Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welfare of Minorities compared to Welfare of ESM

Welcoming the State representatives, Shri Vivek Mehrotra, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, emphasized the need to have a dedicated Department in all the States/UTs to deal with the issues of the welfare of Minorities as in the absence of such an arrangement in some states, there occurs a problem of coordination. He also said that the cooperation between the Centre and the States/UTs on the subject of the welfare of Minorities should be further strengthened. Shri Mehrotra said that the funds released to the States/UTs for various schemes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs should be passed on to the concerned districts/ executing agencies without delay so that the welfare of the Minorities is not compromised due to this delay.
Welcoming the State representatives, Shri Vivek Mehrotra, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, emphasized the need to have a dedicated Department in all the States/UTs to deal with the issues of the welfare of Minorities as in the absence of such an arrangement in some states, there occurs a problem of coordination. He also said that the cooperation between the Centre and the States/UTs on the subject of the welfare of Minorities should be further strengthened. Shri Mehrotra said that the funds released to the States/UTs for various schemes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs should be passed on to the concerned districts/ executing agencies without delay so that the welfare of the Minorities is not compromised due to this delay.
Conference of State Secretaries/ Principal Secretaries for the welfare of Minorities

ESM welfare: We have a Secretary for ESM Welfare and also an ESM Commission has been promised. The ESM however seem to be relegated to the lowest order of priorities. The Welfare of Minorities seems to be on the right track hopefully.

American school children honour Veterans

Do we really take the time to properly honour the soldiers who have fought and ... as a nation we could never repay the men and the women who ...
Read what the school children have to say in honour of Veterans (12 & 13 year olds).

What Jacob Ferda, 7th Grade, Zia Middle School, Las Cruces, NM says:
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Veteran? Weber defines it as a person who has served in the armed forces. I think a Veteran as a hero, who fought in past battles. After, I sat and listen to speeches made from Veterans who were brought in by my teacher, I realized that I wasn't looking at the whole picture. One of the speeches given by a man gave me a whole new meaning of Veteran.

I realized that whether they actually fought in a war or not, the men in are armed forces are all Veterans. These people are willing to make sacrifices in their lives for our country. They do this so we can we can feel safe every day at work or school. These people are willing to leave their family and fight to protect our freedom. They are also willing to protect the freedom of people far away. They never say no to what is asked of them, no matter what the situation is. One Veteran said that he had served for twenty-five years and had survived many things like Pearl Harbor and the landing of Normandy Beach. To me he is a real American Hero.

Now what do these American heroes get for going through a lot of pain and suffering? Their name on a wall if they died or a small amount of money when they retire. I think that we as American, should honor our Veterans in a big way. Every person who has ever been in the armed forces should be recognized. They should be able to retire in comfort. Americans young and old should show respect to every Veteran they meet and help them in any way they can. We should be proud of our Veterans. I personally have a new respect for Veterans.
Read the rest: Thirteen essays were submitted by 7th graders at Zia Middle School- click here

Scams and Naxalite Terror: The Tribune India

Silence over scams
The intelligentsia avoids risks by Kuldip Nayar
THE Indian democratic system, however wanting, has come to have enough openness to ensure that scams and scandals tumble out of the cupboard sooner or later. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s purchase of Bofors guns, the manipulations in the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket or the sale by central minister A Raja of 2G spectrum, the mobile band, are some recent stories of corruption.
The public is aghast over the disclosures. The media has criticised them endlessly. Parliament has registered its protest through walkouts or long debates. Yet no head has rolled. No minister has ever been prosecuted. It is business as usual after a scam has hit the headlines.

Two main reasons for lack of action are the absence of morality in politics and the government’s control over the investigating and prosecuting agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The shame for having been caught with the hand in tiller is no more deterring. The truth is the casualty. The guilty goes scot-free.
Read more: Silence over Scams

Medical Council Of India Scam
Ketan Desai was exposed the second time over and his deputy was seen as a protégé of his who had kept the President’s chair warm for him when Dr Desai was first arrested in 2001 on corruption charges and later acquitted for lack of evidence. That Dr Desai returned to head the MCI again is a telling commentary on how the vast body of medical doctors surrendered their right to be governed by a person of the right moral standards apparently through sheer apathy.

Dr Ketan Desai has indeed brought the whole medical profession under disrepute. The criminal cases registered against him must be pursued with vigour and he must be brought to book. As for the Medical Council of India, the Government must nurse it back to health and then restore to it a measure of autonomy that is the need of every professional body. The doctors on their part must draw the right lessons — never to let the council be hijacked by unscrupulous elements.
Read more: A new medical council- Nurse it back to health

Dangers of Dantewada
Groping in the dark proving costly by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)
THE massacre at Dantewada was not only a great tragedy but possibly an event of far-reaching consequences. The scale of the tragedy is dismaying. The fact that the police party was ill trained, lacked coordination with local police and poorly led is an issue which needs no elaboration, but the larger issue is the state of Central Police Organisations (CPOs).
Read more: Dangers of Dantewada: Groping in the Dark

Friday, May 14, 2010

Expedite Pension and Arrears for Ex-Servicemen: Antony to Finance Controllers

Friday, May 14, 2010
The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for early disbursal of revised pension and arrears to Ex-Servicemen. Inaugurating the Controllers’ Conference of the Defence Accounts Department here today, Shri Antony asked the Defence Finance officials to expedite and further streamline the pension system for the Armed Forces personnel.

