Saturday, October 3, 2009

Floods in South: Army begin rescue

Indian Army began the rescue operation on Friday

Saturday, October 03, 2009 (07:30:38)
Bangalore/Hyderabad: At least 130 people have been killed in Karnataka and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in heavy rain since Wednesday and army boats and air force helicopters on Friday began to rescue hundreds of people marooned at several places. One hundred and four people have died in six north Karnataka districts and 26 in Andhra Pradesh in the torrential rain caused by a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. Hundreds of people in the two states were trapped in flood waters and were waiting on rooftops and higher places to be rescued. Thousands more have been rendered homeless.

In Karnataka, the maximum number of 29 deaths were reported from Bijapur.

"Ovger 40,000 houses have been damaged," a spokesperson for the Karnataka revenue ministry told media.

He said five helicopters and 40 boats have been deployed for rescue and relief operartions. Over 85 relief centres have been set up, he added.

In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said the flood situation was grim and army personnel have been deployed for rescue operations.

Six helicopters have been pressed into service to rescue people. While four helicopters are being used to airlift the flood-hit in Kurnool district, two choppers were deployed in Mahabubnagar district. A helicopter rescued 15 people in the famous pilgrim town of Mantralayam.
Rain fury claims 130 in Andhra, Karnataka; Army begin rescue

Infrastructure India: A Long Road Ahead...When the cities will buckle?

Chennai- T. Nagar bursting at the seams by R. Sujatha
Traffic came to standstill, owing to festival shoppers’ crowd

BUMPER TO BUMPER: Traffic on Bhashyam Street near the Panagal Park junction in T. Nagar on Friday.

CHENNAI: Shoppers who came to T. Nagar on Friday would have probably regretted their decision. Vehicular traffic in T. Nagar came to a standstill several times, thanks to the festival shopping crowd.

Police had a tough time regulating traffic as vehicles piled up along Venkatnarayana Road, G.N. Chetty Road, North Usman Road and Thyagaraya Road by noon.

Shoppers struggled to move around and autorickshaw drivers demanded exorbitant fare to drive through overcrowded streets. K. Saravanan, a car driver, said, “It took two hours to negotiate a two-km stretch from the Kodambakkam junction to T. Nagar. The traffic hold-up began at the Kodambakkam junction around 11 a.m. When we entered T. Nagar, it was 1 p.m.”

While MTC buses managed to wind their way slowly, cars, autorickshaws and two-wheelers clogged the roads. Traffic was heavy around the junctions near Kodambakkam-North Usman Road, Venkatnarayana Road-Burkit Road and Thyagaraya Road-Dr. Nair Road. Many who hired autorickshaws or cabs got off midway and tried to walk to the destinations.

At most places, pedestrians struggled to cross the road.

C.N.R. Selvaraj, who works in T. Nagar, said he had to wait for 10 minutes before he could cross G. N. Chetty Road near the Kannadasan statue. Though traffic police towed away vehicles from several roads, it did not deter many from parking along the road margins on other roads such as Thyagaraya Road and Bhashyam Street.

A commuter had a hard time bargaining with an autorickshaw driver for a trip from Coats Road to the Doraiswamy Road junction, a distance of about 1 km.

The driver demanded Rs.40. Another auto driver charged Rs.70 for a trip from Panagal Park to Trust Puram, three km away.

Sources in the Mambalam and Soundarapandianar Angadi police stations said there were no complaints of missing children. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Shakeel Akhter said that since certain traffic regulations were introduced recently, it led to some confusion. By evening, motorists were getting familiar with the changes and the traffic flow became easier, he said.
Chennai- T. Nagar bursting at the seams: The Hindu
Related reading
Infrastructure India: A Long Road Ahead

IESM: Chairman's Desk- OROP goal is a long haul

Dear Colleagues,
We heartily welcome the following veterans click me from Bangalore who have joined the IESM family and compliment the motivator, the dynamic IESM Convener Karnataka, Colonel SS Rajan.

We continue receiving a large number of requests and messages relating to the IESM pension and the ECHS cells. These two newly created cells have been received well by the environment. With the dedicated experts involved in the running of these cells, one can hope for a high level of satisfaction.

With the seeming/ perceived lack of movement on the part of the government on OROP, an odd email received from veterans betrays a kind of despondency at the lull. We need to remind ourselves that OROP as an issue is over 25 years old. A long struggle was only to be expected – it is not a six-day war. The pace of tempo is bound to vary. However, the constitution of the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee, inclusion of the OROP in the Presidential address and earmarking of over Rs 2100 Crores in the current fiscal for ESM pensions are visible signs of progress and are the result of your struggle. We have to retain optimism and keep the pressure on.

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

ECHS: Purchase of Medicines not Permitted as Policy

In case of an emergency, an ECHS beneficiary can directly report to an Empanelled Hospital with his ECHS Card. The hospital is responsible for issuing an emergency certificate and informing the ECHS Polyclinic regarding the emergency admission within 48 hours. Based on this, the ECHS Polyclinic then issues a formal emergency referral. The onus of this entire procedure is with the Empanelled Hospital.

Similarly in case of OPD treatment also in an Empanelled Hospital, the hospital is supposed to do the paperwork and not the ECHS member.

The ECHS beneficiary is not supposed to purchase any medicines since the same is not reimbursable as per existing policy on the subject. He is supposed to collect them from the ECHS Polyclinic based on the advise of the Empanelled Hospital.

Reimbursement of cost of medicines is permitted only in certain special conditions if the patient is referred by the Polyclinic and medicines prescribed are required to be taken with immediate effect on discharge from the Empanelled Hospital as enumerated below:
  • Post operative cases of major Cardiac Surgery / Interventional Cardiology.
  • Oncology.
  • Post operative organ transplant cases.
  • Post operative major Neurosurgical / Neurology cases.
    Prescription for demand of the medicines are required to be provided to the OIC Polyclinic immediately after discharge. Cost of medicines purchased is reimbursable for a period of maximum 30 days only.

    Col Sanjay Sah
    Regional Centre ECHS
  • Friday, October 2, 2009

    World marks Gandhi's 140th anniversary

    One hundred forty years ago this month Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, India -- destined, as no one could have guessed, to restore "the jewel in the crown" of a foreign empire to its homeland. We join many in celebrating the birth -- or what the Mahatma himself wanted to call "spinning wheel birthday" -- that shows, on the one hand, the unlimited potential of a human being to become a force for lasting change and reminds us, on the other hand, how much further the change he launched has got to go. We invite you to join us for that celebration and continue the work.
    Celebrate 140 years of Gandhian Nonviolent Resistance

    2:33pm Friday 2nd October 2009
    Political leaders paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the 140th anniversary of his birth today, which is also World Non-Violence Day.

    India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh joined the leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party L K Advani in New Delhi at Rajghat, the memorial to the Mahatma (meaning Great Soul).

    Others who attended included the country’s vice president and leader of the main ruling Congress Party Sonia Gandhi.

    The event is also celebrated as World Non-Violence Day and Mr Obama urged all nations to “live his ideals and celebrate the dignity of all human beings”.

    On the day marking the birth of a man who gave up everything to live an austere life, German luxury penmaker Montblanc unveiled a limited edition fountain pen in honour of Gandhi.

    Only 241 pens, each with a price tag of 17,000 euros (£15,600), will be manufactured - one for each mile he walked to the shore in Dandi where he protested a colonial tax on salt.

    Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the man characterised by his dhoti - a loose cloth around his waist - and spectacles, was the pioneer of a mass civil disobedience movement based firmly on total non-violence which led to the end of British colonial rule and independence for the country in 1947.
    World marks Gandhi's 140th anniversary
    Nation pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 140th birth anniversary

    "Pay arrears before Diwali", Antony’s gift to the Armed Forces

    The Defence Minister, Shri A K Antony lighting the lamp to inaugurate the Defence Accounts Day 2009 function, in New Delhi on October 01, 2009. The Controller General of Defence Accounts, Smt Bulbul Ghosh and the Secretary (Defence Finance), Smt Indu Liberhan are also seen. Photo no CNR- 27862

    Thursday, October 01, 2009
    18:47 IST
    The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has stressed that all men in the Armed Forces must get all their pay arrears relating to the Sixth Central Pay Commission well in time before Diwali. Addressing the Defence Accounts Day function here today, Shri Antony commended the officials of the Controller General of Defence Accounts for adopting computerisation and speeding-up the salary computation systems.

    “One of the major challenges before you all is to render prompt, efficient and hassle free pensionary services to nearly 2 million Ex-servicemen and other retired Defence Personnel”, Shri Antony said. The Defence Minister called upon the Defence Accounts officials to implement optimally the austerity measures announced recently by the Government. “The Prime Minister has underlined the importance of service delivery mechanisms”, he added. Samir/DM/PK/RAJ
    “Pay arrears before Diwali”, Antony’s gift to the Armed Forces

    More MoD Press Releases
  • Lieutenant General PC Bhardwaj, took over as Vice Army Chief today at South Block, New Delhi.
  • Air Marshal LK Malhotra, today took over as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at HQ Eastern Air Command, Shillong.
  • Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Bhangu, today took over as the new Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command (SWAC) at Gandhinagar, today.
  • IESM: New members from Bangalore

    Respected Brig Kamboj,
    Jai Hind.
    Please find click here, names of 46 more Veterans from Bangalore, (as per first set of three Pages: 7, 8 & 9 of the att) who have since become members of IESM. Details of cheques deposited with HDFC Bank, Bangalore, in respect of these 46 Veterans are as per the second set of three pages: 7, 8 & 9.
    Col SS Rajan (Retd)

    Visit IESM webpage for more details: click me

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Chandigarh Calling- Col Ranjit Singh Tiwana 91st B'day

    Dear Signallers,
    Col Ranjit Singh Tiwana, a veteran Signaller has turned 91. To celebrate the same he was the host at the Monthly Mercury Club Tea at Chandigarh on 01 Oct 09. The Mercury Club Chandigarh tea is hosted in turn by all the Signals veterans on the first Thursday of every month.

    The Veterans arranged a birthday cake. Maj Gen MS Dhillon presented a bouquet to Col Tiwana being the next senior and Brig KS Gill as also Col JS Kandha spoke about the life and services of Col RS Tiwana.

    Col RS Tiwana was commissioned in the Corps of Signals in 1942. He underwent the Staff College Course at Quetta, now in Pakistan, was instructor in the Infantry School at Mhow, commanded 5 Inf Div Sig Regt and was DCSO Jammu and Kashmir during 1965 War.

    Later Col RS Tiwana joined the BSF and served for 8 years in this Organisation. His son late Col Amarjit Singh was also in the Corps of Signals. Col Ranjit Singh Tiwana lives in Chandigarh and with the grace of God he is in good health. He walks 2 1/2 km every day and still drives a Contessa, but only during daylight hours.

    We wish him a long and healthy life.

    We were very happy to have Maj Gen Manmohan Singh (Retd) who is heading The Army Welfare Education Society and Mrs Manmohan Singh as also Col KK Khanna (Retd) from New Delhi and NOIDA respectively, on this occasion.
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM (Retd)

    Maj Gen Manmohan Singh was the the 40th Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals. An alumnus of National Defence Academy, the General Officer is a graduate of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. He has also attended National Defence College in New Delhi and Higher Command Course at College of Combat, Mhow. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers.

    Maj Gen Manmohan Singh had been a General Staff Officer (operations) in an Infantry Division and at a Command Headquarters. He was also been a Deputy Commander of an infantry brigade in Western Sector. He commanded a Mountain Division Signal Regiment in high altitude in Sikkim and was instrumental in planning and restoration of communication during the flood which struck Mangan district in August 1983.

    He was appointed Additional Director General Personnel Services at Army Headquarters. Prior to this, he was Chief Signal Officer of Southern Command. He was Operational Logistics analyst at Army Training Command. Maj Gen Manmohan Singh is a recipient of Ati Vhishisht Seva Medal. Now after retirement he heads the AWES- Army welfare Education Society. He is a go- getter and surely we would be seeing the Vision of AWES- ‘Quality Education at Affordable Cost’ to all ESM children- materialise under his able stewardship. He was my company commander when I did my Young Officers (YO- 60) course at MHOW in 1972 and I for sure know he tolerates no nonsense in achieving the aims and goals of AWES.

    China Showcases Military in Anniversary Parade

    Courtesy Wall Street Journal

    BEIJING -- China kicked off National Day celebrations Thursday with an old-style communist military parade featuring missiles and tanks and a series of floats touting its new prosperity -- an extravaganza involving hundreds of thousands of performers intended to showcase both its history and its rise as an economic power.

    ...The events were the culmination of months of careful planning to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, founded when China's civil war ended with a communist victory. Like the opening ceremony of last year's Olympics, it was a precision event with no detail too small to ignore -- even the marching soldiers had been selected to be almost the same height.

    Security was tight, with huge swaths of the city under tight control. Over the past two years, China has experienced the first serious ethnic riots in recent history and officials have started to warn of a growing terrorist threat. Police closed the international airport for the three-hour event, while buildings half a mile away from the parade were sealed off and handed over to local police. As the parade got under way under blue skies, it resembled more of a solemn ceremony than a festive occasion. Every performer, float and slogan had been carefully chosen by the Communist Party's propaganda machine.

    In rehearsals over the past few months, students carried large books they held up over their heads and opened in unison to make giant pictures or slogans. When they turned the pages -- always in unison according to radioed instructions -- new pictures and slogans appeared. The synchronized effort was the result of hundreds of hours of practice.

    "Almost everyone wanted to participate because it looks good to have been selected," said Fu Yiran, a 14-year-old high school student who was to participate. "Only the best students get to do this." The viewers of this extravaganza: a television audience of hundreds of millions, and a hand-picked audience of dignitaries. On the north side of Tiananmen Square, the country's leaders solemnly reviewed the event.

    As in past parades, much foreign attention was focused on the military hardware for clues to the country's rapid military modernization. At the 50th anniversary in 1999, 24,000 soldiers paraded by, often with outdated weapons. Reflecting the Chinese armed forces' shift from a large land-based army to a smaller, modern force, just 5,000 soldiers were scheduled to participate this time, but their weapons are the envy of many countries.

    Businesses and ordinary life around Beijing came to a halt on Thursday as the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding with a huge military parade. Chinese officials said 52 weapons systems -- all made in China -- will be on display. None were expected to be new for military experts, but many observers were still fascinated by the display.

    One key weapon that has attracted attention is the "aircraft killer" Dongfeng 21, an antiship ballistic missile. Wendell Minnick, Asia bureau chief for Defense News, said the missile is meant to keep U.S. aircraft carriers at bay should they try to come to Taiwan's aid in the event of a Chinese invasion. (China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and has said that it could use force if Taiwan were to declare its formal independence.)

    "This is going to give the China-threat crowd in Washington ammunition," Mr. Minnick said. Chinese officials said the display wasn't meant to intimidate, but simply to display the fruits of modernization. "A country's military ability is not a threat to anyone, what is important is its military policy," Gen. Gao Jianguo, executive deputy director of the office of the National Day Military Parade Joint Command, said earlier this week. The military parade is part of a new tradition, he said, and isn't meant to send other countries a message.
    China Showcases Military in Anniversary Parade

    His Excellency Shri Vayalar Ravi, Hon’ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs: Is he wasting his time or is he on Vacation?

