Saturday, August 1, 2009

Director IDSA spews Venom on the Military- Most unkind cut ever

Anil Dalal's a civilian response given below is to my posting in "JATLAND" about the IDSA Director's comments has more relevance than Military rebuffs.......
Brig Lakhsman Singh (veteran)

I agree it is quite a ridiculous argument. Indian armed forces have always shown exemplary behavior in not seeking a political role for themselves and deferring to the democratically chosen leaders even if they are crap. The danger to Indian democracy comes more from the politicians who time and again show contempt for the rule of law and would go to any extent to seek power. The only time democracy went for a toss in India was during emergency in 1975-77, and that was because of a politician, Indira Gandhi. In fact, the armed forces showed remarkable restraint even in that period.

Even the rationale used by Mr. Sisodia is quite weak. If his "inversely proportional" logic has to be taken at face value, then is he arguing that a strong democratic state is based on weak armed forces? That is counter-intuitive, as if you don't have strong (and disciplined) armed forces, then you run into a danger of having local militias, strongmen, insurgents and what not. Indeed, the problems seen locally in many parts of India like Naxalism, private armies or insurgency are in part due to the weak state police. Moreover, he discounts the diverse nature of Indian army itself. Most armed dictatorships can be traced back to a strong ethnic bias and/or homogenous nature of the dominant force- Pakistan has Army controlled by Punjabis, Saddam had Baathists who were Sunni Muslims, etc. Indian armed forces have regional, ethnic as well as institutional diversity. Apart from Army, Navy and Air Force, where it would be difficult to argue which one is supreme, there are also lots of paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, etc. And all these forces have ethinc/regional diversity in their ranks between and within themselves. It becomes very difficult for anyone to organize such a diverse force for an unconstitutional act like a coup. (of course making a leap of faith assumption that someone actually has that intention)
Anil Dalal

Dear Sir,
Please refer to the blog by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM, Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement, captioned above. (Background- given below)
Perhaps the Director IDSA was partially correct in that undue use of the Armed Forces in aid of civil powers does weaken the Democratic set up of a country. Beyond that, the connotation of the passage is totally unacceptable. General Satbir Singh has outlined some action plan to counter it. I would suggest an alternative starting plan. Why can't the politicians be confronted with this statement directly & asked to either agree or disagree with the IDSA Director? If they agree, AF would know where they stand. If not, AF should demand sacking the IDSA Director, as a message to the Babus. That way our plan of action to have OROP implemented would assume more clarity.
MB Ghosh (Veteran)

Mr N.S. Sisodia an IAS Officer said that if Defence Forces are given more powers, they will seize power like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Such statements by bureaucrats of the status of Director IDSA are highly objectionable and to say the least are totally unfair to the most patriotic Defence Forces who have very strongly held the flag of democracy flying high in our country. The relevant part of the written script of the Director IDSA is as under:
“Heavy reliance on armed forces weakens civilian authority. Their frequent use enhances their power and influence in the polity. This enhanced power can become a threat to democracy as we have seen in the cases of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries which have suffered military coups. The extent of democratic control is inversely proportionate to the democratic governments dependence on the armed forces.”

What about corruption of IAS Officers which is daily news now? Who is involved in looting the wealth of the nation, benami transactions, hawala operations, hoarding illegal money in Swiss Bank accounts, FDI investments through back door, generation of black money? Only the IAS are using the Military like a spanner to set their mess in order! The Military is right now shod of honour and teeth. It cannot bite thanks to AV Singh- Upgrade to degrade command and control structure (fully implemented in all phases- in entirety). The IAS- ISDA Director and his folk and ilk can rest in peace! Bureaucrat's Maxim: "Truth shall never prevail in the Power Corridors of Bureaucracy". They should remain buried forever in the files like Henderson Brookes Report which depicts future outcome for India...repeat of 1962. Will the Nation learn lessons when the truth remains buried?

SCPC: Armed Forces Status, Pay and Pension downgradation is a continous process

By Kuldip Nayar, February 11, 2009
I do not know who in the establishment is to blame for the mess made in the case of salaries and pensions of the armed forces. Of course, the IAS officers have processed the demand and they are the twice-born service which sees to it that they remain at the top. They knit a net of procedures and precedents so skillfully that others give up in exasperation. But why do political masters play into their hands? There must be an equation between the two that ministers allow the IAS setup to maul or mutilate any proposal if it decides to do so. In this case, their action is horrifying.

When ordinary soldiers and officers with the rank of Lt General come to return their medals won for bravery in the field, they prove that have reached a point where they have abandoned the hope of getting justice in a normal way. It is time that the nation realizes that something has been done drastically wrong because the armed forces do not go beyond the domain of discipline. Something has happened which has pushed them into the domain of despair.

Still the establishment has not been able to belittle the dignity with which the hundreds of men from the armed forces surrendered the medals of their individual bravery. At the Jantar Mantar, they assembled to express their protest. All that they wanted was: one rank, one pension. From the ordinary soldier to the Lt General, this was their common demand. It was a fair demand which surprisingly the government had spurned.

The other Sunday, the Sabbath day, as many as 200 of retired men from the army packed their medals in transparent plastic bags, with their names written on them and put them in three cardboard boxes. They were forwarded to the President of India. Their effort was to meet President Pratibha Patil but she was away to Mumbai. They were not satisfied after meeting the deputy secretary. They do want to meet the President who, after all, gives away the medals for extraordinary courage and bravery.

I do not think that there is anything wrong in the demand of one rank, one pension. A Lt. General who retired in January 2005 gets a pension of Rs 27,700. The same rank officer retiring one year later has Rs 37,700 as pension, which is Rs 10,000 more. In the case of Brigadier, there is similar anomaly, a difference of Rs. 5,000, between those who retired early and the ones who did later.

I believe that the Congress Party’s election manifesto in 2004 acknowledged the demand for ‘one rank, one pension’. Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee promised to remove the anomalies. Still over the years, the disparity has grown. One officer contends that the gap has grown by 82 per cent. The matter came up before the Parliament’s Standing Committee when I was retiring from the Rajya Sabha in 2003. I am told that the committee recommended one rank, one pension. Still the government refused to act. On the one hand, we say the country is safe in the hands of defence forces and on the other we treat them miserly.

My query from official quarters reveals that the government is afraid to implement the demand because it may trigger similar claim from other public sector employees. This is not a fair comparison. The job of the armed forces is full of hazards and exposes them to dangers all the time. Those sitting in secure, cushy seats in heated rooms cannot even imagine what the front means, whether at peace time or during the war. I do not want to introduce the emotional argument like the defence of motherland. Yet the fact remains that those in the armed forces give their life to make us live in peace. To deny them their due should not be even thinkable.

I take this opportunity to point out serious disparities within the defence services. Some 85 per cent are from the category which comprises of Persons Below Officer Ranks (PBOR). They are the most neglected lot because they have preferred not to raise their voice. Rations are free to officers and jawans. But there is a disparity in the quantum of rations. For example, an officer gets 260 gm meat while a soldier gets only 110 gm. The government can at least end such disparity even if it cannot dare to touch others.

The government has no defence when grievances over salaries, pensions and their placement in the protocol hierarchy have been piling up for years. Instead of improving their lot, it or, for that matter, the IAS officers have been downgrading them, emolument-wise and status-wise. The last Pay Commission’s recommendations were the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back and hence the return of medals.
IAS knit a net of procedures and precedents so skillfully that others give up in exasperation

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kargil Diwas: Report from the States

Some more pictures of activities at Panchkula on July 26 are sent for perusal of members.
Brig Kiran Krishan, SM (Retd)
Coordinator, IESM, Panchkula

From: Brig V A Subramanyam
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:33 PM
Subject: Observance of Vijay Diwas - Besant Nagar, Chennai
A report on the Meeting: click me

Kargil Day at Tirunelveli
click me

Kargil Day: Medical Relief Camp for ESM- Photos

SCPC: Battle of Pension Parity

Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 10:09 PM
Dear Veterans,
Now that the cat is out of the bag and we know the principle, thanks to Admiral B Ghose, behind the pension revision by the very clever CS, we get a clear idea that fighting against the Bureaucrats is much trickier than an enemy at war. It is a different game altogether.

When Vth CPC recommended the so-called modified parity creating more than one class of pensioners - contrary to the opinions of the SC Judges - they did so, taking into account that each rank had a separate pay scale and thereby a separate minimum. The minimum is obviously higher than that of the junior rank. This recommendation was conveniently not accepted by the Government then. Not even immediately after the 6th CPC!

