Thursday, November 26, 2015


One Rank One Pension (OROP), or "same pension, for same rank, for same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement"[1]:p 1 was decided as the basis for determining the pension and benefits of Indian Armed Forces in 1973, when it was terminated by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD), in an "ex-parte" decision, during the tenure of the Indian National Congress (INC) led by Indira Gandhi.[2] :paras 10.4 and 11.2

The termination of OROP, and drastic decrease in Armed Forces soldiers' pension from 70 percent to 50 percent of last pay drawn,[3] two years after 1971 Bangladesh war, caused disquiet in the Indian Armed Forces and, since 2008, has been cause of public appeals and protests,[2]:para 2,10.2,10.4 and 11.2 and hunger strikes by armed forces veterans,[4][5] the overwhelming majority of whom retire before they are forty years old.[6]
In 2008, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, led by Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, while disregarding OROP for the Armed Forces, granted OROP to present, and future civil Servants, in perpetuity, at the apex pay grade (Rs 80,000), the highest pay grade in the government, the pay grade at which majority of the officials of India's Central Civil Services, including police officers, retire.[7][8][9]:para 1.2.8–9
In contrast to near hundred percent Apex-OROP coverage to past and future retiree from the civil services, including majority of civilian officers in Ministry of Defenceresponsible for providing secretarial, logistic, and rear area services to the Armed Forces, only a fraction of one percent of the armed forces officers, as hedge against their opposition to the scheme, were also sanctioned OROP.[8]
Sanction of OROP at apex scale to all civil services was accompanied by two other radical decisions in 2008: grant of 'non-functional financial up-gradation' [9]:para 11.20 to all civil services including the Indian Police Service,[10]:p 156 note 3, and Annexure -I, p 319 and creation of several hundred new posts of secretaries and Special Secretaries, at the apex grade pay level, so as to make almost all civilian and police officers eligible for apex scale OROP pensions. For the Indian Police service, for instance, over three dozen new apex grade pay level post were created.[9]:pages 645–46; para 3.2.12 'Non-functional financial up-gradation'(NFU) was not extended to Armed Forces.[11]
These decisions, widened the increasing the pay and pension gap between defence and civilian officials. It sharply downgraded time scale and highly selective Armed Forces pay grades and ranks across the board, most significantly, at the senior ranks of Colonel to Major General, and their equivalents in the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The pay and pension down grades, with wide organizational and morale ramifications, were widely resented by the armed forces.[11][12] :para 10.4 and 11.2 [13]
In response to the growing unease in the Armed Forces, and escalating protest by veterans with implementation of OROP as focus, the Government set up of a ten-member all-party Parliamentary Panel, known as the Koshyari Committee after its chairman, to examine the OROP issue.[2] The Koshyari Committee after considering the evidence, and hearing oral depositions for eight months, submitted it report in December 2011. The committee unanimously found merit in OROP and strongly recommended that, "Government should implement OROP in the defence forces across the board at the earliest and further that for future, the pay, allowances, pension, family pension, etc., in respect of the defence personnel should be determined by a separate commission"[2]:p 1 Despite the Koshyari Committee report, public commitments, including in the parliament, and visible disaffection amongst the armed force veterans, the UPA Government was slow to reach out to the veterans and implement OROP.[14]
In May 2014, the UPA Government lost the election. It was replaced by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which like the Congress Party, had included implementation of OROP in its election manifesto.[15] Sonia Gandhi of INC, and Narendra Modi of BJP, at political rallies made repeated commitments to implement OROP, if elected.[14] Narendra Modi, the BJP prime Ministerial candidate, in order to win armed forces and veteran support, made implementation of OROP an election rallying call.[16]
The BJP leadership after it assumed office continued to make pledges, and promises, but did not implement OROP. This raised doubts and suspicion amongst ex-servicemen about its intent to implement OROP according to the accepted definition.[17][18][19] The BJP ambivalence provoked nation wide protests by the veterans, starting 15 June 2015.[4][20][21]
On 14 August 2015, Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister of India, ordered the Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force, a Counter Insurgency force under the Ministry of Home Affairs, to remove the ex-servicemen gathered at Jantar Mantar. The police, citing security concerns, in a ham handed operation 'pushed around', dragged, assaulted, lathi-charged and otherwise humiliated the peaceful gathering of Ex servicemen, and their families, many of whom were in their eighties. [22] Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, after the police raid, told the Press Trust of India, "This is shocking and obnoxious. Nothing can be worse. We are the protectors of India's Independence. The move to remove our tents is barbaric, undemocratic and dictatorial."[23][24]
Former Chiefs of Indian Air Forceand Navy expressing strong support to OROP.
Air Chief Marshal N C Suri, and Admiral L Ramdas, with Maj General Satbir Singh and other veterans.
On 5 September 2015 the NDA Government, following 83 days of public protest, announced, unilaterally, the implementation the 'OROP Scheme' for the Armed Forces.[25][26][27] The order to implement OROP was issued two months later on On 7 November 2015.[28]
The Ex-servicemen greeted the Government OROP Scheme of 5 September as well as the implementation order of 7 November with dismay and dissappointment.[20]They said OROP sanctioned by the government did not conform with the 'accepted' definition of OROP, and decided to continue with their protest.[29][30]


OROP definition[edit]

Koshyari Committee definition[edit]

In 2011, the Petitions Committee of the Rajya Sabha or the Koshyari Committee, after examining the evidence, and taking into account the written and oral submissions by top officials from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Finance, veterans, and senior serving armed forces officers, over a six-month period (May–December 2011), defined the concept of OROP as follows:
OROP "implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners."[2] :para 3 and 6 The concept includes "bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. In armed forces, equality in service has two components, namely, rank and length of service. The importance of rank is inherent in armed forces as it has been granted by the President of India and signifies command, control and responsibility in consonance with ethos of service. These ranks are even allowed to be retained by the individual concerned after his/her retirement. Hence, two armed personnel in the same rank and equal length of service should get same pension irrespective of date of retirement and any future enhancement in rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners."[2] :para3

Accepted definition[edit]

The Koshyari Committee definition of OROP was accepted by the Government,[14] endorsed by Parliament, and by ex-servicemen and ex-servicemen organizations. It has since become the accepted definition and basis for the ex-servicemen's demand for implementation of OROP. It is in sync with the ex-servicemen definition of OROP, according to which OROP "implies the grant of equal pension to soldiers of a particular rank, who have rendered the same length of service, irrespective of the date of their retirement."[1]:p 1
On 27 February 2014, the MOD, in a meeting to discuss implementation of OROP attended by AK Antony, Defence Minister, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, RK Mathur, Defence Secretary, Sangita Gairola, Secretary Department of Ex-Servicemen's Welfare, Arunava Dutt, Secretary Defence Finance, the Adjutant General of the Army, and the Vice Chiefs of the three Service, endorsed the OROP definition, affirming that OROP
"implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners," and that it also implies "bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners".[14]

BJP Government: search for new definition[edit]

The 'accepted definition' of OROP, did not find favor with the BJP Government. On 30 May 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after more than a year of pledges and promises to implement OROP, controversially declared that there are "too many definitions [of OROP] going around", and that his Government is "looking for one on which all stakeholders agree".[31] Modi's musings on the need for a new more acceptable OROP definition prompted widespread dismay, disappointment, and outrage amongst Armed Forces pensioners.[32] Modi's statement was perceived by veterans as disingenuous: intended to to delay, dilute, and deny OROP. Lt General Vijay Oberoi, former Vice Chief of Army Staff, in a caustic commentary on the PM declaration, wrote that BJP Government was "expected to have a mind of its own and not be overly influenced by highly biased civil officials, who never lose a chance to put down the military. It is sad that the political-bureaucratic nexus is back in power, much to the detriment of the nation." He noted that the "conviction among military personnel now is that the touted ‘change’ that was the slogan that brought this government to power was only an election ploy and there is no difference between this and the previous governments."[33] The implications of PM 's statement was that the definition of OROP is not settled; that there are multiple definitions; that BJP does not subscribe to the Koshyari Committee definition; that Koshyari Committee definition is open for revision; and that there is a need for a 'new definition of OROP', a definition that is acceptable to 'all stake holders'. The other stake holder were neither defined nor identified by the government.
Arun Jaitley, the current Finance Minister and former Defence Minister, has opposed Koshyari Committee definition of OROP. On 14 August 2015, the day the police roughed up veteran at Jantar Mantar, said, "the arithmetical translation" of OROP was posing a problem because of " several interpretations (of the definition of OROP)".[34] On 31 August 2015 Arun Jaitley, without defining OROP, says, "I have my own formula on what OROP means. Somebody else may have their own formula on OROP but it has to be within reasonable and rational criteria. You can't have an OROP where pensions are revised every month or every year".[35]Responding to Jaitley, the UPSEM alleges that Arun Jaitley, is manipulating the media, specifically, the Times of India, and India TV channel, to misinform the public, and exacerbate difference between the Officers and soldiers, on the OROP issue.[35]

OROP for civil services[edit]

The UPA Government sanctioned One Rank, One Pension (OROP) to all civil servants who retire at the apex pay scale, the highest scale of pay in the Government of India, ie, the current pay scale of secretaries, and special secretaries to the Government of India, which is currently Rs. 80000(fixed).[7][36]:p 1–2 All IAS , IFS, and most IPS officers retire at this scale.[7]
'Apex OROP' decision was processed in the Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare (DOP&PW), a department directly under the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister's Office, by Indian Administrative service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers. They not surprisingly, favored themselves with 100 percent OROP coverage at apex scales. The decision was implemented not by a public notification, but a slyly worded internal memo, issued by Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare. Avay Shukla, a former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, ( 1975 batch, Himachal Pradesh cadre), who retired at the apex grade, and is recipient of Apex Grade OROP linked pension, wrote in a newspaper article that apex OROP for the civil services was done slyly, by "a slight of hand", by a decree, "that all who retire in this scale (known loftily as the Apex Scale) would get OROP – that is, their pensions would always be linked to whatever revised Apex Scale the subsequent Pay Commissions decided. Since every single IAS and IFS officer retires in the Apex Scale this forever ensured OROP for themselves. To reduce any opposition to the stratagem, some Apex Scale posts were also made available to other All India services." As 'Apex-OROP' was done secretly it has neither been discussed or scrutinized by the media, or the Ministry of Finance, and for this reason remained little known.[7][8]

Beneficiaries of OROP-2008[edit]

Civil services[edit]

'Apex-OROP' while appearing to be selective, provides apex grade pay pension coverage to thousands of retired , serving, and future Civil Service officers, including 4802 Indian Foreign Service[37] 600 Indian Foreign Service officers,[38] and majority of the 4720 the IPS serving officers not with standing what their responsibilities or duties entail.[8][39]
Ajay Prasad, IAS, former defence secretary, who retired on 30 June 2004, on 22 August 2015, in a debate on national TV denied that he was getting Apex-OROP .[40] J.K. Khanna, a IPS officer, who retired as DGP, in 2011, and Avay Shukla, IAS, who retired in 2010, have confirmed that they like other IAS and IPS officers are getting Apex OROP.[7][8]

Armed Forces[edit]

In comparison with near 100 percent coverage to all present and future members of the direct recruits to All India Civil Services, a mere .13 percent of the Armed Forces Officer corps are covered by the special OROP scheme.[13] Those covered include the three heads of the Defence Forces, Army Commanders, and few other Lt Generals, and their equivalents in the Navy, and Air Force. This minuscule upper crust of the armed Forces officers corps was covered by the apex scale as a hedge against them raising their voices on the 'stratagem'.[8] Contentiously, apex-OROP while covering all civil officers in the MOD, including those responsible for providing various support services to the defence forces, like accounts and audit, land, excluded the senior most ranks of the Armed Forces, including Lt Generals, Major Generals, Vice Admirals, and Rear Admirals, and Air Marshals, the commanders of the Armed Forces largest formations: its CorpsDivisions, air commands, bases, fleets and training establishments.[13] Sanction of Apex-OROP to thousands of officials, amongst other factors, is perceived as the "causus belli" for the protest by Armed Forces veterans over OROP.[4][5][7] It is also the probable cause for the unprecedented letter by former Chiefs of Defence Forces of India to the Government declaring their support for OROP for the Armed Forces.[41]

Ministry of Defence and OROP[edit]

