Saturday, November 27, 2010

IESM resolves to break the OROP deadlock

Dear Colleagues,
The IESM had their AGM today at NOIDA. It had a very encouraging attendance with large number of ESM coming from 12 different States. Many important issues were debated and decided by a majority vote. Details will be circulated as the minutes of the meeting.
In the elections that followed, the entire governing body was given a fresh mandate for another two years. We all feel humbled. The verdict is also an endorsement of the direction the Movement has been following. We are fully conscious of the fact that a heavy responsibility has been placed on our shoulders to steer the Movement and to keep the pressure on the government in pursuit of our demands. I would like to give an assurance on behalf of the team that we will continue to do our best in our effort to come up to your expectations. We will request your continued support and your patience in resolving our vexed and long-pending issue of OROP.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.
To fight against injustice is to WORSHIP GOD.
So kindly be there for MILITARY VETERANS’ Rally, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on 28 Nov 10, from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM and join in the fight against Injustice done/ being done to Defence Services of India.

click here for slideshow of 31 photographs taken during IESM Elections

Will the Dragon swallow Arunachal Pradesh?

The government of China appears to extremely upset by a news report in the Indian media that two Mountain Divisions of the Indian army will be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh, and become fully operational by next year.

In response, the China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ma Zhaoxu cautioned India to address Beijing’s “serious concerns” and not trigger a disturbance in the region “so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations.”

China’s official English language daily, The Global Times (Nov 23) almost questioned the intention of the Indian media report since China's Premier Wen Jiabao was to visit India in three weeks time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Global Times, a subsidiary of the communist party mouth piece, the Peoples daily, the most authentic official view carrier, reported the views of several Chinese experts to decipher India’s intention. Wang Dehua, an expert on India at the Shaughai International Studies Centre (SICC) was of the opinion that the Indian move was strengthen its hands ahead of the India-China talks on the border scheduled for December 29-30, in Beijing. Sun Shihai, an expert on Asia-Pacific studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) opined that military strength of Arunachal Pradesh showed India’s unwillingness to make any concession during border demarcation talks.

More interestingly, the Global Times, decided to recall that the Chinese Foreign Ministry had “condemned” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in October 2009. The newspaper, known for its hard-line nationalist views did not, however, proceed to recall what happened next. Prime Minister Singh visited Arunachal Pradesh, made it clear that there was no dispute over the state, and was invited for a meeting by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao soon after at a conclave in Thailand when the Chinese side sought to cool down matters.

It is surprising that even after six decades of bilateral relations the Chinese establishment has failed to understand how India works. Or is it a ploy to pick up items from India’s independent media to berate India? The Chinese must understand that the Indian government is answerable to Parliament and the people and, hence, decisions like major deployments by even the armed forces have to be transparently conveyed to the people. In China, the people do not matter and the media is controlled by the state and the party as per the respective constitutions.

While the Indian and Chinese leaders have agreed on more than one occasion to avoid confrontation and provocation, work to further improve bilateral relations, and cooperate on a wide range of issues bilaterally, regionally and globally, it is obvious that a section of the powerful Chinese leadership seem determined to queer the pitch. Why else would the Chinese foreign ministry choose to warn India on a non-consequential issue on the eve of the border talks and ahead of Chinese Premier’s visit to India. Why else would the The Global times repeatedly refer to Arunachal Pradesh as ‘Southern Tibet’ over which “China claims sovereignty”.

Historically, there is nothing called Southern Tibet. It is a new concoction being tried over the last two years or so to claim Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese territory. The fact that the 4th Dalai Lama was born in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh does not mean anything. The Dalai Lamas or any other Tibetan Living Buddhas can be born anywhere in the world.

Reading recent Chinese official media reports and studies in reputed official journals, there is every reason to believe there is a split in China’s top most hierarchy on foreign policy. Following global reactions to its assertive behaviour with neighbours, the party central committee appears to have laid down a policy of restraint but adhering to the country’s already stated position. Yet, there are strong indications that a section aligned with the army is determined to demonstrate and project power outside the country.

President and Party General Secretary Hu Jintao does not seem to be in a position to fully restrain the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which holds a major say in the affairs of security, neighbours and the USA. A conservative in many ways, Hu Jiantao had to rely on the PLA to buttress his position and give way to them even if he does not want to do so. Deng Xiaoping was the last Chinese leader to control the PLA .

A brief review of statements from the Chinese foreign ministry on India in the last two years suggest an unfriendly hard-line. This is something different from the decade of the 1990s when, in the aftermath of the Tienanmen Square incident, India was one on the few countries of substance which protected China from the Western onslaught on the human rights issue and outside intervence in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. The Chinese foreign ministry then was more friendly. In contrast, as Chinese grew stronger economically and militarily in the last decade it formulated a new strategy with Pakistan to chip away at India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The latest in these examples are issuing stapled visas to anyone who resided in Kashmir, projecting Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) as Pakistan’s sovereign territory and Indian Kashmir as disputed territory, and trying to raise a new debate that the Kashmir issue is a trilateral question between India, Pakistan and China.

China is trying to convince India that these are small issues not to be bothered about, but cooperate on larger issues including climate change and currency values against the west. While the two largest countries of Asia must cooperate and work together for common cause, the region’s development and making the 21st Century for Asia, China’s behaviour does not inspire confidence. India experimented on joint bidding for oil and gas resources with China, but woke up one morning to see China had sabotaged India literally at midnight.

Geography forces the two countries to work together and raise mutual trust. Till now, however, China has given no evidence to India that it can be trusted. If it thinks India will conspire with the US to counter China, it must see India’s policy on Iran and Myanmar post-Obama visit. People outside the government in India, save for the ardent sinophiles, are beginning to think there is a too much double-speak from China. Beijing must also realise that despite their huge nuclear and asymmetric warfare superiority over India, it is no longer 1962. China will be welcome if it truly demonstrates it is a development cooperative partner. This has not happened yet.

When Premier Wen Jiabao makes his official visit to India in mid-December, he will come as a lame duck premier. He lost a lot of political clout when he called for greater democracy to consolidate China economic gains. But the party plenum in October smothered his voice. He was subsumed by the hardliners, and he will spend his next two years in position as only echoing laid down policies.

Much cannot be expected from Wen Jiabo’s visit. He will read from the Beijing script in both India and Pakistan. But the Indian government must use this opportunity to deliver India’s concerns and position without pulling the punches. It is time India tells China what are the ‘big issues” and “small issues” for India.
Bhaskar Roy is an experienced China analyst.

IESM a Model of Transparency

Newly Elected Team
Front: Gen Satbir VC Col Chaturvedi Member Gen Jaini Member Wg Cdr Sharma Treasurer Brig Kamboj Member
Rear: Cdr Ahuja Secy Gen 2 Gen Kadyan Chairman Gp CaptGandhi Secy Gen 1 Hony Lt K Pandey Member

Dear Veterans,
AGM and elections of IESM have been conducted smoothly from 1030h to 1500h on 27 Nov 2010. The AGM was attended by about 700 veterans from 12 states of India. Veterans came from as for as from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur), Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Chandigarh.
Preliminary report of the activities of the day are given below.
AGM was conducted in an orderly manner and balance sheet for the year 2009-10 was adopted with voice vote.
Rajiv Varun and company were retained as Charetered accountant for the year 2010-11.
Election for the Chairman's post was held and Lt Gen Raj Kadyan was declared winner for the post of Chairman. Total votes cast were 556. Invalid votes 5, Votes for Gen Kadyan 539 and vote for Col TP Tyagi were 12.
Four members were elected unopposed to the appointments of the Governing body. Thereafter the agenda points were discussed in detail and the consent of the house was taken on the points. Detailed report of the meeting will be sent to all on compilation.
Results will be published in the press shortly.
Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM

Revision of Pension for Post- 2006 Retirees

Please find two letters from MOD in PDF form one dealing with
1. Implementation of Gof I recommendations 6th Pay Commission in regards revision of pensions post-2006 pensions/family pensioners dated 15th Nov 2010.
2. Grant of disability Pension for interim period between date of expiry of initial award and recommendations of Fresh board dated 10th Nov 2010.
Please accord it wide publicity.
Col HN Handa
  • Revision of pensions post-2006 pensions dated 15th Nov 2010
  • Grant of disability Pension dated 10th Nov 2010
  • The army officer who has risen above odds and crippling injury

    Outlook India The Spine Is Intact
    The army officer who has risen above odds and crippling injury by Shreevatsa Nevatia on S.K. Razdan

    Maj Gen Razdan in the lawns of his house in New Delhi

    In March this year, when Outlook caught up with Brigadier Sunil Kumar Razdan, he was sitting in his garden patch, absorbed in tugging and releasing makeshift weights tied to the bark of a tree. “It’s a small pulley,” he explained, “with stones at one end, and a stupid chap at the other.” Even as you chuckled your way past his self-deprecating humour, it was clear this was a demonstration not just of an exercise routine, but of an extraordinary tenacity, worn like a humble matter of routine. It helped to explain why this brigadier had recently been approved for the rank of a major-general, making him the first wheelchair-bound officer to serve at this level in the history of the Indian army.

