Saturday, May 9, 2009

I feel cheated: Military Rank and Status Irrational and Arbitrary

Friday, 19 December , 2008, 12:49
My father Daroga Prasad Rai, who was Chief Minister of Bihar in 1970, motivated and encouraged me to join Sainik School Tilaiya with a view to make me join Armed Forces as an officer.

He always spoke of the Indian Armed Forces with the highest regard. At that time I was only about nine years old. At that impressionable age I became highly motivated.

I do not deny that I was thrilled by the prospect of joining the most noble profession, where one gets a chance to make the supreme sacrifice for his country.

Accordingly I competed and joined Sainik School Tilaiya. But I did not want to leave any stone unturned in my ambition to become an Army Officer. When I came to know about Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun (RIMC), which was considered to be the best, I competed and joined the RIMC in January 1973.

Even though my initial enthusiasm had not waned, by the time I reached 11th standard, with whatever understanding I had, I started enquiring about a career in the Armed Forces.

My seniors who were at the Indian Military Academy by then, fed me some comparisons. First, they showed me that all the Class-I Services officers (including IAS and IPS) started their career at a basic salary of Rs 700/- per month, whereas in the case of Armed Forces officers it was Rs 750/- per month. (I later came to know that this extra Rs 50/- was special disturbance allowance, which was merged with basic pay by the Third Pay Commission).

Second, they also showed me the orders where a Major was equated with an IAS Officer with not less than 12 years of service. The obvious conclusion, which will be drawn by any 16 or 17-year-old boy, would be that the Army as a career was almost equal to the IAS, and certainly better than the IPS or other Class-I central services.

Having convinced myself, I put in my best in the NDA exam, and ranked eighth in the final merit list. After successfully completing my training at NDA Khadakwasla and IMA, Dehradun, I was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in June 1981 in the 7th Battalion the Sikh Regiment, on my own choice i.e., after exactly 11 years of hard training and spartan living. But due to an injury, attributable to Military Service, I was placed in a permanent low medical category. Consequently, I was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps in 1988 i.e., after seven years of regimental service in Infantry. On transfer I was posted to the Ordnance Depot, Shakurbasti, Delhi. It was here I learnt that whatever I had been thinking about the career in the Indian Army was wrong.

In the Ordnance Depot, I discovered that the JCOs who are Gazetted Officers (I have seen the Gazette Notification of JCOs) are equated with non-gazetted civilian employees and that too of Class-III i.e., Group-C. The point has only been made to emphasise the arbitrariness and irrationality of orders regarding the relativity of ranks. And as the de facto equation stands today, there cannot be any service with worse career prospects than the Army except some Group-B services.

But is this the result of a “steep pyramidal hierarchy” as is often claimed? No. It is the result of a conscious effort by the bureaucracy to degrade the services ever since independence. To undo this, i.e., if the Government is sincere, the solution is to revert to the pre-A V Singh Committee implementation stage and reintroduce the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, and to offer one-rank one-pay scale in the standard pay scales as was applicable to all the Organised Central Group-A Civil Services ( erstwhile allied services).

Till recently, the Warrant of Precedence stated that a Major is equal to an IAS Officer with not less than 12 years of service and a Superintendent of Police with not less than 15 years of service.

The status of Army officers was further degraded as per the underlying thrust of the Sixth Pay Commission, at the behest of bureaucracy. Why are these facts not disseminated to the young aspirants to the Armed Forces? If bureaucrats and policemen are higher in rank and status, then why are Army officers debarred from taking the IAS and IPS exams? I do not think that anyone today, if he is aware of of these facts, would join the Army, except to earn hsi bread. As for myself, had I known this, forget the Sainik School or RIMC, I would have never joined the Army. The relativity in rank and status is irrational and arbitrary, against the letter and spirit of the Constitution and violates my fundamental rights.
By Lt Col A K Rai (Retd)
An alumnus of Sainik School Tilaiya, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Deharadun, NDA, Khadakwasla, the author was commissioned into the Sikh Regiment in Jun 1981. he was transferred to the AOC in 1988. He took premature retirement after serving the mandatory period, he now works as the Chief Administrative Officer of a 150-bed hospital in Patna.
Why Do I Feel Cheated?
Cheated yes: Answers with Proof of Relative Pay Tables?

IESM: Chairman's Desk- Caution on Dilution of OROP

Date: Friday, 8 May, 2009, 7:30 PM
Dear Colleagues,
There are indications that the MOD is forming a committee in concert with certain ESM formations to work out some kind of parity in pensions. The chances are that the MOD will pick from the ESM certain representatives who may be amenable to accept one-time modified parity. This would then be given the colour of acceptability by the ESM community in general. Such divide-and-rule is a well known practice adopted by the govt functionaries.
As is well known, the IESM has been trying for OROP, which implies full parity for all time in future and any kind of modified parity will not meet our aspirations. Any dilution accepted by any hand-picked representative would be unfair to the efforts the ESM have put in to create the present situation and cannot be acceptable to the IESM.
In this connection, copy of a letter written by me to the Defence Minister on 19 April 2009, is given below: (below this email)
The ESM should jointly oppose dilution of OROP demand and must not accept a compromise solution.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM,
Chairman IESM,
IESM/OROP/ 09 April, 19 April 2009
Shri AK Antony,
Hon’ble Minister of Defence,
South Block, New Delhi– 110 011
Dear Hon’ble Defence Minister,
It is learnt that the Secretary Department of Ex Servicemen Welfare in the Ministry of Defence has called some Ex Servicemen Organisation for discussion to form a joint approach on an alternative to ‘one rank one pension’. We in the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) have not received any communication on the subject.

It submitted that IESM is not an organisation or an association but a federation in the form of an umbrella. It is registered under NO: DR/GGN/179 (2008-09).The IESM today represents the demand of all the over two million Ex Servicemen in the country and has been spearheading the current struggle for seeking justice.

Do allow me to mention that any decision taken without the participation of the IESM will not be binding on it.
With best regards,
Yours sincerely,
Sd xxxx
(Raj Kadyan)
Copy to
Shri SM Acharya, IAS
Secretary Department of Ex Servicemen Welfare
Ministry of Defence, South Block, New Delhi– 110 011

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mandate 2009: BJP's Turnaround

Vikas Gupta writes in The Times of India:
Suddenly, there’s a buzz within the BJP. The flagging campaign has been re-energised, and there’s a spring in the step of workers. The party believes that it has put up a strong show in the first three phases of polling, and is now banking on Rajasthan, one of its traditional strongholds, to deliver Delhi to it.

Why has this turnaround happened? Frankly, I have no clue about what is influencing rural voters. But when I speak to middle-class voters, it seems to me that the BJP campaign has struck a chord on at least three issues – which most political pundits seem to have missed.

To begin with, the BJP’s focus on unemployment and job losses seems to be resonating with middle India, which is in the midst of its first major encounter with lay-offs and downsizing. The Congress can argue – with some justification – that it cannot be blamed for a global recession and that India is, in fact, faring better than the rest of the world. Unfortunately for it, people who are scared and insecure are rarely in a mood to listen to logic. The BJP’s promise to exempt tax on income up to Rs 3 lakh has also gone down well with the educated middle-class – which, in any case, is convinced that it gets very little in return for the hard-earned money that it pays as tax.

Finally, the BJP’s promise to introduce one rank, one pay and give tax sops to the defence forces is likely to earn it goodwill and votes from both serving and retired personnel, who otherwise tend to be largely indifferent to the electoral process.
BJP's Turnaround

Making Sense of the UPA Rule and the Need for Change by Shyam Sekhar
In its anxiety to keep allies happy, the congress gave away key ministries to allies. These ministries were managing the Nation’s growth engines like Roads, Ports, IT, Telecom and Environment management. The damage which has been done to the nation will take a long time to mend. Five years is a long time and we could have had much faster development if these ministries where in better and cleaner hands. The congress did nothing to mend the situation during its entire five year term and Sonia was a silent spectator. Some ministers from the allies’ parties deserve special mention.

Maran, Baalu and Raaja are three DMK ministers who have virtually lorded over IT & Telecom, Surface Transport, Environment & Forests. These critical ministries performance over the past five years must be compared with the NDA rule when these ministries had Arun Shourie and BC Khanduri as the Ministers. Need one say more. We are consciously omitting any reference to Anbumani Ramadoss in Health Ministry.
Read full text: Making Sense of the UPA Rule and the Need for Change by Shyam Sekhar

A Soldier's Journey through life: A review

A Soldier’s Journey through Life with Two Wives. By Brigadier Lakshman Singh VSM (Retd) (NOIDA : BLS Publishers, 2009) pp..306, Rs. 450, ISBN 978-81-901855-1-6.

It is difficult to classify this book – it is neither a love story, nor an autobiography, nor an historical saga, nor a personal narrative. Perhaps, it is a combination of all these and more. In spite of the suggestive title, it is in essence the tale of a man torn between his two loves– his wife and his calling, a dilemma faced not only by soldiers but many others who are wedded to their careers, some even more demanding than the profession of arms. It is not easy to reconcile the demands of one’s family and his job, a point the author has highlighted in his narrative.

Written in an earthy style, the book traces the story of a young boy born in a middle class family in Western Uttar Pradesh, his early education, graduation from college and university, training at the Indian Military Academy, service in various units and training establishments, stints in the DRDO and RAW, retirement from the Army and life thereafter. There are vignettes of village life, ‘boot camp’ during cadet training, the first experience of battle during 1962, and the slow but steady rise up the ladder in the military hierarchy. To keep the reader’s interest alive, the author has peppered the narrative with personal anecdotes. A parallel theme is the poignant story of two people deeply in love - the author and his wife Rosy,
also called Jeet. Starting from their courtship and marriage, the book takes us through their intimate moments, separations, reunions, tribulations, the pain suffered by both in her fight with cancer, and
her death in his arms.

