Dear Colleagues, On behalf of the IESM I wish every Ex Serviceman and all Service families, wherever they are, a very happy, healthy and agreeable 2010. Best regards, Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman IESM
Brigadier DS Chahal salutes at Captain Navpal Sidhu’s memorial at Balidan Divas function. Photo: Raj Sadosh
Sriganganagar/Abohar, December 30 Brigadier DS Chahal was followed by Rajasthan agricultural marketing minister Gurmeet Singh Kunnar, former minister Surinderpal Singh and other dignitaries in offering floral tributes to Captain Navpal Singh Sidhu during the seventh Balidan Divas function of the latter at his memorial in his native village 40 RB, about nine kilometers from Padampur on the Raisinghnagar road in Sriganganagar district today. Navpal's Sacrifice remembered
Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen PC Bhardwaj launched a pilot project of Rail e-ticketing for the Armed Forces, here today. The project, being implemented by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), will initially be available at 20 locations spread across the country. Armed Forces personnel will now have the convenience to book and print tickets through IRCTC website at unit locations. The project will enable automatic generation of all accounting, payment and financial reports.
Speaking on the occasion, General Bhardwaj said that the new system will cut tedious paperwork and introduce seamless processing “in one stroke”. He hoped that the ‘PCDA (Principal Controller of Defence Accounts) Travel System’ will slowly make the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) irrelevant and become a precursor to automation and better management. In her address, the CGDA, Smt Bulbul Ghosh said that the pilot project will gradually be expanded to more than 5,000 Army, Navy and Air Force units across the country. The e-ticketing system will be completed in four phases, - the first phase will cover Rail Travel, Air Travel will be covered in the second phase, Defence civilians will be included in the third phase and TA processing will be completely online in the final phase.
The main features of the e-ticketing facility are availability round-the-clock, user friendly, ease of operation and accounting while taking care of security concerns. In the new system, the units will be enabled to have a virtual PRS of the railways in the units itself, which will be enabled to issue tickets through a centralised portal operated by the CGDA office. For this purpose, the CGDA has entered into an agreement with the IRCTC. With this facility, the system of railway warrants which obliged Armed Forces personnel to go in for manual tickets at the PRS counter and involved a lot of paperwork, will gradually be replaced.
Key file missing, MoD blames DGAFMS Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 30 Even as former short service commissioned (SSC) officers continue to be hassled over availing treatment at military hospitals, the Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) has claimed that the Defence Ministry’s file containing relevant orders issued by the President has been “lost”.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD), in response to a query under the RTI Act, has held the DGAFMS responsible for the loss, as it was the custodian of the file.
Earlier, the DGAFMS had responded to queries by ex-servicemen by claiming that the file was with the MoD. When the Ministry wrote to the DGAFMS pointing out that the file was with it, medical directorate then claimed that it was lost.
In 1996, the government had extended outdoor medical facilities in military hospitals to all “ex-servicemen”. These were earlier available only to “ex-service pensioners” and the relevant clause introduced in 1983 was amended after the presidential sanction was accorded for the same.
Letters on the subject were later issued by the Adjutant General’s branch, explicitly including emergency commissioned and SSC officers under the ambit of military medical facilities. Requests by the Director General Medical Services (Army) to rescind these medical facilities were also turned down by the MoD in 1997 and 1998.
Last year, the DGAFMS suo-moto started refusing medical care to elderly veterans on the pretext that they were not entitled to the facility. The DGAFMS also claimed that its concurrence was not taken before granting facilities to non-pensioner ex-servicemen. The DGMS (Army) even wrote to all Army Commands asking them not to comply with letters of the MOD and the Army Headquarters.
Irked by the conduct of the DGAFMS, many ex-servicemen sought a copy of the file notings leading to the Presidential sanction in which the complete concurrence of the then DGAFMS was taken. The DGAFMS, thereafter, took the pretext that the said file was lost. Medical Benefits for SSC Officers
Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30 The Army’s military doctrine is being reviewed and it will now include an added thrust in five key areas that will propel the doctrine. This includes wars in faraway lands, besides strategy on how to face future challenges posed by China and Pakistan.The key areas include preparation for a two-pronged war with China and Pakistan. Both countries will have to be looked at separately and also collectively. The nature of conflict, if ever, with both countries will vary greatly in terms of terrain and use of weapons and firepower.
The Army, which is involved in fighting insurgency in J&K and the North-East, is also looking to optimise capabilities to fight asymmetric war waged by both state and non-state actors such as terror attacks and proxy wars. This will include cyber and electronic warfare.
The doctrine will look at ways to enhance the strategic reach of the Army and joint operations with the Navy and the Air Force. Countries like the USA already have airborne division while China displayed its might a couple of months ago by showing rapid induction of troops. The reviewed doctrine will also touch upon space-based capability and methods to achieve technological edge over the enemy. The doctrine is reviewed every five years by the Army’s Shimla-based Training Command. The two-day closed-door review ended here today.
Among those who have contributed with their opinions were retired officers like Lt-Gen SS Mehta, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, Lt-Gen Satish Nambiar, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, Maj-Gen GD Bakshi and Brig Gurmeet Kanwal. Former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarthy was also among those who addressed the meeting.
The Training Command had already begun reworking on the doctrine to include the new developments in different areas of warfare. Army doctrine being reviewed
Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 29 As many as 500 ex-servicemen attended the Defence Pension Adalat that began at Patiala today. The adalat would serve as a platform to resolve pension-related grievances of veterans on the spot as representatives of the decision-making authorities concerned, banks and the Defence Ministry would also be present there. Being organised under the aegis of the Controller-General of Defence Accounts, Western Command, the adalat was inaugurated by Lieut-Gen VK Chaturvedi, Director-General Manpower Planning, Army Headquarters. This is the 96th such adalat to be held in the country. Pension adalat for ex-servicemen
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman, IESM December 29, 2009 ESM/09
I write this to request your help persuading the Government to look at `One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) favourably. You would perhaps be aware that the ex-servicemen, after having failed to convince the authorities through meetings and presentations, went public with their demand for (OROP) in April 2008 and have been doing so ever since. OROP is a demand for justice and equity and not for more money per se. If the government cannot afford the pension expenses, let them pay lower pensions across the board but there should no discrimination against the old pensioners. The ex-servicemen are merely demanding that equal pension be paid for equal service rendered, as per the law of `natural justice’. This demand is over 25 years old and successive governments have failed to accept this reasonable demand. Nor has there been any convincing reason for non-acceptance of the demand. The ex-servicemen were greatly enthused when the President of India mentioned term `OROP’ in her address to the opening session of the Parliament on 4th June, 2009. Subsequently, the Hon’ble Ministers of Defence and Finance also used words in the parliament suggestive of the government granting OROP. However, what is actually planned to be done has no connection with OROP and is a mere removal of the dividing line between pensioners of pre-October 1997 and post this date till 31st December, 2005. The dividing line created by the 6th Pay Commission with 1.1.2006 as the water shed still continues to remain. Conveying an impression, knowingly or unwittingly, that the government was considering grant of OROP and then giving mere one time enhancement to old pensioners, has only salted the wounds of the ex-servicemen community. This has further strengthened their resolve to continue their struggle till their just demand of OROP is met. They have already been depositing their medals with the President and will increase its intensity. I do not believe this is a good thing to happen in our country. Considering the larger implication of keeping the defence veterans/ forces unhappy, I will request you, as the future leader of the country to kindly prevail upon the government to grant OROP. Yours sincerely, (Raj Kadyan)
Dear Veterans, 1. Like many cases being handled by our Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell, Regd (NGO), Sep Charan Singh of 2 Sikh LI gets his Disability Pension (60%) after 25 Yrs, not by system's efficiency/ wisdom but through the Courts.
2. Ropar was the biggest recruiting Centre during World Wars & now full of ESM. Most ESM/ Widows are crying for proper compensation even today in Free India. They come for help to ZSBs & then to NGOs. This NGO have succeeded in helping hundreds of them but still no end to it.
3. Army HQ/ MOD have amended many rules & provisions on genuine request and much more need to be done.
4. Western Command ESM Helplines has also tried helping endless such cases, which speak volumes of Civil Administration (ZSB, RSB and KSB) failure.
5. There is a need to integrate ESM into civil Governance, MOD, Banks and CDAs/ DPDOs, so that we get some Justice & Employment/ Resettlement. SS Col Sohi (Retd)
A Tribune Exclusive by Chitleen K Sethi Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 26 Mirror mirror on the wall…who is the richest of them all? Forced to make their assets public under the Right To Information Act, the property returns filed by the 151 IAS officers serving in Punjab have revealed an eclectic mix of billionaires, millionaires and some with nothing at all.
Many have been “allotted” properties by the government agencies. Some managed these through discretionary quotas, making use of their official positions to the hilt.