    A Social Security Agreement has been signed between Government of India and the Government of Luxembourg. The MOU was signed by His Excellency Shri Vayalar Ravi, Hon’ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Government of India and HE Mr. Mars di Bartolomeo, Minister for Social Security, Government of Luxembourg at Luxembourg on 30.09.2009. The Social Security Agreement with Luxembourg provides for benefits to Indian nationals working in Luxembourg.
    India signs Social Security Agreement with Luxembourg

    Luxembourg— Population: 486,006
    With 1,150,000,000 (1.15 billion) people, India is currently the world's second largest country. India crossed the one billion mark in the year 2000, one year after the world's population crossed the six billion threshold.
    Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs owes an explanation to the Nation. How many Indians are working in Luxembourg? Is it a safe haven for India's black money? How many bureaucrats have bank account? Do we need this agreement for a couple of Indians, when millions in other nations like in the ME have no such similar agreement?

    Why India is cornered like a mouse?

    By T.J.S.George, 29/09/2009
    Column: Why this cat and mouse show?
    As Mr Hardy would have sternly told Mr Laurel: “Well, there’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into”. Except that Manmohan Singh and associates are not doing a Laurel and Hardy show. It’s more like a cat and mouse show. India, rising economic power and IT giant, looks today like a cornered mouse being teased and taunted by a gang of sadistic cats...

    Our (family and) personality-based politics prevent our system from either achieving the national unity required on crucial issues or eliminating social disgraces like poverty and discrimination. Our vast filthy slums and our atrocities against women and dalits are open for all the world to see. No country can allow mass misery among its citizens and win the world's respect. And a country that is not respected becomes a mouse for cats to kick around.

    About the author: TJS George is a well-known journalist, columnist and author. He began his career in Bombay's Free Press Journal in 1950 and moved through the International Press Institute, The Searchlight and the Far Eastern Economic Review to become the founding editor of Asiaweek (Hong Kong). He is currently the Editorial Advisor of The New Indian Express.
    Why this cat and mouse show?

    IESM: Cabinet Secretary tosses "OROP" out of his court

    Dear Friends,
    The Govt has not yet issued orders even in the case of JCOs and ORs for whom pensions were to be enhanced to remove old anomalies. Our Jawan who retired before 1996 continues to draw Rs 3500 pm as pension.
    We had requested the President of India for a meeting which is still awaited. You are already aware that the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary instead of exploring the new avenues to address the OROP issue, simply quoted reasons given by various committees held earlier which had rejected the OROP to once again reject it. They intentionally made no mention of the committees and court rulings which favoured grant of OROP. If this was to be the pre drawn conclusion of the outcome of the committee, then was the Government action a mere eye wash or was it to mislead the parliament and the patriotic defence personnel?
    Friends, we have time and again appealed to all ESM organizations and ESM to unite and with one voice fight against the injustice in a dignified, peaceful and disciplined manner. At this juncture, I would request all ESM to beware of attempts being made by the Government to create rifts and fissures in ESM Unity. Some ESM may be carried away by narrow personal gains and try to raise negative voices. All ESM are requested to be careful and not fall prey to such mechanizations. You are all aware that the IESM has brought the issues of defence Personnel to the focus of whole nation. The Government is fully aware of it. Please join the Movement in large numbers. Please motivate other ESM Jawans, NCOs, JCOs, and Officers to become members. This is the only way we can get justice which has been denied to us for the last 62 years.
    An attempt is being made to send a joint letter by IESL, IESM, NFDC, and RDOA to the Prime Minister to address the most urgent issue of OROP and a few other aspects of welfare of Defence Personnel. Lt Gen SK Bahari has made special efforts to make it possible. If the unity is carried forward with scrupulous honesty, ruthless commitment and efficiency, the Government will have to consider our genuine demands more seriously and accept the same. We at the IESM appeal to all ESM organizations to join in the protest Movement being conducted in a most dignified and disciplined manner. Let us agree to support the cause of ESM ie “Getting Justice” for Defence Personnel.
    We are also planning to contact all our former Chiefs of Army, Navy and Airforce to join in the efforts. We plan to have a conclave of former chiefs where in they can jointly appeal to the Government to consider our demands seriously and urgently. As already informed, in order to intensify our Movement, our next event will be held on 25 Oct 09 at Jantar Mantar New Delhi where, once again ESM will deposit their medals with the President. We appeal to all ESM organizations and ESM to join in this effort of protest which is most dignified to express our hurt feelings. We plan to deposit a very large number of medals on the 25 Oct 2009.
    Like Kargil Divas, we are planning to commemorate Vijay Divas though series of events which will be informed to all shortly.
    “Please, Please and Please Join in the efforts to Get Justice”
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    IESM: Let our Pension Demands reflect aspirations starting from a Sepoy upwards

    Dear Colleagues,
    There has been a spate of emails from ESM offering various interpretations of OROP and suggestions on what should be the way forward. We are grateful to all those who have taken time and effort to provide these inputs. These will be valuable in formulating/ refining our plans.

    One does get disconcerted to note that quite a few emails are officer-centric. While every ESMs interests are important, we must not lose sight of the fact that an overwhelming majority of our community are Sepoys, NCOs and JCOs and they must remain the focus of our efforts.

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

    IESL: Armed Forces Veteran’s Pension Demand

    ESM community has been clamoring for justice with respect to their pension. But the clamor does not seem to have much of an effect on the Government. Obvious is that the clamor is lacking clarity and strength. The ESM themselves are not clear on what their demand on pension is. So many tables and so many theories! Here is an attempt to study the issue once again.

    The Principle “Any two pensioners who are equals must get the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement”. Clear and brief and in terms of the famous judgment in the case of DS Nakra Vs UoI! Yet, the interpretation of the principle is varied because of the difference in the understanding of the word ‘equal’.

    Equality There can be no difference of opinion as far the rank is concerned, though some of us seem to mix up the acting and substantive rank. As far pension is concerned, the pay is the ruling factor and, therefore, the grade pay, whether in the capacity of acting or substantive, determines the corresponding rank. However, equating a rank obtained through selection with that through time scale is an aberration. I do see some justice in such equation as for pension is concerned. Some may argue that separate grade pay must be stipulated for Time Scaled Promotion. There is logic in that argument, as well.

    Service element Here we have different and strong opinions. I have recommended that if the service qualifying for pension is the same for two pensioners then they must be considered as equals as far service element is concerned. On the contrary, some claim that certain minimum service must be rendered in the rank for claiming full pension in that rank and must also be equal between two pensioners of the rank. Consider the following points:

    In the Armed Forces we suffer from two constraints, first lack of opportunity to serve till the age of superannuation permissible to all Government employees and the second the rigid pyramidal hierarchical organizational structure. Both these constraints inhibit a soldier (includes all ranks) from earning the maximum of the pay scale of the scale applicable leave alone a higher rank, higher at least by two more.

    In the Armed Forces, the selection process is so rigid that not more than three chances are made available for consideration to promotion. In addition, due to specialization we are divided into various arms and services, each having its own pyramidal structure and with varying ratio for promotion. This is not the case in other cadres like IPS and IAS.

    Therefore, I rationalize thus. A soldier gets handicapped while serving with delayed promotion in relation to his batch mate due to the constraints mentioned above. Let not the handicap be carried forward even after retirement. Hence treat the qualifying service for pension and not the service in a rank as the criterion for equality for pension purpose.

