Saturday, September 20, 2008

Loss of Delhi's Top Terror Fighter: Nation Mourns

Light a candle for MC Sharma who gave his life to safeguard citizens

DELHI: At a time when most fathers would have stayed beside their sick son's hospital bed, tend to his blood transfusion and ensure that the dengue died down, Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma rushed to Jamia Nagar from the hospital to raid a house where terrorists were holed up. He hadn't gone home for three days, rushing from office to hospital and back and his wife expected him to return on Friday evening finally. But home they brought the warrior dead.

Sharma (42) was undoubtedly Delhi Police's top shot terror fighter, after ACP Rajbir Singh had been murdered a few months back. But he was no gunslinger. His forte was his technical expertise and his surveillance prowess was unmatched in the force.
Nation mourns gallant cop M C Sharma

SCPC: Antony favours armed forces, wants anomalies sorted out

New Delhi, Sep 19: Defence Minister A K Antony has strongly favoured sorting out of “anomalies” in the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) notification raised by the three services chiefs in their representation to the government.

In his latest letter to Finance Minister P Chidambaram this week, Antony raised the issues, including the ones relating to Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBORs), top Defence Ministry sources said in New Delhi on Friday.

“Yes, the Defence Minister has written a letter to the Finance Minister in which he has raised certain issues relating to the disparities that has crept into the pay commission notification,” the sources confirmed.

Among the issues raised by Antony was the one relating to the “extant pensionary weightage” and sought that it be restored till the time the proposal for lateral entry for them into paramilitary and central police forces was approved and implemented.

Under the Sixth CPC proposal, the PBORs are to be given an opportunity for lateral entry into the paramilitary and central police forces, but they would forego 50 per cent of their pension calculated on the basis of their last drawn pay at retirement.

But the government is yet to approve the proposal for lateral entry, which has led to a situation where the PBORs lose out both on re-employment and pension fronts.

Most PBORs retire at a relatively young age of about 35 years, after putting in about 15 to 17 years of service in the armed forces, a move aimed at keeping the fighting force young. (ANI)
Antony favours armed forces, wants anomalies in Sixth CPC sorted out
  • Incorrect fixing of grade pay of officers raised
  • Retention of pensionary weightage sought
    Antony: remove pay anomalies for armed forces
  • Let army take charge of War on Terror

    We cannot import our politicians, bureaucrats, police and intelligence agents, like we import arms and nuclear power plants. Fortunately, we have a first rate armed forces, which must be used decisively in national interest.

    Vice Admiral Arun Kumar Singh
    Retired as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command
    Full article at: Declare ‘war on terror’ and let the Army take charge

    Helping ESM

    We feel happy in helping War Widows & ESM get their Pension dues:

  • Smt Surjit Kaur (70) wd/o late Sep Shingara Singh of the Sikh LI, r/o Vill Pir Sohana PO Packi Rurkee (Kharar) Mohali, has got Special Family Pension after 46 Years. Shingara Singh was killed in action during Indo- china war on 21/11/62. He had joined the Army on 4/1/58. Surjit Kaur was granted Normal Family Pension @ Rs 62/-pm only (gradually increased to Rs 2813/-), being illiterate from remote area. She realized after few years that she was getting less Fam Pen compared to others. She kept running here & there but never succeeded. We started processing her case from last 18 months with DPDOs Ropar & Chandigarh and with higher authorities. Few hurdles were cleared & she has now got her full special Family Pension @ Rs 5313/-pm, along with 46 year’s arrears lump sum Rs 3,80,000/- or so. We earned her blessings. She may live longer with dignity.
  • Smt Rajinder Kaur (80) wd/o late Nk Channan Singh, of BEG Pune, r/o Vill Rattangarh Simble PO Kurali (Ropar) have got her Family Pension after 5 years struggle. Her husband Nk Chanan Singh (pensioner) expired on 20/5/03. They had shifted from Ferozpur DPDO to Ropar DPDO, hence both DPDOs kept playing with her age & illiteracy. We took up her case 2 yrs back & found that DPDO Ferozpur (Mr Sehgal) was playing mischief & sending wrong reports & incomplete papers. Operation all out was launched (from under the CSD tree) trough higher HQrs/ MOD & Director Sainik Welfare Pb. Finally, she got her Family Pension release orders dt 27/5/08. She is now getting her pension and arrears credited as lump sum. She is a bed ridden old lady, also sends her blessings & sweets to NGO.
  • Nk Manjit Singh (of CMP Bangalore), r/o Vill Behlolepur (Chamkaur Sahib) Ropar. He joined Army on 17/1/97 and was released from service on medical grounds after 10 yrs 6 months, on 21/6/07, due to generalized seizure. He was not released any type of Pensions. We took up his case last year and have succeeded in convincing higher authorities to release his Service & Disability Pension elements total @ Rs 5900/-pm, on 18/6/08, along with arrears lump sum of Rs 4,72000/- wef 22/6/07. He & his family feel mentally satisfied & happy.
  • Smt Palwinder Kaur of Vill Tarkheri (Fatehgarh Sahib). Her husband Sep Balbir Singh of Sikh LI was missing since last 18 years. He had completed 12 years of service in Army & was on annual leave. He disappeared all of sudden wef 10/10/2000, at end of leave/ returning to unit. All out efforts were made to trace him out but in vein. Palwinder Kaur’s source of income dried down & she has been bringing up family with parent’s help & menial jobs. She tried for family pension, but w/o success. This NGO took up her case last year & she has been released some amount of Army Group Insurance Rs 15000/- amount on 27/6/08. We are hopeful that MOD/ Army will also release her family pension & other dues soon. All the documentation have been completed.

