Friday, February 26, 2010

ESM Welfare: Meeting with Pallam Raju

Under signed leaded a delegation of Ex-servicemen to meet Dr MM Pallam Raju, Hon’ble Minister of State of Defence, on 23 Feb 2010, at his office in Ministry of Defence. The aim of the meeting was to apprise him about the difficulties faced by the residents of Delhi Cantt and also to dicusses various welfare points concerning Ex-servicemen.
Points discussed as under:
  • I reminded the Hon’ble Minister that gazette notification for “One Rank One Pension” in respect PBOR is not yet out. It was mentioned by minister that all normal formalities for gazette notification are complete and it will be announced soon for implementation.
  • I had also assured the delegation that War Memorial for Delhi state will be constructed to honour those who scarified for the nation from Delhi. He had also agreed to construct a rest house with 100 rooms and dormitory for the ex-servicemen visiting Delhi in connection with medical treatment and various other works.

    Request and appeal was made to earmark land in Delhi Cantt to house the following under one roof:
  • DGR office
  • Conventional Hall/ Auditorium
  • Rest House for both officers & PBOR
  • ECHS facilities.
  • CSD Canteen
  • Recreation facilities
  • Opening of 100 bed Hospital in Delhi Cantt.

    We are hopeful and positive about the outcome of our meeting.
    I am always at your services. “Jai Hind”
    Veteran Maj (Dr) T C Rao
    Chairman DPCC

    Dear Maj Rao,
    Thanks for the updates.
    However I would like to enquire about the status of the most imp issue- OROP, which affects you and all of us, incl those in uniform once they relenquinsh the same. When is it likely to see the light of the day, if at all. May I know what efforts are being put in at your end.
    Thanks and regards.
    Brig C M Harnal (Retd)
  • Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Army show leaves spectators spellbound

    Chander Parkash Tribune News service Sriganganagar, February 23, 2010
    About a hundred Army daredevils kept the spectators, including the officers, their families, civilians and schoolchildren, spellbound for over an hour by performing spectacular stunts in the sky as well as on the ground at the cantonment here this evening.

    The stunts were part of a special show being organised by the Army to honour with medals its officers and jawans who displayed exemplary courage while fighting militants in different parts of the country. The investiture ceremony would be held here tomorrow.

    Lt Gen CKS Sabu, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Command, presided over the function.

    Of all, sky divers mesmerised the viewers the most by performing aerobatics in the sky. Lasting for about 15 minutes, the act was performed by six Armymen -- led by Havildar GS Patil - who jumped from two Chetak helicopters from a height of about 10,000 feet.

    The open ground where the function was held reverberated with a round of applause after the skydivers landed safely. Two Armymen also performed various events in the sky after diving from a paramotor (a motorised steerable parachute).

    Next to come was the show by Army dogs, who displayed their skills by jumping over hurdles and even walking on two ropes. The dog squad (six in number) also displayed the specialised training they had been given to catch and injure militants and other anti-national elements under the command of their handlers.

    Then, 10 motorcyclists of the Punjab Regiment, led by company Havildar major (CHM) Rajesh Kumar, displayed some spectacular stunts. Driving a 350-CC Royal Enfield motorcycle while sitting over it in a reverse position and standing on its fuel tank and then driving it were a few among them.

    The bikers’ stunts also included jumping over a ring of fire and 10 people making a wall and pyramid while moving on five motorcycles. The Malkham display and hot air ballooning also enthralled the spectators.

    Later, jawans of various units captivated the audience by playing different tunes, including those of patriotic songs.
    Army show leaves spectators spellbound

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    GRAVESEND: Indian RAF war hero to publish life story

    9:00am Sunday 21st February 2010
    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji joined the RAF in 1940 looking for an adventure. Now aged 91, he tells DAVID MILLS how he became the eyes of the army.

    WHEN 22-year-old Mahinder Singh Pujji spotted an Indian newspaper advert calling on pilots to join the RAF in 1940, he eagerly volunteered.