Then there are some who have been so lucky that every time they applied for a property in the draw of lots they got it. Many of them own several properties in the periphery of Chandigarh.
The richest IAS officer in the state is SS Channi, Principal Secretary (Industries). The man, who owned just a 10-marla plot in Mohali in 1982-83, now has several acres of agricultural land, a 50 per cent share in a filling station in Bathinda, a transport company in Bathinda, a house in Sector 18, Chandigarh, a flat in Delhi, a plot in Gurgaon, another in Noida and a two-kanal plot in the IAS PCS House Building Society, Mohali.
“Most of the land and businesses were inherited by Channi. The flats and plots he has bought have been shown as purchased after selling other properties,” said advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, HC Arora, who had sought the information under the RTI Act.
Arora has now received the details of the property returns following orders of the Punjab State Information Commission.
Another smart investor has been Shivinder Singh Brar, Financial Commissioner (Excise and Taxation). Apart from ancestral property, he has two houses in Delhi, a commercial flat in Delhi, a house in the Punjab State IAS Cooperative Housing Society at Chandigarh, agricultural lands in village Kansal and Giddarbaha and also a godown in Giddarbaha.
The “allottees” include Varun Roozam, who was allotted a 500-sq yard industrial plot in Phase VI Mohali. He later sold off the property. Priyank Bharati was allotted 220 sq yards of commercial property by PSIDC in 1995. Dr Avinder Singh states in his return of 2004 that the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board allotted him a residential plot from a “discretionary” quota.
Sujata Das was allotted a residential plot in Sector 8, Panchkula, from the discretionary quota of the then CM. She was again allotted a residential flat in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, from another discretionary quota.
Surinderjit Sandhu was allotted a corner plot in discretionary quota by the then Director (Housing) in Jalandhar. P. Ram was allotted a 500-sq yard residential plot from the minister’s quota in Mohali.
IAS officers also seem to get property at very comfortable rates. Rakhi Gupta Bhandari purchased a 288-sq yard residential plot on Dhanola Road, Barnala, in 2008 for Rs 2.40 lakh. Sarup Singh Dhillon purchased agricultural land at Bassi Pathana at “collector’s rate” where he is growing vegetables in a green house. He purchased a house in Sector 34, Chandigarh, at a rate fixed by the estate officer in March 2005.
Interestingly, there are some officers who seem to have “nothing at all”. According to their current returns, Vijay Janjua, Sundram Krishna, Vivek Partap Singh, Rajat Aggarwal, Manisha Trighatia, Ajoy Sharma, Pradeep Agarwal and Manjeet Singh don’t own any immoveable property. Here babus are billionaires
The military draws its manpower from within the country, where moral standards have fallen, corruption is rampant and there is a climate of loot and plunder, right across the national landscape.
The main difference is that this fall in standards is unacceptable in the military. That is how military’s internal mechanism picks out such black sheep (liquor, ketchup, moral turpitude and land scams, etc types) and dishes out exemplary punishment.
As against this what happened to all those DCs in Punjab who had misappropriated Red Cross and Kargil funds, etc and put these to private and personal use? There are unlimited numbers of other cases which are pushed under the carpet. What of SPS Rathore of Ruchika case: 19 years later, a farce!
The self-correcting mechanism is what distinguishes the military from the general rot in the country. Brig Harwant Singh,(Retd)
Subhrangshu Gupta Tribune News Service Kolkata, December 29 Neither the Centre nor the states so far has taken any steps to tackle the Maoists problems, former Army Chief Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury alleged. He did not think the problem could be solved either with the deployment of the joint action force in the vulnerable areas or allowing the troops to operate there.
Roychowdhury said the Maoists problem was a human problem and an Army operation against the Maoists would be disastrous. He suggested that both the Centre and the respective state government should adopt a joint master plan for developing those neglected villages on a war footing. But for some time, the joint action force should remain there and from time to time conduct the flushing-out operations of Maoists.
Talking to a private TV channel today, the former Army chief suggested that all political parties, irrespective of their differences, should come to a common platform and launch welfare activities in those vulnerable areas with the involvement of the local people. This would compel the Maoists and other vested interests to gradually withdraw.
Roychowdhury did not think the Maoists problems could be treated merely as law and order problems of the state, meant only for the respective state government to tackle. The Centre should share the responsibility of protecting the people against the Maoists since the Centre too was responsible for their plight. He suggested that the Maoists should be brought into the mainstream in phases and they should be engaged in suitable alternatives for earning their livelihoods.
The Bengal government had taken a foolish step, according to the former Chief, by engaging the police force for combating the Maoists in the first stage instead of initiating a dialogue with the local people and redressing their grievances. Steps to tackle Maoists improper: Ex-Army chief
Dear Colleagues, Hav Gurmel Singh called up (again) Dec 27 from DBN, Gurdaspur, Punjab. They had a rally of ESM the previous day that was attended by a number of senior veterans and some politicians. The latter expressed full support for OROP and promised to keep raising the issue in the State Assembly as well as in the Parliament. Gurmel is heading an ESM organisation and expressed full accord with the IESM aims, objectives and methodology. I informed him of the next date for depositing medals ie 31 Jan 2010. He assured that he would disseminate the message and will ask maximum veterans to deposit their medals. Best regards, Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman IESM
IESM LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS December 14, 2009 From: Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman, I write this to approach you for seeking railway travel concession for the Ex-Servicemen in India. The structure of the Defence Forces draws its strength from camaraderie and fellow feeling. Every battalion/ regiment/ unit of the Defence Forces has an annual day where the veterans are invited, they mingle with the younger generation who are still in uniform, and pass on their experiences. Apart from being great learning this also serves as a source of motivation for the younger generation. At present, the veterans have to travel at their own expense to join these annual Battle Honours days or raising days etc. Because of the expenses involved, many shy away from participation thus negating the value sought to be derived from such occasions. I would request you to kindly consider if every veteran could be given a free railway pass once a year to travel to his/ her unit wherever located in India, to be part of such historical celebrations. The railway pass can be of the same class which the veteran was entitled to at the time of retirement. I would be happy to personally meet you and explain the above point. Yours sincerely, Best regards, Sd xxx (Raj Kadyan)
Kumari Mamata Banerjee Hon’ble Minister of Railways
India and Japan will launch a defence action plan to firm up their strategic partnership that includes jointly combating maritime piracy and give a push to negotiations over a key economic agreement that can multiply their bilateral trade manifold.
The two sides on Monday signed agreements to build eco-friendly cities along the Rs.3.6 lakh crore ($72 billion) Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, setting the tone for talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama on Tuesday. Hatoyama began his three-day visit to India Sunday and arrived in the Indian capital for talks Monday afternoon.
However, a civil nuclear deal looks unlikely with a Japanese official Monday urging India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), opposed by New Delhi which regards it as "unfair and discriminatory."
The two leaders will discuss a host of bilateral, regional and global issues, including an ambitious plan to scale bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2010, the UN reforms, nuclear issues, and coordination over climate change negotiations in the aftermath of the Copenhagen accord. Read the full account India, Japan to launch defence action plan
Today’s veterans are yesterday’s uniformed!! Having spent many years in the Corps, some as much as 38 years, the Corps becomes more than a family for them. However, on retirement most veterans head home, some take up jobs and a few migrate to other countries. The only medium for Corps news is The Signalman. It is published every four months and the news becomes old by the time our Corps magazine reaches the veterans.
Saddest part is delayed and lack of information about those who pass away. The Friends and Comrades are unable to pay Shradhanjli to the departed souls. Also there is no platform where Corps veterans are able to express their views and thoughts about professional and Corps matters.
A periodic email based letter named REPORT MY SIGNAL was started by Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant 1988-91, about five years back, with 15-20 email addresses of the Corps Veterans. The Aim was to do networking, remain in touch and exchange information about the veterans and other matters of mutual interest. REPORT MY SIGNAL was chosen as the Title, since it epitomises the Corps of Signals ethos. After a few months, Brig CS Kamboj, VSM took over the reigns. With his dynamism and dedication, he soon made it very popular and informative.
It has become single most important source of the Corps and other news for over 1200 veterans and some ladies from All the Three Services, including 47 ESM organisations, spread all over the world, who have joined up the email list. During 2008, 387 emails were sent out by “Report My Signal”. All the members and ESM organisations on the emailing list of “Report My Signal” have their forward emailing nets. It is estimate that within 24 hours of an email going out from “Report My Signal” around 12000 to 15000 veterans read that email. A large number of Blogs have started posting the emails of “Report My Signal” on their own blogs. However, this forum can only be periodic and every word has to be typed by Brig Kamboj himself.
