Tuesday, August 31, 2010

REMOVAL OF ANOMALIES IN PENSIONS - Issue raised in Rajya Sabha -vide Question No 3263




(a) whether Government have since taken a decision to remove anomalies having arisen in the grant of pensions to those who retired before 1st January, 2006 from the higher scales in the bunched scales as same pension has been granted to a number of scales bunched together under the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission;

(b) if so, the details thereof; and

(c) if not, by when that is likely to be done?


Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office; Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. (SHRI PRITHVIRAJ CHAVAN)

(a) to (c) : In accordance with the orders issued in implementation of the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission for revision of pension of Central Government Civil Pensioners with effect from 01.01.2006, all pre-2006 pensioners would get a minimum increase of 40% of their pre-2006 basic pension (excluding the element of merged dearness relief/dearness pension), in addition to the basic pension, dearness pension and dearness relief which they were getting as on 01.01.2006 based on their pre-revised pension. Besides, the revised pension will, in no case, be lower than fifty percent of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus the grade pay (in the case of HAG and above scales, fifty percent of the minimum of the revised pay scale) corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. These orders are consistent with the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission and no change has been considered necessary by the Government in this respect.
Source: IRTSA

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Govt implementing One-Rank One-Pension for ex-servicemen

Appealing to ex-servicemen not to take the extreme step of returning their gallantry awards, government today said it has started implementing recommendations of the high level panel on One-Rank One-Pension. However, Defence Minister A K Antony said in the Rajya Sabha that implementing the award in one go was difficult. “In one stretch, we will not be able to implement it but we are near that goal… it is a long process,” he said.

He said the government has implemented all recommendations of the committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary which went into the demands for One-Rank One-Pension. This would have a financial implication of Rs 2,200 crore and would help 12 lakh ex-servicemen, he said.
(source-CG Employees news)

One-rank one-pension cannot be implemented immediately: Antony

New Delhi: Implementation of one-rank one-pension for exservicemen cannot be done anytime soon, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Wednesday, after members across party lines in Rajya Sabha demanded that the Govt. look into the grievances of retired military personnel. A group of ex-servicemen have been staging public protests against the governments failure to implement one-rank one-pension scheme,and on Sunday hundreds of them returned their medals to the President.

The ex-servicemens demand is that all veterans should get the same pension if they have retired in the same rank, irrespective of when they retired. The reality is different.Whenever a pay commission increases salaries and pension,it has only prospective effect. So the gap in the pension of older retirees and their younger equivalent keeps increasing with each pay commission. A soldier who retired before 31.12.2005 gets significantly less pension than a soldier who retired with the same experience in the same rank after 01.01.2006.

Antony told Rajya Sabha, At this time we cannot implement one-rank one-pension, but we are nearing the goal. It is a long process. He was replying to a zero hour mention of the issue by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley. Though it was mentioned in the budget speech of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, no steps have been taken so far to implement the one-rank one-pension system, Jaitley said. Neither the 5th nor the 6th Pay Commission addressed the issue.The finance minister also indicated in his budget speech that a committee will be formed but nothing happened, he added. The Opposition leader also appealed to ex-servicemen not to return their medals. Jaitley was supported by members cutting across party lines.CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and Congress member P J Kurien were among those who supported Jaitley. I would also request the government to look into the issue of thousands of jawans (soldiers) being retired before the age of 40, Kurien said.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Main aspects of one-rank one-pension addressed: Govt.

With ex-servicemen protesting over the one-rank one-pension issue, Government has said the main aspects of the demand have already been addressed which are benefitting around 12 lakh personnel. "The main aspects have already been addressed in-principle and there has been a substantial addressing of the issue and I think 12 lakh personnel below officer rank have benefitted because of these decisions," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Ex-servicemen have been demanding equal pension for personnel retiring from the same rank irrespective of their date of retirement. Persons retiring before the pay commission cut-off date get lesser pension than those retiring after that date.

Recently, while replying to a Parliamentary query, Raju had stated that government had accepted several recommendations of a Committee looking into the 'one rank one pension' demand to improve benefits of armed forces pensioners. Among the recommendations were revision of Lt Generals' pension after carving out a separate pay scale for them and bringing parity between pension of pre- and post-October 10, 1997 for pensioners of personnel below officer rank. Fifth Pay Commission was implemented on that day. He had said that around 12 lakh pensioners have benefitted by the government's decisions.

(Source: DD News)

Support grows for 'one rank, one pension'

Two days after ex-servicmen began protesting, demanding one basic right, one rank, one pension, one of the highest ranking officers has now backed their demand. Speaking exclusively to your channel, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh said that the demands of the ex-servicemen were legitimate. Around 5000 ex-servicemen held protests in the capital on Sunday, demanding the implementation of one rank, one pension scheme.        CLICK HERE FOR VEDIO


Monday, August 23, 2010

One Rank One Pension - pre 2006 pensioners - Some views

SK Jain - 17-10-2008, 04:35 PM

The demand of “One Rank One Pension (OROP)” has been raised time and again. But the successive pay commissions and Governments have been shying away from this long outstanding demand of pensioners despite the fact that certain main political parties include this in their election manifestoes. This subject was also included in the President’s address to the Parliament in 2004 thereby making OROP the declared policy of Government (not of any particular political party).

The concept of OROP implies that Government Employees, who have retired from the same post with same length of service, should get same amount of pension irrespective to their dates of retirements. 6th pay commission has discussed this issue vide Paras 5.1.46 & 5.1.47 (Pages 338 & 339) of its report. 6CPC has held that “The Fifth CPC extended full parity between pre & post 1/1/1986 pensioners and a modified parity between pre & post 1/1/1996 pensioners. In modified parity, it was provided that pension could, in no case, be less than 50% of the minimum of the corresponding Fifth CPC revised pay scale from which the pensioner has retired.”

Accordingly, 6CPC has recommended as under: “the revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired”. This recommendation has been accepted by the Government vide Resolution No. 12 and notified vide para 4.2 of Memorandum F No.38/37/08-P&PW (A) dated 1st September 08 in the same language. Thus, modified parity of pension between past pensioners and future pensioners has already been accepted and implemented by the Government.

Here, difference between “OROP” and “Modified Parity” needs to be made clear. In OROP, pay of a pensioner is to be notionally fixed in the revised pay band based on his Last Pay Drawn and then his pension is to be re-fixed. In Modified Parity, minimum revised pay of the post last held by a pensioner should be ascertained and the pensioner should be paid 50% of this minimum revised pay as pension. There is no mention of 33 years qualifying service in Modified Parity either by the 6CPC or by the Government in the accepted Resolution.

But clarifications issued vide F No 38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3rd October 08 have defeated the very concept of modified parity. For example, 7 existing pay scales (from S-9 to S-15) have been merged in the Pay band 2 (9300-34800). Minimum revised pay of an official, who has retired from pre-revised scale of 7450-225-11500 (S-13) shall be 18,457 (13857 in the pay band + 4600 grade pay). Accordingly, his minimum assured pension, in confirmation to the modified parity, should be 9228/- (50% of 18,457). But as per the clarifications dated 3rd October 08 his minimum assured pension shall be 6950/- (50% of 9300+4600). This minimum pension has been calculated at the minimum of the Pay Band and not at the minimum of his corresponding revised pay. Moreover, this minimum pension is to be reduced pro-rata where the pensioner had less than 33 years service. Ridiculously, officials who have retired in 7 erstwhile pay scales have been treated at par with regard to minimum basic pay and assured minimum pension (except Grade Pay). The condition of 33 years service is neither mentioned in the 6CPC report not in Government Resolution and it is not clear as to how this condition has been incorporated while clarifying the original orders. Obviously, the concept of modified parity has been completely ignored by the implementing authorities.

In this regard it is worth to discuss the rulings of the H’ble Supreme Court, which enjoy the status of LAW OF THE LAND. 6th Pay Commission has referred to the famous judgment in the case of D.S. Nakara Vs Union of India (AIR 1983, SC 130) vide Para 5.1.3 of its report. This Judgment pronounced by a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court is available at http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.aspx for the benefit of all who want to read it. The case dates back to 70s when the Government had introduced Liberalized Pension Scheme. Earlier pension was calculated based on the average salary of last 36 months. Under Liberalized Pension Scheme, the provisions were changed to calculate the pension based on the average salary of last 10 months. The case was file by one retired civil officer (subject to Central Civil Pension Rules 1972) and one retired defence officer (subject to Army Pension Regulations) and the third petitioner was a Registered Society. Only the following extracts of this judgment will clarify the LAW OF THE LAND:

“Proceeding further, this Court observed that where all relevant considerations are the same, persons holding identical posts may not be treated differently in the matter of their pay merely because they belong to different departments. If that can't be done when they are in service, can that be done during their retirement? Expanding this principle, one can confidently say that if pensioners form a class, their computation can not be by different formula affording unequal treatment solely on the ground that some
retired earlier and some retired later.”

