Saturday, April 3, 2010

Greetings: Easter Tidings

Saturday, April 03, 2010 17:47 IST
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has greeted the people on the occasion of Easter. In a message, Dr. Singh said that Easter Sunday is a day of hope and a new beginning. The Easter celebrations signify the triumph of truth over falsehood, of justice over injustice, and of goodness over evil. He hoped that the festival will be celebrated with the traditional spirit of joy and happiness, and will strengthen the bonds of friendship between the people.
Prime Minister greets the nation on Easter

Happy Easter

SCPC: Bureaucratic Perfidy and Genesis of Convolution

Let's start with the Preamble. Many of us have perused the following and most of the Armed Forces (serving, retired, wise, foolish, knowledgeable and ignorant) have got it engraved in their hearts and minds after the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) made a mockery of a Govt constituted 6th Central Pay Commission and a fool of the GoI. The website reads that "Government constituted the Sixth Central Pay Commission vide Resolution No. 5/2/2006-E.III (A) dated October 5, 2006". Its Terms of Reference were:

A. To examine the principles, the date of effect thereof that should govern the structure of pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits whether in cash or in kind to the following categories of employees -- Central Government employees -– industrial and non-industrial; Personnel belonging to the All India Services; Personnel belonging to the Defence Forces; Personnel of the Union Territories; Officers and employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department; and Members of the regulatory bodies (excluding the RBI) set up under Acts of Parliament.

B. To transform the Central Government Organisations into modern, professional and citizen-friendly entities that is dedicated to the service of the people.

C. To work out a comprehensive pay package for the categories of Central Government employees mentioned at (A) above that is suitably linked to promoting efficiency, productivity and economy through rationalization of structures, organizations, systems and processes within the Government, with a view to leveraging economy, accountability, responsibility, transparency, assimilation of technology and discipline.

D. To harmonize the functioning of the Central Government Organisations with the demands of the emerging global economic scenario. This would also take in account, among other relevant factors, the totality of benefits available to the employees, need of rationalization and simplification, thereof, the prevailing pay structure and retirement benefits available under the Central Public Sector Undertakings, the economic conditions in the country, the need to observe fiscal prudence in the management of the economy, the resources of the Central Government and the demands thereon on account of economic and social development, defence, national security and the global economic scenario, and the impact upon the finances of the States if the recommendations are adopted by the States.

E. To examine the principles which should govern the structure of pension, death-cum-retirement gratuity, family pension and other terminal or recurring benefits having financial implications to the present and former Central Government employees appointed before January 1, 2004.

F. To make recommendations with respect to the general principles,financial parameters and conditions which should govern payment of bonus and the desirability and feasibility of introducing Productivity Linked Incentive Scheme in place of the existing adhoc bonus scheme in various Departments and to recommend specific formulae for determining the productivity index and other related parameters.

G. To examine desirability and the need to sanction any interim relief till the time the recommendations of the Commission are made and accepted by the Government.

An Additional Terms of Reference through a subsequent Resolution No.5/2/2006-E.III.(A) dated 8th August, 2007, the terms of reference were to include the officers and employees of the Supreme Court.

Came March 2008 and the SCPC (or 6th CPC) published its recommendations. Two things happened – the 6th CPC wound up and its Secretary became the Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. Presumably, the Gamble.

It was known that the recommendations of the 6th CPC would be sent to the Cabinet Secretary for processing. Again two things happened – the Cab Secy, a busy man even otherwise, delegated the work to a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) and the Govt got busy ensuring its own longevity by seeking to push through the Indo-US nuclear deal, making political deals of its own. Presumably, the omnipresent Secretary in the avatar of the Secretary, Expenditure sensed her opportunity. The scene - she already knows what is in the 600 odd pages report of the 6th CPC. So, the CoS entrusts the entire work to her.

Presumably, she knew that most Secretaries have enough in their hands (no pun) and on their minds than to peruse those pages. She also must have presumed that as long as P4 ( power, pelf, prestige and position) of the IAS was enhanced, there would be no questions asked and all signatures would be appended on the dotted lines.

Presumably, the gamble is that those slighted/downgraded would either be too busy fighting the insurgents or the terrorists (on behalf of the Central Police Organisations (CPOs) or undoing the negligence of the IAS in that cutely worded expression 'aid to civil power' (please note the terms coined by the IAS).

Presumably but unfortunately, the CoS, even the Secretary Expenditure, forgot something important. It was only in the days of the British Raj that Commissions in the Armed Forces were sold to those who could pay or bestowed on those whom the British favoured. It was not some professional organization – trained, responsible and accountable. CoS also forgot that the soldiers, sailors and airmen today are significantly better educated than they were 50 years ago. CoS also forgot, presumably in their blinkered pursuit of power at any cost, that the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force always cooperate with each other in times of war. And this was war – of principles, for fair play, for justice.

The gamble back-fired. Now, the Scramble.

The Govt won its battle in Parliament and the PM needed to blow his trumpet. Someone might have told him that showing the victory sign to TV cameras outside Parliament House was not adequate ("Sir, more than half of India cannot and does not own a TV set"). So from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Dr Manmohan Singh announced, amongst other things, that the recommendations of the Pay Commission have been approved by the Govt.

Maybe his PS was not aware of the facts. Semantics or grammatical or factual error that remains uncorrected till date is that the Govt approved the recommendations of the CoS. Technically, the recommendations of the 6th CPC were not accepted because many were overturned by the CoS. Many out there in the ether world must be muttering to themselves – we knew that this guy was an idiot, now does he have to prove it? But today's mountain waves in the cybersphere (that's not Bushism) prove me right!

If the Govt wanted the amendments recommended by the CoS to be incorporated then it should have re-convened the 6th CPC and asked it to re-examine and amend the recommendations. But the 6th CPC was wound up. So the nation has something but it is a hybrid – some recommendations of the 6th CPC and the rest changes made by the CoS to benefit themselves at the cost of everyone else – IPS, CPOs, IDAS, MES, AFHQS et al.

Which brings me to two questions – how can the recommendations of a legally constituted and gazetted 6th CPC be overturned or amended by the CoS? Can you imagine the Supreme Court's judgment being amended by prison authorities?

The Armed Forces protested, but they did not stage a coup. That had been already done by the IAS led bureaucracy when a Cabinet Secretary, a super-bureaucrat, was set up in the 1970s, (but that and other things in another blog post).

Some learned and erudite gentleman, made editorial observations that appeared to draw inspiration from these rumours. He used the example of setting up war memorials as his respect for the Armed Forces. How ironical that a living issue was compared to dead heroes! How much is being done for war widows, their children, even disabled veterans could have been a better example and even my cynical heart would have missed a beat.

In their true role as the guardians of the Sovereignty of India's borders, seas and skies, the Armed Forces paid yet another tribute to the Father of the Nation (the supreme apostle of non-violence, non-cooperation and protester on behalf of the oppressed) who lost his life for the Nation. The Chiefs of the Armed Forces (embodiment of violence?) took lessons from Mahatma Gandhi.

The Armed Forces Chiefs followed the chain of command and communications in expressing their opinions substantiated with proof backed by lucid and logical arguments. They informed the Raksha Mantri. He took up their case.

To believe that RM was either incompetent (as that editor made it out to be) or ignorant is to write the ridiculous. AK Antony is trusted enough to discipline errant Congressmen and women. So would he, as RM, have acquiesced to what the Chiefs were doing if they were wrong?

Temporarily blinded by their "brilliance" and bereft of that invincibility in the glare of TV cameras, the bureaucracy now scrambles to save itself in the way it knows how. It spreads rumours or inspired leaks that the Chiefs had disobeyed the Govt.

How and what did the Chiefs disobey? MoD had not released orders for implementing the recommendations of the CoS and not even the recommendations of the 6th CPC. So what were the Chiefs disobeying? Have they not read that there are sections in the Armed Forces Acts that one can represent against illegal orders? Did the IAS expect the Armed Forces to believe that the CoS recommendations are those of the 6th CPC?

Are the Central Police Organizations (CPOs) really casting their lines and fishing in troubled waters? Or is that another Nathism? The Armed Forces don't say that the IAS got this, so give us the same. The Armed Forces say loudly, clearly "DON'T OVERTURN THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 6th CPC AND SUPPLANT IT WITH Nathism". Jai Hind.
AIR MARSHAL Sharad Y Savur (Retd)
(Air Marshal Savur retired in 2006 as AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command. A decorated transport pilot, Air Marshal Savur has flown several VIPs, including former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He now lives and works near Bangalore.)
Related article
The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission have created a controversy in civil-military relations. This warrants redress without recrimination, and the delicate politico-military harmony has to be restored.
Anomalies in armed forces pay revision

Press Release: War Widows Honoured

01 Apr 2010. Shri Jai Prakash Agarwal, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and President, DPCC honoured 1971 War Widows whose husbands had sacrificed their lives during 1962 Indo-China Conflict,1965 & 1971 Indo Pak War, Kargil Operations in 1999 and also in Insurgency affected States of J&K and NE States.

