Saturday, January 8, 2011

Veterans Welfare is above Politics

Reference IESM Letter to BJP: click here
Dear Gen Satbir,
Sorry for taking long in responding.
I have gone trough your letter to the hon'ble Shri Advani Ji. I am deeply impressed with your display of all pervading knowledge, even though flawed for some matters and the erudition. Three cheers for that. but that is all where the cheers end.
I am deeply dismayed by the initiative of yours. you and your great team seems to have learnt nothing from what I have been screaming hoarse to convey to you. why should you? Driven as you all are by your political ambitions. How does it matter if the cause for which you are pretending to be working goes for a six. Do you know by your shenanigans you had already made the task of achieving our aims a very difficult one and now with your such missives you are making it an unachievable one, despite your drum beatings about you being on the verge of achieving it. The great Chander will bear me out for he heard what the hon'ble RM had to say when he went along with me for his meeting.
Thanks to him who by his signals makes people believe what you say and also make veterans contribute enormous amount of money.
Some times back I had stated what the reply of the BJP government was when they were in power. It seems that you have either forgotten or ignored this in consideration of your personal political ambitions, the veterans be blown. That is as follows about the two issues that were of paramount importance to us.

This was considered in consultation with the ministry of finance, department of pensions and the same has not been found acceptable due to its larger financial and administrative considerations.

33 years conditionality
This was examined in consultation with the ministry of finance, department of pensions and the same has not been accepted on the premise that 33 years conditionality is a cardinal principle governing the pension structure and modification of it will have huge financial and administrative repercussions on civil side too.

For your kind information both these were more than adequately addressed by the present Government soon after they came to power. For OROP they gave parity with Fifth CPC and for the 33 years conditionality they reduced the effect to the most minimal amount. Now that has also gone, Perhaps you know this and also what this 33 years conditionality was all about. I called it a day light robbery on the pensions of soldiers. On OROP they set the precedence for future CPC's to give full parity to the veterans with their rates.

For a few friends who questioned my remarks about the political mentors and political ambitions of those at the helm of your outfit, i suggest please go through this mail very carefully. you would realize what this man with thirty years of seeing this tamasha says.

When OROP was ignored by the Sixth CPC, I represented and got a commitmetnt from the hon'ble RM to get full parity with Sixth CPC. That mail also i had put on the net.

Then your jamboorie started and vitiated the atmosphere for us all and stalled all initiatives of the only Government that was not only willng but most sympathetic to our well being. I quote the extracts of the letters of hon'ble RM on this issue for your's and all our friends information.

The honble RM's commitment
I am in receipt of your letter dated 14th feb 2009 regarding restoration of full paruty in pension of sixth pay commission rates. I have already forwarded your request for necessay action.

The only purposes your mail has achieved are of securing your own political ambitions, irrespective of whether the BJP comes to power or not and fooling unwary veterans to contribute more generously so that you continue doing what you all are. For God's sake stop making the task unachievable by your gimmickry.

Earlier we had one organization to contend with, now we have two to ruin matters for us achieving the ultimate. I used to tell them to shut their shop for a year or so we would achieve everything for the veterans, Now besides appealing to them if they are listening I appeal to both of you to quietly sit back and enjoy the fruits of your plunder while we appeal to the leadership to do the needful.

You dont seem to have learnt any thing form the demand of a JPC. In this the entire opposition is arraigned against the Government and still they refuse to concede. you think the opposition will line up lakhs of people to support you? That too the BJP who had rejected these demands when in power out of hand. I dont think you understand that the government in power has all the powers to meet your demands. The opposition only plays politics to extract a pound of flesh for themselves. Further their support only makes the Government reluctant to help. This is precisely what has happened.

My appeal to you and all those who have made you what you are to shut your shop for a year or so and enjoy the fruits of your plunder whle we in our own humble way try to get the leadership to concede our submissions. Can we hope to have a positive response? we shall be anxiously waiting to hear from you.
Best wishes
Lt Col Inderjit Singh

RBI cracks the whip on erring banks who delay Pension Payments

My Dear Pensioners Friends,
Appended below is a letter written by RBI to all banks on Payment of Pension, use this if required, since certralised pension payment is normally delayed. MM

RBI ON PENSION PAYMENT- Interesting letter from RBI
The bank is paid Rs 60.00 per month to credit your pension every month- thus 60x12 = Rs 720.00 per year is the earning by the bank to pay you pension. I suppose arrears crediting must be over and above this. So no bank is doing you a favour. The circular below says they should pay you 2% interest if there is delay. Claim it !!
RBI clamps down on banks delaying pension payout
April 22, 2010 08:07 PM | Sucheta Dalal with Sanket Dhanorkar

Central bank wakes up to inordinate delays in payments faced by government pensioners; reprimands bankers and directs them to make good the dues immediately, along with penal interest

In what could be a major victory for government pensioners awaiting pension payments, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has taken bankers to task for ‘inordinate delays’ in disbursing revised pension and arrears.

Taking a serious view of the matter, the RBI has issued a circular (dated 9 April 2010) to various banks with an exasperated tone, directing the concerned banks to ensure that all entitled pensioners are paid their revised pension or arrears within 15 days from receipt of the circular. Additionally, it has also advised the banks to make a penal interest payment of 2% for any delay beyond the due date.

The RBI was forced to take this tough stand after receiving several complaints from pensioners, especially State government pensioners, alleging inordinate delay in disbursing the revised pension and arrears. Under the 6th Pay Commission recommendations, RBI had advised pension-paying banks to put in place a suitable mechanism so that pensioners could get the benefits announced by the government in the succeeding month’s pension payment itself. The controlling offices or head offices of agency banks were also advised to closely monitor and supervise the timely and accurate disbursement of pension to the pensioners.

