Friday, September 23, 2011

Military Officers create the Forest Deparment of India

Notable Forest Conservator of South India
General Douglas Hamilton (8 April 1818 – 20 January 1892) was a British Indian Army officer, gazetted to the 21st Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry from 1837 to 1871. He was a well known surveyor of the early British hill stations in South India and a famous sportsman, shikari, big-game hunter and trophy collector. He was an acute observer of nature and a gentleman.
Military career
In 1834 Douglas Hamilton went to the East India Company's Addiscombe Military Academy, and received his commission in the East India Company's Army in 1837, being gazetted to the 21st Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry. He embarked at Portsmouth in the "Duke of Argyle" on September 1 of the same year, arriving in the Madras Roads on December 14. His regiment was sent to Kulladghee in the Bombay Presidency to replace one which had gone to the front in the first Afghan Campaign. In 1846, he went with his regiment to Singapore, and was fortunate to obtain three months' leave in 1848 to visit the Island of Java for hunting. In 1849, he visited England on furlough and returned to India in 1852.
Douglas was very interested in forest conservation in South India, and often visited his old friend General James Michael who was organizing an experimental forest conservancy in the Annaimalai Hills. He was appointed to temporarily manage the conservancy when Michael returned to England on sick leave in 1854. He showed great aptitude for these new forestry duties. In 1857 Michael was again ill and had to relinquish the work altogether. Douglas succeeded permanently to the appointment and for the three years was in charge of the Annaimalai forests, supplying teak lumber for shipbuilding at the Bombay Dockyard. During this period he also became Assistant Conservator of Forests under Dr. Hugh Francis Cleghorn who established the Madras Forest Department and whose work led to the establishment of the Forest Department of India. In 1860 he went with his regiment to Hong Kong and returned to Madras in February, 1861.
Promotion Profile from the Quarterly Indian Army List 1891
1. Ensign 01 Jan 1934
2. Lt 12 Jun 1837- (arrived in Madras)
3. Capt 31 Jan 1838
4. Major 02 Mar 1847
5. Lt Col 29 Jun 1853
6. Col 01 Jan 1862
7. Maj Gen 01 Jan 1867
8. Lt Gen 01 Oct 1877
Gen 01 Dec 1888
clcik here to read more

Comment: One wonders what the salary and pay scales of sepoys and Officers were during the British era? Conservation and preservation of natural resources must be foremost in the mind of Military personnel.

Armed Forces Tribunal to be armed with contempt powers

15 September 2011 Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 15
The Armed Forces Tribunal will get more teeth as it is expected to be armed with powers of contempt. This would give the Tribunal the much-needed authority to get its judgments and orders implemented by the executing agencies.

At present, the tribunal does not have the powers of civil contempt, under which it can initiate action like the High Court against erring parties if its directives are not implemented. This was perceived as a serious handicap in its functioning. Tribunal’s chairman Justice AK Mathur had, during a visit to Chandigarh some time ago, termed the tribunal as a “toothless” body as a large number of its orders were not being implemented by the defence establishments. Similar views were also expressed recently by Justice Ghanshyam Prashad, a senior judicial member of the Chandigarh Bench.

Sources revealed that the proposal to empower the tribunal with contempt powers has already been approved by the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Ministry of Law has given its opinion and recommendations on it. The file is now reportedly back with the Ministry of Defence and would be sent to the Cabinet after being cleared by the Defence Minister.

While the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 conferred powers of criminal contempt, where action can be initiated against anyone for misconduct, obstructing the functioning of the tribunal or showing disrespect to the bench, the provisions relating to civil contempt are ambiguous.

Earlier this year, a judgment of the Kerala High Court, while interpreting the provisions of the Act, brought out that the tribunal has full powers to initiate contempt proceedings if its orders are not implemented. Sources said there is also a proposal to increase the upper age limit for the tribunal’s judicial members.

The tribunal’s bench comprises a judicial member, who should have been a judge of the High Court, and an administrative member, who should have served in the rank of Major General and equivalent for at least three years.
Armed Forces Tribunal to be armed with contempt powers

Floral tributes paid to martyrs at the Veer Smriti war memorial

Friday, September 16, 2011, Chandigarh, India
Western Command marks 64th Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A solemn wreath-laying ceremony marked the Western Command’s 64th Raising Day at its headquarters in Chandimandir today.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen SR Ghosh and Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, the Command’s former GOC-in-C, paid floral tributes to
martyrs at the Veer Smriti war memorial.

