Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sahidi Samman Samaroh at Parliament House on 01 Apr 2010

Dear Veterans,
Sahidi Samman Samaroh at Parliament House on 01 April 2010
1. Sahidi Samman Samaroh will be held at Parliament House at 10 AM on 01 Apr 2010. War Widows have been invited for a cup of Tea.
2. Shri JP Agarwal, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and President, DPCC will be the Chief Guest.
3. Invitation card is as above.
4. You are requested to confirm your participation if you desire to attend the same.
5. Please fwd your name with Mobile & address through E Mail .
6. The consolidated list will be fwd to Chief Security officer, Parliament House for security reasons.
With kind regards,
Maj (Dr) TC Rao
DPCC (Ex-Servicemen Deptt)

Raw deal for Veterans: Demystifying One Rank One Pension

The Tribune Chandigarh, Saturday, 27 March 2010
by Lt Gen Harwant Singh (Retd)

Expression of Gratitude
The Military Veterans salute Veteran Lt Gen Harwant Singh, an intrepid crusader for Justice for the Soldier, for his incisive writing and hard hitting articles. Hope some sense prevails in the right quarters and the Govt. takes note of the Gerneral’s sane advise; and, if not the Govt, hope the three service Chiefs take note of this article and have the gumption to take up with the Govt. that it is indeed high time that justice is done both to the Soldiers and Veterans. Three Cheers to Gen Harwant Singh.
The Military Veterans also thank Veteran Cdr KK Punchi, a pillar of strength to Military Veterans and the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, for posting articles of interest & importance to the Military Veterans.
Col SS Rajan (Retd)

Tribune Pride of the Province?
Thank you Tribune for publishing, on 27 March 2010, a very touching article on Central Pay Commission omissions and commissions in regard to Defence Services- well written by my erstwhile neighbour 20 yrs back- Lt General Harwant Singh. A reader will not know the very disciplined General Harwant Singh. I am touched by the fact that such a disciplined soldier had to open up with facts and figures- tragedy that encompasses the life of a soldier- taken very lightly by the countrymen.

My humble suggestion is that Tribune should get back to what it was 100 years back- a pride of the province- and- do a complete study in public on " WHY DEFENCE PERSONNEL ARE BEING TREATED THIS WAY by leaders of the Public?"

The aim is to make the public aware of what is simmering under the carpet for last 40 years at least in the Defence set up.

The public needs to know why the gaps are being grown bigger and bigger between those in uniform meant for Defence of the Country and the Babus who guide the ignorant politicians and rule internally.

Maybe you are able to start with discussion on each word General Harwant Singh has carefully chosen and written and tragedy for the nation the bitter truth.

A mere publishing of an article in newspaper does not make the newspaper great.
Please remember Lala Lajpat Rai ji and Tribune's contribution in grooming the countrymen towards attaining freedom.

Please help clean up the soldiers' domain first so that first impact of enemy is at least taken care of. A very intensive debate in public by you will help the nation and the generations to come. Otherwise- generations to come will not pardon us. Please do what is right BUT do not close your eyes!!!
Air Cmde Sushil Soni (Veteran)
Member IESM

Amy Officer's daughter duped by money-for-roles cinema scam

The cash-rich Tamil cinema industry may have given the ticket to stardom to many but also has many untold stories of several aspiring stars falling prey to the con skills of unscrupulous elements.
In the latest incident of duping that became public, a 32 year-old director who lured aspirants by promising roles in his film for a price tag has landed in the police net after his con script took an ‘unexpected twist’!
Police last week swooped on the director, Aravind G Mehta, after a complaint from an Army officer whose daughter was tricked by him. Following his arrest, many more of his victims are flocking to the police commissionerate with similar complaints of cheating. Mehta, who was also running a film school, had allegedly duped the Army officer's daughter of Rs 4.5 lakh with the promise of making her the female lead in his Tamil film. But he could not keep his word and turned a villain in the eyes of the 'investor'.
Demanding money from the gullible, Mehta, a native of Tiruchirappalli and a product of the Taramani Film Institute in the city, managed to collect a few lakhs of Rupees for a film he had proposed to make. Four persons, including two women, have approached police, alleging that they had paid Mehta sums ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50000 for roles such as second female lead and other characters.
According to PTI, insiders say it is no new practice where aspiring men and women are charged by relatively little known producers and directors, all for the much-needed 'first step or break,' to cast them in their projects. While a few projects do take off, many remain on paper.
Aspiring actors duped by money-for-roles scam

Army officers and Veterans need to be ever vigilant as more and more civil conmen operate from military cantonments and also from AWHO housing colonies as civilains are permitted to become AWHO members just by merely paying for/ or buying a NOC.

The Indian Army– A Glorious Heritage

SATURDAY, 27 March 2010
The Indian Army – A Glorious Heritage, Says Kapil Sibal
Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal released a book titled ‘The Indian Army – A Glorious Heritage’ today at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi. Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Director, NCERT Prof G Ravindra and other dignitaries from the Army and the ministry were also presented during the function.

The book published by NCERT specifically compiled for the young age group contains authentic inspirational accounts from India’s wars, traces the history, sacrifice and evolution of the Army and provides details on the entry system in to its ranks. The book attempts create an awareness towards army in a readable style.

The minster and the Army Chief both appreciated the effort and reiterated the need of constantly upgrading our military capabilities for the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Kapoor revealed that the book comes as a culmination of sustained effort to reach out to the vast talent pool available at the school level. Through the efforts of NCERT and state boards, photographs and promotional material has been included in text books.

The NCERT, under the aegis of the HRD ministry has always been extremely supportive. The book has been published by the NCERT as a non textual adjunct and is available in all their outlets. Veerendra/RPA/DS
The Indian Army – A Glorious Heritage, Says Kapil Sibal

PM clarifies on one-rank-one-pension for ex-servicemen

March 5th, 2010 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS-
New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said a committee under the cabinet secretary has not recommended one-rank-one-pension scheme for retired defence personnel.
“The factual position is that we have constituted a committee under the cabinet secretary to look in into issue of one-man-one-pension and other related matters. The committee did not recommend one-man-one-rank-pension,” Manmohan Singh said in the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister’s remarks came after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani accused him of breaching parliamentary propriety by making “false” claims over the scheme.

“But whatever recommendations the committee made to substantiate and enhance the pensionary benefits of persons below officer rank and commissioned officers were accepted by the government. This is what I have stated in my Independence Day speech,” Manmohan Singh added.

The prime minister said of the seven recommendations the committee made, five have been implemented while the other two will be done soon.

“Advani informed BJP MPs about PM’s claim in Lok Sabha that the government had implemented its decision on enhancement of pension to JCOs (junior commissioned officers) and jawans (soldiers). No JCO or jawan has received any such order. This is a very serious matter of parliamentary impropriety,” BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said Thursday quoting Advani.
PM clarifies on one-rank-one-pension for ex-servicemen

Comment: The goof up in Parliament has been covered up. It seems that the bureaucrats call the shots!

OROP Demand Rejected? If so what pension gap is being bridged?
"The effort of the government has always been to improve the pension of ex-servicemen, who had been demanding grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP). The government accepted the remaining recommendations March 8," said a senior defence ministry official.

The government had already accepted four of the seven recommendations made by the committee. While the OROP demand has been rejected, the government has significantly improved the pensions of personnel below officer rank (PBOR).

"Implementation of these orders will not only significantly reduce the gap between the past and the current pensioners, but will also considerably improve the pension of ex-servicemen, including disabled ex-servicemen. It will benefit 12 lakh ex-servicemen at a cost of Rs.2,200 crore approximately per annum," the official added.
Govt. accepts recommendations on ex-servicemen's pension

The Defence Fourth Pay Commission SCAM
On 8th Mar 2010 the Hon’ble Supreme court blew the lid of a scam by Babus wherein the Soldiers of the Union of India were fraudulently deprived of their earnings and status by the Babus. After 24 years, the rank pay of the Service officer was justly construed while the Babus tried to convolute the substance with devious intent.

Mumbai Mayhem: Headley's Confession Confirms Pak Handlers were State Players

Headley confession shows close Al Qaeda, LeT ties: NYT
Washington: Pakistani-American terror suspect David Headley's confession about his involvement in the Mumbai terror attack reveals the close relationship between Al Qaeda and Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, according to a former CIA analyst.

Headley's revelations about an European cell of Al Qaeda were also disturbing, Bruce Riedel, who was a member of the National Security Council in the Clinton administration and is now at the Brookings Institution, was quoted as saying by the New York Times Friday.

They showed that "Al Qaeda still has a significant operational infrastructure somewhere in Europe", he said.

