Saturday, March 26, 2011

Parliament Committee Recommends One Rank One Pension once again

Dear Veterans,
1. While the Govt continues to deny our legitimate demand of OROP, we have been relentlessly endeavouring to continue exploring all options to make the Govt see reason and grant us our due demand. To get the All Party Standing Committee on Defence, reiterate its recommendation on OROP in its report, we have been following it up with Shri Satpalji Maharaj, MP, and Chairman Standing Committee on Defence. In this connection please refer to our enclosed letters.
2. The Standing Committee in its report tabled in the Parliament on 24 Mar 2011, has once again recommended OROP. It has also recommended setting up of a National Commission for EX-Servicemen. Sh Satpal Ji Maharaj has very kindly sent the Press Release on the report through email to the undersigned which is enclosed.
3. Friends, echoes have started gaining momentum. What is required now is “A Strong United Movement by Armed Forces Veterans”. We, appeal to all defence fraternity to join hands and demonstrate strength, vibrancy, dynamism, “UNITY” without any frills. Let us all be ONE in our resolve to get OROP and ensure that the Govt listens to us for the fraternity at large.
4. I also appeal to all senior Defence Veterans specially all Lt Gens and Chiefs to come forward and support the Movement for Justice. We have saluted you and gave you our unflinching loyalty to safe guard the sovereignty and integrity of the country even at the peril of our lives. The rank and file was always with you.
5. Now when the Injustice is being done to us, we request you all to strongly take up our case with the Govt unitedly. This is the time to stand up and be counted. You will always remain our senior leaders and we look forward for your support to get our due Justice.
6. After reading this mail, please circulate it to as many veterans as possible for action please.
With Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM

Shri Satpal Maharaj, Chairman, Standing Committee on Defence, presented the Tenth Report of the Committee on Action Taken Report on `Human Resource Planning, Shortage of Manpower, Infusion of Hi-Tech Training and Infrastructure for the Armed Forces’ today on Thursday, the 24th March, 2011, Click here to read some of the salient observations/ recommendations

Strategy for Ex Servicemen to obtain Speedy Justice

A tactical decision is one based on sound analysis of the situation. The Army has several military appreciation processes (MAP) that cover all levels of staff. These are used to analyze a problem and come up with solid courses of action (COA's) and contingencies. Each filters down to the commander on the ground who has a pre H-hr and post H-hr MAP. Lt Gen Yogi Sharma (Retd) a brilliant tactician has formulated a novel template for ESM strategy. All ESM Advocacy Groups need to study the strategy and evolve its own, appropriate and coordinated responses, to obtain speedy Justice for Veterans.

Strategy Review: IESM– AN APPROACH
1. Note-form, ‘texting’ mode. Reason:
  • Economy of effort (‘twitter’ age)
  • Tests comprehension/ de-cryption skills?
  • Promotes creative dissonance/ refinement.
    2. Aim. To evolve a ‘conceptual construct’ for ‘smart- strat’ option.
    Review of Sit
    3. Present Goal /Strategy
  • ‘Laser–beam’ Strat to gain a ‘Uni-focal Obj’: OROP.
  • Frontal and ‘Confrontal’; (Disciplined- but seen as ‘soft’ by some?)
  • Surcharged and strident-(emotion over reason?); AFT/ Courts less exploited
  • Not fully ‘calibrated/nuanced’ to cope with dynamics of ‘wily’ power- players’e.g. bureaucracy/ committed media/ politicians.
    4. Results
  • Substantial ‘gains’ but OROP still ‘Over-The-Horizon’?
  • ‘Diminishing returns’ scenario; ‘fatigue factor’- maj threat.
    5. IESM-Prospects
  • ‘Non- critical’ mass; Veteran Orgs- fragmented; Synergy elusive.
  • Limited staying power/ resource base; ‘Lone Ranger’ syndrome.
  • In ‘attrition- scenario’- Govt can stonewall/ divide/ tire-out.
    6. Need to adapt/innovate- SMART STRAT.
    Strat Re-orientation- A Perspective Change
    7. Re-focus Goal and Objs. Expand ‘bandwidth’, as follows:
    (a) Focus on Inclusive Goal of JUSTICE for VETERANS (covers OROP). Benefits:
  • Injustices are ‘endemic’ and easily identifiable e.g. rank pay fiasco, disability distortions, Majs’ pay scale etc;
  • Essential steps enroute to full ‘justice’ and destination- OROP;
  • Multi-lateral grid of incremental/ intermediate Objs (as in a CPM/PERT chart).
  • Can be integrated into a network of ‘battle plans’ of a ‘campaign’.
  • Provides leverage (pressure pts) to expose/soften ‘scheming’ bureaucracy and Mil-system’s blind-spots.
  • Offers a ‘moral high-ground’ to IESM (as distinct from ‘politics’ of others). May enable common-cause synergy with like-minded gps.
    (b) Intermediate Objs (IOs). To be derived from ‘Stakeholder Analysis’. These incl mil and non-mil domains like AFT/courts, media, civ society/NGOs, MOD etc. Each has distinct characteristics, power/ pay-off profiles- to be ‘exploited’, suitably.
    (c) Plans. Will flow from the above. Need to be integrated into a ‘dynamic model’.
    8. Emp suitable ‘soft skills’ e.g. lobby, negotiate, networks (blogging incl); more ‘Reason over Emotion’: CHANAKYA-neeti.
    9. Institutionalise Structure and Systems, for the long haul.
    Stake-holder Analysis.
    10. Incls three main gps- Mil, Non-Mil & Veterans- as intersecting Power players/ Stakeholders:

    11. Influence Potential. Each of the above has unique Power/ Pay-off and Resistance potential vis a vis IESM objs. Their Influence Potential (IP) is derived from various intrinsic and environmental factors e.g. statutory powers of AFT/ courts, hostile bureaucracy, vibrant NGOs/ silent majority etc. To assess, prioritise and leverage this ‘dynamic value’ is a ‘judgment call’ for IESM Ldrs.
    12.Illustration. An illustrative rank- ordering of IPs, showing sample reasons only, is given below:

