Saturday, December 12, 2009

IESM: New Members

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of you all I welcome the following new members from Gurgaon into the IESM family: (click on image for readable text)

I also thank Hony Capt Dhir Singh for his energetic efforts in motivating these new members.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

MILITARY PENSIONS: Letter to Prime Minister

Dear Hon’ble Prime Minister,

I refer to my letter of 14 Oct 09 along with which I had enclosed a joint letter of the same date, by heads of four major ex servicemen organizations. I regret to say that till date I have not received even an acknowledgement of the letter, leave alone a considered response from your kind self. We, the Ex Service Men, know that you are an extremely busy person and cannot devote time to answering every letter that you receive, but there are enough people in the PMO who will jump to act at even an indication from you. As they did when Mr Mahesh Bhat wrote about his son Rahul to you, by acknowledging his communication within three days.

Our letter was written only 7 weeks ago and being from ESM who have no utility (like spent cartridges!) can obviously be ignored, while Mr Bhat can bad mouth the government and so has to be kept quiet! The lack of response from your office gives us to believe that either, our communications are not being brought to your notice by interested parties or, the government has no intention to alleviate the grievances of the ESM. The message to the ESM seems clear that unless you can hold a threat to the government it does not care to listen to, wit, the Jat agitation, sugarcane farmers agitation and now Mr Mahesh Bhat, whether the grievance is genuine or not! Please, Sir, I beseech you not to send this dangerous message to the ESM.

I wonder if you are aware that the announcement made by you from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15 Aug 09 that pensions of ESM are being revised, based on the promise of Rs 2,140 crores in the Jul 09 budget, is still on files only. Even though it was not expected to be as per the request of ESM for One Rank One Pension, the non implementation of the truncated promise shows the sincerity of the Government.

Hon’ble Prime Minister, we the ESM have been hoping against hopes that your government will do justice to the ESM. Please do not disappoint us.

Sir, I wished you a Happy Diwali at the end of my letter of 14 Oct 09, I now wish you a very happy New Year.

With warmest regards.
Yours sincerely
Lt Gen S K Bahri (Retd)

Dr Manmohan Singh
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
7 Race Course Road
New Delhi 110 011

Shri AK Antony
Hon’ble Minister of Defence
Ministry of Defence
Room No104, South Block
New Delhi 110 011

Shri Pranab Mukherji
Hon’ble Minister of Finance
Ministry Of Finance
Room No 134, North Block
New Delhi 110 011

An epitome of secularism

Is Any one more secular than the army?

As a serving army officer, I never stop marvelling at the gullibility of our countrymen to be provoked with alacrity into virulence in the name of religion. I have never heard the word 'secular' during all my service -- and yet, the simple things that are done simply in the army make it appear like an island of sanity in a sea of hatred.

In the army, each officer identifies with the religion of his troops. In regiments where the soldiers are from more than one religion, the officers -- and indeed all jawans attend the weekly religious prayers of all the faiths. How many times have we trooped out of the battalion mandir and, having worn shoes, entered the battalion church/Gurudwara/ Masjid next door? A few years ago it all became simpler -- mandirs, masjids, gurudwars and churches began to share premises all over the army. It saved us the walk.

Perhaps it is so because the army genuinely believes in two central 'truths' -- oneness of god and victory in operations. Both are so sacred we cannot nitpick and question the basics.

In fact, sometimes the army mixes up the two! On a visit to the holy cave at Amarnath a few years ago I saw a plaque mounted on the side of the hill by a battalion that had once guarded the annual Yatra. It said, 'Best wishes from -....- battalion. Deployed for Operation Amarnath.

On another instance, I remember a commanding officer ordered the battalion maulaviji to conduct the proceedings of Janamashtmi prayers because the panditji had to proceed on leave on compassionate grounds. No eyebrows were raised. It was the most rousing and best-prepared sermon on Lord Krishna I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

On the Line of Control, a company of Khemkhani Muslim soldiers replaced a Dogra battalion. Over the next few days, the post was shelled heavily by Pakistanis, and there were a few non-fatal casualties.

One day, the junior commissioned officer of the company, Subedar Sarwar Khan walked up to the company commander Major Sharma and said, "Sahib, ever since the Dogras left, the mandir has been shut. Why don't you open it once every evening and do aarti? Why are we displeasing the gods?"

Major Sharma shamefacedly confessed he did not know all the words of the aarti. Subedar Sarwar went away and that night, huddled over the radio set under a weak lantern light, painstakingly took down the words of the aarti from the post of another battalion!

How many of us know that along the entire border with Pakistan, our troops abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food on all Thursdays? The reason: It is called the Peer day -- essentially a day of religious significance for the Muslims.

