Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shortage of officers: Can the Armed Forces ever resolve the perennial problems?

Dear Gangadharan and friends,
This morning, I read in the papers that the army is very seriously 'concerned' at the shortage of 11,500 officers in its cadres. My mind's eye travelled back to 1983, when I was first posted to the Adjutant General's branch in the Pay Cell constituted for the IV Pay Commission. If my memory serves me right the shortage then was just a little under 12000 officers'and had been at that level for several years. The army was 'concerned' just as much as it is now.

A couple of years later, I was asked to assist the big boss for his 'presentation' to the top brass. As I went through the agenda, a queer thought crossed my inquisitive mind. I decided to see if any of those points had been discussed in an earlier conference. To my horror and amusement, I found that nearly ALL the points had been discussed, not once but several times!

On the personnel side, the following issues are perennial. Every senior officer believes that he has a cogent solution. They sit in all earnestness and ponder over the issues. Why they fail is that they want a solution which has no disadvantages (or, side effects) Since such a solution does not exist, they shoot each other down. Amongst the personnel 'problems' which are unlikely to be resolved during the next 25 years are the following:
  • Shortage of officers
  • Lateral shift of soldiers to police or para military forces
  • Issues related with the 'sahayak' cult in the army
  • Resolution of pay anomalies.

    As for the veterans, they were very unhappy then. And they are more unhappy now. They complained that no one cared for them; that they received a shabby treatment and that the military service has lost its sheen. It is much the same now.
    I am reminded of what a poet said:
    "Phir wahi dard hai phir wahi jigar
    Phir wahi raat hai phir wahi hai dar
    Ham samjhe gham kar gaya safar
    Dwar dil ka khul gaya, haathi nikal gaya
    Dum reh gayi magar!!!"
    In English they say, "It is old wine in new bottles"
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
  • India's Internal Security at Peril due to lack of Governance and Galloping Graft of Civil Administrators

    India signals new anti-Maoist offensive By Rupam Jain Nair (AFP) – Oct 9, 2009
    NEW DELHI — India looks set for a major offensive against Maoist rebels, whose growing influence and increasingly brazen attacks have been branded a national security failure, officials and sources said Friday.

    "A new anti Maoist plan has been approved by the cabinet. States hit by this insurgency are instructed to follow the new plan and get their act together," senior home ministry official Kashmir Singh told AFP on Friday.

    The cabinet met Thursday just hours before left-wing guerrillas gunned down 17 policemen in western India, the latest in a series of assaults in an increasingly lethal insurgency.

    At least 150 Maoists attacked the policemen in a forest village in Maharashtra state, near the border with Chhattisgarh state where the rebels have their stronghold.

    Security sources cited by the media said the new strategy was for a large-scale, coordinated offensive involving seven states worst affected by Maoist violence, with support from federal security services.
    India signals new anti-Maoist offensive

    Indian Express Sunday , Oct 11, 2009 at 1411 hrs
    Refusing to bracket Naxals with terrorists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday ruled out use of armed forces against them and said that the government is willing to hold talks with them if they abjured violence.

    "They (Naxals) are banned organisations and are covered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," he said replying to a question if the government proposed to declare the ultra-left groups as terror outfits.

    "We are not in favour of using the armed forces against the Naxalites. The para-military forces and police are adequate (for counter-Naxal operations)," he told a press meet here and underscored the need for looking at the causes of alienation of the people, particularly the tribals.

    While terming Naxalism as the biggest internal security threat, the Prime Minister said dialogue with them was possible only if they shunned violence.
    PM rules out use of armed forces against Naxals

    Genesis of Maoist and Naxalite terror in India
    'Naxalism'- The Retreat of Civil Governance by Ajai Sahni

    IESM: Letter to Raksha Mantri regarding 'OROP' circumnavigated by the Cabinet Secretary

    Dear Colleagues,
    In our continued pursuit of OROP, a meeting has been sought with the Defence Minister vide our letter dated 23 Oct 09. The letter is reproduced below:
    Dear Hon’ble Raksha Mantri,
    During our meeting in March, you had advised that we should work with the RRM since he is handling the issue pertaining to the ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP). The very next day I had written to the Hon’ble RRM offering our assistance in whatever form required.
    On 15 July 2009 I had telephonically approached the RRM office seeking an appointment with him so that we could apprise him of the Ex Servicemen reaction on the Cabinet Secretary’s report that had come out. The very next day his office called back to find out the purpose of the meeting, which was conveyed. There has been no further response on the subject thereafter.
    The Ex Servicemen were greatly enthused after the Hon’ble President, the Finance Minister and the Defence Minister spoke about OROP in the Parliament. However, the Cabinet Secretary’s report and the government’s acceptance of that report dismayed us greatly. May I request you to kindly grant us a meeting with you so that we can apprise you of the disenchantment of the Ex Servicemen on the non acceptance of OROP?
    Brief comments on the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee report are attached for your kind perusal.
    With best regards,
    Yours sincerely,
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

    Shri AK Antony
    Hon’ble Minister of Defence,
    104, South Block,
    New Delhi – 110 011

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

    Related links in this blog

    SCPC: Pension Parity- Analysis of Cabinet Secretary's Report
    IESM: Cabinet Secretary tosses "OROP" out of his court
    IESL: Cabinet Secretary brushes aside OROP as " Incorrectly Interpreted"
    Committee Report circumnavigates main issue of Pension Parity for Defence Forces
    Cabinet Secretary's Committee mutilates OROP out of shape
    After thoughts- Pay Commissions & Omissions

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Lt Gen Vijay Madan (Retd) appointed interlocutor for Gorkhaland issue