    13. Implications. Strat implications of the above analysis are:
    (a) Facilitates ‘Application of Effort’ and ‘Resource Allocation’ choices. In the above example, max effort/attn should obviously go to top end of IP Spectrum i.e. fire max cases of identifiable injustices in AFT/Courts. Also, suitably ‘neutralise’ (expose/pressure/coerce) lower end/hostile elements.
    (b) Sample analysis, as in Coln 3 & 5 indicates the ‘direction’ of thrust/objs (IOs). For example to expose/ coerce bureaucracy in MOD/ Service HQ, load them with RTI applications to fix accountability for bad/unjust past decisions/policies (like Rank pay); Co-opt NGOs and Media. Specific objs and plans would be the logical sequel of this process.
    (c) A litany of policy/ implementation ‘injustices’’ is available, on net/ record, to pursue this process. Systematically ‘data bank’ it, analyse and file RTI cases. For example, ‘who is accountable for denial of rank pay? Who/ why Service HQ delinked from pensioners problems (part of overall compensation package)/ Disability delays/ distortions- hold acct-able/ punish?
    14. The ‘broad-front/ multi-thrust/ problem-solving’ concept- model, outlined above, aims to use the existing strs and tools, more coherently. The brand/ emotional value of OROP is not surrendered but made more inclusive.
    15. Validation. It would be ‘vain’ of me to assume that the suggested conceptual ‘tweaking’ can lead to a SMART STRAT? This needs validation, and refinement, through brainstorming. The process/ SD ‘nuts and bolts’ can, thereafter, be pursued by more fertile minds. Till then, dig deep to find sense.
    16. Strategizing is an ‘art’. Its ‘craft’ lies in working well the right ‘model’.
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander
  • Pragmatic to retain our ingrained 'apolitical ethos'

    Ref: Political Action should be central to ESM Agenda
    Dear Bhimmy,
    Delighted to reconnect after so long. Am impressed with your cerebral 'cut & thrust' and scholarly contributions. Nostalgic indeed of the ancient 'spirited' sessions that perhaps 'seeded' the creative faculties!
    Since you have discerned a spark of 'strategy' in my earlier post and advanced a refreshing conceptual matrix for developing it, I am tempted to share the Att brief, arrogantly headed Smart Strategy.
    The essential congruence between the two 'thought-processes' should be loudly visible to your sharp mind.
    Had 'lightly' shared it with many of the Core Gp of the IESM, last year. Few comprehended/ agreed with it or saw any relevant 'value' in it. That is not surprising as the WIP is/ has been visibly (sometimes illusive!) riding a high wave? Besides, strong leaders have to be somewhat 'fixated'(so that revolutions can follow to get rid of them - in Service, we retire the B's).
    I also believe that everything in life happens when its time comes- bet you never knew of my real 'spiritual' side!
    Should you see any merit in the 'concept model' thread, as an extension of your inclinations, feel free to refine and sell- won't claim any IPR (only share of profits)!
    Have just seen (this morning's) RMS. Your conceptually- cogent salvo on desirable 'politicisation' for greater effect is impressive.
    In the given context, I would consider it a 'dangerous' direction to follow, literally. There is a 'political' and a 'Political' arena? The latter is a dirty quagmire (unlike your adopted land, where it is a part of citizens ideological identity). And the former-political- is a 'universal' reality; in as much as all human- activity is power- based i.e. fundamentally political.
    Veterans' cause, I believe would be better served by aligning 'selectively' (issue-based); yet retaining our ingrained 'apolitical ethos'- may be opportunistic but is pragmatic. Most Veterans' DNA abhors Politics and many will roll off the Wagon at seeing an overt alignment. And that should explain my (majority view, hopefully) 'fetish' for the Indian Military's (includes Veterans) ethos of disciplined, orderly, mature democratic dissent vis a vis a aggressive/ abusive revolutionary character of discourse. Anything gross or crude is repugnant, not only to retired Generals, but to most Indians sensibility. A few of the mails/ views have tended to transcend the red-line: hence the 'cautionary'; which you perceived as castrating the IESM?
    I would forsake the Mov if it lost this element of its essential character and so would most right thinking members. And a movement without 'momentum of followers' would be a joke?? Though it could still exist as a political entity eg Maoists/ extremists/ terrorists of some hue or the other.
    Lots of love to you both.
    Warmest regards,
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    Political Action should be central to ESM Agenda

    How effective is the IESM?
    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    We need to celebrate the recommendations of the committee to establish a National Commission for Ex-Servicemen. We need not be elated, however. We need to follow it up. Previous commissions, such as the National Police Commissions, have been gathering dust in the unopened cabinets of North Block for years!
    Those who are skeptical about the effectiveness of IESM should consider that most of the public policy issues in India and elsewhere on our planet are driven by political considerations. This is a rather reckless but a fairly accurate assertion. Having worked for the best part of our years in the narrow confines of an apolitical environment, in which we implicitly support government policies, regardless of the party in power, it takes time to adapt ourselves to our retired status, which allows us greater freedom of expression than before, particularly with regard to our interaction with the media. I say "greater" because it is my understanding that we are still bound by the Official Secrets Act. Unfortunately, politicians in general, and bureaucrats in particular, expect ex-servicemen to be apolitical and subservient to the political leaders "from cradle to grave," as it were! When General Sinha paid a courtesy call to the then- RM (later President Venkataraman) on the eve of his premature retirement, the-then RM warned him against joining politics. That some segments of the public, and even the intelligentsia, should needlessly be oversensitive to the legitimate grievances, articulated by the IESM, and denounce them as "unbecoming and undisciplined " should be seen in this light. It is ironic that some of our Veterans also have joined this chorus.
    Given these circumstances, I do not hesitate for a moment to commend the admirable accomplishments of a few dedicated members of the IESM.
    One cannot jump into the political realm abruptly, unless one is a scion of a renowned political or a rich family. The challenges faced by a new entrant to the political arena in India are formidable, even if he/she has matching resources. And since politics is the "art of the possible", even a small success does not come without substantial compromises. How is my rambling relevant to the IESM?
    Political action should be central to our future agenda. Veterans should realize that there are no shortcuts. It is a tedious journey, defined by slow progress and unanticipated setbacks. Our biggest asset is the public sympathy and confidence. Let us not be deterred by, or overreact to, a few articles in the media, predicting the "decline and fall of the armed forces," based on a few unfortunate incidents, such as Adarsh. The core of the armed forces is strong, and like ancient civilizations, will survive the trials and tribulations of emerging challenges. We should organize ourselves politically to fight for our rights.
    Although no two situations can ever be identical, in the U.S., the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and AMA ( American Medical Association), to name a few, have powerful lobbies to advance their causes. They are funded by membership contributions. I am unable, even incompetent,to develop this theme further, because I have neither the experience nor the knowledge about how to formulate a coherent political strategy for a successful prosecution of our rights in India. IESM might want to talk to some of the veterans, who have some success in this regard.
    Bhimaya,10th J.S.W.
    The Garhwal Rifles, Maj Gen K Bhimaya, California, USA

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Impingement of Official Secrets Act investigated for quarter century!