In 1984, after Operation Bluestar there was anguish in the Sikh community over the desecration of the holiest of their shrines. Some of this anger and hurt was visible in the army too.

I remember the first Sikh festival days after the event -- the number of army personnel of every religious denomination that thronged the regimental gurudwara of the nearest Sikh battalion was the largest I had seen. I distinctly remember each officer and soldier who put his forehead to the ground to pay obeisance appeared to linger just a wee bit longer than usual. Was I imagining this? I do not think so. There was that empathy and caring implicit in the quality of the gesture that appeared to say, "You are hurt and we all understand."

We were deployed on the Line of Control those days. Soon after the news of disaffection among a small section of Sikh troops was broadcast on the BBC, Pakistani troops deployed opposite the Sikh battalion yelled across to express their 'solidarity' with the Sikhs.

The Sikh havildar shouted back that the Pakistanis had better not harbour any wrong notions. "If you dare move towards this post, we will mow you down."
Finally, a real -- and true -- gem....
Two boys of a Sikh regiment battalion were overheard discussing this a day before Christmas.

"Why are we having a holiday tomorrow?" asked Sepoy Singh.
"It is Christmas," replied the wiser Naik Singh.
"But what is Christmas?"
"Christmas," replied Naik Singh, with his eyes half shut in reverence and hands in a spontaneous prayer-clasp, "is the guruparb of the Christians."
Maj (Dr) T C Rao (Retd)

Lt Gen (Land Scam): Comments from Veteran

Dear Cdr Pathak,
While I can understand your strong feelings, the facts as I understand them are:

1. An NOC has been issued to a private party for establishing a school in 70 acres of land adjacent to 33 corps HQ.

2. Earlier the NOC had been denied on the ground that 200 m around the HQs is security zone.

3. The change of heart came after the MS interfered.

4. The MS was shown as a Director of the school in its brochures specifying within brackets 'after retirement' which is what really attracted attention.

5. The phone calls indicate unwarranted personal interest by the MS.

Now, there is a need to know what is the extent of personal interest beyond being a Director after retirement, though definitely this is in itself sufficient to convict him for moral turpitude.

Now I wish to bring two cases to the notice of our august readers.

One, you may all be familiar with Justice Dinakaran's case. He was recommended to be appointed to the Supreme Court by the collegium of judges. Protest erupted on a large scale by none other than the lawyer community, because of his having encroached on govt land. The District Collector has confirmed this. The Collegium just suspended his nomination claiming that there were no objections when the Collegium had intially cleared his name and there was no provision for cancelling a nomination once made! They have now thrown the ball into the court of the govt to get the matter investigated claimng that the collegium had no means to conduct any such investigation! (What a fraud!). Incidently the CJI who has claimed that his office is out of purview of the RTI Act, which even a 5th standard pass child would say is wrong, and whose stance has been proved wrong officially by the full bench of the Central Information Commission and a single judge of the Delhi High Court, continues to preside over our justice delivery system which has deteriorated to a system to justify the crimes of the rich and powerful!

Two, the Chief Information Commissioner of UP was a tainted man even when he was appointed and RTI activists had made a hue and cry then. For the corrupt behenji, who had hand picked him and appointed him against the objections raised by the leader of the opposition who was the 2nd member of the committee to appoint the IC, it did not matter at all. Now he has been convicted by the UP HC and ordered to pay Rs 50,000/- as fine. He still continues to sit in judgement over RTI disputes in UP enjoying the status of a high court judge!

As a social/ human rights activist for the last 11 plus years I have realised that nothing can change unless the judiciary is made transparent and accountable. The judges, ab intio have the scope for making whimsical decisions. So there was a requirement to question their decisions not merely from the point of the original issues involved but also from the point of view of the personal whims and fancies of the judge involved. Unfortunately, there is provision only for the former and not for the latter which has resulted in gross abuse of office by the judges and plenty of miscarriage of justice. For the one seeking justice, going to court is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire! The injustice is compounded by the archaic provisions in our constitution and the Contempt of Court Act for punishing for contempt of court. While a democracy demands a Contempt of Citizen (Prevention of ) Act, this contempt of court armour given to judges have made them a law unto themselves. This has to change. And this change has to be brought in by the law makers who are our representatives and empowered to bring in the changes we want. The changes we want in the judiciary are listed in the letter I had written to the CJ of Kerala in 2004 (copy attached for perusal). I have also put up an online petition addressed to the Prez/PM to set up a National Judicial Commission to try and punish judges as per laws applicable to ordinary citizens. This is available at I request you to support it by signing it yourself and also by motivating your friends to sign it.

