Wednesday, February 10, 2016

7TH PAY COMMISSION: GOOD NEWS FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL! GOVT TO ADDRESS CONCERNS OVER OROP, ALLOWANCE

New Delhi, Feb 9: There is a good news for the defence personnel as the ministry has sought a fresh analysis of the concerns raised by the Army, Navy and the Air force- over the recommendations of the seventh pay commission. Also read: Seventh Pay Commission: Good News! PMO orders to speed up process; notification soon

The government has studied representations from the armed forces vis-a-vis the 7th Pay Commission and their concerns will be addressed "in the near future", Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said. "I have interacted with the three service chiefs and discussed the concerns of the forces. The concerns will be addressed in the near future," he said.

The concerns include the way in which pensions were calculated on the basis of number of years put in at a particular rank. Another grudge is the risk-hardship matrix. While a soldier posted in the Siachen glacier gets Rs. 31,500 as allowance per month, a civilian bureaucrat draws 30 per cent of his salary as "hardship allowance”.

About the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, he said concerns of ex-servicemen will be addressed by a one-member judicial committee headed by L Narasimha Reddy, a retired chief justice of the Patna High Court. Mr Parrikar said the Modi government had fulfilled its promise on the OROP which had been implemented after 43 years. "As promised by the BJP, we have already issued a table of various pensions as per the OROP scheme," said the Defence Minister. "The community of retired servicemen is large; one formula cannot solve all issues. Any contentious issues will be referred to the one-man committee," Mr Parrikar said.

As for the protesting ex-servicemen's stand on approaching the court on the OROP issue, the minister said: "Fundamentally, every person has the right to approach a court. "To the best of our understanding of the issues, we have fulfilled our promise," he asserted. Furthermore, he said that the expenditure on OROP of Rs.7,500 crore each year was much larger than what the previous government had allocated for the scheme. The arrears total of Rs.10,900 crore. The previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had allocated Rs.500 crore for the OROP.


Concerned over increasing pay disparity between defence personnel and their civilian counterparts, the three Service Chiefs earlier met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and discussed issues related to "anamolies and shortcomings" in the 7th Pay Commission report. The service chiefs had earlier written to Parrikar highlighting various aspects of the Pay Commission report which the military felt was a "let down". 

(Source- OneIndia News)

Defence veterans reject Centre's OROP, may seek legal recourse

Posted on: 10:22 AM IST Feb 09, 2016

Priyanka Rathi IBNLIVE.COM
priyanka_rathi
New Delhi: Defence veterans have refused to budge down from their demand of One Rank One Pension, the eight-month long protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital will continue and even see a legal battle.
Terming the Narendra Modi government's recent proposal on OROP just an increment, the veterans have rejected it outrightly adding that they felt cheated and betrayed. "It was completely illogical and wrong. It is just an increment in pension and is nowhere near OROP. We will continue with our protest as it is not about money but for our pride. We want the OROP that is being sanctioned," said Major General Satbir Singh (retired), chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement.
The One Rank One Pension system means a retired soldier of the same rank and same length of service will get the same pension regardless of when the person retires.
The Centre on February 3 issued the tables for the implementation of OROP scheme. The annual expenditure for the same has been estimated to be around Rs 7,500 crore, the Defence Ministry said. Earlier, the total amount for implementing OROP was estimated Rs 8,252 crore which would benefit around 25 to 27 lakh war veterans and 6 lakh widows.
"If the government can give Rs 7500 crore, then Rs 800 crore is just peanuts for them. I have doubts whether it is Rs 7500 crore or not," said Brigadier (retired) JS Sandhu. Defending the government, Parrikar said the promise on OROP to ex-servicemen has been fufilled to a large extent and it would refer "minor issues", if any, to a one-man commission for redressal.
The One Rank One Pension system means a retired soldier of the same rank and same length of service will get the same pension regardless of when the person retires.
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(Source- IBN Live)

WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS ARMY B.R.A.T. = BORN, RAISED AND TRANSFERRED





(source-Storypick)

ARMY RETRIEVES ALL NINE BODIES : RIP BRAVE SONS OF BHARATMATA

RINAGAR: Nine soldiers have been confirmed dead after the Army in Kashmir retrieved their bodies in Jammu and Kashmir’s Siachen area.