The advent of Blogs set us thinking to start a Corps Blog. Based on suggestion to Brig Kamboj, he was able to identify (discover would be more appropriate) Col James Kanagaraj, living in Chennai, in Nov 2007, who was then on a visit to USA. Col James Kanagaraj has turned out to be a technical wizard and highly motivated and dedicated. Using emails between Brig Kamboj in NOIDA, Col James in USA and self in Chandigarh, we were able to work out the design and layout of Report My Signal Blog within a few weeks.
Though the original idea was to have only one blog for Shradhanjlis, we decided to split this one Blog into three blogs (Shradhanjli, Veterans Affairs and Professional). The Blog was formally launched on 01 Dec 2007, with an email from Brig CS Kamboj on his Report My Signal Forum.
There was a need to have one to two more veterans to act as moderators. Soon we had two volunteers; Brig Sukhwinder Singh and Maj Ramesh Agnani. However, Maj Agnani asked to be relieved after a few weeks due to other commitments that he had. Since then Col James Kanagaraj has been the Moderator for Veterans and Shradhanjli Blogs and Brig Sukhwinder Singh has been managing the Professional Matters Blog.
Blog is short form of ‘Weblog’ and is a journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. In a classical blog, people worldwide can themselves add comments/views. However, since our Blog deals with Service people and matters, the procedure adopted is that all those who want to post anything on the Blogs have to send the same to the two Moderators, who then post the contents on the Blogs.
The Blog “Shradhanjli” is exclusively for use by All Ranks of Signals. For other two Blogs, all Veteran Officers of the Indian Defence Services are welcome to participate. Generally speaking, all matters concerning the Veterans, professional matters dealing with the Defence Forces, National Security, Technology etc keeping in view security aspects, Shradhanjlis to comrades from Corps of Signals are accepted for posting on the these Blogs. Messages dealing with politics, religion and business are not accepted and security aspects are kept in view.
From a modest unique hits of 20- 30 in Dec 2007 the Blog has grown to hit range of 250- 285 with daily total hits ranging 650 a day in Dec 2008. There has been surge of visits to topics on "Sixth Central Pay Commission" and "Mumbai Terror Attacks".
The Report My Signal Blog is visited by interested people all over the world and has become one of the premier source for information as also expressing opinions and thoughts on National Security and Service matters. It is also heartening to know that we now come to know about the demise of our comrades in the Corps more promptly and are able to pay Sharadhanjlis to them.
REPORT MY SIGNAL BLOG IS FOR THE CORPS OF SIGNALS VETERANS AND VETERANS OF ALL THE THREE SERVICES. WE REQUEST ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF ALL READERS. Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh,PVSM (Retd) This article was published in SIGNALMAN, the premier Magazine of Corps of Signals
PTI First Published: 25 Dec 2009 11:47:24 AM IST NEW DELHI: With four Generals coming under cloud over alleged fraud in the sale of a civilian land near Darjeeling, Defence Minister A K Antony summoned Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor for a meeting in which they reportedly discussed the contents of the probe on the issue.
Antony, on his return from Hyderabad in the afternoon, called for a meeting with Kapoor and the two were closeted for about 40 minutes, Defence Ministry officials said this evening.
"It was a closed door, one-on-one meeting," officials said, denying knowledge of the meeting's agenda.
Army military secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, Deputy Chief of Army Staff-designate Lt Gen P K Rath, 11 Corps Commander Lt Gen Ramesh Halgalli and Major General P C Sen were reportedly found culpable for issuing a No-Objection Certificate to a private institution, which falsely claimed to set up an affiliate of the famed Ajmer-based Mayo College, adjacent to Sukhna military station.
The Court of Inquiry into the fraud, which was completed a fortnight ago, had submitted its report, on the basis of which Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen V K Singh reportedly made recommendations to Army Chief to initiate strict action against these senior officers, who had a role in the NOC episode. Antony discusses scam report with Army chief
Illegal encroachment of defence lands What has MoD done to evict illegal encroachment of defence lands by unscrupulous elements having local political criminal connections? The DEO's are silent spectators to illegal occupation of defence lands in all the Military Cantonments.
Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 25, 2009 The Army’s continuation of filing appeals against High Court orders granting relief to disabled ex-servicemen in apparent violation of the settled legal position has caused resentment among the service community.
In a letter written to the Ministry of Defence as well as the Ministry of Law, ex-servicemen have contended that the Department of Pensions of the Defence Ministry and the Personnel Services Directorate at the Army Headquarters are making it a point to file appeals against almost all decisions of courts rendered in favour of disabled soldiers.
The said departments, the letter states continues to file appeals against the decisions of single benches before Division Benches and of division benches before the Supreme Court, even when the law is well settled by the apex court.
Highlighting some specific examples, the letter contends that the ministry has been filing appeals by brushing under the carpet, the legal opinion of the office of the Solicitor General and verdicts of the Supreme Court. A noting sheet obtained under the RTI Act on one such issue showed that the Ministry of Defence ignored legal opinion of the Solicitor General.
The letter contends that more than the logic behind the decisions, it is the ego of the mighty government machinery which swings into action once a verdict is pronounced in favour of a petitioner. Further, some departments tend to file frivolous, misleading and unethical appeals not only leading to a burden on the judiciary but also forcing a waste on the exchequer and man-hours of public servants.
Ex-servicemen say that unnecessary litigation against disabled soldiers not only causes extreme financial and psychological distress to them but is also against the overall spirit of the policy of the government in this regard and the stated position of the Law Ministry. Veterans resent govt filing appeals in favourable cases
Dear Veterans, Palwinder Kaur struggling for Family Pension even after 20 Yrs. 1. We are chasing The Sikh LI Regt, non- stop for the last about 2 yrs, but they have their own style & pace of working. We do not understamd, what they are waiting for to do their basic duty. 2. Media coverage (The Tribune) dt 26/12/09 as above. MOD opposing tooth & nail to ensure that disabled ESM do not get their legitimate Disability Pension even after winning Court cases in High Courts by ESM. MOD's attitudes against ESM community are the same in other ESM Grievances cases for Justice, as well. God bless them also a Happy New Year. Regards. Col SS Sohi (Retd)
Lt Col (Retd) KL Jaspal, of Haryana, who is an active GConnector is the author of this guest article. We feel he has presented his views on One Rank One Pay very cogently. We solicit guest articles on any topic from the readers which can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In accordance with the contents of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, this piece of writing is to throw light on similarly circumstanced countrymen who cannot be and must not be arbitrarily divided or categorized or classified by the state for debarring some of them from the benefits whenever announced by the Govt. Efforts are made to explain that already existing classifications/ categories of pensioners are founded on an intelligible differential which distinguishes pensioners that are grouped together. Whenever and wherever, the state has ever made any deceptive efforts to further classify the pensioners for its own financial or any other interest, but that was against pensioners in financial or in any other manners, it was checked by the Law of the Land. Many of the courts of the country including the Apex court of India always stood by Article 14, which forbade the Govt. from doing so. Article 14 is therefore specifically incorporated in the constitution to ensure fairness and equality of treatment to all the countrymen of the nation, so that all of them are treated alike both in privileges conferred and liabilities imposed by the state or any of the state’s authorities. click here to read the full article published in gconnect
Dear VSM Veteran Brig CS Kamboj, Please accept heartiest felicitations on completion of two years of dedicated service to the cause of the Armed Forces, especially the ESM. Kindly convey the same to the entire team of `Report My Signal`. Your blog is a wonderful forum for free & frank exchange of views/ ideas among the defence community, more so after the `debacle` of the 6 CPC & the slothful attitude of the `netas & babus` towards the men in uniform & the Veterans. You have also not shied away from `cracking the whip` when required, & rightly so, for any uncharitable comments by any of us. May you continue to propagate this selfless spirit ahead in the true tradition of the NDA motto - " SERVICE BEFORE SELF ". Best Wishes & Happy New Year to all !!!
Brig SS Jaswal, Veteran, IESM, Panchkula, 37 NDA/46 IMA Course
Dear Colonel James, Greetings! It is great to develop the Set of RMS Blogs under the stewardship of General Harbhajan Singh. His guidance and timely interventions have been helpful.
The Team has done well towards the cause of the Services Veterans, and possibly the Serving. Initial 'waxing' of the Team was well-achieved; the fruit is the continued success of these Set of Blogs and their routine management efficiently. Your timely technical support has been valuable, Thanks.
Thanks to Brigadier CS Kamboj too for his mastery in the art of managing a 'Vibrant Blog Team' - in addition to the e-mail Forum which has its own dynamics. Fond Regards, Brig Sukhwindar Singh (Retd) Blog Team
Things do not change "Pakistan Struggles For Survival - Religious Warfare and Economic Chaos Threaten the Survival of this Nation". Above was the heading of the Life Magazine article on Pakistan in January, 1948 when Pakistan was just 5 months old!! Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM (Retd)
A few years ago a friend gave me a wonderful gift. A copy of the January 4, 1948 issue of LIFE magazine. This is the issue with a rather unflattering portrait of a clearly ailing ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ on its cover.
