Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bureaucrats- Judiciary cycle takes the Veterans for a ride

Click on links below to comprehend the time delaying tactics adopted to appease the Military Forces: Net result a big zero on Rank Pay denied since 1986...
Eigteen months ago
NEW DELHI 02 Jan 2009: With the armed forces complaining of being handed out step-motherly treatment by successive pay commissions, which they feel are dominated by civil service interests, PMO has decided that the three services will have a dedicated panel to decide salary issues.
The PMO, however, has declared it will set up a high powered committee to review the command and control functions, and the status of the armed forces vis-a-vis that of their civilian and paramilitary counterparts.
Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces- PMO to Bureaucrats
Today: PTI 07:09 PM,Sep 08,2010
Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces: Judiciary- Supreme Court to govt

False cases against security forces

1,473 "false" cases of HR violation against security forces By Abhijit C Chandra
Bhopal, Sep 10 (UNI) Slamming the proposed dilution of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), an Indian Army veteran who combated insurgencies for more than half of his 40 years' service points out that --since 1990 -- as many as 1,473 of 1,511 cases of human rights (HR) violation or abuse levelled against security forces (SF) personnel have been proved false.
"Each case was investigated thoroughly -- including by the National Human Rights Commission. In the remaining cases, 104 personnel were punished," Major-General (Retd) Aditya J B Jaini, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, told UNI.
He was Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the National Defence College, New Delhi, before retirement in 2003.
Enumerating grim statistics, the veteran said, "the number of SF personnel killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir between 1988 and July 5, 2010 is 5,962. Since 1992, the number of officers and men martyred fighting insurgents in Manipur is 939, Asom 783, Meghalaya 81 and Mizoram 22."
Likewise, SF personnel slain fighting naxals since 2005 to July 10, 2010 is 1,226. This year, 204 SF personnel were killed till July 5.
"If SF personnel were 'murderers' they would not have so many of their own killed at the hands of insurgents. Besides, AFSPA enshrines the important caveat that Army personnel can be prosecuted with central sanction. Therefore there is no blanket immunity," said Maj-Gen Jaini.
Dispensation of punishment -- in cases of HR violation -- where any breach is identified, is the "fastest in the Army" as compared to civil courts where cases may linger for years.
The Act is not meant to place the Army or SF above the law but to empower them to function effectively while dealing with situations that have defied resolution through normal means like intervention by civil authority, police action and calls by politicians to maintain calm, he said.
"In counter-insurgency operations, the Army adheres to the cardinal principle of use of minimum force as people we operate against are not enemy but our own countrymen who are misguided. Had it not been so, the rate of casualties to our troops would not have been so high," the veteran explained.

Military Ranks Demeaned

This article appeared in the in the Times of India, 09-08-2010 on the editorial page in the section "Times View-Counterview" on Sachin tendulkar being given the honorary rank of Group Captain. I had critisized it in a mail to Signals blog. Now Jay Kumar writing on the editorial view has very lucidly written why such ranks should not be made cheap. I am sure all your readers would like what arguments Jay Kumar has given for opposing the action by the IAF. I append a copy of the article below which will interest all veterans.
Shashank bendre

Jay Kumar, Sep 9, 2010, 12.00am IST
The Indian Air Force has granted 21 persons honorary ranks, from flight lieutenant to air marshal. This includes the latest anointment of Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar as a group captain. The territorial army has conferred similar honorary ranks to cricketer Kapil Dev and Malayali actor Mohanlal. It is questionable whether the honorary ranks accorded by our forces serve any purpose, when the government and civil society have already devised numerous ways to recognise distinction and individual achievement.

Let's not ignore that our soldiers earn such ranks and distinctions through years of arduous life in inhospitable terrain, and sometimes are called upon to make the supreme sacrifice. Let's not confuse achievement in this area with achievement in other domains. Military honours keep them motivated and prepared for service to the nation. Conferring them indiscriminately on civilians would blur their meaning. The purported utility of 'brand ambassadors' in terms of actually motivating youth to join the forces also needs closer scrutiny. It is puzzling how cricketing legends like Sachin or Kapil can motivate someone to join the forces instead of cricket. More so, when cricket is one of the few sports in India that guarantees money and fame and can turn an individual's fortune overnight. Is there any comparison with the grit and grime that life in the armed forces would entail?

The question is, ought we to reduce our forces to mere 'brands' with a need to woo customers? Even if we answer that question in the positive, a brand can only work if it has credibility. For that to happen, the armed forces ought to bet on real war heroes who can better position them in the market.

OROP: SC moots a Commission to resolve pay anomalies

OROP: One More Heave We will be There
I was very heartened to read in the Newspapers that the Supreme Court had castigated the govt for denying the Armed Forces their legitimate dues in reference to the govt's appeal against its earlier award in Maj Dhananpalan's case. All right thinking people have accepted the case of ESM, except the cussed bureaucrats. The politicians I am afraid, are held by their short hair by the babus and policemen, as they are privy to the skeletons in the formers cupboards (having helped them hide them!). But how long can one tell lies and get away with it? As a kid I remember the moral of all the Batman and Superman comics I used to read - CRIME DOES NOT PAY. When will the people in power realise it? The people are going to punish them for all their misdeeds.

I am pleased that the SC repeated Chanakya's advice to Chandragupta to the Solicitor General. The Court, however, did not complete the latter part of the sentence which stated, "O King, if you do not look after the needs of the people who look after the country, you do not have the right to be where you are".

IESM has done a stellar job of highlighting the plight of servicemen and exservicemen, to our countrymen and an unsympathetic govt, which is being led by the nose by a self serving bureaucracy. Ever since Independence it has been featherbedding itself, while it has been letting corruption thrive under its charge and showing the politicians the way to be evermore corrupt.

Every day we read in some of our servile media that an IAS, IPS, Customs or Income Tax officer has been caught amassing unimaginable wealth. But it appears on page 6 or 7. On the contrary even if a distant relative of a serviceman is involved in a crime, the reference to a serviceman is never forgotten, and splashed on the front page. Fortunately, Wg Cdr Subhash Kapoor's crusade against one of the newspapers has started paying dividends and the newspaper has been asked twice, to publish an apology. However a number of newspapers and TV channels have been very balanced and covered both sides impartially. A trait we admire.

Finally, I would like to congratulate and thank each and every one of our ESM, friends and sympathisers who have contributed their time and energy in helping us reach this stage in our fight against injustice.
Jai Hind
Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd) (1st JSW Course, Former MGO)

IESL & IESM (Unity effort-1)
IESL & IESM can easily join,
'Cos they are two sides of the same coin.
Difference is only in their name,
As their aim and objective is nearly same.
IESL has size and IESM has speed,
Together they can complete the deed.
Let ego and proud disappear,
And unity and grace reappear.
They can sit accorss the table and decide
And let the great opportunity not slide.
It is for those two million ex servicemen,
That we officers work and toil as gentlemen.
Their unity will bring thunder,
Then none can commit a blunder.
This is my humble request,
Let it not get simply past.

Friday, September 10, 2010

OROP: FAQ by Col Inderjit Singh

Dear Mr Sehrawat and all the Veteran Friends,
I am distressed to go through this misleading mail worked out to defame the Most patriotic community of the nation. A community that is ever ready to Sacrifice every thing including their lives for the unity integrity and Independence of the motherland. How sad. Coming from people who have done nothing but plundered the nation makes it disgusting.

I must tell you that i am the author of this concept of OROP. I was the first Man to take it up with Indiraji on 22 feb 1982. After that pursued it all the time and am still at it. We were instrumental for every step taken by successive Govts. If i said that the history of my association is the history of the welfare Measures by the govts i would not be exaggerating. You should therefore grant Me that i should know more about this matter than you who has sent this pack Of lies and half truths in the shape of misleading presentation for us to swallow...
click here to read the FAQs on OROP
Col Inderjit Singh (Retd)

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
The email click here, by Lt Col Inderjit Singh, Chairman All India Ex-Services Welfare Association, New Delhi, has been written in response to an email by some pseudo-ESM, definitely a chamcha of the Babus. The facts stated by Colonel Inderjit Singh are true and forms an exhaustive FAQ on OROP. Col Inderjit Singh is from Grenadiers, a course mate of Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander.

On behalf of YOU ALL, ‘i’ thank Colonel Inderjit Singh, for giving such valuable information. A few emails received in response to the email of Colonel Inderjit Singh are also reproduced below.
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

From: Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi
Date: Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Veteran Inderjit Singh on OROP
Dear Col Inderjit,
One of the strategies adopted by the bureaucracy to deal with 'opponents', is to 'carpet bomb' the environment with misquoted and confusing presentations. This too, not direct, all the time, but through 'prompts' and 'selective leaks'. Numerous ghost writers and friendly media reports start sprouting to create a 'public opinion' and thus perhaps bring 'pressure' to bear on the 'other side'. (It is sad that ANY problem whatsoever, is first allowed to brew to uncontrolled proportions through inept handling, and then when it becomes BIG, draconian methods including use of Army are recommended and 'forced' through the 'pressure tactics'. Who suffers? Us, as a nation. Who NEVER faces accountability? You got it- The Babu).