    A retired lieutenant general has been put on trial by a Delhi court for allegedly divulging sensitive secret information about the country's arms and ammunition system to an international arms dealing firm, impinging upon the nation's security.

    Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja put Lieutenant General (retd) Nirmal Puri on trial along with M/s Concord International Pvt Ltd's official Vinod Khanna, whom the top army officer had allegedly supplied sensitive information in 1984-87.

    The court put the duo on trial after framing charges under various provisions of the Official Secret Act and the India Penal Code against them.

    "During the period 1984-87, both of you entered into criminal conspiracy in order to obtain, collect, communicate secret/ classified/ official information/ documents pertaining to the defence of the country with the purpose that same may be prejudicial to the safety or interest of the state," the court said.

    Puri is alleged to have prepared two hand-written notes containing classified information regarding equipment like light tanks, radio sets for AFV, training simulators and others.

    The notes were recovered during search conducted in the premises of M/s Concord International Pvt Ltd from its Golf Links office here on February 2, 1987.

    "During the aforesaid period, you being Lieutenant General in the Indian Army and having access, owing to your position as a person who had held office under the Indian Army, wilfully communicated such note/ information to Khanna, a person who is other than to whom you were authorised to communicate it," the ASJ said.

    Khanna was charged with obtaining the information which "might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy".

    The court noted the disclosure of such information "is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state or friendly relations with foreign state".

    Puri had joined the Indian Army on December 11, 1949 and had retired on March 17, 1985.

    The FIR was registered in January 1988 against Puri and Khanna following a complaint by D M L Malhotra, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, and the charge sheet was filed in 1989.
    Army's Ex-Lt Gen on Trial for Leaking Official Secrets

    National Commission for Ex Servicemen

    New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) Stressing upon the "urgent need" to set up a national commission for ex-servicemen, a Parliamentary Committee today asked the Defence Ministry to expedite the matter.

    The Standing Committee on Defence in its report said, "As there is apparent dissatisfaction among the ex-servicemen, the committee are of the strong view that there is an urgent need for setting up of a commission at the national level."

    The committee also expressed "distress" that even after Defence Minister cleared the matter the Ministry has not done the needful to set up the body.

    "The committee are distressed to note than even after getting clearance from Rakhsa Mantri for setting up of National Commission for ex-servicemen, the Ministry has declined to set up the Commission on the plea that number of bodies are existing to undertake the welfare schemes for ex-servicemen,"the report said.

    On the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) for ex-servicemen, the Committee reiterated that the proposal if met would boost morale of defence personnel.

    "The Committee would like to reiterate their recommendation made in earlier report to reconsider the issue of OROP, so that the demand of ex-servicemen is met which would boost the morale of the defence personnel,"the Committee said.
    Par panel recommends national commission for ex-servicemen

    On Ministry's rejection of proposal to provide monthly stipend to National Defence Academy (NDA) cadets, the Committee said, "extending appropriate financial support during the training would help the cadets in meeting their daily expenses and would also boost their morale."
    Parliament Recommends Panel for Ex-Servicemen
    What bodies are existing to undertake the welfare schemes for ex-servicemen?
    Department of Ex Servicemen's Welfare: The Present Status- click links below

  • When the Government Becomes an Adversary of its Ex-servicemen
  • ESW Department becomes a Cosmetic Bureaucratic Appendage

  • Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, an all India federation of ex-servicemen associations, sought the setting up of a national commission for the welfare of retired military personnel.
    Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Maj Gen (Rtd) AJB Jaini, member of Governing Council of the organisation said the commission can look into issues pertaining to the welfare, pension and support of ex-servicemen.
    At a press conference organised by the NRI Forum Deputy Chairman Ganesh Karnic, Jaini also urged the various state governments to utilise the expertise of 22 lakh ex-servicemen pensioners and eight lakh ex -servicemen non -pensioners in the country.
    "Use expertise of ex-servicemen"

    Government moots National Commission for Exservicemen
    A proposal to constitute a National Commission for the Welfare of Ex-Servicemen is under the active consideration of the government. This was stated by the Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) in the Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Deepa Jain Singh in her inaugural address to the annual conclave of the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) (here on 30th July 2008). The measure will expedite issues of rehabilitation, welfare and help resolve grievances of retired soldiers, martyrs and their families. Nearly 60,000 personnel retire from the three wings of the armed forces every year and most of them are in the productive middle age group. There are nearly 14 lakh Ex-servicemen and over 2.5 lakh widows. When this figure is projected considering each Ex-Serviceman’s minor children, dependent parents, brothers and sisters, it could affect the livelihood of close to one crore population. In view of the vast population of Ex-Servicemen, the government last year created the post of Secretary in the Defence Ministry to deal exclusively with issues related to the Ex-Servicemen welfare. Mrs. Deepa Jain Singh, who has undertaken an exhaustive study on the welfare of Ex-Servicemen during her short four month stint as Secretary (ESW), said a capsule on the subject is soon to be introduced at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, Mussourie. It would sensitize the young IAS probationers of the vital issues of concern related to the Ex-Servicemen Welfare before they assume responsibility of the District Magistrate posts across the country. This is a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s ambitious Skill Development Mission, she added. Speaking on the occasion, the Additional Secretary Mrs Neelam Nath asked the Secretaries of the District Sainik Boards to hold meetings atleast once every month with the District Collectors to resolve grievances of Ex-Servicemen at the grassroots level. She said the DGR is about to complete a countrywide database of Ex-Servicemen at the Zila Sainik Board, Rajya Sainik Board and Kendriya Sainik Board level that would go a long way in formulating macro and micro policy for Ex-Servicemen Welfare. The Director-General Resettlement Major General SG Chatterji said his office would serve as a nodal single point interface between the retiring and retired service personnel, widows and their dependents and the outside agencies for all issues related to resettlement and welfare measures. PIB
    Government moots National Commission for Exservicemen
    Related Reading
    Ex-servicemen's welfare is a thrust area for Government: PM 19 May 2007

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Adarsh scam: Court of inquiry indicts ex-army chiefs Deepak Kapoor, NC Vij

    Headlines Today Bureau | New Delhi, March 24, 2011 | Updated 09:43 IST
    An army court of inquiry (CoI) into Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society scam has indicted former chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N.C. Vij.

    The CoI also indicted four lieutenant generals and three major generals. The officers indicted include Lt Gen G.S. Sihota, Lt Gen P.K. Rampal, Lt Gen Shantanu Choudhry, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh, Maj Gen Ram Kanwar Hooda, Maj Gen A.R. Kumar, Major Gen V.S. Yadav and Maj Gen Tej Kishen Kaul.

