Friday, December 3, 2010

Adarsh scam: Navy says huge number of plots encroached upon

Mumbai, Dec 1, (PTI):
In the wake of the Adarsh housing scam, the Navy has found that a ''huge number'' of its plots were encroached upon, a top Navy official said on Wednesday.

"We have started the exercise of identifying plots, its owner and the acquisition...whether they belong to Defence or Revenue department. We are checking all the records of land holdings to ascertain whether it is in jurisdiction of Defence or Revenue department. We will be reclaiming all our Defence land," Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin told reporters on board aircraft carrier INS Viraat.

"A huge number of our plots are encroached upon, like in Mumbai's Navy Nagar, Geeta Nagar, Ganesh Murti Nagar and Sunder Nagar areas and also at Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district," he said.

On the Geeta Nagar plot, the Maharashtra Government had assured that the slum dwellers would be rehabilitated under the SRA scheme by 2011, he said. The Kalyan plot is encroached by farmers for agriculture, he said.

"It is believed that the land is in possession of the Defence but it is still not clear who is the actual owner of the plot. So the matter is in the court. The owner is either the Defence or the Revenue department of the state government," Bhasin said, commenting on the Adarsh housing issue.

The issue needs to be resolved. There are irregularities in sanctioning, allotment and the environmental CRZ clearance. These issues are now being looked at, he said.

Asked why the Navy took such a long time to take cognisance of the Adarsh scam, he said, "I agree that somebody should have taken a note of the fact that such a huge building was coming up."

"It (Adarsh) is a subjudiced matter now, so it would not be appropriate for me to say what should have been done or not," the officer said.

Asserting that action would be taken against any Navy officer found involved in the scam, Bhasin said, "We are not holding any internal enquiry yet and are relying on the CBI enquiry."
Adarsh scam: Navy says huge number of plots encroached upon

The emoluments of Army top brass as purportedly declared by them while procuring flats in Adarsh Society here has surprised the CBI which is approaching the Defence Ministry to seek clarification on whether an Army Chief was being paid only Rs 23,450 per month.
Adarsh: CBI wants info from MoD on salary of top army officers

AT EASE WITH GREASE: General Deepak Kapoor may seem like a terrible aberration. But BRIJESH PANDEY finds the rot runs deeper in the army

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anti-Corruption hotline Machine

PIB: Thursday, December 02, 2010 17:04 IST
In order to provide assurance to the citizens to the effect that prompt deterrent action would be taken against the delinquents and to devise strategies for public awareness, the Central Vigilance Commission on the occasion of Vigilance Awareness Week has started a toll free hotline number 1800-11-1180. For this purpose, 10 dedicated phone lines have been installed in the Commission for lodging complaints by citizens. These complaints are forwarded to the Chief Vigilance Officer/Competent Authority concerned for taking necessary action and report.

The Central Vigilance Commission’s toll free number accessible to all citizens in all the States/UTs of the country. There is no proposal to install separate facility in the States/UTs.

This was stated by the Minister of State Shri V.Narayanasamy in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. ***VBA/SR
Anti-Corruption hotline Machine: Toll Free 1800-11-1180

OROP sans Re- Employment

On 30 November 2010 05:02, harwant singh wrote:
My dear Murugan,
Thanks for your mail. May be we are of the same generation. I was senior instructor at the College of Combat in 1977. I never attended management course. Infact AHQ stopped all courses for me. You see when I was on junior command course, 1962 war started and the course was terminated. When I was on staff course at Wellington, 1965 war started and the course was cut short and when I was on senior command course, 1971 war started and the course was terminated. After that QHQ quite wisely decided not to detail me on any course. So I have, some what, remained uneducated, from military’s point of view. Inspite of all this I did get a chance to be on the instructional staff of College of Combat and commanded the School of Armoured Warfare at Ahmednagar.

Now about pension being deferred wage, I don’t think it is really so! If it is a deferred wage then what it implies is that, a person is not paid his full wage and a part of it is held back to be paid later: when he stops working. Say if a person’s wage is X plus Y, then while he is working he is paid X part of his wage and Y part ( the deferred part ) is to be paid to him after he stops working. In other words he has already worked for and earned Y part. Then supposing immediately on leaving his job, he dies, then his wife should get the Y part! After all her husband had already worked for and earned the Y part of his wage. Then legally the wife must get what her husband has already earned and is his! But she gets only half of that ( half of Y.) While some court may have said that pension is a deferred wage, but it does not get stretched to its logical end and therefore, the ambiguity.

Now about the G I Bill. I am fully aware of the provisions of what is now the practice. Two children of a friend of mine availed this facility. One of then is a girl and now a doctor here in the U.S. Soon after the 5th CPC I wrote a few articles highlighting what all was being made available to the veterans and those in service in the U.S. as also in some other countries including Singapore.

There is no point taking any cue from the U.S. It has so happened that these last three years I have been in New York when the veteran’s parade is held. It is quite an event, the crowds that turn up at the parade, as veterans march/ride various types of vehicles down the Broadway and their interest in the veterans is some thing to be seen. The President flies down from Washington to address the veterans. You must have read President’s recent talk to the veterans in South Korea as also those in the U.S. and his wife’s talk to the families. Finally the President himself read the citation at the recent award of Congressional Medal of Honour to a serving soldier of the U.S. army.
The ceremony was held in the White house.

