Saturday, March 20, 2010

Maps of vital installations found in consignment to U.S.

They were part of the unaccompanied baggage booked by a retired Army officer.
Customs authorities found maps and blueprints of vital installations, including naval establishments, in a consignment booked to the U.S. by a retired Army officer here on Thursday evening.
According to police sources, Customs Superintendent Magudapathy and team found the “suspicious” articles kept in five boxes during a random check. Central/State intelligence agencies inspected the seizures. A total of 54 items such as blueprints of the Naval Dry Dock, Visakhapatnam, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and a road map of Muzaffarpur and Meerut were found in the unaccompanied baggage of Col. Hugh A. Marley (78) of Salem.
Sources in the Customs Department told The Hindu that the documents were packed in the five steel boxes and booked to California as baggage by Mr. Marley. He left for the U.S. in the last week of February this year. Before leaving he had advised an agent to send the boxes to him.
The Customs authorities said when they were doing a random check on unaccompanied baggage they found a blueprint of the Naval Dry Dock, Visakhapatnam and seized all the boxes booked to Mr. Marley.
A senior Customs official said: “When we found a map in the baggage it raised doubts and after seizing all the boxes and an inventory was made, it came to light that there were blueprints of places of strategic importance.”
The authorities also found a good number of books relating to map reading and defence issues. The baggage contained other official Defence documents such as Court Martial orders, the sources said.
When Customs officials contacted Mr. Marley, he told them that the materials belonged to him and they were personal effects. No decision was taken on handing over the matter to law enforcing agencies for investigation, a Customs official said. “It is too early to comment on whether the retired Army official would be called to India for questioning,” he added.
Sources in the intelligence agencies said Mr. Marley who was living in Yercaud had recently moved to California. His passport (PP F 0753076) showed his place of birth as Patna (Bihar). “No case has been registered yet. Investigation is on to ascertain the source of the maps and the purpose of taking them to the U.S. The seizures do not seem to come under the purview of the Official Secrets Act,” an official in the State intelligence said.
Maps of vital installations found in consignment to U.S.
Related news:
The seizure created huge excitement among intelligence agencies, including the IB and RAW. However, on close scrutiny and some preliminary probing here and in the US, the agencies seem convinced that the blueprints “are just effects from an old man’s attic that had gathered dust over the years”.
I spy: Seized blueprints, blind alley: Deccan Chronicle
After the Customs officials at the port detained the five boxes after stumbling upon some project documents of the Indian Army and blueprints of the Naval dock Yard, the freight forwarding agent called up Mr Marley, but the Ex-Army Engineer, who retired as Colonel, was cool.
He told the agent that all of them were his personal belongings and he was carrying them as his memoirs and faulted the Customs for detaining them. Quoting Mr Marley, the agent who preferred anonymity said, "Why so much fuss..its my work and the projects were designed by me in the good old days." The 78-year-old Colonel promised to write in detail to the Customs. The Ex-Army Civil Engineer exuded confidence that the Customs would clear all his boxes as he had nothing to hide and he was not carrying anything incriminating.
Customs Officials detain Ex army officer's belongings

Lessons learnt
Veterans need to be careful. On retirement one should ensure all documents are destroyed pertaining to Military affairs even if they are personal effects. This is especially applicable to senior officers.
Col Hugh A Marley (Retd) served in the Corps of Engineers from 1954 to 1979 (First PhD in Corps of Engineers). After premature retirement, he joined his daughter in CA and has been there from 1980. He was in India to attend the Montfort Global Reunion at Yercaud from 21 Jan to 25 Jan 2010 his Alma mater. He owned a house in Yercaud which he wanted to clear up. That is how the luggage and baggage was being transshipped after a span of 30 years from India to California. Col Hugh Marley in his twilight years failed to check the contents of the boxes and hence the goof up receiving the media coverage! Incidentally the Naval Dock Yard in question was designed by him which is perhaps why he held those documents as proof of his proud achievements- now has landed him a dock!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Indian Army faces Massive Shortage of Officers- ground report

India's army, the world's fourth largest, is failing to attract enough youngsters with "officer-like qualities'' for its 1.13-million strong Army. The second is Indian Army is facing a massive exodus from its ranks, with more and more officers opting for premature retirement. The shortage of officers in the Indian defence forces is blamed on stress, low pay, slow promotions and the military's tough lifestyle.

Even though the salaries of armed forces have substantially increased after the 6th Pay Commission, the youngsters still find them less compared to the private sector. This consideration is put forth especially is one takes into the account of the life of a soldier which is tough and risky.

