Migrating to RMS BlogsShradhanjli- Last Post Corps of Signals Centenary Celebrations
Friday, February 5, 2010
"We know very well that what we have is not enough. This is less than 30 per cent of the capability we require," Antony said.
The Defence Minister was addressing a gathering in Panaji during the commissioning of the Indian Coast Guards fast patrol vessel 'Samrat'. The Government has now decided to modernise the forces and Coast Guard as quickly as possible because India is surrounded by so many elements inimical to the country, Antony said.
"Our armed forces must be in the state of preparedness always," he added.
The Union Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh along with the officials from Indian Navy and Coast Guard were also present on the occasion.
India is surrounded by hostile elements
The govt sanction letter can be now downloaded by clicking here.
A pension of Rs 36,500/- per month and an ordinary family pension of Rs 21,900/- per month shall be admissible from 01 Jan 2006 and not with effect from 01 Sept 2008 as earlier mentioned here.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Extract of Transcripts (page 4)... click here for the full version
CNN-IBN: Point taken about accountability but the point that Kanwar Sandhu was making was about credibility. Major General Satbir Singh, there have been cases of pilfering of ration, liquor being misused, now a land scam. Has the credibility of the Indian Army in the eyes of the citizens taken a knock?
Satbir Singh: Have you taken a look at so many other scams happening in the country today?
CNN-IBN: Sir the Army was supposed to be different. The respect for the Army came because it was not supposed to be like any other institute.
Satbir Singh: So that is why we need to take note of this at the national level - why is there a shortage of soldiers, why is the youth not coming to join the Armed Forces, why is the right material not coming to us, why are veterans protesting, why has one rank one pension not been granted? The nation is just sleeping over these issues. You know the academies of the Armed Forces are empty. I just want to besiege the conscience of this nation that let us make our security the best.
CNN-IBN: Sir point taken that these cases cannot be generalised, but Colonel Bhatt, is there a credibility crisis or not? Tehelka happened, defence deals came under scrutiny and now you have got a land scam.
Anil Bhatt: On Tehelka, I would like to say that it was a very selective sting operation. But they did not dare to try the same kind of sting with the politicians or the bureaucrats. The other thing is that as a platoon commander, a troop leader, a battery commander one feels like the king. It's like nothing on earth. But the day the Armed Forces officer lands up in New Delhi and when he functions between bureaucrats and politicians who are his leaders, then they see things. The babus and the netas set these examples.
CNN-IBN: So you are saying blame the babus and the netas but do not blame the generals.
Satbir Singh: I see a conspiracy to try and belittle the Armed Forces here. This is not the right thing for the nation. Let us look after these officers, give them equipment, train them well and let us defend this country.
Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd) is the Secretary of IESM. An ESM movement spearheading implementation of "One Rank One Pension", promised by successive Governments on paper only, but not implemented till date due to muddling campaign unleashed by the MOD Bureaucrats to confuse the Politicians.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
In theory the Republic Day parade is an exposition of our military strength. In practice it might have become an exposure of military fragility. If it were merely a question of poor display, it would not have mattered. The crisis lies in the degradation of our armed capability, arising from years of political indifference, bureaucratic ego and military frustration.
Defence, appropriately, is a word with a double-edge. Its obverse, offense, is a complementary necessity. An army does not have to be offensive in order to maintain the capacity to offend. A purely defensive force will always be in psychological retreat during peacetime, and physical retreat in war. You don’t have to be Clausewitz to understand that; common sense should be sufficient. A few years ago a Chinese general famously told the world that his country had the capability to put a nuclear missile into California. This did not lead to a collapse of Sino-American relations; China’s ambassador to Washington was not summoned for a dressing down. Nor was the general cashiered by Beijing. It is useful to remind even friends of the strength of the arm at the other end of a handshake. And it is essential to tell an actual or potential enemy the weight of the iron beneath the glove.
The dilemma is compounded by the fact that the concept of peacetime has been blurred beyond recognition by terrorism. The formality of conflict – official declaration, set-piece battles on fields, truce, peace treaty – has been overtaken by continual, sudden havoc. The unpredictability of violence has become a crucial nerve-test for defence services, which include, obviously, the police. If terrorists realize that the paramount armed institution of a nation is a guard dog that has lost its teeth, then it will increase levels of infiltration and assault.
