Saturday, February 20, 2010

National Body for ESM forgotten?

Promises to ESM 18 months ago Wed, Jul 30, 2008 17:11:56 IST
TO SOOTHE the frayed nerves of Indian defence personnel, both serving and retired, not happy with the emoluments offered by the Sixth Pay Commission, the government is mooting a national commission for welfare of ex-servicemen. The proposed body will speed up the issue relating to rehabilitation, welfare and grievances of retired soldiers, martyrs and their families.

Every year nearly sixty thousand personnel retire from the armed forces and they are in the productive middle age group. In addition, the country has 14 lakh ex-servicemen and over 2.5 lakh widows along with the dependent family members.

Speaking at the annual conclave of Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) on Wednesday, Deepa Jain Singh, secretary, ex-servicemen welfare in the ministry of defence, said that capsule on welfare of ex-servicemen will be incorporated as subject at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, Mussourie. It will sensitise the young IAS probationers of the vital issues related to ex-servicemen before they assume important responsibilities, she added.

Pertinent to mention that the government created the post of secretary in defence ministry to deal exclusively with issues related to the ex-serviceman, who are in huge numbers in the country. Speaking on the occasion, the additional secretary Neelam Nath asked the secretaries of the District Sainik Boards to hold meetings at least once every month with the district collectors to resolve grievances of ex-servicemen at the grassroots level. She said the DGR is about to complete a countrywide database of ex-servicemen at the Zila Sainik Board, Rajya Sainik Board and Kendriya Sainik Board level that would go a long way in formulating macro and micro policy for ex-servicemen welfare.

The director-general, Resettlement, Major General SG Chatterji said his office would serve as a nodal single point interface between the retiring and retired service personnel, widows and their dependents and the outside agencies for all issues related to resettlement and welfare measures.

Govt moots national body for ex-servicemen welfare

Indian Navy inducts MiG-29K carrier borne aircraft

The 19th day of Feb 2010, was marked with the take off of the Indian Navy’s new fighter aircraft - the MiG-29K with it’s full afterburners. The new fighter displayed its agility by breaking into an almost vertical climb within seconds after take off. This was part of the ceremony to formally induct MiG-29K ’Air Dominance Fighter’ aircraft, into the Indian Navy. The grand ceremony to formally induct the aircraft into the Indian Navy was held at INS Hansa, Vasco da Gama, Goa. The Raksha Mantri, Shri AK Anthony, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. The might of Naval Aviation was on display- both in the air and on ground. In addition to the MiG-29K itself, the air display included a grand fly-past comprising of Sea Harrier, Ilyushin-38 (Sea Dragon), Chetak, Kiran and Dornier. The Sagar Pawan Aerobatic team also displayed its prowess in various breathtaking formation aerobatic manoeuvres.
Navy inducts MiG-29K carrier borne aircraft
Indian Navy to induct four 'lethal' MiG-29K into its fleet

Combined Defence Services Exam 2009 results announced

UPSC has announced the final results of Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2009. A total of 197 candidates have finally qualified. Of these 158 have qualified for admission to the Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai for 91st Short Service Commission Course (for Men); and 39 have qualified for 5th Short Service Commission Women (Non-Technical) Course, commencing in April, 2010. The list of 91st Short Service Commission Course (for Men) also includes the names of the candidates who were recommended earlier on the basis of the result of the same examination for admission to the Indian Military Academy- Dehradun/Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Kerala and Air Force Academy, Hyderabad (Pre-Flying) Training Course(s).

The number of vacancies as intimated by the Government for 91st Short Service Commission Course (for Men) is 175 and for 5th Short Service Commission Women (Non-Technical) course is 10.

The result of Medical Examination of candidates has not been taken into account in preparing the merit list. The candidature of all the candidates is provisional.

