Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pre-Mature Retirees are in for a rude shock

Dear friends,
It has just been brought to my notice, that the government has RETROSPECTIVELY abolished the five-year 'weightage' granted to those who retire with less than 33 years service.
I learnt this from the case of a Colonel who retired after 27 years service in Apr 2006. The sequence of events makes pathetic reading. Here is how it goes:
  • The revised PPO issued in Jun 2009 granted a sum of Rs 9,50.400 as gratuity to him.
  • On 11 Jan 2010, the CDA issued a fresh corrigenda LOWERING the above amount to 8,01,900. The officer has been advised that the 'excess, amount viz Rs 1,48,500' would be deducted from the pension payable to him at the rate of one-third of the nett amount payable to him.
  • No reason is assigned for the above deduction in the communication from the CDA. However, when I approached the authorities, I was informed that "since the 33 year conditionality has been withdrawn, the 'weightage' has been abolished by the government."
    The question which comes to my mind is that the pension rules had been changed by the 6th Pay Commission and its report was with the govt in Mar 2008. Why did the 'system' have to wait for two whole years to make this change, and that too RETROSPECTIVELY!!!
    And even if it was necessary to implement such a measure, was it not incumbent upon the CDA to give an explanatory statement or clarification in the revised pension order?
    This is another case of a goof up, which will hurt the military personnel more than the civilians because we are the only ones who retire with less than 33 years service. In case of the post-2006 retirees, it shaves off two-and-half months pay, admitted tax-free for all those who retire with less than the 'standard service'
    With each passing day, our faith in the quality of administrative service being rendered by our rulers receives a body blow.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Puzzling Maths
    GOI Department of Expenditure Implementation Cell: click here
    Para iv on page 19 under "Commissioned Officers" says delinking 33 years wef 01.01.2006 would increase pension by Rs 3000/- benefiting 1100 Officers? In the same para civilians with 20 to 28 years will benefit too. The total outlay for this additional expenditure to the state is Rs 4.83 crore per annum. How then is the gratuity being deducted retrospectively? If there is deduction where is the loss to the state? The Expenditure Secretary needs to enlighten us on the rationale of full gratuity for civilians with 20- 28 years service vis a vis Military Officer rendering 27 years service with reduced gratuity!
  • Weekly Pentagon Ceremony to honour the war wounded

    The ceremony described below held at the Pentagon every Friday is worth emulating in South Block, Sena Bhawan and Vayu Bhawan; may be once a month or once a quarter. It will have excellent effect on morale.
    Harbhajan Singh
    Lt Gen (Retd) PVSM
    Signal Officer-in-Chief 1988-91

    Friday morning at the Pentagon By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, McClatchy Newspapers
    Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.

    This week, I’m turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a year long tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon. Here’s Lt. Col. Bateman’s account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Website.
    Kindly click link below for the full details of the weekly Pentagon Ceremony to honour the war wounded
    Friday Morning at the Pentagon
    Friday Morning at the Pentagon

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Women officers in armed forces win historic battle

    Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 12:51
    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the grant of permanent commission in the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) to over 50 women officers who had accused the government of discrimination vis-a-vis their male counterparts.

    A division bench of Justices S K Kaul and M P Garg also ordered the reinstatement of all short service commission women officers who retired and approached the court seeking permanent commission in the forces.

    The court, in its 32-page order, directed the government to reinstate those officers who retired while the case was being heard.

    Short service commission officers serve for a maximum of 14 years while male officers granted permanent commission can be in the forces up to the age of 60, depending on the rank they rise to.

    An elated Rekha Pali, counsel for the women officers, cried: "It's a big victory for all of us!"

    Women officers hailed the decision.

    Wing Commander Rekha Aggrawal, who served in the IAF from 1995 to 2009, said: "I am very glad now. I will again join the office. I want to serve my nation."

    "Our three-year-long battle has finally become fruitful. The court has finally understood the disparity that women officers in the army face," Major Seema Singh added.

    Major Singh praised the passage of the women's reservation bill in the Rajya Sabha and said that Friday's judgement "will also boost the morale of women".

    Women are currently eligible for permanent commission only in the medical, nursing and dental services of the armed forces. They are eligible for short service commission in the services as in support arms of the armed forces.

    Currently, 5,137 women officers serve in the armed forces. They include 4,101 in the Indian Army, 784 in IAF, and 252 in Indian Navy. This includes women granted permanent commission in the Army Medical Corps, the Army Dental Corps and their equivalents in the other two services as also in the Military Nursing Services.

    In the army, women serve in support arms like the Corps of Signals, Army Ordinance Corps, the Corps of Electronic and Mechanical Engineers, and the Army Service Corps.

    In the Indian Air Force, women are inducted in all streams barring the fighter stream. In the Indian Navy there are restrictions on posting women officers aboard ships and submarines.