Typical of this strategy, we recently had one DK Sahrawat, writing some disjointed bit of sad logic (The sarcasm in the title line could not be missed) 'Tum Mujhe Khoon Do Main Tumhe OROP doonga" to discredit the OROP movement catching steam.

Response to this silly piece of literature from angry Defence veterans was swift, All facets, including the text, tone and tenor are hostile, irrelevant and baseless.

A mail from Col Inderjit Singh in response is forwarded for information. It provides an insight into 'The Story so far' ...
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,

From: pravesh renjen
Sent: 09 September 2010 08:35
Subject: 'OROP'
Dear Col Inderjit Singh,
Please accept my congratulations for an excellent brief on the history of the struggle for OROP, which you pioneered and championed so long ago. As I have mentioned earlier, and I do so again, you have been an iconic figure for us in the IESM; we have only built upon what you had achieved. Despite our differences at times, our respect for your efforts has endured and the current brief has strengthened it further.
Regards & God Bless,
Maj Gen PK Renjen

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 18:22:45 +0530
Dear & Respected Col Inderjit, Sir,
Just read through your paper/letter on OROP which U wrote in reply to Sehrawat (whoever he is?).
The paper has been so very educative & an 'eye opener' for us many who are unaware about the intricacies of the issue for so many yrs that YOU have been fighting for it.
Thank YOU, Sir. This paper has 'armed & fortified' me much better for the NDTV Show on 'OROP' tomorrow.
Though long (necessarily, I guess), it is very comprehensive & a treatise in itself. It is like the 'Bible of OROP'. CONGRATS 2 U, Sir.
With Best Wishes & Fondest Regards
Yours Affly
Aditya Jaini

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rajpootana and some great names in Military Leadership

Lt Gen Nathu Singh: Blog Post

Thanks very much for this informative mail. I really enjoyed it. Time to my mind, has arrived for us to start researching such legends, and possibly have their life and times included in the DSSC entrance exams, one, and second, into school syllabus, to build a depleting element 'character'.
This recent interest in some personalities so far in the 'shadow zone' is good and in line with the revivalist objectives of IESM. Am sure the days of glory shall return. As in inventions, so in national transition of thought (character ??) I am sure the Defence services will (have to) take the lead.
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi, IESM

Gen Nathu Singh and others
Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
I was pleasantly surprised to see the interest generated in the uniformed community about General Nathu Singh. He was the first 'freedom fighter' in uniform, who dared take on the British. Sadly, he remains almost unknown, in spite of his sterling qualities.

I agree with Yati Panwar. His ACRs (I have copies of some of them, from which extracts have been published in my book) are eye openers. Those days, it was the custom to give a copy of the ACR to the officer. I also have those of Gen RN Batra. Gen Nathu Singh's papers also have a copy of the 'Displeasure' of the Government conveyed to him by the C-in-C, Gen Cariappa. Nathu Singh was then an Army Commander. Kipper and Nathu were both from the Rajput Regiment.

I think MG Kapoor has made a good suggestion. We should make the present generation aware of our leaders about whom almost nothing is known. If you wish, I can circulate what I have written about Prem Bhagat, Gen Sagat Singh, Zoru Bakshi etc. They are all part of my book on leadership.
Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)

Lt Gen Nathu Singh: Some Generals they were and more

Earlier Post: click here
Some Generals they were and more...
Dear Sir,
This fwd may be of interest to readers of the blog
My Dear Col Dayakar
1. Thanks for the informative write up sir. There is a revival of interest in Gen Nathu Singh on the net and I am contributing my bit towards the cause of this great soldier as well as others from this part of the country.
2. The name of Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh Rathore is a legend in Udaipur. He is not remembered much in Defense fraternity who is more inclined towards westernized and anglicized Cariappas and like but I am sure the losses which the Indian Defense Forces suffered (Post independence) would not have occurred had Taker Sahib taken over the reins of the forces post independence.
3. I remember the upright Retired General in late sixties when he used to cross our Medical college campus for his daily walk and we used to stop and salute him. He used to respond smartly and then engage us in talks on nationalistic and other matters.
4. I had met him in BH Delhi when I was at Medical Directorate and we created an appropriate facility for his stay at Hospital. He was very well understood and appreciated by his British seniors who commissioned him in 1920 and promoted him till the rank of Brigadier in spite of his open pro- Nationalistic and anti- British attitude and fiery temperament. They appreciated his genius as a Military strategist while Nehru down played him and condemned him as a reactionary? He was of course a maverick and the stories about his rebellion against the authority abound. There are people like him who bristle with energy and are ready to take danger head-on. The org/ auth which recognize their potential can only reap the benefit. Britishers did it and independent India under Nehru shunned him. What a pity? He advocated and advised in writing (in 1948) the capture of Lahore and then bargain for area of Kashmir captured by Pakistan. Nehru rejected the plan. Ironically it was the diminutive successor of tall Nehru, Lal Bahadur shastry who adopted the same strategy in 1965 when he gave go ahead to capture Lahore which only deterred Pakistan and made it sue for peace!
5. The Area of old Rajpootana (now Rajasthan) produced some eminent and brilliant Military officers who were known for their straight forward and no - non sense approach. It was a pleasure to meet them when they were alive and interact with them. They shaped the history of armed forces without compromising on honor and integrity. Given below are some names which come to mind with whom or their families we had the honor and opportunity to interact:
  • Lt Gen Kundan Sigh-
    I had the opportunity to hear mouthfuls from him in his rustic rajasthani. He was a difficult patient since people of his caliber in their nineties do not succumb to help or advice by the attendants. A fiercely independent minded individual whom I persuaded and convinced to follow a medical routine while getting him admitted to Mil Hosp Jaipur repeatedly for age related ailments. It was a pleasure and honor to look after a great but simple soul during his troubled times
  • Lt Gen K Bahadur Singh.
  • Lt Gen Sagat Singh.
  • Lt Gen Umrao Singh.
  • Maj Gen K Zorawar Singh
    It was a fantastic experience to know and interact with Mrs Anar Zorawar Singh and their family and learn about the exploits of late Gen in Italy and Kashmir.
  • Admiral VS Shekhawat.
  • Admiral Madhvendra Singh.
    It was a tribute and honor for the Alma Mater(St Xavier’s) and the native city of their residence Jaipur, Rajasthan to have given two successive Chief of Naval Staff as mentioned above. Both soldiers, born and brought up in the land locked deserts of Rajpootana, got their sea foots in Indian Navy and proved that you don’t have to be a sea faring tribe from coastal belt to cut your teeth on the high seas.
    I had the opportunity to get them as my captive audience during their routine visits to Mil Hosp under my command. They patiently listened to my woes. It was while waiting for a cup of tea and their medicines that I learned about their inherent great capabilities and down to earth approach. It was unfortunate that I could not convince them to go along for a larger re-hauling of MILITARY MEDICAL SYSTEM FOR ENTIRE ARMED FORCES FRATERNITY (A De novo approach) rather than a Jugad in the form of ECHS which was just then coming up.
  • Lt Gen Chimman Sigh.
  • Maj Gen K Bhagwati Singh
    The first Indian Commission Officer from IMA in 1934 with Personal Number as IC 1. Admiral Madhvendra singh is his son.
  • Brigadier Bhawani Singh
    The scion of the house of Kachwahas of Amber (now Jaipur) served the Indian Army and earned MVC. It was a pity that the Indian Govt victimized this decorated soldier and he was forced to put up his papers. The doors of his palatial residence were always open for serving and retired soldiers. I enjoyed his hospitality and sumptuous table spread. He had special affinity for all paratroopers being one of them. He had the great courage and conviction to marry his only daughter’s into a family from a different caste background then his lineage and then to let his daughters son inherit his name and property against the established Hindu practice of male succession and against the will and desire of his Rajpoot clan.
    Brig (Dr) CP Joshi
    Visit my blog at:
  • SC wants separate pay panel for forces

    सैनिकों की शिकायतें सुनने के लिए आयोग बने : सुप्रीमकोर्ट
    ठ्ठजागरण ब्यूरो, नई दिल्ली देश की सुरक्षा में जान न्योछावर करने वाले सैनिकों में वेतन विसंगतियों और अन्य मुद्दों पर बढ़ती शिकायतों के प्रति गंभीरता दिखाते हुए सुप्रीमकोर्ट ने केंद्र सरकार को सैनिकों के लिए स्वतंत्र आयोग गठित करने का सुझाव दिया है। न्यायमूर्ति मार्कंडेय काटजू और न्यायमूर्ति टीएस ठाकुर की पीठ ने शिकायतों का निवारण नहीं होने से असंतुष्ट सैनिकों द्वारा आये दिन पदक लौटाये जाने की घटनाओं का जिक्र करते हुए अदालत में मौजूद एटार्नी जनरल जीई वाहनवती व सॉलिसिटर जनरल गोपाल सुब्रमण्यम से इस सबंध में सरकार से निर्देश लेकर बताने को कहा है। पीठ ने सुझाव दिया कि सरकार सशस्त्र बल के वर्तमान और सेवानिवृत कर्मचारियों की शिकायतें निपटाने के लिए सुप्रीमकोर्ट के सेवानिवृत न्यायाधीश की अध्यक्षता में एक स्वतंत्र आयोग गठित करे। यह आयोग सैनिकों की हर शिकायत को सुनकर निपटाएगा। पीठ ने कहा कि सैनिकों की बहुत सी शिकायतें होती हैं और उन्हें लगता है कि केंद्र सरकार उनकी बात ठीक से नहीं सुन रही। कई सैनिकों ने तो अपने मेडल वापस कर दिये हैं। ऐसे में उन्हें लगता है कि सैनिकों की शिकायतें सुनने के लिए एक अलग स्वतंत्र आयोग होना चाहिए। पीठ ने ये सुझाव सशस्त्र बल के कर्मचारी अरुण कुमार की याचिका पर सुनवाई के दौरान दिये और केंद्र सरकार को नोटिस भी जारी किया। मामले में सरकार की पैरवी कर रहे एटार्नी जनरल व सालिसीटर जनरल ने सरकार से निर्देश लेने के लिए कुछ समय दिये जाने का अनुरोध किया। इस पर कोर्ट ने मामले की सुनवाई 18 अक्तूबर तक के लिए स्थगित कर दी