    At the time of that meeting, seven months ago, Razdan’s fate still hung in the balance, even though he had been approved for the two-star rank. His eventual promotion depended on whether or not a vacancy arose for a major-general’s post before he retired. Unsentimentally, he explained, “I am supposed to superannuate in October 2010. If a vacancy comes before then, well and good, otherwise I just go home.” As it happened, a vacancy did open up, and the brigadier is now a major-general, but with as stoic a manner, as even a tone, as before. He says, “Any new task demands dedication and a greater excellence. If you stop looking to better yourself, you stop growing. You still need the fire in your belly.” And of that, he has always had plenty. Literally.

    Razdan was born on October 8, sharing his birthday, he laconically informs you, with Liz Taylor and the Indian Air Force. But this date also has a deeper significance for the paraplegic officer. It was on this day that he found himself engaged in an operation that would change his life irrevocably.

    Wife Manju recalls Razdan as an avid biker who once did Delhi to Agra on a Bullet in just two hours.

    Razdan, who belongs to the 7th Parachute Battalion, was posted in Jammu and Kashmir during the early 1990s, a time when cross-border infiltration was seeing a steady rise. On October 8, 1994, came the news that nine militants had abducted 14 women, aged between 14 and 30, and were holding them captive in Damal Kunzipur. It found Razdan heading towards the area with a unit of 20 soldiers, where a 12-hour hike later, he found the women incarcerated in a four-storey house. He managed to evacuate them safely through a kitchen window, but was unable to save himself from the attack of a militant, who emptied a rifle into his stomach at point-blank range, the bullets going right through his gut to his spine.

    Mr Greyhound One from the family album
    Somehow, he still found the energy to be part of the 16-hour gun battle that followed, and only after the nine militants were killed was he finally airlifted from the spot. As he lifts his shirt to reveal the most brutal of scars, his voice surprisingly remains steady. “I was operated on thrice over,” he says, “and was in hospital for a year. During the time I spent there, it dawned on me that I would never be able to walk, and that I had to come to terms with my reality.”

    A devastating thought for anyone. For Razdan, for whom physical activity was integral to his life on and off duty, it must have been something akin to death. A long-distance runner since his adolescence, he had been nicknamed ‘Greyhound’ by peers. He was also an almost obsessive biker, his wife Manju recalls. “I remember him going from Delhi to Agra on a Bullet motorcycle. The journey only took him some two hours.” How did he cope with disability? “If one door shuts on you, many windows open up,” he says simply.

    The year 1996 brought Razdan a Kirti Chakra, the country’s second-highest peacetime gallantry award. Meanwhile, what Razdan, with characteristic humour, calls his “bad habit of reading” stood him in good stead, enabling him to bring academic rigour to his now desk-based duties. A few years down the road, he found himself posted to the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) headquarters, where he was tasked with making the operations, logistics and administration of the armed forces more efficient and effective. General Vijay Kumar (retd) of the 45th Cavalry Regiment, who worked in an office right opposite Razdan’s at the IDS headquarters, says, “When his posting order came in all those years ago, the general reaction was: why are we getting a guy in a wheelchair? Today, the overwhelming reaction is that Major-General Razdan should not go anywhere, he must stay with the IDS. That’s how tremendous his work here has been.” Sure enough, that is where he will stay, until he retires two years from now, focusing on issues such as insurgency and welfare.

    As we chat with him, 19-year-old Paarth Razdan listens attentively, and then breaks his silence to say, “Whenever I feel that something cannot be done, I just think of the pain and struggle my father has overcome, on a daily basis.” Paarth’s 22-year-old brother Ishan will start training to become an air force pilot on January 1 next year, while Paarth himself would like to join the army after completing his medical education. In a voice strikingly free of bitterness and regret for what his father has been through, he says: “The kind of respect you are able to command as a member of the armed forces is unparalleled.”
    The Spine Is Intact
    He deserves the best wheel chair like the one below and not the low technology one provided by the Army as in picture above!

    National Award will be given to a Website having the best accessibility features for persons with disabilities. Will any Military Websites Qualify?
    PIB: International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Asian Games Medal Tally: India moves up to 6th position

    Medals Tally
    Country/ Gold/ Silver/ Bronze/ Total
  • China 181 104 95 376
  • South Korea 72 61 85 218
  • Japan 39 68 86 193
  • Iran 19 11 23 53
  • Kazakhstan 15 18 32 65
  • India 14 17 33 64
  • Chinese Taipe 12 12 33 57
  • Uzbekistan 10 17 20 47
  • Malaysia 9 17 13 39
  • Thailand 9 7 31 47
  • Hong Kong 8 15 15 38

    Citizens Voice
    Friday, 26 November 2010 17:02:23
    Three cheers to all the Indians who have medals for our country. If our sports persons who excelled in CWG did well here, our medal tally would have been much better. Hope we do well in future events. We all should encourage our children to take part in sports and games. All the schools should be granted recognition only if they have playground and other sports facilities. Should make sports compulsory from school itself. At the same time the corrupt and incapable so called sports heads should keep away from the games. Jai Hind.
  • Will the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission be Toothless?

    Dear Sir,
    Please find a short writeup on the apprehensions of AFGRC and its linkage to the IV pay commission rank pay case. RDOA thought it prudent to let veterans know. It is requested that it be put on RMS for info and wider circulation. Delibrately names have been left out.
    with regards
    secy rdoa

    Dear Veterans
    There are mixed reactions, both euphoria as well as apprehension/ misgivings on the formation of the Armed Forces Grievenances Redressal Commission. Justice M Katju must have given a deep thought over the matter and in his wisdom he felt that there was a need of such a commission to address the anomalies/ grievenances of the armed forces with every case coming to the judiciary and the executive failing to perform its duty. The armed forces have been given equal weightage in the nomination of members along with the judiciary, first of its kind in independent India and we as members of the armed forces should feel proud about it.
    Some veterans feel that the commission is toothless and is only recommendatory in nature. Let me tell you that nobody is born with teeth. They come out with age. The Women’s Commission is also recommendatory but yet is doing wonders. So let us not sit on judgement over a commission which is yet to take shape. We can keep our gun powder dry till the commission starts showing results.
    Lot of emails have been exchanged over the outcome of the IV Pay Commission Rank pay anomaly case and what could/should have been done. The fact that Justice Katju refused to refer the case to the commission and recall his order is proof enough that his judgment is sound and the case is on solid footing. On behalf of RDOA I would request the veterans to refrain from giving conflicting views or suggest ideas to the UOI. Facts of the case are known to RDOA and our advocates are capable to handle the case.
    Lastly to say that the credit of the AFGRC does not go to RDOA but someone else. RDOA is not for scoring brownie points. Our aim is to get relief and we are persuing it relentlessly. We want the problems to be resolved and we are working to that end. Means can be anything. We are confident that the AFGRC would do its job judiously. In the words of Kautilya let the Mauryan Empire be given a chance to look after the welfare of its soldiers before it looses its morality to rule.
    Secy RDOA

    Corrupt Defence Estates Dept may be disbanded

    ‘Reduntant’ Defence Estates Dept may be disbanded
    Tribune News Service
    New Delhi, November 25
    In a stinging retort on the functioning of the Defence Estates Department, an in-house study of the Ministry of Defence has said that the department “had very limited utility” and suggested its disbanding. Defence Minister AK Antony yesterday told Parliament that the Controller General of Defence Accounts had asked the Controller of Defence Accounts to carry out a special performance audit to examine the existing land acquisition system and the report had been received.
    The report says: “The Ministry may like to order a comprehensive study for disbanding the organisation in a phased manner.”
    ‘Reduntant’ Defence Estates Dept may be disbanded