Now, after lot of representations of various forms, with magnanimity they have accepted the recommendation and apply it to the minimum of the pay band on the plea that Lt Col to Maj Gen is covered under one pay band, PB4. Cunningly they have brought out a new scale for Lt Gen, all of sudden increasing minimum of the pay from 37400 of PB 4 to 67000 of the new scale and eliminated the Rank Pay.

I am sure that they expect us to throw tantrums and make representations that the minimum of the pay of the rank in the pay band according to the fitment table of SAI 2/S/2008, as for the ranks of Lt Col to Maj Gen. Once again the Government shall show magnanimity and accept our representation - with a smirk of course - and we shall get what we demanded way back by way of individual representations to the Secy ESW. The fact that we pointed out the incorrect interpretation of the Pension Policy of 11 Sep 2008 is likely to be conveniently forgotten. And our demand of absolute parity is not logical, they seem to say. Let us put our heads and strength together, pitch a battle of wits and win what we want.
RN Radhakrishnan

Date: Thursday, 30 July, 2009, 7:17 PM
Dear Veterans,
When the finance minister mentioned the figure 2144 crores, it become obvious that the Government intends to improve the pension not accede to our demand of full parity among pensioners of same rank and same length of total service.

The principle hitherto unknown to us has been made known. There shall be two classes of pensioners at any time. One class comprises of the pensioners of the vintage prior to the date of implementation of the latest pay commission and the other those who retire after the date. This is against the principle of the Constitution Bench of SC enunciated during the delivery of the Judgment in the well known case of Nakra Vs UoI, based on which recently a decision was given in favor of major generals. Does the Government expects us to go to the court to seek similar judgment now?

Quite cleverly the issue of two classes within those retiring after 10-01-2006 has been evaded, the ones retiring between 01-01-2006 and 01-08-2006 draw different pensions those of the same rank retiring with the same length of service subsequently. Let us mull over this and plan our future course of action.
RN Radhakrishnan

Meet the first Sikh soldiers to guard the Queen

These are the first two Sikh soldiers to have the honour of guarding the Queen.
Signaler Simranjit Singh, 26, and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh, 28, proudly pose with their guns while on duty in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Signaler Singh made history as the very first Sikh soldier to wear his turban on Public Duties guarding the monarch and protecting the Crown Jewels. He was soon joined by Lance Corporal Singh.

On duty: Signaler Simranjit Singh (left) and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh (right) are the first Sikh soldiers to guard the Queen

The proud soldier from Coventry enthusiastically took on the duty for the first time in May this year. He serves with 21st Signal Regiment based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, while Lance Corporal serves with 3rd Regiment Army Air Corps based at Wattisham, Suffolk.

Turbans, long hair and beards are considered a mandatory religious uniform for all Sikhs. Keeping uncut hair is required according to the Rehat Maryada, the Sikh instruction for living.
Courtesy, Brig Saranjit Singh, Signals
Armed and ready to protect One: Meet the first Sikh soldiers to guard the Queen- Mail Online

Cabinet Secretary's Committee mutilates OROP out of shape

Dear Colleagues,
The 21-page report of the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee is available with me. I am giving below a summary of some of the relevant points. To achieve brevity I have used my own language. While the committee uses recommendatory language, in the gist below it may sound directional.

Committee of Secretaries Headed by Cabinet Secretary: Gist of recommendations
In turning down OROP the Committee has relied on earlier committee and GOM reports, SC judgement on ESL petition filed as a sequel to the decision in DS Nakara & Ors Vs Union of India, and advice of the Ministry of Law.

The Committee also interacted with various ESM Associations, namely, the IESL and the Air Force Association to seek their views. The Associations gave the following major options in regard to OROP:
Option 1 Calculation of the pension of pre-1.1.2006 retirees by reckoning the highest of the pay in the pay band for each rank and thereafter application of weightage to this figure.
Option 2 Calculation of the pension of pre-1.1.2006 retirees by taking the mid-point between the minimum fitment of each rank in the revised pay band and maximum of the pay band and thereafter applying the weightage.
Option 3 Calculation of the pension of pre- 1.1.2006 retirees with reference to the notional maximum in the post- 1.1.2006 pay scales. Thereafter the weightage may be applied.
Options 1&2 were found not feasible as even the pension of post 1.1.2006 retirees is not calculated on this basis. “However, the option 3 is similar to the benefit granted in 2006 based on the recommendations of the GOM.”

Summary of Recommendations
(1)Bring pre-10.10.1997 PBOR pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 PBOR pensioners. (financial implication – 470.66 Crore per annum)
(2)Accept enhancement of classification allowance wef 1.1.2006 on notional basis (as in case MSP). This would benefit around 88000 PBOR. (Financial implication – 7.73 Crore per annum). To be implemented wef 1.1.2006 and pay arrears.
(3) Notional, weightage sans Arrears:
(a) Reckon pension of all pre 1.1.2006 PBOR pensioners with reference to a notional maximum in the post 1.1.2006 revised pay structure corresponding to the maximum of pre-Sixth Pay Commission pay scales as per fitment table of each rank.
(b) Also to continue with the enhanced weightage awarded by the GOM.
This will result in average monthly increase in the pension of pre 1.1.2006 PBOR in the range of Rs 800 to Rs 1400 for Gp Y depending on rank and years of service. Will benefit 12 lakh pre 1.1.2006 PBOR pensioners, (financial implication – 1636 Crore per annum). Being a new concession applies prospectively. No arrears.
Commissioned Officers
(4) Remove linkage of full pension with 33 years of qualifying service wef 1.1.2006 instead of 1.9.2008. Will benefit around 1100 officers (Army) whose pension would increase by about Rs 3000 pm (financial implication – 4.83 Crore per annum). Proposal emanates from Sixth PC; implement from 1.1.2006 and pay arrears.
(5) A separate pay scale starting at 67000 and going up to 79000 be created and all offrs at the level of Lt Gen/Addl Secy/equivalent be fixed in this scale. As a result, pension of pre-1.1.2006 Lt Gens will get fixed at 36500.00 and those of Addl Secys at 33500.00. Will benefit roughly 4000 offrs. (Financial implication – 25 Crore per annum). Proposal emanates from Sixth PC; implement from 1.1.2006 and pay arrears. The Committee has justified the increase for Lt Gens by stating that after the Sixth PC recommendations, the pensions of pre-1.1.2006 Brigs, Colonels and Lt Cols have greatly improved and in percentage terms there is very little difference the pension of pre-1.1.2006 and that with ref to minimum of fitment tables. The difference is around 2% at the level of Lt Col, 6% at the level of Colonel, 11% at the level of Brigadier, 13% at the level of Maj Gen. Only at the level of Lt Gen is there a difference of about 26%.


THE OROP has been denied. ESM may comment on the report of the Committee in whatever manner or at whatever forum. However, kindly do not seek clarification/ justification from me, for I have only summarised facts. We need to take a call on our next course of action. And soon.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
Unity Call to Rally all ESM

SCPC: OROP Nowhere in Sight

OROP Nowhere in Sight, Call to all ESM to Unite and intensify Movement to Get Justice
Dear Friends,
1. The Govt has not accepted our most justified demand of OROP. Much publicised enhancement of pension of PBOR under the cover of grant of OROP to them is nowhere near the concept of OROP. As per the media news, pre 2006 Sepoy will get pension of Rs 5500 per month where as post 2006 retiree will get Rs 6860 per month with 50 percent weightage. The difference will further increase when the weightage will be increased to 70 percent for the post 2006 retirees, the demand already projected by the Chiefs. This is nowhere near the OROP which is “that all pre 2006 retirees must get the same pension as their Post 2006 counterparts and continue to get the same in perpetuity.

2. By not even considering the above concept for officers, the Govt has tried to create wedge between officers and PBORs which will have far reaching adverse consequences for the profession of arms. Again, to enhance pensions of Lt Gen to actually help the additional secretaries is also against the ethos of Defence profession. Any benefit granted must either cover all ranks or start from the lowest to top and not top down.

3. As per the present dispensation, the pre 2006 Major Generals will draw less pension than the post 2006 retiree Lt Col, Col, Brig and Major Generals which is clearly violative of article 14 of the constitution. Same way Brig, Cols, Maj, Capt and PBORs will get less than their juniors.

4. Why the Govt is not considering our genuine demands? The reasons being given that by granting OROP to officers will generate similar demand from other services is absurdly untenable. Our profession is different and its degree of difficulty is the highest. It seems that the bureaucrat’s wrongly placed understanding of civilian control of Defence Forces and misplaced fear of Defence Forces take over of the country are the two hidden reasons for degrading, downgrading the status, respect and emoluments of Defence Forces.

