Saturday, January 2, 2010

China’s New Bullet Train Breaks Speed Record; Makes Amtrak Cry

China’s Harmony train can now boast of being the fastest long distance passenger train on the planet. The Harmony express raced 1,100 km in less than three hours on Saturday, travelling from Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong province, to the central city of Wuhan. The journey previously took at least 11 hours [Financial Times]. That’s almost like traveling from New York City to Indianapolis by train in three hours. Even if you encountered a two and a half hour delay, which happened to one unlucky load of Harmony riders this week, you’d still make great time.

See the train in action in the video below:

The train will run 56 times per day and the cheapest fare is 490 yuan (roughly $72), however many slower trains along the same route will be axed to help cover costs.
Harmony reached a top speed of 217 miles per hour (350 km per hour) on its debut, bumping off Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train and France’s TGV, both of which can travel at 186 miles per hour (300 km per hour). Embarrassingly for the United States, Amtrak’s Acela service takes three and a half hours to travel the 186 miles (300 km) between New York and Boston.
For a look at Chinese high speed rail, both present and future, and the state of U.S. high speed rail spending, click over to Next Big Future.
China’s New Bullet Train Breaks Speed Record; Makes Amtrak Cry

Fastest Indian Train

Army’s path of self-destruction by implementing Ajai Vikram Singh Committee recommendations

The original purpose of forming the Ajai Vikram singh Committee (or AVSC as it has come to be known), was to find a way to ensure that officers placed in command of the Indian Army’s basic combat units, were in a younger age bracket. Over the years, a number of factors had combined to push the age of Battalion and Brigade Commanders to an average which compared unfavourably with their counterparts in other armies ; and it was felt that as a result their physical and mental dexterity maybe severely tested under fire.

The Navy and IAF did not have a similar difficulty, and initially these two Services believed that the Army would be able to resolve its problem by making necessary changes in personnel management and promotion policies. However, a degree of unease began to be felt in NHQ and Vayu Bhavan, because the Army had, just a few years earlier, departed from a pre-Independence Indian Army tradition, and upgraded Battalion Commanders from the rank of Lieutenant colonel to full Colonel (which was till then not so much a rank, as an appointment). The simplest way of reducing the ages of Battalion and Brigade Commanders would have been to revert to the old rank structure, but it became evident that the favoured route was to seek more vacancies in the latter rank.

‘Selection and maintenance of aim’ is a cardinal principle of War, but somebody, somewhere seems to have lost the thread, and the aim got shifted from ‘reduction in age of Battalion Commanders’ to the more ambitious one of ‘improving upward mobility and career prospects of officers’ and this resulted in a wide-ranging quest for additional higher ranks, including the creation of a new rank to be known as ‘Colonel-General’!

Thus, Ajai Vikram Singh, an able and forthright Civil servant, when asked to consider a substantial increment in the number of senior ranks, posed a very pertinent question; what functions do two and three –star officers perform today, and when you have a 150 more of the species, how will they occupy themselves? Since the query remained unanswered, he held this issue in abeyance, and moved on to the more pressing problem that the AVSC had been convened for: how to bring down the age of Battalion Commanders?

Having partaken of the benefits offered by AVSC part I, the birds have now come home to roost for the services. The large number of officers promoted under its provisions are coming up for the next rank, and now many more vacancies are made available in higher ranks, (through AVSC Part II). By starting the rank inflation game, the Services have regrettably walked into a dangerous trap, and triggered off a vicious cycle which can only result in proliferation of ranks and their consequent devaluation; thus damaging the time honoured pyramidical command structure.
This is the extract of an article by the former Naval Chief, Admiral (Retd) Arun Prakash. [HT-]
Army’s path of self-destruction... by pressing for adoption of AVSC-2 report
Outcome of implementing AVSC phase 2 Report
Fued at the top
Admiral Suresh Mehta (Ex Chief of Navy) on how command and control structure has been disturbed
Staff and Command Stream for Maj Gens and Lt Gens
Army changes promotion policy for Maj Gens, Lt Gens

Our demand is unfulfilled, say ex-Servicemen

Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: Ex-Servicemen on Thursday lamented that their long standing demand of “one rank one pension” remained unfulfilled, forcing several retired soldiers to return their medals to the government as a mark of protest. According to the Defence Ministry, nine cardboard boxes full of medals were received.

In December, ex-Servicemen submitted a memorandum to both the Prime Minister and Defence Minister for equal pension for the same rank having equal number of service years irrespective of the date of retirement.

“The contention of the government — that “one rank one pension’ has not been recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission as such and could not be granted — is totally absurd, as the government has the supreme power to amend/alter/modify the recommendations of the Pay Commission, which has been done in other aspects by the government in the recent Pay Commission,” Warrant Officer (Retired) P.R. Balathilakan, coordinator for the movement, said in a press release.

He said ex-Servicemen were asking that all those who retired before January 1, 2006 be given pension equal to their counterparts, who retired after that date. For instance, after having served 15 years, a sepoy who retired before January 1, 2006, was getting Rs.3,500 as pension, against his counterpart with same number of years in service, who got Rs.6,800.
The Hindu: Our demand is unfulfilled, say ex-Servicemen

Land Scam: Fued at the top

Feud at the top in army- Gen Kapoor versus Lt Gen Singh

The army chief has told the defence minister that Lt Gen. V.K. Singh, who heads the Eastern Command, has taken an “undue interest” in a north Bengal land case involving Kapoor’s principal staff officer and military secretary Lt Gen. Avadhesh Prakash. Kapoor has resisted a recommendation to terminate Prakash’s service before his January-end retirement

The defence minister, who zealously guards his Mr Clean reputation, summoned the army chief on Christmas Eve and wanted Lt Gen. Prakash to be eased out. Gen. Kapoor demurred and defended his aide but Antony was not convinced. A source said the minister ‘cold-shouldered’ the army chief the next day when Gen. Kapoor met him to convey his Christmas greetings.