“All pensioners whenever they retired would be covered by the liberalised pension scheme, because the
scheme is a scheme for payment of pension to a pensioner governed by 1972 Rules. The date of retirement is irrelevant. But the revised scheme would be operative from the date mentioned in the scheme and would bring under its umbrella all existing pensioners and those who retired subsequent to that date. In case of pensioners who retired prior to the specified date, their pension would be computed afresh”

Another recent Judgment pronounced by H’ble Supreme Court on 9th September 2008 is available at http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.aspx for the information. This case was originally filed by some Retired Major Generals of the Army with regard to fixation of their pension after implementation of 5th Pay Commission. Government of India filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment of Punjab High Court, (Civil Appeal No. 5566 of 2008, Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 12357 of 2006 Union of India Vs. SPS Vains (Retd.) and others). In this case H’ble Supreme Court has directed as under:

“ We, accordingly, dismiss the appeal and modify the order of the High Court by directing that the pay of all pensioners in the rank of Major General and its equivalent rank in the two other wings of the Defence Services be notionally fixed at the rate given to similar officers of the same rank after the revision of pay scales with effect from 1.1.1996, and, thereafter, to compute their pensionary benefits on such basis”

It is abundantly clear from the above extracts that the H’ble Supreme Court has already accepted the principle of OROP and this enjoys the status of the LAW OF THE LAND. However, the implementing officials of 6CPC have not even followed the concept of Modified Parity while issuing clarification vide F No 38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3rd October 08. It is not possible for the pensioners, especially in their advanced age to approach Courts of Law to seek justice. All concerned authorities are requested to look into this matter and initiate suitable action. All readers, pre-2006 pensioners and their well-wishers are also requested to make public this issue so that our Political Leaders are aware of it and can take some action.
SK Jain22-10-2008, 04:09 PM

It is reiterated that the concept of “Modified Parity” was introduced by 5CPC and carried forward by 6CPC. Some Mr. P.Vigneshwar Raju has forwarded the extracts of 5CPC to me and I want to share the same with all the readers:

“Recommendation (Ref. To paragraph of the Report given in brackets)

(iii) Pending revision of the pension of pre-1.1.1986 retires, the pensioners should be provided immediate relief by authorising pension disbursing authorities to consolidate the pension by adding basic pension, personal pension wherever admissible, dearness relief as on 1.1.1996 on basic pension only, interim relief (I & II) and 20% basic pension. The consolidated pension shall not be less than 50% of the minimum revised pay in the pay scale recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission of the post held by the pensioner at the time of retirement. (137.15) Decision of Government OM issued with no. and date

Accepted with the modification that 40% of the basic pension shall be added while consolidating the pension as on 1-1-1996 but the pension consolidated as on 1-1-96 shall be raised to 50% of the minimum of the revised pay of the post held by the pensioner at the time of retirement.

45/86/97-P&PW(A) Part-II date 27.10.99 45/10/98-P&PW(A) date 17.12.98”

As already brought out vide my thread, carrying forward the concept of Modified Parity 6CPC has recommended as under: “the revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired”. This has been accepted by Government and implemented with anomalies.

It is quite clear from these extracts that under the modified parity, introduced by 5CPC and carried forward by 6CPC, minimum assured pension of all pre 2006 pensioners (Incl pre 1996 & 1986) should be worked out by firstly ascertaining the minimum revised pay under 6CPC of the post last held by the pensioners and secondly grant 50% of this minimum revised pay as pension. Clarifications issued in October works out minimum assured pension considering minimum of Pay Band (and not corresponding pay drawn in the running Pay Band related to the post last held) thereby altering the concept of Modified Parity.

For the term “Pay in the pay band” , please refer page 32 Para 3 (5) and page 43 Section II of the First Schedule of CCS (Revised Pay) Rules 2008 available at http://www.india.gov.in/govt/studies/revised.pdf
(source- GConnect)

Its All About Money - MPs out to grab what they can

The Union cabinet has cleared a 200 per cent hike in salaries and allowances of our MPs,but they arent happy.A section of them stalled proceedings in Lok Sabha on Friday on the issue.Curiously,one of the demands raised by the protestors is that their basic salary must be at least a rupee more than Rs 80,000,the salary drawn by the countrys top bureaucrats.The demand is unreasonable and based on flawed logic. Compare the clamour for money by Indias political class with the radical steps in countries like the UK to slash salaries of public officials to rein in fiscal deficits,and former ought to be ashamed of themselves.

What the cabinet has cleared is more than reasonable. At over Rs 37 lakh a year,our MPs take home more money than their counterparts in developed countries including Japan,Italy and Singapore.Their pay is 68 times more than what the average Indian earns annually.So there is no case for complaining that MPs are underpaid.Similarly,the demand to peg the basic pay about that of top civil servants is ludicrous.The jobs are not comparable. Legislators are empowered to oversee the working of the bureaucracy, but those privileges provided by the Constitution cant be translated into higher pay.

The hungama over pay hike also raises questions of propriety. Our MPs deserve to be well paid,but the pay needs to be commensurate with their work and the hike ought to be reasonable.Equally important is who decides what is a reasonable raise Surely it cant be MPs themselves,which is presently the case. A pay commission comprising non-parliamentarians could determine what ought to be the salaries,allowances and perks of MPs. The commission must not limit its remit to the basic salary and allowances MPs are entitled to but also monetise perks like free housing,furniture,water,power,interest-free car loans etc while fixing the pay packet.

It must be remembered that the claim for more money is raised in a Parliament dominated by crorepatis. Over 58 per cent of the members in the present Lok Sabha have declared assets of more than a crore: the average asset holding of a Lok Sabha MP is Rs 5.33 crore.So its a club of millionaires thats clamouring for more,at a time of high inflation and economic distress.Let them not forget that voters are watching.
(source-toi editorial)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Higher Rate of Interest under Senior Citizens Saving Scheme

The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, 2004 (SCSS), was designed to meet the need of a regular flow of income for the senior citizens and retired persons with security of investment, liquidity of funds and operation convenience. Keeping in view of the above, higher rate of interest at 9 percent per annum is offered to all senior citizens under this scheme. Persons who are 60 years of age and above can make a deposit under the scheme. Those retired persons who are 55 years of age and above but below 65 years are also eligible to invest their retirement benefits subject to maximum deposit limit of Rs.15 lakh under the scheme.

Facility of loan or overdraft against the deposit would necessitate pledging of the deposit under this scheme. As a consequence, the subscriber of a pledged account will not be able to withdraw the interest amount periodically defeating the very purpose of the scheme.

This information was provided by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in reply to an Unstarred Question in Lok Sabha today.

MPs sulk even after huge pay hike

New Delhi: Any doubts about whether MPs are looking to roll out a sumptuous spread for themselves by way of salary hikes were put to rest with Lok Sabha prevented from functioning on Friday with SP  and RJD chiefs Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad leading the chorus.  The low drama in Lok Sabha reached the bottom of the well when protesting MPs refused to leave the House at 2.10 pm.After the House was adjourned following disruptions with MPs demanding their salaries be raised to Rs 80,000 at par with the cabinet secretary instead of Rs 50,000 cleared by the Cabinet on Friday morning,they refused to vacate the well.

Squatting in the well,the MPs held a mock Parliament ostensibly to protest the bill amending the MCI Act being passed amid the din.In this,the RJD and SP lot was joined by BJP and soon Lalu and Mulayam were declared joint prime minister.BJP leader Gopinath Munde was Speaker and MPs even occupied the chairs used by Lok Sabha officials.While Lok Sabha was held to ransom by SP,RJD,Shiv Sena,Shiromani Akali Dal and a few independent MPs mulling around the well shouting tanashahi nahi chalegi,MCI bill was voted in the bedlam.It was ironic that the legislation necessitated by arrest of MCI chief Ketan Desai in a corruption case was voted on while MPs demanded more pay.

This despite the raise cleared by cabinet being far from unsubstantial.Apart from a salary of Rs 50,000,both constituency and office allowances will be raised to Rs 40,000 each from Rs 20,000 at present.Though these allowances are against expenses,MPs will be be able to draw Rs 1,30,000 a month,which is much more than what the cabinet secretary gets at Rs 80,000 a month.Apart from perks like free air,rail and steamer travel,MPs get free housing if they live in flats in Delhis green and plush Lutyens zone.If they are entitled to bungalows,they pay a nominal licence fee.As TOI estimated in a report on October 16,2005,a Lutyens zone bungalow is worth about Rs 100 crore on an average.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

China moves missiles to India border: US : Engaged In Road & Rail Development There Too

Washington: China has moved new advanced longer range CSS-5 missiles close to the borders with India and developed contingency plans to shift airborne forces at short notice to the region,according to Pentagon. Despite increased political and economic relationship between India and China,the Pentagon in a report to the US Congress said,tensions remain along the Sino-India borders with rising instances of border violation and aggressive border patrolling by Chinese soldiers.

