Saturday, January 14, 2012

IAS Officer of 1976 Batch fine tunes corruption in Tamilnadu

The Hindu: CHENNAI, January 14, 2012
TNPSC Chairman quits over graft charges

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Chairman R. Sellamuthu, who is facing allegations of corruption in recruitment of candidates, has submitted his resignation to Governor K. Rosaiah highly placed sources said.

His resignation, submitted to the Governor on Thursday, came ahead of searches across the State by the vigilance directorate police on Friday at the residences of candidates allegedly recruited by corrupt means. The Governor's office is learnt to have referred the matter to the State government, and a formal notification will be issued after the resignation is accepted.

Mr. Sellamuthu, an IAS officer of the 1976 batch, was appointed to the post in January 2010, when the DMK government was in office. His term was due to end in June this year on his attaining the age of 62.

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had registered a criminal case against Mr. Sellamuthu and all the 13 Members of the TNPSC following allegations of corrupt practices in the recruitment of candidates to various posts, including Group-I Services. The case was based on a complaint by TNPSC Secretary T. Udhayachandran, who wrote to the Chief Secretary about certain irregularities. When investigators searched the premises of 53 candidates in 21 districts on Friday, a majority of them allegedly admitted to having paid huge bribes to TNPSC members to get full marks in the interview. “Many of the candidates are in Government service now. They gave details of the bribe paid to the members through middlemen. The searches were based on evidence that the candidates paid bribes to get full marks in various recruitments conducted by the TNPSC… candidates who paid bribes got 100 per cent marks in the personal interview,” an investigator said.

When the DVAC conducted searches on the premises of TNPSC members, officials and middlemen late last year, names, registration numbers or answer scripts of candidates were found. Some members even had unofficial copies of an unpublished list of selected candidates to various posts for which the TNPSC conducted the recruitment.

Cyber security experts of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Thiruvananthapuram, who seized the TNPSC server and other gadgets for analysis on December 13, are expected to submit their findings soon.

In a separate development, Nallathambi, an advocate of Madurai, lodged a complaint with the Police Commissioner here that he paid Rs. 67 lakh to one Uma Maheswari who, he alleged, had promised to get him the post of Member, TNPSC. However, she neither got him the post nor returned the money.

Nallathambi is the younger brother of former Assembly Speaker K Kalimuthu. Ms. Uma Maheswari, who also came to the Police Commissioner's office, maintained that she had never met the complainant. Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy said the matter was referred to the Central Crime Branch for investigation.
TNPSC Chairman quits over graft charges

Composition of TNPSC
Thiru R.Sellamuthu,I.A.S (Retd.) Hon'ble Chairman 044-28297765
Thiru M. Ramasamy Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.303
Thiru T.Sankaralingam Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.305
Dr.K.Lakshmanan Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.307
Tmt.M.Shobini Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.309
Dr.S.Xavier Jesu Raja Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.405
Dr. K. M. Ravi Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.409
Thiru. G. Shanmuga Murugan Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.402
Thiru. K. K. Raja Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92 ext.407
Dr. S. Panneerselvam Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92
Thiru V. Rathinasabapathy Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92
Dr. P. Perumalsamy Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92
Thiru T. Kuppusamy Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92
Thiru G. Selvamani Hon'ble Member 044-28297584-86,91-92

The Commission meets at frequent intervals and hands down necessary rules, policies, guidelines and decisions on various issues arising from time to time. The Secretary to the Commission holds responsibility of ensuring implementation of its' various decisions, besides handling day-to-day administration, departmental promotion committees, oral tests for recruitment, etc. The Controller of Exams is responsible for notifying and conducting recruitment and departmental exams.
Currently, the above posts are manned by:
Thiru. T.Udhaya Chandran, I.A.S., Secretary 044-28297767
Thiru. Anil Meshram, I.A.S., Controller of Examinations 044-28297768

Comment: All properties of Corrupt bureaucrats must be confiscated through court orders and converted to schools or libraries for benefit of citizens whose tax payers money has been squandered by IAS mafia.

Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

Shri Prasanna Kumar Pincha Appointed as Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Government of India has appointed Shri Prasanna Kumar Pincha as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. Shri Pincha has assumed charge w.e.f. 28th December, 2011 accordingly. It is for the first time ever that a person with disability has been appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the country.

The CCPD is appointed by the Government as per the Section 57 of the Persons with Disability Act, 1995. The appointment of Mr. Pincha comes at a very important time as the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is also in the process of finalization of new Act for the Persons with Disability. In this regard Union Minister, Shri Mukul Wasnik, is taking keen interest in the proposed new Act for PwDs, which in many ways would be compliant with UNCRPD.