We need private firms in defence
You are in the Army now
A satyagrha was organised under the aegies of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement at the Martyrs' Column, Fort Maidan, Palakkad.
Maj Gen P Subhas, VSM laid a wreath at the Column before inaugurating the satyagraha. He said that the former soldiers were being dragged put through unfamilier drills because of the failure of the authorities to redress their legitimate grievances. Maj P M Ravindran welcomed the gathering and Col K Mohandas expressed gratitude to all those who have participated, especially those, including ladies, who had come from as far as Cherpallassery and Kollegode.
Brig MPG Menon, AVSM, Col Sivasankaran, Dinesh, Muhammed Mhatre, Vasudevan and V Premkumar spoke. They all stressed on the need for all ex-servicemen to come on a single platform and synergise their efforts to demand and get what rightfully was their due.
Veteran Major P M Ravindran
In a major order that would assuage the long-standing grievance of the officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned, AFT principal Bench comprising chairperson Justice A K Mathur and member Lt Gen M L Naidu said this discrimination in payment of DCRG was violative of Article 14 (right to equality) guaranteed under the Constitution.
A petition filed by the Disabled War Veterans (India) through counsel Aishwarya Bhati had made two major grievances — one relating to the difference in payment of DCRG and the other regarding computation of pension for a disabled soldier.
Bhati had alleged that the government takes into account the minimum payscale in the rank of the disabled soldier to compute the war injury pension to him and had requested AFT to direct the Centre to consider taking into account the highest pay in the rank for the purpose.
AFT agreed on both counts with the counsel. On DCRG, it said once the short service commission officers and the permanent service commission officers fight on the border shoulder-to-shoulder, they formed the same class and no further distinction can be made.
"Once they form the same class and they are fighting shoulder-to-shoulder against the enemy and if unfortunately both of them receive an injury and they are disabled then no distinction can be made in the payment of DCRG," the AFT said asking the government to take serious note of the anomaly and review the policy forthwith.
"We cannot give them benefit, but we can only request the government that this payment of DCRG on the basis of distinction between short service commission and regular service commission is highly discriminatory. We hope and trust that the government will remove this discrimination which is apparent on the face of it," it said.
Coming to computation of war injury pension, the AFT said the cause of injury which disabled a soldier and cut short his career was beyond the control of the personnel and such persons should be treated fairly by being given war injury pension on the basis of the highest pay in the rank.
"We feel strongly that it is a matter which requires serious consideration of the government that a person whose career has been sacrificed for safeguarding the Indian border and he is to be treated in such a poor way that he is being paid war disabled pension on the basis of minimum of the scale of that rank," the AFT Bench said.
"The maximum scale of that rank should be considered for determining the amount of war injury pension," the AFT said disposing of the petition by the Disabled War Veterans.
Tribunal puts army in dock says different benefits for similar injuries is discrimination
Sukhna episode is not a SCAM, nor even a scandal, and a mountain has been made out of a mole hill. The land belongs neither to the army nor the Government, nor it has been occupied by Army but is a private tea estate. Since the land is still with the owner, where is the scam? The issuing of NOC for the construction of a school, within the prohibited area around the cantonment is the issue. Don’t ALL our cantonments have civilian pockets within them? Aren’t ALL our military stations surrounded by civilian areas? If there is no security threat to all such stations what is so peculiar with Sukhna? Law of ‘No Construction with in 1000 yards’ of the boundary of a military establishments is violated and flouted everywhere with impunity, without any exception. The DCs routinely issue ‘change of land use,’ orders, maybe for a consideration. The most glaring cases are construction near vast ammunition depot at Badowal (Ludhiana) and a most sensitive Air Force establishment at Kasauli. These affect National Security far more seriously than the Sukna case. The media must go into these violations and seek strict actions against the guilty.
For all issues arising out of giving of NOC, the Army Chief, after examining the Court of Inquiry, other evidence and the recommendations of the army commander, is well within his legal and administrative rights to decide on the further course of action. In the instant case, his decision to take only administrative action can be as debatable as any judicial order. Sometimes ‘administrative’ action can be quicker and harsher than a Court Martial, where a person has a right to defend himself.