5. In a seminar held at Delhi on police reforms recently, Director IDSA Mr N.S. Sisodia an IAS Officer said that if Defence Forces are given more powers, they will seize power like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Such statements by bureaucrats of the status of Director IDSA are highly objectionable and to say the least are totally unfair to the most patriotic Defence Forces who have very strongly held the flag of democracy flying high in our country. The relevant part of the written script of the Director IDSA is as under:
“Heavy reliance on armed forces weakens civilian authority. Their frequent use enhances their power and influence in the polity. This enhanced power can become a threat to democracy as we have seen in the cases of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries which have suffered military coups. The extent of democratic control is inversely proportionate to the democratic governments dependence on the armed forces.”

6. It is now clear that we are not being given our due justice. We therefore will need to unite and intensify our struggle to get the due justice. OROP is our justified right and we must get it. We need to follow multi- dimensional action plans to get our demands met. The following actions have been planed:
We will restart depositing our medals to the President at least once a month. The next date for depositing of medals will be 09 Sep 2009 at 3 PM. All state, district, city Conveners are requested to collect medals from their respective areas and send at IESM office address ie 543, Sector 23, Gurgaon- 122017, Haryana, India. All Sate functionaries are requested to attain the target of minimum of one thousand medals deposit per month. We are planning to restart our functioning from Jantar Mantar. The details will be communicated shortly. Long marches from Kanyakumari to Delhi and from other selected locations are also being planned. Col Rajan has volunteered to lead the march from Kanyakumari to Delhi and incorporate ESM from all the Southern States. When Col Rajan’s columns are about 500 Km from Delhi, Columns consisting of ESM, their family members and their supporters from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Uttrkhand, J&K, UP, Rajasthan and MP will start. All these columns will concentrate in Delhi by 15 Dec 2009. The next phase of the Movement will then commence on 16 Dec 2009 to coincide with the Vijay Divas Day.

  • Legal Option is also being exercised. We have already engaged a very competent lawyer for the purpose who has started preparing the case.
  • Writing of Articles, media coverage, organizing seminars, meetings, conferences will be stepped up throughout the country.
  • All out efforts to meet all MPs will be made to project our case in the Parliament and to the Govt.
  • The people of the country particularly the youth will be educated about the facts of our case and their support solicited to project our case to the Govt.
  • All efforts will be made to Unite all ESM organizations and ESM PAN India. Extensive Membership drive will be carried out.
  • All the above events will be carried out peacefully and within the norms of discipline.

    7. There is no other way but to put in united efforts to get justice. Once again we appeal to all ESM organizations and ESM to join the IESM to intensify the movement.
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
  • India's First Independence Day Celebrations In Delhi AUGUST 15,1947

    click on photos for enlarged view

    Pictures kind courtesy Veteran Arun Saigal

    SCPC: Pension Parity- Defence Minister- confirms "Nearer goal" but "Off target"

    Lok Sabha
    13 July 2009
    "The decision is now nearer to the goal of One Rank One Pension demand of nearly 1.5 million personnel," Defence minister A K Antony said during the Question Hour.
    Govt Accepts 'One Rank One Pension' Recommendation

    Rajya Sabha
    11 Dec 2008
    Government has not found acceptable the demand of Ex-Servicemen for one rank one pension. This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Kalraj Mishra in Rajya Sabha today. The defence personnel have not rejected the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, he added
    One Rank One Pension

    ‘No one rank, one pension for officers’
    The recommendations of the high-level committee led by the cabinet secretary that looked into the disparities in pension of ex-servicemen that have been forwarded to and accepted by the government, do not include OROP for officers, highly placed Defence ministry sources revealed.

    This revelation is contradictory to Defence Minister AK Anthony’s recent statement reported in certain sections of the media that the recommendation of OROP for officers, too, had been accepted.
    Read more
    ‘No one rank, one pension for officers’ Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Re- incarnations of Robin Hood

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    The link below is not related with Pay Commission or wage system. But it has relevance to all of us who have to deal with medical problems and doctors. It is based on my personal experiences.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
    Re- incarnations of Robin Hood

    ECHS: Seminar - Constraints deliberated threadbare- Satisfaction Level and Logistics Chain at loggerheads

    As intimated in an earlier note I had been asked to present the ESM's view at a seminar in Chandimandir. This seminar was held on 15 and 16 Jul 2009 and was attended by the entire hierarchy concerned with the Scheme i.e. AG, DGMS Army, DG DC & W, MD ECHS MG ic Adm Western Comd, numerous Regional Directors, OIC Polycinics, Comdt Command Hospital Chandimandir, Dr Ajit K Nagpal Chairman Batra Hospital, Mr Sunil Goswami Vice President SITL, Mr P Ram Mohan MD Health Sprint and numerous others. Lt Gen Shammi Mehta Ex GOC in C Western delivered the keynote address. A large number of ESM from Chandigarh including Lt Gen Ranjit Dayal had been invited and participated very actively in the deliberations.

    At the very outset I would like to state that the entire Services hierarchy involved in healthcare for ESM is very committed, totally positive and very well aware of our problems. Everything I said in my presentation was known and was being pursued vigorously albeit with an UNRESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT and an even more UNCARING BUREAUCRACY.

    At the end of the Seminar, however, I was even more convinced that my views regarding the faulty structure i.e. the organisation as existing today are correct. As I have stated repeatedly the whole purpose of the ECHS was to reduce the load on Service hospitals. Yet the ECHS has been designed presently to use the existing structure of the armed forces. Entire manpower authorised to ECHS is contractual. Additional resources have NOT been authorised for ECHS purposes at MH (all types), Station HQs, Area HQs and Command HQs. Similarly additional resources for ECHS purposes have not been authorised for medical procurements including medicine at all levels of the logistics chain. Without going into too many details what this implies in a nutshell is as follows:

    MD ECHS is responsible for the functioning of the Polyclinics through the Regional centres; however the Regional Centres function under the Command/Area/Sub Area with which they are co located. Administrative control of funds, accounting/audit/passage of bills etc is through Station HQs, Area HQs etc WITHOUT ADDITIONAL MANPOWER AND IN ADDITION TO THEIR BASIC TASK. Medical cover is in the first instance through existing Services Hospitals without augmentation. Similarly additional resources for ECHS purposes have not been authorised for medical procurements including medicine at all levels of logistics chain. Such multiple channels are bound to create problems. We thus have a weird situation where the ECHS has issued instructions that chronic patients requiring long-term treatment should be issued medicines for three months. But the DGMS Army has not only overruled these instructions but also vehemently opposed the very concept on ethical grounds during the Seminar. Similarly whereas ESM in numerous Metros have complained about being routed through Mil Hosps thus entailing numerous time consuming trips to Hosps like RR in Delhi and Ashvini in Mumbai, the Med hierarchy insists that the MH facilities be fully utilised before referral to civil empanelled hosps, patient convenience be damned. ARMED FORCES MEDICAL FACILITIES CANNOT BE OVERLOADED BECAUSE OF ESM AND YET BE UNDERUTILISED IN MAJOR HOSPS. Obviously there is a need to relocate surplus facilities at some stations to those areas where there has to be an acute deficiency to have initiated the very thought of the Ex Servicemens Contributory Health Scheme. There cannot be an overload and an underload concurrently. The reason why there is a surplus in popular and attractive stas with deficiencies in moffussil areas does not require much imagination.

    The Army has considerable experience in running nearly similar institutions viz AGIF, AWHO and AWES. Granted that these Ests are not dependent on Govt funding but they too have stringent financial checks and balances. But they are run efficiently because they have one boss. Unity of Command is a well-established principle, then why this mix up. The Mil hierarchy continues to defend the present structure, as a reading of the Action Plan in Part three of this report will show. I suspect this is more because of Mil reticence in questioning Govt orders. I BELIEVE THE STRUCTURE REQUIRES A SERIOUS RELOOK.

    In part one are the actions already in hand. In part two is the presentation made by me and part three is the action plan as per decisions taken after the Seminar. Seminar Part I, II and III: click me
    Brig Sateesh Kuthiala (Retd)

    Gymkhana Club Chennai- hijacked? Military made a scapegoat!

    The prestigious Gymkhana Club, sited close to the TN area headquarters, was an exclusive facility for military officers. Until 1920, its membership was restricted to garrison officers only and, even today, the club grounds belong to the armed services. This club is now hijacked by Civilians, Industrialists and Bureaucrats and Garrison Officers reduced to personae non gratae (literally non entities) without voting rights. This is height of bureaucratic arrogance subjected on the defence forces! The Area Commander is made a dummy Patron of the Club to hoodwink the Garrison Officer- Members serving and retired.