    But the Shell Oil refuelling superintendent had not heard much about Hitler, nor did he know much about the war.

    Sqn Ldr Pujji always wanted to fly and his dream was realised when he got his pilot licence in 1937 after serving an apprenticeship with Himalayan Airlines.

    His employers gladly released him to join the RAF, stating he could have his job back, if he returned alive.

    Sqn Ldr Pujji went on to fly 25 different types of aircraft, including Spitfires, Hurricanes and Tomahawks.

    He had more than one dice with death and his military achievements led him to meet world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Gandhi, King Farouk of Egypt, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

    Sqn Ldr Pujji, who lives in sheltered housing in The Grove, Gravesend, has written a book about his experiences during the war called For King and Another Country, due to be published later this year.

    His father, one of the few Indian senior officers in government during the Raj, did not agree with his son’s choice to join the RAF.
    Read the full article:
    GRAVESEND: Indian RAF war hero to publish life story

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Corps of Signals: Group Photographs 1948-1949

    Photographs kind courtesy Col Rangaraj Jairam (Retd)

    Sitting L to R: Maj Gen Thakur Nathu Singh, Lt Gen Maharaj Shiri Rajendra Sinhji, DSO, IA. Lt Col Kamta Prasad, MC
    Standing L to R: Maj Rattan Singh, MILO, Maj R Singh Rai, Maj T...

    Sitting L to R: Maj Gen Thakur Nathu Singh, Lt Gen KM Cariappa OBE, Lt Col Kampta Prasad MC
    Standing L to R(2nd Row): Maj Rattan Singh, Maj TW King, Maj HL Bhatia MC
    Standing L to R(3rd Row): Capt Mohinder Singh, Lt H Lal, Lt TN Rangaraj, Capt Harnam Singh

    Sitting L to R: Lt Col DC Saker, Brig AC Iyappa MBE, Maj SN Atal
    Standing L to R: 2/Lt Satish Chandra, Lt RA Bhola, Lt KL Suri

    L to R: Lt Col AC Misra, Maj Gen Hiralal Atal, Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh

    Lt Gen K Balaram, PVSM: Former VC of Kurukshetra University

    DSSC Commandant 1982- 83

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind. The Puja/ Prayer meeting for Late Lt Gen K Balaram, PVSM, will be held on 25 Feb 2010, between 1530h to 1630h, at Som Vihar Central Lawn, Som Vihar Apartments, RK Puram, New Delhi- 110066.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj

    Former Kurukshetra varsity VC Lt Gen K Balaram expires
    C.S.KANWAR Tuesday, 16 February 2010
    KURUKSHETRA: Lt General (retired) K. Balaram former vice chancellor of Kurukshetra University expired last night at his residence in New Delhi. The incumbent VC Lt General (retired) Dr DDS Sandhu broke this sad news in a crucial meeting of the Deans and Chairpersons in the senate Hall today.

    All those present in the meeting observed two minutes silence to pay homages to the departed soul and prayed to the Almighty to give consolation to the family members of the deceased and give peace to the departed souls in heaven.
    Lt General Balaram was only vice chancellor of the oldest university of Haryana who practised austerity and bridled the unbridled in the university whether in the teaching fraternity or in the categories of employees. He was the administrator who suspended an IAS Registrar Rajiv Arora and got his almirahs broke open in his absence where some important files were locked, just a few days before the expiry of his three year tenure. The Fauji Balaram was the VC who denied access to university auditorium to the then Prime Minister late Chander Shekhar who was to address a workers rally in the presence of the then Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala. Although the District Magistrate used his special powers and acquisited the auditorium. The hand-over and take-over was done by the junior officers of the university and the district administration. Unlike today's vice chancellors in the country, Lt. General Balaram made his way to Delhi to attend a meeting and did not bother even to receive the PM at the helipad in the university sports grounds itself.