Then army has severe promotional bottlenecks. After entering the army, an entry level officer must wait up to 10 years before donning the flashes of a lieutenant-colonel. But even at that level the monthly basic salary does not exceed much. The other contributing factors are poor promotional avenues and frequent transfers that disrupt family life of the officers.

The traditional catchments area like; Punjab and Rajasthan for recruitment of Army officers have gone dry. Most of the families that have strong soldiers background have stopped sending their wards to the Amy schools and are keen to send them abroad have hampered the steady flow of the officers in the Indian Military service.

Added to it is the lack of interest of the Anglo- Indian and Muslim communities in joining the Indian Army that has resulted into the shortage of the officers in the armed forces. If we check the old records and compare with the recent ones the total desertions of these two communities from the armed forces is glaring.

We may like it or not, corruption has entered into the armed forces as well. Many talented recruits feel patriotism and valor the two cardinal features of the defence services are compromised with corruption coming into its ranks. This has resulted in keeping them away from the defense services.

Indian Army faces a dire shortage of officers because the booming private sector is recruiting the best talent. The private sector, which has been luring away India's best talent by offering hefty wages and generous perks and the government and the services, simply cannot compete in matters of salary and perks with the corporate world.

The approval of the Union Government to open a second Officers' Training Academy (OTA) at Gaya in Bihar marks a major step to solve the problem of shortage of officers in the country.

The new academy will function on the similar lines as one that exists in Chennai. Initially the new Officers Training Academy at Gaya will commence the training of 250 cadets, but in due course of time it will be upgraded to its full design capacity to train 750 short-service commission officers annually.
Extracted- Read the full article:
Indian Army faces Massive Shortage of Officers

ECHS: Present status and hang- ups

ECHS Scheme
  • Financial Outlay. Government accorded sanction for Capital Budget 122 Crores as one time sanction and Revenue Budget 354.50 Crores Per annum.
  • Man Power At Central Organisation, Regional Centres and Station Headquarters. Man Power at Central Organisation, Regional Centres and Station Headquarters will be met from within existing resources of Service Headquarters. 61 Officers and 249 PBORs sanctioned for Central Organisation and Regional Centers. In addition 122 Station Headquarters have been provided Manpower from the existing resources of Service Headquarters.
  • Infrastructure and Manpower at Polyclinics is based on type of polyclinics on dependent population-(type A/B/C/D and Mil/Non Mil). Type A 20,000 or more Type B 10,001 – 20,000 Type C 5,001 – 10,000 Type D 2,500 – 5,000. Recruitment of the manpower for the proposed Polyclinics would be done on contractual basis. Following Equipments and Manpower has been provided at Polyclinics:
  • Medical Equipments. X-Ray machine, Ultrasound, Lab Auto Analyzer, Dental Equipments (including Chair), Physio therapy (Standard Set), ECG Maghine, Monitor Defibrillator and other small Equipments and Laboratory equipments.
  • Other Equipments. Generator, Air Conditioners, Ambulances and Light Vehicles.
  • Medical Facilities and Manpower. Medical Officers, Medical Specialists, Gynecologist, Dental Officers, Officer-in-Charge, Nursing Assistant/Nurse, Lab Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Receptionist/Care taker, Driver, Peon, Safaiwala and Female Attendant.