    Most militaries worldwide induct women but only a few allow them to perform active combat roles. Among these countries are Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

    Countries like Britain and Israel allow women to serve in combat arms positions like artillery roles but exclude them from infantry units. The US allows women in most combat flying positions.
    Women officers in armed forces win historic battle

    Women Army officers await big verdict

    NDTV Correspondent, Friday March 12, 2010, New Delhi

    The Delhi High Court is expected to rule today on whether women officers in the armed forces can have permanent service on par with male officers.

    More than 20 women Army officers, current and former, are fighting a tough battle in the Delhi High Court. They want the terms of employment for women in the Army to be revised.

    Currently women officers have to retire after 14 years in service, irrespective of their record.

    In addition to being subjected to rules that don't apply to male officers, this means women officers are not eligible for pension and other benefits.

    "Corporates don't value Army experience much. To top it all, there's recession in the market. Where do we go from here? It's such a bleak future," says Major Sandhya Yadav.

    Major Sandhya Yadav did not have a choice. She retired in March last year. As a woman, she was entitled to just 14 years in service.

    Women were first allowed into the Army in 1992. In 2005, the Army explained its policy of limiting the service for women to 14 years. In an affidavit filed in the High Court, the Army said: "The background of our troops who hail from rural areas with fixed concepts of women had to be considered at the time of induction of women as officers into the Army. Grant of Permanent Commission would result in placing women officers as Commanding Officers of units, which was considered inappropriate."

    In September last year, the government did revise the rules to give women the same tenure as men. But this applies only to new recruits and not to women already in service.

    "If principally we've agreed that they're fit to be taken into certain corps and services and that they will perform adequately, I see no reason why they can't continue to perform for a longer period," says Retd Lt Gen G L Bakshi.

    The Army says the final call will have to be taken by the government.

    "There could be various ramifications which the government has to consider - the financial implications, seniority in the Army, the effect on the male counterparts who have gone through a lot of other drills to get permanent commission which these women have not," says Army counsel Dalip Mehra.

    The Delhi High Court's order is keenly awaited as it could determine the fate of hundreds of women officers in the armed forces. For them, it's not about personal gains. It's about equality.
    Women Army officers await big verdict

    IESM: Pension Parity delayed, diluted and denied

    Dear Colleagues,
    Just to recapitulate, the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee had made seven recommendations. Out of these the main one that affected some 12 lac ESM was at Serial (i) and it read ‘To bring pre 10.10.1997 PBOR pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners’. The government machinery had been taking unreasonably long in implementing it. As reported in the Press, the government orders for its implementation have now been issued on 08 Mar 2010. Any statement made in the Parliament earlier in the week, claiming that it had been effected, did not fit facts.

    OROP has still not been granted. The IESM will therefore, continue with its struggle to keep the pressure on the government. The next action of depositing medals on 14 March 2010 will continue as planned, despite some motivated reports that it might be called off.

    The benefits announced by the government though short of our main demand, are a welcome development for the pre 2006 JCOs, NCOs and men. This has been possible and OROP has come on the national radar screen, primarily due the notable efforts and contribution made by the following:
  • All the ESM who have been toiling relentlessly to keep the heat on.
  • All the media, politicians and others for pursuing our interests. This includes Mr LK Advani, who pushed for OROP in the discussion in the House, Mr Tarlochan Singh, MP (Independent) who raised the question in Rajya Sabha and took on the RM in debate on 5 March 2010, Mr Rajiv Chandrasekhar, MP who has consistently supported the IESM and who is all set for making a Special Mention of OROP in the Rajya Sabha.

    The IESM is determined to continue its fight for justice. However, we have to be mindful of the fact that for us means are no less important than the end. We must avoid resort to methods for which our successors may have to avoid looking the society straight in the eye.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
  • 4th Pay Commission Anomaly: Grant of Rank Pay

    In accordance with the recommendations of the 4th Pay commission and the Govt. decision thereon, as promulgated under Gazette of India (Extra ordinary) Notification No 91 dated 18.3.1987, officers of the Army. Navy and Air Force were granted an integrated pay in the scale of Rs.2300-100-3900-150-5100.

    In addition to the pay in the integrated scale as above, Rank Pay for Captain, Major, Lt Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier and equivalent in the Navy and Air Force, were also granted @ Rs 200/-, 600/-, 800/-, 1000/-, and 1200/- PM respectively.

    Although the Rank Pay was sanctioned in addition to the basic pay, while fixing the pay in the integrated scale: an amount equal to the Rank Pay was deducted from the total emoluments and the pay was fixed. This has resulted in heavy financial loss to the officers which has also cumulative effect on pay, D.A., Pension, Gratuity, etc.

