Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ex Servicemen Statistics. Are they Mercenaries?

Punjab is the topper, Bengal ranks a lowly 14th in a state-wise break-up of the number of ex-servicemen, according to statistics placed by defence minister A.K. Antony in Parliament 0n 13 May 2007.
While these figures are not a definitive indicator that Bengalis do not opt for military service in large numbers, they definitely show that 150 years after the first war of independence in 1857 — which was commemorated last year — the “non-martial races” continue to be poorly represented in the armed forces. Ex-servicemen are registered with the Rajya Sainik Boards and the Zilla Sainik Boards. The defence ministry is urging police and paramilitary forces to recruit ex-servicemen in larger numbers for internal security duties.
In Bihar, the government has raised the Bihar Auxiliary Force to combat Maoist militants. The state has recruited 5,000 ex-servicemen in November and December.
Are Ex servicemen mercenaries?
Around 500 ex-servicemen from Kerala, who had served in various fighting units of the Indian Army, have been recruited from the central districts of Kerala for deployment in Iraq as security guards.
Termed as the first ever 'Indian regiment' to work as a mercenary force for the US, the recruitment was done by a Kuwaiti company working for the US Army without the knowledge of the Central Government and other bodies responsible for the welfare of ex-servicemen. We need, first of all, to understand the scenario with some clarity. There are many categories of Indians in Iraq today. There are those, for instance, who have been working there even before the war last year — some of whom have been living in Iraq for decades, even generations. A lot of these people would have lost their jobs in the upheaval caused by the war and its aftermath, and would be looking for sources of subsistence and employment in a country now mired in lawlessness. There are also many who have recently gone to Iraq in search of jobs, either legally or otherwise, either through contractors or independently. The emoluments on offer — going by the hazards involved — are much higher than normal. Many, therefore, are willing to risk their lives in order to get these jobs, which are in great demand. A single US contractor has 100,000 applicants on its waiting list!

A sepoy/ Jawan (private) is being offered as much as $750 a month, a captain $1,250, major/ lieutenant-colonel $1,750, a colonel $2,500 and brigadier $3,500. A serving brigadier in the Indian Army earns much less than $1,000 a month - a Jawan about $150 a month. Most of the ex-servicemen chosen are below the age of 55 and medically fit. Preference is given to those who have been involved in counter-insurgency operations, fighting guerrilla attacks in northeast India or experience of war.

Why should Ex servicemen, known for their professionalism and discipline, be branded as mercenaries when in reality they are only used as Security Personnel to guard Iraq assets from Terrorists attacks? They are akin to any other Indian Worker in the Middle East!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Everest conqueror Edmund Hillary dies

New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Nepal's Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first to conquer Mount Everest, died in hospital on Friday, 11 January, 2008.

New Zealand flags flew at half mast at Scott Base in Antarctica on Friday, mourning the loss of one of the greatest adventurers of the 20th century.

In Nepal, Sherpa friends lit butter lamps and offered special Buddhist prayers in monasteries for the mountaineer, calling him a great philanthropist and friend of Nepal. Ed's greatest legacy is the assistance he gave to the Sherpa people," said Mr Dingle. "As a result of seeing Nepal and his love of the mountains and the people, he went back and suggested that he could help in some way." Known to the Sherpa people as Burra-sahib – meaning "big in stature, big in heart" – Sir Edmund never forgot the place that gave him, in every sense, his international prominence.

In 2003, Hillary received honorary Nepali citizenship in recognition of his services to the people and the Solukhumbhu region where Mount Everest is located.

Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontintent including the Himalayas.

Mr Hillary took several photographs of the scenery and of Sherpa Tenzing waving flags representing India, Britain, Nepal, and the United Nations from world's highest mountain top.

In 1960, Hillary – who served as New Zealand High Commissioner to India in Delhi from 1984 to 1989 – established The Himalayan Trust, which helped build three hospitals, 13 health clinics and more than 30 schools.

How to reduce visits to ECHS by Monitoring Health Parameters

Age is catching up for many Ex- Servicemen and many are battling adverse health versus longevity. Here are some tips which will brighten up one's future and open up new vistas to maintain one's health in ship shape! A sound body in a sharp mind.

The following aspects assume importance
Health risk factors
Body Mass Index
Waist to hip Ratio
Blood Pressure classification chart
High Cholesterol related to heart attacks
Osteoporosis due to old age
Eating Right
Keeping Active
Guide to Physical Activity
Basal Metabolic Rate and total calorie requirement
How many calories does your body require?