    The CoI found the conduct of the officers blameworthy. It said that prima facie culpability had been exposed and it was now for the CBI to probe the matter.

    The army submitted its CoI report to the defence ministry last week.

    In December last year, Defence Minister A.K. Antony had ordered a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed forces and defence estates officers in the Adarsh scam, in which a private housing society got NOC to construct a 31-storey complex on a plot in Colaba.

    The plot was meant for Kargil war heroes but they did not get homes in the complex. The scam also cost then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan his job.
    Adarsh scam: Court of inquiry indicts ex-army chiefs Deepak Kapoor, NC Vij
    Comment: Sad Commentary on the state of Military Affairs. Ex Servicemen need to hang their heads in shame who were primarily responsible for favouring corrupt officers when penning ACRs whilst in Service!

    Government trying to censor blogging?

    By R Shankar, India Syndicate, 22/03/2011
    Govt trying to censor blogging?
    Is the Indian Government snooping on bloggers? Is a worried and nervous government trying to censor what bloggers write? Will the government snip uncomfortable opinion or comments?

    Coming soon after the infamous Radia tapes where the government eves-dropped on corporate communication in hotel rooms and other private spaces, the issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday during the Zero Hour.

    Said Chandrasekhar: "Indian bloggers are vibrant stakeholders of democracy, they represent young thoughts and their initiatives play an important role in the Indian political system. Youth rely on the phenomenon called blogging for news, to exchange ideas, thoughts and there should no censorship or control of thought on the Internet".

    He urged the Government "to prevent any form of censorship, any form of control over blogs, bloggers and Internet"

    A member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, Chandrasekhar pointed out to media reports that said that the Government was proposing to block or shut down blogs as well as bloggers if the opinions posted in them do not suit Government, institutions or individuals.

    He said the move is one sided as the Government was planning to publish new rules in the Official Gazette under the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2009 without inviting public opinion.

    The rules, if they come into force, "will infringe upon the Right to Freedom of Expression of the bloggers and users of the internet - as the internet has become an essential part of our daily life," said the MP.

    The new rules are ready to be notified in the Official Gazette and then these rules will come into force, he said.

    The rules require intermediaries such as service providers not to host or publish any information, which in the context of the internet, does include bloggers.

    Additionally, the rules propose to authorise the intermediaries to remove access to 'infringing' material if they themselves gave actual knowledge or are asked to do so by a mandated authority.

    "The execution of these rules in its existing form will be a blow to the vibrant blogging community and bloggers. It could result in a shutting down of the internet, which is the main form of expression for growing Indians, if the information posted is found inconvenient to Government, institutions or individuals. This is certainly against our basic democratic principles," he added.

    Chandrasekhar urged the Government to be transparent by inviting public opinion and involve the blogging community before finalising and implementing these rules.
    Source: India Syndicate
    Govt trying to censor blogging?
    Comment: Success of Citizens movement like in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunsia, Bahrain and other ME Nations ruled by dictators/ Shiekh Royal Families is directly derived from the power of the Internet Social Networking medium. Is our country choosing to curb the Freedom of Speech or is it getting nervous? Are we heading towards a full fledged banana/ fake republic/ democracy in totality? Should it not focus on Governance and enable Democracy? It is not Governance deficit but total lack of Governance that is breeding criminals. What about Electoral/ Police/ Judicial reforms? What about passing Lok Pal Bill without dilution? Does every village have access to clean drinking water? Do we have 24 hour assured electricity in all the villages? What about implementation of RTE in all the states? The Bureaucrats seem to be misleading the Nation and misguiding the Politicians to suppress Citizen Movements working for a vibrant democracy.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Two Pronged Resettlement Strategy for the Ex Servicemen

    Transcripts of the Interview
    Col P N Khera, Editor-in-Chief Asia Defence News: Resettlementof ex-Servicemen who retire at a very young age, is a major HRD problem being faced by the Indian Army. What steps are being taken for empowerment of ex- Servicemen in educational and vocational fields to lead a respectable life after retirement?
    Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, Adjutant General: The Service personnel, especially JCOs /OR retire between 35 to 45 years of age depending on the rank at which they retire. At this stage, a soldier is confronted with numerous domestic liabilities and commitments. The pension of the solders is not enough to meet his basic requirements and hence, he has to take up a second career to sustain himself and his family. With the land holdings reducing steadily, agriculture which was hithertofore an option with most veterans, is not viable any more. The retired soldier is thus forced to seek an avenue in the civil stream, commensurate with his status and needs. Although, the Army has vast reserves of trained, physically fit and disciplined manpower, they lack the skills which the environment seeks. Close to 50,000 trained soldiers retire every year, majority of whom can be gainfully employed in the industry, if they are provided some vocational skills. The vocational training and widelyacceptable certification will make these disciplined soldiers eligible to seek second employment, which they need to meet their domestic commitments after retirement from Service. We have embarked on a two- pronged strategy, which involves, firstly; to recognize the institutionalised training that a soldier undergoes in his Service by awarding a university degree and secondly; to provide Vocational Training though a network of Vocational Training Centres which are being set up in collaboration with various industries. An Army Welfare Placement Organisation has been established that not only provides second career option to retiring and retired Army personnel but to Veer Naris and disabled soldiers also. It has pan-India presence through its network of 13 placement nodes and 48 placement cells.
    PNK: What are the major projects taken up for empowerment of Army personnel to ensure them a secure life after farewell to arms?
    AG: Empowerment initiative of our soldiers called Samarth, is a major step undertaken by the Indian Army. Under this project we have three broad categories of programmes.
    Gyandeep: Gyandeep is an initiative to empower our soldiers by according recognition to the ‘in service’ training done by soldiers and make them eligible for award of Certificate/Diploma/Associate Degree through Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Subsequently, Associate Degree holders can get degrees like BA, B.Com, B.Sc and BTS from IGNOU by clearing elective subjects as per IGNOU curriculum in the third year of the degree course. On the similar lines, an officer can get regular MBA degree. So far 2,30,000 soldiers have registered for Associate Degree with IGNOU.
    Kshamta: Kshamta aims at enhancing the capabilities of our JCOs/OR by imparting them two set of skills viz IT or Digital Literacy andSpoken English and Soft Skills. In this regard an MoU has been signed between Army and Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Limited. First round of Kshamta for training of Master Trainers has been completed successfully at all our Regiment Training Centres and we have so far trained around 3000 Master Trainers, who will further train the soldiers in their respective units/centres.
    Kaushal: The unique concept of setting up Vocational Training Centres (VTC) at selected Regiment Training Centres/Defence establishments in collaboration with various Public/PrivateSector industries with an aim to impart vocational skills to the soldiers before their retirement and to empower and enhance their scope of securing an assured career post retirement. So far we have set up VTC for IT and Mobility Equipment repair for the disabled.
    Higher Studies Programme: This programme involves selected Army officers undergoing full Post Graduate and Research Programme in various fields like Basic Sciences, Engineering, Social Studies, Strategic Affairs, South Asian Studies and MBA. The aim is to allow selected officers to attend courses in universities and institutions with a collaborative agreement and facilitate their placement /employment. We have signed MoU with IGNOU for MBA, with Pondicherry University for varied subjects and with BITS, Pilani for Technology related subjects. All thismhas happened in the last one year and the efforts of the Vice Chancellors concerned is laudable. Prof Rajasekharan Pillai of IGNOU is actively helping us identify other areas of cooperation.