    SC wants separate pay panel for forces
    R Sedhuraman
    Legal Correspondent
    Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 8
    Pointing out that many of the armed forces personnel have returned their medals due to non-redressal of their grievances, the Supreme Court today asked the government to consider setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired members.“We feel this is necessary as the Armed Forces personnel have many grievances which they feel are not being properly addressed by the Union Government. Many have even returned their medals,” a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and TS Thakur said in an order.The Bench asked Attorney General GE Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to forward the suggestion to the government and get its response by October 18, the next date of hearing.The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by some serving and retired army officers challenging the government’s refusal to accord them enhanced “rank pay” as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission.The AG and the SG “were present on behalf of the Central government. We have made certain suggestions to them regarding setting up of an independent commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge for looking into all the grievances of the serving and former members of the Armed Forces,” the Bench noted in the order, marking a copy each to the AG and the SG.Earlier during the arguments, the Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.Noting that the Army people who were a disciplined lot could not go on agitation like others, the Bench said forcing them to fight for their salaries was not good for the country. Citing a senior officer who burnt his artificial limb in frustration, the Bench asked the AG and the SG: “Why do you allow such things?”The present Pay Commission headed by bureaucrats was perhaps unable to understand the problems of the personnel, the apex court observed and felt that setting up a separate commission would provide a channel for them to vent out their feelings.The Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.

    Tribune News Service
    Asal Uttar (Tarn Taran), September 8
    Members of the Joint Panel of Citizens and Soldiers today held a candlelight vigil at Param Vir Chakra Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid War Memorial in this remote border village to spread awareness towards the grievances of soldiers and on national issues.Holding candles, they took out a march and raised patriotic slogans.They assembled at the tomb of Abdul Hamid, who died here while fighting valiantly against the enemies in 1965.Dr M S Randhawa and Capt. C S Sidhu( Who Burned his ArtificalLimbs), co-conveners of the joint panel, said the venue was decided to focus on the threat to the nation from China and Pakistan.They said this had happened without any provocation from India. Besides, they said, the country was facing threat from terrorists with global network.They laid stressed on the grievances of soldiers which include, “one rank-one pension, separate pay commission for armed forces, job security to soldiers up to 60 years of age and rehabilitation of Army widows”.They added that the government must focus its attention to redress the grievances of the soldiers at the earliest.Among others, organisations of ex-servicemen, including, the Majha Ex-servicemen Front, the Indian Ex-servicemen League, the Sanjha Morcha, the State Ex-servicemen Welfare Association, and citizens of the area participated in the protest really.The vigil was aimed at giving a wake-up call to the nation on the 45th anniversary of the Indo-Pak war, they added.
    Capt CS Sidhu, (who burned his artificial limbs) co-conveners
    With Warm Regards
    Gen Secy

    Our Veterans Short Circuited?

    Our Veterans?
    Our MPs celebrated the unanimous passage of the bill for three-fold enhancement of their pay and perks with yet another undignified rampage in the well of the House. One was struck by the stark contrast between the facile manner in which our elected representatives approved their own pay rise, and the disdain with which the bureaucracy and politicians have been treating the pleas of ex-Servicemen, the nation’s war-wounded and the widows of soldiers; for their just dues of pension and allowances.

    Once he doffs his uniform, an ex-Serviceman (now re-designated Armed Forces Veteran) is technically liberated from the restraints of military discipline, and is free to adopt the demeanor and behaviour of any civilian on the street. But deep inside, the veteran’s soul cringes at the thought of conducting himself in a manner which, in earlier days, he would have associated with civilian agitators and unbecoming of his uniform. But it seems that he has been left with no choice.

    He has found that the staff of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, created in 2004, is staffed 100% by civilians, who either do not comprehend or are indifferent to his problems. Therefore his representations to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) gather dust for years, before being dismissed in a perfunctory and bureaucratic manner. One rank one pension (OROP) has been a major demand of the veterans, which has been hanging fire with the government for many years. Assurances have been given by successive governments – only to be reneged upon.

    Despite repeated pleas by the Chiefs of Staff, based on bitter experience of the past, the government in 2005 adamantly refused to appoint a Service representative on the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC). As expected, the Commission’s report contained flaws, anomalies and, as some believe, many provisions deliberately incorporated by the bureaucracy to depress the pay and status of armed forces personnel vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts. At the repeated behest of the Chiefs, the government reluctantly convened a committee to review the anomalous CPC recommendations; again, inexplicably, without any armed forces representation. Predictably, the committee failed to resolve many tangles and left the serving as well as retired personnel dissatisfied. On a number of issues relating to pension and allowances the veterans were left with no choice but to approach courts of law. After years of expensive litigation the courts did give gave redressal, but the MoD fought them tooth and nail through appeals to higher courts. In two instances where the Supreme Court eventually gave decisions in the veteran’s favour, the government of India has stubbornly refused to implement them! Can there be a more blunt expression of contempt for its soldiers, sailors and airmen by the State? Yes there can... read more click link... Our Veterans

    By Adm. (Retd) Arun Prakash

    Financial Planning - Armed Forces

    Col Arun Gupta 15 Aug 2010 Financial Planning - Armed Forces: TV Appearance

    Dear Friends,
    Here are more links to my recent TV appearances. You may like to watch.
    Video 1
    Video 2
    Video 3
    Video 4
    Regards and Best Wishes.
    Yours sincerely,
    Colonel Arun Gupta (Veteran)

    Armed Forces now become saviors of CWG as OC has run out of funds

    Make Games a grand success- India’s honour is at stake by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)
    THE mess that the organisers of the 10th Commonwealth Games have made of it has sullied the honour and image of India. Unfortunately, while the Organising Committee (OC) has been in the eye of the storm, the mess is not confined to it. Here is a world class event, bid for by the country, for which ample time was available to the OC as well as to the entire Delhi Administration, and yet we find ourselves in such dire straits that neither the Games venues nor the infrastructure facilities in Delhi are ready. One should also not forget that the worthies of the Central government, who were supposedly keeping a close watch, continued to be somnolent till they were jolted by revelations in the media.

    The media needs to be congratulated for bringing to the public domain how officials associated with organising the Games have misappropriated government funds and lined their own pockets. There is no end to such revelations, hoodwinking and passing the buck, but the culprits are either posturing or in a permanent state of denial while delays continue in all fields of activity, from infrastructure to what are euphemistically called “overlays”.

    The latest are the gag orders issued to the coaches after the chief hockey coach, a Spaniard, in great anguish commented lucidly on the systemic failures of the nation in the field of sports, saying, “I have lost; your ‘system’ has won. I tried my best to change it; I pleaded, I cried, I did everything; but it won’t budge.” What a monumental shame!

    The mess is not confined to the so-called world class infrastructure relating to the Games, but even in getting Delhi organised for the purpose. Let me mention just a few — the road communications within Delhi and the Metro extension; the grossly incomplete beautification drive undertaken by various agencies and not meeting even the targets of hotel rooms and other accommodation; all at such monumental costs. There can only be two reasons for this state of affairs — officials sitting over sanctions till their personal “demands” are met, and an abysmal lack of pride in the nation’s achievements. With every new revelation, the nation comes down another notch in the eyes of the world as well as our own people. It is not corruption per se that bothers the citizens, but the rampant loot of their hard-earned money, for public funds are after all created by numerous taxes which we all pay. Apparently, corruption no longer bothers us because it has now become a way of life in our country. There is no facet of India that is corruption-free.

    In areas where a particular action may not be described as corruption, there is filching of public funds, again by both the high and the mighty as well as the officials who occupy the lower rungs of the bureaucracy, the police, etc. We seem to be so completely affected by our proverbial fatalistic outlook to life that we continue to withstand this onslaught of government officials and elected representatives without any major and collective backlash.

    Reverting to the Games, once the media had exposed the skulduggery of the OC and the grossly inadequate preparations, it is to the credit of the Prime Minister that he moved fast, set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) as well as a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) to oversee all aspects of the preparations of the Games. A number of senior-level bureaucrats were also coopted to oversee each venue and expedite completion. It may well be a case of “too little too late”, but at least attempts are being made to retrieve a dismal situation.

    At the same time, we have fallen into the trap of having “too many cooks.…”. So, there is a great danger of not meeting the aims and objectives.