    Present Status
    01. Polyclinics. All 227 Polyclinics established and all are operational. 60 out of 227 polyclinics are functioning from the newly constructed buildings.
    02. Membership. 5.5 Lacs ESM pensioners have already joined the scheme out of 20 Lakhs ESM Pensioners eligible.
    03. Empanelment of Private Hospitals. 1002 Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes/Diagnostics Centres/Dental Clinics/Laboratories has been empanelled with ECHS TILL DATE. In Delhi and NCR 67 Private Hospitals have been empanelled.
    04. Smart Cards. Imperative for medicare. It normally takes two months to obtain Smart Cards on submission of application. In interim the receipt issued on submission of application by Station Headquarters/Director ECHS(Navy) is valid for two months till receipt of Smart Cards for availing entitled medicare.
    05. Supreme Court Judgment. Supreme Court has given judgment regarding exemption of ECHS Contribution for Pre-1996 Retirees. Armed Forces Veterans who are drawing pension form Controller of Defence Accounts and who have retired before 01 Jan 1996 are exempted from payment of contribution under Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme. However, they have to apply for membership on the prescribed application form attaching all relevant documents except the MRO. The issue of refund of contribution to those Pre- 01 Jan 96 Retirees, who have become ECHS members, is sub-judice and action will be taken as per the ruling given by the Govt. Present satus is unknown!
    06. Medical Treatment to ex-servicemen who have not joined ECHS. The ECHS has been operational wef. 01 Apr 2003. The Ex-servicemen who have retired prior to 01 Apr 2003 have the option of joining the scheme and thereby avail the medical benefits. Despite having issued clear instructions on the subject in the past, there seems to be doubt regarding the status of ESM who have not joined the ECHS. It is intimated that the AFV who have not joined the ECHS will continue to be treated in service hospitals subject to availability of beds and facilities. AFV are not entitled to transfer/referral from one service hospital to another.
    07. No Reimbursement. No reimbursement applicable directly to ECHS members except for non empanelled private hospital bills on lifesaving grounds. Reimbursement approved only by MDECHS. KSB/INBA is not considering reimbursement to ex-servicemen pensioners for serious diseases as hitherto due to paucity of funds. Es-servicemen pensioners advised to join ECHS earliest. AFV to forward medical reimbursement cases to Kendriya Sainik Board directly through ZSB/RSB and not to NHQ/DGMS(N)/PDNPF/PDESA as KSB will not reimburse claims submitted directly from NHQ. Non pensioners ex-servicemen and families, will continue to be provided with financial support for medical treatment by KSB through Armed Forces Flag Day Funds for serious ailments. Financial assistance up to 90% for sailors and 75% for Officers provided by KSB and balance reimbursement considered by Secy INBA/PDNPF.
    08. Ex-Servicemen Non Pensioners. Not entitled for any medicare in ECHS/Military Hospitals.

    Teething problems
    •One major problem that is being faced is lack of publicity in non-military stations where ESM are living in far-flung regions and remote villages.
    •The ones already aware have put on the “wait and watch” attitude and are reluctant to change their existing way of life.
    •The “smart Card” is still in infancy and the distribution is slow; the electronic system may have its own hangup initially. The system not exploited for networking and indenting of drugs and monitoring load on Polyclincs nationwide.
    •Medical and paramedical personnel are not coming forward to take up employment, as it is contractual in nature and the remunerations are not commensurate with qualifications. In addition to this, the QR is not attracting competent professionals. There are no Ex- MNS employed for no precise reasons.
    •There is an additional load on already busy military hospitals for indenting, empanelment, processing of bills, technical preparation and purchase of drugs. Additional logistic support is needed for smooth conduct at polyclinics.
    ECHS is one of the many initiatives taken jointly by Government and Armed Forces to alleviate the socioeconomic needs of retired pensioners of the Armed Forces. It is a comprehensive Medicare scheme on lines of already existing CGHS for government employees and a major venture in social security for the benefit of ex-servicemen from Armed Forces within easy reach of their place of residence. The goals are laudable but in practise the great majority of ESM are feeling the heat on shortages in the Polyclinics of manpower, medicines and equipment. The Polyclinics locations are lopsided and everyone is heading towards the Metropolis which means skewed load on Polyclinics!
    ECHS Bulletin (not updated)
  • Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Pension bonanza for ex-servicemen after Supreme Court ruling

    16 Mar 2010, 2006 hrs IST, IANS
    NEW DELHI: Some 30,000-40,000 armed forces officers who were commissioned or retired between 1986 and 1996 are in for a pay arrears and pension bonanza with the Supreme Court upholding a high court ruling that the amounts had been erroneously calculated.

    Upholding the Kerala High Court ruling that "rank pay" should be included while calculating an officer's pay and pension, the Supreme Court has directed this be re-recalculated and paid with retrospective effect from Jan 1, 1986.

    "We also direct interest to be paid thereon at 6 percent per annum," a bench of justice Markendey Katju and justice RM Lodha ruled. The judgment was delivered last week but a copy was made available only Tuesday.

    The judgment will not apply to officers who were commissioned or retired post-1996 as they are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions.

    "With this judgment, the pay of all affected officers will have to be re-fixed from Jan 1, 1986, with consequential benefits on pay, pension, commutation and leave encashment," the Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) that pursued the case in the Supreme Court said in a statement.

    "The anticipated arrears would range from a couple of thousand rupees to a few lakh per officer depending upon the rank held and reckonable service of the officer. About 30,000 to 40,000 officers, both serving and retired, including widows, would be directly benefited," the statement said.