UPSC has a “Facilitation Counter” in its campus where Candidates can obtain any information / clarification regarding their examinations / recruitments during working hours in person or over telephone Nos. 23385271 / 23381125 / 23098543. Result is available on PIB website click here and also on the U.P.S.C. website click here
Click here for-: CDS (I) EXAMINATION,2009 -(MEN)
Click here for-: CDS (I) EXAMINATION,2009 -(WOMEN)
Combined Defence Services Exam 2009 results announced

There is a 'cover-up' in Sukna land scam case: Army

Press Trust Of India New Delhi, February 08, 2010
The Army on Monday said there was a "cover up" in the Sukna land scam case in Darjeeling in which three Lt Generals and a Major General are in the dock and it needs to go to the "bottom" of the issue.

This was stated by Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising while representing the Army in the Armed Forces Tribunal which has been moved by former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash against his Court Martial in connection with the case.

Prakash has questioned the Army's decision to order disciplinary action, which entails court martial, against him after deciding to take administrative action which does not necessarily lead to court martial.

Justifying the Army's action, Jaising told the two-member Tribunal headed by Justice A K Mathur that the administrative action was never started and the Army was within its right to initiate disciplinary action against him.

"There is a cover-up going on and we have to find out who is at the bottom of this," she said about the land scam case in which Prakash and three other Generals have been indicted by a Court of Inquiry for giving a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to a private realtor to construct an educational institute on a plot of land adjacent to Sukna army base in Darjeeling.

The Tribunal, which heard both the petitioner and the defendents for three days, reserved the order.
There is a 'cover-up' in Sukna land scam case: Army
Warring army generals behind Sukhna scam?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Space Warfare: Sky's the limit

The Indian Express
Tags : DRDO, defence ministry, india
Posted: Tuesday , Feb 16, 2010 at 0201 hrs
Beijing’s dismissal of the DRDO’s claims that its missile technology is superior to that of China might provoke knee-jerk patriotism in Delhi. But no one in the world disputes that China is way ahead of India in missilery and military uses of space. By transferring missiles and their production technology, China has also put Pakistan ahead of India. Instead of acknowledging the reality and redoubling the effort to catch up, the DRDO is making extravagant claims. Take, for example, its head V.K. Saraswat’s claim that the Agni-III, with its 3000 km range, is ready for “induction” by the services. A weapons system inducted after just four tests including one failure? This is the kind of sanctimonious self-congratulation that the DRDO has doled out for decades. Because they wrap themselves in the flag, we are not supposed to ask questions, only clap. Saraswat has claimed that “there is no need to produce and store missiles in today’s world”. Really? China has more than 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan; and is producing and deploying missiles in scores every year.
Sky's the limit

Still long way to go
By: MK Mohanty | 16-Feb-2010
In India, we always take too much pride in achievements that are already too late. Here all government organisations have no accountability and people ride to top just doing manipulations and politics. There is no investigation why projects are taking too much time and what the actual quality of products they develop. Instead people in name of patriotism just get proud and complacent. There are only a few people who are sincere and put to much effort to get whatever success they achieve, but they get hardly any recognition and reward for their achievements. Instead people who do not have any honest effort of professional integrity and those who only play blame-game and are active players of favouritism in terms of their language, race and political orientation get all the highlights. This is the culture we have in all spheres of our life and still we feel we are great of all civilisations. We've to still long way to go to understand what exactly is going on around us.

There is NO accountability in the whole system, be it scientists or politicians.
By: Jatin | 16-Feb-2010
In reality, India is great mainly those areas where independent verification is not possible; but in any other area of science-technology we are lagging far behind China and also slipping down fast compared to our own past (as per published data). There is NO accountability in the whole system, be it scientists or politicians. Whole system is crippled by nepotism and political interference.