However, a senior Defense Department official told reporters that the US has not observed any anomalous increase in military capabilities along the Sino-India border. Noting that China continues to maintain its position on what its territorial claim is, the official said, the two capitals - Beijing and New Delhi - have been able to manage this dispute, in a way, using confidence-building measures and diplomatic mechanisms to be able to maintain relative stability in that border area. "But it's something that China continues to watch;but I wouldn't say that there's anything in this report that demonstrates a spike or an increase in military capabilities along the border."It's something that China's paying very careful attention to.It's obviously something that India is paying careful attention to as well,"the Senior Defense Department official said.

In its annual report, the US Defence department said,to improve regional deterrence, the PLA has replaced older liquid-fueled,nuclear capable CCS-3 intermediate range missiles with more advanced and survivable fueled CSS-5 MRBMs. "China is currently engaged in massive road and rail infrastruc-ture development along the Sino-India border primarily to facilitate economic development in western China: improved roads also support PLA operations,"the Pentagon said. The report presented to the Congress said despite increased political and economic relations over the years between China and India,tensions remain along their shared 4,057 km border,most notably over Arunachal Pradesh, which China asserts as part of Tibet and therefore of China, and over the Aksai Chin region at the western end of Tibet.PTI

Tryst With Modernity -Reaffirm our traditional inventiveness in embracing and using new ideas and technology (by Deep K Datta-Ray)

With the clockwork regularity befitting a nation aspiring to modernity,India has just marked the moment of colonial liberation with the usual stirring ceremony harking back to our mixed ancestry. This was epitomised by the man at the centre of the celebrations,an Oxbridge educated PM who,having risen from rural poverty, moved through a series of rituals inherited from the British.The ceremony negates a delusive argument structured around the myth of purity and fraught with danger raging at the heart of todays India. On one hand is the fatalist argument that Indians might have won temporally but can never shake off the intellectual chains with which the British bound our intellectual elites thinking.In such a reading,removing the British served no purpose since native rulers are but a reflection of our erstwhile masters and rule just as ignorantly and rapaciously.Fatalists say British rule fundamentally polluted the Indian mind,leaving us with no escape from the predicament of misrule.Focussed on traditional elites, the fatalists error is to conflate them for all of India and thus miss majority dynamic of Indian society.

Essentialists in the opposing camp offer a dangerous antidote : an illusory return to a pure India un- corrupted by British rule. Their argument,that restoring this mythical India is the balm for our woes, ignores the flux of Indian society. Foreigners have always added themselves to the fabric of India and transformed its warp and weft.There is thus no essential India to be captured,much less reproduced. The fatalist argument draws powerfully on colonial sources.Indeed,creating a class of persons Indian in blood and colour,but English in tastes,in opinions,in morals and in intellect paid dividends in Indias first prime minister,Harrow and Cambridge-educated Jawaharlal Nehru.It is argued that he uncritically transposed a western modernity on a land that was historically,culturally and physically completely alien to 20century Europe.The argument is given added impulse because Nehrus grand vision could not be challenged.As a newspaper,then British-owned and edited,noted at the time,though Nehru addressed the Indian masses as a democrat,the Indian masses revered him as a demi-god.

In practice this translated into policies of top-down planning,heavy industry and elite universities which created symbolic capital status in form of grand projects and Nobel prize-winners but basic education and health for rural areas were neglected. Internationally, India was ridiculed as its diplomats propa-gated nonaligned ethics in pucca British accents while Indians languished in abysmal poverty. The corrective,insist the essentialists,is to turn our back on western modernity.To do so would be fatal for it would close off a wealth of opportunities.That course also ignores the inherent flexibility of Indias poor in managing modernity.A testimony is the average north Indians response to the language of the conquering British.They transformed it into Hinglish a pervasive mishmash beyond state control that has spread from below so that even ministers no longer aspire to imitating the Queen.Hinglish boasts of airdashing to a crisis (famine or fire) lest newspapers accuse them of being on the backfoot.A vivacious mixture of English and native tongues,Hinglish is a dialect pulsating with energy and invention that captures the essential fluidity of Indian society. Academics mistake this as hybridity.It is not because it is motivated by an underlying and uniquely Indian ability to assimilate. Spirituality explains it best. Attracted by the vast numbers in need of salvation, Jesuits flocked to India. However,disillusionment followed as Indians learnt about Christ but only to displace him from his unique position,and render him as just one in our traditional pantheon of gods.

It is this Indian tradition of innovation,of appropriating goods and ideas and using them in our own traditional ways,that ought to guide the state.The way to do so is to devolve decision-making from the Soviet-style planning system we still use to the rural poor.Though the current five-year Plan has shifted the emphasis from industry to the countryside,there is much more to be done.Microcredit has to be expanded and,while only the state is capable of developing and bringing new technologies to the poor,only they can inform the state about what works locally.

As with English,the poor are capable of pragmatically appropriating from the state what is beneficial (whether ideas or technologies) and use it innovatively.Given his background,no one knows this better than Manmohan Singh.Paying tribute to our traditional dynamic at Oxford University,he noted that in indigenising English,we have made the language our own.To do so with the rest of modernity,Singh must draw on our traditional flexibility to devise policy originating from the bottom to erase that other enduring facet of our tradition: poverty.

Bringing the local back into the processes of modern government is to limit the state to providing access to a plethora of internationally approved choices.It demonstrates a fundamental confidence in the ability of poor Indians to manage alternatives themselves and permits fine-tuning choices to local conditions. Doing so allows India to move beyond Nehruvian topdown modernity while reaffirming our tradition of innovation. (The writer is an historian.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

‘Open letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’

Brig K.G.Behl (Retd), Bsc.Engr(Svy),AMIS,FRGS,MCA,MCSI
President Dehradun Ex- Services League.
8A, Nemi Road, Dalanwala, Dehradun- 248001.

No.KGB/DESL/A/9 5 August 2010

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir,

As India grows in the comity of Nations, there is a pride in every Indian in the achievements that our countrymen have attained in various fields. However, despite the fact that we are amongst the fastest growing economies in the World, we continue to have the highest incidence of poverty and corruption. Corruption is not only a reflection of misuse of funds but it is a misuse of power, position and arrogant personal self aggrandizement. These people in positions of power are not only eroding the institutions that make a nation but are creating Marxists/ Maoists/ terrorists etc who are getting themselves organi-zed into big disintegrating forces who are not even scared of Defence Forces due to lot of discontent-ment generated there also, by these power hungry Politicians/ Bureaucrats. Govt. Orders are not being faithfully implemented by MOD and anomalies pointed out by competent people are either being ignored or swept under the carpet. MOD needs to be reoriented and told to act as per rules and not as per their whims and fancies. Surprisingly, no one is hauled up by Ministers for not taking actions or distorting orders, though the cases are self explanatory and need no other assistance, legal or otherwise.

I am taking liberty to write this open letter to you so that you may wake up and open the eyes of those, who after committing mistakes sit down and close their eyes like pigeons and refuse to open those thinking that the impending dangers will automatically ward of, without realizing that there is no escape. Secondly, they will not allow this letter to reach you, unless it is made open, through Media and Press.

It is surprising that they have been allowed to mishandle even the Institution of Defence Forces Personnel, who today comprise the largest body of Nationalists. The MOD is consistently maltreating the Armed Forces personnel and their genuine issues relating to Pay, Pension and welfare matters have either been swept under the carpet or called sub-judice, when actually they are not so, creating a large discontentment. The issues of the status and anomalies of the various Pay Commissions, especially since the 4th Pay Commission(1986) have been dealt with in such a cavalier fashion that today there is utter despair and discontentment amongst the Armed Forces personnel. These are the guys who are prompting Defence Forces to become corrupt by adopting ways and means shown by them, to amass money in making purchases and delaying matters – as are being used by them in Defence purchases. Innocent Defence Personnel fall prey in their laid down traps and suffer. It needs to be stopped forthwith by transferring coterie of staff positioned there for years together. Surprisingly, such controversial letters they do not sign such letters themselves but fire from others shoulders.

It is happening because of absence of Armed Forces personnel at the decision making level, be it at the Pay Commissions, Govt. Defence committees or within the MOD, to pursue agenda and represent correct facts. This needs to be implemented forthwith like USA and other countries where Defence Officers are inducted in MOD and other committees / commissions, so that their problems could be projected correctly and justice could be done to them.

As a disciplined body, Defence Personnel have represented their just grievances through petitions, Parliamentary questions, letters to the Hon’ble President of India, your esteemed office and other dignified avenues but each one of those have been snowballed by the MOD bureaucracy. There is a perception that the MOD is unwilling to accept mistakes or errors of judgment and continue to ride on the premise that an acceptance of their mistake would be a sacrilegious act of succumbing to the Armed Forces. As a result they have come up with half baked solutions that have only aggravated the trust deficit amongst the MOD and the Armed Forces personnel. It is humane to make mistakes or err but Divine to accept and remove those errors. But it appears that the MOD does not believe in this dictum and never amend their orders, even when found wrong even by the Supreme Court of India. They are prepared to spend money in forming committees, fighting cases in Courts or giving more costly half baked solutions, rather than accepting their mistake gracefully and setting the matters right.

