Saturday, July 11, 2009

Army sacks 'harassed' lady officer

11 Jul 2009, 1924 hrs IST, Times Now
An Army court martial has ordered the dismissal of a woman officer from service, a first in almost two decades since women were recruited, after holding her guilty of falsely accusing her seniors of sexual harassment. The court martial, which had assembled in the Division Headquarters at Patiala in Punjab near Chandigarh, gave its orders yesterday (July 10) and ordered that Army Service Corps (ASC) officer Captain Poonam Kaur be sacked.

"The Court Martial has ordered her dismissal from service. Capt Kaur had been charged on 10 counts including disobedience, making false allegations against superior officers and addressing the media pertaining to service matters," Kaur's counsel and retired Colonel S K Aggarwal said. The army court's decision, which came after about five months of hearing, will now go to the Western Army Commander Lt Gen T K Sapru for confirmation.

Kaur is the second woman officer of the Army to be court martialled after Major Dimple Singla, an officer with the Judge Advocate General branch of the Army, was tried on corruption charges in 2006 at Chandigarh since Army began recruiting women as officers in the army in 1993. Singla's court martial was later stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2007. Capt Poonam Kaur had on July 15 last year alleged three officers of her unit, 5682 Battalion of the Army Supply Corps based in Kalka, Haryana, had mentally and sexually harassed her and confined her illegally when she resisted their advances.

A Court of Inquiry (COI) ordered to investigate the allegations levelled by Capt Kaur against her superior officers had held that there was no basis for these charges and later recommended a court martial against her for "false charges." She had accused three of her seniors, including her commanding officer, the unit's second-in-command and adjutant -- a Colonel, Lt Col and a Major rank officer respectively -- of harassing her for many months. These officers had denied the allegations during the COI.

However, Aggarwal claimed that "Her charges of sexual harassment against Col R K Sharma, Lt Col Chawla and Major Suraj Bhan were never investigated by the COI and the Army authorities never looked into them. Her allegations against these officers have been put under the carpet". He also maintained that Kaur never addressed the media pertaining to service matters. "Had the allegations of sexual harassment not come out in the media, then people would have never known what is happening in the Army and that the ladies are not safe," he alleged.
Army sacks 'harassed' lady officer

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CBI files case against army officers in wheat purchase scam
Another scandal mars Indian defense: Written by Siddharth Srivastava

SCPC: Family Pension and Arrears denied by Banks

Anguish of Widows: Will the ESM Welfare Organisations take up cudgels to assist them?
Dear Sir,
The following matter may please be published in your blog and the readers may be requested to help the poor widows to get their arrears. The Banks are not at all listening to our claim. There is no meaning in issuing orders, when it is not implemented in the right spirit. Some strong action to be taken against the Banks in this regard.

The SBI had centralised all pension payment to state headquarters. The pensioners are unable to approach the HQs. They continue to pay less pension. We have sent a number of representations to SBI CPPC, Chennai. No reply is coming and at the same time they are not correcting the pension also.

Some action has to be taken on All India level through IESM Sir. Please think it over. The arrears calculation for a Lt Col is easy the banks are doing immediately. At the same time, the arrears calculation for a Special Family pension, (PBOR) the Banks are telling that they do not know or they have not received the orders etc.

This matter is to be given top priority to increase our membership Sir. Please do some thing.
With kind regards.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
C Muthukrishnan (Ex Sgt)

The minimum Special Family Pension was increased from Rs.2,550 to Rs.7,000/- as per PCDA (P) Most Important Circular No.410 dt.13.05.09 para 4.2. In the meantime the Banks have revised the existing Special Family Pension of Rs.2,550 into Rs.5,763 as per the tables attached to MOD letter dated 11.11.08 and calculated arrears from 01.01.06 to 31.08.08 for 32 months and paid 40 % arrears during Sep 08/Oct 08 and awaiting to pay the remaining 60% arrears on getting instructions from the Government.

The earlier MOD letter dt.11.11.08, which authorized revision of pension of Pre-2006 pensioners did not specify the amount of minimum Special Family Pension. Therefore, pending the revision of the Special Family Pension, the existing Pre-2006 rates of Special Family Pension was consolidated as per para 4.1 of the MOD letter dt.11.11.08 and as per the tables in Annexure I attached to MOD letter dt.11.11.08, the pre-2006 Special Family Pension was revised to Rs.5,763 (Annexure I Page.9) and arrears calculated up to Aug 08 and 40% arrears was paid and thereafter the consolidated revised rates of Special Family pension is being paid.

In the circumstances, the MOD letter dt.04.05.09 (Para 4.2) and PCDA(P) Allahabad, Important Circular No.410 (Para 4.2) revised the minimum Special Family Pension from Rs.2,550 to Rs.7,000/- w.e.f. 01.01.2006. It has therefore become necessary to re-calculate the arrears payable from 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2008 at the new rate of Rs.7,000/- w.e.f. 01.01.06 and pay the additional arrears on 40% immediately and recalculated 60% arrears to be paid later.

In order to arrive at the correct arrears amount, a separate calculation has been made for such cases which can be followed. The re-calculation to be made in two parts. One from 01.01.06 to 30.8.08 for arriving at the additional 40% arrears payable immediately and the other part from 01.09.08 to 30.06.09 to arrive at the arrears of pension payable as a result of revision of Special Family Pension from Rs.2,550 to Rs.7,000/-.

As result of the increase in the minimum Special Family pension from Rs.2,550 to Rs.7,000/- each eligible Special Family pensioner i.e. widows of Sepoys, Naiks and Havildars & equivalent ranks will get additional 40% arrears of Rs.16,848 and arrears in difference in pension payable up to 30.6.09 Rs.14,790, thus a total of Rs.31,638/- have to be paid immediately.

A detailed working sheet is inserted. Please click for the Arrears working Sheet and get it printed and present it to your bank after filling in your particulars for immediate payment.

The MOD letter revising the minimum Special Family Pension to Rs.7,000/- was issued on 4.5.09 and the implementation instructions were issued by the CDA(P) Allahabad through their important circular No.410 on 13.5.09. It is more than two months passed, none of the Banks have made any attempt to re-calculate and revise the pension of these poor widows.

It is unfortunate that none of the welfare associations come forward to help these widows to get their revised pension and arrears. While very big organizations fight for increased pensionary benefits, but they fail to monitor the implementation of the existing little benefits to the poor PBOR families. I have seen, when the Lt Cols Pay & Pension were revised, lot of e-mails, calculation sheets were floated all over the net for immediate payment. But in the case of PBOR pension calculations, all are silent. This is not a good attitude of ESM Welfare organizations.

The membership of an organization cannot be increased without meeting the affected people/ pensioners face to face and doing justice to them. This is very important.

The Author of Blog, with his own efforts and with the help of one dedicated member, was instrumental in getting arrears to the tune of Rs One crore during the past 10 years to poor PBOR pensioners and increased the membership of the Association to more than 3000.