    In the Army, we cater for contingencies when the officer in command may become unavailable; his deputy takes over automatically and continues with his task. The advantages are obvious, but our political leaders as well as bureaucrats are loath to learn from the Army. So, we have a situation where the man in charge of the Games must be replaced, but we are unable to do so either on political grounds or because such a contingency was not planned for, and control could not change seamlessly.

    There are also other major disadvantages. Besides diluting responsibility, we have managed to reduce accountability too. Resultantly, though the powers at the highest level have promised a full enquiry after the Games and severe punishment for those responsible, no one seems to believe it. Such is the loss of confidence of the “aam aadmi” in our leadership. Undoubtedly, a tragic situation! However, that is still in the future and such speculations at this time are unlikely to help in conducting the Games with a view to retrieving at least some of our image.

    A few years back, the Army had conducted the World Military Games at Hyderabad, which were at a grand scale, with participation by over 70 nations. These Games were conducted flawlessly and earned kudos for the country. Luckily, some senior military officers who had played major roles in organising the military games have been coopted in the present games. They will undoubtedly do a stupendous job. One of them could have been made the deputy and we could have avoided the pitiable situation we are in. While on the subject of the military, how churlish it is on the part of the organisers to ask the serving personnel of the military who have been coopted for the most important tasks to do so gratis. Is this being suggested as a desperate measure to balance their books, although the paltry honorarium asked by the military is so minuscule that for the OC and the GoM to even suggest it is shameless, to say the least? It is only these military personnel who with their dedication and discipline will pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the OC and in doing so restore some of our lost image. Do pay them well.

    At the end, it must be said that enough dirty linen has been washed in public. We need to end this now and concentrate on making the Games a grand success despite what has happened till now. There will be plenty of time and opportunity for recriminations and bringing the culprits to book after the Games. For the present, let us strive to put up a good show, for the sake of the country’s honour and reputation. In the long term, the nation will benefit. Once the Games are over, the media can go hammer and tongs after all the guilty and set examples for the future.
    The writer is a former Vice-Chief of the Indian Army.
    Make Games a grand success- India’s honour is at stake by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)

    The maverick politician, Mani Shankar Aiyar fits into the classic description of a whistle blower. He has recently raised serious internal concerns about the alleged wrongdoing in the functioning of the Commonwealth Games; especially so by his bête-noire, the Chairman of the CWG Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi. His charges are serious since it is his party, the Congress which is in power in Delhi and the Centre. Besides, he has been Union Sports Minister who is no stranger to the reality of sordid, long gestation sports mismanagement in India. Aiyar is also a special invitee to his party’s apex decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee.
    Read more; click here: Armed forces must rescue Delhi Commonwealth Games by Maj Gen Raj Mehta

    Veterans Voice
    The govt has used the armed forces for everything from going into the sewer lines, borewells, floods, Commonwealth Games, latest being ridding Delhi of mosquitoes and even have the audacity to say that a Armed forces personnel will NOT be paid any TA/DA/ Money for the duty in Commonwealth Games. The civilian bureaucracy/ officials are busy making money and pushing the armed forces as a scapegoat for all this fiasco (Only 50% funds are utilised rest is siphoned to their pockets). How is it that the Three CHIEFS are silent spectators? Where are we heading. SORRY I personally have no answer to such attitude towards the Armed Forces by THE GOVT.
    Col Baldev Singh (Retd)

    Citizens Voice
    Miracles happen, so the Commonwealth Games may take place without some stadium roof collapsing. But that is not the issue. What we should really be worried about is: How do dunderheads, frauds and double-dealing fixers come to represent this great country? How do humbuggers, thimble-riggers and pettifogging pretenders get the power to humiliate us before the world?
    Disgrace in the name of sports: click her to read more...

    South Asia's Geography of Conflict

    Center for a New American Security
    Washington, D.C., September 8, 2010 – Ahead of the Southeast Asian Summit later this month in New York and President Obama’s trip to Asia in November, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a report today by acclaimed author and CNAS Senior Fellow Robert D. Kaplan. In South Asia’s Geography of Conflict, Kaplan provides a detailed analysis of South Asia's history and geography including the broad arc of territory from Afghanistan southeastward into northern India and highlights India’s pivotal role in the region. Kaplan writes, “As the U.S. and China become great power rivals, the direction in which India tilts could determine the course of geopolitics in Eurasia in the 21st century."

    South Asia’s Geography of Conflict is a must-read for American policy makers. Kaplan writes, "If Americans do not come to grasp with India’s age-old, highly unstable geopolitics, especially as it concerns Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, they will badly mishandle the relationship." Kaplan writes, "If Americans do not come to grasp with India’s age-old, highly unstable geopolitics, especially as it concerns Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, they will badly mishandle the relationship."

    In South Asia’s Geography of Conflict, CNAS Senior Fellow and acclaimed author Robert D. Kaplan provides a detailed analysis of South Asia's history and geography including the broad arc of territory from Afghanistan southeastward into northern India and highlights India’s pivotal role in the region. Kaplan writes, “As the U.S. and China become great power rivals, the direction in which India tilts could determine the course of geopolitics in Eurasia in the 21st century." South Asia’s Geography of Conflict is a must-read for American policy makers. Kaplan writes, "If Americans do not come to grasp with India’s age-old, highly unstable geopolitics, especially as it concerns Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, they will badly mishandle the relationship."
    South Asias Geography of Conflict by Robert D Kaplan
    Watch a CNAS exclusive interview with Kaplan on South Asia’s Geography of Conflict here.

    Building Schools and educating children is a novel way to bust insurgency

    Greg Mortenson's work, through his non profit Central Asia Institute, continues today. As of 2009, he has established eighty one schools, including fifteen new schools in Afghanistan, and additional scchools in in regions of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, that was devastated in a 2005 earthquake.
    Three Cups of Tea has been a freshman, honors, or campus- wide required reading selection in over eighty universities and hundreds of schools. It is required reading for senior US military commanders, Pentagon officers in counter- insurgency training, and Special Forces deploying in Afghanistan. More than two hundred communities have used Three Cups of Tea as a "One Book" common read, and is being published in over thirty one countries. In March 2009, Pakistan's government presented Greg Mortenson with its highest civilian award, the Sitara-e-Pakistan (Star of Pakistan).
    Visit: Three Cups of Tea
    The best way to combat insurgency in the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Naxal and Maoist terrorism is to build schools and educate children. Greg Mortenson's method should be studied and emulated by all PMF and the Military commanders invested with the responsibility of combating insurgency.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Poor Indian families have to bribe officials for access to basic public services.

    30% Indians totally corrupt, 50% borderline: Outgoing CVC chief
    Agence France-Presse, Updated: September 08, 2010 17:23 IST
    New Delhi: Almost one-third of Indians are "utterly corrupt" and half are "borderline", the outgoing head of the country's corruption watchdog has said, blaming increased wealth for much of the problem.

    Pratyush Sinha, who retired as India's Central Vigilance Commissioner this week, said the worst part of his "thankless job" was observing how corruption had increased as people became more materialistic.

    "When we were growing up I remember if somebody was corrupt, they were generally looked down upon," he said. "There was at least some social stigma attached to it. That is gone. So there is greater social acceptance."

    Transparency International, the global anti-graft body, puts India 84th on its corruption perception index with a 3.4-point rating, out of a best possible score of 10.

    New Zealand ranks first with 9.4 points and Somalia last on 1.1 points.

    The campaign group has said that each year millions of poor Indian families have to bribe officials for access to basic public services.

    Sinha told a Delhi-based newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday that 20 percent of Indians were "honest, regardless of the temptations, because this is how they are. They have a conscience. "There would be around 30 percent who would be utterly corrupt. But the rest are the people who are on the borderline," he said, adding that corruption was "palpable".

    Sinha said that in modern India "if somebody has a lot of money, he is respectable. Nobody questions by what means he has got the money."

    Recent corruption scandals in India have focused on construction projects for the Commonwealth Games that open in New Delhi next month, and alleged tax evasion in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

    India is also regarded as a hotbed of illegal betting syndicates, with gamblers and bookmakers involved in "spot-fixing" - the gambling that has engulfed the current Pakistani cricket tour of England.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has often spoken out against the damaging effect that bribes, extortion and fraud have on all levels of life, and warned that the problem threatens India's future economic prospects.
    For NDTV Updates, follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook
    Read more at: click here

    Will Gp Capt Sachin our icon battle for welfare of IAF personnel?

    Dear Friends,
    Undoubtedly, Mr Sachin Tendulkar is the icon of Indian cricket without any blemish attached to his name. Inspite of setting many world records to his credit, he continues to imbibe the true qualities of a humble human being. He is a great man and Indians are proud of him. Well, the IAF has done good to make him the icon of its face by honouring him the honorary rank of Gp Capt. On his part and as stated by him in his maiden speech on the occasion of the ceremony of attaching the epaulets of the rank of Gp Capt on his shoulders, he accepted that he is now feeling a part of the IAF itself. Mr Sachin is now Gp Capt(Hon). God bless him with long life.