Now see what is going on in Delhi. Veterans are holding protest rallies at Jantar Mantar, where another two dozen organizations are doing the same. It is a sorry sight. I drove down from chandigarh to attend one of those sit down protests at Jantar Mantar. The President simply refuses to receive medals from the veterans and the signatures in blood are not acceptable because, merely looking at the papers with veteran’s blood on these, she might get infected! Troops can shed all the blood they want to, on the country’s borders and fighting insurgents, but don’t bring, even a drop of that infected blood, anywhere near the Rashtrapati Bhavan!( RB ).

Now speaking about RB. When I first went there to receive AVSM, I carried a saber (cavalry officers don’t carry a sword but instead a saber!) while in full ceremonial dress. The next I went there was to receive PVSM. But this time I could not carry the saber ( nor could anyone carry a sword including the three chiefs) Why no sword, while in full ceremonial dress and going before the supreme commander! Perhaps the intelligence agencies ruled against carrying a sword in President’s presence. Obviously as a safety measure! That is not all. I found that all those who were there to receive awards, including gallantry awards were being subjected to body search but not civilians. I made some noise and the remaining were simply ushered in without any body search. But the worst was to come.

In the Asoka Hall, where this ceremony is held, there were no reserved seats. I occupied a seat in the fourth/fifth row ( I have been a back bencher all my life! ) though there were large number of vacant seats in the front and second row. Mind you it was purely a military (all three services) function and ceremonial on top of it. The three service chiefs in their full ceremonial dress, (less their swords) along with their wives occupied seats in the front row.

Then some minor functionary of the President’s staff came and told the three service chiefs to move back to the second/third row. They giggled a bit and moved back to the second row! This happened in the full view of those who were there to receive awards and others from service headquarters. I have never felt more humiliated and had half a mind to tell the chiefs to stay put in the front row and tell the functionary to F-- off. I restrained myself and now whenever I recall that one incident I feel humiliated. This, sir, is India for you. So it is better to know our circumstances and not seek comparisons with the U.S. or any other country.

While it is possible to even demand the moon but the moon will remain that far away and well outside our reach, or what is said of wishes, horses and beggars. The Supreme Court has already told the Govt that the veterans are being made to beg.

I have had three tenures at AHQ, in fairly important positions, where one had to deal with bureaucracy in the MoD, Defence Finance and DRDO, almost on daily basis. So it is with reasonable experience of working with the Govt of India that I set my sights at what is POSSIBLY achievable.

You must have been tracing the progress of veteran’s cases in the Supreme Court and the tenacity with which the MoD is opposing all of these. After this only a congenital optimist can hope to get, both, the assured re-employment and the OROP, or for that matter Govt to undertake the commitment of training the veterans in various skills for employment with industry or self employment!

It is said that the battle of Waterloo was won on the play fields of Harrow. One could say that the 1962 war was lost in the portals of South Block. Perhaps the next war too, if it comes, would have been lost, again in South Block. (PMO too is in South block.)

Murugan, I am not a pessimist but may be a bit practical and somewhat of a realist. That is how I view the present struggle to get some thing for the veterans. Some of us seem to conclude that OROP is officer oriented. It only shows how little we know the details and the ground realities, as well as what else is possible. Some seem to have an elephant size ego. Some of us are pulling in different directions and all this militates against our common cause.

We need to close ranks, put end to discussions, as these seem to distract us from our efforts to get what some of us feel, is possible to get.
With regards and best wishes.
Harwant. (Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Former DCOAS)
Veteran Responses: click here

IESL Webpage

Indian Ex-Services League has its headquarters at 9 Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. All State/UT Leagues are affiliated and are located in their respective states.

IESL President, 3 Vice Presidents and the Treasurer are democratically elected where as General Secretary is a selected whole time staff appointment. In addition the President nominates three Vice Presidents for specific duties assigned by him. The apex body of the League is the Governing Council, and the Executive Committee is assigned to look after the day to day management of the League.

The States/UTs elect their delegates on pro-rata basis as per their IESL Common Membership strength on the cut off date. The President of all the State/UT Ex-Services Leagues are ex-officio delegates. The delegates elect one Governing Council Member for every 3 delegates of the State, who represent their State in the Governing Council. The delegates elected by the States/UTs elect one President and three Vice Presidents of IESL. The Governing Council also elects one of its members as Treasurer. The President has been authorized to nominate 3 Vice-Presidents with specific duties assigned and also with a view to ensure representation of each zone of the Country on the Council. The Council also elects the Executive Committee, which meets more often and executes the decisions taken by the Council. All the office bearers elected/ nominated are Hony appointments.

भारतीय पूर्व सेवाएं लीग 9 न्याय मार्ग, चाणक्यपुरी, नई दिल्ली में अपने मुख्यालय है. सभी राज्य / संघ राज्य क्षेत्र लीग संबद्ध रहे हैं और उनके संबंधित राज्यों में स्थित है.