The Fort William boss had convened a court of inquiry that indicted Lt Gen Prakash in the land case. Gen Kapoor feels the eastern commander does not have the authority to summon the army chief’s principal staff officer. Lt Gen VK Singh, whose age is caught in a discrepancy, was bypassed earlier for the post of vice-chief.
Read more
Feud at the top in army- Gen Kapoor versus Lt Gen Singh

Top post caught in age
While this is at its nuts and bolts a narrative on corruption in the military and politics over promotions, it is above all indicative of a serious communication gap between army headquarters and the Eastern Command, a fully operational authority whose area of responsibility covers the maximum length of international borders (with China, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar). Its components are also actively involved in counter-insurgency.
Top post caught in age: The Telegraph

Friday, January 1, 2010

Recent comments to Finance Minister's Budget speech on OROP

One Rank so many pension rates
By: ks Rajan 30-Dec-2009
Sir, In a recent ordinance, the Govt of India has issued instructions to extend benifits to travel by air unlimited to the every kith and kin of our beloved leaders. The Govt of India has no money to implement OROP because of administrative inadmissibility. The recent pass out in the Officers Training Academy in Chennai has 300 plus officers against a capacity of 700 plus. The intake of men in Armed Forces (officers and men) are rapidly decreasing because nothing is attractive for the youths to come forward and serve the nation. Though the Officers salary and perks have been increased substantially, the PBORs are equated to the Peons and Chowkidars by 6th CPC (look at the pay scales). Mr AK Antony assured the forces he will get the best for the Services, where is it? Look at the pension of a pre-2006 pensioner of Defence Services with the Peon who retires post 2006. Shame Shame Shame. Will the UPA Chairperson and the PM to look into OROP and do justice? Where is FM's OROP order?

By: PATHAK G R 23-Dec-2009
Dear Exervicemen brothers, We should unite and come under one banner and follow the the principle "struggle path - right path" and only then we can achieve the goal of one rank one pension. Otherwise we would continue to be befooled by politicians etc. After achieving one rank one pension, there is long way to go. If we fight intensively for our rights, no body can stop us from victory. The misery is that, we are not united. We are the victims of division in terms of statehood, languages and so many other factors. We shall maintain brotherhood. We all are brothers and our famialies are relatives of each other. This sense is required to be prevailing upon us. The exemple of war of independence is before us. We got the independence only after uniting ourselves. Meet exservicemen, love them and let them understand the spirit of union. Victory shall be ours.

jwo By: k n dixit 21-Dec-2009
This is unfortunate to mention that one rank One Pension has not been agreed to. It was told in written reply in Rajaya Sabha on 10 Dec 2009. Justice delayed means justice denied. Government is not permanent in nature. The time is not far away when all these national cartoons (politicians) will appear before the public with folded hands requesting for another chance for befooling the nation.Even minister level politicians are unable to keep their words mentioned in apex forum of the nation. We as Exsm must think that no one from our family should join the defence services. We must ask the politicians why your family members are not joining the defence services. In case it is not enough then there is nothing to mention further.
Pranab give go ahead to 'one rank one pension' demand

New Year Wishes and Greetings

Wishing All ESM Organisations and All ESM success in their mission for getting- Justice for Defence Services of India.
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj

You are indeed a great asset to not only the ex-servicemen & their families but also to the rest of the society as the torch bearers to serve the needy amongst us all who deserve the kind of attention given by an exemplary method of service to others without any motive of rewards or recognition in a selfless manner, and that others should emulate you & serve to fulfill the needs of those who deserve it the most.

Dear Friends
1. Firstly, Please accept my sincere greetings for the New Year “2010”. May the New Year bring happiness, good health and satisfying life for all Defense Personnel both veterans and serving and all members of their families.

2. Secondly, I sincerely pray to God to bless all veterans “With” “Unity and Strength” to strongly fight against the Injustice by successive Govts. Let our Protest Movement be intensified and executed peacefully and in a dignified manner. The pressure of the Protest Movement be built to such an intensity that the Govt see the “light of the Day” and accepts of legitimate demand of “Military Pensions” of equal service equal rank- Equal Pension irrespective of the date of retirement (which is referred to as OROP)

3. Thirdly, we pray, our next event of Medal Deposit at Jantar Mantar on 31 Jan 2009 from 10 AM to 2 PM be a grand success. Each district of the country where Ex servicemen are residing to please contribute voluntarily at leasts 2000 medals. I pray, the medal collection campaign gets into “Top Gear” with the dawn of “Near Year 2010”

4. Fourthly, we pray our ie IESM membership to rise to such large numbers that our two million ESM have a “say” to get “Justice” in the country and be able to live in peace, harmony, dignity and respect befitting a “Veteran Solider”
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Ungrateful Refugees and Immigrants

An incident occurred in a UK supermarket recently, when the following discussion was witnessed:

A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout. When it was her turn to be served, and as she reached the cashier, she made a loud remark about the English Flag lapel pin, which the female attending the checkout was wearing on her blouse.

The cashier reached up and touched the pin and said, 'Yes, I always wear it proudly. My son serves abroad with the army and I wear it for him'.