Details of Headley's activities, contained in his plea agreement with US authorities, "raise troubling questions about how an American citizen could travel for so long undetected from his home base in Chicago to well-established terrorist training camps in Pakistan", the Times said in a report from Islamabad.
Headley confession shows close Al Qaeda, LeT ties: NYT
Related news
By Ashida Vasudevan, 18/03/2010 Exclusive: Facing heat in the north, Maoists regrouping in south

MOD Land Lease scam: Prestigious Chennai Clubs Cheat the Nation

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

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

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

Cosmopolitan Club, Chennai
The Cosmopolitan Club, Chennai, had been occupying 2.327 acres of land, in the heart of the city, since July 1962/July 1965 without renewal of the earlier lease agreement which was effective only up to June 1970. The Club also unauthorisedly occupied an additional area of 3.925 acres from April 1993.

Audit scrutiny of the case disclosed the following:
Though the lease in respect of the 2.327 acres of land expired in June 1970 itself, the DEO did not take any action till September 1975 when an application from the Club for renewal of the lease beyond June 1970 was received. The matter was taken up with the Directorate General of Defence Estates only in November 1975.
The DEO brought to the notice of the Directorate General in March 1997 that the Club had been functioning as a commercial organization and rent should consequently be charged on a commercial basis. Based on 5 per cent of the land value, rent totalling Rs 3.29 crore was determined as recoverable for the period from July 1970 to March 2000, which would increase to Rs 4 crore up to June 2001.
No Lease agreement had been concluded with the Club beyond June 1970 in respect of the 2.327 acres of land initially leased to it or in respect of the 3.925 acres that had been unauthorizedly occupied since April 1993. Recovery of rent at commercial rates proposed by the DEO had also not been effected as of March 2002.
The Directorate General informed Audit in September 2002 that the question of renewal of the lease and damages to be charged from the club was under examination.
Prestigious Chennai clubs owe Rs 50 Crore rentals to MOD

This scam is perpetuated by Politicians, Bureaucrats in connivance with the MOD and AHQ. The Sukhna Scam fades into insignificance compared to revenue loss of over Rs 50 Crore to the exchequer for a period of over 2 decades as black money has been used by vested interests to evade legitimate revenue due to the Government!

A closer look at the clubs under scrutiny reveals:
The clubs have lease agreements for a period of 30 to 60 years. Defence lands— often huge tracts given to run the clubs to ensure "betterment of Members including the Garrison Officers". One needs to zero in on the terms and conditions of the lease agreements, which are grossly violated. These are: restricting public entry and use, discriminatory membership practices, non-payment of dues, non-submission of audited accounts and earning illegal revenue by letting out premises for weddings, parties, guest rooms and Guest fees. The Garrison Officers are relegated as second class members. The managements and Governing body owes an explanation to the nation for violating the Rules of the land. Even capital gains taxes are cleverly evaded.

Besides, the management and Governing Body are minting money by hiring out premises without paying a dime for tax. It's nothing but a robbery of citizens' resources, If these conserves of the privileged governing body can be brought to the negotiating table to renew their leases at reasonable rates and made to follow terms, the bigger battle of fighting corruption in high places can be won!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tiny Island, Fought Over by India & Bangladesh, Vanishes Into the Sea

Remember that time you and your sibling couldn’t stop fighting over a toy, so your mom wouldn’t let either one of you have it? It seems the same thing happens to unhappy neighboring countries and Mother Nature. The island in the Bay of Bengal that Bangladesh called South Talpatti and India called New Moore or Purbasha appeared after a devastating cyclone, and it appeared right near the territorial boundary between the two. Decades of fighting over the uninhabited speck of land led to no political resolution. But now there’s a perfectly clear geographical resolution: The sea has reclaimed the island, scientists say.
Tiny Island, Fought Over by India & Bangladesh, Vanishes Into the Sea

Shortage of Officers in the Armed Forces

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

There has been shortage of officers in the Armed Forces. The shortage of officers in the Army is around 11,500 and in the Navy, the shortage is 1606. The number of vacancies in Air Force is 1342.

The shortage is partly attributable to accretions in the Armed Forces from time to time, tough selection procedures, difficult service conditions coupled with perceived high degree of risk involved in service career.

A number of steps have been taken to attract the talented youth to join the Defence Forces. All officers including those in Short Service Commission (SSC) are now eligible to hold substantive rank of Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel after two, six and 13 years of reckonable service respectively. The tenure of SSC officers has been increased from 10 to 14 years. A total number of 750 posts of Lt. Col have been upgraded to Colonel towards implementation of AV Singh Committee Report (Phase-I). Further, 1896 additional posts in the ranks of Colonel, Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant General and their equivalents in the other two Services have been upgraded towards implementation of AV Singh Committee Report (Phase-II). The implementation of the recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission with substantial improvement in the pay structure of officers of Armed Forces, is expected to make the Services more attractive.

The Armed Forces have also undertaken sustained image projection and publicity campaign to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career. Awareness campaigns, participation in career fairs and exhibitions, advertisements in print and electronic media, motivational lectures in schools, colleges are also some of the other measure in this direction.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Tariq Anwar in Rajya Sabha today. PK / RAJ
Shortage of Officers in the Armed Forces: PIB

Lt Gen Vinay Shankar former Director General Artillery.
IDR Issue: Vol 25.1 Jan-Mar 2010
How has the Army fared in the last two decades in the discharge of its responsibilities? At considerable cost to itself it has barely managed to keep the lid on. Given the serious shortage of junior officers, and the indifferent and insufficient weaponry at its disposal, the Army it can be contended, has done exceedingly well. Regrettably the problems of the Army, and the stresses it is subjected to, are understood only by those who are in it. The MOD and the political leadership, or for that matter also the strategic community have a vague awareness, nowhere close to the ground realities. This explains the decades of inertia.
Army’s Capability Accretion: click here to read the full article

IESM: Veterans contribute their mite for success of OROP mission

Dear members of the Governing Body,
A senior Indian Military Veteran Wing Cdr Mohender Pal Singh of 8 NDA Course from California visited IESM HQ and gave a Cheque of Rs 25000/- to IESM (Rs 24500 donation + Rs 500 membership Fee). It was very pleasant to listen to him. Full of ideas, enthusiasm, motivated and totally committed, he informed that he would donate this amount every year.
As I was about to thank him, he stated something which touched my heart deep inside and my eyes went moist. He said, he has informed the Medical Authorities to take his body for research when he dies and the amount due to him for this offering will be donated to the IESM funds.
Our heartfelt salute to him. May God bless him sound health and long life. Such Military veterans are the greatest motivators for our Movement. He has also informed that he would motivate other Military Veterans in California to contribute and support our Cause.
With kind regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

India's war memorial: Historical perspective and present status

Ajai Shukla: India's war memorial - Seal the deal
Rajeev Chandrasekhar's plan for the war memorial is a good idea
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi March 23, 2010, 0:09 IST

Amongst the many issues that scar relations between India’s military and its civilian overseers — pay scales and pensions; the failure to buy adequate weaponry; and the military’s marginalisation in framing security policy, to name a few — the most easily resolved is the military’s longstanding demand for a national war memorial to honour the 20,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen who have sacrificed their lives while defending independent India. A broad section of the urban public echoes this plea.

The demand is for a prominent memorial on New Delhi’s Central Vista, which can be visited freely by the Indian public, and where wreathes can be offered by national leaders on occasions like the Republic Day, and by visiting foreign dignitaries who choose to do so. The current memorial, the Amar Jawan Jyoti, is merely an add-on to the India Gate, an imposing 42-metre high British structure, built in 1921, to honour the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in the First World War.

The irony is evident: the British exalted the memory of Indians who died for the empire; but India finds it bothersome to suitably commemorate those who fell in service of the republic.

Anyone who has travelled along India’s borders with China and Pakistan cannot have missed the lonely memorials at the places where Indian troops fought and died. Amongst the most stirring is the stark monument to Major Shaitan Singh and his 111 Kumaoni soldiers who battled to the last, holding up a major Chinese advance on the desolate, windswept plateau of Chushul. This Indian hero, a winner of the Param Vir Chakra, is honoured only in that unvisited war memorial near Chushul. No national memorial is inscribed with the name of Major Shaitan Singh.

The proposal for a “National War Memorial”, as I accidentally discovered in the Assam state archives in Guwahati, predates independent India. A confidential memo, issued on March 3, 1945, from the War Department in New Delhi (in File No. 110-C/45, entitled “Indian National War Memorial”, in the Governor’s Secretariat, Confidential Branch) declares that the Government of India (GoI) has been examining “the question of the form that an Indian National War Memorial should take”. The memo orders that “the establishment of a Military Academy on the lines of the United States Military Academy at West Point for the education and basic training together of future officers of the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force would be the most suitable form for the memorial to take”.