    Balaram used to walk to his office and back on Thursdays during the Iran-Iraq war to save petrol, a call given by the union ministry those days. He could venture sliding beneath his official car to repair it during the lunch break and then board it after stretching his safari suit which could be seen with torn stitches under the cockpits. He never availed any free medicines from the University Health centre , rather he was the VC who paid a cheque of five thousand rupees to the university in lieu of the reimbursement of medical bills despite the repeated requests to the contrary from the then SMO Dr Mrs S Maleyvar.

    He was so popular amongst teaching fraternity and also amongst employees that on his retirement, a ceremonial departure was performed by pulling the ropes tied to his car and a send-off was given at the Oasis at Karnal after which his convoy was escorted upto Delhi by the representatives of teachers and employees. His last words of advice to the university people were : 'Save this prestigious university from unscrupulous people if you can, let it flourish to blossom fully'.
    Former Kurukshetra varsity VC Lt.Gen K. Balaram expires

    Tributes paid to KU former VC
    Tribune News Service Kurukshetra, February 22
    Kurukshetra University staff paid tributes to former Vice-Chancellor, Lt- Gen K. Balram, who passed away on February 14, at a condolence meeting.

    Gen Balram, who adorned the office of Vice-Chancellor from August 8, 1989, to August 7, 1992, was a visionary and a man of action who took the bold decision to revise the syllabi of all postgraduate courses in tune with modern curriculum of UGC.

    Following up his plans to revise the syllabus, he took another major academic decision, asking all chairpersons to prepare lesson plans of the revised syllabi of a semester and put it in the library so that students could know in advance about the schedule of classes.

    Paying homage to the former vice-chancellor, the current incumbent, Lt-Gen (Dr.) DDS Sandhu, recalled his contributions in developing the varsity.

    "The university was in deficit when Gen Balram joined as its VC but he took bold fiscal decisions and covered the deficit. There was a serious problem of power failure in the hostels. The then VC solved it by getting the worn-out wirings changed, besides ensuring the installation of separate transformers", recalled Prof Raghvendra Tanwar, Registrar.
    Tributes paid to KU former VC

    Lt Gen K Balaram PVSM, is MTech in Telecommunication Engineering and MSc in Defence Science from UK and Madras respectively. Commandant of Defence Services Staff College from 1981 to 1983. He was the Vice Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Haryana from August 1989 to August 1992.

    Bureaucracy working in reverse gear for Veterans: Crazy style!

    This seems crazy.
    Every time the govt comes up with pensionary benefits for veterans, instead of directing suo-moto revision by the Pension Sanctioning Authorities or Pension Disbursing Authorities in terms of the relevant orders, the retired service-members are asked to apply to the concerned authorities for revision of pension on complicated prescribed formats. But what about the millions of former military members who do not get a whiff of such revision orders and hence do not apply for such upward revision? Can the government be allowed to retain what rightfully belongs to such pensioners?

    This issue needs to be taken up with the govt at the earliest. A recent example would be the improvement in disability / war injury pensionary awards for which the affected personnel have been asked to apply on a prescribed format. What to talk of circulating such circulars all over, these documents are not even placed for public viewing on any website by the Central Govt’s Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare. This is in sharp contrast to the Department of Pensions on the civil side which proactively ensures that the information of beneficial provisions reaches all concerned.

    But this is what takes the pie : In the year 1998, the Govt of India had decided to provide the benefit of 17 years of service for calculating pension of Naiks (also Corporals and Leading Seamen) who had retired between 01-01-1986 and 31-12-1995 with less than 17 years of qualifying service. This benefit was also extended to Hony Naiks and Time Scale Naiks. But keeping in view the red-tapist tradition of our State machinery, instead of revising the pension suo-moto on the basis of the data available with Record Offices or PCDA(P), such affected personnel were asked to apply on a prescribed application form for the said revision. Now don’t ask how these poor guys were expected to learn about these orders or the application forms, I have no answer !. Now in the year 2010, our people have decided to dispense with the application forms for these old pensioners and have directed suo-moto revision without requirement of a request from the pensioners’ side. Very prompt indeed, 1998 the orders were issued, and we have woken up in 2010. These layers and layers of procedures is what we need to shed at the earliest.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:01 AM