The function was organised in Parliament House by the Chairman Ex-Servicemen Department of DPCC Maj (Dr) TC Rao and his NGO (Gramin Uthaan Bharat Nirman). The occasion reminded one and all of the fact that these brave soldiers sacrificed “ THEIR TODAY FOR OUR TOMORROW” while addressing the gathering Shri JP Agarwal appealed that the Public Sector and MNC should encourage and accommodate the next of kins and their dependents to enable them to lead a respectable life . This sensitive moment of interaction with the War Widows was very touchy . BSES & Orient Craft Groups came forward and presented gifts to the War Widows. On this occasion Sh Parvesh Hasmi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Ms Nafisa Ali Sodhi, Social Worker and many more social worker/activist were present. Sh J P Agarwal, promises to War Widows that their points and difficulties will be sorted out as it is a Nation's responsibility to look after the War Widows
Maj (Dr) TC Rao (Retd)
Chairman Ex-Servicemen Department of DPCC

The Supreme Court slams the Union Government for treating Jawans shabbily

Don't treat army men like "beggars", SC tells Govt
New Delhi, Apr 1 (PTI)

The Supreme Court has slammed the union government for treating army personnel like ''beggars''in respect of emoluments and pension and asked the authorities to adopt a more ''humane approach'' towards those bravely defending the country's borders.

"If a person goes to any part of Delhi and sits for begging, he will earn Rs 1000 every day and you are offering a pittance of Rs 1000 per month for a man who fought for the country in the high altitudes and whose arm was amputated?

"Is this the way you treat those brave army officers? It is unfortunate that you are treating them like beggars," a bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and A K Patnaik said in verbal comments while passing the order.

The apex court passed the order dismissing the Centre's appeal challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to pay higher pension to C S Siddu, a Short Commissioned Officer whose right arm had to be amputated due to an accident while on duty at the high altitudes on November 21, 1970.

"The army personnel are bravely defending the country even at the cost of their lives and we feel they should be treated in a better and more humane manner by government authorities, particularly, in respect of their emoluments, pension and other benefits," the bench said in an order.

There was an element of drama in the court when Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi pleaded with the court not to use "strong words" in the order like "beggars," "niggardly" "miserly", following which the bench dropped them from the written order.

"We regret to say that the army officers and army men in our country are being treated in a shabby manner by the government. In this case, the respondent,(Sidhu) who was posted at a high altitude field area and met with an accident during discharge of his duties was granted a meagre pension. This is a pittance (about Rs 1000) per month plus D.A."If this is the manner in which the army personnel are treated, it can only be said that it is extremely unfortunate," the bench however, noted in its written order.

After Sidhu challenged the government's decision to pay Rs 1000 pension, the High Court directed the government to count the entire period of "full pay commissioned service from June 22, 1968 to June 23, 1978" and give him enhanced pension.

The government however, challenged the direction claiming Sidhu could be treated only as a Short Commissioned Officer as he joined the service on June 22, 1968, and suffered the amputation on November 21, 1970, leading to his discharge from service on June 23, 1978. Hence it argued that he was not entitled to enhanced pension reserved for "fully commissioned officers."
Don't treat army men like ''beggars'', SC tells Govt
Disposable: disabled veterans denied pension for years

Remembering Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

Remembering Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his 96th Birthday on 3 April – A Unique Soldier
There are very few persons who have done or brought so much honour and glory to the Country as late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. He had so many firsts to his credit that one wonders the esteem with which he worked. Such outstanding persons are, normally, confronted with jealousy but Sam had no such problems as all his colleagues liked or rather loved him. He had his own style of meeting people with humour and smile but without any ego. He reflected no feelings of superiority and mixed with one and all as if their own and participated in practically all events and functions. He was smart, handsome with a smiling countenance, always ready to crack jokes creating humour and happiness. It is during one of such meetings when the writer first encountered him sitting cross legged, in his typical style on a dining table in one of the transit messes, in the evening, entertaining with his jokes, young officers, who were going to join their units, mostly for the first time, looking tired, probably due to long dusty journey by convoys, which moved only during day time due to condition of roads in 1964. When one of the youngsters entered murmuring who the hell is sitting on the dining table like that, Gen Manekshaw simply smiled and told him to sit down by waving his hand and continued with his jokes. It was his unscheduled visit in civvies probably to see how the transit messes were running and above all to cheer up young Officers.

One of the finest officers of the Indian Army, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, has had a long and illustrious career. Born on April 3, 1914 in Amritsar, Punjab, Field Marshal Manekshaw became the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1969 and under his command, Indian forces achieved a splendid victory in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. and rose to become the First Field Marshal in Indian Armed Forces on 1.1.1973.

Though being a Parsi, he had all the traits of Amritsar where he was born. But it was at Sherwood where he developed his personality and learnt the art bullying by living amongst a variety of students some of whom in order to show off or satisfy their ego bullied others and at times got rebuff. He joined Hindu Sabha College Amritsar but was soon got selected for the first Batch of trainees of newly opened Indian Military Academy at Dehradun for commission in British Indian Army where he got his commission on February 4, 1934 in British Infantry in 2nd Battalion of Royal Scots. He later joined the 4th Battalion of 12 Frontier Force Regiment- commonly called the 54th Sikhs where in Second World War in Burma got a second life as young Captain he survived near fatal wounds during the War and had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery – Military Cross – right on the battle front itself during the Second World War.

Manekshaw, got a handsome, witty and sporting trademark of handlebar moustache, which distinguished his personality. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got Independence. He showed his strategic acumen during the 1947-48 Jammu & Kashmir Operations and later became commandant of the Infantry School before becoming the Colonel of 8 Gorkha Rifles. The Indian government, made a highly costly strategic blunder by sidelining him during the Indo-China war just because he didn’t wag his tail.

In 1961, his outspoken frankness got him into trouble with Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon and his adviser Lt Gen B M Kaul. He refused to toe Menon’s line and was sidelined. Manekshaw was vindicated soon after when the Indian army suffered a humiliating defeat in North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), now Arunachal Pradesh, the next year, at the hands of the Chinese that led to Menon’s resignation. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru rushed Manekshaw to NEFA to command the retreating Indian forces. This had an electrifying effect on the demoralised officers.

In no time, Manekshaw convinced the troops that the Chinese soldier was not "10 feet tall". His first order of the day said, "There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued." The soldiers showed faith in their new commander and successfully checked further ingress by the Chinese.

He was appointed as GOC-in-C Eastern Command where he handled the insurgency in Nagaland. He became the 8th Chief of Army Staff on 7 June 1969. Affectionately called "Sam Bahadur", Manekshaw was the architect of many a military triumphs but his finest hour came when in 1971 Pakistani forces were vanquished in 14 days flat when Bangladesh was born. His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War.

Flamboyant by nature, Manekshaw always had his way with people, including his seniors and even the country’s Head of Government. At one stage his jocular remarks almost brought his career graph down and was denied of certain privileges he was entitled to. When Mrs.Gandhi asked him to go to Dhaka and accept the surrender of Pakistani forces, Manekshaw declined, magnanimously saying that honour should go to his army commander in the East (Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora).

A shrewd tactician, Manekshaw meticulously planned the Indian attack on Pakistan on both fronts — East and West. While the Indian forces captured the then East Pakistan in the eastern sector, the army made heavy inroads in the western sector going up to Lahore. This legendary soldier received several awards and accolades. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1968, the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 and was conferred the rank of Field Marshal on 1 January 1973.

He settled down in Coonoor, a town next to Wellington Military Cantonment where he had served as Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College. As Field Marshal, whereever he visited or was invited, he with his personality, grace and dignity he inspired in youth the Spirit of service and Sacrifice and cheerfully carrying out the assigned duties. He was a towering figure to emulate in every field as a true soldier.

He died of complications from pneumonia at the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu on 0030 hours, 27 June 2008 at the age of 94. He was laid to rest in Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu, with full military honours. The Nation remembers and pays gratitude to this great and unique Soldier, today, on his birthday. Keeping his exemplary record of service to the Nation he deserves to be conferred the Title of ‘Bharat Ratna’.
Brig KG Behl (Retd)
President Dehradun Ex- Services League

SCPC: Anomaly Committee laid to rest

Dear Chander,
With quite a few strictures recently passed against G of I by the Supreme Court, High Courts and Armed Forces Tribunals, time has come to press hard for a permanent solution. We all should unite and ask for the Military Pay Commission to be convened NOW. Let it look into and sort out all the anomalies created deliberately and intentionally by the Indian Anomalies Service people manning the Ministry of Delays. Needless to say, the IAS people should be kept far away from the commission as also from any consideration of its recommendations. Let there be a direct interaction between the military and the politicians, let the sun set on the civil servant supremacy.
Cdr KK Punchhi, (Retd)

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Supreme Court: Don't treat soldiers like beggars

Ref: Supreme Court: why this callousness towards brave jawans?