An RBI review of the pension payment systems in various agency banks revealed the true story behind the picture. The circular highlights RBI’s findings as follows:
“Even though Pension Relief Orders were issued by the respective State Governments, there is inordinate delay ranging from one month to 18 months at the Agency Bank level in disbursing the revised pension as also the pension arrears. The delay was more pronounced in the case of those State Govt pensioners residing outside their States drawing pension from Agency Bank branches. To be specific, non-State resident pensioners have not received adequate attention and timely receipt of the revised pension/arrears for months together.”

The circular goes on to highlight the discrepancies of banks in administering the pension payouts. “Our experience was that customer service on pension payment matters was not effective at the branch level where customers normally interface with the front office,” said the central bank’s communiqué.

The RBI also makes note of the lack of coordination between the branches and the Central Pension Processing Centres, as also the absence of transparency in the calculation of the revised pension or arrears.

In a tone that is vividly indignant, the RBI questions the concerned banks’ indiscretions. “Pension payment is an agency function entrusted to you for a commission @ Rs60 per transaction and an amount of Rs487 crore has been paid to Agency Banks on account of pension disbursements alone during the year 2008-09. Although this is a significant income generating activity, it appears that it is still not given the due importance that it deserves.”

In view of the above, the RBI has advised banks to undertake review of the system of attending to customer service and have a pension accounts guide at all branches to assist the pensioners in all their dealings with the bank. Additionally, RBI has demanded that suitable arrangements be made, to place on the bank website details about the pension calculations, and made available to the pensioners at periodic intervals with sufficient advertisements to that effect.

With the RBI finally wisening up to the reality and putting its foot down squarely on the Agency banks, they will have to take a deeper look at their archaic systems and make life easier for pensioners. As the RBI rightly puts it, “Pension is the lifeline of the pensioners and any delay in affording their legitimate dues will rob them of the dignity of life to which they are entitled to”.

Defence will have a say too in the NSCS

The long wait in the Defence services to have a say in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) may get over soon, with Lt. Gen Prakash Menon, who is now NDC commandant, tipped to go on deputation to the NSCS. He is learnt to have a good rapport with the NSA and the grapevine has it that he may end up becoming Deputy NSA after his retirement sometime next year.
Defence will have a say too

Chennai Friday, Dec 31 2010 IST
Lt General B K Chengapa, AVSM, today relinquished his post as Commandant Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka (ATNK and K Area), on attaining superannuation. He would be succeeded by Lieutenant General Prakash Menon, AVSM, VSM, a defence release said here. Lt General Chengapa expressed his satisfaction at the achievements of the area in all fields of responsibility and complimented all ranks for their hard work. He also thanked the Governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry for their support in ensuring the welfare of serving soldiers and the veterans. Lt Gen Chengapa superannuated after 39 years of distinguished service. During his tenure, Lt Gen Chengapa made concerted effort to improve the functioning of various welfare schemes for ex-servicemen and their families like Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme and ex-servicemen canteens. With his untiring effort and interaction with State Governments, long-pending requests for land for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme and ex-servicemen canteens were cleared by the civil administration. He was also instrumental in getting placement for ex-servicemen in private companies with his close interaction with the corporate world
Lt Gen relinquishes post

Consequences of Corruption in the Armed Forces

Building integrity and reducing corruption risk are important parts of building strong, capable, and affordable defence and security structures and forces.
Corruption undermines the defence and security capabilities of every country. Corruption causes waste of money, bad allocation of resources, and the purchasing of inadequate or low-quality equipment. This may endanger the life of personnel and decrease operational effectiveness. Corrupted personnel cannot be trusted. They can be paid the next time by vendors, organised criminals, terrorist organisations, or by potential enemies.
Corruption in the defence sector reduces public trust and acceptance of the military in general and may erode public support for peace-keeping missions. It also reduces resources for civilian sectors of the economy, and can infect other parts of government. Corruption slows down the development and growth of a nation.
Integrity has both a technical and a moral meaning.
  • In a technical sense, we say that ‘the hull of this ship has integrity’. This means that the whole system works properly – the outer skin of the ship does not leak, and that all the various systems that make up and support the hull are sound and function correctly.
  • In a personal and moral sense, it means that the work has been done honestly and sincerely, and is uncorrupted.
    Here, when we say “integrity”, we mean the following:
  • An individual has integrity if he/she is doing their work competently and honestly, and completely.
  • A process has integrity if it works as it is intended to, and fits seamlessly into the larger system of which it is a part.
  • An organisation has integrity if its work is done within proper accountability, competently, to completion, and without diversion of output or resources to corrupt or dishonest ends.
    Corruption is “the abuse of entrusted office for private gain”.
    Countries themselves will often have formal definitions written into their laws. For example, the definition may read like: “The illegal action or inaction by an individual (either human or legal body) authorized to perform State functions directed at illegally obtaining any advantages, benefits, influences, privileges of material or non-material for themselves, or for third parties or groups”.
    Whilst there are many definitions, general experience is that most people know what it is, even if there is no formal description. For example in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which is the principal international convention on the subject, there is no formal definition of corruption; instead they give full definitions of what constitutes a public official.
    What is more important is to be clear that there are different types of corruption in defence. Measures to address the risks will be effective only where there is an understanding of which particular aspect of the problem is being addressed. The following questions assists that understanding.
    Anti-corruption policy in defence and security
    1. What are the areas of greatest risk in bribery and corruption for Ministry of Defence and armed forces personnel? (for example, small bribes, expenses, travel, postings, commission on local purchases, ACRs, Issue of NOC, misuse of canteen facilities)? List the top 6 areas.
    Areas to explore:
  • How do you determine the areas of greatest risk?
  • How are these areas of potential bribery and corruption risk mitigated? Describe the measures currently in place.
  • What are the sanctions which can be applied to personnel if they are found to have taken part in these top 6 areas of bribery and corruption?
    2. Describe the level of commitment to anti-corruption and integrity measures within MoD, Commands, Area HQ as declared by the Defence Minister and the COAS. How do they publish their policy and guidance internally?
    Areas to explore:
  • Do the RM and COAS talk publicly on integrity issues? If so, describe.
  • What is the level of awareness within the Defence Ministry and across the armed forces of integrity and corruption risk matters?
  • Give examples of steps taken to address integrity and corruption risk within the Defence Ministry and in the armed forces.
    3. Describe the measures in place within the Defence Ministry and armed forces to address integrity and corruption issues, and any major reforms underway to ensure that these issues are tackled. Please list all measures being taken.
    4. If there is an anti-corruption policy, describe who is responsible for its enforcement.
    Areas to explore:
  • Is a specific department or individual is responsible for ensuring that this occurs?
  • What is the effectiveness of this?
    5. What institutions exist with the aim of building integrity, and combating and preventing corruption in defence? Describe recent successes.
    Areas to explore:
  • What are the roles of anti-corruption and ethics advisers, external and internal auditors, inspections, prosecutors, etc?
  • Indian army will start DNA profiling of its soldiers