    20:16 IST
    Lt Gen (Retd) Vijay Madan has been appointed the interlocutor for the purpose of handling talks in respect of the demand for Gorkhaland with all stake holders. The detailed terms and conditions of the appointment will be issued in due course.
    Lt. General (Retd) Vijay Madan appointed interlocutor for talks on Gorkhaland issue
    Jaswant Singh raises Gorkhaland issue
    Political Interlocutor
    An interlocutor is someone who informally explains the views of a government and also can relay messages back to a government. Unlike a spokesperson, an interlocutor often has no formal position within a government or any formal authority to speak on its behalf, and even when they do, everything an interlocutor says is his own personal opinion and not the official view of anyone. Because an interlocutor does not express an official view, communications between interlocutors are often useful at conveying information and ideas. Often interlocutors will talk with each other before formal negotiations.

    1. a person who takes part in a conversation
    2. Also called middleman the man in the centre of a troupe of minstrels who engages the others in talk or acts as announcer
    3. (Law) Scots law a decree by a judge

    Kendriya Sainik Board's Researched Mother Compendium for Veterans

    ESM Compendium: Akin to a finding a needle in the haystack: Needle magnified a trillion times for visual effects only

    The mother of all compendiums?
    Is it ‘compendiums’ or ‘compendia’ ? Experts on the Queen’s language may please enlighten! Or perhaps I should just ask my wife :-)

    Veterans keep writing in to know about various welfare schemes concerning them initiated by the Central Goverment in general and Kendriya Sainik Board in particular.

    The Kendriya Sainik Board has a well researched policy book on most of the schemes related to veterans and their families. The said compendium also contains broad guidelines issued to the State Governments from time to time on the subject of various issues concerning retired personnel and family members.

    You may download the compendium by clicking here. I must caution you however that at almost 350 pages and 5 MB, it’s a pretty heavy file, hence patience would come handy.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:36 AM Labels: Policy and Benefits
    Mother of all compendiums- click me

    Researched Work of Kendriya Sainik Board
    Collated Government Policies exploring the vast expanse of the nothingness- nothing related to ground reality. The policies enumerated is difficult to comprehend- a compendium comparable to haystack and the material of substance is akin to a needle lost in the stack of hay! "Jai Jawan Jai Kissan" is all that it echoes!

    Battle of Longewala: Indo Pak War 1971

    Dear General Kadyan,
    I read with interest your mention of Battle of Longewala in your last e-mail. I agree with the similarity of the situation and the lessons we learned from this battle.

    I appreciate the tremendous effort being made by you, Brig Kamboj and your Team of Veterans to get justice to the Indian Armed Forces. It is a gigantic task and as you rightly said, it is not easy to move the Bureaucracy.

    Just to add a few facts about the historic battle of Longewala as being talked about in various discussion groups. I watched the movie “Border” with great interest and must say that it was one of the best war movies ever produced in Bollywood. However, there appeared to be a major gap in the story. Perhaps it was done intentionally to show the superiority of the Indian Soldier.

    At no time this Company of 23 Punjab was without any Artillery support (as being depicted everywhere). A Battery of 168 Field Regiment was in its direct support right from the time this Company occupied defences at Longewala. Further, when forward patrols reported the movement of the enemy tanks, a Battery of Heavy Mortars commanded by me was ordered to be deployed directly behind this Longewala Company.

    Since we were ready to march towards Kishangarh (in the opposite direction) we had no maps of Longewala Sector. Regardless of this shortcoming I led my Battery personally and advanced towards Longewala. On reaching Longewala, we were given the maps of the area and ably guided for deployment by guides from the rear elements of 23 Punjab.

    My OP officers then Capt Santosh Datta and Yogiraj Kapoor reached the Longewala post around midnight and the Heavy Mortars of 185 Light Regiment were firing continuously on the enemy tanks throughout the night and the next two days (Sarvatra Izzato Iqbal).

    It was a combination of some exemplary courage of our Infantrymen, the massive fire power of the Indian Artillery and its brave Gunners, the supporting Arms and the IAF working together as a well knit team which compelled the enemy to withdraw after suffering very heavy losses.

    A few rare pictures of the place after the battle are attached.
    Col Kulvinder Singh, psc (NRI)
    Armed Forces Veteran
    Earlier Blog Posts on Longewala Battle
    A Real Life Hero Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
    Battle of Longewala 1971 Honouring Heros
    Brig KS Chandpuri shares battle experience: Indo Pak War 1971

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Why should MoD Surrender Frequency Spectrum to Anti- Nationalist Scammers?

    Spectrum on Sale to Scammers

    22 oct 2009 New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation Thursday conducted searches in the offices of the telecom ministry to probe the alleged "criminal conspiracy" between some officials and private companies in giving wireless radio spectrum to telecommunication firms.

    "It has been alleged that there had been serious irregularities in the award of Unified Excess Services Licences to private companies," a CBI spokesperson said.

    "As per information received, there was a criminal conspiracy between certain officials of Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and private persons/companies and others to award licences to these companies," the spokesperson said.

    He said the officials had put a cap on the number of applicants against recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and "awarded licences to private companies on first come first serve basis on the rates of 2001 without any competitive bidding".

    Telecom firms in India offering second-generation (2G) mobile services get some spectrum to start with after they take a telecom licence. Subsequent allocation is done in slabs linked to the firm's subscriber numbers.

    The agency registered a case Wednesday against unknown telecom officials and private companies.

    Searches were conducted by the CBI in the Wireless Planning Cell (WPC) and in the office of deputy director general (access services), Sanchar Bhawan, Ashoka Road in the capital.