IESL राष्ट्रपति, 3 उप राष्ट्रपतियों और लोकतांत्रिक ढंग से निर्वाचित कोषाध्यक्ष रहे हैं, जहां के रूप में महासचिव चुने पूरे समय कर्मचारियों को नियुक्ति है. इसके अलावा राष्ट्रपति तीन विशिष्ट उसके द्वारा नियत कर्तव्यों के लिए उप राष्ट्रपति नामांकित करता है. लीग के शीर्ष निकाय शासी परिषद और कार्यकारी समिति है को लीग के प्रबंधन के लिए दिन दिन के बाद देखो सौंपा.

राज्यों / संघ राज्य क्षेत्रों की तारीख से कटौती पर अपने IESL आम सदस्यता शक्ति के अनुसार यथानुपात आधार पर अपने प्रतिनिधियों का चुनाव. राज्य सभी / केन्द्र शासित प्रदेशों के पूर्व सेवा लीग रहे हैं के पूर्व राष्ट्रपति officio प्रतिनिधियों. प्रतिनिधियों को राज्य के हर 3 प्रतिनिधियों, जो शासी परिषद में अपने राज्य का प्रतिनिधित्व करने के लिए एक शासी परिषद सदस्य का चुनाव. राज्यों द्वारा निर्वाचित प्रतिनिधियों / संघ एक राष्ट्रपति और IESL के तीन उप राष्ट्रपतियों का चुनाव. शासी परिषद भी एक कोषाध्यक्ष के रूप में अपने सदस्यों के elects. राष्ट्रपति के लिए विशिष्ट करने की दृष्टि से और भी सौंपा परिषद में देश के प्रत्येक क्षेत्र के प्रतिनिधित्व सुनिश्चित करने के कर्तव्यों के साथ 3 उपाध्यक्ष मनोनीत अधिकृत किया गया है. परिषद ने कार्यकारी समिति है, जो अधिक बार से मिलता है और परिषद द्वारा लिए गए निर्णयों को कार्यान्वित elects. सभी कार्यालय निर्वाचित / पदाधिकारियों मानद नियुक्तियों हैं नामित किया है.
IESL Webpage: click here

Ex Servicemen on the Streets

Ex-soldiers on the streets
It is a shame for the government that ex-soldiers, who in their time gave security to the nation by guarding its land border, coastline and airspace day and night, have had to take to the streets demanding their inalienable right of 'One rank, one pension'. It is not that this principle of calculation of pension is foreign to the government. Right from the president of India, prime minister, judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, members of Parliament to the secretaries to the government of India, they all are beneficiaries of 'One rank, one pension'. That it should continue to be denied to ex-soldiers defies all logic and fairness. Even the argument that the government could not spare a few thousand crores to give out arrears and increase in pensions to about two million ex-servicemen does not hold any water, not at least now when the same government could splurge seventy thousand crores on the inconsequential Commonwealth Games and the prime minister could tolerate the revenue loss of a GDP-scale Rs.1.76 lac crore or US$39 billion in the 2G spectrum scam absolutely nonchalantly.

Earlier, I was very upset that thousands of ex-soldiers had returned their medals to the president of India, the supreme commander of the armed forces, as a mark of their protest. But today having attended their protest rally and seen more medals being collected to be returned to the president, I am not too sure whether this extreme step could have been avoided. As the protesters said they were registering their disappointment and frustration at the government's unsympathetic attitude by giving up something very dear to them. They knew that their returning the medals could affect the morale of the serving soldiers adversely but the government had not left them any alternatives.

I am glad that I was with the retired soldiers supporting them in their fight for justice, and since I was the only civilian there I got a chance not only to address them but also to freely interact with quite a few of them, from old sepoys to a retired 3-star general, and learn of the fierce pride they still feel in the defence forces they once served. And how can I ever forget what Malerkotla's Beant Singh, a wizened ex-sepoy, told me, that people would always do the right thing if they let their mind's Arjun be guided by their conscience's Shri Krishna? I am grateful to the Sikh gentleman for sharing with me the essence of the Bhagvad Gita's wisdom.
Posted by Kanan Jaswal
(Shree Kanan Vihari Jaswal is a senior retired SBI executive, now busy in social service. He attended the ESM Rally at Jantar Mantar on 28 Nov and gave a very impressive talk about OROP and other ESM issues. – Chander Kamboj)
Ex-soldiers on the streets

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AWHO cheats and fails to pay penalty imposed by the State Consumer Commission