    Job Placement for Armed Forces Veterans

    A Job Fair for the Armed Forces Veterans will be held on 11.12.2010 Saturday at 08.00 AM at Island Grounds, Chennai (Behind Kendriya Vidyalaya).
    This fair is being arranged by the HQ, ATK&K Area, Fort St George, Chennai 600009 for the benefit of veterans.
    All the Armed Forces Veterans desirous of attending the fair are to contact and register their names by 10.12.2010 with the Officer-in-Charge, Ex-servicemen Helpline Centre, ATK&K Area, Fort St George, Chennai. They have to obtain token for having registered their names. (This is very important)
    Note: Plenty of vacancies are available for different types of job. There is ample opportunity for technical personnel belonging to Signals, EME, MEG & NSG.
    Out station candidates will be provided accommodation at the ESM Helpline Centre. They are to report one day in advance i.e. on 10.12.2010.
    For further information and assistance contact:
    Hony Capt M David (Retd)
    Ex-servicemen Helpline Centre,
    Fort St. George, Chennai -09.
    Phone: 044-25675337, 044-25675236.
    Don’t miss this golden opportunity. All veterans are to report in appropriate dress with all their testimonials.
    Job Fair for the Armed Forces Veterans

    Government and corrupt Politicians are the main culprits in depriving the poor of crucial resources

    Nov 18, 2010 | AP
    India has lost hundreds of billions of dollars over the past six decades as companies and the rich stashed cash overseas to avoid taxes and hide ill-gotten gains, widening inequality and depriving the poor of crucial resources, a new report shows.

    The flood of illegal cash has swelled to ever greater heights since the early 1990s, and averaged $16 billion a year from 2002 to 2006, as India's opening of its economy created more wealth and opportunities to move it across borders, according to the study by Dev Kar, a former International Monetary Fund economist.

    Kar, now senior economist at Global Financial Integrity, a Washington DC group that researches the flow of illicit money, said India's black money - at least $462 billion since the late 1940s - could have paid for its entire infrastructure needs and much more.

    "We could have had better schools, better health programs, better nutrition programs for the poor. Children could have been vaccinated and given access to fresh drinking water. Many areas don't have electricity," he said.

    "The high net worth individuals are the ones driving illicit flows," Kar said.

    The ministry of finance and spokespeople for the ruling government did not respond to requests for comment on the report. Other analysts aren't taking issue with Kar's research methods but question whether the blame should be pinned on companies and privately wealthy individuals. They argue the government and corrupt politicians are the main culprits.

    Kar used a World Bank model to measure the gap between the nation's recorded sources of funds, like borrowing and foreign direct investment, and its recorded use of funds, like financing the current account deficit and foreign currency reserves. Illicit outflows are considered to exist when a country's recorded source of funds exceeds its recorded use of funds.

    Kar supplemented that by looking at differences between the value of what India says it exports and what other nations say they import from India. This captures practices such as understating the value of export contracts to hide money overseas.

    Adjusted for inflation, that all added up to $213 billion missing since 1948. Using the short-term US Treasury bill rate to estimate a conservative investment return, Kar calculated that money would be worth, at minimum, $462 billion today.

    The figure could be understated by half, Kar said, partly because it doesn't cover harder to track activities including smuggling and cash transfers outside of the financial system.
    India's rich have been cheating country of billions, for six decades: click here to read the full account

    MNS Officers Pension still not revised

    Lt Col Padmini expressing her grievances to our Chief Admin amd Liaison Officer.
    Lt Col Padmini, MNS, called on us at our office and expressed her grievances that MNS officers are given step motherly treatment by MOD and Army HQ.
    Full particulars of MNS Officer
    Name: Padmini Rank: Lt.Col- MNS No- NR.16974 Qualifying Service: 24.5 years. PPO.No: M/003251/2004
    PDA: I.O.B, Panagudi, Tirunelveli Dist, Tamil Nadu.
    If her pension is revised as per Annexure- I of CDA Cir 397 it is Rs13932/- which is more beneficial as compared to the Annexure-II A which is only Rs 11800/
    For regular Army officers of Lt Col rank, the pension is revised and increased 3 times, whereas the pension of MNS officers is not revised at all, except as indicated vide Annexure-IIA as per CDA Cir 412, where the Minimum of Pay Band is taken and pension arrived, which is for ONE year service only. This is a great injustice towards the MNS Officers which must be redressed immediately.
    Aggrieved MNS Officer

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Does our President (C-in-C) honour our heroes?

    President Obama's remarks awarding the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta and the official citation, as provided by the White House

    Wonder if any Supreme Commander in India would ever do such things here?
    Dear All,
    I am forwarding this link below with my personal comments. When you read the address by the President of USA does it not strike a discordant cord that in our country not one of our Presidents (The C-inC) nor anyone else have ever bothered to honour the heroes with such a touching speech ? I wish we had had at least one top soul who openly expressed the anguish or appreciation of the departed heroes.
    It is only the comrades of the fallen who know what the sacrifice means.
    I leave it to you to ponder.
    With regards,
    Harwant Singh
    Lt Gen (Retd)
    Former Deputy Chief of Army Staff
    President Obama's remarks awarding the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta and the official citation, as provided by the White House

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Military resisting reforms remains mired in mediocrity

    Response to article: Selecting Top Brass
    I must compliment you for providing a platform for healthy debate on issues of importance to the services. My response to the comments of Lt Gen Sharma is given below. Kindly have it circulated as well.
    Warm regards,
    Maj Gen Mrinal Suman

    This refers to Lt Gen YN Sharma’s response to my article (click here). With due respect to his valued comments, I stand by every word of my article. I wish Gen Sharma had countered my arguments rather than talk of ‘evolution’ and ‘resilience’ of the system.
    I agree that empanelment of Lt Gens is based on a ‘multi-level selection process involving Service HQ/MOD/ACC’. But, what happens after that? Lt Gen is the last rung of the merit-based ladder. Thereafter it is one’s date of birth that drives promotions – three years of residual service makes one a Corps Cdr and two years residual service makes one an Army Cdr. One may become the Chief if one was born later than other Army Cdrs. Where is merit?
    Gen Sharma has quoted a few cases of alleged supersession which occurred decades ago. I do not know about the others but Lt Gens Balaram and Tuli were granted Army Cdr's status and pension as PSOs because they did not have required residual service to serve as Army Cdrs. That was done as a very special case. They were not superseded on merit or the lack of it. Both would have made outstanding Army Cdrs. On the other hand I can cite numerous cases where rare talent was lost. Lt Gen Narahari was one such person. That was my primary point which unfortunately remains unanswered.
    It is a common sight to see senior officers huddled over seniority lists in lunch break in Delhi ticking names of likely Corps and Army Cdrs based on their inter-se age profile. It is a simple case of ‘vacancy vs date-of-birth’ match making. Every Lt Gen stands in a queue awaiting vacancy to occur before his age runs out. Today, everyone knows who the next Chiefs would be as they know the ‘age-queue’. Merit is no criteria at all. It is hard to believe that during the last 30 years (since Lt Gen Sinha’s supersession) every senior- most Army Cdr was the most competent officer to be the Chief.
    Interestingly, a capable officer is refused Army Cdr’s appointment on the plea that he cannot provide two years continuous service. Yet, nearly every Army Cdr is shifted after one year in a game of musical chairs. ARTRAC has had 15 Army Cdrs in a span of 19 years – an average tenure of little over a year. What continuity are we talking about? As regards parochialism of some Chiefs, kindly refer to my article “Let Parochialism not Afflict the Services” (circulated by Brig Kamboj).
    Finally, I must add that I am a proud Sapper officer and was never in the run for the appointments discussed. Therefore, I cannot be accused of subjectivity and attempting to ‘subvert the system’. With due respect to Gen Sharma’s views, it will be wrong to term suggestions for reforms as ‘growing exuberance/ cynicism/ intemperance’. Reforms help in evolution of institutions rather than ‘hurting the nobility and grace of our ethos’. Any institution that swears by status-quo and resists reforms remains mired in mediocrity. It is certainly a dangerous proposition for our much-admired Army.