Unprecedented Intervention by the RM is irregular and is beset with grave implications, besides impinging on the rights and sanctity of military’s judicial system. He appears to be goaded in this matter by the MOD bureaucracy, for obvious reasons related to our ongoing agitation for Parity in Pension and thus to show military in bad light. Both the RM and the Army Chief can be put in a very embarrassing position when called as defence witnesses by a clever defence counsel in the Court Martial. What happens if the case is lost? Can the institutional damage inflicted on the Military be then undone?
Aspersions have been cast on the integrity of the COAS himself. Why should Civil–Military rivalry or infighting amongst top few Generals be allowed to erode the faith of the soldiers deployed on borders or at 21000 feet in Siachen, in their military’s justice system and its leadership, thus lowering their morale, which is a ‘Battle Winning’ factor?
The real ‘SCAMS’ are grabbing of defence land of military camping grounds and around the cantonments by the big fish are real land scams. Govt must NOT apply entirely different yardsticks for civil and military personnel. It is all right that armed forces ought to be clean, but scale to measure guilt must be same. It takes 19 years to convict a DGP for molesting a minor girl, whereas in the army those involved even an underweight egg are dealt with expeditiously. Military Soldiers accused in the Tehelka case were severely punished while nothing happened to any civilian. Bureaucrats involved in proven corruption cases are promoted or even go as Governors. Is it JUSTICE? Let ‘justice’ be equitable for all.
As per the media reports, black money of US$ 1.4 trillion (about Rs 75 LAKH CRORES) is stashed away in Swiss banks by our corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and the like. Yet not a whimper is heard about it. The dead horse of Sukhna is being flogged, by all, rather noisily.
Brig Harwant Singh (Retd)
The All India Defence Brotherhood (Regd)
The Generals and their labyrinth
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A composite image of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, optical emission in yellow and emission from hydrogen light -- known to astronomers as 'H-alpha' -- in red. The optical and H-alpha data were obtained with the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope in Chile. Galaxy clusters are collections of hundreds or even thousands of galaxies held together by gravity that are enveloped in hot gas. Image and Text Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UVa/M. Sun et al; H-alpha/Optical: SOAR/MSU/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil/M.Sun et al.
Astronomer and President of the Royal Society (academy of science) Martin Rees said science had made enormous progress in the search for planets grouped around other distant stars - a discipline he stressed did not exist in the 1990s.
"Now we know that most of the stars, like the sun, are likely to have planetary systems around them and we have every reason to suspect that many of them have planets that are rather like our earth," Rees told Reuters in an interview.
He said great strides in space search techniques over the last decade had removed one of the big obstacles in finding other worlds, and possibly even complex life forms, in our Milky Way galaxy of 100 million stars.
Are we alone? We may soon find out
The deeds of valour in sacrificing their lives, their emblematic humanism and professionalism, their courage in preserving our territorial integrity and the way they serve people during times of national calamities, the Indian Armed Forces make every citizen proud.
A career in the Indian Armed Forces is lot more than just element of pride in donning the uniform. A soldier in the Indian armed forces is an example of a soul who is willing to perform the supreme sacrifice for the Indian Republic, without fear or favour, without any prejudice based on ethnic, religious, linguistic, regional or caste identity; all in all as a proud Indian. There is nothing to beat a career in the armed forces, crucial responsibilities, service to the nation, respect from all sections of society all rolled into one.
The chief institutions that frame the future soldiers of the Indian Armed forces are:
National Defence Academy (NDA)
Military Academy (IMA)
Officers Training Academy (OTA)
Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC)
National Defence College (NDA)
Recruitment in Indian Armed Forces
The Governing body met for over four hours today. Veterans Krit Joshipura, Satbir, Chander Kamboj, Pravesh Renjen, Aditya Jaini, CK Sharma, Vinod Gandhi and self attended. Various issues were debated and will be circulated in due course.