    2. It is very encouraging for us that, we have gainfully helped our ESM community. We thank GOD and higher authorities of Army & CDAs for their kind support.

    Lt Col SS Sohi (Retd)
    Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell (Regd)

    We congratulate Lt Col SS Sohi for the yeoman services being rendered for the welfare of ESM and their families.
  • Friday, September 19, 2008

    PM means well for the ESM: Tardy follow up action by Bureaucrats

    PM Inaugurates Meeting of Kendriya Sainik Board May 19, 2007

    The welfare and well being of our soldiers, ex-servicemen, widows and their dependents have always been a subject very close to my heart.

    Indeed, the subject of ex-servicemen’s welfare has in fact been identified by me as a thrust area of the Government’s functioning and my Office is monitoring it regularly and very closely.

    I believe that the most befitting tribute we can pay to the exemplary sacrifices that our valiant soldiers have made for the nation, is for us to look after them in the best possible manner after they retire.

    I am happy about recent initiatives taken by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare to strengthen the mechanism for prompt redressal of the grievances of Defence pensioners. These include computerization of the pension sanctioning offices and organizing regular Defence Pension Adalats in different parts of the country. In this context, I believe we need to intensify efforts to ensure that the targets set for Pension Adalats are met.

    It is a matter of satisfaction that following our decision taken last year, with effect from 01.01.2006, the pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank have improved significantly. This, I believe, has benefited about 12 lakh pensioners.

    I take this opportunity to also seek your help for the families of the serving soldiers posted in far-flung locations. As the soldiers are posted far from home, it is difficult for them to attend to the needs of their families, and to deal with property related matters and other personal issues. To assist them we need a mechanism by which at the District level, the Collector, and at the State level a nominated senior officer can every quarter review the status of grievance redressals. Such grievance redressal meetings for the benefit of ex-servicemen can be organised in conjunction with the Sainik Boards in States on the lines of Pension Adalats.

    State Governments could also consider introducing e-enabled services for dissemination of relevant information and guidance for the benefit of Ex-servicemen through dedicated web sites.

    Last year I announced a scheme to provide scholarships for the children of ex-servicemen to pursue professional education in management studies, engineering, medicine and a variety of other disciplines. The scheme is being funded from the National Defence Fund and I believe that there is no better way to repay the debt we owe to our ex-servicemen than to provide for the education of their children. I am very happy that in the very first year of the scheme itself we have awarded scholarships to 3,915 meritorious students from the families of our ex-servicemen and paramilitary forces. This is a small recognition of the great contribution that our armed forces make to the protection of our liberties, to the strengthening of our vital borders and promotion of our vital national interests.

    The Kendriya Sainik Board is an apex body which makes recommendations towards formulating policies for the welfare of ex-servicemen, war widows, disabled soldiers and their families. The various agencies of the Government, which deal with these matters, will give careful consideration to these recommendations.

