Saturday, September 26, 2009

Report My Signal

Dear Members of the RMS forum,
My email server is temporarily out of order for last 15 hours or so. Therefore, I cannot send out usual RMS emails and will resume on restoration of the server.
Chander Kamboj

A bang and a fizzle: Nuclear yield not quantified remains a secret?

Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, stated in his farewell press conference, “The tests were adequate. We believe whatever the scientists tell us. The scientists said the tests were enough and tested. We believe the scientists, as they provide us with nuclear capability.” Clearly, he accepted no responsibility for these weapon systems. This is uncharacteristic of military ethos where any weapons system that the services induct, whether imported or indigenous, is put by them through rigorous testing before acceptance. They are then accountable for the achievement of results. The services did not take the word of DRDO scientists in the case of the Trishul missile, which was finally rejected.

General Ved Malik, who was the army chief at the time of Pokhran-II, termed the recent revelations shocking and said that it affects the armed forces, because when they plan the task given to them they have to know what kind of yield each nuclear weapon has.

Unsaid in these comments by two former service chiefs is that they bear no responsibility for the reliability, safety and operational potential of these weapons systems. That is to be borne by the scientists — who, we see, have their differences. While this leaves India’s nuclear deterrence between two stools, the armed forces by their meek acceptance must also share responsibility.
Extract from:
A BANG AND A FIZZLE- Doubts about India’s nuclear deterrence may be well-founded- Brijesh D Jayal

Indian Hawala transanctions finance world terrorism

The Financial Intelligence Unit marked 200 transactions in India- running into Rs 2,000 crore- as terror-financed. Now, it has commenced its probe to trace the origin of the funds.

It is a known fact that terrorist outfits use counterfeit notes to finance terror operations. This is just one of the means adopted by terror outfits and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence to raise Rs 1,800 crore a year to finance terror. However, in the case being probed by the FIU, there is a considerable amount of money deposited in the banks, meaning they are not counterfeit.

The money which is pumped into terror operations is generated through various sources: smuggling of opium, real estate, fake notes and extortion bids.
How hawala money is used to fund terror
Latest terror finanacer nabbed due to USA pressure
Indian accused of terror financing booked for hawala operation in Delhi

Every MP of UPA is crorepati (India Today January Issue). Is he a Hawala or Real Estate Agent or Bollywood Actor?

India's air power no match for China

September 24, 2009, 00:35 IST Zeenews Bureau
Gandhinagar: The Air Chief Marshal PV Naik on Wednesday admitted that India was no match to China when it came to air power.
"Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. Aircraft strength is one third that of China. The Government of India is doing a lot to augment Air Force capability," Naik said.

Interestingly, former Navy chief Suresh Mehta had also, last month, claimed that India is no match to China when it comes to military strength. He, however, chose to downplay the threat from India’s eastern neighbour amid reported violations of the Indian airspace and territory by Chinese troops.

No imminent threat
Stressing that India must build up its weapons capability to thwart such attempts, Naik said, “There are two ways to look at Chinese incursions. One way is to take up weapons and go to the border. Other way is to build systematic weapons capability to tackle the threat.”

The IAF chief also stressed that there was no imminent threat from the Dragon. He also refuted reports of violation of airspace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Chinese. “As far as Air Force is concerned there are no Chinese incursions,” he said. Adding that the strategy being adopted by the IAF was to ‘play it cool’ for now.

The IAF Chief’s remarks came a day after China's Ambassador to India, Zhang Yan met Home Secretary GK Pillai and tried to clarify the picture over the reported border incursions. The Chinese Ambassador's meeting came in the wake of repeated assertions by top Indian officials and even the Army Chief that reported incursions in the recent past occurred due to differences in perception of the LAC.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh down played the incursions amid reports about Beijing's unhappiness at the way Chinese border transgressions have been reported in the Indian media to conjure up a China threat.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had also last week stressed that there was "no significant increase" in incursions across all sections of the over 4,000 km border between the two countries.

"Contrary to the popular perception, the situation along the border has remained peaceful for decades," Rao said.

National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had also cautioned against the media hype and stressed that there was nothing alarming about the reported incursions.
India’s air power just 1/3rd of China: IAF

Friday, September 25, 2009

Austerity drive- Is it a farce? What about the Aam Admi?

Mr Kapil Sibal was on TV and he said India cannot afford more than what is being offered to the IIT/ IIM Professors!


Politics is not a SERVICE anymore but a PROFESSION.

An Important Issue! Salary & Govenment Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

  • Monthly Salary: Rs. 12,000/-
  • Expense for Constitution per month: Rs. 10,000/-
  • Office expenditure per month: Rs. 14,000/-
  • Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km): Rs. 48,000/-
    (eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return: 6000 km)
  • Daily DA TA during parliament meets: Rs. 500/day
  • Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times) (All over India )
  • Charge for Business Class in flights: Free for 40 trips/ year (With wife or P.A.)
  • Rent for MP hostel at Delhi: Free.
  • Electricity costs at home: Free up to 50,000 units.
  • Local phone call charge: Free up to 1, 70,000 calls.

    TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year: Rs.32,00,000/- [i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]
    TOTAL expense for 5 years: Rs. 1, 60, 00,000/-
    For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years: Rs. 8,54,40,00,000/- (Nearly 855 crores)

    This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities...

    And pictures present the factual condition of citizens of our country:

    855 crores could make their life livable! Think of the great democracy we have...
    By the way can someone explain on what grounds Rahul Gandhi is a VVIP? Or is it that anyone when on Z category also becomes a VVIP? God save this country! Jai Hind

    Source: Salaries and Concessions for MPs
  • Engineering Marvels of Electricity Boards

    Challenge to all who know how to solve the problems mathematically? Please solve it.
    1. Kirchoff's Current Law (KCL):
    At every node, the sum of all currents entering a node must equal zero.
    2. Kirchoff's Voltage Law (KVL):
    The voltage law says that the sum of voltages around every closed loop in the circuit must equal zero.
    Please apply Kirchoff's Current and Voltage laws to the following electricity nodes.

    Click images for the full picture
    Kirchoff ka baap bhi solve nahi kar sakta. Wonder how electricity is supplied to our cities and villages. Amazing electricity distribution at Ground Zero!

    South Zone Military Veterans Meet at Bangalore- Sunday 15 Nov 2009

    Respected Veterans,
    Jai Hind & my salute to you all.
    1. The South Zone Military Veterans (SZMV) Meet is scheduled on Sunday, 15 Nov 2009, at Bangalore. In all our Ex-Servicemen events & activities it is important that WE showcase our strength; and hence, I request all State Conveners to urge all District Conveners to motivate at least one retired Officer or a retired JCO/NCO/OR from each Dist. to attend the SZMV Meet at Bangalore on 15 Nov 2009.
    2. Col Ashok Kumar (a Madras Sapper) spoke to me from Hyderabad last evening and was very kind to extend all help, assistance & support in making the SZMV Meet a GRAND success. He said that not only one Ex-Servicemen from each District Of Andhra would attend the meet, but was confident of bringing minimum of 300 Veterans from all over Andhra.
    3. I had the pleasure of speaking to Col Sayam (of Kakinada) this morning and he too has pledged his support for the Meet.
    4. I spoke to Col Arasu, AMC, Dist Convener Tanjavoor, this morning and he too has promised to get not only one Ex-Servicemen from each of the 30 Districts Of Tamil Nadu, and would bring a contingent of minimum 250 Veterans from all over Tamil Nadu, to attend the Meet on 15 Nov at Bangalore.
    5. I also had the pleasure of speaking to Col RG Nair, State Convener Kerala, this morning, who said that he too would do his best to get maximum number of Veterans from Kerala.
    6. In addition to above, it would be my endeavour to get at least one Officer to attend the meet from each of the States of the North East, viz. Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh.
    7. A number of Officers from the North have also promised to attend, in addition to Officers coming from Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra & Chattisgarh.
    Col SS Rajan (Retd)
    IESM Zonal Convener & State Convener (Karnataka)

    Indians among most corrupt while doing business abroad: TII

    23 Sep 2009, 2200 hrs IST, PTI
    NEW DELHI: At least 30 per cent of 2,742 business executives surveyed across the world regard Indians among the most corrupt when doing business abroad to "speed things up", according to a report by an NGO Transparency International India (TII) here.