IESM: Dildar Nagar Rally Feedback

On behalf of all ESM of Dildar Nagar area, I thank you for visiting the area and hearing the local problems and challenges faced by the ESM of the area and addressing the rally organized by them. The ESM and local leaders of Gazipur, Jamanian, Sahuka, Buxar, Dildar Nagar Gahamar, Bhadora and Baliyan and other nearby villages were deeply touched by your personal military family background. They were also very hopeful about the points they raised during meeting other than OROP. To warm up the rally and to rev up the audience it was decided that the local speakers speak first before they get the opportunity to hear from you. This write up aims at summarizing the points of those local speakers as well.
I was with the local ESM for an approximate period of one week and this gave me a chance to meet several ESM personally and to have small, local meetings and get-together with them. Thus I have to humbly say that these interactions enables me to understand their lives, their problems and the kind of help, support and actions they are looking for from the IESM HQ in Delhi. The gathering would have been much larger but due to the severe weather conditions and late running trains the ESM strength was not as much as expected but it was still respectable. Most of the senior old ESM firmly believed that your visit will sort their problems and grievances once and for all. Many of them had not even seen a general in their entire service duration and they were thrilled and excited to hear from you.

Sir, with respect and humility, I will now try and voice the opinions of the thousands of local ESM from that region. The ESM community there believes that besides the primary goal of OROP, there are certainly many other issues relating to ESM welfare that they think should be taken up by IESM HQ. I am in full agreement with your view on OROP that it is a long term fight, in the meantime there are certain regional and local points that I would like to bring to your kind attention:
  • How can IESM HQ help put pressure on local authorities and agencies to help ESM relating to the very basic services Like ECHS, CSD Canteen, District Sainik Board, Pension Paying banks, and other welfare organizations. We must ALSO think in terms of 'micro' issues and their resolutions rather than only focusing on the otherwise national OROP issue.
  • The Record Offices and other bodies are not helping the needy old pensioners and widows as well. Bribes and commissions are being extorted for simple things like monthly pension and arrears.
  • Depending on the increasing ESM strength, opening of new institutes and organizations for ESM welfare like Central Schools, CSD and ECHS must be progressed.
  • Organizing recruitment rally in the area for the wards of ESM.

    Outputs of the Dildar Nagar rally:
  • New leaders have been Identified and they have already started working for the membership drive and medal deposition.
  • Large number of ESM joined IESM and are emotionally charged and more medals will be brought on 14th Mar from that area. I will personally remain in touch with the new local leaders.
  • Awareness about IESM, its activities and its past successes.

    On a final note, the memorandum and the points given to me in writing by the local ESM are with me which I will send across to you as soon as possible. Once again I personally thank you for visiting Dildar Nagar and the near by areas. It was a pleasure to host you there.
    Thank you,
    Yours truly,
    Sub/ Maj Hony Lt (Veteran)
  • Women in the Armed Forces: Fiction and Facts

    It should never be forgotten that the raison d’ĂȘtre for the constitution of the armed forces is to ensure security of the country. Decisions which have a far reaching effect on the defence potential of the armed forces must be taken with due diligence. Instead of replicating a model, India must chart its own policy. It has an experience of 18 years. Honest feedback must be sought to appreciate the true ground situation and initiate corrective measures. Most importantly, the military brass must show moral courage to admit that the present mess demands a holistic review of the policy, protestations of self-styled champions of gender-parity not withstanding. Decisions taken as a matter of political and populist expediency can prove disastrous for the nation in the long run. Defence matters cannot be treated as publicity gimmick to flaunt sexual equality.

    Maj Gen Mrinal Suman is India’s foremost expert in defence procurement procedures and offsets. He heads Defence Technical Assessment and Advisory Services Group of CII.

    Read the full and related articles:
    Women in the Armed Forces: misconceptions and facts By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman (IDR Issue: Vol 25.1 Jan-Mar 2010)
    Women in the Armed Forces
    Women in the Armed Forces: Part 2
    Women in the Armed Forces: Part 3
    Women in the Armed Forces: Part 4
    Women in the Armed Forces: Part 5
    Why won’t US allow women in combat

    Readers Comments
    Mrinal Suman has written excellent article on women Service and factually so very correct. I compliment him for this effort and his fothright and candid views.
    Lt Gen DP Sehgal (Former SO-in-C)

    The write up was interesting.
    I was told by someone that the ACRs of the lady officers are so good that the Govt cannot by any stretch of imagination stop inducting the ladies. After all they would go by the records they have and not what a soldier perceives.
    Thanks and regards

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Indian land scandal spotlights military corruption

    By Pratap Chakravarty 2010-01-23 12:00 AM
    A land scandal involving Indian generals has shaken public faith in the country's massive military at a time when unprecedented sums are being spent on modernising the armed forces. Four high-profile generals face an official investigation into charges that they gave the go-ahead for a builder to acquire a 70-acre (30-hectare) plot of army land at a throwaway price in the Himalayan resort of Darjeeling.