    Source: Indo-Asian News Service
    CBI probes irregularities in spectrum distribution

    Military Frequency Spectrum being Auctioned
    Allotting Defence Frequency Spectrum for 2G and 3G Services is likely to adversely affect Armed Forces Mobile Digital Communications in future wars/ skirmishes. WPC is an agency mostly headed by bureaucrats who see a big picture in getting cuts to be credited in Secret Swiss Banks by auctioning off the Frequency Spectrum to Telecom Operators and generally the successful bidders are the culprits who have succeeded surreptitiously in greasing the palms of Bureaucrats.

    ECHS: News, Views and Updates

    Additional Polyclinics
    It is learnt that ECHS plans to have 197 additional Polyclinics as part of their next expansion plan. While the time frame for this is not known, a list of the Polyclinics planned is linked for your information-click me.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi
    IESM ECHS Division,

    IESM ECHS Division Feed Back to MD ECHS
    The Feedback sent to MD ECHS is here- click me for your information please. This may please be read in conjunction with the following already published.
  • Road Map for the ECHS Cell.
  • ECHS Concept Paper
    Our efforts at improving ECHS services is a Joint Venture between the ECHS and us Veterans. It is hoped that even as we expect a positive thrust from the ECHS hierarchy, we on our part will get on and see how best we can make our healthcare facilities.
    RLC and PLC members are requested to now get actively involved in local issues in consultation with the ECHS representatives. Thanks.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi,
    IESM ECHS Division
  • Can India unearth Money Launderers who fuel World Terrorism?

    India, Switzerland to renegotiate tax treaty
    October 21, 2009 17:05 IST
    The government on Tuesday said it would renegotiate the taxation treaty with Switzerland under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Model Tax Convention.

    "...There is a provision in OECD...The article 26," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters when asked about the proposed talks with Swiss authorities later this year.

    The negotiations are expected to take place in the wake of the issue of black money stashed away in Swiss banks that has created a political furore in the country, and India has sought details related to the same from Swiss authorities.

    OECD sets the international tax standards. Article 26 of the OECD Model Convention on Income and Capital, covers "tax of every kind and description" and allows for exchange of tax-related information between two countries.

    In August, Mukherjee had said that India and Switzerland would meet in December to negotiate amendments in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. The Swiss banks in August had said that India could not come on a fishing expedition for secret bank account details.

    Mukherjee had later made it clear that India was not interested in a "roving inquiry" over unaccounted money stashed away in Swiss banks.

    The Swiss Ambassador to India had recently said that Switzerland was willing to open negotiations on disclosing data information about black money. "Switzerland will completely live up to the legitimate expectations out of the treaty... For release of data in the future. The (amended) treaty would be possibly adapted, revived and then we will live up to the new obligations...," he had told a private news channel.

    According to him, most probably Indians would ask for the inclusion of tax evasion in the set of provisions of the treaty, which would mean that the release of data would be possible.
    India, Switzerland to renegotiate tax treaty: October 21, 2009 17:05 IST

    Can India match US- IRS in unearthing money launderers?

    Swiss Banking Terror is more dangerous than Pakistan- Taliban Terror

    Swiss banking giant UBS will give the IRS the details of more than the client accounts under a deal to end a contentious international lawsuit. Keystone/Walter Bieri/AP/File
    IRS cracks open 4,450 Swiss bank accounts
    Deal with Swiss banking giant UBS gives access to 4,450 secret accounts of Americans evading tax authorities.

    IESM: OROP is live and kicking- gets PM's attention

    Dear Colleagues,
    Some news reports indicate that the Hon’ble PM has assured that he would take personal interest in resolving the OROP issue. If correct, it is a good development. We owe gratitude to the entire ESM community for their efforts leading to a situation where the PM himself has reportedly decided to get personally involved.
    The reports further state that the PM has directed defence ministry to hold fresh meetings with ex-servicemen to deal with this demand.
    While the above are encouraging signs, in real terms these reports indicate nothing more what could be gathered from the Hon’ble President’s speech to the joint session of Parliament and the subsequent statements by the Hon’ble Ministers. Nowhere is there any hint that OROP would actually be granted. Only thing that can be said with reasonable certainty is that the OROP issue is still not dead and buried.
    Under such a scenario it may not be advisable to relax in our pursuit of OROP. We should continue our efforts, including depositing of medals, which has been the single most effective form of struggle so far.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM,
    Chairman IESM

    Pension Arrears of pre-1996 Major Generals and equivalent

    Battle won by Maj Gen's through the intervention of the Supreme Court
    Some of the pre-1996 Major Generals have got corrigenda to their PPOs fixing their notional pay as Rs20000 with increase in pension of Rs450. Some of pre-1996 AVMs have also got the corrigendum fixing their notional pay as Rs19900 with increase in pension of Rs400. CDA (Navy) may also have issued fixing notional pay which may be at variance with the notional pay fixed so far for Army and Air Force. May I request pre-1996 Rear Admirals to please enlighten us as to notional pay for them.

    I have calculated arrears for increase in pension by Rs400 and Rs450. click here for arrears tables. If there is any mistake, kindly let me know.

    Wishing all veterans a very happy post Deepawali and hoping that in the years to come, ESM organizations will be able to put up the genuine grievances to the Government and champion for the legitimate rights of every veteran who has dedicated his life for the preservation of the Nation's security.

    AVM RP Mishra (Retd)
    IESM Core Team

    Gen SF Rodrigues (Retd) in a fix?