    Gymkhana Club, Chennai
    The then Madras Gymkhana Club was in occupation of 44.13 acres of Defence land in a prime part of the city from December 1977 to November 1986 on payment of annual rent of Rs 3,526. Though a formal lease agreement had not been entered into with the Club till then, the Ministry of Defence sanctioned, in October 1990, the continuance of the lease only in respect of 8.608 acres of land retrospectively from November 1986 onwards at the increased annual rent of Rs.8,608 based on agricultural rates. No lease agreement was concluded even thereafter. Gymkhana Club, Chennai in occupation of 44.13 acres has an outstanding dues Rs 33.10 crores, which has not been recovered over the years.

    The DEO, Chennai, recovered rent from the Club up to November 1991. Thereafter, he stopped accepting rent from the Club on the ground that it had resorted to unauthorised construction on the leased land and had also made alterations to the building thereon without the prior permission of the lessor and in violation of the lease agreement.

    Audit scrutiny disclosed the following:
    The Club had constructed 14 air-conditioned guest rooms, in respect of which rent ranging from Rs 900 to Rs 1,950 per day was levied, a beauty parlour, a Chinese kitchen, ice-cream parlour, etc. It had also sub-let a portion of the land to a bank without the prior permission of the lessor.
    Keeping in view the Club’s commercial activities, the DEO had assessed that rent amounting to Rs 33.10 crore was recoverable for the period from November 1991 to June 2001, based on only 2.5 per cent of the land value, as against 5 per cent adopted for determining the rent payable by another club in the same station, that was also involved in similar commercial activities. Government’s approval for revision of rent as proposed by the DEO had not been obtained even after the lapse of over 4 years as of March 2002. The Directorate General of Defence Estates informed Audit in September 2002 that the draft lease for the period from December 1977 onwards and rate at which damages were to be recovered from the Club had not yet been finalised by Ministry.
    MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: Status of encroached lands

    The MoD in connivance with Politicians have hijacked the prestigious and Exclusive Military Club. The present Committee Members of the club are spinning and reeking in crores of Rupees from membership fees from Industrialists, Bureaucrats and Civilians. The Military Officers are made joker members divested of any honour or dignity in the club! When the Military is fighting for upholding Warrant of Precedence of Military ranks, here we see slew of dishonour bestowed on Military Officers and Retired Officers. Defence Minister should intervene and ensure that dignity of Military Officers are upheld at all forums.

    SCPC: OROP or debugging pension anomalies?

    I am enclosing for your perusal the major accepted recommendations of the CoS.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009
    Main features of the accepted report of the Committee on OROP/ PIP
    The government has accepted the recommendations of the committee on defence pension anomalies headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The govt sanction letters dealing with the subject would be published and notified in the (very) near future.

    The major accepted and soon to be implemented recommendations are:
    (a) Pensions of pre-2006 PBOR to be computed by taking into account the top end of 5th CPC scales and notionally (through fitment formula) configuring it within the 6th CPC pay bands instead of basing the same on the minimum of the new scales. Practically speaking, a pre-06 Sepoy who was placed at about Rs 3700 basic pension after the 6th CPC would now be granted a basic pension of appx Rs 5500, a jump of almost Rs 1800. There may now emerge some cases wherein the pension of pre-06 retirees may turn out to be more than those of post-06 retirees at certain levels. It may be recalled that prior to the 6th CPC, pensions of the first three ranks were calculated by taking into account the end of scale whereas for civilian employees and officers the start of scale was taken into consideration. However the 6th CPC had blurred this edge because of the introduction of running pay bands and abolition of separate pay scales for each rank.
    (b) Pensions of pre-06 Lieutenant Generals to be upgraded to Rs 36,500 per month. The figure of Rs 36,500 is arrived at by taking into account 50% of the minimum of new HAG scale (Rs 67000-79000) and adding an MSP fitment of Rs 3000 (50% of MSP @6000).
    (c) No further improvement or OROP for commissioned officers.
    (d) Ceiling on war injury pension (that the total of service element and war injury element of war injury pension should not exceed the last drawn pay) has been removed.
    (e) Anomalies in other casualty pensionary awards to be deliberated upon by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) at MoD.

    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 12:30 AM

    Maharani Gayatri Devi- Princess of 61st Cavalry

    The ethereal Gayathri Devi

    The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has condoled the passing away of Smt Gayatri Devi, the former maharani of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family. In his condolence message, the Prime Minister described Smt. Gayatri Devi, popularly known as Rajmata, as a close friend and an exceptional human being.

    Smt Gayatri Devi entered politics in 1960s and was elected to the Lok Sabha for three terms. In her public life she worked with devotion for the socio-economic development of her people. She was an international celebrity, named in a list of the ten most beautiful women of her times. She contributed substantially to the cause of the uplift of the girl child. She also promoted the dying art of blue pottery in Rajasthan.

    “I convey my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. I pray for peace of the departed soul,” Dr Singh said.
    PM condoles passing away of Gayatri Devi
    Princess Gayatri Devi- like a fairy tale

    61 Cavalry
    Few army officers have led more public lives than the members of the 61st Cavalry. The 61st Cavalry set the standards in the good life. With Maharani Gayatri Devi as its poster princess and aficionados among the elite, it was the perfect combination of glamour, chutzpah and bravado. Though its best days are behind it, the romance survives.

    But let’s start at the beginning, in the ’40s, when the mechanisation of war was threatening the existence of cavalry units across the world. ‘‘At that time, Prime Minister Nehru, who loved riding, insisted that we have one cavalry unit,’’ says Col Raj Kalaan, 63, of the Cavalry.

    Other Nehruvian ideas may have died painful deaths, but this prediction stuck fast. ‘‘When the royal houses abandoned polo after 1947, the 61st Cavalry saved the sport from extinction,’’ adds Col JS Virk, 42, twice captain of the polo team at the World Cup.

    Polo and the 61st. It’s tough to think of one without the other. ‘‘The season was on when the Indo-Pak war broke out in 1971,’’ says Col Kalaan. ‘‘Some officers urged Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to call off the season. But he felt such an act would impact the country’s morale. He told us, ‘You’re doing your duty by playing polo.’ So we played our chakkars by the day and sat through blackouts at night.’’

    The Cavalry had a few operational tasks and certain ceremonial duties, including full-regalia participation in the Republic Day parade and promotion of polo and other equestrian sports.

    With the focus firmly on showmanship, it was the done thing to go talent-scouting among schoolboys of Sanawar and Mayo—the only two schools here to teach polo.

    ‘‘In fact, Billy Sodhi made it a habit to initiate any Sanawarian who joined the National Defence Academy into polo and riding,’’ laughs Col Rupinder Singh Brar, 59.

    In its brightest days, the 1970s and ’80s, the bulk of the the 61st’s officers came from the hill school. Their duty was not to fight battles but play the sport. ‘‘Polo players in the 61st get 8-10 horses to train and maintain,’’ says Col Billy Sodhi.

    In many ways, the 61st is a link with the past. It drew its polo strengths from princely state teams like the Mysore Lancers, the Gwalior Lancers, the Jodhpur/Kachhawa Horses and the Patiala Lancers.

    The royal connection remains strong. A few years ago, so the legend goes, Maharani Gayatri Devi arrived at the Jaipur polo grounds, only to find the 61st losing. She rushed her chauffeur back to fetch her red-and-yellow sari, the colours of the 61st. She draped the sari over her trousers, and sure enough, the team started winning soon afterwards.

    Injuries too were part and parcel of the game. Col Thakur Govindsingh lost an eye when hit by Billy Sodhi’s mallet.

    Lesser injuries, though, never got much importance. ‘‘Once Col KS Garcha and Narinder Singh of the Army Service Corps crashed headlong into each other. It was hilarious to see them gingerly feeling their bones for fractures and simultaneously groping for their turbans,’’ guffaws Col Brar. High spirits, old memories and fast friends.
    61st Cavalry and its Royal Lineage

    Vikram Batra "Sher Shah"

    Lieutenant Vikram Batra had to complete his mission successfully.
    Pakistani invaders had taken positions in bunkers at a height of 17,000 feet on Peak 5140 in Jammu and Kashmir. Lieutenant Batra and Captain Sanjeev Jamwal -- both from the Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh -- were ordered to recapture the peak on the night of June 19, 1999, about five weeks after the Kargil war began.

    The operation was much too dangerous to be carried out during the day.

    Aware of the enemy's vantage point, Lt Batra -- who was later promoted to captain on the battlefield -- decided to attack the enemy from the rear.

    Peak 5140, the highest point on the Tololing Ridge, was one of the most arduous and crucial peaks in the Drass region. If it fell, it would clear the Pakistanis from that sector and pave the way for further victories. He knew they had to win.