Of course, it was a great struggle to build the Association for the past 10 years. But due to the influence of some vested interests with selfish motivation, the sacrifices done by the honest workers in the past are not remembered and ultimately, the general welfare of the whole community is paralyzed again. Only God can save the PBORs and their families.

Fake Notes in India fuel Islamic Terrorism

The Telegraph: ISI whiff in fake notes haul
New Delhi, July 7: Delhi police today claimed to have busted a cross-border gang that smuggled fake currency from Pakistan but voiced surprise at the high quality of the “professionally printed” notes.

Sources said a police decoy struck a deal for buying at a 50 per cent discount the notes that had a face value of Rs 10.57 lakh before catching the five alleged smugglers, all in their early 20s.

All five — two from Delhi and the rest from Bulandshahr — were in regular touch with their Pakistani contacts, the police said. The sources said the fake notes were being smuggled in on planes, trains and buses and then circulated in the Indian market.

“They were not crude notes, but professionally printed. The notes, all of Rs 500 denomination, are unlikely to have been made in a small private press. All the notes have excellent paper and printing quality and would appear genuine to a layman. They (the gang) told us the consignments arrived from Pakistan to Nepal and then to India via Gorakhpur,” said deputy commissioner (Crime) Neeraj Thakur.

Officials said one of the accused, Shan Mohd, 21, had been released from Tihar about three months ago after nearly two years in jail for a similar case.

Sources in the crime branch, which seized the fake notes today, said “normally”, the signature of the RBI governor on a fake currency is that of a former governor. “But in this case they had the signature of the most recent governor. The details on the notes also closely matched those on an original,” said an official.

Sources said details of the case had been handed over to the Intelligence Bureau as there was a suspicion that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI might be involved in the racket.
ISI whiff in fake notes haul

DoPT gains some sanity?

Friday, July 10, 2009
DoPT regains some sanity – asks all Ministries to disclose file notings under RTI Act
Well, the threat of strong action under the Indian Penal Code by the Central Information Commission (CIC) against two officers of the DoPT has had the desired effect. DoPT has officially issued a circular to all Ministries and Departments that file notings have to be disclosed under the RTI Act.

The action came against the backdrop of serious vacillation on the part of the DoPT to correct contents of its website wherein it was stated that ‘file notings’ were not a part of the definition of ‘information’ under the RTI Act. Despite various decisions by the Central Information Commission declaring file notings disclosable under the Act, the DoPT did not amend the web material. In fact, even in the face of specific directions to remove the offending portion from its portal, the department failed to act in the matter fully knowing that as per the RTI Act, CIC decisions are binding on public authorities.

Some officers suggest that disclosure of file notings and minute sheets would lay open to scrutiny their decisions in tough public matters, not realising that transparency is much more important in public life than secrecy of identity. Moreover, officers taking decision as per law with proper application of mind have nothing to be afraid of. File notings have an important role to play in public administration – it is these notings which bring to light the logic or reasons behind administrative decisions and matters of public policy, it is these notings which disclose whether a particular public authority acted in a bonafide manner or was misled into taking a particular action by someone in the channel leading to the particular final policy decision. File notings also assist Hon’ble Courts of Law under the writ jurisdiction since the rationale and motives behind objectives sought to be achieved through public policies and decisions are disclosed and laid bare, which is good for any democracy, especially where public servants (masters ?) tend to hide behind a thick veil of official secrecy.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:08 AM
Ministry of Personnel, Grievances and Pensions

As reported by Aloke Tikku and Chetan Chauhan in on 29 December 2008:
Why babus won?t reveal file notings- Hindustan Times
In a move that can strike a dent to the purpose of Right to Information Act (RTI) in the country, bureaucracy is averse to reveal official file notings that contain the discussions on the subject under consideration before the government.

The bureaucracy points to the instructions from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) — which comes directly under the Prime Minister — to keep the file notings under wraps. This decision will have a negative impact on the RTI purpose. Because making official notings public would have helped fix the trail of responsibility and accountability within the government.

The bureaucracy had tried to draw an iron curtain over this part of the file. The government, however, hasn't given up. A DoPT circular on April 10, 2008 noted CIC rulings that file notings was an integral part of a file and should be disclosed. “Applications seeking copies of the file notings may be disposed of as per clarification given on the website,” the circular issued by DoPT deputy secretary, Zoya CB, said.

Exasperated CIC Wajahat Habibullah said: “The DoPT view is illegal according to the RTI Act.” He told HT that the commission has asked DoPT to remove illegal definition of information from DoPT website.

DoPT's website had defined the information as all information except file notings. All Central government ministries had been following DoPT's version of information, and thereby denying file notings.

Habibullah said if the DoPT fails to comply with its direction, a penal action could be taken against the government official responsible for complying with the order.

On the DoPT’s order to different Central government ministries that file notings are not be provided unless the CIC issues a specific order, Habibullah said the issues will be resolved once the DoPT corrects its definition of information on its website.
Dept of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC

Tail Piece
Bureaucrats are white shepherds guarding the black sheep. Bureaucratic and Political terrorists are more dangerous than foreign terrorists who strike randomly whereas the former destroy our own social fabric slowly and surely.

Corruption kills creativity in developing nations

Friday, July 10, 2009
Here is what America's immigrant billionaires are made of
Devon Pendleton, Forbes

When New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg welcomed visitors to the newly accessible crown of the Statue of Liberty recently, he paid special tribute to the millions of immigrants who passed by the icon en route to America."The great business formations taking place today are done by people who value the opportunities that America gives them," the city's billionaire chief executive said.

Bloomberg was born in Boston, but dozens of his comrades on the Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans immigrated to the U.S. armed only with creativity, energy and fierce ambition. Decades later they've built empires in technology, media, real estate and health care, created thousands of jobs and contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

Grocer and property baron John Catsimatidis, whose parents immigrated from Greece when he was six months old, credits his hardworking father for setting an example of what it takes to be successful."Growing up, my dad worked seven days a week as a busboy," he says. "There was no room for failure, that was instilled in me from the beginning."

Catsimatidis took a job as a grocery store clerk while studying at NYU, and dropped out in his senior year after a friend offered him a chance to buy a piece of his family's store. Catsimatidis owned 10 markets by age 24 and was making $25 million a year in revenue. He plowed $5 million into Manhattan real estate in 1977, and today owns hundreds of millions of dollars of property around the country.

"There is no question that there's a connection between one's drive and search for opportunities and having a foreign beginning," says California real estate magnate Igor Olenicoff. This is particularly true if your early years were spent in a poor country with a strong class system, he says. Olenicoff's Russian family fled to Iran after the 1917 Revolution.

Within Iranian society, "we would never be able to excel or achieve wealth," Olenicoff recalls. It was a sharp contrast to the U.S., where Olenicoff found opportunity--and credit--in abundance when he arrived in 1956.