    Punjab Governor threatens defamation proceedings against CNN IBN

    The Punjab Governor-cum-Administrator, Union Territory of Chandigarh Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues sought an apology from CNN-IBN authorities and threatened to launch criminal and legal proceedings against the channel authorities if they fail to comply for the repeated telecast of the reported audit findings of the Union Home Ministry and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) of sale of prime land at low rates to prominent IT companies in the Union Territory.

    The legal notice seeking criminal prosecution for defaming the Governor was served by Mr Anupam Gupta, Standing Counsel for the UT and a Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer.

    Referring to the telecast of the news item on the land sale subject, beginning on the evening of October 15, the notice that that CNN-IBN has been engaged in "a wanton, malign and repeated telecast of completely outrageous, egregiously false and wholly indefensible slander of the Governor".

    "The telecast(s) contents whereof are a matter of record, have been viewed by millions of people around the country and the world and have inflicted grave, incalculable and irreparable damage to the reputation, character and credibility of Gen Rodrigues for which your Channel and all of you, jointly and severally, bear full responsibility", the notice stated.

    The enormity of the defamation practised by the Channel against Gen Rodrigues, holding him up before the entire country and the world as a corrupt Head of State/Government involved in a scam running into thousands of crores by corruptly selling off precious government land in the Union Territory to private builders/developers is appalling, the notice said.

    " Suffice it to state that your stark and explicit assertions of corruption against him, without a shred or little of evidence and without even a pretence of an attempt or effort at verification from Gen Rodrigues or the Chandigarh Administration, is a gross and blatant abuse of the profession of journalism and exceeds by far the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression delimited by the Constitution and the law", the notice said. UNI

    Punjab Governor threatens defamation proceedings against CNN IBN
    Read more
    Punjab Governor challenges the Union Home Ministry for putting the Chandigarh mega projects under the scanner
    Punjab Governor serves notice to TV channel

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    PM’s address at the Combined Commanders’ Conference

    The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh meeting the Army Commanders, at the Combined Commanders' Conference of the Armed Forces, in New Delhi on October 20, 2009. The Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor is also seen. PIB Photo no.CNR - 28118

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009
    I am aware that the procedures for defence acquisitions and procurement are a matter of concern to the Armed Forces. This is an area which requires collective action on all sides. We must ensure a balance between the needs of timely modernization and the necessity of conforming to the highest standards of transparency, probity and public accountability. Outlays on defence expenditure have progressively gone up, but they also have to be used judiciously and efficiently.

    Manpower is the most important resource for war fighting. We will take all measures necessary to ensure that the Armed Forces continue to attract the brightest and the best of our youth. As senior Commanders, it should be your endeavour to ensure that these men and women constantly upgrade their skills and remain ahead of the technology curve. This will not only make them better soldiers, but also more productive citizens on the completion of their service.

    I am heartened by the growing social awareness of the need to ensure the welfare of ex-servicemen. The resettlement and rehabilitation of ex-servicemen will continue to remain a high priority for the government.

    The Indian Armed Forces have earned high respect for their professionalism and competence throughout the world. This is in no small measure due to the personal leadership each one of you has provided to the men and women in uniform. The Nation is united in its resolve to ensure that our military remains a modern, well-knit and invincible fighting force.
    Jai Hind.” AKT/SH/LV
    Read more
    PM’s address at the Combined Commanders’ Conference

    India prepared to fight Taliban: Antony

    Left Wing Extremist Affected Areas in India
    Click here for more details on conflict areas

    Click map for enlarged view

    Admiral Mehta to be Ambassador to New Zealand

    Official announcement soon. If you remember what I said back in the day on this blog: click me - the rift between our ex-Naval Chief and the Government was a creation of a (very small) section of the media and an imaginary yield of some very fertile minds. This and this would remind us of the time.

    Now is the time to put all rumours to rest, because Admiral Sureesh Mehta is going to be the next Ambassador to Kiwiland. An official announcement would most probably be made very soon.

    ‘Salute the Soldier’. :-)
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 4:53 PM
    Admiral Mehta to be Ambassador to New Zealand

    Is the mission for equality accomplished?
    Is the Naval chief being really rewarded or is he being kept out of the country so that the the Sixth Central Pay Commission inequalities and anomalies of 'Services Salaries' remains bugged/ buried forever? :'-)
    Remember remarks of Naval Chief at a Territorial Army day parade last year (Oct 2008) where Defence Minister A K Antony, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief F H Major were present. The other two service chiefs were walking alongside Mehta when the reporters talked to him but they did not make any comments."Our fight is for equality"- click me

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Proud Moment: Territorial Army

    The Hindu: Online edition of India's National Newspaper Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009
    — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

    Actor Mohan Lal, who was conferred the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, seen on the occasion of the Territorial Army’s 60th anniversary parade in New Delhi on Monday.
    Proud Moment

    IESM: March for Justice- 25 Oct 2009

    Dear Veterans,
    The IESM appeals to all ESM to unite in our efforts to get justice by joining us to deposit maximum medals on 25 Oct 2009 at Jantar Mantar from 10 AM to 2 PM. The delegation will then move to Rashtrapati Bhawan to deposit the medals with the President. Our fight is against the injustice of the Government. Let us, therefore unite and execute a strong and peaceful Movement in a dignified manner to obtain Justice for the Defence Forces.