    Definition of AVPD. Thus we arrive at the definition of AVPD as “Two pensioners, having retired at the same rank and with the same years of qualifying service, are entitled for same pension, irrespective of the date of retirement”. Let us debate on this and arrive at an acceptable and if need be a refined definition before venturing into preparation of Tables of Pension.

    A Word of Caution Mind you! There was a time prior to the 3rd CPC when a soldier was entitled pension purely based on his rank at the time of retirement, provided that he has put in the minimum service to earn pension. The number of years of service he has served in that rank did not make any difference in his pension. The phrase ‘One Rank One Pension (OROP)’ came into existence then. But the third pay commission considered that the years of service in that rank also is pertinent in determining the pension and therefore, they recommended that the Armed Forces pensioners also must be brought under the Pension Rules applicable to the Civilian Government Employees. OROP was no more valid. IESL took up the matter with the SC in 1991 to accord OROP on the strength of SC Judgment in the case of DS Nakra Vs UoI and, was denied. I reproduce Para 2.12 of the CS’s Report and my comment.

    Para 2.12 “… the pensioners as a group consists of persons with different number of years of service and different average pay during the relevant period. If all of them have to be treated alike by providing same pension while ignoring their respective variation in service and average pay, that may amount to treating unequal as equals. This may entail discrimination, offending the principles of equality before law as enshrined in our Constitution”. This is the stand, of course a right one, taken by the Ministry of Law.

    Hence, OROP in its apparent meaning, that same rank same pension, does not hold good for us, the ESM. To claim rank based pension with some condition of minimum service in that rank with no regard to the service rendered beyond, shall also be viewed with the same logic given above.

    Qualifying Years of Service (QYS) for Full Pension The Government has accepted the 6th CPCR reducing the QYS to 20 years from the earlier 33 years with grace period for truncated service and, has now, extended the liberalized QYS to those of post 01-01-2006 period who retired prior to 01-08-2009 also. But, the Government has not extended this liberalization to the ESM community as on 01-01-2006. If SC judgment is intended to be treated as law, the Government has erred. In Nakra case, the bone of contention is with respect to the notional pay for fixing pension. Should it be average of 33 months emoluments applicable for pre 01-01-1986 or of 10 months applicable for those of post 01-01-1986? The court held that any liberalization in the pension rule must be made applicable, disregarding the date of retirement. Hence, pre 01-01-1986 pensioners’ pension was revised on the basis of 10 months average. On similar logic, the liberalization of QYS as 20 years must stand extended to all pensioners. It is indeed sad that the Government holds different view, though illegal.

    The Major Hurdle The issue of AVPD will, ultimately, boil down to the debate on emoluments eligible for pension. Should it be the emoluments drawn at the time of retirement or the emolument that is due for one retiring afterwards, in the same rank with the same QYS? The change in emoluments arises due to change in the time frame of the service, argues the Ministries of Law and Finance. This has been amply discussed duly supported by the wisdom shown by the five judges Constitutional Bench of the SC in the case of DS Nakra Vs UoI and by the SC judgment in the recent case of Maj Gen Vains Vs UOI. Please refer to my ‘Analysis of CS’s Report’: click me put on the net– to Veterans on CS Report 30 June 2009.

    Arbitrary Notional Pay Here is a need to understand that Article 14 scoffs at arbitrary decision even in legislature. Any provision, even while liberalizing the pension, if considered arbitrarily, is in violation of Article 14. So says the judgment in the case of DS Nakra Vs UoI. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the notional pay for fixation of pension for the ESM must not have any arbitrary element. We cannot pick out a figure ‘out of the hat’. The choice of notional pay must bear a rational relationship based on fairness. It if is unduly beneficial to some and harmful for some, then it is to be treated as unfair and hence in violation of Article 14. Whether it is the maximum of the pay band or pay scale of the fitment table, the minimum of the pay band or pay scale or the average of two figures, if it leads to irrational gain or loss to any, it is treated as arbitrary.

    Conclusion. Let me now conclude with the suggestion that all of us well-meaning veterans must review all the projections including mine on AVPD forwarded to the RM in the form of a detailed analysis referred above in Para 9. The projection is placed below for easy reference.

    “Let the pay of all pensioners of the Armed Forces be notionally fixed at the rate given to similar officers of the same rank and same length of service after the revision of pay scales with effect from 1.1.2006, and, thereafter, their pension benefits be computed on such basis as applicable to those retiring after the date of implementation with prospective effect from the same date of implementation.

    Permit the pensioners to draw an annual increment at the rate applicable to the serving personnel, such that the disparity, if any, that arises due to such increment to the serving personnel, can be set right.

    Let a suitable element of compensation, in addition, be allowed for the truncation of service before the age of superannuation permissible for any employee as a matter of right.”

    Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan (Retd)
    Member IESL Governing Body

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    IESL: Cabinet Secretary brushes aside OROP as " Incorrectly Interpreted"

    Dear Veterans,
    The lull that has set in is disturbing; no matter if it is the lull before the storm of forceful activity or that of complacence.
    Let us review the status of Armed Forces Veteran's Pension Demand (AVPD)(click here for meaning of AVPD). True to the President’s command, the Cabinet Secretary with the able assistance of six more Secretaries from the various Departments and Ministries came up with indisputable facts (so called) from the existing records and convincingly concluded that the demand of OROP is not justified. How many promises, reviews and conclusions to deny OROP and how many more are likely to be, I wonder. The pity is that the so called facts are based on irrelevant statements from basically the Legal and Financial departments. But irrelevant or not, the conclusion is so convincing that the RM feels bound by the recommendations, that in his DOL dated 16th Aug addressed to me, he has conveyed that the recommendations are under implementation.
    What did we do, when the CS was asked to make his recommendation? Did we make any effective step to ask for a discussion with either the CS or the Ministers? I sent a paper, which a few of you found to bring out our demand fairly emphatically, to the RM requesting him to forward to the CS. He appears to have done so and the CS has brushed it aside with one single comment under Para 5.1 heading Option 1, incorrectly interpreting. The voice of a single insignificant veteran is worse than silence. The fact that none, none indeed of the ESM community, felt the need to follow my paper in any manner or to initiate suitable action to profess our demand, immediately on hearing of the assignment to the CS, speaks volumes of our intentions and efforts to achieve our ambition to restore justice denied to us over decades. Let us introspect. Where do we stand?
    Nothing is lost as yet. I sense that the MoD is reluctant to act on the CS’s Report. They want effective counter arguments from ESM community, based on logic, to overrule the recommendations. Well, I have done what best I could. I have sent my analysis to the RM, on 3rd Sep. IESL has done what they could. They presented a brief to the RRM on 16th Sep. Are these efforts good enough and representative of the whole of ESM community, esp., when the Ministry is aware of the existence of far too many associations and their not seeing eye to eye even in preparation of two page representation to the PM, leave alone on a proposal on AVPD?
    This is an appeal to everyone of the net savvy veterans to introspect and rally together to take a most effective step to impress upon the Government, to hear us out in a systematic manner before initiating action on the CS’s Report. By any chance the words are found a bid hard hitting, forgive me. It is not with intention to hurt but only to emphasize.
    Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan (Retd)

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Pak War blunders of 1965

    The Indian and Pakistani generals in the war of 1965 were cast in the same mould. Only Akhtar Malik stood out as an imaginative and dynamic general. — Photo by AFP

    Field Marshal Ayub Khan felt that the time was ripe to wrest Kashmir from India. He planned to do this in two phases.

    In the first phase, the Muslim population in occupied Kashmir would be incited to rise in revolt by infiltrators. In the second, the army would deliver the knockout blow by severing at Aknur the line of communication serving the Indian forces south of the Pir Panjal range — although Maj Gen Akhtar Malik planned the exploit towards Jammu to sever the road link to the valley.