The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when the UK was going to stop bombing and killing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

At that point, a Gentleman standing in the queue stepped forward, and interrupted with a calm and gentle voice, and said to the Iraqi woman:

'Excuse me lady, but hundreds of thousands of men and women, just like this lady's son have fought and sacrificed their lives so that people just like YOU can stand here, in England, which is MY country and allow you to blatantly accuse an innocent check-out person of bombing YOUR countrymen'.

'It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as this when in Iraq, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn't need to be fighting there today'.

'However - now that you have learned how to speak out and criticise us English people who have given you the protection of our country, I will gladly pay the cost of a ticket to get you back to Iraq.'

'When you get there, and if you manage to survive for being as outspoken as what you are here in England, then you should be able to help straighten out the mess which your countrymen have got you into in the first place, which appears to be the reason that you have come to MY country to escape from.'

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Greetings

Happy New Year

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the IESM I wish every Ex Serviceman and all Service families, wherever they are, a very happy, healthy and agreeable 2010.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Capt Navpal’s sacrifice remembered

Brigadier DS Chahal salutes at Captain Navpal Sidhu’s memorial at Balidan Divas function. Photo: Raj Sadosh

Sriganganagar/Abohar, December 30
Brigadier DS Chahal was followed by Rajasthan agricultural marketing minister Gurmeet Singh Kunnar, former minister Surinderpal Singh and other dignitaries in offering floral tributes to Captain Navpal Singh Sidhu during the seventh Balidan Divas function of the latter at his memorial in his native village 40 RB, about nine kilometers from Padampur on the Raisinghnagar road in Sriganganagar district today.
Navpal's Sacrifice remembered

Army Vice Chief Launches CGDA’s Rail E-Ticketing

Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen PC Bhardwaj launched a pilot project of Rail e-ticketing for the Armed Forces, here today. The project, being implemented by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), will initially be available at 20 locations spread across the country. Armed Forces personnel will now have the convenience to book and print tickets through IRCTC website at unit locations. The project will enable automatic generation of all accounting, payment and financial reports.

Speaking on the occasion, General Bhardwaj said that the new system will cut tedious paperwork and introduce seamless processing “in one stroke”. He hoped that the ‘PCDA (Principal Controller of Defence Accounts) Travel System’ will slowly make the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) irrelevant and become a precursor to automation and better management. In her address, the CGDA, Smt Bulbul Ghosh said that the pilot project will gradually be expanded to more than 5,000 Army, Navy and Air Force units across the country. The e-ticketing system will be completed in four phases, - the first phase will cover Rail Travel, Air Travel will be covered in the second phase, Defence civilians will be included in the third phase and TA processing will be completely online in the final phase.

The main features of the e-ticketing facility are availability round-the-clock, user friendly, ease of operation and accounting while taking care of security concerns. In the new system, the units will be enabled to have a virtual PRS of the railways in the units itself, which will be enabled to issue tickets through a centralised portal operated by the CGDA office. For this purpose, the CGDA has entered into an agreement with the IRCTC. With this facility, the system of railway warrants which obliged Armed Forces personnel to go in for manual tickets at the PRS counter and involved a lot of paperwork, will gradually be replaced.

Over six million warrants are issued to the Armed Forces every year, involving worth over 580 crore rupees. PK/HH/RAJ PIB
Army Vice Chief Launches CGDA’s Rail E-Ticketing

Short service officers short circuited by MoD and DGAFMS

Key file missing, MoD blames DGAFMS
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 30
Even as former short service commissioned (SSC) officers continue to be hassled over availing treatment at military hospitals, the Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) has claimed that the Defence Ministry’s file containing relevant orders issued by the President has been “lost”.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), in response to a query under the RTI Act, has held the DGAFMS responsible for the loss, as it was the custodian of the file.

Earlier, the DGAFMS had responded to queries by ex-servicemen by claiming that the file was with the MoD. When the Ministry wrote to the DGAFMS pointing out that the file was with it, medical directorate then claimed that it was lost.

In 1996, the government had extended outdoor medical facilities in military hospitals to all “ex-servicemen”. These were earlier available only to “ex-service pensioners” and the relevant clause introduced in 1983 was amended after the presidential sanction was accorded for the same.

Letters on the subject were later issued by the Adjutant General’s branch, explicitly including emergency commissioned and SSC officers under the ambit of military medical facilities. Requests by the Director General Medical Services (Army) to rescind these medical facilities were also turned down by the MoD in 1997 and 1998.

Last year, the DGAFMS suo-moto started refusing medical care to elderly veterans on the pretext that they were not entitled to the facility. The DGAFMS also claimed that its concurrence was not taken before granting facilities to non-pensioner ex-servicemen. The DGMS (Army) even wrote to all Army Commands asking them not to comply with letters of the MOD and the Army Headquarters.

Irked by the conduct of the DGAFMS, many ex-servicemen sought a copy of the file notings leading to the Presidential sanction in which the complete concurrence of the then DGAFMS was taken. The DGAFMS, thereafter, took the pretext that the said file was lost.
Medical Benefits for SSC Officers

Veterans assist review Indian Military doctrine

Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30
The Army’s military doctrine is being reviewed and it will now include an added thrust in five key areas that will propel the doctrine. This includes wars in faraway lands, besides strategy on how to face future challenges posed by China and Pakistan.The key areas include preparation for a two-pronged war with China and Pakistan. Both countries will have to be looked at separately and also collectively. The nature of conflict, if ever, with both countries will vary greatly in terms of terrain and use of weapons and firepower.

The Army, which is involved in fighting insurgency in J&K and the North-East, is also looking to optimise capabilities to fight asymmetric war waged by both state and non-state actors such as terror attacks and proxy wars. This will include cyber and electronic warfare.