    "The Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the Private Sector (GCR)" which was released today worldwide claims that Indian and Chinese companies play an active role in global business but engage in "bribery" when doing business abroad.

    The Competition Act enacted in 2002 which promotes and sustains competition in markets and protects the interest of consumers has remained a non-starter in India, as per the report.

    "A minimum of 100 senior executives each in 26 countries were questioned regarding the practices used by business persons from various nations," it says.

    "TII has had some measure of success with public sector firms with the use of Integrity Pact, a tool to check corruption in procurement and tendering. We have not been able to generate similar interest among the private sector yet," says TII chairman RH Tahiliani in a statement.

    Another concern the report addresses is how the sheer economic power of some firms and business sectors translates into disproportionate and undue leverage on political-decision making.

    "Companies have no clear cut guideline on regulating and making transparent political contributions. Corporates report high-level strategic commitments to anti-corruption but they do not always report on the necessary support systems required to meet these commitments," says Anupama Jha, executive director of TII.

    The report also points out that half of international business executives polled estimated that corruption raised project costs by at least 10 per cent.

    "Ultimately it is citizens who pay: consumers around the world were overcharged around US $300 billion through almost 300 private international cartels discovered from 1990 to 2005," she adds.
    Indians among most corrupt while doing business abroad: TII

    SILVER KNIGHTS- STREAKS: The motorcycle expedition of 21 Signal Army Group concludes

    The motorcycle expedition team gathered memorable moments en route visiting a plethora of places and monuments. The team on the southern axis visited Taj Mahal at Agra, Gwalior fort, Khajuraho temple, Jhansi fort and Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib. The team on the northern axis crossed the Baralacha-La(4830 mtrs) pass to reach gorge of Sarchu and Brandi Nallah. The team negotiated Lachung-La (16,616 ft), the amazing high altitude valley of moorie plain, Tanglang-La the second highest pass in the world (17,582 ft), Baralachala pass (16,500 ft), the last Shangrila “Ladhakh”, monasteries of slatina, Tikse and shey Gompa, magnetic hill, pather sahib to finally access the highest motor able road of the world-the Khardungla pass (18,380 ft). The team also met the NCC cadets and school children of Jawahar Navothan Vidhyalaya and interacted with them, motivating the spirit of love and sacrifice for the nation. The group had also organised a Ex- Servicemen rally enroute at Mandi on the 11th Aug 2009 as part of the expedition. The team on its return route halted at the location to witness the event and to motivate the youth to join the Indian Army.

    The motorcycle expedition has added a saga of glorious achievement on the occasion 25th year of raising day of the group, fostering a strong spirit of unparalleled professionalism, dedication and devotion. A commendable track record of dizzying heights and defying motor cycling.
    Maj S Khanna (Sigs)
    Motorcycle expedition by Silver Knights of 21 Signal Army Group kicks off from New Delhi

    IESM: Stupendous Service rendered by Pension Cell

    Date: Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 5:14 PM
    Dear Adm Barin,
    This is real 'sharp' and smart follow up, indeed. I am most impressed and grateful. Have seen Gp Capt Phatak's outstanding contributions earlier also on the IESM blog. He is ever so positive, prompt and dedicated. My compliments and grateful thanks to him also.
    We shall fall back on his support and expertise, as advised/ required. Having invoked your intervention, Barin, I was confident that we will get somewhere.
    Thanks again.
    Warm regards
    Gen Yogi Sharma
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    Date: Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 6:07 PM
    Dear All,
    I visited my bank located at Shankarshet Road, Pune on invitation by the Branch Manager to check whether the arrears chart received from HO of Bank of Maharashtra is correct. It was to my surprise (horror) that I found that in cases of 7 defence pensioners at my branch, BOM HO has once again made a mistake by authorising 60% arrears on the basis of GOI letter dated 1 Sep 08 which was issued for civilian pensioners and not for Armed Forces. Earlier BOM had made similar mistake while paying initial instalment of arrears and I had promptly brought this to their notice. This is obviously universal mistake committed in all cases of Armed Forces pensioners getting pension through BOM in a typical EDP environment. I am visiting HO of BOM tomorrow to get this rectified immediately. In the meantime I have asked my bank to credit whatever is authorised as interim payment.
    This is to be published widely because many Officers/widows/PBORs will be affected at the hands of BOM.
    Gp Capt SS Phatak(retd)
    (Keep the up the good work Gp Capt Pathak of IESM Pension Cell. We all are proud of you - Chander Kamboj)

    Date: Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 9:44 PM
    Dear Sir,
    I visited Central Pension Processing Cell(CPPC) of SBI this morning, located in Tower2, 6th Floor at CBD Belapur Rly station complex, dealing with the cases from Maharashtra and GOA. It is headed by Mrs Tanuja Indi as Chief Manager and assisted by AGM Mr Bhosale and other staff of 25 officers and junior staff. The procedure followed by CPPC is as follows:-
  • Mail is received by the dak clerk
  • It is divided in two lots (a)for unactioned PPOs, (b)Corr PPOs.
  • All letters then are handed over to 6 officers designated for each type depending on work load.
  • Each junior officer scrutinises each letter and then internal payment proforma is raised calculating fixation of pension and arrears thereon upto 31 Aug 08.
  • Once authorised by respective six officers, data is fed to computer (core banking) and amount credited.
  • Post 01 Sep 08 arrears are then calculated automatically which amounts to release of 60% authorised now.

    While talking to Mrs Indi she insisted that she acts upon any GOI/PCDA letters if received from her HO and not from other agencies like ours. While talking to few officers I found that they are not aware of the concept of pro- rata pension when quilifying service is less than 33 years. The confusion about TS and S still remains in respect of Lt Cols and equivalent ranks. PPOs issued by DCDA (AF) are defective to that extent.

    Following basic documents are a must from pension coming through his pension paying branch(PDA):-
  • Copy of PPO fixing pension as on 1 Jan 1996
  • Proof of qualifying service- ie date of commision and date of retirement
  • proof of age for additional pension,if applicable
  • Pension account no
  • Branch code and address.

    If everything is in order credit is given instantaneously by feeding relevant data and cross checked for correctness. I had carried about 12 cases and except for one all other cases credit was given immediately. In short, attested documentary evidence for every claim is very essential. I returned this evening fully satisfied and conveyed to each one of them their respective arrears figures.
    Gp Capt SS Phatak (Retd), Pension Cell IESM
  • ECHS: Parent Polyclinic?

    Subject: Temporary Attachment Card ECHS
    We have been receiving numerous complaints concerning the Temp Att Card required by Veterans who have to relocate temporarily to stations other than the Parent Polyclinic. Whereas we have in consultation with the ECHS been successful in working out a revised SOP regarding the TAC some doubts still remain. The Temp Att Cert (TAC) is reqd for issue of medicines for LONG durations. There is no other purpose.

    We had prepared a proposal, but due to apprehensions of large scale uncontrolled sick reports (beneficiaries from peripheral areas) at polyclinics in NCR and in large cities, the proposal has been withheld. It was seen that there was a significant population that came to Chandigarh, for instance, to draw their medicines probably because the supply position there was better. One alternative proposal (to the one given below) is that for the first month only 7 days medicine will be issued at a time. After the first month when the revised load due to the new entrant has been catered for 30 days medicine can be issued as for all other dependants.

