Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rising Food, Fuel Prices Slow Indian Economy

November 04, 2011
Rising Food, Fuel Prices Slow Indian Economy
Anjana Pasricha | New Delhi

Photo: Reuters: A fruit seller arranges bananas at his stall along a road in Jammu, November 3, 2011.

In India, increasing food and fuel prices have raised worries that Asia's third largest economy may slow down more than expected. The numbers indicate the Indian government's efforts to tame inflation in the past year have not yet succeeded.
The commerce ministry says food inflation last week was over 12 percent - the highest level in the past nine months. This was largely due to rising prices of meat, milk and vegetables.
State-owned oil companies also increased gasoline prices by about 2.5 percent on Friday - the fourth increase this year. The rising food and fuel prices are slowing down the economy. An economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi, Anushree Sinha, says the impact is already apparent.

"The industrial sector has already been clocking deceleration in their growth. Industry is definitely not seeing the growth it should. Our manufacturing sector is not doing well which is a cause of concern," said Sinha. The loss of economic momentum is primarily blamed on a series of interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank in the past year. The hikes were meant to ease inflation by curbing consumer demand, but has had virtually no impact so far.

Several economists say the government is looking in the wrong direction. They say food prices are climbing due to changing patterns of consumption in a country where high growth has increased the numbers of affluent people, and raised demand for items like meat, milk and fruit. D.H. Pai Panandiker, who heads the economic think tank, RPG Goenka Foundation in New Delhi, says the government needs to focus on policies that will raise production of these items.

"The government should have intervened to see that the supply of these commodities increases, which it has not done. Milk and the dairies, the poultry farming and all kinds of things could have been given more facilities in order that they expand very fast. That would have been the principle solution to this problem and not really the interest hike," said Panandiker. The government says it is optimistic that the economy will grow at around 8 percent, but several economists are revising this figure downwards to around 7.5 percent.

Economist Sinha says this is not good for a country where high growth is needed to cut poverty. "The problem is, it’s going to impact hugely a large number of people…fewer jobs created, and also incomes being eroded," said Sinha. The rising fuel and food prices also pose political problems for the Congress Party-led government. Both allies and the opposition have attacked the government for failing to tame inflation. The higher prices are also fueling popular anger.
Rising Food, Fuel Prices Slow Indian Economy

Vishal Rally at Jantar Mantar on 12 Nov 2011

DATED: 03 Nov 2011
NEW DELHI ON 12th NOV 2011

Dear Members of the Media
1. Defence Veteran’s peaceful protest Movement throughout the country for the past over forty months, deposit of over 22000 Gallantry and Distinguished service medals and Memorandums signed in their blood by over one lac and fifty thousand defence veterans to the Supreme Commander the President of India and numerous letters and meetings with the Prime Minister, Raksha Mantri and other authorities, the Govt at the Centre has not accepted their genuine demands, their main demand being “One Rank One Pension” (OROP). It seems that the Government yields only to non peaceful agitations. The defence veteran’s are getting restless now and their patience is running out and before some misguided and volatile elements resort to unacceptable methods, the Government should grant their justified demands.

2. The Defence Veterans, their families and supporters have now resolved to intensify their protest Movement across the country to highlight the grave injustice which the Govt at Centre is doing to them by not accepting their genuine demands in total disregard to the services rendered by the erstwhile soldiers. The graver injustice has been done to the Defence Widows who are in receipt of family pension, by excluding them from the ambit of enhancement of pensions of JCOs and Other Ranks carried out in Mar 2010. Thus the weakest and the neediest segment of pensioners was leftout. The discrimination against the widows has caused great consternation among the entire Ex Servicemen community. The case was taken up with the Prime Minister by the IESM for extending the enhancement of pension to the Defence Widows; the same has not been carried out so far.

3. The Govt’s indifferent attitude towards the Defence Forces is unexplainable especially keeping in mind the hostile environment prevailing on our borders both at land and sea. A nation to survive in such hostile environment has to keep its forces well equipped, well trained, motivated and contented. It needs to be understood that service veterans are the extension of service personnel. Any injustice to the veterans also adversely affects the serving soldiers who will be the future veterans. These aspects need to the holistically addressed by the Govt.

4. Out of the cases filed in various AFTs, over 90 percent in have been won by the Defence Personnel in the last one year, but Govt is yet to implement the judgements. The recommendatory AFGRC ordered by the Supreme Court which was to be affective with effect from 15 Jan 2011 has been dispensed with by the Govt. The SC had passed this judgement after deliberating upon the illtreatement being meted out to the Defence Personnel by the Govt.

5. A petition filed by independent MP of Rajaya Sabha Sh. Rajeeve Chandersekhar was being heard by the Petition Committee of the Rajaya Sabha. The Govt is not mentioning anything about the Committee while giving reply to the question being raised by MPs regarding the non grant of OROP. They continue to quote two years old Committee of Secretaries.

6. The Govt has not also paid any heed to the recommendations of All Party Standing Committee on Defence Comprising 31 MPs strongly recommending OROP three times in the last one year. The way the Govt treats the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committees and gives credence to the Report of Committee of secretaries who are biased against the Defence Forces speak of the apathy of the Govt has towards the Defence Forces.

