Saturday, May 29, 2010

REVISED FIXED MEDICAL ALLOWANCE @RS.300/-P.M. W.E.F.1.9.2008 - CG PENSIONERS RESIDING IN AREAS NOT COVERED UNDER CGHS

DOP&T issued an OFFICE MEMORANDUM dated 26th May 2010, Granting Rs.300/- as Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) to the Central Government Pensioners residing in areas not covered under CGHS. This issue has been raised in the National Council Meeting and the staff side demanded that Fixed Medical Allowance to be enhanced up to Rs.600/-.Sources told that the Chairman, National Council on his response to this issue informed the Staff Side that Ministry of Finance considered to grant Rs.300/-. But the Staff side National Council not agreed with this.

Two weeks after the meeting, now the order has been issued, in which it has been stated that "the demand for enhancement of FMA has been under consideration of the Government for some time past. Sanction of the President is hereby conveyed for enhancement of the amount of FMA from Rs.100/- to Rs.300/- per month. The other conditions for grant of FMA shall continue to be in force." These orders will take effect from 01.09.2008.

FOR FULL TEXT OF GOVT ORDER, PLEASE CLICK HERE

(SOURCE- CENTRAL GOVT EMPLOYEES NEWS)

Friday, May 28, 2010

China may back Indias demand for permanent UNSC seat- Chinese Prez Hu Jintao Assures Indian Prez Patil Of Readiness To Talk The Complex Issue; India Sees Response Significant

Beijing: Chinese president Hu Jintao on Thursday assured visiting Indian President Pratibha Patil that China was ready to discuss the complex issues relating to Indias quest for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Chinas response to Indias position was a significant improvement over its earlier stance on the matter,foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said. Chinese leaders including premier Wen Jiabo said they wanted to ensure a greater role for India in the UN especially in the Security Council,Rao told reporters after the meetings. She said it as a positive step on the Chinese side and did not amount to mere guarded and diplomatic language. China also said it was going to back Indias candidature for a nonpermanent seat in the Security Council for the year 2010-11. But it did not come out with clear support for a permanent seat besides offering to discuss the matter in greater detail. Rao did not elaborate on what steps would be taken to set up a mechanism for talks on the issue. Beijing agreed with India on the need for reforms in the Security Council and wanted greater representation for developing countries in it, Rao said. India is apparently building on the new bond that has emerged during the Copenhagen talks on climate change in order to persuade Beijing to agree on a partnership in groupings like BRIC and multilateral platforms like the United Nations. The leaders agreed with each other that there was a need to consolidate the relationship between the two countries by to make sure that no single episode or issue could do damage. They accepted the need to maintain peace and tranquility on the border until the boundary dispute was resolved by special representatives of both sides engaged in negotiating the matter.

Patil raised the issue of trade imbalance and suggested that China consider diversifying purchases of Indian goods and services from the pharmaceutical,engineering and information technology industries. Chinese leaders said they were equally keen to address the problem of trade imbalance. During the visit, the two countries signed three agreements on giving visa on arrival to airline crew, on cooperation in the field of civil services and in the area of sports and youth affairs.
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Hindi songs played to charm Patil

Chinese leaders charmed Pratibha Patil by playing Bollywood songs at the banquet and expressing their love for Rabindranath Tagore. Chinese musicians played four Bollywood songs Geeta Dutts Mere naam chin chin chu based on the portrayal of a Chinese girl in Howrah Bridge, Gore gore baki chore, Baar baar dekho and Roja janeman. President Hu Jintao said China wanted to set up a gallery on the two visits by Tagore to China in 1924 and 1929 at Rabindra Bharati university in Kolkata. Vatsala Kotnis, sister of Dwarkanath Kotnis who is respected for his medical services to China during the Japanese invasion in 1937, will join Patil at a reception on Friday.
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(source-toi)

Only 2% in J&K want to join Pak - Most In Favour Of Relaxed LoC As Border, Finds First-Ever Poll