Subedar Nagesha, (Kar), Sepoy Ganesan, (TN), Sepoy R Moorthy, (TN), Sepoy Suryawanshi, (Mah), Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed,(AP), L/Hav S Kumar, (TN), Sep Mahesha, (Kar), L/Nk Sudheesh, (Kerala),  Hav Elumalai, (TN)
Ten army personnel went missing after an avalanche had struck their post at Siachen on February 3. While the rescuers had managed to extricate L/Nk Hanamanthappa Koppad alive from under more than thirty feet of snow on Monday, bodies of all the nine remaining soldiers were retrieved in the past two days. “It is with deep regret that we confirm that mortal remains of the nine martyrs, including a junior commissioned officer, have been retrieved by the rescue teams. The mortal remains, after due formalities, will be flown to their home towns as soon as possible,” said Udhampur-based army spokesman SD Goswami.

(Source- Sanjha Morcha)

Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, rescued from Siachen, battles for life; liver and kidney dysfunctional

 February 10, 2016 - 09:32

Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, rescued from Siachen, battles for life; liver and kidney dysfunctional
Hanumanthappa Koppad miraculously survived under 25 feet of snow for six days at Siachen Glacier
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, who beat death to survive under 25 feet of snow for six days in the icy heights of Siachen Glacier - the world's highest battlefield - continues to battle for his life at a hospital here. The soldier is in coma, a medical bulletin issued by the Army's Research and Referral Hospital said on Tuesday.  According to doctors, the soldier from Karnataka is in "extremely critical" condition.
That Hanumanthappa is alive is itself a miracle as he had been presumed dead along with nine other colleagues of the Madras Regiment following an avalanche at Siachen Glacier. 
The bodies of the other soldiers who too were swept away by the avalanche on February 3 at a height of 20,500 feet on the southern side of the glacier in Jammu and Kashmir have also been found. The dead included a Junior Commissioned Officer.
A medical bulletin said Hanumanthappa, who was flown to Delhi early on Tuesday, was in shock with low blood pressure and was on ventilator in the ICU. The next one or two days are critical for him. "He has been placed on ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state," said the bulletin issued at 4 pm.
"He remains extremely critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24-48 hours due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body. "He has pneumonia and his investigations have revealed liver and kidney dysfunction. Fortunately, there was no cold exposure related frost bite or bone injuries to him," it said.
The soldier, being treated by experts, has been given fluids and drugs to bring up his blood pressure.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lauded the "indomitable spirit" of Hanumanthappa. Modi even visited the hospital along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh. Mukherjee said in a message to the Army Chief: "I am happy to know that Koppad has survived the avalanche... I applaud his indomitable spirit and ability to endure adverse conditions."
Modi tweeted: "No words are enough to describe the endurance and indomitable spirit of Hanumanthappa. He is an outstanding soldier." The Army Chief visited the Army's R&R Hospital again on Wednesday morning to enquire about Hanamanthappa's condition.
In Karnataka, his distraught family and relatives continue to pray for his well being. 
The soldier was luckily inside an "arctic tent" which possibly aided his survival despite being under the ice sheet, Army sources said. The tent is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and has a fibre-reinforced structure.
While Koppad's survival is a miracle, doctors say he was possibly trapped in an air pocket which saved him. Soldiers posted in harsh icy conditions are trained to look for air pockets in case of an avalanche and know how to clear the snow near the nose and the mouth so that they can keep breathing.
Meanwhile, Hanumanthappa continues to battle on in Delhi -- this time for his life.
(With IANS inputs)
(Source- ZEE News)

India Roots For Soldier In Coma After Siachen Miracle Rescue

February 10, 2016 09:53 IST



India Roots For Soldier In Coma After Siachen Miracle Rescue
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad was buried under 25 feet of ice at the Siachen Glacier for 6 days before being rescued.
NEW DELHI:  India is rooting for the Siachen soldier who is in coma and on ventilator support after a miracle rescue nearly a week after a deadly avalanche at the world's highest battlefield.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was buried under 25 feet ice for six days, was pulled out by a rescue team on Monday. He was barely conscious, drowsy and disoriented with a faint pulse when he was flown by helicopter to Delhi's army hospital.