    Col P N Khera, Editor-in-Chief Asia Defence News interviews Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, Adjutant General

    National Security: Is Hasan's Hawala transactions financing Pakistan Terrorists?

    Hawala trader Hasan Ali's $ 8 billion (about Rs 36,000 crore) network of illegal money transactions is unravelling.

    On Saturday, Ali revealed to agencies probing his accounts that a substantial portion of the thousands of crores in his Swiss bank and other accounts elsewhere belonged to top Indian politicians and bureaucrats, including three former chief ministers of Maharashtra.

    This breakthrough has come as a breather to the investigating agencies that have been at the receiving end of the courts for their lacklustre probe into Ali's case.

    In what could place Ali at the centre of a devious parallel banking network for the country's most corrupt politicos and babus, investigators have found an ingenious money- laundering mechanism that succeeded in turning black money into legitimate earnings through the stock market.

    Following these revelations from Ali, the investigators have summoned Indian representatives of international banks such as UBS, Barclays and Credit Suisse to share more information on his transactions with them.

    According to probe agencies, Ali took unaccounted black money from Indian politicians out of the country through the hawala channel and parked them in bank accounts in various countries across the globe, especially Mauritius.

    He would then bring this money back to India, invest it in the stock market through participatory notes to buy up shares for people named by the politicians. At times, the money would come in as foreign investment straight into companies floated by friends and family of these politicians.

    "In those years, especially the late 1990s and early 2000s, the stock markets had huge black money riding on it, which was often untraceable. Ali smartly bought participatory notes which were not required to be registered with SEBI. In the same fashion, some of the money would also come into companies that would have a beneficiary of the politician's family or in some cases, a completely new business entity in the name of a beneficiary of the politician," said a source close to the probe agencies. Through this strategy, Ali is believed to have pumped in money into the businesses of the son-in-law of one of these former CMs.

    Ali was remanded to four days' custody of the enforcement directorate (ED) on March 17. His custodial interrogation was extended by the Supreme Court by another three days.

    Ali has told his interrogators that between 1990 to 2000, he got in touch with several top bureaucrats as well, who like the politicians wanted him to launder their ill-gotten wealth. "He says these introductions then became permanent contacts and he did launder money for them several times, also getting his own share of the profit from these transactions. However, he claims that he was just a small fish in the entire episode," said another official source.

    Officials however are not yet ready to give out the names of the politicians, bureaucrats or bankers whose names Ali has allegedly revealed. They are piecing the hawala jigsaw together to crack the case before letting out the details of the network. Ali's claims of laundering black money for politicians and bureaucrats probably explain why no probe was initiated against him for a very long time.

    According to sources, Ali has told investigators that he did not have any direct links with most politicians whose money he handled but were in fact introduced to them by his friends and partners in his hawala affairs.

    Although he claims to be a small fish, the investigators are not willing to buy the claim. The ED has apparently sought explanation from Ali regarding the initial deposit of Rs 5 crore in his bank account with the UBS Bank, Singapore, in 1982, which mysteriously grew to US $1 billion (`4,500 crore at current conversion rates) in 1999, a year-and-a-half before the 9/11 attacks in the US.

    "This aspect of his business is something we must look into as his close connections with Adnan Khashoggi, the international arms dealer, run very thick," says an official. Investigators probing the Pune businessman's accounts have found a phenomenal jump in his assets after 2001, with money coming in from 'suspicious' accounts from countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, among others.

    The date is significant because investigators believe that after the terror attacks in September 2001, the US and other countries had stopped transactions of money in different bank accounts related to terrorist organisations. Ali's account on the other hand just kept growing with money flowing in from many Middle Eastern countries. This has what raised eyebrows among the many investigating agencies.

    " The money could have been routed to his account as other banks were being pressured to freeze accounts. This explains how the money in his account jumped from a few hundred crores to thousands of crores.

    The alarming jump and the freezing of funds after the terror attack could not be a coincidence," said an investigator.

    The Comptroller and Auditor General's report ( CAG report) indicates how Ali's income jumped from Rs 529 crore in 2001- 2002 to Rs 5,404 crore in 2002- 2003.

    From here, it kept soaring as Rs 54,268.6 crore were accumulated in his account in 2006- 2007. Investigators believe that Ali's income did not match with the money coming in to his account.

    " He has claimed to be a businessman, a stud farm owner and a scrap dealer. However, even if you do all this together you can't have so much money in your account," said the investigator. He said that Ali has not been able to explain where the money had come from.

    " Forget about the thousands of crores. To date, Ali has not been able to explain the source of Rs 5 crore, which was the initial deposit in his UBS Bank account in Singapore in 1982. Apart from arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, we believe he could be in touch with other sources too," said the officer.