    In the first week of Aug 1965, 5,000 lightly armed men slipped across the ceasefire line. They were hastily trained civilians with a sprinkling of regular soldiers. They were the Gibraltar Force. While the surprise lasted, they conducted a series of spectacular raids and ambushes. Then the expected happened. Indian retribution against Muslim villages was swift and brutal.

    As a result, the locals not only refused to cooperate with the raiders but also started assisting the Indian forces to flush them out. To make matters worse, Indian forces started capturing critical areas in Azad Kashmir and threatening Muzaffarabad. With its fate sealed, the Gibraltar Force disintegrated. Phase 1 of the plan had backfired. In order to release the pressure being applied on Azad Kashmir, the next phase was launched.

    In the early hours of Sept 1, 1965, the sudden thunder of 100 artillery guns stunned the Indian troops in Chhamb and heralded the opening of Operation Grand Slam. As Pakistani armoured forces advanced rapidly towards Aknur the Indian defences crumbled and their troops fled in disarray. Instead of exploiting this, the operation was suddenly stopped to effect the infamous change of command.

    Gen Choudhry, Indian’s army chief and Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh had given a great opportunity to Gens Naseer and Hameed to trap the western command and score a decisive victory. Instead of being driven by a relentless urge to get to River Beas soonest, they bungled it. The Indian and Pakistani generals in the war of 1965 were cast in the same mould. Only Akhtar Malik stood out as an imaginative and dynamic general.
    For more details click link below:
    Pak War Blunders in 1965: Indian Army's stunting victory

    Time to change "Sepoy" to "Jawan"

    A sepoy (IPA: /ˈsipɔɪ/) (from Persian سپاهی Sipâhi meaning "soldier") was a native of India, a soldier allied to a European power, usually the United Kingdom. Specifically, it was the term used in the British Indian Army, and prior to that in the Honourable East India Company, for an infantry private (a cavalry trooper was a Sowar), and is still so used in the modern Indian Army, Pakistan Army and Bangladesh Army. The same Persian word has reached English via another route in the form of Spahi.

    Sixth Central Pay Commission: Intriguing Question
    As per para 5 of MACP, promotion earned/ up gradations granted under the ACP scheme in the past to those grades which now carry the same grade pay due to merger of pay scales/ up gradations of posts recommended by the 6th CPC shall be ignored for the purpose of granting up gradations under MACPS.

    As per para 8 of MACP, promotions earned in the post carrying same grade pay in the promotional hierarchy as per recruitment rules shall be counted for the purpose of MACPS. With regard to the above instructions, please clarify the following situations:
  • grade pay of sepoy is 1800
  • grade pay of havildar is also 1800
  • as per recruitment rules, sepoy is feeder cadre for promotion to the grade of havildar.
  • as per para 5 of MACP, whether the havildar is eligible for next ACP, ignoring the promotion?
  • as per para 8 of MACP, whether the havildar is not eligible for next ACP?

    This is the most common query raised by many Jawans. Para 5 of MACPS only refer to cases of pre revised scale of pay of Rs 5000-8000/, 5500-9000/- and 6500-10500/-, since all these three scales have been merged after 6th CPC. But this is not the case in other pay scales. These scales have come in to same Group due to up gradation of some feeder grade scale. THESE CANNOT BE TREATED AS MERGER OF PAY SCALES. Hence, Promotion from Sepoy to Havildar post will be counted and ACP will not be admissible though promotion is in same pay scale Band. This situation has come in several pre- revised pay scales especially applicable to Group D.

    What is MACP?
    As assured by Government, for implementing modified ACP scheme after elections, the order for modified ACP Scheme in line with Sixth Pay Commission Recommendations has finally been issued by Government.

    Features of MACPS- Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme
    There shall be three financial upgradations under MACPS counted from the direct entry grade on completion of 10, 20 and 30 years.
    Financial upgradation under the scheme will be admissible whenever a person has spent 10 years continuously in the same grade pay.
    The grade pay at the time of financial up gradation under MACPS can in certain cases where regular promotion is not between two successive grades, be different than what is available at the time of regular promotion. In such cases the higher grade pay attached to next promotion post in the hierarchy of the concerned cadre/organization will be given only at the time of regular promotion.
    The financial up gradation under the MACPS would be admissible up to the highest grade pay of 12,000 in PB-4.
    The pay shall be raised by 3% of the total pay in the pay band and the grade pay drawn before such up gradation. There shall be no further fixation at the time of regular promotion if it is the same grade pay as granted under MACPS.
  • Demands of Ex Services League Punjab and Chandigarh

    Monday, 28 September 2009
    PATIALA: Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh has sought a better deal for Havildars and Sub Majors from the Centre Government Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal, president of league in his memorandum faxed to Defence Minister, AK Antony, has asked the government to change the Pay-Band for Havildars and equivalent ranks from PB-I to PB-II and for Subedar Majors and equivalent ranks from PB-II to PB-III since the Sixth Pay Commission have degraded their ranks.

    League stressed upon the government that the soldiers of the rank of Havildar form the real backbone of Defence Forces and Sub Maj acts as a Chief executor of the strategy in the war. These two ranks have been virtually crushed by the recommendations of Sixth Central Pay Commission and further demeaned by faulty implementation resulting in reduced pay and salaries. The Havildars have been virtually equated to class-IV civilians such as Peons, Chowkidars, Mali and Dhobi etc in respect of pay.

    League has further asked the Minister to release immediately the orders for promised ONE RANK ONE PENSION for Junior Commissioned Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks which was announced by Finance Minister in Union Budget on 6 July 2009, and then by the Minister himself in the Parliament and finally by Prime Minister on Independence Day but the orders regarding the same has not not been issued so far.

    League has also reminded the Minister that the government had also promised to give pension to soldiers up to the rank of Havildar at 70% and to JCOs at 60% of the last pay drawn to compensate for their early compulsory retirement, but to the great disappointment of the soldiers, these orders have also not seen the light so far whereas orders regarding change of Pay Band from PB-III to PB-IV for the Lt Cols have been issued long ago although these recommendations were made by the same group of ministers in the same report. With this partial treatment given to lower ranks, a great resentment is prevailing in the Defence Forces and among the veterans which is not good for nation’s security.

    League has further demanded two pensions for the widows of ex-servicemen who drew two pensions during their life time. Because of early compulsory retirement, most of the soldiers have to seek employment in civil departments to compensate for their meagre pension which they draw by virtue of their service in the Defence Forces. Such veterans draw two pensions after their retirement from civil departments but their widows are not entitled for second pension as per the present pension policy.

    Along with this, League has gone further to demand befitting alternate re-employment for the soldiers up to the age of 60 years like their civilian counter parts since about 90% among the soldiers are compulsory retired prior to their superannuation to keep the forces young.

    League has vehemently stressed upon the government to fulfill the demands of veterans at the earliest lest they take to the streets like civilian counter parts.
    Last but not the least, the league has forcefully demanded that government authorities do not use the term PBORs for Junior Commissioned Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks as they feel much humiliated and demeaned by such inglorious attributes.
    Posted By Muthukrishnan to indianexserviceman at 9/28/2009 07:48:00 PM

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Ex- Servicemen Welfare Trust extending a helping hand

    Late Subedar Ram Chand, a World War II Veteran, (1900– 1970) of Village Bohan, of Hoshiarpur District in Punjab is being remembered today by the Exwel Trust, Tirunelveli. click me

    Moved by the ESM welfare activities of the Exwel Trust, his son, retired Wing Commander Sushil Sudan, a decorated Electronic Engineer of the IAF, (settled in Canada) makes generous contribution of Rs10,000/- in memory of his late father.