Both Catsimatidis and Olenicoff say it's tough to instill the ambition and scrappiness bestowed on them by their foreign roots in their children, who have been raised with all the benefits--and trappings--of wealth. "To this day I go around the apartment shutting off lights at night," Catsimatidis says. "Until recently I cleaned my own plate. My kids wouldn't do that."

Tech-savvy immigrants have had a particularly profound impact on today's hyper-connected world. Had Google ( GOOG - news - people ) co-founder Sergey Brin not moved with his family from Moscow to Maryland in 1979, his fortuitous partnership with Larry Page and their subsequent founding of the world's most influential Internet company might never have happened.

Also crucial to Google's success is Iranian immigrant Omid Kordestani, often called the company's "business founder" for his success transforming Google's brand into a mainstream verb.

Yahoo was also the brainchild of foreign-born talent: co-founder Jerry Yang moved to California from Taiwan with his mother and brother in 1978. Ten years old at the time, Yang claims to have known only one word of English. Today he's worth more than $1 billion.
Here is what America's immigrant billionaires are made of

One rank one pension for ex-servicemen

6 Jul 2009, 1459 hrs IST, ECONOMICTIMES.COM
Our country owes a deep debt of gratitude to our valiant ex-Servicemen. The Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre
1.1.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank (PBOR) and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners.

The Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP has submitted its report and the recommendations of the Committee have been accepted. On the basis of these recommendations, both these decisions will be implemented from 1st July 2009 resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs.

These measures will cost the exchequer more than Rs 2,100 crore annually. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalised.
One rank one pension for ex-servicemen

Readers Opinions Write to Editor
WO KC Tripathi, Gandhinagar, says: Personnel below officer rank are getting lesser pension. They should be considered for better pension.
[10 Jul, 2009 1508hrs IST]

Lt Col Surjit Balaggan, Jalandhar, says: So far the officers have remained apolitical. But now they will turn to BJP or other Party which can assure that it would not create divide between Officers and PBOR. Officers to wake up and unite, please.
[9 Jul, 2009 1927hrs IST]

Col R P Singh Retd, Lucknow, says: It is this attitude of Govt that forces retired army officers to join politics after retirement, otherwise, unlike sarkari babus(read IAS class), army officers remain aloof from politics while in service. If this treatment continues, soon you will find political affiliations creeping into servining army officers. that is the day, these politicians should dread.
[7 Jul, 2009 2101hrs IST]

Lt.Col.S.P.Dureja, Delhi, says: Once the principle of OROP has been accepted,I hope it will be implemented for officers too. We have full faith in Govt headed by Sh Manmohan Singh. Let us hope retired officers will not be discriminated
[7 Jul, 2009 1906hrs IST]

Col K Tiwari, VSM(retd), Gurgaon, says: It is a shame to exclude the Officers from OROP. Officer to jawan ratio in the Army is around 40:1. But ratio of war casualty is 10:1. Army officers of the Indian Army, lead from the front for the honour of the country. What an honour has been given to these officers by the budget. Ommission of officers from the provisions of OROP shall create a divide between Officers and others. It is similar to the divide created by VP Singh by Mandal Commission. What British could not do VP Singh and present government has done. No self respecting Indian will join Indian defense forces. Babus are having the last laugh. No wonder, after each war, Chief of Army Staff has been going down in order of precedence in protocol. May God help my country.
[6 Jul, 2009 2104hrs IST]

Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (Retd), Pune, says: It is good that PBOR's who needed it most -have been granted the OROP. If principle of OROP has been accepted it would be illogical to divide the cohesive family of service people on this count? In a democracy opposition is as important if not more -as the ruling party. The budget has lack luster & has not been well received. The sensex has given reverse arms salute by dipping 870 points?
[6 Jul, 2009 2049hrs IST]

Devindra sethi, delhi, says: Dear PM in 1971 India's finest hour in over 2000years was ensured by young officers of the armed forces by defeating Pakistan.A Baluch soldier captured as a POW said if we had you as our officers we would have defeated the Indian army.Those young officers are senior citizens today&you have let them down.We are happy for our soldiers(PBOR)but they feel(PBOR) the izzat of the paltan has been demolished today. A backlash will come be assured of that as your party's myopic stance & arrogance is already building up a stiff response in the countryside. Most of the officers are from small towns of India.
[6 Jul, 2009 2017hrs IST]

Mohan Kunnath, Palakkad, says: If what is stated by the Finance Minister is final, soon you would find many of the Pre 2006 pensioners (Majors) receiving lesser pension than a JCO pensioner. Does it in anyway take us anywhere near OROP?
[6 Jul, 2009 1846hrs IST]

Sqn.Ldr. C.S. Gandhi, Chandigarh, says: what about OROP for officers? There is no news about it.
[6 Jul, 2009 1759hrs IST]
One rank one pension for ex-servicemen

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pay Parity for Military: Bureaucrats Blowing their own Trumphets

With the armed forces insisting on a pay hike, the government has said it is “very difficult” to maintain a balance in salaries of government servants doing varied jobs.

“It is a very difficult exercise. Because it is not just a question of ensuring that people get better salaries. It is also a question of parities…. balances,” Cabinet Secretary Mr. K M Chandrasekhar said in an interview.

He was responding to a question on what steps the government was contemplating in view of the armed forces’ demand for pay parity.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said issues become more complicated when people start feeling that they are being discriminated against by the Pay Commission recommendations.

“It is very difficult when people feel that this chap has got more than me...that feeling is there. So, to maintain that kind of balance.... it is very difficult,” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary said the ministerial committee headed by External Affairs Mr. Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had held both Defence and Finance portfolios earlier, was working on to find out a solution to the demands of the defence forces.

The armed forces have recently strongly conveyed to the government that there should be “no dilution” on their demands for pay parity.

This comes in the wake of reports that the government was trying to find a “middle path” to break the deadlock over the armed forces’ demands that included placing Army Lieutenant Colonels and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force in Pay Band-4.

The Cabinet Secretary said when the armed forces raised the issue of pay parity, the Committee of Secretaries took up it immediately and deliberated on how to find a solution to it for the satisfaction of the defence personnel.

“When the armed forces raised the issue, we sat together at the official level with Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister (P M Nair) and decided that the best thing would be to request the higher level.

“So we requested the External Affairs Minister because he was both Defence and Finance Minister earlier and could consult Defence Minister and Finance Minister and give his views,” he said.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said a “large majority” of government officials, including the Group C and Group D employees, accepted the Pay Commission recommendations and were “more or less satisfied”.

“I do not have too many complaints and whatever complaints are there, we have created a mechanism. We got the anomaly committee, we got a fast track committee to look into those issues,” he said.

Highlighting the difficult task carried out by the 6th Pay Commission while framing the recommendations, Chandrasekhar said they had to make a huge change in the structure.