    May I invite views from veterans ASAP. Please be brief and to the point. PLEASE DO NOT BE ABUSIVE OF THE ECHS no matter how dissatisfied you are.
    Brig SC Kuthiala (Retd), Member ECHS Division IESM

    Can ECHS resources cater to cure over 2 million PBOR's ailments?
    If IESM is unable to get the problems of PBORS health care sorted out in a reasonable time frame then it should seriously consider taking legal opinion and with the help of Sainik Boards/ and State Governments, being a registered NGO to ensure these PBORs where health care cannot be arranged through ECHS/ Army then they should get proper health care cover from designated Civil Hospitals including Private from their respective States. But these should not be less then their entitlement. In any case it is best alternative for remote places.
    Cdr Prem P Batra (Retd)
    Apollo gets stiff dose from HC

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Railway on the Roof of the World

    Lhasa Railway Station

    Key facts about Qinghai-Tibet Railway
    China opened the world's most elevated railroad, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, on Saturday 01 July 2006. Below are some facts about the Qinghai-Tibet Railway:
  • Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the first railroad linking Tibet with the rest of China.
  • China has solved three major difficulties, namely frozen tundra, high altitude and plateau environmental protection, to rewrite the world's history of railway construction with the completion of Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
  • Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the world's highest railway. Some 960 kilometers of its tracks are located 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point is 5,072 meters, at least 200 meters higher than the Peruvian railway in the Andes, which was formerly the world's most elevated rail. The line has a capacity of eight pairs of passenger trains, and the carriages are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger.
  • The railway is the world's longest plateau railroad, extending 1,956 kilometers from Qinghai's provincial capital Xining to Lhasa in Tibet. The Golmud-Lhasa section zigzags 1,142 kilometers across the Kunlun and Tanggula mountain ranges.
  • About 550 kilometers of the tracks run on frozen earth, the longest in any of the world's plateau railways.
  • Tanggula Railway Station, 5,068 meters above sea level, is the highest railway station in the world.
  • Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 4,905 meters above sea level, is the world's most elevated tunnel on frozen earth.
  • Kunlun Mountain Tunnel, running 1,686 meters, is the world's longest plateau tunnel built on frozen earth.
  • The maximum train speed is designed to reach 100 kilometers per hour in the frozen earth areas and 120 kilometers per hour on non-frozen earth.
  • About 29.46 billion yuan (3.68 billion U.S. dollars) had been spent on the Golmud-Lhasa section which runs 1,142 kilometers.
  • The basic coach ticket, called a hard seat, sells for 389 yuan (48.6 U.S. dollars) from Beijing to Lhasa, while the price for hard sleeper or bunk costs 813 yuan (101.6 dollars), and the price for a shared compartment or soft sleeper is 1,262 yuan (157. 75 dollars).
    Train to Lhasa- fact sheet
    Largest construction project built on permafrost since the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed in 1977
  • Physical fitness and Low Medical Category

    Ref: click me

    Incentives and corrective action are important tools in maintaining physical fitness. Officers and Jawans who are physically fit should be commended for performance. Those who repeatedly fail the stipulated physical standards should be barred from further promotions. A repetitive failure occurs when a record test is taken and failed, the soldier is provided adequate time and assistance to improve his or her performance, and failure occurs again.

    Staying physically fit provides Officers and Jawans with benefits in addition to staying in the Armed forces. It will increase each one's quality of life, help one maintain weight and reduce risk of certain health problems.

    Although the Physical Proficiency tests is an annual event, physical fitness remains the foundation for individual and unit combat readiness. It begins with our officer, Junior commissioned officer, non-commissioned officer leadership and must be an integral part of every one's life.

    There are many senior officers who are physically unfit and manipulate ways to cheat the system (medical and physical). This is likely to reduce the combat readiness and effectiveness of units. Low Medical Category officers must be boarded out graciously instead of promoting them as an incentive. Most of the LMC officers seek a plum peace posting at the expense of officers serving in field areas. A retrograde step indeed!

    Motor Vehicles Act to be amended to meet future needs: Kamal Nath

    Illegal Parking

    Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 19:27 IST
    The Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri Kamal Nath has said that a comprehensive review of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 would be done so as to meet the future requirements of the country. He said that a Committee has been constituted to review the Motor Vehicles Act and it will give its suggestions in three months time. Shri Nath said,” We need to not only learn lessons from the past but also stimulate what would happen in future.” Thus, the amendments in the Act would take care of the best practises abroad and would not only “serve the present but also future”. The Minister was speaking at the launch of the National Campaign for “Reduction of Road Fatalities”, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and International Roads Federation (IRF), a Washington and Geneva based worldwide platform for Road Safety.

    Speaking at the function in Delhi, Shri Nath said that we need to make not ony 20km of roads per day but also ensure that they are safe. The roads would be built with safety stndards and no over or under engineering will be done, he said.

    As per the WHO's global status report on road safety, India tops the global list of deaths in road accidents with 125,000 fatalities and at least 2.2 million serious injuries each year. India accounts for 10 per cent of global road accident deaths. The national campaign has been launched with the target of reducing road accident deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2012.

    Shri Brahm Dutt, Secretary, MoRTH and Shri Nirmaljit Singh, Director General & Special Secretary, MoRTHwere also present on the occasion. Gre5/
    Motor Vehicles Act to be amended to meet future needs: Kamal Nath

    Illegal Parking on carriageways, berms and footpaths
    Greatest menace to road safety is illegal parking of vehicles on carriage ways, berms, footpaths, highways and streets especially by the commercial vehicles. This restricts the road space available for driving to less than 40% of road surfaces paved for smooth flow of vehicles. Strict laws should be brought in to curb menace of illegal parking in metro cities and on the National Highways. Safety norms are violated in connivance with traffic police who accept bribes from the traffic violators and law breakers.

    Die for our country? Is it sacrosanct anymore?

    1. Is this country worth dying for? I shiver and shrink as I write this. To even doubt, much less question, something held sacrosanct for nearly half a century has to have this effect. But the thought has come. So, some introspection/analysis is warranted. Now, what are the ingredients/parameters/constituents/properties of ‘country’? Is it the ‘land’–the real estate, or the ‘people’ inhabiting it who will perpetuate our race, identity, philosophy, culture and values, or something more esoteric like the places having “the ashes of your fathers and the temples of your Gods”? If the first and the last are valid, the matter is settled; there is no hesitation, no debate. But, is that all? Don’t the people have any role to play? Indeed, they have the most important role as they, and they only, will preserve and perpetuate the race, ethos, culture, traditions, scriptures, monuments, languages, arts, literature, wisdom– everything we hold sacred or important beyond measure, which distinguishes us and makes us special, rather unique.

    2. I will be honoured to lay down my life for such people so that they may thrive. But, do I want to die for all those Balus, Laloos, Rajas…. ( the list will fill up the hard disk) who infest the country in very large numbers? Does any one have any hope that these people will perpetuate, much less promote, any of the aforementioned tenets? They will do exactly the opposite and worse.

    3. Confronted with these very Basic Considerations, the sixth pay commission, OROP, warrant of precedence, war memorial and so on pale into insignificance. It is not a matter of mere money or status. The bravest of the brave, the cream of the cream of the Indian youth did not assault up the murderous slopes at Kargil or charge blazing machine gun posts, convinced of certain death, to get a small metal disc dangling from a colourful ribbon, called some ‘Chakra’, a hundred odd rupees and a mention in the media for a day or so. They did it, made the supreme sacrifice, without hesitation, brushing aside thoughts for their families, wife, kids, for ‘honour’(the singular privilege of dying for the country), a word not found in the dictionary of those who claim to be called ‘honourable’. For them, it would be a foolish act.

