Saturday, July 17, 2010

ECHS: Empanelled Hospitals insist on payment from Veterans- Jaipur

Empanelled Hospitals
There is scant respect for veterans and their family members by the staff of some of the empanelled hospitals of ECHS at Jaipur. on the name of making the payment of hospital bill, which is the sole responsibility of ECHS and not of veteran's family.

Last week there was an incident in Soni hospital Jaipur when hospital management refused to hand over the body of Late Lt Gen K Surendra Singh on his sad demise, who was former Director of Artillery.

Although the family members assured the hospital staff that pending bill will be paid. It is very sad that the matter came to the notice of general public through a newspaper next day and the body was allowed to taken by the family members of a retired high ranked Army dignitary of a rank of Lt General after intervention of local Military officials. It is the insult of veterans and their family which requires to be brought to the notice of Army HQ as well as concerned authority for remedy. We have asked Rajasthan State Ex-Services League to initiate action to stop such type of incidents in future and we request you to please guide us for right approach for the solution.
Yours faithfully
(AS Rathore)
Subedar (Retd)

Dear Brig Kuthiala,
NOW THIS is serious.
We need to take the hospital to task. Kindly please bring this to ECHS HQ notice. Also, they need to have this moved through AG channels, in form of instructions to local Station HQ, to intervene in such cases. The practice of hospitals charging the patients first and then reimbursing the ECHS sanctioned amounts to them, seems to be catching on and to my mind has been the underlying reason in this case.
Notwithstanding the IESL taking any follow up action, I feel we need to move in.
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,

Do NOT use the term PBOR
Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
While the term PBOR sounds demeaning, AIR FORCE uses this term extensively. To my horror, I found a board in BASE HOSPITAL, DELHI CANTT indicating PBOR wards. This board is placed on the right hand side of the road leading to SKIN & ENT departments from the Family Ward. A soft prompting may undo THIS mischief.
(Maj Gen AK Gupta
IESM objects against usage of "demeaning" terminology PBOR

Let us not defame the Armed Forces

Thursday, 15 July, 2010, 8:27 PM
To: The Editor-in-Chief The Pioneer
Kudos to The Pioneer for the write-up "Let's not defame the armed forces": click here (July 11). The author Mr. Kanchan Gupta has minced no words when he says that it is now considered fashionable and politically correct to berate the security forces and accuse them of violating human rights and worse. He has quoted irrefutable facts and figures from authentic sources and advanced clinching arguments to prove his points.

You certainly cannot ask the Armed Forces to tie their hands at the back and yet fight against terrorists laced with lethal weapons supplied from across the borders and supported by their stooges operating inside the country.

How come, when a perceived "excess" is committed by the military combatants on duty there is so much hue and cry raised by the self-styled "Human Rights" groups and activists, but not a word is uttered or a whine muttered in case of arson, violence and savagery inflicted on innocent citizens and security forces by the fanatical extremists? Why two different norms? Is one life any less valuable than the other?
Warm regards.
Wg Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd)
Related Reading
(Member IESM Veterans' Groups)
Rights for Terrorists Only? by Joginder Singh (The writer was Director, CBI) (ADNI)
Respect the armed forces
By Nand on 7/11/2010 3:18:19 AM
Vox Populi
Again a great article. The human rights activists need the safety of armed forces and then criticizes them. It is sad. Thank you for writing this article and speaking for the behalf of thousands of patriotic Indians who fight for the survival/ freedom of the country.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Is military history sacrosanct?


Military history may not be a `holy cow' but once finalised, it does become sacrosanct and should be interfered with only in the most exceptional circumstances, lest the public loses faith in the objectivity of the military. The old adage that “truth is the first casualty in war“ is fairly accurate, but largely at the individual level.

At the institutional level, the Indian military has an elaborate system in place so that maximum objectivity is ensured, when the final product in the shape of a history is produced.

However, any activity in which human beings are involved is bound to be questioned, either genuinely or for some other reason.

The compilation of military history commences at the unit level, where actions of sub-units and individuals, eyewitness accounts, logs of messages and reports are compiled, giving allowances for the `fog of war' and the fast and furious pace of operations.

In the end, a coherent picture does emerge. Thereafter, at every hierarchical level, the `war diaries' are scrutinised and compared with plans initiated, situation reports of the time and the inputs of the formation commanders and staff. This process goes all the way up to the army headquarters, where the Military Operations (MO) Directorate carries out a thorough oversight and comparison with the plethora of reports generated prior to, during and after the operations.There are thus sufficient checks and balances to ensure objectivity.

There are essentially four types of military histories. The first is the memoirs of individuals who have taken part in the conflict. They describe their experiences and those of their comrades, as also details culled out from operational documents.

Depending on who the author is, there is usually a fair to medium degree of subjectivity in them. The second type of military history is the one written by historians, media persons and others, who did not take part in the operations. Their sources are the media and some interviews conducted by them during or immediately after the conflict, usually the latter. In a large number of cases they tend to be sensational. In professional parlance they are termed `quickies', with `making a quick buck' as their main aim. The third category is scholarly works, mostly commissioned by `think tanks' or quasi-professional institutions. These are usually well researched and fairly objective.

The last category is the official military histories, mostly written by a team of professional persons commissioned by the government and comprising both military and civilian professionals, who are given access to official documents like war diaries, operational orders and instructions, results of post-war evaluations carried out at various levels, as well as independent studies ordered at various echelons of the field Army. These are the only histories that have official authenticity.

The tragedy of India is that our political leadership and others are so scared of the truth that till date not a single official history of wars and conflicts fought by the Indian Military has been cleared for publication. This is the main reason for conjectures, innuendos and inspired comments in the media. It is a great pity as the military has cleared them all for the public domain. As an example, the Henderson Brooks report of the 1962 India-China war, of which I was the custodian as the DGMO, contains no secrets that will jeopardise national security, but it continues to be kept in wraps as it highlights the gross incompetency of the political leadership and the bureaucracy of that time.