    Revision of Disability/ war injury pension element
    Service Pension of Naiks, Corporals, Leading Seamans retiring post 01 Jan 1986

    Stay on Sukhna Scam general’s court martial

    Sumit Saxena , Hindustan Times New Delhi, February 23, 2010
    The Armed Forces Tribunal on Monday stayed court martial proceeding against retired military secretary Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash in the Sukna land scam.

    The court martial, ordered against Prakash after his indictment by a court of inquiry (COI), was to start on February 25 in Kolkata.

    A two-member tribunal bench quashed the findings of the COI, which had indicted Prakash for using his official position to pressure the staff of the 33, Corps — based in Sukna, West Bengal — to facilitate the transfer of a plot of land to his family friend, Dilip Agarwal.

    The Bench ordered a fresh CoI, to be completed within two months.

    Observing that army rule was “violated” during the COI, the Bench said Prakash would get the chance to cross-examine the six witnesses who deposed against him. “It will be open to the petitioner to lead any evidence by calling witness or producing documentary evidence,” it said.

    The issue of cross-examination was a major plea of the retired officer against the COI.

    “The court has given us a fair chance to defend ourselves. We have been falsely implicated,” Jyoti Singh, counsel for Prakash, said.
    Stay on Sukhna Scam general’s court martial

    MOD Land Scams
    LUCKNOW: In a significant judgment, the Allahabad high court has directed the secretary, ministry of defence, to instruct all the command heads of Indian military to map all defence lands and estates and ensure zero unauthorised occupancy or encroachment thereon.
    After having reasoned out the importance and necessity of the defence land, the court expressed concern over the encroachment of defence land by land mafia and land-grabbers around the defence estates in different districts of Uttar Pradesh and beyond. "It has been brought to the notice of the court that entertainment centres and commercial establishments run by private parties are being brought up uninterruptedly on army land," the judgment stated.
    The court also observed that the military commanders heading the commands owe it to the nation to ensure that the land earmarked for military purposes does not go into unauthorised hands.
    High Court to MoD: Crack down on encroachment in Cantonments

    In spite of the clear orders and existing rulings the GOC- in- C Commands are spineless in evicting the encroachers. If the Military commanders cannot protect its own lands how can they be trusted to defend the National territory and integrity? In Tamilnadu over 50% Military Lands have been usurped and assigned to mafia and land grabbers by MOD through dubious means of NOC, leasing, bribes and other corrupt methods. The same is the case in each and every cantonment of the Nation.

    DEFEXPO India 2010 News

    Indigenous Armoured Vehicle

  • Wipro, CAE signed agreement to provide training and simulation-based solutions
  • Sikorsky eyes $12 billion worth of contract in Indian defence market
  • Shri Lakshmi Defence Solutions Ltd signs MoU with Ukrainian firm to manufacture over 100 armoured vehicles
  • Bharat Electronics Ltd and Rafael plan joint venture for missile systems
  • Defence offsets policy would be the key driver for the growth and modernisation of the defence industrial base: Pallam Raju
  • Boeing to set up Analysis and Experimentation Centre in partnership with BEL in Bangalore
  • Defence majors Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) and Raytheon Company announced teaming up in a L&T led proposal submitted this month to upgrade Indian Army
  • India on Monday said its defence expenditure will increase "in proportion" with its economic growth rate, which is expected to be around eight to ten percent
  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) signed a contract with the Suriname Armed Forces (SAF)
  • Thales today announces the launch of Vigile LW, a new, lightweight, naval Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) system set to redefine situational awareness
    Read more:
    DEFEXPO India 2010 News
  • Monday, February 22, 2010