    I thank Hon’ble Raksha Mantriji for inviting me to this very important event and I hope that many useful suggestions and initiatives for the welfare of our soldiers and their families will emerge from this meeting. I wish you all the success in your endeavours.”
    PM Inaugurates Meeting of Kendriya Sainik Board May 19, 2007

    Probing RTI efficacy

    The government decision to hire a multinational company to check the efficacy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has raised the hackles of many, especially the activists who campaigned for it. Touted as one of the biggest achievements of the UPA government, the RTI has managed to ruffle some neatly set feathers in bureaucracy, the unaccountable rulers in the government.

    The government’s choice of the verifier for the effectiveness of RTI—MNC Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is being viewed as an effort to curtail some of the provisions in the Act. The RTI Act was passed after much wrangling between the government and the activists who were working for it. Fixing a fee for filing petitions under the RTI was one of the most contentious issues. Now RTI is being used by people to elicit all kinds of information from the government, especially those relating to delays and arbitrary concessions being given by various departments to favour a few.

    Recently a man in Orissa got relief from the court after he proved that the Forest Department was unduly delaying and denying him permission to cut certain number of trees on his land to raise money for his son’s education. The department had given similar sanctions on a larger sale for industrial houses and business propositions. This information he obtained by repeated petitions under the RTI.

    It is such incidents that are causing much consternation among the ruling elite, namely the bureaucrats. By getting a survey done by an MNC, the department can cite various reasons, including the ‘holy cow’ of national security to deny citizens access to information locked in government files. It may be remembered that the setting-up of RTI in itself was one of the ‘redress’ mechanisms suggested by the international monitory institutions under their Country Strategy for India. Hence their interest in the efficacy of the scheme and its scope for manipulation is understandable.

    The other day our honourable PM was unhappy at corruption problem when he spoke in a seminar of Justices and Chief Ministers. He should strengthen RTI rather than finding ways to dilute it. If really government is serious about containing corruption [which one doubts!], it should implement simple ways to forcefully and sincerely implement RTI. Statute in books is only first step. We have reams and reams of laws in the books, but the ground realities are totally different. Govt machinery cannot stop corruption. Its only empowered public [through RTI etc] that will reduce the problem to a great extent.It is only common man that is victim of corruption. Give him the authority and he will fight his own battle. Some misuse will be there, but every law or any other statute has this problem.
    Government testing RTI Act

    Kendriya Sainik Board: ESM Identity Cards

    1. The Identity Card to the retiring Defence Services personnel is issued by concerned ZSB where the retiring Defence personnel proposes to settle down after retirement as recorded in his discharge document(s). For this purpose, all retiring Defence personnel are required to get their particulars filled in the registration form in duplicate at the Record Office at the time of their discharge. One copy of the registration form is forwarded by the Record Office to the concerned ZSB by post and the second copy by hand through the retiree himself. Thereafter, the individual is required to call on the concerned ZSB along with three copies of the stamp size photographs, discharge certificate/PPO and other relevant service documents for issue of I-Card. At the ZSB, the particulars are scrutinised and in case the individual qualifies to the status of ex-Servicemen, he will be asked to fill in an application form and I-Card will be issued to him. Formats for applying for registration by ex-Servicemen and Widows with their respective RSB/ZSBs and issue of Ex-Serviceman/Widow Identity Card are given at Appendix F.

    2. Please remember, I-Card is a pre-requisite for availing the benefits of the welfare schemes instituted under the "Armed Forces Flag Day Fund" vide Government of India SRO 7E dated 13 Apr 1993.

    1 Number
    2. Rank
    3. Regt/Corps
    4 Name
    5. Father's Name
    6 Educational Qualification :Civil Service
    7 Decoration
    8. Character
    9 Address
    10 Religion
    11. Caste
    12 Details of family (wife only dependent children upto 25 years and dependent parents)
    Educational Qualifications
    13. Date of Birth
    14. Date of Enrollment
    15. Date of Discharge
    16.Reason for Discharge
    17 Amount of Pension
    (a) Service Pension Rs.
    (b) Disability Pension Rs.
    (c) % age of Disability
    18. Lump sum payment received :
    (a) Gratuity Rs.
    (b) Group Insurance Rs.
    (c) Leave encashment Rs .
    (d) Financial Assistance Rs.
    19. Commuted Pension Rs.
    20. Discharge Book No. and Date
    21 PPO NO. and Date
    22 Present occupation & monthly income
    Service Rs.
    Agriculture Rs.
    23. Other relevant information, if any
    24. Identification Marks
    26. Left Thumb Impression
    I hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
    Date :
    Place :
    (Signature of the Applicant)