    Is flying safe with fake Pilot Licence

    Fake flights and fake flying hours in pilot licence scam

    Jaipur: The Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday arrested an assistant general manager of the Jaipur Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the chief flying instructor (CFI) of the Rajasthan State Flying School in connection with a commercial pilot licence scam.
    The duo, in collusion with other officials, allegedly accepted money to fudge records of flying hours for at least 14 students, thus helping them obtain commercial pilot licences in a fraudulent manner. According to the rules, students must log at least 200 flying hours to get a licence.
    The accused have been identified as CFI Mahendra Kumar and AGM Manoj Jain. "Kumar would log fake hours and Jain at the ATC would countersign, though the plane was never in the air," said ACB Additional Director General of Police Ajit Singh. He added that Kumar charged students extra money for faking flying hours, over and above the official fee of Rs 4.7 lakh.
    Last month, the ACB arrested an Indian Airlines pilot, Rahul Yadav, in connection with the same case. According to Singh, Yadav had logged only around 20 hours of flying time, while his flight logs showed the required 200 hours.
    "Though records show that Yadav completed a cross-country flight from Jaipur to Hissar as part of his training, we have evidence to show that the plane he reportedly used was undergoing maintenance at the time," said Singh. Incidentally, Yadav's father is a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
    ACB officials said that from 2004-2008, the duo had logged fake flying hours for at least 14 students, including another Indian Airlines technician, Rakesh Mehta, and Pallavi Sherje, who is at present an assistant flying instructor in Nagpur.
    Incidentally, according to sources, Kumar was vying for the post of pilot of the state aircraft that ferries Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
    Bhupendra Yadav, the ACB investigation officer, said M S Beniwal, the CFI at Hissar Aviation Club, was also wanted in the case but was absconding. "We have a warrant for his arrest, but he has managed to evade the police. Kumar would log a cross-country flight from Jaipur to Hissar and back, as part of the training, and Beniwal would countersign," said Yadav.
    Fake flights and fake flying hours in pilot licence scam

    Read more of Indian Fakes: A run up to a Fake democarcy!
    Indian fakes galore: Now a fake GOI Memorandum

    OROP issue: IESM to deposit medals to Prez

    Respected Sir/Madam,
    The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on November 24, 2010 -- is for your kind perusal. I request you to further publicise the issue.
    With regards

    OROP issue: IESM to deposit medals to Prez By Abhijit C Chandra
    Bhopal, Nov 24 (UNI)
    There was a time when the proud mantle of defending the nation adorned their able shoulders but today they are fighting for their due against their own country's government.
    A delegation of ex-servicemen (ESM) under the banner of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) will go to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday to deposit medals and submit a memorandum inked in blood to the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
    This will be preceded by a ESM rally at Jantar Mantar from 1000 to 1400 hrs. IESM Chairman Lieutenant-General (Retd) Raj Kadyan led a similar delegation on August 22 but the President did not receive the delegation, which returned with the medals.
    "It is pertinent to mention that the all-party Standing Committee on Defence's firm recommendations to grant One Rank One Pension have not been accepted by the Centre," said IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh.
    The latest rejection is of a set of recommendations by 31 members of Parliament headed by Congress MP Satpal Maharaj on May 7 and repeated on August 27 whereas Defence Minister A K Antony recently quoted -- in Parliament -- the recommendations of July 2009 by a bureaucrats' committee.
    "The larger question here is the civilian control of the Armed Forces, which actually means control by elected representatives and not bureaucrats. It is common knowledge that ESM have been forced to launch a movement to express anguish as a result of injustice heaped on them," the veteran claimed.
    The bureaucracy has all along been treating the military unfairly, he alleged while adding that resentment is increasing each passing day. Downgrading of status and an "unfair" compensation package of emoluments by the Sixth Central Pay Commission further intensified resentment.
    "We have also decided to enlist support of other social segments, all political parties, MPs, chief ministers and legislators and have written to them regarding demands and sought their help to raise these issues in Parliament to press the Centre for early acceptance," Maj-Gen Singh explained.
    The Supreme Court has taken the historic step of constituting the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission that includes General (Retd) Ved Prakash Malik -- of Operation Vijay fame -- and former Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-Gen Vijay Oberoi.
    "However, the Commission is only a recommendatory body and not an adjudicator body. Hence, it is open to the Centre to accept or not to accept its recommendations," Maj-Gen Singh pointed out.
    The Armed Forces Tribunal decided in ESM's favour in 90 per cent of 4,000 cases that came up since last year but the Centre has not implemented even one judgement, he added.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Indian Navy Sailing Team win Silver Medal

    PIB Tuesday, November 23, 2010 17:23 IST
    The Indian Sailing team of Lt Cdr (Retd) F Tarapore and team mates Cdr Atool Sinha, CPO (MA) Balraj, POR (Tel) Shekhar Singh Yadav and Trunal were accorded a warm welcome at New Delhi by the Indian Navy and the Yachting Association of India (YAI) after winning a Silver Medal in the Match Racing event at the ongoing Asian Games 2010.
    Lt Cdr (Retd) F Tarapore, had won the Fireball class gold medal as crew of Zarir Karanjia in the 1982 Asian Games sailing regatta held off the Mumbai harbor and also picked up a hat-trick of bronze medals in the Asian Games held between 1986 and 1994 in different classes of boats.
    The Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre, Mumbai has been a training centre for champion sailors and has produced 13 Arjuna awardees, 02 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees and 01 Dronacharya awardee for the sport in the past 40 years.
    The YAI was formally constituted on 15 May 1960 and was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXVI of 1961 on 22 December 1964 at Calcutta, West Bengal. The YAI is affiliated to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the governing authority for sailing worldwide.
    The YAI is officially recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and the Indian Olympic Association as the governing authority for sailing, windsurfing, motor boating, powerboat racing and personal watercraft, at sea and on inland waters in India. PVS/AKR
    Reception for Sailing Team of Indian Navy

    Military made a scapegoat by Defence Estate Officers

    Army clearances forged for three Mumbai projects
    Nitin Gokhale, Updated: November 23, 2010 19:28 IST
    New Delhi: A group of Army officers posted in and around Mumbai will now be investigated for whether they habitually conspired with local politicians and builders to allow commercial real estate projects in high-security areas.
    On Monday, NDTV reported that three no-objection certificates issued in the name of army officers were forged. They granted permission to builders to construct high-rises in Kandivali, Juhu and Malad - the three projects are collectively worth 80-90 crores.
    Clearances from the army are required for construction within 500 metres of any defence installation.
    The Army Headquarters has ordered the Pune-based Southern Command to send a status report on the three cases by the end of the week. The Army has also filed FIRs or police complaints that allege forgery and collusion.
    The Adarsh Society case exposed how army officers signed away permission for construction in return for flats in a 31-storey building in Colaba that was meant to accommodate war widows and veterans. The Army and navy objected as recently as September to those clearances.
    The three new cases suggest that there was a sustained and comfortable partnership between Army officers and real estate developers. The army will try to determine which senior officers benefited from the arrangement, and whether the same men who stage-managed the Adarsh project helped deliver army clearances. Sources say the Army may seek the CBI's assistance.
    The Adarsh Society case led to the army asking for a complete audit of the thousands of acres it owns across the country. It has also asked the Defence Ministry to redefine the reporting chain of the civilian officers of the Defence Estates Organisation, which manages all defence land.
    Defence estate officers currently report directly to the Defence Ministry. The Army wants them to be accountable to local military authorities.
    Military made a scapegoat by Defence Estate Officers in land scams

    Veterans' Rally 0n 28 November at Jantar Mantar to fight injustices

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Press release issued by IESM on 23 Nov 10, is reproduced below.
    Best way to reach Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, is to catch the Metro Train from anywhere in New Delhi/ Delhi and get down at Patel Chowk Metro Station, near Connaugt Place. From Patel Chowk Metro Station start walking towards Jantar Mantar – you will find the Veterans’ Rally Site within 300 metres. Essential adm arrangements are being made at the rally site.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    To fight against injustice is to WORSHIP GOD. So kindly be there for MILITARY VETERANS’ RALLY, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on 28 Nov 10, from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM to fight against Injustice being done to Defence Services of India.