The jawan had been trapped since February 3, when a wall of ice a kilometer wide and 800 metres high came crashing down on his army post, killing nine of his colleagues.

Hanamanthappa was severely dehydrated, hypothermic and in shock. He also has pneumonia and liver and kidney problems. "He has been placed on a ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state," the army said in a statement, adding that 48 hours would be critical because of the complications caused by "re-warming and establishment of blood flow."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited the soldier in hospital yesterday, tweeted: "No words are enough to describe the endurance & indomitable spirit of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. He is an outstanding soldier." The soldier's family is expected to see him today.

Hanamanthappa was found in a fibre-reinforced hut that was buried deep in ice. He was saved because of an "air pocket", say officers.

Lieutenant General SK Patyal told NDTV: "A wall of snow as thick and hard as concrete had fallen on them. The operation was extremely difficult."

The rescue team could not work more than 30 minutes at a time. The rescue effort took some 300 sorties and an intense search at a height of nearly 20,000 feet, where it is difficult to breathe, let alone dig. It became more challenging because the snow had turned into hard ice.

Thousands of troops are in constant danger of frostbite and asphyxiation at the Siachen Glacier, located at the northern tip of Kashmir. More soldiers have died here because of the weather and difficult terrain than in battle.
=====================================================================
My prayers are with Lance Naik Hanumanthappa who miraculously survived the avalanche at Siachen.

A Few Facts Not in the Report of 7th CPC :: Reading into the Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (7th CPC)

[Read into something - to find an extra meaning in someone's words or actions that is not obvious.]

*        *        *        *        *        *
The mutual confidence on which all else depends can be maintained only by an open mind and a brave reliance upon free discussion.

&

 Most of the issues that mankind sets out to settle, it never does settle… The dispute fades into the past unsolved, though perhaps it may be renewed as history and fought over again. It disappears because it is replaced by some compromise that, although not wholly acceptable to either side, offers a tolerable substitute for victory

-         Justice Billings Learned Hand (1872-1961)

The man who will follow precedent, but never create one, is merely an obvious example of the routineer. You find him desperately numerous in the civil service, in the official bureaus. To him government is something given as unconditionally, as absolutely as ocean or hill. He goes on winding the tape that he finds. His imagination has rarely extricated itself from under the administrative machine to gain any sense of what a human, temporary contraption of the whole affair is. What he thinks is the heavens above him is nothing but the roof.
- Walter Lippmann

*        *        *        *        *        *

I am not sure whether the honourable Chairman and Members of the 7th CPC will read this (restricted to just 1% in length compared to the Report). However, if they do, they can console themselves that I admit I goofed up for I believed that the Commission would be bold, futuristic, and impartial, not being confined by bureaucratic precedents.

          From the time, in 1947, the first Prime Minister of India decided that the Police is better suited to a “peaceful” India, and started to disband and demoralise the Armed Forces, all that has happened is degrading treatment in the hands of the succeeding Governments, briefed by an entrenched bureaucracy with easy access to the Government i.e. the Civilian Authority, forcing the Armed Forces and Ex-Servicemen (glorified by the term Veterans in recent years) to live their lives in the looming shadow of humiliation (by lowering them in the Warrant of Precedence, or equating them with the Police whose primary responsibility is maintaining law & order and not ensuring the sovereignty of the Nation), exploitation (by denying truthful briefs to the Government), cruel and degrading treatment (the most recent being that the Armed Forces are not Organised Class A Services) and harassment (ceaseless appeals and litigation using the paid for by the State services of Government’s law officers).

MoD, and by inference the Government, ignoring the spate of litigation that has been fought by the Armed Forces personnel, has found ways not to implement orders of the Armed Force Tribunal, even of Courts by resorting to Appeals, Review Petitions and, even the odd Curative Petition, in most cases.

It must be days of unhappiness for those of the 7th CPC associated with producing a voluminous Report, made longer by more than a score of pages “Intentionally Left Blank.” A detailed reading of 899 pages long Report may justify the feeling of it being insensitive, at times needlessly denigrating the Armed Forces, who can only represent to the same Government. I use the words ‘needlessly denigrating,’ because many analyses in the Report are based on one-sided information, provided as it appears, to facilitate the consequent recommendations.