The higher bureaucracy in Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD), unlike defence ministries in other countries, is staffed entirely by civil service officers on deputation, who have never served in the armed forces or are familiar with its working or ethos. The MOD bureaucracy is drawn from the IAS and from other civil services, including from civilian services responsible for providing support services to the Armed Forces such as the from Indian Defence Estates Service, the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), and Indian Ordnance Factories Service. The entire MOD bureaucracy is covered by Apex OROP.[7][42] MOD higher bureaucracy, despite being assured full apex-OROP coverage has, since the issue was raised, been opposed to OROP for the Armed Forces. [43]
The MOD is considered by most ex-servicemen, including former head of the Armed Forces, as permanent impediment to OROP, and welfare of ESM. Four former heads of the Armed Forces in August 2015, in a open letter addressed to the President of India flagged "The hostile approach of MoD bureaucracy" and its "antagonistic handling of problems related to pensions and allowances of aging veterans, war widows and battle-casualties'.[44]
In 2011, during the tenure AK Antony, as Defence Minister, Neelam Nath, Secretary of Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare (Poorva Senani Kalyan Vibhag) from 1 June 2009 to 30 September 2011, on instructions of Shashi Kant Sharma, Defence Secretary, opposed OROP for the Armed Force, in her deposition to the Parliamentary Panel.[2]:para 4, and 4.1 The Koshyari Committee however, disagreed with submissions by the Ministry of Defence and found "merit in the demand for One Rank One Pension by Armed Forces Personnel", and urged the Government to implement OROP at the earliest.[2][45]

OROP and UPA government[edit]

During the tenure of the UPA Government, OROP issue gained salience. This was mainly because Manmohan Singh, UPA Government’s Prime Minister, in the wake of Sixth Central Pay Commission (6 CPC), in 2008, decided to [a] disregard OROP;[9]:para 5.1.58 [b] grant time bound higher pay grades and ranks to civilian and Police officers, who wears army badges of rank, at fixed intervals, independent of the job requirement, or span of responsibilities; [c] sanction assured automatic pay promotions, to all officers of All India Services, and the police, under what has been called the "Non-Functional Up-gradation" (NFU), and [d] terminate "traditional pay parity between the commissioned officers and the AIS", by denying similar pay promotions to armed forces.[9]:para 1.2.8–9[46]
These decisions had the effect of sharply down grading Armed Forces pay grades and ranks across the board, and were widely perceived as attempts by the civil and police bureaucracy to undermine Armed Forces honour, esteem and Izzat,[12] The perceived sense of injustice exacerbated resentment and made OROP an emotional issue.[2] :para 10.4 and 11.2 [13]
Ex-servicemen's organisations and Armed Forces veterans frustrated with UPA Government, in despair, took to the streets. Ex-servicemen protest which began tentatively slowly escalated from meek submission of petitions, to return of service and war medalsdharnas, and hunger strikes.[2] :paras 10.4 and 11.2
On 27 February 2014, Defence Minister A K Antony announced that UPA will implement OROP by 1 April 2014.[14]

OROP and the BJP[edit]

Narendra Modi, the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, at a large election rally, in RewariHaryana, with former General VK Singh and Chief of Army Staff standing by his side, in the presence of tens of thousands Ex-Servicemen, declared that he will implement OROP, if elected.[16] After N Modi’s election there were more promises, and public affirmations, by Manohar Parrikar, the Defence Minister, including the Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, on the merits of OROP, and their intent to implement OROP. most memorably on Diwali 2014, at Siachen Glacier, in 2014, where he told soldiers "It was in my destiny that One rank One pension has been fulfilled".[17] Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Defence Minister, in the Budget Speech on 10 July 2014, said, "We reaffirm our commitment to our brave soldiers. A policy of 'One Rank One Pension' has been adopted by the Government to address the pension disparities. We propose to set aside a further sum of  1,000 crore to meet this year’s requirement"[47]:page 25,para 140
Modi's "Mann Ki Batt", radio address on 31 May 2015, in which he asked Ex-Servicemen to remain patient, as he gets rid of the bureaucratic hassles.[48]

Potential beneficiaries of OROP[edit]

Potential beneficiaries of OROP is about 2.6 million ex-servicemen, and 60,000 widows, including war widows, i.e., a combined total of 3.2 million, of whom about 86 percent are widows, JCOs, NCOs, and other ranks, about 14 percent are officers.[35] Out of the estimated outlay on OROP of Rs 8400 crores about Rs 6200 Crores will be on account of Widows, JCOs, NCOs, and other ranks, and about 2200 for Officers.[35]

Protest by armed forces veterans[edit]

On 15 June, ex-servicemen despairing of BJP promises, commenced nationwide protests, and hunger strikes.[4][5][21]
Four former chiefs of the Armed Forces of India, namely General S F Rodrigues, former COAS, and Admirals L RamdasArun Prakash and Sureesh Mehta, former Chiefs of Naval Staff, in an open letter to PresidentPranab MukherjeeSupreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on 13 August 2015, warned that the denigration and humiliation of veterans, and the Government handling of veterans and armed Forces issues, pose grave "implication for national security" [44]
One Rank One Pension (OROP)
Indian ex-servicemen(veterans) on Protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi for Equalization of Pension of all veterans retired in same rank with same years of service.

OROP decision[edit]

Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, on 5 September 2015, the 83rd day of the nationwide protest by ex-servicemen on OROP, in the presence of the three Chiefs of the Armed Forces, announced that "despite the huge fiscal burden", Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, "has fulfilled his commitment and approved OROP for Armed Forces personnel." [26][49] The "estimated cost to the exchequer" to implementing OROP, the Defence Minister said, "would be  8,000 to 10,000 crore at present".[25] [26]


The definition of OROP, for the approved OROP scheme, Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, said "implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future enhancements in the rates of pension would be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals". "Under this definition, it has been decided that the gap between rate of pension of current pensioners and past pensioners will be bridged every 5 years".[25]

OROP Scheme[edit]

"OROP Scheme" includes the following:
"[a] The benefit will be given with effect from 1st July, 2014. The present government assumed office on 26th May, 2014 and therefore, it has been decided to make the scheme effective from a date immediately after.[b] Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. [c] All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment(sic). [d] To begin with, OROP would be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected. [e] Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered(emphasis added) under the OROP scheme. [f] In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years."[25]

OROP and premature retirement[edit]

Defence Minister's decision to include the clause "Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme" in the OROP scheme announcement, on 5 September 2015, without warning the ex-servicemen, caused immediate outrage, and doubts about government intent amongst ex-servicemen.[50][51] Arguing against the exclusion clause the ex-servicemen have said that it was not a part of the discourse, and discussion between the ex-servicemen and the government; it was not an items on the discussion agenda on 5 September morning meeting between minister and ex-servicemen; voluntary retirement scheme(VRS) is a term used by Public Sector Units, and corporate sector, to retire their staff on mutually agreed package, which usually does not have a pension component; and that VRS is not applicable to the Armed Forces, as the Armed Forces does not have VRS. Ex-servicemen have explained that the armed forces has premature retirement (PMR), which is different on many counts from VRS: to avail pension, and PMR, Armed Forces officers must have completed 20 years of service, and soldiers 15 years service; and unlike VRS, PMR invariably has a reserve liability, ie, they can be ordered back into service by the government if the national situation so demands. Ex-servicemen were surprised and disappointed that MOD, which oversees PMR, included, at the last minute, and without warning, the exclusion clause.[51] They were also disappointed that the MOD, which should have known better, conflated VRS and PMR in its announcement. Who was behind the confusion is unclear. The ex-servicemen have demanded an inquiry on how the offending caveat was slipped into the Ministers statement, and MOD press release. Colonel Anil Kaul, spokesperson of the United Front of Ex-Servicemen said, "When we met the Defence Minister on Saturday, there were only three points on the table and that did not include the question about the PMRs. But then, the Defence Minister surprisingly made an announcement at 3 pm that personnel who retire voluntarily will not be covered under OROP. Upset, when we met him again between 6.30 and 7 pm, he too was surprised about the inclusion of the clause." [50] To defuse the ex-servicemen suspicion, distrust, and prevent further escalation, the Prime Minister, on 6 September, announced in Faridabad that all pensioners including those who took premature retirement will be covered by the OROP scheme.[52][53] It is estimated that 46 per cent of all ex-servicemen are PMRs.[50]

Judicial committee[edit]

OROP is not a settled issue. It is,as MOD statement notes, 'a complex issue' and 'not an administrative matter alone', and therefore the MOD has decided to constitute "a One Member Judicial Committee", which will do a "thorough examination of interests of retirees of different periods and different ranks" and consider "inter-service issues of the three Forces".[49] The "One Member Judicial Committee" the statement says "will give its report in six months". Ex-servicemen rejected MOD decision to constitute a one-man committee headed by a retired Supreme Court justice. Instead they urged the Government to constitute a committee of three military veterans, recommended by ex servicemen and an official, appointed by MOD, and that the committee be called upon to submit its report not in six but one month.[29]

Explanation for delay[edit]

The Defence Minister in explanation and as alibi for the delay in implementing OROP, which has been under consideration of the BJP Government for the last 16 months, and pending for four decades, cited the following: [a] The previous governments of Man Mohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance "remained ambivalent on the issue of OROP"; its Minister of State for Defence, in 2009, "in reply to a question, informed Parliament that there are administrative, technical and financial difficulties in implementing OROP". [b] In February 2014, United Progressive Alliance Government while stating that " OROP would be implemented in 2014-15", made a "a budget provision of a mere Rs. 500 crore", which was "not based on any thorough analysis", and that it failed to "specify what OROP would be, how it would be implemented or how much it would cost". These explanations for delay in the implementation of OROP by the present Government find echo in Narendra Modi, PM speech, at a large rally, in FaridabadHaryana, on 6 September 2015.[52] The Congress Party, not unsurprisingly, disagrees with these explanations.[54]

Ex-servicemen response[edit]

Following the Manohar Parrikar statement on the decision to implement OROP, Major General ( Retd) Satbir Singh said, "Out of the six demands that we made, the government has only agreed with one. We want clarification on the premature retirement point in the OROP. "On Government decision to revise pension every five years rather than every year he said, that this was not "in the spirit of One Rank, One Pension, it will be One Rank, Five Pensions," and therefor "urge the government to rethink it"."[20][29]
The ex servicemen dissatisfied with the OROP scheme announced by MOD, decided to call off the hunger strike, but continue with the protest till "all major demands are met". A maha-rally is planned for 12 September 2015[20][29]

Former Defence Minister's response to OROP Scheme[edit]

A.K. Antony, former defence minister in UPA Government, on 5 September 2015, calling the BJP government OROP scheme "totally disappointing", said it "substantially diluted the provisions of the OROP announced by the UPA". He said, it "ridiculed the ex-servicemen as well as the whole country." Refuting Manohar Parrikar's allegation that Congress Government was ambivalent on OROP, he said, "We had already accepted in toto the demand for OROP and were in the process of implementing it." [54]

Financial implications[edit]

Estimated expenditure[edit]

The estimates of expenditure on account of OROP has undergone many revisions: according to early MOD estimates OROP was expected to cost  3000 crores;[2]:para 6, 6.11 this figure has since been questioned and revised. The current estimates vary between  8,000-9,000 crores.[2] :para 7[45] Finance Ministry estimates for implementation of OROP in accordance with the accepted Koshyari definition, according to media reports in August 2015, were about  12000 crores , ie, about  4000 crores more than estimated earlier.[34]


Some defence analyst who have examined the financial implications of OROP have contended that OROP is affordable, and that opposition to it is based on 'specious' grounds.[45] Former heads of Armed Forces including Admiral Arun Prakash have also contended that OROP is affordable as it is small fraction of the defence budget.[20]

Defence pensions[edit]

The outlay for Defence pension for 2015–16 is  54,500 crores, which includes about 500,000 defence civilians.[45] All Civilians officers from the IAS and other AIS in the MOD, since 2008, are covered by OROP.
NoYearDefence Pensions in CroresRemarks
22013–1453,582.15Defence allocation 2,24,000 crore (US$37.15 billion prevailing average exchange rate). 2013-14 defence budget is exclusive of Rs 53,582.15 crore for defence pension, including for defence civilians. It also includes Rs 500 crore on account of the government’s One Rank One Pension (OROP).[55]
32015–1654,500 includes Rs22,500 crore (45%) for civilian pensionsDefence allocation Rs. 2,46,727 crore (US$40.4 billion). The pension allocation includes Rs. 62,852.6 crore provided to MoD under the heads of Defence Pensions (Rs. 54,500 crore) and Civil Expenditure of MoD (Rs. 8,852.6 crore), both of which do not form part of India’s official defence budget.[56] Total Pensioners 24.62 lakh , including 5.62 lakh (22.83%) defence civilian pensioners.

