Saturday, March 24, 2018

Why Upgrde to 64 KB ECHS Card? - Developments on 23 Mar 2018 :: Brig CS Vidyasagar (Retd)

New 64KB RCHS Card :: Developments on 23 Mar 2018

I had an interesting discussion at 1400 hrs on 23 Mar 18 with one serving officer of ECHS who is based in Central Organisation in Maude lines of Delhi Cantt who wanted to clear all my doubts about the 64 KB Card. He says T SEWA’s aim is totally wrong. 

I do understand his compulsion of supporting indefensible action  of the organization which he is serving. He says he looks after 3.40 lakhs ESMs and his budget is Rs 300 crores. He is an expert on the subject of cards.He says T SEWA is barking wrong tree. His points are :-

1.Officer from ECHS Central Organisation:The Central Org or MD ECHS have no role to play in deciding on introduction of 64 KB card. The MoD has taken an unilateral decision to introduce new 64 KB Card. (He is trying to tell me “Hum kya Karen sub kuch woh karte hai. Gali hume sunna padtha hain”).

2. My reply“T SEWA has nothing against Central ECHS org or MD ECHS”

3. Officer from ECHS Central Organisation: The previous card making co. selected by MoD on political connections stopped making cards from 2015. ECHS has been issuing temp. chits to new ECHS members. Therefore there is a need to introduce new card. That company did not share all the data of ECHS members with Central org. There are lot of gaps in the data available with ECHS. So there is need to revamp the whole thing.

4. My Reply: If the problem is fake ECHS cards then why not link Aadhaar number to the existing cards by which all fake cards will be easily located and then they can be easily removed from the central system.

5. Officer from ECHS Central Organisation:32 KB card is of old technology type and 64 KB card has latest technology.

6. My Reply: “What are the limitations of 32 KB card which 64 KB card will improve upon? I am sure you know being TSC officer whenever we make a statement of case for introduction of any new item in Army first thing is to explain ACCEPTANCE OF NECESSITY which needs to list out deficiencies or short comings of the present system and need for new system. Why not the same be adopted when 64 KB card is to be introduced explaining to all ECHS members the need to introduce 64 KB Card listing all short comings or limitations of old 32 kb card?”

7. Officer from ECHS Central Organisation: Since we have to issue new cards to new ECHS members why not give 64 kb cards to all 54 lakh ECHS members?

8. My Reply: “An earlier OiC ECHS Polyclinic from Tamilnadu being fromCorps of Signals &computer savvy found it extremely difficult to upload all data. How do you expect elderly ESMs and widows living in remote villages with no computer connection to upload all the data required? Do you understand the serious implication of asking members to furnish information of bank account no, name of bank, IFSC of bank and specimen signature? I am sure you know the effect of Cambridge Analtytica and do we not need to learn some lessons by parting with our personal details to a private Card making company?”

9. Officer from ECHS Central Organisation:T SEWA calculations of overall financial effect of changing over to 64 KB card are incorrect. It is not that kind of amount quoted in the mail of T SEWA.

10. My reply: “I am sure you know ECHS proudly announces it serves 54 lakh members of ECHS. Then does not every member need a new 64 kb card? Does not Rs 135 per card x 54 lakhs comes to a figure quoted in our mail? 

He said “Sir the cost of the card is not Rs 135 but Rs 177”. Then I told him “Does not the money outgo is more than what is mentioned in the mail of T SEWA?”. He has no answer.
11. Officer from ECHS Central Organisation:T SEWA should file case against Min of Def who initiated this concept of 64 KB card and spare Central Organisation.

12.My Reply -“Is not MD ECHS responsible to represent ECHS members grievances to the Min of Def?”. 

He says “ Sir, you are argueing like Arnab Goswami. I made a mistake by calling you!!” There after he cut the line off.

13.   When one does not have any masala to argue then one has to get agitated and blame the other party and then terminate the discussion. If still any member of ECHS has any doubt MD ECHS will come to his or her rescue,  he or she is living in fool’s paradise.

Warm Regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
9493191380 (Mobile connectivity is very poor in my residential complex)
Whatsapp: 7799645973
Pl See T SEWA Blog for regular updates at

Brig S S Jaswal  

to Sivasankar, 

The`Cat is out of the Bag` Going thro the discussion between Head TSEWA and an Officer in Central ECHS, Delhi Cantt, it is now clear that the change over to 64 KB card is a MOD Babus initiated exercise to harass ESM and Widows, as that officer says this has been thrust on MD ECHS by the MOD. It seems a ploy to make money for whichMOD is famous and also tomake ESM and Widows to incur unnecessary expenditure. That has always been the attitude of these Babus. They contest cases in AFTs/Courts just to make Faujis incur expenditure, knowing fully well that the Govt will lose the case. When there is a CGHS scheme available for guidance, based on which ECHS was introduced in 2003, why is all this `jhamela` required. How many times have CGHS cards been renewed ? To identify illegal beneficiaries, surely there are other ways.This is a fit case for the AFT and the Supreme Court. 