    Deepak Kapoor, chief of India's army, said he was left speechless by the allegations against the four-star officers, including Lieutenant General Avadhesh Prasad, one of the country's eight key military advisers.

    "Such aspects dent the image of the nation and these aberrations need to be corrected," Kapoor told a news conference last week, adding that they also affected military morale.

    The land scandal coincided with action last month against 41 officers who allegedly sold service weapons on the black market, confirmed Kapoor, who heads the world's fourth-largest military.

    Experts such as retired lieutenant general Afsir Karim fear corruption in the higher echelons could affect national security.

    "The system must reform itself because corruption now seems to be an accepted form at various levels and this will hurt India's readiness, especially for any big conflict such as a war with China," Karim warned.

    "Besides, corruption gets in the way of modernisation and it blunts the credibility of the armed forces."

    A string of eye-popping fraud cases has damaged the institution in recent years.

    An army colonel seeking military honours as a route to promotion was sacked after he was caught faking gun battles with militants by sprinkling tomato ketchup on civilians, who were made to lie still on the ground in 2003.

    Press coverage earned the disgraced officer the nickname "Ketchup Colonel" and led to a military investigation into other medal seekers.

    A year later, a commander was arrested after he earned the sobriquet "Brigadier Booze" for selling subsidised military liquor. In 2008 a general faced a court martial for allegedly skimming combat ration funds.

    More than 7,000 court martial proceedings between 2000 and 2006- a number of them relating to financial skulduggery- point to poor discipline, analysts say.

    Corruption "is having a serious impact on the psyche of India's armed forces," argued retired air marshal Kapil Kak. He pointed to arms deals as another problematic area of military activity.

    Last June, India blacklisted seven firms including artillery maker Singapore Technologies and state-run Israeli Military Industries after police accused a defense ministry bureaucrat of taking bribes.

    The step froze a US$240-million Israeli arms contract and ended the army's dreams of acquiring modern artillery worth over US$1 billion from the Singaporean firm.?
    Indian land scandal spotlights military corruption

    Increasing shortage of Officers in the Armed Forces

    Where is the officer material found? Well, find the potential officer among citizens of India in average homes in towns and villages and train him to perfection. An officer is not born but made. In the medieval age it was believed that officers come from among the royalty alone or from the ruling classes or the so-called martial classes. However, the two world wars proved that only the aforesaid specified classes cannot provide the large number of officers needed by the armed forces. The common folks rose to the occasion and provided good officer material that was trained to become fine officers and leaders of men who won battles. So far so good. Now in the 21st century, our Indian Army is facing an acute shortage of officers and many units are so deficient of officers that their battle efficiency is adversely affected. It has so happened because over a period of time the officers in the army lost luster and were down- graded in the social set up. It is unbelievable but true.

    As of now, the Indian army is short of as many as 11238 officers and does not know where to get them from. The shortage of officers is increasing year after year. The reason is that more officers leave the army on superannuation or take voluntary retirement to join more lucrative jobs in private or multi-national companies. In the year 2008, there was an intake of 1500 officers but as many as 1800 officers said good bye to the uniformed service. It was hoped that the economic recession and shrinkage of job opportunities elsewhere will reroute talented young men to the officer cadre of the army. Sadly it did not happen. The youth don’t find the army service attractive enough to make a bid for it in preference to becoming an executive in a multinational company or joining the Indian administrative service to become administrators. It is understood that big money lies there and not in the army service. Of course, patriotism attracts the youth to the army to defend the motherland. With a rise in external and internal threats and Islamist terrorism gaining ground, some young men feel that joining the army is a step forward towards patriotism.