    According to the RDOA, the defence ministry committed a "faux paus" by not including "rank pay" in the total emoluments and then doing the pay fixation, as had been recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission, which presented its final report in 1987.

    "This resulted in huge financial loss to the officers with cumulative effect on pay, DA, pension, gratuity and commutation," the association said.

    Acting on the plea of Major AK Dhanapalan, a single judge bench of the Kerala High Court October 5, 1998, directed that the calculations be done afresh. A division bench of the high court upheld this July 4, 2003.

    The government appealed against this in the Supreme Court and the RDOA also filed its own plea.

    Many similar petitions were filed in various high courts all over the country by other officers as well.

    "These were clubbed together and transferred to the Supreme Court to be heard along with an transfer petition of similar nature that had arisen out of a case that was allowed on the basis of the judgment in Major Dhanapalan's case," RDOA said.

    Pension bonanza for ex-servicemen after Supreme Court ruling
    Comments: Officers who retired after 01 Jan 1996 are not eligible for any arrears. Sad commentary on MOD cheating the Military Officers!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    IESM: Protest Rally at Bangalore

    The memorandum signed in blood will be handed over to chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday

    Ex-servicemen protest in city
    March 15th, 2010 By DC Correspondent
    March 14: Ex-servicemen on Sunday gathered at the Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka to sign a memorandum in their blood demanding the implementation of the one rank-one pension norm and better resettlement. The memorandum will be sent to the Prime Minister.
    “We have been requesting the government to constitute a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the subject by April 15 to study the subject matter in its entirety and submit a report in sixty days,” said Colonel S.S. Rajan, convenor, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), south zone and Karnataka state.
    The ex-servicemen have also suggested that the JPC be assisted by a group of military veterans comprising retired officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force. “We feel this is needed as they would be in a better position to analyse issues related to pay, pension and service conditions in the armed forces,” he added.
    If the government does not consider their demands, the ex-servicemen are planning to launch a nation-wide fast unto death from October 2 this year.
    Ex-servicemen protest in city

    Press Release: Maj Dhanapalan's Pension Case

    The Defence Fourth Pay Commission SCAM
    On 8th Mar 2010 the Hon'ble Supreme court blew the lid of a scam by Babus wherein the Soldiers of the Union of India were fraudulently deprived of their earnings and status by the Babus. After 24 years, the rank pay of the Service officer was justly construed while the Babus tried to convolute the substance with devious intent.
    What is the definition of a scam?
    Noun: A fraudulent business scheme, and,
    Verb: Deprive of or by deceit.
    So, what the Babus have done is "carried out a fraudulent business wherein the Armed Forces of India have been deprived of their rightful earnings by deceit". This is their functional hallmark. Also, mark the words 'rightful'. For the Soldier these are his only earnings unlike the Indian Babu since in Babudom, corruption is a rule whereas it is an exception in the Services.
    After having betrayed the Soldier they proceeded to vilification by making the Armed forces go to the Court for redressal. Even there they attempted chicanery by counter petitions to delay and harass. Our Politicians abetted this vile act while they muzzled the media for some paltry tidbits of TRP.
    What has the soldier lost? Pay & allowances and rightful status in the Govt hierarchy which was unsettled by the wrong fixation of Basic pay in the 4th Pay commission and subsequent pay commissions.
    The Personnel Directorates of the Three Service HQs should approach the PMOs office to carry out an investigation to fix who or which cadre/ group was responsible for this malicious faux pas. The Service Chiefs owe this to their comrades in arms. The Cabinet Secretary is incapable of such an investigation and his intent was demonstrated in the report of the Committee of Secretaries. In fact the Babus even let down the office of the PM and for the first time in Indian History the PM was accused of 'Parliamentary impropriety', thanks to prevarication by the Babus. Even if the Babus responsible have retired they should be punished for such tasteless Babugiri - the crass IAS version of low down officialdom.
    How will the MoD compensate the degradation of the Service officer who has been forced to serve under an officer who should have been placed in a grade below him but was placed in a grade above because of bureaucratic guile?
    Will the Babus get back to their Machiavellian stunts, or, for a change will the PM have the gumption to over ride the Babus and display his sagacity in ensuring speedy and rightful justice for the soldier? Maybe he can muster the courage after the soldiers deposited their medals with the President on 14 Mar 2010 or subsequently.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    इंसाफ के लिए खून से लिखा खत