Let me now briefly deal with the current controversy, which is a fallout of a judicial judgment, wherein a senior formation commander of the Army who had taken part in the Kargil conflict of 1999 had his military honour restored, when the court ruled that his confidential reports were biased against him.

That judgment was widely welcomed, but the court also ruled that three paragraphs in the official war records relating to the particular operation of the aggrieved officer must be rewritten. The Army is challenging only the latter part of the judgment, pertaining to the rewriting of the records, in the apex court. Their contention is that there was no fudging, falsification or doctoring of the 1999 Kargil war history, as the military history has been finalised after invoking numerous checks and balances. The apex court will no doubt study all aspects before giving its judgment.

Let me end this piece on an irreverent note. It was Voltaire, who said in Jeannot et Colin that “All ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon“.

What needs to be noted is that he was referring to `history', not `military history'!
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd) is a former Vice-Chief of the Indian Army
Courtesy: Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, 15 July 2010
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views either of the Editorial Committee or the Centre for Land Warfare Studies).
Is military history sacrosanct?
Lt Gen Oberoi’s letters on Pay Commission Recommendations

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Galloping Poverty: Indian GDP Fake or a Myth?

The Hindu Thursday, Jul 15, 2010
Jason Burke
  • Madhya Pradesh, Democratic Republic of Congo show near identical poverty level
  • India ranks 63rd in the new poverty index, after Togo, before Haiti
  • Quarter of the world lives on $1.25 a day or less: World Bank estimate

    New Delhi: New U.N. index builds up fuller picture of poor lives; Madhya Pradesh ‘comparable to Congo.' There are more poor people in eight states of India than in the 26 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a study reveals today

    More than 410 million people live in poverty in the Indian States, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, researchers at Oxford University, England, found. The “intensity” of the poverty in parts of India is equal to, if not worse than, that in Africa.

    When the vast central Madhya Pradesh, which has a population of 70 million, was compared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the war-racked African state of 62 million inhabitants, the two were found to have near identical levels of poverty.

    Multidimensional poverty index
    The study is based on an innovatory “multidimensional poverty index”, or MPI, developed by specialists at Oxford. To be used for the first time in the authoritative and influential United Nations Human Development Report when it is published this autumn, it will replace a simpler method of calculating poverty introduced over a decade ago.

    The index uses ten major variables including access to good cooking fuel, schooling, electricity, nutrition and sanitation. “[It] is like a high-resolution lens which reveals a vivid spectrum of challenges facing the poorest households,” said Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and a co-developer of the index. “Before, you might know a person was poor but did not know if their children went to school, if they had a floor or if they cooked on wood.” In Madhya Pradesh poverty levels were higher because of malnutrition. In Congo, access to schooling was a problem.

    The study's conclusions will reinforce claims that distribution of the wealth generated by India's rapid economic growth — recently around 10 per cent year on year — is deeply unequal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has repeatedly said he wants to see “inclusive” development.

    Difficult to define
    Poverty has long proved difficult to define. The World Bank bases its definition on household income and estimates that a quarter of the developing world lives on $1.25 a day or less. However, relying simply on money “excludes everything that is outside the cash economy and doesn't look at issues such as housing [or] access to safe water” said William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations Development Programme in New York.

    To compile the index, researchers analysed data from 104 countries with a combined population of 5.2 billion, 78 per cent of the world total. About 1.7 billion — a third — live in multidimensional poverty, they found.

    “Extreme” poverty
    This is 400 million more than are estimated by the World Bank to be in “extreme” poverty. The new index is also designed to track variations within countries much better. So while the poverty rate is more than 80 per cent in the rural Bihar, it is about 16 per cent in Kerala.

    Some countries have dropped steeply down the poverty rankings in the new list. Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco were found to have much more poverty under the new index than when using simple household income.

    Others, such as Tanzania, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and China were found to have less. China was ranked 46 out of 104, three places behind Brazil. India came in 63rd, just after Togo, but ahead of Haiti.

    “In many cases, it is probably linked to previously high levels of social investment,” Alkire said. “It shows that a low per capita GDP income doesn't necessarily mean high poverty.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010
    Poverty more in India than sub-Saharan Africa
    Rate of Indian Galloping Distress and Poverty (GDP) far exceeds the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It seems the that Black Money, Money Laundering and Hawala Transanctions far transends the Indian economy.
    Black money enters the system for a variety of reasons, of which corruption is not an insignificant part. However quite a bit a black money is pooled in due to evasion of taxes, levies, excises and duties on the part of major manufacturing, road transport and other companies. Cash transactions, which are again unaccounted for money, make up almost half of current financial dealings, especially in the real estate, electronic goods and transportation departments. The film industry is a regular boost to the parallel economy as are personal incomes and the various illegal industries. Even the recent elections greatly benefited the black economy, since each election produces about 10 billion dollars of black money, as shown by a study conducted by the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) in 2006. In other words our Black economy is thriving.
    The black face of Indian economy
  • Supreme Court Restores Rank Pay denied to Military since 1986

    Gist of Rank Pay Judgment of the Supreme Court of India
    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.
    Rank Pay denied to Military haunts MOD

    Neglect of the Army
    Over the years the logic of the Government in contesting every order the Supreme Court has passed in favor of Armed Forces personnel is difficult to understand. Even in the case of fixation of Major Generals' pension the Government appealed multiple times and intentionally delayed filing its replies. Eventually the Government had to pay as per the orders with 12 % interest. This shows the malicious intent of the persons concerned. Only recently the Solicitor General had to request the Supreme Court to soften its remarks in the case of Capt CS Sidhu, when it had said that the Government treats its soldiers worse than beggars!
    Neglect of the Army

    Unfair to military personnel- They must get their due by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)

    The BJP chief also demanded that the government withdraw its application filed before the Supreme Court requesting it to rehear the case relating to anomalies in the Fourth Pay Commission regarding rank pay to armed forces personnel besides the revised pay scales.