“Even now, I am getting a lot of complaints from people that they are not getting pensions... Considering the past, things have improved, but even then complaints are there still... So you must take all steps possible so that they get their dues at the earliest,” Shri Antony said.
Expedite Pension and Arrears for Ex-Servicemen: Antony to Finance Controllers: PIB

ECHS trailing CGHS

Dear Satbir,
Nice to see an article other than OROP. Well written. click here
As one who was associated with the finalisation of the scheme at various meetings chaired by the AG, I had warned that we were modelling on the CGHS which was not the best of schemes. I happened to know about the CGHS as my wife worked in various dispensaries all over the country moving to be the Executive Assitant to the DGHS and finally to the Ministry of Health. The CGHS like us recovers one month pay at time of pension. As a pensioner ESM I am covered by both the Schemes, ECHS refused to concede that I should be exempted from two schemes covered by the same GOI.
When we formed our scheme, CGHS was approved for winding up. The Govt as usual changed its mind and introduced sweeping changes which made it a very much more attractive. It is neccessary to have a look at these changes and incorporate modifactions as required.
There is a sound feeling that ECHS caters for senior army officers. Rules seem to bent. One has to just visit R&R hospital to see.
My one and only experience with ECHS has been very sad. Today for check ups and medication we find it satisfying to have them at private hospitals and Gurgaon has some of the best.
Vice Admiral Barin Ghose (Retired)
Head Pension Division
Indian Ex Servicemen Movement

Jairam Ramesh and the assassin's mace

This write up deals with Cyber/ Electronic Warfare. It will be of great interest to Signal Officers

Bhaskar Roy | 2010-05-13 20:17:36
What Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in Beijing on the evening of May 8 must alarm India's security establishment.

For no apparent reason, Ramesh told a group of journalists that the policies of the Home and Defence Ministries, and other Indian security agencies towards China were "overly defensive", "alarmist" and "paranoid", and could freeze relations between the two countries.

Jairam Ramesh was talking about unverified reports that the Chinese telecommunication company Huawei technologies was being blocked from expanding its business because of India's Home Ministry and other security agencies. Ramesh came across as acting as an advocate of China or its telecommunication company.

Ramesh offers to resign, PM turns it down
China's telecommunication and informatization warfare is known as the "Assassin's Mace" weapon. This is an ancient warfare tactic, where an agent is embedded in an adversary's nerve center, to act on remote-controlled signal.

The US had done this through export of electronically controlled oil pipeline control systems in Russia. They also used the tactic during the first Iraq war, and neutralized Saddam Hussein's electronic and computer command-and-communications equipment, supplied earlier by US companies.

More by Bhaskar Roy
The same thing can be done with electronically-operated port and airport facilities, including waterworks. This does not mean India has to close everything to foreign participation. But decisions must be taken on companies and countries that have suspect track records.

The other question that raises red flags is why China is so insistent on access to India's telecommunication sector, ports and airports, and projects along the borders.

The Chinese have sophisticated ways of finding out the weaknesses of foreign interlocutors, and using these to influence them. Their methods include using women, wining and dining, paying attention to the interlocutor's frustrations and pampering his or her ego. "You are the greatest and you are our friend, and you can do it for both of us", is a popular line.
Jairam Ramesh needs to study China's strategy of deception. Thanks to his gaffe, India has been severely harmed.

Bhaskar Roy, who retired recently as a senior government official with decades of national and international experience, is an expert on international relations and Indian strategic interests.

Read the full article:
Jairam Ramesh and the assassin's mace

Related article
US Army Reorganizes Training for Intelligence Units

Operation clean-up: govt decides to dissolve MCI

Seemi Pasha , CNN-IBN Posted on May 13, 2010 at 22:31
New Delhi: The Union government has decided in principle to dissolve the scam-hit Medical Council of India. In its place there will be a seven-member doctors panel which will carry out the functions of the MCI till the Indian Medical Council Act is amended.

The Health ministry will identify the doctors on the panel that will include former AIIMS chief Dr Venugopal and Dr Deka. The medical council is to be dissolved through an ordinance.

The panel, empowered with the approval authority of medical colleges for now, will also submit a blue print to the Prime Minister on constitution of a new body to replace the Medical Council of India.
Operation clean-up: govt decides to dissolve MCI

Articles worth reading

In the maiden edition of a new monthly magazine, Geopolitics, Sreeram Chaulia argues that Indian foreign policy planners need to do serious work on grand strategy and broadening the scope of interests to far-flung parts of the world.

Anatol Lieven, in an article where he notes that Pakistan’s military is among the most democratic of institutions in what otherwise remains a largely feudal society,
All Kayani’s men by Paul Woodward on May 1, 2010

I know every veteran who reads this will have tears in their eyes
Long Flight Home – an inspirational story: GOD BLESS THIS AIRLINE CAPTAIN!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DRDO: Delayed Research Derailed Organisation to be revamped

Finally, Govt Orders Full Revamp Of DRDO, Formally Sanctions Mark-II Versions Of MBT Arjun & Akash SAM
by Shiv Aroor on Thursday, May 13th 2010

More than three years after the Indian Express special series on the woeful state of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) by me and Express senior editor Amitav Ranjan, the government has finally managed to order a comprehensive restructuring plan for the beleaguered organization with immediate effect. It was our 8-part special front-page series, titled Delayed Research Derailed Organisation in late 2006 which set the ball rolling. For starters, it compelled the government to set up a committee in February 2007, chaired by Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Dr. P Rama Rao to review and suggest measures to improve the functioning of DRDO. After years of stiff resistance from some quarters in DRDO, the revamp plan has finally been pushed through.

A statement from the MoD today said, "To give a major boost to Defence Research in the country and to ensure effective participation of the private sector in Defence technology, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today approved a series of measures that will transform and revitalise the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – in form and substance."
Read more:
Finally, Govt Orders Full Revamp Of DRDO, Formally Sanctions Mark-II Versions Of MBT Arjun & Akash SAM by Shiv Aroor
Thursday 13 May, 2010. Govt to set up new Defence Technology Commission- DD News

India's first defence university to come up near Delhi

New Delhi: Drawing lessons from the 1999 Kargil conflict, the government on Thursday decided to set up the first defence university in the country to enable holistic study of defence and strategic security challenges.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accorded "in principle" approval to set up the Indian National Defence University (INDU) near Delhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here.

To be established at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore, the university would come up on a 200 acre land at Binola in Gurgaon, Haryana. A sum of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for acquisition of the land.

The existing defence educational institutions like the National Defence College in New Delhi, College of Defence Management at Secunderabad, National Staff College at Wellington and National Defence Academy in Pune, would be affiliated to INDU. At present, these institutions are attached to various universities.