In these days of saving the environment and paper, the 7thCPC could have used the blank pages in the Report to mention whether the Armed Forces, even the Ex-Service personnel and widows were asked/requested to provide clarifications, enumerating what those clarifications were, why the CPC found those clarifications unworthy of even the dismissive tone and tenor in the Report.

This analysis (confined voluntarily to 1% in volume) is driven by  a few statements in the Report vis-à-vis facts that exist in the files of the MoD which were obtained through numerous requests and First Appeals under the RTI Act, 2005 and judgments of honourable Courts.

While on the subject of RTI, the CPC has been remiss in providing any information on its website (7cpc.india.gov.in) except of the dates of meetings, who the CPC met, and places the CPC toured. To this day, under the drop-down menu of RTI it shows “Under Construction”, not even disclosure of information required under Section 4 of the RTI Act. And similar is the fate of the Photo Gallery. So much for the praises of the Secretary of the CPC and her leadership etc., etc!   

The 7th CPC had an opportunity to show its dynamism and ability to project that holistic view (more about which later) but it could not. Permit me to begin with the observations of the 3rd Central Pay Commission (CPC) in Volume III, Chapter 48, Paragraphs No.5 and 6: - 

5.       It is for the first time that a Pay Commission has been asked to enquire into the structure of emoluments of both the civilian employees of the Government and the Armed Forces personnel. In the past, the latter enquiry was entrusted to departmental committees which included the representatives of the Services also…..

6.      While devising our procedure of work, we were keen that Service personnel, like the civilian employees, should have the opportunity to represent their case before us. We, therefore, requested the Ministry of Defence to consider permitting Servicemen to submit memoranda…..We were, however, informed that the requirements of military discipline and tradition would not permit such an approach………

          Four decades later, in 2014, the GoI/MoD allowed a minor concession because the same UPA Govt had promised a separate Military Pay Commission. The minor concession was that the Armed Forces could present a Joint Services Memorandum (JSM) to the CPC, which the Armed Forces did on 28 Aug 2014. That a separate Pay Commission for the Armed Forces was not considered necessary by then Chairman CoSC & CAS may appear, in hindsight, to have been a folly of reposing faith in the CPC.    

          The folly was also because we in the retired fraternity of the Armed Forces, considered the CPC, yet again, would be like an honourable Court. The CPC would assess the evidence presented and interpret existing Rules and Regulations. They would control how hearings unfold in the Commission. Most important of all, like Courts, the CPC will be impartial decision-makers. The CPC will consider opposing sides of an issue and ensure that evidence and arguments will be fully, truthfully, and forcefully presented. The Chairman and Member of the CPC, much like judges, however, would remain above the fray, taking an independent view and making an impartial assessment of the facts. The Commission differs from honourable Courts in one aspect – The Courts interpret laws as they exist or strike down laws which are in violation of the Constitution of India; the Pay Commission need not recommendations that may or may not conform with recommendations of previous CPCs. 
         
          The Armed Forces have known that the past CPCs have not found solutions to all anomalies – real and perceived. Perhaps it is not the fault of the Armed Forces for their sky-high expectations from the 7th CPC

Firstly, because the Chairman served as Chairman of the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal, and therefore has in-depth knowledge of the numerous grievances of the personnel of the Armed Forces.

Secondly, because of such qualities being bestowed in the CPC by no less and entity called the Cabinet Secretary Committee (CSC).

A CSC set up in 2008 rendered its Report on 30 Jun 2009 on One Rank One Pension (OROP) and related anomalies/issues. Some of its recommendations found favour with the MoD and the MoF and the others were consigned to the dustbin of bureaucratic history.

Yet another High Powered Committee (HPC) bestowed its wisdom in the Rank Pay case in 2010, (more of that in subsequent paragraphs), but the honourable Court did not consider it adequate to change a judgment of another Bench. 