In short, New Delhi proposed that what was to become the famous National Defence Academy (NDA), which is still the bedrock of Indian officer training, would also serve as India’s National War Memorial.

The British government of India further proposed that “funds for the academy would be provided by public subscription and supplemented by the state”. It urged all provincial governments (as state governments were then called) to support the scheme, establish scholarships, encourage the public to contribute, and to not set up any other war memorials so that the support of the public “may be concentrated on the all-India (war memorial)”.

Shortly afterwards, as the Second World War hurtled towards its denouement in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the War Department in New Delhi directed (vide memo No. F.65/45/W.1, dated June 15, 1945) that the construction of the academy be financed from a gift of 100,000 pounds, received from the Government of Sudan in gratitude for the Indian Army’s role in freeing Sudan from Italian occupation.

An Indian National War Memorial Working Committee was quickly constituted, which sent out a questionnaire to the provinces asking for their views on a range of subjects, including the setting up of feeder schools for the proposed academy-cum-war memorial. The questionnaire asked, keeping in mind the “urgent need in India for leaders in all walks of life, including the fighting services”, should “practical steps not be taken to meet the requirement of the immediate future by the establishment of a certain number of residential high schools”.

Today, 65 years later, the military community, especially officers from the NDA, will recognise that these proposals have been implemented in full. The Sudan Block, a magnificent basalt and granite structure, topped with a Jodhpur red sandstone dome, is the central edifice around which the academy stands. Generations of cadets, including this columnist, have dozed restfully through lectures in the Sudan Block’s cool classrooms. Many of those cadets entered the NDA from 19 Sainik Schools across the country, the network of “feeder schools” proposed in 1945.

Lost along the way, fortuitously, is the proposal for the NDA to constitute India’s National War Memorial. A training academy is a living organism that shapes the leaders of tomorrow; bursting with life, it is ill-suited to be a sombre memorial.

Today, with the government unwilling to concede the space for a memorial on New Delhi’s Central Vista, Karnataka MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has suggested a Vietnam Wall-style memorial, inscribed with the names of India’s fallen soldiers, on a 50-60 acre site alongside Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat. The design, which Chandrasekhar submitted to the prime minister last week, includes an eternal flame, a 24x7 ceremonial military guard, a memorial wall, a martyrs’ museum, and large, landscaped areas that would allow schoolchildren and other visitors a pleasant day at the memorial. If the army wants the country to know about and to remember its sacrifices, this is the way to do it.
Mr.Rajeev Chandrashekhar is the son of Air Commodore (retd) M.K. Chandrashekhar who served in the Air Examination Board (AEB), among other appointments.
Ajai Shukla: India's war memorial - Seal the deal

Perspective by Veteran
1. 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' is dominantly placed and treated as National War Memorial by the Indian Govt, solemn for all national ceremonies. Can there be more suitable a place? Why decisions of 20s/40s can’t be reinforced or reviewed by the Govt. of Indep India? We need to rationalise this. In any case, most of the States have their War Memorials.
2. 'National War Museum' too is pending. How many Regiments would part with their prime souvenirs to be displayed in the Museum as and when set by the Govt denuding their Centre(s), Officers Messes, Offices, HQ, etc. How would it look w/o the prime souvenirs? I was part of these discussions a few years back. We need to think afresh.

Brig Sukhwindar Singh (Retd)

IESM: Pension Chart for JCO's, NCO's and Sepoys

Click image for enlarged view
The figures have been checked and individuals are welcome to recheck and report any error.

Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak I.N.(Retd)
Member and Coordinator IESM Pension Cell

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mumbai to get its first China made Metro in April

Mumbai gets its first China made Metro in April
Mumbai: Mumbaikars would soon get a glimpse of the city's first Metro train, due to arrive from China in mid April.

China to supply trains for Mumbai Metro 2010-03-23 22:00:00
A Chinese firm will send 18 high-capacity Metro trains for the new subway rail project in Mumbai as part of a $110 million deal, the company said here Tuesday.

The trains were China's first-ever export of A-type subway trains, which were wider than 3 metres and had greater passenger capacity than other models, said Qian Houkuan, director of information and technology at CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Works, the manufacturer.

The trains rolled off the production line March 20 and would take a month to ship from Shanghai before undergoing trial runs in Mumbai, which is scheduled in May, Xinhua quoted Qian as saying.

The trains, with automatic driving systems and the capacity to reach maximum speed of 80 km per hour, could operate at temperatures up to 55 degrees Celsius and in 100 percent humidity.

Each of the 3.2-metre compartments could carry 390 people, 72 more than the 3-metre A-type trains used in China, Qian said.
Mumbai to get its first China made Metro in April

Military Touts, Arms Dealers and Middlemen role trimmed in weapons deals

The Hindu Online edition of India's National Newspaper Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: In a potential policy shift of enormous significance, the Manmohan Singh-led government is considering a proposal to open up the defence manufacturing sector for 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by allowing big global players to set up production facilities in the country.

According to a note circulated within the Commerce Ministry and sent on to the Cabinet Secretariat for discussion, “established players” in the armament industry should be encouraged to set up their manufacturing facilities and integration of systems in the country by permitting 100 per cent equity through the FDI route.

“There need not be any commitment on procurement and these enterprises would have to participate in the RFP [request for proposal] to technologically qualify and also succeed in financial bidding. In case of such firms, we should permit 100 per cent FDI under the FIPB/CCEA approval route," the proposal says.

With the stated intent of cutting down the role of "touts and middlemen" in weapons deals, the note says: “For future RPFs by the Ministry of Defence, the country could impose a condition that the successful bidder would have to set up the system integration in India with a minimum percentage of value addition. The successful bidder should be allowed to bring equity fully through the FDI route without any restriction."

Taking note of concern over availability or reliability of supply during war, the note says that conditions could be imposed that the Government of India has the right to expropriate a manufacturing facility in case of need for reasons of national security by paying suitable compensation.

“There can be concerns about passing of the equipment, designs or source code to enemy countries. Such a possibility exists even in the case of imported equipment. In fact, in the case of indigenous equipment, we can control the production mechanism in a much better manner. The government could also reserve the right to inspect or control the production and dispatches in these facilities through deployment of necessary security agencies. Export to enemy countries could be banned through a negative list," it states.
Government for 100% FDI in defence

Foreign Vendors have been advocating for long 49% equity from the existing 26% stake in the Defence Sector which the Govt. has been denying in this Strategic Sector for various reasons. Advocacy has now been mounted for 100% FDI through a different channel. The Hindu Report is therefore not surprising.
Indian Defence Industry with support from the DRDO has developed to the level that we are now able to integrate 'important' weapon systems indigenously. With co-development and co-production envisaged as part of the DPPs, India could reach a stage to be suppliers to our 'friends' in addition to meeting domestic demands in high-tech weaponry & systems. 100% FDI permitted at this crucial stage is likely to cripple our defence set-up, both manufacturing and R&D. We need to be wary of foreign 'advocay machinery' in concert with gullible media to raise issues which may influence Policy. Pragmatism is essential to see the things through.
Brig Sukhwindar Singh (Retd)

Bhagat Singh: Is he merely a memory?

The martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and the Pakistan National Day fall on the same date, March 23. But hardly does any one remember him in Pakistan. There is no arch, no plaque, not even a stone to commemorate the execution of Bhagat Singh and his two comrades, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

The Lahore Central jail, where the three revolutionaries were hanged on that day in 1931, has been practically demolished. Their cells have been razed to the ground as if the establishment does not want any sign of their hanging to remain. It is a pity because Bhagat Singh's sacrifice, long before partition, could have been a link of sorts between the two countries.

Three years ago, some of us located at Lahore the place where Bhagat Singh and his two comrades were hanged. Ironically, the locality, where the scaffold for hanging was put up, has been named Shadman (abode of happiness). I asked residents of the colony if they knew who Bhagat Singh was. Many of them had heard the name. Some had a vague idea of his confinement and hanging. "When we came here, there were only police quarters, which were pulled down as the colony expanded," said a man in his fifties. The then Lahore Deputy Commissioner had not even heard of Bhagat Singh's name.

Fortunately, the place of hanging is a bit removed from the main road. There is a pond which gives serenity to the site. We paid homage to the martyrdom of the three on March 24 to avoid the Pakistan National Day celebrations. The following year, we could not hold even a meeting because the authorities had clamped Section 144. The recurrent blasts at Lahore this year keep us away.