"INDU will undertake long-term defence and strategic studies and create synergy between the academic community and government functionaries," Soni said.

The proposed university, which would be fully autonomous and constituted under an Act of Parliament, would promote policy-oriented research on all aspects of national security as part of the strategic national policy-making, she said.

"It will encourage awareness of national security issues by reaching out to scholars and an audience beyond the official machinery," Soni said.

INDU would educate national security leaders on all aspects of national strategies in the fields of security, military, information and technology, through teaching and research, she added.

After the Kargil conflict, the government had set up a Review Committee, headed by eminent strategic expert K Subrahmanyam, which had recommended establishment of such a university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters.

The Committee had also recommended finding of ways and means to integrate the academic community, armed forces, paramilitary forces, intelligence agencies and the bureaucracy in strategic security policy making and related issues. Source: PTI
India's first defence university to come up near Delhi

Retired Officers seeking Commercial Employment are subject to Army Regulations

Commercial Employment in Private Sector. As per the provisions of AI 2/S/74, retired service officers of the rank of Col and above are required to seek prior permission of the Govt before taking up commercial employment in the private sector within two years of their date of retirement. Army Headquarters letter No. 35072/MS-Retirement dated 19 May 1989 spells out the procedure for securing the prior Govt permission. The retired officers are required to apply in the prescribed proforma (as per Appendix ‘J’) to the MS Branch/MS(X) for officers of the rank of Brig & above and to MS Branch/ MS-Retirement for officers of the rank of Col.

Resettlement in Civil Life. Retiring Army Officers may apply for civil employment. However, para 341 of Regulations for the Army 1987 enjoins that an officer who is granted any pension, gratuity or other benefit in respect of his/her Army service or who is likely to receive any pension, gratuity or other benefit, shall obtain the permission of the President before accepting any employment under a Government outside India at any time after his/her Army Service has ceased. An officer of the rank of Colonel or above, whether the rank is held in substantive capacity or otherwise who is granted a pension, gratuity or other benefit, in respect of his/her Army Service or who is likely to receive any pension, gratuity or other benefit shall also obtain such permission prior to accepting employment before the expiry of two years from the date his/her Army Service ceases in the following cases :-
(a) Commercial employment in private undertakings.
(b) Employment in a civil post under the Central or State Government or an Union Territory Administration/ Government, or in a post under a Body Corporate owned or controlled by Government if the other officer had been allowed to retire prematurely at his/ her own request. Such permission will not, however, be required if the officer had retired from Army Service in the normal course on completion of the standard service prescribed for his/ her rank or if he/ she had been invalided from Army Service on grounds of ill health or physical disability. Such permission will also not be necessary in cases where due to personal reasons the officers proceeding on normal retirement are allowed to retire a few days earlier (not exceeding one month) than the due date.
Grant of Re-employment-Revised Procedure
Question: Does the Government have requisite tools to detect and prosecute the violators. Can these rules be really implemented. Are the Private Enterprises Anti- National? Very ambiguous and discriminatory rules indeed!

Internet Security: Don't believe this notice from Gmail

Shalini Singh, TNN, May 13, 2010, 04.00am IST
False alarm: The 'notice' also carried a threat that users who did not update their details within seven days would lose their account permanently.

NEW DELHI: India's 71 million internet and close to 10 million broadband users are increasingly becoming the victims of vicious phishing attacks that can result in identity theft, danger to life and even crippling financial fraud. On Wednesday, users of Google's email services received a legal notice from the gmail team asking them to update their account details for security reasons.

"Gmail Team is working on total security on all accounts in order to make Gmail better as ever and as a result of this security upgrade we require all Gmail members to verify their account with Google. To prevent your account from disability you will have to update your account by clicking the reply button and filling the space below," the mail read.

The legal notice from Gmail wanted users to refurbish their account name, password, occupation, birth date and country of residence. It also carried a threat that users who did not update their details within 7 days of receiving the warning would lose their account permanently.

However, when contacted, a Google spokesperson said: "Some spammers send fraudulent mass-messages designed to collect personal information, called 'spoofing' or 'password phishing'. We always advise our users to be wary of any message that asks for your personal information, or messages that refer you to a webpage asking for personal information. Google or Gmail does not send unsolicited mass messages asking for passwords or personal information; even if the message asking for it claims to be from us, please don't believe it."

This information is publicly available in the Gmail support center at click here. According to Rakshit Tandon, consultant safe surfing with the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), "Phishing activity has been on the rise across India since December. The biggest targets for cyber criminals are banking sites followed by free email sites like Gmail and Yahoo and social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut," he said.

The IAMAI runs cyber safety programmes and has already worked with 3,50,000 students in 185 schools across 43 cities and 13 states.

"A schoolteacher in Mumbai lost close to Rs 10 lakh after phishers got into her netbanking account. Internet penetration is going up which is inviting more criminal attacks as awareness levels are very low," adds Tandon.

His advise is to be investigative and use logic (BIUL) when using the Net in order to improve your personal Internet security levels.
Don't believe this notice from Gmail

Father of the Nation: Inspirational stories

Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. "I must see him," she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. "I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh," Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly "yet you won't trust me with a copper coin." "This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands," Gandhiji said. "If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn't mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees."

Anand wins world chess championship at Sophia

THE MASTER: India's Viswanathan Anand (right) in action against Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov during the 12th game of the World chess championship in Sofia on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
Read more:
I misjudged Topalov: Anand

Prime Minister Congratulates Newly Elected British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron

Photo courtesy The HINDU: click here

NEW MISSION: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside No.10 Downing Street, in London, on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has congratulated Mr. David Cameron, the newly elected Prime Minister of United Kingdom. In a letter to Mr. Cameron, the Prime Minster extended his warm wishes and hoped the two countries will further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s letter:
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Please accept my heartiest felicitations and congratulations on your assumption of the office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The elections in the United Kingdom and your stewardship of the Conservative Party reflect the best traditions of parliamentary democracy. I wish you the very best in your leadership of the United Kingdom in the years ahead.