    "When the Supreme Court judgment came for putting this anomaly right, the government instead of obeying the order filed an application to rehear the case and modify the order. This, to say the least, is tantamount to a grossly hostile government attitude towards the ex-servicemen," he said.
    Redress the grievances of ex-servicemen, BJP president Nitin Gadkari

    Can a fraud detected by the apex court be wished away due to its financial cost, the veteran asks.
    Rank Pay: Lt-Gen writes to Sonia against Centre's appeal

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    1962 Indo China War: 48 Years Later, A Soldier Returns

    48 Years Later, A Soldier Returns by Shiv Aroor on Tuesday, July 13th 2010
    The mortal remains of Sepoy KC Katoch were found by Border Roads engineers on 1 July in Arunachal's Lohit Valley -- 48 years after he perished in battle against the Chinese in the 1962 war. The 4th Dogra soldier was part of the brave resistance at Walong. He will be cremated with full military honours on July 15 in his village near Palampur, HP. Coverage on Headlines Today from tomorrow.

    National Security: Indian Grand Strategy- a book review

    Monday, June 14, 2010
    Washington DC: release of book on Indian Grand Strategy for Foreign Policy

    Admiral Raja Menon is a former career officer and submarine specialist in the Navy. He is the author of The Indian Navy: A Photo Essay, Maritime Strategy and Continental Wars and A Nuclear Strategy for India. He is a distinguished fellow in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and the National Maritime Foundation.

    Joining Admiral Menon for the forum will be Ashley Tellis, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Lisa Curtis, Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow on South Asia. S. Enders Wimbush, Hudson Institute's Senior Vice President, will moderate. Wednesday, June 23, 2010 12:30-2:30 PM

    Analyzing some of the major influences on foreign and security policy in India, this synthesis of insights assesses emerging global scenarios from an Indian perspective and details their likely impact on India's current and future national interests. This study first uses the Net Assessment method to detail the scenarios that the country will face in 2020 and then utilizes a transparent method to build three scenarios that India could face and compares them to other situations created by the United States National Intelligence Council and a group of Indian Practitioners. Closing with a possible foreign policy strategy, this reference clearly explains the choices that await a rising India.

    The book spells out four possible global scenarios in 2020. The first is one in which the US reinvents itself and surges forward on the tide of development of alternate energy sources. The second envisages a scenario in which the relative power of the US declines and a multipolar world emerges in which regional powers rise to run their regions unilaterally – India in South Asia, China in continental Asia, and the US with Brazil in the Americas. While globalisation reduces political rivalry between nations, there is no co-ordinated action against terrorism and rogue, non-state actors.

    The third scenario is one in which the US and China establish a duopoly and begin to co-operate in controlling world institutions, leaving former friends of the US, including India, without a platform. India will then be faced with the choice of either joining the duopoly or facing isolation. The final scenario is one in which economic growth in both the United States and China remains depressed while India grows at a sustained annual rate of nine to ten per cent. The world takes longer to recover from the recession, international bodies become weak and the US becomes more isolationist. India becomes a powerful entity by 2020 but has not yet developed mechanisms to play the role of a constructive global or regional power. Of these, the worst-case scenario from India's perspective is the emergence of a US-China duopoly where China remains hostile to India and the US is unavailable as a balancing power.

    The book outlines a strategy that will help India tackle the challenges posed by the possible shift in global power arrangements. It includes:
  • A strong focus on achieving sustained economic growth with equity as that helps India to withstand a possible duopoly
  • A hedging military strategy that enables India to switch theatres between North-Continental and South Maritime, abolishing all institutions for passive territorial defence and unifying military command
  • A technology strategy that gives the private sector its head with government joint ventures and subordinates the human resource development and science and technology ministries to that of service providers with measurable outputs to ride a possible US wave of alternate energy innovation
  • A national security strategy that creates mechanisms that conjoins the NSA system to the parliamentary system
  • A domestic strategy that reforms all domestic institutions, particularly the police and the civil service, under external supervision and
  • The recreation of a foreign policy apparatus that can implement this strategy abroad.

    The challenges that India will face in implementing this strategy will come from:
  • The rise of a galloping China with perceived unsolvable disputes with India and ruled by a monolithic, single party
  • The fundamentalist threat from an unstable Pakistan in a close alliance with China
  • The region being overwhelmed by Chinese economic blandishments to support regimes politically hostile to India
  • The fraying of international institutions
  • A degraded neighbourhood because of economic compulsions in Bangladesh, continued political upheaval in Nepal, simmering discontent and low level conflict in Sri Lanka and jihadi threat in Pakistan and
  • The loss of naval superiority in the Indian Ocean.

    The book also raises questions about whether India has operational mechanisms needed to implement the strategy that it has outlined. It points out that the lack of a strategic core, which directs policy and oversees implementation, is a major lacuna that needs to be addressed urgently.

    Refreshments will be served.
    Books will be available for purchase.