regards n bw
ravi (Veteran Major P M Ravindran)

Indian Army has a new website


New Indian Army webpage: click me

Best wishes.
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

IESM: Membership drive incentive till Army Day 15 Jan 2009

Dear Colleagues,
In view of persistent demand from some ESM, the IESM has decided to offer a special one time amnesty membership offer on reduced fee. From Vijay Diwas (16 December 2009) to Army Day (15 January 2010), both days inclusive, the membership fee is reduced as under:
  • Officers– to 20% (pay Rs 100/-instead of Rs 500/-)
  • JCOs– to 20% (pay Rs 40/- instead of Rs 200/-)
  • Other ranks– to 10% (pay Rs 10/- instead of Rs 100/-)
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM.
  • Military Pension: Removal of 33 years stipulation

    Dear Friends,
    Please visit the URL given below and read the letter issued by MoD, Dept of ESW, on 30 OCT 2009. This letter waives off the the stipulation of 33 years of service for all defence officer pensioners who retired after 1.1.2006. The Govt will now calculate their pension @ 50% of the last emoluments drawn or the average of last ten months', whichever is more beneficial to the individual.

    Removal of 33 years stipulation post 2006 Retirees

    All of us who retired before 1.1.2006, should ask for the same yardstick to be applied to our cases as well. This will ensure equitable justice.

    This will mean that all of us with 20 yrs of "Qualifying ServiceS (QS)" will become entitled to the pension currently being given for 33 years of weighted service. That pension is currently based on the minimum reckonable emoluments under the existing pay band for those who are still in service.

    I now request all ESM organisations to take up this point and ask the government to implement this yardstick. When accepted, we all with 20 years or more of QS will stand to gain substantially. I do not have the figures for all the ranks but for Lt Cols and equivalent, the pension will be Rs 25,700 pm, both for S and TS categories. Their current entitlement at 20 yrs of QS is Rs 21,028 and 19,470 respectively.

    Pension cell of IESM may like to go into it and guide us all please.

    We all should treat this demand as a step towards our ultimate goal of OROP.

    Cdr K K Punchhi (Retd)

    NDA: Cadets Prayer

    Dear Chander,
    Given below is the Cadets Prayer which we had to read aloud every day when we joined the JSW in Jan 1949 as cadets. I wonder if this is still the practice!! The Prayer was printed on a small card which could be kept in the breast pocket.

    The contents of the prayer are so worthy of practice by everyone but in particular by the officer corps of the three services. So I am sending it as a reminder for everyone.

    Best wishes.
    Harbhajan Singh
    (Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, Former SO-in-C, 1st JSW Course)

    O God, our father, Thou searcher of men’s heart, help us to draw nearer to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.

    Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us to endeavour to live above the common level of life. Wake us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be one.

    Endow us with courage that is born out of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns compromise with vice and injustice, and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy. Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts with fellowship with those of cheerful countenance and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.

    May we find genuine pleasure in clean and wholesome mirth and feel inherent disgust for all coarse minded humour. Help us in our work and in our play to keep ourselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight, that we may better maintain the honour of the service, untarnished and unsullied, and acquit ourselves like men in our effort to realize the ideals of our Armed Forces, in doing our duty to Thee and our country. All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of men.

    This Prayer needs to be religiously revived to be recited by all Officers in all Military Training Establishments including the Staff College (as some Officers are found carrying crates of liquor bottles to trade services and goods).

    Pension of Pre- 2006 Majors and Equivalents

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.

    The email from Col TN Raman appended below, needs serious consideration by all ESM Organisations. It needs higher priority than the other issues being followed by us.

    AGM of IESM is being held on 13 Dec 09 Sunday from 1000 hours to 1200 hours at AVCC, Sector 37 Noida 201301. All the IESM members residing in NCR are once again requested to make it convenient to attend the AGM.

    In Service of Indian Military Veterans
    Brig Chander Kamboj (Retd).

    Dear Veterans,
    Some time back I had taken up a case to IESM to focus its attention on the Pre 2006 Veteran Majors. A Major with 25 years service & beyond is getting a pension of 14,100/-. The pension of a Major with 20 years service is 11, 964/-. The pension of a Hony Capt with 20 years service is Rs 12,172/-.

    I think this is sufficient to illustrate the predicament of Majors, the Rank, which in another 10 years is bound to become obsolete, since, all the post 2006 retirees will be retiring at a rank of minimum Lt Col.

    Unless we unitedly take up the issue now, the Majors could never get a reprieve. It is heartening to learn from Lt Gen VK Chaturvedi, that the Army HQ is seized of this problem & are taking up a special case to fix their pension at 22, 800/- for calculation purposes. But to my mind they all should be equated with Lt Col (TS).