New Delhi: For those who still think a plebiscite will tilt the status of Kashmir and that most Kashmiris yearn to wave the Pakistan green,there are now numbers for the first time to contradict them. A survey carried out across both Jammu and Kashmir (J&K ) and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which its author claims is the first ever, shows that only 2% of the respondents in J&K favour joining Pakistan and most such views were confined to Srinagar and Budgam districts. In six of the districts surveyed late last year by researchers from the London-based thinktank Chatham House, not a single person favoured annexation with Pakistan, something that remains the bedrock for the hardline separate campaign in Kashmir. However, the study by Robert Bradrock,a scholar from Londons Kings College, that involved interviewing 3,774 people in both parts of Kashmir in September-October 2009 showed that 44% of people in PoK favoured independence, compared with 43% in J&K. Bradrock says in the 37-page report on the survey that this would put an end for all times to come to the plebiscite route as a possible way to resolve Kashmir since the only two options that were envisaged under the UN resolutions proposing plebiscite in 1948-49 were for the whole of Kashmir to join either India or Pakistan and azadi was not an option. But in the Valley, the mood for azadi still remained strong, with between 75% and 95% respondents favouring that as a final resolution.
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(Source-toi)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

199 polyclinics to be set up for ex-servicemen

New Delhi: In some relief to retired military personnel who are unhappy about the medical services being provided to them, the government on Wednesday approved a proposal to establish 199 new polyclinics across the country under the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS). The Union Cabinet approved the 199 polyclinics, which will include 17 mobile medical facilities and 15 new regional centres, at a cost of Rs 141 crore. This comes after the ECHS was first introduced in 2003 by the setting up of 277 polyclinics at stations with ex-servicemen population over 2,500. "The Cabinet on Wednesday also approved reorganisation and strengthening of the central ECHS organisation by suitably increasing the manpower. It has authorised additional manpower, 2,263 in number on a contractual basis to man the additional 199 polyclinics, ''said an official. "It has also authorised 315 serving personnel for the proposed regional centres,'' he added.
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(source-toi)

With PM watching,DRDO lets loose missiles at armed forces

After public bickering among Cabinet ministers, here comes the sharp divide in defence establishment. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, defence minister A K Antony and others watching, the faultlines that underlie the embittered Defence Research and Development Organisation armed forces relationship erupted into plain view on Wednesday. DRDO chief VK Saraswat,speaking at the National Technology Day awards function,tore into the armed forces for failing to overcome their "temptation'' to induct the latest weapon systems from abroad. This did not go down well with the forces,represented as they were by Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, Admiral Nirmal Verma and General VK Singh as well as other officers in the audience. Some officers told that DRDO "promises too much'' but delivers "too little, too late'' and forces are "forced'' to push for import of weapon systems to maintain operational readiness. "Some awards given today, for instance, are for Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, Nag anti-tank guided missile and Astra air-to-air missile. These are still not operational despite years, if not decades,of trials,'' said an officer. The spat, incidentally,comes just two days after the Navy chief held a long meeting' with Antony to stress that it was high time DRDO got its act together,said sources. Wednesday's award ceremony began normally enough,with Saraswat listing out achievements ranging from launch of India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant to the planned test of the 5,000-km range Agni-V ballistic missile in 2011. But then, Saraswat let loose a couple of heat-seeking missiles. It's grossly unfair to hold only DRDO responsible for the poor level of self-reliance in defence systems, he said. "The responsibility should be shared by all stake-holders of defence ministry and cannot be placed on DRDO alone, which neither has the power to impose its products on its customer (armed forces), nor the mandate or capacity to produce the developed systems all by themselves (without a strong defence-industrial base),'' he said.
"Services also must understand that while the temptation may be overwhelming to field proven,state-of-the-art imported systems, they too have a role to play in the country's economic and industrial growth. No foreign system can be customised to completely address our long-term requirements, ''he added.