    New Delhi: The Indian army will start DNA profiling of its soldiers this year for their identification in case of mutilation of bodies during an operation, attack or mishap.

    "We will begin DNA profiling of soldiers from this year as the profiling centre and data bank are almost ready," Lieutenant General Naresh Kumar, Commandant of Army Hospital Research and Referral, said.

    Being set up at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, the centre will collect the blood samples of the troops who are involved in hazardous tasks including fighting militancy and store them in a DNA data bank.

    The DNA profiling centre is being established to help in identification of bodies mutilated beyond recognition.

    "Now that this centre and DNA data bank are almost ready to take off, we will be able to easily recognise the mutilated dead bodies that we get during war time, from an episode of avalanches or from blast sites."

    "In such situations, we sometimes end up getting just a body part making it difficult for us to identify the jawan we lost and even to conclude the number of casualties that have occurred in such episodes," Major General Mandeep Singh, ADG, Medical Research, Armed Forces Medical Services, said.

    "We are contemplating introducing the DNA profiling for our fresh recruits. But first we will try its efficacy with a sample population in Pune," Major General Singh said.

    He said, "We lost many of our people in the Kashmir ammunition depot blast in 2007. Recognition of the bodies was a difficult task because the blast tore them apart. We got body pieces. If we had a data bank, recognising the dead would have been easier."

    The need for DNA profiling was felt in the United States after the 9/11 attacks.

    With regard to the US military, all enlisted and commissioned military personnel must provide blood samples which are preserved on special blood spot cards that are then stored, as the modern 'dog tags', for use in the event of an individual being killed, injured or missing in action, according to a Harvard Medical College paper.

    The blood spot cards provide a source of a reference DNA sample to be used in identification of "the unknown soldier", or as in the case of the 9/11 Pentagon attack, to return the remains of the victims to their families.
    DNA profiling of army soldiers soon

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Time proven methods to combat corruption in the Armed Forces

    Extracts from Brig Grant Memorial Lecture by Lt Gen Ashok Joshi(Retd) PVSM, AVSM
    Aberrations and Correctives