    Having accepted the responsibilities of icon of the IAF, will he also espouse the cause of the aspirations of the IAF and the personnel of the Defence Force at large. Will he join hands with the veterans and the would be veterans for acceptance of OROP by the GOI. My gut feeling is that he will in some form or the other. Gentlemen, who will take the lead in this matter. Our trusted friend Bendre could use his writing skill to the advantage of the veterans. The subject could also be taken up through IESM/Report My Signal Blog
    I Jairath
    Gp Capt(Retd)

    Apex court calls for panel for retired defence staff

    Commission to Redress Grievances of Retired Defence Personnel
    Sify News: 2010-09-08 12:40:00
    The Supreme Court Wednesday suggested to the central government to set up an independent commission which would hear the grievances of retired defence officers and make recommendation for their redressal.

    The court said that such a panel preferably headed by a retired Supreme Court judge would save these officers from running from pillar to post for redressal of their grievances.

    It made the suggestion while hearing a petition of various armed forces officers who are seeking one rank one pension. The retired armed forces personnel have been denied this since the fourth Pay Commission.

    The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur expressed its anguish at the retired officers not being given a hearing by the bureaucracy. The former officers returned their medals and burned their artificial limbs to protest the bureaucratic apathy.
    Apex court calls for panel for retired defence staff

    लो भाई एक और सुनो
    अब आया ऊँट पहार के नीचे
    कोई तो हमारा है - जो फौज़िओं की चिंता करता है
    कृपया इस खबर को जल्दी से जल्दी हर फौजी तक पहुचाएं
    Indian Express
    Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces: SC to govt
    Posted: Wed Sep 08 2010, 18:08 hrs New Delhi:
    Slamming the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post on their salary disputes, the Supreme Court today directed the government to examine the idea of setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired personnel of the armed forces.
    A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur, asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to seek instructions from the government as to whether it was open to the idea of a separate pay commission that could be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.
    “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country," the Bench said quoting Chanakya's advise to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.
    The apex court said the sane advise of Chanakya was valid even today and it was unfortunate that army personnel are forced to knock the doors of the court for rectifying their salary anomalies.
    Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces: SC to govt

    Fight against unsavoury comments in the Media about the Armed Forces

    Ref: Criminal Charges Against IAS/ IPS Officers to restore Public Confidence
    From: P Surendra Nath
    Sent: 07 September 2010 20:35
    Cc: Brig Chander Kamboj, VSM
    Dear Sir (Wg Cdr SC Kapoor),
    I have been following your relentless fight against comments on Defence Forces written with malicious and bad taste in the press - more specifically from 'Times of India' with great interest and appreciation. I now wish to congratulate you for the success that you are achieving through Press Council of India on such writings. Sir, keep it up - we are all with you.
    With respectful regards,
    Lt Cdr (Retd) PS Nath

    From: Amit Bhadhuri
    Sent: 07 September 2010 19:15
    Dear Brig. Kamboj,
    I refer to your email in the blog regarding the success of Wg Cdr Kapoor in winning complaints against infactual and unsubstantiated news involving Indian Armed and Para-Military forces.
    You have quite rightly suggested, that, we should set up a sub-committee under the leadership of Wg. Kapoor to take up the prospective complaints and then pursue them through the Press council of India. Having worked in the legal system in the UK, I have seen, in most criminal cases CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) will only charge the defendants where CPS feel there is al least 65% chance of winning the cases in the courts. And at the same time in employment cases lawyers will normally take up such cases only, where there is a 70% chance of winning the cases.
    Therefore, you idea of all prospective complaints should go to the sub-committee is an appropriate one. The committee then should study the merit of the cases and should only pursue such cases, which will have sound prospects of winning.
    With best wishes,
    Amit Bhadhuri
    Former CISF officer

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind. Kindly read the email below.
    Wg Cdr SC Kapoor, for over a year has been taking on the Indian Press head-on.
    As far as my knowledge goes, this is the second case he has won in Press Council of India – may have been more such cases. The earlier case Wg Cdr Kapoor won was against the caption of a photograph - a band playing in Kargil on Kargil Diwas Day; caption was “Blowing Own Trumpet”.
    Since Press Council is being very fair and just – I suggest all of us should be on the lookout now and if you find any derogatory remarks against the Defence Services– lodge a formal complaint with Press Council Of India.
    I am sure Wg Cdr Kapoor will be too happy to give us advice how to proceed with the case.
    The best thing would be that we help Wg Cdr Kapoor and create a team which should centrally take on all complaints against the Press. We should bring the cases to the notice of Wg Cdr Kapoor first and then act as per his advice. Too many un-coordinated complaints going to Press Council can be counterproductive.
    Only strong cases should be taken up– targeting one newspaper/ magazine at a time.
    Gradually all of them will be on their guard and will stop misbehaving with the Defence Services.
    On behalf of YOU ALL, ‘i’ congratulate Wing Commander SC Kapoor for running this show as ‘ONE AIRMAN FAUZ against the might of Indian Press’
    Veteran CS Kamboj

    To:The Editor, The Times of India
    Please refer to the letter from Press Council of India, Soochna Bhawan, 8-CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110 003 issued under file no. 14/55/09-10-PCI dated 16.8.2010 addressed to the undersigned and copy to you and The General Manager (Legal), Legal Department, The Times of India, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110 002 forwarding a copy of the decision "rendered by the Press Council of India on July 30, 2010 at New Delhi for your information/necessary action/compliance." Extracts from the said letter are given below
    Mr. Editor, kindly ensure to follow the advice/guidelines issued by the Press Council of India while keeping in view the sensibilities of the readers.
    Also, please intimate the date on which the apology was published in the Times of India.
    Warm regards. Have a nice day, Sir.
    Wing Commander SC Kapoor (retd)
    Member Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) Veterans Groups

    Readers Remember Lt Gen Nathu Singh

    References and earlier posts:
  • Gen Nathu Singh & AFSPA: Readers Views
  • Lt Gen Nathu Singh: Courage and Candour has few equals or parallels
  • Lt Gen Nathu Singh's short bio- data by Maj Gen VK Singh

    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    I am attaching two photos of Gen Nathu Singh
    VK Singh (Maj Gen VK Singh)

    From: Sureshwar Sinha
    Sent: 07 September 2010 10:40
    To: Kamboj Chander
    Subject: GEN NATHU SINGH … edited …
    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Having read the above messages, I could not resist mentioning the interview General Thakur Nathu Singh gave me for my book, 'Sailing and Soldiering in Defence of India'. Earlier we had had many informal chats, as his son the late Rear Admiral R.V. Singh, {who was my course mate in the 2nd JSW now N.D.A. course}, along with another course mate, Captain R.N.Singh, had brought back a Land Rover from London for the General, by driving it all the way to Delhi. Though the vehicle was in pretty bad shape after the trip, the General did'nt bat an eye lid, and simply said that he was glad we had a nice and adventurous trip.
    Coming back to my formal interview with him. It is well known that he was favoured by Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck to be the first Indian Army Chief and had made his recommendation accordingly. But in converstions with the then DM, Sardar Baldev Singh and the PM Mr. Nehru, Gen. Nathu Singh had said that it might not be fair to supersede General Cariappa. He was still young and could have been a Chief later, but his frank and honestly argumentative nature was not liked by his political bosses.
    He recalled that at the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he was the GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command, and had suggested that to the powers that be that one of his brigades could hold up the Chinese at the fort of Chamdo, whilst two more in reserve, could have prevented any breakthrough by them, as forces available to them then were far less in those days. But he was ignored. Our history and present security scenario would have been far different had he been listened to
    As regards Kashmir, we had a first hand account of events from General Thymayya, when after relinquishing command in Kashmir, he came as our Commandant of the integrated academy, composed of the Military Wing {IMA} and the JSW.
    But have we learnt the lessons even today?
    Cmdr SD Sinha {Retd)

    From: Yati Panwar
    Sent: 07 September 2010 01:51
    To: Kamboj Chander
    Subject: Re: ON GEN NATHU SINGH
    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Many mails are coming in talking about Gen Nathu Singh. I have never met the gentleman in real life but gleaned a lot about his towering personality from his ACR's (dating back to 1920's) that are preserved in the Archives of the MS Branch. I glanced through those captivating accounts while reorganising the archives in 1995. I do not recollect the exact contents but the British Officers were rather piercing in their description of him - they were certainly as much in awe of him as they were unable to see him straight in the eye.
    Perhaps (...) one may be asked to revisit the MS Archive to retrieve the contents for the benefit of all of us- i am sure they would be as much revealing as they would be inspirational.
    Best regards,
    Yati Panwar
    Lt Gen YS Panwar, Former Commandant MCTE