The busy roundabout, near which the scaffold for hanging was put up, has a story which is told and retold. This is the place where Nawaz Mohammad Ahmed Khan, father of Ahmed Raza Kasuri, then a member of Pakistan's National Assembly, was shot at. Former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had reportedly 'instructed someone' to kill Kasuri, a staunch opponent. When the bullets were fired through automatic weapons, Kasuri was negotiating the roundabout. His father, sitting next to him, received fatal injuries at the spot near the scaffold. Kasuri's grandfather was one of the officials who had identified the bodies of the three revolutionaries. Old timers believe that nemesis caught up with the Kasuri family when Mohammad Ahmed Khan was wounded at the roundabout. Ironically, Bhutto himself was hanged some 25 years ago.
Read the full article from The Sunday Times
Bhagat Singh: Is he merely a memory?

India's Hot New Anti-Terror Weapon: Spicy Chilly

Photo: Manish Swarup, AP. The Indian military has decided to use the world's hottest chili to make tear gas-like hand grenades. Here, a farmer holds one of peppers pulled from his field in the northeastern Indian state of Assam in 2007.

(March 23) -- The fight on terror is heating up in India, thanks to an innovative new weapon: the spiciest chilly in the world.

Terrorists wouldn't be forced to swallow it in deadly amounts, however. Loaded into a hand grenade, its smell alone would reportedly force them to surrender.

The chili grenade "is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs," a senior military scientist, R.B. Srivastava, was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

The thumb-sized bhut jolokia chili pepper plant was given its No.1 spicy spot in 2007 by Guinness World Records. Spiciness is measured in Scoville units, and bhut jolokia has more than a million of them, compared with up to 8,000 for the jalapeƱo. It's nearly twice as hot as Mexico's red savina, the variety it replaced as the hottest.

The pepper is grown and eaten in northeastern India for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and to fight the summer heat, the news agency said.

"The chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defense laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defense Research and Development Organization," a defense spokesman, Col. R. Kalia, told the AP.

Srivastava, director of the DRDO's life sciences department in New Delhi, said trials were under way to produce aerosol sprays containing the spicy pepper.

Once developed, the police could use them to control unruly mobs, and women could defend themselves against attackers.
India's Hot New Anti-Terror Weapon: Spicy Chilly

Misuse of Defence Lands by Commercial agents thwarted by the High Court

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010: The Hindu
Special Correspondent: Single judge's order to permit conversion set aside
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has allowed appeals by the Cantonment Board, St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram, and the Defence Ministry challenging a single Judge's order directing the authorities to permit conversion of a piece of land, leased by the Defence Ministry to a person, from residential to commercial purpose.

U. Venkatesh was the lessee of 19,200 sq.ft. of land at St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment and the lease granted was only for residential use and not commercial purpose. The conversion was not granted by the Defence Ministry. He filed petitions praying for permission to use the leasehold right for commercial purpose for 90 years by fixing and collecting annual rent and premium of the year 1997 and a direction to the Executive Officer, Cantonment Office, to sanction the building plan in his favour. He also challenged the rejection of his request for conversion of land use. By a common order the single Judge allowed the petitions.

As against the orders, the present appeals were filed. The appellants said the request for change of land use having been rejected and without obtaining the Defence Ministry's permission, approval of the building plan was sought for, which was also returned. The petitioner ought not to have commenced construction on the land for commercial purpose.

M. Ravindran, Additional Solicitor-General, submitted that the petitioner was a lessee of the land, owned by the Defence Ministry, and he was bound by the lease deed which contained a clause to use the land only for residential and not for commercial purpose.

Allowing the appeals and setting aside the single Judge's order, a Division Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and N. Paul Vasanthakumar said the petitioner's conduct in approaching the court and obtaining an interim order without disclosing the non-grant of permission for using the land for commercial purpose and completing the building construction was illegal. The petitioner was bound by the lease agreement.

The Bench said the Supreme Court in a decision had held that buildings constructed unauthorisedly were bound to be demolished. In this case, the petitioner admittedly constructed the building without the Defence Ministry's permission regarding change of land use and also without obtaining building plan approval from the Estate Officer.
Land use conversion case: High Court allows Defence Ministry's appeals

Related article:
Gymkhana Club which is governed by civilians (though land and premises belong to the Military) now need to get licences to operate eateries within the club. The hygiene parameters are bound to improve in the clubs devoid of flies, mosquitoes, bird droppings and foul smell in the dining areas. The Military need to get back the defence lands leased to the Gymkhana Club. The lease has been renewed by corrupt and dubious means and premises used for commercial gains by the Gymkhana Governing Body whose main aim is to spin money. The above case illustrates how the lease can be revoked through court order. The Area Commander who is the Patron of Gymkhana Club should take the initiative of preserving the defence lands in his custody or else it will graduate to land Scam of Sukhna proportions.
Licences mandatory for club restaurants

Expired drugs finds it way for resale in the market

— Photo: V. Ganesan
HUGE CATCH: Expired drugs being seized by police from a godown at Egmore, in Chennai on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: The Health Department will soon introduce a foolproof system for disposing of time-barred drugs, M. Bhaskaran, Director, Directorate of Drug Control, said on Wednesday.

The move follows the seizure of expired drugs that were sent to retail outlets with fake manufacture/expiry dates.

While seven persons were arrested and two surrendered in a city court on Tuesday, special teams were rushed to a neighbouring State to apprehend three prime suspects in the case.

“We have evolved a procedure that will ensure foolproof disposal of time-barred drugs. Because of timely intervention, we have been able to prevent large stocks of expired drugs from reaching the people. Drug Inspectors have been asked to look for three particular medicines that are being circulated with fake dates of manufacture or expiry. Pro-active steps are being taken to expose the entire nexus,” Mr. Bhaskaran told The Hindu on Wednesday.

The Chennai police seized expired drugs worth about Rs.1 crore from a godown here on Wednesday.

The medicines, mostly vitamin supplements in the form of tablets or tonic for pregnant women, were seized from the storage point of Sanjay Kumar, one of the prime suspects wanted in the case pertaining to sale of expired drugs.

“We are following some specific inputs and more seizures will follow soon. This is a very elaborate case and a special team of more than 60 police personnel are involved in the investigation and the arrest of accused persons. The seized medicines are being sent for forensic analysis,” Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran said.

Asked if the recent death of a three-year-old girl in Pulianthope allegedly due to consumption of expired drugs was linked to this case, Mr. Rajendran said a Forensic Science Laboratory report was expected in that regard. Information on how and where the suspects managed to procure the expired drugs and who assisted them in circulating them to retail outlets would be known only after the arrest of the main suspects.

According to police sources, police and health officials launched an intensive operation to detect time-barred or spurious drugs across the State. Director-General of Police Letika Saran said instructions had been given to zonal Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police to take appropriate action on complaints preferred by Drug Inspectors.

“This will be a joint operation in coordination with health officials. They (the health department) have listed certain companies indulging in the sale of expired drugs. We are assisting them in taking action against the persons involved,” Ms. Letika Saran added.
Foolproof disposal of expired drugs soon

Comment: India is besieged with spurious and expired drug racket. This is a multi million Rupee industry which is difficult to eliminate. Citizens need to be cautious and ensure prescribed drugs obtained from renowned and legal sources. ESM need to be more vigilant as some drugs prescibed by ECHS polyclinics are not available in its own dispensary and hence resort to purchase from the market.

Rights of the CSD customer

  • Testing of all consumer durables including electrical appliances, in your presence, and to your satisfaction.
  • Guarantee cards duly filled, signed and stamped by the unit-run-canteen (URC).
  • Replacement of faulty products within warranty period.
  • Proper and efficient after-sales service and CSD’s intervention in case of complaints.
  • Food articles with adequate shelf-life.
  • Consumer promotion schemes as applicable.
  • To see Pictorial Price-List and Monthly Bulletins, published by the CSD.
  • Information on availability of items Against-Firm-Demand (AFD), like automobiles, televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines.
  • Appointment of dealers for AFD items in your town, if it has a major concentration of entitled CSD customers, and if such dealers exist in the civil market.
  • Visit to the CSD Area Depot once a month on a date fixed by the Station Commander.
    If You Want Know More Details Click The Link: CSD India

    Comment: What about return of items and refunds? What about advances paid for AFD items. Why order cannot be cancelled and refunds received immediately?
  • Bangalore Army CSD Canteen engulfed in flames

    Fire in Bangalore’s Military Canteen; no casualties
    by nishal lama 23. March 2010
    A massive fire engulfed the second floor of the Army canteen on M.G. Road at Trinity Circle in Bangalore today afternoon. Cause of the fire is yet to confirmed, but there were rumors that the presence of liquor bottles aggravated the fire that broke at 4:10 pm today afternoon. Authorities, however, negate the rumor. Speaking about the incident, Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said, “The cause of the fire will be found only after a thorough examination of the place. For now, we will have to lodge a complain of an accidental fire at the Ulsoor Police Station. He added, “There were no liquor bottles found, so it wasn’t the liquor that aggravated the situation.”