    Status as ex-Servicemen Yes/ No
    No.& Date of Identity Card Issued
    Date :
    Place :
    (Signature of Zila Sainik Kalyan Officer/Sec.,ZSB with office stamp & date)

    Comment: One wonders how many retired Officers are in possession of the Indentity card issued by KSB. The application form itself is bureaucratic in nature. Are filling these forms relevant in the digital and networking age? As a Nation are we going forward or backward?
    Photo: TOE Foundation

    After fighting enemies, ex-servicemen fight for pension dues

    In the last five years, over 200 ex-servicemen have knocked on the doors of the judiciary after the Army refused to release their dues. The number of cases of ex-servicemen and their dependants approaching the courts after the Army refused to release their dues has increased manifold. In the last five years, over 200 ex-servicemen have knocked on the doors of the judiciary, asking authorities to intervene.

    “The increase in litigation can be attributed to failure of some Army officers to correctly interpret certain conditions in the Army rules,” said an official. But most affected are the sepoys and Junior Commissioned Officers, who constitute more than 90 per cent of the Indian Army. Most of them live in the rural areas and are unaware of their rights.

    But nowadays, local ex-servicemen organisations have also come forward to fight for their cause. “Many ex-servicemen and widows have approached us. In most of the cases, we have found that find the Army refused to release the benefits for no reason. At first, we pursue the cases with the higher authorities for relief. If they fail to provide a solution, we approach judiciary,” said Lt Col S S Sohi of the Ex-servicemen Grievances Cell. Sohi added that the cell had pursued more than a 100 cases in the last four years. “The Army has released the benefits in most of the cases. In certain cases, the judiciary stepped in to provide relief,” he added.

    Army authorities said they are devising a method to curtail the number of cases and release the due monetary benefits to ex-servicemen as early as possible.

    At a glance
  • l Ninety-year-old Sepoy Dalip Singh (Retd) filed a petition asking for the release of his pension benefits. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the authorities to comply with its directions by July 15. If they fail to do so, General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of the Army Staff, would be summoned to court to reply.
  • After an 18-year-long struggle with the Ministry of Defence, P M Annama, widow of late Master Warrant Officer E M Mathai, was ultimately granted Special Family Pension by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  • Chief Petty Officer Gurjant Singh, Indian Naval Services, finally got his pension after a long battle of 26 years. An ex-servicemen welfare organisation took up the matter and helped in the release of benefits.
  • Family pension released to Harinder Kaur, wife of late Bhinder Singh Mangat of the Indian Navy, after 21 years.
    After fighting enemies, ex-servicemen fight for pension dues

    Tailpiece: What methods have been designed by the Defence Authorities to curtail pensioners seeking judicial intervention? The corrupt and venal ignoramus and their ilk have milked and fooled the nation and the ex- servicemen.
  • Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Save India Stop Corruption can ESM Stop it?

    You Can Stop....
    Save India From Corruption....

    India 83rd corrupt Nation In the Global Corruption Index, a survey of 133 nations conducted by Transparency International (an anti-graft watchdog), India stood 83rd in the world, alongside Malawi and Romania. India recorded a score of 2.8 out of 10. Last year, India's score was 2.7 out of 10, but it stood 71st in a list of 102 nations, unlike 133rd this time. Finland with a score of 9.7 has been ranked first, making it the least corrupt nation on earth. A score of 10 means a country is seen as being "highly clean", and a score of zero means "highly corrupt". Bangladesh had the dubious distinction of being the world's most corrupt nation with a score of 1.3, worse even than Nigeria and Haiti, which had scores of 1.4 and 1.5, respectively to stand 132nd and 133rd. However, Asia as a whole fared badly in the report on corruption, with many nations in the region being counted amongst the worst in the world for graft among public officials and politicians. Myanmar ranked 129th and Indonesia was 122nd.
    Stop Corruption..Save India
    BPL households worst hit by corruption: study

    Ex- Servicemen Commission: Can it address ESM Grievances?