    Having failed to get a proper consideration of the ease, Major A.K.Dhanapalan, now retired had approached the Hon’ble High Court or Kerala for justice. In the case or Major A.K Dhanapalan Vs Union of India in O.P 2448/96, the Hon’ble High Court or Kerala was pleased to allow the plea of the officer and held that the deduction of the Rank Pay from basic pay is NOT correct and directed to re-fix the Basic Pay with effect from 1.1.1986.

    However the Union of India preferred an appeal before the larger Bench of the High Court against the judgment. Larger bench of High Court has been pleased to dismiss the appeal but the Union of India again filed an SLP in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. This appeal was also dismissed on 10-7-05.

    Officers (Serving/ Retired) of the Armed Forces who were in service on 1-1-86 in the Rank of Captain, Major, Lt Col, Col, Brigadier are affected by the above judgment. According to the judgment, Pay of Major A.K Dhanapalan has been re-fixed with effect from 1-1-86 and Govt. sanction for payment of arrears was issued, whereas the benefit has not been extended to other similarly placed Officers of the Army, Navy & Air Force. This is injustice to the affected Officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers are eligible to receive minimum* arrears after re-fixation will be as under:
    Capt and Equivalent Rs 55,000/
    Major and Equivalent Rs 1,50,000/-
    Lt Col and Equivalent Rs 2,00,000/-
    Colonel and Equivalent Rs 2,50,000/-
    Brigadier and Equivalent Rs 3,30,000/-
    *This is subject to length of service from 1-1-86

    A few retired affected officers joined together to make an association to take further legal action against this injustice. Like minded affected officers who are willing to join for this noble cause are welcome and may write to the General Secretary, Major A.K Dhanapalan (Retd), the President, Major K.P Sreedharan (Retd).

    Maj KP Sreedharan (Retd)
    Maj AK Dhanapalan (Retd)
    Indian Armed Forces Retired officers' Association

    New Pension Scales for JCOs, NCOs and Sepoys: CoS report implementation

    List of PCDA Circulars

    Circular No. 430 : Improvement in the pension to bridge the gap in pension of Pre 01.01.2006 and Post 01.01.2006 discharged Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) of Armed Forces.Click on active links below:

    Most Important Circular 430: Pension for JCOs, NCOs and Sepoys- (18 pages and 135 tables. PDF file will take time to display)

    Circular No. 428: Implementation of Government’s decision on the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission – Revision of Pension in respect of Pre -2006 Lt. Generals and equivalents

    Circular No. 429 : Revision of Disability/War Injury Element of Pension in respect of Armed Forces Officers and PBOR Pensioners - Cabinet Secretary Committee Report

    JCOs, NCOs and Sepoys New Pension Scales- in document format

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    IESM: Press Release

    Dated: 11 March 2010

    Dear Members of the Media,
    1. Notification issued by the Defence Ministry of the enhancement of pensions of old Defence Pensioners are no where near the grant of One Rank One Pension. The Committee of seven secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary did not recommend OROP. It equated the Pre 1997 pensions with Post 1997 and Pre 2006 Pensioners, thus removing a 12 years old anomaly. But the difference between the pre and post 1.1.2006 pensioners stays untouched. After implementation of the above notification, pre 2006 retiree Sepoy with 17 years of service will get a basic pension of Rs 5465 per month, whereas a Sepoy with same years of service who retired after 1.1.2006 is getting Rs 7045/- per month. For subsequent retirees there will be further enhancement of pensions due to the yearly increase of 3 % in the pay scales.

    2. Although the Govt had announced in the Parliament on 06 Jul 2009, earmarking of Rs 2144 crores for implementation of enhancement of pensions to remove the 12 years old anomaly, no action to implement this enhancement was taken. It required the prodding by Shri Mr. LK Advani in the Lok Sabha reminding the Govt to fulfill their commitment. The Hon’ble Prime Minister in his reply on 3 & 5 Mar 2010 misinformed the Parliament that the enhancement of pensions of Jawans and JCOs had been implemented as promised while in actual fact the same has now been done on 08 Mar 2010. This indicates an indifferent attitude of the Govt towards the genuine entitlements of Defence Personnel.

    3. The apathy shown by the Govt towards the genuine demand of the Ex Servicemen has driven the gallant soldiers to the wall and they have resolved to continue with the protest Movement. Accordingly, the protest scheduled on 14 Mar 2010 at Jantar Mantar New Delhi wherein a delegation led by Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Chairman IESM will hand over the medals and memorandum signed in blood to Her Excellency the President who has been requested to kindly make it convenient to receive the same in person.

    4. All members of the media are requested to cover the event extensively to inform the people of India about the mistreatment of Military by the Government.