Measures to reduce Armed Forces pension bill[edit]

Reducing the ratio of military pensioners to serving military personnel[edit]

The current ratio of military pensioners to serving military personnel is 1.7 to 1.[45] In comparison the ratio of civil pensioners to civil work force is 0.56 to 1.[45] Reducing the ratio of pensioner to serving in the military will, it is argued, greatly reduce the defence pension bill.[45] To reduce the military pension bill, the 6 CPC and Koshyari Committee, had urged the Government to absorb Armed Forces personnel after their military engagement in Civil Government organization including Police Organization as is the custom in many countries, including in China, and in advanced economies like S Korea, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, and the United States.[2]
The transfer and absorption of Armed Forces personnel after the end of their military service into government organizations and departments where their unique skills, training, discipline and strengths can be optimally used, despite recommendations of the Parliament and Pay Commission, has been mostly ignored by successive Governments, mainly on account of want bureaucratic commitment in MOD, and sustained obstruction by IPS bureaucrats in MHA.[2] :para 5[45]

Fifth Central Pay Commission (5 CPC)[edit]

The 5 CPC, in its report submitted in January 1997, recommended increase in posts for Armed Forces personnel in Group C and D in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) from 10 percent to 25 percent. For Short Service Commissioned Officers, on completion of their military service, 5 CPC recommended earmarking 25 percent officer's post in the CAPFs. The intent of these recommendations was to reduce the defence pension bill, save on training and recruitment costs, provide trained manpower to government departments, and provide soldiers a second career after their term of military engagement.[9]:p 139, para 2.4.4
The Pay Commission recommendations were, however, mostly ignored by the Janata Dal (United Front), and BJP Government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee that followed. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Defence Minister (1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998), Indrajit Gupta (Communist Party of India-United Front), Home Minister (29 June 1996 – 19 March 1998), and L K Advani (BJP), Home Minister (19 March 1998 – 22 May 2004) did little to implement these recommendations. The problem festered, and the pension bill ballooned.[9]:p 139, para 2.4.4

Sixth Central Pay Commission (6 CPC)[edit]

The 6 CPC found that Indian Para Military Forces, called Central Armed Police Forces—CAPFs, which has a total strength of about 7,00,000 (in 1996), and defence civilians in Ministry of Defence, which had a strength of 4,00,000, have a combined annual intake of around 35,000 personnel; in comparison Armed Forces personnel (Army, Air Force, and Navy) pensioned off every year (in 1996) was approximately 40,000.[9]:para 2.4.5, p 139 The 6 CPC on the basis of its analysis concluded that "potential to allow lateral shift of nearly all Defence Forces personnel to CPOs and various cadres of defence civilians exists".[9]:para 2.4.6
The 6 CPC recommended that in future posts in the "CPOs/defence civilian organisations" should be filled by lateral transfer of Armed Forces personnel, including Short Service Commissioned Officers, after they complete their term of military service.[9]:para 2.4.6p 140 Improving the post military service prospects of Short Service Commissioned Officers finds a prominent place in the BJP manifesto 2014, a pledge on which the BJP has till to act.[15]

Response of the NDA Government[edit]

The recommendation of 6 CPC on lateral movement, however, were mostly ignored by the Indian National Congress-(UPA) Government. A K Antony, the Defence Minister (24 October 2006 – 26 May 2014), at the time did little to follow up on these recommendations. P Chidambaram, Home Minister (30 November 2008 – 31 July 2012), the minister responsible for implementing the recommendations on lateral movement, according to the 6 CPC, resisted implementing these reforms which would result in savings of tens of thousands of crores.[9]:p 141, para 2.4.8 In the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) the resistance to these imminently sensible measures was from the civil and police bureaucracy, especially from the heads of Indian Para Military Forces, also called Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).[9]:p 141, para 2.4.8 The seven CAPFs are headed by officers from Indian Police Service. They have direct access to the Minister of Home Affairs, and were elevated by the UPA Government to apex pay grades, a grade higher than that of most Lt Generals, including those in command of Corps of the Indian Army.[9]:page 645–46, para 11.18[10]

Savings from lateral movement of Armed Forces personnel[edit]

The 6 CPC estimated that the "at the end of 13 years the annual savings" from transfer- absorption of Armed Forces personnel to civil departments, including police, "will be to the tune of  7,800 crore at constant price index". Lateral transfer- absorption, in the longer term result in savings in the overall pension bill, and would more than off set projected expenditure on OROP.[9]:p 141, para 2.4.7 [57]



Two years after the 1971 war, in 1973, following the third pay commission, the Ministry of Defence (MOD), terminates ‘One Rank One Pension’ the basis for deciding pension of Indian Armed Forces Personnel ‘which had been in vogue for 26 years since independence’ through an ex parte administrative order.[2]:para 10.1–2, and 6.2 Armed Forces pensions before 1973 because of early retirement, conditions of military service, were about 70 percent of the pay of rank at which they retired. In 1973, the pension of civilian government servant was increased from 33 percent to 50 percent, and that of armed forces who have far shorter careers, and more challenging service conditions, was decreased: officers’ pension from 70 percent to 50 percent and soldiers from 70 to 37 percent of last pay drawn.[3]
The Estimates Committee 1980-81 (Seventh Lok Sabha, Fifteenth Report on Resettlement of Ex-servicemen) found that "that disparity in pensions" is " 'Thorn’ (which) freshens and deepens the wound almost every month when an ex-serviceman who had senior appointment in the Armed Forces is chagrined to find that his pension packet is woefully lower than that of an ex-serviceman who was many grades junior to him". The Committee found that "disparity in pension is inequitable and unfair and there is no justification to perpetuate it particularly among ex-servicemen where rank structure have always been the principle determinant of emoluments, perks and privileges. The Committee recommended that this matter should be examined with a fresh approach ... and just solution found to end the disparity in pensions to the satisfaction of large body of ex-servicemen".[58]
Indian National Congress (I) Government led by Rajiv Gandhi, PM, on the prompting of ex servicemen, appoints a High Level Committee headed by K P Singh Deo, Minister of State for Defence. K P Singh Deo Committee found that ‘Ex-servicemen throughout the country... are of the view that a Defence Forces pensioner irrespective of the date of his retirement should get the same pension as another pensioner who retired later for the same rank and the same length of service. Whenever, pensions are revised the same should be applicable automatically and with prospective effect to existing pensioners. Similarly, other kinds of pensions like family pension, special family pension, widows pension and so on, whenever revised should again be automatically applicable to older cases, in the light of principle which has been already established with respect to the pensions of High Court and Supreme Court Judges". This the committee noted "is indeed worth consideration". the then Government, however, ignored the K P Singh Deo Committee findings and recommendations. This provoked the six Members of the All-India Ex-Services Welfare Association to go on indefinite fast in 1987, which resulted in creation of another committee to consider the issues.[58]
By 1985, Armed Forces has fourteen different categories of pensioners.[1]
Rajiv Gandhi led Indian National Congress (I) Government following the 4th CPC decides to implement concept of 'Rank Pay' for armed forces officer ranks ranging from 2/lt to brigadier in the army, and equivalent ranks in the Air Force and the Navy. Depending on the rank, the 'rank pay' varies from 200 to 1200. The 'rank pay', is not an additional pay, but amount deducted from their pay grade. The deduction of 'rank pay' from their grade pay allows the MOD to end old civil-police military equations, and make new equations of equivalence with police, and AIS officers. Selection grade ranks of the armed forces of Lt Colonel, Colonels, and Brigadiers, because of 'rank pay' deductions from their pay, makes these ranks junior to to time scale ranks in the police and AIS. For instance, as general Satbir has pointed out, Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant were equated with Junior Time Scale (JTS) and Captain with Senior Time Scale till 3CPC, were "clubbed with a single civilian rank of JTS".[43] He asks, "How could it be allowed that the first military rank of Second Lieutenant along with two promotional ranks of Lieutenant and Captain were all clubbed with the first civilian rank?". Similarly at the level of major "rank pay' had the effect of promoting civilian pay grades equal to major till the 3 CPC, to that of colonels." Major General Satbir Singh has termed 'rank pay' implementation as “rarest of rare fraud, perjury and Injustice to the defence forces”.[43] Service headquarters for various reasons do not take up the issue. Eventually, Maj AK Dhanapalan, a retired major, litigates 'rank Pay'. After protracted legal struggle high court, despite many appeals,in a land mark decision declares the 'rank pay' concept illegal. In its judgment the SC notes that the 'rank pay' was wrongly deducted from basic pay and ordered re-fixation of pay "with effect from" and not "as on" 1 January 1986.[59]
Six members of the All-India Ex-Services Welfare Association go on indefinite fast in 1987, demanding follow up action by the Government on KP Singh Deo Committee findings and recommendations.[58]
In 1989 the VP Singh Government appointed Jafa Committee to implement his promise of OROP for ex-servicemen. This committee, according to ex-servicemen, however, "did every thing to scuttle this concept" An Ad hoc was offered in October 90, which the ESM called "betrayal of their trust" and rejected it.[58] The ESM alleged that " The half truths and lies trotted out by this Committee are being utilized by the Bureaucrats to mislead the leadership in denying the ex-servicemen the grant of this One Rank One Pension".[58]
OROP is considered by Sharad Pawar committee (1990-1991), during the tenure of PM Chandrasekhar (1990-1991).[2]:para 10.1 In 1992, the Government grants a 'one time increase', instead of OROP.[1]
The 5 CPC submits its report in January 1997. The Governmentapproves 5 CPC recommendation of full parity between pensioners before and after 1 January 1986 and a modified parity between pre- and post- 1 January 1996 to all pensioners including Armed Forces pensioners, but ignores OROP. Government decision to accept 5 CPC depress military pensions, including that of General Officers who, in an precedent action, file a lawsuit against the Government. After protracted litigation, strongly contested by the UPA Government, the Supreme Court of India rules in favor of the litigants.[1]
23 November 2002
Sonia Gandhi, Chairman UPA, in run-up to elections, at a public rally, in the Sector 46 sports complex at Chandigarh, declares that she and her party support grant of OROP. OROP is included in the party’s election manifesto.[60]


6th CPC submits report. Its stand on ‘One Rank One Pension' is ambivalent. 6CPC recommends that "extant provisions may continue".[9]:para 5.1.58
The 6 CPC recommended that in future posts in the "CPOs/defence civilian organisations" should be filled by lateral transfer of Armed Forces personnel, including Short Service Commissioned Officers, after they complete their term of military service.[9]:para 2.4.6p 140
August 2008
29 August 2008
UPA Government issue Gazette notification accepting most of the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission. To the considerable disappointment of the serving armed forces members and veterans, Government fails to address the many anomalies that adversely affect Armed Forces pay, pensions, ranks, organizational structure, basis for relations with civil bureaucracy, and police led security establishment in the centre. [61] [62]
Government decision to accept 6CPC widely perceived by high-ranking Armed Forces veterans, including former heads of the Armed Forces, as attempts by the civil and police bureaucracy to undermine Armed Forces honour, esteem and Izzat.[12] Public protest by armed Forces veterans escalate.[2] :paras 10.4 and 11.2
The acceptance of the 6 CPC by the government provokes widespread dismay amongst ex-servicemen.[13] For the first time Ex-servicemen engage in public protest and threaten hunger strikes. Major general Surjit Singh writes that "The Sixth Pay Commission has done inestimable damage to civil-military relations", and giving vent to the general mood says, "The protest rallies are actually a manifestation of the seething anger which many veterans carry as baggage accumulated during service. We all seem to have very bitter memories of the shoddy treatment meted out to us by civil servants. [1]:p 1 [60]
Indian Ex Servicemen Movement(IESM) an "All India Federation of Ex Servicemen's organizations" is established in August 2008, in the wake of the UPA Government decision to implement Sixth Central Pay Commission, which depressed military pays, pensions, and ranks, relative to civilian Government employees, especially in the Ministry of Defence( MOD) and Police led security services.[63] IESM focuses on identifying, and advocating veteran causes, principally issues affecting veteran honor and izzat, and the implementation of One Rank One pension for the armed Forces of India.[58][64]
OROP protest gained momentum and support following Government decision to [a] disregard OROP;[9]:para 5.1.58 :para 5.1.58 [b] grant time bound higher pay grades and ranks to civilian and Police officers, who wears army badges of rank, at fixed intervals, independent of the job requirement, or span of responsibilities; [c] sanction assured automatic pay promotions, to all officers of All India Services, and the police, under what has been called the "Non-Functional Up-gradation" (NFU), and [d] terminate "traditional pay parity between the commissioned officers and the AIS".[9]:para 1.2.8–9[13][46]