Dear friends,
This is to acquaint you with the latest development in the case regarding shortfall in the area of flats being provided by AWHO.
Many of you be aware of the fact that the actual size of the flats being built by the AWHO is smaller than what is mentioned in the documents. This is done by a simple stratagem – the entire area (100%) of the balconies is included in the covered area (also called super area) of the flat. The AWHO sometimes calls it plinth area, which is actually less than the super area, which includes common areas such as ventilation. In Devinder Vihar, Sector 56, Gurgaon, where I was allotted a Economy B type flat, the Technical Brochure shows the Plinth Area as 1442 Sq ft. In the Possession Certificate, the Super Area was mentioned as 1412 Sq ft. In the conveyance deed neither ‘plinth’ or ‘super’ are used - it just mentions that the area is 1412 Sq. ft.
I measured the actual sizes of all rooms and found that there is a difference between the figures given by AWHO and the actual dimensions. There was considerable difference, since AWHO had counted 100% of the balconies area in the plinth area instead of 50%, as given in E-in-C’s Technical Instruction No. 13 of 1970. In fact, all builders, including the AFNHB, include only 50%.
I had filed a case in 2003 in the Delhi State Consumer Commission against the AWHO for the shortfall in the covered area. Using the RTI Act, 2005, I was able to get the sanctioned building plans and other documents from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which confirmed that the covered area is just 1269 sq. ft. There is thus a shortfall of 144 sq. ft. or more than 10%. After this was produced in the State Commission, in a judgment delivered on 20/01/2009, the Commission ordered the AWHO to refund Rs 25,000 for the shortfall, in addition to a penalty of Rs 50,000. The AWHO did not comply with the order. More than six months after this, it filed an appeal in the National Consumer Commission. Since the time limit of 30 days was over, it forged the date. Copies of the order were issued to both parties on 25/3/2009. The figure 3 was altered to look like 8, and the date became 25/8/2009. This was confirmed by State Commission in response to an RTI application, and was brought to the notice of the National Commission. The final hearing in the National Commission was held on 29/7/ 2010. However, for some reason the order was reserved. After several visits to the National Commission, I got fed up and filed an RTI application on 11/11/ 2010. Soon after this, the National Commission issued an order. It set aside the judgment of the State Commission. It made no mention of the forgery committed buy the AWHO.
In case the National Commission had upheld the order of the State Commission, this would resulted in similar cases filed by thousands of other allottees who have purchased flats from the AWHO, which would have had to pay crores of rupees as compensation. This was submitted by the counsel for AWHO in the State Commission, which was initially inclined to ask the AWHO to pay the cost of the proportionate short fall (10%), which was coming to about Rs. 1 lac. After this submission, it modified its order and reduced the compensation to 25,000. The same reason was submitted by the counsel for AWHO in the National Commission also. Naturally, the AWHO would go to any extend to avoid this. I have a feeling that AWHO has managed to do this using unfair means. After the recent comments of Supreme Court regarding ‘uncle judges’ in the Allahabad High Court and the submission filed by Shanti Bhushan naming corrupt judges even in the Supreme Court, nothing can be disbelieved.
I intend filing a review petition in the National Commission itself, but I have doubts if it will bear any fruit. The answer lies in filing a petition in the Supreme Court. As you may be aware, I am already fighting several cases in the lower courts and the High Court stemming from the cases filed against me by CBI, at the behest of RAW. This was the result of my book INDIA’S EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE – SECRETS OF THE RESEARCH AND ANALAYSIS WING (RAW)/, which exposed corruption in the intelligence agency. I have neither the energy nor the resources to take on the litigation in the Supreme Court against AWHO on my own. I would request others who have the time, energy and resources to take it on. Perhaps we can all contribute and hire a good lawyer to do this for us, as is being done for the OROP and disability pension cases.
Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)
AWHO Demystified
Is there any Veteran Organisation which can take on the AWHO to fight for the legitimate rights and welfare of its members?

Broadbanding all Disability Pension anomalies to Pre Jan 1996

The Government has received representations from the personnel disabled on duty and war widows/ dependents regarding the facilities and allowances.

These mostly pertain to the following categories:
(i) Grant of Disability element of pension to pre January 01, 2006 retirees on percentage basis as entitled to post January 01, 2006 disability pensioners.
(ii) Grant of disability element to pre 2006 premature retirees at par with post 2006 premature retirees.
(iii) Grant of modified parity to pre January 01, 2006 war widows/dependents in special/liberalized family pension as granted to pre January 01, 2006 ordinary family pensioners.

Representations are redressed in consultation with the respective Records and concerned wings of the Government. However, recently benefit of broadbanding to pre January 01, 1996 disability/war injury pensioners has been allowed. Cap which stipulated that aggregate of service element and war injury element should not exceed reckonable element last drawn, has also been removed.

This information was given by Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju in a written reply to Shri Mahendra mohan in Rajya Sabha today. PK/RAMAN
Facilities and allowances to Disabled on Duty and War Widows

Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the “shabby” treatment of a war widow- Clarification by GOI
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
It has been recently reported in a section of the press that the Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the “shabby” treatment of a war widow by the government in what was attributed to be the case of “a 90-year-old war widow of an Army officer being paid a measly monthly pension of RS 70.” It was further mentioned that Ms. Pushpawanti was running from pillar to post making representations for enhanced pension but her efforts proved futile. She claimed that after the latest pay revision she was entitled to about `27,000/- per month, denied to her by the authorities.

The Minister of Defence Shri AK Antony promptly asked for an immediate inquiry into the matter and the redressal of her grievance if any. The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare subsequently ascertained the facts and found gross anomalies in the media reports. Firstly, Ms. Pushpawanti cannot claim to be a War Widow. Her husband, Major Dharam Chand died on March 1, 1967. His widow did indeed represent for grant of Special Family Pension which was not found suitable and she was granted Ordinary Family Pension (OFP). Her appeal before the Appellate Committee was also found inappropriate since the officer died of a disease which was neither attributable to nor aggravated by military service.