    DATED: 23 NOV 2010
    Dear friends,
    1. Press Release dated 23 Nov 2010 regarding a Big Rally by the ESM will be held at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 28 Nov 2010 from 10 AM to 2 PM. and depositing of medals and submission of memorandum signed in blood by the ESM to the Supreme Commander on 28 Nov 2010 is circulated. Maximum participation of ESM is requested.
    2. You are requested to circulate it to the maximum ESM. Translation in the local languages may please be carried out and the same may please be got published in local media.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570
    Email :

    DATED: 23 NOV 2010

    Dear Members of the Media,
    1. The formation of the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, “Suo Moto” could not have occurred if particular segments of our polity had not bear sensitized on OROP and other veterans issues. The Hon’ble Judge Sh.Markandey Katju even quotes Chankya and NDTV show, apart from medals return and burning of artificial limbs. Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) which has brought about this landmark (almost revolutionary) occurrence, with the judiciary virtually divesting (albeit for a good cause) the executive of its basic function of governance- all these years past, no one else has been able to move the establishment one wee bit.
    2. The Supreme Court has taken the historic step to constitute Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission, where besides two retired judges of the Supreme Court and two senior retired Defence Officers (Gen Ved Malik, Former COAS and Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS). However, the commission is only a recommendatory body and not adjudicatory body. Hence, it is open to the Govt to accept or not to accept its recommendations. Though, the court has directed that since such recommendations will be coming from high powered body, the Govt must give due weightage to the same. It is here the doubts arise in the minds of Defence Personnel and the people of India that since the recommendations of the commission will be reviewed by the bureaucrats whose track record for the past six decades has not been to give fair justice to the Defence Forces, it is yet to be seen if any positive outcome would be achieved.
    3. It is pertinent to mention that strong recommendations to grant OROP by All Parties Parliamentary Standing Committees on Defence have not been accepted by the Govt; the latest being the recommendations made by 31 MPs of the Parliament headed by Sh. Satpal ji Maharaj a Congress MP on 07th May 2010 and again repeated on 27 Aug 2010 whereas Mr. AK Antony the RM recently in the Parliament quoted recommendations of Jul 2009 by a Committee of bureaucrats. The larger question here is the civilian control of Armed Forces which actually means control by the elected representatives of the people and not the bureaucrats. It is a common knowledge that the Ex Servicemen have been forced to launch a Movement to express their anguish is the result of the injustice heaped on them. The bureaucrats all along have been treating the military unfairly. The resentment has been increasing by the day. Downgradation of their status and unfair compensation package of emoluments by the 6th CPC have further intensified the resentment.
    4. Under the circumstance, the ESM have decided to continue their struggle till all their demands are accepted. To highlight all these issues to the people of India, a Big Rally by the ESM will be held at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 28 Nov 2010 from 10 AM to 2 PM. After the Rally, delegation of ESM will go to Rashtrapati Bhawan to deposit medals and memorandum signed in blood by the ESM with the President. They have also decided to enlist the support of other segments of the society, all political parties, MPs, CMs, MLA and have written to them regarding their demands and sought their help to raise these issues in the Parliament to press the Govt for early acceptance of these demands.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in reply to a query in Rajya Sabha: "NO" to OROP- click here

    Armed Forces Grievance Redressal Commission Status

    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.
    To fight against injustice is to WORSHIP GOD.
    So kindly be there for IESM Rally, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on 28 Nov 10, from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM
    To fight against Injustice being done to Defence Services of India.

    Dear MM, (Colonel MMP Kala, Dehra Dun)
    Thank you for your mail. I am afraid I am unable to help you at this juncture. So far only an announcement has been made about the formation of a Commission. The Supreme Court has asked the government to issue implementation instructions in two months. There is no word about it yet. It is possible that the central government may amend the orders of the Supreme Court or at least try to do so.
    One more member is still to be appointed. The Commission can only meet once the implementation instructions are issued.
    I am afraid it is premature to ask me or any member of the proposed commision to provide answers to your queries or similar other queries.
    Once the Commission starts functioning and has worked out modalities, I am sure we will be able to process various grievances.
    Till then, I would request you to hold your horses and be patient.
    I am endorsing a copy to Chander Kamboj, requesting him to publish this mail in its Blog.
    Warm regards.
    Vijay Oberoi
    Former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS)

    Selecting Military Top Brass- Readers Responses

    Ref: Selecting Military Top Brass
    I am dismayed to see an intellectually flawed and misinformed article from someone of Gen Suman's calibre.
    His assumptions that promotions to the top echelons, viz Army Cdrs and the Chief are on 'auto pilot', non-merit based and manipulated to promote mediocrity, are not well founded.
    It is natural that the System would have 'evolved' since I retired, many years ago, yet it cannot have regressed to such cynical depths. Indian Military has sound and resilient institutions. Let us not 'knock' them so lightly.
    Some facts, as known( first hand, even if dated):-
  • Empanelment of Lt Gens and selection of Chiefs is based on a multi-level selection process involving Service HQ/MOD/ACC. The independent scrutiny for suitability and comparison of merit is rigorous and longitudnal ( bureaucracies have long institutional memories)- not at all a nominal/automatic process. Differences in perceptions/ judgments do abound and discussions are commonplace-last word has to rest with the GOI. It is definitely not with the perverse and parochial Chiefs,as implied.
  • Some illustrations of (eligible by DOB) Lt Gens/ Corps Cdrs who sadly got left out are Gens Sinha, M Thomas, Balaram, ML Tuli, Hanut Singh, Mike Lahiri, Guru Bakshi, Kadyan etc. Hopefully this debunks the 'auto-pilot' myth. Incidentally, all the above in my view were thoroughly deserving. But then 'systems' are introduced to moderate personal subjectivity/ halo-and they are fallible.
    I am not an apologist for (the perfection of) the system nor anti-reform but to let 'injury to institutions' pass would be unworthy. By all means 'tweak' the system constructively; but to 'subvert' it thus is in no one's interest.
    One of the great strengths of the Indian Military has been its faith- in itself and its Institutions- despite the inequities and perceived injustices (those are a part of the natural order). Of late, the liberating technology and culture, is lifting some of the discretion and maturity that enabled us express with dignity and also keep that 'faith'. I do hope that in this new- found and growing exuberance/ cynicism/ intemperance, we the Veterans do not hurt the nobility and grace of our Ethos.
    Yogi Sharma
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    An excellent, balanced and a well analysed article. I hope the three Services will look into the very significant points mentioned and rationalise the selections beyond the level of the Corps Cdrs too. Incidentally the Army follows the rule of min 2 years residual service for Corps Cdrs becoming Army Cdrs whereas the IAF and Navy follow only one year residual service. Thus what is happening is that in the large number of Inter service appts many Army offrs perforce get toserve under the IN and IAF offrs who were originally junior to them.Also the Supreme Court on many occasions have advised the Services HQs to streamline thier promotion policies for senior offrs. I am afraid some among the top hierarchy have not been fair to the Service they have the privilege to lead and thus' mediocrity with agreeability' reinforced by an unwarranted regimental loyalty becomes the major criteria for movement upwards and has brought a bad name to the Services. I pray for the best to lead the best in the service of the country. JAI HIND,
    Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd)
  • Rank Pay Recall/ Review Petition transferred to another bench

    Grievances Redressal Commission & Rank Pay- Moderate your euphoria
    I understand that there is nothing in law to ask for recall/ review of a Judgement of a Supreme court Bench unless it is a constitutional issue requiring deliberations by a larger bench, or a open case of miscarriage of Justice or impropriety of conduct of judges etc. Here is a case where recall is requested based on merits of judgement and larger public interest as the petitioner will incur a huge cost of public money if the judgement is made applicable to all affected personnel.Further, a supposedly "procedural lapse " of not hearing the transfer petitioners during admission stage of their petition and clubbing them with the writ petitions is also cited as a reason for recall. It is an irony that the Petitioners involved in the Transfer Petitions at various courts have not raised any objection at any stage on the admission procedure of their petitions at the preliminary stage nor the Govt raised an objection to this procedure during admission stage. To me it appears that it is an attempt by Govt to delay the conclusion of the legal process through unethical manipulations by the Govt legal experts and our wily bureaucrats.