16 December 2008

Ex-servicemen begin a relay fast at Jantar Mantar. The peaceful protest is largely ignored by the government. Veteran decide to surrender of their war medals, including war and gallantry medals.[60]
8 February 2009
Armed Forces veterans from the three services march to the Rastrapati Bhavan to meet and surrendered their medals to Pratibha Patil, the President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Pratibha Patil refuses to meet with the ex-servicemen (ESM). Instead ESM are met by junior official in the president's secretariat who collects the medals. The presidential slight and "studied disrespect" fuels ESM grievance.[60]
7 July 2009
"Report of the Committee on One rank One pension and Related Issues" dated 30 June 2009, a 21 page document, is issued by Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure to Secretary Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence. The Committee, referred to a cabinet secretary's Committee on OROP, was constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to examine OROP for the armed Forces. It consisted of seven bureaucrats from the IAS, but excluded armed Forces representative. The Seven member Committee consisted of:K. M. ChandrasekharCabinet Secretary, Chairman; and six members: Vijay Singh, Defence Secretary, Ministry of Defence (MOD); Neelam Nath, Secretary Ex Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence; (MOD),Madhukar Gupta, Secretary Home, Ministry of Home Affairs; Rajni Razdan, Secretary Pension and PW; Rahul Sarin, Secretary, Department of personnel and training, PMO; and Sushma Nath, Secretary Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.[65] :p 21, para 9 The committee met five times. The 21 page report, is shallow in its analysis: while recounting past developments, it ignores growing disparities in pay and pension between civilian and armed forces, the reasons behind OROP becoming a cause of street protest by officers and men of three armed forces of India, and the impact of OROP protests on military morale and national security. The committee did not recommend OROP for the armed forces. The salient reasons for not recommending OROP in the report are: historical, ie, OROP has been examined before, and not recommended by GOM (2005–06), law ministry, etc; that acceptance of OROP has financial implication of Rs 8000-9000 crores;[65]:para 3 and that grant of OROP "cannot be implemented for ex-servicemen alone and a demand for similar dispensation amongst civilian would also arise" [65]:para 2.15


7 May 2010
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in its report to Parliament strongly recommends grant of OROP.[66]
29 October 2010
K. Sanjay Prabhu, a resident of Bengaluru, submits petition to Rajyasabha Committee On Petitions for grant of one rank one pension to the armed forces personnel. The petition is countersigned by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, M.P. (Rajya Sabha).[2]
8 Nov 2010
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, on behalf of the IESM, sends Letter to A.K. Antony, Defence Minister (DM). The letter distributed to all IESM members, and the media, expresses concern and alarm, on Antony's reply in parliament, to a question by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, and in his letter to Pratap Singh Bajwa, Congress MP from Gurdaspur, in which the Antony affirmed that OROP had been examined but not recommended citing examples. Satbir asks, why examples of OROP being recommended including by Group of ministers, amongst others, was excluded in his reply. The letter which runs into several pages provides a detailed background of OROP, including related issues, and implications.[66] The letter, referring to the Committee of secretaries that had not recommended OROP for the Defence Forces on which the DM relied for his reply, ask the Defenec Minister, "Are the Committees set up by the Govt consisting of only bureaucrats with no representation from Defence Forces considered superior to the Committees of Parliament, Group of Ministers, the Prime Minister and even the rulings of various courts in favour of Defence Personnel? Have we changed the definition of civilian control of Armed Forces and delegated the same to the bureaucrats. There are the questions in the minds of Defence veterans". The letter concludes with an appeal to Antony to reconsider his decision and "grant OROP to the Defence Forces at the earliest".[66]


6 March 2011
IESM organizes a Vishal(विशाल) Rally, in Delhi, to gather to collect service medals to return to the President, sign blood petition to the President, and decide on future course of action. 6500 Ex servicemen and 125 widows from 16 states of the union participate in the rally. 30 ex-servicemen make speeches. The speeches, and interaction with the participating ex-servicemen reveals growing sense frustration, sadness, anger, despondency, unhappiness, and impatience with the government.[63] The governing body recognizes that the big challenge is how to keep the movement peaceful in the face of growing impatience. At the rally, the following proposal are voted on, by show of hands: [1] IESM to continue with the campaign till the Government agrees with the demands; [2] medal to be handed over only to the President; [3] Ex service organizations in states to lobby Vidhan Sabha members to pass resolution in favor of OROP; and [4] At the national level only those parties have right to ex servicemen vote who favor its implementation.[63]
15 March 2011
Rajya Sabha, Chairman, admits petition for grant of one rank one pension to the armed forces. On 4 May 2011 ten member Koshiyari Committee commences hearing.[2] :para 5
16 Mar 2011
Indian Ex Servicemen Movement issues 'Khabarnama' its first newsletter. The newsletter in roman hindustani, is distributed widely amongst IESM members through the Internet and social media.[63] The newsletter, demands that the Government set up a ESM Commission, on the lines of Women’s commission and Scheduled Caste Commission, free of MOD bureaucracy, composed of ex servicemen. Recalling Government announcement of separate Pay Commission for the armed forces, the newsletter, calls on the Government to establish the Pay commission now, so that it can address the anomalies caused by the 6 CPC.[63]
18 Mar 2011
Major General Satbir Singh, Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement, sends an appeal to Satpal Maharaj, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), and Chairman, Standing Committee on Defence. He reminds him that one Rank One Pension(OROP) has been a veteran demand for the "past 30 years" which "in-spite of PMs, RMs( Defence Minister) and all Party Parliamentary Committees assurances and recommendations" remains to be implemented. Recalling his meeting with him on 5 May 2010, General Satbir writes that the delay in granting OROP is "grave Injustice to the Defence Veterans". The Government's reasons for rejecting OROP on "administrative, financial and legal” grounds, he asserts, have "been duly demolished", including by Judges in their judgments on the lawfulness of OROP. He says the Government's "total indifference to the demands of Defence Veterans" is incomprehensible especially in the context of its indulgent and placatory approach to aggressive agitations by Jats and Gujjars.[67]
The appeal notes that veterans have deposited 22000 medals with Government, and that another 10000 medals " are waiting to be deposited with the President who, despite being the Supreme Commander of the armed Forces, has has thought it fit to neither meet the veterans or receive their medals. The appeal adds that in addition to returning their medals, a petition signed by over 100,000 ex servicemen in their blood has been submitted to the President to mark of their distress and anguish over the inaction by Government.[67]
The appeal ends with the refrain "Do the Armed Forces Veterans have to continue paying the price for being patriotic, law abiding and disciplined?" The appeal was distributed over the Internet to IESM members, and copies were separately sent to Members of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Partap Singh Bajwa.[67]
27 May- 19 December 2011
Neelam Nath , the Secretary Ministry of Defence, Department Ex-servicemen Welfare (1 June 2009 to 30 September 2011), opposes grant of OROP, citing financial, administrative and legal reasons.[2]:para 6, 6.1Secretary Department of Pensions and Pensioner's Welfare (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions) in his submission raises alarm that if OROP is accepted for the Armed Forces, then there will be similar demands from the civilian pensioners and others. he says Cabinet Secretary's Committee has assessed financial implication of Rs. 8,000-Rs. 9,000 crores per annum tentatively.[2] :para 8.1 Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chairman Committee on Petitions, presents the report, to the parliament. The report finds no merit in the Arguments by the UPA Government opposing grant of OROP to Armed Forces pensioners. It finds that “there is merit in the demand for One Rank One Pension by Armed Forces Personnel” and strongly recommended that, “Government should implement OROP"


12 July 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, according to the Ministry of Defence Annual report for 2012-13, "on the persistent demand" of ESW, constitutes a Committee under Ajit Kumar Seth, the Cabinet Secretary " for looking into pay and pension related issue of relevance to defence personnel and ESM" but not specifically OROP.[68]:para 11.41, p171 [69]
Ajit Kumar Seth committee to look into armed Forces pension has no members from the armed forces, but six secretaries from the IAS: [1] PK Nair, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister; [2] Shashi Kant Sharma, Defence Secretary; [3] Secretary, Department of Ex- Servicemen’s Welfare, Ministry of Defence; [4] Secretary, Department of Expenditure; [5] Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training; and [6] Secretary, Department of Revenue.[70] There are no Armed forces personnel on the panel despite separate letters from the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and the AirForce to AK Antony, Defence Minister to include a Armed Forces representative on the panel.[69] The Panel lacks credibility and little is expected from it.[71]
Admiral Nirmal Kumar VermaChief of Naval Staff and Chairman, Chiefs of the Staff Committee, makes a presentation to the Committee. The committee also meets with Air Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, Chief of Air Staff and General Bikram Singh, Chief of Army Staff.[71] The Committee submits report on 27 August 2012; its position on the OROP is no different from that of secretaries who deposed in front of Koshiyari Parliamentry Panel. It evades the OROP issue.[68]:para 11.41, p171
24 September 2012
UPA government announces that it has approved OROP. Says it has set aside  2,300 crore for the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme. Despite the declaration, the government does little to implement OROP.[72]


15 September 2013
Narendra Modi, the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, at a large election rally in RewariHaryana, attended by tens of thousands of Ex-Servicemen, with former General VK Singh and Chief of Army Staff standing by his side, declares that he will implement OROP, if elected.[16]


On 27 February 2014
A K Antony, Defence Minister in UPA Government, says that UPA will implement OROP by 1 April 2014.[14]
24 April 2014
A K Antony constituted a Joint Working Group (JWG). CGDA, was appointed chairperson (later promoted to Secretary & Financial Adviser in the MoD). Members included representatives from Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Defence/Finance, and Service HQ (Chairmen of the Army, Navy and Air Force Pay Commission Cells and a few officers). The first meeting of the JWG was convened on 2 May 2014 in the office of the CGDA, when he recorded that “As future enhancements have to be automatically passed on to the pensioners, Services proposal for incremental increase in pension on 1st July every year shall be considered. Chairman of Pay and Remuneration Committee (PARC) and also Chairman, Naval Pay Commission cell, being the senior-most from the Services at that meeting, scored out words "incremental increase in pension on 1st July every year, shall” and substituted with “annual revision of OROP tables should be considered.”
10 July 2014
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Defence Minister, in his maiden Budget Speech in the parliament, says, "We reaffirm our commitment to our brave soldiers. A policy of 'One Rank One Pension' has been adopted by the Government to address the pension disparities. We propose to set aside a further sum of  1,000 crore to meet this year’s requirement"[47]:page 25,para 140
14 August 2014
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM, Chairman IESM, writes to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, in response to his statement in Leh on 12 Aug 2014 stating that budget caters for the demand of OROP. The letter says the statement is "erroneous", and not in sync with Draft Govt Letter (DGL) prepared by Service HQs in the meetings in Feb and March, 2014, in which the forecast for OROP was  crore, and not  1500 crore earmarked in the budget. The letter recalls that in a meeting chaired by Mr. AK Antony, former Defence Minister on 26 Feb 2014, OROP definition was approved and OROP was to be implemented with effect from 01 Apr 2014. The letter reminds the PM that "It has been six months since the OROP was approved". The letter draws to the fact that BJP had included implementation of OROP in its manifesto, and the President in his address to both houses of Parliament had made a commitment on behalf of the Government. The letter notes that "The undue long delay in the implementation of the main demand of OROP is causing serious concern to the defence personnel who are feeling dejected with the apathy of your Govt like all previous Governments", and urges the PM to "issue directions to the MoD for immediate implementation of OROP strictly as per its approved definition" and that "Any dilution of the definition or implication of OROP as approved will not be acceptable to the Defence Fraternity"[73]
20 August 2014
Air Chief Marshal Arup RahaAdmiral Robin Dhowan and General Dalbir Singh Suhag, briefed A K Mathur, Justice (retd), the chairman 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), on the pay and pension "anomalies" caused by the 6 CPC.[74]
23 October 2014
Narendra Modi, on Diwali Day, during a well publicized visit to army formation in Siachen Glacier, told soldiers "It was in my destiny that One rank One pension has been fulfilled".[17] Modi's "Mann Ki Batt", radio address on 31 May 2015, in which he asked Ex-Servicemen to remain patient, as he gets rid of the bureaucratic hassles.[48][75]