There is, of course, a lot in what Saraswat said. The armed forces certainly need to fully support DRDO to ensure self-reliance in critical weapon systems, supply of which from abroad can easily be choked in times of crisis. But it's equally true DRDO projects cannot continue to be bedevilled with huge time and cost overruns. The PM, on his part said, "We should be able to acknowledge and learn from our setbacks. It's a fact some projects have been delayed and others have faced difficulties.''
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(source-toi)

Army chief to pursue PhD in military science

Bhopal: Its like William Shakespeare wanting a degree in English literature, or Leonardo da Vinci hungry for formal graduation in fine arts. Army chief General Vijay Kumar Singh wants to pursue a doctorate degree in military science from Barkatullah University, Bhopal. The chief of Army, will be in Bhopal on Friday to appear for a viva to enrol for PhD in military science. Prof Gyanendra Gautam, head of sociology department, confirmed the countrys first soldier is scheduled to appear before the Research Degree Committee on May 28. The research proposal must have been submitted earlier. The dean, the chairman of the committee and experts will hold a meeting. The Army chief will be called for an interview after which the proposal will be approved, modified or rejected by the panel. That is the procedure, Prof Gautam said.After clearing the viva, Gen Singh will have to work for two years under the guidance of Prof Kailash Tyagi, who is a a D Litt on the subject.
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(source-toi)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SECOND OPINION, Patriotism pays-It makes sense to bring Indias looted wealth back home (By Jug Suraiya)

To paraphrase well-known saying, the last refuge of the profiteer is patriotism. But what if patriotism is, in a given situation, the most profitable of options. What if patriotism paid. Wouldnt it be a foolish and eventually pauperised profiteer who in such a scenario did not make patriotism his first resort rather than his last. According to the Swiss Banking Association Report 2006, dishonest (and unpatriotic) Indians have stashed away some $1,456 billion in numbered Swiss bank accounts. If the report is to be believed, Indians have more clandestine loot hidden away in foreign accounts than all the rest of the world combined. This suggests that, far from being a poor country as we have always been taught by our netas to believe, India is in fact a very rich country. Except that its wealth, instead of being kept in India, has been taken outside India.

Compared with Indias $1,456 billion, Russia comes a poor second with $470 billion, followed by the UK ($390 billion),Ukraine ($100 billion) and China ($96 billion). These figures,which are four years out of date, relate only to Swiss banks, and do not take into account other offshore tax havens such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands which offer similar facilities for the parking of undeclared wealth. It has been estimated that if the Indian money kept abroad only in Swiss accounts were to be brought back to India, the countrys entire foreign debt would be wiped out 13 times over. The foreign debt repaid, the interest earned on the residual amount would reportedly be more than the central budget. You wouldnt have to pay taxes. Every poor person in the country could be given a lakh of rupees.

But why would this huge hoard of undeclared boodle be brought back to India. For reasons of pure patriotism? Certainly not. But what about reasons of profitable patriotism. Now that makes more sense. The reason that all this wealth was secreted out of the country by politicians, industrialists,businessmen, racketeers, smugglers was that the regulation-strangulated Indian economy did not inspire confidence in anyone, least of all in much of the political leadership whose (deliberately) misguided policies had made the country economically weak to begin with. It was deemed to be prudent to keep cash assets in the form of hard currency rather than in the lowly avatar of the despised and worthless Indian rupee. Economic patriotism very definitely did not pay. But does the same situation obtain today, when the so-called advanced economies by and large are in terrible shape, thanks to their own greed and spendthrift ways which have resulted in enormous and unsustainable accumulations of sovereign debt. Following the subprime crisis in the US, which unleashed a global financial tsunami from which the international economic order will take a long while to recover, Europe has been hit with an epidemic of Euroflu as a result of fiscal mismanagement in the euro zone which has led Greece into virtual bankruptcy and is also threatening Spain and Portugal.