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

    ECHS: Shortage of medicines hits Chandigarh polyclinic

    Fri, Mar 5 04:46 AM
    Chandigarh, including its surrounding areas, has a large population of ex-servicemen, who depend on the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic in Sector 29, for their healthcare needs.

    The ECHS is only a Type B polyclinic and is one of the few in the country that run from a temporary accommodation.

    Still it handles nearly 500 patients daily, which is three times its capacity.

    The patient-satisfaction level at the ECHS polyclinic was high till about two months ago when it was hit by shortage of medicines. The pinch of this shortage is felt more by patients who are above 75 years of age because they cannot make frequent visits to the polyclinic.

    Some patients, who are above 80 years of age, come to the polyclinic from far off places with attendants with the hope that they will return home with their full quota of medicines to last them a few months.

    But when they are told that several medicines prescribed to them are not available and they will have to revisit after a few days, their heart breaks as they are neither physically fit nor have the resources to make repeated trips to the polyclinic.

    With anger written large on their faces, one sees patients cursing the staff for their inability to supply them with medicines.

    Why should there be any shortage of medicines? It gets the supply of medicines from the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, which, under no circumstances, should fall short of medicines as its Commandant has enormous powers to make local purchase of medicines under the ECHS rules. Where is then the hold up? Why should the patients be made to suffer?

    Who would come to their rescue? Why are those entrusted with the powers to look after the healthcare and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families allowing this situation to continue?

    Meanwhile, Mohali has been waiting to get its own polyclinic for the last more than three years. And of the patients that throng the Chandigarh polyclinic, more than 50 per cent are from Mohali.

    In phase 1 of the health scheme that ended on March 31, 2008, 227 polyclinics were established across the country.

    In phase 2, after a long delay, 107 polyclinics were sanctioned and it was learnt in July last year that the Mohali polyclinic was on top of this list and would come up soon. So far, there is no news about it. It seems that like other organisations, the Army has also become a victim of babudom.

    The Headquarters Western Command has been trying to get Mohali a polyclinic since 2007. But it has not succeeded so far. Express News Service
    Shortage of medicines hits Chandigarh polyclinic
    ECHS Complaints from Ex Servicemen

    The patient- satisfaction level of ECHS members across the national spectrum (227 polyclinics and 107 still to be established) is fast sliding to a dismal low. Mainly it is because of the Red Tape and Babudom which has been cunningly transferred to the Military run organisations.

    Pensionary benefits cleared for ex-servicemen

    The Hindu March 11, 2010: Special Correspondent
    NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Wednesday said orders to implement two pending pensionary benefits, with an annual expenditure of Rs.2,200 crore, were issued. This is expected to benefit 12 lakh ex-servicemen.

    The government's letter recommending parity between pension of pre- and post-October 10, 1997, for Personnel Below Officers Rank and further improving their pensions based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers award of 2006 was issued on March 8, the Ministry said.

    The decision followed recommendations by a high-level committee.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said the implementation would not only significantly reduce the gap between the past and current pensioners, but also considerably improve the pension of ex-servicemen, including those in the disabled category.
    Pensionary benefits cleared for ex-servicemen

    Till this morning no orders have reached the Service HQs nor any details are available on the net.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Army Tribunal Grants one Rank One Pension

    The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has directed the Union government to grant one rank one pension or the same pension to personnel belonging to the same rank, irrespective of the date of retirement.

    Deciding on the cases of Babu Ram Dhiman vs Union of India and Sohan Singh vs Union of India, the tribunal on Monday said, “It is quite clear that the State cannot lay down different criteria for grant of pension for same rank of officers and Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) on the basis of the cut-off date of retirement. All pensioners, irrespective of the date of retirement are entitled to (the) same pension.”

    The judgment also said grant of unequal pay in the same rank was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution that grants equal rights to all citizens.
    The All India Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Association, Chandigarh, under its legal aid scheme, filed these two cases seeking a direction to the Ministry of Defence to revise the pension of those who retired before January 2006 to put them on par with post-September 2008 pensioners.

    Bhim Sen Sehgal, chairman of the association and Rajesh Sehgal, petitioners’ counsel, submitted that a Havildar who retired before January 2006 gets a pension of Rs 4,060 per month while those retiring after September 2008 get Rs 7,846. Similar are the cases of equivalent ranks of the Army, Navy and Air Force, they said.
    Amar Preet Sandhu, the central government’s lawyer maintained that the matter was under the government’s consideration.
    Army Tribunal Grants one Rank One Pension

    Comments: bpsingh
    Dear Sir,
    This is a historical judgement by AFT Chandigarh. But still I am not hopeful, GOI may move to Supreme Court Of India, where authorities in MOD may fabricate hypothetical, wrong interpretation of data's against the interest of Jawans of this country. I pray to Almighty to give them wisdom, so that we pensioners are at par with Oct 2008 retirees. Looking forward from GOI To DO justification!

