Saturday, January 31, 2009

SCPC: Lt Cols to get higher pay and pension

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
The pay-related issue of Lieutenant Colonels has finally been resolved. The Ministry of Defence is to issue instructions that would enable most of the Lt Colonels to get an enhanced pay band-IV status. Only a minuscule number of officers, who are on deputation to public sector organisations, will not be eligible for the new status.

The move will benefit about 11,000 officers in the rank of Lt Colonel and their equivalent ranks — that is Wing Commanders in the IAF and Commanders in the Navy. The MoD’s move clears the confusion that had been created following a note from the Prime Minister’s Office that had allowed enhanced pay band-IV status only to those officers who are in combat or ready-to-combat posts.

Formal instructions are expected in day or two. Pay band-IV status means an increase of the existing pay scales between Rs 10,000-12,000 per month.

Now, three categories are to be formed to classify the Lt Cols. First will be those working in the field. The Army, IAF and Navy formations will be treated as working on combat posts. The same will true for officers who have been sent out to the Assam Rifles or other such forces deployed in regular frontline duties. This had to be done legally. The deputation can be with consent of an officer. In case of the Army, no consent is sought.

Officers working on various posts in the ordinance factories and national cadet crops, among others will be treated on “ready-to-combat” posts. They will also get enhanced the pay band-IV status.

The ones who will not get the new status are those working with organisations like ONGC, Pawan Hans or National Highways Authority of India. All such officers are, in any case, not getting their salaries from the Armed forces and are paid by their respective organisations.
Lt Cols to get higher pay

Pension of Generals
Chandigarh, January 30
The pension of Generals, who were granted pension lower to that of Colonels, following the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission has now been enhanced.
Pension of Generals increased by Rs 3,000

Ajai Vikram Singh Committee : 1896 new posts in Defence forces

NEW DELHI, Oct 3, 2008: To smoothen ruffled feathers of the armed forces over "discriminatory" Pay Commission report, the Government today approved 1,896 new posts in the three Defence forces at the top level from Colonels to Lieutenant Generals and their equivalents.

"The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has taken a decision to implement the Phase-II of Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) report," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters here soon after the meeting.

The implementation of Phase II of the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) that recommended creation of the additional posts will ensure quicker promotions to Army, Navy and Air Force officers.

The decision is also aimed at stemming the high rate of attrition among middle-rung officers from Majors to Colonels and their equivalents in the three services, which already face a shortage of about 13,000 officers, mostly in the middle-rung.

The implementation of the Phase-II of the AVSC report will cost the Government exchequer Rs 8.44 crore annually, Government sources said.

Army- New posts upgraded in select ranks and implemented in a 5 year period:
Rank/ present/ additional/ total
Lt Gens/ 61/ 20/ 81
Maj Gens/ 191/ 75/ 266
Brigs/ 824/ 222/ 1046
Cols/ 3389/ 734/ 4123

Navy- New posts upgraded in select ranks and implemented in a 10 year period:
Rank/ present/ additional/ total
Vice Admirals/ 15/ 4/ 19
Rear Admiral/ 43/ 14/ 57
Commodore/ Captain/ 418/ 324/ 742

Air Force- New posts upgraded in select ranks and implemented in a 5 year period:
Rank/ present/ additional/ total
Air Marshals/ 22/ 6/ 30
Air Vice marshal/ 47/ 27/ 74
Air Commodore/ 131// 61/ 192
Group Captains/ 476/ 415/ 891

With the armed forces not attracting enough talent in recent times and with Pre-Mature Retirements plaguing them, the Government had set-up the committee under former Defence Secretary Ajai Vikram Singh to suggest ways of making the services attractive as a career for the youth.

Based on the committee’s recommendations for restructuring of the officer cadre, the Government implemented the Phase I of the report concerning lower rungs from Captains to Lt Colonels in the Army and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force in 2004. (PTI)
Govt approves 1896 new posts in Defence forces

Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said the pay commission issues raised by the three armed forces was "not about money" but status and equality. "The issue here is not about money. It has been overplayed by the media. It is about status and equivalence that existed (before the pay commission), and the command and control relationship (between the armed forces officers and their civilian counterparts)." "How it (status, equality, command and control structure) has been disturbed (by the pay commission report), nobody knows," he said when asked about the issues raised during the meeting of the services chiefs with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- forty fifth day

Date: Friday, 30 January, 2009, 10:41 PM

Dear Colleagues,
The Jantar Mantar battlefront is under the able command of our colleagues from Gujarat today. We thank them for joining the effort and for strengthening the cause.

New Members
We heartily welcome the following new members and thank them for their generous contribution to the cause:
1. Rear Adm SC Anand, NOIDA
2. Rear Adm Sanjeev Kapoor, New Delhi
3. Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Chandigarh
4. Brig AN Suryanarayanan, Bangalore

08 Feb 2009 Rally
The Core Gp met Jan 30 and firmed up the details of the Rally. We assemble at Jantar Mantar at 1100 hours. Thereafter carrying suitable banners, we march in a procession. The route that has been proposed to the police is Jantar Mantar – Ashok Road – Kasturba Gandhi Marg – Tolstoy Marg – Jantar Mantar. Police response is awaited. At Jantar Mantar, there will be a few short speeches by nominated PBOR, officers and some family members. The Chairman will then conclude and announce the next plan of action. Meanwhile medals would have been surrendered/ collected and a select party would take these to the Rashtrapati Bhawan along with a letter/ memorandum to the Supreme Commander.

Earnest Appeal
1. State/District/ City heads wherever appointed should kindly bring maximum numbers to the Rally.
2. Launch a sustained drive to enrol maximum new members.
3. All those who weild influenece over the media should secure maximum attendance of print and visual media.

A Clarification
Some well meaning ESM have been writing to the government seeking pension as per the SAI 1/S 2008 and 2/S/2008. It is clarified that these are individual views and do not reflect the collective thinking of the IESM. Our stand is unambiguous and our well-stated demand is for ‘one rank one pension’ and nothing less.

Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Declining Status of Armed Forces

Changes in the WoP in recent times, has seen the chairperson UPSC upgraded to article 9A over Service Chiefs (at article 12). Chairperson UPSC was earlier at article 17 below Service Chiefs and also below officiating Chiefs of the rank of Lt Gen who were on article 16. Chairpersons for SCs and STs were added on article 17. Both these chairpersons are higher than Army commanders / Vice Chiefs who are on article 23. Members of SCs and STs placed at same level of Army Commanders /Vice Chiefs at article 23.

As was well known Army Commanders / Vice Chiefs were equated with secretaries to Govt. of India on article 23. However, Note 10(c) of the WoP makes an interesting distinction: In official functions held at Delhi, New Delhi, Army Commanders / Vice Chiefs of the Army Staff or equivalent in other services will always rank after the secretaries to the Government of India.
To summarise as to what has been achieved currently, (status and parity wise):

  • DIG is now officially equivalent to a Brigadier.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs has declared that all IPS officers shall attain the rank of DIG in 14 years’ service.
  • Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) is now officially equivalent to the rank of Major General.
  • Department of Personnel and Training has declared that all IAS officers shall attain the SAG in 14 years of service.
  • What would be achievable by 100% IPS officers in 14 years would now be achievable by 7% defence officers in 28 years.
  • What would be achievable by 100% IAS officers in 14 years would now be achievable by 2% defence officers in 33 years.

