Friday, November 4, 2016

Q & A - `Differences on perfect definition of OROP ... Defence ministry has remained a labyrinth - not easy to tame'

With political parties trading charges on the suicide of ex-soldier Ram Kishan Grewal on OROP , emotions are running high on both sides. Major Navdeep Singh, advocate in Punjab and Haryana high court, who was a member of the defence minister's committee of experts to review service and pension matters which submitted its report in 2015, talked to Nalin Mehta about the OROP controversy and why the ministry of defence needs urgent reforms:What is the current problem with OROP implementation which could have led to this suicide?
There are conflicting reports about the sad demise of the veteran. Some seem to suggest that he was perturbed about non-release of the approved pension under the OROP scheme by his bank. If that is the case, then it is really unfortunate since that would mean that an amount legally approved by the government was not disbursed to him.
Overall the ministry of defence claims to have disbursed Rs 5,507 crore in two instalments for OROP. Apart from other issues, the problem also seems to be in the distribution mechanism down the chain, particularly at the level of bank branches. This needs to be fixed.
Government is implementing OROP but what about the larger veteran demand that what they have got is one rank many pensions, not one rank one pension?
Various sides have differed upon the perfect definition of OROP. Manyveteran organisations have interpretational differences with OROP as notified, including the periodicity of revision. Then there were serious anomalies in OROP tables which were being looked into by a judicial committee. The committee has submitted its report. I think all sides should hold their horses till this is processed. In case, there still are problems, tackle them through remedies provided under law rather than politicise a sensitive subject. A democracy provides full opportunity to exercise legal rights in case of dissatisfaction. I personally do not agree to an approach of excessive emotional rhetoric which has the propensity of stoking discontent.
What about disability pensions and the controversy on downgrading of status? How does that square with the pedestal armed forces are being put on?
The disability pension controversy was shockingly unfortunate and its origin was the twisted data and a sadistic interpretation provided to the 7th Pay Commission on disabled soldiers. In case disabilities in the defence services are increasing due to a higher stress and strain of military life, the answer is to take steps to check the deteriorating health profile and increase the payouts to compensate loss of health, not to slash disability pensions! Ditto for status issues since such moves are unilaterally imposed and result in deleterious effect on morale.
Chest thumping and governmental downgrading can't go hand in hand.Does government's left hand not know what it is doing?
Irrespective of the party in power, the ministry of defence has remained a labyrinth which is not easy to tame.There are structural problems wherein the defence services or even other stakeholders are not a part of the decision-making process and a one-sided view is provided to the higher layers. There is no opportunity granted to rebut or check the veracity of what is put up to decisionmaking authorities. It is not that one hand does not know what the other is doing, actually one hand does not let the other know what it is doing.
What kind of reforms do we need to fix the problems in MoD?
Two very simple suggestions without tinkering with the basic structure. First, the decision-making should be collegiate: probably by a `Defence Board' chaired by the defence minister with a total of three-five members, with inputs of neutral personalities and experts wherever required.When files move up, these should be referred to all stakeholders for their comments so that nobody is able to hoodwink the decision-makers by mischief. Second, there is no institutional mechanism currently for the political executive to know the pulse of the problems of serving defence personnel and veterans, like there is for civil employees and pensioners. This assumes even higher importance since defence personnel (rightly) cannot form associations. Hence, a participative system akin to the Joint Consultative Machinery (JCM) for civil employees should be constituted to resolve grievances.
Similarly , the government had admirably constituted a standing committee for veterans in October 2014 which was to meet after every three months, but the lower bureaucracy has ensured that not even one meeting has taken place till date. The current defence minister appears to be keen to take the bull by the horns, but all personalities should support him in a politi cally neutral manner rather than pinpricking him all the time.