    Veteran Ved Sachar claims that the Lt Cols are the worst off after the Sixth CPC. Due to the stubborn stance taken by the three Chiefs, they were moved to PB 4 from PB 3, so that they could get better pension. The pension of Lt Col & Lt Col (TS) with 25 Years Service is Rs 25, 700/. The Pension of a Col is Rs 26, 050/- & that of a Brig is 26,150/-. Whereas, the Major, who can be equated with Lt Col (TS) can get a maximum of 14, 100/-

    Similarly, there is only Rs 100/- difference between a Col & Brig, which is also astounding. There are such maladies existing after the Sixth CPC. The Maj Gens case is subjudice & hence no comments. The Govt will also not comment on our representation till the Maj Gens case is resolved.

    But the case of Majors, is isolated & not connected with any other issues. At least, let them not suffer the degradation of getting lesser pension than that of a Hony Capt.

    Veteran Col TN Raman

    Help INA Trust popularise our War Heros

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Reference email from Netaji Subhash INA Trust: click me
    It is tremendous effort by the INA Trust to restore the prestige of the Armed Forces of India.

    Please do come forward and volunteer for this noble task. Unless we ourselves make efforts to regain our lost prestige, no amount cribs and complaints will help in restoring it.

    Do not read these emails just for fun and gupshup. Join hands with those who are providing you selfless service. A handful of us working in the field cannot fulfil your dreams.


    In Service of Indian Military Veterans.
    Brig Chander Kamboj (Retd)

    Commemorating Victory: Indo Pak War 1971

    A public function to pay homage to those “who laid their lives for our today” and sharing of personal experiences by War veterans of 1971 Indo Pak War, is being organised by Ex –Servicemen League (CBD) Navi Mumbai, on 17 Dec. 2009 from 10.00 AM to 12.30 PM at SIES Management Institute Auditorium, Sector 3, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.
    The war clouds were hovering around Indo-East Pakistan (Bangladesh) border during 1971 with large number of refugees forced out of East-Pakistan by Pak army’s crack down on its civil Bangla speaking population who had voted SHEIKH MUJHIBAR REHMAN with absolute majority.
    Pakistan Air Force attacked number of Indian airfields on 3rd Dec 1971 evening. By mid same night Indian Prime Minister Late Smt. Indira Gandhi, announced that India was at war with Pakistan.
    Two weeks later the war was over, the Indian Army had over run East Pakistan. On 16 Dec. 1971, 93000 Pakistani Prisoners Of War surrendered to Indian Army. A new nation BANGLADESH was born. The stunning victory highlights between Indian Army, Navy and Air force.
    Above could not have been possible but for EXEMPLARY & SUPREME sacrifice by members of Armed Forces.
    You are invited to above function. Visit: ESM League, Navi Mumbai- click me

    Lt Col (Retd) DP Singh

    Military Pay: Are Armed Forces Personnel paid more than they deserve as contended by the crafty bureaucrats?

    Thank God we in the Services still retain our sense of the ridiculous. Here is one such article below with a sting in its tail!! send it to our overpaid and corrupt babus...

    Col Cyrus Dalal (Retd)

    Military Pay
    This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

    Ms. Cindy Williams wrote a piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

    A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

    "Ms Williams: I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GIs earn enough" and I am a bit confused.
    Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account.
    Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes,
    I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40, after.

    I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment.
    A quick check under jobs for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year.
    No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum........... I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

    Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

    As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone - obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

    Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night; and the flight sergeant tells you that there
    aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE (meal-ready- to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything.. This gives some flavor.

    Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your opened piece.

    But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it. You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

    And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve? You can kiss my royal red a**!!!

    A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC

    Military Pay Cindy Williams Editorial in Washington Post

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    CWG 2010, OROP and responses

    Dear Maj (Dr) TC Rao,
    On the outset let me compliment you for your continued efforts to ameliorate the difficulties of the ESM's. Rehabilitation of the retired people who get superannuated when they are neither that young to pick up the threads of an altogether new vocation nor old enough to idle at home on pensions -is of paramount importance. You would have seen that whereas virtually all Cols & below have to take up a job post retirement, on the civil side there is no such need.

    Since you know the problem & have a voice in political hierarchy- why not put in effort along with others to resolve issue of OROP- which is not only emotive but also just. The divide of 01 Jan 2006 has created not one but many a pension for one rank.Earlier they had fixed an entire generation of officers lower by 20% during the Fourth CPC as came out in Maj Dhanapalan's case. And now every one from Lt Col to Maj Gen has been put at the bottom of the PB-4 which is illogical, unreasonable & absurd. Promises made by political stalwarts from both sides have been negated.

    Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (Retd)

    Earlier I had written similarly to Capt Davar

    Dear Capt Praveen Davar,
    1.Thanks for your e-mail. While lot of good things have happened in our country due to some pragmatic decisions taken by successive Govts over the last two decades or so – yet lot needs to be done. In the UPA-2 Hon'ble Kapil Sibal has virtually heralded renaissance in our education system-which has been my arena since my retirement more than 13 yrs back. We need similar dynamism in our even more critical Ministry of Defence. You will appreciate that our Armed Forces are the only bulwark against internal disintegration as well as external threats -now growing at menacing pace. Be it Kargils or natural disasters or even the 26/11's, the Services have always stood by the Nation. The ex-servicemen & the serving soldiers have perennial emotional bonding through regimental & squadron ties. The ex-servicemen looking from the sidelines do not feel happy when for example the Service Chiefs are denigrated through inspired & conspired editorials in the media or the men in uniform get pushed down the protocol ladder by one-up-man-ship.

    2. Regarding OROP, once the Chairperson of the UPA had committed to it- the Govt should have conceded it gracefully instead of making all efforts to deny it by going in round about manner. Passing off some thing else as OROP especially in the present information age is counter productive. There seems to be forces working at cross purposes who have taken on themselves to deny the legitimate dues to those who have been giving so much for so little to so many of us. For example fixing an entire generation of officers during the 4th CPC as brought out in Major Dhanapalan's case etc shows the mindset which needs to be changed. Though I am no expert – OROP to me means same pension for same rank irrespective of the post & pre 2006 dividing line at least. Yes there could be harmonizing for total length or qualifying years of service if needed.

    3. Eminent persons like you who have had the privilege to serve in the Armed Forces & now occupy important positions in the Party in Power can work towards rebuilding the trust with the ex-servicemen- who mostly remain apolitical. OROP has become an emotive issue & misinformation in this regard would serve no purpose.You may like to interact with Lt Gen Raj Kadiyan & Maj Gen Satbir Singh who have been espousing the cause of ex-servicemen & are in a better position to apprise you about the expectations which are not much. I would much appreciate if all MP's & party functionaries with services background come forward and take up the cause of Services including modernization, making service conditions attractive enough to attract the brightest of our young men to the profession of soldiering once again & looking after the veterans who gave their yester -years for our better tomorrows.

    Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (Retd)

    Dear Veteran’s,
    1. On 08 Dec 09, the under signed met Shri Suresh Kalmadi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Chairman Indian Olympic Association and Organising Committee of Common Wealth Games(CWG) in his office.
    2. A suitable presentation on the availability of Ex-servicemen (All ranks in Delhi & NCR) and their rehabilitation with the CWG was given by me.The Chairman himself being an Ex-servicemen appreciated the idea & showed keen interest in involving Ex-Servicemen in smooth conduct of Common Wealth Games. He briefed Mr NP Singh, Joint Director General (Admin and Work Force) and asked him to further interact with me. After having discussed the requirement, Mr NP Singh confirmed that the Officers can be accommodated at the appointments keeping in mind their management skills & administrative experience. The details of appointments, rank structure, Pay & Allces and No of vacancies are given as under :-

    Rank/ Appointment/ Salary/ Approx Vacancies
    Col/ Director/ Rs 60,000- PM/ Approx 10
    Lt Col/ Maj/ Project Offrs/ Rs 45,000- PM/ Approx 20.
    Capt/ Asst Project Offrs/ Rs 35,000- PM/ Approx 30.

    3. Suitability will be assessed by Board of Officers of CWG and subsequently, who ever is selected, will be appointed. The duration of employment would be till Oct 2010.
    4. I have also requested them to agree to appoint Ex-servicemen of Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) for the various events as supplement force. Ex-servicemen, who have represented Services/Comd level can also apply as there is huge requirement of trained Ex-servicemen for conduct of games.
    5. They also agreed to take maximum Drivers to drive Cars @ Rs 15,000/- Per Month, the duration of their employment would be for four months. Yet it would be a proud assignment for all of us.
    6. Ex-Servicemen/Students /Keen sports persons can be placed as volunteers during games. They can have an easy access to witness the games as also avail some special facilities designed for volunteers (Two sets of uniform, food coupons, free passes for Metro, DTC & other transport to be made available by CWG.
    7. We would like to show the presence of Ex-servicemen during these games, to prove our loyalty to the nation and project high image, integrity and sincerity to the public. Since this is an international event, we should help our Government to make Common Wealth Game a success.
    8. You are requested to give wide publicity to the above information and mail us the name of interested candidates for their suitable placement for Common Wealth Games.
    9. I am available 24X7 for welfare of ex-servicemen. My telephone No 9811441189/0124-4557000(100 Lines) and E mail ID -