    ECHS Chennai: Degradation of Services

    Today I visited the ECHS located in the premises of MH Chennai and observed its functioning for over 3 hours. There were in all about 200 ESM who were seated (all seats occupied), some milling around the reception and many standing near the counter dispensing medicines. There were only 2 medical officers out of 4 employed. The OIC ECHS is truly a dummy who has no administrative control over his staff.
    The waiting period for collecting medicines in the queue system is 3 to 5 hours as confirmed by the OIC. ESM who wish to collect only medicines are also supposed to queue up for which the waiting period is 5 hours plus.
    There seems to be a steady decline in the efficiency of the ECHS. The ESM who desire to get treated for their illness are literally made more sick encountering the hurdles placed by the OIC and his staff. The OIC attitude is the most unfriendly and very bureaucratic. Finally after a debate and heated argument with the OIC which was unfruitful I and my wife left without collecting the medicines with a saddened heart. Truly the Veterans battle in the ECHS is a on going process! There is an urgent requirement for instant redressal of grievances of Ex Servicemen within the ECHS Polyclinic and MH premises.

    Supreme Court of India sets right IV Pay Commission Anomaly after 24 years

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    It is the result of collective fight. As you have always been telling the veterans through your emails. I am grateful to you for such high words for me and RDOA. Sir you may like to put it on "REPORT MY SIGNAL". Col Satwant Singh will able to answer any query. All officers serving and retired are welcome to contact us for any clarification.
    Lt Col BK Sharma (Retd)
    Retired Defence Officers’ Association
    Tribune Report
    SC relief to officers over pay anomalies: Orders arrears with 6 pc interest to all affected
    Supreme Court Ruling

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    The Soldiers' 2nd Innings

    Dear friends,
    A review of the captioned book "The Soldiers’ 2nd Innings": click here
    The reviewer has made a very valid point: the book does not contain any thing for our personnel below officer ranks. This lacuna has also been pointed out by some of my friends.

    The book is,indeed, officer oriented. The reason for this is not far to seek. I have no first hand knowledge or experience of the problems which our men experience, and so I thought it better to leave that task to some one more qualified to do so. It is my belief that a RCO or a SL Commissioned officer should be motivated to produce such a book. It has been rightly pointed out by several persons that the soldier these days is quite different from the man who served in the army when we were in the units. He is well educated and has access to creature comforts like a fridge, TV set, washing machine and a motor cycle. Officers of my vintage did not have any of these luxuries at the start of our careers fifty years ago. An NCO retiring after about 20 or24 years service gets well over ten lacs of rupees as his terminal benefits and many of them do not know how to handle that kind of money. They need guidance.

    If our soldiers can be given the necessary inputs and guidance, they can convert their military experience into civilian success. And when that happens, we will have lacs of ESM contributing to the economy of the nation. Improvements in pension and rationalization of terminal benefits are inecessary, and we must press for that twenty five year old demand. But what is even more necessary is the need to prepare our soldier for a second job or alternative vocation.

    Lt Gen Chandele has summed it up very well in his Prelude to the book, He says, "Retired life can be enjoyed fully, if you have two essentials: "Enough to live on and enough to live for"
    Now here is an offer
    In case some one come forward to write a book for the JCOs and the NCOs I shall provide all the assistance which he may need to publish the work, including financial suuport.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Comments and suggestions from Brig Sukhwindar Singh click here

    The Soldiers’ 2nd Innings by Maj Gen Surjit Singh (retd) & Lt Col Kanwal Dev Singh (retd) MacMillan. Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra

    A majority of the soldiers in our Armed Forces, especially in the Indian Army, retire young. This is as true of the commissioned officers as it is of the personnel belonging to the Other Ranks (ORs). While a significant number of ORs — aka jawans — retire while in their thirties, officers generally retire in their forties and fifties. The latter, as this book admits, are economically secure while the former have to struggle in Civvy Street for their survival.

    Written partially in anecdotal style, this book’s chapters, Angry Old Soldiers and In Search of a Solution to the Problem, deal with one-rank-one-pension-related issues. Another chapter, SWOT Analysis and Classification of Jobs, gives details of the careers that officers can take up post-retirement. There are separate chapters on career opportunities in the corporate sector in India as well as abroad. The book also outlines various pros and cons of writing wills. It also describes their different types, like joint wills, mutual wills etc, with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

    How one wishes there was a separate chapter on career prospects for ORs whose educational profile has improved vastly over the years. There are impressive numbers of law, engineering and management graduates among these personnel who do not have the advantage of possessing "brass credentials" to impress recruiters in the civil sector and thus need guidance as well as inputs.