A Disability Rights Activist of caliber, Shri Pincha is Visually Disabled since his birth. Shri Pincha is a former Founder Principal of the Government Institute for the Blinds in Jorhat, Assam, Former Joint Director of Social Welfare of Government of Assam, Former Regional – Senior Manager of ActionAid (an international NGO) of the North-East of India and a Former Senior Manager-cum-Theme Leader looking after ActionAid’s work on the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He was also associated with the National Human Rights Commission as its Special Rapporteur (Persons with Disabilities) prior to assumption of charge by him as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

A Law Graduate and a Masters Degree holder in English, Shri Pincha is particularly known for his legal and judicial advocacy. He is also the recipient of a National Award of Best Employee (Visually Disabled) in the year 1999 instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India and given away by erstwhile President of India. SKS/-
(Release ID :79575)
Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

CBI to probe sale of Army plot to private builder in Mumbai

TNN: Jan 14, 2012
NEW DELHI: The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) into Maharashtra government's decision to sell a plot of just over an acre, occupied by the Army in suburban Kandivli, to a private company. The PE was registered on the basis of a report received from the additional director general, discipline and vigilance, (Army).

"It was alleged in the report that certain senior Army officers while serving in the Southern Command committed gross misconduct in as much as a plot of land which was in the possession of Central Ordnance Depot (COD), was relinquished unauthorisedly and later on, the same was sold to M/s Neo Pharma ( Kalpataru Builders)," CBI said in a statement.

According to the anti-corruption wing of CBI, Kalpataru constructed a 31-storey apartment on the plot which overlooks the ordnance depot of the Army and thereby compromises security of the depot.

The case is similar to the Adarsh housing society scam in which the defence ministry had alleged that state government officials had in connivance with private persons handed over the land which was under Army's possession.

According to the Army, in June 2007, the government sold the land for Rs 5.94 crore despite objections by the defence ministry.

The land now houses the car park and recreation area of the 31-storey Kalpataru Towers that has been built on an adjoining private plot.
CBI to probe sale of Army plot to private builder in Mumbai

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Babus and Bureaucracy make Citizens CRAZY

The a to Z of indian bureaucracy
Twenty six ways in which Indian babus are making a mockery of governance, ethics and public service.

For months, the media in Delhi screamed hoarse that the planned ‘BRT corridor’ scheme dreamt up by a few babus of the transport department is a disaster. The bureaucrats blithely went about imposing this nightmare on citizens of Delhi with traffic jams becoming the norm. Now the babus arrogantly blame citizens of Delhi for choosing cars over murderous buses for commuting to office! A babu without arrogance would be like a dodo... Extinct

Like all bullies, the babu rides roughshod over those below him and fawns obsequiously on his masters. You only have to watch the rude and callous manner in which a bureaucrat behaves with a citizen who has gone to his office for some work. And then compare his behaviour in front of a politician in power. The ‘public servant’ is actually the ‘master’ of the public and the ‘servant of the ‘master’ – usually a minister, and sometimes a mafia don!

This is synonymous with Indian babudom. Whether you are the aam aadmi or a billionaire, your file won’t move an inch unless cash changes hands under the table. In the 1980s, the Octroi department in then Bombay went on a strike & army officials manned the check posts. The strike was withdrawn after the media reported that Octroi collections had gone up by more than 500%.

Delay & denial
Perhaps except the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro, no project ever undertaken by an Indian babu ever finishes on time. There are some irrigation projects that are in the process of completion for the last 30 years! Delays are always deliberate because they throw open more opportunities for ‘money on the side’. And of course, whenever the media or the judiciary highlights the delay, the Pavlovian reflex of the Indian bureaucrat is to deny, and then deny some more.

Enquiry & extension
If corruption and sordid acts are the dirt, the omnipresent ‘Enquiry Committee’ is the proverbial carpet under which the dirt has been carefully hidden. The principal purpose of the Enquiry committee is to delay, and then deny in the hope that the media and the public will eventually forget about the case. In English, enquiry rhymes with another interesting word called bury! Bureaucrats never ever retire; they just keep getting those ‘extensions’!

That one word can neatly sum up the history of the Indian bureaucracy after independence in 1947. Worse, babus find it difficult to digest the fact that entrepreneurs can usually do a better job. So you will see bureaucrats banning ‘private’ bus operators and forcing citizens to take state run buses that don’t run. So you will see envious bureaucrats ‘de-recognising’ or not recognising world class centres of higher education. Perhaps their biggest failure till date has been their total inability to kill the great Indian spirit!