    The Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations and their implementation provide a silver lining to the dark cloud. The pay and perks are now fairly attractive and it is hoped that the youth will now prefer the army to a non-cushy job in the civil.

    The army should keep the media, both print and electronic, on its right side so that the good word is spread to every nook and corner of the country. The good word is: the Indian army looks after its personnel and the future of the new generation is bright. Join the corps of officers of the Indian Army and believe in the dictum.
    By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
    Read the full article:
    Need to check shortage of officers in Indian army

    War on Terror: Pune Bomb Blast

    Deadly: Investigators are examining CCTV footage to identify the culprits behind a bomb which killed nine people in Pune, India

    The fact that the incident took place despite the strong alert, the official said, had once again proved that India still lacked assessment capabilities and the mechanism to ensure adequate follow-up action.

    Sources said the Pune blast has forced security agencies to have a closer look at the little known Islamic Students Congregation (ISC), an organization headquartered in Pune and comprising Arab students. The ISC is said to have branches in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore too. This organization is said to carry out its activities, mainly student meetings, unobtrusively without attracting media attention.

    The intelligence official said this organization first came on the Indian security radar in 2007 when a Sudanese member of al-Qaida visited Pune and stayed there for a month interacting with members of ISC. It was only after the Sudanese national left India that the authorities realized his true identity. He had come to India assuming a fake identity.

    While Pune's association with Abu Zubaidah, Osama bin Laden's No.3 man, is well known, the fact that Pune was likely to be targeted by al-Qaida became obvious in August 2006, when three al-Qaida operatives were arrested in Algeria. "These three men had then disclosed that the same year in March, all three of them had visited Pune on a reconnaissance mission. It then became clear that Pune was on al-Qaida's hit list," said the official.

    The fact that the perpetrators targeted German Bakery and not the nearby Chabad House has also set security officials thinking. "It's possible that they found it easier to plant the bomb in the bakery. However, it can't be ruled out that the perpetrators were influenced by al-Qaida leader Bekkay Harrach who has been issuing threats against Germany," said the official. The bakery was being run by a local who had earlier lived in Germany.

    Meanwhile, after the Pune blast, the US has again extended a travel alert for its citizens in India saying that it continues to receive information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in the country. "Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where US citizens or westerners are known to congregate or visit. This replaces the travel alert dated December 29, 2009, and expires on April 30, 2010," said the alert.

    US ambassador Timothy J Roemer condemned the Pune bombing. "On behalf of the people of the United States, I extend heartfelt sympathy to the Government of India and the victims of this tragic terrorist blast in Pune. The US remains shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the fight against terror and will assist as needed to help bring the perpetrators of this cowardly act to justice."
    US had warned of attack in Pune, Mumbai
    The challenge from Pune

    IESM: Appeal, Membership and Justice for Veterans

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Kindly do read each word of the appeal and request appended click here, from Col SS Rajan, Member IESM Governing Body.
    Please do not rely on your personal capacity to donate funds for the noble cause “Justice for Defence Services”, but do request your close relatives and friends also to donate.
    A large number of veterans are very well to do. God has been kind to you – it is time for you to show your big heart to all ESM be kind to them.
    I am sure many of you are also capable of donating large sums every month to IESM.
    IESM is a registered NGO.
    Donations to IESM are exempt from Income Tax under the Provisions of Sec 80 G of the Income Tax Act. (Authority: Exemption accorded by Commissioner of Income Tax, Faridabad, Haryana, vide letter No.CIT/FBD/Tech/08-09/80 G/113/31/4533 dated 25 Aug 2009 and valid till 31 March 2012).
    I promised to Chairman IESM to collect between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 as donations from my close relatives and friends.
    A large number of members of “Report My Signal” are still not members of IESM. I appeal to you all to come forward and become members of IESM.
    The necessary membership form and instructions are simplified click here. Please become member and donate generously to IESM.
    The contribution rate for becoming member of IESM is:
    1. Officers- Rs 500 (Rs 100 fee, Rs 400 donations– min)
    2. JCOs and equivalents- Rs 200 (Rs 40 fee, Rs 160 donations – min)
    3. OR- Rs 100 (Rs 20 fee, Rs 80 donations – min)
    Please give wide publicity to the contents of this mail among your service friends.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj

    Gallantry Awardees: Delhi

    Dear Veterans,
    Please find the list of Gallantry Awardees of Delhi click here. In case anyone’s name is missed out please do intimate Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board to up date their list.
    Dear Gallantry Awardees, Please send us your email and residential address to up date our data bank.
    With good wishes.
    Maj (Dr) T C Rao

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Time to wind up DGQA Organisation?