7. A Vishal Rally will be held by the Defence Veterans at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 12th Nov 2011 from 10 AM to 3 PM under the aegis of Indian Ex -Servicemen Movement (IESM) to peacefully protest against the Govt apathy and negative attitude towards their genuine demands. Thereafter, a delegation will leave for Rashtrapati Bhawan to deposit medals and memorandum signed in blood to the President. Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM,AVSM,VSM, Chairman IESM has already written to the President to accept the medals and the Memorandum herself by granting audience to the delegation of Defence veterans. The Military Veterans have also decided that incase the president herself does not accept the medals and the Memorandum, they will bring these back.

8. The media is cordially invited for the event and is requested to cover it extensively to bring to the notice of the people of India the ill-treatment being meted out to the Military by the Govt for which they hold the bureaucracy mainly responsible.
With Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces will stage a Vishal Rally at New Delhi s Jantar Mantar on November 12, under the banner of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Armed Forces Tribunal: Legal Headwind

The Armed Forces Tribunal, which came into being in August 2009, provides for adjudication of disputes and complaints about service related matters covering all three branches of the military, including hearing appeals arising out of orders, findings and sentences of courts martial. The AFT has original jurisdiction in service matters and appellate jurisdiction in court martial matters. All cases pending before the High Courts were transferred to the AFT. Its each bench comprises a judicial member, who should have served as a judge of the high court and an administrative member who should have served at a position of major general or equivalent or above. This allows the bench to draw upon legal as well as service expertise.

The biggest drawbacks in the AFT Act is that it the Tribunal does not have the powers of initiating civil contempt, implying that it has no means of ensuring that its orders are implemented by the party or organisation concerned. Further, a recent order by the Delhi High Court that appeals against AFT orders would lie with the High Court and not the Supreme Court as mentioned in the Act, has kicked-up a legal debate. Some say that the purpose of the AFT was to reduce the burden of the High Courts and ensure speedy disposal of cases. Some are of the opinion that if the cases go back to the high court, the purpose of the AFT is negated and things would be back to square one. — TNS
Click here to read more

IESL gets a jolt from the Grand Patron

Not your grand patron in chief, President tells ex-servicemen by Manu Pubby of Indian Express
Tags : Indian Ex-Servicemen League (IESL), President Pratibha Patil, perceived pension irregularities, grand patron in chief
Posted: Wed Jul 06 2011, 01:14 hrs

Even as scores of ex-servicemen continue to return their medals to her as a mark of protest against perceived pension irregularities, President Pratibha Patil’s office has written to a prominent ex-servicemen organisation asking them to stop using her name as the ‘grand patron in chief’, triggering a wave of protest by retired soldiers.

In a jolt to the Indian Ex-Servicemen League (IESL) that counts 9 lakh veterans across the nation as its members, the President last month conveyed that her name is being used as the grand patron in chief without consent and the organisation should discontinue this practice. The organisation has contended that the President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has always been a grand patron in chief since it was set up in 1964 and has produced several documents, including letters by former Presidents Giani Zail Singh and V V Giri, to support its cause.
Not your grand patron in chief, President tells ex-servicemen

Rebuttal by IESL
Senior functionaries of IESL contend that the reason for the harsh stand by Patil’s office are the antics of its rival — Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) — that has in the past months organised rallies and protests for pension hikes. The President’s office has come under increasing pressure after members of similarly named IESM started returning their medals in protest against perceived pension discrepancies.
However, in the official letter sent to the organisation, Patil’s office has said the President as a policy is not accepting ‘patronship’ of autonomous organisations. The letter says the name of the President should no longer be used in any document of the IESL. Countering this, IESL functionaries say that several Presidents have accepted this ‘tradition’ and named three former Supreme Commanders who have endorsed the organisation.

Comment: Is IESL registered under the Indian Society Act of 1860? Mere recognition by MOD does not give it the sanctity to represent the Ex Servicemen. IESL as a body needs to introspect and legitimize its role. President has rightly snubbed the masquerading organisation. Question is whether the 9 lakh veterans have been taken for a ride? The Governing Body ought resign in shame instead of giving lame excuses and blaming IESM.

Veterans Rally to Protest Government Apathy

Veterans to rally, return medals to protest Centre's apathy
Respected Sir/Ma'am,
The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on November 3, 2011 -- is for your kind perusal.
With regards

Veterans to rally, return medals to protest Centre's apathy
Bhopal, Nov 3 (UNI) Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces will stage a Vishal Rally at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar on November 12, under the banner of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), to peacefully protest against the Centre's apathy and negative attitude towards genuine demands.
"The event will commence at 1000 hrs and conclude at 1500 hrs. Thereafter, a delegation will leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan to return medals and submit a memorandum signed in blood to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (who is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces)," IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh, Sena Medal said in a release. IESM Chairman Lieutenant-Gen (Retd) Raj Kadyan, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, VSM; has already written to the President to grant audience. The veterans have decided that in case the President herself does not accept the medals and the memorandum, they will bring these back.
Despite the veterans' peaceful protest movement throughout the country for the past over 40 months, deposit of over 22,000 Gallantry and Distinguished Service medals besides memoranda signed in their blood by over 1.50 lakh veterans to the Supreme Commander and numerous letters and meetings with the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and other authorities, the Centre has not accepted their demands, the main one being 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP).