Though it is a commonplace tale of an ordinary person, there are a few things that make it extraordinary. The book gives an insight into the challenges faced by a military leader, the strong bonds between an officer and his men and the loyalty and grit of the Indian Jawan in the face of adversity. The only jarring note is the presence of numerous grammatical mistakes and mis-spelt words, which detract from the readability of the book. Notwithstanding this flaw, the book will interest both soldiers and civilians, and will be a valuable addition to libraries as well as
personal collections. It is especially recommended for young officers, who will find valuable lessons in command at a sub unit level.
Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)

India's Fauj: Who rules it?

Many people agree in private but (especially those in power) refuse to admit in public that the Indian Defence Forces comprising the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (or, briefly, India’s “fauj”) are not treated fairly by government. Of course, there is the fringe opinion that the fauj lives in luxury and is even overpaid, when they observe things like availability of canteen facilities (especially liquor) and the period of leave admissible in a year. They obviously know nothing at all about the risks and hardships that Jawans and young officers face in daily life.
But what risk does the fauj face in peacetime? Actually the word “peacetime” used as the antonym of “wartime” is quite inappropriate, because even if India is not at war with any country, the conditions of service in countering insurgency are just as risky as any wartime deployment if not actually more so. Today, the fauj loses on average one man every day to militant action. And hardship? Even if the subhuman conditions of mere survival on the Siachen Glacier are omitted, there are severe hardships, both physical and mental, in manning posts on the borders and even in participation in military exercises from bases in “peace stations”.
The fauj consists of about 1.4 million personnel below officer rank (PBOR), with leadership provided by about 50,000 officers instead of 65,000 required, the greatest shortage (11,238 against 46,615 sanctioned) being in the army. The actual fighting is done by the PBOR but under the leadership of officers who, in the Indian fauj, have always led from the front, as statistics of officer versus PBOR casualties in operations have always shown. But without PBOR there would be no need for officers and without leadership, PBOR would be ineffective – it is the combination of the two with the right kind of weaponry, equipment, training, and motivation that can maintain India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the primary responsibility of the fauj. It is said that the man behind the gun is at least as important as the gun itself, which means to say that superior military technology by itself may win battles but cannot win wars unless the fauji (the soldier, a generic term that includes PBOR and officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force) is adequately equipped, trained and motivated. The examples of the US military in Vietnam and in Afghanistan and Iraq bear testimony to this military truth.
Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)
Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in December 1962 and held the position of Addl DG (Discipline & Vigilance) at Army HQ, New Delhi, from which he retired in September 1996. In 1993, the President of India awarded him the Visishta Seva Medal (VSM) for distinguished services rendered in Ladakh.
Complete article with three case studies: click me

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Thursday, 7 May, 2009, 10:47 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Fourth phase of elections is over today. Many ESM callers conveyed that their peer voters have followed the advisory. As a change to the earlier programme, instead of Col TP Tyagi, Maj Gen AJB Jaini will be visiting Bareilly on 8 May to interact with the ESM.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

I had the proud priveledge of Chairing a Press Conf @ NOIDA (on behalf of our IESM Movement), yesterday- 6th May. More than 50 representatives of the Print & TV Media attended. Dr Sharma- CEO & MD of Kailash Hospitals , who is the BJP nominee fm NOIDA was also present.

The Press Conf was a ' Great ' SUCCESS & greately appreciated by all who were present. Aim of the Conf was to express the Sincere Support of IESM to the BJP in the ongoing General Elections. It was made more than adequately clear to everyone, that while remaining 'apolitical' the IESM appreciates & WELCOMES the announcement of the BJP Manifesto in which (besides many other benefits) our Main demand of ESM, viz 'ONE RANK ONE PENSION'- OROP, has been promisingly assured by none other than the BJP Prime Minister in waiting- Hon'ble Shri LK Advani ji, personally on 19th March @ our IESM 'Battle-Ground' @ Jantar Mantar.

It was also made clear that while still being 'apolitical' the ESM have now understood & realised the 'Power of their Vote'. They have now become 'Politically Aware' & 'Wise' to give their valuable vote to whichever Political Party that will take care of the ESM Welfare & in the interest of National Security which has been so close & dear to our hearts during our Long years of Military Service.

The proceedings of this Press Conf have been widely covered & broadcast - both by the Print & Visual media. ... EDITED ...

Tomorrow - on 8th May, I am also going to Chair a similar Press Conf @ Bareilly in support of Shri Santosh Gangwar, the BJP candidate there. 'JAI JAWAN'- 'JAI IESM'- 'JAI HO BJP'.

Maj Gen AJB Jaini, AVSM (Veteran)
Member Core Gp & Steering Committee of the IESM

EC asks Cabinet secretary to clarify on OROP

Wed-May 06, 2009 New Delhi / Press Trust of India
Taking note of reports of government coming out with sops to attract ex-servicemen in its favour, the Election Commission on Wednesday asked the Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to clarify on issues like One Rank-One Pension (OROP) and higher disability pension.

The Commission has asked the Cabinet Secretary to clarify as to any special committee or panel has been set up for the OROP demand of armed forces.

The Cabinet Secretary has also been asked to clarify whether any notification has been issued for higher disability pension to those injured or killed in battle, both in times of war and peace.

He has been asked to reply by 5 pm on May 8, Deputy Election Commissioner R Balakrishnan told reporters.

Reports said that UPA government has set up a high-level committee under the Cabinet Secretary to consider their 'One Rank-One Pension' (OROP) demand and reduce the gap in pensionary benefits of the 1.5-million-strong armed forces.

Government has also notified new, increased disability and family pension benefits across the board for those injured or killed in battle, both in times of war and peace.
EC asks Cabinet secretary to clarify on OROP

Thursday, May 7, 2009

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Thursday, 7 May, 2009, 12:29 AM
Dear Colleagues,
It is learnt that the Election Commission has questioned the moral propriety of govt intentions to set up a committee to look into the defence pensioners’ problem. It seems strange. While it is possible for individuals to be unaware of the law, could the govt also be ignorant? If yes, it speaks poorly of our legal labyrinth. If not, it raises some very uncomfortable questions:
1. Does the govt announcement of a scheme that they knew cannot be implemented, betray their lack of sincerity?
2. After five years of ignoring the defence pensioners and nearly 14 months after submission of the 6th Pay Commission report, was the sudden election-eve display of compassion for defence pensioners, families and the disabled, a sham and a mere vote catching ploy?
3. Has the defence fraternity acquired a strong enough poll muscle to push a major political party to resort to such subterfuge?
The above doubts will undoubtedly haunt us as we cast our votes in a few hours from now as well as in the next phase.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

250 years of glory and sacrifice : The Madras Regiment

‘Uphold the regiment’s high traditions and always be prepared’
— Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
Good start: The Colonel of the Madras Regiment, Major General P.G. Kamath, displaying a coffee table book on the regiment at Wellington, near Udhagamandalam, on Monday. The Hindu Click here for report

The 250th Anniversary of one of the oldest regiment of the Indian Army, the Madras Regiment was organized at Madras Regimental Centre in Wellington from 04 – 06 May 09. The origin of the regiment dates back to 04 Dec 1758 when two battalions were raised by Sir Robert Clive. Madras Battalions were among the first to be deployed during World War I and II where they made a significant contribution. The Madras Regiment Centre was first raised as 36 Madras Battalion at Thanjavur in 1794. It moved to Wellington in Feb 1947 and occupied Wellington barracks which were subsequently renamed Shrinagesh Barracks in 1964 in honour of Gen S M Shrinagesh who was the first Indian Col of the Regiment.

The regiment was actively engaged in the 1947-48 J&K Operations and earned the Battle Honours of Tithwal and Poonch. The regiment also saw action in the Indo – Pak conflict of 1965 and 1971 where its battalions played a stellar role. Today the Madras Regiment stands proudly with 44 Battle honours, 14 Theatre honours, 7 COAS and 14 GOC-in-C appreciations to its credit. The Regiment has also done exceedingly well in sports winning the Durand Cup in 1955 and 1958, two bronze medals in the World Military Games and many medals in other national and international events.

Maj Gen PG Kamath, Colonel of the Madras Regiment released a logo for the celebrations.
250 years of glory and sacrifice : The Madras Regiment

IESM: Readers views

Date: Tuesday, 5 May, 2009, 9:54 AM
Dear Pandey Sahab,
I am delighted to read this extremely well written mail from you. A mail which has come out from the heart of a soldier. I have had the opportunity to meet you on a number of occasions at the Jantar Mantar site and the pleasure of interacting with you. Your willingness to always come out with very rational and well meaning thoughts has always motivated me to reach out and meet you. Without hesitation I say this, your thoughts in your mail are very justified and correct. I have no doubt we will succeed in our quest for OROP and later on other matters which we deliberately put on a back bench for a while. Most important all of us have to be together in it. We have to work hand in glove and move forward rubbing shoulders.
BJP it is. Jai Hind.
With warmest regards,
Maj General Balbir K Kataria

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 12:02 AM
My dear Maj Rao,
I never had the opportunity to meet you nor I am fully aware of your political orientation. Your claim that congress does what it commits is incorrect. Congress too had committed to OROP: both the Chairperson and the President of India while addressing joint houses of Parliament. I was in touch with Mr Jaswant Singh when he was RM and FM. He too did nothing on the issue, though he held out some hope to me.