Kindly go ahead and file a case in AFT, which will expose the incompetence of the MD ECHS.


Col Krishnan (retd)

Brig. Sivasankar Vidyasagar 

Why Upgrde to 64 KB ECHS Card?
1.       After I posted a mail in public domain on the 64 KB card, I received innumerable number of mails / SMSs/ telephone calls on this subject. All of them unanimously informed me that T SEWA must take a lead and file the case in AFT and then in hon’ble Supreme Court if by chance we lose our case in AFT.
2.       I am giving some of the comments received in mails / Facebook posts etc. 
21 March at 19:41

I do not agree for the so called new ECHS card. I was OIC ECHS Krishnagiri for 4 years. Every MD ECHS when he take over duties brings new rules resulting in added difficulties to Ex-Servicemen community.
I am SIG's offr computer savy, even to day I am unable to log in to apply on line. So many documents. So many questions. Why not the firm who won the new contract to issue new ECHS card free of cost after enrolling at SITU ECHS location. I find added difficulties. The new ECHS MD scrapped cross empanellment. Now any ESM for example wanted to go to Salem hospital, he needs to be referred from Krishnagiri to ECHS Salem and so on. Need to be protested through legal way. Poor ESM and veernaries from villages are the sufferers.

Reply from Air Cmde Murugan

For Brig Vidyasagar. I am opposed to this scheme of new 64 KB card for all ECHS members. This is an ill conceived scheme by ECHS. Even one accepts the deficiencies of the present day cards reluctantly, the solution provided to rectify these deficiencies is ill thought and badly conceived. For example, if it is proved that the current card does not have the spare capacity, the solution to this problem is not to increase the capacity of the cards through augmenting the cards held at the base level by more than 60 lakh members of ECHS. This will create havoc and compromise data and control will be non-existent. No body resorts to this type of solution at the base level when elegant, cost-effective alternatives are available that can be implemented at the higher levels. Modern technology provides this through "Cloud storage" or by "Servers" etc. If the problem is bogus cards misused by bogus dependents (believe it is rampant in Punjab, Harayana Etc), the solution is not through innumerable certificates and signatures.This is how our bureaucrats think! I sense some scam in this whole scheme. The sufferer is going to be poor Jawan.                      Thanks,

Air Cmde S.Murugan.

Mail from Lt Col Prashar
Dear Friend, 
 I totally agree with the views expressed. I have personally faced huge difficultly in running from one place to another, one cyber cafe to another. But couldn't get it done. There is serious risk involved. We are required to give details of PPO, our bank account, IFSC Code and the name of our bank. To top it all we have to give our signatures, of self and that of our spouse, besides our photographs. Giving all these details that too at unathorised places, obviously is amazingly shocking. It is strongly recommended that case should be put in AFTs as suggested in your mail. 

Lt. Col P L Prashar (Retd)

Dear sirs, 
I fully agree and support the idea of legal action to obtain stay and finally bar ECHS from this unnecessary paper work upgradation of existing cards. The regular action to issue new cards by ECHS and CSD even raises doubt about the personal interests of some higher upsim these organisation. Imagine a small 5%  cut amounting to huge sum. Also if CGHS can give free replacement cards to its member's why not ECHS.
 Lt Col D P Jairath (RTD)
Prem Hejmadi 
Dear Bro,
The 'upgrade' from 16kb (32768 characters)/32kb (65536 chars) to 64kb does not make any sense in its present format ie ONLY online applications. 
Reasoning for the upgrade has not been provided which makes it suspicious. Has any poly clinic in the country encountered a case where 32kb/16KB were found to be inadequate? How many such cases were so encountered that called for universal 'up gradation'? The again why 64 (65,536 chars) and not 128?? A unilateral decision without data stinks. 
The second aspect is the online application. It is time consuming. I have made out applications for about 8 officers, all of whom had basic computer knowledge. They were all stymied by the scanning and uploading process. I had to scan it on an iPad then email it to the officers email address and move on to the desktop for ease of uploading. All the while ensuring that not one jpg/jpeg file is 1mb or more. This process alone takes about 35 minutes or more. The rest takes about 40 minutes if the server is free, which was rare. So all in all it took on an average about 2 hrs till final payments were made when servers were available else around 3 hrs or more.
I fear this task of applying will become more difficult in instances where the ESM do not have own computers. Going to nearest "Center" would itself present a challenge. 
Server does not have adequate bandwidth as a result to hit the server at times has taken as much as 40 minutes. As the final date gets closer this problem will get worse, as more clients will want access. The problems ESM/widows who stay in villages not well connected would face - I cannot imagine, they’d be humongous. A smooth transition shall have to be worked out.
IMHO this upgrade to 64kb has not been thought out in detail. All ESM do not uniformly have a large data requirement. For some 16 is enough and for most 32 is okay. As and when the ESM hits a residue of say 10kb on the ECHS card the ESM can generate an application at that stage. The card makers are not fly-by-night operators (I hope not) and they make the new 64kb card on an as-required basis. The transition would be smooth and the administrators of ECHS would not have more than their fair share of problems.
To my mind this is a fit case for legal intervention.
Love and Light
Prem (1572)
Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi

Dear Brigadier Vidyasagar,
I am not a member of TSEWA but totally agree with your proposed line of action. Some such thoughts have been surrounding me too, since the issue cropped up.
A legal action is the ONLY way to stop this nonsense which notwithstanding any purported 'misuse' (sic), would JUST result in elimination of MANY Bonafide beneficiaries due to their lack of knowledge on how to set about it.
I am willing to join you in this effort, and must opine too, that this is a typical case to file a PIL in Supreme court for a permanent solution to such idiosyncratic changes even in future.
Just to put you in picture, Col Raman is having some sort of a meeting in Chennai on 25th to seek a solution to the New Online Card. For whatever direction you wish to adopt, it may be fruitful to exchange notes. Both Raman, and the discussion I am initiating with you are individual  efforts and not institutionally connected to IESM. Its RPC, Period. I'm copying the mail to Col Raman. 
Hopefully we can act in concert. 
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi
Message in my Facebook Wall

Chmarty Vln Rao Lt Col C V L N. Rao
1. M/S UTSL shoul be sued in the Court of Law. Then our BIG FISH if involved shall also come out.
2. The Present Defence System is not sparing Veterans and ESM! a very big Scam!
3. For upgradation of 2(Two) Cards I spent Rs.265.50/- plus Rs 200/- as charges for filling the Application online. The amount comes to Rs 465/-.
For 54 lakh beneficiaries, the expenditure will be Rs 250 Crores @ two ECHS Cards per beneficiary!
4. Retired Armed Forces Personnel are no exception for looting!! I do not want to vent my anguish being disciplined!

The charges are Rs 177-/- per card and that too to be paid by credit card / Debit card . Having Mobile phone is also a big requirement for registration as confirmation is recd on your mobile no .

It is harassment for this repeated upgradation at the expense of the ESM and widows. There are some elderly card holders who are located in villages and far flung areas...are not savvy with filling of forms and managing ...any upgradation desired shud be done by the echs on spot and free of cost.....this harassment shud stop.. besides we want to know if COAS is helpless then at whose behest is this being initiated ....Is this a welfare measure for the ESM ? Then why are the old and sick being pressurised to go thru this harrassment...specially the weak and old widowed spouse of our ESM
Col Raman Tn Sarma At Chennai we are meeting on 25 March to discuss this very issue. We understand the main reason for this ECHS initiative is presence of thousands of bogus cards in the existing environment. The present approach is like demonetisation. Invalid out all cards and go for new cards incorporating Aadhaar authentication.

What we are advocating is there is a simple way to incorporate Aadhaar information while retaining the existing 16/32 KB cards. Not only it will save the additional costs but also the torturous process each and every veteran has to undergo.

More on this after our meeting.

Col.Srikantha Seshadri
to tsewa legal
I am at Trivandrum for my Regtl meeting. So was busy. Just saw the mail. The pt is valid.
One obsn is, 54 lakhs is the veteran strn. Take into account dependents, who vary from two to Five. Let us take an average of 3 benifisery. Each card cost is RS. 177/- & not RS. 135/- so total benifisery is 50 lakhs x 3 is 150 lakhs, so 250* by 177/- is the total ghotala amt. 
It has taken more than two & half years to look for vender (from Jun 2015 to Dec 2017.) to see who can give more profit/ grease the palm.
It is worth taking up the case.. CGHS, gives the card free & it is the mother of ECHS.
Regards. Sri                                ==================================

(Source : Via Gp e-mail) 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Website is not working. It is very difficult to upload documents/photos/signature scans. I am trying last one month but could not succeed to complete online application. Old method should be followed to keeping the difficulties faced by ESMs.

    Ex Sgt KVN Rao


  4. Why this task cannot be entrusted to Colonel Veteran who must be provided clerical staff under him or Stn CDRs should own the responsibility. Harassment to illiterate veterans must be avoild to get the new card of 64 KB.

  5. Original ECHS Card was prepared by ECHS Organisation.
    New ECHS Card should also be prepared by ECHS Organisation.

  6. Dear Veterans,

    Hope all will agree with Lt Col KB Mathur. Proposed ECHS smart card should be issued by ECHS organisation as done earlier. No alternate arrangements are acceptable as this will create lot of problems to Veterans and Veernaaries

  7. Dear Veterans,

    Please comment in support of Lt Col K B Mathur for the benefit/welfare of ESM community.

  8. I fully agree with the comments of Lt Col KB Mathur.