    The blaze occurred at the second floor of the CSD building, which was believed to have been packed with a lot of inflammatory objects. “There were a lot of inflammable objects, like plastics and other paper-made objects, in the room, which is why there was major loss of property,” said Bidari. He adds: “There are no casualties and no injured persons. All are safe, and the fire is well under control now.”

    24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire, and the authorities now prefer to wait till they start off with their examination to know the cause of the fire. “We will have to wait till as time the accurate cause is been found out. Once we find the cause, we can then take the necessary action, but, we will have to wait till the examination gets over for that,” said Bidari. He added, “All senior fire officials were here and things were taken under control very quickly.”
    Fire in Bangalore’s Military Canteen; no casualties
    Related story:
    Some furniture, including over 100 chairs, in the building were damaged, according to R. Natraj, director, Fire and Rescue Services.
    Fire in defence godown: Fort St George, Chennai

    Unit run CSD Canteen Trichy: Smart Cards out Smarted!

    Unit run Canteen OFT, Trichy
    Posted: 2010-02-01 by Gopinathan Vijaya Kumar
    smuggling out of canteen items to outside petty traders
    It is shocking to say that, one of the general trader in and around in the vicinity of CSD canteen run by Ordnance Factory Trichy found selling the CSD items in the MRP. Further on the reliable information, it is ascertained that, the firm is getting all the CSD general items from the above said canteen with the connivance of some staff of the OFT for years past and till continuing.
    unit run canteen OFT, Trichy

    Unit run CSK Canteen, Trichy
    Respected Sir,
    Kindly read this mail with patience and caution. Now I am going to reveal some secret problems to be dealt with. The problems are related to corruptions done in CSK Canteen, Trichy division.
    From our canteen many liqour bottles have been corrupted with the influence of the manager. A dealer buys 10 bottles for 400 Rs. Even inside the canteen kitchen they are selling in pegs. They are minting money through this illegal business. All the bottles are going out with the knowledge and prior permission of the manager. The main culprit is A.JOHN LOUIS. He is the security in Tanjore canteen. Now at present he is in Trichy canteen. He is the right and left hand of the manager. The customers who apply for smart card will use paper cards until the smart card is given to them. With help of those numbers from the paper card the customers buy goods.After the purchase is over the paper card will be locked.Per day not even 10 paper cards will be circulated but they prepare 20 to 30 paper cards and buy lots of liquors and sell it outside illegaly. This is done with the help of the manager. The person who possess a little computer knowledge can find all these corruptions easily.
    For Eg.On 11/03/2010 only three paper cards have been entered.
    GRO2426 10163329 Late.Mariyappan (P.C no.02426)
    GRO1658 60838 Late.Jaganathan 7142 148258862 Chauhan Ajmal
    But there are more number of cards been entered, they are
    14264168 6875 Sivakumar
    14264168A 06875 Sivakumar
    1706141 2285 Shanmuga vadivu
    0007 JC196014 A.Sundaram
    2187 13937312 A.Louis
    21940 7031774A Nithyanandham
    219400 219400 Nithyanandham
    4774 2199651 R.Krishnasamy
    4774A 219965A R.K.Samy

    This smart card maintanence is done by Mr.Kaalamegam. A 67 age old man who is working since 2003 but the shocking news is that he is not a canteen staff. He is the binami of manager Mr.Balraj.
    Manager G.Balraj and Kaalamegam will not give smart card to the customers at once. They will use the customer's smart card for 2 to 3 months and buy the goods and sell them outside. There are some brokers who get commission of about Rs.100 per Rs.1000. Per day they sell goods worth Rs.50,000 and gain a commission of Rs.5,000. Their average commission per month will exceed more than Rs.1,00,000. They have 2 to 3 contractors for moving the goods. Everything is done with the knowledge of watchman LOUIS. He collects Rs.500 per negotiation. From the year 2004-2005 each customer was given separate card for liquor and goods.But the watchman will only give goods card and keep the liquor card with himself.When the customer claims for the liquor card they give a new one. If you raid the manager's house you can get 100's of liquor cards. They have minted more amount of money with the help of these liqour cards.The culprits are Radhakrishnan Asst Salesmen in Tanjore, Rajendran from Vasantha Bhavan Hotel and Kamal. They are all the Binami's of the manager Balraj.
    At the same time the smart cards of the expired persons is used by them for 2 to 3 months and then only they hole the cards. Through a single dealer the manager gets more than Rs.1,00,000 money. Under his undertaking there are 5 canteens. So he gains more money which he buries in the underground of his house.He has spies in every departments.Nobody can complaint against him. If done he will easily find it out.For each postman he would give 2 liquor bottles per week. This is because nobody should write to the higher authorities against him and if it is done they will give all the letters to the manager Balraj himself. He will give 4 bottles for the dispatch clerks in the station headquarters and ask them to neglect all the complaints before rooted to higher officials. He is acting like a good person after committing so many crimes.
    Click here to read the full scam: Published by 8AK India Defence News

    Army CSD Canteen Mathura
    Posted: 2009-12-09 by CAPT BRIJ LAL (Retd)
    I had purchased 15 liter Saffola Gold from Mathura Cantt Army Canteen @ Rs 1766/- whereas same item is available in open market for Rs 1710/-. It is shocking that "How can a item could be more cheaper in market than CSD Canteen?"
    MRP difference: Item cheaper in open market

    SCPC: Pre 2006 Majors and Equivalents pension disparity

    Dear Sirs,
    There will be no Majors retiring in future but only Lt Cols and above. If OROP is agreed to by GOI in the very near future, all other senior officer ranks will be benefited by being brought up to par with those retiring now for the same job performed. The Majors will be left behind if we agree that Major’s pension should be fixed less than that of Lt Cols. Since the entity called “retired Majors” is going to be an obsolete term in future, the surving few who will be a dwindling lot should be brought at par with Lt Cols as far as pension is concerned. To make it easy for the babus, we could recommend that Honorary rank of Lt Col, with pre-2006 retrospective effect, could be granted to all retired Majors, to not only enhance their pension but also to set right the “Izzat” factor. This will ensure fair treatment by future pay commissions. It will send the right message to the youth wanting to join the services that their services will not be forgotten.
    The organisation we are competing with is the Pakistani army. They have not upgraded their commmmanding officers' ranks to Colonels from Lt Cols, or upgraded Company commanders with more than 13 years of service to the rank of Lt Cols. It will be interesting to find out if the Pakis have upgraded their Centre Commandants to Brigadier rank and in the process diluted the the "izzat" of Brigade Commanders. Do their Brigades have staff officers known as Brigade Majors or are they known as Brigade Lt Cols? Has any other army in the world distorted their internal parity of officer ranks for the sake of competing with the civil services?
    To strengthen the case of Major’s, the following could be added to the list of points:
    a) It is in the first twenty years of service that an officer leads the most hazardous life in difficult stations. Statistics of officer casualties during war and counter insurgency operations will show that 90% of the casualties are suffered by Lieutenants, Captains and Majors. Of all the casualties, percentage of officer casualties has always been more than that of other ranks.
    b) The services officers are not in competition with any Public sector organization, but with the armies of China and Pakistan in the world’s most inhospitable terrain. They have evil designs on the security of our country. How they rehabilitate their officers who commanded Companies, Squadrons or Batteries, and completed 20 years of service, and retired, should be looked into when deliberating upon an equitable pension of their equivalents in India.
    (Maj CN Anand)

    Rank Pay denied to Military haunts MOD

    The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in their Judgment has ordered to restore deductions made from Basic Pay of Defence officers equivalent to the Rank Pay and include Rank Pay as additional Pay from 1.1.1986 and revise all Pay/Pension calculations based on that. It is not a Financial Bonanza as being published in media but is restoration of dues being denied to them for such a long time. It cannot compensate the losses suffered by many in different fields due to these and especially by those who left us and their families. Though it a matter of happiness that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has up held justice long being denied but all the same it is sad that the culprits have been left unpunished and no strictures have even been passed against those who openly flouted the Court Judgments and did not follow the laid down Court rules and precedents.