    To RSVP, please send your name and affiliation to
    Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
    Hudson Institute
    1015 15th St, NW,
    Sixth Floor
    Washington, DC 20005
    washington dc: release of book on Indian Grand Strategy for Foreign Policy
    US India Friendship Net
  • UK unveils unmanned fighter jet 'of the future'

    Tue Jul 13, 5:39 am ET
    LONDON (AFP) – An unmanned jet capable of striking long-range targets has been dubbed the "combat aircraft of the future" by the Ministry of Defence.
    The Taranis -- named after the Celtic god of thunder -- was unveiled at a ceremony at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, on Monday.
    The £142.5 million prototype is the size of a light aircraft and has been equipped with stealth technology to make it virtually undetectable.
    In a press release, the MoD described the Taranis as "a prototype unmanned combat aircraft of the future."
    UK MoD unveils unmanned fighter jet 'of the future'

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    How Rank Pay was denied to the Military?

    Lt Gen SK Sinha, who had served in Army Headquarters in every rank, authored the Fourth Pay Commission and knew every bureaucratic trick of the trade, was superseded as COAS as the Government thought he would be a difficult customer. Gen Sinha resigned. The Government notification for part of the Fifth Pay Commission award was signed by Defence Secretary Ajit Kumar even as COAS Gen Ved Malik had put his objections in writing. The same drama was witnessed last year when the three Service Chiefs collectively refused to accept the piecemeal award of the Sixth Pay Commission, insisting the anomalies be addressed first. One newspaper editor called it “unprecedented military dissent” but conveniently omitted the word ‘legitimate’.
    Give military autonomy by Ashok K Mehta

    National Security: Information and Cyber Warfare

    The Tribune Tuesday, July 13, 2010, Chandigarh, India
    Information Warfare
    Decision makers should log-on to the nuances
    Vulnerable information networks can adversely affect national security and create utter chaos. Safeguarding them is critical and the country ought to move fast to secure its cyber assets as potential adversaries already have an edge
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

    "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." So said noted Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu. No doubt what he meant was ways to outwit and outmaneuver the enemy without resorting to arms.

    Today this translates to a type of warfare dominated by the use and manipulation of information and information networks and subversion of data to one's own advantage, thereby bringing down an enemy by without actually firing a shot.

    Information warfare is the offensive and defensive use of information and information systems to deny, exploit, corrupt, or destroy, an adversary's information, information-based processes, information systems, and computer-based networks while protecting one's own. Such actions are designed to achieve advantages over military, political or business adversaries.

    One of the prime aims of Information warfare is to so manage the perception of the enemy top decision makers and even its people, that a nation's aims are met without recourse to war.

    We are living in the Information Age. The means of gathering and disseminating information are exploding -- TV, Internet, media, news on cell phones, e-newspapers and e-books are available at home, in the work place and even on the move. The maxim, 'seeing is believing' has made TV very powerful in forming opinions and perceptions. Internet is another means used extensively. These are already being used as vehicles for information and disinformation. Since information is such a powerful tool, contesting entities, may they be nations, politicians, economic czars, terrorist organizations try and exploit its use and deny the same to the adversary. This leads to Information Warfare.

    The terminology "Information Warfare" covers propaganda or disinformation leading to "perception management", which is making the targeted people believe, what you want them to believe. This is used both during peace and war, in diplomacy, politics, and economic relations and even in sports (pre match sound bytes!!). Before important international conferences, news leaks by unnamed representatives are commonly used to put pressure on the other side. The propaganda blitz during elections is also common the world over.

    In a war scenario, information warfare starts much earlier, even before war clouds start to build. The warring nations may try and project their policy and strengths through speeches, press releases, pictures of their armed forces and so on. Aim being not only to detract the enemy from his plans and thinking but also to mould a favorable international opinion, in particular of international power centers, so important in today's world. The aim may be to see if the national objectives can be met or facilitated through information warfare and actual war avoided. On the other hand some powerful nations may use this to justify to their own people and the world at large going to war!

    In any kind of warfare, there are both the offensive and defensive aspects. The aim has to be having an overwhelming edge on the adversary in propaganda. The offensive part also includes using electronic and ballistic means to disable or destroy enemy's TV and radio stations or jamming them.

    This aspect of Information warfare has to be planned and coordinated at the highest level as part of national strategy. What to project at what time and how. In our case, the PMO will have to get involved.

    In a war situation, Information warfare operations are to be undertaken, in the military arena; propaganda/perception management being a part and parcel. The armed forces today depend heavily on electronic systems, including communications, surveillance devices (satellites, radars, UAVs), weapon systems (missiles, rockets, guns), air and naval operations and electronic warfare. Information or intelligence is passed instantaneously, processed and disseminated speedily. Plans and orders issued and their implementation monitored leading to Network Centric Warfare. All such systems heavily depend on use of computers.

    Information warfare is also integral part of deception. Use of computers enables doctoring of images quite realistically. This can help in projecting troops, aircraft, ships and weapon systems where they are not. According to Sun Zu, All warfare is based on deception.

    Over 70 per cent of all intelligence is derived using electronic interceptions, both in peace and war. The aim has to be to make the battlefield transparent to own forces and blind the enemy. This is one of the prime objectives of information operations during war.

    Disabling or doctoring enemy's computer based systems while ensuring use of the same by own forces is a critical aspect of information operations. This is also termed cyber warfare. However, cyber warfare is not restricted to armed forces networks but includes all national critical resources like transportation, water supply, law and order, telecommunications, financial systems (banking, stock markets), news media, medical etc. In short all systems which can adversely affect the war effort, the lives of people and thus create chaos. Safeguarding all such systems is critical to overall war effort.

    Cyber warfare covers hacking and spread of viruses. The worst is to doctor the functioning of systems so that these get out of control. There are many reports of Indian and American computer systems being hacked. The fingers point invariably towards China, which has taken cyber warfare very seriously and made it a pillar of its strategy. It has raised a number of cyber warfare divisions.

    India has also set up some organisations to counter these threats, both at national and military levels but much more needs to be done and fast. India has the required brains and technical resources. What is needed is the national will and according required priority and resources.