    Justice Katju, a true Son of famous old Guard leader of Congress, was fed up with these manipulations and indirect assaults on him through contemptuous language and decided to refer this recall petition only to another Bench of the Court to avoid another set of accusations if he decided to reject the recall petition outright on his own. My appreciation is that the recall petition is likely to be rejected as without purpose and merit. The only strong point brought out is that a large expenditure of more than Rs 1600 crores will be incurred if the judgement covers all affected personnel. But such large expenditure of Public money is the direct result of the poor decision of Govt not to extend the benefits to others when they lost the case of Dhanabalan convincingly and agreed to pay his arrears.
    Veteran S Murugan

    MHA Director Internal Security breaches National Security

    IAS officer held for selling info to corporates
    CNN-IBN Posted on Nov 22, 2010 at 23:06
    New Delhi: Delhi Police arrested Ravi Inder Singh, a senior IAS officer posted in the Home Ministry, for allegedly selling information to corporates. He was the officer handling the MHA's talks with BlackBerry.

    Singh was arrested this evening in Delhi under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Singh was under surveillance for over one month.
    Inder Singh is accused of leaking information of commercial interest to a few telecom companies, related to full number portability, which comes into effect in Wednesday starting with Haryana.
    The raids took place after the Ministry filed a complaint against him over doubts that he leaked what they call "information of commercial value"
    Ravi Inder Singh, a 1994 West Bengal cadre IAS officer, is Director, Internal Security at the Home Ministry.
    Inder Singh was under surveillance for a month. His residence and office were also raised. Inder Singh is Director, Internal Security at the Home Ministry.
    IAS officer held for selling info to corporates

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    5 Technology Trends to Watch

    ©Consumer Electronics Association 2010
    click here to read all the above articles: Gives an overview of future trends in Video, Computers and Internet Apps

    CDA Hand Book for Officers

    Dear Brig,
    Please find attached CDA(O)'s Hand Book. I have been thru it and find it relevant to the extent that SAIs post 5th and 6th Pay commission, as also DA rates from post 5th Pay commission till last year have been given. Veterans may find this info handy as and when a favourable decision is available on Rank Pay case. Soft copy of TA/DA rules is available and is not attached as it really has no relevance once one has superannuated
    Vijay Raheja
    CDA(O) Hand Book Pay and Allowances

    2G Scam impacts National Security and Criminal Justice System

    National Security and Criminal justice system on trial.
    What the nation should do, what Hon'ble SC should do.
    SC should act now. SC should direct the constitution of a Commission of Inquiry and Prosecution on 2G scam. This Commission should be the nucleus of a National Anti-Corruption Commission on the lines of the Commission in Hongkong.
    The nation owes a deep debt of gratitude to Dr. Subramanian Swamy, for highlighting the state of the criminal justice system of the country which has reached such low depths that national security has been compromised.
    Something is rotten in the state of Hindusthan and the rot seems to have engulfed the criminal justice system.
    Kudos to Dr. Swamy for seeking to exercise the rights of a citizen as detailed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
    I think the issue should be seen by the Hon'ble SC in the broader perspective of the intention of the makers of the Constitution when they put in place a Criminal Justice System and related procedures to achieve justice against criminal acts.
    The intention is clearly drawn from our dharmashastras and the supremacy of dharma even though the wordings in the Constitution and Acts of Parliament might have drawn inspiration from Roman jurisprudence. Criminal Procedure Code 1898 which followed the Indian Penal Code of 1860 is an Anglo-Hindu Law amalgam. The Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Criminal Procedure Code, 1872, and the Civil Procedure Code, 1909 were part of the system of jurisprudence introduced during the colonial regime. The Indian Penal Code was later reproduced in most other British colonies—and to date, many of these laws are still in places as far apart as Singapore, Sri Lanka,Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
    It is time to turn it to safeguard the security of the nation which is imperilled by the induction of an extra-constitutional authority at the helm of the state affairs.
    Read more: 2g Scam Impacts national security and criminal justice system of India

    One Rank One Pension: 15th Lok Sabha

    PIB Monday, November 22, 2010 16:57 IST
    The Parliamentary Standing committee on Defence has urged the government to reconsider the demand of "One Rank One Pension" for the ex-servicemen.

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (15th LOK SABHA) on 1st and 7th Reports reiterated that the Government should consider the issue of 'One Rank One Pension' afresh. Since the issue of One Rank One Pension was not accepted in the past and more recently the Cabinet Secretary's Committee set up to consider it also did not recommend the same, it has not been found feasible to accept the demand of One Rank One Pension.

    In the case of Original Application No. 15 and 45/2010 the Armed Forces Tribunal, Chandigarh had passed the order dated 3.3.2010 with directions to the respondents to take final decision in the matter.

    The said order was examined and speaking orders explaining the position were issued on 10.07.2010 to the petitioners.

    This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju in a written reply to Shri Vilas Muttemwar and others in Lok Sabha today.
    One Rank One Pension
    Age-Limit for Senior Citizens Facilities click here

    Defence Minister Echoes stand taken by Bureaucrats

    Pension demand not feasible: Govt November 23rd, 2010 Deccan Chronicle
    The government on Monday said that it has not found the demand of “one- rank-one-pension” (OROP) feasible.
    “Since the issue of OROP was not accepted in the past and more recently the Cabinet secretary’s committee set up to consider it also did not recommend the same, it has not been found feasible to accept the demand,” defence minister A.K. Antony said in reply to a query in Rajya Sabha.

    Regarding the Armed Forces Tribunal advocating providing equal salary and pension to the personal holding equal rank, the minister said, “The Chandigarh bench of the tribunal had passed the order with directions to the respondents to take final decision in the matter.”
    Answering to another query, the minister said to promote indigenisation and enhance self reliance in defence capabilities, the government was in the process of finalising a defence production policy by involving both public and private sector companies.
    On whether the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) required additional aircraft to meet its requirements, the minister said, “Requirement of assets and equipment by the IAF is based on threat perceptions and their procurement is an ongoing process.” —PTI
    Pension demand not feasible: Govt

    Armed Forces Tribunal Toothless

    Forces tribunal toothless, says bench head
    Ajay Sura, TNN, Nov 21, 2010, 07.15am IST
    CHANDIGARH: The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is a toothless body. And none other than head of its principal bench, Justice (retd) AK Mathur, says it.

    Justice Mathur, who was in Chandigarh on Saturday on the occasion of completion of one year of the Chandigarh bench of AFT, said that they are striving for execution of orders passed by them against army authorities after deciding the petitions of aggrieved defence personnel.

    He also informed that in last one year the tribunal has decided around 4000 cases of the armed forced personnel and orders in 90 per cent of these cases were against the authorities, but they, specially army, is not bothering to comply with the tribunal's orders.

    The revelation of the head of country's highest military tribunal are startling in view of the recent orders of the Supreme court for constituting Forces Grievances Redressal Commission with powers 'recommendatory in nature'. The revelations of Justice Mathur put a question mark over the fate of the upcoming commission.

    While delivering lecture on the occasion, Justice Mathur stated that he had written to the Union government for empowering the tribunal with execution powers and to hear summary court martial proceedings so that the real purpose of constituting AFT can be served. He said, "we want powers to make pressure on the authorities to redress the grievances of the soldiers and to remove the arbitrariness in the authority's decisions".

    Justice Mathur also informed that despite tribunal orders widows are struggling to get family pension, but the army brass is biggest hindrance in granting execution powers for the AFT.

    "Attitude of the army has to change, as the 'generals' should understand that tomorrow they may have to knock the AFT door for their grievances," Mathur added.

    Justice Mathur also recounted various instances where he had to face difficulties to get a portion of building from the defence authorities for setting up of the regional benches of the tribunal.
    Forces tribunal toothless, says bench head - The Times of India
  • Singhal (Ghaziabad) 21 hrs ago (08:08 PM)
    Why will the generals be comfortable with AFT ? The Generals think that they are feudal lords and they have god given mandate to do whatever with their fiefs and serfs. That apart, it will be worthwhile to collect data showing how many verdicts of AFT went against actions of uniformed officers and how many against actions/ decisions of civilian officers e.g. CDA or MOD. Only that will tell us the extent of the problem.
  • Adil (Delhi) 5 hrs ago (12:23 PM)
    India is in a mess. The bureaucracy has buggered everything, and controls everything. We need to urgently flush the IAS/IPS/IRS/IDAS/etc etc down the toilet before they utterly ruin this nation. Really, they are nothing more than the STEAL frame of the nation!
  • Indian Army officer's daughter is Nepal's new global hero

    Kathmandu: The daughter of a former Indian Army colonel has become Nepal's new global hero, receiving a prestigious American award for her relentless work to prevent the trafficking of women and children from Nepal and rescuing over 12,000 victims.