    4. I am an old soldier, 35 years in service and 16 years into retirement. I joined up motivated by, ‘there is nothing more honourable than bearing arms for the country’. Now I feel sorry that I had laid out my life for the benefit of those, to describe whom I cannot find a word low enough in my dictionary. It is said that, charity to the undeserving is a sin! I have committed a sin, not a mortal one, though, as I did not die. However, I feel despondent, anguished and guilty, as I have let my children, both girls, join the Defence Forces.

    5. What troubles me constantly is that not only I was prepared to die; but also I am prepared to let my children die to keep those “scoundrels” alive and thriving, who are our real enemies and should be killed first. Therefore, anyone who thinks that he is opting for an honourable way of life (not a mere job) as he is ready to sacrifice his life for his country, should get his thoughts readjusted. He is merely taking up a job in which there is no ‘honour’. If he dies, only his family will be affected; no body else will give a damn. Most, notably politicians, will just glance through the news-much less important than cricket or su-do-ku and such. The legislators of this country who have granted themselves a pension, no minimum service, if you please, are reluctant to grant pension to a soldier who comes forward to lay down his life for the country even if he has put in 14 years of service! A military pensioner who is entitled free medical treatment is given Rs 100/- per month as medical allowance if staying at a place without a Military Hospital. He can barely buy 2 to 3 antibiotic tablet with that. Some state governments while considering requests to exempt Defense Services canteens from VAT feel quite poor but have no hesitation in waiving crores of rupees worth of taxes to private companies or even MNCs. Canteen and medical ‘facilities’ are duly taken into account by the pay commissions while fixing the pay. In short, the ‘Sena’ dies, just as cannon fodder, so that some live on and plunder the country on.

    6. Another real but intangible point. Maintenance of morale is one of the ten ‘Principles of war’. State of morale of the opposing forces is always considered. The Pay Commissions, earlier ones included, have dismayed our forces but the enemy commanders must be feeling very satisfied. Less trouble for them.

    7. So, once again, is this country worth dying for? What a country where criminals make laws and are, de facto, exempted all punishment! Therefore, logically– NO, but it does not feel right– and that is what these cunning chaps know and are exploiting. Let us see till when.

    8. Cheers, nonetheless, to our Sena– Thal, Nau and Vayu.
    Col BN Ratha (Retd)
    23 Sep 09

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    100 IAF pilots applied for VRS, more may follow

    Gandhinagar: Air Chief Marshal P V Naik today said over 100 pilots of the Indian Air Force had applied for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) as there were "fewer" promotional avenues for them.

    "We have a very steep pyramid structure (in the Air Force) where there are fewer avenues of promotions," Naik told reporters here in reply to a question on IAF pilots seeking VRS.

    "When one does not get promotions after 24-25 years of service, one wants to leave and try alternative avenues. Off hand I can tell that we have over 100 applications for VRS from pilots," Air chief said.

    Naik said the number of pilots opting for VRS could increase after the improvement in market situation.

    "Since there is a slump in the market outside there are fewer applications. Once the slump is over the (number of) applications might increase," he said.
    Source: PTI
    100 IAF pilots applied for VRS, more may follow
    Related reading
    India's aircraft strength one-third of China

    Indo Pak War 1965- Deputy PM's visit to captured Pak territory

    Destroyed Patton Tank 1965 Indo Pak War

    Dear Col,
    An interesting episode, from far back, as told to me by Lt Col IM Chhabra.
    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    The Desi Ghee and the dilemma of the Tiffin Box
    It was 1965 Punjab where we of XI Corps, having accomplished the task of relieving the Pakstani Army’s pressure in Jammu and Kashmir by inflicting heavy armour casualties in Khem Karan and occupying the Pakistan territory right up to the Ichhogil Canal on the Amritsar- Wagha border. The Corps then deployed in the Lahore sector, had become a busy host for VIP’s looking for photographs with the combat troops, that too in Pakistani territory. With no television those days, it were these photos that filled the news papers.

    “Inder, said the Corps Commander, as he unexpectedly walked through the connecting door in my adjoining office ‘Shri Guzari Lal Nanda, the Deputy Prime Minister (Dy PM), is visiting us and arriving day after tomorrow by the Punjab Mail reaching Amritsar at 6 AM and plans to spend the day with the troops deployed in the occupied territory. Please get the visit organised.” He paused for a few seconds and continued- “and yes, another important task for you to oversee personally, he is a pure vegetarian, eats food prepared only by his personal cook, who will also be travelling with him, that too with pure Desi Ghee.”

    I was required to organise the cooking of the food by his personal cook. I was informed that a Deputy Superintendent of Amritsar Police with a team of Constables had also been deputed by the Home Ministry to assist me. I was the DAMS to the Corps Commander and I passed detailed instructions all around, tying up loose details in connection with the visit.

    Headquarters 7 Infantry Division, deployed in BARKI (Pakistan) where the Dy PM was to have his lunch after visiting the troops, was amply cautioned about the importance of Desi Ghee, and the VIP status of the accompanying personal cook of the Dy PM.

    On the appointed day I along with rest of the welcoming party, which included the local congress workers were lined up on the station well before the arrival time. It was a tension filled atmosphere for me but a festive occasion for others.

    The train arrived on schedule and as it slowed down the locals broke the line, there was a virtual stampede, flower petals, garlands and slogan shouting– “Gulzari Lal Nanda– Zindabad- Zindabad... Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega Tera Nam Yad Rahega...”

    I was more worried to locate the Cook and despite the ensuing melee, somehow, with help from the accompanying policemen and our own two LO’s located them and escorted by the LO’s straight to the Divisional mess to get going with cooking the special meal with as much Desi Ghee as required.

    I put on the PROs’ cap and got involved with the onerous task of briefing the American and other foreign correspondents who could not digest our having knocked out so many Patton (the invincible) tanks and forcefully negate their assertions that Pakastani troops had ever reached even the outskirts of Amritsar. Thereafter, I reached the officers mess to check on the lunch arrangements, I was horrified to notice Shri Nanda already partaking of the same Aloo-Puree-Chana that I had organised as a back- up menu with others joining him on the table.

    I missed a couple of heart beats. To my chagrin, I found him, still in his soiled Kurta Pajama, nonchalantly smoking a Bidi under a nearby tree. Holding my temper as I was furious, I enquired in a brusque tone “Was there any problem with the Ghee and the vegetables for the Dy PM’s lunch?"

    The cook could discern my discomfort and he informed me that there was no plan to cook the lunch in situ, as he was to bring the packed lunch from the Dy PM’s residence itself, but in a hurry left the food packet behind in Delhi. I did thank my lucky stars in that I did have a back up plan of Allo–Puree-Chana which ultimately came to rescue the situation.

    Lt Col IM Chhabra (Retd)

    Special Family Pension not paid to widows- examples

    Smt Subbulakshmi, M/O (Late) Gnr Krishnan is receiving the arrears calculation sheet for Rs.3,84,000 from Sgt S Kandiah (Retd)

    Special Family Pension is sanctioned to a widow only when the death of a soldier is aggravated by military service which is determined by the competent authorities. Therefore, a higher rate of pension is sanctioned to the widow. Normally this aspect in the PPO Number is identified by a Prefix ‘F’, or ‘BC’. The PDAs are not aware of this basic rule as a result, the higher rate of pension payable to the widow is denied forever.

