals is indicated as under:
  • Colonel (S) and Colonel (TS)- Rs 26,050
  • Maj General- Rs 23,477
  • Lt General- Rs 24,700

    It is unambiguously tabulated that a Colonel gets higher pension than a Maj General and a Lt General. The Table is foot noted and Note 1 says, “In case the pension of a senior rank happens to be less than the revised pension of a lower rank, which may happen in rare cases, such cases may be referred to the Pension Sanctioning Authorities concerned.”

    We are greatly intrigued and are at a loss to conclude which of the following is correct:
    1. A letter initiated by the Government of India has a calculation oversight.
    2. The letter has a typo, which went unnoticed by all the levels of checking as well as by the signatory.
    3. The GOI is unaware that without exception all Maj Generals and all Lt Generals are senior to all Colonels.
    4. The insertion in the Note is deliberate. If this is indeed the case, then the possible motive could be:
  • To ensure that the Generals go cringing to the ‘Pension Sanctioning Authorities concerned’. The latter then equate the Generals’ pension to that of the Colonels and the Generals come away feeling a great favour has been done to them.
  • Alternatively, gather documentary evidence (the Pension Sanctioning Authorities when contacted in some cases have asked for a written request) to the effect that all that the Generals were demanding was an equation with the Colonels and, that done, convey the inference that the veterans are happy with the new pension order.

    Whatever the interpretation, the letter is not addressed to individual pensioners and there is no way for them to know whether they are getting their correct entitlement. They will simply go by what the bank gives, which would be incorrect. Keeping in mind the sensibilities of the senior veterans, and to remove even the slightest possiblity of someone attributing unscupulous motives to the issuing office, may I request that the above letter is cancelled and a revised and appropriate letter issued.

    With best regards,
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

    Shri AK Antony,
    Hon’ble Minister of Defence
    104, South Block
    New Delhi – 110 011
    Copy to:
    Shri SM Acharya, IAS
    Secretary Department of Ex Servicemen Welfare
    Ministry of Defence
    198-B, South Block
    New Delhi – 110 011
  • SCPC: New deal for Lt Cols

    Photo Bharat Rakshak
    Combat Ready
    New Delhi, January 9
    In less than 10 days after the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) conveyed its decision to the Ministry of Defence on the pay-related anomalies of the armed forces, the latter have found a way out to get enhanced status for all Lt Colonels and their equivalent ranks in the Navy and the IAF. To the PMO’s condition that only Lt Colonels, who are on “combat” or “ready-for-combat posts” will be given the enhanced status of pay band 4 and grade scale of Rs 8,000, the forces have conveyed to the Defence Minister that all the 12,000 officers in this rank fall in the category of combat or ready- for-combat. A formal written communiqué is being drafted in this regard. Service chiefs conveyed the logic of treating all posts as combat or ready for combat as the nomenclature of such posts does not exist in the glossary of the forces, as they have only three kinds of posting — field, modified field and peacetime. This had created apprehension in the minds of the officers.

    Ajay Banerjee
    Tribune News Service
    All officers fall under combat or ready-for-combat category, MoD told

    IESM: Letters to Chairman

    06 Jan 2009
    Dear General,
    1. Recently I learnt of the commendable work being done by you all, the founding fathers of IESM. I have also become aware of the tremendous collective effort being put in by the fraternity at Delhi to push interests of serving & retired servicemen, especially OROP. Please accept my personal compliments & sincerest gratitude for all the planning, effort & time spent by the Core Team.

    2. I wish to assure you all that you have our best wishes and support in every manner. I will make an effort to spread the word about the new organisation & its objectives among retired servicemen here, especially from the AF.

    3. I am completing all the formalities to be life member.

    With warm regards,
    AVM HPS Sidhu, AVSM VSM (Retd)

    Dear friends,
    A few months ago I had pointed out that every mighty river starts as a tiny spring. I had also given the example of Ganga. It starts its journey from a tiny spring called Gangotri, where it is but a tiny stream. By the time it reaches the sea at Ganga Sagar, it is a few miles wide. Such is its might and sheer volume that for many miles into the sea, the water is fresh and potable.

    Thanks to our worthy leaders and their selfless untiring and focussed efforts, this Ganga seems to be fast reaching Haridwar. Number of members and their physical and monetary contribution is swelling up day by day. The real journey starts now.

    Please keep up the good work. I thank you and all those who are putting in so much hard work. Do please convey my best wishes to them all.