The truth is that the word of NO political party word can be taken for granted. Politics in India has touched that low. It has been the services demand that the Pay Commission should have a member from the defence services. The UPA did nothing as regards 6th CPC. Now after the horse has bolted, there is the TALK of locking the gate! This promise of a separate pay commission for the defence services is a 'pie in the sky.' " Jannat ke hiqiqat humme maloom hai leken dil behelanee to khial acha hai Ghalab"

How is it that when committee of secretaries was formed, consequent to the protests by the service chiefs against the anomalies introduced by the 6th CPC, no service officer was placed on the committee. Instead the IAS officer, who in the first place was the cause of all the mischief, was made a member of this committee. It became a case where the prosecutor also sat on the jury. The same lady, now as the expenditure secretary, is again on this new committee you have talked about.

There is much merit in what Nirad C chaudhury said and to quote him, " The political executive in India helplessly keep flapping it's wings against the bars of the cage in which the bureaucracy has placed it."

With regards and best wishes.
Harwant Singh
(Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Former DCOAS)
click here to read Maj Rao's email

Women officers grieviences addressed

The Government has decided to grant Permanent Commission prospectively to Short Service Commission officers, both men and women, in branches and cadres of the three services, which do not entail direct combat or possibility of physical contact with enemy.

The branches where permanent commission would be granted include Judge advocate General, Army Education Corps and its corresponding branches in Navy and Air Force, Accounts branch of the Air Force and Naval Constructor of the Navy.

The selection will be based on a common merit and eligibility criteria, which would be decided by each Service Headquarters. A tri-service study carried out in 2006 on all aspects of employment of women officers in the Services recommended that women officers would be excluded from induction in close combat arms where chances of physical contact with enemy were high.

Women officers have been in the Armed Forces for about 80 years and served with competence and distinction. They were inducted in the Military Nursing Service in 1927 and in the Medical Officers Cadre since 1943. Following Cabinet approval, induction of women officers in other branches in the three services started in 1992.

• 1072 women officers in Army (excluding medical services)
• 793 women officers in IAF including medical officers.
• 63 women officers in IAF in Flying Branch.
• 126 women officers in Medical & Dental in IAF.
• 258 women officers in Navy.
• 752 Women Medical Officers in AMC
• 490 Women Medical Permanent Commission Officers.
• 2834 Women officers in MNS.

The decision of the Government is a great break through in leveling the gender discrimination. When a nation can have women P.M and President (The Supreme Commander) why not a COAS ? The day is not far off for India to have woman Marshal of the Air Force.

The First Women General in the Indian Army Maj Gen (Miss)GA Ram (Director MNS) was appointed on Aug 27, 1976.

Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi cannot be compared. Millions admire Mahatma, but billions love Mother Theresa. A Mother is always loved more than a Father. (The women officers in the Armed Forces should keep this in mind and be Proud of being Mother first and Officer next).

Posted By Muthukrishnan to indianexserviceman at 5/06/2009 09:53:00 PM

Sky is the Limit

The book gives an excellent account of the problems, planning and execution of Signal Communications from the time IPKF was ordered to move into Sri Lanka till the de-induction of IPKF. It gives a vivid description of the heroic deeds of the Signals personnel during IPKF operations. The biggest asset of this book is that it has been authored by a person who was personally there, at the helm of affairs of Signals Communications, through out OP PAWAN (the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka).
Many reviews of this book have appeared in various journals and magazines by many learned persons. In each of those reviews the book ‘SKY IS THE LIMIT’, has been graded as an outstanding contribution by Yashwant Deva.

Then why this one more review? The answer is simple– after having read this book I as a Veteran Signaller feel that every Signaller must read this book at least once. There is no better medium than “THE SIGNALMAN” to convey this message to you all.
If you love the profession of Signalling and you wish to further improve your professional ability, this book is not only a ‘must read’ for you, you must possess a copy of it and read it again and again in your leisure time. Do look for an occasion to meet the personnel and their families, who took part in OP PAWAN, and congratulate them for their “unique” performance. You will feel still more proud of the Corps you are serving, when you meet those brave and highly proficient Signallers.

Remarks from some of the senior officers on this book are as under –
Gen JJ Singh, COAS –
.....“an outstanding work” …
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, Former SO-in-C –
.....“unique”. .....“No Signal officer in the World has so far written such a book on Communications in any operation and nor any one will write.”
Remarks of Lt Gen Depinder Singh, Army Commander Southern Command, along with his autographs on Maj Gen Deva’s copy of the book –
“With deep gratitude for vindicating performance of the IPKF and showing courage of conviction calling a spade a spade.”
Some additional quotations from Gen Depinder Singh as extracted from the “FOREWORD” of the book –
.....“it is the calibre of the man, which tilts the balance to achieve victory out of the chaos that is war”.....
.....“ Maj Gen Deva has performed an admirable service by penning down this account, which even the last reader will find eminently readable, evocative and educative. Thank you Yashwant, finally, for providing this old man, in the evening of his life, an opportunity to yet again relive the momentous days of Operation Pawan.”
Lt Gen Sree Kumar, Former SO-in-C,
.....“showcases the Corps”
Lt Gen JK Mohanty,Commandant Army War College,
.....“the book is being given a pride of place in the library of the War College and a review is being published in the War College Journal”.
The book sets an excellent example as to how to start with the process of ‘Signal Planning’ and how to achieve final success in establishing Signal communications, to the entire satisfaction of the field commanders and higher headquarters - much beyond their expectations. The book takes the reader through following steps, which all good Signals officers must learn and practice:
  • Receipt of a warning order for a military operation.
  • Initial appreciation of the communication requirements, including the requirements of the Navy, Air force and other services.
  • Preliminary planning, reconnaissance, initial coordination with other services, including civil services. Assessment of available resources, including those available in the forward area.
  • Assessing the EW capabilities of the enemy.
  • Assessment of additional resources required to meet the commander’s operational plans and needs of higher headquarters.
  • Approaching the appropriate agencies for additional resources and assessing the reliability of promises made for provisioning those resources.
  • Deciding on the broad communication policy.
  • Making the broad plan followed by detailed plan of signal communications.
  • Planning physical security of personnel, equipment and communication circuits, communication security during move, at destination and subsequent moves.
  • Planning induction of Signal units and additional equipment into the operational area.
  • Issuing detailed orders down to each Signal unit.
  • Executing and monitoring the move of Signal units and additional resources.
  • Executing and monitoring the execution of the Signal communication plans down to unit and subunit levels.
  • Bargaining in the field with other services to muster additional resources in exchange of communication they need and do not have.
  • Re-assessing the ground situation and making changes to communication plans and physical security of Signal detachments and signal security, where necessary.
  • Constant liaison with the commanders at all levels to keep abreast with the operational situation and catering for additional communications before the commander asks for it.
  • Welfare of all ranks and recommending for decoration and awards where deserving.
    Some quotes from the book, with which you will fully agree after you finish reading the book are:
    .....“ It anticipated the shape of the things to come and set a paradigm shift to newer forms of warfare, viz., from hierarchical to network strategies and grid structures.”.....
    .....“ Operation Pawan set the tune and the trend for abundance of communications built with Herculean effort and high ingenuity – circuit by circuit, link by link, network by network, provoking flattening of the command hierarchies, dynamically meeting demands of daily grouping and regrouping, and above all creating highly objective and unadulterated system of hard and actionable intelligence. The merit of the system lay in its availability to the commander right where and when he needed it;.....”
    ......“This book aims at: firstly, to give a balanced account of the events; secondly, and attempt to analyse the pluses and minuses; thirdly, to make policy recommendations to fight wars of the 21st century, which are asymmetric and distinctive in winning by means other than hard-kill, viz., info, cyber, cognitive, memetic, robotic and nanotech wars in which communications, computing and artificial intelligence would have a role of primacy; and lastly, the most important, it is a tribute to 1,135 plus martyrs of Operation Pawan, 16 (more likely 18) of them from the Corps of Signals, to whom this country owes the integrity and freedom.”
    In my opinion this book should be cosidered for being used as a text book for selected courses in MCTE. The Signals Branch at every formation headquarters should have this book as a reference book. The Signals Training Centres, every major SIGNAL unit, including the EW and SI units, should have sufficient number of copies of this book in their central libraries; a copy of the book should be available down to company or equivalent levels. At unit level it may be worth considering to encourage PBOR to read this book. They will feel very proud of the achievements of the Corps of Signals and get motivated to perform still better.

    For obtaining copies of the book please contact– Maj Gen Yashwant Deva, Email ID - (to email replace aved with deva)
    Media reviews click me
  • Disability, war injury pension revised

    6 May 2009, 0216 hrs IST, TNN
    NEW DELHI: Announcing yet another sop for armed forces right in the middle of elections, the UPA government on Tuesday hiked disability and family
    pension benefits across the board for those injured or killed in battle.

    As reported earlier, the government has been rattled by BJP's strong `Jai Jawan' tune in its manifesto and now wants to regain lost ground in the tussle to woo the defence community of 14 lakh serving and 23 lakh retired military personnel, which expands into a sizable votebank of around 1.5 crore people if family members are taken into account.

    The defence ministry on Tuesday said "the rates of disability element for 100% disability for various ranks shall now be 30% of emoluments last drawn subject to minimum of Rs 3,100 per month for 100% disability".

    "For disability less than 100%, it shall be reduced proportionately. In cases of disability pension where permanent disability is not less than 60%, the disability pension shall not be less than 60% of the reckonable emoluments last drawn subject to a minimum of Rs 7,000 per month," said an official.
    Govt hikes disability, family pension for armed forces

    MoD raises disability pension bar
    New Delhi | Tuesday, May 5 2009 IST
    The Ministry of Defence has revised pensionary awards relating to disability pension or war injury pension, special family pension for those Armed Forces personnel dying in harness or retiring or rendered invalid with effect from January 2006, following the Sixth Pay panel's recommendations.