    Parwinder Sandhu | Pune
    In yet another blow to the Indian Army’s image, the CBI has arrested three persons — including a retired Army officer in the Pune-based Director General of Quality Assurance — for their alleged role in the approval of sub-standard anti-skid chains worth Rs 1.56 crore supplied to the Indian Army.

    The anti-skid chains were supplied to the Army between 2006 and 2009 by one Sunil Sharma, owner of Pune-based firm Sharma Enterprises. The officers who have been arrested include deputy director general (administration), New Delhi AJ Pawar, joint controller of quality assurance (heavy vehicles), Avadi Chennai A Prabhakaran and former group officer, vehicle quality assurance wing, Pune Fayazoddin.

    Both Pawar and Prabhakaran had been summoned by the CBI for an enquiry in Pune and subsequently arrested. Meanwhile, the third accused is already based in the city.

    Superintendent of Police (CBI anti corruption branch) Vidya Kulkarni said the tenders for the supply of chains had been invited by the Directorate General of ordnance supply, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.

    According to Kulkarni, the three arrested accused allegedly misused their official positions, causing undue favor to the supplier by clearing the substandard material. The supply of the substandard chains would have jeopardized the operational capacity of the Indian Army in the battlefield. Apart from operational hazards because of the chains, it also caused a loss of Rs 1.56 crore to the Government.

    She stated that almost all the supplies of the chains have been frozen by the Army authorities and MoD.

    A Press release issued by the CBI states that the chains are mounted on the tires of vehicles of the Indian Army in snow bound high altitude areas as an anti-skid device.

    It is treated as a critical item for operational purposes and any failure in performance of these chains could result in loss of human life and precious consignments of the Army.

    The Army internal audit report had confirmed that the 5542 chains supplied were of sub-standard quality, Kulkarni said. The chains did not even have the prescribed weight. The quality of chains would now be independently checked by IIT Powai. Eight chains selected randomly have been sent to the IIT. Report on the quality of the chains would be submitted by the IIT later this month.

    Incidentally, the Pune-based firm supplying the chains has also been involved in the supply of sub-standard mudguards worth Rs 5.49 crore to the Indian Army. As many as 4304 low quality mudguards have been supplied to the Army between 2005 and 2007 for the BMP infantry combat vehicles.
    Sub-standard equipment for the Armed Forces
    Confidence in Defence equipment is created and generated through quality assurance by DGQA Organisation

    Comment: The Armed Forces Confidence Level of DGQA Organisation is a big ZERO.

    Corps of Signals Day 2010





    Corps Day Invitation Chennai
    Dear Sir,
    Brig Avtar Singh and all Signal Officers in Station request your esteemed presence with the lady wife to dinner on 20 Feb 2010 at 8 PM at Officers' Mess HQ ATNK & K Area on the occasion of 99th Corps Day Celebration. (Dress- Open Collar)
    SO1 (Sigs)

    IESM: Rally at Dildarpur

    Dear Colleagues,
    I attended an ESM rally today at Dildarpur in Ghazipur District of Eastern UP. There were 500 to 600 ESM who had come from far off places. The enthusiasm displayed by the gathering was infectious and enthusing. Everyone wholeheartedly resolved to be part of the IESM and continue with our struggle in getting justice from the government. A stream of ESM continued to throng the table where membership forms were being accepted.
    The venue is some four hours drive away from Varanasi. Ghazipur incidentally is the home of the legendary Mangal Pande and Abdul Hameed, PVC. It was a great honour to be visiting this land.
    Special thanks to Veterans Major SRS Singh, Hav Shrivastav, Hony Capt Sharma and Hav Gupta for sewing up the event. Capt Sharma, who came from Kanpur, despite his frail frame, has unlimited energy and is indefatigable.
    On 13 February, I had addressed a Press conference at Varanasi that was well attended by the print as well as electronic media.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Lt Gen K Balaram: A Tribute