Risk Factors
high blood pressure (hypertension) above 76/120 mg/mm
total Cholesterol above 100- 200 mg/dl
high LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) above 100- 130 mg/dl
Very LDL-cholesterol between 5- 30 mg/dl
low HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) between 35- 70 mg/dl
high triglycerides ("rogue") above 25- 160 mg/dl
high blood glucose (sugar) fasting: above 70- 100 PP: above 100- 120 mg/dl
family history of premature heart disease
physical inactivity
cigarette smoking
high alcohol consumption over 3 pegs a day

Body Mass Index BMI Formula- Metric
BMI = Weight in Kilograms / {(Height in Meters) x (Height in Meters)}
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Waist to Hip Ratio Chart
Male, Female Health Risk Based Solely on WHR
0.95 or below, 0.80 or below - Low Risk
0.96 to 1.0, 0.81 to 0.85 - Moderate Risk
1.0 or above, 0.85 and above - High Risk

High Blood Pressure
Normal: 120/ 76
Prehypertension: 120- 139/ 80- 89
Hypertension: 140- 159/ 90- 99
High Hypertension: 160 or higher/ 100 or higher

High Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol can clog your blood vessels and is a major cause
of heart disease. Normal total Cholesterol level should be between 100- 200 mg/ dl

Diabetes, or high blood sugar, is a major cause of blindness, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and amputation of the lower legs and feet.

How Many Calories Does Your Body Need?

ages 45 and below, weight in Kgs:
For sedentary people: Weight x 35 = estimated cal/day
For moderately active people: Weight x 42 = estimated cal/day
For active people: Weight x 50 = estimated cal/day

ages 45 and above, weight in Kgs:
For sedentary people: Weight x 30 = estimated cal/day
For moderately active people: Weight x 35 = estimated cal/day
For active people: Weight x 45 = estimated cal/day

What is Master health check up?
It is "Head" to "Toe" physical examination by ECHS Medical Officer. Insist on this check up once a year.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brain Exercises keep Ex- Servicemen Ship Shape

Tease your brain
A child being teased responds with an increased energy and flow of adrenaline. Likewise, brainteasers increase the flow of energy to the brain, exercising short-term memory. Teasers force concentration, converting long-term memory into a library of information. Puzzles, riddles, word searches, Sudoku, and even a good mystery book can stimulate the brain's ability to reason and calculate.

Use it or lose it
Anxiety and stress drain the mind. Boredom and repetition put the mind into a state of suspended animation. Deep and deliberate breathing, much like that of yoga, reduces stress.

Working a crossword puzzle each day has limited benefits. Cross-train your brain much like you would your body. Alternate a word puzzle with games for senior citizens and computer games. Seniors try a fun game that wakes up the mind, so when your brain becomes gridlocked, take a walk. Sitting up straight in your seat increases alertness, concentration, and the level at which your brain functions.

The brain is a giant computer that shuts down under extreme stress to avoid loss of pertinent data. Simplify problems and encounter them as a general leads his army into war - one battle at a time. Exercise/ walk to release negative energies and to improve memory.

Food for thought
Simple carbohydrates have a lethargic effect. As the body absorbs foods like sugar, white flour nan, potatoes, and rice, insulin is released into the bloodstream and the combination depletes energy sources. Fish and nuts (high in omega-3 fatty acids) are considered brain foods. Alcohol and beverages consumed in right quantities can be beneficial, overdoses become addictive.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Adventure Activities: 2007

Indian Army conducted expeditions to Mount Everest, Cycle rally from Leh to Kanyakumari, Motorcycle rally from Imphal to Siachen and Car rally from India to Myanmar. The Indian Air Force’s microlight aircraft flown by Wg Cdr Rahul Monga and Wg Cdr Anil Kumar arrived at Air Force Station Hindon on 19 Aug 07 creating a ‘New World Record’ of fastest round the world trip. Indian Sail training ship INS Tarangini had set sail on Jan 10, 2007, for a ten-month odyssey, named ‘Lokayan 07’. The voyage took the ship to 23 ports spread over 16 countries. The ship entered Kochi on completion of the voyage on Oct 29, 2007.

World record of Biggest Motorcycle Pyramid
The Dare Devils Team of the Corps of Signals (Indian Army) achieved a motorcycle pyramid consisting of 201 men balanced on 10 motorcycles, on July 5, 2001 at Gowri Shankar Parade Ground, Jabalpur, India. The pyramid travelled a distance of 129M.

Previous Record: The world's biggest motorcycle pyramid was formed by Shwet Ashwas, the Motorcycle Display Team of Corps of Military Police, India, on Oct. 15, 1999. The pyramid consisted of 151 men riding for 78M on 11 motorcycles.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Myths and Realities

Many impressions you have of the Indian Army may not be grounded in actual fact. You may be surprised to learn what the Army is really like. Take a look at a few myths out there and then learn the facts behind some of these misconceptions.