    When SLP was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India on Hon’ble Kerala High Court Judgment the MOD should have immediately implemented the orders for all affected rather than restricting those to only the appellant. as there was a Judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court already available where the Court had delivered a judgment asking Govt. that the concerned departments should set right the similar mistakes as pointing out in a particular case without referring to the Court again. There are precedents where the MOD has rectified such mistakes on this basis and differences were either paid or recovered without reference to any court of law. In this case persons having similar cases should not have been made to go to courts and the MOD should have settled the cases accordingly at their own rather than delaying it for so many years. It has unnecessarily delayed matters and made many officers suffer especially those who have left us during this long period and family pensioners. Anyhow we hope that the refixing of Pay/Pension will be done fast and payment of arrears will be paid soon. We hope that this time the arrears will be worked out by the CDA concerned and final figure will be given to PDAs to pay rather than asking PDAs to work out arrears and pay which caused lot of confusion and delay as experienced earlier during payments of 6th CPC.

    Very many people may not know that Rank Pay was introduced by the IV Central Pay Commission as Special Pay and was to be paid in addition to the substantive pay of the post/rank held. It was shown on the Pay Slip as Rank Pay paid but instead of giving additional pay, as sanctioned by the IV CPC, an equivalent amount was deducted from the substantive Pay, fixed for the Rank This amounted, to not only denying the officers the additional rank pay but lowering the Basic Pay, in comparison to their counter parts in civil, on which status, DA and other allowances are worked on. This Rank Pay became double under the 5th CPC award with 100% merger of DA but the increased portion was only paid as Rank Pay and the earlier deduction continued. The 6th CPC also made all calculations on the reduced Basic Pay and accordingly awarded lower status and Grade to Defence Officers in comparison with their civilian counterparts and there was a chaos and protests where Govt. had to revise Grade Pay but did not go into the root cause, which was less basic pay which needed to be restored. If you restore the basic pay some of the officers automatically will jump into next scale and get entitled to better scale and Grade, especially junior ranks. Thus to say that it has nothing to do with 6TH CPC is wrong. The Pay and Allowances/ Pension fixed by 6th CPC on the basis of reduced Basic Pay needs to be revised.

    All officers who were serving on 1.1.1986 and where reduction in Basic Pay has been made, it has to be restored and arrears paid for the period the deductions continued, depending upon the rank held. The amount will vary as the rank goes up as deductions have been made as per rank held at that time. 50% of the deducted amount will be due from the date one retired. Officers of the rank of Maj Gen and above, who served as Col/ Brigadier during the period are eligible for arrears for that period they served in that rank after 1.1.1986.

    It may not be correct to say that the officers who were commissioned/ retired post 1996 will not be affected as these facts were not brought to the notice of the 5th and 6th CPC and officers were paid at less Basic Pay and half of the Rank Pay due to them. The rank pay got doubled during 5th CPC, due to merger of 100% DA but only half was paid to officers and half continued to be deducted from basic pay e.g. the rank pay of a Capt. had become Rs.600/- during 5th CPC but they were paid Rs.300/- as Rank Pay and rest was deducted from basic pay. Since Rank Pay has to be included in the Pay while calculating an Officers Pay /Pension, wherever it has not been taken into consideration, either full or half, while working, the emoluments have to be recalculated and difference paid as arrears with 6% interest there on.

    In a historic Judgment the Apex Court has held on 08.03.2010 T.P.(C) No. 56/2007 that the judgment dated 05.10.1998 of Kerala High Court P.P.No.2448/1996 and as confirmed by the Division Bench of the same High Court in W.A.No.518/1999(Appeal) is correct and benefit of this judgment be extended to all eligible officers of Armed Forces With 6% interest on the amount due.

    Gist of Rank Pay Judgment of the Supreme Court of India
    5. The matter was heard and finally disposed of by the Hon'ble Supreme court by the Bench of Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markendey Katju & Hon'ble Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha today i.e. 08.03.2010 (Court-7, Item-84). The Apex Court has held that the judgment dated 05.10.1998 of the Hon'ble Single Judge of Kerala High Court in P.P. No. 2448/1996 as confirmed by the Hon'ble Division Bench of the same High Court in W.A. NO. 518/1999 (Appeal) was correct and reasonable and as such the benefit of this judgment be extended to all eligible officers of Armed Forces. The Hon'ble Apex Court awarded 6% interest on the amount due to the officers. The Hon'ble Supreme court disposed of the transfer petition and allowed the writ petitions of the petitioners. Since the Rank Pay has been deducted from the Basic Pay and all calculations are worked on basic pay it involves refixing of basic pay and working out emoluments on that basis and then working out arrears from 01-01-1986.

    Supreme Court Judgment to restore Rank Pay dues, being denied to Defence Officers from 1.1.1986, is not a Bonanza but late Pay.
    Brig KG Behl(Retd)
    President Dehradun Ex-Services League.

    Plea of Pre-2006 Pensioners rejected and Anamoly Committeee laid to rest
    In this OM dated 19.03.2010, it is informed by DOPT that these representations have been examined and it is reiterated that orders relating to revision of pension of pre-2006 pensioners/family pensioners have been correctly issued as per the recommendations of the 6CPC and no change is required to be made in this respect.
    Download office Memorandum F.No: 38/37/08-P&PW(A) dated 19.03.2010

    IESM: OROP riders needs to be dissolved

    We seem to be getting into a rather involved debate with a lot of riders to take care of individual cases. Getting into uncharted waters like sorting out how much pension each person should get according to his service, rank, service in rank and responsibility in that rank is going to cause confusion in which the winners are going to be only the bureaucrats. As they will be able to delay the resolution of our requirement.

    I have added responsibilty, because very soon I will say that I commanded a unit as a Lt Col so my pension should be the same as a Col who commands it now. A head of an Arm or service used to be Brig many yrs ago. Can brigs who were Directors earlier ask for a Lt Gen's pension because the responsibility is the same? We really will be opening a pandora's box and postpone OROP till kingdom come!

    I feel we should keep it simple- Same pension as a person retiring today, holding a similar rank. Seeing the minimum qualifying service for each rank, I am sure each one of us achieves it by the time we retire. I am aware that some of us will be benefitted more than others, but a vast majority will benefit. I remember, when I was a Maj Gen, I raised the issue with the AG, a few months before the 4th Pay Commission Award, that AHQ should bid for PSOs to be made equivalent to Spl Secys/ DGAFMS as they were responsible for 2-4 Lt Gens under them. The AG's response was that "how can a non gen cadre offr become a grade higher than a Corps Cdr?", because the then MGO was an EME offr! So due to narrow minded/ shortsightedness of an offr we denied the Service a few extra vacancies in a higher rank.
    (Lt Gen SK Bahri, 1st JSW Course)

    1. I fully agree with Gen S K Bahri on OROP Issue. 'Simplicity' in concept, planning and implementation should be considered in view of the complexity of the Issue in the background of Cadre System of the Govt with special dispensation to the Armed Forces.

    2. A separate Pay Commission for the Armed Forces, as per me, is a retrograde step. This may result in 'undue delays' in its approval. We must remain part of the 'main stream' with proviso to nominate a senior officer(s) on the Panel.

    3. Is it very difficult to define OROP in concert with Dept. of ESM Welfare? Various
    ESM Organisations need not have their own definitions.
    Brig Sukhwindar Singh (Retd)

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    War Memorial Jammu

    My dear Chander,
    I was recently visiting Jammu after a span of over 25 years. I was delighted to see the War Memorial which has been completed in November 2009. It is indeed an excellent piece of architecture- sombre, graceful and majestic standing tall on a hill overlooking the Town. It bears names of all the brave soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice during various operations in J&K.

    I wish the Central Govt takes a leaf out of this great example and sets up a suitable National War Memorial in the capital.

    I am attaching a photograph of the Memorial which was taken on my Cell Phone for circulation on Report my Signals for benefit of all your readers.
    Best regards,
    Don Khurana
    (Maj Gen D N Khurana)

    Jammu: A 60-metre tower designed as a bayoneted-rifle has been dedicated to the nation here on Tuesday, immortalising the sacrifices of security men, who lost lives in wars and counter-insurgency operations since Independence in the border state.

    Three Chetah helicopters showered petals over the "Balidan Sthambh" (Tower of Sacrifices) as the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, and the Chief Minister, Mr Omar Abdullah, inaugurated the memorial that came up on about 20 acres of land at Bahu Rakh in the city.

    Around the "Balidan Sthambh", the country's largest war memorial, there is a necklace of 52 pillars with over 8,000 names of martyrs inscribed on black stones.

    "It is a great honour and pride for me to dedicate it to the nation. This is a land of brave soldiers and martyrs who had defended country's boundaries with their blood," the Army Chief said.