    इंसाफ के लिए खून से लिखा खतनई दिल्ली, जागरण संवाददाता : एक रैंक एक पेंशन के मुद्दे को लेकर देशभर से आए पूर्व सैनिकों ने रविवार को फिर जंतर-मंतर पर एकत्रित होकर सरकार के विरुद्ध प्रदर्शन किया। अपने विरोध के तरीके को भावनात्मक रूप से जोड़ते हुए सैकड़ों सैनिकों और शहीदों की वीरांगनाओं ने अपने रक्त से लथपथ हस्ताक्षर किए। पूर्व सैनिकों ने कहा कि देश के लिए हमारा रक्त कभी बेकार नहीं गया है मगर अब सरकार हमारी परीक्षा ले रही है। प्रदर्शन का आयोजन इंडियन एक्स सर्विसमैन मूवमेंट ने किया था। रविवार को देशभर से आए लगभग दो हजार पूर्व सैनिक सातवीं बार जंतर मंतर पर एकत्रित हुए। इनमें दो सौ वीरांगनाएं थीं। ये महिलाएं भी अपने साथ अपने पतियों के मैडल लेकर आई थीं। इस दौरान 14 सौ पूर्व सैनिकों व शहीद विधवाओं ने ज्ञापन पर अपने रक्त से हस्ताक्षर किए। रक्त निकालने के लिए लाल पैथ लैब द्वारा कैंप लगाया गया। इस मौके पर छह हजार पूर्व सैनिकों के हस्ताक्षर वाला ज्ञापन तैयार किया गया। इस मौके पर सैनिकों ने कहा कि केंद्र सरकार उन्हें गुमराह कर रही है कि उन्हें एक रैंक एक पेंशन दे दी गई है, जबकि यह सरासर गलत है। केंद्र सरकार के नोटिफिकेशन में पूर्व सैनिकों की पेंशन बढ़ाई गई है, मगर एक रैंक एक पेंशन को लागू नहीं किया गया है। अभी भी पूर्व सैनिकों की पेंशन में फर्क है, क्योंकि अब भी 2006 के बाद सेवानिवृत्त होने वाले जवान की पेंशन 7045 होगी, जबकि इससे पहले सेवानिवृत्त होने वाले सैनिक को मात्र 4971 ही मिलेंगे। इस मौके पर पूर्व सैनिकों की एसोसिएशन के चेयरमैन व लेफ्टीनेंट जनरल राज कादयान, उपाध्यक्ष मेजर जनरल सतवीर सिंह, लेफ्टीनेंट जनरल एसके. बाहरी, मेजर जनरल पीके. रंजन, एवीजे. जैनी, बिग्रेडियर सीएस. कंबोज व हरबंस सिंह, नवाब सिंह, कर्नल जोशी पुरा कमांडर शरद आहूजा, कर्नल आरपी चतुर्वेदी आदि मौजूद थे।
    Dainik Jagran epaper city

    Ex-servicemen draw first blood

    seeking justice: Members of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement signing memorandum in blood in Bangalore on Sunday. (The Hindu)

    Ex-servicemen draw first blood
    TNN, Mar 15, 2010, 06.11am IST
    BANGALORE: Last year, they gave away their bravery medals and this year, they signed in blood. Ex-servicemen from across the country intensified their movement for `one rank one pension' in the form of rallies and signing a memorandum with blood, which will be sent to the Prime Minister.

    At a protest rally organized on Sunday, over 250 ex-servicemen from different parts of the state gathered to protest. Similar rallies were also held in Mangalore, Udupi, Karwar, Belgaum and other areas.

    The resentment among ex-servicemen is so high that in case their request is not accepted, they will launch a fast-unto-death campaign in October.

    "We had no other option but to sign in blood to show how dissatisfied we are with the system. We will ensure our efforts are noticed. Both the serviceman who retired earlier and the ones retiring now will have medical problems. In fact, the ones who had retired earlier will have more problems. But there is almost a 50% difference between our pension amount. Is it justified?" asked Lt Col (retired) M A Kariappa.

    "Families of soldiers live in an environment not understood by civilians. There is separation from family at an early age, education of children is affected, and a soldier serves with dignity and takes whatever the government offers to them. But after retirement, we feel neglected. We realize the government doesn't respect our service. We were promised free medical treatment but we got nothing. There is hardly any encouragement to send our children to the forces," added Col (retired) H Shenoy.