    India’s bureaucratic albatross

    Tavleen Singh IE Posted online: Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 0233 hrs
    Every time I deal with Indian officials I become so depressed that I almost need therapy. As a reckless optimist and a proud Indian, I keep hoping that I will one day go into a government office and notice the changes that are necessary if India is to drag herself out of poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Having just last week had dealings with officials in various government departments, I can only report the opposite. Our officials remain untouched by technology, modernity, national interest or higher ideals. So I endorse from the bottom of my heart a new report that concludes that our bureaucrats are the worst in Asia. The report is the result of a survey of 12 Asian economies done last year by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy based in Hong Kong, and although bits of it have found their way into Indian newspapers, there has been not nearly as much fuss as there should have been about a report that shames India.
    The report blames India’s ‘suffocating bureaucracy’ for us falling behind countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar in providing our people with minimal standards of healthcare, sanitation and education. Examine just the sad fact that 43 per cent of Indian children under the age of five are underweight compared with 20 per cent in Vietnam and 14 per cent in Bhutan and you understand what we are up against. It is not because of a shortage of funds that millions of Indians are forced to live in conditions of shameful poverty and degradation. The Government of India spent Rs 4 trillion on various poverty alleviation programmes last year. The report points out that if even half this money had been distributed among our estimated 60 million poor households, they would each get Rs 80 a day and so rise above the poverty line. Our own Planning Commission pointed this out more than a decade ago but because there has not been the smallest attempt to get our babu-log to work more efficiently, nothing has changed.

    The result is that our bureaucrats and the army of petty officials that work under them have remained mired in systems that make the simplest procedure into a long and difficult thing. One of the offices I had to deal with last week was the Regional Passport Office in Delhi. It was hell. There were queues for coupons that allowed you to join queues to enter the building, that led you to other queues that led to a maze of windows behind which sat bored officials. There was no system. If I had not had the help of a guide, I think I may have queued for days, as others do, and taken months to get my ‘tatkaal’ (at once) passport. My English brother-in-law did not even need to go to the British High Commission to renew his. He filled his form online and in three days he had his new passport.

    Indian government departments have computers today and access to the Internet, but they seem not to understand that this should put an end to filling endless forms. And, other useless procedures. If things are bad in Delhi, it is hard to even begin to describe how bad they are in the provinces. I have been into provincial government departments and provincial courts in which they are still using ancient typewriters. Then, there are the filthy working conditions that get filthier in our state capitals. Rotting garbage, stray animals, dusty furniture, wires hanging everywhere and mountains of waste paper. The general impression is of a country falling to pieces and not one that harbours dreams of becoming an economic superpower.

    The reason why this column bangs on and on about the need for urgent administrative reforms is because without them we can do almost nothing else. It is not just civilian government departments that are mired in 18th-century systems, but even those that deal with national security. Bad governance is a pernicious, pervasive disease. If you want proof, all you need to do is spend five minutes observing procedures in your nearest police station. That is all the time you need to discover that it is not just the absence of modern weapons that handicap our police when they are dealing with Islamist terrorists. It is incompetence enforced by convoluted and confused procedures.

    Having covered governance and politics for more than 20 years, it is my humble view that India could become an economic superpower with clean air and water, magnificent new cities and a healthy, literate population, if we could make our officials do their jobs properly. Dr Manmohan Singh knows this and has been talking about the importance of administrative reforms since the first press conference he gave after he became Prime Minister in 2004. Why does he do nothing about it?
    India’s bureaucratic albatross
    Related links
    Battling the babu raj
    Leaving the IAS: Corporates buy officers’ contacts in government
    The a to Z of indian bureaucracy
    IAS: Indian Asphyxiated Service

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    DRDO to develop technologies to fight terrorists, insurgents

    DRDO to develop technologies to fight terrorists, insurgents
    New Delhi: Against the backdrop of increasing terror threats and insurgency, the DRDO on Saturday said it has ventured into technologies to support security forces in operations, including against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) attacks.