For most part the cover story- with pictures by Margaret Bourke-White- is as unflattering as the picture of Mr. Jinnah on the cover. Margaret Bourke White is an important chronicler of the events of 1947 and beyond in both India and Pakistan. She has strong views on these events, including on the creation of Pakistan and on Mohammad Ali Jinnah. These views, also reflected in the LIFE article, are much discussed and sometimes debated in academic and popular treatise.
Dear Readers and Contributors to Report My Signal Blog,
The Report My Signal Blog has completed two years. The Blog has effectively served the interests of not only the Signals Veterans but veterans of all the three Defence Services. It has become a popular forum for exchange of ideas, information and views amongst the veterans.
The Blog has played a significant role in keeping the veterans of all three Services well informed and rallying them to the common cause, in particular against the discriminatory award of the 6th Pay Commission.
May I take this opportunity to thank Brig CS Kamboj, VSM, Brig Sukhwindar Singh and in particular Lt Col James Kanagaraj, who is managing two blogs and looks after all the technical aspects, for their time and dedication to manage the Blog so efficiently.
Wishing all readers a very Happy New Year, good health and successes. Sincerely, Harbhajan Singh Lt Gen
First step in and out of the NDA by Lt-Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd) Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM, former Signal Officer in Chief is from First Course NDA. He is the principal architect of the RMS blog. His constant guidance in maintenance of high standards has made RMS a popular one especially amongst the defence forces personnel primarily Ex- Servicemen. We the blog team truly remain inspired. Brig CS Kamboj, VSM Brig Sukwindar Singh James Kanagaraj
Message from Vinita Deshmukh Co-Author of the book 'To The Last Bullet’
Kavita Karkare’s heart rending poem which she read out on the occasion of the Marathi edition launch of `To The Last Bullet’ on December 22, in Pune should pierce the heart of every conscientious citizen of this country. I have translated it as follows:
Do not become a martyr in this country Do not commit the mistake of becoming a martyr in this country Your image will be tarnished by being called as `Headless Chicken’ or `Dumb Ass’ Hence, never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.
Why has the martyr being adorned with `Ashoka Chakra’? Is what they will argue aimlessly and insensitively Even the `Ram Pradhan Committee (meant to give justice) will hang the martyr Hence, never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.
While fighting terror, why didn’t help come in time? Why were the injured lying for 40 minutes without help? As a martyr’s wife in this country, never ask such questions. Firstly, never commit the `crime’ of being a martyr in this country.
Nowhere in the world is a martyr tested for alcohol, but in this country this humiliation is also not spared Never try to understand the politics behind this irrational demand. Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.
Which senior officer switched off his mobile during the hour of terror? Or which senior officer twiddled his fingers on a terrace? Never pick up courage to point such fingers. Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.
We have been reminded a hundred times about compensation to martyrs As also the money we got as their `Leave Encashment’ and `Provident Fund.’ If that was not enough, we were reminded they paid us Rs.15,000 for our husbands’ funeral, Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.
By being in the government service Never make the mistake of being a martyr in this country In this country, the crime of murder is pardoned The corrupt released from the prison Walk in public, with their head held high But if you become a martyr, you are ostracised from society Never commit the mistake of being a martyr of this country.
Should the martyr be hanged? Or should he be kept alive? You will decide that We have set aflame the torch, Which you will keep it burning.
by Kavita Karkare On the occasion of the release of the Marathi edition of `To The Last Bullet’
From: Krishan Chopra Incidently I have a small problem and hope that you wud be able to find an answer for the same for me. You know I joined service on 20th December, 1948 alongwith 18 other officers as the first Direct Entry Graduates Executive Branch, called the BENBOW batch. To be honest, I have lost track of the whereabouts of these officers since retirement. There are a number of them, who have since died, whereas in case of some no contact details are available from my sources. I wonder if you would be able to find any answer to this predictment of mine. (Two of these were, however, dismissed during the training itself) With kind regards Cdr KL CHOPRA
My dear Kamboj, I am not sure whether the campaign for return of medals drew inspiration from Rabindranath Tagore's renunciation of his knighthood. In any case I am attaching an excerpt from a book which was one of the gifts Santa Claus brought to my grand-daughter: From the Biography titled GANDHI by AMY PASTAN Page 68: Ref Reactions to JallianwalaBagh:
THE GREAT POET TAGORE RENOUNCED HIS KNIGHTHOOD, STATING IN A LETTER OF PROTEST TO THE VICEROY ON MAY 31, 1919.
“The time has come when the badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongrous context of humiliation, and for my part wish to stand shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen who for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.”
I have also sent a suggestion to Brig Chikkara that we could consider gathering gifts and donations of sweet packages for our jawans at the borders for Divali. Donations can be collected through schools and NGOs. HAPPY NEW YEAR AKEEL Cdr Akeel Shaikh, 18 NDA/B Sqn
The Hindu 26 Dec 2009 by Siddharth Varadarajan Behind every man like S.P.S. Rathore who abuses his authority stand the generals and footsoldiers who help and support him. We need to take them all down.
S.P.S. Rathore, the criminal former top cop of Haryana, may appear alone today but we must never forget that he was able to get away with the sexual molestation of a young child and the illegal harassment of her family for 19 years because he had hundreds of men who supported him in his effort to evade justice.
The fact that these men – fellow police officers, bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, judges, school administrators – were willing to bend the system to accommodate a man accused of molesting a minor speaks volumes for the moral impoverishment of our establishment and country. Decent societies shun those involved in sexual offences against children. Even criminals jailed for ‘ordinary’ crimes like murder treat those serving time for molesting children as beyond the pale. But in India, men like Rathore have their uses for their masters, so the system circles its wagons and protects them.
The CBI’s appeal may lead to the enhancement of Rathore’s sentence and perhaps even the slapping of abetment to suicide charges, since his young victim killed herself to put an end to the criminal intimidation her family was being subjected to by Rathore and his men. But the systemic rot which the case has exposed will not be remedied unless sustained public pressure is put on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, two men who have it in their power to push for simple remedies in the way the Indian law enforcement and justice delivery system works.
First, abolish the need for official, i.e. political sanction to prosecute bureaucrats, policemen and security forces personnel when they are accused of committing crimes. The original intent behind this built-in stay-out-of-jail card was to protect state functionaries from acts done in the course of discharging their duties in good faith. Somewhere along the line, this has come to mean protecting our custodians of law and order when they murder innocent civilians (eg. the infamous Panchalthan case in Kashmir where the trial of army men indicted by the CBI for murdering five villagers in 2000 still cannot take place because the Central government will not grant permission), or assault or molest women and children. No civilised, democratic society grants such impunity. It is disgusting to see former officials and bureaucrats from Haryana saying how they had wanted Rathore prosecuted but were prevented from doing so because of pressure. Such officials should either be made formally to testify in a criminal case against the politicians who so pressured them or they should themselves be hauled up for perverting the course of justice.
Second, stop talking about how making the police and army answerable to the law will somehow demoralise their morale. Does anybody care about the morale of ordinary citizens any more? Or the morale of upright police and army officers, who do not think it is right for their colleagues to be able to get away with criminal acts?
Third, bring an end to the cosy relationship between the police and politicians. Rathore was protected by four chief ministers of Haryana. He served them and they served him by ensuring his unfettered rise. It is absurd that the Indian Police is still governed by a colonial-era Act dating back to 1861. A number of commissions have made recommendations for reforming the police over the years; but no government or political party wants to give up its ability to use and misuse the police for their own benefit.
Fourth, ensure that police officers who abuse their authority and engage in mala fide prosecutions are dismissed from service and sentenced to jail for a long period of time. Mr. Chidambaram should use the considerable resources at his command to find out who were the policemen involved in filing 11 bogus cases against the teenaged brother of the young girl Rathore molested. He should then make sure criminal proceedings are initiated against all of them. The message must go out to every policeman in the country: If you abuse the law at the behest of a superior, you will suffer legal consequences.
Fifth, ensure that criminal charges against law enforcement personnel are fast-tracked as a matter of routine so that a powerful defendant is not able to use his position to delay proceedings the way Rathore did for years on end. The destruction or disappearance of material evidence in such cases must be treated as a grave offence with strict criminal liability imposed on the individual responsible for breaking the chain of custody.
Sixth, empower the National Human Rights Commission with teeth so that police departments and state governments cannot brush aside their orders as happened in the Rathore case. This would also require appointing to the NHRC women and men who have a proven record of defending human rights in their professional life, something that is done today only in the breach. The attitude of the Manmohan Singh government to this commission and others like the National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Minorities is shocking. Vacancies are not filled for months on end.