    Kind regards and best wishes,
    K K Punchhi
    (Cdr KK Punchhi, 7 JSW/ B Sqn, Naval Aviation, settled in Canada)

    Soft power that Indian armed forces lack

    Photo credit Samachar
    Samaritans in Assam

    Failure can be simply attributed to the obsolescent organisational culture and misplaced value system of the Indian armed forces. The defence services in India are in a time warp — colonial, feudal and fit for the society of an industrial era. The civil society has changed dramatically in last two decades towards an information age but the services have done nothing to change with the society. The disconnect between the services and the society grows wider with each passing day. In an era of transparency, the opacity of the organisational policies of the services creates embarrassing situations like the one recently created with the RTI on AWWA. The lack of an electronic copy of numerous journals produced the institutions of the three services on the world wide web is reflective of the outdated policies that the services and its top brass espouse.
    Read Full Article: Soft power that Indian armed forces lack

    Comment: The Armed forces need to be harbingers of change. It needs to sieze and overpower the Red Tape Bureaucracy, combat corruption and be in the forefront of Nation Building; other than its Primary Goal "Security of Nation". Each and every Armed Forces personal from a foot soldier to the chief need to be a proactive citizen while going about their daily routine.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Tsunami Andaman 26 Dec 2004: Missing Child of Sgt Ravishankar-IAF

    Apurva on the right
    Dear Sir,
    A copy of an earlier email- Spoke to the Sgt who is still looking for his child. He needs organisational support- can any one help to connect him to the service HQ(IAF-AOP/AOA)?
    Brigadier PT Gangadharan (Guards)

    Hi Friends,
    I have a very noble cause behind sending this mail to all of you. Please spare some time to read through it. I met a guy named Mr Ravi Shankar on the train when I was returning from Chennai on 26th of December, 2008. I was having a regular chat with him regarding the Army and its rules and regulations and how the forces are admired in our country. He then told me about a shocking tragedy that his family went through and hence I write this mail to seek your help.

    He told me that he was posted in CAR-NICOBAR in the year 2004 as a sergeant in the INDIAN AIR-FORCE. On 26th of December that year his family fell victim to the unfortunate Tsunami that struck out on eastern coast. He along with his wife and two children (photo below) were washed in the deadly waters. Reaching out his wife managed to cling onto a tree but his small son (picture inset on the left) had swallowed too much water and passed away in her arms. Ravi also in desperation to swim lost grip of his daughter's (APURVA) hand. She was washed away and was never to be found again, until one day they came to know of her being sighted at a relief camp. On contacting the authorities they came to know that this little girl was abducted from the relief camp and was missing again. Since then Mr Ravi Shankar has been traveling to Chennai every year with a hope to see his daughter. He has been publishing MISSING columns in major daily's in chennai, and he showed me how heavily these newspapers had charged him for a those ad's. One of the major newspapers charged him a whooping amount of 12000 rupees for a 4 X 4 cm ad (that too on the fourth page). Please don't consider this mail a regular chain mail and do care to forward this to your near and dear ones. He requested me to do something to reach out to people who use e-media (internet etc). I myself have posted her picture on my blog and I request people who own there personal blog pages to post this girl's picture there as it could be of significant help. In case any news of any nature is found regarding her (APURVA) please drop in a mail to:
    Brigadier PTGangadharan (Guards)

    Mumbai Mayhem: Pakistan's Nuclear Option



    Two nuclear-armed foes adhering to a no-first-use policy are unlikely to have a nuclear exchange. Pakistan is simply incapable of quantitatively matching Indian demographics and conventional military forces (challenges only compounded by Islamabad's qualitative and technological disadvantages in relation to India). Nuclear weapons are Pakistan's ace in the hole. Consequently, Islamabad maintains an overt first-use policy.

    India and Pakistan assessment of the escalation
  • Distance: Islamabad and New Delhi are less than 800 Kms apart. Dense populations, saddle both sides of the border, and the Pakistani demographic, agricultural and industrial heartland lies directly across a border from India - with no real geographic barriers to invasion. This increases the likelihood of conventional warfare and, therefore, the potential for escalation toward the nuclear realm.
  • Global scale: Pakistan and India, the historical alternatives to a massive confrontation along the Punjab border have been fighting in the mountains and on the glaciers of Kashmir, blockades of Pakistani ports, and the use of militant proxies. With military competition so close to home, the use of ballistic missiles and strike aircraft in conventional roles inevitably raises the spectre of their use in the nuclear role - and when the stakes are that high, one does not have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for clarification of intent once a missile makes impact. With any launch, one must assume the worst.
  • Mutually assured destruction: Though Pakistan's small, crude and low-yield arsenal could indeed be devastating, it does not threaten India with total destruction. With its own delivery systems capable of reaching every corner of Pakistan, New Delhi enjoys immense strategic depth that Islamabad cannot match with any current systems. India's arsenal is more mature and more robust than Pakistan's. Thus, Islamabad's first-use policy is actually defensive in nature; it is a deterrent against Indian aggression that, in the end, Pakistan knows it could not defeat.

    The question, now that Pakistan appears to have drawn a very clear line in the sand, is how India will respond. How will the world community move to de-escalate a crisis that no one-not India, not Pakistan, nor anyone else-is interested in seeing deteriorate into a nuclear exchange (however unlikely this remains in practice)?
    Pakistan's Nuclear Option
    Related Topics
    India: Military
    Pakistan: Military
    The exact number of nuclear weapons in each country's possession is a closely held national secret. Despite this limitation, publicly available information and occasional leaks make it possible to make best estimates about the size and composition of the national nuclear weapon stockpiles.
    Status of World Nuclear Forces 2008
  • IESM: Fast for Justice Rally twenty fifth day

    Jatha from Punjab. Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, Chairman IESM, can be seen in the middle front row, with side cap on.