    Captain Vikram Batra in the Drass sector
    It was dark and cold. The men crawled, quietly. Batra, who had earned an instructor's grade as a commando, was determined not to lose any men.

    He was deeply upset when a terrorist's bullet meant for him had struck his man behind him during his first posting in the terrorist-prone region of Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir. 'Didi, it was meant for me and I lost my man,' he had told his elder sister over the phone.

    But tonight his guide was the framed motto of the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, that he had brought home to Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, at the end of his training.
    The safety, honor and welfare of your country come first always and everytime.
    The honor, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
    Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and everytime.

    The motto had been molded into his heart as a Gentleman Cadet. There was no better time to live by it than now -- when India was at war and he, in his first major battle.

    24-year-old Vikram and his men assaulted the enemy. The camp was routed, many enemy soldiers killed and 13 J&K Rifles won a decisive victory. All his men had made it alive. Vikram was elated. 'Yeh Dil Maangey More' -- the Pepsi catchline those days -- he told his commander at base camp.

    His words became the catchline for the Kargil war.

    Vikram Batra had led a brilliant operation in one of India's toughest campaigns in mountain warfare. His men swore by him. General Ved Prakash Malik, then the Chief of the Army Staff, called to congratulate him. His triumph was being beamed from television screens across the country.

    Photographs of him and his men striding the captured Pakistani gun at the base camp made it to every newspaper.

    In a time of war, he became the face of the young Indian soldier who fought ferociously and died fearlessly.
    Read more:
    Another Link:
    Capt Vikram Batra

    Kargil Diwas: Bhopal

    Date: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 7:47 AM
    Dear Sir,
    1. Kargil Diwas was celebrated at Bhopal where Hon Chief Minister, Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Mr Jagdeesh Deora, Hon Home Minister of MP Govt paid tribute to Kargil Martyrs along with hundreds of ESM. Martyrs families were invited and facilitated on the day.
    2. Hon Chief Minister has announced setting up of a War Memorial in Bhopal at prime location in memory of Martyrs from MP. He has gone to extent of even announcing that foundation stone shall be laid by Chief of Army Staff .
    3. A very apt and pious ceremony was arranged by Bhopal Zila Sainik Kalyan Board Secretary, Wg Cdr (Retd) Arun Puri . Among prominent attendees were Brig (Retd) KP Pandy, MVC, Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Vikram Pethia, Vr C, Maj Maha Singh, SC, Mahar Regt, Maj Gens (Retd) Sinho, Kondal, Brig (Retd) Prabir Goswami, VSM and parants of Martyr Maj Ajay Prasad, Vrc, Capt S. Gandhi, and widow of Col Trivedi besides lot of retired Officers , men and serving members of the Army in Station. Brig Pramod Kumat, Director MP State Sainik Kalyan Directorate has given impetus to whole ceremony.
    Col (Retd) MK Tyagi

    Kargil Diwas: Max India honours heros

    Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:12 PM
    Subject: Commemoration Service Honoring Kargil Heroes
    Gen Renjen, Gen Satbir and I have just had the privilege and honor of attending the Max Foundation Commemoration Ceremony to honor the Kargil heroes. A very solemn and extremely well organized ceremony at which the VCOAS Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj, PVSM, AVSM, ADC was chief guest.

    What makes me call the occasion a privilege and honor is the fact that we had the opportunity to meet and hear the war time CO 13 JAK RIF Col YK Joshi, VrC and L/ NK Sanjay Singh, PVC. We also met three other gallantary award winners of ' The Bravest of the Brave' 13 Jak Rif. Nk Mehar Singh, VrC, Nb Sub Mehar Singh, SM, Nk Narinder Singh, SM. The ceremony comprising the following was attention gripping.
  • Shradhanjali.
  • Auld Lang Syne. (Performed beautifully by two pipers)
  • Abide with Me (Sung on synthesizer, and
  • since we had the song sheet, we could join in singing this very emotional hymn)
  • Presentation by Col YK Joshi, VrC. Totally gripping audio visual show. Phew! Was that moving? Deeply.
  • Experiences of L/Nk Sanjay Kumar, PVC. Earthy and touching.
  • 'Mind of a Soldier' - What makes him perform against odds? A short narration by Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM- erstwhile GOC in C Western Command. Apt, to the point, interesting and short. Well done Sir.
  • 'A soldier's prayer' A soul stirring hymn rendered by Dr Sunil Katoch, to accompaniment of drums and synthesizer. WOW ! What an inspirational prayer? 'Nishchay kar apni Jeet karon'.
  • Address by VCOAS. Anecdotal, apt and short. We loved it.
  • Address by Mr Analjeet Singh, Chairman Max India Group and Managing Trustee Max Foundation. Spoke very highly of Defence services, is concerned that intake is suffering in recent times. Would like to associate in any manner to attend to it.
  • Address by Mrs Mohini Daljeet Singh, Head Max India foundation.
  • National Anthem.
  • High Tea.
    As I said earlier, it was an evening worth spent. An honorable occasion. Wish MORE corporate houses follow the lead of Max India. And NOW it really is curtains on Kargil Divas 2009.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi, IESM
  • IESM: OROP Present Status

    Date: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 2:26 PM
    I had sent an article on OROP. It has been carried by Hari Bhoomi on 27 July, both their Delhi edition as well as their Rohtak edition. The paper has wide circulation in the Hindi belt. One Rank One Pension- Present Status: click me
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    ECHS: SSCOs and ECOs

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:55 PM
    From: ECHS
    1. Refer your e-mail dt 04 Jul 09.
    2. As per Govt Policy, the following twin conditions are to be fulfilled for becoming a member of ECHS:
    (a) Must be an Ex-Servicemen as per definition of Govt of India, Min of Personnel Public Grievances and Pension Memorandum No 36034/5/85- Estt(SCT) dt 14 Apr 1987.
    (b) Sould be in receipt of pension/disability pension from CDA(P) from Defence Budget.

    3. SSCOs and ECOs who are not meeting one of the twin condition (Para 2 (b)) as per Govt Policy, hence not eligible for ECHS membership. However, SSCOs and ECOs who are medically boarded out and getting disability pension (attributable to Military Service) from CDA (P) are eligible to become member of ECHS.

    We thank Brig SC Kuthiala (Retd)for forwarding the clarification

    Kargil Diwas: Raipur


    This is what was recited by a person during the Kargil Diwas function organised at Raipur. Many luminaries spoke on the Saga of Bravery shown by Indian Soldiers at various operations. The Rotary club honoured the Widows and dependants of Soldiers who laid down their lives.
    At 1830 hrs, a silent march with lighted candles started and reached "JAI STAMBH", in the heart of the city and placed the candles with flower petals at the pedestal. Thereafter, a convention was held followed by dinner. Both parties, viz BJP and Congress were represented. Seven e- media and most print media covered it but with the political tint.
    Pamphlets were printed and distributed to all and sundry through various means. However, it was a beginning worth the effort. The Rotary Club is now keen to hold many more such events. We must make efforts to have at least one day in the year recognised as "Veteran Day".
    Jai Hind
    Col Siddhartha Bose
    CG State Convener

    Kargil Diwas: Twin Cities

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Please find below a short coverage of some activities at Twin Cities.
    Lt Gen KS Rao (Retd)

    A solemn function at Basantar War Memorial at Mehdipatam Garrison was organised by 54 Inf Div, where a large number of soldiers (Army, Navy & Air Force), both serving and veterans paid their tributes to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the security of our Motherland. The Division had also invited the NOK of the Kargil Heroes and some gallant soldiers who were killed during CI Operations. The ceremony was followed by Tea. Present amongst the NOKs was Mrs Acharya, wife of Maj Acharya MVC (Posthomus) of 2 Raj Rif and also his Father Wg Cdr Acharya. Col PR Rao, SM and self were there.

    ISB Pays Tributes to Kargil Heroes
    Class 2010 of Indian School of Business organised the function at their Campus Auditorium. The function commenced with the screening of a film on Kargil and was followed by a lecture on Leadership, the Army way. LT Gen SRR Aiyengar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM who was commandant DSSC and NDC was the Chief Guest, delivered the Talk. The Audience Comprising of Dean, Faculty Members and students of ISB, Commandant, Faculty Members and some students( including three officers who participated in Kargil ops) of CDM besides a few others like me were exposed to one of the most enthralling lectures on Leadership. The General, besides quoting examples also touched upon Nation Building. The Dean thanked General for the captivating talk and the audience gave a standing ovation, not common at ISB.