    ESM Seeking Redressal

    Cycle of Commissions: Hundreds Doing the Rounds

    The government will soon set up an Ex-Servicemen Commission in order to streamline efforts to address the grievances of armed forces veterans and plan welfare schemes for them, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.

    "After opening a new department in the Defence Ministry for ex-servicemen, the government is going to set up an Ex-Servicemen Commission soon to recommend various welfare schemes for them and their families," Antony said, soon after inaugurating a Sainik School at Thappa Gothra Khori village on 29 August 2008.
    Govt to set up ex-servicemen commission soon: Antony
    New department to look after ex-servicemen

    Basically, Commissions are evolved by the bureaucracy to give another five year tenure to a retiring/ retired bureaucrat. In this case, a political person is also being given a position or being rehabilitated, perhaps for life. There is merit in the idea of a commission; it is the composition in the present form that veterans are opposing. Two examples that need to be mulled over by all.

    Firstly, when the RTI organisation was formed, the bureaucrats grabbed all the appointments, both at the centre and state levels. There was not even one officer of the armed forces who was taken. Now, a few officers have been taken, maybe after Defence Forces woke up, but still not as the heads at centre or state levels. Therefore, the time to forward our just demands is now, not after the Commission is formed.

    Secondly, there is an appointment under the aegis of the centre, known as 'Chairman - Rehabilitation Council of India'. It is an honorary appointment. The present incumbent is Maj Gen Ian Cardozo. About three years back, when his predecessor had completed his tenure, there was a move to appoint a political or a politically- sponsored person for the post. However, the various organisations and individuals dealing with disabled personnel agitated on the grounds that only a disabled person must occupy this slot. They succeeded and hence Ian was appointed.

    For ensuring that the composition of the Veterans Commission should be as we the veterans want it, we need to aggressively plead the case with the Government against IAS bureaucrats being included in the Commission, as their aim would be to nullify "Redressal of Grievances of Armed Forces Personnel". The Bureaucrats have effectively sullied and nullified the RTI Act so much so, that the go slow ACT has put many proactive NGO's off into a spin and are seeking recourse in the courts!

    We thank Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (Retd) for the inputs. ESM and Veteran organisations need to get their ACT in the right perspective! Would the IESM Core Group kindly give due thought to the points raised. Can we expect the IESL to spearhead this noble cause?

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Arm Forces with Honour

    Honour, Dignity, Status and Rank

    In war, there is no consolation prize. Restore the honour, dignity, precedence and status armed forces enjoyed at the time of independence. Let the very thought that the armed forces are being ill treated and discriminated against not gather momentum.
    Read the full article as published in HT Chandigarh on 17 Sep 2008:
    Arm Forces with Honour: Brig Jogindar Singh (Retd)

    Pension for ESM not granted for forty years: Contempt notice to defence secretary

    Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony (L) stands in the cockpit of a Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft as Air Chief Marshall, F.H. Major (3-R) looks on during the induction ceremony at Bidar Air Force Station

    Tribune News Service, Chandigarh, September 16
    The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued contempt notice to the defence secretary over the government's failure to release pension benefits to an 80-year-old veteran as directed by the court earlier.
    In its verdict delivered on March 11 this year, a division bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Mohinder Pal had allowed a petition filed by ex-reservist Harjinder Singh, seeking sanction of reservist pension.
    The court had directed that his pension, along with arrears of three years and two months preceding the date of filing the petition, be released within two months from the date of the court's order. Any delay in the matter would be "inexcusable", the court had observed.
    Residing in an old age home here, the 80-year old veteran has been battling for his pension since he retired in 1967. He had taken up the matter on numerous occasions, but the controller of defence accounts had turned down his pleas on the ground that he had been discharged upon his own request.
    Harjinder had put in over 17 years colour service, including reserve service. Service rules stipulate that 15 years service is required for grant of reservist pension. He had moved the High Court in 2006. The HC, in its order had also observed that voluntary retirement cannot be a ground for refusing pension.
    Contempt notice to defence secretary

    Comments: One of the typical cases of MOD bureaucratic apathy and bungling in respect of ESM. Can a ESM ever dream of fair play by MOD? One Rank One Pension is an illusion! The security of the Nation is the ground reality made possible by sacrifices of lakhs of ESM.