I recall with great pleasure our meeting in New Delhi in September 2006. Over the years, our bilateral relations have diversified into a vibrant and multi-faceted strategic partnership encompassing almost all areas of human endeavour.

We are today well-placed to build upon this strong edifice not just for the welfare and benefit of our two peoples, but also to work together to address the pressing global challenges that we face today, and to harness the growing inter-dependence among nations for the good of humankind. I look forward to working with you to further advance and strengthen our bonds of friendship, to which India attaches the highest importance.

It gives me great pleasure to extend a most cordial invitation to you to visit India at your convenience.” *** AKT/SH/SKS

Prime Minister Congratulates Newly Elected British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron
Read the motivating acceptance speech
British Prime Minister David Cameron's acceptance speech

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scripting the amazing Milkha Singh story

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is working on one of his most ambitious projects 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and says he wants to break linguistic barriers with the film on the greatest Indian athlete Milkha Singh so that the whole world will know his story.

"I want Milkha's story told in Hindi-Punjabi, to be dubbed in French, Polish, etc. This would be my most ambitious project striving to break linguistic barriers. Milkha's story has a universal resonance. It's an Indian story but very universal. We want Milkha Singh's story to go out to the world," Director Mehra told us in an interview.

"The theme is - 'zindagi se bhago nahin, zindagi ke saath bhago' (don't run away from life, run with life). It's very relevant to today's life."

Mehra says he hasn't finalised any actor to play the role of the legendary runner who made history by coming fourth in the Rome Olympic Games in 1960.
Excerpts from an interview: Click here

Re- Employment for retired Brigadiers' in the Armed Forces

Retd Brigadiers’ to be reinducted
Express news service
Posted: Wed May 12 2010, 02:12 hrs
New Delhi:

With an aim to meet the shortage of officers in the army, the government has approved the re-employment of Brigadiers who have retired from service in staff and instructional posts. The re-employment scheme will now give Brigadier rank officers in the army an opportunity to seek an extra term of two years, taking up their retirement age to 58. At present, the Army is short of more than 200 officers of the rank of Brigadier.
Retd Brigadiers’ to be re inducted
Grant of Re-employment-Revised Procedure

Does this imply that the army is not short of Maj Gens and Lt Gens and stand no chance of re- employment after retirement? Is age the only criteria and not the possession of skill- sets?

Majors reduced to Minors by successive Pay Commission Recommendations

REF: Guest Post : How Majors became Minors and more... click here
BeeCee is a senior naval officer who in the past has remained closely associated with pay and status issues. He has earlier contributed through his guest posts on my blog which can be viewed by clicking here and here. Here is another one in the aftermath of the ruling of the Hon’ble SC in the rank pay case. These are his personal views. Enjoy!
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 10:12 AM

Col Caveeshar Shaping Young Minds

Dear Friends,
Here is another write up on our course mate KS Caveeshar's activities for the under privileged.
Well done dear Caveeshar and Gifty.
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

click on image for reading the text

Caveeshar educates underprivileged students
Education is very important in the present day life. Only a literate person can now adjust with the development of society. Especially girls or women must be educated as they play a vital role in the development of society.
With this vision KS Caveeshar, a retired Colonel and a resident of Noida Sector 37 has taken a unique step to educate underprivileged students that reside in his neighbourhood. He is not only giving them education, but also looking for their overall development. He is doing all this on his own without taking support from the government or any NGO.
Caveeshar said, "I retired from the army in 1984 and then served with RAW for a couple of years and then migrated to the USA. Stayed there for almost two decades and served in the education department of Los Angeles Unified School District (teaching Americans good English). Returned and settled in Sector 37, Noida, towards the end of 2005.
Have about 30 students
"I saw that there were a lot of students who go to school, but they were not getting proper education as nobody in their family was uneducated. Hence, I started helping those underprivileged schoolchildren with their studies at my apartment. When the number became too big for my apartment, I rented a garage, furnished it and moved the children there. When the landlady asked for more money, I got a sort of a classroom constructed at my apartment and moved the children there. I have about 30 students from class I to class X and I help them in two shifts between 3pm and 8pm."
Gives financial help for books
Caveeshar said, "Besides this, I have also helped these children in many other ways. I contacted the president of ICARE Eye Hospital and got a team to come to my place and check the eyes of all children. After that I contacted the high-ups of the amusement park at The Great India Place who, later, invited all children to a Drama 'Jallianwala Bagh' being staged there by a prominent group. Apart from educating them, I have also given financial help for books and school fees to the needy children."
Caveeshar opened his own school
After seeing Caveeshar's hardwork, Retired Colonel Dr Usha Bora and Retired Brigadier Tejender Singh have also started helping him. With their support now, Caveeshar has opened his own school on the name of his father, where some handicapped students are also getting education.
Nobody came for help initially
Caveeshar said, "I had gone through difficult time during the early stage of my mission. Nobody came for help initially, while it was strongly required. I have also lost some of my very good friends, when I asked them for a favour. Despite of all critics, I followed my vision with honesty and ultimately I achieved success."
—Rohit Babbar
Caveeshar educates underprivileged students

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ECHS: Budget allotment discriminatory

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM, nawab heer wrote:
Dear All,
While interacting with HQ Western Command Officials on the issue of ECHS, it came to our notice another case of injustice to Defence Veterans by Government of India. Per person budget/ payment by Government of India is three times for CGHS i.e for elite Babus and 1/3 rd for Fauzi's ECHS. Can someone with contacts with media get it highlighted having duly confirmed. We have been cheated and are being cheated all over in daylight. Ministry of Finance gave us rank pay to be counted towards Pension in 4th pay commission, but Government of India denied it for so many years. When Supreme court gave us back rank pay, Government goes to courts.
Brig Nawab Singh (Retd)

You are right. Allocation ratio ECHS: CGHS IS Rs 2700: 5100 per head one third of the civilians. This is known fact and forms part of our brief/ projections to GOI wherever sent out.
Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)

If I understand correctly, when I joined the Army 40 years ago, free medical treatment for the rest of my life was one of the conditions of service. In fact my pay packet had this aspect among others like accn etc factored in. Hence what is the legality of I being asked to pay to become a member of the ECHS after retirement?
Brig A Sarker (Retd)

Is the VIP culture demonizing Indian Military?