    The rates of disability element for 100 per cent disability for various ranks shall be 30 per cent of emoluments last drawn subject to minimum of Rs 3,100 per month. For disability less than 100 per cent it shall be reduced proportionately, ministry sources said. In cases of disability pension where permanent disability is not less than 60 per cent, the disability shall not be less than 60 per cent of the emoluments last drawn, subject to a minimum of Rs 7,000 per month.

    The rates of war injury element for 100 per cent disability for various ranks shall be equal to the reckonable emoluments last drawn which would be proportionately reduced where disability is less than 100 per cent. However in no case, aggregate of service element and war injury should exceed the emoluments last drawn.

    Constant attendance allowance will be admissible at a uniform rate of Rs 3000 per month, irrespective of the rank. Further this rate be increased by 25 per cent every time the dearness allowance is revised by 50 per cent.

    The Ministry has also revised casualty pensionary awards for Armed Forces personnel, who retired, discharged or were rendered invalid prior to January 2006.-(UNI) --
    MoD raises disability pension bar
    Related Reading:
    The announcement comes even as the 15th Lok Sabha elections are in progress, and this is the fifth in a slew of welfare measures since April 21 that could impact the career, pay and perks of the 1.5-million-strong armed forces jawans and officers.
    Govt hikes disability, family pension for armed forces: PTI
    Disability, war injury pension revised

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Should our forces get political?

    Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD, commanded an Engineer Regiment on the Siachen Glacier, the most hostile battlefield in the world. A highly qualified officer (B Tech, MA (Public Administration), MSc (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate in Public Administration), General Suman was also the Task Force Commander at Pokhran and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests of May 1998.

    Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD, commanded an Engineer Regiment on the Siachen Glacier, the most hostile battlefield in the world. A highly qualified officer (B Tech, MA (Public Administration), MSc (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate in Public Administration), General Suman was also the Task Force Commander at Pokhran and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests of May 1998.

    The recent advisory issued by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) supporting the BJP has raised the hackles of many purist veterans, who consider such an act to be sacrilege of the worst kind, and a step towards politicisation of the services.

    Is this how we treat our Military?
    It is a misplaced conception that ex-servicemen should continue to remain apolitical. Like other citizens, they are at liberty to form a group and seek furtherance of their interests through political means.

    Indian ex-servicemen have been demanding `One Rank One Pension`(OROP) for close to two decades. All political parties make promises at election times, only to renege from them when in power.

    In its manifesto for the last general election, the Congress party had declared, `The long-pending issue of one-rank, one-pension will once again be re-examined and a satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously`. But, at the end of its five years rule, it informed the Parliament that OROP was not unacceptable due to `administrative, financial and legal reasons`. All ex-servicemen felt betrayed. BJP`s record is no better. During its rule, it repeatedly ignored recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence as regards grant of OROP.

    The concept of OROP is neither unique nor new. It is already applicable to members of Parliament/Legislative Assemblies and senior judges. Under the provision of `fixed salaries`, senior bureaucrats and police officials enjoy OROP benefits. Even chiefs and army commanders are covered under the same policy. A number of judgments of the apex court have also gone in favour of OROP for ex-servicemen. Being a deferred wage, its rationale is based on the principle, `equal service must get equal payment`. Military service has two components, length and responsibility (rank held). Therefore, for soldiers, it means, equal service and equal rank should get equal pension`, or OROP in short.

    Armed Forces don't get a chance to vote!
    There are major anomalies in the current pension structure. A Sepoy, who retired prior to 1st January 1996, gets 82 percent lower pension than a Sepoy who retires after 1st January 2006. A pre-January 1996 retiree Havildar gets 37% lower pension than a Sepoy who retires after 1st January 2006, despite the latter being two rungs lower in the military hierarchy.

    It must be noted that Sepoys start retiring at the age of 35 years and are left to fend for themselves on a meagre pension in the prime of their youth, with family responsibilities staring them in the face.

    Having exhausted all other options and having been taken in by false promises for decades, ex-servicemen gathered under an umbrella organisation IESM to seek justice. According to IESM, demand for OROP is a demand for equity and justice, and not merely more money. IESM started a highly dignified campaign to attract the Government and media attention.
    Read more:
    Should our forces get political?

    IESM: स्वर से नीचे के अधिकारी रैंक का असली आईना है

    दिनांक: सोमवार, 4 मई, 2009, 9:15
    प्रिय ब्रिगेडियर Kamboj,
    यह ईमेल हमारे कुछ साथी दिग्गजों रमन, नाभि मल्लाह, पूर्व सार्जेन्ट सुनील राव और कई अन्य PBORs इंटरनेट से जुड़ा नहीं है और 'रिपोर्ट मेरा सिग्नल' ब्लॉग के द्वारा भेजा के संदर्भ के साथ है. हम सब, जो पूर्व के द्वारा उठाए के समान उठाने की अंक है. सार्जेंट सुनील राव. Jantar Mantar, देश के सभी भागों से दिग्गजों पर अपनी भूख हड़ताल के दौरान अपने विचार विमर्श किया है और इसी तरह की राय का आयोजन किया. बहुत समय हो गया है दिग्गजों अतीत में इसी तरह के आंदोलनों के परिणामों के बारे में लंबी और एनिमेटेड चर्चा किया करते थे. यद्यपि हमारे अध्यक्ष भर में बहुत स्पष्ट है, और हमेशा की तरह, कि हम सब दिग्गजों के लिए कुछ भी नहीं OROP से कम स्वीकार करेंगे हम सब को आश्वासन दिया है. अधिकारियों, जे सी ओ और अन्य रैंकों - सभी रैंकों, सभी हथियार. अध्यक्ष ने भी अंक सार्जेंट सुनील राव ने कोर ग्रुप की बैठक में उठाया पर चर्चा के लिए तैयार हो गया है.

    मैं) कि फ़रवरी 8 09 (को काले दिवस पर भारतीय सेना के इतिहास में जब हम भारत के राष्ट्रपति को हमारे पदक जमा हुई एक घटना याद है. उस दिन मैं तुम्हें इस अभियान के माध्यम से, जब तक हम जीतते हैं, या लड़ने के लिए आप हमारी समस्या से कहीं बीच में हमें छोड़ देगा जारी? देखेंगे हमारे सम्मान के अध्यक्ष, जनरल राज Kadyan, "सर, करने के लिए एक ऐसे ही सवाल पूछा" यह सिर्फ मेरा नहीं था सवाल. यह एक प्रश्न है कि ESM के हजारों दैनिक पूछना चाहता था Jantar Mantar का दौरा किया गया है. पिछले हम में से कई कड़वे और अच्छे कारण के लिए बनाया गया है. तो मेरे सवाल का जनरल Kadyan के जवाब में कहा कि मैं इसे आप क्या करेंगे? "अब मैं भी एक लंबी सेवा और जीवन में अनुभव किया है लगता है कि मुझे मेरा जवाब मिल गया एक बयान. शरीर की भाषा देखकर, समर्पण और प्रेम के जनरल की आंखों से बाहर आ रहा था, मैं मैं अभी कहा था कि सवाल का शर्मिंदा महसूस किया. मैं बार बार अपने नेतृत्व के साथ संवाद और मैं जो यह है कि वहाँ कारण सैकड़ों हम क्यों जनरल Kadyan में सौ प्रतिशत विश्वास और सभी IESM नेतृत्व में डाल चाहिए कर सकते हैं और पढ़ रही है सबको बता सकते हैं.

    अगर किसी भी उपलब्धियाँ OROP के अलावा सरकार द्वारा पूर्व सैनिकों समूह के किसी भी क्षेत्र के लिए लागू कर रहे हैं, हम सब भले ही इस पद के मनाना चाहिए. एक ही समय पर, सवाल है कि इन सभी लाभों को सरकार ने इस आंदोलन की अवधि में की घोषणा की जा रही उठता एक अच्छी तरह से planed प्रयास अधिकारियों और PBOR में IESM विभाजित करने का हिस्सा है. बाबुओं की मेरी राय में और नेताओं ने पहले से ही कलाकारों के अमीर गरीब नाम, धर्म, राज्य, देश में विभाजित किया है और इस सूची अंतहीन है. वे अब भी विभाजित है और पूर्व सैनिकों के साथ शासन की वही गंदा खेल खेलना चाहता हूँ. ने अंग्रेजों से सीखा वे एक खेल में महारत हासिल है और वे एक खेल. तो हमें यहाँ बहुत सावधान रहना होगा.

    जब मैं सेवा में था, मैं कार्रवाई की भविष्य की योजना के बारे में मेरी कमांडेंट ने एक ब्रीफिंग याद है. उन्होंने कहा कि एक दिन के लिए एक भारतीय सिपाही योजनाओं, एक नायक एक सप्ताह के लिए योजनाओं हमें अवगत कराया, एक Hawaldar एक महीने के लिए एक वर्ष के लिए, जे सी ओ योजना योजनाओं, कंपनी कमांडर योजनाओं पर तीन साल और इतने के लिए. SThe जनरल ने राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा के लिए योजनाओं (दोनों बाह्य और आंतरिक) और व्यक्तिगत सेवा के समुदाय, सेवानिवृत्त उनके परिवारों, बच्चों की शिक्षा और 20 वर्ष और उससे आगे के लिए सब कुछ और है. अगर अब भी भारतीय सेना के द्वारा पीछा किया जा रहा है वही अब मुझे आश्चर्य हो रहा है. जो भी ESM आज किया जा रहा है जो और इस प्रकार और वे कर भविष्य की योजनाओं के शॉट्स बुला रहे हैं अप्रसन्नता और सब जो लोग प्रभावित हैं करने के लिए असंतोष लाने के लिए बर्बाद हो गए प्रस्ताव के विचारों की गिरावट का नतीजा है. अगर एक सामान्य ही अपने कार्यकाल के लिए है और सोचता है कि उसका अपना निजी भलाई के लिए, यह भारतीय सैन्य बलों के लिए एक नहीं बल्कि खतरनाक स्थिति के रूप में अच्छी तरह से राष्ट्र की सेवा में ही है.