There is a saying about the Emergency: they crawled when they were asked to bend. That can neatly sum up the behaviour and attitude of most bureaucrats in independent India. It is virtually impossible for a minister to get a babu sacked; and yet bureaucrats crawl before netas and justify their behaviour by whining that they are otherwise harassed.

You would associate this term usually with dealers in a casino. But Indian babus have become masters of the game. Just look at how Sudhir Goswami hustled his way into the cover of Time Magazine as one of the Indian heroes. It is only much later that dumb struck Indians found out that Goswami was lining his pockets and bank accounts with money meant for flood relief! And does any one remember Ashok Agarwal, the Enforcement Directorate official who turned black mailing into a fine art!

Impose inefficiently
When corruption, delays, denials and hustling don’t work, the Indian babu resorts to ‘imposing’ rules and regulations. It is a different matter that the bureaucrat performs even this destructive act very inefficiently! Impose price controls if inflation hurts people so that they are hurt even more. Impose quotas at the behest of political masters. Impose rules which entrepreneurs have to break if they want to run a successful business.

The Indian bureaucrat has acquired and mastered the legendary act of justifying anything and everything. File a request under the Right to Information Act and the babu will deny access to it. He will then justify his cussed behaviour because it involves something termed as ‘national security’. Ask a bureaucrat about delays in construction of national highways and you will get simply no response, He will justify his stonewalling in the name of ‘public interest’!

If Franz Kafka had encountered Indian babus, his novels would have been even more depressing and disturbing. Analysts are sadly mistaken when they call Kafka’s writings surreal; they perhaps meant the Indian bureaucracy. A Kafkaesque bureaucracy is “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity”. B&E challenges entrepreneurs and citizens to say confidently that they understand the frighteningly complex jargon that is used by babus.

Arguably the third most favourite sport of the bureaucrats after corruption and delays. When denials and stone walling don’t work, just resort to outright lies. The Indian babu will lie about files, projects, public interest, national security, corruption, delays, hustling and any other act that might embarrass the bureaucrat individually or the bureaucracy collectively. Thanks to judicial activism and some bureaucrats being sent behind bars for contempt of court, babus are now wary of using this weapon!

If Jack Welch would watch an Indian babu ‘manage’ something, he might just end up committing suicide. With extremely rare and honourable exceptions, almost every thing that a bureaucrat touches turns into dust. When babus announce a grand new plan to increase electricity and water supply to citizens, the taps dry up and the lights go out. When they announce a plan to tackle monsoon in Bombay, even Dalal Street virtually shuts down because no one can reach office! And of course, they then justify it in public interest!

Like the courtiers of the Mughal era, Indian babus-thanks to their access to the new kings and queens of India (Ministers, MPs and MLAs)-are perpetually trying to curry a favour or two for themselves and their family members. The best overseas scholarships are thus ‘reserved’ for children of bureaucrats. Some of the best jobs in the private sector are thus ‘reserved’ for the children of bureaucrats. And some of the best college seats in India are thus ‘reserved’ for the blessed progeny of these new age courtiers!

Quite mysteriously, the ‘If they don’t have bread, let them eat cake’ persona of the French Revolution has been transplanted into Indian bureaucracy. Cocooned in their bungalows and VIP areas, the Indian babu is utterly oblivious to what is happening in the rest of the country. The babu is oblivious of the fact that 300 million Indians are starving; that roads don’t exist in much of India, that water and electricity are mirages for the aam aadmi, that…The only thing they are not oblivious to is their ‘status’.

Like bacteria and termites, Indian babus have proliferated and invaded virtually every sphere of activity in the country. No wonder businessmen and citizens say that our system is rotten to the core. Indian babus run companies, they manage climate control, they run the Railways, they operate fleets of buses and aircraft, they run duty free shops, they run anti-poverty programs, they run schools and colleges and hospitals… They might start running modelling agencies and spas too. In short, proliferating bureaucrats have run India to the ground!

When the first bureaucrat in the history of mankind had a fantasy, he saw a long and winding queue of forlorn, dejected and frustrated people. That day, God was perhaps in a bad mood and condemned mankind to a life time of queuing up. For Indian babus, the ultimate high is making citizens stand in never ending queues-for money, for ration, for tickets, for liquor, for passports and even for death certificates. Of course, queues are meant only for the public, not for ‘public servants’!