    Date: Saturday, 10 January, 2009, 8:35 PM

    Dear Colleagues,
    Our ESM from Punjab are in Delhi in large strength and are in command of the fasting venue. A photo taken Jan 10 is as above. We are happy that on 11 Jan 2009 an informal group of retired IAF engineer officers of DEO-20 (Directly Entry) are visiting the battlefront. Their expression of solidarity is a very welcome step and on behalf on the IESM, I extend a hearty welcome to them. Addition of members to IESM continues apace. Deep gratitude to them all.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM)
    An All India Federation of Military Veterans’ Organisations

    1. The Indian Ex Servicemen Movement(IESM) is an All India Federation of Ex Servicemens’ Organisations of retired personnel of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. Through a resolution passed on 13 Aug 08 at NODIA, the Ex Servicemen of India resolved to come under one umbrella in a unified federal structure at National, State and district levels in order to :-
  • Bring all Ex Servicemen of India of all the three services under one umbrella through spirit of camaraderie and fraternity to make them a strong and influential segment of the country.
  • Play a constructive role in nation building activities.
  • Promote intellectual and knowledge based growth of ESM fraternity.
  • Actively promote and support welfare and interest of ESM to ensure that they get a just and fair place in the country.
  • Provide a unified voice to all ESM of India on issues of national interest.
  • Act as a forum of discussions of problems and vital needs of ESM which may arise from time to time.

    2. The Movement was registered at all India level on 15 Dec 2008. The registered office is at H.No. 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon (Haryana), Pin No 122017 India. The area of operation of the Movement is throughout the Union of of India and it will also support Ex Servicemen (ESM) settled abroad. The IESM will aim to bind the ESM fraternity together and use the talent and experience of the ESM towards nation building. In specific the aims and objectives will be, but not limited to as follows :-
  • To promote, support and organize suitable occupational opportunities for ESM.
  • To provide assistance to ESM and their widows in their resettlement.
  • To provide assistance to ESM in setting up own small scale ventures for livelihood.
  • To provide assistance to all ESM in matters concerning medical, pension, grants etc.
  • To organize social, cultural, educational and recreational events for the benefit of ESM and their wards.
  • To periodically hold conferences, meetings, seminars, lectures and visual shows on topics of interest to the ESM.
  • To pursue with the Centre and State governments for removal of any discriminatory rules and provisions adversely affecting the interests of ESM.
  • To pursue establishment of Just & Fair place of Defence services in the country i.e. functioning of Defence services in a democracy.
  • To undertake any other task considered appropriate by the Governing Body.

    3. The areas of Immediate Concern affecting the ESM are:-
  • Constitution of Ex Servicemen Commission at the National level to look after welfare measures of the ESM. The ESM commission should be headed by an ESM and to have members from the ESM including ESM Widows.
  • One Rank One Pension.
  • Guaranteed Re-settlement/ Re-employment of servicemen on retirement until the age of 60 years or in the alternative, suitable enhanced compensation till attainment of 60 years of age.
  • To remove all anomalies of the previous Pay Commissions and get due justice for the Defence Services.
  • To restore status, respect and self esteem which has been eroded in the past 60 years.
  • Revamping of ECHS Scheme so as to make it user friendly for all types of medical care, including super specialized care thereby improving the health care of ESM.
  • Representation of the ESM on all committees and other such bodies constituted for the purpose of looking into matters affecting the interests of the ESM.
  • Single window service to be established in all Civil/Govt. offices to avoid difficulty and delay in resolution of ESM problems.
  • One ESM must be appointed as PET/NCC Instructor in all School & Colleges.
  • Once a year a free railway warrant of the class authorized to be given to every ESM and his/her spouse for life.
  • Taking up case for Defence Constituency like graduate constituency for the serving & retired Defence personnel to safeguard their interests in the Parliament & state legislatures. Till this is accepted demanding for nominated members.
  • Taking up with state governments for allotment of residential plots & industrial sheds for the ESM’s.
  • Taking up cases collectively for removal of injustice through legal means
  • Building up funds by voluntary contributions as prescribed to enable resources for building, office & legal aid.
  • To liaise with the services to help the PBOR’s in resettlement.

    4. Currently, the IESM has started functioning in over 20 states and is picking up strength and intensity each day. Former Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash and Former Chief of the Army Staff Gen VP Malik have joined the Movement. On 03 Jan 09, a group of senior officers of the rank of Lt Gen and equivalent, joined the Movement. It was a shot in the arm of the IESM on 07 Jan 09 when 1st JSW Course after celebrating their 60th Anniversary came to Jantar Mantar where IESM is carrying out All India Protest Relay Fast For Justice, not only joined the Movement but also blessed “God speed” and resolved to strengthen the Movement. Gen GS Sihota, Former Army Cdr from Chandigarh also joined the Movement.

    5. All veterans are invited to be part of IESM for proactive participation in the growth and welfare of its fraternity.

    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
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