    When we deposit our medals with the President on 25 Oct 09, we also wish to solicit the support of the people of India for our cause to get our legitimate Pension Parity. All methods till date have failed and hence the continuation with the protest by depositing our gallantry and Service medals. We have already met/ had meetings/ written letters to/ given presentations as follows:
  • Our former Chiefs have written to and met PM Dr Manmohan Singh.
  • Delegations have met Mrs Sonia Gandhi Chairperson UPA
  • Met Sh Rahul Gandhi.
  • A number of meetings with Defence Minister Mr. AK. Antony have taken place.
  • A number of representations made to Government functionaries.
  • A large number of articles have been written
  • A large number of discussions have taken place on the electronic media on various TV channels.
  • MPs, both from the UPA Government and the opposition, have been met and they have been given presentations.
  • MPs have raised questions in the Parliament.

    In short, every possible method has been tried, but Government continues to ignore our demand of OROP. Even the enhancement of pension of JCOs and ORs announced by the Government has not yet been implemented. No orders have yet been issued. So dear veterans, we appeal to you all to volunteer and deposit of medals in large numbers to convey our anguish and hurt feelings for not giving due consideration to our demand of OROP. We will request the media to give in strong coverage to bring facts of our case to the notice of the people of India. Just look at the injustice, a old pensioner Sepoy with 17 years of service gets Rs 3500 per month whereas Sepoy with same years of service who retired after 01 Jan 2006 gets Rs 7045 as pension. Is this not “Injustice of the gravest proportions”?
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    HINDI version
    Defence Service Pensioners seem to be the forgotten lot of people in application of pension parity. Apparently the government has no time to redress this profound inequity and the skewed pensions created by each Pay Commission culminating in total degradation of the Armed Forces. Monstrous pension sub- sects like pre 1996, pre 2006 and post 2006 have been created. The issue compounding the pension disparity is that each year the government cooks the cost of living index figures. Hence, the pensions remain abysmally muted. The MP's pay is always upped by frivolous and skewed allowances and freebies. Is this democracy for the elite few?
    Read about the degradation cycle
    SCPC: Armed Forces Status, Pay and Pension degradation is a continuous process
    Pension Parity Promises Placated on Paper?
    One rank one pension for defence Personnel
  • Monday, October 19, 2009

    Simplify Armed Forces Pay based solely on Rank

    Here is very simple Pay Structure/ Tables for the Armed Forces Personnel solely based on Rank. This is also in consonance with the Sixth Central Pay Commission Recommendations. What is basically achieved is that the multitude of pay tables are reduced to a single simple Salary/ Pay table for all ranks. These tables are easy to understand!


    Junior Commissioned Officers
    Nb Sub.....12000
    Sub Maj....20000
    Hony Capt..25000

    Commissioned Officers including Nursing Officers
    2nd Lt.....10000
    Lt Col.....37500
    Maj Gen....60000
    Lt Gen.....70000
    V Chief....80000

    Abolish all trade and group structure.
    Eliminate all qualifications pay.
    Abolish all time scale Ranks.
    Yearly increment at 10% of basic pay for all ranks.
    Grade Pay, MSP and allowances as notified by by MOD.
    Pension entitlement to 50% of last Pay Drawn (eligible after 20 years).
    New Pay Scales for Defence forces officers

    Once we have a simplified Pay Structure for Defence Services Personnel, there is no scope for bureaucrats to play foul by creating numerous anomalies which the AHQ is still trying to unravel for the last 20 years!

    Terrorism is prime source of concern: Antony

    Monday, October 19, 2009 13:59 IST
    The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has said that terrorism continues to be a prime source of concern, not just for India, but the entire world. Addressing the 60th Anniversary Parade of the Territorial Army, here today, Shri Antony said as the country assumes an increased role in defining international policies and initiatives, the need of the hour is to secure the environment, both external and internal. “Given the security concerns of the times we live in, our Armed Forces have a particularly crucial role to play in securing our country from external and internal threats,” he said.

    Commending the Territorial Army for setting the benchmark of professionalism since its inception, the Defence Minister said the Citizens’ Army has a great responsibility in augmenting the regular Army, be it during war, national emergencies for peace. He lauded the Territorial Army’s role, especially the Infantry and Home & Hearth Infantry Battalions, Departmental units from the railways, oil sector and the general hospital. Shri Antony said the Ecological (TA) Battalions are unique the world over. “The untiring efforts of the ‘Green Warriors’ in afforestation, environment development and preservation of the fragile ecology in various parts of the country is praiseworthy,” he added.

    Shri Antony called upon the youth to enrol themselves for the part time and voluntary uniformed force. Since the country cannot afford to maintain an unduly standing Army, “there is need for more passionate young men from all walks of life to join the Territorial Army and experience the pride of serving and defending the nation, while continuing with their respective professions,” he said. Raised by C. Rajagopalachari, the first Governor General of free India, on October 09, 1949, the Territorial Army is celebrating its diamond jubilee year. Having won five Vir Chakras and three Shaurya Chakras, the TA has seen many eminent personalities including renowned cricketer Kapil Dev (Honorary Lt. Col.), Malayalam film actor Mohan Lal (Honorary Lt. Col.), former ONGC CMD Shri Subir Raha (Major-Retired), Shri Doshehe Y Sema (Major), a member of the Nagaland state assembly and several others, donning uniform.
    Terrorism is prime source of concern: Antony

    New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The Territorial Army, a reserve force of trained civilians to aid the Indian Army, completed 60 years of existence Friday and aims to woo more youngsters and working professionals to join its ranks.
    “On the 60th anniversary, we are working towards tapping young talent from the corporate, engineering, IT and other fields,” said a senior officer of the Territorial Army.