See normally we used to get pay scales. Here we have gone away from pay scales to the Pay Band structure, which is entirely different structure. So, to maintain the parity was pretty difficult. But still I think we did a pretty good job,” he said.
Pay parity for armed forces a difficult task: Govt

Govt accepts recommendation of one-rank-one pension for ex-servicemen
Mon, Jul 6 03:25 PM
New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 01.01.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners.

Presenting the Budget proposals for the year 2009-10 in Lok Sabha, Mukherjee said that it was based on the recommendation of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on One Rank One Pension (OROP).

The Minister further said that these decisions will be implemented from July 1, 2009 and will cost the exchequer more than Rs. 2100 crore annually.

"These measures will benefit more than 12 lakh Jawans and JCOs. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalized," he added.

Under the one-rank one-pension scheme, a retired defence personnel of a particular rank would be entitled to same amount of pension irrespective of the year of retirement. (ANI)
Govt accepts recommendation of one-rank-one pension for ex-servicemen

Ex-serviceman files RTI plea over 'one rank one pension' issue
Defence Minister does not mean a Minister to defend the follies of government. The pity is that the Defence Minister was silent and denied one rank one pension to the soldiers. He just could not understand as to why the soldiers are pleading for one rank one pension. Basically a soldier is sent home around 40 years of his age with meager pension. Had he allowed to continue in service or automatically absorbed in lateral employment till he reach 60 like his counterpart in civil, his pay would have been much higher and would have retired with better pension. The soldiers are not asking anything special but treatment at par with his counterpart. If the government can afford to give this to the President, Governors, MPs, Judges and IAS, how can they deny this to soldiers?
Ex-serviceman files RTI plea over 'one rank one pension' issue

Extracts from the letter written by General N C Vij to Dr Singh is reproduced below.
Safeguarding of Interest of the Pensioners: Over the past two decades, the government has been able to achieve some parity in the pensions of the current and past retirees. 'One rank one pension' was more or less achieved for the men, and in the case of officers, some minimum parity was brought in by grant of pension at the bottom of scale of the rank in which they retired. However, with introduction of running pay bands and the absence of top and bottom of the scales for any rank, the parity with specific bands, achieved over some time now, will be lost. There is, thus, a need to protect the interests of the past retirees by suitable modifications and thereby ensuring enhanced pensionary benefits to the tune of minimum 30%.

'Anomalies Committee' is Unlikely to Succeed in Addressing the Grievances of the Armed Forces: I have read in the media that an Anomalies Committee has been set up to look into the issues raised by everyone. This will not solve the problems of the Armed Forces for two reasons: (a) The Lack of Sensitivity/ Understanding -- This committee, which does not even have representatives of the armed forces as their members, will never be able to achieve a deep understanding or be sensitive enough to their problems. It is for this reason of lack of sensitivity, that the status of the Indian Armed Forces has undergone constant erosion with every Pay Commission Report. (b) Problems are of Basic Principles and Not Mere Technicalities -- The anomalies committees can address the technicalities but our problems are on account of the core concepts and approach and not merely of technicalities.
Read full letter to PM
A General's letter in anguish to the PM

Pension Parity a Farce or Folly?
In view of Judicial Rulings regarding disparity of Pension of Military, the Government has allotted Rs 2100 to debug the anomalies created by Bureaucrats and to redeem their image. Bringing Pension Parity of pre and post 1996 at par with post 2006 retirees is not "One Rank One Pension" as articulated by Ajai Vikram Singh Committee Recommendations.

One Rank One Pension: Troops cheer, officers feel left out

Vijay Mohan, Tribune News Service Chandigarh, July 6
The announcement of a new system in the Union Budget for parity in pensions for defence personnel is welcome news for the troops, but it has left the officer cadre fuming.

Based on the recommendation of a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on One Rank One Pension (OROP), the government has decided to “substantially improve” the pensions of other ranks and bridge the gap between pre-2006 and post-2006 retirees. This is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 2,100 crore.

The government’s announcement does not cover officers, and a large number of them have expressed disappointment at being left out. Following the announcement of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, they had protested over what they perceived was a raw deal handed out to them.

The recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission had faced sharp criticism for widening the wedge between personnel who retired before and after January 1, 2006 - the cut off date for the implementation of new scales. While earlier the pensions of PBOR were calculated on the basis of the top of the pay scales, the 6th Pay Commission postulated a calculation at the bottom of scales at par with civilians since one single scale was now brought into force for all ranks from Sepoy to Havildar.

While the actual system of calculation remains hazy, sources say that it will substantially bring down the gap between retirees of various vintages. Ministry of Defence sources point out that the pensions of officers have always been linked to the pension calculation system in vogue for civil employees, whereas, Personnel Below Officers Rank (PBOR) have traditionally had a separate system in view of their service profile resulting in retirement starting from the age of 33 onwards. Even till 1996, retired PBOR of different eras were drawing almost the same pension, which was however upset by the 6th central pay commission, an anomaly that now stands addressed.
Troops cheer, officers feel left out

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Simple Specimen of a WILL

Dear Brig Kamboj,
A number of signal officers have approached me for a copy of a Simple Specimen of a Will. I think your Blog is the best to aproach maximum number of officers at one go, and one can down load as and when required hence this Email. Please click link below for the specimen.
With Warm Regards,
Indra Datta Sharma
Simple specimen of a WILL

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Wednesday, 8 July, 2009, 8:42 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Some ESM are scheduled to meet the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Pallam Raju tomorrow (Jul 9) for discussion on OROP. It is hoped that the Minister would clear some of the fog presently shrouding the spread of the promised Rs 2100 Crores for pension related benefits, and the govt stand on OROP.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

IESL: Meeting With RRM on 09 Jul 2009

Dear Friends,
1. It is reliably learnt that RRM has called a meeting on 09 July 2009 regarding OROP. Like in the case of Cabinet Secretary, the Govt recognized associations ie IESL, Air Force association, War Disabled Association have been called.
2. After the Cabinet Secretary Meeting, a large number of ESM had expressed that IESL should have taken IESM representative with them. One wonders what will be the IESL response to the above views this time.
3. To clarify what the Finance Minister has actually given for the PBOR, please see the attachment below (Budget Announcement on One Rank One Pension: Implications).
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

A skilfully crafted statement by the Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee on the long standing demand of the Defence Forces for One Rank One Pension (OROP), while presenting the 2009-10 budget, has created a wholly erroneous impression that OROP has finally been granted by the Congress Govt. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, available information indicates that the issue of OROP has not been even remotely addressed.
By bringing pre 1996 pensioners at par with the post 1996 pensioners, the Finance Minister has only rectified a 13 years old anomaly, which should have been done long ago. Revised pensions announced after the VI CPC had created three distinct classes of pensioners; pre 1996 retirees, 01 Jan 1996 to 31 Dec 2005 retirees and post 01 Jan 2006 retirees. As a result, similar personnel in each class received widely differing pensions. Equity and natural justice demanded that these artificial distinctions should have been removed whenever pensions were revised; post V and VI CPCs. In a litigation relating to equity between pre and post 1996 defence pensioners, even the Supreme Court had ruled in Sep 2008 that such distinctions violated Article 14 of our Constitution. In fact, one may argue that Mr Mukherjee’s reported magnanimity is guided more by the apex court judgment than any serious concern for the Defence Pensioners.
Importantly, the distinction between pre and post 2006 pensioners remains un-addressed. It needs reminding that the demand of the Defence Forces and Defence Pensioners for OROP was, in fact, ONLY for removal of this distinction. Such indifference of the Congress Govt for the Defence Forces and veterans is all the more galling, when viewed against the President’s statement, assuring early resolution of OROP, at the recent combined session of the Parliament. And, what is one to make of repeated statements of the MoD and the Raksha Mantri that the gap in pensions between the old and new pensioners will be substantially reduced and pensionery benefits of officers and jawans brought as close to OROP as possible?