In 2012, then Prime Minister constituted yet another CSC (in July 2012) to recommend solutions to certain Pay, Allowances, and Pensions, including OROP related issues raised by the Armed Forces at the level of the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force. The CSC, with the Cabinet Secretary as its head, consisted of Principal Secretary in PMO, Defence Secretary, Secretary (Ex-Servicemens’ Welfare), Secretary (Personnel) in DOP&T, Secretary (Revenue) and Secretary (Expenditure) in Ministry of Finance. Needless to add, but necessary in the context of this critical analysis, the Secretaries have risen to the posts and the attached responsibilities as they are experts in their fields. They must have been assisted by the usual phalanx of lower level functionaries starting with Special or Additional Secretaries and down the rung to Desk Officers.     

The CSC had, as its leadership, the most meritorious of the IAS, whose edge was justified by Shri Vivek Rae, IAS (retd) quoting a judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court of September 1991. The CSC, with the expertise of the Secretaries, complemented by their respective Departments, had to consider the anomalies raised by the Armed Forces after the 6th CPC and yet transferred its responsibilities, and with it their accountability and expertise, to the CPC.  

So what did the CSC recommend in its report dated 17 Aug 2012? They informed then Prime Minister that the pay, allowances and One Rank One Pension must be considered by the next Pay Commission because the Pay Commission is an ‘expert body that will take a holistic view of the issues’ ( Para 41 of the CSC Report-2012) (emphasis supplied).  

The CPC, as graciously stated by the CSC, is an expert body. But other than the Chairman and Dr Rathin Roy, an eminent economist, comprised of

A retired Secretary (retd IAS) as Member of the CPC,

A Secretary level officer from the Indian Railways as Secretary of the CPC, and

A phalanx of Joint Secretaries, Directors, Under Secretaries to the Govt of India whose services and virtues were extolled in the Acknowledgement at the beginning of the Report. They were from the IAS, the Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, one from an unnamed Accounts and Finance stream ‘with deep insight into financial matters, especially defence,’ the C & AG, and a token presence for Armed Forces, if so considered, of a PPS in the Armed Forces Tribunal.      

      A discerning lay man, let alone educated and experienced Armed Forces personnel, will wonder what expertise these honourable ladies and gentlemen had to be considered “experts” that the mighty CSC with its Secretary level officers did not have. And to take a holistic view, one has to rise above one’s own likes, dislikes, prejudices, and pet theories.

          It becomes obvious as one peruses the Report that everyone who was on the CPC looked after his or her own parent cadre, quoting precedent where nothing else could win the argument, leaving the unrepresented Armed Forces with  pious, and needless, remarks on their sacrifices.

          Let me start with the Honourable Member, showing both his knowledge about the IAS, which is a good thing, but exposing his partisan thinking. On the magnanimous end one could presume he used his background knowledge,   when quoting a 1991 judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court to defend the edge for the IAS, but on the other end, he also used his place at the high table of the CPC to push his views on behalf of the IAS, into the Report.

Whether the IPS and the sundry Services, the Armed Forces called to offer their proofs is left to the imagination of readers of the Report.   A few of the Intentionally Left Blank pages could have informed us, if the CPC did and the outcome.

Let me take the depression of Rank Pay and the arguments.

The Honourable High Court of Kerala in O.P. No. 2448 of 1996 (Maj A K Dhanapalan Vs UoI), W A No. 518 of 1998 (UoI Vs Major Dhanapalan) and the Honourable Supreme Court in CC No. 5908 of 2003 (UoI Vs Maj Dhanapalan) decreed that Rank Pay had been deducted before re-fixing the pay of officers. The Court ordered re-fixation of pay after restoring the amount so deducted and to pay the Rank Pay in addition. MoD complied, after some embarrassing questions from DOP&T and Deptt of Expenditure on the convoluted procedure of deducting Rank Pay, then fixing the pay, and then adding the Rank Pay to the newly arrived, but depressed, pay. 

The Honourable Supreme Court’s Bench of Justices Katju and Lodha (later CJI), in the Rank Pay case of Lt Col N. K. Nair & Others Vs MoD/UoI [in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007], agreed on 08 Mar 2010 with the 1998 judgement of the Honourable High Court of Kerala, thereby clearly establishing that an amount equal to the Rank Pay had been deducted before re-fixing the pay scales of Defence Forces officers i.e. Pay scales were depressed by the amount of Rank Pay.