  • Many of us have listened to the Army Chief on the TV and seen his very visible concern and anguish. Yes, something has gone wrong and the system cries out for correction. We know that he must be very busy thinking of remedies to put things right. Such things are not amenable to brain waves. We are sure that a great soul searching in on. Even so, here are some ideas about what could be done.
  • I remember one of the former Army Chiefs thinking aloud in exasperation thus: “Is there a chain command downwards, and a chain of contempt upwards?” Contempt and command do not coexist. A commander who is visibly guilty of wrongdoing axes his own moral authority; thereafter he is a commander only notionally. His leadership has evaporated. He merely occupies the appointment and puts on the rank. His subordinates obey him when they want to or when they cannot get away. A commander who cannot enforce his will by inspiring his subordinates is dead wood. This is the worst adverse impact of corruption. Such a person has to go and this has to be achieved without causing even greater collateral damage. Court martial of a senior commander brings in its wake the very philosophy of military command. Military ethics do not allow a subordinate to sit in judgment over orders that he has got. He is not expected to examine its legality, or to hesitate. An inquiry and court martial calls into question the entire spectrum of orders that he might have given—including many legal and appropriate ones—but now the subordinates who give evidence are likely to suspect everything. This needs to be avoided. The man must be persuaded to go. Such things have been done in the past and it works provided the senior commanders bring to bear their moral authority and they are supported by the powers that be. Legally valid provisions exist.
  • It is only right that the Armed Forces should take the latest aberrations very seriously, appoint study groups, and chart out a course of action. It is better to look at the larger picture than waste energy and time on proven bad hats. The rot has taken a generation to spread; it may take that long to be eliminated.
  • A Russian proverb says that the fish will rot from the head. It is very meaningful as far as the Armed Forces are concerned. If the rot is to be stopped the beginning is to be made at the top. In a strictly hierarchical organization in which example is nine points of teaching, correction at the top will yield results in a comparatively short time, and some changes need to be brought about in short order so that the impulse travels down swiftly.
  • With a single fiat, the senior officers could refuse to dine in places where cooking is not done in messes. “Five stars are out, officers’ messes are in” should be the simple message. The Armed Forces have prided themselves over the years in not making an invidious distinction between the junior most officers and the senior most. There must be no fundamental difference in life style. Shared life styles in messes creates cohesiveness; a la carte culture of exotic foods and wines for seniors destroys it. It is nothing short of shocking that some of the units and institutions have gotten in the habit of employing event managers. One day, some one may want to employ an event manager to stage an opposed river crossing. Have become so very redolent and laid back in the wise of nawabs of days gone by? You will soon be looking subsidiary armies. Some Arthur Wellesley may be waiting in the wings.
  • Hardihood is a professional requirement of the Armed Services: “luxury must be out and hardihood must be in”. Mere athletic prowess is not enough. Sports, in particular, team games must be ruled in; and the fancy gym-culture can be kept at an arms length.
  • The Corporate culture is the very antithesis of the subculture in the Armed Forces. Their differing value systems are derived from different attitudes to life. Profit making by the corporate sector involves earning the best price that the buyer is willing to concede based on the principle ‘caveat emptor’, even if some of the profit is later ploughed back into the Society in charity to good causes. The Armed Forces teach an individual that he must yield a little more to the common good than what he gets in return. Leadership in the Armed Forces is about winning battles at all costs, not about claiming bonus on profit. Interestingly, it is amusing to note that the prefix Honourable appeared in the name of the East India Company.
  • Some of the algorithms, devices, and techniques learnt and taught in management institutions certainly improve efficiency and productivity. They must be learnt from the industry and the corporate and business houses, but the Armed Forces must shun the corporate culture that puts price on everything. What price do you place on life and limb of a man, or on his long separation from his family, or on defeat or victory for that matter? Corporate houses can live for years on low or no profits, or they may acquired by some other, but there is no prize for runners-up in our profession as Field Marshal Maneckshaw was fond of reminding us. Corporate houses serve the country well. But for their entrepreneurial drive and skills of the corporate sector national wealth would not increase. We need them but our values are different. The Armed Forces ought to respect them but keep the difference. The Armed Force certainly need to incorporate respect in the value scale but for which they cannot become an organic part of the nation.
  • Problems that arise from avarice and greed are far more difficult to get rid off. However, conspicuous display of wealth could be discouraged. Our contemporaries did see the prince of Baroda, Kapurthala, Jaipur ride bicycles to work and the mess. There was a well thought out purpose behind this.
  • Close contact with civil administration cannot be avoided during long drawn out counter-insurgency operation or during aid to civil authority. Officers and men both learn bad habits. Such units may actually have to be quarantined for a while.
  • Local purchases and procurement can and do contaminate the Armed Forces. Central procurement agencies must be told in categorical terms that they had better earn there keep; a failure in central procurement would not be tolerated. At least the units would be protected from the virus resident in local purchases.
  • It must be made difficult to hide ill-gotten gains or their display by claiming that they are inherited. Suitable declarations can be designed so that a senior officer knows that he cannot account for his ill-gotten wealth by making false claims of inheritance.
  • An institution of advisory council could be created, e.g. the Army Advisory Council, comprising six elected three star Generals, the serving Chief, and presided over by an elected former Chief. All matters concerning the effectiveness, efficiency, and reputation of the Army could be discussed.
  • At times like these, one recalls the poetic lines. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” We still have fresh memories of Siachen and Kargil; of our ships dealing very decisively with pirates; of our Air Force performing exceedingly well in joint exercises with the Sukhois in the showcase. The pay commission has generally yielded a reasonable deal for those serving at present in Armed Forces. You have Honda Cities in the parking lots of officers’ messes. But, then there is news about land scams in the Army, cases of molestation and misappropriations in the news—everything that brings uneasiness.
  • Hardihood is a prime professional requirement, most definitely for the Army. Soft life and luxury have to be abjured in professional interest even when you can afford. We must not emulate the US forces by opting for ways of living which do not suit us.
  • Eventually, these aberrations would go, one hopes. But some deconstruction would have to be undertaken before the mansion is restored to its former glory.
  • President refuses to accept plea in blood over HIV fear

    Dear Friends,
    1. A News item titled “PLEA IN BLOOD CAST ASIDE OVER HIV FEAR” on Page 20 of MAIL TODAY dated 05 Jan 2011 is attached for your information and further circulation please.
    2. How much more humiliation can we accept from the powers that be to get our due JUSTICE?
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Plea in blood cast aside over HIV fear By Neetu Chandra in New Delhi
    THEY paid a tribute of blood to the nation while in active service. But when the veteran war heroes — fighting a protracted battle for ‘one rank, one pension’ — reached the Rashtrapati Bhavan recently to submit protest letters signed in their own blood, their missives were flatly rejected over fears of HIV transmission.
    An 11– member delegation of the Indian Ex- Servicemen’s Movement (IESM) wanted to meet President Pratibha Patil to return at least 10,000 gallantry medals and submit a memorandum and sheets of paper containing the signatures.
    “The President’s staff accepted the memorandum, but refused to touch the sheets with the signatures of 1,440 war veterans in blood. The staff said medical authorities had advised them not to accept the blood- stained sheets as they might be infected with HIV,” said delegation leader Colonel (retd) Kirit Joshipura.
    “ Three months ago, the IESM chairman had informed the President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, that the military veterans would be depositing their medals on November 28. On being told that the President was on a foreign tour, the ex- servicemen decided not to give the medals to the staff”, IESM vice- chairman Major General ( retd) Satbir Singh said.
    The ex- servicemen have been demanding ‘one rank, one pension’ for the past two and a half years. The President’s staff recently refused to accept protest letters signed in their blood (picture above) over fears of HIV infection. The medals include Shaurya Chakra, Veer Chakra, Vishisht Sewa, Ati Vishisht Sewa and Param Vishisht Sewa medals. The 11- member team of veterans returned to Jantar Mantar with the medals and the sheets containing the signatures.
    “It was humiliating enough that the President’s office refused to accept the blood- signed sheets, but the officials went a step further when they revealed the reason for turning down the missives,” said Singh.
    “It is astounding that the President’s office didn’t accept the blood signatures fearing HIV infection. Which medical authorities could have given such advice?” Air Vice Marshal ( retd) S. K. Adaval said. He was an Additional Director General in the Armed Forces Medical Services.
    “I have practised pathology for 40 years, but fail to understand the rationale behind this decision,” Adaval added.
    A senior haematologist concurred with Adaval, saying: “ The infectious elements need a certain temperature to survive. There is no chance of infections being transferred through blood signatures.” The ex- servicemen have been protesting over the past two and a half years. “ This was the eighth time they wanted to meet the President to submit a memorandum,” senior warrant officer P. R. Balathilkan said. As many as 22,000 medals have already been deposited with the President along with a memorandum inked in blood by 1.25 lakh ex- servicemen.
    The ‘ one rank, one pension’ demand is aimed at protecting the interests of older pensioners. The parliamentary standing committee on defence has repeatedly asked the government to implement it.
    The President’s staff was cagey about the matter. “ The petition signed in ink was accepted and forwarded to the defence ministry,” an official from the President’s office said. The official confirmed the blood signature sheets were not accepted, but did not give a reason.
    The standing committee had observed that pay commissions had made improvements in the pension structure, keeping in view the cost of living index. This had accentuated the disparity in the pension of the ex- servicemen who had retired in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Mail Today: Plea in blood cast aside over HIV fear By Neetu Chandra in New Delhi