    It is this corrosive and remarkably steady erosion of a soldier’s status over the past sixty years that has driven his sense of honour to a point where he has resorted to, within his own definition, the most vilified form of protest that he could ever consider: making “public” his ire. Mutiny is defined as a collective form of disobedience to a lawful and legal command, an anathema to a solider whose whole conscience domain is dominated to obedience to orders and is an intrinsic and an impregnable part of his DNA. His character combines honesty and loyalty as a moral asset and an absolute reverence for ‘izzat and iqbal’. That the veterans have been driven to dissent bears serious ramifications not only for the well being of civil-military relationship but also should be a matter of serious concern to those who are in a leadership positions including the armed forces.

    Lt Col K Channan Ashwini (Retd)
    Extracted- full article click link:
    A Disquiet Within: Astigmatism In Civil-Military Relations by Ashwini Channan

    Comment: Continuous degradation of Defences Forces "Sacred Rank and Honour" structure will eventually dent its motivation and leadership. More so if the Military Gallantry awards are confused with Police Medals. The bureaucrats are attempting to belittle the sacrifices of the Defence Forces who are defending the nation whose law and order in all states is crippling due to corruption from top to bottom.

    South Asia Defence & Strategic Review is published by Akash Media. It is a leading publication on matters related to Defence and Strategy, Internal Security and Military Technology. A bi-monthly publication, the magazine was started in Mar 2007 and is gaining fast in stature and credibility. It has already secured a large subscription and readership base in the entire region.

    Col A K Sharma, a former cavalry officer, edits the magazine. He sought to leave the Indian Army after a successful career panning 28 years, and held many important assignments and acquired a variety of qualifications.

    S Abhimanyu, the Assistant Editor also doubles up as the researcher for the magazine. He is a regular contributor to the magazine, with special expertise in defence technology.

    Sabine Kulow is the Associate Editor. She is based in Germany and writes on matters related to environment and social issues.

    The Editorial Board consists of eminent personalities from all walks of life. HE Sh NN Vohra, Governer of J&K was our advisor Dr K Santhanam, Amb C Shekhar Dasgupta, Lt Gen S K Sharma (retd) and Air Marshal SK Malik are members of our Editorial Board.

    Our foreign contributors include Brig. Gen. Alain Lamballe from France and Ms. Mariam Safi from Afghanistan. The magazine is printed at Rave Scans, a premier printing press in India.
    South Asia Defence and Strategic Review
  • Friday, January 30, 2009

    Vibrant Gujarat: Model of development through people’s participation

    Mr Modi believes in the fact that good infrastructure is the driver of economic development. He therefore, paid utmost attention on physical and social infrastructure and involved private sector in their development. The rapid and qualitative development of ports, roads, railways, LNG terminals, gas distribution and water distribution networks and other infrastructure facilities are being discussed nationwide. He has also created excellent infrastructure at tourist and religious places. Urban sector has been enlivened by up gradation of civic amenities and emphasis on cleanliness and greening and reduction of vehicular pollution. The well conceived, meticulously planned and professionally organized Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Biennial Summits held in 2003, 2005 and 2007 have put Gujarat as a preferred investment destination among global investors. These summits have not only attracted investments worth billions of USD but also created huge employment opportunities in the state. Its logical fall out is skill development for various class of people on a massive scale. To ensure all round, all inclusive and uniform development, comprehensive and well conceived packages like Vanbandhu kalyan (tribal welfare), Sagarkhedu (development of coastal dwellers), Garib samruddhi (upliftment of urban poor) are under implementation.

    A leader who believes in team-work and a good work culture, Mr Modi has launched an ambitious training programme for the 500,000 government employees in Gujarat which is being watched in awe by every other state. Many of his initiatives like evening courts, interlinking of rivers, jyotigram, grievance redressal through SWAGAT online and others are being viewed as models for replication at the national level. The state is now rated as the best e-governed state in the country. With his focus on cent per cent computerization of the villages and emphasis on quick disposal of people’s grievances, the state is set to usher into village level e-governance. Narendra Modi government has bagged more than five dozen awards in the last five years including the ones at the international level like the UN Sasakawa award for disaster reduction, CAPAM Gold award for able governance, World Bank’s Green award for environment friendly work during rebuilding after the earthquake, UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award and award from Global Interpolis, Singapore. Gujarat is today rated as the best state in bio technology initiatives too.

    Modi’s model of good governance is being applauded within the country and beyond. The way he has won the hearts of people of Gujarat and his popularity at the national level show that ‘Good governance is also good politics’
    Extracted from: Model of development through people’s participation

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- forty fourth day

    Jantar Mantar: Veterans of Noida

    Date: Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 10:12 PM

    Dear Colleagues,
    It was yet another active day at Jantar Mantar battlefront. A group of 30 ESM/ spouses from NOIDA paid an inspirational visit. We also had Lt Gen Sher Amir Singh, who was visiting Delhi from his MHOW abode and made it a point to be at the venue. Our grateful thanks to all of them.

    From Mumbai
    37 cheques from new officer/PBOR members have been received from Mumbai (Names later). We must thank Brig Dharam Prakash for being the motivational anchor and for giving the Movement a great push in that city.

    New Members
    We heartily welcome the following new members and thank them for their generous contribution to the cause:
    1. Lt Gen Satish Talwar
    2. Brig SM Sriram
    3. Brig SVS Chowdhury
    4. Brig A Thyagarajan
    5. AVM Navin Chandra Shah
    6. Brig KM Rao
    7. Brig CK Maitra
    8. Brig Atma Ram
    9. Col K Mohandas

    Discussion Point
    While interacting with the media or with our civilian friends, you may like to emphasie that in the existing dispensation and without provision of OROP, the following disparities exist between the new and the old pensioners (Examples of only a few ranks are quoted here to make the point):

    Pension in Rs
    Rank/ Pre 1.1.1996/ Pre 1.1.2006/ Post 1.1.2006
    Sepoy/ 3,764/ 4,667/ 6,860
    Hav/ 5,008/ 5,239/ 8,030
    Major/ 14,464/ 18,137/ 22,135
    Colonel/ 26,050/ 26,050/ 30,375
    Brig/ 26,150/ 26,150/ 31,170

    Ironically, by way of percentage the greatest disparity is at the level of the Sepoy. The disparity is not only intra-rank but also inter-rank; it may be noted that a post 1.1.2006 Sepoy gets 37% higher pension than a pre- 1.1.1996 Havildar. How can anyone resist fighting for OROP?

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM,
    Chairman IESM,

    Tribune Forum 2006: Sample response
    Q: Should there be “one rank, one pension” for defence personnel?
    R: Give soldiers their due: THE ex-servicemen in India are the lowest paid strata of society. It hardly needs to be stressed that the outstanding demand of one rank, one pension is a genuine one. Its genuineness can simply be gauged by the fact that all political parties, including the Congress that ruled the country uninterruptedly nearly for half a century, have supported this demand while occupying the Opposition benches. But once in power, every party tends to forget the promises made earlier. The reason is that ex-servicemen are not united. Also, they are forbidden to bargain collectively during service. Our bureaucracy too have raised many objections to stall this genuine demand..........Lt-Col ANGAD SINGH (Retd)
    Click Link for more responses: "One Rank One Pension" for defence personnel

    Families of martyrs face neglect

    Chandigarh, January 28
    The country and Punjab paid homage to its martyrs on Monday, but for many families of martyrs in the state this Republic Day too remained one of promises unfulfilled. Their future hinges on a date for the past five months.

    Around 200 families of military personnel stand to gain through government jobs in case the government amends its honour and gratitude policy to cover all servicemen declared battle casualties pre-January 1, 1999. The policy till now covers post-January 1999 battle casualties only.