    Jai Hind,
    Maj (Dr) TC Rao
    Chairman Ex-Servicemen Congress, Delhi & NCR

    ECHS Division of IESM: Call for Volunteers

    The ECHS cell of the IESM was created a few months ago, to permit the IESM help Veterans in their dealings with Polyclinics, Hospitals etc. We had hoped to create a chain parallel to the organisational structure of the ECHS ,so that we could interact with all levels of the ECHS hierarchy. There are 297 polyclinics and 13 Regional Centres across the Country;and many more will be coming up in the future. Despite numerous requests we have only a handful of volunteers at Regional and Polyclinic level. These volunteers are also restricted to Veterans from metropolises and that too mostly officers. The most affected group of Veterans ie those in rural areas and amongst PBORs continues to be unrepresented.

    May I please request rural based ESM to volunteer their services to the ECHS cell of IESM. All you need is an Internet connection, some time and a desire to be of some help to yourself and brother Veterans. Every village should have an Internet connection even if it is shared. If the volunteer Veteran does not know how to handle a computer maybe his grand son will help out. A cyber cafe based computer will do quite well.

    All the help we have been able to provide so far is restricted to officers who have interacted with us - NOT one JCO, NCO or OR except a Delhi based Sgt who is net savvy. Even amongst officers the knowledge of rules governing the ECHS is inadequate- resulting in much heartburn when a crisis situation occurs. In a nut shell and briefly the following knowledge base should help.

    In routine cases.
    Report to reception at your parent Polyclinic with the ECHS smart card and treatment book- move to the concerned Dr-and proceed to draw medicines as prescribed- or take a referral form for the empanelled hospital-proceed after referral to the empanelled hospital-visit consultant-and follow treatment.

    At Empanelled hospital.
    Follow treatment as advised. Empanelled Hospitals CANNOT provide Out Patient Treatment .They will either send you back to the Polyclinic for carrying out the tests and further OPD treatment or ADMIT you. If admitted they will follow through with tests and treatment as required. DO NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENT TO EMPANELLED HOSPITALS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.PAYMENT IF MADE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED. When taking a referral from the polyclinic ask the Dr concerned at the polyclinic to refer you for (A) Consultation (B) Required Tests (C) Admission. IF YOU GO FOR ONLY CONSULTATION THEN YOU WILL MAKE NUMEROUS TRIPS BETWEEN POLYCLINIC AND EMPANELLED HOSP.

  • Report to nearest empanelled hosp.
  • Tell hosp you are an ECHS patient- Get an emergency cert from the empanelled hosp.
  • Get treated after admission.
  • At the earliest opportunity inform the Polyclinic handling the empanelled hosp and give copy of Emergency certificate that you have obtained from the Hosp.
  • The Polyclinic will give you an Emergency referral which the empanelled hosp will use for its claims. As per rules the empanelled hosp is required to do the running around. They seldom do. DO NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENT TO THE EMPANELLED HOSP. YOU WILL NOT GET A REFUND.
  • In an emergency if you are forced to go to a non empanelled hosp-Go-get admitted-get an emergency cert from the hosp-inform nearest polyclinic.
  • INFORM IESM RLC OR PLC REP-obtain Emergency Information Report from the nearest polyclinic-clear hosp bills yourself -take original hosp bills,investigation reports,bill summary, discharge summary and emergency cert from the non empanelled hosp and submit claim for reimbursement to your parent polyclinic who will process your claim-send it to SEMO-Sta HQ-Regional Centre/ Area HQ - Command HQ or whatever level is authorised depending upon amount to be reimbursed.

    Some cases handled by the IESM to date will help illustrate the system.
  • One.An Admirals reimbursement had not been paid for over two years despite everything being in order. Cleared after IESM intervention.
  • Two. A Pune based empanelled hospital forced a lady to clear hospital bills on the demise of her husband stating that ECHS took too long to clear their bills. They refused to release the body. The rates charged were commercial and NOT ECHS rates. The lady who was already handling a bereavement cleared the bills. The hosp claimed the amount from ECHS-got echs rates and repaid the lady ECHS rates. The Hosp was cheating on numerous counts. IESM is pursuing the case with Central Org ECHS and disciplinary action is being taken against the Hosp.
  • A veteran from Dubai who is an ECHS member wanted to get a Total Knee Replacement done from a non empanelled Hosp in Ahmedabad. He approached us at the IESM. We obtained special permission for him to go to the non empanelled hospital pay the Hospital rates and claim ECHS rates. The Veteran was willing to foot the difference. He has undergone the surgery and is still recuperating in the Ahmedabad hospital. Our RLC and PLC reps handled the Regional Centre at Pune and Polyclinic at Ahmadabad; whilst we at the ECHS Divisional level obtained the special sanction from MD ECHS.
    There are a few other cases too but these are all offr level cases. We have not been able to reach out to our Veterans in remote areas. Our reach is also restd to Delhi/ NCR/ Chandigarh/ Pune/ Mumbai/ Chennai etc. Himachal, Uttranchal, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal NE States do not have any representation. WE NEED REPS AT EVERY POLYCLINIC IN THE COUNTRY. Those responding to this appeal kindly get in touch with the IESM ECHS Cell at