There was the above referred High Powered Committee (HPC) constituted in April 2010 on the advice of Shri Gopal Subramanium, then Learned Solicitor General in 2010 to impress up on the Hon’ble Supreme Court the adverse financial effect on the State (Rs 1671 crore) to buttress its Interlocutory Application (I.A.) No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007.

UoI/MoD prayed for recall or modification of the judgement of 08 Mar 2010 but a 3 judges Bench [Justices Lodha, Thakur and Dave] in the subsequent I. A. No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007 dated 04 Sep 2012, upheld the judgements.
   
       MoD was economical with the truth to the CPC that the HPC had come to a conclusion that there was no depression, but that begs the question – does the HPC report of 2010 overrule the judgements of 1996, 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012? 
It might have been ignorance of the truth for the MoD not to mention that after the judgement of 04 Sep 2012, it approached the two highest Law officers of the land for ways and means to a legal challenge. The then Learned Solicitor General (now a Honourable Judge of the Supreme Court) stated on 31 Oct 2012 that the IA was in the nature of a Review Petition and a second Review Petition is not permissible. He also opined that there were insufficient grounds to file a Curative Petition as it did not meet the Hurra Vs Hurra criteria. MoD still persisted and sought the opinion of then (now deceased) Attorney General, who advised MoD to honour the judgment in letter and spirit and pay arrears from 1986 to 2005, the period when Rank Pay was deducted before re-fixing the pay scales. If this is not proof enough that Rank Pay was depressed, then what is?

          Like the CPC Member attempted to protect the interest of the IAS, if an Ex-Serviceman or a representative of the Armed Forces was on the panel of experts of the CPC, he/she may have brought out the above facts or asked why it stated in the JSM that Rank Pay was depressed. Who knows, the Report may have been more objective and fair.

          At Para 6.2.13, we are made to believe, perhaps because the MoD stated so that, “the government has been augmenting middle and senior level positions in the Armed Forces steadily over time” (emphasis in the Report). 

         The expert on Defence matters may have not had enough time to apprise the CPC that there was a thing called (Lt Gen) Bagga Committee which suggested, amongst other solutions, that the time frame for promotions of officers from Capt to Lt Col be reduced, and the number of vacancies above Lt Col be increased, ostensibly to have a younger cadre of Armed Forces officers. The implementation, under the name Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC), from December 2004 has ended up making the Armed Forces top heavy with a disproportionate increase in the number of middle level (Colonels) and Senior level (Brigadiers, Maj Gens, Lt Gens) officers. If this is cadre review, then perhaps MoD needs to go, collectively, to some management school to learn what Cadre review really is.
      
          Let us now advance to para 6.2.24. In the notes to the table, the Report states For Officers at Pay grade O-7 to O-10 in USA defence Forces, basic pay is restricted to USD 15,265 per month.” Is this the contribution of the CPC expert, with his deep insight in defence matters?

But the 2015 Military Pay Chart (www.dfas.mil/dam/jcr:7061e0ca-a436.../2015MilitaryPayChart.pdftells us a different story that Basic Pay at O-7 (Officer-Band 7) at 2 years service starts at USD 8648, O-10 starts at USD 16,072 at 20 years and ends at USD 19762.50 at 40 years service!

          Relying on the statistics provided by the CGDA, the Report states at 10.2.51 that percentage of officers retiring with disability has increased to 19.8 percent, whereas it decreased in the case of JCOs/ORs from 18.9 to 7.2%.

          The Report further states at 10.2.54 “While the number of officers retiring with disability element has shown a significant increase at levels of Brigadiers and above …..no officer in these ranks has been invalided out” and 10.2.55, “….This move is contrary to the tenets of equity insofar as treatment of disability element between Officers and JCOs/ORs is concerned.” Hence we have the slab rate!

          So for the sake of 19.8% of 1524 officers i.e. 302 officers of the ranks of Brigadier & above superannuating with disability benefits, the CPC has penalised 7.2% of 13, 19, 481 JCOs/ORs (Para 6.2.2.) i.e approx 95, 000 superannuating with disability benefits.

Perhaps the “expert on defence related matters” in the CPC did not deem it fit either to read the Defence Pension Regulations, Army Pension Rules 2008 or seek clarifications from the Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) who is the Competent Authority to decide degree of disability or the invalidment before arriving at the apparently precipitate and, demoralising conclusion.     