Widows of Ex Servicemen discriminated
"It seems that the Centre yields only to non-peaceful agitations. The veterans are getting restless and their patience is running out. Before some misguided and volatile elements resort to unacceptable methods, the Government should grant the justified demands," Maj-Gen Singh felt.The veterans, their families and supporters have resolved to intensify their protest movement across the country to highlight the grave injustice that the Centre is meting out to them by disregard to services rendered by the erstwhile soldiers.
The graver injustice has been done to the defence widows, who are in receipt of family pensions, by excluding them from the ambit of enhancement of pensions of Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks carried out in March last year. Thus the weakest and the most needy segment of pensioners was left out.
The discrimination against the widows caused great consternation among the ESM community. The case was taken up with the Prime Minister by the IESM for extending the enhancement of pension to the widows; the same has not been carried out so far.
"The Centre's indifferent attitude towards the Armed Forces is unexplainable especially keeping in mind the hostile environment prevailing on our borders both at land and sea. A nation to survive in such an environment has to keep its forces well-equipped, well-trained, motivated and contented. It needs to be understood that veterans are the extension of service personnel. Any injustice to veterans also affects the serving soldiers who are future veterans. These aspects need to the holistically addressed," Maj-Gen Singh noted

Court Orders not implemented
Out of the cases filed in the Armed Forces Tribunal, over 90 per cent were won by defence personnel in the past year, but the Government is yet to implement the verdicts. The recommendatory Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission -- ordered by the Supreme Court -- which was to be effective from January 15, 2011 has been dispensed with. The apex court passed this judgement after deliberating on the treatment being meted out to the defence personnel by the Centre.
A petition filed by Rajya Sabha Member Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Independent) was being heard by the Upper House's Petition Committee that is not even being mentioned by the Government while replying to questions regarding non-grant of OROP.
"They continue to quote the two-years-old Committee of Secretaries," the veteran explained. The Centre paid "scant heed" to recommendations of the all-party Standing Committee on Defence comprising 31 parliamentarians strongly recommending OROP thrice in the past year.
The manner in which the Government treats recommendations of parliamentary committees and gives credence to the Report of the Committee of Secretaries, who are "biased" against the Armed Forces, speaks of the Centre's "apathy".

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Illegal Liquor Racket emanating from CSD Canteens

Armymen under suspicion in illegal liquor racket by Sandip Dighe.
A major racket involving the illegal sale of liquor meant for the defence services in the open market has been unearthed by the state excise department with the arrest of Ramsevak Ramchandra Sharan (48) from Ghorpadi, last week.
Sharan was selling the liquor from his grocery shop in Ghorpadi. Around 30 army personnel are under the police scanner for their suspected role in the racket.
According to the excise department, the liquor was purchased by the army personnel from the central stores department (CSD) canteen meant for defence personnel, then sold to Sharan, who used to give them Rs40 per bottle as commission. He later sold it at a higher price.
On October 8, on a tip-off, the police team lead by police inspector Shivshankar Patil caught Sharan red-handed selling liquor at his shop.
The excise police recovered 133 liquor bottles of McDowell, XXX Rum and other brands, together valued at Rs28,930.
Sub-inspector RB Birajdar of the state excise department told DNA, “We got to know that about 30 army personnel are involved in illegal activities for the last couple of years.”-via DNA
Armymen under suspicion in illegal liquor racket
Comment: There is rampant sales of liquor in all metro cities to unauthorised personnel. This malaise needs to be curbed in a concerted manner. There is need to get to the bottom of this organised crime.

CAT bridges pension gap of pre and post 2006 civilian retirees

Thursday, November 3, 2011
Congratulations to pre-2006 civil pensioners on Full Bench Judgement of CAT in their favour

The Full Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has finally allowed the petition by pre-2006 pensioners seeking modified parity with post-2006 retirees. The CAT has inter alia held that the term ‘minimum of pay in the pay band’ would mean minimum of pay within the pay band corresponding to the scale held at the time of retirement and not minimum of the pay band itself as interpreted and implemented by the government through a clarification.

However, it is the following extract which specially merits mention on this blog being a subject much discussed by us here:
“On the basis of the recommendations made by VI CPC, which stood validly accepted by the Cabinet, it has been argued that principle for determining the pension has been completely altered under the garb of clarification. According to the learned counsel for the applicants on the basis of the aforesaid resolution/modified parity revised pension of the pre-2006 pensioners shall not be less than 50% of the minimum of the pay band + grade pay, corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired.

Applicants in para-11 of the Additional-Affidavit have explained how the Note prepared by a junior functionary (at the level of an Under Secretary) in the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare in regard to para-4.2 of the OM dated 1.9.2008 has been given a go-by to the resolution dated 29/08/2008.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
click here to read more

India's Sanitation Lowers Development

India ranked 134th in terms of Human Development Index
Press Trust of India, Updated: November 02, 2011 18:45 IST

New Delhi: A United Nations study has ranked India at 134 out of 187 countries in terms of Human Development Index even as it has observed that life expectancy at birth in the country has increased by 10.1 per cent a year over the last two decades.