    कई उच्च सम्मानित सेवानिवृत्त जनरलों लेख लिखा है और जनरल की सेवा करने के लिए पत्र, कुछ जो मैं बोली लाइनों की:
    1. पत्र जनरल दीपक कपूर, PVSM, SM, VSM करने के लिए., ADC मेजर जनरल सुरजीत सिंह, AVSM, VSM (सेवानिवृत्त) "आपके भयग्रस्त चुप्पी ने लिखा" गर्जनापूर्ण है. "मुझे लगता है कि थल सेना प्रमुख के रूप में नियुक्ति, आप इस` लड़ाई शाही 'में एक दर्शक के रूप में याद किया जाना पसंद करेंगे आशावादी हूँ. और अगर है, दूसरी तरफ, हम तुम से इतना कहा होगा कि हम दिग्गजों, लेकिन अच्छे कारण के साथ लक्ष्मण रेखा पार कर विश्वास करते हैं. "
    2. पत्र कैस, CNS और थलसेनाध्यक्ष को - खुले वाइस एडमिरल हरिंदर सिंह, PVSM AVSM (सेवानिवृत्त) द्वारा पत्र
    "जब मैं तुमसे मिला और मेरा पत्र के अधीन लाया और एक 09 मार्च 18, मुझे चोट लगी थी की शाम में एक पेंशन पद है, लेकिन है कि आप मेरे पत्र को पढ़ने के लिए है या परेशानी लिया परवाह नहीं था आश्चर्य नहीं होने की जानकारी दी या इस मामले या इस फैसले की सामग्री, अदालत के फैसले के दिग्गजों के लाखों, दोनों से नीचे के अधिकारी रैंक और अधिकारियों के लिए महत्वपूर्ण है उपशाखा परिचित हो जाते हैं. मैं और भी है कि जूनियर के कल्याण और उन एक आवाज़ के बिना सेवा के लोकाचार है जहाँ हम अपने जूनियर के कल्याण में गर्व लिया ज्यादा के खिलाफ एक सेवा के प्रमुख के दिमाग में एक सीट वापस लिया था चिंतित था. सेवानिवृत्त समुदाय के बीच यह धारणा है कि नहीं एक मुख्यमंत्री के दिग्गजों के लिए पेंशन समानता के समर्थन में अपनी आवाज उठाई है और मैं भी एक प्रमुख रक्षा मंत्रालय ने मेजर जनरलों में न्यायिक सत्तारूढ़ के द्वारा गैर अनुपालन के मुद्दे को उठाया गया है शक है मामला. ये है कि आपकी सेवा में एक विस्फोट 5. पीसी के परिणामस्वरूप तरह की घटनाओं का कारण है. इस तरह के कठोर रवैया निश्चित रूप से बंगलादेश में हाल की घटनाओं के लिए नेतृत्व किया. "
    3. THE बड़ी लड़ाई IZZAT के लिए है: एक अनुच्छेद मेजर जनरल सुरजीत सिंह द्वारा लिखित
    "खतरे के पॉट उबाल लें पर देने की. यह इस समस्या का जल्दी में खत्म फटने वाला नहीं है स्पष्ट है. जो कालीन तहत यह ब्रश करने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं गंभीर खतरा करने के लिए देश का नेतृत्व कर रहे हैं. यदि यह आग की राख, निम्न में से कोई भी हो सकता है बाहर उड़ फिलहाल, इस स्थिति एक लापरवाह दिख रही है, लेकिन Jantar Mantar में तम्बू सीमित है:

    सैन्य सेवा के आकर्षण इसके पहले से ही निम्न स्तर से साहुल मई कौन एक अधिकारी बनने के लिए चाहेंगे या प्रणाली में जहां जनरल और कर्नल इस जर्जर ढंग से इलाज कर रहे हैं वृद्धि करने का प्रयास?

    अगर है, सहानुभूति की लहर के साउथ ब्लॉक, नागरिक सैन्य संबंधों के लिए यात्रा, और परिणाम के विनाशकारी हो सकता है एक फ़्लैश बिंदु तक पहुँच सकते हैं.

    और वास्तव में, यदि कुछ गर्म सिर पर फोड़ा, राष्ट्र एक बहुत भारी कीमत चुकानी मई सैनिक हथियारों से निपटने के लिए और बुनियादी सुविधाओं को नष्ट कर प्रशिक्षित किया जाता है. मैं इस बात से परे सोचने का स्फुरण. "

    अब वह सब कहा और किया, निम्न मेरा अंतिम समापन अंक और अध्यक्ष IESM करने के लिए अनुरोध कर रहे हैं:

    संगठन के पूर्व सैनिकों लीग की तरह ESM के कल्याण के लिए केन्द्रीय सैनिक बोर्ड और सेवारत सैनिकों बोर्ड उनके अस्तित्व का उद्देश्य विफल हो गए हैं की स्थापना की.

    इस कारण वे इन संगठनों को चलाने में सरकार के हाथ से बाहर खाना शुरू कर दिया है और मामले को बदतर बनाने के लिए, उन्होंने कहा कि व्यक्तिगत रूप से स्वयं के कुछ के रूप में इन संगठनों का इलाज शुरू कर दिया है हुआ है.

    IESM, मेरी विनम्र राय में, लोगों को इन नियुक्तियों पकड़े भरने से मुक्त (और) और पूरे संगठन का एक गड़बड़ कर पाने के लिए जो लोग वास्तव में करने के लिए समर्पित कर रहे हैं के साथ इन लोगों को बदलने के लिए एक प्रयास, उस पर एक मजबूत एक, बनाना चाहिए इस ESM, कौन समझ सकता है और इस कारण इन निकायों की स्थापना की थी सराहना का कारण.

    पंजाब की तरह कई राज्यों में इस संबंध में जहां इन संगठनों अभी भी वे वाले हैं कर्तव्यों प्रदर्शन अनुकरणीय है.

    और जब मैं यह कैसे लागू किया जा सकता है यकीन नहीं कर रहा हूँ लेकिन मैं यह भी कहा कि एक एक की तलाश शुरू क्या मिल जाता है.

    और अंत में, एक छोटी सी ऑफ विषय, विश्लेषण 'के लिए अभी तक एक और' समिति 'की स्थापना OROP के बारे में प्रधानमंत्री की ताजा घोषणा! यह इस सदी की घोषणा मजेदार है! यह सिर्फ और राजग के नेतृत्व वाली सरकार के सलाहकार भाजपा के समर्थन के पक्ष में जारी किए में मेरा विश्वास बढ़ाया है.
    मैं यह सब नहीं बल्कि लंबी संदेश पढ़ने के लिए समय निकालने के लिए धन्यवाद.
    तुम्हारा वास्तव में,
    Kameshwar पांडेय
    उप / मानद लेफ्टिनेंट मेजर (सेवानिवृत्त)

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Tuesday, 5 May, 2009, 9:50 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Pension News
    The news is out in the papers today. The government has announced constitution of a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to examine the issue related to old pensioners. I received several calls from the PBOR about it. While recognising that the government is acting under pressure, mainly due to depositing of medals by the veterans, they all showed lack of faith in the sincerity of the government. Many even endorsed what has been highlighted in the Press that with the elections in Northern States where the ESM have a sizeable population, being due in the third and the fourth phases, this is an attempt by the Congress to win them over. The main comment to be made is that while the government– as learnt through Press reports– wants the gap between old and new pensioners reduced, we want it removed.
    New Membership
    We compliment Col SS Rajan for motivating many ESM from Bangalore to become IESM members. We heartily welcome the new members to the family. Member List- click me
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    The Fauji Devalued

    Economic & Political Weekly
    Current Issue : VOL 44 No. 17 April 25 - May 01, 2009
    The Fauji Devalued
    Live issues within the military, such as physically and psychologically trying service conditions, especially during internal security duties, insufficient living accommodation, all jawans having to retire at the age of 38, 60% officers by the age of 54, and promotions (to which pay is linked) being very limited especially in the officer cadre, have been borne without much murmur. But now the dissatisfaction in the military is at high pitch, although this may not be seen by those outside “the system” – not even those who have access to intelligence reports, because most intelligence agencies keep uncomfortable facts away from the boss. The hard fact is that, justifiable or not, most faujis and veterans harbour a grudge against the bureaucracy, which they see as the hand behind the consistent denial of their just and fair demands. Admittedly, every person feels that his demand is just and fair. But we must note the great dissimilarity between what the fauji does, how he lives and works with risk to life and limb on the one hand, and on the other, bureaucrats who live relatively comfortable lives, receive assured promotions, draw higher salaries and earn more during their much longer service life.

    It is appropriate to quote examples. Only 7% of military officers get promoted to Brigadier rank after 28 years of service, much of it in hard areas, while 100% of the Indian Police Service officers are elevated to the “equivalent” post of Director/ Inspector General after 14 years of service. Similarly, only 2% of military officers get promoted to major general after 32 years of service, while 100% of IAS officers are promoted to the “equivalent” senior administrative grade after 14 years of service. (This coincidentally shows how the Indian Administrative Service is one-up on the IPS!). But this is not about officers alone, because the status inequity goes down the hierarchy to the sepoy who, though living a much riskier life and retiring much earlier, becomes inferior to his civilian counterpart.