The point about revision of membership fee was again discussed in view of the recent exchange of emails on the subject. After a lengthy debate on the pros and cons of reducing the fee and related implications, and keeping in mind the views, suggestions and sentiments of various ESM colleagues, it was decided that it was not prudent to change the existing scales and that status quo be maintained. The membership fee therefore continues to be Rs 500/- for officers, Rs 200/- for JCOs and Rs 100/- for Other Ranks.
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Veteran Sub Hari Singh continues with his remarkably selfless service for the IESM. Like almost every other day, today also he connected at least half a dozen ESM and made them talk to me during the day. I am sure he runs up a healthy bill on his mobile call charges. Whenever I mention the subject he ignores my comment.
One of the callers today was Hav Mohinder Singh from 4 JAT. After the customary exchange of greetings he said, “Thank you Sahib you are doing so much for us.” (He was obviously using ‘you’ collectively for all of us in the governing body). I told him we were also veterans just like him. “No Sahib”, he countered, “If you were like me you would also be sitting at home just as I am. But you are investing so much time, energy and effort for a common cause”. Before I could respond, he came up with a clincher. “And why Sahib?” he asked almost in an accusatory tone, “Are you charging only 100 rupees from us? How can you run the organization without money? You should charge a few thousand from us and we are all willing to pay”.
I was left speechless and silently saluted his spirit.
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Monday, February 1, 2010
"Already, army has taken strong action. I do not want to say anything further... We cannot tolerate even a single instance of corruption," Defence Minister A K Antony said.
Replying to a question on the reasons for advising court martial proceedings against Lt Gen Awadesh Prakash, who has been indicted in the Sukhna land scam, Antony said what happened in Sukhna and in some other cases are "aberrations".
"Look at the society as a whole, various walks of life. Compared to many other institutions, armed forces has a much better system of correcting things and punishing the guilty," he said.
Antony said, "You should compare what is going on around. Compared to many other institutions, armed forces and army are doing much better to take action and correct aberrations in the system".
The Defence Minister asked to look at the positive aspect of the armed forces and its traditions, saying the sacrifices made by jawans and the officers must also be looked at.
"Our jawans and officers are sacrificing their life, their blood, their health to protect every inch of our territory, to safeguard border security. We must salute them and protect their honour," he said. (SS-31/01)
Will not tolerate corruption in armed forces: Antony
“Lower staff at the Pension wing of the Defence Ministry is also known to prepare misleading and deceptive noting sheets which are put up to senior officers and even the Raksha Mantri, who in good faith affix their initials leaving the gallery open to such officers who then flaunt the said approvals by stating that the same have the sanction of the Defence Minister. It is also learnt that the officers in the Defence Ministry have asked Govt lawyers in writing to change their legal opinion when such lawyers had advised against filing of appeals.”
What is the game behind this, one may ask. Well, the govt is well aware that disabled veterans and poor pensioners do not have adequate financial back-up to defend their cases in the Supreme Court, so for the govt it is well worth taking a chance. I can only say that in the interest of equity and fair-play, we all must wake up before some officers take the entire defence services and the legal system for a royal ride. It is also time for senior staff of the Ministry and our uniformed officers to apply proper mind before they permit their subordinates to resort to unethical litigation against poor people who have served the nation to the best of their abilities. The hint of my call is particularly directed towards the upper echelons of Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the MoD and the Personnel Services Directorate in the Army Headquarters. The tendency to view poor litigants as ‘Enemies of the State’ must also change.
Read the full article:
The game plan of legal pundits: The govt sleeps while sadists take the system for a ride
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:38 AM
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Ref para 3 of the MoD letter of Jan 19, click here. It says that every pensioner who is receiving disability pension on ------ will file application as per annexure -----. How this is going to work in case of our JCO's NCO's and Sepoys living in far fling areas all over the country! This trick by the govt invariably leaves out large number of cases from such benefits..
Details of disability pension being paid (including percentage figures) are available with concerned authorities/ pension disbursing banks/ treasuries etc. They should follow instruction contained in the letter reproduced by you, rather than ask all concerned to individually apply for the same. Good governance is not MoD's cup of tea!
I feel there is a need to take up this issue with the govt by the IESM and Gen Oberoi's set up.