    "The UPA government is in the hands of the IAS. In the wars to save the country, the heads of soldiers have rolled. How many IAS officers have laid their lives? It is time our MPs realize it is for them to legislate these things and not get misguided by IAS officers. Ex-servicemen today are a neglected lot," said convener, IESM, South, Col SS Rajan. The memorandum signed in blood will be handed over to chief minister B S Yedyurappa on Thursday.

    Many of these ex-soldiers have worked in difficult conditions, high-altitude locations, and have lost friends in war and are handicapped due to battle injuries.

    "We haven't served any less. We have gone to every difficult area... I had a bypass surgery, and my one kidney had failed. But soldiers don't cry," said Brigadier J S Narasimhan, one of the senior-most officers in the group, who had given up his Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) last year.

    "I was part of the 1971 war in West Pakistan. I have seen my colleagues die, their legs blown off by land mines. We have great attachment with each other. But now I wonder how are people valuing the service," complained Lt Col (retired) S N Devdas.

    The ones in lower ranks, such as the hawaldars, are the worst-affected. Their pensions are meagre and they sometimes can't find new jobs. This 81-year-old ex-hawaldar R Narayan gets Rs 5,561 as pension. "I have participated in two wars. Is this enough pension for me to survive? My wife passed away due to cancer. I don't want to be a burden on my daughter," he said.
    Ex-servicemen draw first blood
    Related article
    Ex-servicemen say it in blood: The Hindu

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Ex-servicemen hold protest, demand equal pension

    Photo courtesy PTI
    Ex servicemen deposit their medals at a protest in New Delhi on Sunday.

    Collect gallantry medals for returning them to government
    Around 1,000 retired defence personnel on Sunday staged a protest here demanding “equal pension for each rank” and collected their gallantry medals for returning them to the government.

    Ex-servicemen from all the three defence forces held the protest at Jantar Mantar.

    They would also submit a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, one of the organisers said.

    The main demand is that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension.

    “It is a shame for the country that soldiers have to return their gallantry awards and meritorious medals and come to the streets for redressing their grievances,” they said.
    The Hindu: ESM hold protest, demand equal pension

    IESM: Report of Protest Rally held at Jantar Mantar on 14 Mar 2010

    Brig PK Nandagopal, MVC, (who attended the rally at Jantar Mantar New Delhi, on 14 Mar 10), commanded 6 Sikh LI during 1965 War and was awarded MVC in battle for Kalidhar Trig Point 3776

    Cdr RW Pathak and Brig SR Luktuke

    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar rally was attended by approximately 2000 ESM and families today. Participants had come from many parts of the country. All compliments to the members of the Governing Body who had done meticulous planning and preparations. Every aspect was thoroughly buttoned up and 35 members took their turn at the mike to give vent to their feelings.
    A memorandum signed in blood by 6,000 members and addressed to the President was handed over to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. 5,000 medals were also deposited by ESM. It had been decided to hand over the medals personally to the Supreme Commander. The Rashtrapati Bhawan had been informed accordingly. Unfortunately the Supreme Commander did not make it convenient to receive the medals in person. In accordance with the plan and as already decided the team did not hand over the medals to the staff and brought these back.
    A similar rally was also organized at Bangalore by Colonel Rajan, our indefatigable member. The memorandum in blood was signed by 150 ESM (at Bangalore).
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Dear Member of the Media,
    1. The Supreme Commander of Armed Forces today did not come to receive medals at Rastrapati Bhawan being deposited by military pensioners to press their demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP). Medal Deposit Rally was organized for the Seventh time at Jantar-Mantar New Delhi today where, 2000 defence pensioners including widows had come from all States of the Country to deposit their medals and sign Memorandum to the President in Blood.
    2. The Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) Lt Gen Raj Kadyan had earlier requested the Supreme Commander to kindly make it convenient to receive the medals from military pensioners herself. All veterans in the Rally unanimously decided to bring back the medals if her Excellency the President did not receive the medals herself. With a heavy heart the Ex Servicemen did not handover the medals when they found the Supreme Commander did not come to receive their medals herself. They however deposited the memorandum signed in Blood by 6000 of Ex-Servicemen from all parts of Country with the staff of the President.
    3. Ex-Servicemen hope that the Govt will seriously consider their demand and will grant OROP at the earliest. If Govt does not sanction their demand of OROP, all ESM have decided to intensify the Movement. They have resolved to continue the movement in a lawful and disciplined manner as here-to-fore.
    Jai Hind
    With Kind Regards,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Hindustan Times report
    Ex-servicemen hold protest, demand equal pension

    IESM: Bangalore Protest Rally for Pension Parity

    1. An EX-SERVICEMEN RALLY was held at Bengaluru on Sunday, 14 March 2010; whereat, 250 Ex-Servicemen led by Veteran Rear Admiral BR Vasanth, Brig JS Narasimhan, Brig Sudandiram and Brig B Chandrashekar signed in Blood, a Memorandum addressed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, in support of their demand for grant of MILITARY PENSION by way of ONE RANK, ONE PENSION.