    It has been five months since Defence Services Welfare Minister Kanwaljit Singh announced that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had acceded to the demand of ex-servicemen to take all soldiers killed in action in anti-terrorist operations within the ambit of its honour and gratitude policy.

    Capt Kanwaljit had himself proposed the change following a representation from the affected families in April last year. He had proposed that the government go by the battle casualty enlisting done by the defence authorities while adjudging such cases.

    The Chief Minister’s approval came in August, 2008, post which the Department of Personnel asked the Defence Welfare Department to amend a certain notification. It was objected to by the affected families, which claimed this would not help them, but only result in a status quo.

    Gurnam Singh, a government servant at Patiala, told The Tribune that his sister-in-law Raj Kaur, whose husband Mohinder Singh had been killed in 1995 during Operation Rakshak, was anxiously waiting for the amendment to the policy, which would make her eligible for a government job.

    Similar is the case of Harjinder Kaur of Jai Jawan Colony in Patiala whose husband Lance Naik Raghbir Singh died in anti-insurgency operations in Assam in 1992. Harjinder says she has a grown-up son, who is yet to get a job, and another one who is studying in plus II.

    Patiala-based Notary Sukhwant Singh Ghumman, son of late Major Sukhdev Singh who was killed in action in 1979, claims the government’s policy is flawed not only because it is selective in its coverage, but also because it does not recognise bravery during peace time. While dependents of wartime gallantry award winners of Paramvir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra are eligible for government jobs, peacetime gallantry award winners who died fighting militancy were not eligible for the same. Sukhwant’s father had been awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously.

    Capt Kanwaljit Singh said he would have to check on the status of the file with regard to the case. With the model code around the corner, it might be touch and go for the families, which definitely do not want to wait for another Republic Day to remind the nation of their plight.
    Families of martyrs face neglect

    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    Do we need a common yardstick to evaluate valour for grant of gallantry awards?

    “Honors and awards distinguish the mediocre. While the superior are embarrassed by them, the decoration itself gets devalued when awarded forlesser deeds”

    Let the Figures Speak for Themselves
    The Param Vir Chakra(PVC) and the Ashok Chakra (AC) are the highest gallantry medals awarded in India. The essential wording for both these decorations is the same; they are granted for “most conspicuous bravery or act of daring or pre-eminent valor or self- sacrifice...” The essential difference between these two supreme decorations is that while the PVC is granted for acts against the enemy the AC is for similar acts in the peace time. The investiture of both these medals is done on the Republic Day parade and the monetary compensation admissible is of the same order. It is learnt that till date about 40 brave hearts have received this medal, though we do not have a comprehensive list of their names or deeds on the Internet. The PVC awards are well documented, and only 21 soldiers have been awarded the highest decoration till date:

  • From 1947 to 61: Six (including one in Congo)
  • The 1962 Indo-China Conflict: Three
  • The 1965 Indo-Pakistan War: Two
  • The 1971 Indo-Pakistan war: Four
  • Clashes with Pakistan in Siachen and Kargil: Six

    Statistically speaking, during the 61 years since our independence, exactly sixty one men have qualified for the highest honor, making it one per year. Now, if eleven persons receive it in 2009, there sure has been a significant departure from the norm!

    Norms for Evaluating Courage and Valour
    Those who have dealt with the Pay Commissions know about the systematic manner in which jobs are evaluated and functional relativities are established to assign pay scales to the different posts. No such exercise has been conducted for measuring or estimating bravery or courage. Perhaps it is not possible to do it either. But over the years, the military has evolved some kind of general norms for grant of medals and decorations which has found general acceptance. These decorations are granted to individuals, but it is well known that the award recognizes the action of the unit and the regiment to which the soldier belongs. Thus when some is granted a medal, the whole unit is proud of it, since no one fights the battle alone. The overall number is kept within limits to retain the sanctity of the award. Thus, if four PVCs were awarded in 1971, it roughly signifies the importance attached to that war. Notice that the above pattern reveals a balanced picture. Now, if we choose to give eleven ACs in a single year, it seems to convey the impression that during the last year the threat to our national integrity was three times more than what we faced in the 1971 war. Would any one buy that story?

    The Tyranny of the Printed word and Television
    The Mumbai episode got blown out of proportion because of two reasons: one that those two hotels entertain high profile guests and two, because of the media coverage it received. The general public was led to believe that something of great significance had happened. The ten odd irregulars were able to instill fear of a greater magnitude than the entire armed forces of our adversary! And then the politics took over. The results are there for every one to see. We have created an imbalance, the ripples of which will take quite some time to fade.

    Disregarding the Courage of Valiant Survivors
    There is one more serious imbalance in this list. All the eleven medals have been awarded posthumously. Was there not a single man who showed courage and survived to tell the tale? There seems to have been a definite bias towards the ‘martyrs’ while preparing the lists. It may be noticed, that of the 21 PVCs awarded so far six were granted to soldiers who were not killed in action. (One of the six survivors succumbed to frost bite in Chinese captivity) Similar is the case with the Victoria Crosses (VC) awarded by the British. More than one-third went to living soldiers. In fact three of them went on to win a second VC. It needs to be noted that it needs greater skill to survive in the midst of fire than to fall a victim to the fire. At the Academy they taught us, “A good soldier does not die for his country. He makes the enemy die for his!”

    The Imperative Need to Evolve a Common Standard for Gallantry Awards
    Courage can not be measured, weighed or counted. That much is certain. Awards are, and will forever remain the exclusive preserve of the personages who sit on the awards committees. But just as we have, as a nation, evolved grades for jobs and posts, and also created a ceremonial table of precedence for apex ranks, it is imperative that some standards be created for determining gallantry awards. I do not know whether military officers form part of the committee that determines the winners, but if they are not represented on the awards committees, there is a serious lacuna. Getting killed or wounded in an ‘operation’ can not be the sole determinant of valor or courage. It must not be allowed to become a dominant factor for granting the supreme gallantry awards. And if media coverage is allowed to sway the awards committees then the soldiers who perform similar feats under the following kinds of situations will remain unrewarded, for exactly similar acts of ‘conspicuous’ bravery:

  • Counter insurgency in remote areas where a low-intensity war has been continuously raging for the last four decades and several hundred soldiers are killed or wounded every year. The press and the media give them scant coverage. A soldier getting killed in the Valley gets less than two column centimeters in our national newspapers.
  • Pilots of service aircraft perform heroic actions as a routine. On an average, ten to twenty of them make the ‘supreme sacrifice’ every year. The fighter pilots have the option to ‘eject’ and save themselves, but many of them die in an effort to save the aircraft or prevent it from crashing in populated areas to save civilian casualties. Many others make miraculous landings on damaged aircraft. I think each one of them deserves an Ashok Chakra.
  • Officers and men who live and operate in high altitude areas face avalanches and landslides as a routine. In a single incident in Sikkim in 1982, a whole company was washed away in a flash flood. Several vehicles fell into ravines. Soldiers performed heroic acts to save the victims and salvage war-like equipment. But there was no one; not even birds and animals to see and recognize their acts of valor. And so, they shall remain unsung.
  • Naval divers go deep into the water on rescue missions. But that is considered to be a part of their duties.