          If CPC did ask DGAFMS, then there is neither mention of the comments nor the reply of the DGAFMS is quoted, if at all he was asked. 
         
CPC opined has the highest risk and hazards (8.10.66), and where only Armed Force personnel serve, has limited the allowance to Rs 31, 500 for Officers and Rs 21,000 for JCOs/ORs. 

Then not heeding its own words about those serving in the Siachen glacier area, the CPC has rationalised the Special Duty Allowance to 30% to ‘attract civilian employees to seek posting in Ladakh and North East, in view of the risk and hardship prevailing in those areas.’

So, even by the impugned Pay Matrix provided by CPC, and adding MSP of Rs 15, 500 or Rs 5200 respectively (Chapter 5.2), many Armed Forces officers (Index 10B, Level 10 and above) and JCOs (Index 7, Level 11 onwards) will stand to lose financially.


          Sir, I could go on  but I shall confine myself to 1% of the Report (and no Intentionally Left Blank pages.)  

Contradiction: CPC recommending withdrawal of entitled ration allowance (of Rs 89.90 per diem or Rs 2700 per month in August 2014) to officers in peace areas, many of which are in the North East. But the CPC sees no contradiction in recommending a 30% of pay as SDA to civilian employees seek a posting in the North East!  

If one had to quote from the previous Commission Reports, which are available on the internet and Digital Library of India, then this bulky Report has been an utter waste of money. In my unsolicited opinion the only truthful thing in the Report is the recommendation not to have Pay Commissions in future.

There was hope in the Armed Forces that truth would prevail, that justice would be done but ignoring the truth, the evidence available by way of judgements of the Honourable Supreme Court, by not demanding answers from other than the MoD and accepting it to be the gospel truth, the CPC chose to rely on an algorithm of disbelief in the Armed Forces.

          Finally, I am sure many of us Ex-Servicemen and widows of Ex-Servicemen must have developed hypertension recently (I have!), caused by consumption of excess salt, imperative to digest the analyses and recommendations in the CPC Report related to Armed Forces, by a CPC so loaded with expertise, ability to take a holistic view and above all, the CPC professed equity.

Post-script:

The Report and Recommendations of the CPC, certified by the CSC of 2012 (comprising Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary in PMO, Defence Secretary, Secretary (Ex-Servicemens’ Welfare), Secretary (Personnel) in DOP&T, Secretary (Revenue) and Secretary (Expenditure) in Ministry of Finance to be an expert body capable of taking a holistic view, is now entrusted to a Cabinet Secretary led Committee of, yes, Secretaries of Defence, Department of Personnel and Training, Pension and PW, Revenue, Expenditure, and the new entrants are Secretaries of Home Affairs, Health, Science and Technology, Chairman of Railway Board, Deputy CAG, and Secretary (Security) to advise the Government.

Notable, as usual, is the absence of any formal representation from the 13.5 lakh Armed Forces!

Satyam Ev Jayate

E & O E

3 comments:

  1. Sir,
    with all due respect no serving three stars and above will put their foot down. looked with lot of awe that CNS would do the deed on that stand of grade pay. Later realised that he had accepted a posn which is normally tenable by an empannelled JS and gone to New zealand......what is the option left with us sir ....only legal route against govt which i served for 21 years....
    heart ache sire
    Regards
  2. True babu will sink Mr modi boat
  3. dear sir, i had tears in my eyes reading your apt analysis.

    satyam ev jayate is a true fact.a day will come , maybe decades later, when the chickens come home to roost ( or roast) and the nation will be the loser.

    i scored 90 percent plus in class 12 and joined the fauj, not for money certainly. my classmates who got 50 percent marks are earning much more in the civvy street today..it was only izzat and the charm and dignity of military life that motivated young boys like me then and perhaps even today ..

    i have done a tenure on deputation with IAS / IPS officers and know the contempt and condescending attitude with which they treated me,for no rhyme or reason, in spite of me being their intellectual and moral equal in all aspects ( or even superior perhaps )

    sir, satyam ev jayate i still believe in, but may be only in the long run, when it will be too late !!!

    regards and best wishes..and many thanks for your good work.

    i end with mahatma gandhi's words-

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi
(Source- Aerial View)