As regards her pension, the CGDA initially notified an OFP of Rs 80 pm from March 2, 1967, vide PPO No.M/1685/67, which was revised to Rs 216 pm, vide PPO No.M/1686/1967. After the Fifth Pay Commission, her pension was revised to Rs 2,438, vide PPO No. M/V CPC/3112/1998 and to ` 3,840 vide Corr PPO No.M/MODP/9784/99. Following the Sixth CPC recommendations, the PDA, SBI, Meerut revised her pension to Rs 8,679 pm as per MoD’s letter dated November 11, 2008. She has last drawn a pension of Rs 11,717 pm as on August 30, 2010 (including Dearness Relief @35 percent). Ms. Pushpawanti was further granted an additional Family Pension of Rs.1,736 pm @20 percent from January 01, 2006 to February 28, 2010 and Rs 2,604 pm @30 percent from March 1, 2010 on account of her old age. Arrears amounting to ` 1,57,694 have been credited to her bank account in Sepember 2010.

The erroneous representation of facts in the media has created a wrong impression regarding the welfare measures of the government, particularly those related to the Ex-Servicemen. The facts as placed above may be published to convey the correct picture to the public at large. PK/RAMAN
War Widow- Clarification

Bureaucrats appointed on Fake Certificates

Government Appointments on Fake Caste Certificate
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 18:50 IST
Some cases of appointments made on the basis of allegedly fake caste certificates have come to the notice of Government. As per information received from 30 Ministries/ Departments, there were about 1383 cases of appointments made on the basis of allegedly false/ fake caste certificates. The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered 58 cases against 67 persons on allegations of appointment on the basis of fake caste certificates.

The Government has issued instructions to the effect that the appointing authorities should verify the caste status of a Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe candidate at the time of initial appointment and promotion against a vacancy reserved for them. The instructions further provide that verification of caste status should be done at every important upturn of employee’s career so that the benefit of reservation and other schemes of concessions, etc, meant for SCs/STs go only to rightful claimants. Instructions also provide that if any person gets an appointment on the basis of such false claim, he should be removed from service.

The Government of India has requested all the States/ UTs to streamline the system of verification of caste certificates so that unscrupulous non-SC/ST/OBC persons are prevented from securing jobs meant for SCs/STs/OBCs by producing false certificate. They have also been requested to initiate disciplinary proceedings against officers who default in timely verification of caste status in such cases or issue false certificates so as to rule out collusion between candidates holding false/ forged certificates and employees.

This was stated by Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. Shri V. Narayanasamy in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
Appointments on Fake Caste Certificate
Read more- Fakes Galore: Run up to a Fake Democracy

12 women officers get permanent commission in Army

A first: 12 women officers get permanent commission in Army by Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 30, 2010
As many as 12 women officers of the Indian Army have created a history of sorts. A selection board of the Indian Army has cleared these officers for what will be the first-ever permanent commission for women into the Forces.

This is the first ever entry of women in a permanent role into the mainstream of the Indian Army. So far, women doctors were given permanent commission (PC) in the medical corps of the armed forces. This is still out of the Army frontline fighting units, as the Ministry of Defence does not permit women in roles that “… entail direct combat or possibility of physical contact with the enemy".

The 12 women officers are from the Army Education Corps and the Judge Adjutant General - these are the only two streams that allow women to be picked up as permanent officers.

All women, cleared now, are short service commission officers (SSC) of the 1996 batch or latter. On completion of 14 years of mandatory service in SSC, they were asked to appear for a selection board along with their male counterparts and 12 of them have been picked up, the Army sources confirmed today. The selection board conducted its proceeding two weeks ago and the results have been announced now.

Most of them are Majors and Lt Colonels and would have retired from service had they not cleared the selection board. There is no reservation in the Army on the basis of gender, the women competed with their male counterparts, said sources, while adding that equal opportunity was provided.

In 2008, the Defence Minister, AK Antony, opened a few more streams for women but that was only for those who joined the SSC in March 2009 or later, meaning they would be eligible for PC only in 2019.

Women, unlike their male counterparts, do not have direct entry route into the Forces. As on date, nearly 350 male officers are inducted into the SSC each year.

Out of them, nearly 240 opt for the PC and almost all are taken in. Women were allowed in the SSC for the first time in 1992.

The latest issue is historic as this was the first time that women were given an option to choose for PC and sit in an examination for what will be full tenure. This can last up to 58 years of age depending upon the promotions each one of them gets in the future.

Notably, there are 11,500 vacancies in the Army; however, most of them are in the infantry, the artillery and the armoured units. The Army allows women to opt for the SSC (10-14 years of service) in Signals, Engineers, Ordnance and Air Defence. In the IAF women are even chopper and transport pilots.
A first: 12 women officers get permanent commission in Army

Strategic alliance to check assertive China

Grave security challenges and the risk of armed confrontation exist in South Asia. India must have potent politico-diplomatic deterrence, strategic alliances and the military wherewithal to ensure peace as well has ability to check adventurism by assertive neighbours or fight a war on two fronts.

