Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sanction of Additional Pension for Pre 2006- 80 years and above

Age Proof
The matter of sanction of additional pension/family pension by acceptance of age proof/date of birth certificate by Heads of Offices was considered by Department of Pension and Pensioner's welfare.

The Department has now decided that where the pensioner/family pensioner has submitted any of the prescribed documents as proof of age/date of birth etc., payment of additional pension shall continue on provisional basis for a period of six months from date of submitting proof of age or upto 31.12.2010 whichever is later.

In cases where the Pension is claimed on the basis of some other documents, such cases shall be submitted to the concerned Ministry who shall make final decision.

For further details see the Department's O.M. No.38/37/08/P&PW(A) dated 28.09.2010.
Sanction of Addl pension based on age proof certificates for pre 2006 pensioners

Oversight Committee to ensure accountablity of Judges

Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts would be subject to scrutiny of a high-level committee and those facing serious charges of misconduct may be asked to step down, according to a new bill that was approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday.

The much-delayed Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 provides for setting up of a five-member Oversight Committee to be headed by a former Chief Justice of India and including the Attorney General to go into complaints against members of the higher judiciary.

Other members of the apex committee would be a Supreme Court judge, a Chief Justice of a High Court and an eminent person nominated by the President. The bill, which seeks to replace the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 while retaining its basic features, is being introduced in Parliament amid growing incidents of allegations of misconduct against judges.

"The enactment of the bill will address the growing concerns regarding the need to ensure greater accountability of the higher judiciary by bringing in more transparency and would further strengthen the credibility and independence of the judiciary," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters while briefing on the Cabinet decision.

Under the bill, a judge not facing serious charges may be let off after a warning.
Read more: Bill for accountability of judges approved by Cabinet

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OROP: Inputs required for CNN- IBN Live Nationwide TV Coverage

Date: 04 Oct 2010
Dear Members of the Governing Body
1. Mail from Miss Anubha Bhonsle from CNN IBN is attached. May I request VK & RP to kindly coordinate compilation of emails. Programme will be telecast on 16 Oct 2010 and may be recorded a day earlier at various loc of the country. We can plan this TV Show well. I have in mind locations NCR, a tricity ie (Panchkula, Chandigarh & Mohali), Pune, Kanpur, Gahmmar (UP), Meerut, Hydrebad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kochin, Chennai, Jhajjar, Ambala, Yamu Nagar, Ahemdabad, Jammu and any more locations to be covered in the TV Show.
2. Details are to sent to Anubha Bhonsle within next three four days for her to plan to carryout recording at various loc in the country.
3. Brig Kamboj Sir. May I request you to kindly circulate to RMS for getting details from across the country.
With Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

From: Anubha Bhonsle
Subject: Proposal from CNN IBN
Date: Monday, 4 October, 2010, 3:06 PM

Dear Sir,
This is in relation to our phone conversation yesterday. We at CNN IBN are hoping to do a full long format show on the issue of One Rank One Pension. I write to you for help and support in the same. You would remember our meeting during the Kargil anniversary when we did a whole long format discussion.
This one is a little different in format, will be shot across the country
I have researched the subject. I would need your help in trying to put a show from a national perspective with case studies from across the country.
I am outlining some of the points that I believe you could help us with. Please do add and let me know of whatever else you deem fit
a) I need case studies of ex servicemen or their families that get absolutely unreasonable pensions. Will get my Bureaus to shoot with them and their families. Would be great if we get a cross section of society, urban-rural and just geographically spread so that I can show a nationwide picture
b) Will find some one recently retired who gets a far greater pension than someone who is a veteran. If you have someone in mind do let me know
c) Is there a son father (both retired) to show case this point
d) Is there a lawyer fighting the case at HC/SC level. Can speak to him
e) Will interview you when you come to Delhi
f) What about the medal returning ? I have some footage ? Do you have footage etc of your own that I could use
g) Can I have numbers of officers who returned their medals to the government
Do let me know if there is anything you have in mind that I could add. I of course would be adding the comparison with a babu etc so don’t worry on that account.
Looking forward to hear from you.
Thanks and regards,
Anubha Bhonsle