Veteran Voice
Supreme Court: Don't treat soldiers like beggars!
This is most unfair. First it was L K Advani who tried to create a wedge between me and my armed forces. Now, even the Supreme Court has joined him.
Don't worry. My crafty babus will certainly come out with a suitable weapon to blunt their attack and put these glorified chowkidars in their proper place.!!
Cdr KK Punchi, 7th JSW Course, Naval Aviation

Dear Veterans,
The comments passed by the honourable judges in the open Court will also be treated as part of their judgement. The Govt Counsel might have persuaded the Judges to tone down their written judgement to exclude the word 'Beggar', but this phrase may be quoted by many Veterans to support their struggle, in future.

Some Veterans have, to my mind have rightly accused the Organisation under which the Petitioner served, for the case being dragged to the level of Supreme Court. Brig Kamboj has requested for toning down our expression of anguish. He may have valid reason. But, unless such incidents are exposed, the Service HQ may not try & shake off its own culpability, in such matters. We have a number of examples like the cases of Nakra, Dhanabalan, Vains etc., where the Services HQ could have minimised the damage, by clearly & firmly telling the MOD of the mitigating factors in favour of the Petitioners or the affected lot of its own personnel, both serving & retired. Majors Pension is another classic example. Our long standing demand of OROP is also there.

I want to share my own experience in this regard. In 1970, a Major (Acting) from the EME Centre, Secuderabad, was hit by a Water Truck within the premises of the Centre. He was travelling on his scooter & was on duty. He was killed on the spot. A court of Inquiry was held which found the Driver of the Vehicle guilty. He was charged under Rash & Negligent Driving & sentenced. After the trial of the Driver & his punishment, the widow of the Officer claimed for adequate compensation to educate & bring up her two Children. The main plea was that her husband in normal circumstances would have retired at the age of 50, but died due to no fault of his at the age of just 28. She worked out a figure of Rs 1, 83,000. The MOD felt that the amount claimed was exorbitant. The lady went to Hyderabad High Court. The MOD then directed the Army to counter the case, to bring down the amount of compensation to 80,000 or in that region. Arty Centre, Hyderabad was given the task to pursue the Court Case. I was appointed as the Officer to assist the Govt Lawyer.

After going through the case, I was convinced that the lady's claim was legitimate. Later, when I had the opportunity to talk to the Centre Commandant, I expressed my opinion. He readily agreed, with a comment, "you do not have to blame on some others to cut your own hand. The AHQ will do it for you". I conveyed our feeling to the Lawyer, who himself was astonished at the lack of sensitivity to the plight of a brother officer's widow. He volunteered with additional information that such frivolous cases are proceeded only by the Armed Forces. "Have you ever seen such cases in the MOD itself?"

Let the bye gones be bye gones. At least from now onwards, let the Services HQ show some gumption in resisting the directions from the MOD, which are based purely on a matter of convention that no remedy should be given without a legal battle.

The pronouncement of the Honourable Judges that, "Do not treat the Soldiers like beggars" is equally applicable to the Services HQ also.
Veteran Raman
Col TN Raman (Retd)
Convener IESM, Chennai

Internal health, modernisation top new Army Chief's priorities

Friday 02 April, 2010.
Gen V K Singh on Thursday took over as Chief of Army Staff with an assertion that eradication of corruption from the force and improving its "internal health" would be his top priorities along with modernisation and filling of "gaps in operational readiness".

The 59-year-old commando, who has a vast experience in counter-insurgency and high altitude operations, said the army would be unable to meet external threats effectively till its internal health is not good.

"Internal health is very important," said Singh, conscious of the damage caused by the recent Sukna land scam case in which a Court of Inquiry convened by him had indicted three Lt Generals and one Major General.

"For any organisation to do well, it must ensure the internal health is good. To that extent, that's why I said that our core values, our ethos, tradition will receive due attention," he told reporters a day after becoming the chief of the world's second largest army.

Singh was responding when asked about the Sukna land scam in which he, in the capacity of GoC-in-C Eastern Command, had recommended action against the four Generals.

Among those indicted by the CoI was Lt Gen (retd) Avadesh Prakash, the Military Secretary to the then Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor.

"Till the time our internal health is not good, we would not be able to fight the external threats. So, we will focus attention on improving internal health. Internal audit is necessary. It will matter a lot to me," said Singh.

Asked to elaborate as to what he meant by the "internal health", he identified core values, selflessness, credentials, norms and professionalism of the Army and the strengthening of these.

He, however, refused to term it as "a crackdown on corruption", saying such terms "will never take us any far."

While talking about fighting the war within, Singh also referred to the capacity building and modernisation of Chinese military and said the Army would "stand up and measure up to the challenge".

In this context, he said he would focus on modernisation and "filling the gaps in the operational readiness" of the Army to make it "more lethal, agile and responsive."

"My two focus areas would be to remove hollowness and deficiencies in terms of authorised and existing strength in various combat units for better operational preparedness and to become battle worthy," the new Army Chief said.

He said he would ensure faster procurement by removing procedural delays and improving work culture to do it faster.

The Army has already carried out a study on this, discussed it and had prepared a package for implementation, Singh said, adding "Some of the package plans will start now and some will start later."

Underlining that "A man, who goes to fight, must have everything that he needs", he listed artillery modernisation, recce, surveillance, target acquisition and future infantry soldier as "shortfalls" that would be on his priority list.

Refusing to call these acquisition plans as "big ticket items", Singh said these were "necessities".

Asked how the Indian Army measured up vis-a-vis the Chinese Rapid Action Force, Singh said: "I can assure you that for any challenges that are against us, we are very well prepared."

When referred to the Chinese military build-up in Tibet, the Army Chief said it was wrong to interpret it as an India-specific modernisation as China was undertaking overall improvement of capacity of its armed to enable it to fight in a digitised battlefield.

"This is what we are also looking at, ensuring that we are a networked force capable of working in an integrated joint environment," he added.

Singh said China was developing the infrastructure in Tibet which will add to its military capability too.

"Military capability becomes easier on their side as it is a plataeu with better roads and other infrastructure. On our side, due to the mountainous terrain, the infrastructure is slightly behind. But it is receiving due attention," he said.

He added that better infrastructure would help the locals too in the border states in the East and also had a military connotation, which was useful. (DD-1.4)

Army will stand up to any challenge India will face: V K Singh

Concurring with the concerns expressed by Defence Ministry over Chinese military modernisation plans, new Army Chief Gen V K Singh said the forces would stand up and measure up to any challenge that the nation faced.

"The concern expressed is correct. Through you, I would like to pass it on to our countrymen that our army and it is their army will stand up to and measure up to any challenge that the nation will face," he told reporters in New Delhi before assuming office on Thursday.

He said the government had provided an increase in the allocation for the Army in this year's budget and "our effort would be to utilise it to be well prepared."

Asked how the Indian Army measured up vis-a-vis the Chinese Rapid Action Force, Singh said "I can assure you that for any challenges that are against us, we are very well prepared."

He noted that preparation was an ongoing process and that the Army would ensure its training methodologies became more practical keeping all challenges in mind.

The Defence Ministry has, in its annual report for 2009-10, said it was "conscious and alert" about China's military modernisation and infrastructure development in Tibet and adjoining areas.

The report said the Ministry has taken "necessary steps" to restructure its force levels along the border.

Earlier, Singh took the salute from 2 Rajput Regiment, the battalion he had commanded as a Colonel. (NZ-01/04)
DD News: Internal health, modernisation top new Army Chief's priorities
Related News
Army chief orders ‘operation clean-up’: More than 20 senior officers guilty in various scams in the past four years
New chief wants agile, responsive Army: Tribune
Army Chief’s hard talk: Tackling corruption is high priority

Ill- health and sagging morale of Veterans too constitute to the overall Health of the Armed Forces. Justified OROP and right to work denied for decades makes them beggars sans honour and dignity. ECHS with its teething problems and lack of finances makes Veterans rot like vegetables in their twilight years!