    It remains to be seen whether the ED would seriously investigate or simply ignore Ali's revelations as the agency has been unable to initiate any action since 2007 against the money- launderer, until the SC rapped the government on its knuckles. The ED's veil of secrecy on Ali's revelations also does not inspire confidence that it will pursue the hawala trail.
    Hasan Ali laundered money for 3 former Maharashtra CMs
    Comment: We now know how bankrupt Pakistan is getting money for financing Terror Activities around the globe. Shame on Indian Hawala Money Launderers.
    Did Dawood invest in 2G? Was this fuelling and financing Terrorist Activities worldwide? Click here to learn more

    Army lands in land row in Hastings, Kolkata

    Headlines Today Bureau | Kolkata, March 21, 2011 | Updated 17:51 IST

    Even as the Indian Army faces heat over serious land scams, another scandal has come to light in Hastings, Kolkata, where a 5-star hotel has been under construction for the past one-and-a-half years.
    Hastings is a restricted zone where no building of any kind can come up without an NOC from the General Officer Commanding, Bengal Area. But according to documents available exclusively with Headlines Today, the 5-star hotel came up without the requisite NOC from the Army. It is to be noted, that even after the irregularity came to the Army's notice, the GOC in an internal report, recommended that a one-time exception be made for the construction of the 5-star hotel despite guidelines, which clearly state that such buildings should be demolished.
    After Headlines Today started investigating the matter, the Army GOC made an about-turn, seeking the immediate demolition of the 5-star building.
    The 14-storey 5-star hotel was 70 per cent complete when the demolition order came. The property in Hastings is right next to the military area which houses the Bengal Area Head Quarters as well as the Eastern Command HQ of the Army.
    There has been no reply to the question, which Headlines Today posed to the Army, as to how this structure came up right under the Army's nose without an NOC till now.
    Kolkata: Army lands in hotel row

    NEW RULES FOR DEFENCE LAND USE- Military Powers to be degraded?
    Defence minister AK Antony told parliamentarians the management of 17 lakh acres under his Ministry has been in focus following several scams. A new policy is being crafted that will address the issue of noc (no objection certificates) in cases where the local laws require consultation with Local Military Authorities for allowing construction of buildings on land adjacent to defence installations. In cases where the local laws do not provide for it, the local Military authorities will not directly issue noc, especially to private builders. Admitting ‘gaps’ in the system, Antony said the Ministry was according top priority to computerise land records. He said that the government would amend the Works of Defence Act, 1903, which provided for restrictions on building activity around defence installations so that it was made relevant to present day situations. The Act had not been amended for the last over 100 years.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Understanding of One Rank One Pension by the Service Headquarters

    In his exclusive interaction with the Asia Defence News Editor-in-Chief P N Khera, the AG, Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, who looks every bit a tough combat commander, spoke from a golden heart about the memorable mission he was destined to perform.
    Transcripts of Interview: ONE-RANK ONE-PENSION
    PNK: There are great expectations about the soldier’s dream of one-rank one-pension coming true one day. What would be its impact on the morale of the soldiers when its is approved by the Government?
    AG: The demand for grant of one-rank one-pension has been raised by the ex-Servicemen fraternity since the last few decades. Our main concern has been our JCOs and OR. About 80 to 90 per cent aspirations of JCOs and OR have been met to bring in uniformity in pension of people who retired earlier and who are retiring now. However, issue related to the officers is complex. It can simply be gauged from the fact that 30 years back pension was based on the pay drawn at that time. Now after 30 years pay bands of officers have changed drastically which has raised the complex issue of how do you equalize the two cases. Hence the case is being deliberated upon and it is hoped that government is going to take a pragmatic view on it. Ameliorating this demand is a constant endeavour of both Ministry of Defence and the Service Headquarters.
    Asia Defence News- Interview with Adjutant General
    Click here to read the full Interview- Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Welfare, Empowerment Projects and Strategy

    OROP for JCO's and Other Ranks: The Ground Reality
    Dear Colleagues,
    This evening I was interacting with a senior serving officer during a social do. He mentioned that for JCOs and Other Ranks the OROP is ‘almost’ granted. The conviction with which he spoke left no doubt that he fully believed in what he had stated. When the Government representative makes such a statement on TV, we can assume he has a stake and motivation in saying so, but the serving personnel thinking on these lines is only out of ignorance, which is most unfortunate.
    Take an example of the lowest rank of a Sepoy of Group ‘Y’ who retires after 17 Years of service. The figure for pre-2006 pension (after the enhancement of 08.03.2010 has been factored in) is Rs 4971.00 while for his counterpart who retired on 31.01.2006 the figure is Rs 6850.00 which is 38% higher. This is just the basic pension without taking the ever increasing DA into account.
    It will be good that we pass this around and inform maximum number of ESM and our uniformed brethren.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Indian National Congress promises Department for Ex Servicemen Welfare

    The Congress Agenda Promises Defence
    Safeguarding India’s territorial integrity and unity against overt or covert external aggression is the supreme responsibility of the Government. Fashioning clear defense policies with precise consensus in priorities is required for the purpose. Keeping the nation’s armed forces fully prepared, backed up by necessary resources is important.
    The Congress, if elected to power, will:
    1. Speedily implement the recommendations made for the reforms and reconstructing of defense organizations and the armed forces of the country.
    2. Congress will integrate the Defense Military with the Headquarters of the three services (Army, Navy, and the Air Force) with uniformed officers being given a participatory role in the formulation of defence policies and the higher management of national defence.
    3. The Congress will allocate necessary financial resources for the defence of the country. Including special allocations for research and development and modernization of defence technology for the country. The functioning of the DRDO will be reviewed so as to impart a new element of dynamism.
    4. The Congress will take steps to develop and deploy human resources for national defence.
    5. The Congress will take necessary steps to fine tune the higher command for India’s nuclear and missile capacities.
    6. The Congress will safeguard and maintain these capacities at appropriate level in the context of changing security environments, particularly in the Asian region.
    7. The Congress will improve the terms of service and serving conditions of the armed forces personnel.
    8. The Congress will also give special attention to the re-settlement and welfare of retired personnel from the armed forces of the country and their families. A separate Department of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare will be established in the Ministry of Defence and cooperatives of ex-servicemen will be mobilized extensively in tasks of nation-building like afforestation, literacy, management of ration shops, etc.
    9. The Congress will attend to organizational problems, which have for long affected the armed forces, and will take purposive action to resolve these problems in terms of recruitment, ensuring of appropriate levels in the armed forces establishments.
    10. The Congress will rationalize the salary and pension payments to the armed forces with the objective of maximum benefit to armed forces personnel, responsive to the higher responsibilities of national defence which they discharge.
    Indian National Congress Agenda- Defence

    Status of the Department of Ex Servicemen's Welfare (with Ref ser 8 click links below)
  • When the Government Becomes an Adversary of its Ex-servicemen
  • ESW Department becomes a Cosmetic Bureaucratic Appendage
  • Readers Responses to Injustice to Ex Servicemen and Cancerous Corruption