Seventh, ensure the early enactment of pending legislation broadening the ambit of sexual crimes, including sexual crimes against children. Between rape, defined as forced penetrative sex, and the vague, Victorian-era crime of ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’, the Indian Penal Code recognises no other form of sexual violence. As a result, all forms of sexual molestation and assault short of rape attract fairly lenient punishment, of the kind Rathore got. In his case, the judge did not even hand down the maximum sentence, citing concerns for the criminal’s age. Sadly, he did not take into account the age of the victim and neither does the IPC, which fails to distinguish between ‘outraging the modesty’ of an adult woman and a young child.
A draft law changing these provisions and bringing India into line with the rest of the modern world has been pending with the NCW and Law Ministry for years. Perhaps the government may now be shamed into pushing it through Parliament at the earliest.
Eighth, take steps to introduce a system of protection of witnesses and complainants. The fate that the family of Rathore’s young victim had to endure is testament to the fact that people who seek justice in India do so at their own peril.
Ninth, ensure that robust interrogation techniques like narco-analysis, which are routinely used against other alleged criminals, are also employed against police officers accused of crimes.
Tenth, the media and the higher judiciary must also turn the light inward and ask themselves whether they were also derelict in their duty. The Rathore case did not attract the kind of constant media attention it deserved, nor do other cases involving serving police officers accused of crimes against women, workers, peasants and minorities. As for the upper courts, their record is too patchy to inspire confidence. It was, after all, the high court which chose to disregard the CBI’s request for including abetment to suicide charges. Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away
Dear friends, No one seems to be talking about Lobsang Rampa now, and "The Third Eye" has long since been forgotten. It was considered a fantasy even when it was a best seller, fifty years ago. I was in Bhutan as a young officer in the early sixties. During that period, I wrote a piece which surfaced recently. A very brief excerpt from that some what long article is attached for those who care for the world of the Lamas. What appeals to me is the last sentence of the piece. And it makes me chant:
“THE THIRD EYE” By Lobsang Rampa I beseech you to forgive me for my jaded memory. I am a senior citizen and no one is willing to hire me for even a worthless job. Here, I seek apology for a very minor offence: I have forgotten whether I read the captioned book before 1964 or after that. And the reason why I seek this concession is that I am not sure whether I read Lobsang’s book before I went to Bhutan or after that.
Be that as it may, there are two events which have left a profound influence on my psyche: reading the above book and my service in Bhutan during 1964-65 where I met a lot of thoroughbred Buddhists in Trashigong Dzongkhag. I was a little more that 22 years old then, and very impressionable. What I saw in that tiny Kingdom has left a lasting memory. I learnt a great deal from their unorthodox social order and it caused me to doubt the propriety of our social system.
Permit me to share something which I observed there. I was told that if a man was caught after having committed a crime in the Buddhist world, he was tried by the appropriate authority and, if found guilty, he was thrown into the prison cell. That is much the same as the rest of the world. The difference is that, in their system the term of the imprisonment was not specified. I was stupefied, and sought to know the reason for this. A learned Lama told me,
“A criminal is like a sick man. In the prison we ‘treat’ him. And as soon as he is ‘cured’ of his malaise, we let him go back to live with his people”
I probed further, and asked, “How do you find that?” and he said,
“Just like how you are able to discharge a patient from a hospital. Do you specify the period for which patients suffering from different ailments must stay in the wards?”
The argument makes a lot of sense to me. We human beings respond differently to treatment: some get cured early, others take time. If that be so, why should the prison term be specified?
I was also told that the condemned men were thrown into ill lit dudgeons and the ‘prisoners’ were made to undergo indignity. But in the evenings, they were allowed to take a stroll on the streets of the town, and breathe fresh air. The people are taught to look at them with a kindly eye, because, the Buddhists believe that, we would all be criminals, had we been caught! Surjit
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers her annual Christmas message to the peoples of the Commonwealth.
Dear Friends, Jai Hind. As I was about to send this email BBC started showing the Queens Christmas speech on TV. The first few minutes of the speech are videos about the UK Armed Forces, very touching. I just checked the BBC News on web the Queen’s speech video is there at http://news.bbc.co.uk/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8430546.stm You will like watching it. In service of Indian Military Veterans Chander Kamboj.
24 Dec 2009 Dear Colleagues, Here is wishing every ESM and every ESM family in India and abroad a merry Christmas. May we continue to be guided by the noble tenets of Christianity as of every other religion that teach us love, tolerance and respect for each other. Best regards, Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman IESM
At the very outset, I wish to place on record my gratitude to Veteran Air Cmde MK Chandrsekhar and Veteran Capt Ganesh Karnik, Hon’ble Member of the Legislative Council of Karnataka, for their invaluable help, assistance & support in organizing VIJAY DIWAS at Bangalore; and, in making it a grand success. It was due to the indomitable spirit of Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar that the statue of the Unknown Soldier, erected at Minsk Square by the British after the first World War, was shifted to the area of Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, in time, for the Chief Minister to lay the wreath on 16 Dec. And, it was on account of Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar speaking to the AOC-in-C Training Comd (IAF) that a contingent of 25 AF Officers & 150 Airmen in uniform came to Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, in the morning of Vijay Diwas. The entire credit for the grand success of Vijay Diwas goes to Capt Ganesh Karnik; for it was he who was responsible in getting the Hon’ble Chief Minister to pay Homage to the Martyrs; and, also hosting of Tea & Lunch for the Ex-Servicemen, that too in the Banquet Hall of the Vidhan Soudha. It was an honour bestowed on the Ex-Servicemen. Three Cheers to Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar. Three Cheers to Capt Ganesh Karnik. I also place on record my gratitude to Brig Parthasarathy and Wg Cdr Mohan Rao for taking pains to take photographs on Vijay Diwas and for posting them on the Net. I also wish to thank Col AJ Bhandary for his support and Sub N Balachandran, ASC, for all his help & assistance. Col SS Rajan (Retd) Detailed Report and Proceedings click link below Report: Vijay Diwas at Bangalore- 16 Dec 2009
Spice Jet announces special offer to mark Republic Day. 100% discount on base fare for defence personnel. Spice Jet , India ’s most preferred airline, announces a special 60 day promotion for Indian Armed Forces personnel on the occasion of our 60th Republic Day. This special offer is available to all serving as well as retired defence, paramilitary personnel and their families and they will be given a 100% discount on base fare. Tickets purchased are valid for travel from January 26th 2010 to March 26th 2010. Check out more details: Spice Jet concessions for Indian Armed Forces Personnel
Wed, 23 December, 2009 6:36:55 PM Dear Sir, The case has been listed for hearing on 04 Jan 2010 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the court of Justice Mr Markandey Katju & Justice RM Lodha (Court No 8).
It is requested that this information be put on 'Report my Signals' for info of the environment. Case in brief is given as: In the case of Maj AK Dhanapalan Vs Union of India in OP 2448/96, The Hon’ble High Court of Kerala allowed the plea of the officer and held that the deduction of the rank pay was not correct and directed to re fix the basic pay of the officer from 1.1.1986. Appeal filed by the Union of India before the larger bench of the High Court & SLP in the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the judgment was dismissed. Although Govt sanction to pay arrears to Maj AK Dhanapalan were issued, the benefit was not extended to similarly placed officers of the three Services.
Similar cases were filed by a large number of officers in various courts throughout the country. The Supreme Court of India directed that such of the cases be transferred to the apex court. Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) has been able to transfer one of the ‘lead cases’ from Kerala to the Supreme Court. Col Satwant Singh (Retd) Secy RDOA
It is after one year in office that I have ventured to outline the new architecture for India’s security. There are two enemies of change. The first is ‘routine’. Routine is the enemy of innovation. Because we are immersed in routine tasks, we neglect the need for change and innovation. The second enemy is ‘complacency’. In a few days from today, 2009 will come to a close, and I sincerely hope that we may be able to claim that the year was free from terror attacks. However, there is the danger of a terror-free year inducing complacency, signs of which can be seen everywhere. A strange passivity seems to have descended upon the people: they are content to leave matters relating to security to a few people in the Government and not ask questions or make demands. I wish to raise my voice of caution and appeal to all of you assembled here, and to the people at large, that there is no time to be lost in making a thorough and radical departure from the present structure. If, as a nation, we must defend ourselves in the present day and prepare for the future, it is imperative that we put in place a new architecture for India’s security.
16:55 IST This with reference to the coverage by electronic and the print media about Sukhna land Case and the ongoing Court of Inquiry at Headquarters, Eastern Command.
The Court of Inquiry has been completed and received by Army HQ today. The proceedings of the Inquiry will now be analyzed as per the existing Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with the military law.