    Our political leaders and bureaucrats who are the ultimate decision makers need to be well versed in the nuances of this new form of warfare. As of now, our potential adversaries have a big edge.
    (The author is a former Signals Officer-in-Chief of the Indian Army)
    Information Warfare: Decision makers should log-on to the nuances

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Corps of Signals: Down memory lane Bangalore

    The Hindu archives: Life in Bangalore: Evening to remember- 21 Feb 2003

    Col. K. Raghunathan (left) and Hema Raghunathan (centre), who hosted the 92nd anniversary celebrations of the Corps of Signals, seen with Ms. S.L. Kapoor (second from left), Sudha Hiremath, and Maj Gen (retd.), Suresh Hiremath.

    IT WAS an evening to remember for serving officers and retired veterans of the Corps of Signals. The birthday bash to celebrate 92 years of the Corps' official existence saw a large gathering of officers and their wives on the lawns of the Officers' Mess on Cubbon Road.

    Col. K. Raghunathan and his wife, Hema, played hosts, taking time off to introduce the few media personnel to the officers. There was a lot of swapping of stories about shared experiences. Those with claims to musical talent were invited to take the mike. There was also the ceremonial opening of bottles of champagne with spirited toasts to the Corps, an organisation which keeps the Indian Army's communication lines going.
    Evening to remember

    Indian Army proud to contribute 35% sportsman for CWG 2010

    The Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh presenting a cheque of Rs. one lac to Seema Tomar, an ace trap (shotgun) shooter, in New Delhi on July 12, 2010. Photo no.CNR - 32485
    Monday,12 July 2010
    Seema Tomar, an ace trap (shotgun) shooter was enrolled by the Indian Army in 2004 under sports quota as part of ‘Mission Olympic Programme’ with a view to nurture young talent into an elite sportsperson to excel in National/ International shooting competitions.

    Seema Tomar with her hard work, undeterred commitment and sheer dedication with the matching support by the Indian Army has shown steady improvement since 2004. The individual has done the Country proud by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to have won the individual silver medal at the ISSF Word Cup (shotgun) held at Dorset (UK) from 11-20 May 2010 by shooting a score of 88/100.

    So far Seema Tomar has won 12 Gold, 04 Silver & 02 Bronze medals at various National/ International Shooting competitions. Besides this, she has been the undisputed National Champion in her event for last three years. In recognition of her achievement COAS has presented her with an cash incentive of Rs 1 lakh.

    The individual is presently training at Army Shooting Node, Mhow for the forthcoming World Championship (Munich, Germany) and Commonwealth/ Asian Games (Delhi, India/ Guangzhou, China). She definitely is the Nation’s medal hope in the trap (shotgun) event in the above Championships.

    Under ‘Mission Olympic Programme’, Indian Army is training young budding talent in select sports disciplines in five Sports Nodes, in World Class environment, for excellence in various National/ International Championships, with an overall aim to win ‘Olympic Medal’. The Indian Army is proud to contribute almost 35% sportsmen to the Indian Core Group Training for CWG/ Asian Games 2010.
    The Sharp Shooter

    Pakistani spy had licence, voter ID and PAN card obtained with fake documents

    Pakistani spy had licence, voter ID and PAN card: police
    Chandigarh: Kashif Ali, the suspected Pakistani spy who was arrested here two days ago, had duped government departments and banks during his over two-year stay here. He had a driving licence, voter ID card and even a PAN card - all procured on the basis of fake documents, police said Monday.

    Ali's rented accommodation in Sector 44, from where he was arrested Saturday, was raided and police seized various documents and a digital camera. Ali, 24, a resident of Faisalabad in Pakistan's Punjab province, is suspected to have sent vital defence information from India to his country.

    "We have recovered a driving licence that was issued by a New Delhi transport authority, a voter identity card with a Chandigarh address, PAN (permanent account number) card and a high school certificate issued by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB)," a police official said.

    "We have also recovered a receipt of the Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh. Ali admitted that he had entered India through Nepal. He had stayed in New Delhi and at Bikaner before coming to Chandigarh. He had bank accounts in Axis Bank and at Union Bank of India," he added.

    The seizure of these documents highlights the loopholes in the intelligence wing of police in Chandigarh.

    "We are looking into all aspects of this matter and trying to ascertain the links of Ali with other people in Chandigarh and in other states. We will also check how he managed to procure all these documents on the basis of fake papers," Inspector (crime branch) Amanjot Singh told IANS.

    Ali, who was sent to police custody by a local court, had moved an application in court seeking permission to talk to his family through two Pakistan phone numbers. The court granted him permission to talk to his family members in the presence of the investigation officer and also directed police to record the conversation.

    Police had also detained two of Ali's friends here - Santosh, 24, and Rajeev, 23, - who were in close contact with him. "We also questioned Ali's landlord about people who came to meet him. We have found that two women who are working in a beauty parlour here were coming to meet him at regular intervals. He did not talk to his neighbours and had told his landlord that he was into the real estate business," the police official said.

    Inspector General of Police Pradeep Srivastava had earlier told reporters: "Ali admitted that he had taken weaponry training from Pakistan. He was collecting vital information regarding (the army's) Western Command headquarters at Chandimandir (in neighbouring Panchkula town) and the air force station here and was passing it to Pakistan." Source: IANS
    Pakistani spy had licence, voter ID and PAN card: police
    In India with fakes and bribes anything is possible!

    IESL: Issues taken up with the Supreme Commander

    ESM issues
    1. Over the years the Indian Ex-Services League, an apex body to articulate concerns of all Ex-Servicemen and widows of country duly recognised by Govt of India, has been highlighting the continuous lowering of their status vis-à-vis equivalent Central Govt Officials. Due to the neglect of successive Pay Commissions, service in the Armed Forces has become unattractive and the right talent is no longer being attracted for a career in the military. Unfortunately, we have not achieved success in our endeavours. The 6th Central Pay Commission has also failed to address this issue and has ignored demand of “One Rank One Pension” alongwith other related issues, causing despondency amongst the ex-servicemen community. Due to this indifferent attitude of the authorities this massive Rally on 7th May 08 is being held.