    Case study One
    Sep No 8799083 Maruthiah Thevar died while on active service on 19.10.1971. His wife Smt Muthammal was sanctioned Special Family Pension wef 20.10.1971 under PPO No.F/5280/1974. She was drawing her family pension from Canara Bank, Veera Keralampudur Branch of Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. There have been 4 pay commissions after 1971. The pension has undergone revision in three pay commissions. There is distinct difference in Ordinary family pension and Spl Family pension. The 5th and the 6th CPCs doubled the minimum ordinary family pension for the Special Family pensioners. Now the question is, did the the increase in pension sanctioned by the successive pay commissions reach the family pensioners? Answer is No.

    Case study two
    Smt Muthammal, a special family pensioner was eligible for a monthly basic pension of Rs 2550 from 1.1.96 to 31.12.2005 but was paid only Rs 1275 during that period. Similarly from 1.1.2006 she was eligible for Rs 7000 as per 6th CPC, but was paid Rs 3500 only. The actual position from 1971 to 1995 is not traceable. In the meantime she died on 15.5.2009. When the Exwel Trust’s Chief Liaison Officer, Sgt S Kandiah (Retd) visited the Bank for arranging the payment of the Life Time Arrears to her legal heirs, he was surprised to see that the widow has been paid just minimum ordinary family pension from 1971 till date. The status of her special family pension was not at all effected in her monthly pension for the 33 years. None of the Bank’s auditors, Accountant General’s Auditors, the Reserve Bank’s pension auditors did notice this short payment to this widow for the past 33 years. what a pity! The poor widow could not enjoy her legitimate pension for the past 33 years. Now arrears amounting to Rs 4 lacs has to be claimed with lot of legal implications.

    Case study three
    There is similar case with the Canara Bank, Tenkasi of Tirunelveli District. Ex Gnr No 128413 Krishnan died while in service on 06.2.1979. His mother Smt Subbulakshmi was sanctioned a Special family pension under PPO No.F/2237/80 wef 7.2.79. This poor mother of a soldier is also being paid simply ordinary family pension instead of Special family pension from 1979 onwards. Fortunately, in this case, she is alive. Her another son Ex Hav S Sankaran came to know about the Exwel Trust’s services to the pensioner. He visited the Trust’s office with her mother’s pension papers. The short payment of about Rs.3,84,000 has been worked out and presented to the bank for immediate payment to Smt Subbulakshmi.
    Posted by Muthukrishnan

    Keep up the excellent work. ESM organisations should emulate extending similar services to NOK, spouses and widows of our veteran brothers who are no more.

    Women officers in Indian Defence Forces

    August 29th, 2007
    Steps have been taken by the three Services to attract more women to join Armed Forces. All officers including Women Short Service Commission (SSC) officers are now eligible to hold substantive rank of Captain, Major and Lt Col after 2, 6 and 13 years of reckonable service respectively. Government has also issued orders extending the tenure of SSC officers including women officers from 10 years to 14 years. The number of posts Arm/Service/Branch tenable by women officers are being constantly reviewed.

    While women officers are treated at par with similarly placed male counterparts in terms of recruitment, training, tenure of service, promotion etc, they are, however, not eligible for Permanent Commission except Medical, Nursing and Dental Services. Writ petitions have been filed by three women officers of Air Force against non-grant of Permanent Commission, extension of Commission. The matter is subjudice. Similarly, one retired women officer of Navy has lodged a complaint for the same.

    The number of women officer who left the three service during the last three years is 141, 37 and 111 in Army, Navy and Air Force respectively. The number of serving women officers in the three Services of Defence Forces and their percentage to the total strength are a) Army has 945 women, 2.67% b) Air Force has 739 women, 7% and c) Navy has 236, 2.94%.
    Women officers in Indian Defence Forces
    Related reading
    Indian Army violating guidelines on harassment: Army Act 1950 lacks specific provisions to deal with sexual abuse cases at workplace

    Valid and sane suggestions for Veteran Organisations

    We must visit our rural areas and interact with the rural-based veterans, the existence of such mini- organizations is unlikely to be known or appreciated. All these mini- organizations need to be co-opted by the bigger organizations, both to raise their memberships and to get them in the mainstream of the various actions that the bigger organizations are likely to take in the future.

    The bigger organizations, numbering about 20, which include IESL, IESM, AIEWA, RDOA, Sainik Sangh, some very active organizations in Punjab, HP and Uttranchal. Then there are organizations at Ghaziabad, Meerut, Chennai, other places in Tamil Nadu and so on. Of course there are the two major Foundations– Navy and Air Force and many independent veterans who are well disposed to take up issues with the government or its functionaries. One could continue to list them but it is unlikely to add to the purpose of this paper. My reasons for listing them are that despite all organizations trying out their own methodology, the position remains the same as it was when the veterans had first decided to approach the government.

    The various organizations had their own methodology for seeking redressal, from an agitational mode to lobbying to the through proper channels modes. None have really succeeded although all organizations lay a claim to so-called achievements. I do not think we need to go into any details, although many may not agree with me.

    Where do we stand today? The government (read bureaucracy) has played a clever trick, resulting in the public perception that all aspirations of the veterans, especially relating to OROP have been met. That this is the real fact.

    The important question is what the veterans should do now. I feel the options are twofold:
  • The first and foremost is unity in perceiving and achieving the goals. I am sure every veteran has been hurt by the allegations and counter- allegations by various organizations in the last over one year. Many attempts at unity have fallen by the wayside, mainly because each organization was convinced it was right. It needs to be understood that however much the veterans try, no organization is willing to merge with any other. Therefore, the solution needs to be found wherein each organization retains its individuality and create a central body as an apex entity. Such an apex body will only be accepted by most veteran organizations (still not all), if there is adequate representation of at least the major organizations. Please look at the example of CII or NASSCOM. They steer the common issues of the individual organizations they represent, with the government and others. The CII has a membership of over 7800 organizations and NASSCOM has more than 1200 members. Their Executive Councils are elected bodies, with a fixed tenure. Modalities of a structure for the veterans can be worked out through discussions, but all veteran organizations must then conform without reservation. If the veterans are unable to achieve unity, nothing tangible would be achieved in the immediate future.

  • Lobbying and convincing everyone that grave injustice has been done that needs to be set right is a powerful democratic process. Lobbying not only with the government– political leadership as well as the bureaucracy, but also with the people. We have seen how obtuse the functionaries of the government are, so although one may expect little from them, lobbying does pay in the long run. The veterans should also launch a concerted campaign to inform the people of the perfidious actions of the government and convince them that the veterans of all ranks continue to be left high and dry. This is not something that can be achieved in a short period of time, but sustained efforts would be needed. The people must be convinced that all claims of the government that OROP has been given must be exposed as lies.
    Col Jasjit Talwar (Retd)
    Extracts from:Thoughts on future course of action for Veterans: click me to read more
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Mend your ways before Commonwealth, Chidambaram tells Delhiites

    New Delhi: Delhiites should seize the opportunity provided by the Commonwealth Games and mend their ways to present the capital as an international city, home minister P Chidambaram said on Tuesday.

    "We should seize the opportunity of the Commonwealth Games to change our behavioural pattern. We must behave as (residents of) an international city," he said here after inaugurating a police station.

    Observing that people in the city often do not obey traffic rules, he said the national capital needs to change its mindset.

    "People should change their behaviour. We have noticed over many years that the behaviour of people has not changed. Vehicles are jumping red lights, even police vehicles are jumping red lights.

    "Some are moving (in their vehicles) without having registration plates, some are crossing roads where they should not. People are not using overground or underground passes. We want to encourage people to change their mindset," he said.

    His comments came after Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said at the function that her government was starting a campaign to change the way the society behaves so that it becomes more caring and also sharing.
    Mend your ways before Commonwealth, Chidambaram tells Delhiites

    Comment: The same state of affairs if not worse is the hallmark of all metro cities- CHAOS. Chennai takes the cake for sending maximum personnel daily to eternity! There is no order in roads and all Signals are mute spectators to traffic violation. Mumbai, Kolkatta and other cities have their unique statistics. Planned infrastructure projects to improve traffic flow sadly worsens and impedes the smooth traffic! City Police are the most ineffective and corrupt throughout the breath and length of our country. Only Police Reforms and reducing VIP terror can improve the chaotic situation.

