Friday, February 10, 2017
ADVISORY FROM MAJ DHANAPALAN (Retd)
In the resent past a few issues have come up in the blog concerning the Armed Forces Personnel and the Veterans. A few of them are:-
1. Non Functional Up gradation (NFU) to officers.
2. Amending the Pension Regulations of the Armed Forces.
3. Non-Implementation of Judgments of AFTs which is around 2000.
4. Payment of 100% pension to the Veterans up to the age of 60 years (age for superannuation for central Govt employees) and payment of OROP thereafter.
5. Separate Ministry or a Defense Board (like that of Railway) for Armed Forces Personnel.
6. Cadre Review (being done at every 5 years in other Departments) .
7. Date of Birth (DOB) issue of Army Chief himself.
8.Difference of pension between 2 immediate Ranks is morethan Rs.11000/-PM
9. With drawl of existing Rank Pay by 6th CPC (replacing with grade pay to give additional emoluments to civilian employees and also to create an equation between civ and Mily.)
10. Majors with more than 15 years of service equated with cadets and Hony Lt. (PB-3).
11. A meaningful resettlement of Armed Forces Veterans.
12. Dignity(Izzath)of the personnel in uniform/Protocol/precedence,V/s civilians.
The above are some of the major issues that are occupying internet mails and blogs nowadays. The blame is put on the babus of MOD and the Politicians. But one must think honestly. Are they fully responsible for these omissions?
What is role of the Service HQs?
Can we give a clean chit to service HQs on these issues? Are they not responsible for creating such a mess? Take the example of Judgments passed by the AFTs:-
It is understood nearly 2000 judgments are pending for implementation. The Service HQs are the Nodal agency for their implementation. So the service HQs are answerable for the non-implementation. Can we blame the MOD for this? If there is a problem, the service HQs should come out publically or inform the Ex-servicemen associations or at least inform the individual about the factual position rather than some "goal..Mall.English”, so that he can take further action.
If some decision is needed from the Ministry, the service HQs should put up the note and get the same in a time frame. The service HQs should also give the present position of all judgments immediately in the web site for the info of all.
Similarly, is it not the responsibility of the Service HQs to get themselves involved in drafting the Pension Rules of men under their command? Is it possible now? When a dept called" Ex-servicemen welfare" has been created during 2004, outside the Service HQs, no one has raised their voice. Even no one commented on the instructions issued by that dept regarding welfare, re-employment and re-habilitation of Ex-servicemen which can only be termed as an Essay on Ex-servicemen - no seriousness about the welfare-every org even the companies have the welfare schemes linked to their Provident Funds, whereas we depend on the mercy of someone which is also now restricted to only war widows and disabled which is the full responsibility of the Govt of India being the employer, re-employments are left to the States which only remained in paper, without any mechanism to check. How many vacancies in a year- now body knows, whether it commensurate with the number of retires in a year and the re-habilitation left to none- to the fate.
There is yet another org called re-settlement, the jawans of the great Army is put on "Chowkidar" duties in front offices, hotels, houses for a petty 1500 to a max of 5000/- without any other benefits and taking commission out of it. (the benefit of pension of such person goes to the employers, if otherwise they have to pay salary like any other employee with other benefits like leave, pension, Provident Funds, ESI facilities etc-Take the case of the biggest employers-BSNL, Air Ports, Customs etc and see the difference between their regular employees and the "Chowkidars" under the re-settlement scheme- one can only feel pity!!) - No one has raised any voice on this policy issued by the newly created "Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare".
The service HQs felt very happy that this burden has gone from them.- So how can you blame that Dept now, for making a Pension Reg or any Regulation as they feel like? At least Cant it be challenged in the Court of Law? Why is it not being done by the Army Chief who has filed a case for his own benefit, Is it the HONOR OF THE ARMY lies on the honor of the Army Chief or on the Soldiers of the Army? Where is pride of the Army Chief when lot many ex-servicemen are in the street with begging bowel after giving their youth to the Army? Is it not a matter of Right for them to have a Meaningful resettlement? Or the Right is only for the Army Chief to have his DOB corrected?
What I am trying share with you all is that we are Not serious about what is happening to the Armed Forces Personnel as a whole, we are only self-centered on petty issues. If it is a mistake on our part accept it instead putting the blame on someone else. Now, what is the further course of action to come out of this self-created problems? Can these be solved by creating Mails or blogs?? It can only create awareness amongst the veterans but most of our problems were not ever made available to Medias for a public opinion. My humble suggestions are:-
1. Service HQs have to do some homework very seriously. The above points have come to light only when some of the Veterans have taken some trouble to study these cases and put in the mail, but the service HQs are silent or they have no such points at all.
2. Like any other department ,the Service HQs should take full responsibility to look after their Veterans, Widows, officers , JCOs and NCOs and their families who gave their blood and sweat to build Indian Army to the present shape from the scratches of Chinese aggression in 1962 and those who laid their lives . There is no point in blaming the Officers in MOD, for our in efficiency for that matter. It is for the Service HQs, how they Work out the strategy to accomplish this task. This is more important as there is no trade Union functioning in the org for collective bargaining of their service benefit which is available to all employees including the Central Govt.
3. Art 312 of the Constitution of India giving powers to Make Rules for Service benefit to Defense Services must be evoked by putting pressure on the Govt, the PM and the Supreme Commander. This has to be done by the Service HQs only because we are worst suffers of all other Central Services. If a pay or a service condition is to be changed/ modified in respect of any Central Service, this has to be duly notified in the Gazette of India with the approval of the Govt/ Parliament whereas it could be seen in the past that only an Army Instruction can meet the requirement in respect of the Armed Forces Personnel including the Service Chiefs. This has no backing of the Law of the Land. In the early years after the Independence, the matters concerning Armed Forces Personnel were dealt separately at the level of PM or RM but later it has been brought under the purview of the pay commission- only erode the dignity and reduce them to the status of mere employee. Well, then the Army Act also needs to be amended to include the liberty for collective bargaining for their service benefits which has not been done so far, the Service HQs should pursue this.
4. The Service HQs should create a high powered committee who will take up the matters concerning the personnel matters of Armed Forces Personnel with the RM, PM, The Supreme Commander. They should take feed -back and suggestions/complains from all corners including the jawans direct. They should also interact regularly with other departments, companies, consultants, Ex-servicemen Associations, Veterans etc. and update themselves with the latest, for which a proper office with well experienced Officers and Staff from both veterans and outsiders is set up for function on regular basis. It is not so difficult to set right the bureaucracy if the Service HQs have a will to firmly handle the Organizational interest, the interest of the Armed Forces Personnel and no compromise to be made at any point of time at any level. This should be made clear to all up to the Pl commanders.
5. A MEANINGFUL re-settlement of all veterans should be the full responsibility of the Govt and the Service HQ should ensure this (A suggestion in this direction is enclosed)
6. All are requested to offer their valuable comments and they may also take up the matter with the service HQs individually or collectively.
7. May I request you to kindly forward this to at least 10 (Ten) veterans with your comments.
Major AK Dhanapalan, Veteran E-mail: email@example.com
(Source- http://indianexserviceman.blogspot.in/2012/10/advisory-from-maj-dhanapalan.html )