Increasingly, the so-called advanced economies of the world including Japan, which also seems to be on the brink of a sovereign debt trap dont look so advanced anymore. The two big growth centres of the world today as we keep being told over and over again are India and China. In this context, wouldnt it make both patriotic and more importantly profitable sense for Indias offshore riches to find their way back to India, instead of remaining in what looks to be an increasingly dangerous economic war zone.
What about it, all you Numbered Accountwallas Wear your patriotism on your sleeve. Or, better still, in your Indian bank accounts.
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Training has to be relevant to counter threats: Army chief


General V K Singh wants the Armys training methodologies to be constantly upgraded to ensure the 1.13-million strong force remains fully prepared to fight across the entire spectrum of conflict ranging from asymmetric warfare to conventional wars. Training must be pertinent to counter the variety of threats and challenges one faces. The best doctrines,strategy, force structure, equipment and tactics can be of little use if the Army is not trained well, said Gen Singh, at an Army Training Command seminar on Tuesday. Our training institutions are amongst the finest in the world. These institutions can maintain their pre-eminence only by imbibing and adapting the best practices and realities. The latest training aids and simulators must be inducted for value addition, he added.
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(source-toi)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Audit leaves PM, Sonia red-faced - Reveals Financial Impropriety By Nehru Museum

New Delhi: What could embarrass the PM Manmohan Singh,also culture minister, a special audit has found that 5 crore released for special publication of works on Jawaharlal Nehru and C Rajgopalachari was illegally diverted to a trust headed by Sonia Gandhi and PM and Karan Singh as trustees. The 43 page report points out a series of financial impropriety committed by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The special audit done by the Controller General of Accounts shows that NMML transferred Rs 5 crore in two tranches to Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund which has Suman Dubey as the secretary. Karan Singh is also chairman of NMML executive council. JNMF is a private trust. Citing culture ministrys sanction of Rs 5 crore to NMML, the audit report says, Part 12 of this sanction stipulates that no part of this grant should be diverted to any institution. But in this case, entire grant has been released by NMML to JNMF which is another irregularity by NMML.

Instead of utilising the fund,audit report says, JNMF invested it in fixed deposit for a period ranging from 91 days to two years. When JNMF has i nvested most of these amount in fixed deposit of two years, it is simply not possible to utilise it within a stipulated period, thus violating the condition of sanction, audit report says. Pointing out that for reasons best known to NMML for three years 2006-09 it did not grant any fellowship.

Audit report is scathing about Rs 20 crore modernisation project. It points out that payments have been made to two persons (Jaimala Iyer and Chandana Iyer) repeatedly for doing same work which defies logic and amounts to gross misutilisation of plan fund specially those relating to modernisation of museum. It has also been found that nothing concrete has happened in the modernisation project so far despite Rs 20 crore given in 2007.
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(source-toi)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

LAND AHOY - Naval officer first Indian to orbit globe solo

A naval officer became the first Indian ever to circumnavigate the world solo on a sail boat on Saturday when he steered into the Mumbai harbour after an arduous voyage spanning a little over nine months. Commander Dilip Donde, who embarked on the voyage on August 19 last year on INSV (Indian Naval Sailing Vessel) Mhadei ,approached the finish line as his boat,ceremonially escorted by a fast-attack craft of the Indian Navy along with speedboats and two tugs operating their water canons, touched base back in India at the Sunk Rock Light House here. Vice-President Hamid Ansari along with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma and Dondes family members,who were on board INS Delhi, anchored at the finish line, witnessed the historic moment and gave him a rousing reception. He was later received by them on INS Mysore. Having completed the voyage, I am feeling great. I could not have done it without this fine boat. I was quite convinced that anybody can do circumnavigation in a boat like this. The credit goes to Mhadei, said Donde. It gave me a big kick, he said after he returned to the city after the 276-day voyage, as part of the Navys daunting Sagar Parikrama project.
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(source-toi)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scientists create what they call the world's first synthetic life form - Science must continue to innovate

With the J Craig Venter Institute successfully creating the worlds first artificial organism a bacterium that has at its core a computer-generated synthetic genome we now stand at a special place in human history. The possibilities are endless. With this technology we can literally create new organisms for the benefit of mankind. This could include microbes that help us produce medicines, clean up atmosphere by breaking down toxic green house gases, wean us off our dependence on non-renewable hydrocarbons by producing biofuels, or even solve the problem of hunger by converting wastelands into fertile farmlands. The only thing that restricts us is our imagination. Hence, it is disappointing that some people have chosen to criticise this pathbreaking technology. Throughout history, scientific innovations and discoveries have been subject to criticism from conservatives. It is primarily the fear of the unknown, combined with the apprehension of contravening religious edicts, that fuels this sentiment.