    Brig Sateesh Kuthiala (Retd)
  • Vijay Diwas: Homage to Martyrs- Bangalore

    Respected Veterans,
    Jai Hind & my salute to you all.
    Your kind presence is requested at the South Zone Military Veterans Meet scheduled at Bangalore on Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, to discuss & deliberate on all matters concerning welfare & well-being of Ex-Servicemen, war widows & disabled soldiers.
    I shall be obliged if you could please inform other Veterans regarding the Meet and motivate maximum number of retired Officers, JCOs, NCOs & OR, from as many Dist. as possible from Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Karnataka, to attend the Meet.

    Programme on Vijay Diwas at Bangalore, on Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, is as follows:

    Ex-Servicemen are requested to assemble at 9.15 AM on Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 at Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, Bangalore, to pay homage to the Martyrs, on the occasion of Vijay Diwas. Ex-Servicemen shall be properly attired with suitable head gear and shall wear miniature or regular medals. (* The term Ex-Servicemen includes all retired Officers, JCOs, NCOs & OR and their equivalents in the Navy & Air Force). All Ex-Servicemen are requested to disseminate information regarding the VIJAY DIWAS to their fellow Ex-Servicemen by telephone, cellphone, SMS or Emails; so as to ensure maximum participation.

    09.15 AM Assembly
    09.30 AM Laying of wreaths (Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka would lead)
    10.00 AM Tea for Ex-Servicemen at Vidhan Soudha
    10.30 AM Ex-Servicemen Sammelan (Inauguration by Hon’ble CM of Karnataka)
    01.30 PM Lunch
    07.00 PM Lighting of candles at home in memory of the Martyrs.
    08.00 PM Vijay Diwas evening at RSI, Bangalore

    1. Ex-Servicemen may be dressed in suit / combination with regimental tie or National Dress (bandh gala) or shirt & regimental tie or just open collar. The head gear could be a beret, a cap (like the Thambi cap or the Nepali cap), a side cap, a hat, a turban, a regimental turban with ‘thura’.
    2. Cars & vehicles shall be parked only in the designated Car Park inside the area of Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, entry to which is from the rear from Asgar Ali Road.
    3. The entire proceedings shall be conducted as a solemn event with dignity & decorum.
    4. Ex-Servicemen are requested to be in possession of their Identity Cards for issue of passes for entry into Vidhan Soudha.

    Lt Gen NSI Narahari, PVSM
    Air Mshl Keith Lewis, PVSM, AVSM, VM
    Rear Adml BR Vasanth, PVSM, AVSM, NM
    Maj Gen MC Nanjappa, AVSM**, YSM
    AVM S Kasinath, VSM
    Cmde Sam Daniel, NM, VSM

    IESM thanks Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Capt Ganesh Karnik, Hon’ble Member of Karnataka Legislative Council for all their help & unstained support to IESM.

    Armed Forces: Best and worst of times

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    To put the record straight, I am impelled to share some experiences with you and my friends.

    Last week, I was invited to a party organized by an officer who is due to assume command of his unit shortly. He told me that the army is in very good shape and the morale of the soldiers is high. And I could see that from whatever I saw around. On my way to his house, I had noticed a sprinkling of cars in the JCOs quarters and most NCOs possess motor cycles. The standard of service houses has improved a lot and you can see air conditioners popping out of several windows.
    Later during the week, I met the son of my sister in law, who has joined his father's unit, 161 Field Regt. He has been selected for the Staff College in Paris, and he is undergoing the language course in preparation for the same. He told me that the selection process was completely fair and I do not have to say that he sees rainbows and sun peeping out of the clouds all around him.

    And then yesterday evening I was with a group of elderly veterans who are convinced that our ungrateful nation has 'forgotten' the sacrifices made by the soldiers and that the military service is condemned to indignity. They complained about the inequity in pensions, the absence of a war memorial and military museum in the country and the apathy of the polity. The 'babudom' is of course the root cause of all that is evil in our 'saare jahaan se achha, Hindostan' In short, they fear that a debacle of the kind we suffered in 1962 is inevitable.