IESM: Legal Cell to assist ESM and Defence Widows who have been short circuited

Dear Brig Kamboj.
It has been observed that many ESM are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous lawyers to take up various cases on their behalf without having even the full knowledge of the case or its full legal standing. Even a preliminary reading of the case papers is being charged for.
To help ESM in this matter the IESM is wishing to set up a Legal Aid Cell with the Aim of helping ESM to provide a them legal opinion only with the aim of giving basic advise on whether a case exists and in which court such a case should be filed.
The matter of subject of further dealing of the case and fees etc would be a matter between the litigant and the chosen lawyer and IESM would have nothing to do with these matters.
Those Veterans who are practicing lawyers and also those not practicing, volunteer to provide this noble service through this cell of IESM, may kindly contact the Gen Sec Gr Capt V K Gandhi at his Email id Your willingness to head the cell may please be indicated.
It will be a good idea if we can find at least one lawyer in each state capital. Volunteers are requested to forward their names.
Th IESM does not expect members of this cell to to appear before any court but if they wish they would be free to do so.
Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM

Monday, October 4, 2010

A phone application that threatens security

Press Trust of India, Updated: October 04, 2010 09:58 IST
London: A cheap mobile phone application that can track the precise location of passenger aircraft in the sky can be a serious terrorist threat, security experts have claimed and called for its immediate ban.

The Plane Finder AR application, developed by a British firm for the Apple iPhone and Google's Android, allows users to point their phone at the sky and see the position, height and speed of nearby aircraft.

It also shows the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course-the features which could be used to target an aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, or to direct another plane on to a collision course, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The programme, sold for just 1.79 pounds in the online Apple store, has now been labelled an 'aid to terrorists' by security experts and the US Department of Homeland Security

Read more at: A phone application that threatens security

CWG: Opening Ceremony Video

CWG Opening ceremony begins with colour, music and a giant balloon

Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 Live Streaming: Hindi: Link click here

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CWG Grips the nation- The magic has commenced

CWG fever grips India. Craze for opening ceremony says it all
New Delhi: Here is the timeline of the 19th Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Sunday evening.

The organisers have been very tight-lipped about the details of the opening ceremony. All they have said till now is 'it will be a blockbuster opening ceremony'. MSN now gives you a sneak peak as to what you can expect in the big ceremony today. Here is the schedule of the opening ceremony.
  • 19:00: Opening film showcasing India to world (duration 2 minutes)
  • 19:02: Countdown (3 minutes and 55 seconds)
  • 19:05:05: Rhythm of India (12 minutes and 34 seconds)
  • 19:17:39: Swagatam (4 minutes and 40 seconds)
  • 19:22:19: Arrival of dignitaries (11 minutes and 50 seconds)
  • 19:25:19: National anthem and raising of Indian flag (2 minutes and 15 seconds)
  • 19:27:34: Athletes' parade (50 minutes)
  • 20:17:34: Dignitaries' speech (11 minutes and 30 second)
  • 20:29.04: The final lap of baton carried by Abhinav Bindra (10 minutes)
  • 20:39:04: Arrival of the Games flag (11 minutes and 50 seconds)
  • 20:46:54: Athletes oath taking ceremony (5 minutes)
  • 20:51:54: Tree of knowledge (11 minutes and 20 seconds)
  • 21:03:14: Yoga (7 minutes and 30 seconds)
  • 21:10:44: Great Indian journey (8 minutes and 30 seconds)
  • 21:19:14: Celebrating India (7 minutes)
  • 21:26:14: Grand finale (9 minutes)
    (All times in IST)

    Several people queued up outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to buy tickets for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony Sunday, even as the Organising Committee said all tickets for the gala event had been sold out.
    There was a huge rush of people looking for tickets near the stadium's gate number 16, close to the Metro station.

    Excitement amidst chaos and confusion
    The excitement was palpable but there was chaos and confusion too at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games Sunday with hapless spectators and confused mediapersons asking around for directions and volunteers proving to be of little help.

    A foreign media journalist along with his photographer, who were looking for the right entry for mediapersons, said better informed volunteers or banners giving proper directions would have made access easier.

    Commencing at 7 p.m. the the inaugural ceremony will encapsulate 5,000 years of India's culture. Divided into six segments, it will feature some 7,000 performers.
    Some 7,000 athletes from 71 countries will vie for 829 medals in 17 disciplines at the Games.
    Source: IANS
    CWG grips the Nation
  • IESM: Different pension for same service is patently unjust

    The Tribune
    Saturday, October 2, 2010, Chandigarh, India

    Ex-servicemen have been campaigning for implementation of One Rank--One Pension for years, with some even returning their medals in protest.
    Equal pension for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement, is the core of their move to get a better deal.
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

    One rank — one pension (OROP) has been the demand behind which Ex-servicemen (ESM) have been rallying ever since the Sixth Pay Commission was made public in March 2008. It needs to be restated that OROP is a demand for equity and justice and not for money per se. The concept is based on demanding equal pension for equal work, independent of the date of one’s retirement. This is not the case at present and older pensioners are getting lower pension than their younger counterparts of the same rank and for equal length of service. Prima facie, this is unjust.