    Read more: Territorial Army, 60, to woo youngsters

    Games 2010: War of words

    "It's the understatement of the year that the games are behind schedule and that we have concerns regarding the preparations," scathing criticism from Mike Hooper, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

    Irrespective of that, or perhaps because of that, Suresh Kalmadi has responded by saying he will not give up his attempts to have Hooper removed from India. Kalmadi heads the committee organizing the Games in Delhi.
    Games 2010: War of words gets ugly

    Bio- data of S Kalmadi
    He served in the Indian Air Force from 1965 to 1974 as a pilot, and participated in the Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971. Mr. Suresh Kalmadi's star sign is Taurus and was born on May 01 in Pune, Maharashtra. His education was from St Vincent's High School, Pune, and Fergusson College, Pune.

    In 1960 he joined the National Defense Academy (NDA) at Khadakvasla, Pune, and then in 1964 the Air Force Flying Colleges in Jodhpur and Allahabad. From 1965-1974 he was a pilot in the Indian Air Force, and during his service he participated in the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971.

    In April 1974 Mr Kalmadi acquired an interest in Poona Coffee House, and three months later in July 1974 he acquired a dealership of Hindustan Petroleum for all its products.

    In 1977, Mr Kalmadi became the President of the Youth Congress, Pune, and the very next year took over Presidentship of the Youth Congress, Maharashtra, a post he held from 1978 to 1980.

    In 1980, as the President of the Maharashtra Athletics Association, Mr. Kalmadi undertook the selection trials for the Marathon team to represent the country at the Moscow Olympics. This soon led to the establishment of the Pune International Marathon.

    In 1982 Mr. Kalmadi was nominated Member of Rajya Sabha, a position that he has continuously held for the last 22 years.

    On August 09, 1985 he incorporated Sai Service Station Ltd., which is today his flagship company, and established a dealership of Maruti Udyog Ltd. By 1986 he had also added the dealership of Bajaj Auto Ltd. Today Sai Service Ltd. is the biggest dealership of Maruti Udyog Ltd in India.

    Mr. Kalmadi took over as the Chairman of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and in 1989 started the Pune Festival, which would soon become the Signature Festival associated with him. The Pune Festival celebrated its 15th edition in September 2003.
    Early Years of Suresh Kalmadi
    Fighter Pilot takes a U- turn: 2010 Games- Kalmadi's total surrender

    Pension Slips to Defence Personnel

    Is this true?
    Relevant portion of RBI circular regarding issue of pension slip by Banks is reproduced below for your information. Please ensure you get these every month. This is separate from Annexure IV.
    Para 20: Disbursement of Central Government Pension through Public Sector Banks-Issue of Pension Slips to Defence Pensioners: Master Circular- Disbursement of Pension by Agency Banks(Ref. DGBA.GAD. H-17663/45.05.031/ 2006-07 dated June 12, 2007)

    It has been decided in consultation with the Office of Chief Controller of Defence Accounts and the Department of Ex-Servicemen welfare, Ministry of Defence to issue pension slip to Armed Forces Personnel/ Defence Civilian pensioners including family pensioners on par with the existing system as applicable to Central Government Pensioners (Civil). All the agency banks were advised to issue suitable instructions to their pension paying branches.
    Deepak Verma, Veteran

    Important RBI circulars
  • Master Circular- Disbursement of Pension by Agency Banks
  • Collection of account payee cheque – Prohibition on crediting proceeds to third party account
  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism - Display of Contact Details of Officials
  • Reconciliation of transactions at ATMs failure – Time limit
  • IESM: OROP is a winnable marathon

    Dear Colleagues,
    We are familiar with the famous Longewala battle of December 1971. When the Pakistani tanks, after deep penetration, had reportedly surrounded the Rifle Company post of PUNJAB Regiment, there was very little wherewithal to stop their assault except the sheer grit of Maj Chandpuri and his men. They persevered, held on and prevailed, the tanks finally withdrawing. The Indian Army heaved a sigh of relief.
    Some of us might have read the other side of the story, from a book by the Pakistani Divisional Commander who was sacked after this event. The crux of what he wrote was that it was God’s grace that the Indians did not pursue the withdrawing tank column. Otherwise, according to him, there would have been a massacre.
    Both sides felt relieved at the adversary did not seize the opportunity. The lesson that comes out is that in a struggle we should look at both sides of the picture and not be overawed by the difficulties we are facing or be disappointed by the seeming lack of success.
    OROP is a long struggle. It is a ‘war’ not a ‘battle’; a ‘marathon’ not a ‘sprint’ and one should be taking a long term perspective. We need to avoid any sense of fatigue that medal return has not had any effect – it actually has, though may not be in visible form.
    We need to persevere.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM.
    Chairman IESM.

    Dear General,
    There is no doubt that we are into a war and not a battle.
    I also take this opportunity to suggest that we prepare a 'real-life pic of a soldier's life' to distribute to aspiring soldiers and circulate it so that the people at large know how we are being taken for granted and ill treated. For a change we should start from the Sepoy and go up to the General. It should include comparisons with the civil government employees to drive home the points.

    Hope you are aware of the Maj Gen's case where the babus have introduced a date by which application have to be submitted for revision only to deny them the 10% interest that the court has ordered! Can anybody use RTI and get the file notings leading to such an arbitrary decision? Also an application should be sent to the cda pensions seeking info on the number of maj gen pensioners/ widows. Both should be collated and disseminated.

    Of course all these will reiterate only one thing- the need for fundamental changes in our system of governance. The causes that I have been espousing for quite some time now. The need of the hour is to take up cudgels against the judiciary which has lost all credibility. Think of it, isn't it why even we are seeking justice on the streets?