Let’s stop cribbing and concentrate on ‘homework’: A wake up call
Charity begins at home they say. While we continue cribbing about the treatment meted out to us by others, what have we done to set our own house in order?. Cynicism is something I detest and the aim of this is not to be critical, I’m looking for insight on how things have come to such a pass and I’m sure many of us are on the same trip. Seniors and juniors alike, it’s our collective responsibility to restore the past glory of the forces. Especially in public, we should stop cursing the system, our seniors, our bureaucrats- all and sundry, there is so much lack of positivity around us these days. We must realise that we are in this so called 'system'. We could definitely do with a little more optimism and project our services in a better light.

How we behave with our own people becomes a benchmark for others to emulate in life outside the cantonment. While we tend to compare our status, stature and salaries with other services, isn’t there an underlying negativity in behavioural patterns being displayed with impunity by us? Are we setting the right example for others to follow or sending the right signals? Are we projecting our service as a hallmark of pride of the nation?. The answer is definitely in the negative. Our internal organisational behaviour ultimately extends to how we are treated by the outside world and we definitely need to improve on how we interact with our own. There is no dearth of examples as to how we dig our own graves. How often do we see more than one Commissioned Officers being bunched into below-status single rooms in Messes on the ground of non-availability. I, for myself have seen situations where ample accommodation is available but still officers being asked to stay in small living spaces on the pretext that the (abundant) vacant accommodation is a contingency back-up for (imaginary) ‘VIPs’. Do we see the same on the civil side ? Do we see SDMs who are equivalent to Lieutenants of the Army being asked to live and stay in rooms like we do ? Never. Often we see junior officers being asked to travel in heavy trucks despite the availability of respectable light transport, why do we do this? Do we expect people outside to be impressed by a strapping young Captain in Combats sitting in a Three Tonner ? Do we, by this action, attract youngsters to join the services ? No amount of ‘Do you have it in you ?’ campaign would work unless we bring the pride, the glamour and the respectability back into our uniform and the so called ‘baboos’ are not responsible for this, the problem lies closer to us than we think – each of us is to blame. Honour has no rank. A Subaltern is much more capable than merely looking for an apt place to put the shamiyana in the Mess lawn. That Subaltern’s civilian counterpart - an SDM or an Addl DC/DM with the same education and from the same recruitment pool, looks after the revenue, executive, administrative, law & order and quasi-judicial functions of an entire sub-division and sometimes even a district and we are not even able to trust our own guy with a Light Motor Vehicle !

How we behave and conduct ourselves outside ultimately has an indirect effect on how people in uniform are perceived and it percolates down to the last rank in the file. PB-4 or no PB-4, the Indian military officer is not badly paid but still we see senior officers in uniform driving around scooters and mobikes to save a few bucks. I’m not such an elitist to be against officers driving two-wheelers out of passion, but we should not project such a miserly picture to the outer world. Officers can absolutely afford respectable means of personal travel. And still we see Commissioned Officers using such means of public transport definitely below their status and class, why ? Irrespective of remuneration, it does not happen in the civil services so why in the defence services ?. We sitting in Headquarters try to impose restrictions on our own people, for example in travel and accommodation guidelines even when the govt does not. As you read this, someone sitting somewhere would be working on how to impose an in-house restriction on the new TA-DA regime introduced after the 6th CPC !, on how to ensure that officers are not able to draw thousands per day for hotel accommodation and to ensure that they continue staying in small rooms in messes with three other roommates clamouring for time in the single attached bath.

Excessive ‘Sirring’ outside the organisation should also cease. While ‘Sir’ may just be a substitute for ‘Shreeman’ for us, it does not have the same connotation outside. It is a symbol of servility in the civil world. Broadly speaking, in my humble opinion, constitutional appointments and senior civil officers elder in age and with an established longer length of Group-A service should only be addressed as ‘Sir’ while ‘Mr’ should be the correct form of address for others. We are so naive that we ourselves first pamper others with our servility and then curse when a Pay Commission degrades our status. When a Major calls up his counterpart in a civil department, he talks less and Sirs more and when that civil counterpart calls up a Colonel, he addresses him as ‘Colonel Sahib’. And once you sir them, they would expect all officers of similar rank to behave likewise. The problem is that to get a piece of work done, we stoop to any level, don’t we ? And in the bargain end up damaging our service for personal short-term gains. There are, on the other hand, also examples of military officers not sirring their own seniors in length of service (who are junior in rank) within the services but displaying servility towards junior civilians. I’ve also seen selection grade officers not sirring senior time-scale ones, where are we going ? Have we forgotten the age old adage that in the defence services, irrespective of rank, ‘once senior is always senior’ ?. Sirs and Ma’ams, I do not mean to talk sharp but to earn respect from outsiders we need to first respect our own juniors and seniors.

So friends the time has come to get out of the cocoon, be aware of what’s happening around us and finally WAKE UP in the interest of our dignity and the pride of our respective services. There should be prudence all around but not such silliness that we reduce all our privileges, facilities and benefits provided to us by law to a poor joke. We need to stop cribbing about ‘baboos’, they are not that bad. On the contrary, we need to take pride in our uniform and what we do, we need to put more responsibility on the shoulders of our youngsters and redeem our self-esteem, ego should be shunned but self-respect has to be granted its utmost due. Let us do our homework.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh

Afganistan: Dependency of failed state on drug trade

KABUL, 10 May 2010 (IRIN) - It is well known that the Taliban, local criminals and international drug cartels profit enormously from the drug trade; that corruption is rife; and that huge amounts of aid money are pouring into Afghanistan. Less clear is the effect of all this on government power and the rule of law on which humanitarian aid organizations depend to carry out their mandate.