    Dear Friends,
    I am sad to inform you that a great soldier of Indian Armed Forces– Lt Gen K Balaram, PVSM, is no more among us. I am waiting for detailed information from Dte Gen of Signals on the subject. Two emails through which I learnt about General Balaram’s demise are appended below.

    We pray to The Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to all dear ones and near ones to bear this irreparable loss.

    Those of you who wish to write a "Shradhanjli" for Gen Balaram, may kindly send it for being posted to our weblog -

    The Shradhanjli be kindly emailed to - Col James Kanagaraj, The Moderator at -
    In sorrow
    Chander Kamboj

    From: raj kadyan
    Sent: 16 February 2010 12:55
    I just learn from Barin's email that Gen Balaram has passed away. He was an epitome of propriety and high value system in the Army. A man of impeccable integrity who always stood by his principles. The posterity will remember him for his contribution to the Army.
    The IESM pray for peace for his soul.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    From: Barin Ghose
    Sent: Tue, 16 February, 2010 10:05:04 AM
    With the passing away of Lt Gen Balaram an institution associated with personnel of the Army and the Armed Forces has ended.
    I was associated with him when as Chairman PPOC he guided the Pay Commission Cells of the three services in the submission of their memorandum to the 4th Pay Commission. Of specific rememberance to me was his interest in the job evaluation of the other ranks to establish their pay groups. He had the interests of army personnel close to his heart.
    He became the first and perhaps only AG to be granted Vice Chief status
    The last time I interacted with him was at a seminar at USI when he was Chairman of the Panel to discuss our approach to the recently composed 6th Pay Commission. It was like old times when he ticked me off for exceeding the time limit by 35 seconds.
    May his soul RIP (Rest In Peace)
    Vice Admiral Barin Ghose (Retired)
    Head Pension Cell

    From: Arun Saigal
    Sent: 16 February 2010 19:26
    Dear Kamboj Sir,
    It was with a lump in my throat that I read out the sad news of Lt Gen Balaram's passing away to my wife this morning. Another stalwart has gone...
    I would like to share a memory with you.
    Maj Gen Balaram succeeded Maj Gen Mohinder Singh as Commandant Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Wellington in 1982 soon after we reported for the staff course. Maj Gen Mohinder Singh used to run DSSC with a firm hand. For mid career young officers it was a great achievement to be selected for the course and a feather in one's cap to be graded DS (Directing Staff) material. Gen Mohinder Singh's legacy was that officers must be taught to obey rules and regulations scrupulously and any deviation or slackness would invite adverse comment / negative marking. The introductory talk by the BGS to us was overawing. It was the jewel which crowned the very surgically precise joining instructions which we had received earlier. Constantly improved over years of feedback and experience, the DSSC joining instructions are a role-model of outstanding staff work and minor SDs. Everything in them is well thought out. Detailed instructions & guidelines are articulated in well formed centre headings, group and para headings, using words & language which leaves no room for doubt.
    The list of Donts spelt out by the BGS in his welcoming speech was exhaustive. It made us white uniform walllahs sit up and re-think whether we were really going to enjoy a year's sabbatical from the navy. We had all dreamt of a welcome break from the tough navy life and a year of regular family life in the exotic surroundings of a beautiful, quaint old hill station in the Nilgiris where time is reported to stand still.
    Soon we began to reminisce about our initial days at NDA and about taut army discipline once again You see, the naval service is quite informal in many respects. One does not have to stand to attention all the time while speaking to senior officers; passing salutes are generally exchanged only upto noon and when they are, it is not necessary that you have a cap on your head, and so on. The coastal climate does not encourage one to invest in three-piece suits or many silk Saree's for the spouse....We felt a wee bit stifled at regimented routine and the lack of creative freedom.
    But our fears were short-lived. Maj Gen Balaram came on to the scene without a swagger and swatch. A quiet unassuming, studious looking senior officer, he quietly observed the daily life for a couple of days and then made an unforgettable speech which showed how humane and perceptive he was. We took our seats in the main auditorium well before the appointed time, decked in our Sunday best, dreading what was to come. Though young in service, we were well-aware that traditionally a new hand at the helm always meant an across-the board tightening-up in any service. There was an unusual silence as we awaited the customary pep talk and a pronouncement of a fresh list of dos & don ts by the new commandant.