India has had defence relations with the US since the Chinese attack in 1962. It was the US that India looked towards when Chinese troops were racing down towards the plains of Assam and Indian political and military leadership was paralysed. Americans airlifted badly needed weapons, equipment and a few fighter aircraft. Later, they equipped three mountain divisions with war equipment and there was a US military mission in New Delhi for a few years for the purpose.

During his November visit, President Barack Obama lifted sanctions against defence research and production establishments, including DRDO, paving the way for greater co-operation.

In the foreseeable future China and Pakistan would be India's main adversaries. There are significant differences in the fundamentals of these three societies, their value systems, religious beliefs and tolerance levels of others. India is a democracy and open society while China and Pakistan are comparatively closed societies, where military plays a dominant role. There is also economic competitiveness between China and India, though the Indian prime minister has repeatedly stated that there is enough room in the world for both China and India. In addition, there is a long-standing border dispute between China and India.
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)
Former Signal Officer-in-Chief of the Indian Army
Click here to read the full analysis in the Professional Matters Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Badge of Honour

Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications Monday, Nov 29, 2010

– Ramesh Sharma
Symbolic protest: Ex-Servicemen deposit thier medals at a rally in support of 'One Rank One Pension' in New Delhi on Sunday.
Badge of Honour

Report My Signal- Military Professional Matters Blog

Dear Readers,
We have revived the Professional Blog.
Some guidelines for the Blog are given below:-
Report My Signal- Military Professional Matters Blog
To provide a forum for sharing information and discussion on Military Professional Matters amongst veterans of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force). Articles and views dealing with matters concerning National Security, Strategy, Military Technology, Policies can be sent to the Coordinator.
Contributors are cautioned against violating provisions of National Security Act. Towards this, end those in Uniform cannot post any material on this Blog.
Link: Military Professional Matters

RAW: Centre for Cancerous Corruption

New Delhi: Using secret funds to purchase cars for staff, buying snoop equipment worth $350 million without conducting user trials, building a whole new tower in the new office without any clearances — a string of controversies has gripped the country’s premier foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

RAW, incidentally, is the recipient of the largest amount of secret funds, close to Rs 350 crore this year. While there are provisions for an internal audit by a CAG official posted in the agency, its findings are never made public or even shared in a sealed envelope with a Parliamentary committee.

The latest controversies come when efforts are on to replace RAW chief K C Verma before his retirement in January next year.

Indications are that S K Tripathi, the head of RAW's air wing, the Aviation Research Centre, will take over. But Tripathi retires in December, a month before Verma. So, for him to become RAW chief, Verma has to be moved out and sources said he's likely to go to the National Technical Research Organisation, where he would get another three years.

RAW Chief K C Verma, when contacted by The Sunday Express, declined to comment.

The key controversies:
About 30 Maruti Altos were purchased -- using secret funds -- to allegedly mollify the much-agitated junior official staff that had complaints over slow promotions and related service conditions. The procurement has been shown for "operational" purposes and it's learnt that the cars have just been handed over to each deputy secretary. A couple of them, sources said, have apparently refused to accept a car if they don't get a driver with it.

The Finance Ministry has questioned RAW for incurring almost double the expenditure for construction of a new building near the CGO complex in the capital after adding a third tower without taking clearances. While Rs 90 crore was sanctioned to construct a building with two wings in 2005, a third wing was added without taking the required clearances, shooting cost up to Rs 160 crore. With the finance department strongly objecting to changes in the design plan, the building has been lying unused for over a year now. For, no money has been released to complete the interiors. It is learnt that an internal committee of RAW has been asked to report on how these changes were sanctioned.

The Finance Department of the Cabinet Secretariat -- under which RAW falls -- is also learnt to have raised serious objections against two major contracts that have been finalised by the agency, including a $350-million deal to supply airborne electronic surveillance systems. Besides concerns on competitiveness of the bids, the main objection is that both contracts were finalised without carrying out user trials, as is the norm in all defence contracts.

Also under the scanner is the purchase of a VSAT (satellite communication) monitoring system. In December 2009, RAW approved the purchase of untested interception equipment to snoop on enemy satellite communication on the basis of a "live performance" in Ukraine and not on the basis of user trials at home. Moreover, a top RAW official cited ISRO's endorsement of the system to clear the purchase worth Rs 11.7 crore. However, records later showed that ISRO had, in fact, rejected the system. This was confirmed in writing by the Defence Intelligence Agency -- under the Ministry of Defence -- that was ordering a similar system through ISRO. The purchase of the VSAT monitoring system has also invited objections from the Finance Department of the Cabinet Secretariat.
Source: The Indian Express
RAW data: secret funds buy cars, an office under cloud
Related Articles
India, capital of the ‘turd world’ By Sunil Sethi, 27/11/2010
Taking the fight to corruption: IIM Ahmedabad students and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam join hands to start an Anti-Corruption Helpline.