IESM: Press Release

Dear Veterans
1. Press Release dated 01 Apr 2010) is circulated herewith.
2. You are requested to circulate the to the maximum ESM in your area. You are also requested get it published in local media in various languages.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

PRESS RELEASE Dated: 01 Apr 2010
Dear Members of the Media
1. You are aware that the President of India who also is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on 14 Mar 2010 did not receive the delegation of military veterans who had gone to deposit 5000 medals and 6000 signatures signed in Blood to express their deep anguish at the Govts indifferent attitude towards their genuine demands. Incidentally the Presidents was earlier requested to receive the delegation in person. .
2. The Ex Servicemen Cell of the AICC has been floating misleading emails giving on impression that the recent enhancement of pension is akin to One Rank One Pension. This is not correct: One Rank One Pension requires equating pensions of pre and post 2006 retirees, which has not been even remotely addressed.
3. The Indian Ex servicemen Movement (IESM) spearheading the protest and representations for the last two years has once again approached the Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson and RM for the sanction of OROP at the earliest. Through an Open Letter addressed to the PM with copies to Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Sh. AK Antony, the veteran soldiers have appealed to the Govt that the issue of OROP be taken out of the gamut of bureaucratic control and dealt with directly by the political leadership for a fair and durable solution.
4. You are requested to kindly carry this important information having far reaching ramifications on the National Security in your News paper/ Channel.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Convolution of OROP by Secretary ESM Welfare, Secretary DOPT, Secretary Pensions & PW, Secretary Expenditure, Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and Cabinet Secretary
Babus convolute OROP for Veterans: Click here to comprehend the negativity of Bureaucrats

Stop treating army men like 'beggars', SC to govt

PTI, Apr 1, 2010, 06.33pm IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has slammed the union government for treating army personnel like "beggars" in respect of emoluments and pension and asked the authorities to adopt a more "humane approach" towards those bravely defending the country's borders.

"If a person goes to any part of Delhi and sits for begging, he will earn Rs 1000 every day and you are offering a pittance of Rs 1000 per month for a man who fought for the country in the high altitudes and whose arm was amputated?

"Is this the way you treat those brave army officers? It is unfortunate that you are treating them like beggars," a bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and A K Patnaik said in verbal comments while passing the order.

The apex court passed the order dismissing the Centre's appeal challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to pay higher pension to C S Siddu, a Short Commissioned Officer whose right arm had to be amputated due to an accident while on duty at the high altitudes on November November 21, 1970.

"The army personnel are bravely defending the country even at the cost of their lives and we feel they should be treated in a better and more humane manner by government authorities, particularly, in respect of their emoluments, pension and other benefits," the bench said in an order.

There was an element of drama in the court when Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi pleaded with the court not to use "strong words" in the order like "beggars," "niggardly" "miserly", following which the bench dropped them from the written order.

"We regret to say that the army officers and army men in our country are being treated in a shabby manner by the government. In this case, the respondent,(Sidhu) who was posted at a high altitude field area and met with an accident during discharge of his duties was granted a meagre pension. This is a pittance (about Rs 1000) per month plus D.A.

"If this is the manner in which the army personnel are treated, it can only be said that it is extremely unfortunate," the bench however, noted in its written order.
Stop treating army men like 'beggars', SC to govt
Another PTI version
Stop treating army men like 'beggars', SC tells Govt

It is quite reassuring that the Honourable Supreme Court has seen through the game plan they all have been playing so far. The oven hot news item on TOI may awaken the conscience about the plight of ESM's. Shortchanging & misinformation must end. Such judgements would be helpful eventually for grant of OROP.
Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (Retd)
(There have been two different versions of the same news item on PTI website at two different times.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1st trained commando to take over as Army Chief

Image: General VK Singh takes over the charge as new Chief of Army Staff from General Deepak Kapoor: Photograph: PIB
He will be at the helm of the Army for 2 years. A counter-insurgency expert The right man for the top job.

March 31, 2010 15:47 IST
Gen V K Singh, the senior-most infantry officer, was on Wednesday handed over charge of the Indian Army, the world's second largest, by outgoing chief Gen Deepak Kapoor and he will formally assume his new office on Thursday.

He will be the first trained commando to take over as the Army Chief.

Gen Singh, who has vast experience in counter-insurgency operations and till lately was the GOC-in-C of Kolkata-based Eastern Command, was handed over charge by Gen Kapoor at a ceremony in the South Block in New Delhi.

Kapoor retired from the Army after over four decades of service and would formally cease to be the Army Chief at midnight on Wednesday.

Singh, who picked up the four-star rank of General on Wednesday, will be the 26th chief and will stay at the helm of the 1.13 million personnel-strong Army for over two years.

The Defence Ministry had on January 23 issued the order appointing Singh for the top post after the Cabinet Committee on Appointments cleared his name a day earlier.

Singh was in the news recently when he recommended action against four General-ranked officers indicted by a probe in the Sukna land scam in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

A third generation officer from the Rajput regiment, Singh had participated in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War as a young captain. He is a graduate of the Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College as well as the US Army War College at Carlisle. He also did a Rangers Course, a prestigious commando training, at Fort Benning in the US.
1st trained commando to take over as Army Chief

ECHS: OIC Polyclinics should be Doctors to improve functional efficiency

Charge of almost all the polyclinics are of non medical professional. Instead of being a MBBS. And 99% of executive class officer who are oic polyclinic are not aware of any diagnosis and also medical norms and emergencies, although if still you want to employ such officer you please put them to look after general cleanliness of surroundings and that also under the command of MBBS officer who should be THE ONLY OiC of the poly clinic as like all the medical institution/ hospital are commanded by THE DOCTOR irrespective of civil organisation as we all know. Moreover almost majority of retired officers are coming to see the doctor and if the doctor also is busy with other patients then some of them used to sit with OiC office and making gossip (with tea also) and an ex- service man is waiting to meet OiC. Instead of this if this ex- serviceman enters his office these executive class officer (i.e. OiC) sought/ ignores this situation because of that he is an executive trained only but not as medical officer. Totally all the OiC of poly clinic should be removed and MBBS doctor should be employed as the OiC polyclinic to solve all the problems in future. This is the reason for root of all problems of the ECHS polyclinic.
Veteran Gyan Prakash Chouhan

Words of wisdom from a Sepoy Veteran. Pardon the grammar but the essence is brought out aptly. We encourage more Sepoys, NCOs and JCOs to highlight problems encountered at Polyclinics.

Education bill a huge step forward: Sibal

With the Right To Education Act coming into force from Thursday, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that the education bill is a huge step forward.

In order to fulfill the needs for more teachers Sibal said: "Seven lakh more teachers will be employed."

Sibal hailed the realization of the bill as "tryst with destiny" in the education sector.

"Tomorrow will be a historic day as the RTE Act would come into effect. Education is going to be a Constitutional right...It is a tryst with destiny in the area of education," Sibal told reporters today.

'Tryst with destiny' is the famous phrase associate with Jawaharlal Nehru who used it in his historic speech at midnight of August 14, 1947 when India attained independence.

Sibal said providing quality education is the dream of Congress leadership, its president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The new law will ensure that quality education is provided to children of all community, including minorities and backward classes.

"Any child can demand his right for education from tomorrow. He will not be denied this right," Sibal said.

He said implementation of the Act is not the responsibility of Centre alone but all stakeholders, including parents, children, NGOs, state governments and local governments.

"All the stakeholders need to carry out their responsibilities," he said.

The prime minister will address the nation on the new law tomorrow.

The Act provides for 25 per cent reservation of seats for weaker sections in private and unaided schools. However, this reservation will not be implemented from this year as the admission season is almost over.

"The reservation will be implemented from 2011-12. It will not be implemented in the classes in one go. It will be implemented over a period of 12 years," he said.

As per an estimate, the government will have to spend Rs 1.71 lakh crore in the next five years for its implementation. Sibal said that the government has arranged the required funds for implementing the law.
Education bill a huge step forward: Sibal
Prime Minister's Address to the Nation on The Fundamental Right of Children to Elementary Education

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

IESM: Visit to Jath

Jath is a town/ Tehsil in the Sangli district of Maharashtra, about 85 km from Sangli city.

Yesterday Lt Col V D Patil and self visited Jath in Sangli district. Distance 280 Km from Pune. We were accompanied by Col Bhagat Singh Deshmukh the Ex Director Rajya Sainik Board.

The meeting was organized by Hon Capt Takale and was attended by a group of 150 Veterans who included Reps of the neighborhood Tehsils and an Ex Havaldar who was a Ministerial rank official for 15 years.

We were well received and heard grievances patiently. I briefed them on OROP and IESM and Col Patil on ECHS. After that Col Deshmukh and Ex MLC addressed the meeting and the common call was to strengthen IESM at Center and work towards a Federation of Veteran Organizations at State level.

One question asked was WHY WIDOWS WERE NOT GIVEN ANYTHING IN THE SO CALLED OROP. Of course we had no answer and the reply given was let us unite and ask our MP and government why?