17 February 2015
Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, approves proposal for implementation of OROP, estimated to cost  8600 crores. The proposal is forwarded by the MOD, to Ministry of Finance on 17 Mar 2015, where it is still lying.[18]
13 March 2015
General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Chief of Army Staff, while addressing a rally of several thousand ex-servicemen in JhajjarHaryana, said that "The OROP will come out in the same principle as desired. It will be effective from 1 April 2014 and may be approved latest by April 30 this year. However, delay does not matter as arrears will be given."[76]


12 May 2015
Indian Ex-Services League (IESL), Odisha unit, blames the bureaucracy for non-implementation of the grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP). Bidyadhar Nayak, Petty Officer Radio(Special),Indian Navy, general secretary of the Odisha unit, in press release on behalf of IESL said, "The CGDA, PCDA and Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare have now started carrying out their own interpretation of the definition itself of the OROP, which falls far below the intended pension benefits to the defence personnel.” [77]
16 May 2015
Manohar Parrikar, in Goa, said "OROP proposal is in final stage. The defence ministry has approved it and the finance ministry will clear it in a few days, adding, "it is the first time that a clear proposal has been sent to finance ministry on OROP."[19]
28 May 2015
Wing Commander Suresh Damodar Karnik, 80, former flight commander of No 16 Bomber Squadron, also called the Black Cobras, Indian Air Force (IAF), a winner of the Vir Chakra for gallantry for combat action in the eastern and western theatres, refused to meet with Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, and Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, to protest BJP's failure to honour its commitment to implement OROP. The commander, hero of the air war over Chittagong, in Pune, on 28 May 2015, said that he and his colleagues are unable to 'accept the invite' because the present Government is following a policy of NATO or ‘NO ACTION TALK ONLY’. And that the bureaucracy is "pursuing a policy of inching towards making Defence Forces into a Defiant Force"[78]
29 May 2015
Major Vijai Singh Mankotia, formerly 1 Gorkha Rifles, President of the Himachal Pradesh Ex-Servicemen League and former minister, said, in Shimla, "It barely takes five minutes for Parliament and assemblies to double the salaries of its members but even after 31 years, since this demand of one-rank one pension was made in 1984, the Defence Minister has said it can take a few more months." He added, "The slogan, Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan, will again resonate as we will join hands with the farmers who are the worst suffers in view of the land Acquisition Bill." Himachal has over 1.5 lakh AF pensioners.[4]
30 May 2015
Narendra Modi, PM, to a question, "Will you deliver on the one-rank-one-pension (OROP) promise to the defence personnel?", replied, "We are committed to OROP, but we are in consultation with defence personnel regarding the definition of OROP. Our government is here for five years, and we cannot do anything without consulting the people concerned. The dialogue is being actively pursued. It is just that there are too many definitions going around yet, and we are looking for one on which all stakeholders agree."[31]
A K Antony, Former Defence Minister, responding to BJP Government allegation that the congress is "politicising" the OROP issue accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "criminal inaction" in delaying implementation of "One Rank One Pension", which he said has made ex-servicemen "restless". The BJP, he said, did little when it was in power from " 1998 to 2004." "Either he [Modi] is unaware of facts or he is misleading the nation in order to cover up his government's failure to implement the UPA decision on One rank-one pension. I can say that what he is saying is totally incorrect and factually wrong." Antony said, "UPA-I onwards we started implementing the provisions in a phased manner and thrice raised the pension of ex-servicemen substantially. Ultimately on February 26, 2014, the government finally decided to implement 'One Rank, One Pension' scheme". No government in future can dilute the decision taken by the UPA, he said. [79]


4 June 2015
Lt General Vijay Oberoi, former Vice Chief of Army Staff, and widely respected war hero of the 1965 war in which he lost his right leg while serving with Maratha Light Infantry,[80] dismissed Narendra Modi's comments on OROP as disingenuous, especially his comment that there were multiple definitions of OROP. He wrote that BJP Government was "expected to have a mind of its own and not be overly influenced by highly biased civil officials, who never lose a chance to put down the military. It is sad that the political-bureaucratic nexus is back in power, much to the detriment of the nation." He noted that the "conviction among military personnel now is that the touted ‘change’ that was the slogan that brought this government to power was only an election ploy and there is no difference between this and the previous governments."[33]
6 June 2015
Ex-Servicemen delegation led by Major General (Retired) Satbir Singh met Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister. The meeting was arranged on the initiative of General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Chief of Army Staff. The meeting was inconclusive, and the two sides agreed to meet again.[81]
11 June 2015
About 5,000 ex-servicemen from Punjab, which has about 6,00,000 Ex-servicemen, according to Brig (Retired) Harwant Singh, state convener of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), are planning to go to Delhi to participate in the protest rally on grant of OROP scheduled to begin 14 June. The participants, which will include around 200 hunger strikers, will be given a "ceremonial farewel" at the war memorial inJalandhar by war widows. Brig KS Kahlon (retd), President, chapter of the All India Defence Brotherhood, said the protest will also include return by some ex-servicemen of their war medals to the President.[82]
14–15 June 2015
Veteran hold "Maha Sangram Rally" at Jantar MantarNew Delhi, and 50 other locations nationwide. 15 June, commence relay hunger strike.[12][21]
On 15 June, several hundred ex-servicemen, staged a dharna, at Lower PMG Square, BhubaneshwarOdisa.[83] Bidyadhar Nayak , general secretary, Indian Ex-Services League(IESL), Odisa unit, referring to the PM's statement that OROP was complex issue said, "Does this imply that OROP has got entangled in bureaucratic malaise for another four years? We have every reason to believe that the Prime Minister is being fed with falsities by sections who are against OROP and lobbies are working hard against the armed forces personnel." IESL officials Group Captain Jagadananda Brahma, President IESL, Arun Mohanty, and Bidyadhar Nayak submitted a memorandum on implementation of OROP to the to Governor SC Jamir [83]
Nafisa Ali (actress & veteran's wife) expressing solidarity with OROP protest along with OROP activists Richa and Janhvi.
22 June 2015
Ex-servicemen announce intent to boycott golden jubilee events to mark the 1965 war with Pakistan, including "felicitation of 1965 War Veterans" to be hosted byPresident Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in September.[84] [85] Ex-Servicemen also announce intent to boycott all government functions including at-home by president on Independence day (August 15), and the Ex-Servicemen contingent at the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2016. Brigadier Harwant Singh, Regiment of Artillery, veteran of the battle of Chhamb-Akhnoor, 1965 war, says "We don't wish to be treated as showpieces, to be rolled out for ceremonies and discarded thereafter."[84][86]
25 June 2015
Mizoram Ex-Service League, which has membership of 6,200 ex-servicemen [and about 25000 dependents], held protest rally, in Aizawl, demanding demanding implementation of OROP.[87]
27 June 2015
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd), Chairman IESM, on the 13th Day of the Relay Hunger Strike, issued a circular, claiming that hunger strike protest have spread to 50 locations, all over the country. Urges Retired Generals to "take the lead as they have done while in service", and requests "at-least eleven General Officers" volunteers to join the relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on 1 July 2015.[18]
28 June 2015
500 veterans, demanding implementation of OROP, protest in Chennai, at Kamarajapuram Bus Stop, near Tambaram.[88]