A ceremonial guard reversed arms as a mark of respect to the martyrs, while buglers sounded the Last Post. A two-minute silence was also observed. Senior officers were also present on the occasion. Inmates from the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Mohali, also attended the ceremony as the Army is observing 2011 as the ‘Year of Disabled Soldiers’.

Raised in 1947 as the Delhi and East Punjab Command, with headquarters at Delhi, it was mandated to control formations with an operational role in the territorial areas of the present Western and Northern Commands. It was redesignated as the Western Command in January 1948. In 1954, the headquarters of the command moved to Shimla. After the Indo-Pak Conflict of 1971, the Northern Command, with its Headquarters at Udhampur, was carved out of the Western Command to assume operational responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir. Later headquarters of the Western Command moved to Chandimandir in 1985.

The Western Command was instrumental in effectively blunting the Pakistani aggression in 1947, 1965 and 1971, and subsequently carrying the battle into enemy territory. Its troops, formations and units have always distinguished themselves, winning a large number of gallantry awards, including 11 Param Vir Chakras.
martyrs at the Veer Smriti war memorial

Obama praises Anna's anti-corruption campaign

By Headlines Today, 23/09/2011
UNGA Summit: Obama praises Anna's anti-corruption campaign
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Obama said, "We saw in those protesters the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Delhi to Warsaw, from Selma to South Africa."

Washington: The United States President, Barack Obama, on Wednesday praised the anti-corruption campaign launched by septuagenarian Indian activist Anna Hazare.

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Obama hailed the wind of change sweeping across the Middle East and the Arab world. He spoke of the will of the people around the world, who want to live in freedom and dignity.

Though he did not name Hazare in particular, he mentioned non-violent protests in various parts of the world, including India, seeking freedom and change.

"We saw in those protesters the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Delhi to Warsaw, from Selma to South Africa," Obama said.

Hazare's peaceful protest, which gained huge popularity across the country and among its people staying overseas, against corruption had recently forced the Indian government to agree to his conditions for a strong Lokpal (ombudsman).
Obama praises Anna's anti-corruption campaign

Anna begins right to recall movement
Anna Hazare writes to PM Manmohan Singh over right to recall elected representatives. click here to read more...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CDA arm twists top brass for Unit Run Canteens

Dear Editor
what almost all of us know that armed forces personnel are entitled to CSD facilities. Armed forces personnel by definition are those men/women in uniforms in three services namely the Army , Air Force & Navy.
Eligibility criterion though not in black and white had since been diluted. Civilian central govt employees paid out of Defence Estimates have been allowed to draw CSD stores less liquors from the unit run canteens.
Arm twisting the top brass in the armed forces CONTROLLER OF DEFENCE ACCTS whose employees are paid out of CIVIL ESTIMATES are running 38 URCs ( UNIT RUN CANTEENS) in the govt accommodations for their employees.
Neither the central govt civilian employees (the CDA STAFF) are eligible for CSD facilities NOR controllers of defence accounts authorised to run 38 URCs (unit run canteens). Total sale from those 38 Canteens are huge. Profits from sale of CSD goods to unauthorised personnel is also very very large.
Secondly CDA STAFF/ EST is meant for audit of defence grants and its proper utilisation. By extending the facility to this watchdog has been done surely with a vested interest. Canteen Stores Department ADELPHI Navy Mumbai a solely central govt owned organisation responsible for provision of CSD stores to all the appx 3600 URCs in the three Arms OF THE Military. As a matter of rule URCs unless registered with CANTEEN STORES DEPTT Adelphi, Navy Mumbai cannot receive any CSD goods in its URCs. It is therefore obvious that 38 unauthorised CDA Establishment run URCs have been duly registered though not even eligible for CSD goods. And it obvious such compromise is being exploited by the top brass of three services. Mega scam and scandals in the Defence had therefore been very routine. Huge profits accrued from the sale of CSD goods are then clandestinely distributed amongst the CDA staff proportionate to the salary drawn (thereby giving maximum benefit to the TOP CDA officials). But Who cares!
CSD canteens abused by CDA
Posted in By :(Not Verified) haridas mandal
Letter to the Editor Sent to : OUTLOOK
Country: India
Date: APR-29-2010

NCC Seeks Infrastructure for Shaping Youth

The Minister of State for Defence Dr. MM Pallam Raju inaugurated the Conference of the Joint State Representatives and Deputy Directors General (JSR&D) of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) here today. JSR&D is a biennial event attended by the senior representatives from all States of the country and the NCC heads from the defence services of the respective State. As the control and conduct of NCC activities is a joint responsibility of the Central and State Governments in terms of policies, finances, administrative and other aspects, this conference provides a platform to plan, implement and coordinate the NCC activities in the entire Nation.