IESM: Readers Views

Country First
As you would recall that I had suggested the use of the marigold as a significant symbol to remind Indians of the sacrifices made by the armed forces for the nation and to remind them of the war dead and the 'Unknown Soldier'. We need to take this forward. Unlike the rose, the simple Indian marigold is used by Indians as a symbol of respect since time immemorial.

I am in the UK now. Here it is 'Remembrance Day' and the symbol for the war dead and the war disabled is the poppy. On Remembrance Day the whole of UK unites to pay homage to the war dead and the Unknown Soldier. The poppy is given to the citizens of this country and the recipient gives whatever he/ she can afford. The money collected is used for the welfare of disabled soldiers and the families of the war dead.

If the system does not do enough for the soldier in India then we need to do it ourselves. You would recall that before the 1971 War, the LIC refused to insure us against death/ disablement due to war and we had to subsequently set up the Army Group Insurance scheme. We should also similarly think of what we can do for the families of those who have sacrificed their all. The British system of Poppy Day/ Remembrance Day is a case in point.

I had also spoken about a long term strategy of what we should do 'long term'. I had suggested the setting up of a political party based on the philosophy of the Chetwode motto of 'Country First' and a strong set of values that puts country first, people next and self last. The wrangling that is presently going on between various Service groups is indicative that at the very start we are a divided lot and that if we do go by the objective of forming a political party at some point of time we will be no better than any other political party, in which case we might as well shelve this laudable aim. The country holds the Army in high esteem and we will be able to do well ONLY IF we prove that even after retirement we can be great instruments of change based on a solid set of values.
Maj Gen Ian Cardozo

Kargil Diwas
For the Tri-city (Chandigarh, Mohali & Panchkula) we have planned homage to martyrs (in connection with the Kargil Diwas) (wreath laying, eye donation & organ pledging) in the morning (1030-1130h), and candle lighting in the evening (2000h) at the Major Shankla Memorial, Sector-2, Panchkula. A big medical and dental camp for weaker sections of society is being organised from 0900 to 1600h at the Satluj Public School, Sector-2, Panchkula on Sunday, 26 July 2009. A few lectures at selected schools are also planned. If you want more let me know earliest. Do join in the good cause. Your physical presence at the functions, more than anything else, would go a long way in confirming our commitment to society, and our own cause.
Brig Kiran Krishan, IESM Convenor, Panchkula

IESM: Chairman's Desk- OROP Reflected in the Budget 2009

Date: Tuesday, 7 July, 2009, 10:30 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Buoyed by the initial budget news through TV stickers yesterday, several ESM from nearby States of Haryana, Rajasthan and UP had called up to congratulate the IESM for getting OROP. With the reality taking root, most of them and many more called up again today to express their disillusionment and anger at the government misleading them and the public by falsely claiming that OROP had been sanctioned. Without exception they all resolved to carry on their struggle for OROP.
The exact implication of what the government plans to include in their 2100 Crores expenditure still lacks clarity. Plans for next action will be firmed up after the haze lifts.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Comments Budget 2009: OROP
The amount allocated in the Indian Union Budget 2009-10 toward OROP is Rs 2100 crore. If we divide this amount by 12 lakh as stated in the FM speech, we get a figure of Rs 17,500.00 per ESM. Even if we divide this figure by 22 lakh the total estimated number of ESM, we get a figure of Rs 9,545.00 per ESM. May be I am wrong in the above calculations - please recheck. If my above calculations are correct - which I think is correct, then why are we making these statements against the announcements made by the FM? I feel we should wait for the revised pension tables to be issued before we condemn the announcement made by FM and draw any other conclusions.
In Service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj

It is good that this Govt seems to be sitting up and has started thinking seriously about OROP for armed forces Pensioners. The recent announcement in the budget speech by the Finance Minister is expected to provide some parity in pensions to pre/ post 1997 retirees in PBOR category. The exact details are, however, awaited. I suppose, it is a matter of time that this concept will be extended to the officers too.
Here is the verbatim extract from the Budget Speech:
Budget Proposal: One Rank One Pension for Ex-Servicemen (OROP)
1. "..... On the basis of these recommendations, the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 1.1.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank (PBOR) and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners.
2. Both these decisions will be implemented from 1st July 2009 resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs.
3. These measures will cost the exchequer more than Rs.2,100 crore annually.
Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalised."
A small calculation
Annual Budget for this OROP Rs 2100 Crores= Rs 2100 x 100= Rs 210000 Lakhs. Target beneficiaries 12 lakh jawans & JCOs (as per FM), therefore, Average per individual annual hike/ benefit Rs 210000 lakh/ 12,00,000= 0.175 Lakh. Average Monthly benefit per individual is Rs 17500/12= Rs 1458/- only. So what is the big deal and all the jubilation about? how is it going to bridge the gap? Or is it that i am missing something or making some stupid calculation mistake.
Col Rajaraman (Retd)

It is hoped that the Anomalies Committee will first debug the Pay Commission Maze of Mess. This debugging if done in isolation, will cause a estimated outflow of Rs 500- 600 crores...
The Government has constituted a high level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to reduce the gap in the pensionary benefits to soldiers and officers and bring it as close to `One Rank, One Pension'.

"The other members of the committee are Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary (Personnel), Secretary (Expenditure), and Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare)," said a senior Defence ministry source.

Financially the decision will additionally cost the government around 500-600 crore per annum and would be much less than the estimated financial liability for grant of OROP, the source said.

The other committee set up by the Ministry of Defence will be headed by Secretary (Defence Finance), Indu Liberhan, to sort out anomalies in the implementation of orders relating to armed forces pensioners.