Expect a good response to membership. We have also requested the Rep of Sangli Dist Ex Servicemen organization who was also present to plan a District level meet at Kavathe Mahankal soon. Shall follow up on that.

I have an invitation to visit Umarga about 8 hrs drive from Pune next month and also Gadhinglaj list of 1000 members is ready and they want us to come there too. I intend to go to Gadhinglaj only when Col Joshipura plans his visit.
Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak I.N.(Retd)
Member and Coordinator IESM Pension Cell

ECHS: Doctors must be exhorted to maintain records

ECHS Doctors due to heavy rush of patients in the Polyclinic seldom maintain the detailed health records. Now doctors have the technology to assist them. A general practitioner sees patient for all ailments and hence must maintain communication with the patient. If a veteran comes to a doctor with symptoms such as loss of appetite and general disability, the doctor should conduct full investigation from head to toe and then prescribe medications and recommend suitable diet.

Doctors should not resort to intelligent guess work (on hit and trial basis) as a short cut and prescribe over two dozen medications with the fond hope that at least one of the drugs will act! This typically helps the uneducated who feel satisfied with over doze of medications. A good doctor is one who prescribes the right medicine to cure the sickness or disease and not certainly by guess work!

The medicines prescribed in ECHS for the old and elderly is generally a long list which takes the dispensing staff more hours to answer questions relating to multiple dosage and identification of drugs meant for which ailment.

Another is the language barrier. All notices are in English whereas hardly a few of the Veterans and dependents can read English. Notices should be preferably in the Mother tongue of the Veteran or in Hindi. Notices should be minimal and not to fill up the space of the Polyclinic as hardly anyone reads the routine orders which do not concern a veteran. Why overburden him with the bureaucratic style notices?

Contemporary Issue
Background: Bringing the doctors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act has made an impact on doctor-patient relationship. There has been an increase in legal cases of medical negligence in the recent past. This article provides practical information on medical negligence.
Methods: Complaints received at Army Headquarters were studied to understand the factors involved in medical negligence.
Result: Various aspects of medical negligence including doctor-patient relationship in the military set up have been discussed.
Preliminary measures to be taken to avoid cases of negligence are enumerated.
Conclusion: Good communication skills to build a rapport with the patient is the key to avoid majority of the complaints. The doctor must pay due courtesy, respect and care to the patient besides maintaining medical records scrupulously.
Medical Negligence in Military Hospitals by Brig K Chauhan, Lt Col SM Perumal, Lt Col S Hiwale, Lt Col Rajkumar

Pension Enhancement Close to One Rank One Pension Demand, says Govt:

Pension Enhancement Close to One Rank One Pension Demand, says Govt:
In a move that will bring relief to over 12 lakh ex-servicemen, the Defence Ministry has issued orders to implement pending pensionary benefits to them involving an annual expenditure of about Rs 2,200 crore.

The decision followed recommendations by a high-level committee and recent assurance in this regard in the Lok Sabha by Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh.

With these orders, the ministry has implemented all the seven recommendations of the committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Mr. K M Chandrasekhar on pensions, which would now be close to the ‘One Rank-One Pension’ demand of ex-servicemen, senior ministry officials said today.

“The Defence Ministry issued the orders on March 8 this year to implement the remaining two of the seven suggestions of the Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar-headed committee on ‘One Rank-One Pension’ demand,” they said.

The two recommendations for which the orders were issued were bringing parity between pension of pre- and post-October 10, 1997, personnel below officer rank, and further improving their pensions based on award of Group of Ministers in 2006.

To queries on the order, Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said implementation of the orders would not only significantly reduce the gap between the past and current pensioners, but would also considerably improve the pension of ex-servicemen including disabled pensioners.
Improved Pension to Pre-2006 Pensioners

General VK Singh to take over as new Army chief today

By ANI Wednesday, March 31, 2010
New Delhi
General VK Singh will take over as the new Army Chief here today. The 59-year-old General takes over from General Deepak Kapoor, who retires from service today.

He will be the 26th Army Chief and will stay at the helm of the 1.13 million personnel-strong Army for over two years.

An honours graduate of the US Army Infantry School at Georgia in the US, General Singh is an alumnus of the Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College, the Mhow-based Army War College and the US Army War College, Carlisle.

A third generation army officer, General Singh was commissioned into the Rajput Regiment on June 14, 1970.

He had participated in the 1971 war against Pakistan and in the operations of the Indian Peace-Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in the mid-1980s.

He also commanded the Jalandhar-based 11 Corps and Ambala-based Strike Corps and was an instructor in the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) headquarters in Bhutan.

He is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal, the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Yudh Seva Medal. He is also one of the honorary ADCs of the president of India, who is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. (ANI)
General VK Singh to take over as new Army chief today

Nationwide rampant encroachment of Defence Lands

Some Defence land under the management of various authorities is under encroachment or illegal occupation. The state-wise details are as follows:

click image to read data

Any encroachment of Defence lands is liable for removal and also for payment of damage charges as per the law. Hence loss caused, if any, is recoverable. The action for eviction of the encroached lands is taken under the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 and Cantonments Act, 2006.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Somen Mitra in Lok Sabha on 30 Nov 2009. PK / RAJ
Encroachment of Defence Lands

The AHQ need to vigorously pursue encroachment cases diligently. Area Commanders are responsible for securing and upkeep of Defence Lands. Sadly they close their eyes when they get paltry personal favours from the encroachers, conmen, hoodlums and Political Criminals. Sukhna Land scam is only the tip of the iceberg. The Defence Minister instead of preaching in the Lok Sabha need to fight the Land Grabbers and MOD bureaucrats on the ground and not on paper!

Bureaucrats grab Defence Lands in Mumbai

NDTV Correspondent, Wednesday March 31, 2010, Mumbai
The Golibar slum in Mumbai's Santa Cruz suburb is the site of a new controversy over Defence Land.

The Air Force alleges that a set of six buildings have illegally come up on 12 acres of its land which could be worth several hundred crores, with the connivance of government officials.

The buildings are part of government slum rehabilitation scheme but the Air Force has alleged that it is defence land which the state government has grabbed without permission.

The Air Force has taken the state housing agency MHADA and the private developer Shivalik Ventures to a city court. It wants the buildings to be demolished.

Nearly 26,000 slum dwellers are to be rehabilitated through this multi-crore project and now many are worried as to what will happen if land ownership is being disputed.

Kalimuddin Sheikh says, "All the locals here were supposed to be rehabilitated on plot number 13 ...MHADA was claiming that it is their land now the defence has made counter claim..."

"I don't think so the project is being carried keeping the SRA norms in mind...", adds another resident, S Atamaram.

Government officials refused to come on record, but they say the Air Force had already lost control of the land because it was encroached by slums. The state housing board says they have documents showing the land belongs to them. Also the project was cleared by another department, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority.

Shivalik Ventures has denied any illegality. It claims it has not built anything on Air Force Land.

"The buildings have not come up on Air Force land but on an adjoining plot. We have received all the necessary clearances from the government. We have not been served any notice on the case", they say.

The claims and counter-claims on this disputed land will now be tested in court.
Air Force moves court over land grab in Mumbai

Women Officers: Pros and cons

1. Women Officers: Facts and Fiction
2. Women Officers: More Facts

I agree with Major Archana Lokeshwar.
I did read the article by Maj Gen Mrinal Suman and gave it the treatment it deserved... EDITED ... .
I have had the privilege of having commanded two frontline airbases. Both had lady officers in all branches of officer cadre.I also had lady officers serving in various capacities at Air Force Academy and Air Force Station, Bidar.
No lady officer ever flinched from any duty given to her. In fact, I as the AOC would try to be protective but the gutsy young ladies would say "Sir, Dont treat us differently. We will do all that the male officers do in the line of duty (including night duties)". And to their credit they did perform their duties diligently with utmost care and attention to details.
Of course there were a few black sheep, but then there are more such examples from the male bastion. It would be incorrect to say that lady officers are a burden. In most cases they are an asset just like in the case of male officers.
To have an opinion based on a couple of indifferent episodes would be very unfair. I had a few male officers who ought to have retired as cadets, but then based on those experiences I cant write off the entire male officer cadre.
Best Wishes n Regards,
Brig Ashok D Chhibbar (Retd)

Bipin Trivedi
My dear General Suman and Major Archana,
While I've neither the academic credentials of the general nor the gender qualification of the major, having worked with lady officers as Adjt MCTE, 2IC 15 Corps Engg Sig Regt, CO WCSR and CO 2TTR, I presume to be adequately, albeit barely, qualified to comment on the desirability or otherwise of lady officers in the defence services.
The right question, to my mind, is not "Should we have lady officers in the defence services?" but "What segments of the population ought to be recruited in the defence forces of a democracy?"