    Anuradha Koirala, daughter of Col Pratap Singh Gurung of the Indian Army, and former student of St Joseph's Convent in eastern India's hill town of Kalimpong, gave a politically volatile Nepal a worthy cause to rejoice when she was declared the CNN Hero of the year 2010 at a gala in Los Angeles late Saturday. The event was also attended by Hollywood stars Demi Moore, Halle Berry and Jessica Alba.

    There were fireworks at Maiti Nepal in celebration, the anti-trafficking NGO founded by the frail, 61-year-old former school teacher on the premises of her own house in 1993 with eight others and that made her win the $100,000 award after eight weeks of online voting.

    Koirala, known by her trademark huge dot on the forehead and spartan sari, beat nine other shortlisted nominees, including India's chef with a conscience, Narayanan Krishnan, whose Akshaya Trust has become a byword for feeding the homeless in India's Madurai city.

    Maiti Nepal, which means mother's home in Nepali, is the best-known anti-trafficking organisation in Nepal, running transit homes on the India-Nepal border to prevent women and children from being sold to India's brothels, rescuing them by conducting raids with peer groups in India and since 1999, also running a hospice in Jhapa in eastern Nepal for trafficking survivors diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

    The victims rescued by Maiti Nepal include girls as young as 14 who were sold into sex slavery in India at the age of nine.

    In Kathmandu, Maiti Nepal also runs the Teresa Academy, a 10th-grade school to provide education to the rescued children and children of trafficked women living in its shelter. The rehabilitation work is bolstered by the legal unit of the NGO that seeks legal action against traffickers.

    Last week, before the award was announced, Koirala had told a local weekly in Kathmandu that her aim was to see Maiti Nepal close down one day - when trafficking would be eradicated.

    According to a report by the US State Department, about 12,000-15,000 women and children are trafficked to India across the porous border every year.

    On the day Koirala won her award, Nepal police arrested a woman in the southern Saptari district, Nirmala Bhujel, for trying to sell a 14-year-old girl in India's Mumbai city, under the guise of getting her a well-paid job in Kuwait.

    "I never thought I would get this international recognition when I started Maiti Nepal," a tearful Koirala told Nepali daily Republica from New York after being declared the CNN winner.

    "Looking back at the struggle during those formative years, I can now say that anything can be achieved with perseverance and hard work."

    The award also carries an additional $25,000, which goes out to all the shortlisted 10 nominees. Source: IANS
    Indian Army officer's daughter is Nepal's new global hero

    Selecting Military's Top Brass: The present flawed system needs to be addressed

    By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
    Indian Defence Issue: Net Edition | Date: 19 November, 2010

    Indian armed forces have many unique organisational features. Most of them have been discussed frequently in public debates. One lesser known aspect is total lack of meritocracy in higher appointments. Though equally applicable to all the three services, further discussion shall be restricted to the Army for the ease of understanding the issue.

    Quality of top military brass is too serious a matter to be left to the whims of service Chiefs.
    As per the current system, a general cadre officer of the rank of Major General is approved to be a Lieutenant General (Lt Gen). The army has over 70 officers of the rank of Lt Gen in the general cadre at any time. Every Lt Gen with more than three years’ residual service becomes a Corps Commander.

    Subsequently, on the basis of seniority they become Army Commanders in their own turn, provided they have two years’ residual service. The senior-most serving Army Commander gets appointed as the Chief of the Army Staff (Chief). As there is no selection beyond the rank of Lt Gen, all Lt Gens are considered fit to assume the appointment of Chief. Their inter-se seniority and age-wise placement in the hierarchy decides their future. Thus, at any given time there are over 70 officers who stand approved to head the Army.

    Critics call such an arrangement as ‘auto-pilot ride’ - an army officer is required to prove his competence till he achieves the rank of Lt Gen. Thereafter, he rides auto-pilot and makes career advances purely on account of his date of birth. The services are perhaps the only organisation in the country which throws up top leadership solely on the basis of seniority. Merit ceases to play any role.

    The wisdom of accepting the logic that every Corps Commander is fit to be the Chief is also questioned by many. A Corps Commander is a field commander of around 50,000 troops whereas a Chief wears multiple hats while heading 1.1 million-strong army. To equate the two appointments is highly untenable as leadership qualities required for a Corps Commander and a Chief can never be the same.

    The spectacle of an Army Commander questioning his transfer to another command and two top ranking officers fighting in public for chairmanship of Delhi Gymkhana Club testify to the above.

    The current system has two major drawbacks. First, the services are deprived of quality leadership. Many brilliant military officers fail to move up solely because of their unfavourable age-wise placement. In the absence of merit, mediocrity prevails. Indifferent quality of senior commanders can be attributed to seniority based promotions. The spectacle of an Army Commander questioning his transfer to another command and two top ranking officers fighting in public for chairmanship of Delhi Gymkhana Club testify to the above. Similarly, apathetic quality of leadership was also on display when Chiefs found it irksome to travel to Nilgiris to pay homage at the demise of a Field Marshal. Recent media reports have also highlighted the deficiencies of higher military leadership with regard to land dealings.

    Secondly, the system lends itself to manipulation by smart functionaries and thus, perpetuates a regime of patronage. Every Chief, on assumption of office obtains details of the dates of birth (and thus retirement dates) of senior officers and thereafter, identify prospective officers from his regiment or ilk. Before his tenure ends, he ‘manages’ the system to ensure that the selected protégé are suitably placed and all likely challenges to their advancement are nipped in the bud. In other words, he firmly plants them in the line of succession. Earlier such manipulation was done in a discrete manner. Over a period of time, the practice has become so well entrenched that Chiefs have no qualms in openly flaunting their preferences. The worst, the environment has got so used to this partisanship that it has come it accept it as a normal practice.

    Sadly for the country, most Chiefs remain myopic in their regimental allegiance and fail to grow up. Instead of selecting best talent for higher commands, their blinkered approach fails to see beyond Infantry, Armoured Corps and Artillery loyalties. Chiefs who have benefited from such preferred dispensation feel morally obliged to carry on in the same vein and extend similar benefaction to their regimental subordinates. Most representations and court cases to seek redressal of grievances are on account of this partisanship.

    There is no selection beyond the rank of Lt Gen, all Lt Gens are considered fit to assume the appointment of Chief.
    According to many observers, the Government has abrogated its responsibility under the plea that it does not want to be seen meddling in the internal functioning of the services. It lets the services throw up its leadership even at the cost of depriving the nation of the best talent available. This is a highly specious excuse. Government’s attitude of non-interference is construed by many to mean that it is not unduly concerned about the quality of leadership of the services as it matters little in their scheme of governance. Chiefs are not part of any major decision making apparatus. Even critical proposals affecting national security are discussed by bureaucrats without any inputs sought from the services.

    The current system is most unacceptable. For selection of Army Commanders (and equivalent Naval and Air Force appointments), a selection board under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) should be constituted to recommend names as per the laid down criteria. The board should have the three service Chiefs as members. The concerned Military Secretary should be the member-secretary. Board recommendations should be put up to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA) after obtaining the concurrence of the Defence Minister. Selection of a Chief should similarly be done by a board under the CDS. The Defence Secretary could be a co-opted member to provide government’s inputs. Final approval should be granted by CCA, as per the prevailing orders. Till the government approves appointment of CDS, the boards should be headed by Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee.

    Quality of top military brass is too serious a matter to be left to the whims of service Chiefs. Date of birth cannot be the sole deciding factor. It is time the Government puts in place a well evolved selection system to ensure that merit becomes the main criteria for promotion to higher ranks. The Indian armed forces deserve the best leadership.