The Army Service is a roadblock to a higher education.

Qualified Officers and Jawans are provided free Graduate and Post Graduate education with tuition benefits.
Over thousands of degrees were earned by Army personnel in 2007 alone.
The Army and Defence Services operates over 100 schools and Institutions, teaching more than thousands of courses yearly.
Large percent of Officers and Jawans are graduates.
The Army offers retiring personnel free training and education for absorption in civilian jobs.
The Army provides free training for personnel interested in starting or enhancing a small business.
Many military Institutions bring in professors from local colleges to teach courses.
Army personnel can take college courses through distance learning of reputed Universities.

People in the Army are not compensated as well as private sector workers.

Every service personnel receives 60 days of paid vacation annually.
Many allowances paid out by the Army are tax- exempt.
Army Personnel receive free rations, free travel and canteen facilities.
After 20 years of service, retired personnel can potentially receive military pension pay for life.
Military pay is comparable and in some cases better than its civilian counterparts.

Women have a hard time achieving success in the Military.

Approximately 80% of all jobs in the Military are open to women.
The percentage of women serving on active duty in the Military has more than doubled since 2000.

Military training and jobs have little relation to the civilian world.

80% of Military jobs have direct civilian counterparts.
80% of all jobs in the Military are non-combat occupations.
Ex-Servicemen of Armed Forces are less likely to be unemployed than average civilians of the same skill set.
The Army offers thousands of specialized jobs in varied fields.

Military training is tough and difficult.

About 95% of officers/ cadets/ recruits successfully complete Training.

Please check out more facts from Government of India Official Websites shown on the right hand side of the blog.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Republic Day in New Delhi

India's 59th Republic Day Parade
When: 26 Jan 2008 (annual)
Where: Delhi
Route: Raisina Hill, along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort.
Chief Guest: Sarkozy

Every year on 26 January the founding of the independent Republic is remembered throughout India. In New Delhi the spectacular celebrations include the march past of the three armed forces, massive parades and traditional folk dances, music from all over India and an Air Force fly-by. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute.

Although independence from British rule was actually gained on 15 August 1947 - an occasion marked by the Independence Day celebrations every year - the establishment of the Republic actually has its roots in the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at midnight of 31 December 1929 & 01 January 1930. During the session the tri-colour flag was unfurled by the nationalists and a pledge taken that every year, on 26 January, Independence Day would be celebrated. This declaration of the spirit of independence became reality when the Constitution of India framed by the Constituent Assembly of India came into force on 26 January 1950.

Celebrations, though on a much smaller scale, are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.

Note: Photograph taken on 26 Jan 2007

Dreamer's Club

Now as an Ex Serviceman you can directly interact with Chief of Army Staff at

The website is user friendly with guidelines for becoming a member and then posting your Dreams.
It is really cool.

Ex-servicemen best suited for facility management: Minister

Ex-servicemen should be deployed for facility management, like equipment maintenance and housekeeping duties, not only in industries and offices but also government establishments, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said.

'Facility management needs a disciplined work force. This need can be met by the considerable number of people below officer level coming out of the defence forces every year. These are trained and disciplined work force,' Raju told IANS on the sidelines of a meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people retire from the defence forces every year.

'Applicability of facilities management can be developed for all types of infrastructures like townships, factories, hospitals, retail, commercial establishments, airports, national and state highways, railway stations, military and government establishments to bring about a professional process to maintain them well,' the minister stated.

He revealed that some defence veterans were being reemployed by the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to bridge the shortage of trained instructors.

'It is important that youngsters should be made aware of the need for cleanliness in workspace and public areas. Through awareness modules in the NCC, this need can be met and youngsters trained for better facility management,' the minister stated.

Similarly, services of former defence personnel could be utilised in the case of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Development scheme, under which 63 cities have been identified for development, Raju said.

Pointing to the dismal state of the South Block in New Delhi and other government establishments, the minister said cleanliness could be ensured through the deployment of trained facility management personnel.

Nalini Kaul, director of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said there had been remarkable improvement in the 50-year-old hospital since the facility management -- from engineering, equipment maintenance, housekeeping to pantry and other processes except doctors and nursing - was given to a specialist agency.

'The entire work culture has changed in the hospital. The earlier management practice was not conducive for efficiency. Now with the engagement of a facility management there is ease of operation, which is very important for medical staff and patients,' said Kaul.
She added that government hospitals could also benefit by handing over facility management to companies in the organised sector.

This may not result in benefits in terms of savings on wages. But 'when you outsource facility management, you can be rid of non-performing or troublesome employee, who can be relocated', stressed Ravi Ogra, senior manager operations of Vipul Facility Management Pvt Ltd.

Friday December 8, 04:08 PM


The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)