The drugs trade and corruption generate more money than lawful economic activities in Afghanistan. Opium sales generated an estimated US$2.8 billion in 2009, while in the same year Afghans paid $2.5 billion in bribes to government officials, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The drug-cum-corruption economy of $5.3 billion in 2009 is more than the $4.4 billion earmarked in 2010 for running the government and financing the development budget.

The overwhelming victims of corruption and drug-induced insecurity are ordinary Afghans, according to the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics (MCN).

“It is almost impossible to obtain a public service in Afghanistan without greasing a palm: bribing the authorities is part of everyday life,” said a UNODC survey, which described corruption as “the biggest problem” in the eyes of Afghans. “Bribery not only robs the poor and causes misallocation of resources, it destroys trust in government.”

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC’s country representative, was skeptical of the notion of linking drug money with corruption “yet nobody can argue that drug money and corruption are one unholy alliance sharing the same sick bed,” he told IRIN.

International mafia to blame?
  • MCN officials blame a powerful international mafia for the drugs trade.
  • “The mafia kills our counter-narcotics forces, abuses our institutions and even threatens the minister of counter-narcotics,” said Zalmai Afzali, MCN’s spokesman.
  • Hamidullah Farooqi, a former minister and economist, said drug money had deep roots and involved powerful circles both within and outside government.
  • “Whether Afghans or foreign mafia are nurturing the drug trade is less important than why the problem is not being effectively addressed,” Farooqi told IRIN, adding that there was a lack of commitment in government to tackle the booming illegal economy.
  • Afghanistan is the world’s top opium producer, according to UNODC, and its government is the most corrupt in the world after Somalia, according to Transparency International.
  • The opium trade employs about 1.6 million people (6.4 percent of the population), according to the World Bank.

  • Backed by donors, the government has tried several counter-narcotics and anti-corruption strategies and approaches over the past eight years.

    Too powerful
  • Tackling drugs and corruption, however, is risky as law enforcement institutions are weak and those with vested interests in the illicit economy powerful.
  • “The so-called elite that thrives on the illegal economy is so powerful that it can destabilize the country if revolutionary steps are taken to change the status quo,” said Saifuddin Saihoon, a professor of political economy at Kabul University.
  • “Corruption and drugs undermine the rule of law, erode peoples’ confidence in the government, fuel insecurity, contribute to poverty and derail development efforts,” said former minister Farooqi.
  • “We all eat corruption and drug money, albeit in different quantities,” said an official in the Finance Ministry who preferred anonymity.
    Read more
    AFGHANISTAN: Running on drugs, corruption and aid

    Is US and Indian humanitarian aid going down the drain or increasing drug trade? Is the drug trade financing terror factories in Pakistan and Afghanistan?
  • Revisiting Kargil: Finding alibis for failures serves no purpose

    Courtesy Indian Defence Review Issue: Vol 25.2 Apr-Jun 2010

    Every military operation carries many lessons. The receptive imbibe some while the obstinate simply ignore. To be in a state of denial or finding alibis for mistakes rather than learn from failures can be counter productive. National war is a joint effort, not only by all the wings of the defence services, but equally involves civil administration and the nation at large. In war no single service does favour to another in doing its designated duty as required of it. Any attempt to defend the indefensible invariably leads to irrelevant and specious arguments.
    The article ‘Kargil Conflict, Sorry State of Higher Defence Management’ which appeared in the IDR of Oct-Dec 2009 issue highlighted failings at various levels in meeting Pakistani challenge at Kargil. There was hesitation, procrastination, and timidity in the Indian response. There are lessons to be learnt from this operation. Turning a Nelsons Eye will only result in repetition of these in future.

    The article ‘Kargil Controversy,’ essentially relied on the writings of the principal actors during the Kargil operations, discussions with those who took part in this operation and personal knowledge of ground etc. Air Marshal RS Bedi (Retd) in his article, ‘Kargil - an IAF perspective,’ in the IDR issue of Jan-Mar 2010, as rebuttal to the above article, is long on arguments but short on facts. He seems to prove the maxim that, ‘in war, truth is the first casualty.’

    Air Force in ground support role is a very potent weapon and can turn the tide in battle. The dynamics of a short war does dictate the imperatives of putting greater weight of air effort to support ground battle in all its facets. There is a compelling need for evolving acceptable tactical and strategic concepts for employment of various wings of the defence forces, in the context of a short war and synergizing their combat potential. Regular joint training for smooth functioning and for each service to understand the strengths and limitations of the other two, is essential. However, in the absence of unity of command much of this is likely to remain on paper.
    Lt Gen Harwant Singh, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff. He also commanded a corps in J&K.

    Extracted: Read the full article
    Revisiting Kargil: Finding alibis for failures serves no purpose

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    National Security: India warns US against military aid to Pakistan

    New Delhi (AFP) May 7, 2010
    India's defence minister cautioned the United States on Friday against military supplies to rival Pakistan, saying the hardware could be diverted to target India.
    The warning came after the US in March said it would deliver unarmed drones to Pakistan and less than a month after it unveiled plans to transfer 600 million dollars to Islamabad to pay for anti-militant operations.

    A. K. Antony told reporters in New Delhi that India's concerns had been conveyed to Washington.

    "Even though the US is giving equipment to Pakistan to fight against the Taliban, we feel there is every possibility of (Pakistan) diverting most of them to the Indian borders," Antony said.
    India warns US against military aid to Pakistan
    Diplomatic Negligence: The Obama administration fumbles relations with India

    ASC: Collusion of Contractors and Politicians to stall Promotion

    Courtesy: Headlines Today
    Army man in Bhajan Lal line of fire
    Shiv Aroor and Manaman Singh Chhina
    New Delhi/Chandigarh, May 10, 2010
    A serving major-general of the Indian Army has been accused of severe irregularities. While scams and controversies are nothing unusual for the army, it's the identity of the complainant that has raised several eyebrows this time - Bhajan Lal, the former chief minister of Haryana who is currently a Lok Sabha MP from Hisar.