    The load on the exchequer for providing military personnel status-service-salary parity with the IAS or police at all levels is not unaffordable considering, for example, the huge tax holidays and concessions being freely given to commercial and industrial corporations. While he freely accepts being under control of the union cabinet through the defence minister, the fauji resents the real-time control that is exercised by the bureaucracy to his personal detriment and the izzat of his service. He feels devalued, neglected and insulted. This state of affairs is undoubtedly harmful for the country’s internal and external security.
    Read more
    one-rank-one-pension demand
    The Burden of Military pensions- by Gautam Navlakha

    Short Service Commissioned Officers Short Circuited

    I am a fan of your Blog and visit it frequently. The issues brought out on the Blog site are very relevant to serving and veterans of Armed forces. Most of the issues have been covered in the postings but the one of the Lady Officers of Armed forces, who are very much a part and parcel of the Forces and as patriotic as the other male members, has not found a place in the site.

    But the irony is that in spite of many of us serving for 15 years, our presence is ignored. When Lady officers were initially inducted for 5/6 years, it was truly Short service but with time we got the 1st and subsequently 2nd extension, thus we hoped that PC will surely come one day..for those who were deserving. But to our shock, our services to the nation will come to a rude stop 15 years (not actually 15 yrs but 14 yrs 364 days)... Reason is that after 15 yrs, claims for pension can be made. This is truly gender discrimination. If we are good enough for 15 years why cannot we serve the complete tenure till the superannuation. The excuse given is as the lady officers move up in service, they will have to be given Commanding Officer duties....but I beg to differ the Technical lady officers in the Indian Air Force have already assumed the duty of Commanding Officers of communication units and have done well in those positions getting commendations and appreciations for their professional work. It is heart breaking that because some units do not want to have Lady Commanding Officers, the others do not want to give Permanent commission to serving lady officers of the Ground duty branches.

    We lady Officers have done our bit for the forces and the country and do not deserve this kind of treatment when the entire country and politicians are taking about Gender equality... Where is the equality?

    The youth stage is the most difficult time in a lady's life cycle with getting to know the nuances of the service, trying to prove herself against all odds...probably being the only lady officer in the base, having social pressures of getting married and having children, postings after every 2 yrs, separation from spouses etc.... After coming out successfully against all these odds...and serving for 15 years successfully...The lady officers are asked to hang their uniform without any recognition/ financial benefits and they have to venture again ...Now into the corporate world to find a place for herself, commensurate to her post in the Forces... For being a Gazetted Officer to now what a house wife or a lowly paid job. In the forces where many male officers want to leave forces and are frustrated lots.... The lady officers who are still motivated and want to continue to serve even after 15 years... are given no option. So the Government policy to Retain Male officers but throw out Lady Officers smacks justice.

    Sir, we need help of all senior officers to understand our plight... we are not asking for Reservations... only requesting that if We are Deserving then please let us continue and serve the Forces... We are also very loyal and patriotic... please do not doubt our integrity and capability.... "Help lady officers to get what they deserve- Permanent Commission". If the medical branch lady officers can do it... we ground duty lady officers of technical, logistics, admin branch also can... Please give us the opportunity to prove ourselves....

    Please do put these points in your blog... It will generate awareness about the plight of Lady Officers of Armed Forces and probably help our cause. I am a Technical Officer in IAF completing my tenure of 15 years on 29 May 2009... and then though I do not want to leave Indian Air Force, I will have to go and search for jobs in the Corporate world so that my professional skills do not rust.

    Ms Urmila Sahu
    (IAF Officer)
    Armed Forces Management Programme 10-Professional Profile
    Read more:
    We're proud to wear the uniform: IAF lady officers
    IAF says no need for woman officers, but retains male officers

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Monday, 4 May, 2009, 10:33 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Pension News
    There have been some Press reports that the govt is constituting two committees to work out enhancement in past pensions. Some news reportedly said that the govt is considering substantial benefits for the old pensioners. There has been a spate of telephone calls from ESM across the country on the subject. All callers complimented the IESM for putting the govt under enough pressure to act.
    In a related development it is learnt that the govt is considering enhancing pension benefits before demitting office on 16 May 2009. Following comments are merited:
    1. At this stage, a mere announcement by the govt of an intended action cannot inspire the desired level of confidence.
    2. To what extent the anticipated enhancement goes, is yet to be seen. However, anything short of full OROP is not likely to meet the aspirations of the ESM who have been actively involved in the movement.
    3. It needs to be reiterated that our well- articulated stance has been that our struggle is not merely for money; it is for equality and justice.
    Therefore, instead of giving a one-time parity – as the is rumoured to be considering - the govt must establish a service-cum-rank based equation in pension as a principle for all time. It would make little sense exulting over something that lasts only till the next pay commission.
    Election News
    Members of the IESM Core Group will be undertaking following visits to interact with the ESM and to re-emphasise the advisory issued on 12 April 2009:
    O5 May 2009
    Meerut and Ghaziabad– Col TP Tyagi
    NOIDA- Maj Gen AJB Jaini
    Bulandshahar- Maj Gen Pravesh Renjen & Col Krit Joshipura
    Muradabad- Col TP Tyagi
    Chandigarh- Maj Gen Satbir Singh
    O8 May 2009
    Bareilly- Col TP Tyagi
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    This evening, news has come in from Maj Gen Naresh Kumar, that the 'contempt case' was heard by the Honorable Supreme Court. The Government counsel filed a petition and sought six months to implement the court order to grant enhanced pension to the pre-1996 retired Maj Gens and equivalent.
    The Honorable Judge believed that the period sought by the MoD is unreasonably long. The govt of India has, therefore, been directed to complete the process within three months.
    Just think. If the govt needs six months to admit a fixed amount of money to less than 500 general officers, how long will they take to implement OROP for our 1.9 million ESM. It may take aeons to complete the process!
    With best wishes,
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Voice of PBOR's is the true reflection of IESM

    Date: Monday, 4 May, 2009, 9:15 PM
    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    This is with reference to the emails sent by some of our fellow veterans Raman, Navel Sailor, Ex Sgt Sunil Rao and many other PBORs not connected to the Internet and the ‘Report My Signal’ Blog. All of us have points to raise, similar to the ones raised by Ex. Sgt Sunil Rao. During our hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, veterans from all parts of the country exchanged their views and held similar opinions. Many time’s veterans used to have long and animated discussions about the results of similar movements in the past. Although our chairman has throughout been very clear, and has always assured all of us, that we will accept nothing less than OROP for all veterans. Officers, JCOs and Ors - all ranks, all arms. The chairman has also agreed to discuss the points raised by Sgt Sunil Rao in the core group meeting.

    I remember an incident that took place on 8th Feb 09 (the Black Day in the history of the Indian Military when we deposited our medals to the President of India). That day I asked a similar question to our respected chairman, Gen Raj Kadyan, “Sir, will you see this mission through, continue to fight till we win, or will you leave us with our problem somewhere midway?” This was not just my question. It is a question that thousands of ESM were visiting Jantar Mantar daily wanted to ask. The past has made many of us bitter and for good reason. So in response to my question Gen Kadyan said “Do you think I will do it?” Now I too have a long service and life experience in that one statement I got my answer. Seeing the body language, the dedication and the love was coming out from the General’s eyes, I felt ashamed of the question I had just asked. I communicate frequently with our leadership and I can tell everyone who is reading this that there are hundreds of reasons why we can and must put one hundred percent faith in Gen Kadyan and all of the IESM leadership.

    If any emoluments are extended by the government besides OROP to any segment of the Ex Servicemen group, we all must celebrate irrespective of the rank. At the same time, the question arises that all these benefits being announced by the government during the period of the movement seem to be the part of a well planed effort to DIVIDE the IESM into officers and PBOR. In my opinion the babus and the politicians have already divided the country in the name of cast, religion, state, rich poor and this list is endless. They now want to play the same dirty game of divide and rule with Ex Servicemen also. A game they learnt from the Britishers and a game they have mastered. So we need to be very careful here.

    When I was in service, I remember one briefing by my commandant about the future plan of action. He conveyed us that a sepoy plans for a day, a Nk plans for a week, a Hawaldar plans for a month, JCOs plan for a year, Company Commander Plans for three years and so on. The General plans for the national security (both external and internal) and the community of the service personals, retired, their families, children’s education and everything else for 20 years and beyond. Now I wonder if the same is still being followed by the Indian military. Whatever is being done to the ESM today is the result of the degradation of thoughts of those who are calling the shots and thus the future plans they make and propose are doomed to bring unhappiness and dissatisfaction to all those who are affected. If a serving General thinks only for his own tenure and for his own personal wellbeing, this is a rather alarming situation for the Indian military forces as well the nation itself.