The doctrine will look at ways to enhance the strategic reach of the Army and joint operations with the Navy and the Air Force. Countries like the USA already have airborne division while China displayed its might a couple of months ago by showing rapid induction of troops. The reviewed doctrine will also touch upon space-based capability and methods to achieve technological edge over the enemy. The doctrine is reviewed every five years by the Army’s Shimla-based Training Command. The two-day closed-door review ended here today.

Among those who have contributed with their opinions were retired officers like Lt-Gen SS Mehta, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, Lt-Gen Satish Nambiar, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, Maj-Gen GD Bakshi and Brig Gurmeet Kanwal. Former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarthy was also among those who addressed the meeting.

The Training Command had already begun reworking on the doctrine to include the new developments in different areas of warfare.
Army doctrine being reviewed

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pension adalat for ex-servicemen

Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 29
As many as 500 ex-servicemen attended the Defence Pension Adalat that began at Patiala today. The adalat would serve as a platform to resolve pension-related grievances of veterans on the spot as representatives of the decision-making authorities concerned, banks and the Defence Ministry would also be present there. Being organised under the aegis of the Controller-General of Defence Accounts, Western Command, the adalat was inaugurated by Lieut-Gen VK Chaturvedi, Director-General Manpower Planning, Army Headquarters. This is the 96th such adalat to be held in the country.
Pension adalat for ex-servicemen

IESM: Letter to Rahul Gandhi seeking sanction of OROP

Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman, IESM
December 29, 2009

I write this to request your help persuading the Government to look at `One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) favourably. You would perhaps be aware that the ex-servicemen, after having failed to convince the authorities through meetings and presentations, went public with their demand for (OROP) in April 2008 and have been doing so ever since.
OROP is a demand for justice and equity and not for more money per se. If the government cannot afford the pension expenses, let them pay lower pensions across the board but there should no discrimination against the old pensioners. The ex-servicemen are merely demanding that equal pension be paid for equal service rendered, as per the law of `natural justice’. This demand is over 25 years old and successive governments have failed to accept this reasonable demand. Nor has there been any convincing reason for non-acceptance of the demand.
The ex-servicemen were greatly enthused when the President of India mentioned term `OROP’ in her address to the opening session of the Parliament on 4th June, 2009. Subsequently, the Hon’ble Ministers of Defence and Finance also used words in the parliament suggestive of the government granting OROP. However, what is actually planned to be done has no connection with OROP and is a mere removal of the dividing line between pensioners of pre-October 1997 and post this date till 31st December, 2005. The dividing line created by the 6th Pay Commission with 1.1.2006 as the water shed still continues to remain. Conveying an impression, knowingly or unwittingly, that the government was considering grant of OROP and then giving mere one time enhancement to old pensioners, has only salted the wounds of the ex-servicemen community. This has further strengthened their resolve to continue their struggle till their just demand of OROP is met. They have already been depositing their medals with the President and will increase its intensity. I do not believe this is a good thing to happen in our country.
Considering the larger implication of keeping the defence veterans/ forces unhappy, I will request you, as the future leader of the country to kindly prevail upon the government to grant OROP.
Yours sincerely,
(Raj Kadyan)

Shri Rahul Gandhi, MP

ESM get Justice after decades, that too via Courts

Dear Veterans,
1. Like many cases being handled by our Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell, Regd (NGO), Sep Charan Singh of 2 Sikh LI gets his Disability Pension (60%) after 25 Yrs, not by system's efficiency/ wisdom but through the Courts.

2. Ropar was the biggest recruiting Centre during World Wars & now full of ESM. Most ESM/ Widows are crying for proper compensation even today in Free India. They come for help to ZSBs & then to NGOs. This NGO have succeeded in helping hundreds of them but still no end to it.

3. Army HQ/ MOD have amended many rules & provisions on genuine request and much more need to be done.

4. Western Command ESM Helplines has also tried helping endless such cases, which speak volumes of Civil Administration (ZSB, RSB and KSB) failure.

5. There is a need to integrate ESM into civil Governance, MOD, Banks and CDAs/ DPDOs, so that we get some Justice & Employment/ Resettlement.
SS Col Sohi (Retd)

Here babus are billionaires

A Tribune Exclusive by Chitleen K Sethi Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 26
Mirror mirror on the wall…who is the richest of them all? Forced to make their assets public under the Right To Information Act, the property returns filed by the 151 IAS officers serving in Punjab have revealed an eclectic mix of billionaires, millionaires and some with nothing at all.

Many have been “allotted” properties by the government agencies. Some managed these through discretionary quotas, making use of their official positions to the hilt.

Then there are some who have been so lucky that every time they applied for a property in the draw of lots they got it. Many of them own several properties in the periphery of Chandigarh.

The richest IAS officer in the state is SS Channi, Principal Secretary (Industries). The man, who owned just a 10-marla plot in Mohali in 1982-83, now has several acres of agricultural land, a 50 per cent share in a filling station in Bathinda, a transport company in Bathinda, a house in Sector 18, Chandigarh, a flat in Delhi, a plot in Gurgaon, another in Noida and a two-kanal plot in the IAS PCS House Building Society, Mohali.

“Most of the land and businesses were inherited by Channi. The flats and plots he has bought have been shown as purchased after selling other properties,” said advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, HC Arora, who had sought the information under the RTI Act.

Arora has now received the details of the property returns following orders of the Punjab State Information Commission.

Another smart investor has been Shivinder Singh Brar, Financial Commissioner (Excise and Taxation). Apart from ancestral property, he has two houses in Delhi, a commercial flat in Delhi, a house in the Punjab State IAS Cooperative Housing Society at Chandigarh, agricultural lands in village Kansal and Giddarbaha and also a godown in Giddarbaha.