The armed forces of a democracy, like all other institutions of the state, must recruit from all segments of the society. They must recruit form all segments of society to be national, to obtain a buy in form every segment of the population, a dire necessity in the time of total war. It is for this reason that the army recruits uniformly from all over the country even though the army is deployed primarily in the North. To cite an extreme example, the army recruits from Andaman & Nicobar despite the fact that a soldier who travels to Andaman & Nicobar on annual leave ends up spending an inordinately long time traveling.
Women form an increasingly important constituency in this nation as is evident from their growing role in the workplace. They must accordingly be accommodated in the defence services. It is for the services to work out the modalities of recruitment, training, employment and discharge. I refuse to believe that women can't make a
positive contribution to the defence services or that the defence services are too rigid to accommodate women amongst their ranks. My own limited experience suggests that lady officers merge into the team and take on their share of the load. I think we ought to be looking for ways to increase the participation of women in the defence services rather than questioning the limited representation that we have.
Col Bipin Trivedi (Retd)

Ramachandran Mahesh
Sent: 30 March 2010 12:19
I entirely agree with the contents of Gen Suman's article. When facts are stated as they should indeed be, it does sound politically incorrect. I have served in and commanded units posted with lady officers. No one can complain on their capabilities in certain roles . It is in combat roles that the problem arises . A few points:
Need to remember that there is a huge difference between equality and similarity. While no one argues against equality, can there ever be similarity between the two sexes. If that was the case, you and i would be pregnant - sorry to sound crude. Just by putting on pants, aunty does not become uncle.
A British medical study has said that menstruating females have huge problems in high G air manoueveres. Flying a passenger aircraft from Delhi to Mumbai is one thing - manoevering Su 30s or F 18s in the face of enemy fire is quite another.
When it comes to their own security even the offices of National Council For women have male security personnel. By the way has anyone seen female security in any residential societies or banks or even ATMs ? With this confidence level, we want to trust them with our national security !! Even offices of NDTV (Barkha) and CNN/IBN (Sagarika) have predominantly male security with one odd female for frisking duties.
Our VVIPs and celebrities including the likes of Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, sushma Swaraj have only male body guards/ security - why?
People quote American and allied Armies where women are in combat roles. This is a huge fallacy, since out of the 1800 odd persons killed in combat in Iraq and Afganisthan, not a single person was a female.(As already brought out by Gen Suman)
For decades there have been separate set of rules for men and woman even in sports - including golf and these are for very good reasons.
Ask any male YO and he will tell you that his female counterpart gets awards and citations for doing a fraction of the work done by her male colleagues.
Ask our MS branch guys about the number of requests they have for spouse postings from these so called "Equally capable for combat" ladies .
When we moved for OP Parakram in Dec 2001, we had to recall a lot of our guys on leave as per the SOP by sending telegrams. Can someone tell me how to recall people from maternity leave ?!!
These are not teething problems. For the last 17 years, barring a few exceptions, lady officers have not done themselves proud even in non combat roles. If not nipped in the bud right now, national security will take a huge beating.
Col (Retd) R Mahesh

Sent: 30 March 2010 12:52
Dear Major Archana Lokeshwar,
1. Thank you for having the courage to highlight some very twisted ideas many men have concerning women. More so, it is regrettable that some of these persons with stunted thinking are in the Army posing to speak for all the Officers of this fair organisation.
2. One must continue to strive for equality and justice, no matter who or what the opposition may be. I am completely with and support all women who fight for their right due in society and in life.
3. All of us have been made equal in the eyes of the Maker. It is only persons with small minds, misogynists and those who have no faith n their own abilities that drum up fanciful visions of their own making and pass them of as “facts”.
4. I happen to be a fourth generation officer in the Army, my son hopes to make it a fifth generation; so I do have some background when I say that there are a large No. of fair-minded Officers in the Army. It was their open-minded approach that got ladies into the Army in the first place. Those right-thinking individuals are still there. We will ensure that our daughters and our lady officers get an even-handed deal.
5. Change in our Indian mind-set has to begin outside the Forces, within our families to accept the girl child, women and ladies as equals. More power to this change.
Yours sincerely
Col ASP Vinod

IESM: Appeal to PM for grant of OROP

Dated: 30 Mar 2010
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
152, South Block,
New Delhi -110011

Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) has been espousing the cause of ex-servicemen and drawing attention of the Government through representations and other peaceful means. Issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) has been promised many a time but never implemented. What is being passed off is far from the OROP as following table would show:

Pension Sepoy “Y” Group with 17 years Service
Click image for readable version
Likewise there is a large gap in the pensions of pre and post 2006 retiree defence personnel of all ranks. In an article published in Tribune "RAW DEAL FOR VETERANS" (March 27) (Copy attached), Lt-Gen Harwant SIngh (retd) has made a strong case for One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) for the retired Armed Forces personnel. It will be an unsavoury development for the country--and its security scenario--if the disaffection, disgruntlement and demoralisation currently prevalent among the veterans and their kinfolks gets rubbed off on the Military combatants on active service.
We should also not forget that, in a large number of families with strong fauji traditions, the youngsters have been till now cheerfully taking to the profession of arms like their fathers and forefathers did before them. Henceforth this may not happen.
It is high time the issue of OROP is taken out of the gamut of bureaucratic control and dealt with directly by the political leadership for a fair and durable solution.
May we request you to kindly stand by the veterans and sanction the OROP at your earliest to give due Justice to the Defence Personnel.
With kind regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Copy to:
1. Smt. Sonia Gandhi
Chairperson UPA & National Advisory Council
10 Akbar Road
New Delhi -11
2. Shri A.K. Antony
Defence Minister
104, South Block
New Delhi -110011

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Air Chief Marshal PV Naik takes over as Chairman, COSC

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik receiving the baton as he took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor at a brief ceremony, in New Delhi on March 30, 2010. Photo no.CNR- 31003

PIB: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) today. He received the baton of Chairman, COSC from outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor at a brief ceremony in the South Block. Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma was also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal Naik said the Indian Armed Forces are in the process of moulding existing and emerging concepts together, to develop capabilities and solutions that will directly benefit the Armed Forces and the joint warfighter of tomorrow. In his farewell address, General Deepak Kapoor said a number of important ongoing issues like Network for Spectrum, Ballistic Missile Defence and Space Based Systems need to be addressed jointly.

Commissioned into the IAF in June 1969 as a fighter pilot, Air Marshal Naik has flown a variety of combat aircraft and is a Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader. A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and an alumnus of the National Defence College, Air Marshal Naik is a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. PK
Air Chief Marshal PV Naik takes over as Chairman, COSC

Capt Amarinder Singh Maharaja of Patiala

The Last Word
Capt Amarinder Singh
This Singh is not king, as yet
New Delhi, March 29, Roopinder Singh and Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
He loves the good life, yet is equally at home in the rough and tumble of politics. The Akali Dal engineers his expulsion from the House, he makes headlines outside it. The Congress has not made him chief of the state party, people take him to be one anyway. Reams are written about his extra-curricular activities, yet he shrugs them off and they don’t seem to affect his political fortunes.

In his crisp white kurta pajama, equally in his blue blazers, he fills the room with his presence, and floors the audience - there is always one - with his span of information and the felicity with which he cites facts and figures, switching between English and Punjabi as the occasion demands.

Whether he is on the political throne of the state or not, he is called “Maharaj”, even by his detractors - a reflection of both his lineage, as well as his personal style. Yet, right now, there is no throne (read official position) for this king, who is seen as the tallest leader that the Congress can field in the political arena of Punjab.
click here to read the full article

Captain Amarinder Singh (born March 11, 1942), is the current Maharaja of Patiala. He served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and presently represents the Patiala assembly segment of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. He currently resides in New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.

Captain Singh is the son of late Maharaja of Patiala His Highness Yadavindra Singh of Patiala, and Her Highness Rajmata Mohinder Kaur of Patiala. He is the head of the royal house of Patiala belonging to the Phulkian dynasty. He is of Jat ethnicity. He was educated at the Lawrence School Sanawar and The Doon School, Dehradun. He has two children: Yuvraj Raninder Singh and Maharaj kumari Jayainder Kaur.

Army background
He was commissioned in the Indian Army in June 1963 and resigned in early 1965. He rejoined the Army immediately because hostilities broke out with Pakistan and took part in the actual operations in war against Pakistan and again resigned after the war was over in early 1966.