    ECHS: Various Jobs 2011

    ECHS desires to engage following Para Medical Staff on contract basis at ECHS polyclinics in Delhi Cantt, Lodhi Road, Noida & Gurgaon.
    1.Dental Hygienist / Assistant , Pay : Rs. 10000/-
    2.Laboratory Assistant , Pay : Rs. 10000/-
    3.Nursing Assistant , Pay : Rs. 9500/-
    4.Pharmacist , Pay : Rs.7500/-
    5.Physiotherapist, Pay : Rs. 7500/-
    6.Radiographer , Pay : Rs. 7500/-
    LAST DATE : 31-12-2010 (31st December 2010).
    ADDRESS : Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).
    More details click the image below.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Rank Pay Case- Government scuttling the Supreme Court orders

    Dear Friends,
    The rank pay case came up in the Supreme Court today.
    The Govt Council put a plea that a lot of similar petions had been filed in various High Courts but all of them have not been transferred to the Supreme Court, as such further hearing should only be held after all such petitions are transferred.
    The learned council for the Retired Defence Officers Association pleaded that the Supreme Court has already given its judgement in the case of Maj Dhanapalan case and there is no requirement for transfer of all cases, as the decision in this case will automatically be applicable to all such cases as well as similar placed officers.
    The Honble Judge of the Supreme Court then adjourned our case to 24 Jan 2011.
    Kindly inform all affected offrs.
    With warm Regards,
    Col Baldev Singh Dhillon (Retd)

    Changing face of the Indian soldier

    Prolonged use of the Army in counter insurgency operations can easily corrupt personnel who witness misgovernance and maladministration by Suresh Bangara, January 02, 2011, 0:42 IST
    The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations was written by Samuel Huntington in the 1950s. Much later I was presented a copy by my commanding officer when I was quite wet behind the ears. Those were the days when we had recovered from the Chinese aggression and the failed Pakistani attempt to grab some territory in 1965.Those were also the days when senior officers spent valuable time with their young officers to groom them and educate them on the virtues of being totally apolitical, among other things. A distinct feature of the Indian Navy in particular was its approach to secularism. No pictures of Gods and goddesses were permitted where officers or sailors lived. No religious ceremonies of any kind were permitted on board a naval ship.

    In his book, Huntington referred to the role of a soldier vis-a-vis the State by drawing upon events and anecdotes that threw up challenges to a democracy whenever there was tension between the armed forces and the democratically elected leadership. Just as the Americans went through a critical phase of challenges thrown at the elected government by some military leaders, we too will have to learn to live with such episodes. It is often forgotten that India is a very young democracy and that both the government and the military would need to accommodate intrusions in each other’s limited space.

    It is axiomatic that the soldier’s performance while practising the skills of management of violence is directly proportional to the support and aspirations of society. When military leaders are isolated from the decision-making structure of governance, the political leadership is bound to be isolated from the factors governing preparedness and morale of the forces. This in turn results in bureaucratic interpretations and increased isolation due to the trust deficit between the political leadership and the military. What are the symptoms of such isolation and what can be done to alleviate the situation?

    The symptoms have been very discernible in India for many decades. First, inadequately equipped forces, much like the paramilitary and police forces, are often expected to deliver against innumerable odds. Second, compare a battle-ready soldier and his clothing and equipment (with the exception of soldiers at Siachen) with those of our immediate neighbours. Does he have a modern helmet, clothing and fatigues to match the terrain and weather, bullet-proof jackets, and quality footwear that can launch him into action in all terrain? Most of all, does he have modern communication and night vision devices and a fail-proof personal weapon? Third, is he treated as a professional and respected in society and well cared for after retirement? Fourth, few democracies have witnessed the sorry sight of veterans returning medals to the supreme commander. India has, and what is more, the government has chosen to ignore a sign which has the potential of demoralising the large number of personnel who are on the threshold of retirement. Even worse, such sights and the inaction could adversely impact the youth who wish to enlist.

    How do we end this apathy? By simply restoring the self-esteem of our armed forces personnel. Give them the respect they deserve and do not deny them their due. Armed forces should neither be compared with civil services nor are they to be treated as policemen. Setting up a war memorial in Delhi has been under debate for decades. Only the minister of state for defence from Delhi attended the funeral of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw: reportedly, protocol prevented the Union defence minister and above from doing so. Why do countries which have faced long-drawn-out wars ensure that soldiers are treated with utmost respect and memorial services and war memorials treated as temples? Because they are convinced that the soldier is willing to “die for the ashes of his father and the temples of his god.”

    There is evidence to show that the military is fast being identified with the police forces in the manner in which governments have tended to treat it. Prolonged use of the Army in counter insurgency operations can easily corrupt the personnel who witness misgovernance and maladministration. Soldiers sprawled across railway stations in various forms of undress due to the inability of the nation to provide compartments to perform official duties are but a symptom of apathy and contempt. It is our collective responsibility to care for them in peace time.