    I also take this opportunity to request you to support the online petition at clik here

    It is addressed to the President and PM of India to constitute a National Judicial Commission to try and punish guilty judges as per laws applicable to ordinary citizens.
    regards n best wishes,
    ravi (veteran)
    Maj PM Ravindran, Activist against corruption in Judiciary

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    IESM: Press Release

    Press Release/ Invitation
    Unhappy Over Non Grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP), Ex - Servicemen Deposit Medals with the President Fifth time on 25 Oct 2009 at Jantar Mantar

    Dear Members of the Media,
    1. The Govt continues to ignore the grant of One Rank One Pension demand of Ex Servicemen (ESM). The Prime Minister in his speech at Red Fort on 15 Aug 09 had stated that pensions of JCOs and other ranks have been enhanced. Even, these orders have not yet been issued by the Govt. Why there should be so much delay? Is it that bureaucracy with intent to harass the Ex Servicemen is causing hurdles in issuing the necessary orders? The Ex Servicemen are very angry and hurt on this attitude of the Govt. The Ex Servicemen across the country have asked the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) leadership who have been protesting for the last one and half year against the Injustice to Defence Forces to intensify the Movement to get OROP sanctioned at the earliest. IESM has decided to deposit the medals once again with the President on 25 Oct 09. It may please be noted that Ex Servicemen have already deposited 20000 medals with the President.

    2. ESM PAN India have started depositing the medals with the IESM HQ at Gurgaon (Hr). The medals will also be collected on 25 Oct 09 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi from 10 AM to 2 PM. Thereafter, a delegation of IESM will proceed to Rashtrapati Bhawan to deposit the medals with the President.

    3. IESM appeals to all ESM across the country to volunteer deposit the medals to strengthen the Movement for getting Justice to the Defence Personnel, the most important demand being the grant of OROP. It is pertinent to mention that an old pensioner Sepoy with 17 years of service gets a pension of Rs 3500/-per month only where as a Sepoy retiring after 2006 with same years of service gets a Pension of Rs 7045/- per month. This is totally unjust, illegal and happens only in our Country.

    4. You are requested to kindly publish this in your news paper/carry it in your news channel/magazine /periodicals and also cover the event on 25 Oct 2009 between 10 AM to 3 PM at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Click here for the HINDI Version

    Flag Day: Is it a noble and honourable act to beg?

    Armed Forces Flag Day
    The Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India is a special day dedicated towards collection of funds from people of India, for the welfare of the armed forces personnel in India. It is observed on December 7, every year in India, from 1949. Funds are collected from the general public for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the brave soldiers, airmen and sailors of India.

    Immediately after India achieved independence, a need arose for the government to help and manage the welfare of the defence personnel of Independent India. On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day on December 7, every year. The notion behind observing Flag Day was to distribute token flags and car flags and in return collect donations from the general public. The Flag Day gains more significance as it considers that it is the responsibility of the civilian population of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was then Prime Minister of India, describing this exemplary practice said on December 7, 1954:
    A few weeks ago, I visited Indo-China and saw our officers and men attached to the International Commission there. It gave me a thrill to see their smart bearing and the good work they were doing in that distant land. What pleased me still more was their general popularity with the people there. By their efficiency as well as their friendliness, they enhanced the reputation of India. Among them were people from all parts of India. They observed no provincial or other differences amongst themselves. I am sure my countrymen will be pleased to learn of them and would like to indicate their appreciation of these young men who serve our country both here and elsewhere so well. A way to indicate that appreciation is to contribute to the Flag Day Fund.

    Significance and Purpose
    The Flag day is mainly observed to serve three basic purposes:
  • Rehabilitation of battle casualties
  • Welfare of serving personnel and their families
  • Resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
    The Armed Forces Flag Day commemoration and the collection of funds through distribution of flags has been an honoured tradition and is organised every with much pride nationally. It stands as a representation for the community to express its gratitude and appreciation to the brave soldier of India. It is a day to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs, as well as the service of both veterans and the serving armed forces personnel.

    On the Flag Day all three formations of the armed forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, through their units arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase the heroic efforts of their personnel to the general public while ensuring national security. From schools, to colleges, from corporate community to general public, token flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services are distributed in return for donations.

    Flag Day Fund
    The original Flag Day Fund was set up in 1949, by the Defence Minister's Committee. However, in 1993, the Defence Ministry of India, consolidated related welfare funds into a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund. Those funds include:
  • Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen /Serving Personnel
  • Flag Day Fund
  • St Dunstan's (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund
  • Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Fund.

    Fund Collection
    The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the by local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is part of the Ministry of Defence. The fund collection is organised both by official and non-official means through voluntary organisations.

    The Fund is operated by a Managing Committee presided over by the Defence Minister of India at the Centre and by the executive heads of the governments in the States and Union Territories. When the Armed Forces Flag Day programme was introduced, the fund allocation was managed in such a way that the Central KSB headquarters is given only a very small share of the Flag Day Fund collections made by each state. The allotted funds for the KSB is only half a paisa per individual.
    Armed Forces Flag Day

    Is it a noble act to beg?
    This is a demeaning act. Literally the Armed Forces are made beggars with a begging bowl. Collection of funds should cease. More avenues for honouring our brave soldiers like National War Memorials should be explored. Presently the Flag Day Collections are grossly misutilised by KSB's and higher echelons. This is certainly no way of honouring our brave Jawans.
  • ECHS: Reduce visits to Polyclinics

    Tips to Keep Fit and Reduce Anxiety and Visits to Polyclinics
    Our age is catching up and many are battling adverse health versus longevity. Here are some tips which will brighten up your future and open up new vistas/ avenues to maintain one's health in ship shape! A sound body in a sharp mind.