    From: Krishan K Punchhi
    To: vinod pasricha
    Sent: Tue, September 7, 2010 10:13:05 PM
    Subject: Re: Gen Nathu Singh
    Dear Pasha,
    I'm glad you sent your mail to me. I was just wondering whether I should share my thoughts with others and now I will. This mail will eventually be copied to all my friends. I'm glad you want to include the reference to Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh in the book you are writing about Indian Navy's 300 Sqn.
    Yes, our friend and colleague, Ranvijay Singh, was the second son of Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh. This is the first time that I too have heard of their surname Rathore. RV or Ranu was 2 JSW and I belong to 7 JSW.
    I first came to know about Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh when we were told that he was going to take the salute at the passing out parade at JSW. I have taken part in four parades, 4JSW to my own 7JSW. Sh. Surjit Singh Majithia took our salute. So, Thakur Saheb must have taken the salute of 4th, 5th or 6th course. This happened in mid fifties and I hope my memory is not playing tricks with me. I also remember that he had a religious scripture ( Bhagvat Gita? ) in his hand and he read out and translated a shloka out of it. That is how he ended his lecture. This was most unusual. Here was a high ranking officer who was not fully anglicised, who valued and cherished Indian philosophy.
    When I joined the Seahawk Sqn in the UK, RV was already there and so was Kumud, his wife. Kumud Bhabhi was a very fine and gentle lady and it was a pleasure interacting with both of them. That is when I came to learn that RV's father was that famous Thakur Nathu Singh. Later on when RV became the Sqn Cdr and we all embarked on VIKRANT, Kumud Bhabi took all the wives under her wings and really looked after them. Indu, my newly married wife, received special attention.
    Years later, I think it was in Delhi that RV held a dinner party to which we were also invited. That is where I had the proud privilege of meeting the General. I think the elder son was also there. We all found him to be a grand old man, down to earth with no airs, very proud of his sons and very nice to all of their friends. During the talks, we learnt about Ranu's naval trg in the UK and his jeep trip back to India. Gen sahib wanted a brand new jeep and sent the money to his son. He bought the jeep and, as agreed to, he drove it back to India. Another friend and course mate ( Gokhale? ) was with him. Somewhere in the Middle East, the jeep went out of control and rolled over. Luckily, no one was hurt and the jeep was drive-able. So, they continued and entered Pakistan. There they were stopped and questioned. Once their identity was established, the MP pilot jeep and outriders were lined up. Thakur Nathu Singh had requested his old friend Gen Ayub (?) to look after RV and ensure he had no problems in Pakistan. So, a battered jeep was piloted and escorted like a VIP vehicle and came to Wagah in grand style. In that party, there was much lighthearted banter about RV's driving prowess.
    We had to leave the party early as our very small son was alone at home under ayah's supervision. The general made it a point to come to the main door and see us off with all the love and affection that you show to a son and bahu. That family was full of decent sanskars. It is a pity that Kumud bhabhi and RV are no more. edited...
    I close with best wishes and kind regards ...mac.
    Cdr KK Punchhi
    President Indian Navy Foundation, Canada

    From: MG Kapoor
    Sent: 07 September 2010 01:32
    To: Kamboj Chander
    Subject: Re: ON GEN NATHU SINGH
    Dear Brig Kamboj Sir,
    I have read with great attention officer's tributes to Gen Nathu Singh. It really fills one with pride that our great Indian Army can boast of having such great Generals. It was very satisfying.
    I have a suggestion. We do have many more great leaders of whom the present generation may know very little but nonetheless they need be remembered. Why not to start similar tributes to such great leaders? Amongst others, one such leader who comes to my mind is great Lt General Bikram Singh. Others are Lt General Kulwant Singh, Lt General PS Bhagat, Lt Gen Harbux Singh, Marshal of the Air Force Arjun Singh, and so on and so forth. Such like tributes to them would kindle the flame of patriotism amongst us all and in particular the present generation of the armed forces who are the pillars of our armed forces in times to come.
    With kind regards,
    MG Kapoor
  • Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    A modest proposal on AFSPA

    The Hindu 05 Sep 2010 by Siddharth Varadarajan

    Students of various organisations hold placards during a protest demonstration, demanding withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from northeast and Kashmir, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on August 21, 2010. File Photo: S. Subramanium

    Change the blanket ban on trials without official sanction to one where the government has the power to bar prosecution in individual cases provided it satisfies the courts that its reasons for doing so are valid.

    The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has come in for widespread criticism in Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and other parts of the northeast because of the human rights abuses that have come to be associated with its operation. So strong is the sentiment against AFSPA in Kashmir that in recent months Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah have all spoken of the need to re-examine the law. The Army, on the other hand, says this is unnecessary.

    The Army Chief, General V.K. Singh, has gone so far as to say that the demand for the dilution of AFSPA is being made for “narrow political gains.” On his part, Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, has compared the Act to scripture. “I would like to say that the provisions of AFSPA are very pious to me and I think to the entire Indian Army. We have religious books, there are certain guidelines which are given there, but all the members of the religion do not follow it, they break it also … does it imply that you remove the religious book …?”

    On paper, AFSPA is a deceptively simple law. First passed in 1958, it comes into play when the government declares a particular part of the northeast (or Jammu and Kashmir under a parallel 1990 law) a “disturbed area.” Within that area, an officer of the armed forces has the power to “fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons or the carrying of weapons or of things capable of being used as weapons or of fire-arms, ammunition or explosive substances.”

    Even though activists have made this the focus of their criticism, giving soldiers the “right to kill” is not, in my opinion, AFSPA's principal flaw. After all, if a ‘law and order' situation has arisen which compels the government to deploy the Army, soldiers have to be allowed to use deadly force. Even a private citizen has the right to kill someone in self-defence, though the final word on the legality of her or his action belongs to the courts. Similarly, a civilised society expects that the use of deadly force by the Army must at all times be lawful, necessary and proportionate. Here, the Act suffers from two infirmities: the requirement of prior sanction for prosecution contained in Section 6 often comes in the way when questions arise about the lawfulness of particular actions. Second, AFSPA does not distinguish between a peaceful gathering of five or more persons (even if held in contravention of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code) and a violent mob. Firing upon the latter may sometimes be justified by necessity; shooting into a peaceful assembly would surely fail any test of reasonableness. ...Read more click here

    An MP dedicated to the cause of Ex servicemen

    I read the interview by Shri Chandersekhar, MP (click here) and was really impressed by his dedication to the cause of ESM. On 05 Sept I had a chance to meet Col SS Rajan who interacted with officers and families of 37 NDA - 46 IMA association of Tri-city of Chandigarh. I am attaching the photo of the same. I am a regular reader of this blog...
    SPS Grewal
    Maj Gen (Retd)

    We thank Maj Gen SPS Grewal for the photograph- which highlights the indomitable spirit of Veterans Nationwide.

    Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report
    The Henderson Brooks-Bhagat report, also referred to as the Henderson Brooks report, is the report of an analysis (Operations Review) of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Its authors are officers of the Indian armed forces. They are Lieutenant-General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat, commandant of the Indian Military Academy at the time.

    The report continues to be classified by the Indian Government, as of October 2006. In April 2010, India's Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the report could not be declassified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value."

    The report is said to be openly critical of the Indian political and military structure of the time, as well as of the execution of operations.

    Author Neville Maxwell has published what he claims are summaries of the report. While this has not been verified by comparisons with the (still classified) text, it has been accepted as a reasonable summary by the Indian media. Another extract of Indo-China war makes interesting reading.

    As of Feb 2008, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has requested the report to be declassified in the National Security interest. This has been declined by the defense Minster A K Antony. He has quoted that the same would not be released "considering the sensitivity of information contained in the report and its security implications."
    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's appreciation was valid in 1962 and still predictably remains true today: click here

    Gen Nathu Singh & AFSPA: Readers Views

    Dear Chander,
    1.Seen a series of 'hagiographic' / hard line mails related to these unrelated topics. Did not wish to follow the long trails, and unable to resist a comment, am resorting to this device.
    2. Have interacted- a fairly intense exposure in 1988/89- with the formidable General and admired his overpowering personality and principles even at that stage. Also recall an informal moment with Bipin Joshi in the Chief's office wherein he declared Gen Rajendrasinghji as his most admired Chief.At that time I thought that he was over-indulging his Regimental loyalty! However, the character and selflessness shown by these stalwarts in the 'succession stakes' makes them stand very tall; notwithstanding any warts.
    3. The moot point is as to why is this 'model' out of date now-at least in the essential numbers required. Are we not selecting right or developing wrong? I don't buy the line that the 'manufacture' has stopped. My considered view is that, in our obsession with numbers/quantification, we have discounted/ under weighted the non-quantifiable core character values.We tried, not very successfully, to remedy the balance and others have since followed up- but the present systems need radical tweaking. And for that you need creative Leadership like Gen Nathu'- the kind not chained by 'conventional/received wisdom'.
    4. Which brings me to AFSPA - the rash of 'conventional' defence of, the content and need for this Act, is getting 'dyspeptic'. Ironically, highly respected and admired colleagues have plugged this line. By definition, LICO are politico-military in nature; the strategic space/objs are public sp vs alienation- the existing CONTEXT can, therefore, not be disregarded.The Valley and Manipur are getting alarmingly alienated.
    5. No one can question the need for legal/ prophylactic cover for tps; the issue is how best to package it. Justice REDDY Report provides a take-off platform-but all heels are dug deep in the conventional rut/ turf battles? Also, the lack of synergy and the blame-games are no longer amusing. One hopes that the Army will ultimately play the salvager as always,through some innovative thinking and leadership.
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    I never had the good fortune of knowing the famous and gallant general (Lt Gen Nathu Singh), the account by VK was absolutely spellbinding!
    When Gen Nathu Singh was Army Commander, Brig (later Lt Gen K Umrao Singh) was, (perhaps) Chief of Staff. I used have daily and leisurely chats with Gen Umrao on the Ham Radio. I had my 'home brew rig in the corner first floor room in Central Vista Mess (Air Force).
    His call sign was VU2US and was popularly know by his 'handle' Uncle Sam (U for uncle and S for sam). We were all very pally and while discussing something, unwittingly, I cracked an old Army joke: Sant Singh is better than Natha Singh (Something is better than Nothing).
    Uncle Sam retorted seriously, Rai do'nt repeat that ever because Gen Nathu Singh has just been succeeded by Gen Sant Singh!
    Col BK Rai
    Former Secretary to Government of India, 3rd Graduates Course of the IMA, Premature Retirement in 1970