The “allottees” include Varun Roozam, who was allotted a 500-sq yard industrial plot in Phase VI Mohali. He later sold off the property. Priyank Bharati was allotted 220 sq yards of commercial property by PSIDC in 1995. Dr Avinder Singh states in his return of 2004 that the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board allotted him a residential plot from a “discretionary” quota.

Sujata Das was allotted a residential plot in Sector 8, Panchkula, from the discretionary quota of the then CM. She was again allotted a residential flat in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, from another discretionary quota.

Surinderjit Sandhu was allotted a corner plot in discretionary quota by the then Director (Housing) in Jalandhar. P. Ram was allotted a 500-sq yard residential plot from the minister’s quota in Mohali.

IAS officers also seem to get property at very comfortable rates. Rakhi Gupta Bhandari purchased a 288-sq yard residential plot on Dhanola Road, Barnala, in 2008 for Rs 2.40 lakh. Sarup Singh Dhillon purchased agricultural land at Bassi Pathana at “collector’s rate” where he is growing vegetables in a green house. He purchased a house in Sector 34, Chandigarh, at a rate fixed by the estate officer in March 2005.

Interestingly, there are some officers who seem to have “nothing at all”. According to their current returns, Vijay Janjua, Sundram Krishna, Vivek Partap Singh, Rajat Aggarwal, Manisha Trighatia, Ajoy Sharma, Pradeep Agarwal and Manjeet Singh don’t own any immoveable property.
Here babus are billionaires

Military’s mechanism

The military draws its manpower from within the country, where moral standards have fallen, corruption is rampant and there is a climate of loot and plunder, right across the national landscape.

The main difference is that this fall in standards is unacceptable in the military. That is how military’s internal mechanism picks out such black sheep (liquor, ketchup,
moral turpitude and land scams, etc types) and dishes out exemplary punishment.

As against this what happened to all those DCs in Punjab who had misappropriated Red Cross and Kargil funds, etc and put these to private and personal use? There are unlimited numbers of other cases which are pushed under the carpet. What of SPS Rathore of Ruchika case: 19 years later, a farce!

The self-correcting mechanism is what distinguishes the military from the general rot in the country.
Brig Harwant Singh,(Retd)

Ruchika case: System has failed
Rape of the law: State machinery has failed to act by Kuldip Nayar

Steps to tackle Maoists improper: Ex-Army chief

Subhrangshu Gupta Tribune News Service Kolkata, December 29
Neither the Centre nor the states so far has taken any steps to tackle the Maoists problems, former Army Chief Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury alleged. He did not think the problem could be solved either with the deployment of the joint action force in the vulnerable areas or allowing the troops to operate there.

Roychowdhury said the Maoists problem was a human problem and an Army operation against the Maoists would be disastrous. He suggested that both the Centre and the respective state government should adopt a joint master plan for developing those neglected villages on a war footing. But for some time, the joint action force should remain there and from time to time conduct the flushing-out operations of Maoists.

Talking to a private TV channel today, the former Army chief suggested that all political parties, irrespective of their differences, should come to a common platform and launch welfare activities in those vulnerable areas with the involvement of the local people. This would compel the Maoists and other vested interests to gradually withdraw.

Roychowdhury did not think the Maoists problems could be treated merely as law and order problems of the state, meant only for the respective state government to tackle. The Centre should share the responsibility of protecting the people against the Maoists since the Centre too was responsible for their plight. He suggested that the Maoists should be brought into the mainstream in phases and they should be engaged in suitable alternatives for earning their livelihoods.

The Bengal government had taken a foolish step, according to the former Chief, by engaging the police force for combating the Maoists in the first stage instead of initiating a dialogue with the local people and redressing their grievances.
Steps to tackle Maoists improper: Ex-Army chief

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

IESM: 31 Jan 2010 next Medal Surrender to seek OROP

Dear Colleagues,
Hav Gurmel Singh called up (again) Dec 27 from DBN, Gurdaspur, Punjab. They had a rally of ESM the previous day that was attended by a number of senior veterans and some politicians. The latter expressed full support for OROP and promised to keep raising the issue in the State Assembly as well as in the Parliament. Gurmel is heading an ESM organisation and expressed full accord with the IESM aims, objectives and methodology. I informed him of the next date for depositing medals ie 31 Jan 2010. He assured that he would disseminate the message and will ask maximum veterans to deposit their medals.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

December 14, 2009
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM

I write this to approach you for seeking railway travel concession for the Ex-Servicemen in India. The structure of the Defence Forces draws its strength from camaraderie and fellow feeling. Every battalion/ regiment/ unit of the Defence Forces has an annual day where the veterans are invited, they mingle with the younger generation who are still in uniform, and pass on their experiences. Apart from being great learning this also serves as a source of motivation for the younger generation.
At present, the veterans have to travel at their own expense to join these annual Battle Honours days or raising days etc. Because of the expenses involved, many shy away from participation thus negating the value sought to be derived from such occasions. I would request you to kindly consider if every veteran could be given a free railway pass once a year to travel to his/ her unit wherever located in India, to be part of such historical celebrations. The railway pass can be of the same class which the veteran was entitled to at the time of retirement.
I would be happy to personally meet you and explain the above point.
Yours sincerely,
Best regards,
Sd xxx
(Raj Kadyan)

Kumari Mamata Banerjee
Hon’ble Minister of Railways

National Security: India- Japan launch Defence Plan

India and Japan will launch a defence action plan to firm up their strategic partnership that includes jointly combating maritime piracy and give a push to negotiations over a key economic agreement that can multiply their bilateral trade manifold.