Sir, they do not know the importance of Rank in Defence Forces, and are treating it like any other commodity which can be compensated by money. Sitting in offices and scaling every thing in terms of money alone, is spoiling the whole structure of Defence Forces where the tradition is to obey orders of seniors in rank and go out and fight the enemy at the cost of their lives. This aspect they can never realize unless there is ‘conscription’ i.e. compulsorily spending some time serving in Defence Forces. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, you can seriously think of introducing it in view of growing indiscipline, lawlessness, regionalism and Naxalite/ Maoist/terrorist activities in some parts of the country. For youth NCC be made compulsory in all schools and colleges.

The issue of the Rank Pay granted by the 4th Pay Commission in 1986, that has been upheld by the Supreme Court on 8 March 2010, a clear case of injustice, is back in the wilderness with the MOD appeal against it, just to waste time, needs to be withdrawn from court and immediately implemented.. The anomalies raised in 5th and 6th CPC which are very practical, be immediately implemented. There are a number of cases where they have allowed payments to some individuals who raised those but though as per rules they are denying others the same benefits. Once a mistake has been detected it should automatically be rectified in all similar cases without asking by other affected persons. It is pity that no such action is being taken to benefit other affected persons.

The issue of a separate Pay Commission approved by your office has yet to see the light of the day. It is need of the hour today and not when the damage is done after a decade, when new Pay is set up as per routine.

Hon’ble PM Sir, the list can go on but some of the glaring omissions have been explained in the enclosed Annexure. I would like to beseech you to please consider the following suggestions to set our house in order as the first small step:-

--Set up a Commission comprising of 30% serving defence personnel, 30% retired defence personnel and 30% MOD bureaucracy and the remaining 10% from other experts on Pay/pension matters, all under the Chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to examine and resolve all matters relating to defence personnel in a time bound manner., including One Rank One Pension issue which is not as big a financial or administrative issue as projected by the MOD. This is a classic case of bureaucratic myopia which the MOD suffers from. The details of a simple attainment and implementation of the One Rank One Pension issue is explained in the enclosed Annexure.

--Well established rulings, viz. the 4th Pay Commission order by the Supreme Court to be implemented immediately and MOD personnel attempting delaying tactics to be either disciplined or transferred.

--Order conscription as a compulsory need for all bureaucracy as well as personnel aspiring for political offices to bring about a semblance of nation building and pride in the nation. NCC be made compulsory for all youths.

May I request you, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, to take immediate remedial steps to address the above for the good of the Nation.

With best wishes and highest regards,

Yours Sincerely,

(K.G.Behl ) Bsc. Engr(Svy),AMIS, FRGS,MCA,MCSI
Brig (Retd)
President Dehradun Ex –Services League

Dr Manmohan Singh
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
7 Race Course Road
New Delhi 110 011

Smt. Sonia Gandhi
President, All Indian National Congress
and Chairperson UPA
No.1, Safdarjung Road,
New Delhi 110001

Shri AK Antony
Hon’ble Minister of Defence
Ministry of Defence
Room No 104, South Block
New Delhi 110 011

Shri Pranab Mukherji
Hon’ble Minister of Finance
Room No 134, North Block
New Delhi 110 011

Shri P.Chidambaram
Hon’ble Minister of Home
19, Safdarjung Road.
New Delhi 110026

Smt. Sushma Swaraj
Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition
Lok Sabha Chamber
New Delhi 110001

1. IV CPC Awards(a)

In consideration of peculiar hazardous service conditions with early retirement age, stagnation in career progression, persisting deficiency in intake for the Officer cadre and to make the career as Army Officer more attractive and rewarding to meet the national security environments , the IV Pay Commission on presentation of the three Service Chiefs had devised the concept of Special Military Pay called later as Rank Pay, on the pattern of additional pay admitted for the Armed Forces of many developed and developing democracies of the World.

The aforesaid Concept was stated in Para 4 of MOD Letters dated 13.3.87 &.26 May 1987 as Al 1/S/87 on implementation of IV CPC Award and it stipulate Rank pay in addition to the pay in the Integrated Pay Scale; under Para 3. But Para 6(b) of the same Army Instruction directs the equivalent amount be deducted from the basic Pay. How and why this Para was added no one knows and even the Ministry could not substantiate it in the Hon’ble Kerala High Court when given an opportunity to do so. The Court ordered that the amount deducted under this Para be returned, which was done. But the Ministry still treated it as an individual case, though such blunders were committed in case of all officers and once some fault has been pointed out in one of the Court Judgments, it should be rectified in all similar cases.

There are precedents to show that whenever due to some misinterpretation of rules, a ctizen aggrieved by the action of a Govt. Dept, has approached the Court and obtained a declaration of law in his favour, others, in like circumstances, should be able to rely on the sense of responsibility of the Dept. Concerned and to expect that they will be given the benefit of this declaration without the need to take their grievances to the court.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has given ruling where a citizen aggrieved by the action of a Government Department approached the Court and obtained a declaration of law in his favour, others in the like circumstances were given the benefit of that declaration to others similarly affected without their going to the courts again to express their grievances. In this connection the Ministry’s attention is invited to Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment in the case of Amrit Lal Vs Collector CEC Revenue reported in AIR 1975 SC 538.

In a similar case under the Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment dt.08.12.1994 on reduction of re-employed Pay after deducting the enhanced retiring Pension, was held as unconstitutional and the recoveries made as per OM dt 11.9.87. were refunded in compliance of the said Judgment under the MOD, Dept. of Personal & Training OM No.3/15/94-Estt(Pay- II) DATED 14 Oct 1997.

At one stage the Min of Def under ID Note No. 1 (2)2006/D(Pay-Services) dt.07 Apr 2006 had directed the Service HQs to work out the financial implications in the re-fixation of pay of the Officers who were affected on account of pay fixation devised under IVth CPC Award., but later in consultation with other Depatments and legal affairs changed their stand and told that aggrieved officers should go to their respective High Courts and file writ petitions which was against the rulings on the subject. This was specifically done knowing full well that the serving officers will not go to court and very few of the retired officers will venture to do so and those will be tackled in courts. It is a wrong concept which the Hon’ble Supreme Court has realized and delivered their Judgment on 08 Mar 2010 that all affected officers where such deductions were made be paid the amounts recovered with 6% interest.

It is pity that instead of implementing the orders gracefully, the MOD has again appealed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that their orders should be limited to those officers who filed writs and there too each writ be heard individually and decided on merit. Of course the Hon’ble Court is yet to admit it but these are the tactics on the part of the ministry to further delay payments and make officers suffer. Let us hope the Hon’ble Supreme Court teaches the MOD a lesson, by punishing the concerned officers, for disobedience of their earlier orders amounting to contempt of court and coming to court again and again and wasting their time and unnecessarily delaying matters.

2. IV CPC Awards(b)

Integrated Pay Scale was introduced by the 4th CPC, so that those officers who get over looked by Promotional Boards, may get at least benefit of increments in that scale till they retire but the MOD in their ego clubbed the scale in different ranks and as a result the very purpose was defeated and officers stagnated in those groups and suffered huge losses and some took premature retirement in frustration.

On what authority was it done and who told them to carry out grouping when there was no mention of it in CPC report or Gazette.

V CPC Awards.

The following paras of 5th CPC, which are self explanatory, were implemented for civil but were not implemented for defence personnel, though in the recommendations of the CPC, in those Paras it is specifically mentioned that these apply to Defence Forces as well. These were accepted by the Govt.

MOD has no answer as to why they ignored those resulting in loss for ten years to Defence personnel.

1. Enhanced Weightage Elements for Pension – CPC Para 133.18 & 162.11

Ø 133.18----Civilians superannuation increased to 60 & 55 yrs for CPOs

Ø CPC recommended benefit of qualifying service for ALL to increase to 33 years service

Ø 162.11 --- Accordingly weightage increased by 2 years for all ranks in the existing norms.

Rank QS Pension Rs 33 Year Pension Rs Loss Rs

Maj (Pre 86) 30 5819 6400 581
Lt Col (Pre 86) 31 7093 7550 457
Nb Sub 31 3241 3450 209
Havildar 29 2092 2370 278
Naik 27 1743 2120 377
Sepoy 25 1472 1958 486

2. Enhanced Disability Pencion – CPC 144.18, 135.6, 162.11, 163.9 & 164.7,8,9.

Ø Disability pension to be same as family pension, I.e. 30% of Reckonable pay

Ø CPC recommended same disability pension for Civs & Armed Forces personnel

Ø Implemented correctly for Civilians

Ø Service personnel given lower amounts--- Officers much less than 30%

Rank Notified Amount Rs 30% Amount Due Rs Loss Rs

Maj 2600 3840 (min) 1240
Lt Col 2600 4530 (min) 1930
Col 2600 5130 (min) 2530
Brig 2600 5730 (min) 3130
Maj Gen 2600 6120 (min) 3520
Lt Gen 2600 6720 (min) 4120


Armed Forces personnel deprived of the parity recommended for disability pension---a breed of nationalists who are exposed to greater danger of a disability environment!!!