    Maj Gen promoted 15 years after retirement

    New Delhi, Mar 7 (PTI)
    A Major General, who retired 15 years ago, has been granted promotion to the rank of Lt Gen by the Armed Forces Tribunal here. After the Tribunal order, Maj Gen Devendra Nath Verma, a former Signals officer who retired on September 30, 1995, will notionally become a Lt Gen and would be given all the pension. Since the petitioner has retired, he may be granted notional promotion to that of a Lt Gen with effect from October 1, 1995 and the financial consequences that would have accrued to him had he been in service, including that of pensionary benefits, a two-member Bench headed by Tribunal Chair person Justice A K Mathur said in its order.

    Demanding quashing of his retirement, Verma, who is in his early 70s, had petitioned that service extension of three months given to another officer, Lt Gen P D Bhargava (Retd), was stage-managed, which denied him the opportunity for promotion to the rank of Lt Gen.

    Verma also contended that the three-month extension given to Bhargava was not recommended by the Army but was granted suo motu by the Defence Ministry. Agreeing with Verma's contention, the Tribunal said the granting of extension to Bhargava was "totally unjustified and ultra-vires".

    The Tribunal said even a one day extension to Verma would have ensured retired Maj Gen’s promotion on October 1, 1995.Pointing out that the treatment meted out by the Army to Verma was "malafide and unfair", Justice Mathur said the extension granted to Bhargava had set forth a chain of events, which denied promotion to Verma, who was "otherwise fully eligible to become a Lt Gen in his own Corps".
    "The extension enabled Bhargava to stay in service despite reaching the age of superannuation on January 31, 1994 and subsequently pick up his rank of Lt Gen on April 1, 1994, and finally side step as Signal Officer-in-Chief on February 1, 1995," it said.

    The Tribunal, however, didn’t take any action against the extension of service granted to Bhargava as Verma had not sought it in his petition and has given 90 days to the Army to complete the exercise.

    After his retirement, Verma had filed the case in the Delhi high Court and the petition was recently transferred to the Tribunal. sionary and financial benefits attached with the promotion.
    Maj Gen promoted 15 years after retirement

    Rank Pay is a part of basic pay: SC upholds verdict in Dhanapalan case

    As many would be aware, after the 4th CPC, an integrated pay scale of Rs 2300-5100 was implemented for officers from the rank of 2/Lt to Brig. In addition, rank pay was authorised to officers from the rank of Capt to Brig ranging from Rs 200 to 1200 which was to be added into the basic pay for all intents and purposes.

    However, while fixing the pay in the new scales, an amount equal to the rank pay was deducted from the emoluments resulting in financial loss to all affected officers. Hence all officers holding the rank of Capt to Brig as on 01-01-1986 suffered cumulative losses.

    The Hon’ble Kerala High Court in a case filed by Maj AK Dhanapalan had termed illegal this deduction of rank pay. The SLP filed by the Union of India was also dismissed, albeit not on merits but on technical grounds of limitation. Soon thereafter, many similar petitions were filed in various Hon’ble High Courts all over the country which were clubbed together and transferred to the Hon’ble Supreme Court to be heard alongwith an SLP of similar nature which had arisen out of a case that was allowed on the basis of Dhanapalan judgement.

    The Hon’ble Supreme Court has yesterday (08 March 2010) upheld the said verdict and granted relief to all similarly placed officers alongwith an interest of 6%. I shall officially confirm the judgement with all details once I get the copy.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 4:23 AM

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    PM remark irks ex-servicemen

    Rajay Deep, Tribune News Service Bathinda, March 7, 2010

    The recent statement of the Prime Minister in Parliament that the recommendation regarding enhancement in the pensions of jawans and JCOs has been implemented, has created a flutter among members of the Indian Ex-servicemen (ESM) Movement.

    Taking strong exception to the recent statement of the Prime Minister, Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, vice-chairman, the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, said the reason as to why the PM made this “wrong” statement was beyond comprehension.

    In an exclusive interaction with The Tribune, here today, Satbir Singh said the way the PM brushed aside the issue of pensions of defence personnel by stating that the enhancement recommended by the committee had been implemented, revealed that either the staff at his office had not correctly briefed him or the government itself was indifferent to their genuine entitlements.

    “It is emphatically reiterated that the enhancement of pensions of jawans and JCOs as announced by the government in Parliament on July 6, 2009 and again announced by the Prime Minister on August 15, 2009 from the ramparts of the Red Fort for which Rs 2,140 had been earmarked to benefit 12 lakh ex-servicemen jawans and JCOs has not at all been implemented,” claimed Satbir Singh.

    Accusing the system of damaging the morale of the ex-servicemen, the vice-chairman of the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement said, “It is a sad reflection of the government's attitude that 22000 prestigious medals have been returned to the President of India by ex-servicemen on six different occasions to express their anguish and hurt feeling. Still, the government continues to ignore their main demand of one rank, one pension (OROP).”