    IESM: Clarification

    Tuesday, 22 September, 2009 12:09:22 PM
    Dear Friends,
    Some doubts have arisen in the minds of some ESM consequent to our advisory on the eve of last Lok Sabha elections. It is hereby once again emphasized that our advisory was purely issue based one time support in keeping with the interests of the ESM. It is clarified that IESM is a Movement to get Justice to the Defence Services and it is not aligned to any political party ie Congress, BJP, Akalidal, INDLD, SP, BSP, JD, RJD, CPI, CPM, NCP etc. Our support will be issue based and will be entirely governed by the interests and welfare of ESM. Jai Hind.
    With Kind Regards,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Report My Signal Forum: We like to share our views with you

    Thank you for visiting the Report My Signal (RMS) Blog

    The RMS forum is a not for profit organization. It is free and there is no membership fees. We were formed to provide information to the Ex- Servicemen (ESM) who have served honourably in the Indian Armed Forces. The forum has been established to provide a strong sense of pride and mutual support for all who have served our nation in the armed forces. It will also promote a positive image of military veterans and champion their interests.

    We are proud to be ex- servicemen comprising of all Sepoys, Non Commissioned Officers, Junior commissioned Officers and the Commissioned Officers of All three services. There are universal truths that inspire men. These truths are written in the histories of all great nations, and address directly the influence of the "Soldiers" on the traditions shaping the character of a nation. The ESM brotherhood is part of that tradition. We have served our nation and in many cases have risked our lives in it's defence. And in the tradition of soldiers around the world, we adhere to a different code, different customs, and different protocols. The love we have for our nation is very strong.

    We are about 'pride' and 'unity' among our nation's ESM, their spouse and Next of Kin (NOK)/ ESM organisations and communities. It is our mission as a forum to focus attention both locally and nationally on the positive contributions made by military veterans. We believe our duty and our opportunity to support our fellow veterans did not end with military service alone. So through our actions, our community involvement, and our dedication to this cause, we hope to perpetuate the feeling of pride and belonging amongst our ESM community and we expect you all to do the same.

    We are not alone in this endeavor. We recognize that no single organization can provide for the needs of all veterans. We are but one of many and in the spirit of our fraternity we support all ESM organizations, forums, and ESM groups, whose sole mission is to perpetrate, pride, and respect our nations Ex- Service Personnel their spouse and NOK. As proud Veterans we are bound by our honour, the military ethics, AND THE LAWS OF THIS ANCIENT NATION, to promote a positive image for all veterans. We welcome any Veteran of all ranks and all three Services, who has served our nation honourably and who believes in the RULE OF LAW.


    Our forum consists of and is open to all veterans who have been honourably discharged from the Defence Forces. We do not lead. We do not follow. We are brothers from all ranks from all three Services in equal partnership.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    IIT- IIM Professors Strike and Bureaucracy

    IIT and IIM Professors are going on strike. Anything strange?? What is strange is that they are not workers in a factory. They are the Gurus of India’s best brains, the best engineers and management professionals, who are sought after by the top most companies in India, America, Europe and other developed countries. They are the brains behind many path breaking inventions like the Pentium chips, exotic software and running of internationally renowned companies like Pepsi!! These professors are the best and if they want to join the private sector or go abroad, they will earn lakhs of dollars/ Euros. The bureaucracy is behind such learned and revered professors being forced to go on Hunger strike.

    There is a pattern that the bureaucracy is following. As is well known by now, it is they who are responsible for creating dissatisfaction amongst another center of excellence; the Defence Forces, by cunningly awarding them inadequate salaries and pensions than their due. By downgrading the in-terse status of the Defence Services officers vis a vis the bureaucrats and the Police/paramilitary forces. They are the ones who forced the hands of the three Service Chiefs to refuse to implement the award of the 6th Pay Commission, for the first time!! It is they who are the cause of Indian Military Veterans going on hunger strike and returning their bravery and other medals to the Supreme Commander, the President of India, for the first time in their glorious history.

    Have you ever seen IAS officers going on strike!!! Not they are overly loyal and devoted to the Nation (even more than the Defence Services!!!!!) The plain reason is that whenever a Pay Commission is set up, they are the ones who take the creamy layer and add to their pay and perks. This they do as they provide the secretariat, draft the report, interpret it, explain to the ministers and sit on judgment when other organs of the Government who feel aggrieved, put forward their requests. So they never have no reason to resort to any strikes.

    The IAS which is present in all organs of the Government are so self centered and crafty. The politicians who are supposed to control them when they come in power have no experience and time for governance. They depend so heavily on the noting of the Babus on files. They have no courage to take any action against the bureaucrats even if they know that the facts put up in the noting are wrong. In any case the IAS has made such rules for themselves that to punish an erring Babu is well nigh impossible.

    The bureaucrats are bent upon breaking the back of all centers of excellence in the Country. It is such a sad happening that they are forcing soldiers and elite professors to go on strike due to their short sightedness. They sit on important matters, procrastinate, cause delays, look at each and every issue with a myopic and bureaucratic angle. And they think they are doing yeoman’s service to the Nation!!!

    There is hardly any project, acquisition of military equipment, construction of airports, roads etc on time. If all such delays are enquired into, the prime cause would be the bureaucracy!!

    India’s progress in economic, industrial, health care, agriculture and other such areas is so slow and way behind. Its National security is at peril. Till IAS is reformed, nothing will change. India will crawl along and left way behind other nations. We may have even to suffer humiliating defeat, since no combat aircraft, artillery guns, aircraft carriers, submarines and other important weapon and other systems have been added to the three Defence Services for decades. Bureaucratic intransigence, controls and delays are also the primary cause of India being branded one of the top most corrupt nations!!

    There is a dire need for administrative reforms, the way the government functions and manner of working of the IAS, if India is to survive as an independent nation. Indian polity should raise its voice and start a movement to safeguard the future of the Country and take the functioning out of the clutches of the IAS.

    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM (Retd)
    Related reading:
    IIM faculty wants pay hike, NIT teachers do not want to be second in pay row
    IITs go the Munnabhai way, turn to 'Gandhigiri' to secure pay hikes

    Civil Military Relations: There is urgent need to bridge the gap

    It is acknowledged that India’s military has historically been apolitical. Unlike other militaries in developing countries early in the post colonial period, there has never been an instance of the Indian military transgressing its bounds. This has consistently been among the indicators of India’s democratic good health. However, it is averred that this has resulted in the military’s marginalisation in core security decision making structures and processes. This refrain in security studies commentary testifies to the continuing distance between the apex military leadership from political decision makers on policy issues. Details of the critique are well known. These include: the strategic grasp of the generalist bureaucratic cadre dominating the ministry is suspect; in modern defence systems elsewhere officials in uniform share desk space with civilians having appropriate background in national security; the current system results in manipulation of service differences by bureaucrats playing arbiters, thereby precluding efficiencies, jointness, etc. But the fact that the system persists begs the question: Why?
    Extracted from:
    The central debate in India’s civil military relations
    Ali Ahmed: IDSA

    The probable reasons for the widening gap
    Military service changes one's way of thinking and gives one a sense of patriotism, a sense of working for something bigger than one's self. It helps to provide a more realistic view of what the Indian Armed Forces can and cannot do. Most of the Politicians and Bureaucrats lack that military experience and do not know what Military Service means. Sadly their children too are averse to the Armed Forces.