    Lal has ended his letter saying, "Major-General Mohey's promotion should be held back so as to stop corrupt officials from reaching the highest echelon of any service. "This statement has more or less convinced the army that vested interests within the service - Mohey's course mates, for example - may be at work. The authorities suspect they may have colluded with the contractor - who supplies the ration - to convince Lal. The motive could be to end his chances of being promoted as a Lieutenant-General, or a potential future appointment as the Director General Supply & Transport (DGST), the highest appointment for any Army Service Corps officer.

    Using political or bureaucratic contacts to make or break career prospects isn't new in the armed forces. But till an inquiry verifies the truth, the allegations made by Lal cannot be ignored by the Indian Army.
    Read the full article
    Army man in Bhajan Lal line of fire

    Indian Military: Medicines purchased from unregistered sources

    ‘Tainted’ Brigadier asks for promotion
    He is facing trial for procuring medicines worth Rs 9 cr illegally
    Vijay Mohan
    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, May 1
    While the Army has convened a general court martial (GCM) to try the commandant of a military hospital on charges of corruption, the accused Brigadier in turn has moved the Armed Forces Tribunal challenging his trial and demanding that he be promoted to the rank of major general as approved by a selection board earlier.

    Brig Anil Kayastha, who was head of the Military Hospital, Jalandhar, is facing six charges, including three involving moral turpitude. He is alleged to have purchased medical supplies worth more than Rs 9 crore from the unregistered dealers with intent to defraud during November 2006 and January 2008.

    The trial, presided by Maj Gen T.K. Das, Chief Signal Officer, Western Command, commenced at Ferozepur on April 29. Brigadier Kayastha has submitted a plea before the GCM, challenging its jurisdiction on the grounds that no charges are made out against him and there is no due application of mind by the authorities concerned while deciding his case.

    As per rules, medicines are to be procured through local purchase only from registered dealers selected by a board of officers. According to sources, when board proceedings containing names of 60 dealers was put up to him for approval, he allegedly asked the board’s head to include the names of 20 more dealers. He is also alleged to have cancelled, with intent to defraud, the rate inquiries prepared by the officer in charge of the hospital’s medical store to be issued to vendors for procurement.

    In his petition before the Tribunal, he has claimed that he was screened for promotion in 2008-09 and had reasons to believe that he was approved for promotion to the rank of Major General. He was expecting formal orders to this effect in May 2009 but those junior to him were promoted in June 2009. He has contended that he was denied promotion due to pendency of disciplinary proceedings whereas there were no disciplinary proceedings against him at the time he was approved for promotion.

    He has claimed that he was due to pick up his rank on May 1, 2009, while the tentative charge-sheet following the court of inquiry was issued only on June 23, 2009. He had taken up the matter of denial of promotion with the Director General Medical Services, but got no response.
    Tainted Brigadier asks for promotion
    Local Purchase Scam
    Brigadier Under Scanner In Jalandhar Medicine ‘Scam’

    Comment: Local Purchase of sub- standard products for the soldiers is a common phenomenon. Commission in the range of 10% to 20% as bribes exchange hands and travel up the ladder. The local purchase syndrome should be curbed as Junior Officers too get involved in commissions even on minor purchases- (A vendor in Chennai confirmed an Officer from the Army wanted 20% commission for purchase of dry fruits- the vendor wondered how such an officer is going to defend the Nation?) The disease is cancerous and soon bound to degrade Military Profession in general. Promotions of Officers are based on ACR's which are generally biased and skewed. How come corrupt and tainted officers are recommended for promotion? Is the MS branch also in the corruption loop one wonders!

    Indian Military: Abolish Sahayaks

    Par panel asks Army to abolish Sahayaks for officers
    New Delhi: A Parliamentary Committee on Defence on Thursday asked the Army to take a leaf out of the Navy and the Air Force to abolish the "demeaning and humiliating" practice of employing jawans as sahayaks of officers.

    The strong recommendation from the committee comes after the Defence Ministry in its reply to a 2008 report on "stress management in the armed forces" had virtually rejected the suggestion that the sahayak system be done away with.

    In an action taken report tabled in both the Houses of the Parliament, the committee said it was unable to comprehend why it was necessary to continue with the sahayak system that "lowers the self-esteem of a jawan" when the Navy and Air Force have abandoned it.
    Par panel asks Army to abolish Sahayaks for officers

    Join the Army, be a Batman
    There’s no denying that our Army is professional and well-trained and prides itself on its war record. But fighting abilities somehow don’t seem to go with dish-washing talents. But with an employment crunch staring India in the face, perhaps institutions could come up with diplomas in sweeping, gardening, car-washing, dog-walking etc and the gentlemen holding these diplomas could get a direct entry as brave Batmen ready to show 'courage under fire'. I guess the only fire some of them may face may be in the kitchen.

    The army feels an officer gets a sahayak for the upkeep of his uniform, weapons and other equipment, as also act as his radio operator and ‘‘buddy’’ during combat. So, let me get this straight. An Army officer, who undergoes such rigorous training and is responsible for a large body of men under his command, can’t even take care of his own uniform? He needs his ‘sahayak’ to polish his shoes and iron his clothes? Anyway, why would your 'radio operator' be with you 24x7 dusting your drawing room or getting 'baba' from school. Maybe he'll radio from school to inform 'sahab' that his son has reached school.

    I don’t want to deride the courageous officers of the Indian Army. We all know how bravely many of them fought on the borders. But that doesn’t mean his perks should include treating a fellow soldier as a personal servant. All Army formations have been told to ensure sahayaks are not employed for ‘‘menial household work’’ since as combatant soldiers they should not be used for anything which adversely impacts their dignity and self-respect. Question is who’s following this new rule?

    In the late 90s, I was staying in Army Cantonment, Jaipur. The Army Chief came on a visit and in his speech advised the officers to avoid treating soldiers as orderlies and misusing Army rules and benefits. At that very time, barely a km from the venue, three tents had been set up outside a 'separated family accommodation'. In these tents were staying 4 soldiers of a particular regiment sent from J&K by the commanding officer of their unit to look after his family in Jaipur. What medals would they have taken home?
    Read more:
    Join the Army, be a Batman

    Manas Gupta believes an article is incomplete without a dose of humour. An Assistant News Editor with the Times of India. His interests include defence, cricket and the bizarre world of international news.