    Many highly respected retired Generals have written articles and letters to serving Generals, some of lines which I quote:
    1. Letter to Gen Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, SM, VSM., ADC Written by Maj Gen Surjit Singh, AVSM,VSM (Retired) “YOUR EERIE SILENCE IS DEAFENING”. “I am sanguine that as the incumbent Army Chief, you would like to be remembered as a bystander in this `battle royal’. And if, on the other hand, you believe that we the veterans crossed the Laxman Rekha, than we must be told so, but with good reason.”
    2. Letter to CAS, CNS and COAS – OPEN LETTER by Vice Admiral Harinder Singh, PVSM AVSM (Retired)
    “When, I chanced to meet you and brought up the subject of my letter and OROP in the evening of 18th Mar 09, I was hurt, but not surprised that you had not cared to read my letter or taken the trouble to be briefed or become aware of the case or contents of the Judgment, The Court judgment has important ramification for the millions of Veterans, both PBOR and officers. I was even more concerned that the welfare of the juniors and those without a voice had taken a back seat in the mind of a service chief much against the ethos of the services where we took pride in the welfare of our juniors. The perception among the retired community is that not one Chief has raised his voice in support of Pension Parity for the Veterans and I doubt even if one Chief has raised the issue of non compliance by the MOD of the judicial ruling in the Maj Generals case. It is events like these that caused an eruption in your service consequent to 5th PC. Such callous attitude certainly led to the recent events in Bangladesh.”
    3. THE BIG FIGHT IS FOR IZZAT: An Article written by Maj Gen Surjit Singh
    “The Danger of Letting the Pot Boil Over. It is evident this problem is not going to blow over in a hurry. Those who are trying to brush it under the carpet are leading the nation to grave risk. At the moment, the situation is confined to an untidy looking tent in Jantar Mantar, but if the splinters of this fire fly out, any of the following can happen:
  • Attractiveness of military service may plummet from its already abysmally low level. Who would like to become an officer or strive to rise in the system where generals and colonels are treated in this shabby manner?
  • If, the sympathy wave travels to the South Block, the civil military relations may reach a flash point, and the consequences can be disastrous.
  • And indeed, if a few hot heads boil over, the nation may have to pay a very heavy price. Soldiers are trained to handle weapons and destroy infrastructure. I shudder to think beyond this point.”

    Now all that said and done, the following are my final concluding points and requests to the Chairman IESM:
  • Organizations founded for the welfare of ESM like the Ex Servicemen League, Kendriya Sainik Board and Serving Soldiers Board have failed the very purpose of their existence.
  • This has happened because those running these organizations have started eating out of the government’s hands and to make matters worse, they have started treating these organizations as something that they own personally.
  • IESM, in my humble opinion, must make an effort, a strong one at that, to get rid of the people filling holding these appointments (and making a mess of the entire organization) and to replace these people with those who are really devoted to the cause of the ESM, who can understand and appreciate the reason why these bodies were founded.
  • Many states like Punjab have been exemplary in this regard where these organizations still perform the duties they are supposed to.
  • And while I am not sure how this can be implemented but I also know that one tends to find what one starts looking for.
  • And finally, a little off-topic, the latest announcement by the Prime Minister regarding setting up yet another ‘committee’ for ‘analyzing’ OROP! This is the funniest announcement of the century! This has just further reinforced my faith in the advisory issued in favor of supporting BJP led NDA government.
    I thank you all for taking the time to read this rather long message.
    Yours truly,
    Kameshwar Pandey
    Sub/Maj Hony Lt (Retd)
  • Monday, May 4, 2009

    SCPC: High-level committees to look at ex-servicemen’s ‘One Rank, One Pension’ demand

    May 4th, 2009 - 6:43 pm ICT by ANI
    By Praful Kumar Singh
    New Delhi, May 4 (ANI): Heeding the long held demand of retired defence personnel, the Government has constituted two high-level committees to look into the various issues concerning ‘One Rank, One Pension’ of ex-servicemen.

    In the absence of ‘One Rank-One Pension’, anomalies in the pension of two persons of same rank arise and also there are instances of hundreds of war veterans drawing lower amount of pension as compared to personnel who retired in the recent past.

    The Government has constituted a high level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to reduce the gap in the pensionary benefits to soldiers and officers and bring it as close to ‘One Rank, One Pension’.

    “The other members of the committee are Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary (Personnel), Secretary (Expenditure), and Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare),” said a senior Defence ministry source.

    Financially the decision will additionally cost the government around 500-600 crore per annum and would be much less than the estimated financial liability for grant of OROP, the source said.

    The other committee set up by the Ministry of Defence will be headed by Secretary (Defence Finance), Indu Liberhan, to sort out anomalies in the implementation of orders relating to armed forces pensioners.

    The Sixth Pay Commission report had recommended 50 per cent weightage for armed forces PBORs during retirement, whereas earlier they would receive 70 per cent weightage until rehabilitated in other paramilitary forces. (ANI)
    High-level committees to look at ex-servicemen’s ‘One Rank, One Pension’ demand

    Comments: Sounds like a election gimmick to sway and deceive the ESM voters again! The IAS sponsored committee is to delay confuse and mislead the ESM organisations into hibernation!

    SCPC: Panel formed on one-rank-one-pension demand

    Medals not received by Pratibha Patil

    May 4th, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS
    New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Shaken by the large numbers of ex-servicemen returning their medals to protest the government’s rejection of their demand for one-rank-one-pension, a high level committee has been formed under Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar to examine the extent to which this could be achieved.
    “The defence ministry is of the view that while accepting the demand for one-rank-one-pension is not feasible administratively, a case exists for bringing the pension of those retiring before 1996-97 at par with those who retired after that,” an official said Monday.

    “The gap between them has widened after implementing the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission,” the official added.

    Ex-servicemen have so far returned some 13,000 medals won in combat or for distinguished service to President Pratibha Patil, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces. Patil has not met the protesters, who have handed over the medals in three batches to a member of her staff.

    The Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement (IESM) says that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension.

    It points out that a army sepoy who retired before 1996 gets a monthly pension of Rs.3,670, while one who retired between 1996 and December 2005 gets Rs.4,680. A sepoy who retired after January 2006 gets Rs.8,700.

    Effectively then, an army havildar, who retired before 1996, gets a pension that is less than that of a sepoy retiring after January 2006 though the havildar enjoys a higher rank. The mismatch applies to all ranks.

    The government had earlier this year rejected the one-rank-one-pension demand, pointing to the logistical and financial problems it would create.

    “The demand for one-rank-one-pension stands already examined in detail and was not found acceptable due to administrative, financial and legal reasons,” Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju had said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Feb 18.

    “However, the government is also examining whether certain improvements can be made in the pension being given to the old pensioners,” Raju added.

    He pointed out that pension benefits of personnel below officer rank (PBOR), particularly of the three ranks of sepoy, naik and havildar, were significantly increased Jan 1, 2006, by increasing weightage from 5 years to 10, 8 and 6 years, respectively.

    This apart, the pension of pre-Jan 1, 1996 retirees is being computed with reference to the maximum of the payscale introduced on that date, Raju added.
    “In consultation with the Ministry of Finance, the benefits thus accrued to PBORs have been allowed to be retained while revisiting their pension,” Raju pointed out.
    Panel formed on one-rank-one-pension demand

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Sunday, 3 May, 2009, 10:20 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Gen Aditya Jaini and self visited Sikar today and addressed an ESM gathering of approximately 400, including families. Brigadier, Kartar Singh, Brig Bhagwan Singh, Brig Arya, Col Janu and Col Munshi were others who shared the stage. The event was organised by 75 years old Veteran Sub Bhagwan Singh of 1 JAT, who as President of the Sikar Ex Services League has acquired a reputation for punctiliousness.
    The reasons why we are supporting the BJP in the elections were explained, understood and were loudly applauded.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Food for Thought: Building a Complement to a Political Party- Rajesh Jain's Blog
    As I observe the Indian elections at close-range, I have also started thinking about what we can do better. More specifically, is there a role for “Friends of BJP” (or for that matter, a “Friends of Congress”) once the elections are over? I think there is a big void that such an entity can fulfill. Here are some starting ideas.

    1. Create an army of volunteers across India. This will be the new cadre, comprising youth and professionals who stay engaged through the period between elections, work in their local constituencies (zones), build inroads into the communities and associations, and thus become a credible voice of wisdom. A multi-level network needs to be created to manage this value chain.
    2. Create a Continuous Engagement Programme with Middle India. We should create a weekly session (say, Fridays 6-7 pm) that allows people to network and converse. Each week there needs to be a topic for discussion with material provided centrally, and feedback solicited after the discussion. This programme will help the volunteers widen the reach and build a deeper presence in society. This engagement will also help identify the leaders of tomorrow.
    3. Identify 10 Key enabling Ideas / Innovations / Disruptive Technologies. These can help the party leapfrog and get a huge advantage in the political marketplace.
    4. Fund a Think Tank. The goal needs to be create something like the Centre for American Progress or Brookings Institute which explores new ideas, organizes talks, builds deep intelligence into how India is changing, and creates a governance agenda (and policies) for the party.
    5. Nurture 1000+ candidates across India. At the end of the day, the party needs to win Lok Sabha elections. The process of identifying the right people should begin now, and they should be trained to work in a constituency so they can be battle-ready in a few years. They can use technology to identify local issues, stay connected with people, and solve problems.
    6.Project a Big, Bold Vision for India. The party needs to provide an overarching positive vision with big bold ideas for the country which can attract people in Middle India. For example, a $10 billion investment into solar energy, the creation of 100 new cities to house 1 million people, a high-speed rail transportation network across India, opening up the education sector to public-private partnership, leapfrogging to 4G in wireless and 100 Mbps to offices and homes in broadband, etc. - ideas which can capture people’s imagination, and also create Indian organizations that can lead globally because of their strong domestic market presence.

    The goal thus has to build a modern organisation focused on the new, emerging, urban India, which can be a key source of ideas and inputs to the political party it is affiliated to. We have to be the movement that captures the dreams and aspirations of Middle India. It is a volunteer organisation, but one that has a corporate discipline. I think we will find plenty of people willing to dedicate an hour or two a week to participate in this process.

    Improving the input (quality of people) to our political system is what will lead to an improvement in the quality of our politics and governance.