    The Managing Trustee, Sgt R Chellappa (Retd) and all the Trustees of Exwel trust convey their sincere thanks for this noble gesture. The Trust and its beneficiaries will always remember this help with an assurance that the money will be utilized for the welfare of the poor ex-servicemen and their families. The details of the activities will be regularly reported in the indianexserviceman and in the (under construction) in a few days. The Exwel Trust is proud to publish the Photograph of (Late) Subedar Ram Chand on this occasion.
    Wing Commander Sushil Sudan (Retd) maintains a blog his own blog at: click me
    Posted by Muthukrishnan ex- Sgt

    Dear Veteran Brothers,
    I wish to state most humbly that I feel honored by your very generous reference to me & my late father, Subedar Ram Chand. I feel that my little contribution stands nowhere in comparison to the selfless & dedicated service shown by the EXWEL TRUST members. Your mission is outstanding & deserves more contribution by those who can afford it in any form, be it monetary or active participation by its TRUSTEES which is more important I shall continue to support the TRUST in my humble way in future too. I shall always support the cause of our defence men in uniform whether in service or post retirement as I know where the shoe pinches having worn it for many years.
    With warm regards & appreciation,
    Wing Commander Sushil Sudan (Retd)

    Better pay sought for Havildar

    Patiala, September 27
    The Indian Ex-Service League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has demanded better pay scale for havildar and subedar-major.

    In a statement issued in this regard today, league president Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal said they had sent a memorandum to defence minister AK Antony requesting the government to change the pay band for havildars and equivalent ranks from PB-I to PB-II and subedar-majors and equivalent ranks from PB-II to PB-III.

    While stressing that soldiers of the rank of havildar were the backbone of the defence forces and subedar-majors chief executors of strategy in war, Chhatwal said the two ranks had been crushed by partial recommendations of the sixth pay commission.

    The league has also urged the government to issue orders for one rank, one pension for the junior commissioned officers, senior non-commissioned officers and other ranks. — TNS
    Better pay sought for Havildars and Subedar Majors

    Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO)

    The Army is an excellent source of skilled manpower, right across the board. Every year, thousands of highly trained Officers, including Short Service Commissioned Officers and Women Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Jawans leave the Service and are keen for a second career. Army Personnel guarantee all round high standards. They are reliable, self motivated and committed individuals with extensive specialist training and a ‘can do’ attitude.
    The Army Placement Agency (APA) is a welfare organization of the Indian Army which is functioning under Adjutant General’s Branch of Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army). It was established in May 1999 to assist retiring/ retired Army personnel in seeking avenues for suitable jobs in civil as second career options. This establishment is in addition to, yet independent of, the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR).
    Employment Opportunities for ESM
    Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs)
    •Middle Level Managers – Security Officer, Transport Fleet, Communications, Estate.
    •Supervisor – Security, Communications, Workshop, Hostel, Estate.
    •Store-in-Charge, Fire Fighting Officer, Computer Operator / Programmer
    •Office–Supdt, Assistant, Clerk, PA, Steno
    Sepoys and Non Commissioned Officers
    Engineering Trades
    •Draughtsman / Surveyor – Trigs, Field, Auto Carto, Topo.
    •Overseer – Electrical, Mechanical, Buildings & Roads.
    •Mechanic – Refrigerator, Motor Vehicles, Heavy Vehicles, Instruments, Engineering Equipment, Machinist.
    •Electrician – Engineering Equipment, Motor Vehicles, Heavy Vehicles, Aviation Aero Engine / Avionics.
    •Helio Worker, Photo Writer, Welder, Tin & Copper Smith, Brick Layer, Painter & Decorator, Limb Maker, Tool Maker, Armourer, Pattern Maker.
    Telecommunication Trades
    •Operator – Cipher, Radio, Line Equipment, EPABX, Generator, Line Test Recorder
    •Mechanic – Telecom, Electronics Systems, Radio, Generator, Radar.
    •Assistants – Nursing, Laboratory, Blood Transfusion, X-Ray, Health, Operating Room, Special Treatment, Psychiatry, Ambulance, Dental.
    •Radiographer, Dental Hygienist, Pharmacist, Laboratory Technician, Nursing Technical.
    Technical Trades
    •Technician – Ammunition, Petroleum.
    •Catering – Supervisor, Cooks, Waiters.
    •Carpenter, Blacksmith, Painter, Tinsmith, Tailor, Washerman, Safaiwala, Saddler, Barber, Kennelman.
    •Bandsman – Piper, Bugler, Drummer.
    •Education – Teacher, Translator & Interpreter (Foreign Languages), Physical Training Instructor / Drill Instructor.
    Common Trades
    •Clerks - General Duties, Store – Control / Provisioning, Postal, PA / Steno.
    •Security Guards, Peons, Drivers – Heavy / Light / Recovery Vehicles, Caretakers – Messes / Guest Houses.
    •Store Keepers – Armoured Vehicles, Ammunition, General Stores, Clothing, Mechanical Transport, Signals.
    Army Placement Organisation

    Why conditions for employment of retired Military Personnel?
    An Indian army soldier has right to work after retirement. A government official is expected to keep secrecy only while in office. He is not a slave of some arbitrary rules until his death. If our security can be threatened by retired army men, then that shows how weak our setup is, and this should be corrected. Working as a private citizen after retirement is not a right only for bureaucrats. Military personnel are also entitled to to work freely without any pre- conditions after retirement.

    Dealing With The Dragon: Tawang Monastery the bone of contention?

    Let's face it, the recent increased Chinese pressure and posturing on Arunachal Pradesh is real. The response needs to be measured, and not hysterical. Dissuasive deterrence holds the key- Namrata Goswami

    The intended visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh in the second week of November 2009 to inaugurate a hospital in Tawang district, for which he had donated Rs 20 lakh, is raising Chinese ire.

    Border Problems
    Once again, the picturesque state of Arunachal Pradesh, the historical bone of contention between India and China, is back in news. China claims 90,000 square kilometres of territory from India; the total land area of Arunachal Pradesh is 83,743 sq km.

    The incompatibility between India and China has a historical context and is based on a lack of proper demarcation of the 3,500-km border in the eastern sector. China questions the 1914 McMahon line and argues that the area now known as Arunachal Pradesh belonged to Tibet historically, with the Tawang Monastery having tributary relationship with the Dalai Lama. Since Tibet is now a part of China, goes their argument, so is Arunachal Pradesh. The Dalai Lama, on the other hand, agrees with the Indian position and recognizes Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India. The Buddhist monks in the Tawang Monastery also argue strongly against Chinese claims on their land as having no historical basis or legitimacy whatsoever. The Chinese insecurities become apparent when seen in the perspective of revival of protests in Tibet last year, as the status of Tibet itself remains contested by the Tibetans, both within and outside Tibet.

    Another major problem regarding the eastern border between India and China is the different perceptions both countries have about the actual physical demarcation of the border. The worrisome aspect for India in this context is that despite more than two decades of negotiations, India is the only country with which China has not settled its border dispute.

    The Chinese activities in Tibet itself, with their plans of diverting the Yarlung Tsangpo (the source of the Brahmaputra in India) is another area of grave concern for us. This diversion will have an enormous negative impact on the eco-system and the people of Northeastern India and Bangladesh. The residents of Arunachal Pradesh will be the first to be affected with possible drought and lack of fresh water because of this change of course. The border dispute between India and China could take on the added dimension of water security, seen by many srategic analysts as the most likely source of conflict in the future.
    Dealing with the dragon: Tibet and Tawang Monastery

    Sunday, September 27, 2009

    Chinese see India as enemy

    Sunday, September 27, 2009, 16:58 IST
    London: India is the country that is spoken of most often as an enemy in China, a British newspaper reported on Sunday, but quoted a retired Chinese officer as saying the men serving the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have no "devotion".