In the 2010 Human Development Report, prepared by UNDP, India had been ranked at 119 out of 169 countries. But the new report for 2011 says it is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed, as well as the number of countries included in the Human Development Index.

The report said India's Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2011 was 0.547 positioning the country in the 'medium human development category'. Neighbouring Pakistan was ranked at 145 (0.504) and Bangladesh at 146 (0.500) respectively in terms of HDI. It said between 1980 and 2011, India's HDI value increased from 0.344 to 0.547, an increase of 59 per cent or an average annual increase of about 1.5 per cent.

However, the report pointed that the country's HDI of 0.547 was below the average of 0.630 for countries in the medium human development group and below the average of 0.548 for countries in South Asia.

The HDI is a measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development such as a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

The report said the "mean" year of schooling for the country increased by 3.9 years between 1980 and 2011 and expected years of schooling increased by 3.9 years.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was present at the report release function, however, sounded dismissive about the figures in the report.

He said a better way of analysing the progress made by countries including India is to measure comparative success they have achieved on this count in the last few years from their previous record rather than by the number of their positions in the international chart.

Ramesh said such presentation of human development indices is "grossly misleading" and the country's progress in this respect should be seen from a 20-year perspective.

He said India has made huge strides in the field of education and water supply system but admitted that the biggest block in the human development indices for India is in the field of sanitation where 58 per cent of open defecation in the world takes place in India.

He also rued that a mere expenditure of Rs. 2000 crore in the field of sanitation is being made while the budget for water supply was Rs. 20,000 crore.

Ramesh said that the answer to the problem of sanitation is massive public investment in the sector on the lines of what the Central Government has done in education sector.
Read more at: India ranked 134th in terms of Human Development Index

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grievance Redressal Mechanism

Govt Prepares Draft Bill on Citizens’ Right to Grievance Redress; Seeks Inputs from Stakeholders
A draft Citizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill 2011 has been prepared and put up in the public domain for suggestions/inputs from the stakeholders. This was informed by the MoS, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and PMO, Shri Narayanasamy in New Delhi today. The Draft aims at creating institutionalize mechanism to ensure delivery of public services in a time bound manner and redressal of public grievances.
Key recommendations in the Draft Bill are:
1. There will be a Citizens Charter, and a protocol will be put in place.
2. Bill can be enacted as a central legislation under the concurrent list Item 8 (actionable wrongs) and can cover:
a. Central Schemes and Central Government Departments
b. Provide a Platform to States to make this a Grievance Redressal Mechanism for State Schemes and Departments
3. Bill will incorporate the institution of Information and Facilitation Centre in all public authorities to ensure that Citizens can be facilitated and grievances are systematically recorded and tracked using telephone, sms, web etc.
4. First level Redress should be within concerned department as proposed. This should be done through a Grievance Redress Officer in each department
5. The second level redress/ appeal will be at the level of Head of the Department of the public authority.
6. State Grievance Commissions should be set up as second level appellate authorities.
The Draft Bill can be accessed at the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances website All those interested can send their suggestions/comments/inputs within 21 days. *** RS/SR (Release ID :76965)

Adarsh Scam: Two former chief's indicted

Adarsh scam: CAG names two former Army chiefs
NEW DELHI: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam tabled in Parliament on Tuesday has blamed top defence officials including former Army chiefs General Deepak Kapoor and General NC Vij and other service officers of showing clear conflict of interest.
According to the CAG report local military authorities in collusion with the defence estate organisation officials misappropriated prime government land for the benefit of a select few. It notes unusual alacrity by local military authorities and the defence estate office in issuing a no objection certificate to Adarsh.
Former Maharashtra MLC and Adarsh promoter Kanhaiyalala Gidwani, suspended Maharashtra information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, former Collector Mumbai City IA Kundan and many bureaucrats in the Urban Development Department too have been indicted.
On the issue of granting of additional floor space index to Adarsh, the report mentions that Gidwani wrote to Maharashtra chief minister in 2003 to adopt a positive approach as the society was for those who had dedicated life to the nation.
The reports also points out that the Indian Army had land but title was not transferred to the Ministry of Defence, which led to exploitation.
The Adarsh Society was originally meant for Kargil War heroes and widows of the soldiers but many of the flats were allotted to politicians, their families, senior bureaucrats and defence officers.
Original Post

How did our last Chief landed a flat in Adarash?
Do you think it was by accident or design? He is a manipulator as some news paper said. Can you imagine the Indian Army had a differently abled Chief who was masquerading as fighting fit. He was deaf to the cries of his men, yet did not wear a hearing aid lest his looks be lost. But to get a disability pension he let the cat out of the bag a few months before he retired. That the able specialists of AMC were unable to detect this fraud for so long is another scam no one will bother for. That an obese Chief died of myocardial infraction while in office is a closed chapter.
Sir, let the law take its own course. We should not defend people who have brought shame on us.
With warm regards,
Col Rajesh Mathews (Retd)
Adarsh Scam: Depth of Corruption in Defence Forces- click here to read more
Comment: Will the high and mighty get away scot free?