Inaugurating the conference, Dr Pallam Raju said, "NCC is responsible for moulding our youth into becoming responsible, disciplined and motivated citizens and for providing leadership in all walks of life. The curriculum followed by the cadets in their two years of association with NCC is extremely challenging and it is our responsibility to provide the required support. The benefit that we get is directly proportional to the effort that we put in. Disciplined youth with patriotic and secular values is the sine quo non to ensure stability and growth of the nation.”

The conference had very meaningful and fruitful deliberations on various issues concerning NCC, such as the need to provide suitable camping sites and other training facilities, raising of financial grants for training and administration of cadets commensurate with the contemporary price index, changes in the curriculum to meet and accommodate the present aspirations of the youth. The Director General, NCC Lt Gen PS Bhalla gave a detailed presentation on the progress and achievements of the NCC over the years. He apprised all States of the need to establish NCC Nagars that are well equipped with camping and training infrastructure, in various parts of the States. He also strongly presented a case for providing tangible and substantial incentives to NCC cadets so that the disciplined youth of unquestionable integrity and possessing core human values are well compensated for their dedication of time and energy to train with the NCC.
PK (Release ID :76165
NCC Seeks Infrastructure for Shaping Youth

Green Governance: Indian Army joins hands with ICICI

Indian Army-ICICI Bank
The Indian Army has joined hands with ‘The Green Governance Programme’ of ICICI Bank to implement projects like rainwater harvesting, ground water rejuvenation, construction of check dams and water treatment/de-siltation of water bodies, New & Renewable Energy Initiatives etc. The Indian Army Environment and Ecology Cell functioning under the Quarter Master General’s Branch at the Army Headquarters in New Delhi, is the nodal implementing agency for the various projects under this programme. The project is expected to enhance the biodiversity conservation potential of the Indian Army’s various establishments, such as cantonments, depots, maneuver areas and military farms. The project also involves spreading awareness on ecology and biodiversity related concepts among school children.
To increase awareness of the project, General VK Singh, Chief of The Army Staff released two Coffee Table Books named ‘A Saga in Stone’ and ‘Friends of the Earth’ on 22 September 2011. The two books present a facet of the Indian Army largely unknown to most and emphasize the commitment of Indian Army towards preservation of our heritage and culture and its resolve to arrest and conserve environmental degradation. S Om Singh/Dhup Singh/Ganesh
(Release ID :76160)
Indian Army-ICICI Bank
Comment: Can Veterans contribute to Green Governance? All ESM organisations need to incorporate/ aid green governance and technologies in their aims and goals.

Can Canteen Profits be used for Welfare of Veterans?

Audit finds lapses in defence canteen operations
New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS)
India's audit watchdog has found lapses in financial and business operations and the pricing and quality of goods of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) that sells household products at cheaper than market rates to armed forces personnel and their families.
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, tabled in the Lok Sabha Friday, says the 3,600 unit-run canteens (URCs), or retail outlets, of the CSD across the country have been kept out of the "purview of parliamentary financial oversight as they are considered to be regimental institutions".
This despite the fact that these URCs get soft loans and quantitative discounts through the CSD from the Consolidated Fund of India, it says.
"Neither the budget documents nor the proforma accounts of CSD reflect the operations of the (URCs) that are also not subject to the accountability regime for operations funded by the Consolidated Fund of India," the report says.The CAG said it was denied access to the URC records by the Army Headquarters in Delhi "in spite of repeated requests".
The matter was taken up at the level of the defence minister too but to no avail.
In the interest of transparency, the operational results of the units should be disclosed in the proforma accounts of CSD after ensuring that the units follow uniform accounting principles, the CAG has recommended.
This would enable the financial statements of CSD to provide a "true and fair view of the complete operations of the organisation".
Praising the CSD for its 55 percent increase in gross turnover (Rs. 6,955 crore in 2008-09 from Rs. 4,481 crore in 2003-04), the report says the gross and net profit however had not shown commensurate increase during this period.
"This was mainly due to increase in cost of goods purchased for sale as also increase in quantitative discount given to the units."
It says that evidence indicated that grants given to various organisations of the armed forces out of CSD profits did not follow the provisions of General Financial Rules (GFR) of the government.
"Grants were given to organisations without even insisting on application for funds. Statement of accounts was never sought before sanctioning the grants. Receipt of utilisation certificates was not watched, as required under GFR. Utilisation certificates were never insisted from major recipients namely the army, navy or air force for the grants provided."
The proforma accounts prepared by the CSD did not follow the generally accepted regimen of financial reporting, it said.
During the six years from 2002-2003 to 2007-08, Rs. 883.46 crore was transferred in the form of quantitative discount from the Consolidated Fund of India to the URCs.
Evidence also indicated that benefit of quantitative discount (QD) has never been passed to the consumer.
"Such discount could not be viewed as a trade discount as units operated in a captive market with pricing determined in accordance with the existing policies. QD was in fact another way of transferring money from CFI to non-public fund without conforming to the provisions of the GFR," the report says.