3. Sanctity of old post/pay be retained whilst revision of pay grade - Disparity for Colonels/Maj Gens

Ø In implementation the MOD has referred to the Rank only and not the Post last held when the CPC letter shows Post/Rank.

Ø The Rule “the pension of all pre-1.1.96 Defence Pensioners will in no case be less than 50% of the minimum of the revised pay scale of the Post /Rank last held at the time of retirement in the respective pay grade of the Post last held”

The Effect

Ø Colonels pre-86 From Grade S-26 they are now junior post S24/25

Ø Maj Gens. Pre-96 From Grade S 29 they are now S 26

IMPACT Loss of status and monetary loss Rs 700 to 800 a month------IS THIS FAIR ?????

4. Disparity in Pension Award of Re-employed Pensioners wiyh DSC

This facility to draw second pension is available with other Depts, but is being denied to those reemployed with DSC. AHQ AG’s Branch letter No.B/38207/8/AG/PS-5 Dated02 May 2008 refers.

5. Non implementation of ignorable Pension in respect of Re-employed Ex Servicemen.

The ignorable Pension of Rs. 1500/- has been allowed in fixation of re-employment Pay but in many cases it has been denied.


In case of officers the 6th CPC has sanctioned scales and grade Pay taking into account the earlier substantive Pay being paid as on 1.1.2006, which as explained above is less equivalent to the Rank Pay. When the ‘Basic Pay’ is less all the benefits accruing on that are bound to be less accordingly and that is what has happened in 6th CPC report, which has lowered the status of Defence officers by putting them in lower scales and granting less ‘Grade Pay’ which works out a couple of thousand rupees lower than their civilian counterparts, who were drawing less than them earlier. It speaks of the injustice done. On protests, some of the defects were rectified but basic defect which led to all the chaos was not touched and remained as it is.

In case of PBOR, till 5th CPC, 50% of the maximum of the scale in which one retires used to be pension, subject to the number of years one served entitling the maximum at 33 years, but here 50% of the mean of pay for the last ten months served was taken as pension, which resulted in unnecessary loss to the individuals.

A Committee of secretaries was constituted to incease the weightage of PBOR length of service to 30 years instead of 33 years required for retirement at that time. Had they brought the weightage to 33 years it would have solved all problems, but the MOD supplied them data to that effect only and they stopped at that. Only God knows why MOD creates such situations?

In case of examples given in 6th CPC Report for working out Pay/Pension , the new revised Pay in the New Scales has been worked out after multiplying the pay being drawn earlier with factor 1.86 and where ever it fitted in the new scale and was adjusted accordingly. But in case of Retired persons the pay coming after multiplying with factor 1.86 has been brought to the minimum of the new scale and then fixation done which brings in quite a difference in amount. When there is no mention of minimum in the Pay commission report where from this element has been introduces. This needs to be set right for officers as well as PBORS.

As and when some anomalies were pointed out to MOD, they instead of setting those right, tried to compensate those either by giving some benefits here and there or by constituting another committee to examine those without setting those right but suggest ways and means to compensate those grievances. Since no Defence Officer was put in those committees, they worked on data supplied by the MOD and suggested methods which were not desired. While making efforts to compensate for one wrong done more anomalies were created because the basic defect was not touched upon or removed. It has resulted in making the whole System unwieldy where the Rank structure on which the Defence System works has totally been upset. They are not aware of what is command and control and on what basis the Rank System works. They only know that money makes the mare go and try to solve every thing with that yard stick. But here we deal with tigers and a variety of other species who have their peculiar requirements and do not get satisfied with money alone and need to be tackled differently keeping their powers in mind so that they combine and fight together as a team to over power the enemy.

There are several minor issues projected to MOD which as per laid down rules can be easily implemented but the MOD turns a Nelson eye to those and ignores those.

One Rank One Pension

One Rank One Pension is not a big issue as it has been projected by the MOD. As we all know that during 3rd CPC, all ranks, including officers, were being retired at the pension of 50% of the maximum Pay of the scale they held at the time of retirement, proportionate to the number of years of service one put in at that time, 30 years being the maximum to earn full pension at that time.. Some weightage was given for service to different ranks to get proportionately better pension since they retire at comparatively younger age. This weightage has now reached 30 years for all ranks and in case of JCOS has touched 33 years now required to earn full pension. In case of other ranks too it would have reached 33 years had the data put up before the committee of secretaries constituted for considering this aspect, been put up to 33 years to earn full pension instead of 30 years they considered. Anyhow, it is a minor issue and can be considered even now in that context and can be raised to 33 years.

Once it is done and all are retired at the 50% of the maximum of the scale they held at the time of retirement, the problem of one rank one pension, automatically gets solved. It is compatible with civil too where practically every one retires at the maximum of the scale one holds at the time of retirement.

It is thus a simple issue and will not require large funds as is being projected as most of the personnel are already getting big chunk of it which needs to be supplemented.

(source - Sanjha Morcha)

Monday, August 16, 2010

64th Independence Day: Bollywood Songs - Indo-Asian News Service Mumbai, August 14, 2010First Published: 18:54 IST(14/8/2010)

Bollywood songs have always stirred patriotic sentiments among listeners. Come Sunday and India's 64th Independence Day, and one may soak in the national fervour with IANS's list of 20 evergreen patriotic songs from Bollywood.

Aao bachchon tumhe dikhaye: Composed in the year 1954 by Hemant Kumar, the song tries to inculcate patriotism among children. The fast-paced number was crooned by Pradeep in the film Jagriti.

Hum laayein hain toofan se: This track also belonged Jagriti and was equally popular. The slow-paced track was sung by legendary Mohammad Rafi.

Yeh desh hai veer jawanon ka: This energetic and upbeat song is one of the most popular patriotic songs, owing to its tempo and fervour. Composed by O.P. Nayyar and voiced by Rafi, the song was from the film Naya Daur that released in 1957. The Punjabi tone and the beats in the song lend a very rural setting.

Chhodo kal ki baatein: From the 1960 film Hum Hindustani, this track was composed by Usha Khanna. It depicted a feeling of patriotism, optimism and free thinking. It was sung by Mukesh.

Aye mere pyare watan: This track from the film Kabuliwala (1961) had all the ingredients of a legendary song. It was composed by Salil Choudhury, with Manna Dey behind the mike.

Nanha munna rahi hun: This song from the 1962 film Son Of India brings forth love for the country through a child. Crooned by Shanti Mathur, the simple and endearing composition was made by Naushad Ali.

Apni azadi ko hum: This song gave the message of toughness and a strong will. It brought forward the sentiments of people who were not ready to bow down under any circumstances. From the film Leader (1964), it had brilliant vocals by Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi.

Ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon: This beautiful and soul-stirring track from 1964 film Haqeeqat, depicted the feelings of the soldiers of the country. The song, synonymous with patriotism in India, was sung by Rafi with Madan Mohan as the music director.

Jahan daal daal par: From the film Sikandar-e-Azam, this Rafi sung and Hans Raj Bahal composed song talks about the beauty of our country. It sings praises in honour of the country and makes the listener proud of India.

Mera rang de basanti chola: The song depicts the life of freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh. From the film Shaheed (1965), it was sung by Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor and was composed by Prem Dhawan.

Aye watan aye watan: The song, again from Shaheed, talks about the secularity of our nation and the patriotic feelings of the people towards our mother land. It instils a sense of pride among the countrymen. Like most patriotic songs of that period, this too has been crooned by Rafi while the composition is of Prem Dhawan.

Mere desh ki dharti: No Independence Day celebrations are complete without this iconic number. The song, from the film Upkar, featured Manoj Kumar. This melodious track talking about the fertility of the Indian land was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and was sung by Mahendra Kapoor.

Dil diya hai: Music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Karma released in 1986 and belted out this melodious patriotic song. Sung by Kavitha Krishnamurthy, it was a big hit.

Bharat humko jaan se pyara hai: Composed by Oscar winning composer A.R Rahman, this song from the 1992 film Roja was sung by Hariharan. It advocates the feeling of brotherhood between people and its sudden change of tempo gives it an edge.

It happens only in India: This song was sung in a lighter vein by Anand Raj Anand for the film Pardesi Babu that released in 1998. It talks about the various traditions and cultures of the country.

Zindagi maut na ban jaaye: This is one of the new age patriotic songs. Featured in 1999 film Sarfarosh, this song that urges people to stand against terrorism and other issues was sung by Sonu Niigaam and Roop Kumar Rathod and composed by music director duo Jatin-Lalit. The song in the genre of a qawwalli is quite impressive.

Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani: This song from the film of the same name that released in 2002 is a fun song. It brings forth the positives and negatives of the country in an amusing manner. It has a hummable melody created by Jatin-Lalit and has been sung by Udit Narayan.