It is reiterated that, the Army is amongst the few organizations which is very sensitive to any irregularities and have proactively sought immediate and timely action against those indulging in any wrongs. S Om Singh/Rajendra/Daleep Sukhna land issue: 23 Dec 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 So what is ‘Annexure-IV’ ? (Attention : Pre 01-01-2006 Pensioners) In a welcome move, a joint public notice by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance was published yesterday in many newspapers. The said notice called upon banks to provide ‘Annexure-IV’ to pre-01-01-2006 pensioners so that the correctness of pension and arrears could be ascertained.
So what is ‘Annexure-IV’? ‘Annexure-IV’ is a form which was annexed with Govt of India letter dated 11 Nov 2008 dealing with the revision of pension of pre-2006 pensioners. This annexure was supposed to be filled up and returned by the Pension Disbursing Agencies (PDAs), that is, banks, DPDOs etc to the office of PCDA(P) with a copy to the pensioner concerned. The said Annexure contains all details as to how pension has been calculated and the arrears thereon.
The public notice was necessitated by the situation that banks have not calculated pension of pre-06 pensioners correctly in many cases and neither have they returned Annexure-IV duly filled to the pensioners or the office of PCDA(P).
All pensioners have a right to demand a copy of Annexure-IV from their PDAs. Please exercise it. (link given in the Message Board of the blog) Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 4:56 AM Monday, December 21, 2009
REMEMBRANCE Great veteran Lt Col Nirmal Singh who rendered his entire retired life of more than two decades for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen of Doon Valley as a Vice President Dehradun Ex Services League, passed away on 18 Dec 09 at the age of 81 years at his residence, 267 Garhi Cantt. As per his real brother Col KS Kambo, Retd who met me this morning at IMA Golf Course, stated that before the last breath of his brother Lt Col Nirmal Singh, had said his prayers and mentioned leaving this world for ever so had a peaceful passing away.
Born in an affluent business family on 23 April 28 at Dakra, Dehradun. He earned his BA degree from the Lucknow University and was commissioned in Indian Army on 12 Jul 1950 and retired on 10 Apr 1979. During his illustrious career he completed his staff college successfully and participated in three wars ie 1962, 1965 and 1971. He commanded the 22 Mountain Regiment during the Indo Pak War of 1971.
After his retirement not only did he devote his entire life for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen but he also played a very active role in public social service constructing Tapkeshwar Cremation Ground and also started a charitable homoeopathic dispensary at Dakra Gurudwara Dehradun. He was a great sportsman and a great golfer with fairly good handicap. He used to coach many a golfer like me to make us better players on the field.
Lt Col B M Thapa, Retd, Gen Secy DESL, Member IESM
Thirty-eight years ago today, on a blustery late afternoon in Dhaka, the commander of the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi publicly surrendered to the Indian Army, represented by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora.
In that now famous picture of the surrender of December 16, 1971 at the Ramna Race Course, there is a man standing on the right, behind Niazi, with his head proudly up, gazing at something over the horizon. He was the man who had masterminded the public surrender.
I first met General Jacob-Farj-Rafael Jacob (Jake to his friends) in November 2006, at his tiny apartment in Som Vihar, New Delhi. I was trying to put together a series on the 13-day war. Read the full account 1971 War: "I will give you 30 minutes"
If the land scam was not trouble enough for Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, it seems he is facing problems from among the top brass itself. At the heart of the matter is a crucial promotion board that will decide which officers would make it to the highest rank of Lt Gen. Besides the fact that the member secretary of the board is Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, who is under the scanner in the land scam case, it is learnt that as many as three army commanders have sent their objections to the board in writing. The argument being that the board should be held after the January 26 gallantry awards are announced as that may alter career profiles. However with the board expected to kick off on December 7, it seems sparks will fly when the top brass meets. General problem in Army Is upgradation of ranks leading to degradation of Command and Control? Ajai Vikram Singh Committee Recomendations Implemented
Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009 at 0027 hrs New Delhi: Manu Pubby An Army inquiry into the Darjeeling land scam, first reported by The Indian Express, has recommended “termination of services” of Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, Military Secretary at Army HQ and one of the seniormost Generals, and court martial proceedings against Lt Gen P K Rath whose appointment as Deputy Chief of Army Staff was later scrapped by the Ministry of Defence. The inquiry also favoured disciplinary action and court martial against Major General P Sen and administrative action against Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, currently commanding the 11 Corps. A separate inquiry has also been recommended against a Colonel of the legal department for giving dubious advice regarding the land deal. The inquiry found that Prakash was in constant touch with a Siliguri real estate developer, Dilip Agarwal, who brokered a controversial land deal in Darjeeling.
Through phone records, the inquiry established, that Agarwal, who inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to obtain no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the Army to purchase nearly 70 acres near the 33 Corps HQ in Sukna, was in constant touch with Prakash while the deal was being sealed. The NOCs were given after an institution claimed it was an affiliate of the Mayo College in Ajmer and would establish a branch in Sukna. Mayo College denied it had any affiliate.
Apart from establishing the connection between Prakash and Agarwal, the inquiry was also told by Rath, who as the then 33 Corps Commander authorised granting of NOCs, that Prakash used his influence to get the deal through.
Sources said the recommendation for termination of services of Prakash were given by Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen V K Singh, on the basis of the court of inquiry findings and opinion by the Army’s legal department.
While the recommendations have been forwarded by the Eastern Army command, the onus for action against Prakash, who is one of the seven Principal Staff Officers (PSO) at Army HQ, now lies with Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.
The Army Chief, sources said, now has the choice to accept the recommendations and terminate Prakash’s services or overrule the matter on sound legal grounds. If the recommendation is accepted, Prakash can either accept dismissal or face court martial proceedings where he can contest the charges against him. Sack Military Secy, says Army court of inquiry into land scam Army land scam spreads, from Bengal to Uttarakhand Misuse of Defence Lands Throughout the length and breadth of the nation there is blatant misuse of Cantonment Lands by way of consruction/ encroachment by civilians. The DEO (Defence Estate Officer) and CEO (Cantonment Executive officer) in connivance with civilians/ real estate agents close their eyes to the encroachment as black money is used to bribe the concerned defence officials. None of the civilian officials under the MoD ever get caught for Land Scams!