    Maj Gen Mrinal Suman is India’s foremost expert in defence procurement procedures and offsets. He heads Defence Technical Assessment and Advisory Services Group of CII.
    Selecting Military's Top Brass

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Will Izzat Maan Siman return to Uniform?

    dear sir,
    1. with my meagre knowledge of law, the constitution of a commission to look into the grievances of serving and retired Faujis should be accepted as a red letter day in post independent india for the armed forces. for this army, navy and air force should be eternally grateful to enlightened bench of supreme court, headed by justice katju.
    2. we all know that our fundamental rights are abridged. we are also aware that the constitution had a void to enforce welfare as a fundamental right of the people, having been inserted under directive principles which cannot be enforced in court. we also know that madame sonia has created a national advisory council to fill this void in the constitution by morally forcing the government to address issues impacting the disadvantaged 85 per cent majority of indian people. since the ministers owe their chair to congress president, her directions cannot be disregared and have to be implemented. even the supreme court is dispensing justice in favour of the poor 85 percent indians of bharat.
    3. in fact prima-facie it appears that this commission enjoys wider powers than 'national human rights commission'. even if the powers are recommendatory, it would be difficult for the goi to side step it.
    4. the 20 paragraphs order is a land mark decision of the supreme court.
    a. this commission is like the panchtantar bell of the king which you ring at any odd hour, the commission would come to your help.
    b. the last ex-serviceman in the queue or his widow can present themselves at its door steps. hopefully obstacles like by appointment, legally framed letters, even without emails, the commission would address the ILTAJAHA OF THE AAM FARIYADI FAUJI. hopefully it ushers in 'ram rajiya' for the upliftment of serving and ex-servicemen and help them get their dues.
    c. hopefully IZZAT MAAN SIMAN would return to the uniform.
    d. the composition of the commission needs to be lauded. sc and hc retired judges with two retired generals and a single bureaucrat hopefully keeps the politicians, civil bureaucrats and babus at bay. they have even selected the first team and provided a framework with no red lines so that justice kuldip singh can expand his mandate from time to time. more branches can be opened in other majority defence stations. but above all like the speaker of the lok sabha, justice kuldip singh would be the authority for budgetary approvals.
    e. one can add few more.
    4. however the goi can frustrate the efforts of the commission. it may drag on in providing office space, appointment of ministerial staff, transport and other logistic necessities. once the hand picked sc team finishes its tenures of two years, one can expect compliant yes ministers types being appointed to the new commission. it is not clear if all the members have equal say or the chairman has the final say. if their last pay is the criteria than that may settle the inner seniority in the commission. trust the politicians and bureaucrats to divide and rule.
    5. hopefully the commission keeps evolving with the passage of time with the help of the sc in favour of the both serving and the retired Faujis.
    with best regards,
    cdr prem p batra retired

    ‘Redressal’ Needed for AFGRC

    Significance of Supreme Court direction for formation of an Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission (AFGRC) lies in two matters. Firstly, recognition by country’s Apex Court of the injustice and ill treatment meted out to India’s armed forces at the hands of our government(s) for the last sixty years. Legal luminaries heading different benches of Armed Forces Tribunal, deal with it on daily basis. Secondly, pointing out futility of mindless filing of appeals by the government for reversal of verdicts of apex body on issues concerning defence forces by refusing to consign wrong implementation of rank pay in 4th Pay Commission to AFGRC. Finally, frustration and also severity of court’s indictment is reflect in its quote of Chanakya’s advice to Emperor Chandragupt Mauraya.
    Serving and retired soldiers must feel grateful to the Supreme Court for its utmost effort in securing justice for the brave Indian soldier, to the extent of stipulating AFGRC composition and charter and nominating the first members to head the organisation. It could not have done more. But has the proposed AFGRC brought cheer to our soldiers?
    Naive as soldiers are in matters real politics and governance, initially there was euphoria. Sooner than imagined it gave way to despair. They realised that the slated AFGRC, in its charter and composition, was to be merely a recommendatory body and therefore toothless, in real terms. It would be subjected to mercy, wishes and pleasure of the government (read bureaucrats). And that perhaps its creation was to deflect the attention of the nation from the ongoing agitation by veteran soldiers and ESM organisations. Many felt t that respected and venerable retired generals were being ‘used’ by bringing them on board of AFGRC, with close to 4 million serving and retires soldiers’ eye riveted on them to deliver. They would serve only as future scapegoats for failures of AFGRC, in providing any meaningful succour.
    Soldiers’ cynicism is based on the facts and track record of government actions on past ‘empowered’ committees and commission. Most were gathering dust. Not only that but also the fact that government(s) deliberately soft pedalled on Supreme Court directions and observations by filing meaningless revision appeals so as not to implement, buy time and fossilise issues
    The ball is squarely in the government’s court to prove their sincerity and firm commitment towards implementation of AFGRC recommendations, within stipulated time period. Till that happens, stillborn status of the proposed AFGRC can safely be predicted.
    Maj Gen (Retd) K Khorana

    Who will negate the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission?

    To fight against injustice is to WORSHIP GOD.
    So kindly be there at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on 28 Nov 10, from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM
    To fight against Injustice being done to Defence Services of India.

    From: Carl Gomes
    Sent: 20 November 2010 18:01
    Subject: Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission
    Do please note that nothing will change as long as the present Cabinet Secretary (Chandrasekhar) and Expenditure Secretary (Sushma Nath) are still around.
    They are the ones responsible for our present predicament and will block every move we make. They are responsible for every counter petition filed by the Govt.
    The CS has got a second extension (till 30 June 2011) and the ES is also there till May 2011.
    On the issue of inclusion of other officers in the AFGRC, I suggest knowledgeable officers should be included. Alan O'Leary, who was fighting all cases (often against the COSC) as Chairman of the inter-services pay commission cell has recently retired and settled in Bangalore. In fact if there is anyone who should be credited for getting Lt Cols into PB4, it is Alan - but these are guys who work behind the scenes and do not come into the limelight - hence their efforts are unsung.
    He could be roped in or consulted as he is fully au fait with all nuances of the 6CPC..
    Kind Regards
    Carl H Gomes

    DD Interview of Rajeev Chandrasekhar MP

    Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament, will appear as a guest on DD News anchor programme Ek Mulaqat, at 9.30 pm on Saturday, November 20th which will repeated on Sunday, November, 21st at 11.30 pm. The DD News interview is Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s first full-fledged interview in Hindi.
    I request you to watch the programme and welcome your comments and feedback of the interview.
    Best Regards
    Principal - Public Affairs,
    Office of Rajeev Chandrasekhar,
    Member of Parliament
    Rajeev Chandrasekhar's Official Webpage
    Letter in support of One Rank One Pension

    Remembrance The Sikh Story

    Dear All,
    Please have a look at the BBC documentary on Sikh representation in the Indian forces in the two World Wars. Very well documented and presented.
    BBC Video Part 1
    BBC Video Part 2
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

    Veterans Call for One Rank One Pension: Jantar Mantar Rally on November 28, 2010

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    I have received hundreds of emails from veterans which indicate that majority of them have no faith in the recently appointed Grievances Commission by the Government.
    Although the Grievances Commission has most trusted and capable Judges and retired General Officers, veterans seem to be having doubts of the outcome of the Commission.
    Sincerity of the Government became doubtful because of the Government trying to refer the case of ‘Rank Pay’ also back to the Commission.
    It clearly indicates that even the cases decided by the Supreme Court in favour of the retired Defence personnel are not acceptable to the Government – what a shame to those pretending to be our well-wishers by appointing the recent Commission!
    To most of the Military Veterans, the appointment of the Grievance Commissions appears to be a strong effort by the Government to mislead the Veterans and sabotage the strong All India Movement by the Veterans against injustice to Defence personnel.
    We need to defeat these evil designs to sabotage our fight for justice.
    While we may hope and pray for the success of the Grievances Commission to give us justice, the planned rally of IESM on 28 Nov 10, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi needs to be held in greater strength and with more josh by all Military Veterans, their families, friends and well wishers.

    Please read letter from Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Vice Chairman IESM, which has been posted yesterday. Kindly give wide publicity to the contents of this email.
    I appeal to all members of "REPORT MY SIGNAL", that even if you are not a member of IESM, to kindly join the rally.
    It is no use sending those emails praising the work of "REPORT MY SIGNAL" if you do not accept my humble request – PLEASE BE THERE AT JANTAR MANTAR ON 28 NOV 10.
    Essential adm arrangements are being made by IESM at the rally site. Come with family and friends.
    For those coming from NCR – the most convenient way is to come by the Metro à get down at the Patel Chowk Metro Station à walk towards Jantar Mantar, within 300 metres from the Patel Chowk Metro station you will find the IESM shamianas.
    I also appeal to all veterans to kindly activate your media contacts and ensure maximum media coverage of the IESM Rally at Jantar Mantar, from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM, on 28 Nov 10.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.


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