The two sides on Monday signed agreements to build eco-friendly cities along the Rs.3.6 lakh crore ($72 billion) Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, setting the tone for talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama on Tuesday. Hatoyama began his three-day visit to India Sunday and arrived in the Indian capital for talks Monday afternoon.

However, a civil nuclear deal looks unlikely with a Japanese official Monday urging India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), opposed by New Delhi which regards it as "unfair and discriminatory."

The two leaders will discuss a host of bilateral, regional and global issues, including an ambitious plan to scale bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2010, the UN reforms, nuclear issues, and coordination over climate change negotiations in the aftermath of the Copenhagen accord.
Read the full account
India, Japan to launch defence action plan

The Story of Report My Signal Email Forum and Blog

Today’s veterans are yesterday’s uniformed!!
Having spent many years in the Corps, some as much as 38 years, the Corps becomes more than a family for them. However, on retirement most veterans head home, some take up jobs and a few migrate to other countries. The only medium for Corps news is The Signalman. It is published every four months and the news becomes old by the time our Corps magazine reaches the veterans.

Saddest part is delayed and lack of information about those who pass away. The Friends and Comrades are unable to pay Shradhanjli to the departed souls. Also there is no platform where Corps veterans are able to express their views and thoughts about professional and Corps matters.

A periodic email based letter named REPORT MY SIGNAL was started by Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant 1988-91, about five years back, with 15-20 email addresses of the Corps Veterans. The Aim was to do networking, remain in touch and exchange information about the veterans and other matters of mutual interest. REPORT MY SIGNAL was chosen as the Title, since it epitomises the Corps of Signals ethos. After a few months, Brig CS Kamboj, VSM took over the reigns. With his dynamism and dedication, he soon made it very popular and informative.

It has become single most important source of the Corps and other news for over 1200 veterans and some ladies from All the Three Services, including 47 ESM organisations, spread all over the world, who have joined up the email list. During 2008, 387 emails were sent out by “Report My Signal”. All the members and ESM organisations on the emailing list of “Report My Signal” have their forward emailing nets. It is estimate that within 24 hours of an email going out from “Report My Signal” around 12000 to 15000 veterans read that email. A large number of Blogs have started posting the emails of “Report My Signal” on their own blogs. However, this forum can only be periodic and every word has to be typed by Brig Kamboj himself.

The advent of Blogs set us thinking to start a Corps Blog. Based on suggestion to Brig Kamboj, he was able to identify (discover would be more appropriate) Col James Kanagaraj, living in Chennai, in Nov 2007, who was then on a visit to USA. Col James Kanagaraj has turned out to be a technical wizard and highly motivated and dedicated. Using emails between Brig Kamboj in NOIDA, Col James in USA and self in Chandigarh, we were able to work out the design and layout of Report My Signal Blog within a few weeks.

Though the original idea was to have only one blog for Shradhanjlis, we decided to split this one Blog into three blogs (Shradhanjli, Veterans Affairs and Professional). The Blog was formally launched on 01 Dec 2007, with an email from Brig CS Kamboj on his Report My Signal Forum.

There was a need to have one to two more veterans to act as moderators. Soon we had two volunteers; Brig Sukhwinder Singh and Maj Ramesh Agnani. However, Maj Agnani asked to be relieved after a few weeks due to other commitments that he had. Since then Col James Kanagaraj has been the Moderator for Veterans and Shradhanjli Blogs and Brig Sukhwinder Singh has been managing the Professional Matters Blog.

Blog is short form of ‘Weblog’ and is a journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. In a classical blog, people worldwide can themselves add comments/views. However, since our Blog deals with Service people and matters, the procedure adopted is that all those who want to post anything on the Blogs have to send the same to the two Moderators, who then post the contents on the Blogs.

The Blog “Shradhanjli” is exclusively for use by All Ranks of Signals. For other two Blogs, all Veteran Officers of the Indian Defence Services are welcome to participate. Generally speaking, all matters concerning the Veterans, professional matters dealing with the Defence Forces, National Security, Technology etc keeping in view security aspects, Shradhanjlis to comrades from Corps of Signals are accepted for posting on the these Blogs. Messages dealing with politics, religion and business are not accepted and security aspects are kept in view.

From a modest unique hits of 20- 30 in Dec 2007 the Blog has grown to hit range of 250- 285 with daily total hits ranging 650 a day in Dec 2008. There has been surge of visits to topics on "Sixth Central Pay Commission" and "Mumbai Terror Attacks".

The Report My Signal Blog is visited by interested people all over the world and has become one of the premier source for information as also expressing opinions and thoughts on National Security and Service matters. It is also heartening to know that we now come to know about the demise of our comrades in the Corps more promptly and are able to pay Sharadhanjlis to them.

Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh,PVSM (Retd)
This article was published in SIGNALMAN, the premier Magazine of Corps of Signals

Monday, December 28, 2009

Antony discusses scam report with Army chief

PTI First Published: 25 Dec 2009 11:47:24 AM IST
NEW DELHI: With four Generals coming under cloud over alleged fraud in the sale of a civilian land near Darjeeling, Defence Minister A K Antony summoned Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor for a meeting in which they reportedly discussed the contents of the probe on the issue.

Antony, on his return from Hyderabad in the afternoon, called for a meeting with Kapoor and the two were closeted for about 40 minutes, Defence Ministry officials said this evening.

"It was a closed door, one-on-one meeting," officials said, denying knowledge of the meeting's agenda.

Army military secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, Deputy Chief of Army Staff-designate Lt Gen P K Rath, 11 Corps Commander Lt Gen Ramesh Halgalli and Major General P C Sen were reportedly found culpable for issuing a No-Objection Certificate to a private institution, which falsely claimed to set up an affiliate of the famed Ajmer-based Mayo College, adjacent to Sukhna military station.