    The average Indian knows very little about the military anymore... and even more troubling, the average middle- and upper middle-class family doesn't tend to look on the Defence Forces as a career they want their kids to follow... only about 0.02 percent of the total population of our nation are directly or indirectly connected as either serving, retired or family members of the Armed Forces.

    Cops salute drug lords: CBI Director

    In a candid admission before an august gathering, the Director CBI, Mr Ashwani Kumar, a career Police officer, stated that in view of the nexus between drug lords and the police, he was in favour of the defence forces taking on the drug mafia since the police had failed in the task. He also passed some other not-so-kind remarks about our police and administrative officers.

    Mr Kumar clarified that he was speaking from the heart. Amongst others, the gathering consisted of a Supreme Court Judge and the Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.

    Though the already stretched defence forces would be the last to feel good about this thought process, the story can be accessed by clicking here. (Only a part of the story now remains visible on HT's e-edition)
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
    Indian Military Information Blog

    Consumer Protection Law: Deficiency in Services

    An average subscriber generally pays his bills regularly. If for any reason he defaults, he pays a surcharge for late payment. But what if he receives a hefty bill for calls that he has not made and which, he believes, are excessively high. To his utter dismay, the bill also contains a warning in red letters that if the bill is not paid by the prescribed date, the phone will be disconnected without any notice. And this threat is usually enforced. But he has no means to prove that he has not used his telephone to the extent indicated in the bill. For, one of the unique and, perhaps, the most unfortunate features of this service is that, unlike electricity or water meters that are installed in the premises of the consumer, the telephone meter is installed elsewhere away for the gaze or access of the consumer. So he has no means of knowing the mistake beforehand and he has to suffer for a mistake that he has not done. In such a case, then what are the remedies available to such a consumer? Whether he has rights to raise his voice against the exorbitant bill or he has no way except to pay the amount by any means and get ii done away with.

    We have seen the evolution of law in the field of Deficiency in Service with respect to Telecom Services with a special emphasis on inflated billing. The purpose is that the citizens should not feel cheated and helpless when such a thing happens. He should know his rights and must use them against injustice done to him.

    For the same purpose, the government has launched the Jago Grahak Jago Abhiyaan in order to sensitize the citizens specially the consumers of different goods and services of their rights. Such a move is highly appreciated and it is sincerely believed that it goes a long way in enlightening the citizens specially consumers.
    Read more:
    Deficiency in Telephone Services
    Consumer Protection Law
    How to file a consumer complaint?
    National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

    Military Welfare Organisations
    Oftentimes products and items purchased form CSD (I), unit run canteens are defective, poor quality, shelf- life expired items. The consumers need protection against spurious, sub- standard and rejected products palmed off to the CSD (I) at reduced wholesale, bulk and retail rates. The aim of CSD (I) is to reap in greater volume of profits. Similarly AWHO palms off sub- standard housing to the Defence Personnel. The main culprits are the contractors who reduce the quality of work at every stage.
    Defence personnel need protection against all such exploitation by profit generating organisations whose aim to "serve" has been replaced to "generate huge volume of profits". The Consumer Protection Law must be applicable to all Military Welfare Organisations. There should be provision for return of products and instant cash refund on products, in all CSD (I) unit run Canteens and similarly adequate compensation for poor quality houses delivered by AWHO.

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    IESL: Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan meets RRM

    Dear Veterans,
    I had an opportunity to meet the RRM on 16th at 1500 H; thanks to Brig RKS Gulia, the President IESL. Brig Gulia apprised the Minister of the IESL and the various problems that haunt the ESM community.
    One point, he made that I would take the liberty to convey to you all, is for initiating periodic meetings with ESM community not only at the Center level but also at the State levels. IESL also presented a brief on the Cabinet Secretary’s (CS for short) Report of 30th June 2009.
    In my turn, as I was given the opportunity to talk about our demand on pension, I focused on the two misperceptions on the part of the CS.
  • First; his concentrated effort to drive home the fact that OROP was not approved by the Courts and the Ministers in the past, was based purely on the wrong perception of the interpretation of OROP. He had relied on the Ministry of Law and Justice’s comment describing OROP as one rank one pension with no regard to the difference in the service rendered thereby the difference in the average emoluments that count for the pension. I categorically pointed out to the RRM that presenting that argument is purely to divert the attention on the correct definition of our demand for pension as ‘same pension for same rank with same years of qualifying service’.
  • Second; The CS has repeatedly equated the Armed Forces personnel with Civilian Government employees, in his report. I had highlighted to the RRM the various points to prove that there can never be any comparison leave alone equation. For details you may read my earlier mail on the ‘Analysis of CS’s Report’- click me
  • However, I focused on the arbitrary gradation of the pension of the various ranks and the drastic difference in the pension of the senior of pre 2006 vintage to that of post 2006 vintage.
    The point I am trying to make to you is not for any appreciation from you, but for your reconsideration of our efforts to get our dues from the Government.
  • It is not what we want but what is projected to the Ministers on file that impresses the Minister and they take decisions on the basis of the information projected on the file. As we know that misinformation has been projected on the files over the decades, it is our bounden duty to replace the misinformation with the correct facts.
  • We have to produce facts and figures to justify our demand. Can we expect that the bureaucrats shall do it for us? Or, do we expect that the Ministers should do it for us, getting convinced of authenticity of our demand, just because that we make emotional demand?
    My submission is that we should form a task force to work out the implications of the implementation of our demand both financial and administrative in nature and present it to the Minister to convince him of the feasibility, and preferably in one voice. In my opinion, it is only method by which we can get our dream of OROP in its true meaning realized.
    Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan (Retd)
  • Comparative Pension Tables of two consecutive Central Pay Commissions

    Comparative Pension Tables: click image

    Dear Renjen and Brig Kamboj,
    I think, we have to give full marks to Gen Renjen in the art of persuasion. He did manage to get me down to do a bit of figure work which I was trying to shy out of! And, of course, I have been given assistance by a younger officer, who would like to remain anonymous.
    A table giving the comparative figures of pension granted to officers at different ranks on the date of change over are given in the attached table. Notice the contrast between the smooth management of change during the 5th Pay Commission and the one this time. As you study these figures, it becomes clear why the passions aroused this time are unlikely to get doused easily.
    If some one can make out a similar table for PBOR, it would be great service. I think the job can be done by any competent JCO clerk, given the necessary inputs.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
    Comparative Pension Tables: click me

    ECHS: Dispensation of Medication

    The harassment of ECHS users with reference to the policy on three nonth issue of medicine vs one month, changed over recently, has caused us deep concern.
    While the establishment's reasoning of 'ethical issues' and logistics etc is understood, it needs to be appreciated that in healthcare (primarily a service industry), aspects of 'client satisfaction and ease' need to be paramount. It is in this that the 'regimentation' system, essential in service life, needs to make way in the 'second innings' -veterans in need of an empathetic assistance for healthcare, even at the cost of adjusting procedures.

    There are many cases of the immense pain and inconvenience to veterans. It needs to be pointed out that these refer to SENIOR officer veterans living in metros. One shudders to think how bad the situation would be for 98% veteran population living in isolated rural areas; particularly for semi literate, aging JCO/ OR veterans!!
    There are many others. I got a call from Col Narainan in Chennai, close to 90 years of age, helplessly complaining of how difficult it is to go 25 Km to the ECHS Polyclinic, to get medicine. AND spending MORE on transport than the cost of medicine!! If it were 90 days issue, it would perhaps mean cost effectiveness, AND less journeys, difficult to undertake at his age. To top it up, one cant delegate collections to even the spouse. So he and his 80 year old wife, both chronically sick/ ill, trudge to the Polyclinic every month!! SAD you will agree.