    What do you think? Is this possible? What else can groups like these do? Would you be willing be participate in this process?
    Building a Complement to a Political Party

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Heros Remember

    Pritam Jauhal
    Pritam S. Jauhal, was born in Jalandhar, Punjab Province, India on October 4, 1920. He was one of four children. At his mother’s insistence, he moved at the age of sixteen to New Delhi to further his education. Here he lived with his aunt and uncle. Mr. Jauhal’s father had served in the First World War, and Mr. Jauhal himself enlisted in 1937, citing the threat of global domination by Hitler as his reason. He joined the England Corps of Signals. He became a wireless operator, and served in that capacity during the Allied campaign to liberate North Africa. Mr. Jauhal saw no further action in the war, but remained in the Indian army. He served three tours of duty during the wars with Pakistan, and was also a member of the International Control Commission in Hanoi. Mr. Jauhal retired with the rank of Colonel.
    Heros Remember

    Mumbai Mayhem: Terror in the South

    The Hindu Sunday, May 03, 2009
    Pro-LTTE group attacks Army convoy near Coimbatore
    V.S. Palaniappan

    An Army truck being attacked by members of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam near the Neelambur Bypass Road on the outskirts of Coimbatore on Saturday.

    Coimbatore: A convoy of Army trucks was attacked near the Neelambur bypass road here on Saturday by Tamil chauvinists belonging to the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) who claimed that the vehicles were transporting weapons for the Sri Lankan Army for use in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

    Over 100 activists, armed with stones and logs, blocked the convoy which was ferrying Army personnel, who had completed field training in Secunderabad, to the Madukkarai regiment in Coimbatore district. The windscreens of some vehicles were smashed, and many tyres deflated. The PDK is a breakaway fringe group of the Dravidar Kazhagam.

    Two PDK members, K. Ramakrishnan and R. Lakshmanan; two belonging to the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Chandrasekaran and Murugesan; and one Prabakaran were arrested by the Sulur police. Cases of rioting and damage to public property were registered.

    According to the police, when the convoy approached the Neelambur bypass road on the outskirts of the city, it was intercepted by the PDK activists led by general secretary Ramakrishnan. Even as some of the agitators blocked the convoy, others deflated the tyres of three trucks. Motor vehicle documents in the trucks, as also helmets, bedrolls and clothing were set on fire. An attempt was also made to burn the tarpaulin of a private truck on Army duty carrying weapons.

    Eyewitness accounts said that initially some of the weapons were seen strewn around on the road. However, the Army personnel quickly took safe custody of the weapons.

    Eighty more trucks were detained at Perumanallur and at a few other places en route. Army personnel, who came in the other trucks, clashed with the activists. Two journalists were among those injured. Deputy Inspector-General M. Ramasubramani and Superintendent of Police N. Kannan rushed to the spot with reinforcements. Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, Pramod Kumar later told The Hindu that the activists were removed and the Army convoy was safely moved.

    Incident in Salem
    In Salem, another group of PDK activists stopped a convoy and entered into a wordy duel with the Army personnel, accusing them of assisting the Sri Lankan Army in its war against the LTTE. The PDK men were accompanied by members of the Tamil Desiya Iyakkam and the Thamizhaga Ilaignar Iyakkam, both fringe groups wedded to Tamil nationalism.Army officers, however, explained that they were returning to their unit after completing training. Only after police intervention was the convoy allowed to move again.
    Pro-LTTE group attacks Army convoy near Coimbatore

    Officers to become Colonel after 15 yrs of service

    2 May 2009, 0322 hrs IST, TNN
    NEW DELHI: In a major decision impacting the age profile of Army, Navy and Air Force commanding officers, the government on Friday fixed 15 years of commissioned service for substantive promotion to the rank of colonel, instead of the existing 20 years.

    "The government today fixed 15 years of commissioned service as the minimum qualifying service for substantive promotion to the rank of colonel in the Army, captain in the Navy and group captain in the Air Force. The decision of the government has been received at the Service headquarters," sources said here.

    Until now, lieutenant colonels in the Army, commanders in the Navy and wing commanders in the Air Force had to put in a cumulative qualifying service of 20 years after commissioning for promotion to substantive colonel and equivalent ranks. However, they became unit commanding officers even with just 16 years of service, as per the cadre management policies of the tri-services, but had to wait for another four years to be confirmed as substantive colonels and to receive the salary of a colonel. In effect, it would mean that there would be no more ‘‘acting’’ ranks of colonel, captain and group captain in the services.
    Officers to become Col after 15 yrs of service

    PBORs left out of the loop- No Lateral Employment after limited career in Armed Forces
    Date: Saturday, 2 May, 2009, 4:28 PM
    dear col
    can someone think of our jawans/sailors/airmen who do not even become of havildar/ petty officer/ sergeant even after putting in 15 yrs colour service in our defence forces and they remove uniforms in pay band 1 only?
    MCMECH(P) Retd

    IESM: PBOR's view point

    Date: Saturday, 2 May, 2009, 2:59 PM
    Dear Gen Kadyan Sir,
    Introducing myself to this panel of distinguished veterans, am Ex-Sgt MR Sunil Rao, presently accepted as the Convener of IESM, Mysore. The points mentioned in these reports by the panel were very informative and suggestions put forth, looked highly debatable. As a veteran and from PBOR's collective point of view, these suggestions mentioned below could be of immense motivating factor in help building up the IESM at all levels throughout the country.

    Aligning with any political party for the sake of pursuing our vision
    Suggestion: We feel it is a futile exercise, as we have experienced ourselves in the garb of IESL, in the past decade. The following aspects must be persued:
  • a list of our demands could be redrafted in brief without going into full details, and submitted to all political parties (because a voluminous memorandum would never be assimilated nor understood by them), the three service chiefs (all of whom would be veterans shortly), before the election results are declared, and a goal has to be projected to the them in terms of days or months. This should be implemented in the manifestos of any front which heads the government.
  • after the election results, the government in power has to be pressurised through a collective representation at all levels of IESM, throughout the country. HQ, IESM can draft a common memorandum and circulate to all members of IESM, a date could be fixed throughout the country, media could be apprised of the event and then the memorandum along with local issues if any, could be handed over to the Deputy commissioners or the local heads of all districts, and most importantly, the elected MP of the constituency BY HAND. Places where IESM is yet to be formed, a copy of the draft could be sent to all District HQ'S and all the 534 MP's by name from HQ, IESM. All MP's, irrespective of political parties, they are affiliated to, would then be accountable to this noble cause.

    PBOR's in IESM Governing Body
    PBOR's, with whom I have widely networked with, mostly apolitical ones, throughout the country are a bit dissappointed seeing the names of only officers in the Governing body of IESM. Suggestions:
  • Veterans from distinguished PBOR's and Widows could be nominated on the board, so as to give the esteemed IESM, the required Representative impetus and motivation. During all these days of its formation and media appraisal, the PBOR's were feeling a bit used up, in furthering the cause of just PB4 and income tax issues, and OROP was taking a back seat and loosing its priority. There are also a number of issues w.r.t disparity in pension concerning different levels of PBOR's which are totally neither highlighted, educated nor projected at all.
  • Sainik Boards at all levels should be revamped and made accountable throughout the country.

    Bureaucratic functioning
    Veterans of all ranks are totally disgusted at the bureaucratic way of functioning, and the same lame excuses of blaming the higher formations in not responding to any positive suggestions or complaints. Suggestion:
  • HQ,IESM could play a major role with the central Government, highlight the present system and revamp the whole structure and organisation of the sainik board, which has now become defunct, w.r.t pursuing the policies laid down. They have to made more accountable at all levels of their organisation. IESM running the organisation could also be thought of as a future vision, on a partnership basis.
  • The root of the problem visible to me is that Veterans are being appointed as sainik board officials, and feel very sorry to say that these same people are trained during service years to only think inside the box and never give any thought to change their attitude of looking outside the box, after coming out of defense services. As a paradigm shift, maybe the services of educated wives of veterans could possibly be the right answer to this vexed problem.

    Hope these points and suggestions could be an eye opener in pursuit of IESM becoming more effective, lest it dilutes it goals after hopefully the OROP is achieved.
    Ex Sgt Sunil Rao

    Dear Sudhir,
    All officer ESM are thinkers and have their own opinion, which is only expected of us. I generally desist from commenting on views from individual members. But allow me to clarify:
    1. We are not aligned with any political party in the sense implied in your mail. We are only aligned with OROP. Any Party that committed itself to giving OROP would have got our support. You may like to read the sitrep dated 8 Feb 2009. The extract: "If the current government sanctions the OROP, we will fully support it during the elections".
    2. No IESM funds are being spent on the activity as apprehended by you. I wonder what led you to this inference.
    3. I have not addressed the serving persons ever. However, dispassionately speaking, the defence forces are part of the democratic society and if the serving are allowed to vote, it is but natural that vote seekers would try to influence them. We are mixing up between being politically aware and being politicised.
    4. You, me and our ilk have always been concerned about the reputation of the Fauz. But it matters much less to the PBOR pensioners who are hardest hit. Should we not also stand for them?
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
  • IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Saturday, 2 May, 2009, 9:58 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Rumours have been ripe that the PM during his election visit to Punjab on 03 May would announce benefits for military pensioners. (In fact almost a week ago a Hindustan Times correspondent had told me of it during a telephonic interview. He then published my remarks in the Chandigarh edition of the HT– not very faithfully.) Let us wait and see what the PM announces, if he does.
    The three recent benefits have been totally officer-related i.e. Lt Cols in PB4, HAG+ for 33% Lt Gens and Colonels getting their rank in 15 years instead of the earlier 20. This has expectedly sent a wrong signal to the PBOR that the system does not care for them. In the fitness of things, they should have cleared the pending point of weightage for the PBOR first. (The RM had confirmed to me during a meeting on 18 Dec 2008 that this would come through). I wonder if the Govt took/ takes any advice on such matters.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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