    The Congress spokesperson understandably eulogized UPA 1 and UPA 2 for what they have done for the ESM since 2004, but made some statements that do not fit facts. His assertion that all personnel other than officers have been granted OROP was incorrect. When cornered, he corrected his version to say that the difference between pre and post January 2006 pensioners is only one to eight percent. This is again blatantly wrong as the difference is more than 50 percent for jawans. He also claimed that all personnel other than officers were very happy with what they have got. If this were so, they would not have been protesting and depositing their medals still. Thirdly, he attempted to create an impression that jawans are happy and the problem exists only in officers’ pension. One wonders whether this statement and not-so-subtle attempt to create a divide was his personal opinion or whether he was towing the official line.

    In either case, it was unfortunate and unbecoming and needs to be clarified. When he announced that the government has agreed to constitute a separate Pay Commission for the defence forces from the Seventh Pay Commission, he was rightly booed. Going by precedent, the Seventh Pay Commission report might come out around 2018. There is no denying that the government announcement is merely to shelve the problem and not solve it.

    Some have suggested a compensation package instead of higher pension, but In this they overlooked the fact that OROP is all about justice and not about money. While accepting the hazards of military life, an economist recently equated a soldier to a fireman who might get killed while entering a building that is on fire. Apart from the fact that the fireman has a choice whether or not to enter a burning building where a soldier does not, it is also relevant to remember that there is a fundamental difference between dying and getting killed. In the former, that the soldier faces, there is a readiness, even a willingness, to sacrifice one’s life for the nation. Getting killed on the other hand is a passive action and more accidental than voluntary. While one has all the respect for the firemen, it is difficult not to point out that while soldiers die in almost every operation, firemen do not die in every building that goes aflame.

    Another misconception that needs correcting is about the injustice. A father and son, both having served in the same regiment, retiring in the same rank and after equal number of years, and staying under the same roof get a different pension to the disadvantage of the father. This is patently unjust. The economist propounded a theory that a son earning more than the father is a law of nature, but it overlooks two ground realities. First, one is not talking of earning; the son might have earned relatively more while in uniform. The subject instead is remuneration for the work already done in the past. If that work was equal both in quality (rank) and quantity (length of service), then remuneration must also be equal.

    Secondly, if the laws of nature were to be applied to soldiering, then the economist needs to ponder how natural it is for a soldier to be ordered to advance in the face of bullets and die an unnatural death?

    The suggestion that OROP is not legally tenable is equally out of sync. If the past and present presidents, vice presidents, judges, legislators and host of others can have same pension for old and new pensioners, then why cannot the soldiers get it? Any government that hides behind the law to deny its soldiers their dues is only touting an excuse, not a reason.

    Unfortunately, the bureaucracy is playing the villain, as brought out by Commodore Uday Bhaskar. When late PM Indira Gandhi gave a decision to sanction OROP and Uday, as the secretary, was required to prepare minutes, the senior bureaucrats told him to omit this point as they would take it up separately. And there is a more recent example. When enhancements in pension were announced on March 8, 2010, the service widows were left out. Aghast, I wrote to the Secretary, Ex-servicemen Welfare Department, but received no reply. I next wrote to the Defence Minister and again, no reply. Then I sent a letter to the Prime Minister. The reply that came through Army Headquarters bore a PMO file number. It said that the widows were not covered because the Committee of Secretaries (headed by the Cabinet Secretary) had not recommended it. The reply leaves no doubt about who in the government calls the shots. It is also an admittance of the harsh reality of the tail wagging the tiger. Leaving the widows out of the ambit of the enhancements has been a very insensitive action by the government and has caused widespread resentment among the veterans.

    Successive Parliamentary Committees have been recommending OROP. Besides, seeing the support of the public, of the courts as evidenced by their recent pronouncements, and of the Members of Parliament, so ably shown the lead by Rajiv Chandrasekhar who has renounced the increase in his MP salary till OROP is sanctioned, the writing is clearly on the wall. Isolated, the government can only delay grant of OROP but cannot deny it. Though none of us would like that to happen, it cannot be said that a serving soldier, seeing the plight of his father or uncle whose profession he had followed, will remain unaffected. The unhappy prospect can be grave.
    The writer is former Deputy Chief of the Army Staff
    Different pension for same service is patently unjust


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