Wedding of Captain Amarinder singh and Preneet Kaur. The present Maharaja is His Highness Capt. Amarinder Singh. Heir to the throne is Yuvraj Raninder Singh
A soldier-turned-politician, Singh was a personal friend of, and was inducted into the Congress, by Rajiv Gandhi. Singh quit the Congress in protest against Operation Bluestar - in which security forces attacked the Sikhs holiest shrine the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. In the immediate aftermath of Operation Bluestar, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Singh went on to join the Akali Dal. Patiala royal scion Amarinder Singh, also a Doon School alumni, came into the Congress at about the time Sonia Gandhi took over the reigns of the party. Singh is also a former Punjab minister.

Report of IESM Rally at Rasara

The Indian Ex Servicemen MOVEMENT RALLY held at Rasara Distt Ballia was a successful rally. The rally was attended by over 2000 and above veterans . The rally was presided by the president IESM Lt Gen Raj Kadian PVSM,AVSM and VSM. Apart from the Ex Servicemen the War Widows were about 300. The widows were honoured by Our National Chairman by presenting a Shawl to every one. The anomalies of the recent announcement by the Union Govt was condemned by every one. The veterans attending the rally supported by joining as a member of our IESM. National Chairman was honoured by Capt Tej Bahadur Singh with a Shawl and walking stick.

I also praise the efforts taken by Ballia Convener Fl Lt RC Singh, President Distt Ballia and Gen Secy JN PANDEY and Convening Body member Hony Capt Kameshwar Pandey and Gen Secy PN Srivastava. Kanpur team was attended by Ex Havaldar JL Yadav; Vice President Kanpur Zone. Lastly I convey my special gratitude to Capt Tez Bahdur Singh, President IESM Rasara District Ballia who convened this rally and provided all the logistics support including breakfast and lunch to all veterans.
My special thanks NK Anil Kumar Pathak who worked for the success of this rally day and night. KEEP IT UP and enlarge the IESM membership drive.
Capt SN Sharma (Retd)

Women Officers: More facts delineated- an apt rebuttal

Reference: Women in the Armed Forces: Fiction and Facts: click here to read the article

Dear General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD,
Good Morning,
It was a pleasure reading the article written by you. More so is that you also publicizing the article by circulating the same through E-mails. Please accept my congratulations to you for your writing skills. You did spend sometime other then your regular jobs to get it completed and published.

I would have felt proud ( which unfortunately I am not after reading your point of view), if only you would have mentioned constructive points and measures to be taken then to abandon the whole idea of keeping women in Defence forces.

What you have written is already known to everyone since they are born to a lady only and they know what differences are there between a male and female.

I am so sorry to take a major offence to your certain points where you have felt sorry, mentioning only few here,

1. That how many women fail in physical standards.
You must mean that no man fail in physical standard tests.
2. Women ask for compassionate postings.
You must not be aware of number of men who have taken compassionate postings and are enjoying peace tenures for many years all together.
3. Women become pregnant (It’s a news to all of us) after joining Army and they put more burden on military hospitals.
Only lady officers get pregnant and no officer’s wife get pregnant. Great to know this. Such an experience of delivering a child itself is so strenuous and after that also they manage their home along with office without complaint.
4. I have much more to say but refraining myself to write an article in reply of an article.
5. Your article only got published because this is a male dominated society else it would have been thrown in trash for posing your own thoughts as the correct facts and figures. (I am very sorry for being honest with you.)
6. You should have spoken to right people who commanded the lady officers, for then only you would have got correct picture. Lady officers do perform many duties which you feel they don’t including night duty officers.
7. God has created Men and women with many biological, physical and mental differences. A women has mental strength more than any men on this earth to with stand pressure and then also performing multitasking.

Please read your own article again and think again whether you have conveyed your point or degraded the whole lady officers lot by posing them as burden on Indian Army. If we have some restraints then we must look for ways to solve them and we must not run away from the challenges of problems and also should not even recommend stopping the current commissioning. Your article is only to please male counterparts and discourage females from joining army. Its better to look at positives first and then negatives and find a solution.

May god bless you.
Our country is truly blessed with many people encouraging you and giving you a pat at your back.
With warm regards
Major Archana Lokeshwar (Ex Indian Army)

I totally agree with Maj Archna Lokeshwar.
The article by Gen Sen (Mrinal Suman) was an insult to humanity as a whole. The deep-rooted bias is evident, and has to change. While deployment in combat oriented roles remains a controversial issue all over the world, better accept the fact that women are here to stay for good, and they are doing a good job at that. The supposed comment ascribed to a JCO regarding overburdening of maternity wards makes me want to hang my head in shame, and coming from a retired General of the Sappers!!?!!
These are teething troubles and let us help every stakeholder in making a smoother transition rather than cribbing on the basis of ingrained prejudice.
Maj Navdeep Singh
Advocate High Court

Monday, March 29, 2010

Walking with Comrades Naxals and Maoists

Walking With The Comrades: Gandhians with a Gun? Arundhati Roy plunges into the sea of Gondi people to find some answers...Arundhati Roy- click here to read the essay

This what I wrote to OUTLOOK after reading the article "WALKING WITH THE COMRADES"
Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

Arundhati Roy, the master story teller has in the mega article(OUTLOOK March 29 2010) made me walk along with her for miles and miles, took me where she went and made me see what she saw with her eyes and made me feel what she felt to some extent and also made me read the hard core of her article, the history of the Naxal/ Mao movement which I would have skipped had I not walked with her or seen with her eyes, which , possibly is the major success of her odyssey.
Arundhati has moved with the foot soldiers of the movement, meandering around the Jungle trails of Danatewada getting and imbibing the feel of their motivation, what drives them, their small joys and pains, worries, fears and aspirations.
The foot soldiers, totally and blissfully unaware of the setup of the higher echelons organising, planning, directing the movement of this magnitude and their motivating force, are content to carry out the bidding's; moving single file night in and night out, not even aware of the final destination and what awaits them at the next bound.
It is amazing how they are living, surviving, fighting, and also dieing totally unmindful of personal issues, emotional problems, privation, sickness and the fear of uncertain destiny awaiting them.
Though myself having been a foot soldier once, with no voice of my own in the on going affairs, obeying orders, emanating from somewhere higher up, like a robot. I am still not convinced about the method adopted by them and more so by those directing them from a safe distance, to achieve their political or otherwise goals, whatever they may be and whatever be the provocation.

Terror and beyond: Are we expecting peace amidst turmoil?

By Raj Narayan, 22/02/2010
Terror and beyond: Are we expecting peace amidst turmoil?
Violence, both externally driven and internal, has become a way of life in India. So much so, that each morning our eyes scan the newspaper for acts of terror. We let out an involuntary sigh of relief if the papers are bereft of pictures of shattered skulls, broken limbs and blood-stained roads.

Rescue workers carry the body of a policeman at a police camp attacked by Maoist rebels in Silda village, Midnapore district of West Bengal. On Monday, about 24 jawans were killed in the biggest-ever Maoist assault when the rebels caught the troops unaware. Photo Courtesy: Reuters

But such days are getting as rare as snow in the desert for Indians. The violent terror attacks in Mumbai on 26/11 2008 had barely receded into the recesses of our collective minds when the bakery blast at Pune returned to remind us of the external threats. And just as we were reeling from that blow to the solar plexus came the upper-cut straight to the jaw in the form of a daring Naxal attack on a police camp in Sildah, West Bengal.

And our country continues to bleed from a thousand cuts inflicted on us by envious neighbors and militant desperados.

In fact, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh surprised many by his recent statement that naxalism and not terrorism was the bigger threat to India's internal security. He sought to know the reasons for this sense of alienation amongst people in central India and suggested that the new age policeman must train to be more professional, motivated, empowered and above all trained to use technology for investigation.

Be that as it may, the question that springs to mind is the ease with which terror actors get access to weapons of war and funds in the region. While external help is easy to understand, where do the Maoists find the money and the guns to raise a stink?

The answer is not too difficult to fathom. Fly three hours in any direction from New Delhi and what do you get...? A conflict zone or one where a conflict has recently resolved. There is Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal - each a hotbed of conflict and each providing a haven for desperados with a veritable departmental store for arms purchase.
Terror and beyond: Are we expecting peace amidst turmoil?

Fighting Corruption, Bureaucracy and Red Tape

The Hindu Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Mar 29, 2010

Vijay Anand banks on awareness and courage to fight corruption

Fighting Corruption Vijay Anand
Getting a licence or a passport without a bribe isn't as difficult as you think. “It's so easy, so simple but people think it's a daunting task,” says Vijay Anand, president of 5th Pillar, a movement started by citizens to fight corruption.

Vijay Anand shares the secret. “Exhibit knowledge, empower yourself with the right kind of information, and do not take anything personally. We do not make life difficult for the individual asking for bribe. We do it in a courteous way. That's the reason weve not been even questioned. We've been treated respectfully, and the job has been done immediately. Only when we touch their ego are chances of retaliation possible.”