    Care and Consideration for the Living
    It is my belief that, during the last few years, the balance has tilted in favor of those killed in action or otherwise. There was a time when we used to raise money for the widows of soldiers who died of illness or were killed in accidents, since there was no provision of ‘family’ pension. The pendulum has swung the other way now. The State now bends backwards to look after the widows. Their numbers are small, and so the government can afford it. But when it comes to the living veterans, our government holds back. The past pensioners get crumbs. The government neither has jobs for them nor proper pension. And when the soldiers die of mal-nutrition the family pension is even lower. The families could be justifiably envious of those who died or were killed in the field areas. The need of the hour is to do something for those “jo laut ke ghar aa gaye” The present situation is relates to the old saying, “Haathi zinda laakh ka; mara sawa lakh ka” (When artifacts were carved out of elephant tusks, the living one was cheaper than the dead beast)

    The Summing Up
    Life is a series of waves. Events swing from one extreme to the other. A few years ago the “Padma” awards went berserk. The list of the “Bharat Ratnas” was verily drawn from the political party in power. Then some one went to the court, and the award itself got discontinued. Now it has been restored, but it has lost its sheen. Neither the press nor the public takes any notice of a “Padma Shri” It is my fond hope that the gallantry awards do not meet the same fate. The marching columns in the Republic Day Parade this year were reduced to create space for the award of the 11 Ashok Chakras. Now, if all States and political parties start demanding their share in the largesse based on the current norms, we might have no parade next year. Since the “investiture ceremony” will take up all the time. If I am allowed to offer a solution, it is, “Please involve military officers in all decisions related with security of our country” This is far more important than “One Rank One Pension” and resolution of pay anomalies. In fact non-inclusion of a service member is the root cause of much that ails our system.

    I was struck by the imbalance when I saw the parade, and wanted to write something. But when I saw the mails sent by Brig PT Gangadharan, that urge turned into this paper.

    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
  • Mumbai Mayhem: Pak incapable of action against terror- Pranab

    29 Jan 2009, 0217 hrs IST, PTI
    NEW DELHI: As it awaits a concrete response from Pakistan on steps taken against perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks, India has raised questions on whether the government in Islamabad was deliberately not taking action against terrorists or incapable of doing so.

    "Yes, one way you can make a differentiation that they are deliberately not doing or are incapable of doing. But as far as India is concerned, the net impact is the same ... the perpetrators are launching terror attacks from the territory of Pakistan," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

    "The infrastructural facilities there (are) used by them (for) committing crimes in India, not necessarily in this case but in a large number of cases in the past," he said in an interview with Al Jazeera news channel.

    Mukherjee said India expects the Pakistan government to act against the perpetrators of terror acts operating from Pakistani soil.

    "We expect Pakistan to act. Whatever is to be done from our side we are doing so ... but Pakistan has to act because the handlers and planners (of Mumbai attacks) were from Pakistan," he said.

    Mukherjee said India expects three things from Pakistan — dismantle terror infrastructural facilities, take strong action against perpetrators of terror attacks and look for fugitives of Indian law who have committed crime in India and taken shelter in Pakistan.
    Pak incapable of action against terror: Pranab
    Related articles:
    Pak claims Mumbai attack planned outside: Report
    Mumbai attacks not linked to Kashmir: Pranab

    Armed forces ask their personnel to exercise the right to vote

    26 Jan 2009, 1026 hrs IST, IANS

    NEW DELHI: For the first time, the armed forces have asked their personnel to exercise their fundamental right to vote in the areas of their posting during the general elections slated for March-April.

    In an unprecedented move all the personnel of the army, the navy and the air force have been asked to get themselves registered with the Election Commission office in their area of posting and exercise their right to vote.

    "All of us have been asked to get ourselves registered wherever we are posted and exercise our franchise. Voter registration forms and other certificates required are being circulated among all units and departments," a senior naval official told IANS requesting anonymity.

    A majority of Indian defence personnel have never voted during their service tenure for want of an effective mechanism. However, there is a provision for the armed forces personnel to vote in their areas of posting only during the general elections, provided they are registered with the Election Commission.

    India's armed forces comprise a 1.1-million strong army, around 140,000-strong air force and nearly 60,000-strong navy and they can be a sizeable vote bank especially in cantonment areas.

    "The main reason behind this proactive participation of the armed forces in the electoral process seems to be the armed forces being shortchanged in the Pay Commission and their lack of a say in the decision making process," said a high-ranking army official, wishing not to be identified.

    Though there is a postal ballot and proxy voting system, most personnel are not aware of it.

    Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major confessed to IANS in a candid interview: "Though there is the proxy voting system and the postal ballot system, things have not materialised as desired."

    The IAF chief has himself not been able to vote for the last 10 years because, like most people in the armed forces, he has not been home during election time. "The last I voted was 10 years ago when I was home on vacation. I have voted only four times (in his 41 years of service)," Major told IANS.

    The IAF chief's statement underscores how successive governments have failed to give effective voting rights to the armed forces.

    The postal ballot system has proved inadequate due to the long delays involved in sending out voting sheets.

    In September 2003, parliament had approved the proxy voting system for armed forces personnel whereby they could authorise a family member - usually a parent or a sibling or a spouse - to cast their vote by proxy.

    This system draws heavily from that prevailing in Britain but has proved to be ineffective because soldiers do not even know the provision exists.

    The defence ministry has time and again stressed that it is looking into the matter but has not taken any steps to rectify the problems.
    Armed forces ask their personnel to exercise the right to vote

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- forty third day

    Photos of IESM Rally Jantar Mantar

    Members of steering committee seen in discussion

    Col SS Rajan, IESM convenor Karnataka, speaking to Veterans

    IESM Veterans diplaying the placards

    OROP Poster at IESM Rally

    Date: Wednesday, 28 January, 2009, 10:46 PM

    Dear Colleagues,
    Tha battlefront is under the charge of Gurgaon team. The stream of visitors continues.

    We heartily welcome the following new members and thank them for their generous contribution to the cause:
    1. Admiral Madhvendra Singh, Former CNS
    2. Admiral Sushil Kumar, Former CNS

    Navy Foundation Kochi Chapter
    Extracts of a message from the NFKC President Rear Admiral G Kuruvilla are reproduced below:

    “Dear Friends
    1. I am enclosing a small write up on IESM along with details of pension tables, an IESM poster and Membership form received from Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM, Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement.

    This Movement has picked up well and its intensity and activities are spreading all over India. The ESM across country are volunteering to join the Movement to get Justice to the Defence Services. Very senior officers in large numbers are joining the Movement daily. Recently V Adm Harinder Singh (former C-in-C South and President of NF Delhi Chapter.) has joined the movement. There is urgent need to give the Movement a strong push forward by giving it the widest publicity and motivating all the ESM organizations and ESM to join the Movement.

    2. Please note that this is the only ESM Organization that has taken up our OROP issue seriously at National level and has been at it for the last one year. Presently a relay hunger strike is going on at Jantar Mantar at Delhi. The members and supporters of this Org is making sacrifices for the sake of ALL of us and let us support the movement in what ever way it is possible in our individual capacity as an ESM.
    Jai Hind
    R Adm G Kuruvilla (Retd)”

    It gives us a great sense of pride that the Navy has been moving on full sail to join the IESM. I have no doubt that with our unity of purpose and combined efforts we will succeed in our mission.