    2. One Rank One Pension. This demand by the Ex-Servicemen has been raised over and over again since the 1980s. It implies that all retirees get the same pension irrespective of their date of retirement. Increase in pension should be applicable to all pensioners. A soldier and an officer gives his entire life, suffering hardships and domestic life disturbance, facing danger to life and limb expects that he would be paid adequate pension to enable him to lead a life of dignity. In the volatile economic scenario, he expects that his pension would be enhanced periodically to meet inflation. Two defence employees retiring in the same rank, after same length of service should get equal pension irrespective of their date of retirement. Inspite of solemn declarations in and outside Parliament by United Front Government on 05 Sep 91 and NDA Government on 14 Apr 99 and the successive Governments, they have not implemented their promises. The Central Pay Commission has again ignored this demand. The demand of “One Rank One Pension” is the core grievance which is agitating the veterans.

    3. Ex-Servicemen Welfare to be a part of the Concurrent List. There is a vide disparity between the facilities/ concessions accorded to the Defence Pensioners in various States. They are on Concurrent list while in service but disparity starts after retirement e.g. exemption of VAT, House Tax (applicable only in some States) and wide variance of monetary grant for Gallantry Awards winners from State to State. There is a need to enact an Act of parliament whereby the laid down quota of vacancies reserved for the defence pensioners is constitutionally enforced on the Central and State Governments. Equally, there is a need to constitute an Ex-Servicemen Commission on the lines of similar commissions to have constitutional authority. The existing Department of Welfare in the Ministry of Defence is ill equipped to meet the aspirations of the Ex-Servicemen as it has no statutory powers.

    4. Guaranteed Second Lateral Employment upto 60 Years. Imperative of keeping the armed forces young, necessitates that a soldier retires at the age of 35 years, Junior Commission Officer at 45 years and bulk of Officers at 54-56 years. There is no effective system whereby they can work till the age of 60 years like other Government employees. The Directorate General of Resettlement, a Ministry of Defence Organization can secure employment to only a miniscule numbers of retirees. There has to be a Central Govt provision to ensure that all retirees from the Armed Forces are compulsorily absorbed in PMFs/PSUs/Other such agencies for an assured career upto 60 years of age.

    5. Separate Pay Commission for the Armed Forces. This a long outstanding issue has been accepted by the Government.

    6. All Concessions including MSP/ Pension to be with Retrospective with effect from 01 Jan 2006. Existing pensioners should also be entitled to get all benefits that accrue to pensioners who retire now. When all other government employees are getting their pay and pension arrears from 1.1.2006, to deny it to the defence personnel by recommending that the MSP be paid only prospectively is discriminatory. The arrears should be paid from 1.1.2006.

    7. Only macro issues have been raised which affect 4.5 million Ex-Servicemen and widows. As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and our Grand Patron-in-Chief we appeal to you to please ensure justice for the selfless spirit and sacrifices of the veterans who have devoted prime of their lives in the service of their motherland. The nation and the government are morally bound to take care of its soldiers while they are in service and after retirement.
    Brig RKS Gulia (Retd)
    Indian Ex-Service League
    Memo to President
    IESL Under Construction
    Related reading
    Pay Commission Anomalies LET’S NOT DEMORALISE DEFENCE FORCES By Col (Dr) PK Vasudeva (Retd)

    Expected Dearness Allowance from July 2010 for Central Government Employees

    The second installment for this year (2010) of Dearness Allowance (DA) is awaited with lots of expectation as the prices of essential commodities skyrocket...

    The main expectation among lakhs of Central Government Employees will be announcement of the next additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) for this year July 2010. The reasons are many:
    Employees getting only 3% annual increment for one year and those who are getting promotion, they are also getting only Grade Pay difference + 3% annual increment after waiting for several years. But nowadays employees are getting Dearness allowance percentage much more than annual increment due to coverall consumer commodities price increases.

    Dearness Allowance is an essential component of salary, it is based on monthly All India Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (Base year 2001-100) announced by the Labour Bureau – Government of India from time to time. After 6th CPC only the Government directed that the Dearness Allowance has to be calculated based on AICPIN with the base year 2001-100.

    Dearness Allowance (DA) from Jan-2010 to Jun-2010 should be 8% with appropriate proof. Some had doubt about this, but the Government accepted and the 8% Dearness Allowance (DA) was announced (19.03.2010) from Jan-2010.

    As of now, the situation demands increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) from Jul-2010 to Dec-2010 should be 44% and it will be confirmed only when the All India Consumer Price Index (AICPIN) for May and June to be published. But when the index value 170 decreases to 165 or lower for the next two months, the Dearness Allowance (DA) will be 8%. If it increases from 170 to 173 and above, there is a chance that the Dearness Allowance (DA) shoots up to 10%. Till now, we can conclude that additional Dearness Allowance (DA) will be 9% because there is no relief in the prices of essential commodities. But the Government will be strictly monitoring the situation and control prices that the AICPIN (All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100) value doesn’t go up.