Lokpal Bill- Combating Corruption

Anna Hazare's letter to PM
New Delhi: Anna Hazare has written to the Prime Minister warning him that he will begin another hunger strike if the Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of Parliament.
Anna's Letter to PM
Read more at: NDTV Original Post
Comment: All Ex Servicemen need to Rally behind Anna to combat corruption. Once corruption ends the Veterans will get their legitimate dues including OROP.

Generation shift in army

New Delhi, Oct. 31: When the new vice-chief of the Indian Army takes charge tomorrow, he will herald a generational change in the top brass as he will be the first officer commissioned after India’s last full-fledged war in 1971 to rise to the post.Lt Gen. S.K. Singh takes over from Lt Gen. A.S. Lamba who retired today after 40 years in service. As a young officer, Lt Gen. Lamba became a war veteran within a couple of months of being commissioned in 1971.
He was a second lieutenant in his artillery unit that gave fire support to the Indian infantry in its dash through the Pakistani ranks on the Jessore-Khulna-Dhaka axis as the Indian Army charged into the then East Pakistan capital and forced the surrender on December 16 that year and midwifed the birth of Bangladesh.
With Lt Gen. Lamba retiring today, there are only four more officers in the Indian Army — including the chief, Lt Gen. V.K. Singh — who were commissioned into service in the year of India’s last full-fledged war.
Generation shift in army- click here to read more

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Self Defeating Indian Military Manipulates to Degrade Rank and Honour

Indian Army Manipulations Exposed
The question whether it is always the civilian establishment which denies us our dues. The following examples prove contrary.
  • Grant of higher scale to Lt Gens after the 5th CPC: The 5th CPC saw degradation of Lt Gens by way of placing them below DGPs from the IPS. A case was taken up for the rectification of the anomaly and the Services were offered on a platter that 1/3rd Lt Gens (other than Army Commanders who were already in a higher bracket) could be upgraded. It was refused by us and our stand was- give us 100% or give us none. Now this had far reaching consequences which are there for all to see even today. Rather than taking the offer and then fighting for rest of Lt Gens, we refused it altogether as a result of which all Lt Gens remained lower in pay than DGPs and were again placed in a lower grade (HAG) than DGPs (HAG+) in the 6th CPC. And then post 6th CPC, after much hankering we accepted the proposal of upgradation of 1/3rd Lt Gens to HAG+. The position would have been much better had we accepted 1/3rd after the 5th CPC and a higher figure after the 6th CPC. Who was to blame?, Not the MoD!

  • Grant of Pay Band-4 to Lt Cols after the 6th CPC: I haven’t stated this openly before, but the greatest resistance for grant of Pay Band-4 to Lt Cols came from within the Army, but the same was thankfully off-set by a stellar performance by the Air Force and Navy. The objection of the Army was that there would remain no incentive for higher ranks if this were to be accepted. A banal argument in light of the fact that we were ready to face a steep degradation in status and pay vis-à-vis civilian counterparts to ensure an imaginary incentive for higher ranks!.

  • Higher Grade Pay for Colonel vis-à-vis the rank of DIG: The pay scale of DIG was traditionally placed between the scales of Lt Col and full Col. After the 6th CPC, DIG was placed in a Grade Pay equivalent to a Brig. Despite forceful attempts by the Pay Commission Cells of the three services, the ultimate proposal forwarded to the Govt by the Services contained a demand of a Grade Pay of 8800 for a full Col and acceptance of 8900 for a Brig, thereby tacitly agreeing an inferior role for a Col and equation of a Brig (28 years’ service) with a DIG with 14 years’ of service. We did not seek for Colonel a GP higher than DIG and on the contrary sought a lower GP. If we do not even demand, why would they give?

  • Non-functional financial upgradation: In the organised Group A Services, after the 6th CPC, all officers are now entitled to non-functional financial upgradation till the scale of HAG (equal to Lt Gen) in case they are not promoted in the ordinary course. Hence, innocuously, unknown to our top brass, almost all civil officers irrespective of actual rank or grade, including those of the MES, are retiring with the pay and pension of Lt Gen while we continue fighting on mundane issues and wasting our energies and intelligence debating on the colour of the curtain in the VIP room (Ganga ???) in the Alpha Mess. There has been a silent takeover by the HAG on the civil side without much fanfare. When this matter was raised by the Air Force and Navy at a time when the Govt was willing to listen, it was shot down by the Army component. Realising the joke that we had played upon ourselves by not processing the proposal when it could see the light of the day, we took it up again, but this time it was rejected by the MoD. So whom do we blame ?

  • Grant of DACP to military medicos :- When the Govt had approved the Dynamic Assured Career Progression scheme for all doctors under the central govt, there was resistance from our very own PPOC (emanating again from the Army) that this would lead to higher pay to doctors than other officers. It was also foolishly pointed out that military doctors were in receipt of the Military Service Pay also and hence did not deserve DACP. Rather than helping our very own doctors in reaping benefits announced by the govt, we resisted such benefits. On the contrary, we should have smoothly allowed the scheme to be implemented and then could have asked for rectification of other anomalies affecting other personnel. A similar inane bogey was raised in the earlier part of the last century when the Central Govt had introduced Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) for all doctors. This had led to a protest by the Army HQ that if implemented, the doctors would start getting more emoluments than other Arms and Services. A pity, isn’t it ?