1 July 2015
United Front of Ex-servicemen, an ex-service organisation, revealed that ex-service men are reconsidering their protest tactics: new tactics will include continuation of relay hunger strike; protests outside homes of parliamentarians; mobilising electoral support against BJP in state election; and submitting letter and petitions to the President signed by war widows in their blood. In the meanwhile eight farmers organisations have joined the ex-servicemen protest under the banner 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan'. A 1965 war veteran from Rajasthan, Krishan Kumar, in Delhi said, "We will stop fighting only when implementation of OROP takes place."[89]
2 July 2015
On 19th day of nationwide hunger protest by ex-servicemen on 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP), Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, with General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Army Chief of Staff, by his side, met a six-member delegation of United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM).[90] Not persuaded by the assurances of the minister that the BJP Government will implement OROP, Col (retd) Anil Kaul, spokesperson for UFESMF, said, "The question of calling off the relay hunger strike does not arise unless a date for implementing it is announced and that too without dilution". Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman IESM, responding to questions, said, "We will wait for government's decision on OROP till July 15 and then take our agitation for OROP to next level in which local ex-servicemen organisations all over the country will resort to demonstrations and other peaceful ways of voicing their grievance." Next meeting between the Defence, Minister and the Ex-Servicemen representatives is likely on 6 or 7 July.[90]
6 July 2015
Anna Hazare, veteran of 1965 war, and septuagenarian political activist, wrote to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, saying "We have to take care of our soldiers and farmers. Making hollow announcements for their welfare and actually implementing them are different things."[91] In Delhi, a day later, Col (Retd) Anil Kaul, media advisor to United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) told reporters that Anna Hazare will be joining the "relay hunger strike on Jantar Mantar shortly."[92]
7 July 2015
Brig Inder Mohan Singh (Retd), President, Indian Ex-Services League (IESL), Punjab, announced plan to hold protest rally by ex-servicemen on 8 July on a 3-km stretch on the Barnala-Bathinda Highway, from Sub-Area HQ gate to the headquarters X Corps gate. Large number of Junior Commissioned Officers and non-commissioned officers, including many veterans of 1965 war, are expected to participate in the protest.General Officer Commanding, Bathinda, Sub-Area, to the great disappointment of the protesting ex-servicemen, declined request to provide drinking water thinking it was illegal and fearing that "an explanation could be sought for this act." Brig Inder Mohan Singh, disappointed, asked, "Is serving water and that too to veterans not a humanitarian gesture?". Protest placards read "Soldiers become veterans, veterans become beggars. This is Make in India"; "Once a soldier, now a humiliated veteran"; "In no other country veterans protest as in India"; and "Indian soldiers' enemies- some across borders some in Delhi".[93] Bhatinda type protest on OROP, according to Brig (Retired) Inder Mohan Singh, will be also conducted in front of other military stations. There are 14 Army stations and 5 Air Force stations in Punjab.[94]
Justice T S Thakur, Supreme Court Judge, in a hearing on contempt petition by retired Major General S P S Vains, gave Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, six more weeks to implement OROP. Pinky Anand told the judge that "modalities of the implementation of the OROP were being devised" by the Government. The next hearing is on 24 August.[95] The Supreme Court Judgment on 9 September 2008 in the case of Union of India and Maj Gen Vains and Others had ruled: (a) No Defence Personnel Senior in rank can get lesser pension than his junior irrespective of the date of retirement (b) Similarly placed Officers of the same rank are to be given the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement.[96]
8 July 2015
Ex-Servicemen protesting against Government failure to implement OROP blocked traffic on Bathinda-Chandigarh highway from 10 am to 1 pm, and sat in dharna in front of the police post in Bhatinda cantonment. Brigadier Inder Mohan Singh (retired), IESL, submitted a petition to a representative of headquarter X Corps (Chetak Corps) South Western Command. Brigadier Inder Mohan Singh indicated that the next protest will be in Amritsar, in which Captain Amarinder Singh former Punjab chief minister and Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, is likely to participate.[97]
The police arrested six ex-servicemen and charged them under Indian Penal Code sections 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). The arrested include: Bhinder Singh, Ramji Das and Sukhdev Singh, from Sangrur; Baldev Singh from Tarn Taran; and Kartar Singh, and Baldev Raj Joshi, from Bathinda. The police also registered cases against over 150 others who have not been named.[97]
9 July 2015
Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, in Lucknow said, "Since issues like this (OROP) involve more than one ministry, hence there cannot be any time-frame for its implementation." This contradicts his statement earlier in Delhi in which while referring to OROP he said, "There will be good news soon."[98]
10 July 2011
Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the sitting BJP MP from Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, claimed that the Koshyari committee Report on OROP, 2011, prepared by the panel headed by him, was fool-proof. He blamed theUnited Progressive Alliance government headed by Manmohan Singh, PM, for not implementing OROP. In explanation of the failure by the present BJP Government to implement OROP he said, "It takes time. There are complexities. The party and party organs have said that OROP will be implemented."[99]
11 July 2015
Five retired Lieutenant Generals, four Major Generals and one Air Marshall of the Indian Air Force, joined the protest at jantar mantar, in New Delhi. Many of these general officers belong to the famous June 1971Indian Military Academy (IMA) course, the "Born to battle" course, that was sent into the 1971 war as Second Lieutenants (2/Lt). One of the 2/Lt from 'born to battle course' who went to war in 1971 was Arun Khetrapal, troop leader, Poona Horse, who was awarded posthoumously the Param Vir Chakra, the nations highest award for valour in the famous tank battle of Basantar. Another 2/Lt from the 'born to battle' course, who joined the protest was Lieutenant General (Retired) Rajinder Singh Sujlana AVSMVSM, former Colonel Commandant of the Sikh Regiment, and X Corps Commander.[100]
13 July 2015
Punjab based ex-servicemen organisations, including All India Defence Brotherhood (A constituent of the United front of Ex-Servicemen(UFESM)), State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (SEWA), and Ex-Servicemen’s Joint Action Front (Sanjha Morcha) held a protest rally at the Dussera ground Mohali. Ex-servicemen participants in the large rally included Lt Gen SR Ghosh, former GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen RS Sujlana, former Commandant Indian Military Academy and GOC X Corps, and Major Generals Dhillon, DP Singh, IP Singh and Amarjit Singh. The participants unanimously resolved to boycott functions during the visit of Defence Minister on 25 July to inaugurate ‘Mai Bhago Institute’ for training of girls to join the Defence Service. Brig Harwant Singh (Retd), President (UFESM), issued a Press Statement which stated that government inaction will force the ex-servicemen to resort to Direct Action.
17 July 2015
Defence Minister has set up a five-member committee consisting Lt Gen Richard Khare, (Retd), former Military Secretary; Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal,(Retd), former Adjutant General; Major Navdeep Singh,Territorial Army, Chandigarh-based High Court lawyer, and commentator of service conditions; and Major DP Singh, Kargil war wounded. The committee will look into Armed Forces grievances relating to service matters and pensions. The committee is expected submit its findings and recommendations within 60 days. No official announcement on the committee has been made by MOD, or the Defence Minister's office, but media reports suggests that the term of reference of the committee include making recommendations on measures to reduce litigation by Armed Forces members and Ex-servicemen, including the MOD which is a frequent litigator. There are over 10,000 cases by military personnel before the Armed Forces Tribunal, the High Courts and the Supreme Court, most of them against the Ministry of Defence, or prompted by its decisions, on service matters relating to pay fixation, promotions, policy interpretation, pensions and military justice.[101]
19 July 2015
Wing Commander S D Karnik, 80, winner of Vir Chakra for gallantry in 1971 war, who refused to meet with Manohar Parrikar, the Defence Minister, on 28 May, an incident reported widely by the national media, said, in Pune, "I got call from the Central government, asking me to rethink about my stand and saying that declining the honour would be an insult. This shows that the government is concerned about its image but not about the soldiers who fought for the country".
Group Captain Ravindra Pathak (Retired) of the Pension Cell of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement says, OROP is not about money, but respect, " this battle is for asserting our rights. In the civil-military balance, which is essential to India’s defence philosophy, political control of the defence forces has actually turned into the bureaucratic control. It is the bureaucracy which has become the biggest obstacle to OROP."[102]
21 July 2015
Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Defence, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, confirmed "principle of OROP for the armed forces has been accepted". In response to a question he denied that OROP is under consideration for paramilitary forces.[103]
UFESM issued notices inviting veterans, veteran organization, and 'citizens of India', to participate in a "Kargil vijay divas run on 26 July". The run to unite veterans on OROP will be flagged off from DSOI, Dhaula Kuan, at 0500 hrs. It will pass through Teen Murti-Akbar Road-Janpath-Rajpath-India Gate-Kharg Singh Marg-Rajeev Chowk. It will end at Jantar Mantar, the site where ex-servicemen are fasting in protest against BJP Government failure to address their grievances. After the run, the runners will assemble at India Gate at 0800 am to pay homage to Kargil war martyrs, "who gave ultimate sacrifice to ensure that you sleep well". The ceremony at India gate will include laying wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti.
24 July 2015
On the 40th day of the Relay Hunger Strike at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, and protest in other locations in the country, Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd), Advisor United Front of Ex-Servicemen and Chairman IESM, in written message to veterans said "we have upgraded our Agitation with effect from mid night 23 Jul 2015". The agitation in the new phase, he said, will be "peaceful and within the authorised methods of protests in the Constitution". The aim will be to raise awareness on One Rank One Pension (OROP) and related issues, and 'Create Visibility' in all the Districts in the County". The planned measures include: 10 Kilometre Kargil Vijay Diwas Marathon from DSOI, Dhaula Kuan, to India gate and Jantar Mantar, Delhi; participation of Anna Hazare in the protest on 26 July to "motivate, encourage and showcase solidarity with the ESM on Relay Hunger Strike"; raising public awareness on OROP and related issues using of placards, billboards, leaflets, briefing print and electronic media, and organising marathon runs and rallies across the country. Protest will be also be registered by urging ex-servicemen to boycotted government functions, displaying black flags on houses on "6 feet high pole with OROP written', surrender of BJP party membership by ex-servicemen, sending petitions to "serving Chiefs to jointly and strongly ask the Govt to implement OROP immediately" and "In the event of no action by the serving Chiefs, ESM to appeal to them in the third letter that they consider resigning to accept their accountability and responsibility from the non-implementation of OROP." Other measures may include sending bangles to the PM by "Veer Naaries (brave ladies) of Jhajjar district";dharana outside the residences of MP, who fail to follow up on OROP in the Parliament; possible Hunger Strike till death; and submission of Memorandum to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, by delegation of United Front of Ex-servicemen at 1 pm on 26 Jul 2015. In the meanwhile Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, continues to attract ex servicemen of all ranks. On 24 July, Maj General Satbir reported that officers from the 1st National Defence Academy (NDA) course, who are in their 80s, visited Jantar Mantar, Delhi, to show solidarity with the relay hunger strikers and express disapproval of government policy.
26 July 2015
To coincide with Vijay Diwas (Victory Day) events to mark the Kargil War, UK based Non Resident Indians (NRIs) held a one-day hunger strike to protest BJP Government failure to implement One rank One pension (OROP), outside the High Commission of IndiaLondon. A spokesperson for the protesters said similar protest are planned in other international cities, including in the US and Middle East, and that "NRIs all over the world are concerned and feeling pained about the developments and therefore thought of coming together in support of the soldiers."[104]
31 July 2015
Admiral Ram Das Former Chief of Naval Staff visited Jantar Mantar to meet with and show solidarity with the Ex-servicemen and widows of veterans on hunger strike protesting the BJP Government failure to implement OROP and honour its election pledge. Admiral Ram Das made a donation to the ex-servicemen movement and said that he would write to all former Chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Airforce to overcome their inhibitions and visit Jantar mantar to show solidarity with the protesting ex-servicemen. "These are the men you commanded and it is time to come in support of their demand of OROP", he said.[105]