    Dear Colleagues,
    This evening I was interacting with a senior serving officer during a social do. He mentioned that for JCOs and Other Ranks the OROP is ‘almost’ granted. The conviction with which he spoke left no doubt that he fully believed in what he had stated. When the Government representative makes such a statement on TV, we can assume he has a stake and motivation in saying so, but the serving personnel thinking on these lines is only out of ignorance, which is most unfortunate.
    Take an example of the lowest rank of a Sepoy of Group ‘Y’ who retires after 17 Years of service. The figure for pre-2006 pension (after the enhancement of 08.03.2010 has been factored in) is Rs 4971.00 while for his counterpart who retired on 31.01.2006 the figure is Rs 6850.00 which is 38% higher. This is just the basic pension without taking the ever increasing DA into account.
    It will be good that we pass this around and inform maximum number of ESM and our uniformed brethren.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Sh Anna Hazare is one of us - A VETERAN - we must do everything possible to support his cause. Those in NCR must make it a point to sit with him for sometime on fast under the banner of IESM as our organisation is supporting the `fight against corruption`. Infact we must support all such movements, whether they are by Baba Ramdev/Kiran Bedi/etc as it will bring our movement under the public eye. Let us be apolitical for a change !!!
    Brig SS Jaswal, Veteran Madras Sapper

    Brig Kamboj,
    We congratulate Anna Hazare for his commitment "unto death" that the Lok Pal Bill is correctly worded and implemented by the Government.
    His life is as precious as that of the Supreme Commander or the Prime Minister In Waiting, Mr Rahul Gandhi, MP. Why should the rulers, the cabinet, the Clergy (i.e., "sadhus, sants, gurus, swamys & preachers"), the ex servicemen & women, and the whole nation watch the tragedy helplessly with apathy?
    Higher powers have their own agenda and permanent interests. They have made a rich life of comfort and luxury for themselves and love status quo and inertia. They want none to "wake up the sleeping dogs" and they want nothing to"rock the boat". They will persist in their ways,
    In the political climate, as "callous & corrupt" as in Bharat, they will be asking themselves the question, "Will two million citizens gather to protest in anger after his death?"
    If the answer is "YES", they will take note and act quickly in order to save the Bhawan and Secretariate from going up in flames. Gandhiji was not sure of even half a million men gathering anywhere to back his cry for Akhand Bharat. So he did not undertake "fast unto death" even for the highest ideal of keeping India united!
    63 years after Independence the "Sarkar" still seems to think of Anna Hazare what the British thought of Gandhiji.
    RS Rajput veteran (UK)

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    There is need for all of us to write letters as suggested by Gen Bahri.
    Do not be a silent spectator to this All India Movement by Indian Military Veterans.
    Take active part. Each one of you is an important member.
    Unless WE ALL stand shoulder to shoulder, these incompetent and self- centred Politicians and Babus will keep dodging us and will deny justice to us.
    Vande Matram
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    Dear Chander and fellow Veterans,
    Gen Bahri's letter has been 'universally' acclaimed, on its merits. I too had joined the chorus and applauded his courage and the 'energy' level of his thrust- had even agreed to follow up?
    No question therefore of any 'namby-pamby' dumbing down of the vigour or rigour of the Movement; as implied by some (expat) friends.
    My 'post' on the topic, however, had an aim-plus - reflecting some nuanced and targetted implications for the leaders. Am not surprised, therefore, that some Veterans have misperceived those, due to the unfamiliar narrative.
    I respect everyone's right to hold and express any views - hence am generally averse to 'clarifications'. Am making an exception to obviate distorted perception of two substantive issues(incl one red-flag):
  • The imperative need for a 'strategised bundle' of weighted thrusts for a successful outcome. This must be part of a dynamic process/mechanism. No amount of stand-alone or randomly coordinated, fitful/ repeated aggressive rallies or bunch of ex-VIP letters can be a substitute. To illustrate; even if all the former chiefs/ vices/ army cdrs represented, most vociferously and in unison, it may make no more than a little/ no dent! If there are 'limits' to the serving Chiefs powers/ influence ability; whither the Retired? Am I just nit-picking? No, Sir. Have offered constructive suggestions on this aspect, from time to time to the Core Gp(kind attn:Veteran Bhupal).
  • It would be fatal for IESM to fall prey to 'extremist/ agitational chatter' eg let us consider Bainsla model or immature/ abusive net- discourse. There is a perceptible increase in this- hence my sharpish remark of 'undignified immaturity';, which my old friend Bhimmy (Gen Bhimayya) totally misconstrued in the US.
    Indeed, the present Leadership is categorically committed to avoid this 'red- flag' and to maintain discipline and decorum. Yet, the chatter itself is disconcerting to many, who have the Chetwodian values embedded. The 'put-offing' remark was in this context.
    I am happy that Raj Kadyan in his Sitrep has clearly disparaged this trend. Am also delighted about Hon'ble MP Chandra Shekar's recourse to the Appeals Committee of the Parliament. Augurs well; yet be prepared for a very long haul.
    With best wishes.
    Yoginder Sharma (Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander)

    I would like to submit a few points, from personal experience.
    Firstly, there is nothing called the 'government', at least from the point of view of getting after you. Yes there are various groups, or 'mafias'. There is one of senior babus, another of spooks (IB, RAW etc), another one of cops (Special Cell) and so on. But none of them can get after you.
    After RAW launched the prosecution against me for writing a book that revealed corruption and indiscipline in that organsiation, they did get after me. They tried to plant documents, manufacture witnessess and so on. But they did not succeed. each time I got wind of it, I would shoot off a letter to the PM and the UPA Chairperson.
    Ultimately, they gave up, though the case is still in court my phones are still tapped and so is my Internet. But I am keeping them busy. I have lodged several cases of my own against various agencies, for singling me out, while people who have written similar books and articles - mostly ex spooks - are not touched. Also, the corrupt officers I have named remain untouched.
    Coming to the writng of letters to Ministers and MPs, it is a wasteful exercise. I wrote to almost every MP, giving them a gist of my case and asking for their help and support, as they did for Iftikhar Gilani (he was released after spending 5 months in jail for a fabricated case, after the Home Minister ordered the case to be dropped, thanks to the intervention of the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, and pressure form the media and MPs). You know how many replies I got? Just two. They expressed sympathy, but that was all. I have met various other people, such as KP Singh Deo, Veerappa Moily etc. All to no avail.
    I understand tht the UPA will give us OROP just before the next election, when they can get some mileage out of it. Till then, there is little chance. Of course, we must not give up, lest the campaign loses steam.
    Maj Gen VK Singh Veteran
  • Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Punjab enhances welfare funds for Veterans

    3-fold hike in Sainik welfare Budget- Non-plan expenses up 11 pc by Vijay Mohan
    Tribune News Service Chandigarh, March 14
    Though no new welfare schemes have been announced, a three-fold increase in the planned expenditure by the Department of Defence Services Welfare has been proposed in the state Budget for 2011-12, while the department’s non-planned Budget is earmarked to rise by about 11 per cent.