(Source- toi)


  1. The BJP under Modi has very clearly decided to degrade the Armed Forces.What people say, in other words, want others to believe, has no meaning once their actions start speaking. So many wrongs, done to degrade the forces, have never happened before, that too at such speed and in such short time.Cheating the ESM of OROP in so many ways, Lathi charging of ESM AT jantar mantar, treating them with contempt and utter disregard when no one even cares to talk to them, thus creating another class of untouchables in the country(making one or two ministers from ESM is no substitute-in any case they seem to have sold their souls for the bargain),using the 7th PC report to further downgrade the forces taking them below the PMFs, trying to divide the forces by setting up proxies to contest the ESM. downgrading the status through a formal letter,reducing their disability allowance etc etc. The BJP is ruthlessly political as the UPA was utterly corrupt-for both nation's good is incidental,meaningless and only a tool of political convenience-one is sold to extreme politics as the other was to extreme corruption,both can't be expected to guard the national interest, honestly. The arrogance of the BJP and its manipulation of media is reminiscent of the congress, who before drawing a blank in elections had started being absolutely arrogant on TV debates and tried to harness the media , the countrymen can see through all this, you have to win elections not TV debates.For the future, the forces have to learn to deal with the animal that they are faced with and not pretend to be morally correct-we have suffered in silence for too long.Though the AAP looks to be a bunch of idiots,they are the only once who have the courage to tame this new, shamelessly political animal.My appeal to all ESM would be openly ally with AAP and in any case make sure BJP must stand to loose from all our actions. The moment AAP gets one more state, they will make life hell for the BJP and then PM may change his coterie of power seeking advisers.

  2. what is the definition os orop? why after jm agitation offrs accepted their demand without resolving of jco/or? why the offrs did nt the followup action when their group system abolished and clubbed tech graduate and graduate together? so why cant a deploma and graduate/+2 clubbed together? when all upto group H have been clubbed together with group Y , had any increase in pension to group Y pers given? Hence, remove the group system among JCO/OR. this is the major defect in OROP.

  3. Naturally ,unresolved issues are surfacing time and again due to-
    * Poor delivery and execution .
    * More of talk ( less of walk) and chest thumping without walk the distance to resolutions.
    *Simple and clear issues are dragged on and on for years ,decades by resorting to innumerable committees ,driving veterans to courts, with visible intentions of delay and deny.
    *visibly top netas are not effective to direct bureaucracy to faithfully execute their intentions/decisions.or they do not apply their mind to understand and resolve issues.they simply read out the drafts prepared by babus.Their mind &soul is in vote catching popularity activity and not in effective administration.
    *Recent flip flops on several issues of military reflect poorly on DM.
    ***Thus ,recent political and media activity is perfectly right &legitimate in this democracy.Look at displayed fear & jealousy of party in power about party in opposition ,when they legitimately try to meet the martyr's family members.
    Kya tamasha of BJP police on the netas of AAP and Congress??.So what ?,if they talk to those family members.
    Also look at veteran minister who owes his position to veterans support ,talking irrationally , insulting veterans sentiments - just to gain some favours from party in power.
    Nation needs a capable DM to address and resolve issues without conceeding to bureaucratic pressures..

  4. what the Modi Govt doing is par excellent with regard to the security of the nation and welfare of its armed forces including ex servicemen. But Modiji have failed to notice or take the cognisance of the conspiracy hatched by 3 (three) imp secretaries ie Defence Secy,Home Secy and Finance Secy of the Govt of India who are hell bound to embarrass and defame the govt at all opportune time. All three secy are suffering from cong mindset. Their actions/manipulations are causing resentment not only among armed forces but provoking other organs of the system to follow suit with genuine/ingenuines. My apprehension will be substantiated by the following :-

    - Why the implementation of 7th CPC was delayed for Armed forces only for about 5 months wherein no justifiable logic/reason is perceptible? Percieved reason behind the delay appears to be their Dadagiri/monopoly only nothing else.

    - why def acct dept supplied fake/false data to 7th CPC about armed forces of the country?

    - Why concerted obections of three service Chiefs over 7th CPC recommendation were lightened even ignored?

    - Why surgical strike was described fake ?

    - Why disability pension of Armed Forces personnel was questioned and made controversial ?

    - What was the need of the hour to seek parity by civs with the ranks of Armed Forces?

    It should be the concern of we all, Kahi Aisa to nahi:

    Vested interest / hostile designs have surfaced/penetrated the IAS who are using their position,official authority and immunity/impunity enjoyed by them to downgrade and intentionally demoralise the top military leadership of the country and thus embarrass the Govt of the day at one hand and serve the interest of cong on the other.

    1. If these secretarys are doing contrary to the intentions of duly elected govt ,with such huge mandate ( due to support from military) ,why is govt tolerating them??.Remove them ,deal with them .Mily is with u on this.Let govt run with with combination of civil &,military persons in bureaucracy.
      Be bold and display that IAS is dispensable like others.When public , people ,military are with govt ; why become captives of IAS lobby.
      Netas/ govt should be liberated from these self centered babus.