    NOIDA Meet of 27 Jan 2009
    Names of some of the ESM (all the veterans who attended the meeting did not enter their names in the register kept) who attended the above meet are given below:
    1. Lt Col VC Khare
    2. Maj Gen KP Deswal
    3. Brig RN Awasthy
    4. Lt Gen RB Singh
    5. Col AN Anand
    6. brig MM Dewan
    7. Brig AK Paharia
    8. Maj Gen I kashyap
    9. Col SP dua
    10. Lt Col KB Singh
    11. Lt Col DS Yadav
    12. Maj gen SP Aul
    13. Gp Capt SK Manocha
    14. Cdr DD Chopra
    15. Gp capt Anand Prakash
    16. Brig NK Dhand
    17. Maj gen RS Baltan
    18. Col AS Butalia
    19. Col SS Banerjee
    20. Sub Maj VPS Malik
    21. Wg CDR HS Bedi
    22. Col JP Bhatia
    23. Maj Gen VS Dhawan
    24. Col SL Narula
    25. Col MK Chopra
    26. Col RS Upadhyay
    27. Maj Gen PK Janmeja
    28. Wg CDR RK Seth
    29. Col Narender Kumar
    30. Wg CDR DK Mathur
    31. Wg Cdr NC Trigunayat
    32. Gp Capt Anand Prakash
    33. Brig Ravi chaudhri
    34. Lt Col Jagdish Raj
    35. Veteran SS Bhandari
    36. Lt Col VK Sood
    37. Brig CL lakhanpal
    38. Lt Col RC Sharma
    39. Cdr J Deo
    40. Lt Col VK Dhawan
    41. Wg CDR BS Bakshi
    42. Lt Col RL Batra
    43. Brig DP Chopra
    44. Naik Ram Chander
    45. Naik Rajinder
    46. Brig Sikka
    47. Vice Admiral AC Bhatia
    48. Cmde PK Jain
    49. Rear Adm B Bhasin
    50. Rear Adm SK Das
    51. CDR KC Bansal
    52. Col V Sekhri
    53. Col Kewal Malhotra
    54. Col Tarlochan Singh
    55. Col DO Sen
    56. Lt Col Umesh Kumar
    57. Brig Devasar
    58. Brig TD Bhatia

    Once again, our special thanks to Col V Sekhri, Col Kewal Malhotra, Brig Devasar and Col Sohan Singh of RWA for organising the meet and making it a success.

    Jantar Mantar Visit
    One of the founding members of the IESM and our Karnataka Convener Col Rajan visited Jantar Mantar today. The Core Gp members were present on the occasion. Such visits are a great boost to the participants.

    The IESM Core Group meets Jan 30 to button up details for the 08 Feb 2009 rally.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Travel and Adventure: Jaipur- Land of Palaces

    Dear All,
    Views of Capt Deepak Sikand who stayed at Devi Niketan Villa Jaipur are placed below. You may like to stay there whilst at Jaipur.
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (retd)
    Member Core Group IESM

    My dear Sharan,
    We have just returned from a short holiday at Jaipur. We stayed at Devi Niketan B&B run by Admiral Madhvendra Singh. The arrangements were superb. The Admiral personally interacts with each guest and attends to each detail. What you get is a 5 star comfort at affordable price. True value for money and a great experience. Recommend it to anyone visiting Jaipur.
    Capt Deepak Sikand (Retd)

    View of Devi Niketan

    Devi Niketan
    Devi Niketan is a family owned and operated Heritage Hotel which was inaugurated on 22 Feb 08. It stands on a big plot with large, lush green lawns in front and rear of the building. A double storied heritage house, it is part of the 140 acre estate of the former ruling family of Chomu. It was built in the 1930s by Thakur Devi Singhji, the ruler of Chomu, for his sixth son, Lieutenant K Bhagwati Singh. A grateful son named the building after his father. Thus was born “Devi Niketan” which continues to be a prominent landmark in Jaipur.

    Adjacent to Devi Niketan is “Govind Niwas”, the residence of Admiral Madhvendra Singh and his wife Kumu, who own and run “Devi Niketan”. Govind Niwas too stands on a big plot with plenty of greenery. Taken together the two properties stand on a two acre estate which gives a feeling of space and tranquility - even though it is surrounded by a bustling city. With twenty five varieties of indigenous trees on campus, it is no wonder that you can still hear the calls of Peacocks, Partridges and Lapwings, as also the cooing of doves on most days – something rare for most Indian cities. In addition you may see or hear many other bird species that frequent the garden.
    Devi Niketan

    Job crunch may turn more youth to forces: Army chief

    New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) There might be a silver lining to the global economic meltdown. The Indian Army hopes the the job crunch due to the financial crisis would help in restoring the draw of a stable career in the armed forces that are facing a shortage of middle-rung officers.Speaking to the media ahead of the 61st Army Day, Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor Wednesday said the recession may result in more youngsters opting for armed forces as career.

    “With the recession in the civil side, the demand to have career in the army in the service of the nation may go up. Besides we are taking a series of step so that people do not leave army and more numbers join it,” said Kapoor.

    The army’s sanctioned strength is 46,615 officers but it faces a shortage of 11,238 officers.

    The problem has further aggravated as about 3,000 army officers sought premature retirement in the last three years, with most of them moving to the lucrative corporate sector.

    The army chief said the Sixth Pay Commission, which raised salaries for all government employees including those in the armed forces, has also helped in bringing down the number of people seeking premature retirement.

    “Little bit of hope. Post Sixth Pay Commission announcement, there is somewhat of a declining trend in the number of people leaving the army. I see it as happy augury,” Kapoor said.

    In a bid to bring down the number further and to attract an adequate number of people to the forces, the army plans to “liberalise the study leave rule” which will enable an officer to educate himself and improve his career chances after the army job.

    The army will also open a second Officer Training Academy to increase the intake.

    The army chief, however, clarified the deficiency will not affect the army’s contributions to the National Security Guards (NSG) and Assam Rifles.

    The army will need to provide 3,000 more men, including 300-odd officers, to the NSG that will be establishing more hubs shortly in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
    Job crunch may turn more youth to forces: Army chief
    Related Article
    Time for a new deal for armed forces

    Republic Day "Beating Retreat" cancelled

    For the first time, the country will miss this year the magical martial tunes of Beating the Retreat, the last function of the Republic Day celebrations. Government on Tuesday cancelled the programme, held annually on 29th January, in view of former President R Venkataraman's demise.

    Bands of the three Services every year play lilting martial tunes at the historic Vijay Chowk just before the sunset, bringing down the curtains of Republic Day celebrations. The President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and rest of the top brass of the country witness the much-loved event.

    Government also decided to cancel the annual PM's NCC Rally, held annually two days after the Republic Day to mark the wind up of the camp held for NCC cadets from across the country.(AKS-28/01)
    Republic Day "Beating the Retreat" cancelled

    6th Pay Panel Anomalies: Ex-servicemen threaten to burn medals

    Nurpur, January 27
    Large number defence pensioners and martyrs’ widows from Kangra and Chamba districts held protest demonstration on the Republic Day against the Central Government’s apathy towards pensioners.

    Under the banner of local unit of Ex-servicemen League they also offered their Army medal before the idol of Lord Krishna in the Brijraj Swami temple here to express their resentment against the indifferent attitude of the Union Government towards the ex-defence personnel who had spent juvenile life for sake of national service.

    President of the local unit of the league Lt Col NS Pathania, who was spearheading the demonstration, said the Sixth Pay Commission had undermined the status of serving defence pensioners of the country by giving its recommendations full of anomalies. He said the commission had recommended only 12 per cent increment of the basic pay against the hike of 33 per cent inflation in the country.
    Ex-servicemen protest against govt apathy

    6th Pay Panel Anomalies: Ex-servicemen threaten to burn medals
    Chandigarh, January 3
    Flaying the government’s attitude towards their cause, a section of ex-servicemen threatened to burn their gallantry awards if the government did not take concrete step to meet their demands by January 26. Col. P.I.S. Phulka (retd.), National President, Ex-Serviceman Wing, (SAD), today said if the government would not pay heed to their demands, hundreds of ex-sevicemen from states, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal, would gather in New Delhi and burn their medals.