The Court of Inquiry into the fraud, which was completed a fortnight ago, had submitted its report, on the basis of which Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen V K Singh reportedly made recommendations to Army Chief to initiate strict action against these senior officers, who had a role in the NOC episode.
Antony discusses scam report with Army chief

Illegal encroachment of defence lands
What has MoD done to evict illegal encroachment of defence lands by unscrupulous elements having local political criminal connections? The DEO's are silent spectators to illegal occupation of defence lands in all the Military Cantonments.

Veterans resent government filing appeals in favourable cases

Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 25, 2009
The Army’s continuation of filing appeals against High Court orders granting relief to disabled ex-servicemen in apparent violation of the settled legal position has caused resentment among the service community.

In a letter written to the Ministry of Defence as well as the Ministry of Law, ex-servicemen have contended that the Department of Pensions of the Defence Ministry and the Personnel Services Directorate at the Army Headquarters are making it a point to file appeals against almost all decisions of courts rendered in favour of disabled soldiers.

The said departments, the letter states continues to file appeals against the decisions of single benches before Division Benches and of division benches before the Supreme Court, even when the law is well settled by the apex court.

Highlighting some specific examples, the letter contends that the ministry has been filing appeals by brushing under the carpet, the legal opinion of the office of the Solicitor General and verdicts of the Supreme Court. A noting sheet obtained under the RTI Act on one such issue showed that the Ministry of Defence ignored legal opinion of the Solicitor General.

The letter contends that more than the logic behind the decisions, it is the ego of the mighty government machinery which swings into action once a verdict is pronounced in favour of a petitioner. Further, some departments tend to file frivolous, misleading and unethical appeals not only leading to a burden on the judiciary but also forcing a waste on the exchequer and man-hours of public servants.

Ex-servicemen say that unnecessary litigation against disabled soldiers not only causes extreme financial and psychological distress to them but is also against the overall spirit of the policy of the government in this regard and the stated position of the Law Ministry.
Veterans resent govt filing appeals in favourable cases

Dear Veterans,
Palwinder Kaur struggling for Family Pension even after 20 Yrs.
1. We are chasing The Sikh LI Regt, non- stop for the last about 2 yrs, but they have their own style & pace of working. We do not understamd, what they are waiting for to do their basic duty.
2. Media coverage (The Tribune) dt 26/12/09 as above. MOD opposing tooth & nail to ensure that disabled ESM do not get their legitimate Disability Pension even after winning Court cases in High Courts by ESM. MOD's attitudes against ESM community are the same in other ESM Grievances cases for Justice, as well.
God bless them also a Happy New Year.
Col SS Sohi (Retd)

Defense Pensioners divided and discriminated- OROP

Lt Col (Retd) KL Jaspal, of Haryana, who is an active GConnector is the author of this guest article. We feel he has presented his views on One Rank One Pay very cogently. We solicit guest articles on any topic from the readers which can be mailed to or

In accordance with the contents of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, this piece of writing is to throw light on similarly circumstanced countrymen who cannot be and must not be arbitrarily divided or categorized or classified by the state for debarring some of them from the benefits whenever announced by the Govt. Efforts are made to explain that already existing classifications/ categories of pensioners are founded on an intelligible differential which distinguishes pensioners that are grouped together. Whenever and wherever, the state has ever made any deceptive efforts to further classify the pensioners for its own financial or any other interest, but that was against pensioners in financial or in any other manners, it was checked by the Law of the Land. Many of the courts of the country including the Apex court of India always stood by Article 14, which forbade the Govt. from doing so. Article 14 is therefore specifically incorporated in the constitution to ensure fairness and equality of treatment to all the countrymen of the nation, so that all of them are treated alike both in privileges conferred and liabilities imposed by the state or any of the state’s authorities.
click here to read the full article published in gconnect

How close are we to OROP?: Check out what babus mean by bridging the gap!
Reduce the gap in the pensionary benefits to officers and jawans, bringing it as close to OROP as possible
Over One Year ago
One-rank-one-pension demand accepted: Antony

RMS Blog: Greetings

Dear VSM Veteran Brig CS Kamboj,
Please accept heartiest felicitations on completion of two years of dedicated service to the cause of the Armed Forces, especially the ESM. Kindly convey the same to the entire team of `Report My Signal`.
Your blog is a wonderful forum for free & frank exchange of views/ ideas among the defence community, more so after the `debacle` of the 6 CPC & the slothful attitude of the `netas & babus` towards the men in uniform & the Veterans. You have also not shied away from `cracking the whip` when required, & rightly so, for any uncharitable comments by any of us.
May you continue to propagate this selfless spirit ahead in the true tradition of the NDA motto - " SERVICE BEFORE SELF ".
Best Wishes & Happy New Year to all !!!

Brig SS Jaswal, Veteran,
IESM, Panchkula,
37 NDA/46 IMA Course

Dear Colonel James,
It is great to develop the Set of RMS Blogs under the stewardship of General Harbhajan Singh. His guidance and timely interventions have been helpful.

The Team has done well towards the cause of the Services Veterans, and possibly the Serving. Initial 'waxing' of the Team was well-achieved; the fruit is the continued success of these Set of Blogs and their routine management efficiently. Your timely technical support has been valuable, Thanks.