    Later during the informal interaction, members of the audience, the majority of ISB were quite convinced that money was not the only thing in life and our Armed Forces had been doing and are doing a magnificent job of keeping the Nation Secure. The class of 2010 interacted with CDM students.

    Ex-servicemen denied entry into memorial

    Ex-servicemen staging a protest near the Martyrs Memorial in Secunderabad on Sunday.

    Express News Service Published: 27 Jul 2009 10:27:59 AM IST
    HYDERABAD: AT a time when the nation paid its homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war, exservicemen in the city were denied the privilege. They were stopped from entering the Kargil Martyrs Memorial at Parade Grounds to pay their respects to those who laid their lives fighting the enemy in the hostile terrains of Kargil.

    The nation celebrated the 10th year anniversary of the victory of Indian soldiers over their Pakistani counterparts in the Kargil war, on Sunday. Members of the AP Ex-servicemen Welfare Association on Sunday morning arrived at the Parade Grounds to pay their respects to the martyrs who laid their lives down for the country. Army authorities, however, did not allow them to enter the premises.

    With the Army authorities unrelenting, the ex-servicemen laid wreaths on the fencing opposite the Martyrs Memorial and squatted on the pavement for sometime. Association president, A Rangaiah Goud, deplored the adamant attitude of the Army authorities and said they were ill-treated by the authorities.

    He demanded that the government sack the director of Sainik Welfare Board and appoint an IAS or IPS officer who would work for their welfare.
    Ex-servicemen denied entry into memorial

    Safety Honour and Welfare of the Nation comes first always and everytime

    Dear Brig Kamboj and Friends,
    I recently did a bit of research on the life and times of Chetwode. What I find is contained in a brief note, attached with this mail. I feel that we often quote Chetwode out of context.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    I owe a personal debt of gratitude to Chetwode. His credo guided me throughout my service. Early during my military career I learnt that the more I cared for the quality of life of the troops placed under my command the greater was the loyalty and willing obedience of my orders which I received in return. I find that his message has made deep inroads into our psyche and I do not know any army officer who has forgotten what he read on the Chetwode building at the time of passing out of the Indian Military Academy.

    In an idle reverie, I decided to find out a bit more about the man who wrote those three sentences and what he did to translate them into action during his own service. A quick search of the Internet revealed that Field Marshal Philip Walhouse Chetwode was the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army during 1930-35. The IMA was raised during this period and the C-in-C inaugurated the Academy in 1932. This eternal advice was contained in his address to the cadets, and that has given to him his name and fame. But I could find nothing in his biography to substantiate any of his actions to improve the ‘safety and welfare’ of men whom he commanded during his service. He was the second most powerful man in India, next only to the Viceroy. And so his word meant a lot. Specifically in terms of the salaries of the soldiers under his command, I observe that what we have done can put his creed to shame.

    By a quirk of fate, I discovered a booklet entitled “Regulations for the Pay and Allowances for the Army in India” in my father’s collection. It is published in 1932 and all amendments up to 1942 are inscribed in manuscript on the first few pages. The pay at the cardinal points are as follows:

    Lt Gen (in command) Rs 4,500
    2nd Lieut(married) Rs 490
    2nd Lieut (unmarried) Rs 405
    Subedar Major Rs 250-15-310
    Sepoy (Infantry) Rs 16 (fixed)

    There is no mention of the pay of the C-in-C, but I have read somewhere that he was given an annual salary of Rs 100,000 during that period. My father used to tell me that getting a man enrolled in the army was easy. The spoken word of a Subedar Sahib or a letter of recommendation from an officer was all that a man needed to become a recruit. The soldiers were enlisted for seven years with the colors and a ‘reserve’ liability of eight years. To earn a pension the soldiers had to rise to the rank of a Naik, and that was not easy. They had to undergo a stiff ‘umeedwar’ cadre and only those who qualified on this course could rise to NCO ranks. The army did not grant pension to all the men, and so the pensioners could be well looked after. Thus, getting in was easy but climbing up in the hierarchy was tough. And as far as I could see, Chetwode did nothing to change this format. Incidentally, the officers who passed out of the Academy which he inaugurated were called ICOs and they did not get the KCIO rates of pay. An ICO 2nd Lieut started was granted Rs 300 only.

    In sharp contrast to the above competitive format, we now start a Sepoy on Rs 10,250 with a DA @22% and give him 3% compounding increments with three assured career progressions, and every entrant is entitled to a pension, hedged against inflation. Is it a surprise that there was a virtual stampede at a recruiting center in Rajasthan and the crowd of military service aspirants had to be fired upon in UP a few months ago? I myself have been approached by men from our village to help them get their wards recruited. They are willing to pay as much as 1.5 lac rupees if they can be assured that the job will be done.

    For a more comprehensive understanding of the personality of Field Marshal PW Chetwode, kindly turn to the web pages. To me it seems that he was a blue blooded soldier whose performance was mediocre as a young officer and average as a middle level officer. His rise to the apex ranks is due more to his lineage than anything else. In the British social order he is referred to as 1st Baron & 7th Baronet of Oakley. As for the matters related with determination of wages and salaries, the British depended on the principles enunciated by Lord Islington.

    I strongly urge my friends to quote Chetwode only after getting to know more about the man and his work. Three clever sentences do not tell the whole story!

    Field Marshal Philip Walhouse Chetwode, 1st Baron Chetwode, 7th Baronet of Oakley GCB OM GCSI KCMG DSO (21 September 1869 – 6 July 1950) was a British cavalry officer who became Commander in Chief in India. Read more:
    Philip Chetwode, 1st Baron Chetwode

    CSD India: The travails and torment of ESM

    Date: Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 11:09 PM
    My dear Brig Kamboj,
    I wonder whether you have experienced any problems while trying to buy high value items like cars, refrigerator, Microwave, Washing machine etc.from our Canteen.
    My experience is, bad. My reasons:
    1. When I want to buy a car I like, it is invariably not yet approved by the CSD in Bombay. ie. price not yet determined. By the time this process is over the car becomes an older model. This process goes on for ever and for every item.
    2. Buying an item from the main CSD Depot is another great pain. First of all you have to complete an application form normally not easily available. Having obtained the form you have to declare that the same item has not been purchased by the buyer in the last two years. Does that mean one cannot buy two at the same time? I am now trying to build another room and a small study as I am expecting guests. (Not paying) I cannot buy 2 ACs. Is that the situation now?
    3. Ok, having gone 12 Kilometers to the Station Hq for obtaining the SSO's signature (who is supposed to state that I am what I am and that I am a genuine buyer) one is required to go to the CSD DEPOT. There normally there is a crowd running here and there to find out the dealing clerk, and then you are asked to stand in a Queue.
    4. The scrutiny of the application and the comparison of your ID with your present MUG takes quite some time. At the age of 82 you are not likely to look exactly like when you were 60. Finally after accepting the Demand Draft an order to supply the item is laboriously typed by the clerk, with instructions to take the form to the dealer who is normally another 10 to 20 KMs away.
    5. And when you reach there and if it is not their lunch time you are asked to sign on two places. One is to check whether the signature tallies with what is there in the supply order and the other is to sign for "Having received the item in GOOD condition and that I have no complaints."
    6 On getting that signature he tells us that the item can be collected when they will call you on phone!. They will also recommend a company to install it for which payment has to be made. The wiring etc should be got ready before the nominated person arrives to install it. When I questioned him regarding possibilities of the machine not working properly, he says "Not to worry Sir, the manufacturer will come and set it right as there is a year guarantee. Why then did you want me to sign earlier that it is in good condition and so on, he answers that is for the purpose of getting the cash from CSD!.