  5. ONE RANK, ONE SERVICE and ONE PENSION. Length of qualifying service and service in particular rank is to be taken into account. How can an officer with 6 years commissioned service major post 16 Dec 2004 can be equivalent to 13 to 19 and half years commissioned service Major pre 16 Dec 2004.This present OROP is actually slur on the name of actual OROSOP.

    1. Yes!.Absolutely relevant.
      Why are systems blind to these facts.
      Limit of passivity .no concern to truthful parameters.just being blind or closing eyes in day light and then say I con't see.

  6. It looks very simple to common man's logic; there are sleeping cells of opposition parties in almost all ministries, especially in MOD and MOF who want to create problems in implementation of soldiers rights. Notwithstanding this, BJP's seasoned politicians in the Govt cannot feign ignorance of these developments when MOD issued letters containing approval of the RM as in the case of degradation of ranks. Either he was misguided and forced to approve the order or was hoodwinked by IAS lobby. Those who have served in the AHQ know how files are moved in the MOD. Case initiated by a section officer or undersecretary moves up the ladder with a scant summary and line for signature for higher ups with "Recommended/ Not Recommended" and for the Minister it is "Approved/ Not Approved". No politician has the interest nor does he take time to go through the whole case and solely depends on the final recommendations of the secretary. So they can be duped very easily. If things go wrong then the firefighting starts.The OROP, CPCs, Disability Pension case and Delinking of 33 yrs of service for pension- all smack with dirty handwork of Babus and are full of anomalies. 30% of Hardship allce to IAS for serving in places like Guhawati( where risk for their lives is literally nil when compared to that of the soldiers) with the plea that people decline to go such places unless adequately overpaid! Govt should show guts to dismiss such people who disobey its orders to serve wherever it sends them.But alas the politicians in this country can't survive without the support of Babus. Similar are the cases of % Disability for IAS and diluted slabs for the service personnel. The Govt should have included a clause " whichever is beneficial between % and slab for the Armed Forces" as chances of their getting disabled and that too very badly than the civilians, are more. Again IAS trick worked here. IAS people have already secured OROP for them since long, but when it comes to Armed Forces their heart burns, and naturally it percolates to politicians. Now coming to the DL 33. An Hav with 15 yrs service and 19 yrs service will be getting the same MGP. Again an offr with 20 yrs and 25 yrs servcie will be paid the same MGP. Will the Politicians or the IAS cadre accept such an arrangement if implemented for them? With the issuance of DL 33 yrs letter OROP tables will have to be revised again to meet justice, for there are only three tables for officers wef 01-01-
    2006, where as in the OROP table one more for the TA has been separately given by some lower level babu and got approved and issued. The OMJC Report is to give us another shock once published as he did not listen to nor did he take into account any points other than the "Terms of reference" given by MOD and we can well imagine what they could be. Then there will be more anomaly committees and correction committees on anomaly committees and so on till next CPC comes and we all will forget the past. These are the delay tactics of politicians and bureaucrats. I wonder how the IAS people get all their dues without any anomaly and any committees!

  7. 6th CPC removed QS/33,then the 50 % notinal max of pay scale or notional max of pay in the fitment table is more than this OROP given by Govt.The what the hell this OROP stands for? Ridiculous it is.What every one talks about this Ramanujan's unsolved mathematics?I am gone blank

  8. Well,Even in litigation,itis applied in
    Individual case which is policy defect
    Ie rank pay was applied for all commissioned officer wef 4th CPC approx.there had judgement forpbor for
    Group xyz for cut off date09,oct1997.a few case were paid same was not applied
    To all because it was only concerned to
    Pobr,even lawyer did protest to reportable judgement as rank pay judgement of rs315 core were paid.who is this seems of pobr due to lacking reporting higher up or higher up are not aware of it.this are cause
    Of meanness. At least now these things
    Should be taken care of,ie same
    Single slab forpbor for disability pension,like comm.officer disability single slab from SLt to Adm (if slab system applied)other allowance fix in future

  9. In fact and for full justice to pre 1986 retiree Majors with QS of more than 20 years should be paid pension of Lt Col.