13 August 2015
General S F Rodrigues, former COAS, and Admirals L RamdasArun Prakash and Sureesh Mehta, former Chiefs of Naval Staff, wrote an open letter to President Pranab MukherjeeSupreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The letter says the denigration and humiliation of veterans "has come as a rude shock to all of us." The letter flags issues affecting veterans, and the armed forces of India, including "The hostile approach of MoD bureaucracy" to the armed forces, especially its pensioners; the prevarication by the Government in implementation of OROP, which has "forced a disciplined and politically-neutral segment of society into the jaws of party-politics". "Recent developments" the letter concludes "have not only triggered a process of politicization of the Indian military, but also served to inflict grave damage on its morale and self-esteem"; and that these developments pose grave "implication for national security" , which "merit your attention, not only as the Commander in Chief but also as the First Citizen of India." [44] The President, or his office, has not responded to the letter.
14 August 2015
Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister of India, acting in all probability on the promptings by the Intelligence Bureau, authorized Delhi Police, a police force under the Ministry of Home Affairs, to evict by force ex-servicemen, families of ex-servicemen, and war widows, from Jantar Mantar, the site of Ex servicemen protests. The Police Contingent, consisting of personnel drawn from the Delhi Police, and Central Reserve Police Force, a Counter Insurgency and Internal Security Force under the Ministry of Home Affairs, in camouflage dress, unsupervised by senior officers, without advance warning, swooped down on the protesters. The protesting Ex servicemen, many in their eighties, were manhandled, 'pushed around', dragged, humiliated,[22] and lathi-charged. Their tents were forceably removed, placards and other equipment damaged.[22]Group Captain VK Gandhi (retired), said, " the police action against the veterans, a day before Independence day, "is totally unjustified". " It will be a "black Independence Day as they have tried to curb our independence," he added. 82-year-old Vishambhar Singh, 5 Grenadiers, said "I was pushed by the cops who even tore my shirt". Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, after the police raid, told the Press Trust of India, "This is shocking and obnoxious. Nothing can be worse. We are the protectors of India's Independence. We are requesting the Police Commissioner to restore our tents since we had permission. The move to remove our tents is barbaric, undemocratic and dictatorial."[23][24]
The Delhi Police officers justified action against the peaceful gathering at Jantar Mantar claiming they acted "following a request by New Delhi Municipal Council", civic agency [106] and because of security risk and threats. "As Delhi is on a high alert ahead of Independence Day so", a senior police officer said. " we are removing the protesters to ensure security."[23]
The ex-servicemen were outraged by Delhi police officer’s baseless allegations that they were a security risk, and posed a "security threat". A protesting army veteran, in outrage said, "How can you doubt our integrity? Or consider us a security threat? We served the country in protecting it and now we have become security threat."[23]
The orders to Delhi police to remove the Ex servicemen, were rescinded on 14 August afternoon, following public outrage, and intervention by General VK Singh, on behalf of the ex-servicemen, with Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister, according to ex-servicemen. The Home Minister's orders to stop the police action against the ex-servicemen was conveyed Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi by Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home. "I have asked the Commissioner of Police not to remove the ex-servicemen from Jantar Mantar and let them continue the protest", Kiren Rijiju said.[22][106]
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Minister of Chief, following the Delhi police action against veterans, tweeted, "Ex-servicemen being forcibly thrown out of jantar mantar? Bizarre. They protected us till yest(sic). Now they r security threat for independence day? (sic)."[23]
Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, in explanation of the delay in implementing OROP said, there were "technical difficulties", but would be implemented soon, "during the government’s tenure".[34] Arun Jetley, the Finance minister, who is believed to be stalling the implementation of OROP, said that "the arithmetical translation" of OROP was posing a problem because of " several interpretations (of the definition of OROP)".[34]The difference in the estimated expenditure on implementation of OROP between the defence ministry ( for full implementation of OROP) and finance minister is around Rs 4,000 crore.[34]
15 August 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 69th Independence Day of India address to the nation from the Red Fort, New Delhi, refers to "One Rank One Pension" as a problem "pending to be resolved".[107] While asserting that the Government has accepted "One Rank One Pension" in principle, he made no commitment on when and in what form it will be implemented. He added ambiguously, "How it (OROP) is implemented in view of its nitty-gritty situation(sic), we are taking the talks forward by engaging with its stakeholders." [107]
17 August 2015
Ten former Chiefs of the Armed Forces of India (7 former chief of Indian Army staff, 2 Chiefs of Air Staff, and 1 Chief of Naval Staff), in a unprecedented joint open letter urged Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, to order an inquiry into the brutal police action by Delhi Police against the peaceful gathering of veterans in Jantar Mantar, on Independence Day eve and to resolve the OROP issue expeditious. The Signatories to the letter include retired Generals Vishwa Nath SharmaShankar Roy ChoudharySundararajan PadmanabhanJoginder Jaswant SinghDeepak Kapoor and Bikram Singh; retired Air Chief Marshals Nirmal Chandra Suri and Shashindra Pal Tyagi, and retired Admiral Madhvendera Singh.[41] Colonel (Retd) Pushpender Singh (ex-3 Grenadiers) and Havaldar (Retd) Major Singh (Ex-3 Sikh Light Infantry), began hunger strike-unto-death at Jantar Mantar. Havildar Major Singh belongs to the same Regiment as Retired General Ved Malik, former Chief of army Staff. They were joined by Havildar Ashok Chauhan, Corps of signals, on 18 August. Col (retd) Anil Kaul, media adviser to the United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement said "They are still on fast and their condition is okay".[108][109]
18 August 2015
General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Chief of Army Staff, late in the night on 17 August, called Major General Satbir Singh, and urged him to meet with Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the PM, on 18 August 2015. Major General Satbir Singh and Lt General Balbir Singh, representatives of the ex servicemen, after initial hesitation, met Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the PM, at 1000h on 18 August 2015, to discuss resolution of the OROP. This was first overture from the government to the Ex servicemen since the protest started in June 2015. Mr Misra urged the Ex Servicemen representatives to end the protest.[108] The ex-servicemen representatives informed Mr Misra that ex servicemen will end their protest only after the Government gives an assurance that it will not alter the accepted definition of OROP, implement OROP for all pensioners with effect from 1 April 2014, and ensure that all future enhancements will be automatically passed on to past pensioners. Mr Misra failed to give an assurance on the issues raised by the Ex servicemen. During the meeting Mr Misra was reminded of BJP's commitment, made in its manifesto, to build a martyrs memorial and set up veterans’ commission, to be manned by veterans. Mr Misra seemed unaware of these commitments by the BJP. In the presence of the ex-servicemen representatives, Mr Misra called the Defense Secretary and asked him to brief him on these subjects.[108]
21 August 2015
Vijay Singh, (IPS- 2005), Deputy Commissioner Police,(DCP)-1 New Delhi, who led the police contingent to evict Armed Forces veterans from the Jantar Mantar transferred as Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP) North West District. Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat calls it routine transfer, and denies media reports that this was because of police action against veterans on 14 August 2015.[110]
22 August 2015
Rallies by Ex servicemen in support of the OROP movement were held Udham Singhn NagarMohali, and Mysore.[111]
23 August 2015
On 70 day of the Relay Hunger Strike (RHS), called Satyagraha by some ex-servicemen, 25 Ex-servicemen, from 14 Indian States, were on RHS at Jantar Mantar. The fast unto death by Col Pushpender Singh(Grenadiers), and Havaldar Major Singh (Sikh Light Infantry) entered the eighth day, and by Hav Ashok Kumar Chauhan (Signals) the sixth day.[111]
United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) organized a candle light march, and vigil, to honor, and remember, armed forces members killed in the 1965 war. Over 4000 ex-servicemen, and civilians, participated in the event. Participants lit candles, and laid bouquets at Amar Jawan Jyoti, at India Gate. "Sainik parliament" had passed a resolution to boycott all government functions, including by the armed forces, till implementation of OROP.[111]
Veterans and their Wives, including and war widows, protested police action on 14 August, against the veterans in Delhi, and delay in implementing OROP, in Dehradun, the State capital of Uttarakhand. Participants included Lt Gen TPS Rawat, (4 Gorkha Rifles), a former minister, Lt General Gambhir Singh Negi (former Colonel of 3 Gorkha Rifles), Maj Gen Lalji D Singh (Corps of EngineersBombay Sappers), Maj Gen Chander Nandwani, Brig KG Behl , Brig RS Rawat, Brig Vijay Kumar, Col PL Prashar, Col GS Cheema Col AK Khullar, Brig CB Thapa, Col SC Tyagi, Maj SS Chowdhury, and Col Kukreti, first JSW course [112]
A joint Kisan rally- ex-servicemen was held at Satara. the rally was attended amongst others by Anna Hazare. An estimated 10,000 people attended the rally where many speakers urged the government to bring the "OROP issue to an early closure".[111]
Large number of ex-servicemen, and civilian supporters, visited Jantar Mantar, to show solidarity with ESM cause. These included: officers from Short Service Courses (SS) 2, and 31; National Defence Academy (NDA) course 46 and 75; 55 and 85 Indian Military Academy; and officers from the 14 Army Education Course; and twenty five officers and their families came from Jaipur. The movement continues to gain momentum, and perceptible increase in support and participation by former high ranking officers of the armed forces, from Lt generals, Admirals, air marshals, Group Captains, and Colonels. Old veterans included Sep Ram Kishan, 93 years, Armoured Corp veteran of World War 2; Sep Ram Bharose Yadav, 85 years, a blind veteran of 72 Medium Artillery; and Mrs Savita Rai Singh wife of Brig Rai Singh(90 Year old) Maha Vir Chakra. Many visitor contributed substantial sums to the cause.[111]
Mrinalini Singh, wife of Colonel Sangram Singh Katoch, and daughter of General VK Singh, the former Chief of Army Staff and union minister in the BJP Government, after her visit to Jantar Mantar, told the media, "I feel that the babus (bureaucrats) are putting a spanner in the works". She revealed that her father, who has yet to visit the Ex Servicemen, or openly declare support for the ex-servicemen cause, has written to the PM about OROP, and met with him, . "I will certainly ask my father to join the protests, and ask the PM to visit the veterans here along with the Defence Minister", she said.[111][113]
24 August 2015
Colonel Pushpendra Singh, one of three veterans on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, was evacuated to Army Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi, in a private car, due to deteriorating condition.[114]
25 August 2015
On 72 day of the Relay Hunger Strike (RHS), 37 Ex-servicemen were on RHS at Jantar Mantar.[115] Col Pushpender Singh(Grenadiers), was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Army Research and Referral Hospital ( R&R), Havaldar ( Hav) Major Singh (Sikh Light Infantry), on 10th day of his fast unto death refused to be evacuated; and Hav Ashok Kumar Chauhan (Signals) on the 8th day, was vacuated to R&R due to muscle atrophy. The other hunger strikers, who were all fit, were: Major Piar Chand, 2 Grenadiers; Hav Sahib Singh, 2 Rajputana Rifles; and Naik Uday Singh Rawat of 12 Garhwal Rifles.[115]
Visitors included Rajeev Chandrasekhar Indep MP Rajya Sabha; and Ms Nalini Singh, Journalist. The meals for the day were provided by Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, and Col Gurdeep Singh.[115]
General Satbir Singh met Ajit DovalNational Security Adviser and Former head of Intelligence Bureau. This is the first report of NSA's interest and concern in OROP. The outcome of this meeting and issues discussed is not known.[116][117] According to Media reports Doval is expected to take an "overall view of the situation" and be involved in the "final negotiations".[117]
26 August 2015
Major General Satbir Singh (Retd), head of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, met Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to PM. General Dalbir Singh, COAS, was present at the meeting. After the meeting General Satbir Singh said, "The implementation of OROP as per our definition now appears to be in sight," and that 2013-14 would be the base year for the implementation of the OROP and payments would be made retrospectively from 1 April 2014.[116]
27 August 2015
Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress MP and former Punjab chief minister, a 1965 war veteran, declared his support for OROP. He tweeted: "The unfortunate events of this hunger strike could have been avoided by the timely implementation of OROP".[116]
On 74 day of the Relay Hunger Strike (RHS), at Jantar Mantar, 39 Ex-servicemen and four war widows (Veer Narees) were on RHS.[115] In Ambala and Pathankot, RHS entered the 70th day and 74th day respectively.
There were 8 person on indefinite fast, 4 at Janatr Mantar, and 4 in Research and Referrals Army Hospital (RR): Col Pushpender Singh(Grenadiers), in RR, twelfth day. Hav Ashok Kumar Chauhan(Signals), in RR, 10th day. Major Piar Chand and Hav Sahib Singh were evacuated to Research and Referrals on advice of the doctors.
Havildar Major Singh (Sikh Light Infantry), at Jantar Mantar, on the 12th day of his fast was joined by his brother. In addition there are four more soldiers, and and father of a martyred soldier Sunil Kumar Yadav, on indefinite fast, at Jantar Mantar.
Visitors to Jantar Mantar included: Mrs. Charu Sheela(95 yrs) mother of Col. Pushpender; representative of Rashtra Sewak Trust; Air Marshal J S Bawa and Lt Gen Suri; and Officers from 10th NDA and 19th IMA courses. Breakfast and Lunch was provided by SSC NT-27 & Technical-18 and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.[115] 28 August 2015
Ex Servicemen representatives including Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, and Group Captain VK Gandhi, meet Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, in his office in the Ministry of Home Affairs, in Delhi, at his invitation. This is the first meeting between officials of the MHA and ex servicemen since 14 August Police action against ex servicemen in Jantar Mantar.[118]
The impasse over implementation of OROP continues. "We are rather disheartened. The government is saying it (pension equalization) will be done after five years, which is totally incorrect because it will defeat the very definition of OROP," Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, said. "We are not asking for more than what was sanctioned. What they are offering us is not acceptable to us. I think the bureaucracy is not in favour of giving us OROP. The intention is first to dilute it and then deny it." [118]
Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, lays wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, at India Gate. PM Narendra Modi, PM, tweeted, "As we mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, I bow to all brave soldiers who fought for our motherland in the war." [114][118] Military veterans boycott official function at India Gate to mark the start of month-long golden jubilee celebrations of the 1965 war.
A "parallel commemoration" of 1965 war coinciding with the capture of Hajipir Pass by Major Ranjit Singh Dyal, MVC, 1 Parachute Regiment, is attended by several veterans of the 1965 war, including Brigadier (retd) D P Nayar, a veteran of the attack on Hajipir, and Wing Commander (retd) Vinod Nebb. Wing Commander Vinod Nebb who was 22, in 1965, on 6 September, on an alert from air defense commander, Ambala, while on a combat air patrol sortie over LudhianaPunjab, brought down a Pakistani Sabre jet fighter for which he was was awarded Vir Chakra, India's third highest gallantry award.[114] The Times of India, in an editorial comment wrote that Ex Servicemen demands of OROP are "not a sustainable proposition" and taxpayer money "will be recklessly splurged if the demand is accepted." [118]
31 August 2015
Arun Jaitley, Finance minister, says, "I have my own formula on what OROP means. Somebody else may have their own formula on OROP but it has to be within reasonable and rational criteria. You can't have an OROP where pensions are revised every month or every year". UPSEM disagree with the Minister, say there is only one definition of OROP. Colonel Kaul, spokesperson for the Ex servicemen, says, the controversy over the 3 percent (annual) increment in pension, is a red herring and intended to cause "misinformation & misunderstanding". The UPSEM alleges that Arun Jaitley, is manipulating the media, specifically, the Times of India, and India TV channel, to misinform the public, and exacerbate difference between the Officers and soldiers, on the OROP issue.[35]
On 78 day of the Relay Hunger Strike (RHS), Havildar Major Singh (Sikh Light Infantry), who is on fast since the 16 August, is joined by Naik Udai Singh Rawat, Sawal Ram Yadav, father of martyr Lance Naik Sunil Kumar Yadav, navy Commander A.K. Sharma, Subedar Vijay Singh Yadav and Subedar Keshaw Singh.[119]
Ram Jethmalani, former BJP member, visits Jantar Mantar, declares support for OROP, and blames the finance minister for delay in implementing OROP.[119]


1 September 2015
On 79th day of the Relay Hunger Strike (RHS), there were 28 Ex-servicemen, and wives of three Ex servicemen on Relay Hunger Strike at Jantar Mantar. In Ambala and Pathankot, the RHS entered the 75th and 79th day respectively. There were 4 ex servicemen on hunger strike in the army Hospital, and 8 at Jantar Mantar. Hav Major Singh, who has been on fast since 16 August, has lost 10 kilo of weight. He continues to refuses to end his 17 days old fast, take medicines, or be evacuated to hospital.[120]
3 September 2015
Leaks by Government sources to media suggest that it may unilaterally announce implementation of One Rank One Pension in next 2 to 3 days.[121] Ex servicemen Representative Maj General Satbir Singh while acknowledging that he had met with Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to PM, made clear there were no on going negotiations with the government. Nothing had been agreed to so far. Referring to questions raised on the financial implication of OROP he said that when the government sanctioned Non Functional Upgrades to the All India Services after the 6th Pay Commission[9]:para 5.1.58 :para 11.20 no question on the financial implications were raised.[121] Shekhar Gupta, calling ex servicemen protest unedifying spectacle on a popular English language TV news channel, argued that ex-servicemen should accept what is offered.[121]


17 October 2015
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, former colonel, MP from Rajasthan, and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the BJP Government, in an interview to a TV news-channel, denounced the Ex servicemen for continuing with their protest. He alleged that the "enemy", which he did not define, could exploit the OROP issue to create a divide between the army and the paramilitary forces of India. Addressing ex servicemen, he said, "Do you want to create a divide between the army and paramilitary forces; you thing the enemy is not taking advantage of this". When asked, is the enemy taking advantage of the OROP protest, he said, " I cant comment, it is a very serious issue"; when asked if the highest echelon in the government were aware of this, he said, " the Government has done commendably, to give one rank one pension, as is due in letter and spirit. And the veterans should remember that the country's safety and security is above every thing".[122]