  • Non-grant of AV Report benefits to SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 :- When the AV Singh Committee report was implemented, it was implemented for all officers serving in the Army as on 16 December 2004. Later however, our very own MS Branch discovered a ‘ghundi’ and observed that the said benefits could not be granted to SSCOs and WSES officers. When later the SSC scheme was tweaked in 2006 and the terms of engagement were changed from 5+5+4 to 10+4 years, the AV benefits were granted to all those who were commissioned under the said scheme or to those who had opted for the new terms. As a result of this, Male SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 who are in old terms, including those who were in service in December 2004, are being promoted as quasi-substantive Captains on completing 9 years of service and are retiring in the substantive rank of Lieut even after serving for 14 years while their SSCO counterparts commissioned after 2006 are being promoted as Capt in 2 years, Maj in 6 years and Lt Col in 13 years. Similarly, WSES officers under the old terms are being promoted as Capt after 5 years and are not eligible for any substantive promotion after Capt. When there was hue and cry on the subject, our PS Directorate did take up the issue for rectification but recommended that SSCOs commissioned under the old terms should be made Capt in 5 years rather than the current 9 years !. So there you have it, we are not even magnanimous in demanding our rights. Rather than simply seeking that all officers who were in service in December 2004 or who joined thereafter should be promoted to Capt, Maj and Lt Col in 2, 6 and 13 years as per the universally applicable promotion scheme, we ourselves have been misers in demanding what should have logically flown to us without impediment. So who shall give if we do not even demand ?

  • Placing senior officers on appointments tenable by junior civilians :- Sample this – while we continue placing Lt Cols and Time Scale Colonels as GEs, the civilian establishment sends only officers with GP 6600 or max 7600 on these appointments. On one hand we theoretically claim that a Superintending Engineer is equal to a Lt Col, while on the other we continue sending Lt Cols and Cols on appointments tenable by even Executive Engineers. We send senior Majors from the SL cadre as AGEs which is an appointment held by Subedar equivalent GP 4600 (Group B) and Lieut equivalent GP 5400 officers from the civil side. We have been posting Majors as BSOs which is an appointment tenable by Group B Officers in GP 4600 who are 4 steps junior. And this is our own doing and cadre management, and then we blame the civilians for degradation of status! Brace yourself for the 7th CPC.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
    Indian Military Masters of Self Defeat: Click here to read more
    Comment: Kudos to Maj Navdeep who has delineated the MOD and AHQ- which are literally run by a bunch of self serving stereo stylists sans sensibilities!
  • Lt Gen A K Choudhary lauds NGO working for ex servicemen

    Lt Gen A K Choudhary lauded NGO working for ex servicemen
    Report by Arvind Sharma; Dharamsala:
    Counting with its policy of “Army Cares for its veterans”, GOC of the Rising Star Corps Lt Gen A K Choudhary, AVSM,SM,VSM, in a simple ceremony at Yol Cantt near here, presented a large No of gifts to a NGO “Himachal Pradesh Poorav Sainik Sahayta Sangathan”. These gifts were given to enhance functional efficiency on the NGO, were received by NGO Chairman Col (Retd) S C Sharma.
    Addressing the large gathering Lt Gen Choudhary said “ Sangathan is doing yeoman’s services by helping fellow soldiers which is exemplary emulation for worthy and noble cause. I would like more people to come forward to help the ex servicemen by ex-servicemen contributory health scheme polyclinics and also establishing ex servicemen helplines at all station headquarters to assist them.
    “Himachal Pradesh Poorav Sainik Sahayta Sangathan “ was established in 2001 at Sidhwari in Dharamsala. Since then the sangathan has taken a lot of steps and initiatives at the grass root level to address the problems of Ex servicemen and their families if the remote areas of Himachal Pradesh. NGO is helping in so many problems from pension of ex servicemen to preparing youth for army recruitments. It also helps war widows to rebuild their future.
    click here to read the original post

    How to honour Veterans

    Appeal for the oldest living ex-serviceman or woman
    Released: Wednesday October 12, 2011
    Organisers of Wolverhampton’s annual Festival of Remembrance are searching for the oldest living serviceman or woman.
    The traditional service, part of a number of events in Wolverhampton that honour those who served in the armed forces during conflicts, will take place at the Wulfrun Hall in North Street on Sunday November 6, 2011, from 2pm.
    This year, the Festival of Remembrance working committee wants to find the oldest ex-serviceman or woman living in Wolverhampton.
    Once established, that person will be a VIP guest at the festival and invited to sit with the Mayoral party.
    Councillor Linda Leach, who is the chair of the committee, said: “This is my first year as chair of the working committee for what is a very important and poignant event in the city.
    “We want to honour those who have served in all conflicts. As well as looking for the oldest ex-serviceman or woman living in Wolverhampton, we also want to encourage more younger people to join the working committee and take part every year.
    “We would urge anyone interested to contact us and help us continue to make the Festival of Remembrance a fitting tribute to our armed forces.”
    Mary Davies, aged 88, is a founder member of the committee and has served for 36 years. She was an army secretary with the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.
    She said: “During the war I made so many good friends who remained friends for life. I also remember the first Festival of Remembrance in the mid 1970s – there were so many more veterans still alive back then, including some from the First World War.
    “The festival is very important to us and it is vital we keep remembering all those who were left behind and those who came back injured.”
    Fellow committee member Keith Sutton, aged 72, served with the Royal Signals from 1958-63 and said: “I have carried the Union Standard in Wolverhampton for nine years.
    “We need to encourage younger service personnel to join the committee and keep this wonderful event going.
    “The festival, like Remembrance Sunday and other events, is about paying tribute to those who served in all conflicts, not just the two World Wars.”
    And Tony Callaghan, aged 77, who served the Royal Engineers from 1952-59, added: “We have given talks in schools about what it was like to be children during the Second World War.
    “The children were so intrigued to hear about what life was like back then and it was a pleasure to help them learn about a very important part of our history.”
    Appeal for the oldest living ex-serviceman or woman