    He said ex-soldiers were already sitting on hunger strike to press for their demands at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Col Phulka stated that the pay scales were creating resentment amongst the armed forces of the country.

    Addressing a press conference here Col Phulka said the bureaucracy left no chance to give a negative colour to the thinking of their political bosses in order to downgrade the status of security forces.

    He further stated that the demand of “one rank one pension” of the ex-servicemen was outrightly rejected by the defence minister under the ill advice of these bureaucrats.

    “As per Madan Lal Khurana Committee’s report, the implementation of this demand involved an expenditure of Rs 650 crore only whereas these bureaucrats twisted the financial implications of this proposal to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore,” he said.

    Col Phulka said the increase of 70 per cent to the personnel below officer rank recommended earlier had been reduced 50 per cent by the Sixth Pay Commission (SPC).

    “Almost 90 per cent of the PBORs are part of armed forces, who have been adversely affected by the decision of the SPC,” he said. He added that the terminology used by the group of officers in respect of pay band-4 has confused it in such a manner that the 7th Pay Commission if ever appointed, will not be in a position to rectify the anomalies in the pay scales and the members of the armed forces will have to face litigations to get their claims.

    “Even class IV employees in the Central government would be getting better pay scales, pensioner benefits and benefit of holidays and duty hour than the sepoys of the armed forces,” he said.

    Col Phulka expressed apprehensions that some anti-armed forces elements had sneaked in the Ministry of Defence to torpedo the interests of the armed forces and to demoralise them. He referred to an incident where a martyr was compared to a dog by a political leader.

    He exhorted the 7 lakh ex-serviceman of the state and family members of the working soldiers that they should rise above petty politics and work together under the banner of Ex-Serviceman Wing to get their genuine demands accepted by the Centre.
    Ex-servicemen threaten to burn medals

    Obama a messiah for Chennai family

    Press Trust of India
    Sunday, January 25, 2009 1:40 PM (Chennai)
    US President Barack Obama may have won more hearts around the world while running for Presidency, but for a Chennai family, he became a messiah five years ago when he helped a woman get a US visa.

    For Sujatha Adsumilli, Obama has a special place in her heart. She even prayed for the success of the Illinois Senator after the Democrat was named for the Presidential race.

    Sujatha wanted to fly to the US in 2004 for her son A Vijay Kumar's house warming ceremony, but officials at American consulate denied her a visa as she was a widow and they considered her a "potential immigrant", her elder son A Ramesh Kumar told PTI.

    "Officials feared she could end up living there with my brother Vijay Kumar, who has US citizenship. Vijay wrote to then Illinois Senator Obama, telling him of the problem, who wrote to the State Department and the Consulate in Chennai asking them to consider the matter under Department of state guidelines," he said.

    This was enough to spur the officials into action to grant her a 10-year multiple entry visa to the US.

    Sujatha left for US in 2005 for the "grahapravesam" and also tried to personally thank Obama, but in vain. She rues missing the opportunity to meet him "as he had just left his office."

    "But the staff at his office extended great hospitality and promised me that they would convey my greetings to him," Sujatha said.
    Obama a messiah for Chennai family

    Obama Inauguration speech
    Watching him deliver his memorable speech with spontaneity, clearly gave an indication of his sincere feelings to serve not only the nation but also the humanity. Every word he spoke exuded confidence.

    It is never easy for a leader to comment on issues like corruption and deceit, but the newly elect President was bold enough to say, "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- forty second day

    IESM Meeting

    Date: Tuesday, 27 January, 2009, 10:11 PM

    Dear Colleagues
    The Jantar Mantar battlefront is being manned by stalwarts from Bawal (Haryana).

    A very fruitful meeting of Ex Servicemen of Noida was held at Community Centre, Sector 37, Arun Vihar, Noida, at 1500 hrs on 27 Jan and attended by 196 all ranks from the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Organized by the inspiring efforts of Brig Ravi Devasar, Col KK Malhotra and Col VK Sekhri, it was admittedly one of the larger ESM gatherings at NOIDA.

    Col Chaturvedi introduced both, the IESM as an organization, and his colleagues from the core group- Cmde Sharan Ahuja, Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Gp Capt Gandhi, Gen Renjen and Gen Satbir present at the meeting. Gen Satbir thereafter spoke in detail about events leading to creation of IESM, its efforts so far, and the need for constant inductions to grow in strength. He motivated the crowd to attend the rally on 8 Feb. By the Question Time, several members from the audience not only committed to bring more veterans along for the rally, but also promised to provide teams to man the Jantar Mantar front, starting 29 Jan 2009. Three members from the audience promised to organize buses at their expenses for the rally on 8 Feb.

    Some Veterans present requested Gen Satbir Singh, to hold another meeting soon in Jal Vayu Vihar (Sectors 21 and 25 of NOIDA). They felt very inspired by the talk given by Gen Satbir and felt one more meeting in Jal Vayu Vihar will pull still larger number of ESM from NOIDA for the 08 Feb rally at Jantar Mantar. The meeting ended with informal interaction over a cup of tea, by which time, 62 members had signed up as members of IESM. Details would follow once accounting formalities are over. Many more veterans collected the membership forms and promised to submit them within next few days.

    Other Locations
    At Mysore due to active interest taken by Sgt MN Subramani and Maj Gen Vombatkare, 25 cheques have already been collected from new members. Names would follow. Well done.
    At Goa 10 Naval and 20 Army personnel have decided to become members of the IESM. Good show.
    We welcome Lt Gen Kanwaljit and Lt Gen Milan Naidu as our new members.
    In Sum
    It has been a very good day for the IESM. The ESM are coming together and have decided to seek justice for themselves.
    Only 11 days more to go for the 8 Feb rally. We must all attend and pursuade maximum ESM to come along.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Photographs of IESM Meeting at Noida on 27 Jan 2008

    27 Jan 09.
    Dear Members,
    As you know we had an IESM meeting today at Noida, 1500 hrs onwards. The meeting was a great success. Detailed report will follow. For the time being I am forwarding some photos to you, which were taken during the meeting.
    Chander Kamboj

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally

    जागो फौजी जागो
    दिल्ली चलो, इन्साफ की लडाई में हिस्सा लो.
    सरकार की बे-इंसाफी पूर्व सैनिकों को मंज़ूर नहीं.
    पूर्व सैनिकों की विशाल रैली
    रविवार 8 फरवरी 2009, 11 बजे, जंतर मंतर पर
    देश के सैनिक सड़कों पर??
    देश का दुर्भाग्य है !!!

    एक रैंक एक पेंशन (OROP) हमारा हक़ है
  • एक रैंक + बराबर सर्विस = बराबर पेंशन (चाहें रेटायेर्मेंट तारीख कोई भी हो).
  • पूर्व सैनिक OROP नहीं दिए जाने से बहुत नाखुश और नाराज़ हैं.
  • यह विशाल रैली देशवासियों को सरकार की इस नाइंसाफी के बारे में अवगत कराने के लिए IESM द्वारा आयोजित की जा रही है.
  • सभी पूर्व सैनिकों, उनके परिवारों और सभी देश भक्तों से अनुरोध है की इस रैली में भाग ले कर हमारे हक़ की लडाई में योग दान दें.