The Sixth Pay Commission report had recommended 50 per cent weightage for armed forces PBORs during retirement, whereas earlier they would receive 70 per cent weightage until rehabilitated in other paramilitary forces. (ANI)

High-level committees to look at ex-servicemen’s ‘One Rank, One Pension’ demand Submitted by Praful Kumar Singh on Mon, 05/04/2009 - 11:49

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

IESM: Chairman's Desk- Reading the 2009 Budget

Date: Monday, 6 July, 2009, 10:32 PM
Dear Colleagues,
The Finance Minister, in his budget presentation to the Parliament today, made a mention of ‘one rank one pension’. Only sketchy information is available to even those who watched him on the TV– I myself did not. Reportedly, the main beneficiaries are the pre-1997 PBOR pensioners, who have been brought at par with post-1997 and pre-2006 pensioners. That is a positive. From what is known, OROP as is commonly understood has not been sanctioned. However, fuller details have to be awaited before any objective analysis is possible.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

2009 Budget
An allocation of Rs 2100 crores for increase in pension for defence personnel augurs well. If one reads into the allocation it is obvious that "One Rank One Pension" has been sanctioned by the Parliament and accepted by all the Politicians and finances catered for in the 2009 budget. The only riders one can, therefore, perceive are those imposed are by the bureaucrats who can downgrade at will the "OROP" by cunningly hoodwinking the Politicians.

Ex-servicemen will get higher pension

Surrender of Medals

NEW DELHI: The defence allocation saw Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee increasing the pension for retired service personnel, based on the recommendations of a committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar.

The panel was set up after over 10,000 ex-servicemen returned their medals to protest against disparity in pensions. The new pension scales, to be implemented from this month, will benefit about 12 lakh retired soldiers.
Ex-servicemen will get higher pension

Pensions should ideally
  • protect the value of compensation for Ex- Servicemen and their survivors from potential inflation.
  • if the cost of living index increases then pensions be suitably increased to compensate for decrease in purchase power of the recipients.
  • Force veterans in pension sulk

    The Telegraph- Kolkata SUJAN DUTTA
    New Delhi, July 6: Officers in the armed forces were today unhappy that they were ignored despite the Rs 2,100-crore payout for pensioners that Pranab Mukherjee announced on the recommendation of a panel that studied the demand from veterans for “one rank one pension”.

    Military veterans have been demanding equal pension to soldiers of the same rank with the same length of service since the early 1980s.

    This May, after many representations to the government, the Indian Ex-Servicemen Association asked its members to “return” their merit and gallantry medals as a mark of protest. Nearly 13,000 medals were deposited at Rashtrapati Bhavan after that call. The Centre then asked the cabinet secretary to look into the demand.

    Mukherjee said today the Rs 2,100-crore payout would benefit over 12 lakh personnel below officer rank — soldiers and junior commissioned officers (JCO). These are soldiers who retired as sepoy, naik, havildar, subedar, naib subedar and subedar major (and their equivalents in the navy and the air force).

    A subedar major who retired after January 2006 — a JCO at the top of the scale among the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) — draws a pension of Rs 10,795 a month. There are over 24 lakh ex-servicemen in the country.

    Mukherjee said the Centre would hike the amount given to personnel below officer rank who retired before 2006. The amount would also be used to bring PBOR pensioners in two categories — those who retired before October 10, 1997, and after that— on a par.

    “This is not an acceptance of our demand for one rank one pension,” Major General (retired) Satbir Singh, the vice-chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Association, said.

    “It is merely a bridging of the gap for pensioners who retired before October 1997 and after that. And this also does not apply to officers. If one rank one pension is meant to be given only to the other (non-officer) ranks, it is a serious negative fallout (of the demand that we have made).”

    Serving officers do not speak out on government decisions because rules forbid them to. But it is widely acknowledged that the ex-servicemen association’s demands are supported by serving and retired personnel.

    Allocations retained
    Mukherjee today retained February’s interim allocations for the armed forces in his budget for 2009-2010. The allocations were a 34 per cent hike over 2008-2009. The total budgetary outlay for defence is Rs 1,41,703 crore (compared to Rs 1,05,600 crore in 2008-2009).

    The air force gets a capital outlay for new and continuing acquisitions of Rs 19,959.22 crore, about Rs 3,000 crore more than in 2008-2009; the army gets Rs 17,767.85 crore, a hike of Rs 6,637 crore over the last fiscal; and the navy Rs 11,873.78 crore, including a hike of Rs 2858.53 crore, for expansion of its fleet.
    Force veterans in pension sulk

    Army celebrates 10th year of recapture of Tiger Hill

    The recapture of Tiger Hill was a turning point during the Kargil conflict and the Indian army did not look back after that victory. And the Army is today looking back with pride ten years after the military operation and recapture of the formidable 5,062 metre-high mountain top from Pakistani Army regulars in Operation Vijay. "Today is the tenth anniversary of our winning back the Tiger Hill from the Pakistani Army regulars, who were sitting on the top. Tiger Hill and Tololing range victories can be said to be the turning points of the war as from there on, there was nothing stopping the Indian Army till the time the war ended on July 26," a senior officer from the 56 Brigade in Drass said.

    The celebrations, the officer said, are being held at the respective present locations of the units who won the battle. "We would be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the battle at Drass on July 26, the day when the battle ended in favour of India and we wrested all our positions from the Pakistanis," he said. Kargil-based 8 Mountain Division of the Indian Army is planning to honour the units and next of kin of the martyrs and the gallantry award winners during the celebrations. "We have invited over 450 people including the representatives of the units, which took part in the action, the families of the martyrs along with the senior commanders of the region at that time," 8 Mountain Division Commander Major General Suresh Khajuria said.
    Army celebrates 10th year of recapture of Tiger Hill

    One rank one pension for defence Personnel

    Meeting a long-pending demand of over a crore defence veterans and 12 lakh serving jawans, the government substantially increased the pension of ex-servicemen. The new, revised pension would be implemented beginning this month, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha while presenting the Budget for 2009-10.

    Ex-servicemen organisations have been demanding "One Rank One Pension" (OROP) arising out of pay commission recommendations, as they felt that there was a disparity in the amount to personnel holding the same rank and service record, but retiring at different point of time.
    One Rank One Pension for defence personnel approved, Budget 2009

    Monday, July 6, 2009
    Budget Proposal: One Rank One Pension for Ex-Servicemen (OROP)
    "Our country owes a deep debt of gratitude to our valiant ex-Servicemen. The Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP has submitted its report and the recommendations of the Committee have been accepted. On the basis of these recommendations, the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 1.1.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank (PBOR) and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners. Both these decisions will be implemented from 1st July 2009 resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs. These measures will cost the exchequer more than Rs.2,100 crore annually. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalised."
    Source : FM's Budget Proposal.
    Budget Proposal: One Rank One Pension for Ex-Servicemen (OROP)

    Ex-servicemen await benefits of one-rank-one-pay

    7 Jul 2009, 0131 hrs IST, TNN
    PUNE: With 45 per cent of ex-servicemen of Maharashtra settled in the Pune region, the Union Budget's one-rank-one-pension' announcement spelt good cheer. However, most of beneficiaries now await the actualities of how they stand to benefit from the move.

    Under the Union Budget for 2009-10, the government has increased the pension of ex-servicemen. The new and revised pension will be implemented beginning this month, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha while presenting the Budget.