    Pakistan Terror Factories: Taliban behind Times Square incident

    Sunday 09 May, 2010.

    US said it has evidence that the Pakistani Taliban was behind last week's failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at Times Square in New York and that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad was "working at their direction".

    The evidence has given new direction to the fight against terrorism, as investigations into the Times Square incident has revealed that the Pakistani Taliban has the "aim" and "capability" in carrying out attacks against the United States.

    "We've now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack," US Attorney General Eric Holder told a news channel on Sunday.

    "We know that they (Pakistani Taliban) helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it, and that he (Shahzad) was working at their direction," he said.

    30-year-old Shahzad, a Pakistani who became a naturalised US citizen, was arrested on Monday last for attempting to detonate the car bomb in New York.

    The FBI has said that Shahzad, son of a former Pakistani Air Force officer, has admitted to attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's restive Waziristan tribal region.
    US has evidence that Pak Taliban behind Times Square incident

    Comment: Pakistan is home to all forms of Terrorists. How are these terrorists being financed and trained is the mute question which the world at large and India specifically needs to address! Is the Pakistan Government blind to the terrorist factories in their own land?

    Army to outsource training of officers

    Vijay Mohan
    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, May 9
    In a perceptible shift in its ideology and approach to modern-day requirements, the Army is experimenting with the concept of outsourcing the training and orientation programme of officers posted to some branches to private firms.

    While the job of training is being offered to ‘reputed firms having a national or international footprint’ to take up such tasks on a turn-key basis, the training programmes would be handled by senior retired officers on their rolls.

    Officers posted to some branches in higher headquarters are required to undergo capsule courses to familiarise them with the functioning of the branch. For example, the Master General of Ordnance’s Branch at Army Headquarters, which has initiated this project, conducts a three-day training course for all officers posted to it.

    At present, such matters are dealt in-house by the services, with serving officers being deputed for the same. Outsourcing training with senior retired officers at the helm of affairs would, according to the Army’s thinking, ensure availability of skilled advice and conserve military resources and manpower.

    The training programme would be designed and approved by the branch concerned and the firms concerned would be required to form a panel of retired officers expert in the required areas for conduct of training. Officers would be of the rank of colonel or brigadier and it would be mandatory for them to have had an instructional tenure at specified military colleges or training establishments as well as a staff posting at the branch concerned during their service career.

    Not surprisingly, the move to outsource training and the expected participation of international firms has raised security concerns in some quarters. Screening of firms and personnel associated with training as well as assuring security of information would be mandatory.
    Army to outsource training of officers

    Comment: This idea seems to be mooted by the bureaucrats. Where is the necessity of Private Players/ Institutions when we have so many Military Training Institutions and Public sector Institutions like CSIR, DRDO in the country? All one needs is to select and employ Retired Military Professionals as expert staff and evolve specialised training capsules for ASC, Ordnance and EME. Emphasis should be on quality of products which ultimately trickles down to the foot soldier and reduction of corruption which is the cause of poor quality; be it services or products for soldiers. All training capsules must aim and emphasise on Service, Character and Integrity as component of Military Leadership.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Cyber Sex: New challenges for the Indian Military

    US Centric
    As military personnel return from Iraq and Afghanistan, there is growing concern about how the range of traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and tobacco and alcohol and drug abuse has increased dramatically. According to research released by RAND, up to 30 percent of returning war veterans report symptoms of cognitive impairment or mental disorders. Military personnel who have been exposed to combat are more likely to engage in binge drinking and smoking. As a result, the Millennium Cohort Study will follow a representative sample of the U.S. military personnel from 2001 to 2022 – making it the largest of its kind in the history of our military.

    But there’s another type of addiction prevalent in the military – sex addiction, especially cybersex addiction. Renowned expert Robert Weiss, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in California, consults with the military to spread awareness about this growing concern. Behavioral Health Central spoke with Weiss about this issue.
    Read more:
    Addressing Sex Addiction in the Military – A Talk with Expert Rob Weiss from the Sexual Recovery Institute

    India Centric
    Troops who serve in High Altitude areas, Jammu and Kashmir and NE Regions combating terror do suffer from isolation, risk to life, lack of recreation and entertainment. This frustrating living conditions is ideal to develop various addictions like alcohol, drugs and cyber sex. JCOs, NCOs and Sepoy's are more prone to various addictions as they mingle freely with civil population and the Military needs to be aware of it to constantly strive and evolve mechanisms to combat such diseases which can reduce the combat potential of a unit/ individual. The Officer community too with increasing purchasing power after the SCPC do succumb to addictions if they are not kept busy in professional work. ASC, Ordnance, EME and AMC officers are more prone to porn addiction and it is essential that there is inbuilt checks to ensure such addiction does not degrade the the Military in its Conduct, Morale and Leadership. Lessons need to be learnt from UN Peace Keeping ops in Africa where child sex and smuggling were dominant features of the Peace Keepers. click here for child sex and smuggling report by UNO
    Condom machines at borders for PMF

    Time for Indian Military to have its official blogs

    Sunday, May 9, 2010
    US Navy starts its official blog
    The US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, inaugurated the US Navy’s official blog recently : Navy Live

    The effort seems refreshing in the military blogosphere more so in the light of the free and frank discussion between various participants including the Secretary. An example can be seen by clicking here.

    The blog seems in line with the thought process of militaries of (mostly) democracies in shedding the cloak (or more appropriately the burden) of secrecy, especially on societal and administrative issues. Such a medium is also sometimes essential keeping in view the fact that sometimes the pulse of service-members does not reach the right levels of the hierarchy due to layers and layers of officialdom and red-tape.

    The US Navy is available officially also on twitter, flickr, youtube and facebook.
    Way to go.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:06 AM


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