    An eternal flame at the base of the tower signifies the timeless commemoration of their sacrifice on the soil of Jammu and Kashmir. Three water bodies mean gradual alleviation of the grief in their death, an official statement said.

    A black granite wall in the background narrates history of each of the wars fought in the state since Independence.
    Country's largest war memorial comes up in Jammu

    The largest military solar power center in Nevada

    The US Federal Government has built the largest solar power center yet in the Air Force base in Nevada. The Nellis Air Force houses 140 acres of solar panels. The Nevada solar power plant beats out Serpa Power Plant in Portugal, which previously held the record as the largest solar farm in the world. Portugal's power plant can generate 11 megawatt of power a day while Nevada boasts of 14.2MW.

    However, Nevada's solar farm powers only 25% of the camp. Nonetheless, this is already a great feat considering that the camp would save as much as $83,000.00 for a fully-commissioned solar farm.

    The flexible solar panels in tactical missions
    The Solar energy and military relationship is not limited to powering up bases; it is eyed as the power source that the troops can use during tactical missions.

    In today's world wherein the best army or naval troops are those who have the latest gadgets in tow, the biggest problem that should be solved is how the troops (who are in mission) could power their telecommunication and tactical gadgets without carrying bagfuls of batteries.

    Today, with the advent of flexible solar panels, the US Military uses tents with flexible solar panels that power all the sophisticated equipment under the solar tent. Their troops, on the other hand carry a universal solar recharger connected to flexible solar cells to power up some of their carried equipment.
    The largest military solar power center in Nevada

    1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school

    U.S. Army Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, center wearing turban, stands with other graduates during a U.S. Army officer basic training graduation ceremony at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on Monday, March 22, 2010. Capt. Rattan is the first Sikh allowed to complete officer basic training while wearing the traditional turban and full beard since the Army altered the dress code, which had made exceptions for Sikh soldiers, in 1984. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

    1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school
    By MICHELLE ROBERTS (AP) – 16 hours ago

    SAN ANTONIO — The soldiers in standard-issue fatigues and combat boots stood side-by-side repeating their creed: "I am an American soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values ...."

    Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan was no different except that he wore a full beard and black turban, the first Sikh in a generation allowed to complete U.S. Army basic officer training without sacrificing the articles of his faith. He completed the nine-week training Monday after Army officials made an exemption to a policy that has effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984.

    "I'm feeling very humbled. I'm a soldier," said the 31-year-old dentist, smiling after the ceremony at Fort Sam Houston. "This has been my dream."

    Rattan had to get a waiver from the Army to serve without sacrificing the unshorn hair mandated by his faith. An immigrant from India who arrived in New York as a teenager, Rattan said he hopes his military commitment will allow him to give back to his adopted home country and will help diminish prejudice Sikhs sometimes face in the U.S.

    The Army in 1984 eliminated an exemption that had previously allowed Sikhs to maintain their articles of faith while serving, but officials can issue individual waivers to the uniform policy after considering the effects on safety and discipline, said Army spokesman George Wright. Only a handful of such individual religious exemptions are ever granted.

    Rattan and Dr. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, who will attend basic training this summer after completing an emergency medicine fellowship, are the first Sikhs to receive exemptions in more than 25 years.

    Rattan — who received a master's degree in engineering before pursuing a dental education_ and Kalsi both offer health care skills that are in high demand in an Army stretched by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Rattan said he encountered no trouble from fellow soldiers during training.

    "The Army is all about what you have to offer. If you're sitting back there, not doing anything, they're definitely going to talk about you. But if you're up there running with them, you have good scores, you run neck-and-neck with them, they love you," he said. "I made a lot of friends."

    1st Sgt. Jeffrey DeGarmo said he made sure the officers-in-training in his unit understood that Rattan wasn't a foreign national and had received the Army's permission to maintain his beard and turban. Once the other soldiers understood that, there were no issues, he said.

    "It went pretty well," DeGarmo said. "I think he did an outstanding job adjusting."

    During training, Rattan wore a helmet over the small turban, which he doesn't remove, and was able to successfully create a seal with his gas mask despite the beard, resolving the Army's safety concerns, said Harsimran Kaur, the Sikh Coalition's legal director.

    Rattan also worked with an Army tailor to create an insignia patch normally worn on soldiers' berets that could be affixed to his black turban, she said.

    An estimated 300,000 Sikhs live in the United States. The unshorn hair wrapped in a turban and beard are required to keep adherents in the natural state in which God made them, said Amardeep Singh, director of the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based advocacy group that helped Rattan and Kalsi push for Army admittance.

    The Sikh community has a long tradition of military service in India, from where most adherents originally emigrated, and in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada. Sikhs represent 2 percent of India's population but make up about 30 percent of that country's army officers, Singh said.

    Before the Army's regulation change in 1984, Sikhs served in the U.S. military during every major armed conflict going back to World War I. Those who joined before the change were allowed to serve with their beards and turbans, but the policy effectively prevented new enlistment of Sikhs, Kaur said.

    The coalition continues to push the Army to change the overall policy.

    "If government can say to someone, 'You can't serve, not for any reason that has to do with your abilities,' that sends the wrong message," Singh said. "We don't want to be perpetual outsiders."
    Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school

    Lt Gen VK Singh is to be the new Army Chief

    Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, presently GOC-in-C, Eastern Command has been appointed the next Chief of the Army Staff in the rank of General with effect from the afternoon of March 31, 2010.

    Lt Gen Singh would succeed the present Chief of Army Staff, Gen Deepak Kapoor, who will retire from service on March 31, 2010.

    His appointment was decided by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the chair.

    Lt. Gen. Singh was commissioned into the Rajput Regiment on June 14, 1970. During his long and distinguished career spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He participated in the 1971 operations and the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka. He is presently serving as the Eastern Army Commander. Prior to that, he commanded a Corps in the Western sector.

    Besides being an ‘Honours Graduate’ of the US Army Infantry School, Georgia, in the United States, Lt Gen Singh studied at the Defence Services Staff College, the Army War College and the US Army War College, Carlisle.

    He is a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) awards. He is also one of the honorary ADCs of the President of India.

    Lt General Singh is married to Mrs Bharati and the couple has two daughters. The elder daughter is married to an Army officer while the younger one is working in the corporate sector.
    Lt Gen VK Singh to be new Army Chief

    Platinum Jubilee Honours and Awards

    Retired army officers, who have completed 75 years of age, are entitled to a grant of Rs 50,000.00 from the Army Officers Benevolent Fund. Kindly share this information among the retired Army Officers in your city. In case of demise of an officer, during service or later before completing 75 years, this amount is payable to the next of kin immediately after the demise of the officer. It is also applicable to officers settled abroad.

    No formal application is required for claiming the platinum grant. However the retired officers are required to intimate their postal addresses and Bank Account Numbers as and when they enter their 75th year at following address for updating the records:
    Director Accounts, Ceremonial & Welfare Directorate, Adjutant General's Branch, Army Headquarters, South Block, Room No 279, DHQ PO New Delhi - 110011, Tel:011- 23375138
    Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)

    Indian Military: The sieze within- What has been done?

    Nitin Gokhale
    Senior Editor, Defence and Strategic Affairs, NDTV
    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 (New Delhi)

    One of the acknowledged strengths of the Indian Army is its rigid discipline and high morale but with corruption eroding the system is there a guarantee that the juniors would not revolt or at least protest against corrupt seniors?

    Surely the top brass is well aware of these issues. What is perhaps lacking is the courage to take them up at the appropriate forum of decision makers. The brass would do the nation and the army itself a big favour by taking appropriate remedial measures before time runs out.
    Indian Army: The siege within

    Comment: The top- heavy Brass of the Indian Military should address the problems of the Junior Commanders least they systematically downgrade the command and control chain. If mid- course corrections are not applied the combat effectiveness of the forces (units/ Battalions) are bound to reduce in spite of the speedy Modernisation programme envisaged for 2020! Sadly Senior Retired Generals write more articles on Military Strategy rather than on real live issues confronting the Military. Senior Generals need to find solutions and not selfishly improve their own career prospects by proxy at the peril of the nation's security.