    DRDO chief V K Saraswat said his organisation has opened a Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) Division that would cater to weapons, equipment and life support systems for the paramilitary and police forces.

    "Most of the wars in the 20th century are low-intensity conflicts, sub-conventional war, asymmetric warfare, counter-insurgency, and terrorism. These are going to be the emerging battle scenario. It is going to be the order of the day for the next 100 years.

    "DRDO now has very focused programmes on technologies for low-intensity conflicts, which includes NBC weapons," Saraswat said at a media interaction on the eve of a three-day DRDO Director's Conference here.

    He said the DRDO also launched another LIC-related programme with soldier-centric technologies with his "survivability, sustainability, efficiency and lethality" as the focus areas.

    "For Futuristic Indian Soldier as a System (F-INSAS), we need technology for his armour, communication, psychological profile, life support, battle scenario devices, scanning devices and grenades. It will be a concerted programme," DRDO Chief Controller Dr W Selvamurthy, who was present, said.

    "Most of these technologies are spin-offs. We already have technologies from our strategic weapons programme, which can be customised for LIC needs," Saraswat said.

    Asked if the shift in focus would impact the DRDO's strategic weapons programme, he said it would not be so. This would be an incremental work to help the nation to achieve self-reliance in this niche area too, he added.

    "Both (strategic and LIC programmes) are important. Strategic weapons, you cannot get from anywhere else. Nobody will give you the technology. It has to be developed internally. Most of the LIC technologies are also important," Saraswat added.

    The DRDO chief said his organisation was a technology provider. "We (DRDO) identify in consultation with the Home Ministry as well as others, if there are gaps in certain areas such as foliage penetration or ground penetration, communication, jamming and communication interception systems, we would work on them and provide solutions," he added.

    Asked if there were plans to dump the indigenous INSAS 5.56 mm rifle, the DRDO chief said there were no problems and the feedback received from troops suggested that the weapons were performing satisfactorily.

    "The problems faced by troops must be a local perception nature, by some individual. But it is not a general perception," he said.

    Source: The Indian Express
    DRDO to develop technologies to fight terrorists, insurgents

    IAS officer under scanner for owning Rs 93 cr worth property

    Raipur: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) here has registered a case against a senior Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer after the Income Tax department said he owned properties worth Rs 93 crore.

    The IT sleuths raided the residence and business establishments of IAS officer B.L. Agrawal February 4. He was suspended by the Chhattisgarh government February 10 and the matter was referred to EOW.

    An official here said EOW registered a case under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act Saturday, after the Bhopal circle of the IT department raided Agrawal's house and business establishments and informed in a preliminary report to the state government that the 1988 batch IAS officer owned moveable and immovable properties worth Rs 93 crore.

    The IT report said Agrawal invested nearly Rs 60 crore in a steel plant in the name of his close relatives.

    The report added that IT officials found Rs 68 lakh in cash at his residence and jewellery worth Rs 70 lakh and papers of Rs 8 crore investment in insurance and mutual funds were recovered from various bank lockers. Source: IANS
    IAS officer under scanner for owning Rs 93 cr worth property

    Corps of Signals: Chennai 20 Feb 2010

    Centenary Celebrations Corps of Signals

    The Corps of Signals was raised on 15 Feb 1911 and will be celebrating its centenary on 15 Feb 2011. The journey of hundred years has been a saga of rich heritage, technological excellence, modernisation, brotherhood and pure soldiering. We intend holding several functions in various military stations throughout the Centenary Year (2010-2011) to have maximum participation of serving, retired personnels. The second part of the celebrations will be reunion which will enable old comrades to renew and maintain contacts with each other and to honour and pay homage to our heroes. It is an excellent expedient to inculcate a sense of tradition and espirt-de-corps. The aim is to acquaint the Signals fraternity about the Celebrations Plan and to keep them updated about the forth coming events.
    Click on links for more information:
    Celebrations Plan
    Celebration Calander


    The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
    Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
    This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
    The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
    Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)