Audit finds lapses in defence canteen operations
Related Reading
Forces, CAG lock horns over audit of unit run canteens
Canteen Stores Department (India) Demystified

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rehabilitating retiring soldiers: Use them to combat Maoists and Naxalites

Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Chandigarh, India The Tribune by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)
More than 80 per cent soldiers retire at the age of 36 or 37 years and their annual number is almost 50,000. They do not even reach the midway point of their pay band, miss out on increments, get pension based on the point in the pay band they are retired, missing out 24/23 years of higher pay if they, like all civilian government employees, had to serve up to the age of 60 years.

Consequently, they suffer multiple disadvantages. Retired too early and given inadequate pension, they, in addition, lose out on the largesse of at least two subsequent Central Pay Commissions. After taking the best years of a soldier’s life, we throw him out to fend for himself in the harsh realities of life: to find a job in mid-life.

The Defence Minister has finally realised that ex-servicemen do need a second career. According to him, they could be accommodated in Central Police Organisations (CPOs — now called CAPFS), government jobs, etc, and that he will also write to the states to employ ex-servicemen. Surely, he should know that instructions to the states and the CPOs already exist to that end, but are not implemented. Simply because implementation of orders/instructions, enforcement of laws, timely completion of projects, etc, are extremely poor in this country. Above all, there is so much money to be made in fresh recruitment!

Veteran issues takes centerstage inspite of recession

US Budget Cuts and Veteran's Pensions/ B​enefits- commentry by Lt Gen Harhajan Signh
I saw a 40 minutes TV program in USA about the US Budget cuts and Veteran's Pensions/benefits. In this program Pentagon correspondent of a newspaper was the expert and a number of veterans (mostly below officer rank) from US Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine Corps expressed their views and put up suggestions via telephone calls.
There is a debate going on in USA whether in view of the existing financial problems and likely Defence Budget cuts, so called high expenditure on Veteran's pensions/benefits should be reduced and how.
The following points got high lighted during the program-
1. The existing system is some what different in the four Defence Services.
2. The US Navy and the Air Force have requirement for more technical personnel and it is difficult to replace them. They need to be retained for longer periods and incentives for them to continue longer built in.
3. The System of Pensions in the Army and Marine Corps (probably) is that in case an officer/soldier serves for 20 years, he/she gets 50% of his basic salary at retirement as pension for life. If the service is 30 years or more the percentage of pension vis a vis
basic pay goes up to 75%.
4. For service less than 20 years there is no pension.
5. In addition the veterans get life long medical facilities.
6. All participants high lighted that the existing system has been in vogue for a number of years and it will be very difficult to change it, considering the sentiments of the veterans.
7. THE SERVICE CONDITIONS OF THE MILITARY JUST CANNOT BE COMPARED WITH THOSE IN CIVIL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS OR IN BUSINESS.The harsh and dangerous service conditions of especially those in combat arms; the casualties suffered, injuries sustained and psychological trauma experienced require special consideration.

IESL takes up cudgels for Veterans

We all need to congratulate Brig RKS Gulia, for the letter he has sent to the RM.
Vande Matram
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

352 Cadets pass out of OTA

352 Indians, 18 Afghans pass out of OTA
September 18, 2011 By S. Sujatha DC chennai

For cadets from Afghanistan it was the psychological training that amazed them the most at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai, while Indian cadets found the physical part demanding.