    Bomb Blasts Failure of security

    Checking preparedness: CISF personnel during a mock drill of terrorist attack at Rajiv Chowk metro station in New Delhi

    Despite claims of breakthroughs and arrests in the recent past, especially in Gujarat and Mumbai, it is apparent that the Indian security networks have failed in detecting and preventing terror attacks.

    Although security agencies claim the situation would be much worse were it not for their preventive vigil and crackdowns, their comments do not inspire much public confidence.

    Officials also privately admit that the entire security apparatus is geared towards protecting important people such as politicians and their families, leaving little manpower and money for ground-level security and counter-terrorism exercises.

    Even if police do manage to arrest the suspects, would the attacks stop? It appears unlikely, and there is even an air of helplessness among those who are supposed to protect citizens. This was reflected in a security review chaired by federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil following the Delhi blasts.

    Intelligence Bureau chief P C Haldar is reported to have said that it was difficult to track every terror module of the IM, which has enrolled people from many cities in India. Haldar is reported to have admitted that the hierarchy and structure of the IM are still hazy.

    Earlier, in a more damning self-indictment, National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan, who reports to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directly, blamed the intelligence agencies that he ironically leads, for not providing "actionable intelligence" on attacks.

    The NSA reportedly told the cabinet that there was no warning about the attack on Jaipur in May. "There is no proper coordination between the state intelligence- gathering machinery and the Federal Intelligence Bureau [IB - that looks at internal security matters]. The inputs provided by the IB are imprecise."

    Yet, the security agencies cannot be blamed in isolation of the political leaders, who are engaged in another round of brinkmanship, instead of giving serious thought to revamping the security apparatus.

    The problem is beyond just laws. The preventive mechanism is woefully inadequate and India's lax security structure has become a fertile ground for terror groups to gain cheap global publicity via easy-to-execute attacks, without incurring much expenditures or risk of lives to their cadres.

    Siddharth Srivastava
    New Delhi based journalist.
    India in the dark over terror attack
    Intelligence failure make India vulnerable to terrorist attacks
    Poor security blamed for Indian bombs
    Intelligence failure to blame: Lalu

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Governors Conference New Delhi


    I want to advert your attention to another segment of the society where there is both need and scope to improve. We have about 21 lakh ex-servicemen and 4 lakh war-widows. The constant vigil of our security forces keeps us safe and secure. We must take special care of their welfare and rehabilitation. I had requested you all for a special report on the activities of Sainik Boards and Amalgamated Funds. While the focus of a few States seem to lack drive, some have embarked on innovative schemes like computerization of Sainik Board data in West Bengal, medical reimbursement in Goa, reimbursement of housing loan interest in Jharkhand, just to name a few. I would urge upon all the Governors presiding or chairing the Rajya Sainik Boards to hold regular meetings and impart greater dynamism to these Boards; take up resource-mobilization drives besides a prompt redressal of their grievances.

    Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil,
    President of India

    SCPC: Marshal Arjan Singh Laments

    New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Earlier every girl wanted to marry a fighter pilot but now nobody wants to, thanks to the pathetic pay package and lack of respect for the armed forces and their service conditions, laments Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh.

    Talking about the defence forces being shortchanged in the Sixth Pay Commission, Singh said that the morale of the force has to be maintained.

    "Bureaucrats work close to ministers and hence are able to influence them. The people in the armed forces are suffering vis-a-vis the bureaucrats. Lowering their pay and rank will affect their morale," Singh told IANS here.
    Read more: Now no girl wants to marry a fighter pilot thanks to low pay, laments Marshal Arjan Singh
    Air Force Pictures by Bharat Rakshak

    Civil Services Examination: Concessions for ESM

    Age Limits
    upto a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof:
    upto a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August (year of application) and have been released.
  • on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency.
  • on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service.
  • on invalidment.

    Upto a maximum of five years in the case of SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years Military Service as on 1st August, and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three month's notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.

    The term ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as ex-servicemen in the Ex- Servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time. The age concession will not be admissible to Ex-Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including SSCOs who are released on own request.
    Civil services Examination

    Comments: The MOD and Defence Authorities should encourage Short Service Commissioned Officers, more especially the women officers to apply for the Indian Civil Service competitive examinations. This measure will boost the morale of Short Service Commissioned Officers. There is also a need for additional concessions for personnel from Military who seek a second career in the Civil Services.
  • Indian Army one hundred years ago

    Soldiers from the Indian Army in the Royal Pavilion Hospital.