    The non-planned Budget, which relates to establishment-oriented expenditure and recurring expenses, has been pegged at Rs 23.5 crore for the coming fiscal as compared to Rs 21.1 crore for 2010-11.

    Similarly, the planned expenditure, which relates to various welfare schemes and other projects introduced or approved by the state government from time to time, is set to rise to Rs 13 crore from Rs 4.1 crore.

    The combined expenditure for this department for 2011-12 is pegged at Rs 36.5 crore vis-à-vis Rs 25.2 crore for 2010-11, representing an overall increase of over Rs 11 crore or close to 45 per cent. Punjab has 2.87 lakh ex-servicemen and 53,000 widows.

    For the next fiscal, Rs 2 crore has been proposed to meet the expenditure relating to grant of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of battle casualties in lieu of a plot. Last year the Budget on this account was Rs 4 crore. Departmental sources said that as of now there were no pending cases in the state on this account and payments would be made as and when fresh cases came in. However, the cases for grant of land to 28 war widows of the 1971 Indo-Pak war have still not been resolved.

    The planned segment proposed today also includes Rs 6 crore for the construction of Sainik Rest House and Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum at Ludhiana. Coaching classes for entry into service academies, training of wards of ex-servicemen, grant to Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre and ex-gratia to families of martyrs are among schemes falling in this segment. The increase in the Budget also caters to 40 per cent hike in the allowances of gallantry award winners introduced in December 2010 and grant of Rs 1 lakh announced last year to every candidate who enters a service academy for training as an officer.
    3-fold hike in Sainik welfare Budget

    Demand for One Rank One Pension- Budget wish list of Veterans

    The ex-servicemen say that they have been demanding 'One rank one pension' and it is time they get what they deserve. It has been promised many times but hasn't been delivered till now.

    Role for Indian Veterans
    Military veterans are a body of relatively young, physically fit, disciplined men, experienced in work in difficult, risky and dangerous conditions. They have special economic problems on retirement from military service because of their young age (32-40 years) at retirement. This has led to repeated peaceful demands over decades for one-rank-one-pension (OROP), which have been systematically neglected by successive governments.
    If veterans engage peacefully in national issues in addition to their on-going OROP demand, it can influence the general public and through them, governments, to deliver better governance within India's constitutional framework, especially in the north-eastern states and Kashmir, and in the central Indian states that are increasingly subject to police repression of Maoist violence. The present article suggests the wider benefits that may accrue from such national involvement of veterans.
    About the Author
    Major General S.G. Vombatkere retired as the Additional Director General, Discipline & Vigilance in Army HQ, New Delhi , after 35 years in the Indian Army with combat, staff and technical experience. The President of India awarded him the Visishta Seva Medal in 1993 for distinguished service rendered in Ladakh. He holds a Ph.D degree in Structural Dynamics from IIT, Madras . He coordinates and lectures a Course on Science, Technology and Sustainable Development for undergraduate students of University of Iowa , USA , and two universities of Canada, who spend a semester at Mysore as part of their Studies Abroad in South India. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of the University of Iowa.
    National Role For India's Veterans- click here to read the full article

    Adarsh Scam: Defence ministry says land title not in its name

    Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN | Mar 19, 2011, 12.04am IST
    MUMBAI: In a new twist to the row over the ownership of a prime plot of land allotted to the scam-rocked Adarsh society, the defence ministry has submitted that it does not reflect in the military register. The ministry also said the title of the land was not recorded in its name.

    The startling submission was made by defence ministry under-secretary K B Nayyar in response to a writ petition filed by the Adarsh cooperative housing society against the state government, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the ministry.

    "Although the plot does not reflect in the military land register, the ministry is considering adopting appropriate proceedings to assert its title over the land once the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe is complete. At this stage, I therefore do not deal with the society's assertions of title although none of them are admitted by me," Nayyar said in a 22-page affidavit before the Bombay high court on January 24, 2011.

    Nayyar said merely because the plot was not reflected in the military land register, it did not mean that the ministry of defence was not its owner and that the entry in favour of the society in the property card cannot confer the title on the petitioners.

    Nayyar said the right to own, possess and occupy land in the reclaimed block VI of Colaba was created in favour of the defence ministry by the state government. However, the state government did not formally record the title of any land to the ministry of defence in lieu of defence land from the Santa Cruz rifle range, nor did it pay the armed forces anything for the defence land at Santa Cruz.

    Nayyar submitted that the army was in "occupation and possession" of the Adarsh land, until possession of the plot was obtained by the state government and allotted to the society.

    "It appears that officers of the defence estate issued letters falsely stating the plot was the state government's. The ministry has asked the CBI to probe the matter, and it is expected that the questions, like why the letters were issued, why the army officers did not object to the plot being allotted to the society and how the state government/society obtained possession, will be probed by the CBI," Nayyar submitted.

    The case filed by the CBI appears to be based on the contention of the defence ministry that the land belongs to it.

    The Mumbai collector has already submitted that the land belongs to the state government, but it was in the defence ministry's possession. Notwithstanding the contention of the Mumbai collector and defence ministry, the state government set up a commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act to probe if the land allotted to Adarsh society belonged to the state government, any other person or organization.
    Defence ministry says land title not in its name

    Comment: Savvy (Mumbai)
    15 hrs ago (02:47 PM)
    The plot was always under Army occupation and completely within the security area of Colaba. If it was state land, why no action was taken by the State Govt when the Kukri park was inaugurated the then GOC Maj Gen Cariappa in 1996. There are many many cases where the state govt revenue department do not bother to carry out mutation of land title even after decades. However, one important point which has so far not recieved the deserved attention is the business angle. The main game and main objective of the core group of Adarsh, that is RC Thakur, Gidwani, Brig Wanchu, Commander Pilo, Maj Gen Kaul etc will have additional benami flats for the purpose of selling and make very huge profits. Maj Gen Kaul is known to have 3 flats- straightaway 30 crores and now Gidwani is also exposed. One is doubtful also how much money these people have paid officially as they have been the main people processing the case and giving protection. THERE IS NO FREE SERVICE. But yes finally they are exposed. Although the money involved in the scam may not be as huge as 2G or other scams, but this is an unique scam in the sense that in post independent India- there is not a single case where 2 army chiefs, one vice chief, one GOC in C, many Generals and Brigadiers, one naval chief, vice Admirals, 3 Chief Ministers, sundry politicians, a dozen senior IAS officers and others bureucrats were involved. Fortunately nobody from the media and judiciary.


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