Red tape
The ubiquitous file tied up in red thread is the ultimate symbol of the corrosive and destructive powers of Indian bureaucracy. It is as dangerous as the Swastika of Nazis; as devastating as the Red Star of Stalin and Mao and as vainglorious as the Eagle of the United States. The Indian babu starts getting withdrawal symptoms if he is not surrounded by musty files; many of which have perhaps not been opened for decades. Red Tape is the Bramhastra that is used by babus to systematically throttle India Inc.

Many at B&E suggested socialism & sadistic as a better option than sycophancy. Eventually, the consensus was that arrogance coupled with sycophancy is the Yin & Yang of Indian bureaucracy. The sycophancy is reserved only for the powers that be-for the criminal turned neta who has become a minister, for superiors who can gift plum postings and assignments and for very rich entrepreneurs who lavish money on the bureaucrats.

Indian bureaucrats are always feverishly praying for natural and man made tragedies and disasters to strike India. A minor flood is welcome; a drought is even better and a disaster like an earthquake or a super cyclone is heaven sent. A tragedy means ‘relief’ money from government coffers and an opportunity to make enough to build another house or two. Now you know why sincere and dedicated babus fight to have their districts declared ‘drought prone’!

Hare brained ideas and schemes have become the monopoly of Indian bureaucracy. One day, you will have the Lt. Governor of Delhi thinking aloud that I-cards for people from U.P. and Bihar might be a good idea. The other day, you will have another babu stipulate that a homeless destitute must provide proof of residence before he gets free food. Soon, expect a bunch of sycophantic babus kowtowing to a neta and drawing up legislation for reservations in the private sector.

This term just about pipped the word vindictive to the post. Whether it is the annual function of a school or college or a gathering of India’s top businessmen, the Indian bureaucrat is in his element when he gets a chance to deliver a ‘lecture’. Hypocritical words tumble out of his mouth like honey laced with arsenic. Children & businessmen have no choice but to suffer in silence for a vindictive bureaucrat is worse than a verbose one!

Four synonyms for the term wanton are-uncalled for, needless, meaningless and reckless. But wait, the wanton behaviour of the Indian babu is on display on selective occasions. Over cautious bureaucrats suddenly turn decisively over zealous when it comes to squandering tax payers’ money on fancy schemes that only line up their pockets and that of politicians.

When all else – including corruption, delays, denials, hustling, nepotism, red tapism and sycophancy – fails, the Indian babu resorts to the good old pass the buck game and starts blaming ‘foreign powers’ for all the ills that bedevil India. The foreign power could be the CIA, it could be terrorists from Pakistan, it could be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, it could be the insidious designs of China and it could be a conspiracy of developed countries to deny prosperity to India.

Yes minister
Most readers of B&E must be familiar with this hilarious and yet poignant book and British TV series. Just in case you are not, it is a series of episodes where bumbling but clubby bureaucrats make fools out of vain glorious politicians in the U.K. In India, it is difficult to say who is making a fool of whom. But one thing is for sure, both bureaucrats and ministers are sure making fools of Indian citizens. Not just some of the people some of the time. But all the people, all the time!

Zero sum game
In this game, one of the two participants has to necessarily lose. More importantly, the quantum of gains that are made by the winner is exactly the same as the quantum of losses. In India, the bureaucrat and the citizen have been playing a zero sum game right since 1947; perhaps even before that, when the British had ruled India through a civil service stucture. No prizes for guessing who the decisive winner is when the opponents are the citizen and the bureaucrat. Unlike those classic zero sum games, the politician is the joker in the pack in this case!
Business and Economy- Indian Bureaucracy

Army chief's age issue: Government loses face either way

Army chief's age issue: Government loses face either way
January 05, 2012 09:48 ISTFor the armed forces, for whom their chiefs have been the sole leader, the age controversy has eroded their confidence in our State, feels Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

It's time, he says, for the defence minister and the army chief to sit down and decide the issue based on legally tenable evidence.
There is a lot at stake in New Delhi [ Images ] for the prestige of the nation's most respected institution: The Indian Army [ Images ].
The issue of General V K Singh's age is not just an issue of the government accepting that he was born in 1951 as per his school leaving certificate which remains the basic document for proof of age, but it is also a case of the entire institution of the armed forces watching from the sidelines how the government deals with the man who heads their million plus army.

The general has undoubtedly been a revered leader in every appointment that he has served in the army and boasts a fabulous record of service. That he was destined to be the army chief someday was an opinion entertained by his colleagues even when he was a brigadier. The controversy of age has come to the fore repeatedly in the past, even when he was being appointed army commander of the Eastern Command. With our system of appointing the senior-most army commander as army chief on the army chief's retirement, by and large, he was already in line for the next chief then.