    “Witnessing the callous attitude of the government towards our problem, we are going to intensify the protest. Ex-servicemen from all states will deposit their medals with the President of India for the seventh time on March 14 along with a memorandum signed in blood to express deep anguish over the apathy of the government,” said Satbir Singh.

    “This is not the only pain. The President of India is not even granting audience to the delegation of the movement, who have been leading the protest to secure justice for the Defence personnel,” alleged the vice-chairman.

    Terming it as the job of the forces to uphold the democratic values of the country and safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the country, the Major General (retd) warned, “Any tinkering with the ethos and morale of the armed forces would be to the country's peril.”

    Targeting the government for depending upon imports from other countries, Satbir Singh said, “The Arjun Tank, which is supposed to be an indigenous production, has now a major import dependency. The government is somewhere ignoring that one of our neighbouring country is increasing its all-round capacity, and is waiting for a chance to pounce upon us.”
    PM remark irks ex-servicemen

    Budget 2010-11 and its agenda to benefit con men of India

    A superb analysis of the Budget document by Shri MR Venkatesh whose contributions to understanding the economy of India are well-known. This is a stunning expose that a Budget should be used as an instrument to protect con men (and con women) of India. Stashing away billions into tax havens abroad is no small matter. It runs into billions of dollars by the PM's own admission.
    Please carefully read through this (sometimes technically challenging) document Budget 2010-11 and its agenda to benefit con men of India: click here .
    It concerns the wealth of the nation which is being looted in larger quantum's, within 60 years of Independent India, than what the British colonial regime did in about 150 years.
    Shocking state of affairs. Something is rotten in the state of Bharatam. Will patriotic Indians wake up and seek justice and swarajyam?
    Former Senior Executive
    Asian Development Bank

    IESM: Surrender of Gallantry Medals on 14 Mar 2010

    Sponsors for the Rally on 14 Mar 2010
    Dear All,
    You are all aware of the efforts of IESM to raise the question of OROP through BJP leader Sh LK Adavani ji in the Lok Sabha on 3 March 10. In response to the question raised by Sh Advani ji, PM Sh Manmohan Singh has misled the Lok Sabha in saying that all the commitments made to ex-servicemen have been given. This was a completely incorrect statement as major recommendation of cabinet secretary's report of parity of pension between pre 96 and post 96 retiree JCOs ORs has not been released. GOVERNMENT HAD ALLOTTED RS 2140 CRORES FOR THIS PURPOSE IN THE BUDGET OF 2008-09 BUT HAS NOT ISSUED THE ORDERS FOR PAYMENT OF DUES.

    IESM has planned a massive rally on 14 March Sunday at Jantar Mantar. In the rally it is planned to deposit the medals with the President for safe custody as a mark of protest and also sign the memorandum in blood to be given to the President and PM. IESM is expecting a large congregation of ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar on 14 March 10. Programme is given below:
  • Start of the rally at 1000h at Jantar Mantar on 14 March Sunday.
  • Address by Speakers.
  • Address by the Maj Gen Satbir Singh to the gathering at 1230h.
    Deposit of Medals by ex-servicemen from 1000h to 1400h.
  • Signing the Memorandum in blood from 1000h to 1300h, for handing over to the President, PM and RM.
  • Collection of memorandum signed by the ex-servicemen from the states representatives.
  • Three teams will be formed out of the present ex-servicemen for going to President, PM and RM's office. Teams will leave for three locations at 1400h.
    li Closing of the rally.

    Following arrangements are planned at the venue of the rally. These arrangements will cost lot of money. IESM is looking for sponsors to fund all these programmes. IESM is thankful to all those veterans who will volunteer to fund any of the programme.
  • Tent and Shamiana at the location approx ex Rs 40000.
  • Water arrangement at the location approx ex Rs 3000.
  • Tea and Biscuit arrangement at the location approx ex Rs 8000.
  • Lunch packet for around 1000 persons @ Rs 15/ person Rs 15000.
  • PA system and loud speakers approx ex Rs 10000.
  • Arrangement for signing the memo in blood, this included disposable syringes, anti coagulant chemicals and other equipment approx ex Rs 15000.
  • Photostatting and other admin arrangements approx ex Rs 10000.
  • Reimbursement for travel to the ex-servicemen coming for the rally from distant locations (depending on the number of participants).

    Approximate expenditure is likely to be around Rs 2 lacs for this rally. Veterans are requested to arrange and sponsor buses from their areas/villages/towns to ferry the ex-servicemen. Veterans are also requested to choose any of the above event and sponsor it. IESM profusely thanks all veterans who wish to sponsor and contribute for the rally.