    The Indian Army was reorganized by Lord Kitchener while he was commander-in-chief in India (1902-09). Kitchener established an army of 10 divisions (155,000) backed by an internal security force of some 80,000 troops. About a quarter of the infantry and cavalry troops and almost all artillery personnel in the army were British.

    Two divisions and a cavalry brigade of the Indian Army was sent to the Western Front in September 1914. Of the 70,000 sent to France, 5,500 were killed and well over 16,000 wounded. As a result of a suggestion made by King George V, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton was converted into a hospital for wounded Indian soldiers. It has been claimed that several soldiers been brought in unconscious, woke up in the Banqueting Room, and thought they had died and were in Paradise.

    As well as the Western Front the Indian Army was also sent to Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Palestine, East Africa and Egypt. By November 1918 the Indian Army contained 573,000 men and more than 1.3 million men served during wartime, of whom about 72,000 men were killed.
    Indian Army in WWI: A century ago

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    An Officer and a Gentleman

    Maj Gen A Balasubrahmanian

    An AVSM winner, with 34 years in the Indian Army, Major General Balasubrahmanian is today best remembered for being the founding secretary of the Computer Society of India in 1965. He passed out from the third course of Sir Arthur Hope College of Engineering (Madras University) now known as Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. This College was initially funded by the famous GD Naidu of Coimbatore.

    During his tenure as president of CSI from 1969 to 1972, he charted the future course of action for the association. His tryst with IT had started even earlier when after the Chinese War in 1962, Balasubrahmanian was picked as a young major from Corps of Signals to head the computer center set up by the Defense Ministry. His subsequent roles included being the technical secretary of the Advisory Group on Computers in Defense as well as the EDP Director at DRDO HQ. In recognition of his services, he won the 'Silver Core' from the International Federation of Information Processing.
    Courtesy: Dataquest
    Founder Secretary Maj Gen A Balasubrahmanian

    Request: We kindly request Maj Gen Balasubrahmanian to share with our readers the facets of IT growth in India. There is also an urgent need for the Armed Forces personnel to become computer savvy. What measures can be adopted from Training establishments to AHQ to input IT as vehicle of combat? Our Armed Forces websites need to move to web 2.0 technologies to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality in keeping with the RTI Act. How can we achieve this in the near future in spite of Bureaucratic hassles!

    SCPC: IAS Bureaucrats- Indian In Name Only

    But the English speaking, Indian bureaucracy is another matter. Having dragged India to the bottom of global corruption pervasiveness ratings, they cover their owns misdeeds, under the ‘umbrella’ of the neta. (See Transparency International Ratings)

    This is one colonial institution that India has tried digesting, without success. IAS (ICS during colonial times) a venal, corrupt cadre, has tied up India into knots- which have taken us decades to even start disentangling.

    As in colonial era, the IAS lobby works behind the scenes. The IAS lobby continues with this. Indian TV channels routinely conduct sting operations on various institutions- politicians, universities, colleges, film stars, etc. But no one has tried a sting operation on an IAS officer. Is it their propaganda skills that they are able to cover their corruption- and the popular, elected leadership is continually tarred.

    Or is it fear?
    IAS- Indian In Name Only

    Comments: Or is it fear of the Patriotic Armed Forces that they wish to stifle, belittle and dishonour in connivance with the politicians? The SCPC outcome and objective has been to reduce the Rank status and Honour of the Armed Forces!
    Why are the 20 lakh defence pensioners who have braved to protect the security of the Nation are being denied the grant of "One Rank One Pension" as promised by all the Political Parties?

    Call for stringent laws to counter terrorism

    Dr Kalam is in the city to take class at the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad (IIM-A), organised between September 13 and November 27, on energy security and water conservation among other key issues.

    Addressing newspersons, Dr Kalam said that public awareness is essential to counter terrorism. The person who takes part in terrorist activities is also a member of a family and society at large. Good people should behave responsibly and immediately infrom authorities if they find any such elements among them.