    But what he said that evening remains forever etched in my memory. He spoke in fatherly terms and advised us to make use of the opportunity to spend a year with our family in that wonderful place to renew bonds with family and make new friends. He advised us to study hard, think creatively, question the 'greens' (the staff solutions) and come up with better ones. In our spare times we should play hard and utilise the recreational facilities of the institution to the fullest. He told us that our Directing Staff were mature senior officers who knew how to recognise the potential in us and that we should not be too-conscious of our gradings by them. We should consider them our gurud who were there to guide us to develop skills and abilities to become assets as future staff officers in higher formations.

    He informed us that recognising that we were all fairly senior and mature officers, he had issued a specific directive to his staff earlier in the day. The staff were there to assist and guide us to develop our full potential. Henceforth, they were required to minimise the burden and routine chores of 'personal adm' from our shoulders so that we could devote our energies to the primary task of studying. He streamlined the requisitioning of transport to ferry the sick and the womenfolk from far off residential areas like Gorkha Hills and ensured easy access to medical facilities for the families so that we did not have to absent from class for these purposes. The doorstep supply of service rations and daily necessities from the market (Needs, near MRC) etc etc also became well organised and left the men-folk with more time and energy to think and turn in better solutions.
    Above all (and this was a stunner) he said he had issued instructions that no one in the college had the power to say 'No' to the mature and responsible officers undergoing staff course. The buck for turning down a request for a sudden trip to Coimbatore to receive a family member, to take a couple of days leave to see an ailing parent, to requisition transport etc etc stopped at the Commandant's desk. If you got a No, it meant that it was his considered decison as head of our family and must be obeyed. All other officers of the DSSC had the power only to say YES and with that was implied their responsibility to ensure that students never faced problems - personal or professional.
    It was a great thought. We worked hard and we played hard. Personally, I felt that the overall quality of our professional output notched up many times.
    I practiced his philosophy about the power to say no in subsequent life and always had good results. It was a facet of leadership that he had passed on to us.
    In the evening of his life sometimes I met Gen Balaram in a seminar or in the lawns of the Delhi Gymkhana Club. It was always an honour to re-introduce myself every time and to thank him for that unforgettable year in DSSC. Ever the courteous and caring senior officer, he never forgot to enquire about my well-being and about my family as if he knew them. Though in failing health himself, he always said that although he was not sure what he could do for me, I should feel free to call on my former commandant for a helping hand.
    If memory serves me right, once after his retirement he was hand-picked by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to personally assess the ground truth and give her a factual account of what had happened in Orissa - I seem to recall that it was a case of starvation deaths or atrocities on dalits and that the administration was trying to cover it up. She probably trusted the General's sense of fairplay and his integrity to put in a true report of the reality as he saw it.
    As a naval officer I salute my old commandant. I am fortunate that I got a chance to meet him. May his soul rest in peace and may his spirit guide us to develop our faculties for original and creative thinking. Perhaps I may yet invent a follow-on to the famous Balaram aerial!
    Best regards,
    (Cdr Arun Saigal)

    Useful link for ESM Organisations
    Utilization of manpower in the Army: Lieutenant General K Balaram PVSM (Retd)

    Devil's Advocate: Army chief on Sukhna land scam

    IN DEFENCE OF THE ARMY: General Kapoor accepts that the scam has embarrassed the Army.

    Dear members,
    A full version of the transcript of the recent COAS interview on CNN IBN Click here

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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