    In the next year, when DA crosses 50%, all allowances will get a hike up to 25% as per the 6th CPC recommendations. This will bring some relief to the employees. The Pensioners, State Government employees and who are all getting pay as per 5th CPC also looks forward eagerly awaiting the announcement of increase in Dearness Allowance (DA). One needs to wait for this announcement expected after two months.
    Expected Dearness Allowance from July-2010
    Blog Post
    DA rates 1986 to Jan 2010

    Ordnance Factories jeopardise the combat effectiveness of the Army

    Press Trust Of India
    Posted on Jul 07, 2010 at 15:32 IBN Live
    New Delhi: The CBI has asked the Defence Ministry to blacklist six firms, including four international ones, for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board scam. Official sources said the names of four international companies -- Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK), Israel Military Industries Ltd (IMI), Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), Zurich, and Cooperation Defence, Russia -- are mentioned in the letter by the CBI to the Defence Ministry.

    Besides, two Indian firms -- T S Kisan and Companies Pvt Ltd (New Delhi) and R K Machines Tools Ltd (Ludhiana) -- have also been named in the CBI communique to the MoD sent earlier this week, they said. The action came after agency sleuths investigating the case found alleged involvement of these firms in the scandal.

    The agency had on June 30 filed a 2,700-page chargesheet in a special CBI court, Kolkata, against former Director General of Ordnance factory Board, Sudipta Ghosh and 11 others for graft. A case was registered by CBI on May 17, 2009 under different Sections of IPC and Prevention of the Corruption Act against Ghosh and others. It was alleged that Ghosh had entered into criminal conspiracy with other accused with the object of demanding and obtaining huge illegal gratification in the matter of various supply orders placed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and also in the matters relating to transfer or posting of the officers of Ordnance Factories.

    Following registration of case and subsequent probe, the CBI had arrested Ghosh and others. "During searches conducted by CBI, cash amounting to approximately Rs 1.41 crore was seized from the residences and bank lockers of the former DG and his wife. Another Rs 1.14 crore was recovered from the premises of other accused persons," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal had said. The chargesheet has named Ghosh and his wife Kajal Ghosh, Ramesh Nambiar, then additional GM (Sports) Air India, J K Thapar, director of T S Kishan and Companies Private Ltd, Satish Mahajan, director and Sunil Handa, manager of R K Machines Tools Ltd, Ludhiana.

    Former statistical investigator of National Sample Survey Organisation, J K Grover, two private firms T S Kisan & Company Private Limited, New Delhi and R K Machines Tool Limited, Ludhiana, chairman of Mokul Group of Companies Mohinder Singh Sahni and two private persons -- Ashish Bose and Pradeep Rana -- were also named in the charge sheet. The matter will be heard on July 31 by a Kolkata court. According to CBI, the modus operandi of Ghosh was that he used to habitually negotiate bribes with domestic and foreign suppliers of defence equipment to the Ordnance factories through his conduit (Ashish Bose). Three separate cases were also registered by CBI against Ghosh, Nambiar and Grover for possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
    CBI asks Defence Ministry to blacklist 6 firms

    Doordarshan to broadcast ESM gallantry

    SOME ex-servicemen of Indian defence force may soon get an appearance in Doordarshan – India’s national television channel. The ministry of defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on Monday with Doordarshan to produce programmes of various facets of Ex-Servicemen’s (ESM) lives, allowing television viewers across the country to experience real life stories of the ESM.
    The programmes will also include the role played by the ESM in nation-building and the efforts being made by the government for their welfare and resettlement over the years.
    The MoU was signed by two important women officers, Neelam Nath (Left in Picture), secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) in ministry of defence and Aruna Sharma (Right in Picture), a 1982 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS and Director General, Doordarshan.
    There are nearly 27 lakhs Ex-Servicemen including over five lakh widows. This figure swells by an average of about 50,000 ESM who are released from the Armed Forces every year. Over 50 thousand ESM were gainfully re-employed by the DGR last year alone.
    Ex-Servicemen to make maiden appearance in Doordarshan
    Related Reading
    The government cons the military, again
    There is resentment among both servicemen and ex-servicemen regarding the way the Government denigrates them (Rank and Status) and deliberately trims their military authority to suit the Political agenda fabricated by Bureaucrats to divide and appease. Hope this DD patronage to highlight gallantry of ESM does not become another tool to fool the exservicemen!

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Poverty in India is breeding Maoists and Naxals

    782 million Indians Will be Living On Under $2 a Day by 2015
    Lalit K Jha/ Washington | Apr 23, 2010
    A whopping 782 million Indians will be living on less than two dollars (Rs 100) a day by 2015, a joint report by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund said here today.

    The report titled 'Global monitoring report 2010: The MDGs after the crisis, however said the number of poor Indians living on less than two dollars would moderately decline to 686 million by 2020. But the report adds that by the turn of the next decade as many as 268 million Indians would be living on less than 1.25 dollars a day, while in 2015 the figure would be 295 million.

    These figures, however, are almost double the revised number of the poor in the country which is pegged at around 400 million.

    The report says China reduced its poverty rate from 60 per cent to 16 per cent, as the absolute number of extremely poor fell from 683 million to 208 million between 1990 and 2005.

    On the other hand, "India reduced the share of its population living in poverty from 51 per cent to 42 per cent, but because of population growth, the number of poor people actually rose from 436 million to 456 million (between 1990 and 2005)," it said.
    782 mn Indians Will be Living On Under $2 a Day by '15

    One can define poverty as lack of marketable skills. There are so many jobs that require very low skills. But you still do not get people to do them. Even the beggars seem to make a cool return on their skills of 'acting'. Where have you seen really poor people? North India perhaps has more of the exploited than the South. But I think, as the Maoist/ Naxal movement shows, they are rising against poverty. One wonders if Maoists are fighting against poverty or for power. One expects the recent polarization of the world to be against exploitation. One perceives India will see a lot of blood shed in coming years. One wishes it is untrue or otherwise?