    2. ‘One Rank One Pension’ implies that uniform pension be paid to Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. Military Service is UNIQUE, with a highly demanding 24 by 7 work culture under hostile environments; and secondly, Military Service is the only Service wherein a Jawan is bundled out at the young age of 35, when he has a wife, two small children, unmarried sisters & parents to be taken care of; without the STATE bothering to give him an alternative employment. It is absolutely callous. A young man who joins Govt. service in civil as a LDC or a Police constable; serves comfortably till the age of 60 years and retires in a much higher position with a good amount as pension. Not so in the case of a Jawan. 85% of the Sepoys retire as Sepoys only after 15 years service. Most civilians who retire at 60, would live to see only one Pay Commission after retirement, considering their longevity to be 70-75 years and may be a few, two pay commissions; but a Sepoy would live to see nothing less than four Pay Commissions after retirement. ‘ONE RANK, ONE PENSION’ is equally applicable to Officers, as bulk (85%) retire in the rank of Colonel, at the age of 54 years; thus losing out on pay for six years & enhanced pensionary benefits. It is the older pensioners of the Army, Navy & Air Force who are the worst sufferers. It is not only the serving soldier that the STATE is duty bound to take care of; but also the Veterans who have sacrificed their youth in service of the Nation with no other thought but, DUTY, HONOUR and COUNTRY.

    3. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, comprising 44 eminent Members of Parliament, had in their Report to Lok Sabha on 19 Aug 2003, strongly recommended the grant of ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP) to Ex-Servicemen. Para 99 of the said Report is reproduced below:
    “The Committee has been recommending grant of `ONE RANK ONE PENSION’ to the armed forces personnel time and again. The Committee observes that successive Governments and Pay Commissions have made improvements in the pension structure keeping in view the cost of living index. This has accentuated the disparity of pensionary benefits between pensioners of the same rank. The older pensioners who have become infirm in ability and capability and burdened with a larger social obligation receive pension calculated at the rate of pay at the time of their retirement in 1950s or 1960s or 1970s, which is quite paltry and the Dearness Relief quite inconsequential in today’s context of inflation and shrinking purchasing value of money. The nation must repay its debt to those Defendents of the motherland with gratitude and humility. We should, instead of, looking for precedents in this regard, create precedents for the others to emulate. Any amount paid in this regard would be small token of our gratitude to them. The Committee, therefore, once again reiterates their earlier recommendation for providing `ONE RANK ONE PENSION’ to the armed forces personnel”.

    4. The Ex-Servicemen in their Memorandum addressed to the Hon’ble Prime minister have requested convening of a JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE [JPC] by 15 Apr 2010, to study the subject matter in its entirety and submit its Report within sixty days (ie. by 15 Jun 2010).

    5. Col Rajan, the IESM Convenor said that the Memorandum is being signed by Ex-Servicemen in their own BLOOD, to impress upon the Hon’ble Prime Minister that Ex-Servicemen are indeed anguished & pained; and to request him to initiate immediate steps to ameliorate their problems of Pension and Re-settlement. The Ex-Servicemen in their Memorandum addressed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister have clearly stated that that in case their request for amelioration of our problems relating to Pension and Resettlement are not suitably addressed, the Ex-Servicemen, all over the Country, will be forced to further intensify their struggle; and the next and final step would be to launch a nation wide Satyagraha, undertaking FAST UNTO DEATH, commencing on 02 Oct 2010.
    Col S Rajan (Retd)
    IESM Convenor Bangalore

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Ex-servicemen hold protest, demand equal pension

    A delegation of retired defence personnel Sunday marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan to return over 5,000 gallantry and meritorious service medals and submitted a memorandum signed in their blood, demanding "equal pension for each rank".

    The retired personnel, however, did not return the medals as they wanted to give these to President Pratibha Patil in person. The president is the supreme commander of the armed forces.

    "These medals are precious to us and we can't give these to anybody. As the president did not accept them personally, we brought back all the medals. We gave a memorandum signed by over 6,000 ex-servicemen with their blood," said Lieutenant-General (retired) Raj Kadyan of the Indian Ex-servicemen's Movement (IEM).