“Physical training was easy for us. We came mainly to develop our mental strength and learn the functioning of Indian Army,” said Mohammad Sanjer (21) of Kabul, on Saturday after he and 17 other Afghans passed out of the academy with 352 Indians after a 11-month course.

The Indian experience has taught Sanjer, who has served in the Afghan Army for 18 months, to be strong psychologically.

After reviewing the passing out parade, Lt Gen Vijay Ahluwalia, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Command said Indian Army was open to changes as the requirements of the future battlefield would be different.
352 Indians, 18 Afghans pass out of OTA

The Union Cabinet gets healthier and richer by the day

The Hindu P. Sainath P. Sainath
Daily wage labourers are seen outside the office of Planning Commission in New Delhi. A report of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector recorded that 836 million Indians live on Rs.20 a day or less. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

The worse off the poor become, the healthier our Ministers get.
Air India might not be doing as well we'd like it to. But the braveheart who flew it fearlessly into dense clouds of debt is doing okay. Praful Patel (who no longer holds the aviation portfolio) added, on average, over half a million rupees every day to his assets in 28 months between May 2009 and August 2011. This might be an understated figure since it is based on his own word. Ministers tend to be modest in these matters. But given the official data, the math is inescapable.

In his 2009 poll affidavit, Mr. Patel said his assets were worth over Rs.79 crore. Let's assume he listed all he had up to April 2009, the polls being in May that year. Compare that figure with the more than Rs.122 crore that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) put up against his name online this month. Since this increase occurred in 28 months, my math says that averages over Rs.5 lakh a day. (I can add, though not at the speed of Mr. Patel.)
The worse off the poor become, the healthier our Ministers get... Read more of ministers becoming richer by the day
Related Reading
Not poor if you earn Rs. 32 a day: Planning Commission

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quantum hike in cash awards- PVC magnifies sixtyfold

The Hindu- The State government has increased manifold, the quantum of cash awards given to recipients of gallantry awards.

Considering the fact that the previous increase in the quantum was carried out 17 years ago, the government has decided that the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra would be given Rs.15 lakh against the existing Rs.22,500.

Those given the Maha Vir Chakra would get Rs.10 lakh (Rs.15,000); Ashok Chakra Rs.12 lakh (Rs.20,000); Kirti Chakra Rs.8 lakh (Rs.12,000); Vir Chakra Rs.7.5 lakh (Rs.7,000) and Shaurya Chakra Rs.5 lakh (Rs.5,000).

An announcement in this regard was made in the Assembly last week. — Special Correspondent
Quantum hike in cash awards

Army welfare Housing Organisation: Chennai Project

ByDeepti | Published August 16, 2011

AWHO- Chennai
Comment: Can Jawans who form 95% of Veterans afford such houses built as a welfare measure. It suits and benefits money spinners, real estate developers and agents. Do not rush for lucrative/dream offers. Remember greed traps you...

General VK Singh’s age controversy: Army contradicts ministry

Date : Sep 16th, 2011 New Delhi: The controversy over Army chief General VK Singh’s age has deepened with the Defense Ministry and the Indian Army holding on to their positions.

General Singh has consistently maintained that he was born in 1951 as against 1950 as maintained by the Ministry of Defense. Army records however reflect both dates. General Singh has also filed a formal complaint with the ministry saying that while the government can decide his tenure as chief of Army, his year of birth cannot be changed.

The biggest implication of this is the year in which the Army chief will retire – 2012, according to the government’s decision. If it had accepted General Singh’s date of birth, his tenure would have extended to 2013.

Earlier this month, Defence Minister A K Antony had told the Rajya Sabha, “The date of birth of General VK Singh, Chief of Army Staff, has been maintained as 10th May 1950 at the time of his selection as Corps Commander (Lieutenant General) in 2006 as well as his subsequent promotions as Army Commander in 2008 and Chief of the Army Staff in 2010″

But the Military Secretary’s branch in the Army Headquarters, that handles promotions and transfers, has contradicted the ministry. Military Secretary Lieutenant General GM Nair has informed the ministry that General VK Singh’s promotion from the rank of a Brigadier in 1996 to that of a Lieutenant General in 2005 had May 10, 1951 as the date of birth.
General VK Singh’s age controversy: Army contradicts ministry
Related Reading
Army chief readies for legal battle with ministry


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