    I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. If Charles Dickens were to describe the situation he would perhaps say: "It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness, it is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity, it is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness, it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair, we have everything before us, we have nothing before us, we are all going direct to heaven, we are all going direct the other way"- in short, the period is so far like the good old days, when we were in service, that some of our noisiest authorities insist on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
    With best wishes,
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Break in blog posts

    To all our esteemed readers of Report My Signal Blog, I owe an apology of not posting many of the articles and comments from our regular contributors. The reason being I was indisposed. I am sure to catch up in a week or two.
    We thank each one of you for the continued interest in the RMS Forum and assure you of our service for the ESM mission at large.

    Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)

    Land Scam: Four Generals among nine indicted

    Chandigarh, December 9
    The count is now four Generals and five other officers who have been held blameworthy for alleged collusion and lapses to lease land near Siliguri to a group of businessmen to build an educational centre adjoining a sensitive Army establishment.
    Sources close to the investigation said the COI has recommended disciplinary action against at least five officers and administrative action against others.
    As a fallout of this, the court of inquiry (COI) that investigated the matter has recommended that the recent promotions and postings of certain officers based at various places be investigated. The COI, headed by Lt Gen KT Parnaik, General Officer Commanding 4 Corps, Tezpur, concluded on December 3, sources said.
    The senior-most officer to be blamed in this matter, Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash is the Military Secretary at Army Headquarters and responsible for the officer cadre management, including promotions and postings. Sources said the opinion was that some promotions and postings could have been manipulated to benefit certain officers for their alleged acts of omission and commission.
    Besides General Prakash, the other officers held blameworthy include Lt Gen PK Rath, the commander of 33 Corps who was to move as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff at Army Headquarters before his posting was cancelled. The other two Generals include a corps commander in the western sector and a Major-General on staff appointment at Headquarters Western Command. Both had served in the northeast before their promotion.
    The findings and recommendations of the COI are now before the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, Lt Gen VK Singh for further action. The number of officers that finally face disciplinary action and administrative action would depend on a review of the COI proceedings at command headquarters and the directions of the GCO-in-C thereof.
    Sources said that a separate COI has also been recommended to investigate some similar lapses pertaining to military land in the area near Gangtok in Sikkim, which also comes under the territorial jurisdiction of 33 Corps. Given its history and location, Sikkim is extremely sensitive politically, diplomatically and militarily.

    Gen Secy
    Ex-Servicemen Joint Action Front (SANJHA MORCHA)
    Chairman Major SS Dhillon Ex-Signal Paras
    President Lt Col RS Bopari Ex-ASC
    Gen Secy Lt Col CJS Khera Ex-Bengal Sappers

    "“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful & virtuous”

    Comment: Land and real estate scam is a National Disease generally perpetuated by Criminal Politicians and Bureaucrats. It is rare to hear of the the Military Invading the criminal territory of the Bureaucrats. A sample case is that of Gymkhana Club Chennai, which has been hijacked in connivance with MOD officials from the Military on expiry of the lease. The Military Estate, assets and Property solely belong to the Armed Forces which is managed now by the Bureaucrats and Industrialists of Chennai and Military Officers degraded and reduced to dummy members without voting rights. Is this not a scam in greater proportion to the Media- Hyped- Generals- Scam?

    RM on OROP in Rajya Sabha


    A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of One Rank One Pension and other related matters. After considering all aspects of the issue, the Committee did not find it administratively feasible to recommend One Rank One Pension, as such. However, keeping in mind the spirit of the demand several other recommendations to substantially improve pensionary benefits of personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) and Commissioned Officers have been made, which have been accepted by the Government:-

    i) Inclusion of Classification Allowance for PBOR from Jan 01, 2006.

    ii) Removal of linkage of full pension with 33 years from Jan 01, 2006.

    iii) Revision of Lt Gen pension after carving out a separate pay scale for them.

    iv) Bringing parity between pension of pre and post October 10, 1997 PBOR pensions.

    v) Further improving PBOR pensions based on award of GOM, 2006.

    vi) Broad banding of percentage of disability/war injury pension for pre Jan 01, 2006 disability/ war injury pensioners.

    vii) Removal of cap on war injury element of pension in the case of disabled pensioners belonging to Category ‘E’.

    The recommendations at (i) and (ii) stand implemented by issue of Government letter dated October 30, 2009. Average hike in pension of Ex-servicemen of the three forces of Indian Defence will be known only after all the recommendations of the Committee have been implemented.

    This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Prakash Javadekar and Shri Parimal Nathwani in Rajya Sabha today. PK / RAJ

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