    I am 82. Do you think it is possible for me to go through all these obstacles. When I asked the Canteen manager as to why the master card is not even seen by them. He said this is our PROCEDURE...
    I feel this matter needs to be looked into. If the govt gives us some privileges let them give it gracefully, of course making sure of the identity of the buyer. Why cant they lay down a formula by which an entitled buyer shows his Smart card and choose what he likes from the approved items (Only High value items like car and so on) The present system of buying groceries and so on can carry on as now.
    I once bought a godrej refrigerator and I found a huge hole at the back of the refrigerator due to rust. The one year was over. But when I called Godrej, they quietly replaced the entire sheet as they realised that the material was faulty. Even after the guarantee period was over. But Whirpool refused to do so even though the body was becoming rusty on powder coated surface. I got it repainted paying Rs 900.
    What should we do to improve this? Can we do a brainstorming session and suggest something new? I forgot to mention that the CSD DEPOT insists on DD from the nationalised Banks. I told the manager that only bank which is truly national is RESERVE bank of India. The manager then accepted the KVB draft!.
    Brig Seshadri (Retd)

    High Value Items in CSD India
    1. The models offered are vintage (nearly 2 years old). Products invariably do not have any star rating.
    3. AC's, two wheelers, fridge are most sought after and it is evident that there is a racket operating between touts ESM and Civilian staff at the CSD Depots where one has to deal for getting the product. This is obvious from the crowds milling around the counters.
    4. The brands that are generally available are those that do not sell in the civilian market.
    5. Once the demand draft is paid the product is not delivered for long periods sometimes as long as a month. There is no provision to cancel the order and obtain refund instantly, which is against all norms and ethics.
    6. The CSD (I) follows the bureaucratic standards of inefficiency and discourtesy. While there is some reforms taking place at Government level with the advent of RTI. There is no such provision in the charter of CSD.
    7. The rules in vogue are antique niether of digital nor analogue world. There is absolutely no consumer protection against defective and poor quality products. Most electrical products do not pass ISI norms. CFT energy saving bulbs have no guarantee, whereas if purchased from civil market there is one year guarantee.
    8. The nexus between the CSD (I), Politicians, MNC's, Manufacturers is so closely looped that it is difficult to redeem the situation in the near future. The situation and services are likely to further deteriorate! The ESM and MOD are mute spectators!
    9. Mission Statement of CSD(I) should be replaced to read: Spin in crores of Rupees Profit by any means at the expense of Armed Forces Personnel, Serving as well as retired. Plough back profits for "Troops Welfare" (which in reality is draining it in a black hole).
    Media Report
    CSD(I)- Service to the Services: 2008
    MoD diverting welfare funds: "irregular diversion" of canteen profits: 1998

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    IESM: Chairman's Desk- Rally at Mahendergarh

    Date: Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 8:22 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Satbir, Kanwar Bhardwaj and some others along with self attended an ESM rally at Mahender Garh (Haryana) today. The rally was anchored by ESM Sgt and Advocate OP Yadav, who is running a school and an engineering college and who provided all the logistics.

    This was the first rally we addressed since 12 April 2009. Mahender Garh as a District has a special significance. Apart from having a high density of defence personnel, this was also the place where the current struggle took birth. It had made a modest beginning but the seed was sown here. The pioneers – Col RS Yadav, Col Bhardwaj, Maj Jakhar, Subedar Ram Sarup and OP Yadav were there in the rally.

    The rally was attended by some 1500 ESM. Many had come from far off places. Enthusiasm was unparalleled. Sub Om Prakash Latala came despite bereavement in his family this morning. Sub Hari Singh came from Hisar braving the hot weather. They all resolved to continue the struggle till OROP was granted. It was decided to await the detailed orders from the government before deciding on the next step.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Kargil Diwas: Calicut- Kerala

    We thank Nk Prem Menon Ex NK from AMC for sharing the solemn moments with our readers.

    Kargil- Soldiers Spirit Spells Fate of the Nation

    Date: Wednesday, 22 July, 2009, 1:55 AM
    To the Editor-in Chief,

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    I am Maj Gen Ian Cardozo, AVSM, SM and am a war disabled officer of the Indo-Pak War of 1971. I am currently in the UK and have been following with interest the issue of the Kargil war and the Government's decision not to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of that war.

    I am the author several books on military history including 'Param Vir - Our heroes in Battle', 'The sinking of INS Khukri', 'The Indian Army- A Brief History' and 'The history of the first-firfth Gorkha Rifles'. I have also had several articles published in military journals and national magazines.

    I would be grateful if you would consider the attached article (click me) for publishing as it is topical in view of the forthcoming 10th anniversary of the Kargil war.

    Thanking you
    yours sincerely
    Maj Gen Ian Cardozo, AVSM,SM (Retd)

    Whatever the faults of the political hierarchy of that time and the political hangover of today, the courage of the Indian soldier must not be forgotten. The sad truth is that the soldier is remembered only in time of war. Kargil has already faded from public memory and it appears that some politicians would like the story of that war to be permanently dead and buried.

    The fate of a nation during war hinges on how well her soldiers fight. Recognition of the sacrifices that soldiers make, so that we may live is the least that we can do to tell them that their sacrifices have not been in vain and that the nation is grateful and remembers. Good leaders understand that this is the essence of morale and that morale is a battle winning factor. Failure to understand this basic need of the soldier may have consequences that will only be known as and when we go to war again and then it may be too late.
    Read the full article click link below:

    Kargil Diwas: Coimbatore and Secunderabad

    Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:37 AM
    Dear All,
    My extended family at Soundaryam- Santhosham- Shenbhagam Comfort & Retirement Homes joined hands with me and we paid our homage to the Martyrs of Kargil. Please view the photographs in the link below:
    Slideshow- click me

    I must add that we lent a helping hand in organizing the Conference for evolving a National Strategy for Dementia which was held at Coimbatore on 25-26 July under the aegis of Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI). The President Emeritus Mrs Narula and some more members of ARDSI Executive Committee, who were our guests, also joined us in paying the homage. At the end of the day, I am a satisfied man because our extended family of Senior Citizens showed their solidarity on Kargil Divas. My sincere thanks to them
    Colonel (Retd) A Sridharan, VSM

    Dear Brig Kamboj,

    As a sincere SOLDIER I have lighted a candle and prayed with my Family for those MARTYRS for their soul to always REST IN PEACE as they have won the war for their fellow citizens at the cost of their lives and WE (THE NATION) lost them. We remain ever grateful to them
    Maj (Retd) Sreedharan

    Kargil Diwas- Tricity

    Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 6:34 PM
    The 10th Anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas was commemorated in the Tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali & Chandigarh) on Sunday, JULY 26, 2009 as per programme below:
    (a) Homage Ceremony 10.30 to 11.30 a.m. At Major Shankla Memorial, Sector-2, Panchkula
    (b) Lighting of Candles 8 p.m. At Major Shankla Memorial, Sector-2, Panchkula
    (c) Medical & Dental Camp 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At Satluj Public School, Sector-2, Panchkula

    About 350 ex- servicemen, and civilians participated in the homage ceremony which was led by Lt Col JS Kanwar, father of the late Major Sandeep Shankla, Ashok Chakra, three Kargil war widows, and Brig Sant Singh, MVC and Bar, President of the War Decorated India. Poet laureate Padma Bhushan Sardar Anjum recited a poem in honour of the Kargil martyrs. Many civil dignitaries, and, local municipal councillors were present. Many senior retired service officers including former Army Commanders, Lt Gen PN Hoon, Lt Gen Depinder Singh, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Air Marshal GS Punia, and Capt (IN) AS Johar graced the occasion, in addition to a large number of ex- servicemen who had come from far off villages.

    The evening Candle Lighting Ceremony was started off with reading of odes to the martyrs. Shri Shyam Chand, a former Haryana minister was present alongwith many patriotic civilian friends.

    The Medical & Dental Camp was led by ex AMC husband & wife duo Lt Gen Harcharan Singh, PVSM, PHS (Retd.) and Mrs Krishna H Singh. They had put together a team of seven retired AMC doctors. In addition, a fully equipped dental van complete with doctors, staff, and medicines was made available, kind courtesy National Dental College & Hospital, Dera Bassi (Punjab) being run by Lt Col GS Sandhu (Retd from AOC in 1997). Approx 300 patients utilised the camp. Mohali Brigade was present in strength, and lent full support. A few of the photos taken are attached.
    Brig Kiran Krishan, SM (Retd)
    Coordinator, IESM

    Kargil Diwas: The Nation remembers

    Date: Monday, 27 July, 2009, 6:15 PM
    Dear Chander,
    Here, are the links of the media coverage of the PM at the India Gate, paying tribute to the honoured dead and heroes of Kargil, the first time the UPA Government has done so, after taking power on 2004.
    The Hindu Online, July 26, 2009– India remembers valiant Kargil Heroes on victory anniversary
    TOI Online, July 26, 2009 – 10 Years of Kargil: PM pays Tribute to Martyrs
    Indian Express Online, July 26, 2009 – PM pays tribute to Kargil Martyrs

    The credit for this goes to the campaign carried out by IESM for the proper observance of this day across the entire nation, both by the people and the powers that be. The excellent articles written by Lt Gen Vijai Oberoi, Maj Gen Surjit Singh and others have, indeed, made the government to observe the Kargil Diwas in a fitting manner.

    The IESM has this additional feather in its cap and has done all of us Veterans, the Defence Forces and the Nation, proud. Well done and keep up the good work. God Bless you all.
    Regards and best wishes
    Captain Christopher LN D'Silva, Indian Navy (Retd)

    Karnataka remembers its martyrs
    BANGALORE: The State government on Monday announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to the family members of 15 soldiers from the State, who lost their lives in the Kargil war 10 years ago. Besides, the government will give Rs 1 lakh to all those soldiers from the State who were seriously injured in the war.