    जय हिंद!!!
  • IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- forty first day

    Parliament Street March- 23dec08

    Dear Colleagues,
    The battlefront continues with the usual activity. As planned, the Gujarat team comprising of Army and Air Force personnel would join battle on 30 Jan for 24 hours. We extend a hearty welcome to the following new members from Noida and others:

    Colonel Vijay Sekhri deserves our special thanks for playing an active anchor role.
    1. Naik Banwari Lal Kaushal—sigs
    2. Lt col G K Syal sigs
    3. Brig J L Puri sigs
    4. Col R S Chauhan sigs
    5. Col Ashok kr Bhanot sigs
    6. Col M S Chauhan sigs
    7. Brig R Devasar 11GR
    8. Brig Raghubir Singh Guards
    9. Maj Gen Parkash Singh Sikh Regt
    10. Lt Col R N Dogra Arty
    11. Lt Col S S Banerjee Arty
    12. Lt Col Ram Singh ASC
    13. Col Amar Nath ASC
    14. Col Narender Kumar ASC
    15. Brig Raghunandan,VSM Engrs
    16. Hav Kewal Singh Bist Engrs
    17. Col K S Pathania AOC
    18. Maj P K Maini Army Postal Service
    19. Lt Col SP Kapoor Armd Corps
    20. Maj Ghanshyan Sharan Arty.

    1. Wg Cdr Dharam Sood, Dubai
    2. Maj Gen Ganga Prasad, Mhow
    3. Brig Kirpal Singh , Panchkula ,
    4. Lt Col Hari Chaturvedi , USA
    5. R Adm JK Talwar
    6. Cmde Ranjit Rai
    7. Col Pravin Uberoi
    8. Lt Col Bharpur Singh, Patiala
    9. Cdr PV Francis, Chennai

    Ex Servicemen Memorandum
    Some members had demanded a centralised memorandum that can be used as a press release or briefing for 8 Feb. The same is attached. (Reproduced below)

    Appeal To Civilians
    An appeal to our civilian colleagues to join our effort on 8 Feb is also attached. This can be distributed in the form of a leaflet.(Reproduced below)

    A photo of the ESM march along Parliament Street on/around 23 Dec 2008 as above.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Memorandum: Ex Servicemen Fight for Justice
    This is a memorandum on behalf of the two million Ex Servicemen of India. The following facts may help in understanding their problem:
  • The defence personnel give the best years of their life in the service of the nation.
  • They live under conditions of extreme hardship and operate in an environment of perpetual danger to their life and limb.
  • Most of the defence personnel stay separated from their families during their entire service and are not able to meet the usual family obligations expected of them. They do not see their children grow up.
    ,li>Nearly 85% of defence personnel are compulsorily retired at 35-42 years of age when their financial needs are at their peak. They are the only ones who retire by rank, while all other government employees retire by age.
  • There is no provision for a second career for the early retirees.
  • Since the pension is related to last pay drawn, those who retire early– and at a relatively lower salary– are granted a meagre pension. Thus, not only do they lose the earnings that would have accrued if they were to serve up to the age if sixty like others, they also get a lower pension. They suffer a double disadvantage.
  • Every time the salaries (and consequently the pensions) are hiked by the pay commissions, these are made applicable prospectively and older pensioners are left out.
  • Since pension is a reward for services rendered, it is reasonable and logical that two individuals who have rendered equal service to the nation (length of service) and have handled the same level of responsibility (rank) should be given equal pension irrespective of their date of retirement. This is the basis of ‘One Rank One Pension’ concept, which implies ‘Equal service, same rank, equal pension’. Its acceptance has been long overdue despite promises by successive governments.
  • The demand for ‘one rank one pension’ is a demand for equity and justice and not merely for more money.

    An Earnest Appeal
    1. We are the two million Ex Servicemen of India.
    2. We gave our best years in the service of the nation.
    3. Our living conditions were extremely difficult.
    4. We faced perpetual danger to our life and limb.
    5. We worked round the clock for months and years on end.
    6. We spent our entire service life away from our families.
    7. We did not see our children grow up.
    8. We were forced to go on a meager pension at 35-42 years.
    9. Our pension does not keep pace with successive pay commission recommendations.
    10. Despite repeated promises, our demand for one rank one pension is rejected.
    11. We earnestly appeal for your support and presence at our rally 11AM on 8 February 2009n at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

    Reminder For the IESM Meeting at Noida on 27 Jan 09, at 1500 hrs.
    All veterans living in and around Noida- Greater Noida are reminded to kindly be present at the Arun Vihar Community Centre, Sector 37, Noida, for the IESM. All members of the Steering Committee will also be present during this meeting. Please give wide publicity to this meeting and ensure maximum number of Veterans from Noida- Greater Noida and surrounding areas attend the meeting for coordinating future plan of action.
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    Display by the ‘Dare-devils’ team of the Corps of Signals

    Republic Day: Spirit of India

    A motorcycle display by the ‘Dare-devils’ team of the Corps of Signals at Rajpath in New Delhi on Monday, January 26, 2009. Photo: Sipra Das/India Today

    Times of India Photo Gallery

    60th Republic Day Parade in Pictures- 26 Jan 2009

    Photos: PIB

    A spectacular view of Rajpath from the top of the India Gate

    The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment marching contingent passes through the Rajpath

    The Parachute Regiment marching contingent passes through the Rajpath

    The Naval Marching Contingent passes through the Rajpath

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- fortieth day

    Date: Sunday, 25 January, 2009, 9:59 PM

    Dear Colleagues,
    The relay fast continues. The battleground of Jantar Mantar continues to remain dense with action. Stream of visitors continues.

    Here is wishing all ESM and their families a very happy Republic Day.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Greetings: 60th Republic Day

    Bharat Mata Ki Jai

    Indian Flag

    Happy Republic Day to all our Readers

    We salute the Armed Forces

    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh
    Brig CS Kamboj
    Brig Sukwindar Singh
    Lt Col Kanagaraj James

    Satyam: Ramalinga Raju’s experiments with truth

    The truth behind Satyam fraud

    The Tribune, Chandiagrh
    The fall of the IT czar by Aditi Roy Ghatak

    There may be no confessional to explain why Ramalinga Raju confessed. Accountancy corridors are rife with stories of others getting away with more serious fraud. In fact, there is some derision with which the lurid acknowledgements of the Satyam supremo – a first generation cheat – are treated in those exalted circles. Elsewhere, the averments are regarded as sheer stupidity that will force the investigative searchlights into the universe of crooked corporate accounting practices.

    Clearly, the problem was with Raju being a novice at the complex game of manipulative mathematics. He may have mastered the art of concealing the numbers but not how to manage the business environment. He did not know whom to please and how much.

    India is a country where corporate fraud is a matter to be brushed under the carpet. Tax evasion is not a crime whether it be on a medical prescription or electronics goods; one is happy to refuse a receipt and evade the tax. That much is a matter of public knowledge. When it comes to bigger fraud, the first problem is to have the fraud seriously investigated and the second is to get a conviction.

    The more than 50,000 cases under the Companies Act pending in the country’s courts with a conviction rate of 5 per cent or less is adequate testimony to this. The corresponding conviction rate in the UK is reportedly around 61 per cent.
    The fall of the IT czar

    Question: Maytas is Satyam if it is spelled backwards. What do you infer from it?
    Prabu Chawla: Why are you surprised? It was meant to ensure reverse flow of money from Satyam to Maytas.

    Comment: We may never get to the bottom pit of Corporate Corruption. The Politicians have made it a black hole, like investment in real estate inflating like a balloon and collaping. Or like smuggling, money laundering, hawala, and generating black money and invested in foreign banks, which comes back in the "FDI" route. The parallel unaccounted money is almost as vast as the GDP of the nation. This is the main reason why poverty and slums are prevalent in spite of 60 years progress, we have 70% population left poor. No reason to see why the motion picture Slumdog Millionaire is reaping the harvest. Satyam Raju is one in a million....sadly he spoke the truth to save the perpetrators.