    This case must be forcefully taken up with ECHS HQ for onward projection and resolution. If processes need to be changed, so be it. BUT Patient interests NEED to BE PARAMOUNT. A rethink on this, and reversion to the old system is required. Who else can an ex serviceman look to for support than his erstwhile comrades in arms?
    Retirement in any case, is a future reality for ALL current corp of serving soldiers.............and in attending to these issues, we can only have a win win situation.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)

    Swiss Style Terrorism more dangerous than Pakistan Terror

    Atul Bharadwaj
    The time for making customary noises against Swiss bank accounts is over. An issue which gained prominence during the last Lok Sabha polls cannot be allowed to revert to its usual state of dormancy.

    If you thought that Pakistan (a terrorist haven) is the only country which does not listen to the Indian demand to book terrorists like Hafeez Saeed, you may be in for a shock. We have a peace loving, “neutral” Switzerland (tax haven) which is equally obdurate in conceding to Indian demands. The Swiss simply refuse to disclose the names of Indian money launderers - who have stashed away $1500 billion (more than 75 Lakh Crore) of Indian wealth in tax havens in the European heartland - Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, and Channel Islands popu.

    Both the nations mentioned above, however, dutifully follow the dictates issued by the US administration. Pakistan allows the US drones to attack everywhere on its territory (without ever asking for proof) and Switzerland puts aside all its banking laws to oblige the US with details of 4,450 secret accounts held in their “dirty” banks.

    When India asks the Swiss to be good global citizens, all we get to hear is that maintaining the privacy of the Swiss bank account holders is paramount. Both Pakistani and Swiss authorities use the same weather-beaten argument of “forged” documents to delay the process of millions of Indians seeking justice. Are the Swiss naive? Don’t they know that a large chunk of money in their banks actually fuels the growth of poverty, terrorism, drug trade and all other ills plaguing the world?

    All that they need to do is visit the web site of Transparency International (a western NGO)and see that India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world - beneficiaries of this corruption seek solace in the snow clad mountains and safe lockers offered by Switzerland. If these revelations do not satisfy the peace loving Swiss then they should rely on the World Bank (the mother of all banks) report which states that 42% of the Indian population lives on less than $1.25 a day. The amount of Indian money in Swiss banks is equivalent to 13 times the Indian foreign debt. It is 49 times the Indian defence budget. We cannot let the “Swiss knife” bleed India through these billion dollar “cuts”. So long as the Swiss non-cooperation to tackle financial terror continues, the Indian elite will continue to bow before the outside powers to prevent the skeletons from tumbling out of their cupboards. They will not hesitate to even sell India in order to protect their vested interests. Let the truth come out in the open. India would not be a loser. Let politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists who have hidden black money in the tax heavens lose face. Let the Indian polity suffer a jolt, it will certainly be worth the effort. After all, it is a question of national silver - the hard earned money of our toiling masses. And who would not like to see this money being used to alleviate poverty in India?

    The Indian government must use all possible diplomatic methods to get the Indian money back. India’s sustained campaign against Pakistan sponsored terrorism made the world realize the dangers of global terrorism. Similarly, India must launch a global movement against Swiss double standards and let the world know how the archaic Swiss laws are making millions of Indians starve.

    To begin with, India can bestow the Bharat Ratna on the former employees of the Lichtenstein bank and Swiss bank UBS, who blew the whistle and divulged the data on secret accounts to the Germans in 2008. The civil society in Switzerland must appreciate that they have to start earning good Karma by putting pressure on their government to stop illegal money transactions and civil society in India on their government to persevere till it succeeds.

    Atul Bhardwaj Editor Salute is a retired Naval officer.
    Swiss style Terrorism

    Shankar Lakshman: The Hockey Wizard of Maratha Light Infantry

    Dev Kumar Vasudevan, narrates the story of Hony Captain Shankar Lakshman, a fauji who became a hockey legend and brought great laurels to India both in the Olympics and Asian games
    Shankar Lakshman was born on July 7, 1933 in Mhow. He belonged to the Shekhawat community of Rajasthan. He played hockey at a time when the goalkeeper had only pads as a protective gear. He was a member of the Olympic gold medal winning hockey team in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The other medals he won include the 1958 Asian Games gold medal (Tokyo), 1960 Olympics silver medal (Rome), 1964 Olympics gold medal (Tokyo) and the 1966 Asian Game Gold medal (Bangkok). He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1965 and the Padmashri in 1967. He was dropped from the Indian hockey team to the Mexico Olympics of 1968 and the decline of Indian hockey also began with that tournament.

    His opponents called him the Rock of Gibraltar. According to the manager of the silver medal winning Pakistani hockey team of the ‘64 Tokyo Olympics, Shankar Lakshman was the sole obstacle between the Pakistani team and the gold medal. Lakshman was the first goalkeeper captain in the world. Just take a look at his stunning record. In three Olympic finals against Pakistan he conceded just one goal and in three Asian Games finals he conceded two goals. That makes it six matches and three goals. Charles Cornelius, the former Indian hockey player had once said of him “Lakshman was among the game’s greatest. He was an epitome of courage and a role-model for others of his ilk. Unfazed by any situation, he had the ability to defuse any crisis. His team-mates were at a loss to know how his pads grew broader and broader as the contest wore on.” Referring to his performance in the 1964 Hockey finals against Pakistan in Tokyo the Australian Hockey magazine Hockey Circle had said “...for Lakshman, the ball was the size of a football. It was his afternoon of glory and fame.” Lakshman had joined the Indian Army as a bandsman in 1947 at the tender age of 14 and served in the Maratha Light Infantry’s 5th Battalion. He had retired from the Army as a Subedar Major in 1978 and was awarded the rank of honorary captain. As luck would have it one of the battalions posted in Mhow at the time of his death was the 26th battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry- his funeral was conducted with full military honours by this battalion. It was an emotional experience not only for the townspeople of Mhow but also for the Army. The Maratha Light Infantry could bid goodbye to one of its most illustrious sons. Garrison Ground Mhow has been converted into a mini stadium by the Infantry School and has been named after him. The Infantry School Mhow has also instituted the Shankar Lakshman Hockey Championship Trophy. An apt honour for a son of Mhow. This trophy was won for the first time by the 26th Maratha Light Infantry. That is something which would have made him proud if he had been alive.
    Dev Kumar Vasudevan is a freelance writer based at Mhow
    Remembering Hony Captain Shankar Lakshman

    India, China must resolve border issues to ensure peace: Krishna

    Posted: Saturday , Sep 19, 2009 at 1334 hrs

    For peace to prevail along the Sino-Indian border, all boundary issues need to be resolved in right earnest, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said in an exclusive interview on Friday.

    "Thirteen rounds of talks have been held by special representatives representing the Indian Government and the Chinese Government. It is in the larger interest of both, China and India, that these boundary issues will have to be settled so that peace and tranquillity on Indo-China border is maintained," Krishna said.

    On the issue of incursions, Krishna said it has been diplomatically taken up with the concerned Chinese authorities.

    "We have taken it up diplomatically with the Chinese authorities. I think it can be sorted out," he added.

    The Indian media had reported that two soldiers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were injured in firing from across the border on the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, part of which China claims as its territory.

    India, however, had denied that two of its border guards were injured in firing by Chinese forces.

    China claims about 90,000 square kilometers of Arunachal Pradesh along their border as part of its territory.

    India and China fought a short war in 1962 and, despite burgeoning trade in recent years, mistrust remains. Both sides jostle for resources and influence as they seek a global role.

    This year, the two countries have faced off at multi-lateral forums, including Chinese objections to a 60 million dollars Asian Development Bank loan for a project in Arunachal Pradesh.
    India, China must resolve border issues to ensure peace: Krishna
    Related reading
    Media hype could create problems with China: NSA
    China strikes back on Arunachal


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