A lot was expected from General Singh when he took over as army chief. Hugely popular in the organisation, as army commander he had led a study to define the contours of transformation that the army requires to undertake. However, there has been very little news of the transformation contemplated while there has been a deluge of reports centered on the age controversy. The episode has been a setback to all but perhaps a few who have always enjoyed an unsavoury spectacle unfolding.

The issue of the army chief's age also influences the succession chain. Should the army chief retire early, Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, currently the army commander, Eastern Command, is the most likely candidate to become the next army chief. However, should the ministry of defence accept the army chief's contention regarding his age, it would be Lieutenant General K T Parnaik, army commander, Northern Command, who could take over the reins.

A lack of trust between the army headquarters and the ministry of defence has existed for decades before the current model of the integrated HQ of the ministry of defence was put in place. The current model has failed to bring in the integration desired, nor has any effort been made to further joint functioning between the ministry and the three services. In effect, the ministry works with minimal representation from the services. For synergy between the military and the politico-bureaucratic combine to be genuinely operative, trust is a big factor. The age episode, as it gets played out in public, erodes the trust even further.

As far as army officers are concerned, a large majority of them feel their chief must get his due. Never have officers of the forces held the bureaucracy in high esteem. But for the odd defence minister like George Fernandes [ Images ], who made repeated trips to the Siachen Glacier and, rarely, if ever, combined his visits to military establishments with any political itinerary, none have ever even tried to earn any respect from the rank and file soldier.

For the men and women in armed forces, for whom their chiefs have been the sole leader, the age imbroglio has only eroded their confidence in our State. If we do have a case of the chief resigning now, as a lot of press reports suggest, it would definitely alienate the rank and file of the defence forces.

With all facts of the case being surely available, it's time for the defence minister and the army chief to sit across the table and decide the issue based on legally tenable evidence. The minister must realise that the government loses face, either way. However, if his decision is an honest one, it will at least be a display of moral courage and uprightness for a ministry surely in need of a more positive image.
Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd)
Army chief's age issue: Government loses face either way

DESW issues Pension Regulations

So there you have it, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (sic) (DESW), on 06 Jan 2012, has issued Pension Regulations for the Army (2008), purportedly approved by the ‘Raksha Mantri’.
These Regulations supposedly supercede the Pension Regulations of 1961. Though the Regulations have been issued on 06 Jan 2012 and only apply to those who were released after 2008, these have not incorporated the drastic pensionary changes made by the 6th CPC which according to the DESW would be included in the form of ‘insertions’ to be decided by the office of the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions). These Regulations of 2008 have been jointly drafted by the office of the CGDA and PCDA(P). It seems illogical that these Regulations of ‘2008’ have been issued in 2012 and that too without incorporating changes introduced by the 6th CPC w.e.f 01-01-2006. What was the tearing hurry? Preliminarily speaking, even otherwise, rather than entrusting such an important policy-work to policy makers and experts at the govt level, the DESW has gone by the drafting submitted by defence accountants. But strictly speaking, are these Regulations even valid or legal?
These are not 'Regulations' but the imposition of the will of a couple of accountants whose limited understanding, drafting and thought-process has been thrust upon pensioners forcibly.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
Read more
Comment: Is DESW an legal entity to regulate pensions or are they a bunch of number crunchers?

Will Indian MP's holding Black Money in Swiss Banks Resign?

Swiss central bank head resigns after scandal
The embattled head of the Swiss central bank, Philipp Hildebrand, stepped down on Monday after being caught up in a scandal over foreign exchange trades by his wife.
"Aware of the critical situation our country is currently facing, and given my responsibility as chairman... I decided to resign with immediate effect," Hildebrand said at a press conference in Bern.
Hildebrand published emails on the SNB website to show he had no knowledge of the transaction until after the fact, but in resigning he said he was unable to "to provide irrefutable evidence" to totally prove his innocence.
Press reports claimed last week that Hildebrand's wife Kashya profited after buying USD 504,000 last August, just weeks before an intervention by the SNB to halt the rise of the franc -- a move that saw the dollar rise significantly against the Swiss currency.
"I failed my husband by not considering the perception of a 'conflict of interest' created by my purchase of dollars," Ms Hildebrand said in a statement issued on Monday.
The scandal took a political turn with revelations that the government last month received banking documents concerning Hildebrand's personal trades from Christoph Blocher, chief of the conservative Swiss People's Party (UDC), the largest in the Federal Assembly.
Swiss central bank head resigns after scandal