Dear friends, Truncated career is a well known deprivation which the soldiers suffer. This inherent disadvantage is further compounded by the fact that a large number of officers and men are superseded at the first selection level when they are no more than forty years old. They are then faced with a Hobson’s choice of whether to stay on in service with the ignominy of moving from one lack luster appointment to another or quit. I began to study the post retirement lives of military veterans about fifteen years ago. Later, while serving with Ashok Leyland, I conducted some courses on “Preparation for retirement” for service officers as well as the executives of the company. I came to the conclusion that with a bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to convert military experience into civilian success. I find many of my friends having done extremely well in their second innings. I discussed this with my esteemed friend Lt Col KD Singh who migrated to the USA in 1984 and has had an illustrious career there. We decided to record our experiences and observations in the form of a book entitled, “The Soldiers’ 2nd Innings” The result of our labor of love has been accepted for publication by Macmillan India Ltd and is likely to be released in January 2010. The summary of its contents is given below. Our pension is inadequate as well as iniquitous. But it is somewhat unlikely that OROP will be sanctioned. But if all of us brace ourselves up, there is nothing which prevents us from augmenting our income through socially useful and productive work. The sum and substance of this book is that the veterans must learn to make good use of their time and energy. It is not frightfully difficult to earn money. The erudite amongst the retired officers should be going to the government with a solution, and not a begging bowl. In the words of the late president Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you...” With best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year, Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
Table of Contents- Chapter wise I. With No Regrets- This is a personal testimony. It traces my journey through the life; in military service and after hanging up my uniform II. Profile of Military Service in India- In this chapter, I have given a balanced picture of the military, as a career in India, and compared it with other services III. Angry Old Soldiers- During the last two years, veterans have been protesting against the government. Their grievances are analyzed in this part. IV. In Search of a Solution to the Problem- An attempt has been made in this chapter to solve the complex problems associated with the rising pension bill and resettlement of veterans. An ‘out of the box’ solution has been offered. V. Time to Part Ways- There comes a time in the life of every soldier, when he is faced with this difficult question, “Should I leave or stay on?” The pros and cons of seeking pre-mature release are discussed in this chapter. VI. SWOT Analysis and Classification of Options- And a Word of Advice to those who choose to Stay Back in Military Service. Landing the right job is like a good marriage. It must suit both the parties equally, or else there will be a conflict situation. The ‘SWOT’ analysis is a good technique to assess one’s own prowess and limitations. This chapter also contains a brief advice for those who choose to stay on in the service even after being by-passed for promotion. VII. Writing Resume or CV- Writing one’s CV is the first step in the process of seeking a job. Most soldiers do not know how to go about it correctly. Some tips on how to prepare a good Resume are given in this chapter. VIII. The interview for a civilian job is quite different from the kinds of interviews which the soldiers are familiar with. Some tips on how to handle this process are given in this chapter. IX. Salary Negotiations- Salary in the military is determined by Pay Commissions. The soldier does not have to even think about his remuneration. In the civil, the rules are very flexible. The veterans have to find their own place in the new environment. The nuances of this process are discussed at some length. X. The Culture Shock- Military service is very different from the life on the civil street. The veteran has to adjust to his new environs, and that needs a lot of emotional resilience. This chapter prepares the man for his new life. XI. My Second Innings at Ashok Leyland- This is based on my personal experience. It is actually a story of my service in the corporate world with special emphasis on the first few months, when I was trying to settle down in the new environment. XII. Self Employment Avenues- For those who do not wish to take a nine-to-six job, there are other options available. This also needs some planning and fore-thought. Some ideas on this subject are given here. XIII. Management of Personal finances- At the time of severance, soldiers receive some lump sum money. Many of them are not accustomed to handling this sort of cash. Some generic dictum on money management are discussed in this part. XIV. Social Service- For those who are endowed with the spirit of ‘social service’ with no financial gains in view, this chapter contains some hints. XV. Hobby Writing after Retirement- The likes of me, who like to record their experiences for the benefit of posterity this chapter has been written. It contains some rules for writers. XVI. Growing Old Gracefully- This chapter touches on ‘relationships’ since these undergo a sea change. The elderly have to accept their new position in society. XVII. Health Care- The geriatric problems are discussed in some detail in non- medical terms. XVIII. A General Guide to Making Your Will- There comes a time in our lives, when it is necessary to ‘pass on the baton’ to the next generation. Some tips on writing one’s will are given here. This has been written by my advocate daughter-in-law. XIX. The Immigration Option- By Lt Col (Retd) KD Singh, now settled in the USA- Immigration to a foreign country is an option these days. Col KD Singh who has made an indomitable success in the USA has written this chapter. XX. Service in Education Institutions By Brig (Retd) Surinder Singh- Education in India has assumed the dimensions of an industry. Scores of military officers are working in these institutions. This piece has been written by a veteran who has made a successful career in the academia. Readers Responses to Second Career Suggestions from Readers: Second Career for ESM
Can anyone ever imagine the movement of a vehicle up a steep mountain, with its ignition off? Sounds quite unbelievable! Well, this magnet magic can be experienced while you are travelling to Leh-Ladakh. And we can say, amid all the Himalayan and colonial wonders, there’s one more wonder coming your way – the Magnetic Hill. The hill, located close to Leh, is known for its wonderful magnetic properties. Once here, you can see for yourself vehicles moving up at a speed of 20 km/ hour with the engines off. Location of Magnetic Hill To reach the Magnetic Hill, Ladakh, you need to take the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. The hill lies at a distance of 30 km from the town of Leh, at an elevation of around 14,000 feet above sea level. To the eastern side of the hill flows the Sindhu river, originating in Tibet. The local administration has also put up a bill board to help tourists recognize the Magnetic Hill. The board clearly states the whole phenomenon. So you can also enjoy a first hand experience as you reach the hill. Place your vehicle on a specific spot on the road with its engines off and you will soon notice the vehicle moving up at a speed of 20 km/hour. You will have the same results over and again as you redo the exercise. Impact on Helicopters and Aircrafts Not only vehicle, even helicopters and aircrafts feel the same magnetic impact. Locals and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel claim that the helicopters and aircrafts that pass through the area have to fly at a greater speed to avoid the magnetic impact of the hill. And if the aircraft comes within the radius of Magnetic Hill, it starts to jerk. Other Attractions Around Magnetic Hill Apart from the Magnetic Hill, you can also enjoy seeing a few other places that lie at a close distance from the hill. The Himalayan region here is truly worth exploring. Given below are a few attractions that you can see in this region. Gurudwara Patthar Sahib It is the auspicious place where Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of the Sikhs, had spent time meditating in the 17th century. Locals, army personnel and tourists can be seen here often. Though not many Sikhs arrive here from different parts of the country, the reason perhaps being its remote location. Colourful Hills & Mountains While you are in this Himalayan region, you will also like seeing the hills and mountains. Here, the hills bear different colours. Some are white and snow-laden. Some are black or gray in colours while there are some that are green, red or orange in colour. The drivers will inform you that Indian Air Force pilots always steer clear of the Magnetic Hill. Magnetic Hill Ladakh
Difficult trek: Not many people prefer using the subway in the face of water stagnation and safety issues.
CHENNAI: Pedestrians using the subway connecting Trisoolam railway station and the Chennai airport are facing problems because of lack of security and stagnating water. One can see a sheet of water on the ground soon after entering the subway from the station side. A ‘spring’ of water on the sides of the steps overflows on to the ground. Many passengers from the airport carrying heavy luggage, particularly those fitted with wheels, are put to lot of inconvenience.
People working in the airport lament that even after a short spell of rain, water stagnates in the subway. To avoid the water, some people take the risk of crossing the busy national highway to reach the airport or vice-versa with their luggage.
“Engineering marvel” The subway was constructed at a cost of Rs.5 crore and inaugurated in April last year. National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) officials had then termed the facility an engineering marvel, as it was constructed without any road cuts.
When contacted, NHAI officials said they had received complaints about water stagnation. Water from the Trisoolam station’s stormwater drains was seeping into the subway. The NHAI was pumping out the water. A meeting with the railway officials would be organised soon to sort out the issue. The officials said the maintenance of the subway had been handed over to a private contractor, who was baling out water during and after rain regularly.
Women harassed Another major issue haunting the users was the lack of security and safety, particularly during late evening hours. This issue was raised at a recent meeting, in which the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) complained to the Airport Director that women working in airline counters and ground handling agencies at the airport had to encounter anti-social elements. They were being harassed by a group of autorickshaw drivers, who parked their vehicles near the subway. However, the victims had not filed any formal complaints with law-enforcing agencies. The AOC had requested the police to provide security at the subway during late evening hours, they added. Stagnating water hits subway users
Chennai's Collapsing Infrastructure
Open storm drain converted to open raw sewage drain
Most of the subways and Road under Rail bridges are filled with water and not usable during monsoons. The quality of works is sub- standard and road surfaces do not last even 9 months. Add to this open storm drains turned into open sewage drains directly connected to sewer lines from houses and footpaths taken over by vendors and used as parking areas. There is no citizen safety in the streets of Chennai City for women as well as men. Chennai Airport has become hotbed for con men, touts, beggars, scoundrels, and goons operating in the guise of travel agents or drivers freely operating in the International Airport car parking area. It seems that the local Police are in league with the hundreds of scoundrels operating 24x7 in the International Airport. The recent custom duty scam is also related to unauthorised touts operating in and around the Airport in connivance with the Authorities.
Mon, 21 December, 2009 9:05:51 PM Dear Colleagues, There had been complaints from ESM that banks are not playing fair and that in some cases they are underpaying the pensioners. It had been our effort to ask the government to issue instructions to banks and have these published in all major newspapers. Those who attended the AGM on 13 Dec 2009 would recall that I had made a mention of it. Happily, those instructions have been issued to the banks and this has appeared in English and vernacular press today. The instructions have been issued jointly by the Ministries of Defence and Finance leaving no doubt. This may kindly be given wide publicity and ESM advised to exercise their right to obtain Annexure IV and seek clarification from the banks in case of any doubt. Despite our persistent efforts the government has not accepted the principle of OROP. As planned the next depositing of medals will take place on Sunday, 31 Jan 2010. Time of assembly at Jantar Mantar is at 1100 hours; detailed instructions on the subject will be issued separately. All State and District conveners are requested to further intensify efforts to spread the message so that we are able to deposit medals in massive numbers and pressurise the government into accepting our just demand of OROP. Best regards, Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman IESM Important Links for Pre 2006 Pensioners GoI Notification PPO_ Annexure IV Media Report Ex-servicemen blame babus for their plight by Umesh Dewan: Tribune News Service
MD ECHS has formally recognised IESM for helping in functioning of ECHS.
IESM had approached ECHS Headquarters after very large number of ESM had expressed desire that ECHS should involve ESM in its current management and future plans so that we could jointly arrive at policies and procedures for better service by ECHS to its registered ESM members.
We received large number very long emails from ESM suggesting what should be done and how it should be done. Accordingly, IESM ECHS Division was created which in turn asked for volunteers from among the ESM to function as IESM’s ECHS Representatives at the Regional Level and Polyclinic Level.
Till date, very few volunteers’ name have been received. From these volunteers also many have not responded after forwarding their names. IESM once again appeals to all ESM to come forward and help in management of Polyclinics.