    Dear Sir,
    I had had the privilege of meeting General Thakur Natu Singh at his younger son, Cmde. Ranvijay Singh's residence in Delhi in the mid seventies. He took me into his study and gave me a glass of beer while my wife chatted with pretty Kumud, his daughter-in-law, in another room.
    He told me that, contrary to general belief, he was from a humble background. One day when he was playing with other children, the Raja come riding and the other kids ran helter-kelter but he did not. The Raja approached him and asked sternly, " Why have you not run away like the others?" Natu Singh replied that he had done no wrong so why run away. The Raja was impressed by his candour and gave orders to have him brought to the palace and requested his parents to allow their son to be brought up by him. He was first sent to Mayo College and then to Sandhurst.
    Hearing this frank admission, and the manner in which he told me made me feel very privilaged to meet a great gentleman. Regrettably, both Ranvijay, a fine Navy pilot, and Kumud, a lovely lady, are no more. As also General Thakur Natu Singh.
    Hirak Nag
    Cdr HK Nag, Joined JSW in August 1952

    Dear Chander,
    I would like to add that Lt Gen Nathu Singh had two sons in the Services. Pratap Singh the elder, joined our Course- 1st Course (JSW) NDA, while Ranvijay joined the Navy in the 2nd Course. Pratap was commissioned in the Infantry and took premature retirement as a Major to join the tea gardens. I haven't met him since commissioning but about two years ago he had long chat with me on telephone, while staying with Ranvijay at Sainik Farms. No contact with him since. Both the brothers are thorough gentlemen.
    SK Bahri
    Lt Gen SK Bahri, 1st JSW Course, Former MGO, Army HQ

    Delhi Dashes Dreams of Military Career

    My Army Life 1977-2006
    I Love the Indian Army – but I must leave Now!
    I stumbled into the Indian Army in the late seventies. The School which admitted us mid-session, when we returned from Singapore, where my father had a brief teaching stint at the Singapore University, was The Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan. With teenage sons of Army officers as friends, it was natural to apply to join the National Defence Academy. A friend filled my form and even paid the application fee. I wasn’t serious at all of pursuing a career in the military – much like Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya. I saw a movie with my friends, after each of the four NDA entrance papers, and argued with my father when he questioned me on my lack of commitment to the exam.
    Surprisingly, I qualified on the Service Selection Board standing 19th in the Army all India merit list. I then chose to join the National Defence Academy, as a career was assured at such an early age.
    Astonishingly, within a few days of joining the NDA, at pristine Khadakwasala, I began my life long affection and admiration for the Indian Army. The NDA was awesome and I took to it as if the place was always meant for me. It was, and probably still is, a remarkable institution where everything works like clockwork, and boys transform into enthusiastic, self confident young men with fire in their belly and an idealistic vision to contribute meaningfully to the security challenges that India would face in the future.
    Three years later at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, I learnt that toughness and fitness was not just about well developed physical abilities, but also as much about mental strength, and that the IMA motto of ‘Service before Self’ was not some Gandhian mumbo-jumbo, but the very edifice of life in uniform as an officer.
    The many years in my Infantry battalion were even more memorable. Not a day was spent as “work”. Every day was enjoyable with a huge family of 800 men; the love, respect and camaraderie was astonishing especially in this day and age. A life of great honesty of purpose; lived simply and with great pride, respect and honour.
    I had a tour of duty in Kashmir in every rank I have held. As a Lieutenant in Baramulla before the militancy, as a Captain in the Siachen Glacier at 20,000 feet, as a Major and company commander in Kupwara fighting terrorists, and as Lt Col as second-in-command of my unit in Badgam in a counter insurgency deployment on the outskirts of the Srinagar airport. Finally as a Colonel and Battalion commander, I had three different innings in the Kashmir Valley, first as part of the offensive plans during OP PARAKRAM in 2001, then fighting militants in Anantnag during the 2002 Amarnath Yatra and during the state elections, and finally on the Line of Control in high altitude in the majestic Gurez Valley.
    Interspersed between these challenging times was an opportunity to serve with the United Nations in Iraq-Kuwait as a Military Observer where I saw closely officers from 34 different nations from around the globe and learnt from them about their militaries and the relationship between the State and the soldier in other countries.
    I also had instructional assignments at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun and at the Infantry School teaching young infantry officers. I then had an enriching year at the Army War College at Mhow during the Higher Command course in 2004-5, learning the art of higher command in the military and traveling to every corner of the country, expanding knowledge, visiting not just our various military headquarters, but also the citadels of economic power of our nation.
    After the one year sabbatical at Mhow, I moved, in Apr 2005 to a dream job, to the seat of power of the Army in Delhi – the Army Headquarters with an office in South Block and an appointment in the personnel Branch of the Army dealing with postings and promotions of officers of our Army... Read More from Gopalkarunakaran's Blog: click here
    Posted on August 29, 2010 by gopalkarunakaran

    Canteen Stores Department (India) Demystified

    There are over 3600 CSD unit run canteens with almost 6300 crores of turnover per annum, thereby, generating over 300 (assumed profits at 5%) crores profit. However, this is not revealed to Govt of India. These canteens are run as Private Venture of Army as of date. When a query through RTI was asked, it was clearly stated that these 3600 CSD canteens are 'Private Ventures of Army' and it has nothing to do with Govt at all. This declaration is very alarming. Had this CSD canteen (Retail) operations been controlled by the Govt and Audited by the CAG, the profit amounting to Rs 300 Cr would have been made accountable to Jawans and Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces. Presently, this profit of 300 Cr is being used as per the discretion of Local Commanders. This system needs to be cleaned up at the earliest lest leading to more scams. The CAG, CVC, MOD and Government of India should take notice to ensure profits are utilised for the welfare of serving soldiers, defence employees and the Ex servicemen and their families.

    Canteen Facilities to Defence Personnel
    Introduction: Providing canteen facilities to the Defence Personnel and their families is obligatory on the part of Govt of India. This facility is created as a welfare measure. The entitlement for canteen facility is included in the pay & perks offered to the defence personnel. This could be verified from the career sites of Army, Navy & Air Force.

    Canteen Stores Department (Wholesale Outlet)
    There are two types of Canteen Services. One is wholesale and the other one is Retail. The wholesale is called 'Canteen Stores Department'. Its headquarters is based at Adelphi, Mumbai. There are total 34 CSD Wholesale Depots in India. CSD procure the items directly from the manufacturers and stock it in these Depots. The CSD by itself does not come in direct or daily contact with its end customers. CSD deals only with the Retail Outlets (i.e Unit Run Canteens, in short - URCs).

    The turnover of CSD is based on the purchases made by the Retail Outlets. As on 31 Mar 2008, the turnover of CSD was Rs. 5600 Crores as per the official records. Therefore, the net profit of CSD was almost 300 crores during the Financial Year 2007-2008. The sales/turnover, profitability, its distribution etc of CSD are revealed to the Govt of India. Besides, CSD contributes to the Consolidated Fund of India as well ( 50% of the net profit). CSD is a Public Fund and therefore, the books of accounts are maintained as per the guidelines of Govt of India. CSD account falls within the purview of The Comptroller and Auditor General of India. CSD functions under the Ministry of Defence. It employs a few serving officers on deputation from the Armed Forces. Though the Department functions on commercial lines, it is also governed and bound by Government rules and financial regulations. There are nearly 3000 items in the CSD inventory.

    If we see the organizational structure of CSD, it is revealed that a Serving Defence Officer of the rank of Major General is the Chairman, Board of Administration CSD. Similarly, under Ministry of Defence a Board of Control, Canteen Services (BOCCS) is functioning. The Chairman of BOCCS is Raksha Mantri (RM). Vice Chairman is Rajya Raksha Mantri (RRM). The members are: Defence Secretary, Financial Advisor Ministry of Defence, Quartermaster General (QMG) Army Headquarters etc. Also, a Deputy Directorate General Canteen Services (DDGCS), QMG's Branch is functioning as the Secretariat of the Board of Control.
    From the above, it is very evident that the wholesale outlet i.e. CSD is controlled by the Govt of India through various agencies and the earnings out of CSD are fully revealed to the Govt of India. Also CSD claims that “From a humble beginning of Rs. 47 lakhs sales turnover in the year 1948, Canteen Stores Department has grown to be the largest retail network in India with a record sales of more than Rs. 5600 Cr as on 31 Mar 2008".