    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM (Retd)
    Gen Sec IESM
  • Noise pollution levels in most cities is beyond permissible levels

    Noise pollution levels in most cities is beyond the permissible levels Sporadic noise monitoring in urban areas, mainly during festivals such as Deepawali by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/ Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) reveals this fact. A few SPCBs and PCCs have initiated regular noise monitoring since 2008-09. As per available data, the laid down noise norms for respective zones (Industrial, Commercial, Residential or Silence) are exceeded at many locations. However, a definite trend can not be ascertained since data is available only for a limited period.

    The Supreme Court, in one of its judgment directed to put complete ban on bursting of sound emitting fire crackers during night time (between 10 pm and 6 am). Besides this, ban on use of sound emitting instrument or any sound amplifier at night time except in public emergency and use of horn at night time except in exceptional circumstance have been ordered. The Supreme Court also suggested to organise public awareness campaigns during festival seasons.

    State Government have been advised to make provision for seizure and confiscation of loud-speakers, amplifier and other equipments which are found to create noise level beyond permissible limits. The Central Government has undertaken the task to create a national ambient noise monitoring network for urban areas and reporting the data therein, in accordance with the National Environment Policy-2006.

    The various steps undertaken by the Government to control noise pollution include the following:-

    (i) Implementation of the provisions of The Factory Act, 1948, the Air (Prevention and control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000;

    (ii) Implementation of noise standards at the manufacturing stage for generator sets, motor vehicles, select domestic appliances and firecrackers; and

    (iii) Restriction on the blowing of horns, bursting of sound emitted fire crackers, operation of sound emitting construction equipments, and playing of bands, etc during night time (10.00 pm to 6.00 am).
    Noise pollution levels in most cities is beyond permissible levels

    Who are the Noise Polluters?
    It is primarily the Political Parties (who celebrate birthdays of their founders), the trade unions, illegal churches (located in residential areas) and so forth. The Police do not take action in spite of complaints from concerned citizens. The children and the elderly are the ones who suffer most from this malaise. There is not a single case of report of seizure and confiscation of loud-speakers, amplifier and other equipments which are found to create noise level beyond permissible limits by the state authorities. The PCB's are the most corrupt organisations and citizens cannot expect any relief!

    Punjab offers gallantry benefits to all

    Vijay Mohan, Tribune News Service, Chandigarh, March 6, 2010

    Delegates at the convention-cum-reunion of the War Decorated India in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

    Punjab, described as the sword arm of the nation, has offered to extend certain benefits to gallantry award winners across the nation regardless of their domicile.

    Announcing this here today, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said Punjab would be willing to pay the same allowance being given to gallantry awardees belonging to Punjab to those from any other state where the local authorities are unable to do so.

    Addressing members of the War Decorated India (WDI) at their triennial convention here today, Badal also announced a 40 per cent increase in the allowances being paid by the state government to gallantry awardees in Punjab.

    The WDI is an association of recipients of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), Vir Chakra (VrC) and awards given for gallantry in war or in the face of the enemy. It does not include recipients of other awards for bravery. About 200 gallantry award winners, their family members or widows from al across the country attended the two-day event here.

    Stating that his move does not have any political connotations, Badal said that Punjab has been in the centre of all wars and the state identifies itself very closely with the armed forces. “It is not the question of money, but that of the izzat of the soldiers. It is the least that we can do,” he said.

    While some states like Punjab and Haryana have extended considerable benefits to gallantry award winners in the respective states, many other sates have neglected them or are doling out a pittance. In some states allowances have not been revised for decades and the allowance per month even for the highest award is still in two digit figures.

    Punjab pays a monthly allowance of Rs 10,000 to PVC recipients and Rs 8,500 and Rs 5,500 to MVC and VrC recipients respectively. Punjab has a tally of four PVCs, 52 MVC and 250 VrCs, out of which only 17 MVC winners and 110 VrC winners are surviving.

    At present, there are about 1,550 surviving soldiers who were decorated for gallantry in various wars fought since independence. The numbers are steadily decreasing. So far only 21 officers and men have been decorated with the PVC, the highest award for bravery in the face of the enemy. Out of these 14 were conferred posthumously. Only three recipients of the PVC - one pertaining to Siachen operations and the other two to the 1999 Kargil conflict, are surviving.

    A major issue with decorated soldiers is that when it comes to recognition ro grant of benefits, they get a raw deal vis-à-vis freedom fighters or eminent sports persons. The ministries of home affairs or sports are able to have their way when it comes to the welfare of its beneficiaries, but the defence ministry on the contrary, is unable to effectively pursue the interests of the veterans.

    Also, a large number of cases where land was promised to gallantry award winners or their widows are pending with various state governments even decades after the awards were announced. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had ordered a review of all pending land grant cases a few months ago after some gallantry awardees had apprised him of the situation.
    Punjab offers gallantry benefits to all- Also announces 40 pc allowance hike for awardees from state


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