Supreme Commander Lauds Ex Servicemen

Contribution of ex-servicemen will always be remembered: Patil

Diver (Raj), Jan 10 (PTI) President Pratibha Patil today said the country should respect and not forget the services of its retired soldiers who had staked their lives for the security and well being of the country.
"Our soldiers guard our borders and even after retirement contribute in the progress of the society. They will always be respected for their courage and sacrifice. Hence, it is our responsibility to take appropriate care of our brave soldiers who have retired or were injured in wars," Patil said after unveiling a statue of legendary Rajput patriot Maharana Pratap here, a village in Rajsamand district.
Patil, who is on a two-day tour of the state, said that ex-servicemen and soldiers should also take up the mantle of educating the people against social evils like female foeticide, drug abuse, dowry and child marriage.
Calling Rajasthan the land of the "brave", Patil recollected how she, as the then Governor of the state, had taken up various measures for the welfare of war widows and retired soldiers.
Located about 50 km from the district headquarters, Diver, holds a special place in history as Maharana Pratap and his son Amar Singh had defeated hostile forces about 415 years ago. The region also boasts of sending a large number of recruits to the Indian armed forces.
Contribution of ex-servicemen will always be remembered: Patil

Comment: Services of Ex Servicemen will be remembered is all that the Supreme Commander has to say to assuage the hurt feelings of those who have surrendered the Gallantry awards alongwith a blood signed petition for sanction of One Rank One Pension. Sad commentary on the welfare measures that the Government puts on paper but in ground reality nothing concrete happens!

Ex-servicemen disenchanted with the Government

Ex-servicemen to boycott Assembly elections
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service Tuesday, January 10, 2012, Chandigarh, India

Jalandhar, January 9
Condemning the ruling SAD-BJP combine and the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for not accepting their demands, the ex-servicemen have decided to boycott the Assembly elections in the state.
The ex-servicemen, under the banner of the All India Defence Pensioners’ Welfare Association, Jalandhar, heads of various ex-servicemen organisations and NGOs of Punjab, unanimously passed a resolution in this regard following the “indifferent” attitude of the successive governments towards the ex-servicemen.
The ex-servicemen have also decided to hold a ‘rail roko abhiyan’ in February.
With this decision, as many as eight lakh ex-servicemen voters in the state would not exercise their franchise.
Col Kuldip Singh Grewal (retd), president of the State Ex-servicemen Welfare Association from Patiala, pointed out that both the UPA government at the Centre and the SAD-BJP government in the state turned a blind eye towards the ex-servicemen community.
Lt Col SS Sohi of the grievances cell from Mohali said the SAD-BJP government discontinued gun licences to ex-servicemen. “While our licences were discontinued, others sections of the community were still getting licences,” he added.
Talking about the UPA government’s “failure” to implement the ‘one-rank, one-pension’ scheme, Squadron Leader YS Nijjar, chief coordinator of the association, said: “There is unreasonable gaps and anomalies in the pensions of Naik to Sub Major in honorary ranks. Captain, Majors and Major Generals were being neglected even after regular appeals and the Armed Forces Tribunal orders.”President of Ex-servicemen Welfare Union, Punjab, said there was a huge disparity in the pensions of widows, which needs to be rectified. “For the past 35 years, war widows are awaiting 10 acres of land and cash as promised by the state government. Even the funds for the war injured ex-servicemen and widows welfare activities also decreased,” he added.
Ex-servicemen to boycott Assembly elections

ECHS extended to Nepal

Extension of ex-servicemen contributory health scheme facilities to Nepal domiciled Gorkhas
January 4, 2012

The Cabinet has approved the extension of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to Nepal Domiciled Gorkhas (NDGs) pensioners Ex-Service Men (ESM). The scheme will be optional for retired Ex-Servicemen NDG Pensioners. Only NDG Ex-servicemen pensioner (paid from Defence Estimates) are eligible for ECHS membership.

There are about 1 lakh ex-servicemen and 2.17 lakh dependents domiciled in Nepal who benefit from the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, (ECHS). They are entitled for medical treatment under ECHS Scheme at Polyclinics, and ECHS empanelled civil hospitals in India. Emergency treatment in India under existing provisions is also available. Considering the practical difficulties being faced by NDG ESM in taking treatment, the Govt. has decided to provide medical facilities to them in Nepal itself. The facilities would be available on the same pattern as is available to Indian ESM residing in India.
Extension of ex-servicemen contributory health scheme facilities to Nepal domiciled Gorkhas

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Race for Army Chief: Janglat Mandi encounter Faked