Desh mere desh mere: The Legend of Bhagat Singh, yet another film on Bhagat Singh, offered this song which was passionate yet hard-hitting. It brought forward the sentiments of people who were ready to do anything for the country. It was composed by A.R. Rahman and was voiced by Sukhwinder Singh and the composer himself.

Yeh jo desh hai tera: Swades, that released in the year 2004, boasted of this track that was meant for Indians who live away from their country. The song reminds them about their association with their homeland. It is sung and composed by A.R. Rahman.

Khandon se milte hain khande: From the Hrithik Roshan starrer Lakshya, the song brought forward the sentiments of our soldiers. It was composed by music director trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and was sung by a host of singers like Sonu Niigam, Shankar Mahadevan, and Hariharan.

EASY MONEY - A bit of adhesive is enough to rob you at your neighbourhood ATM

Kolkata: Beware if the ATM screen goes blank after you swipe your card.It could be a mischief by fraudsters to withdraw cash from your account after you leave the ATM in a huff.A bit of adhesive and a screwdriver are all thats needed to outwit hi-tech safety gadgets. These swindlers are part of an inter-state network spread across the country.Assam Police and Kolkata Police recently rounded up three who have mastered the tampering of ATMs.The trick applies only to ATM machines that need a customer to insert and extract the card to start operations.Many nationalized banks use this system.

Fraudsters,who generally strike in pairs,enter ATM by swiping valid debit card at the gate,press down a key on keyboard and stick it with adhesive so that it does not return to its original position.This switches on the machine.They then wait for a victim.When a customer enters the ATM and swipes the card,he does not realize that the machine is already on.A message flashes for him to key his PIN,which he does.But as the machine has been switched on in an improper way,the screen goes blank automatically as a security feature to stop fraudulent withdrawals.Its here that the fraudster enters after the customer leaves.He simply use a screwdriver to release the key.The ATM restarts with the PIN of the last customer and the gang walks out with cash.


MPs likely to get salary hike

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Monday is likely to take up the issue of hike in salaries of MPs against the backdrop of an all-party consensus demanding that lawmakers be given a salary at par with secretaries to the government of India.MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary while a secretary to the government gets Rs 80,000 a month. The proposal is to hike MPs salary to Rs 50,000. Lawmakers have pointed out that they are listed 21st on the warrant of precedence while secretaries come in at 23rd. When a secretary gets Rs 80,000 a month,it is not justified to have Rs 16,000 as an MPs monthly salary, a parliamentarian who did not want to be quoted said.

Sources indicated that given the enormous pressure from MPs,the figure may be increased to Rs 60,000.The government plans to move a bill to hike MPs salaries in Parliament this week. The issue has been pending since May 2006 when the second joint committee to look into MPs salary was set up.The generous Sixth Pay Commission hike for central government employees,which was adopted by most state governments,added to the disquiet among MPs. However,there are lingering questions whether the work done by MPs justifies this kind of salary.Eyebrows have also been raised over the fact that MPs give themselves the hike.Lawmakers counter that the salary given is too meagre for them to fulfill their myriad obligations to their voters and their constituencies.
CAG leaking classified defence secrets -Armed Forces Furious Over ORRs Placed In Public Domain,CAG Argues MoD Kept In Loop

New Delhi: The armed forces are increasingly getting furious with successive CAG reports divulging their classified operational readiness reports (ORRs) for all the world to see. Getting rapped for financial and procedural irregularities or diversion of funds to buy golf carts and delays in much-needed procurements is one thing but the armed forces are aghast that the operational availability of their aircraft,helicopters,submarines and other platforms as well as radars and missiles is being put in the public domain by CAG reports. Why make the jobs of our enemies easier To make matters worse,the latest reports are promptly uploaded on the CAG website,which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.CAG reports must have a classified section,which only a select few of the decision-makers must have access to, said a senior military officer.

While the Comptroller and Auditor General of India,Vinod Rai,could not be contacted since he was travelling abroad,another CAG official contended the reports were prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Service concerned. Our mandate is that every audit report has to be laid in Parliament.The parliamentary public accounts committee subsequently takes it up.Once anything is tabled in Parliament,its in the public domain, he said. Moreover,dont newspapers regularly report on depleting levels of fighter squadrons in IAF and submarines in Navy Or,of the poor serviceability of MiG,Jaguar or reconnaissance aircraft fleets and the alarming gaps in radar coverage over central and peninsular India

Yes,they do,and often accurately.But they are still newspaper reports, said an IAF officer.In contrast,the reports of CAG,a constitutional authority with access to secret flying logs,equipment and sensor availability reports and other classified stuff,come with an official stamp of authenticity. Even if a CAG report describes a fighter only as X,any serious defence watcher will know which particular jet is being talked about.All this makes it easy for our adversaries to know our operational capabilities, the IAF officer said. The CAG reports are important.But are any such official reports available in the public domain in either Pakistan or China Warfare is all about keeping your enemies guessing about your capabilities, he added.

Take,for instance,Indias solitary 50-year-old aircraft carrier INS Viraat.A careful reading of the latest CAG report makes it clear Viraat may just be a paper tiger,left as it is with only eight upgraded Sea Harrier jump-jets to operate from its deck. Similarly,take Indias rapidlyshrinking underwater combat arm.As frequently reported by TOI,Navy is left with only 15 submarines 10 Russian Kilo-class,four German HDW and one virtually-obsolete Foxtrot at present.And the number may dip to just half by 2015 due to progressive retirements. Then came a CAG report which held that the operational availability of Indian submarines was as low as 48% due to an ageing fleet and prolonged refit schedules.In effect,this means that if India went to war with Pakistan,it will only have seven submarines to deploy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Defence Minister’s Message to the Armed Forces on The Eve of Independence Day

Following is the English rendering of the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony’s address to the Armed Forces personnel broadcast over All India Radio on the eve of Independence Day:-
My dear Jawans and members of our Armed Forces,

We celebrate our 64th Independence Day tomorrow. I pay my tributes to the martyrs and convey my greetings and best wishes to both uniformed and civilian personnel of the three wings of our Armed Forces on this occasion.

My sympathies are with the survivors of the Nature’s fury in Leh. I convey my heartfelt condolences to all those, who lost their near and dear ones in the tragedy, including several Armed Forces personnel. It is difficult to pick up the pieces after such a large-scale loss of life and property. The personnel from Army, Air Force, DRDO and Border Roads Organisation have been doing a commendable job in accelerating rescue and relief efforts, restoring communication links and in assisting in attempts to restore normalcy at the earliest. The Armed Forces personnel have on several other occasions, rendered invaluable service in times of natural calamities. Our Armed Forces guard the land, sea and air frontiers in harsh weather conditions and in forbidding terrains. Living away from families makes your task all the more challenging. The challenges to our nation’s security are indeed varied and manifold.

Our rising economic stature has brought with it several challenges. The developments in and around our neighbourhood have forced us to review and upgrade our security apparatus. The security measures taken by us are often misunderstood by some nations. However, we have always been a peace-loving nation and we will continue to strive for peaceful relations with all our neighbours.  Post-26/11, we have taken several steps to strengthen the security apparatus, particularly along the coastline. We have cleared the setting up of four air enclaves at Goa, Kochi, Vizag, and New Mangalore. Coastal security has been strengthened, with acquisitions of new systems and platforms.

Armed Forces all over the world are modernising and becoming technology-intensive. I wish to take this opportunity to assure you that our modernisation plans are on the right track. We want to give our Armed Forces the latest and the best possible equipment. We would like the modernization process to proceed hand-in-hand with indigenisation. The success in the development of the indigenous nuclear submarine - INS Arihant must be replicated in other fields too. We have accorded top priority to create infrastructure and build all-weather roads in inaccessible areas. The Border Roads organization has been given the responsibility of constructing the Rohtang tunnel. This tunnel will ensure that the remote areas in the northern region, which remained inaccessible for over six months, will now be connected and accessible throughout the year. The Rohtang tunnel would be the longest tunnel in our country at such a high altitude.

Dear jawans, despite all odds, you all have been doing a creditable job – both during warlike situation and in peace. During my visit to Siachen in June this year, the jawans raised problems and difficulties being faced by them. Some of you wanted better quality socks and more snowmobiles for operational requirements. Some of you requested reduced telephone rates for better communication with your family members. I have directed the concerned officials and departments to take immediate remedial action. Though the pressure on our Armed Forces personnel is tremendous, the need for exercising maximum restraint cannot be over-emphasised. I wish to stress that any instance of human rights violation anywhere will not be tolerated.

Our Government has taken several welfare measures for the defence personnel. We are making efforts to improve the quality of atta, rice, vegetables, tea, pulses and other items. Similarly, we have made a provision for special rations to troops deployed in counter-insurgency operations. Special rations have also been authorised for additional troops serving in high-altitude areas – specifically above 12, 000 feet. A pilot project has been launched at 20 locations across the country for rail e-ticketing. With this facility, the system of railway warrants will be replaced and Armed Forces personnel will be able to book and print e-tickets through IRCTC websites at unit locations. This project will be gradually extended to more than 5, 000 Army, Air Force and Navy units across the country. We are committed to carry forward these measures and do a lot more for the all-round welfare of our jawans in the future.