This issue may be considered by the Core group. I also learn that Maj-Gens have gone to court regarding more anamolies in their pension! Is the Core Gp aware or involved in this!
With regards and best wishes,
(Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Former DCOAS, currently in USA)
The point brought out by Gen Harwant is valid. We will take it up from the War Wounded Foundation side with the Secy ESW Department. We will also explain the current procedure to the war wounded and others during our rallies and distribute the forms to all those who want. I am endorsing copies to our office bearers.
(Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS and President War Wounded Foundation)
Postponement date of Medal deposit From 31 Jan 2010 to 14 Mar 2010
Dear Members of the Press,
1. This is to inform you that the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) has postponed the Medal deposit Event by Ex Servicemen at Jantar Mantar from 31 Jan 2010 to 14 Mar 2010, due to extreme inclement weather resulting in delay/ cancellation of trains.
2. As you are aware, the Govt has not sanctioned the major demand of Ex-Servicemen of granting them the same military pension to all those ESM who have put in the same length of service and held the same rank irrespective of the date of retirement. There are wide gaps in the pensions of pre 2006 and post 2006 retirees resulting in junior personnel getting more pension than their seniors, a situation which is violative of the Article 14 of the constitution.
3. The Govt is not being fair to the Defence Personnel especially the pre 2006 pensioners. Ex-Servicemen, to express their deep anguish and resentment have already deposited over 22000 medals with the President on five different occasions. The Govt. continues to ignore their just and fair demands. If this trend is not reversed, the patience of well disciplined and patriotic veterans may get exhausted, a situation which many have adverse consequences. There is need to address these issues of Military Pensions at the earliest. All members of Parliament and the people of India are requested to implore the Govt to accept the demand of OROP immediately.
With Kind Regards,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Dear Brig Kamboj,
Most of us have heard the name of Milkha Singh. He is an athlete of considerable repute. Around the time when Milkha Singh joined the army, there was another 'man of substance' who joined the service, but not many of us seem to remember him. His name was Anand Bakshi.
A scene will appear on your screen and the song will say:
"Kuchh reet jagat ki aisi hai, har eik suboh ki shaam hui
Tu kaun hai tera naam hai kya Sita bhi yahaan badnaam hui
Phir kyon sansaar ki baaton se, bheeg gaye tere nainaa?"
These words have come from the pen of Anand Bakshi.
So far so good. And now, I have something to tell you. Anand was a soldier!!!
He joined the Corps of Signals soon after Independence, and was in the STC Jabbalpur, before getting posted to Bombay, where he got into the filmworld, as a playback singer. But soon turned a lyricist and wrote some of the finest songs of our age.
And now, permit me to seek the help of the RMS family. The Internet has his biodata, but there is an ambiguity in his date of birth. He was either born in 1920 or 1930 and the is a difference is of TEN whole years! I think some one from the Signals can throw light on this enormous anamoly.
The army has made much of Milkha Singh. He did indeed run around the athletics track, albeit with admirable elegance. But what Anand Bakshi did is also of great significance. He has given us songs which have very poignant meanings. At the end of the day, what will perhaps be left will be words and not those giant strides. In one song, Mukesh says:
"Ik din bik jaayega maati ke mol
Jag mein reh jaayenge pyare tere bol"
I, for one, salute both Milkha and Anand Bakshi. May the military be able to get more of them to come and don the uniform, and make us proud by their deeds and words. As for me, my prayer to the Lord is:
"O saare jag ke rakhwale
Nirbal ko bal dene wale
Balwaanon ko de de gyaan
Allah tero naam Ishwar tero naam"
This particular piece is to seek more information on Anand Bakshi of the Corps of Signals, which helps us in remaining 'connected' with each other during service and even after that through "Report My Signal".
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
The Corps of Signals has been aware of Anand Bakshi and his achievents in Bollywood as a famous lyricist. He was contacted prior to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations by DCSO Bombay and he wrote the lyrics of the Corps song.
It is a good suggestion that the Corps should highlight that Anand Bakshi was a Signaller. It is also appropriate to remember his achievements during the Centenary celebrations. As far as I can remember, his son lives in Mumbai and DCSO Bombay should be knowing the address.
Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant 1988-91
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