Race for Army Chief: Janglat Mandi encounter may mar Gen Bikram’s chances
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 at 12:26
Petition seeking re-investigation into 10-yr-old case to decide his fate

SRINAGAR, JAN 09: The chances of Lt. Gen Bikram Singh, army’s Eastern Command chief to become new chief of Indian army may be hit hard by the alleged Janglat Mandi fake encounter case as a writ petition in this regard is still pending before Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The tenure of present army chief General V K Singh is likely to end in May this year following controversy surrounding his date of birth.
Eastern Command Chief Lt Gen Bikram Singh, Northern Commander chief Lt Gen K T Parnaik and present Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Krishna Singh are the front runners to succeed General Singh. Traditionally, the senior-most officer is appointed as the army chief and in this case Lt Gen Bikram Singh is the senior-most and most-likely to be appointed for the top post.
However, chances of Lt Gen Bikram Singh may be hit hard by alleged Janglat Mandi fake encounter case. The outcome of the writ petition pending disposal before J&K High Court is crucial and may ultimately decide his fate. In the second scenario, if General Singh decided to take the D.O.B row to Court, then Northern Command Chief Lt. General Parnaik has fair chances to succeed him as new Army chief.
It is pertinent to mention here J&K High Court had on October 13, 2011 issued notices to State government and Indian Defence Ministry and asked them to file their objections in a writ petition, seeking reinvestigation of the alleged fake encounter that took place at Janglat Mandi Islamabad in 2001. The court had summoned all the records pertaining to case (FIR 72/2001) from District Sessions Court Islamabad for perusal.
In the writ petition titled Zaituna versus J&K State, it was alleged that the encounter that took place at Janglat Mandi, Islamabad on March 1, 2001 was not genuine but a fake encounter in which many innocent Kashmiris were killed by army and government sponsored gunmen Ikhwanis’ and later passed off as foreign militants.
Contesting claims of Army and police that an elderly foreign militant identified as Mateen Chacha was killed in the encounter, the petition submitted to court that the elderly man dubbed as foreign militant was a civilian.
“The fact is that Mateen was none other than 70 year old civilian Abdullah Bhat son of Qadir Bhat of Machil Kupwara”, said petitioners Zaituna and Jana (mother and sister of the Abdullah Bhat).
The petition has sought re-investigation in the case and prayed that Special Investigation Team of police be tasked to book the culprits.
“We have been running from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of Abdullah Bhat. Somehow they came to know that he was gunned down by forces in 2001 in Janglat Mandi, Islamabad and labeled as a foreign militant”, the petitioners said and demanded that the grave of victim should be identified and DNA test carried out.
They said DNA profile of the deceased should be matched with those of the family members. “The photographs of the victim taken by the police should be shown to family”, they further demanded.
In the encounter, whose veracity is under challenge before the court, besides, Abdullah Bhat two civilians and two army men were also killed. The dead included Colonel J P Jam, the then Commanding Officer of a local R R Unit, Sepoy Ganesh Kumar, Mohammad Shafi son of Abdul Rasheed of Hazratbal Islamabad and Abdul Ahad Sheikh son of Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh of Janglat Mandi.
According to police FIR, two persons also sustained injuries in the 2001 encounter and they included present Eastern Command chief Lt Gen Bikram Singh, who was a Brigadier then and headed 5 Sector Rashtriya Rifles headquarters at Khanabal Islamabad. A civilian Ajaz Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of S K Colony Islamabad was also injured.
Meanwhile, police has absolved Eastern Command chief of all the charges.
“We have nothing against him as far investigation of the case is concerned”, DGP Kuldeep Khoda told Rising Kashmir.
Sources said police higher ups had recently sought a report from the concerned police district (Islamabad) and it said the encounter was genuine and there was no case against Lt Gen Bikram Singh.
The petition seeking re-investigation of Janglat Mandi fake encounter was listed for hearing before Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar on December 28. However, the petition was deferred and is now expected to be listed for further hearing in February, when High Court, Srinagar re-convenes after month long winter vacations.
The Janglat Mandi “fake” encounter was first highlighted by a youth empowerment organization namely Youth Empowerment Services of Kashmir (YES-Kashmir), headed by Tanweer Ahmad, who in November 2011 held a protest march in New Delhi to highlight the real story behind Janglat Mandi encounter
Race for Army Chief: Janglat Mandi encounter
Comment: Why Fake encounters were encouraged earlier by the AHQ? This was primarily to win the race for the next promotion- a mandatory requirement of a Gallantry award is essential for racing and climbing up the ladder! All fake encouter authors must be identified and suitably punished for killing innocent lives rather than rewarding them to kill the organisation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Army to lose a top notch General

The politics behind army chief’s age row
Seema Mustafa | Monday, January 9, 2012

The Indian Army is rallying behind its chief General VK Singh who is caught in an ‘age’ row with the defence ministry. Senior officers do not hesitate to point out that the political dispensation should not have turned the chief’s retirement age into such a major issue, and the dignity of the army chief and the institution should have ‘been respected.’