December 21, 2009 Members of the Indian ex-servicemen movement (IESM) held their first annual general meeting on December 13 at the community centre of Sector-37, Noida. Over 400 ex-servicemen and families from all over the country attended the first meeting of IESM. The demand for one rank and one pension was raised vociferously by members and they resolved to continue their struggle till it was met. Chairman of IESM, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan said, "The Central Government should not test our patience. So far thousands of former servicemen have returned medals to President and this will happen again in January and the number of medal returnees would be more than ever before".
"I strongly believe that ex-defence personnel are a rich national asset and the government should involve them in nation building activities like education, health and environment issues, especially in rural areas where we have a large number of them residing. IESM should also work towards this goal," said Commodore Lokesh K Batra. Col. Rajesh Kwatra said, "When we serve the country, the government assures us all basic facilities but after retirement it forgets even our basic needs." - —Satya Prakash Ex-defence personnel want Govt to resolve pension issue
Dear Colleagues, As you would know from media reports, this year on Vijay Diwas, the gathering at India Gate included many that fall under the category of political who-is-who. In contrast last year Mr Dig Vijay Singh was the sole representative of the ruling Congress Party. All other things remaining the same, it would be correct to infer that the ESM as a community have come to be recognised. Credit goes to those whose struggle has got this recognition
Best regards, Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chairman IESM
Had a meeting with the QMG today. He is agreable to Exservicemen CSD canteens. However there appear to be certain laid down conditions which have to be fulfilled:
The Station/ Area must have a minimum of 5000 Exservicemen card holders for an ESM CSD Canteen to come up.
As per govt orders ESM canteens cannot come up on A-1 Defence land. However if ESM get together and offer a room/ house/ any suitable place on their own, which they hire/purchase,then a case can be taken up for opening a ESM CSD canteen.
Regards honouring the smart cards is concerned , he has issued strict instructions that URC's not honouring the smart card will be cosidered for closure.
He has noted down the request for creating a site within the CSD website where CSD and DDGCS Army HQ can be contacted to record suggestions and complaints.
Also suggested to him to consider creating a site for helping CSD customers to buy AFD items online. Lt Gen Jagdish Chander(Retd) Head CSD Division IESM, Former DG ASC, Former Chairman CSD,INDIA)
NEW DELHI: The Command Hospital (Air Force) in Bangalore was on Monday presented the Defence Minister’s trophy for the Best Command Hospital for the year 2009. The trophy, along with a purse of Rs.5 lakh, was presented by Defence Minister A.K. Antony to Air Vice Marshal AK Behl, Commandant of the hospital, at a function here. The Command Hospital, Eastern Command, Kolkata, was adjudged the Second Best Command Hospital. Commandant of the Hospital Major General YS Sarma received the trophy.
Dear Friends, Jai Hind. Today nearly all important newspapers carried a joint notice, concerning pension arrears of ESM, issued by two departments of Government of India: 1. Deptt of Ex-servicemen Welfare (Ministry of Defence) and 2. Deptt of Financial Services (Ministry of Finance). Hopefully this will partially wake up the banks. To fully awaken the banks, the ESM organisations should now chase the Corporate Offices of all the banks authorised to disburse pension to ESM, to issue Annexure IV to all ESM (or NoK) receiving pension, giving complete details of the arrears being paid and how that has been calculated.
Needless to say that every ESM (and NoK) also need to chase his or her respective bank. Preferably, the ESM should go in groups and confront the branch managers in a peaceful manner. For your ready reference a copy of the Annexure IV, which is supposed to be issued by the pension disbursing bank of the ESM, is attached as link below. In Service of Indian Military Veterans Brig Chander Kamboj (Retd)
FYI, today's newspaper has the following advertisement released by the GoI. Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Member IESM Governing Body
In Hindustan Times epaper of 21 Dec 09, page 19 bottom right corner and The Hindu bottom left of page 8. Notification
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA DEPTT OF EX-SERVICEMEN WELFARE (MINISTRY OF DEFENCE) DEPTT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES (MINISTRY OF FINANCE) NOTICE TO ALL EX-SERVICEMEN PENSIONERS
1. The pension of pre 1-1-2006 ex-servicemen in implementation of the recent recommendations of the 6th CPC has to be revised as per MOD’s letter dated 11-11-2008 which is also available on the website www.cgda.nic. in, www.pcdapension. nic.in and www.mod.nic. in 2. Annexure IV to MOD’s aforementioned letter which has 16 columns is required to be completed by all Pension Disbursing Authorities (PDAs) and given to the pensioners. In Column 12 of the Annexure IV details of of computation of revised pension/ family pension are to be indicated while in Column 13 arrears of pension/ family pension are to be mentioned by the Banks. 3. Deptt of Financial Services have issued clear instructions to the Chief Executives pf all public sector banks to complete the task of revision of pension expeditiously and supply Annexure-IV duly filled in to the Ex-serviceman pensioners vide their letter F. no. 2/2/2008-BO. II dated 25th September 2009 and F. No. 2/2/2008-BO. II dated 15th December 2009. 4. Therefore, the ex-servicemen pensioners should obtain a copy of Annexure IV from the respective Pension Disbursing banks. The concerned Banks are also requested to supply Annexure IV duly completed to all ESM pensioners so that correctness of entitlement of pension can be ascertained by them. This notice is being issued by the department of Financial Srvices (Ministry of Finance) and the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare (Ministry of Defence) in public interest. GoI Notification Annex IV
Key foreign jihadists aided by systemic gaps in security
Mohammed’s visit to India has been public knowledge for several years
In Malaysia, he forged a pact that provided base for terror attacks across East Asia and the West
NEW DELHI: Al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who allegedly had tactical control of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, made at least one visit to India in 1996, documents show.
But, The Hindu has found, India’s intelligence services made no effort to determine when he came, what travel documents he used, where he stayed and with whom he met with.
The Union Home Ministry has blamed lax visa procedures for the clandestine reconnaissance by Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley prior to the November 2008 Lashkar-e-Taiba Mumbai terror attacks. But the poor investigative follow-up of Mohammed’s visit suggests there are serious systemic gaps in the country’s internal security.
Mohammed’s visit to India has been public knowledge for several years. Following a meeting with Osama bin-Laden in mid-1996, the official Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States says, Mohammed “journeyed onward to India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.”
Testimony Later, in the now-declassified testimony given to the Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantanamo Bay on March 10, 2007, Mohammed admitted he was “responsible for surveying and financing the destruction of the Israeli embassy in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and Indonesia.”
In Malaysia, Mohammed met with Jemaah Islamiyyah chief Riduaan Islamuddin, forging an alliance that provided the foundation for several terrorist attacks across East Asia and the west. And in the Philippines, he set up “Operation Bojinka,” a plot to blow up 12 airliners carrying passengers from Asia to the U.S.
But Indian investigators failed to explore evidence that corroborates Mohammed’s claims that al-Qaeda was engaged in targeting India prior to the September 11 attacks.
Back in August 2001, the Delhi Police filed charges against Sudan national Abdul Raouf Hawas for conspiring to blow up the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. Hawas, the police claimed, was linked to al-Qaeda operative Muhammed Omar al-Harazi, also known as Abdul Rehman al-Safani.
Pakistani Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami operative Qamar Mohammad Ayub, held by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in December, 2001, was also alleged to have been working to facilitate an al-Qaeda attack on the Israeli mission in New Delhi.
Many jihadist leaders in the past have escaped scrutiny by Indian immigration and internal security authorities.
For example, Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Mohammad Masood Azhar arrived in New Delhi from Dhaka, using an illegally-obtained Portuguese passport, on January 29, 1994. “The duty officer at the Indira Gandhi airport,” he later told interrogators, “commented that I did not look Portuguese. However, when I told him I was Gujarati by birth, he did not hesitate to stamp my passport.”
Lack of surveillance meant that no credible prosecution could be mounted against the jihadist leader, who was eventually released in a hostages-for-prisoners swap after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines jet in 1999.
Lashkar-e-Taiba financier Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, a Saudi Arabia national, later sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, also travelled in and out of India until at least 1999. He is known to have met with Lashkar clandestine operative Mohammad Ishtiq at the President Hotel in Mumbai. Precisely how Bahaziq obtained an Indian visa remains unknown. India clueless on top al-Qaeda leader’s visit The Hindu: India clueless on top al-Qaeda leader’s visit
Comment MEA staff dealing with issuance of Passports and Visa's must be brought into the National Security Loop. All those found taking bribes in India and Foreign countries must be reigned in and convicted under special and sterner laws governing Security of the Nation and counter- terrorism. There is urgent need to reduce clerical staff in all Indian Consulates and Passport Offices by use of modern digital paperless technologies and Officers solely made accountable for corruption and security lapses.
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