    Free education
    Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, while moving a resolution in the Legislative Assembly and paying tribute to the Kargil war heroes, said the government has decided to provide free education to children of martyrs and government
    jobs to one of its family members.

    Of the Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh will be given in the name of martyr’s wife and children and the remaining Rs 2 lakh will be given in the name of martyrs’ parents, on the occasion of Independence Day, Yeddyurappa added.
    Source: Deccan Herald

    "Op Vijay" 1999 Vs "Op Leghorn" 1962

    earlier post: click me
    During Kargil soldiers died fighting bravely by enemy bullets. On the other hand, during OP Leghorn the 7 Brigade soldiers died, not only while fighting bravely by enemy bullets, but also of hunger and extreme cold for no fault of theirs.

    On Death and the Bottle of Rum
    Night over took us and brought with it additional chill and cold that a night of late October coupled with an altitude of 15-16,000 feet altitude can manifest. To top it, there was soon sleet and fresh snow and this was clearly the coldest night that we had spent in the open. That night two things happened that will always live with me. One Ganpat died, he froze stiff, sitting in the snow, as he was. Before his death he cried and howled like an animal unknowingly, the rest of us yelling at him to keep quiet lest the Chinese pick up our trail. Rajamani Rai was 'B " Company barber and having 'managed' his enrollment, was much older, nearly 50 years of age. He had against all advice to accompany the Paltan to NEFA rather than take the easy way out and get posted to Centre.

    The second was a coincidence when I ran into Hav Chhetri of 1/9 GR who only two months ago had taught me at the Army School of Mechanical Transport, Faizabad. He had been recalled to the unit to take his promotion test and destiny had made him cross my path. He was sitting in the snow, having recognised me he wished me. Surprised to see him in our midst I offered that he share my blanket as he had none. Huddled under the blanket, Chhatri sometime later asked me if I would have rum. Imagine my surprise, he was prepared to share what could be life saving under the circumstances there were no barriers. The Officer and the Jawan spent the night under the "saihabs" blanket taking swigs from the bottle produced by the Jawan. Both survived the ordeal.
    (As narrated to me by Lt Gen RIS Kahlon PVSM, UVSM, AVSM (Retd) then Lt and IO of 4 GRENADIERS)
    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Moving and unforgettable Photographs
    IESM slideshow: Kargil Diwas- Noida

    "Kick the Bottle" sane advise by Pranab Mukherjee

    Press Trust of India, Tuesday July 28, 2009, New Delhi
    Kick the bottle, was the advice of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh in the Lok Sabha on Monday, leading to much mirth in the House.

    The advice to Singh on the ill-effects of consuming alcohol at his age was given by Mukherjee when he was winding up a discussion on the Finance Bill.

    While participating in the discussion, 71-year-old Singh had said in a jocular vein that the increase in exemption limit by Rs 10,000 for Income Tax was so meagre that it was not enough to buy even a bottle of whisky.

    "I will advise him (Singh) that at this age it is not wise to have whisky as I have myself given up the habit of smoking pipe," Mukherjee said while replying to the debate over the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha.
    Kick the bottle at this age, Pranab tells Jaswant

    Alcohol addiction
    The Armed Forces and ESM organisations should fight this malady which afflicts a large percentage of Jawans and ESM whose life is ruined by addiction. Consumption of alcohol has increased manifold as revealed from CSD liquor sale statistics. This social evil needs to be curbed. Sadly the NCC Unit personnel who are looked upon by students for moral standards are more alcohol- dependent than the average military personnel. The NCC units dispense liquor to all in greater percentage than other CSD outfits.

    Kargil Diwas: Dehra Dun Report


    As per the scheduled programme on 26 Jul 09, Lt Gen M S Gosain, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Brig K G Behl, President Dehradun Ex-Services League, Brig P S Gurung,YSM, Lt Col B M Thapa, Gen Secy DESL, Dr B K Nautiyal, PRO, Lt Col R P Jairath, Treasurer DESL, Lt Col S S Thapa Lt Col P S Bisht, Lt Col S B S Thapa, Col P D Kudiyal, Lt Col U S Thakur, H/Capt B S Thapa, H/Capt K B Thapa, Hav B P Sharma and many others paid floral homage to martyrs of Kargil War and laid wreath and flowers on Kargil War Memorial at Gandhi Park Dehradun along with large number of Ex-Servicemen.
    Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” Chief Minister Uttrakhand also paid homage to the Martyrs of Kargil War at Kargil War Memorial at Ghandhi Park which was attended by Lt Gen M S Gosain, Brig K G Behl, Brig P S Gurung, Lt Col B M Thapa and many other Ex-Servicemen of Doon valley. C M said that the Government will give all possible help to the families of soldiers who had lost their life in Kargil war and also all problems of Ex-Servicemen of Uttarakhand will be solved.
    Lt Col B M Thapa
    General Secretary
    Dehradun Ex-Services league

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    MoD: PIB Press Releases

    Ministry of Defence
    Shelling on line of control
    Year-wise details of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir, including incidents of shelling since 2006 are given below...
    Resettlement of Ex-Servicemen
    There is no proposal to extend minimum pensionary benefits to the ex-servicemen who render less than 15 years of service...Important inputs and information presented to Lok Sabha in variance to ground realities! Number of ESM trained/ self employed/ resettled or details PBORs who have availed of facilities and concessions? DGR does not have the crucial statistics?
    Utilisation of Defence Lands
    Defence land is meant primarily for various defence needs. The requirement of defence land is gradually increasing and hence cannot be frozen at... What about Defence lands already encroached upon and its eviction status? Exploitation of Defence Lands: click me
    NCC Units in Senior Secondary Schools
    The Government does not propose to set up National Cadet Corps (NCC) Units in all Senior Secondary Schools in the country...
    Sale of troops ration in open market
    During the period from 2006 to 2009, one case of pilferage of special rations meant for Army to certain civilian shops at Chumathang in Ladakh region by personnel of a Unit in July, 2007 was ...
    Review of Defence Procurement Policy
    There is a provision of periodical review of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) every two years...
    Condition of families of martyrs
    Number of soldiers from various states killed on duty (Battle Casualties) during the last three years are as under...

    Note: click on active title links to read each in detail

    IESM: Kargil Diwas

    Politicians, Bureaucrats and Citizens

    How do the politicians and bureaucrats, perceive the citizenry? Paying lip service to their role as "public servants," especially at election time, public officials, in reality, scoff at any such notion. In their eyes, the citizens are means, not ends, who exist solely to ensure the preservation of the bureaucracy.
    This philosophical perspective — that the citizen is merely a "cog in the wheel" which can, and will, be sacrificed for the greater good of the bureaucracy — holds true, of course, with the civil bureaucracy. Usually under the guise of fighting some domestic "war," or attacking some "crisis" — poverty, drugs, illiteracy, racism, or whatever — the civil bureaucracy exercises ever-increasing control over the lives and wealth of the citizenry.

    But the same holds true with the military bureaucracy. No matter what the conditions are in the world — even if peace were to break out everywhere — even if democracies were suddenly found in every nation on earth — even if every nation's politicians and bureaucrats appointed every ruler in the world — in the mind of the military bureaucrat, crises and wars will always be a "potential threat" to "national security." And so the military bureaucracy also wields ever-increasing control over the lives and wealth of the citizenry.

    All money which government has, of course, comes from the citizenry through the coercive process of taxation. Government officials understand that, in this sense, they are parasitic — that is, that they survive and flourish through the earnings that are sucked out of the pockets of the citizens. They comprehend, for example, that if the citizenry suddenly decided to stop paying taxes, the bureaucracy's lifeline would, at the same time, dry up.

    The bureaucracy recognizes that, since it is a parasite, it must perform a masterful balancing act. On the one hand, it must ensure that the citizenry continue paying taxes at such a level that the bureaucracy is preserved, and hopefully expanded. But it must also ensure that the level of confiscation and plunder never gets so high that the worst fear of the bureaucracy — a tax revolt among the citizenry — materializes.

    The heart of the solution is to make the individual in society once again sovereign over the state. Until citizens "we the people" make the preservation of the individual, as well as his liberty and property, the highest political end, they will continue living their lives in subserviency to what has been the highest political end in the 20th century: the preservation of the bureaucracy and the discord, misery, impoverishment, and destruction which it has brought in its wake.
    Extracted from:
    The Preservation of the Bureaucracy by Jacob G. Hornberger, February 1991


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