    "Based on the recommendation of a committee on one-rank-one-pension', the government has decided to substantially improve the pension of the pre-January 1, 2006, defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre-October 10, 1997, pensioners on par with post-October 10, 1997, pensioners," Mukherjee said during the presentation.

    It may be noted that the pre-January 1, 2006, pensioners were affected following implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations last October, while the pre- and post-October 10, 1997, pensioners were impacted by the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations.

    For long, organisations of ex-servicemen had been demanding that the disparity in pension to personnel holding the same rank and service record, but retiring at different points of time, be removed.

    "The decision will benefit a large number of soldiers, especially those who retired before 1996," said Bhagatsinh Deshmukh, former director of Maharashtra State Sainik Welfare Board. "Still, this is just an announcement. The realities will show after the full details are revealed."

    According to Deshmukh, nearly 60,000 defence personnel retire in our country every year. Out of this, 10 per cent are from Maharashtra. There are around two lakh ex-servicemen in the state at present. Most of them are settled in the Pune region, which has five districts including Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara.

    "We are happy that our pensions have been increased," Maruti Lawate, a retired solider told TOI. He also said that he and his other colleagues are now waiting to go through the details of this decision.

    Another ex-serviceman, Dattatraya Jadhav, said, "An increase or making the pensions equal was much-needed. Especially in these times of increasing inflation," he said. "In some cases, junior officers or people who have served for a less number of years are getting more pension. This kind of discrepancies would go after this decision."
    Ex-servicemen await benefits of one-rank-one-pay

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Government accepts recommendation of one-rank-one pension for ex-servicemen

    July 6th, 2009 - 4:35 pm ICT by ANI
    New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 01.01.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners.

    Presenting the Budget proposals for the year 2009-10 in Lok Sabha, Mukherjee said that it was based on the recommendation of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on One Rank One Pension (OROP).

    The Minister further said that these decisions will be implemented from July 1, 2009 and will cost the exchequer more than Rs. 2100 crore annually.

    “These measures will benefit more than 12 lakh Jawans and JCOs. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalized,” he added.

    Under the one-rank one-pension scheme, a retired defence personnel of a particular rank would be entitled to same amount of pension irrespective of the year of retirement. (ANI)
    Government accepts recommendation of one-rank-one pension for ex-servicemen

    IESM: OROP Approved by Finance Minister- Budget 2009

    On behalf of YOU ALL, 'i' congratulate General Raj Kadyan and his team for their success in getting OROP for the PBOR, which was their most important goal in their agitation against the 6 CPC report.
    Keep it up IESM.
    In Service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    From: Arun Saigal
    Subject: Budget 2009 - OROP
    Date: Monday, 6 July, 2009, 1:21 PM
    Extracts from Highlights of Union Budget 2009-10 presented by Pranab dated 06 Jul 2009 are given below. Details are not yet on the net but this is authentic from Ministry of Finance.
    Cdr Arun Saigal

    Based on the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP, government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 01.01.2006 defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners. The decisions to implemented from 01st Jul, 2009 and will cost the Government more than Rs 2,100 crore annually.

    Pranab give go ahead to 'one rank one pension' demand

    OROP for PBORs Approved by Finance Minister
    One Rank One Pension for Ex-Servicemen

    Posted: Monday , Jul 06, 2009 at 1429 hrs IST, Indian Express
    New Delhi: The Govt has decided to substantially improve the pension of defence pensioners below officer rank. Meeting a long-pending demand of over a crore defence veterans and 12 lakh serving jawans, the government substantially increased the pension of ex-servicemen.

    The new, revised pension would be implemented beginning this month, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha while presenting the Budget for 2009-10. In essence, the government has accepted the recommendation of the high-level committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar that was set up in April to look into the defence pensioners' demands.

    "Based on the recommendation of the committee headed by Cabinet Secretary on 'One Rank-One Pension' (OROP), the government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre-January one, 2006 defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre-October 10, 1997 pensioners on par with post- October 10, 1997 pensioners," Mukherjee said.

    The pre-January one, 2006 pensioners were affected following the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations last October, while the pre- and post-October 10, 1997 pensioners were impacted by the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations. The Finance Minister also noted that the decision to increase the pensions for defence personnel would cost the exchequer over Rs 2,100 crore annually.

    Mukherjee said the government had also decided to liberalise certain pension benefits being extended to war-wounded and other disabled pensioners. Ex-servicemen organisations have been demanding OROP for several years now, as they felt that there was a disparity in the amount to personnel holding the same rank and service record, but retiring at different point of time.

    Following the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations in March last year, the veteran outfits have been holding protests and rallies across the country to forcefully urge the government to concede their demand.
    Pranab give go ahead to 'one rank one pension' demand

    Rare Honour to Indian Army by France on "Bastille Day’

    July 1, 2009 by roop
    Indian Military is one of the finest and most professional armed forces of the world. This is evident from the fact that all developed nations take pride in conducting joint exercises with our armed forces and are spell bound by the way the operations are conducted. Continuing the trend, France has invited our troops to participate in the France’s ‘Bastille Day’ parade in Paris; an honour bestowed to very few countries.
    Deccan Herald reports that for the first time in the history of Indian Army, jawans of Maratha Light Infantry Regiment Centre (MLIRC) here, will have the honour of participating in France’s ‘Bastille Day’ parade in Paris.
    The Maratha contingent will participate in the France National Day celebrations on July 13. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be the chief guest on the occasion and the contingent will participate in the parade in the prime minister’s presence and exhibit the Indian Army’s tradition.
    On receipt of an invitation from the France government to the Indian Army, COAS, Gen Deepak Kapoor has chosen the contingent from Maratha Regiment comprising group leader Major Vivek Khanduri, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 144 jawans. The contingent has 70 per cent jawans, who are Marathas, 20 per cent Kannadigas and 10 per cent Tamilians, according to MLIRC sources.
    The contingent had won the first prize twice at Republic Day parade in Delhi for the last two years, has continued its practice at Delhi. The contingent would leave for Paris on July 7 by France government’s special flight.
    Rare honour to Indian Army by France