    "Compared with our last war against India in 1962, our equipment is much better but the devotion to country and people of our officers and men is much worse," the Sunday Times quoted an unnamed retired officer as saying.

    In an article on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, the paper said the occasion is set to be marked by the "grandest martial parade in the history of modern China", with displays of a new generation of fighters, ballistic missiles, battle tanks and rifles.

    "Thursday's parade is certain to provoke an outpouring of virulent nationalism. Curiously, the enemy most often spoken of is India," the paper said.

    Censors, otherwise draconian in their grip over Chinese netizens, permit "alarmingly frank discussion" on the Internet on going to war against India over Tibet.

    However, the paper said veterans who know the PLA from the inside say that despite all its shiny new kit, such grandiose ideas mask the reality of "a force that has no recent battle experience and is riddled with corruption".

    It said insiders speak of a system of bribes ranging from CNY 10,000 (USD 1,400, Rs 70,000) for a good post for a private soldier to CNY 30,000 for a place at military college.

    The Sunday Times quoted General Zhang Shutian, a political commissar, saying in a recent address: "If corruption in the army continues, ideology will decay and open the way for religion, while the promotion system risks causing a mutiny."

    China's People's Daily newspaper declared on Friday: "We must abide by (former Chinese leader) Deng Xiaoping's instructions that China must be under the leadership of the Communist Party.

    "If this fundamental principle is altered, China will go backwards, split and fall into chaos," it warned. IANS
    Chinese see India as enemy

    ISI offering covert support to Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan

    September 27th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by ANI-
    Kabul, Sep.27 (ANI): A senior advisor at the Afghan Foreign Ministry has seconded General Stanley McChrystal’s stance that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is still offering covert support to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Daoud Muradian said Taliban’s recent resurgence in Afghanistan is being funded by Pakistan’s intelligence services.

    “What we face in Afghanistan is a triangle of terror - it comprises Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISI of Pakistan,” Muradian said in an interview to Al Jazeera.

    “Pakistan uses the Taliban as a leverage against us, against India and also as a leverage against the international community - to blackmail them. What we are facing in Afghanistan is state-sponsored terrorism,” he added.

    It is worth mentioning here that General McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, had recently submitted a report to the Obama Administration, which stated that insurgency in Afghanistan was being fanned by Pakistan.

    “Afghanistan’s insurgency is clearly supported from Pakistan,” McChrystal said in his report.

    McChrystal also identified that the Taliban’s Shura Council (leadership council) in Quetta led by Taliban chief Mullah Omar, as the biggest force fighting the NATO-led troops in Afghanistan.

    In his report General McChrystal has underlined how efficiently Mullah Omar is running his ’shadow government’ in Afghanistan. (ANI)
    ISI offering covert support to Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan: Expert

    CAG raps IAF: UPA trying to drill austerity into the Military

    NEW DELHI: At a time when the ruling UPA is trying hard to drill home the message of austerity among its ministers, it seems the government may have to work even harder to convince the services to toe the line. In a stark example of the taxpayer's money being splurged on personal travel, it has come the light that the Indian Air Force spent crores converting eight of its topline aircraft AN-32, meant to carry troops and transport arms and ammunition, for VIP travel. While no VIP travelled in the aircraft, these were used by armed service officers, their wives and defence ministry officials.

    Shockingly, these aircraft were converted for use by VIPs- meaning the President, PM and Vice-President- despite IAF already having a fleet for this purpose which was underutilized by as much as 63%. In five years between 2002 and 2007, IAF spent Rs 75 crore operating these modified AN-32s, mainly for personal purposes by Other Entitled Persons (OEPs).

    These are the findings of the government's official auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General. The Public Accounts Committee, which also looked into the issue and submitted its report to Parliament during the budget session, has asked IAF to immediately restore all the eight AN-32s for operational purposes and not divert any service aircraft for other use, sources said.

    In its report, the PAC said it was "surprised" that these aircraft were used by the presidents of wives' associations of the armed forces, who clearly weren't covered under the category of OEPs.

    The committee has sought to know how much was spent on the travel of non-entitled persons in these aircraft. It has also recommended a ministerial probe into the matter and sought a report within three months on the steps taken to prevent such misuse in future.

    The CAG audit had revealed that of the 104 AN-32 that the forces had, only 50% were fit for operational use. Yet, the top brass had allowed conversion and modification of its frontline aircraft. IAF had purchased 118 AN-32 between 1984 and 1991. Of these, 14 had crashed over the last few years during operations.

    More than 50% of the fleet was grounded for lack of operational capability. Still, IAF modified six AN-32 during 2001-03 for `VIP use'. It had earlier modified two aircraft for VIP use between 1992 and 1999. The modification was not only irregular but lacked justification, the CAG report said.

    According to rules, these VIP aircraft are to be used by the President, the Prime Minister and the Vice-President. Senior officers of the defence ministry or the services can use them if it is absolutely important. The conversion was considered unjustified given the fact that IAF already had a fleet of more than 14 aircraft and half-a-dozen choppers for this purpose as part of its Communication Squadron meant only for VIP travel.

    The Communication Squadron consists of two Boeings, seven Avros, four executive jets and six helicopters. Despite this huge fleet for three persons, the government acquired three Boeing Business jets at a cost of more than Rs 900 crore in 2008. These aircraft were meant to fly the PM and the President to far off locations and to be used for other domestic flights.

    It was found during the audit examination that the existing fleet of the Communication Squadron was utilized by a mere 27% between 1999 and 2007.

    A senior defence ministry official said, after the rap from the Public Accounts Committee, IAF has given an assurance that all the modified aircraft had been restored back to operational requirements.

    Interestingly, in 2001 the then defence minister, George Fernandes, had asked the then defence secretary to constitute a high-level committee with representatives from armed forces to "look at lavish lifestyle and misuse of service aircraft" by IAF officers and their family members. The orders had come after repeated media reports that some of the senior IAF officials' wives had misused service aircraft to fetch lobsters and pastries from far off locations. However, no such committee was ever formed, a senior defence ministry official told TOI.
    Planes for VIPs used by IAF officers, wives

    Corruption thrives in our system

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 The Poineer: Kunal Saha
    There can be no argument that the single most important factor halting India’s progress is the pervasive corruption in the country, especially in the public sector. Despite impressive showing in overall economy and trade in the recent times, India is still considered as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

    Petty corrupt practices like a police constable demanding bribe from a traffic violator are unmistakable on the street. But the abundance of corruption that truly impedes development of a nation is rooted to a much deeper level. Reports of brazen corruption by high ranking officials in almost every important division of public services, including the judiciary, have hit the headlines.

    Recently while suggesting that the hunt for the corrupt had so far bypassed the top, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the CBI to go after the “big fish”. Even Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan recently called for seizure of the assets of public officials convicted in corruption cases. There are more reasons than one for the unabated growth of corruption in India. As the CJI has indicated, inordinate delay to prosecute the corrupt individuals plays a vital role in the proliferation of corruption. Even the corruption cases charged by the CBI are routinely kept pending for months before a trial could actually begin. The decision of the CBI court can then be appealed which may further linger for years in the higher court.

    The Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court has recently calculated that it could take another 466 years to clear the backlog of cases. This absurd number underscores a critical reason for failure to curb corruption in India.

    The confiscation of the property of unscrupulous officials convicted for corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, as suggested by the CJI, may prove to be effective. However, public servants, who have accumulated colossal amount of wealth through corrupt practices while in the office, should receive exemplary punishment that must also include significant time in jail as it is unlikely that they would save illicit wealth in their own names.