Thanks to Brigadier CS Kamboj too for his mastery in the art of managing a 'Vibrant Blog Team' - in addition to the e-mail Forum which has its own dynamics.
Fond Regards,
Brig Sukhwindar Singh (Retd)
Blog Team

Pakistan continues to struggle for survivial

Things do not change
"Pakistan Struggles For Survival - Religious Warfare and Economic Chaos Threaten the Survival of this Nation".
Above was the heading of the Life Magazine article on Pakistan in January, 1948 when Pakistan was just 5 months old!!
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM (Retd)

A few years ago a friend gave me a wonderful gift. A copy of the January 4, 1948 issue of LIFE magazine. This is the issue with a rather unflattering portrait of a clearly ailing ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ on its cover.

For most part the cover story- with pictures by Margaret Bourke-White- is as unflattering as the picture of Mr. Jinnah on the cover. Margaret Bourke White is an important chronicler of the events of 1947 and beyond in both India and Pakistan. She has strong views on these events, including on the creation of Pakistan and on Mohammad Ali Jinnah. These views, also reflected in the LIFE article, are much discussed and sometimes debated in academic and popular treatise.

What has facinated the readers are the pictures and accounts of everyday life in Pakistan at its birth. How severe were the existential challenges of survival the country faced at that time. How much has changed. And how much has not?
Life in Pakistan at its birth. How much has changed. And how much has not...Click here to read more

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Complimentary and Thanks to the Report My Signal Blog Team

Dear Readers and Contributors to Report My Signal Blog,

The Report My Signal Blog has completed two years. The Blog has effectively served the interests of not only the Signals Veterans but veterans of all the three Defence Services. It has become a popular forum for exchange of ideas, information and views amongst the veterans.

The Blog has played a significant role in keeping the veterans of all three Services well informed and rallying them to the common cause, in particular against the discriminatory award of the 6th Pay Commission.

May I take this opportunity to thank Brig CS Kamboj, VSM, Brig Sukhwindar Singh and in particular Lt Col James Kanagaraj, who is managing two blogs and looks after all the technical aspects, for their time and dedication to manage the Blog so efficiently.

Wishing all readers a very Happy New Year, good health and successes.
Harbhajan Singh
Lt Gen

First step in and out of the NDA by Lt-Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM, former Signal Officer in Chief is from First Course NDA. He is the principal architect of the RMS blog. His constant guidance in maintenance of high standards has made RMS a popular one especially amongst the defence forces personnel primarily Ex- Servicemen. We the blog team truly remain inspired.
Brig CS Kamboj, VSM
Brig Sukwindar Singh
James Kanagaraj

Mumbai Mayhem: Plight of Martyrs

Message from Vinita Deshmukh Co-Author of the book 'To The Last Bullet’

Kavita Karkare’s heart rending poem which she read out on the occasion of the Marathi edition launch of `To The Last Bullet’ on December 22, in Pune should pierce the heart of every conscientious citizen of this country. I have translated it as follows:

Do not become a martyr in this country
Do not commit the mistake of becoming a martyr in this country
Your image will be tarnished by being called as `Headless Chicken’ or `Dumb Ass’
Hence, never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.

Why has the martyr being adorned with `Ashoka Chakra’?
Is what they will argue aimlessly and insensitively
Even the `Ram Pradhan Committee (meant to give justice) will hang the martyr
Hence, never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.

While fighting terror, why didn’t help come in time? Why were the injured lying for 40 minutes without help?
As a martyr’s wife in this country, never ask such questions.
Firstly, never commit the `crime’ of being a martyr in this country.

Nowhere in the world is a martyr tested for alcohol, but in this country this humiliation is also not spared
Never try to understand the politics behind this irrational demand.
Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.

Which senior officer switched off his mobile during the hour of terror?
Or which senior officer twiddled his fingers on a terrace?
Never pick up courage to point such fingers.
Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.

We have been reminded a hundred times about compensation to martyrs
As also the money we got as their `Leave Encashment’ and `Provident Fund.’
If that was not enough, we were reminded they paid us Rs.15,000 for our husbands’ funeral,
Never commit the mistake of being a martyr in this country.

By being in the government service
Never make the mistake of being a martyr in this country
In this country, the crime of murder is pardoned
The corrupt released from the prison
Walk in public, with their head held high
But if you become a martyr, you are ostracised from society
Never commit the mistake of being a martyr of this country.

Should the martyr be hanged?
Or should he be kept alive?
You will decide that
We have set aflame the torch,
Which you will keep it burning.

by Kavita Karkare
On the occasion of the release of the Marathi edition of `To The Last Bullet’

Benbow Batch of IMA

From: Krishan Chopra
Incidently I have a small problem and hope that you wud be able to find an answer for the same for me.
You know I joined service on 20th December, 1948 alongwith 18 other officers as the first Direct Entry Graduates Executive Branch, called the BENBOW batch. To be honest, I have lost track of the whereabouts of these officers since retirement. There are a number of them, who have since died, whereas in case of some no contact details are available from my sources. I wonder if you would be able to find any answer to this predictment of mine. (Two of these were, however, dismissed during the training itself)
With kind regards

IESM: Surrender of Medals- Inspiration from Tagore

My dear Kamboj,
I am not sure whether the campaign for return of medals drew inspiration from Rabindranath Tagore's renunciation of his knighthood. In any case I am attaching an excerpt from a book which was one of the gifts Santa Claus brought to my grand-daughter: From the Biography titled GANDHI by AMY PASTAN Page 68: Ref Reactions to JallianwalaBagh:


“The time has come when the badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongrous context of humiliation, and for my part wish to stand shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen who for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.”

I have also sent a suggestion to Brig Chikkara that we could consider gathering gifts and donations of sweet packages for our jawans at the borders for Divali. Donations can be collected through schools and NGOs.
Cdr Akeel Shaikh, 18 NDA/B Sqn


The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)