    Army holds ex-servicemen rally

    DARHAL: An ex-servicemen rally wаѕ organised fοr thе benefit οf ex-servicemen οf armed forces frοm Rajouri District οn Sunday аt Government Boys Higher Secondary School Darhal bу a Rashrtiya Rifles Battalion under thе aegis οf Sector Rashtriya Rifles аnԁ Counter Insurgency Force, Romeo.
    Approximatly 500 ex-servicemen attended thе rally. Students frοm Government Higher Secondary School Darhal presented a cultural programme аѕ a mаrk οf respect tο ex-servicemen.
    Thе rally wаѕ inaugurated bу Commander Sector Rashtriya Rifle. Eminent personalities frοm civil administration whο graced thе rally include Vijay Kumar, IPS DIG Poonch Rajouri, Raj Kumar, SDPO Rajouri, Maj (Retd) R.S Thakur, Secretary Zila Sainik Welfare Board, Rajouri, representatives frοm Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme Rajouri, Defence Pension Disbursement Office, Fishery Department, KVIC аnԁ nationalised banks. Thеу addressed thе ex-servicemen аnԁ informed thеm аbουt various welfare activities whісh thе government hаѕ ѕtаrtеԁ fοr thеіr benefit.
    Alongside, a medical camp wаѕ аƖѕο organised wherein five army doctors including, surgical specialist, medical officers аnԁ a team οf six civil doctors provided healthcare advice аnԁ free medicines tο thе ex-servicemen. A dental detachment wаѕ аƖѕο available tο treat thе dental cases.
    An Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme counter, CSD Smart Card counter, CSD аnԁ Non CSD counter wеrе аƖѕο established аt thе rally site fοr thе benefit οf ex-servicemen. A grievance cell tο register thе grievances аnԁ problems οf ex-servicemen аnԁ аn information cell primarily tο provide multifarious information tο thеm wаѕ аƖѕο established аt thе site.
    On thе occasion sixteen Veer Naris wеrе аƖѕο felicitated whose husbands hаԁ sacrificed thеіr lives fοr thе country. Overall thе rally wаѕ a ɡrеаt success wherein thе ex-servicemen wеrе apprised οf numerous schemes/projects conceived fοr thеіr welfare.
    Army holds ex-servicemen rally

    Two groups of ESM pensioners

    Relief for ex-servicemen
    Kalyan Ray, New Delhi:
    After years of struggle, some relief has finally come for 12 lakh ex-servicemen on Monday when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced rationalising the pension benefits of retired jawans and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) in accordance with their “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) demand.
    Despite demands from ex-servicemen, successive governments in the past had claimed that OROP was untenable and meeting it would cost a bomb. The anomaly was created by the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions. The Congress had promised OROP in its poll manifesto in 2004. However, the UPA government rejected the OROP demand in December 2008, after which ex-servicemen returned their gallantry medals to the President and made open overtures towards the BJP. Following protracted protests, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to review the OROP issues. Interestingly, it was announced ahead of the Parliamentary polls in Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan, which contribute thousands of soldiers to the three services.
    On the basis of the panel’s suggestion, the Centre has now agreed to substantially hike the pension of Personnel Below the Officer Rank (PBOR) and JCOs.
    The pension of PBOR and JCOs who retired before October 10, 1997, (implementation date for the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations) will be brought at par with the pension of those retired after that date.
    The pension of those retired before January 1, 2006 –– including the 1997 group –– will be substantially hiked to come close to those who retired after the cut-off date of January 1, 2006 (implementation date for the Sixth Pay Commission).
    Once realised, the new pension scheme will lead to creation of two groups of pensioners in the armed forces with January 1, 2006, serving as the cut off date.
    “This is not OROP. Those who retired after January 1, 2006, will get higher pension. The government has just bridged a gap for the JCOs and PBORs,” Maj Gen Satbir Singh, vice chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement told Deccan Herald. Both decisions would be implemented from July 1, 2009, resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs.
    DH News Service
    Relief for ESM Pensioners