The potent weapon
The weapon? The Zero Rupee Note. It's a currency-shaped document that pledges that the holder of the note will not accept or offer a bribe. “We have distributed 10 lakh copies of the Zero Rupee Note in the last four years; it has never failed.”

At public seminars, 5th Pillar offers support to citizens who've had problems getting work done the legal way at Government offices. On one condition — all papers must be in order, and the citizen must not have attempted to bribe.

“Nobody takes up that offer because most people don't have the papers in order. That's the sad part. They are willing to bribe because it is convenient,” notes Vijay Anand.

“When everything is in order, we make them do it. Asking for the name of the official instils fear in the mind of the corrupt. He does not have the wherewithal to harass the citizen or any member of the 5th Pillar. We have a separate wing for more serious cases that involve the corrupt and the criminals.”

The movement has three directors — operations, executive director, and vigilance and anti-corruption. “We use the RTI Act, asking for information over the phone, and the job gets done immediately.”

In 1997, activist M.B. Nirmal started 5th Pillar as a citizen's movement against corruption. The organisation boosted its membership with a strong online presence enrolling volunteers over Yahoogroups before Vijay Anand was offered leadership.

He registered the organisation in Washington DC in 2006 to mobilise support from NRIs. “We launched the ‘Freedom From Corruption' campaign in 2006 with the Zero Rupee Note. We've made students of about 600 institutions take the pledge. The idea is to sensitise the younger generation against corruption. Bribing is against the law. Isn't it necessary to be patriotic every day of the year?”

Going strong
He continues: “We launched a Students Against Corruption (SAC) unit with two students — Dilip Kumar and Sathyaraj — as State Convenors. We just completed our first anniversary.”

Schools and colleges can to have their own SAC cells. SAC cells plan to work with RTO offices for licence drives and passport camps in their colleges.

Citizens can email or call 65273056/ 94451-64555 for assistance.
A silent storm brews
5th Pillar All of us who want a corruption free nation: click here

IESM: Reaching out to Eastern UP

Dear Colleagues,
I addressed a largely attended rally of some 2000 ESM and families in Ballia District of Eastern UP today. It has been one of the best organized rallies thus far. Compliments are due to Veteran Tej Bahadur Singh ably supported by Veterans Capt Sharma, Hav Shrivastava, Naik Anil Pathak, Lt Kameshwar Pandey and a host of others. This is my second visit in this part of UP within a month. The increasing enthusiasm is clearly visible. They have already set their sights on the next rally in Ghamar village of Azamgarh District on 25 April 2010. I assured them that maximum members from the Governing Body would attend.
Apart from updating them on the latest developments, I also announced the recent Governing Body decision that in the next few months instead of centralized rallies in Delhi, where large attendances pose administrative and financial problems, we will be organising these gatherings in the States.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Military Personnel victims of cyber crime

Frauds go online to cheat people by Sandeep Rana: Tribune News Service
Dehradun, December 24, 2009
If you receive an email from your friend asking you for monetary help as he is in a dire need somewhere abroad, then beware and check out with him if he really wants some help. Off late, many frauds had employed this trick to cheat people of their hard-earned money.

The modus operandi wherein cheaters first procure personal information of a person and then ask his friends for monetary help by hacking his personal email ID has trapped even well-known names of the city as well.

Several city residents have fallen prey to these cheaters. Some even lodged complaints with the police while others simply avoided such emails.

Even though the Dehradun police doesn’t have separate data for how many such complaints have been received, such emails is a cause of concern and an awareness drive is the only cure.

A victim of such emails, Brig KG Behl (retd), complained to the police last week that his email ID had been hacked and emails were sent through his ID to his friends asking for $2,500 urgently as he (Brigadier Behl) had got stranded in London and had lost his belongings.

Brigadier Behl added that the emails had mentioned the postal address of London where money was to be sent and asked to email the money transfer control number (MTCN) with details required to send it.

Garwhal IG MA Ganpathy said: “One such case in five or six months comes to us. This is basically a cyber crime and we register such cases under the IT Act and start investigation.

“A few Nigerians were held in Tehri who were involved in cyber crime some times ago”.

The IG maintained that these works were solely done by foreigners and there was no possibility of involvement of any local in such cases.

Another modus operandi of such cheats, emails pronouncing you as a winner of big jackpots and prizes are very common these days and people easily avoid them knowing the trick behind these.

However, a woman of Turner Road was cheated of over 3 lakh in September in one such case. The victim, Anjum, in her complaint to the police had alleged that she had received an email saying that she had won Rs 2 crore lottery from a London-based company. She was asked over the phone to deposit some earnest amount in an account mentioned by it. She used to receive receipts of her payments through emails. After a few payments worth more than Rs 3.5 lakh, the email stopped replying and the woman later contacted the police.

Station house officer of the Patel Nagar police station Chandan Singh Bisht said the only way to catch the persons involved in such cyber crimes was through their cell phone from which they contacted the victim. But, it was found switched off as the woman had approached the police quite late.

The police is now relying on the EMI number of the cellphone through surveillance to nab the frauds, but it is possible only if they use the cell phone again.
Frauds go online to cheat people

Lt Col D Chaturvedi (retd) was in a shock when, on December 28, he came to know that an amount of Rs 4, 93, 528 has been debited from his pension account at the Survey of India branch of Punjab National Bank fraudulently.
click here to read the full story

Defence Pension Racket
NAGPUR: A retired Lieutenant Colonel has moved the high court here claiming that many persons were illegally drawing pension meant for World War-II (WW-II) veterans. The 61-year-old Lt Col Shrikant Kane produced information obtained under Right to Information (RTI) Act and said as many as 59 persons were being given pension in contravention of eligibility norms for years. The amount involved may run lakhs.

The petitioner who retired as regular officer of Indian Army's Corps of Signals after over two decades of service has prayed for directions to the state government to investigate the matter and arrest the beneficiaries. Alternatively, he demanded an enquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) within a stipulated period.
Retd army man exposes defence pension racket

Email Hacking
Hacking Email: 99 Tips to Make you More Secure and Productive

Sunday, March 28, 2010

National Security: Civil Military Relations

A Tribune Special
Beyond narrow boundaries
We must change our mindset to meet new security challenges, says Gen V.P. Malik (retd)

Sunday, March 28, 2010, Chandigarh, India
ONE of the cornerstones of a democracy is a healthy civil military relationship. India stands out as the greatest success story in civil military relations amongst developing nations of the world. The nation and its military are rightfully proud of it.
However, should the discourse on civil military relations remain confined to the facts that in our country there have never been open criticism of the government’s policies on military affairs, never any combat refusal, or anything like a threat of military takeover? Unfortunately, most of our experts and the media are content to focus on the presence or absence of civilian control, politicisation, military discontent and discipline as the only considerations worthy of attention. Little attention is paid to the dynamics of politico-military strategies and civil military discourse on military capabilities and doctrines for any future conflicts.
click here to read the full article from Tribune

An ode to the Indian soldiers of World War I

Hasan Suroor
Visitors to a new exhibition dedicated to Indian soldiers wounded during the First World War while serving in the British army will be struck by the following caption to a photograph: “Care was taken over religious and cultural differences of troops from British India. Hindus and Muslims had separate water supplies and patients were treated by orderlies from their own caste or faith.”

Was it thoughtful regard for Indian cultural sensitivities? Or was there a deeper political move to perpetuate the divisive religious and caste practices among the “natives”?

Whatever the motive, soldiers themselves were apparently quite pleased with the arrangement. One wrote to his family: “Don't be anxious about me…we're all very well looked after. Our hospital is the place where the king used to have his throne.”

The exhibition is at Brighton's famous Royal Pavilion, once a royal seaside retreat and converted into a military hospital to treat wounded Indian soldiers, is aimed at creating a greater awareness about Indian contribution to the war effort.

“We want them [people] to recognise, in the first instance, and be aware of what Indian soldiers did for this country. That's very important because it is a footnote in the First World War and needs to be exposed a little more,” Davinder Dhillon, an official, told the BBC.

More than 4,000 Indian soldiers were treated at the Royal Pavilion and other buildings in the Brighton area from December 1914 to February 1916. They were said to have been so impressed with their grand surroundings that some compared them to “paradise”.
An ode to the Indian soldiers of World War I

Subedar Manta Singh: 2nd Sikh Royal Infantry: Manta Singh was born in the Punjab, northern India. In 1907, as soon as he left the village school, he joined the 2nd Sikh Royal Infantry. By August 1914, when the German army invaded Belgium and France, Manta held the rank of Subedar, and his regiment was part of the Indian Expeditionary Force sent to France
Participants from the Indian subcontinent in the First World War


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