IESM: Rally Demands Grant of One Rank One Pension

Dear Colleagues,
A very successful rally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi was held today as scheduled. There were 5,000 ESM from different States and 200 Service families in attendance. High enthusiasm was palpable. The venue had large presence of electronic media and the event was well covered. Some 5,000 additional medals were voluntarily deposited. After the rally a party proceeded to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to hand over the medals and the memorandum. Since the President did not receive the medals in person (she is out of the country), these were brought back as per plan while the memorandum was handed over to the staff.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
Slideshow: Rally Photos taken at Jantar Mantar on November 28, 2010

Pension Anomaly removed but Lt Col Family Pension remains Jinxed

As per the current stipulation in vogue, the minimum guaranteed pension of personnel of some junior ranks was more than pension of senior ranks with the same length of service. This happened since the admissible weightage of junior ranks at places was more than senior ranks.

The said anomaly has been addressed and the MoD has issued a new letter rectifying the problem. Consequently, fresh amended annexures (i.e, Annexures II, IIA and III) replacing the ones appended with the earlier issued MoD letter dated 11 Nov 2008, have been promulgated for officers as well as JCOs and OR.

The said letter, alongwith another letter on medical boards, may be accessed by clicking here. It may however be noted that the family pension of a Lt Col has been mentioned incorrectly in the fresh letter as Rs 8760 per month in this letter whereas it actually is Rs 15420 (30% of minimum of Pay Band-4 + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay). The MoD has by mistake printed the family pension for the rank of Lt Col as per the old (Pay Band-3) scale.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:08 AM
More pension to juniors than seniors : Anomaly redressed

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Report of All India ESM Rally Organised by IESM at Jantar Mantar on 28 Nov 2010

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
The All India ESM Rally, organised by IESM, was held as per schedule, today – 28 Nov 10, from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The rally was a grand success.
Many ESM organisations, from many states attended the rally. Besides NCR, the states represented were- Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Individuals from many other states were also present.
  • Total attendance around- 5000.
  • Total number of ladies, including very large number of widows who were present at the rally- 200
  • New veterans who signed the memorandum going to The President in blood- 1440.
  • New medals collected- 5000.
  • Medals collected earlier, sent to President but brought back as The President did not receive personally- 6000.
  • Total medals sent for being deposited to The President on 28 Nov 10- 11000.
    (Medals already deposited with the President 22,000)
  • Veterans who went to The Rashtrapati Bhawan for depositing medals and the memorandum- 10.
  • Veterans who gave a talk at the rally Chairman, Vice Chairman IESM and others- 35
  • Maj Gen AJB Jaini, very efficiently managed the time
  • TV satellite links deployed by media to cover the rally
  • Media reporters and cameraman at rally site around- 20
  • On scheduled time 10 veterans, from all three services and all ranks, in a police vehicle, left for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, for depositing the medals and the memorandum.

    What happened at Rashtrapati Bhawan
    1. Three months ago, by a formal letter, Chairman IESM had informed The President of India, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, that military veterans will be depositing medals on 28 Nov 10. A few days ago, The President proceeded on a foreign tour, without her staff having the courtesy to inform the IESM about her tour.
    2. On being informed by the staff that The President cannot receive the medals as she is out on a foreign tour, the veterans’ team decided not to deposit the medals with the staff.
    3. The veteran team then handed over a copy of the memorandum and the sheets having the signatures in blood of 1440 veterans.
    4. The President’s staff accepted the memorandum but, refused to handle the sheets having signatures in blood. The staff said that the medical authorities had advised them not accept the sheets containing signatures in blood.
    5. The veterans’ team, returned to Jantar Mantar with the medals and the sheets containing the signatures in blood.
    6. A copy of the memorandum to The President is appended below.
    7. The photographs taken at the rally are being processed and shall be placed on the three weblogs mentioned above in the header of this email.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj
    Rally Photographs: Click here for the slideshow

    Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil,
    Her Excellency, the President of India
    and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
    New Delhi - 110011
    Your Excellency,
    1. With extreme anguish, we the former soldiers of India express our deeply hurt feelings to our Supreme Commander on the indifferent attitude of the Government towards our genuine demands.
    2. After exhausting all other options, we the Ex Servicemen were forced to take to airing our demands in public. Our main demand is 'one rank one pension' implying equal remuneration for equal work. The demand is for justice and not for money per se. unfortunately, the government continues to ignore this demand. They have yet again rejected this demand that had been supported by the All Party Standing Committee on Defence in their report tabled in the Lok Sabha on 07 May 2010. The existing situation, where a pre-2006 pensioner gets less pension than their juniors who retired after 1.1.2006, is highly anomalous and the veterans cannot reconcile to it.
    3. The government also continues to contest in the courts every legal decision that goes in favour of the Ex Servicemen. It is pertinent to mention that Armed Forces Tribunal had in the last one year decided around 4000 cases of armed forces personnel. Nearly 90 percent of these cases were in favour of the Ex Servicemen and were against the authorities, but the MoD is not complying with the tribunal's orders. This has been stated by head of the country's highest military tribunal, Justice (Retd) A K Mathur recently. It is beyond one's comprehension as to why the Government is not giving their due to its veterans, who have devoted their all and have demonstrated their patriotism, bravery, valour and courage and have in great measure assisted the country in strengthening its sovereignty and integrity?
    4. In order to arouse the conscience of the countrymen the Ex Servicemen have also had to resort to depositing their medals. This serious development could have far-reaching consequences. For a soldier to part with his medals that he has won at great risk to his life and limb, is a tough decision and is reflective of his extreme disenchantment with the government's obduracy.
    5. Ironically, the Service widows were kept out of the purview of government orders dated 8 March 2010, where the pension of junior commissioned officers and other ranks were enhanced. When this was pointed out in a letter to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, the government's reply was that the enhancement for widows had not been recommended by the Cabinet Secretary's committee that was constituted in the wake of widespread disenchantment with the Sixth Pay Commission. This was a strange response where the government has claimed to be bound by the dictate of a subordinate committee that the government itself had constituted. Whether it is a mere excuse to deny the Service widows their genuine dues, or whether this is an admission of the tail wagging the tiger, it makes strange and sad commentary.
    6. Under the circumstances, the Ex Servicemen have no choice but to continue with their struggle for justice.
    With best regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours sincerely,
    Sd xxx
    Lt Gen (Retd) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    Sd xxx
    Maj Gen Satbir Singh
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
  • राष्ट्रपति को आज छह हजार पदक लौटाएंगे पूर्व सैनिक