    Ex-Servicemen's rally held at Imphal

    Ex-Servicemen's rally for veterans of NE states held
    Source: Hueiyen News Service
    Imphal, October 15 2011: An Ex-Servicemen (Veterans) Rally and Seminar was organised at Likabali Military Station, Dhemaji, Assam on October 14 on behalf of the Spear Corp as the Year for Disabled Soldiers 2011. The seminar was organised with an aim to create awareness in the environment regarding the benefits being made available to the disabled soldiers, psychological rehabilitation of the disabled soldiers, the veterans and their families, stated a press release of PIB (Defence Wing).
    Singing the National Anthem and observance of two minutes silence in remembrance of the valiant martyrs who had sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation marked the inauguration of the occasion.
    The Station Commander, Likabali Military Station, addressing to veterans, disabled veterans (at about 2,500), war widows (Veer Naaris) and widows of veterans, senior officers from army and civil dignitaries, said that the soldiers who risked their lives and limbs in the highest call of duty are the real heroes.
    Various stalls were set up at the venue of the Ex-Servicemen Rally by the Zila Sainik Welfare Board, to provide information for the disabled soldiers including pension benefits, re-settlement issues, vocational training, rehabilitation, employment and health/Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).
    A medical camp was also organised by the army wherein the services of various medical specialists were made available to the veterans and their families.
    The army authorities had made elaborate and extensive arrangements for the event. A sumptuous lunch followed the grand event.
    Retired Colonel PK Deori, on behalf of the veterans, thanked to the Chief of Army Staff, for initiating such a thoughtful and noble gesture towards the betterment of the disabled and other veterans.

    Ex-Servicemen's rally for veterans of NE states held

    Play Role in Development: Khanduri to Ex-Servicemen

    Khanduri asks ex-servicemen to play active role in development
    PTI | 08:10 PM,Oct 30,2011

    Dehra Dun, Oct 30 (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri today asked the ex-servicemen to play an active role in the development of the state as well as the country. At a function in Srinagar town in Pauri district, Khanduri said ex-servicemen can contribute to the country's development even after their retirement due to their disciplined lifestyle and spirit of sacrifice for the nation, an official release said. Uttarakhand provides highest annuity and one-time grant in the country to the gallantry award winners, he said, adding a representative on an honorarium of Rs 4,000 has been appointed in every block of the state to resolve the problems of the soldiers. The Chief Minister also gave financial assistance of Rs 30,000 and Rs 25,000 to two ex-servicemen's wives for the marriage of their daughters and Rs 5,000 each to 16 others. Commandant of Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre Brigadier Sarad Chandra thanked the Chief Minister for giving 22 bighas of land and financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh for construction of Warrior Girls and Wives Hostel.
    Play Role in Development: Khanduri to Ex-Servicemen

    Resolve Ex-Servicemen Pension Grievances Quickly

    Antony’s Message to Defence Accounts on Annual Day
    The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today asked senior Defence Finance officials of his Ministry to consider the satisfaction level of Ex-Servicemen (ESM) pensioners as the benchmark of their performance. Addressing the 264th Annual Day Celebration of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) here today, Shri Antony pointed out that his office still continues to receive several pension settlement related grievances.
    “True, most of these cases were a baggage from the past as a consequence of Pay Commission recommendations and Cabinet decision on pay and pension hike, yet these needed to be addressed at the shortest possible time,” Shri Antony said. “Ultimately, the taste of the pudding lies in its eating,” he quipped adding that “the veterans deserved their due as they had sacrificed the prime of their life safeguarding our borders.”
    The Defence Minister hoped that the two IT projects ‘Sangam’, for pension payment, and ‘Dolphin’ related to monthly pay system for the Other Ranks (OR) in Army, will facilitate quick disbursal of dues to the serving ORs and ESM. “You must strive to provide enhanced customer satisfaction through hassle-free service and prompt and accurate payment of dues to the soldiers and their dependents.” Project ‘Sangham’ has fulfilled a long-pending demand of our ESM.
    Commending the DAD for launching of its two IT projects – ‘Vishwak’ and ‘Bhawan’, Shri Antony said, “You should strive to utilise this advantage to assist the Services in achieving their goals.” Underlining the need for transparency in accounting procedures, the Defence Minister observed, “In today’s era of globalisation, accountability has acquired new connotations. Accountability is no longer restricted to quantitative techniques and financial inputs and outputs. It has become an integral part of good governance, with several aspects like integrity, transparency, responsiveness and sustainability becoming a part and parcel.”
    On the occasion, the Shri Antony also presented the Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence for the year 2011. The Excellence Award for Software Development was bagged by CGDA (IT Wing Team) headed by Shri S Murali Krishnan, which has developed Project ‘Suvigya’ (Pension inquiry system), Project ‘Aashraya (pension disbursement system) and Project ‘Darpan’ (Defence Accounts Receipts and Payments Analyses). CDA Secunderabad, Secunderabad team headed by Shri Y Rajareddy was awarded the Excellence Award for Project ‘Dophin’, an online PBOR Monthly Pay System. PCDA (Central Command) team headed by Shri HH Mishra also bagged the Excellence Award for launching of Monthly Pay System and its implementation on all Pay Accounts Offices.
    Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Shrimati Neelam Nath, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) Shri Nand Kishore and Additional CGDA Ms UG Antony were among the dignitaries present at the function.
    Resolve Ex-Servicemen Pension Grievances Quickly


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