    By keeping the Service Chiefs/Chief of Defence Staff (when created as a single-point advisor) out of the decision-making process we have removed their accountability to the system, for, ipso facto, they are expected to deliver with what they have. What they should have is outside their prerogative. They follow the laws of Epictetus: “Do not be concerned with things that are beyond your power.” Restore their rightful role and then make them accountable.

    Samuel Huntington also wrote about how society should treat a soldier. So before you display shock and anger at the recent aberrations which have come to light, do ask yourselves whether you have stood by the soldier by holding governments in power accountable for his neglect.
    The author is a former C-in-C of the Southern Naval Command
    Suresh Bangara: Changing face of the Indian soldier

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    एक नया साल, लेकिन एक ही लक्ष्य है और एक ही संकल्प

    प्रिय और आदरणीय सैनिकों और दोस्तों,
    बहुत शुरुआत में मैं आपको और आपके परिवार के सभी के लिए एक बहुत खुश नया साल इच्छा करना चाहेंगे.
    इसके साल का वह समय फिर जब हम गहरी खुदाई और अतीत को देखने के लिए भविष्य में आगे बढ़ने के. इसके साल का वह समय है जब हम हम क्या किया है पर देखो, हम और क्या कर सकता था कि क्या किया जाना चाहिए.
    वहाँ मेरे मन में कोई संदेह नहीं है कि के रूप में एक इकाई है, एक संगठन के रूप में हम वर्ष 2010 में ESM के कारण, उस ने कहा के लिए बड़ी सफलता हासिल की है, चुनौती अभी हमारे सामने रहता है. और मेरे दिल का एक बहुत कुछ देता है क्या सच है कि हम अभी भी कंधे खड़ा करने के लिए एक ही संकल्प धैर्य और दृढ़ संकल्प है कि हम जब तक यह लेता है लड़ने के लिए तैयार हैं के साथ कंधे है. एक बहुत अभी भी पूरा करने की आवश्यकता है और मुझे विश्वास है, अधिक से अधिक मैंने कभी किया गया है, कि हम एक साथ हम वहाँ मिल सकती है और करेंगे. एक साथ.
    इस ईमेल के साथ मैं एक बार फिर से IESM करने के साथ ही देश भर में ESM के कारण आप मेरे कुल प्रतिबद्धता और समर्पण के सभी आश्वस्त करना चाहता हूँ.
    फिर से एक खुश नए साल में एक बार और हम सभी को है एक रोमांचक हो सकता है और 2011 सफल.
    सच में तुम्हारा,
    कामेश्वर पांडेय
    सूबेदार मेजर मानद लेफ्टिनेंट (दिग्गज)
    शरीर सदस्य शासी
    भारतीय पूर्व सैनिक मूवमेंट

    A new year but the same goal and the same resolve
    Dear and Respected Sirs and Colleagues,
    At the very beginning I would like to wish a very happy new year to all of you and your families.
    Its that time of the year again when we dig deep and look at the past to move ahead in the future. Its that time of the year when we look at what we have done, what we could have done and what needs to be done.
    There is no doubt in my mind that as a unit, as an organization we have achieved great success in the year 2010 for the cause of the ESM, That said, the challenge still remains in front of us. And what gives me a lot of heart is the fact that we still stand shoulder to shoulder with the same resolve, grit and determination that we are prepared to fight as long as it takes. A lot still needs to be accomplished and I am confident, more than I have ever been, that together we can and we will get there. Together.
    I once again want to assure all of you of my total commitment and dedication to IESM as well as the cause of ESM across the country. A happy new year and may we all have an exciting and successful 2011.
    Yours truly,
    Kameshwar Pandey
    Subedar Major Honorary Lieutenant (Veteran)
    Governing Body Member
    Indian ESM Movement

    Veterans taken for a ride by bureaucrats

    The Tribune 31 Dec 2010
    Veterans at the mercy of whimsical decision-makers

    Maj Navdeep Singh

    “All is fair in love and war” was the answer I got from a senior functionary in the Ministry of Defence, when I pointed out that the ministry had recently cited an outdated Naval Pension Regulation before the Supreme Court to get a case decided in its favour. Is it a war that we are waging against our veterans?

    The problem runs deep. While officers from the uniformed services and the IAS come and go, those permanently ensconced in the ministry and the service headquarters, on whom we tend to overly depend, rule the roost. There is a feeling amongst key intermediary appointments that defence personnel with their subsidised liquor and free rations are already a pampered lot and that they do not deserve more, and hence every single welfare related attempt by the defence services is firewalled with noting on file that become difficult to counter. In all welfare-related spheres, the rules and regulations seem to be diametrically opposed to logic. Pensionary provisions are the worst, with numerous cut-off dates, irrational stipulations and categories within categories. An honorary naib subedar who retired after January 1, 2006 would get the pension of a regular naib subedar, but a similarly placed person who retired prior to this date would get the pension of a havildar. A 100 per cent disabled general who retired in 2006 would get Rs 27,000 as disability pension while an officer of the same rank with the same disability who retired in 2005 would get less than Rs 6,000. In a socially retrograde move, a widow who remarried prior to 2006 would lose her right to ordinary family pension but not the one who remarried after 2006. It seems the government is regressively opposed to remarriage of widows who unfortunately lost their husbands prior to 2006.

    The list is never-ending. The bare fact that the defence services have the highest rate of pension related litigation in the country should have led to some revolutionary changes, but nothing positive seems to be happening and the pension department of the defence ministry continues to be operationalised by a single officer who runs the show and thrusts his decisions on millions of pensioners in stark contrast to the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare on the civilian side.