We accord top priority to the welfare of our service personnel, as well as ex-servicemen. We are trying our best to ensure that there are no procedural delays in pension-related cases of ex-servicemen. Some Armed Forces personnel are retained in service, despite a disability that is attributed, or aggravated by military service, who forego a lump-sum compensation in lieu of the disability. Keeping in view their valour and sacrifice, it has been decided to grant them a disability element, or war injury element, at the time of their retirement, or discharge, in addition to the retiring/service pension or retiring/service gratuity. On the other hand, in case of pensioners who retire on disability pension, a decision has been taken to pay them a Constant Attendant at the rate of Rs. 3, 000 per month, in addition to the disability pension.

Our Government has also granted permanent commission to women in non-combatant roles. I expect full cooperation from our Armed Forces in taking forward all such welfare schemes to their logical conclusion. In our effort to further improve the living conditions of jawans, the Government has laid special emphasis on Married Accommodation Project (MAP). Under the project, a total of 1, 98, 881 Dwelling Units will be constructed in four phases. We are making all efforts to address accommodation related issues. We are sure that MAP will go a long way in boosting the morale of our Armed Forces.

Dear jawans, the nation is indeed proud of your devotion and sacrifice in securing our country’s borders. I once again extend my greetings on the eve of the Independence Day and convey my heartiest greetings and sincere wishes to all of you for a happy and a bright future.

Jai Hind”.

We Salute our 64th independence day


Lanka prez OKs Fonsekas discharge

Colombo: Sri Lankas president approved the dishonorable discharge of his former army chief and political rival on Saturday,a day after a military court convicted the general of involvement in politics while in service. President Mahinda Rajapaksa confirmed that general Sarath Fonseka would be stripped of his rank,medals and other military honors,a government statement said.

Fonseka led Sri Lankas army in its victory last year against ethnic Tamil rebels,ending a quarter-century civil war that killed 80,000 to 100,000 people. One-time allies,the president and army chief were both considered heroes by the Sinhalese majority for crushing the Tamil rebels.However,their relationship deteriorated after the hostilities ended and Fonseka challenged Rajapaksa in a presidential election. Fonseka lost the election to Rajapaksa in January and was arrested weeks later. The former general was accused of planning his political career while still in uniform and breaching regulations for purchasing military hardware.AFP

Jugaad is our most precious resource (by SWAMINATHAN S ANKLESARIA AIYAR)

People ask me, what exactly is jugaad Global management experts attribute Indias rapid economic growth to jugaad.In a recent survey by the Legatum Institute,81% of Indian businessmen said jugaad was the key reason for their success. Many years ago,innovative Punjabis mounted a diesel irrigation pump on a steel frame with wheels, creating a vehicle they called jugaad. It was ultra-cheap but did not conform to vehicular regulations.Over time,jugaad came to mean grassroots innovation to overcome any constraint.

In the West, innovation is done by scientists using expensive equipment.In India,its done by every housewife,farmer,transporter,trader and industrialist.It does not require high-spending R&D : it simply needs creativity and imagination.Anil Ambani once said Reliance succeeded through innovation,not invention. One avatar of jugaad is what management gurus call frugal engineering,exemplified in the Tata Nano,the cheapest car in the world.Indias telecom companies provide calls at Re 1 a minute,the cheapest in the world.Narayana Hrudayalaya and Shankara Nethralaya provide the cheapest heart and eye treatment in the world.Indian reverse-engineering of patented drugs is also frugal engineering. Some management experts warn that jugaad uses any means,legal or illegal,to get a job done.They say bribery and manipulation must not be confused with genuine creativity.

I disagree.The creativity in unethical activity is,with rare exceptions,not fundamentally different from the creativity that yields frugal engineering.The incentives and rewards of the political-economic system determine whether creativity is used mainly for unethical profit or heroic productivity. The hawala market,for instance,is used by drug lords for money laundering.But it is also an example of jugaad,enabling poor migrants to remit money across countries,faster and more cheaply than any formal bank system.Hawala was legal for centuries before modern governments declared it illegal. Dhirubhai Ambani was the master of jugaad.The licencepermit raj made it impossible for him to progress legally, so he exploited the corruption and cynicism of the system. He exported junk to get profitable import entitlements.He created industrial capacities vastly in excess of licensed capacity.He imported huge textile machines as spare parts.He engineered highly profitable changes in rules for polyester imports and telecom licences.The jugaad he used to overcome hurdles was not distinguishable from crony capitalism. Yet when the licence-permit raj gave way to a more open and deregulated economy, Dhirubhai used the same jugaad to scale dizzying heights of productivity and become world class.His giant refinery complex in Jamnagar had the highest refining margins in the world,beating the Singapore refineries.He converted to reality his vision of making telephone calls cheaper than a postcard. Dhirubhai showed that manipulation and world class productivity are two sides of the same coin called jugaad.If governments create business constraints through controls and high taxes,jugaad will be used to overcome those hurdles.But if deregulation abolishes these hurdles,the main business constraints become lack of quality and affordability,so jugaad shifts to improving productivity,quality and affordability.That ultimately makes you world class.

Jugaad is amoral. If laws are oppressive,jugaad will seek ways round the law.Yet this amorality kept Indian business alive in the 1970s when controls were buttressed with income tax of 97.75% and wealth tax of 3.5%.Honest businessmen would have been taxed into bankruptcy.But jugaad,including innovative tax dishonesty,kept Indian business alive,and enabled it to surge when economic policy moved away from insane socialism. Socialist politicians viewed themselves as golden-hearted geniuses who knew better than greedy Marwaris about what should be produced.Nobel Laureate Friedrich von Hayek pithily called this the fatal conceit.

India may not have ample natural resources like oil or copper. But it has jugaad, which is more valuable. Natural resources like oil are often a curse: they can lead to government kleptocracy and authoritarianism.But jugaad helps foil government kleptocracy and authoritarian regulations. Socialist planning was supposed to optimize use of Indias resources.But it assigned no value at all to marvelous innovativeness and enterprise of Indians in every branch of activity.Five-year plans sought to optimize financial resources,mineral resources (like coal and oil) and administrative resources.But they sought to crush enterprise and jugaad,the most precious resource of all.That has now been liberated by economic reform,and the value of jugaad has gained worldwide recognition.

The delivery of government services education,health,infrastructure remains terrible.Here too socialist control needs to be replaced by jugaad.Alas,politicians and socialist ideologues will not allow it.


Yes, it is a free country. But it is also a land of conflict and contradictions. TOI lensmen capture the many shades and expressions of freedom in 21st century India.
PUMPED-UP PATRIOTISM: Celebrations at Raj Bhavan.But while official India decks itself up every year,vast swathes remain an area of darkness.

KEEP THE FAITH: A woman walks home with son Krishna after a dahi handi competition in school

Major who died fighting terrorist in Kabul awarded Ashok Chakra

An Army major,who died fighting a terrorist to save 12 of his colleagues during an attack on Indians in Kabul,has been conferred the Ashok Chakra,the countrys highest peacetime gallantry award. Major Laishram Jyotin Singh,an Army doctor posted in Kabul,fought a heavily-armed terrorist during an attack on Indians at a Kabul hotel on February 26.He gave up his life for the sake of five of his colleagues,one of whom,despite his efforts,was charred to death,and another succumbed to his injuries five days later.His sacrifice,in addition,also saved the lives of two officers,four paramedics and two Afghan civilians still alive within the compound, the defence ministry said on Saturday,while announcing the gallantry awards on the eve of Independence Day. The 37-year-old doctor from Manipur showed exemplary courage when a heavily-armed terrorist,after killing three guards,entered the hotel building to kill the survivors.Singh charged with bare hands at the armed terrorist and pinned him down, the statement said. The Major grappled with the terrorist until the latter detonated his suicide vest.The officer and the terrorists were instantly killed.Kirti Chakra,has been given to Captain Davinder Singh Jass and Chhattisgarh Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey (both posthumously ).Jass was given the award for counter-terrorist operations in Jammu.On February 23 this year,when Jass was leading an operation in Chinkipur,his squad came under heavy indiscriminate terrorist fire. He successfully evacuated one of his men to safety.Thereafter he crawled forward to evacuate the second man but was injured, the MoD said.He killed one of the terrorists.He later succumbed to his injuries.

Vinod Kumar Chaubey will receive Kirti Chakra posthumously for anti-Naxal operations in Chattis-garh. Besides the Ashok Chakra and 2 Kirti Chakras, 112 gallantry awards, including 2 Bar to Shaurya Chakras,19 Shaurya Chakras, 2 Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry ),80 Sena Medals (Gallantry ), 3 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and five Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) have also been given away.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

CAG pulls up Services for selling liquor in open market

New Delhi: The armed forces simply love their booze.So do civilians,always on the lookout to tap Army contacts for a bottle or two,if not a case or two,of the much cheaper liquor available in Fauji canteens. But large-scale diversion of liquor meant for soldiers to the civil market has become a cottage industry in itself,with some unscrupulous civilian and military officials raking in large amounts of moolah.In fact,there have been several cases of officers,including a couple of brigadiers and even a major-general,being court-martialled for allegedly selling huge quantities of military quota liquor in the open market.