    Anomaly in pension of Majors and Equivalents

    While in service, a Major and a Time Scale Lt Col perform the same/ similar job. The latter, after certain length of service, used to be just given a 'honourific rank' only, before his retirement. Also, there was very little difference in their basic pay. However as per the sixth Pay Commission Award, the difference in pension between these two ranks is Rs 11,600/- (Rupees Eleven thousand and six hundred only), to the disadvantage of the majors which and violates the law of ‘Natural Justice’, viz, ‘same compensation for same job’ (work done).
    Majors and equivalent ranks in the Navy and the Air Force, form the ‘cutting edge’ in their respective services and are a vital link in the chain of command. They directly train and administer their troops in peace and lead them from the front in war. Their lowered pension is NOT commensurate with their great contribution, both in peace and in war.
    With the new pension scale the status of majors has been lowered than that of those who are of lower in rank and might have been their subordinates but are retiring now.
    In view of the foregoing, it is suggested that the existing vast gap of Rs 11,600/- (Rupees Eleven thousand Six hundred only) in the pensions of the majors and the Lt Cols be reduced to the levels of awards by the previous Pay Commissions. The difference between their pensions must not exceed more than 10% and a major must get a minimum basic pension of Rs 22500/- (Rupees Twenty Two thousand and five hundred only).
    Sqn Ldr SP Bains (Retd)
    Major SS Dhillon (Retd)

    Haryana opens its coffers to war widows

    Chandigarh, March 22, The Tribune
    Recognising the sacrifices made by Haryana’s defence personnel, the Haryana government has decided to honour war widows, who will be awarded an assistance of Rs 1,000 per month. This honour will also be extended to widows of martyrs of “war-like” situations.

    Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said this scheme was for war widows of the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel killed during war. No other family member would be entitled to the award money.

    As many as 1,308 widows would be given this honour in addition to the pension they are getting from the Ministry of Defence. Probably, Haryana is the only state to award such honour to the war widows. Elsewhere, financial assistance is only provided to widows of personnel who don’t have any other source of income. This assistance is be disbursed through Zila Sainik Boards across the state.

    The secretary of the Rajya Sainik Board, Brig KS Budhwar, said the government had been considering the scheme for some time now. “ll women whose husbands were killed during any declared war or during a war-like situation will be entitled to this assistance. We have given instructions to Zila Sainik Boards to send us forms for applying for this assistance. These will be sent back to us for clearance after which sanction for assistance will be given,” he said. The scheme will be applicable from August 1, 2009.

    During the recent Vidhan Sabha session, the government had doubled the war jagir too. It hiked the amount from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per year which was passed by the assembly.

    The government has also hiked assistance to WW- II veterans and their widows from Rs 1,000 to 1,500 per month and that of ex-servicemen aged over 60.
    Haryana opens its coffers to war widows by Geetanjali Gayatri

    IESM: OROP amplified

    Date: Tuesday, 23 March, 2010, 6:25 AM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The IESM continues to describe OROP as equal rank, equal length of service, equal pension. There has been some view circulated where service in last rank is suggested as the criterion. This has been voiced many times in the past and has some merit. However, it also has an implication. An illustration may be relevant.
    The select promotions for officers in our Army are not uniform for all Arms and Services. I recall in mid Seventies our BM (An Arty officer who rose to become Army Commander) was senior in service to all the three Infantry COs. Yet he was a Major because promotions in the Infantry were much faster than in Arty. Hypothetically speaking, if they were all to retire as Lt Cols, the Arty officer would have spent much shorter time in the rank of Lt Col and if service in the rank held were the criterion for OROP, he would stand to lose for no fault of his.
    It also needs to be noted that the differing connotation is only applicable to officers since we all retire by age. It has no relevance to JCOs and Other Ranks who form the vast majority of pensioners; they all retire by length of service.
    The definition chosen by IESM for pursuit of OROP is not perfect, as no definition would be. But it has more universal applicability. We should not change simply because it is presumed to be more difficult to implement.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM,
    Chairman IESM

    A visa request for Mansarovar

    The grand view of Gulra Mandhata, Manasarovar and Ravana Lake hypnotises the onlooker into subliminal aura

    While in my mid-twenties, working in 1978-79 for Gammon India Ltd, a construction company renowned for bridge construction in remote areas of India, I was posted for six months to the ADB-funded East-West highway construction project in Nepal, on the portion running from Hetauda to Narayangarh. The complete east-west highway connection was designed to run all the way to Nepalganj, past Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, across from Gorakhpur district in India. The highway was essentially located along the foothills and plains of Nepal, a simple artillery shot away from the Indian border. For this project, quite a few Chinese bridge and highway contractors secured contracts along various segments of this highway, and some were very close to the Indian border. Though their design standards and construction methods were old-fashioned and traditional (not as high-tech as Gammon’s), and I wondered why the hell was India scared of the Chinese when India possessed the better technology, the troubling feature was their proximity to the Indian border. I saw the Chinese companies first-hand at close quarters; I also witnessed first-hand on a visit to Lumbini how porous the Indo-Nepal border was and how easily the Chinese could slip through into India. I am intuitively quite certain that China infiltrated numerous spies through that route. China found, in a legal way, an opportunity to come close to the Indian border, and has always eyed the Indo-Nepal border for numerous opportunities of intelligence gathering since that time, 30 years ago. I do recall that the Indian government later protested those Chinese camps close to our border, and the Nepalese government responded favorably to our protests. However, the dismantling of those camps took a few years till the Chinese projects were over, because no one could prove the Chinese were doing anything wrong.

    I continue to feel today that if there were a full-blown, no-holds barred war between China and India, the Chinese would come through Nepal and Burma, where we are least prepared. Remember, the Chinese wrote the book on the art of war. I might add that in March 1979 (I don't recall that it could be 1978), I rode in on my Java motorcycle into the well-guarded Chinese embassy in Chanakya Puri, where two guards opened the door for me very quickly (with respect) without stopping me. I parked the motorcycle below the stairs to the main entrance, and walked up to the reception asking for a visa to travel to Mansarovar. This I did at a time when China did not grant travel visas for Mansarovar. My father had cautioned me not to do this or anything like even entering the Chinese embassy, trying to emphasize that I would be entering "enemy territory" if I were to go into their embassy compound. Moreover, hardly any Indian nationals ever went into their compound those days, if at all. However, I was adventuresome and somewhat fearless (or foolish) when young, and so I didn’t care much for my father’s advice on this occasion, though I did listen to it and pay heed.
    Click here to read the full episode

    Dr Amarjit Singh is a professor at the University of Hawaii and Manoa. Expert on Highway Construction Engineering. He also writes on India's national security.
    Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Dr Amarjit Singh: Personal webpage

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    PM misguided by babus: CAT asks RAW to take back officer

    The toxicity of file notings & minute sheets in the Indian context has been discussed umpteen number of times.
    Now comes the clincher. In a scathing order, the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has come down heavily upon reports presented by lower staff to the PM resulting in an incorrect decision. The Hon’ble CAT was dealing with a case of a RAW officer who was removed from service after her ‘identity’ became public. The CAT also commented that the anonymity of RAW personnel was more myth than reality.
    My friends, again, beware of the note maker. One may be lurking in your very own office.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:01 AM

    CAT asks R&AW to take back officer
    Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
    New Delhi, March 18, 2010
    The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ordered the reinstatement of a senior officer of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), who was compulsorily retired from service for security reasons after her identity become public.

    “We are of the confirmed opinion that the applicant has been treated with a large doze of arbitrariness and her statutory we well as constitutional rights stand violated,” the tribunal said, ordering the reinstatement of R&AW director Nisha Priya Bhatia with all consequential benefits.

    Bhatia was given a posting in an inferior cadre in 2008. When she challenged the posting, the government told the tribunal on November 26, 2009, that she would be taken back to the executive cadre after six months. But after three weeks, she was removed from service on December 18, 2009.

    Bhatia alleged that prostitution rackets were being run from R&AW office premises and funds were being misused. R&AW had denied the charges.

    The government counsel argued: ”It was only after mature reasoning that the competent authority, the Prime Minister, decided to retire her from service.” The actual order, however, was signed by an undersecretary in the cabinet secretariat.

    A bench headed by CAT vice-chairman M. Ramachandran said: “The Prime Minister obviously might have been acting on the basis of reports presented before him. But it could have been only one-sided, and reports have been prepared by persons who are not friendly with the applicant (Bhatia). The opportunity for hearing any other version has been virtually denied.”

    It said: “So long as we are expected to uphold constitutional rights of an individual, we cannot be silent witness to at least such unpalatable happening brought to our notice.”

    The bench wondered why Bhatia was not given the protection available to civil servants under Article 311 of the Constitution.

    On the government’s contention that an R&AW official becomes “unemployable” once his/ her identity is made public, the tribunal said: “Anonymity of personnel of R&AW is more a myth than reality.”
    CAT asks R&AW to take back officer
    Related story:
    IB and RAW are supposed to collate and analyse intelligence reports, but the chiefs play a game with one end: access to the prime minister.
    Why our spies fail us


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