    An overhaul of the functioning of medical boards as well as the rules related to grant of disability benefits is also required. The system of determining whether disabilities are “attributable to, or aggravated by military service” also requires a re-look since the guidelines on this are more mathematical and less medical. For example, for post traumatic stress disorder to be declared as service-related, we are still governed by the otiose requirement that a person needs to be posted in a field area for a particular length of time, or for instance, the requirement that symptoms should manifest themselves within 3 months of being denied leave in case of the death of a parent when the individual happens to be the only son. Modern medical science, on the other hand, has now proved that the manifestation of such symptoms has no relation with length of operational service and can even happen instantly due to one solitary incident which may happen in a single day and can at times occur as a case of delayed onset even five years after a stressful event. And can a person not be affected if he is not the “only” son and would not the problem be service-connected if the symptoms arise, say after three and a half months rather than the mathematical guideline of 3 months?

    While psychiatric disorders need to be examined on a case-by-case basis, we are still stuck in the primitive times with numerical yardsticks. Leave aside medical science, it is understood even by a layman that psychiatric disorders are commonly aggravated by issues such as education of children, property disputes, family problems, etc. when the person is deployed on military duty, peace or field. For cardiovascular disorders, the charter of duties of last 14 days prior to the problem is considered and service-connection is only granted if any stress and strain is observed in the said period. However it is common knowledge that such diseases manifest on account of stress and strain experienced over a long period of time and a 14 days window has no medical relevance whatsoever. Too much mathematical emphasis is laid on field service, forgetting that there can be high pressure appointments in peace stations too which can result in far greater stress than in field stations.

    The malaise can only be addressed if the defence services start posting upcoming and brilliant officers in the service directorates dealing with manpower and personnel who constructively provide their inputs to the process of decision-making and act as a counter-balance to elements who harbour an erroneous feeling that faujis are already getting more than they deserve. The element of sadism also needs to be curbed. If the feeling at the decision making level remains ‘”why should he get what I am not getting”, then it would be an exercise in futility to expect anything productive, and in that event, the “war” against veterans, especially against disabled soldiers, war-wounded, widows and pensioners, shall continue unabated.
    The writer practices in the Punjab and Haryana High Court
    Veterans at the mercy of whimsical decision-makers

    Armed Forces Redressal Commission- Platter for Bureaucrats to Splatter

    Adjudicatory powers are essential
    The proposed armed forces redressal commission is a positive step that not only underscores the recognition of the soldier’s problems, but also gives it an unlimited canvas to make recommendations beyond the confines of existing rules. The panel, however, has powers to make only recommendations that would eventually land up on the table of a bureaucrat. Earlier experience with the bureaucracy does little to inspire the confidence of veterans.
    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

    The bulk of grievances and litigation concerning armed forces personnel in India pertains to pensionary matters and disability benefits.

    A decision on the issue of “one rank--one pension” (OROP) has been pending with the government for nearly three decades. OROP implies equal pension for those retiring from the same rank and after the same length of service. In other words, equal remuneration for equal work. Prima facie, law of equity should dictate so. But successive governments have been rejecting it. Strangely.

    When everything else failed, ex servicemen as a last resort were compelled to go public with their demand. This was not a step the veterans took happily or even willingly. It is unusual in India that starting in April 2008, hordes of retired soldiers have had to periodically descend on that protesters’ Mecca, Jantar Mantar. They have also been surrendering their medals before their Supreme Commander. A soldier wins his medals at great risk to his life and limb. For him these are not mere pieces of metal. He develops deep attachment to his medals. His decision to return these reflects the depth of his disenchantment with the government’s apathy to his legitimate and genuine demand.

    The government has taken some placatory steps. By enhancing the pension in March 2010, it has tried to narrow the gap between the old and new pensioners. However, the demand is for total removal of and not mere reduction in this gap. Ex-servicemen are fighting for equity and justice and not merely for more money. The justice will come only when all pensioners get equitable pension. Halfway measures won’t do.

    The government’s attitude on the issue is difficult to comprehend. In the recent pension enhancement, they left out widow pensioners. When this discrimination was pointed out in a letter to the Prime Minister, the reply from the government was rather bizarre. It said that service widows were left out because enhancement in their case was not recommended by the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee. The government’s helplessness in being bound by the recommendations of a subordinate committee that the government itself had constituted was as strange as it was unbelievable. In the past, the government has been repeatedly rejecting the recommendations of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence vis-à-vis OROP. Undeniably, this committee of some two dozen MPs drawn from different political parties is weightier than the committee composed of only bureaucrats. It is hard not to infer that the government is accepting the committees’ recommendations selectively.

    The government’s stated reasons for rejecting OROP are legal, financial and administrative. If one goes by the recent castigating remarks of the apex court against the government’s treatment of soldiers and ex-servicemen, the “legal” ground seems to fall short of conviction. On the financial score, in today’s booming national economy, the relatively small sum involved in giving soldiers their legitimate due could not be considered an overbearing burden on the exchequer. The “administrative” ground is too vague and obscure to lend itself to objective comment. In sum, it leaves little doubt that the government’s announced reasons are a thin veil to conceal their obduracy on the issue.

    The soldiers’ struggle has brought the OROP issue center stage. It has figured in the media, the Parliament and the courts. The general public is seized of the issue and is fully supportive. Apparently the government is boxed-in and isolated. While hearing a related case on November 15, 2010, the apex court asked the government to constitute an Armed Forcers Grievance Redressal Commission (AFGRC) within two months. It also named its composition; two prominent retired judges, an ex-army chief and a retired army commander. Provided the government does implement the court’s instructions, the AFGRC would have certain positives. First, it underscores the recognition of the soldiers’ problems at the highest level of our legal system. Secondly, inclusion of two retired senior defence officers in the proposed commission – perhaps for the first time – will lead to realistic portrayal of a soldier’s problems. Additionally, the proposed terms do not limit the commission to making recommendations only within the confines of existing rules. It has an infinite canvas. The main drawback, however, is that the commission does not have adjudicatory powers. It can only make recommendations to the government. This would lead to the commission’s findings landing on the table of a bureaucrat for taking a final call. While it is nobody’s case that every bureaucrat is negative, the experience with respect to OROP does little to inspire confidence of ex -servicemen in the bureaucracy.