    IESM: Chairman's Desk- Kargil Diwas

    Date: Sunday, 5 July, 2009, 10:29 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    As you are aware, 26 July is Kargil Diwas. This marks the day when the last hill top was recaptured ten years ago, during those 'razor edge days'.
    If ONE thing stood out in the nearly three month relentless operation it was the sheer grit and valour of the Indian defence forces. Many braves live amongst us today, while many did not return.
    IESM will commemorate the valour of Kargil 1999, on 26 July, through week-long participative activities. We aim to involve the citizenry at large and spread consciousness about not only what most saw in awe on the TV screens 10 years ago, but also matters military generally. Arousing awareness on what makes a fauji; what he is?
    Towards this, the following activities are planned:
  • Blood donation drives across India. If ten years ago we fought the enemy on those icy heights, NOW we facilitate the fight against diseases like Thalassemia, which takes a forbidding toll of so many young lives. This is being done in collaboration with local blood banks. In NCR it is being done in collaboration with Rotary Club over several days.
  • Organ pledging activities will be organized alongside the blood donation, in collaboration with local hospitals.
  • Several corporates are being motivated to do whatever they wish to do, even without collaboration with us, but dedicate it to the event of Kargil Diwas e.g. tree plantation etc.
  • Lectures by veterans are being organised, with Kargil operations as backdrop, but underscoring traits like camaraderie, regimentation, loyalty etc, that distinguish a fauji.
  • Media interventions to publicise the day, are planned in consultation with both TV and radio channels. These will be in the form of discussions, quiz and interviews. Efforts are on to locate the gallantry award winners/ veterans of the period, and present them in person.
  • Homage ceremonies at war memorials across the country are planned between 1100 and 1300 hrs on 26 July. Blood donation/ organ pledging will be done at the same venue.
  • Veterans bara Khana/ lunch after homage at war memorials.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
  • 10 years on, Kargil martyr's family still fighting a 'battle'

    Sunday, July 05, 2009
    10 years on, Kargil martyr's family still fighting a 'battle'
    Palampur (Himachal Pradesh): Capt Saurabh Kalia, the first to report Pakistani incursion in Kargil in 1999, was taken captive by the Pakistani troops and a few weeks later his mutilated body was handed over to Indian authorities. Ten years on, the martyr's parents fight a lone battle to highlight war crimes against their son and other Indian soldiers.

    N.K. Kalia and his wife Vijaya, who have settled in this town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, have been waging a war to highlight Pakistani violations of human rights and brutalities committed on their son, Saurabh Kalia, and other soldiers during the Kargil war in 1999.

    Saurabh Kalia of 4 Jat Regiment, who was the first army officer to report incursion by the Pakistani army on Indian soil had along with five soldiers - Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector when they were taken captive by the Pakistani troops May 15, 1999.

    They were barbarically tortured for weeks before being killed. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to Indian authorities June 9, 1999.

    "Of course, his supreme sacrifice has made us proud, but what has exhausted, disappointed and dejected us is that the nation for which he has sacrificed his life least bothered to highlight the plight of war crimes at the international fora," N.K. Kalia, 61, a retired senior scientist from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, told IANS.

    "We have been shuttling between various government offices and organisations with the hope of highlighting the plight of the war victims. The Indian government has failed to deliver justice as it has forgotten atrocities meted out on six heroes. For days, they were tortured. Their limbs were chopped and bodies burnt," rued Kalia.

    "Though the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre expressed concern over the heinous crime and promised to take up the issue at the international level, in all these years the issue got diluted," he recalled.

    "Even today our only demand is that it should keep its promise so that no POWs (prisoners of war) could face Saurabh's fate. Had this happened to any American or Israeli soldier, the culprits would have been brought to justice."

    Vijaya, who runs an LPG agency allotted by the Indian Oil Corporation to honour his martyrdom, asked: "Is this the way the government treats its heroes?"

    To highlight the plight of the war victims, Saurabh Kalia's father has started an online signature campaign.

    "The pain of losing a young son is hard to describe in words. But we feel contended with the fact that many citizens have supported us through online signature campaign. Till date more than 13,000 people have put up their signatures," N.K. Kalia said.

    Saurabh Kalia, who was posted in Kargil as his first posting after passing out of the Indian Military Academy, did not even live long enough to receive his first pay packet as an officer.

    Today, his photographs, his uniforms, shoes and mementoes are kept in his room, which has been named 'Saurabh Smriti Kaksha' (a museum), in the Kalias' four-bedroom house in the serene hills of Palampur.

    The Himachal Pradesh government as a mark of respect has raised 'Saurabh Van Vihar' in a sprawling area of 35 acres here besides renaming a street in the town as Capt Saurabh Kalia Marg. A nursing college in the proposed Vivekanand Medical Research Trust Hospital here is being raised in martyr's memory.
    Source: IANS
    10 years on, Kargil martyr's family still fighting a 'battle'

    Steps taken by the army after the Kargil war
    •The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was created.
    •Line of Control (LoC) was refenced to check infiltration from across the border; new surveillance technology was installed all along the 740km of LoC.
    •The army decided to keep the troops ready for war by keeping additional formations rotating.
    •Clearance was given by the government to allow younger officers to assume command of battalions.
    •The army headquarters decided to split the Nagrota based 15 Corps to increase its efficiency. In Leh a complete corps (14 Corps) with three divisions has been installed to guard the border in Kargil.
    Steps taken by the army after the Kargil war

    10 years of Kargil, heroes recall the war

    Pawan Bali / CNN-IBN
    Published on Sat, Jul 04
    Samba, Jammu: It's been 10 years since Kargil war. July 4, 1999 was when a vital victory for India was sealed. CNN-IBN met the heroes of Tiger Hill who get together once again after a decade to remember the comrades they lost.

    After a decade Commanding Officer Kushal Kumar reunited with his brave men of the 18 Grenadiers who fought the crucial battle of Tiger Hill during the Kargil war. They re-captured the 16,800 feet high peak, strategically occupied by Pakistani intruders to dominate the Leh Srinagar National Highway.

    "Tiger hill was the turning point of Kargil war. In fact, it was mother of all battles. The weather was bad, it was raining and there were all sort of problems," said Brigadier Kumar.

    On the night of July 3 and July 4, the Indian Army launched a three pronged attack on the peak. With 132 guns providing support fire, Param Veer Chakra awardee Yogender Singh Yadav - who then barely 19 - was the first to lead six men of the Ghatak Platoon to the top.

    He fought about 70 Pakistani troops for over eight hours. Didn't giving up even after receiving 15 gun shot wounds and losing all his men.

    "I knew I would not die without giving them a fight. I wanted to fight till the end," said Yadav.

    The Tiger Hill battle alone claimed over 30 Indian soldiers. It won over 23 Gallantary Awards including the Param Veer Chakra for its heroes.

    "It is the same feeling as if we are again capturing the Tiger Hill" recalled Mahaveer Chakra awardee, Major Balwan Singh.

    The Tiger Hill battle sealed India's victory during the Kargil war. And after a decade these men get together to celebrate the memories of the battle and of the men who won it.
    10 years of Kargil, heroes recall the war

    Batalik Battles: unsung Heroes
    10 years after Kargil: Tough battles in Batalik went unsung by Ajay Banerjee writes from Ganasok (on the LoC)

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Saturday, 4 July, 2009, 9:03 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The steering committee met this afternoon to work out the modalities for the Kargil Diwas activities. As already disseminated, apart from paying homage to the martyrs, the IESM plans to observe Kargil Day through positive actions, such as blood donation, pledging of organs, interaction with schools and colleges to talk about valour etc. There are also plans to get the civilians involved. The theme is to spread the message that the ESM spirit is not confined to merely protesting for their rights but also that they are positive contributors for social causes.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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