    Unit Run Canteens
    Whereas, in the case of Retail Outlets (i.e Unit Run Canteens (URCs)) the functioning is entirely different. It is revealed that total 3600 URCs are functioning in India. Total turnover of these URCs as on 31 Mar 2008 was almost 5300 crores. Therefore, the net profit emerged was appx Rs. 270 crores. These URCs are permitted to sell only those items which are procured from the CSD Depots (wholesale outlets). These URCs form an important part of CSD supply Chain Management system of indenting, procuring, placing and providing various items in the inventory to the customers. This very fact has been accepted by the CSD and records to that effect are available for reference. A departmental canteen which is run by the Units of Army/Air Force/Navy for the welfare of Service Personnel, their families, dependents, civilians paid out of Defence Budget etc is called as Unit Run Canteens (URCs). These canteens sell provisions and liquor items on discounted rates. These canteens can procure only those items which are supplied by its wholesale outlet, i.e CSD. Tax exemptions are applicable to this facility. As on date, these URCs cater to the requirements of 1.60 crore bona-fide customers in India. This facility is undoubtedly specified as an entitlement in the Pay and Perks of Service personnel.

    Stats: Year/ Turnover/ Profits
    2000-2001/ 3115.04/ 155.75
    2001-2002/ 3452.47/ 172.62
    2002-2003/ 3913.91/ 195.70
    2003-2004/ 4167.32/ 208.37
    2004-2005/ 4416.96/ 220.85
    2005-2006/ 3872.27/ 193.61
    2006-2007/ 4456.31/ 222.82
    2007-2008/ 5221.66/ 261.08
    2008-2009/ unknown
    Presently these profits are being utilized by the Defence Officers and Local Commanders as per their discretion in the name of 'Welfare' activities. Literally, till date, the Govt of India could not get the correct picture of the functioning and output of these canteens.

    Extract of Commission Report
    The excerpts from the 87th Report of Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha), presented on 13th September 1991, regarding utilization of canteen profits as per the discretion of local commanders are reproduced herewith for perusal. “Para No. 2.28 : The Committee is of the view that the present arrangement has been worked out only to SIPHON OFF the major chunk of the profits of the Canteens to be placed at the discretion of local commanders. Obviously, such arrangement can hardly be described as satisfactory. It will not be out of place to mention that during the Committee’s visit to Calcutta, the Air Officer Commanding, Eastern Air Command, Calcutta curtly declined to reply the query of the Committee as to for what specific purposes the profits of the Canteen placed at his discretion were being utilized”.

    Welfare of Troops
    The net profits must be utilised for genuine welfare of Troops, Serving Soldiers and Veterans. This National resource and asset must not be wasted away on frivolous expenses which only breeds sycophancy and doctoring of accounts to please senior officers in the chain of command. These profits must be utilised for creating National Assets which will really address welfare and benefit our deserving troops, defence civilians and veterans including their dependants.
    Inputs extracted from Guardian foundation (NGO)
    Military Canteen Operations
    Related Posts
    CSD India: The travails and torment of ESM
    Corruption in Armed Forces can be reduced by outsourcing its Welfare activities to the ESM Organisations
    CSD restricts mobility of Officers and PBORs- More bureaucratic controls more corruption

    Corruption boosts Insurgency in Kashmir

    IAS officers among dozen under scanner in Kashmir
    Sunday, August 29, 2010 2:26:10 AM by IANS
    Jammu, Aug 29 (IANS) Two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers of the rank of commissioner secretary are among a dozen civil service officers in Jammu and Kashmir under the scanner for corruption, official sources said Sunday. Both the officers, who were promotees to IAS, are from the state and have held significant positions so far.

    Official sources said this exercise has been going on for months now as it was discovered that some officers, including those holding high positions, had built assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

    The state government would seek green signal from the union ministry of personnel regarding the IAS officers, while the officers within the state will be shown the door in the next few weeks, the sources said.

    The disclosure was made in Jammu-based newspaper Daily Excelsior. When contacted, official sources confirmed that the “exercise was on”.

    These sources also disclosed that some of the officers under scrutiny had been working with some of the state ministers in acquiring financial and building assets in an illicit manner.

    All relevant details have been collected on these officers. These would be made public after an action is taken against them which may include acquisition of their assets by the government and arrest under the anti-corruption laws of the land, the sources aid.

    An anti-corruption law was enacted in Jammu and Kashmir in 2006 which enables the state to take possession of the movable and immovable properties of the corrupt officers, including those who retired from service 20 years ago.
    IAS officers among dozen under scanner in Kashmir
    P.J. Thomas Sworn in as CVC: Can he deccelerate the progressive Corruption that is driving the Nation to a Fake Democracy?

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Where’s the defence industry?

    By Shailesh Dobhal , 05/09/2010
    The Indian automobile industry is the seventh largest, and the second fastest growing in the world after China. Its auto components manufacturers are globally competitive, and every manner of automaker is already here or is in the process of setting up a base here.

    Even till early 1980s, the country was an auto backwater, with just about a handful of manufacturers. The industry maturing followed, in a manner of speaking, the market. With domestic demand for anything from two-wheelers and cars to light and heavy commercial vehicles exploding in the last two decades, India has emerged as the global small car hub, and a big exporter of both finished cars and components.

    In the last six years, while production doubled, from 7 million to 14 million, exports more than tripled, 0.5 million to 1.8 million last fiscal.

    A big consumer market for cellphones made the world's biggest cellphone maker Nokia set up its largest manufacturing plant here, to meet the domestic requirements as well as to build an export base. The story of a big and growing domestic market spawning a vibrant domestic industry repeats itself with consistency across sectors -- apparels, consumer expendables, packaged food, pharmaceuticals, etc.

    In fact, it is difficult to think of any industry sector where a huge domestic market is not a prelude to a vibrant domestic industry. Perhaps, only in God-gifted natural resources like oil, gas and minerals can a country be a big consumer and a big importer at the same time. Can there be any other such exceptions?

    Well yes, if you consider the country's experience with defence equipment like submarines, ships, fighter planes and artillery guns. India is one the world's biggest consumer of defence equipment, having spent $50 billion in the last 10 years and estimates of over $100 billion in the next decade or so.

    And historically we have relied on imports to fulfil over two-thirds of this requirement, as the public sector monopoly of DRDO, 8 PSUs and 39 ordnance factories have failed us squarely. Our defence exports are pathetic, even compared to other big arms importers like South Korea and Singapore. For every dollar worth of export of defence equipment, India imports $200 worth, compared to $20 for Singapore and under $9 for Korea.

    Even after almost a decade of opening up of private participation and 26% foreign investment, just about 130 companies have entered the fray, and very little foreign funds have flowed in. Now the defence industry is a sensitive, highly technological one, with governments and graft never far from the scene. And you can't exactly extend the arguments of the plebeian cars and cellphones industry to as highly geo-strategic sector as defence, goes one argument.

    Well, maybe not, but the logic of the market is finally inexplicable -- one who pays the piper calls the tune. True, existing big boys of the global arms club will hold back the change, and foreign governments will withhold cutting-edge technologies and newer versions for itself. But purchasing power has to be leveraged to change the old order, and a beginning has to be made somewhere.

    Consider what China is doing. The authors of a paper, Leveraging Defence Offset Policy for Technology Acquisition, in the Journal of Defence Studies, January 2009, argue that China is launching its large civilian aircraft industry on an aggressive leverage of transfer of production technology from other countries in the form of outsourcing and offsets, primarily from the US and other aerospace companies.

    So why can't India? The reasons are not hard to find. Our much touted defence procurement policy, which inter alia provides for an offset policy, is somewhat unclear in its objectives. The 4-year-old 'Offset Policy' requires a foreign arms vendor winning a contract of more than Rs 300 crore to offset a minimum 30% of this value in the domestic market through purchase of products/services from Indian companies or investments in setting up a joint venture with an Indian partner.

    Already, in the absence of a robust monitoring mechanism, some experts have started flagging offsets as the country's next big scam in the making, with unscrupulous foreign vendors using it as a means for kickbacks.

    Best practices in offset management can be gleaned from countries like Israel and South Korea that have used it to kickstart their domestic industries. Israel's offset policy explicitly emphasises acquisition of technology and not the product, for that alone can have a technology spillover effect that can spawn related ancillary industries, the backbone for all big manufacturing successes.

    Ditto South Korea, where the approval of the offset contract is subject to the foreign arms vendor assuring 'approval' of technology transfer to the importing country.

    Or take the example of Saudi Arabia. It realises that some cutting-edge technologies won't be shared or transferred and therefore its offset programme has evolved to harness commercially exploitable (transferred) technology, which has helped its offset-related domestic industry to already clock in billions in export sales.

    Gunnar Eliasson, a professor of industrial economics at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, in his recently released book, Advanced Public Procurement as Industrial Policy, argues that there are four waves of spillovers of any technology, such as fighter aircraft manufacturing -- core, related, engineering and industrial technologies.

    The value for country procuring high technology-led armaments is how its organises its industrial systems' absorptive capacity to leverages on such spillovers that can have long-term economic benefits in terms of spawning related industries, dual-usage commercial technologies.

    Our offsets system, which has become virtually a government dictait-led windfall for big and small domestic players alike, should instead strive to create a defence industrial ecosystem of technology absorption, assimilation and innovation.
    Source:Financial Express
    Where’s the defence industry?


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