7 November 2015
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, as follow up to the 5 September announcement,[25] issues order on "One Rank One Pension (OROP) to the Defence Forces Personnel", which were delayed on account of the elections in Bihar.
The OROP Order notes that considering the "exceptional service conditions" of defence forces including the fact that "Defence Service personnel retire at an early age compared to other wings in the Government.Sepoy in Army and equivalent rank in Navy & Air Force retire after 17/19 years of engagement/service and officers retire before attaining the age of 60 years i.e. the normal age of retirement in the Government", the Government has "decided to implement 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) for the Ex-Servicemen with effect from 1.07.2014." The order records that "OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Defence Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement, which, implies bridging the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals". The "Salient features" of OROP as listed in the order are:
"[i] To begin with, pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014. [ii] Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retired in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service. [iii] Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected. [iv] Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one installment.[v] In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years[28]
Controversially, the OROP order excludes all future Armed Forces retirees who take premature retirement, ie, Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 13(3)1(i)(b),13(3)1(iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rule 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules from OROP entitlement. The OROP Order or notification in a minor concession to the protesting ex servicemen , states that "The Govt. has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP", instead of one man commission as provided in the 5 September announcement. "The Judicial Committee" will submit its report in six months, instead of one month, as demanded by the ESM.[28]
9 November 2015
The ex servicemen disappointed by the Government notification announce that they will start returning their medals on 10–11 November, across the country, to District Magistrates, who have been informed to collect the medals, Group Captain VK Gandhi (retd), the general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM), said. In Delhi , the medals will be returned outside Terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), to " educate the common man about the impending issue". The protesting ex-servicemen also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to brief him about the government notification on OROP. Kejriwal informed Group Captain VK Gandhi (retd) that "he will take up the issue, address press conference and also visit the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar." [30][123]
10 November 2015
AK Antony, Former Defence Minister for seven years in the UPA-I and UPA-II, echoing criticism by veterans of the orop notification by the Modi government, said, "I feel that by issuing this order, this government has gone back on its solemn commitment to Indian soldiers". "This is not one Rank one pension; It is one rank five pension... A vast dilution of UPA's order." He said, "It will affect their morale". Supporting the OROP agitation he said, "Because of that they are disappointed. So, naturally they will agitate." He called OROP notification a "Diwali shock"; a "betraying" of war veterans. Excluding Armed person who take premature retirement from OROP will, he said, " affect our policy to maintain an ever youthful force," and that "If we follow the new policy, our armed forces would become one of the oldest in the world".[124]
Manohar Parrikar, denounces Ex-servicemen decision to return medals; and calls protesting ex-servicemen emotional, and disgruntled.[125]
11 November 2015
Military veterans, on Diwali, which the veterans call a ‘Black Diwali’, took out a protest march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, to meet with the President. The marchers were intercepted by Delhi Police near Rail Bhavan. [126]
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Diwali, while visiting Indian Army units in Punjab, declared, One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) "has been granted". But to make it "fool-proof", he said, "I would like (to see) that the inputs, if any, are given to the ( Judicial) committee." [127]
12 November 2015
Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, former Chief Minister of Punjab, and an officer from the Sikh Regiment, in a letter to Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, referring to Government decision not to grant OROP to Armed Forces personnel who take premature retirement, says "it can affect the morale of today’s soldiers, who are tomorrow’s ex-servicemen". In support of the ex-servicemen who are returning their medals, he wrote, “This is the ultimate they can do. These medals are a soldier’s prized possession and not government charity. These were won on the battlefield for gallantry or distinguished service, and are worn with pride. This is all a soldier has after spending a entire life in the defence of the country. I hope this will bring home to you the deep hurt, anguish and humiliation faced by all who once donned the uniform of our country.” The letter notes “Your government gives Rs 125 lakh crore to Bihar and Rs 80,000 crore to Jammu and Kashmir but denies an extra Rs 1,000 crore to the patriots who helped keep J&K in this country by shedding their blood and sweat over the past 68 years. Does any day pass without newspapers carrying the pictures of coffins wrapped in Tricolour arriving from Kashmir?”. The letter warms the Defence minister “not to be misled by bureaucrats”, and wondered “Does annual equalisation pose much of a problem for your ministry, full of bureaucrats?” [128]
13 November 2015
Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, giving the NDA Government decision to implement a political slant, at Naval station, near Chennai, said, "OROP is a promise of BJP, it is not a government promise." and that "The mistake which everyone is doing is that (saying) it is government assurance. It is not government assurance, it is an assurance of political party and political party to the best of its understanding has satisfied itself that we have completed what we have promised". Ruling out further consideration of the issues raised by ex-servicemen, he said, that the servicemen are welcome to take up these with the Judicial Committee. Parrikar insinuated that ex servicemen protest are prompted by political considerations. When asked, if it was so, he said, "Let them prove that it is not political." [129]
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister, visited ex-servicemen protesting at Jantar Mantar. He urged the government "to immediately accept the demands of the veterans". Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), said “The notification of November 7 is not OROP. There are seven deviations from the definition accepted by the Parliament”.[130]
Gp. Cpt. V.K. Gandhi of IESM, said “About 1,200 medals had been deposited today ( at India Gate). We have 10,000 medals with us and more are being sent to us every day from across the country.” [130]
16 November 2015
The Hindu, a respected English language national daily, in an editorial, advises Prime Minister Narendra Modi "not to shirk political responsibility", and ensure that veteran concerns are dealt credibly, and fairly, with due concern for their "dignity", and "izzat". The Hindu warns that "Concerted campaigns against the veterans" by the the Government, which is mirrored by the media, to ridicule the methods of protest by ex-servicemen is not the "solutions". It calls on the PM to restrain his "Cabinet colleagues, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar" in their response to the OROP protest. There are " various quarters of the government " the editorial notes, who do not recognize the fact that "izzat (dignity) has been a highly held ideal" for the armed Forces. The editorial, calls Government decision to exclude those who take what is termed as premature retirement from the OROP Scheme, "a serious anomaly that goes against the post-Kargil military reforms that have helped bring down the average age of field commanders", and that "appointing yet another committee to look into the grievances will amount to nothing but a travesty."[131]
Brig Harwant Singh (retd), representative of United Front of Ex-servicemen, says the OROP movement is not about money, but about self respect and izzat, and because "the country’s defence operations are degrading". He asserted that the armed forces are "totally unfit to fight against either China or Pakistan", and that "the day is not very far off when we will be worse off than what we were in 1962". He alleged that "ourbabus and netas are so blind they do not see the repercussions of war". The causes of OROP protest, he said, are: Decrease of Pension of armed Forces, and Increase of Civilian Pension following the 1971 war; delay in implementing OROP, since it was recommended in 1982 ; introduction of rank pay, by Government headed by Rajeev Gandhi, in 1984, following the Fourth Pay Commission, which down graded military pay grades, and spawned court cases; and the failure of Government following the Sixth Pay Commission to address the "large number of anomalies" in the pay and pension of the armed forces. Brig Harwant Singh, explained that ex servicemen are unhappy with Government OROP Scheme, mainly because it is not OROP as in the accepted defination; it excludes future retirees from OROP; and provides for revision of pension annually instead of after five years. He said that OROP protest will continue "because every year, 60, 000 people are retiring. We do not want new people to sit at Jantar Mantar".[132]
17 November 2015
On 156 day of the OROP protest, Maj Gen Satbir Singh, in an appeal to "Dear Citizens", distributed over the Internet and social media, alleges that “Dirty tricks department of Government”, was spreading rumors, and making “false and mischievous accusations”, to malign, and “destroy” the ”most peaceful” protest and “further lower the public image of the military”. Alluding to danger of past dirty tricks, the appeal warns, " This reminds us of Government creating a monster to defame a genuine and most peaceful agitation and then subsequently getting drowned in it. History is full these incidents, we do not have to repeat it." The use of dirty tricks he says, was because the ex-servicemen movement exposed the “scheming political-bureaucrat combine” that has “been granting concessions, pay rises for themselves without approval of the citizen”, while “ignoring welfare of Military and citizen of India.” The appeal, which seeks the support of all citizens, and “all political parties” for OROP, declares that the Ex servicemen movement is not about money, but izzat, honor, truth, principles, “social change”, and the “welfare of not only the military but all Indian citizens”. Affirming that the movement is apolitical, the appeal, states that “No political leader has ever been given mike and stage at Jantar Mantar and will never be given.” The “machination and scheming of the political-bureaucratic nexus", to gain and secure “grip on their perks and power” has, General Satbir says, “resulted in thecivil military relations” taking a nose dive. ”There is no end to their greed. It is a question of security of India. It is a question of integrity of India. It is a question of welfare of all Indians.” [133]
19 November 2015
7th Pay Commission, headed by Justice A K Mathur, in its 900-page report, recommends OROP, without calling it one-rank-one-pension (OROP), for all central government employees, including para-military personnel as well defence civilians who have retired before 1 January 2016. The recommendations affect 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners:increase in pay will be 16 per cent, allowances 63 per cent and pension 24 per cent.[134][135]
Seventh Central Pay Commission (7CPC), in its consideration of one rank one pay, notes that France, China, and Germany have pension schemes for the armed forces, much like India. The US and UK, with a small variation, have a similar scheme, called a "defined benefit scheme".[135]The UK for its defence forces ensures " a guaranteed level of pension, calculated as a fraction of a service person’s salary, not an uncertain amount based on investment returns".[136] For India, the 7 CPC seems to favor a Japanese model, that owes its origins to the imposed post - World War II pacifist constitution. Japan, it notes "does not have a separate pension scheme" for the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Self-Defense Forces are "treated in the same way as national government employees and are covered by the same pension arrangement as national government employees".[135]:p 399, paras 10.2.11
For India's Defence Forces, the 7 CPC, echoes the formulation in the Committee of Secretaries report on OROP. It's observation on OROP are as follows:
In the last couple of decades, there has been increasing concern about the subtainability (sic) of unfunded pension systems in our country. In the context of Defence forces personnel, the annual addition of large numbers to the pool of retirees, the general increase in longevity, as also the proposed introduction of the One Rank One Pension scheme, will together lead to a huge increase in the government’s liability towards Defence Pensions. The government may, therefore, explore the possibility of laying down a Defined Contribution Scheme for Defence forces personnel where the employee makes a contribution and a suitable amount is contributed by the government so that a sizable corpus is built.[135]:p 399, paras 10.2.13
On the contentious issue of Non - Functional Upgradation, there was disagreement between the chairman of 7CPC and the members of the commission. Chairman "felt that NFU should be allowed to continue since it has existed for the last 10 years and is being availed by all the Organised Group ‘A’ Services", and that it "should be extended to the officers of the Defence forces and CAPFs". Vivek Rae, IAS, and Dr. Rathin Roy, Members, Seventh CPC, disagreed. They felt that NFU till SAG and HAG level, granted to Organised Group ‘A’ Services, should be withdrawn, and did not support extension of "NFU to Defence Forces and CAPFs, including ICG".[135]: paras6.2.
Admiral Arun Prakash, Former Navy Chief, in Hyderabad, on the sidelines of a seminar at College of Defence Management, commenting on media reports on return of medal by veterans, told reporters, "A soldier'smedals are his most precious possession. So, I think we need to rethink this strategy of surrendering or burning medals for this kind of a cause". He suggested veterans explore other means for redressing their grievance like negotiating with Government, or seeking judicial remedies.[137]
21 Nov 2015
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen & Chairman IESM, on behalf of the armed forces veterans, sends an appeal on the "Existing Anomalies and further Degradation/ Downgradation of Military by the 7th the Pay Commission Report" to General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff; Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee (CoSC); and Admiral R K Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff. The appeal, which has several appendices, argues that 7th CPC, which had no military member, has further degraded/downgraded Military. It requests the Chiefs of Indian defence forces to urgently " take up strongly" with the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister to urgently resolve the issues highlighted in the appeal. The appeal recalls that in addition to the new 'anomalies' created by the7 CPC, there are 40 pending anomalies caused by Sixth Central Pay Commission, and the UPA Government. The appeal calls upon the Government to enact a Covenant for the Defence Forces as exists in other democracies, including the United Kingdom, to ensure that defence forces of India have a "Life of Dignity & Respect".[138][139]

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  1. This OROP is I think eyewash for Jawan. It is only for officers only. By this OROP jawan will get few hundred rupee increase. But officer will get 10000 to 20000 rupee increase by OROP. This is published today in Indian Express

  2. I feel these are diversionary tactics to dilute and ultimately destroy our unity.
    Please do not be carried away by such meaningless indoctrinations please.