    भारतीय सैन्य दिग्गजों की सेवा में
    भगवान की पूजा के साथ अन्याय के खिलाफ लड़ने के लिए है.
    इसलिए कृपया सैन्य दिग्गजों 'जंतर मंतर, नई दिल्ली में रैली के लिए वहाँ हो, 28 नवम्बर 10 पर, 10.00 घंटे से 14.00 घंटे
    और अन्याय के खिलाफ लड़ाई में शामिल किया / भारत का रक्षा सेवा करने के लिए किया जा रहा है

    राष्ट्रपति को आज छह हजार पदक लौटाएंगे पूर्व सैनिक
    राष्ट्रपति को आज छह हजार पदक लौटाएंगे पूर्व सैनिक
    Nov 27, 08:40 pm

    नोएडा, संवाददाता : 'वन रैंक-वन पेंशन' के लिए लंबे समय से लड़ाई लड़ रहे जंग-ए-आजादी के छह हजार जांबाज रविवार को राष्ट्रपति को अपने पदक लौटाएंगे। साथ ही तीनों सेनाओं के पूर्व अधिकारी दिल्ली स्थित जंतर-मंतर पर रैली निकाल विरोध दर्ज कराएंगे। वे राष्ट्रपति को खून से लिखा ज्ञापन भी देंगे। शनिवार को 12 राज्यों से आए तीनों सेनाओं के पूर्व अधिकारियों ने नोएडा के सेक्टर 29 स्थित अरुण विहार इंस्टीट्यूट क्लब में 'इंडियन एक्स सर्विसमैन' संगठन की वार्षिक सभा की। इसमें संगठन के चुनाव भी करा लिए गए। गुड़गांव के लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल राज कादयान को दोबारा भारी बहुमत से राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष चुना गया।

    राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष कादयान ने बताया कि रविवार सुबह 11 बजे दिल्ली के जंतर-मंतर पर काफी संख्या में 'इंडियन एक्स सर्विसमैन' से जुड़े तीनों सेना के पूर्व अधिकारी विशाल रैली में शामिल होंगे। यहां से वह राष्ट्रपति भवन जाएंगे जहां महामहिम को खून से लिखा ज्ञापन देकर छह हजार पदक वापस लौटाए जाएंगे। इससे पहले इसी साल 22 अगस्त को भी संगठन 'वन रैंक-वन पेंशन' की मांग को लेकर राष्ट्रपति को खून से लिखा ज्ञापन दे चुका है। इस पर सवा लाख पूर्व सैनिकों के हस्ताक्षर थे। सैनिकों का आरोप है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा उनकी मांग के संबंध में गठित की गई कमेटी भी सरकार की कठपुतली बनी हुई है। अगर सरकार ने जल्द मांग नहीं मानी तो उन्हें मजबूरन उग्र प्रदर्शन पर उतारू होना पड़ेगा।

    राज कादयान ने बताया कि 17 दिसंबर 2008 को 'इंडियन एक्स सर्विसमैन' संगठन का गठन किया गया था। इसके दो साल पूरे होने वाले हैं। इसलिए शनिवार को नोएडा के अरुण विहार क्लब में वार्षिक सभा आयोजित कर पूरे साल का लेखाजोखा प्रस्तुत किया गया। इसी मौके पर संगठन का पहला चुनाव भी कराया गया। राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष पद के लिए लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल राज कादयान के अलावा गुड़गांव के ही कर्नल पीपी त्यागी ने दावेदारी पेश की थी। राज कादयान 539 मतों से जीते। कर्नल पीपी त्यागी को मात्र 12 वोट मिले। पांच वोट अवैध घोषित किए गए। इसके अलावा सभी पदों के लिए सर्वसम्मति से पदाधिकारियों का चुनाव कर लिया गया। इनमें मेजर जनरल सतवीर सिंह को उपाध्यक्ष, विंग कमांडर सीके शर्मा को कोषाध्यक्ष, ग्रुप कैप्टन वीके गांधी को महासचिव और कमांडर शरण अहूजा को निर्विरोध संयुक्त सचिव चुना गया। इनके अलावा कार्यकारिणी में कर्नल आरपी


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