Fuelling the support is the unpopularity of Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, who is likely to succeed as the next army chief if General VK Singh is retired. Lt General Bikram Singh has been lobbying hard for the post, and has the support of the former army chief and now Governor General JJ Singh. Sources said Lt General Singh, currently the general officer commanding-in-chief, Eastern Command, also has support from within the Prime Minister’s Office.

The anger within the army about what a senior officer described as this ‘conspiracy’ against the current chief is spilling over, with most officers unable to go on record. However, retired officers have started writing articles on the issue although as one brigadier pointed out, ‘several media houses are not interested in our views as it is not in keeping with the defence ministry’s position.’ Defence sources pointed out that reports about the army chief’s age controversy were emanating from the defence ministry, and the army was being wrongly blamed.

The one criticism against General VK Singh has been that he should have spent more time in chasing the implementation of his own report on the Transformation of the Indian Army, and less on what some see as a ‘personal matter.’ However, officers who are supporting him make it clear that the age issue was not a personal matter as it affected the dignity and stature of the army chief’s office as well as the institution of the Indian Army.

Significantly, there are no two views within the army about the fact that the birth year controversy would not have come in the way of General Singh taking over as chief, regardless of whether the government accepted — 1950 or 1951. And as a senior officer pointed out, ‘The defence ministry could have taken the required steps to clear this when General Singh was made corps commander but this was deliberately not done.’

Significantly, if General Singh succeeds in delaying his retirement, the present Northern Command Chief Lt General KT Parnaik will be the most likely candidate for the army chief’s post. He is very popular within the army, seen by his colleagues as well as seniors as a ‘thinking general.’ However, if Lt General Bikram Singh makes it to the top post as seems to be the intention of the Manmohan Singh government, Lt General Parnaik will retire and the army will have lost the benefit of a ‘top notch’ general.
The writer is a senior New Delhi-based journalist
The politics behind army chief’s age row

Army-CAG dispute puts CSD canteens on stake

Jan 08, 2012 at 10:13am IST
Army-CAG dispute puts CSD canteens on stake
Surya Gangadharan, CNN-IBN

The Money behind the Army Canteen

New Delhi: To find out India's largest retail outlet, you should check out the Ministry of Defence in Delhi's South Block, where the humbly named Canteen Services Department or CSD is headquartered. The CSD is a wholesale agent, which buys directly from manufacturers and selling to 4000 Unit Run Canteens of the armed forces all over India.

According to RTI documents accessed by CNN-IBN, the Unit Run Canteens have run up profits of at least Rs 300 crore on a turnover of Rs 8000 crore in the last decade.

Now the official government auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), wants to audit the accounts of the canteens.

The CAG says the canteens use government infrastructure, sell items at prices fixed by the Defence Ministry and are run by government personnel. Therefore the canteens are a government department.

But in a detailed note to CNN-IBN, high level army sources, dealing with this issue, said URCs are beyond the purview of the CAG.

The armed forces said Unit Run Canteens (URCs) are private ventures of the armed forces, which are wholly funded by individual regiments with officer and jawan contributing. The canteens buy items of daily use from CSD by advance cheque and sell the items to armed forces personnel wherever posted and the profits fund welfare programmes for armed forces personnel.

The Supreme Court in a judgment in April 2009 ruled that URCs are private ventures. But a cabinet note of August 1976 described the profits generated by canteens as non public funds and therefore outside government accounts. It said no money from the Consolidated Fund of India was going to the URCs.

But the CAG is standing firm, saying that money from the Consolidated Fund of India goes to the URCs. Senior army officers, however, say this money is a commercial loan not a grant. Last year around Rs 200 crore was paid back to the Consolidated Fund.

The armed forces are now reportedly considering a range of options including shutting down the URCs altogether and creating and funding their own NGO for the purpose. It would offer the same services as the URCs minus of course the headache.
Army-CAG dispute puts CSD canteens on stake

The murky game against the COAS regarding his DOB

This explosive YouTube video is of ETV program "DO Tuk". It brings out in a very comprehensive manner the whole background of the case and many details about a conspiracy hatched by two former Chiefs and the Defence Ministry.


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