    National Security: Special powers for armed forces

    We need clarity, not emotions by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)
    The Tribune Sunday, July 11, 2010, Chandigarh, India
    The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, better known as AFSPA, has been brought out of wraps at various opportune times – opportune for those who have either something to gain, i.e. the insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir, political parties always ready to fish in troubled waters, with an eye on electoral gains or those who are regular establishment-baiters, who have made it a habit to take the plunge headlong in any controversy with the belief that if it is against an organ of the government, it needed to be opposed!

    Many have called AFSPA a draconian law and have vehemently supported its repeal, but having read quite a few of their views and watched them pontificating on TV, I am convinced that most lack even a rudimentary, let alone in-depth knowledge on the subject. This Act has been in force for over five decades because it was essential for the conduct of smooth counter-insurgency operations by the army. It will continue to be needed as long as the army is employed on counter-insurgency/ terrorism tasks.

    The Act was promulgated on September 11, 1958. The rationale for bringing the Act on the statute book needs to be appreciated. When the army was first employed on counter-insurgency tasks in Nagaland in the 1950s, two aspects came to the fore immediately. First, unlike in the case of maintenance of law and order, when the army is called out in ‘aid to the civil authority’, where time is available to employ the police before committing the army, operations against insurgents are entirely of a different genre, as the insurgents do not give any time for such niceties.

    The insurgents we are fighting today are heavily armed, they act speedily, commit heinous crimes and disappear. Unless the army counters such actions with speed and not wait for orders from higher civil or military authorities, nothing would be achieved.

    Secondly, the soldiers and officers of the army had to be protected from prosecution for consequential action taken against insurgents in good faith as part of their operations. Here too, the Act does contain the important caveat that the army personnel can be prosecuted with the Centre’s sanction, if their actions warrant it. There is, therefore, no blanket immunity from the laws of the land.

    Over the years, some army personnel have indeed been prosecuted where a prima facie case existed. However, it is also true that due to the exceptional care which all army commanders take when their troops are employed against insurgents, such cases are few and far between.

    After the initial employment in Nagaland, the employment of the army on counter-insurgency tasks continued increasing, till it was progressively employed in all the north-eastern states for such tasks. Along with such employment, AFSPA was also invoked in all affected states.

    When insurgency erupted in Srinagar in 1990, the Act was extended to the Valley. Later, as the activities of the insurgents spread, first to the Poonch-Rajauri area, then to Doda and Bhadarwah and finally to the whole state, the entire state was brought under the Act’s purview in stages. It can thus be seen that AFSPA was invoked progressively only when the situation required the deployment of the army.

    The army is designed and structured for fighting external enemies of the nation. Consequently, they are not given any police powers. However, when the nation wants the army to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations, then they must be given the legal authority to conduct their operations without the impediment of getting clearances from the higher authorities.

    If this is not done, they would be unable to function efficiently and defeat the insurgents and terrorists at their own game. It is for this reason that the Act gives four powers to army personnel. These are for ‘enter and search’, ‘arrest without warrant’, ‘destroy arms dumps or other fortifications’ and ‘fire or use force after due warning where possible’. Once again, there is a safeguard in the Act, which stipulates that the arrested person(s) will be handed over speedily to the nearest police station.

    The law stipulates that AFSPA can be imposed only after the area in question is declared a ‘disturbed area’ by the state government concerned. When this writer was the Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) and the army was asked to deploy in the Doda-Bhadarwah area, we requested for the invocation of the Act. The state government was reluctant to do so on account of political considerations, but we did not commence operations till the Act was invoked.

    Clearly, the Army has no desire to get embroiled in counter-insurgency tasks. It is not the army’s job. However, despite over 50 years of insurgency in our country, the state police as well as the central police forces (CPOs) have not been made capable of tackling insurgency. Consequently, in each case the army was inducted to carry out counter insurgency/ terrorist operations. If the national leadership tasks the army for conducting such non-military operations, then it is incumbent on the leadership to provide the legal wherewithal to all army personnel employed on such tasks.

    It is only then that the operations will be conducted in the usual efficient manner of the army and would be result-oriented. They also must be legally protected. It is because these two aspects have been catered for that the army has been neutralising the insurgents and terrorists, so that normalcy is restored and the political leaders and officials can restart governing.
    The writer is a former Vice-Chief of the Indian Army
    Special powers for armed forces: The Tribune
    Special powers for special needs: Army chief to NDTV by Nitin Gokhale

    Military Rank and Status Restoration Committee?

    There is an urgent need for a Restoration Committee to salvage the Rank and Status of the Defence Forces Personnel; in tune with the other committees like the Anomaly and Oversight Committees.
    Defence officers should be placed in the PB-4 pay scale of Rs 39200-67000 + grade pay of Rs 11000 at least after 14 years so as to have parity with I.A.S and if not so, then at least after 16 years of service so as to have parity wth lesser cousins of the I.A.S i.e the group’A’ services. All JCOs should be placed in PB-3 and NCO's in PB-2.
    The Solution
    If the above recommendations are not accepted, let COAS and the other two service chiefs take up the cudgels to restore rank and status. This will be a homage to the souls of armed forces martyrs who sacrificed their lives for this country. Let them restore the honour and integrity of the Nation, of great India.
    The impending Danger
    If the Nation gives peanuts to armed forces, soon the "below par" Officers will infest the services and the country’s strength and National will to fight Terrorists and Anti- Nationals will be diminished. No brave young men will join defence services and country will once again be a slave for future generations and centuries.
    Wake up
    Wake up country men whether you are civilians or faujis and save this country from future slavery. Otherwise, you will repent later. Do not be another Kalidas of Kalyug. Do not cut the armed forces which is the branch of the tree, the great Mother India. Will Democracy survive without a vibrant Military?
    Read more comments
    ARMED FORCES PAY CELLS (note: the comments and views does not belong to the publisher, it is only a copy of the same from the net)


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