    Setting up the proposed commission is undeniably a positive step and the uniformed men owe gratitude to the Apex Court. However, being only a recommendatory body, it does not go far enough for ex-servicemen to ease up on their ongoing struggle. Nor can they take back their 22,000 medals as has been suggested by some.
    The writer is a former Deputy Chief of Army Staff
    Adjudicatory powers are essential

    Army to enhance 'Awam-Jawan' relationship

    New Year's Resolutions
  • To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.” By James Agate
  • “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” By Edith Lovejoy Pierce

    Zee News Srinagar: Vowing to enhance 'Awam-Jawan' relationship in Kashmir in the New Year, the army's top general has said the security forces will work with sincerity and honesty to establish peace and ensure respect and dignity for everyone.

    "(Army) begins the new year with a renewed resolve to work for the betterment of society with unadulterated sincerity and honesty in the pursuit of peace and the desire to quantitatively enhance the 'Awam' and Jawan relationship of respect and love," General Officer Commanding of the strategic 15 Corps of the Army Lieutenant General S A Hasnain said in his New Year message.

    Hasnain is the second Muslim Army officer to be made Corps Commander of the strategic 15 corps which looks after Line of Control (LoC) area in the Valley.

    Recalling his message when he took over a fortnight back, he said that heart will be 'army's weapon' and respect and dignity of every member of the Awam will be its slogan and philosophy to achieve an environment where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. "2011 is viewed as a year in which education, health and economic progress will be the hallmarks. The Kashmiri tradition of Sufiyat values -- nothing more than happiness -- and it is eternal happiness that the Chinar Corps wishes to each individual of the Awam in 2011," he said.

    The Army "has always had the love of the Awam in peace and in calamity for which it is grateful," the General added. PTI
    Army to enhance 'Awam-Jawan' relationship
  • Sunday, January 2, 2011

    IESM: New Year renews our resolve to seek justice

    Dear Colleagues,
    The year gone by saw our issue move forward to make inroads into public consciousness. While our problems have gained recognition the solution is still elusive. There are numerous tasks yet to be done. ESM unity is still an unrealized dream. The IESM needs to spread its tentacles wider. Our communication with the rank and file needs to improve. We will intensify our efforts to achieve these, and much more. We pass into the New Year with a renewed resolve to continue our struggle for justice. We need to continue keeping our foot on the pedal, and press on.
    Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and purposeful New Year.
    An year-end read is given below:

    It aroused neither curiosity nor intrigue
    When you saw him in his crumpled fatigue
    On railway platforms, slurping his tea
    Hurriedly from his saucer, and then flee
    Shouldering his bag and tromping his feet
    To catch his rum-reserved seat.
    Seldom in your mind a moment you spared
    Even knowing he was ill-paid and uncared.
    You gave him no more thought than you may
    To a candle at mid day.
    Then one day on the border the guns boomed
    Suddenly on your TV screen he loomed
    Humping his load, climbing, metre by metre
    Along with Pritam, Purohit, Parvez and Peter
    A silent symbol of India, a true secularist
    He marched ahead to keep a tryst.
    Cold and wet, poorly garbed
    Unmindful, his face gritty and barbed
    Never the one to question or ask
    With a single focus - just to do the task
    He followed his leader in face of fire
    And you suddenly began to admire
    His traits of courage, loyalty, sacrifice
    His willingness to pay the highest price.
    Fighting and falling, and rising again
    Forth he moved, oblivious to pain
    Some of him was dead, some was maimed
    While your country’s honour he reclaimed.
    As the coffins arrived, you filled the air
    With paeans and promises for the heir.
    But barely a few lunations later, I and you
    We all began to ask, ‘Soldier who?’

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Government may bring ordinance to tackle corruption

    Saturday, January 01, 2011, 21:24
    New Delhi: Finding itself on the backfoot in the wake of a rash of scams, Government plans to come out with an Ordinance to put in place a mechanism to fight corruption among public servants including politicians.

    Sources said the issue was discussed at a meeting of the Congress Core Group here yesterday in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were present.

    The meeting discussed a note prepared by the Prime Minister's office in the light of Gandhi's five-point action plan to fight corruption suggested in her address to the Congress Plenary here two weeks ago.

    Sources said in case the laws concerned needed to be amended to put in place such a mechanism, an ordinance could be promulgated for the purpose. The mechanism, the sources said, may be different from that of the Central Vigilance Commission which deals with only corruption by officials.

    There was no no official word on whether the Ordinance could be the precursor to the long-pending Lok Pal Bill and whether the Prime Minister's office would be covered by it.

    Gandhi's plan included among other things institution of a new system of fast-tracking of all cases that concern corruption by public servants including politicians and to bring closure to such cases in a well-defined time-frame. She had also talked about Congress Chief Ministers and Ministers including Union Ministers shedding discretionary powers especially in land allotments as they "breed corruption". She also wanted legislative and clear procedures to ensure transparency in public procurement.

    In his address, the Prime Minister referred to Gandhi's five-point action plan and said the government would pay careful attention to the agenda set out by Gandhi. Gandhi, in her valedictory address, said they would take the issue of corruption head on and demonstrate through actions and not not words that they meant what they say. "I had made specific suggestions and the Prime Minister has assured us that they will be taken forward," she had said. At the Plenary, Rahul Gandhi had also demanded severe punishment for those guilty of corruption. In his New Year message yesterday, the Prime Minister has already made a pitch for making a "new beginning" in the year ahead.
    "We will redouble our efforts to deal effectively and credibly with the challenges of inflation, cleansing our governing processes, national security and making our delivery system work for the aam aadmi", he had said.
    Govt may bring ordinance to tackle corruption
    Related Reading
    PM has accepted failure in his New Year message: BJP
    Related Reading
    Information on officers facing corruption inquiries 'voluminous': Army as reported in Economic Times, 1 Dec, 2010


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