CSD (canteen stores department ) and the Services should ensure that liquor demanded and issued to unit-run canteens (URCs) is strictly as per their authorisation to prevent its leakage into civil market, says the latest CAG report,tabled in Parliament on Friday.This comes after the CAG conducted a performance audit of CSD,which has annual sales worth around Rs 6,900 crore,of which liquor forms a major chunk. In just five of the 34 area depots of CSD under examination,CAG found several units were drawing liquor far in excess of what was authorised based on the number of soldiers and ex-servicemen connected with those units.The units responsible for this overdrawing were mainly the Rajputana Rifles Regimental Centre at Delhi,the Station HQ at Dehu Road in Pune district,and Station HQ at Jabalpur.Of the Rs 5.26 crore worth of liquor overdrawn in Delhi,the RajRif Centre alone was responsible for 57,076 cases valued at Rs 4.79 crore. That is certainly quite a bit,considering the Army has been progressively slashing the liquor quota of officers and jawans.All officers up to Colonels and their equivalents in Navy and IAF,for instance,are now permitted to draw only 10 liquor bottles per month from CSD canteens.The earlier limit was 16 bottles,which was reduced to 12 a couple of years ago.

Field Marshals and equivalents,serving and retired Service chiefs,can draw all the liquor they want since they have no limit.Serving and retired Lt-Generals,Vice-Admirals and Air Marshals have a limit of 14 bottles,while Major-Generals and Brigadiers can take 12 bottles home every month.Serving JCOs like Subedar Majors,Subedars and Naib Subedars are entitled to seven bottles.All other ranks have to make do with five bottles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

IAF may deploy more copters for anti-Naxal operations

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is contemplating deployment of additional helicopters in the ongoing anti-Naxal operations,with its two Mi-17 s and two Dhruvs already operating in Chhattisgarh armed with sideward mounted machine guns to fire back in self-defence if they come under attack from Maoists. IAF feels it will be in a better position to deploy additional helicopters for logistical support in the coming months since its 19 choppers currently deployed in UN peace-keeping duties in Congo are slated to return to India soon. Moreover,the first lot of the 80 advanced Mi-17 helicopters ordered from Russia,for around $1.2 billion,should begin arriving by October-November, said a source.

While IAF does not need permission to act in self-defence if its helicopters come under attack,which defence minister A K Antony had made clear in Parliament last November itself,very stringent rules of engagement have been put in place. For one,IAFs Garud commandos on board the helicopters can open fire only if they come under attack while undertaking their logistical,reconnaissance and casualty evacuation duties in the anti-Naxal operations. For another,the Indian Air Force helicopters can only use their sideward mounted machine guns in retaliation,not heavier firepower like rockets,bombs or missiles. This is in keeping with the government and IAFs abhorrence for offensive air operations against the Naxals,as reported by TOI earlier.

Fortunately,there has been no occasion when we had to use the sideward-mounted guns in all these months since the helicopters have not come under fire, said a source. IAF,of course,has already taken some steps to bolster the security of its aircrew by using helicopters with armoured protection like Mi-17 s,deploying armed Garud commandos on them and issuing bullet-proof jackets to the pilots.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

(source-aggi jottings)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Disbursement of salary/ wages on 20 AUG 2010, to the Central Govt. Employees in the State of Kerala for the month of August,2010 on account of Onam Festival.

Disbursement of salary/ wages on 20 Aug 2010,  to the Central Govt. Employees in the State of Kerala for the month of August,2010 on account of Onam Festival.
(source-Confederation of CG Employees)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leaderless State - Omar Abdullah must crack down on violence and give fresh lease to talks

As violence in the Kashmir valley continues to escalate with eight more deaths on Monday taking toll in current spate of violence to 37 it is fast becoming clear that Srinagar is in the grip of a serious leadership crisis.The state government has been shown up by administrative as well as communication failures,worsening the law and order situation manifold.Chief minister Omar Abdullah,far from delivering on the promises of hope and a fresh approach,has displayed an unfortunate lack of leadership skills.His inability to effectively strike a chord not just with the people of his state but also members of his own ruling coalition has meant a damaging loss of credibility. It was expected of Abdullah to personally intervene by way of showing solidarity with those affected by the violence and adopting a hands-on approach to restoring normalcy.This would have restored the peoples faith in the state government.But failure to do so has resulted in a massive trust deficit.J&K police,for example,are pathetically under-equipped and undertrained,despite promises made long ago of implementing non-lethal crowd-control measures.At present they appear to have practically ceased to function.Substituting them with CRPF personnel is not a good solution as the latter,trained in counter-insurgency and lacking local knowledge,cannot be expected to control crowds or maintain law and order.

The current cycle of protests-deaths-protests needs to be broken at all costs,while the state government must simultaneously step up communication with people in Valley. Abdullah has spoken of a political package to calm the situation,but this is nebulous as long as the contents of such a package arent fleshed out and agreed upon by stakeholders in the Valley.For that dialogue is necessary and the Centre must come forward,but it is incumbent upon opposition and separatist groups to participate as well. The Peoples Democratic Party may have cynically calculated that letting the state burn will burnish their opposition credentials and help them in the next election cycle,while moderate Hurriyat leaders may fear elimination by militants.Conducting dialogue in the media spotlight is conducive to posturing,which wont lead to any lasting solution. Therefore,quiet diplomacy,nas suggested by home minister P Chida-mbaram, is the best way forward. To create the conditions for that, however, the present drift must be arrested.The anarchic situation in the Valley,which is causing suffering all round,must speedily be brought to an end.
(source-toi editorial)
SECONDOPINION - GAMES THEORY - CWG delays and cost overruns will boost the economy
(BY Jug Suraiya)

A hue and cry has been raised that our national honour will suffer irreparable damage as a result of corrupt and inefficient officials whove been getting kickbacks and cutting corners at the expense of the countrys reputation as it prepares to host the Commonwealth Games.With less than two months to go before zero hour,horror stories abound,raising fears that the CWG tiger mascot,Shera,may well have joined his real-life jungle counterparts as an endangered species. Not one of the 16 Games projects inspected by the Central Vigilance Commission to date has passed quality control tests.Stadiums have roofs that leak or,worse,come crashing down.Already,in a swimming rehearsal,an athlete was injured because of defective equipment.It has been revealed that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had,in a report submitted to the government a year ago,warned that bureaucratic bottlenecks would inevitably lead to inordinate delays and that there was little or no hope of the time-bound targets being met.Instead of tabling this report in Parliament,as is customary,the government decided to keep this information to itself.

The result of all this bungling and wheeling-dealing The cost of the Games,according to sports minister M S Gill,has gone up 17.5 times: from Rs 655 crore in 2003 when Delhi bid for the Games to Rs 11,494 crore at present,and still counting.With panic buttons being hit as the deadline looms dangerously near,whatever little financial prudence there has been is likely to be thrown to the winds and costs are bound to further escalate as money is poured into desperate last-minute efforts to complete hopelessly delayed projects.

So are the Games going to be a totally ruinous exercise for India Should those responsible,starting with the Organising Committee,be denounced as traitors and made to face the consequences of their many sins of omission and commission Of course not.In India,as always,every dark cloud has a silver lining,which generally has to do with someones pocket.Whether its the Games or any other sarkari project from the newlyopened and dysfunctional-from-day-one T3 addition to Delhis airport to the NH8 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway enormous escalation in costs is the order of the day.

Conventional wisdom might view such throwing away of money as a shameless waste of scarce national resources.However,according to what might come to be called Games theory,such unrestrained sarkari expenditure could well be the secret of Indias growth story.Think of it this way: which private sector component of India Inc can boast of a 17.5-fold growth in value in seven years as the Games can Very few,if any.Yet look at almost any project sponsored by the present government or indeed any of its predecessors and youre likely to discover that its value,in terms of money spent on it,far exceeded all projections.

If India is to achieve double-digit economic growth as the prime minister and the finance minister keep reassuring us that it will it will be in no small part thanks to such value additions made by the sarkar in open-handed pursuit of its own projects.Or,at least,so says Games theory,which believes in the dictum that what goes around,comes around.In other words,the more money you spend,the more money is circulated through the system,boosting the economy.And not just the domestic economy,but the recession-strapped global economy as well.Because a lot of the Games-related loot will fund the purchase of luxury penthouses in London,or villas in the south of France.

Far from being punished,the organisers of the Games should be given the next Nobel prize for economics.Indeed,Games theory is going from strength to strength.India is reportedly planning to bid for the 2019 Asian Games.China is said to have overtaken Japan as the worlds No.2 economy.Thanks to its Gamesmanship,the Indian elephant might well leapfrog over the Chinese dragon.

Games,set and match.