    The IEM is demanding that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension, which rises every time there is a wage revision.

    According to Kadyan, a central government ruling March 8, 2010, narrowed the pension gap between soldiers retired after and before January 2006 but they wanted the difference to be completely removed.

    "We feel so dejected today that we are compelled to return our lifetime honours for our rights. Despite a raw deal being meted to us, we are ready to lend our support in any hostile situation," said Major-General (retired) Balbir Kataria.

    Earlier in the day, around 1,000 ex-servicemen from the three defence forces held the protest at Jantar Mantar, the 18th century observatory on the edge of the commercial district of Connauht Place, and collected their gallantry medals.

    "We fought for the country without caring for our lives and are now compelled to fight another battle for our rights. We are demanding one rank one pension, and as a protest are returning our honours that we won by putting our lives at stake," Commodore (retired) Lokesh Batra said.

    Despite the central government rejecting their demand, the ex-servicemen have decided to continue their struggle.

    "We will continue our struggle peacefully and it is a shame for the country that soldiers have to return their gallantry awards and meritorious medals," said another retired soldier who did not want to be identified.

    According to IEM office-bearers, a soldier who retired before 1996 gets a monthly pension of Rs.3,670, but one who retired between 1996 and December 2005 gets Rs.4,680. A soldier who retired after January 2006 gets Rs.8,700.

    Effectively then, an army havildar, who retired earlier, gets pension money that is less than what a soldier retiring after January 2006 gets, though the havildar enjoys a higher rank. The mismatch applies to all ranks, the ex-soldiers pointed out.
    Ex-servicemen hold protest, demand equal pension
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    Ex-servicemen hold protest, demand equal pension

    IESM: Pledge to make OROP a reality

    Brig CS Kamboj (Retd)

    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

    Dear Colleagues,
    The Core Group met from 1000 to 1500 hours today. Apart from taking many other important decisions, details were worked out for the Jantar Mantar rally tomorrow and for depositing medals.
    Brigadier CS Kamboj donated Rs 1,00,000.00 (one lac) to the IESM today. I felt honoured to receive his cheque. The entire Core Group rose to give him a thunderous applause for his high sense of dedication and commitment to the cause.
    It gives me great happiness to welcome the new members into the IESM family. I also congratulate General Aditya Jaini for motivating these ESM to become members.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Veteran Comments
    Dear Chander,
    May I take this opportunity to congratulate you for contributing a large sum of Rs.1 Lakh to the IESM. No one can come near you in dedication.
    You have also contributed very significantly in bringing in to the fold Indian veterans from all over the world and making the movement tick thru the Report My Signal Email Forum and also personal interventions.
    Very laudable indeed.
    Best wishes.
    As always,
    Harbhajan Singh

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Kudos. You are the pillar of ESM unity and epitome of dedication. Your personal example inspires each one of us.
    James Kanagaraj

    You are a Leader-In-Spirit and Role Model for the IESM. Congratulations!

    IESM: Press Release on status of OROP

    Dear Member of the Media,
    1. False ads unfortunately being published at taxpayers” expense to mislead public regarding grant of OROP to military pensions. The Facts are :-
  • 13 Years old anomaly only removed. Wide gap in pensions of Pre and post 2006 retirees of all ranks from Sepay to Lt General still persists. Pre 2006 pensioner Sepoy of ‘Y” Gp with 17 years service gets Rs 4971 where as post 1.1.2006 retiree gets Rs 7045. Is this One Rank One Pension or any where close to it as being claimed by the Govt.?
  • Pre 2006 retiree Havildar still gets less pension than post 2006 retiree Sepoy. Are we any where close to One Rank One Pension?
  • Pension difference of Pre 2006 retiree Lt Col and Maj Gen is only Rs 1000 where as the difference between Major and Lt Col is over Rs 11500, Maj Gen and Lt Gen Rs 9800/-This effectively destroys the rank structure and hierarchical ethos of the Armed Forces. Has the Govt. been fair to the Armed Forces?
  • Lt Gens’ pension increased from Rs 27700 to Rs 36500 (increase Rs 8800) to actually justify increase of pensions of Additional Secretaries to help even a few of them who could not become secretaries ensuring One Rank One Pensions for bureaucrats.
  • All ESM of India solemnly pledge to expose the Injustice and Mistreatment of Military.
    2. The media is requested to carry this news in your paper/ magazine/ channel.
    Jai Hind
    With Kind Regards,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
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