    Choosing a Healthy Lifestyle
    You may ask yourself, "How do I begin to improve my health habits?" A good way to start is to set small goals instead of large ones that you won't be able to meet. For example, instead of setting a goal of losing 5 Kgs in the next year, set some smaller goals for eating better and being more active. You may decide to trade your morning dosa and chutney or channa butara for a bowl of cereal or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

    The following topics enumerated below have been delineated here click me

    01. Health risk factors
    02. Body Mass Index
    03. Waist to hip Ratio
    04. Blood Pressure classification chart
    05. High Cholesterol related to heart attacks
    06. Diabetes
    07. Osteoporosis due to old age
    08. Eating Right
    09. Keeping Active
    10. Guide to Physical Activity
    11. Basal Metabolic Rate and total calorie requirement
    12. How many calories does your body require?
    13. Head to Toe examination
    14. Documentation

    Siliguri Corridor in Sikkim: Finger Point

    "Area falls North of Gyangyong in Sikkim and overlooks a valley known as the Sora Funnel, and is considered a strong defensive position to ward off any move by China to enter the Sikkim plateau"
    The Siliguri corridor in Sikkim is the weakest point in the Indian defence which has been reinforced with 40000 Jawans and T72 tanks. Chinese road through Finger area can cutoff entire North East region. Sep 16 2009, 09:09 AM

    The 30-km wide Siliguri corridor, which links India with rest of North Eastern states, is the weakest point in the Indian defence and if China somehow gained control of the corridor the entire North East region would be cut away from India. Some 40,000 troops were responsible for the defence of Sikkim and the strategically important Siliguri corridor. Chinese moves to test Indian control of the strategic Finger Area in North Sikkim last year have prompted the Army to deploy heavy tanks and armoured personnel carriers in the region and strengthen defensive positions. In fact, the highest gallantry award to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel was conferred to a dozer operator, Zalim Singh, who cleared a strategic road near Theing village he was decorated with a Bar to Shaurya Chakra for a column of advancing tanks.While the Army brought armoured vehicles to the North Sikkim plateau in the late 1980s, the small detachment has now been replaced by the heavier and more powerful T-72 Main Battle Tanks and modern BMP troop carriers.

    Sources said the mobilisation took place after repeated Chinese transgressions last year in the Finger Area, a one kilometre stretch of land in the northern tip of Sikkim that overlooks a valley called the Sora Funnel and is considered a strong defensive position. The T-72 tanks were inducted after a monumental effort by the BRO to widen roads, construct tracks and strengthen bridges leading to North Sikkim. The heavy tank column was taken up the high plateau partly by road-based carriers. Sources said that while China too has tanks on its side of the border, they are deployed well inside its territory. “China does not need to deploy tanks on the border because the terrain and roads on its side makes it easy to bring them at short notice. India, on the other hand, has no option but to keep them on the border as it would take days to get the tanks up from the plains,” an expert pointed out. Besides the tanks, the Army has strengthened other defences in the region, particularly around the Finger Area. Permanent posts have been set up on heights and bunkers have been strengthened. The Army has also increased surveillance capabilities in the region. At least two Long Range Observation Systems which can detect, record and transmit live images of an area under observation, have been set up in the Finger Area.

    The strengthening of defences has taken place partly due to the re-induction of the 27 Mountain Division to North Sikkim. The Kalimpong-based Division, responsible for the defence of North Sikkim and the Finger Area, had been moved to Jammu and Kashmir in 2001 during the Op Parakram troop buildup along the Pakistan border. The Finger Area entered controversy last year after the Chinese increased patrolling and even planned to build a road through it. While the area was always under Indian control, the Army used to send in regular patrols and held only a few traditional defensive positions. India decided to strengthen defences after increased Chinese transgressions and the discovery last year that the alignment of a new East-West road being built by Beijing would pass through the Finger Area. Construction was put to a stop after New Delhi lodged a diplomatic complaint.
    Siliguri Corridor in Sikkim

    Power + Incompetence = Oversized Indian Bureaucracy

    Nobody should object to the corporatisation of the railways, on the lines of MTNL and BSNL
    A K Bhattacharya / New Delhi August 12, 2009, 0:58 IST

    Now that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is getting serious about reducing the number of central ministries, it is time to take a close look at what actually contributes to the huge size of the bureaucracy that very often incurs the wrath of experts and critics for being both inefficient and ineffective.

    The total number of central government employees, according to the finance ministry’s estimate, was 3.32 million last March, a little more than 3.22 million a year ago. Next year, it is set to go up to 3.36 million. Mind you, this number does not include non-civilian employees under the ministry of defence or those directly employed in the three wings of the armed forces. What this shows is that the government’s headcount continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace — by about 100,000 in the last one year and by about 43,000 this year.

    There is, however, another way of looking at the size of the central government’s workforce. Three major components of the government’s total staff strength account for as much as 81-84 per cent of the total number of employees. These components are the Department of Posts (484,000), Police (839,000) and the Indian Railways (1.4 million).

    If Manmohan Singh can keep these three departments out, the central government’s total workforce will come down to around 600,000-640,000. After this, the department with the largest number of employees will be the Revenue Department with about 100,000 employees used for collecting taxes. With the use of technology and outsourcing of tax collection and information dissemination moving at a steady pace, there is no reason why the government cannot keep its staff strength under check.

    There is a way out of the problem of an oversized bureaucracy. The Manmohan Singh government has to look for it and take the necessary steps.
    Read full article:
    A K Bhattacharya: Reducing India's bureaucracy


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