    The purpose of any punishment by the judicial system must include its role as a deterrent for similar crimes in the future. While the call from the CJI for more stringent action against corruption is laudable, a complete overhaul of the entire judicial as well as political system are essential to bring down the stiffly climbing graph of corruption in India. Without an expeditious justice delivery system, the problem of corruption cannot be removed from India.

    focused on corruption in Govt Only?
    By Amoghavarsha.ii on 9/22/2009 3:57:47 PM
    Dear sir, Have any of the press written about corruption in private sectors. In most private organisations you do not get an order if you don't agree for a cut or comission before hand with the purchase officer. Please check in private banks also. If u don't pay comission your loan is bound not released. Go to temples - pay extra 50Rs, u get few more minutes to see the god. OK did u get the point. Write about that area which is the largest and also unfocussed.

    Leaders must inspire their followers by their actions and not just high sermons
    By Rahul on 9/22/2009 2:17:51 PM
    It is ironic that more corrupt a society is, more pious are the sermons coming out of its leadership. There is a saying that 'When CHARACTER is lost everything is lost'. We as a society have to guard against this ultimate degradation. Sixty two years of so called political freedom has put us in a greater bondage of corruption and poverty than a thousand years of our existence as slaves. Do something honorable leaders, lead from the front.
    Corruption thrives in our system
    Incredible corrupt India

    Chinese Goods invade Indian market and LAC heats up

    Chinese Ceramics Glamour

    Just before the turn of this century, about the only thing Chinese found in Indian markets was little vials of balm. Now, seven years down the line, 'Made in China' goods make for an all-season flood, and nowhere more than in eastern India. The items range from toothpicks, toys, thermoses and blankets to high-end furniture, floor tiles and electrical goods manufactured in the Middle Kingdom. There has been a change of perception of Chinese goods even among the discerning and brand-conscious. And the import list, conservatively estimated at about 5,000 broadly categorised items, is only growing. The West Bengal Chamber of Commerce estimates that each household in the eastern region uses at least five Chinese-made items daily. That not only makes the 'Made in China' brand the most popular among foreign goods sold here, but puts China way ahead of any other country that exports to India in terms of volume and range of items.

    One reason for their growing popularity is, of course, their attractive pricing, due to economies of scale as well as 'surreptitious subsidies' by the Chinese government. It also helps that Chinese manufacturers are far more innovative than their Indian counterparts and, since they cater intensively to Western markets, are fully conversant with latest design trends, which they incorporate in their goods. Plus, there's been a dramatic change in perception, even among the discerning and brand-conscious. Even till half a decade ago, the popular perception of Chinese goods was that they were cheap, but of very poor quality. The early Indian traders who started importing from China used to get only low-quality, cheap goods. But these days, CII's Eastern India regional director Sunil Misra told Outlook, Indian importers of Chinese goods have realised there's a huge market for quality products.

    One of them is Ajay Bhartiya, who imports tiles, wooden and steel doors and windows, and home and office furniture from China. "Chinese manufacturers constantly upgrade their products. For instance, Chinese tile manufacturers change their designs every two months—something Indian manufacturers don't do," he points out. Bhartiya, who has a trade office in Guangzhon, imports at least ten container loads of tiles, building materials and furniture through Calcutta and Haldia ports every month. These are displayed in swanky showrooms in Calcutta, and are much in demand. Sarvesh Kumar, Tata Steel's chief of retail initiative, says Chinese steel furniture is elegant and of very high quality.

    Chinese steel furniture accounts for at least a quarter of Calcutta store Steel Junction's monthly turnover of about Rs 50 lakh. Beautiful Living, on Camac Street, finds it difficult to keep pace with the huge demand for the Chinese furniture it imports. Understandably so, since the stools, settees and sofas there look straight out of a Western designer furniture catalogue. The Chinese sanitary ware and bathroom fittings it stocks are also extremely popular with construction companies in the eastern region.
    Eastern India's retail market is in thrall of cheap, stylish Chinese goods

    We are at Critical Juncture of History. Is Indian Corruption and Trade restrictions hurting China?
    Like in the pre-1962 war period, India is again now at a critical juncture, it has become common place internationally to speak of India and China in the same breadth. The aim of “Mao’s India war,” as Harvard scholar Roderick MacFarquhar has called it, was large political: To cut India to size by demolishing what it represented— a democratic alternative to the Chinese autocracy. The swiftness and force with which Mao Zedong defeated India helped discredit the Indian model, boost China’s international image and consolidate Mao’s internal power. The return of the China-India pairing decades later is something Beijing viscerally detests.

    China never thought India as an important trade partner or rival until now. China’s attitude towards India has always been contemptuous. When talking about Indian to Chinese people (Shanghaiese in particular), they will probably tell you that 70 years ago, Indians were working as doormen in Shanghai. A recently declassified letter (March 2, 1973), from Henry Kissinger to Richard Nixon, showcases the utter contempt Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai had for the Indian leadership. Kissinger says, inter alia,

    “In South Asia, the Chinese believe India remains Moscow’s principal agent; their distrust of New Delhi remains as potent as ever... Chou (Zhou) displayed a particular contempt for the Indians and a personal dislike for Indian leaders. He related several cynical and disdainful anecdotes about Prime Ministers Nehru and Gandhi.... In response, I said that we would go slow in any improvement of relations with New Delhi and would keep the PRC informed.”

    Things are certainly changing now when China realized that the competition from India is real and serious. India is claiming to switch their focus from back office service to manufactory; India has English language advantage over China; Chinese Yuan is forced to appreciate against US dollar.
    Is China itching a Border War?
    China is far ahead: Anthony at the border 2 years ago

    Major J S Suri succumbs battling terrorists

    BRAVEHEART: Major Suresh Suri laid down his life battling terrorists on Wednesday.
    September 24, 2009
    Srinagar On October 5, Major J S Suri would have turned 30. He had planned to celebrate his birthday with his wife, S Pallavi, by the picturesque Manasbal lake where his 13 Rashtriya Rifles unit is deployed. Pallavi arrived at the 13 RR regimental centre in Manasbal a few days ago. On Wednesday, Major Suri was killed in a major encounter with militants in Bandipore in North Kashmir. Pallavi is in shock. They were married only last year.

    “She seemed to have guessed last night that something was wrong... confusing reports about Maj Suri were coming in from the encounter site,” said an Army officer who was part of the 45-hour operation to flush out the militants holed up on an island on Wular lake.

    “She is in a state of shock. Officers and jawans of the unit are trying to console her. It was very difficult for senior officers to break the news to her that Maj Suri had sacrificed his life for the nation.”

    Pallavi will return with her husband’s body to his home city Hyderabad.

    Four Armymen — Maj Suri and three jawans — were killed after security forces engaged two groups of militants in separate encounters over two days in Bandipore and Rafiabad.

    Maj Suri joined the 6 Kumaon regiment in 2001, and was on deputation with 13 RR in Bandipore and Ajas. He had served earlier in the Valley in 2004.

    He was married last year and his wife had come down for a short duration to visit him. That is when this encounter took place," said Colonel JS Brar, Army Spokesman, 15 Corps. A resident of Hyderabad, Major Suresh Suri was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment eight years ago and had been posted to Jammu and Kashmir just one year back.

    The braveheart would have turned 30 next month had not the terrorist bullet cut short his promising career. For many this braveheart died young but for his colleagues in Army he will live forever.
    Major killed in J and K encounter
    Last rites of Army Major killed in J-K performed

    On behalf of all Readers and Members of RMS forum, we salute Major Suresh Suri. May his soul rest in peace and inspire the rest of the Nation. We profoundly offer our heartfelt condolences to Pallavi and all family members.


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