    SCPC: Pay anomalies- Naval chief lists pending issues

    Ajay Banerjee
    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, January 23
    In the first-ever official communiqué to the three-week old contentious and half-baked decision on the pay related anomalies of the armed forces, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta yesterday handed over a letter to the Defence Minister AK Antony. It lists out the issues that are pending and need to be looked into immediately.

    Sources confirmed that Admiral Mehta, in his capacity as the Chief of Staff’s Committee, has listed out the aspects that are still rankling the forces. The latest move of the forces comes after the Prime Minister Office (PMO) sent out a note on December 30.

    The three forces contributed their inputs that were collated for Admiral Mehta and the same has been handed over to the Defence Minister. The high-powered committee set up for sorting out issues of command, control and status of the armed forces personnel will also be told about the issues. The Defence Secretary heads the committee.

    The PMO note did not sort out two core issues that the forces had originally raised. These were grant of higher administrative grade (plus) to all Lt Generals restoring their parity with the DGP’s in states. The other was the grade pay at par with their counter parts in civilian services. These anomalies remain and the same form part of the letter handed over to Antony.

    Yesterday, Antony while speaking at a function said "sincere" efforts to resolve pay anomalies were being made. “The remaining issues, we are examining,” he added.

    The PMO had agreed to one demand that was to retain 70 per cent pensionary weightage to the jawans. The fourth demand was agreed but with riders. It stated that the Lt Colonels would be placed in pay band-IV salaries provided they were in “combat or ready-to-combat” roles. Those on deputation would not get it. There are about 2,000 such officers on deputation to various forces like NSG, Assam rifles or other such posts.

    The forces will also point out to a 1970 order of the Ministry of Defence that says the last drawn pay of an officer would be protected.
    Pay anomalies: Naval chief lists pending issues
    Interesting article: Civil services: The blunted edge by Asst Editor V Eshwar Anand examines the Moily Commission’s prescription for reforms

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty ninth day

    Dear Colleagues,

    The relay fast continues. The battleground of Jantar Mantar continues to remain abuzz with activity.

    We extend a heartful welcome to the following new members and thank them for their generous contributions:

    Brig AS Adhikari

    Punjab Team
    I had mentioned about 29 new names in the report dated 23 Jan 2008 disclosing that these are being fwd separately. The remaining 17 names are as under:
    30. Capt Reet MP Singh VrC, Nabha
    31. Balwant Kaur w/o Hav Kehar Singh, Patiala. 32. Sgt Sikander Singh, Mohali. 33. Hav/ Clk Dalip Singh, Mohali. 34. Harinder Kaur w/o CPO BS Mangat
    35. Mr RP Singh, Mohali.
    37. Sep Mehnga Singh, Mohali
    38. Basant Kaur W/o Spr Shamsher Singh, (Pb)
    39. Sep Harjinder Singh, Samrala, Ludhiana.
    40. Nk Jasbir Singh
    41. Capt Jasbir Singh
    42. Wg Cdr Bakhshish Singh, Mohali.
    43. Nk Rattan Singh, Mohali.
    44. Wg Cdr PSB Sachdeva, Mohali
    45. CPO Mohinder Singh, Mohali.
    46. Sep Swaran Singh, Mohali.

    a) R Adm HC Malhotra, Noida
    b) Cmde M Jankiraman from USA
    c) Cmde Suresh Sawhney from Mumbai
    d) Cdr RW Pathak, Pune
    e) Cmdr Gomes C H from Auckland, NZ
    f) Col Paramjit Pental from Gurgaon
    g) Col Tilak Bhatia from Gurgaon
    h) Col Israel Jayakaran, Sigs, Chennai
    i) Lt Col SS Chauhan coutesy Brig JK Nangpal
    j) Lt Col Anil Sagar coutesy Brig JK Nangpal
    k) Air Cmde K L Bhatia coutesy Brig JK Nangpal
    l) Lt Col Inder Iqbal Singh coutesy Brig JK Nangpal
    m) Lt Col V K Kapur coutesy Brig JK Nangpal
    n) Brig J K Nangpal
    o) Gp Capt Vijay Bapat, Pune
    p) Col SL Narula, Noida

    Received a call from Hony Capt T Lotha from Nagaland. He is Secretary of the District Soldiers Board at Wokha and wanted membership forms for the IESM. Reaching out so far East is an encouraging sign. A sheaf of forms has been couriered to him.

    Maintaining Discipline at Rallies
    Members have been rightly concerned about maintaining discipline during the rallies, including 08 Feb 2009. To put the record straight, no effigies were burnt on 27 Dec 2008 and none will be allowed in the future. The rally on 27 Dec remained dignified. We even prevented slogans against, or in eulogy of any individual person. This was strictly observed.

    Our plank of OROP demand rests on our projection that we are different from others and that the govt is not justified in equating us with civilians. We therefore must also behave differently. Burning of effigies and shouting derogatory slogans does not behove the image of disciplined soldiers. We must also avoid delivering inflammatory speeches. Broadly speaking, and subject to the Core Gp approving details, we assemble at Jantar Mantar, march carrying OROP placards in a dignified manner along a few km circuit (route being worked out in concert with Delhi police), return to Jantar Mantar, distribute press handout, make a few brief speeches reminding everyone about the concept and rationale of OROP (we are also trying to get some civilians to join). Thereafter, we take off our medals and deposit these in a bag/ bags and a designated party delivers these to the Reception Centre at Rashtrapati Bhawan. (The Hon’ble President is out of Delhi on that day.) The action is in hand to request the Secy to the President to have the medals received.

    The success of the rally will be gauged in terms of the numbers that attend. We should neither indulge, nor be provoked into indulging in any action that blots the high esteem that we enjoy in public mind. Allow me to add that anyone who is not confident of keeping his cool under those circumstances is requested to review his opton of attending the rally.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    IESM Campaign for Justice- OROP

    Dear Friends,
    1. Response to Our Movement has been encouraging. Large number of ESM across country are joining the IESM. It is the numbers which matter. The Govt will take us seriously if we get together in large numbers.

    2. IESM efforts are yielding results. Consequent to our hard stand during the meeting on 14 Jan 09 with Secretary ESM, Min of Defence Govt has issued an amendment dated 20 Jan 2009 correcting its letter dated 11 Dec 08. The issue in regard of Lt Gen and Maj Gen getting less pension that of their juniors has been taken care of to certain extent (copy of the letter dated 20 Jan 09 already posted in the blog). But this was only correcting their gross mistake. We need to go a long way to get our demands met. OROP being the most important of our demands.

    3. Friends, there is an urgent need to get maximum ESM to join the IESM. We request every one receiving this mail to circulate the same to maximum ESM and motivate and encourage maximum ESM as per his/her reach to join the IESM. All veteran organizations are also requested to join IESM to ensure a large mass of our ESM Unity projecting our case to the Govt. There is no other way but our Unity & only Unity will bring results and give us our due Justice.

    4. 8th Feb 09 Rally at Jantar Mantar New Delhi will be the day of reckoning. We must join the Rally in large numbers.

    5. May I also request all ESM organizations and individual ESM to enlist the support of media both print and electronic. There are large number of ESM and their wards and relations working in the media. May we request them to get maximum media coverage to bring true facts of our case to the people of our country and ask the Govt to accept our demands.

    Please give wide publicity
    With Kind Regards,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement


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