    Defending India's nuke deal with US, the former president said that the country lacks sufficient amount of uranium and it is needed for the nuclear reactors. The nuke deal with US will ensure a committed supply of uranium to the reactors. ''Our scientists are working on thorium-based reactors.
    Stringent laws must to counter terrorism: Kalam
    A website for Nation Building
    Dr APJ Kalam's Speeches as President: 25 July 2002- 25 July 2007

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    The man who landscaped Indian IT field

    Photo by R Ragu
    His life reads like a ‘Brief history of IT in India.’ He has been involved in creating every institution that forms the foundation of the Indian IT landscape, be it CMC, NIC or Computer Society of India (CSI). And, this engineer with a degree in telecommunication, spent most of his life associated with an institution which may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of IT technology – the Army. A Balasubrahmanian, who retired as a Major General, speaks to Sruthi Krishnan on the sidelines of the 43rd Convention of CSI held along with Connect 2008, the ICT event that concluded in Chennai on Saturday.

    “The Army had the best of electronic equipment,” he says explaining his career choice. And that is how this graduate from the third batch of Guindy Engineering College joined the Army Corps of Signals in 1950. “My mother was reluctant to let me go,” he recalls, but the fact that her brother also joined the Army made her relent. “Her fears almost came true,” he recounts. “When she was critically ill, I was undergoing a special training. I could not go because there were lots of formalities. When Sam Manekshaw saw me, he asked, why were you so grumpy? When I told him, he asked me to go, saying that my mother was more important than anything.”

    An engineer with advanced training in electronics and guided missiles made him the natural choice for the first Computer Centre of the Ministry of Defence at Hyderabad in 1962. “Around 1960, the first few computers made their appearance,” he says. “Prior to that in 1954, the development of the TIFRAC computer was taken up on the initiative of Homi Bhabha. It was quite contemporary at that point of time.”

    Fortuitous founding
    The sixties also saw the founding of an institution which he would have a lifetime association with. “It was fortuitous. A group of users of computers met under the aegis of Professor Harold Huskey. At this meet, it was envisaged that a group of users should be formed. That was how CSI was conceived,” says the Society’s first Secretary. “In 1970, there was a labour protest in Calcutta because we wanted to import two computers,” Mr.Balasubrahmanian says, describing the start of a decade that would see him being instrumental in establishing Regional Computer Centres in cities, including Pune and Chandigarh. “There were few computers, and we wanted them to be used by as many users as possible,” he says.

    In 1975, IBM left India because the law stated that to establish a presence, an Indian company should be given 40 per cent equity. “Anticipating this, we setup Computer Maintenance Corporation (CMC), to maintain computers. Before that we made trips to Europe and the USSR and imported computers from the USSR. We paid for them by writing software for those computers,” he says, recounting a project which was perhaps the first outsourcing assignment for India.

    In the 1980s, restrictions on importing computers were removed. “But, people started using these computers like electronic typewriters. It is like wasting food, something imported at that cost should not be misused,” he says. After retirement in 1984, he joined Indira Gandhi National Open University where he achieved another first – Distance education programme on computers. This veteran’s tryst with the world of information continues in innovations that are of use to disabled persons. “It is my belief that everyone should have access to technology,” Maj Gen Balasubrahmanian says.
    The man who landscaped Indian IT field

    Comments: The Veterans especially the Corps of Signals officers remember Maj Gen A Balasubrahmanian very fondly as the most soft spoken gentleman of the Corps. Everyone is proud of his significant noiseless achievements in the civilian world. Kudos and Cheers to his Signal Spirit.

    Explosions at India’s Capital

    Photos: VV Krishnan, AP, AFP

    NEW DELHI — The Indian capital was rocked by terrorist attacks on Saturday as a series of synchronized explosions hit five crowded markets and thoroughfares, including Connaught Place, a tourist destination in the heart of the city.

    Shivraj Patil, India’s home minister, said 18 people had been killed. Scores were wounded — in one hospital alone, more than 50 casualties were wheeled in within two hours of the blasts. The police and government officials called for calm, and the streets of the capital turned quiet Saturday night.
    More News at:
    Explosions at 5 Sites in India’s Capital Kill 18
    Terror mail threatens to “stop India’s heartbeat”
    US, UK condemn Delhi blasts
    Terror challenge to be met head on: Manmohan


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