This is not to say that logical concerns regarding scientific inventions should be ignored. Appropriate safeguards should be implemented while adopting the latest technology. However, fear of the unknown shouldn't impede scientific progress. Had it not been for constant scientific innovations throughout history, the world today would not have been able to support six billion people living in complex community systems. Science and technology have improved our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Therefore, notwithstanding rational questions regarding the implications and usage of new technology, lets not place bans on scientific innovation. The technology to create synthetic organisms is indeed a landmark achievement.
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It has created a monster

Craig Venters creation of the first synthetic cell may indeed be pathbreaking in the field of genetic engineering. But it also poses a threat to the future of human civilisation. Mans tinkering with nature through unbridled scientific experiments could bring catastrophe. Society cannot stand by while the Victor Frankensteins of the world are let loose in a mad competition to create better monsters. The first service to preserve a healthy balance of life on earth and to ensure harmony with nature is to recognise the existence of ethical and legal issues in all kinds of genetic research. The way genetic engineering has mushroomed in various universities or private labs funded by corporates with commercial interests or governments with national security interests is a cause for concern. We cannot let boardrooms of corporates or war rooms of militaries dictate terms and conditions for scientific research. Venter has already applied for patents on more than 300 genes, raising issues related to intellectual property rights to the building blocks of life.

A CIA report has warned about this kind of technology enabling the creation of diseases currently unknown to mankind. The danger of bioterrorism,where organisations like al-Qaeda acquire or fund research on such viruses, cannot be ruled out.Lets not create scope for new diseases like the Chimera virus in Mission Impossible-II. The inability of the international community to create a consensus on fighting global warming and climate change doesnt create confidence in its capacity to handle new global threats. Unintended consequences will surely follow if we unleash new life forms on the planet. Its time to take a step back,and desist from going where science ought never to have gone.
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(source-toi)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Chances of 9% + DA hike during June 2010

at 9:09 PM

As per the figures available from Labour Bureau, Govt of India (http://labourbureau.nic.in/indtab.html) it can be assumed that 9% DA hike can be assumed from June 2010, provided the All India Consumer Price Index (AICPI) doesnt come down was was the case for Jan 2010. The DA from June 2010 can be 45%. This is calculated assuming that the All India Consumer Price Index (AICPI) remains unchanged at 170 During April to June, which are yet to be announced. These figures for January 2010 was 172 and came down to 170 during February and remained same at 170 for March.
(Source- 6th cpc news)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Expedite Pension and Arrears for Ex-Servicemen: Antony to Finance Controllers

15.5.2010-18:25 IST

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for early disbursal of revised pension and arrears to Ex-Servicemen. Inaugurating the Controllers’ Conference of the Defence Accounts Department here today, Shri Antony asked the Defence Finance officials to expedite and further streamline the pension system for the Armed Forces personnel. “Even now, I am getting a lot of complaints from people that they are not getting pensions... Considering the past, things have improved, but even then complaints are there still... So you must take all steps possible so that they get their dues at the earliest,” Shri Antony said. Commending the Defence Accounts Department for facilitating the procurement of weapons and systems, Shri Antony noted that the capital expenditure, utilised last year, has been an all-time record. He called for transparent, timely and judicious use of Defence Expenditure. He said that the Government has tried to infuse more transparency in the huge Defence outlay, which is over Rs. 1.52 lakh crores for the current financial year. “Defence expenditure and procurement issues are complex and time-consuming and have a direct bearing on our national security. We have tried to infuse more transparency and efficiency into our procedures and systems. It is my firm belief that expenditure of public money must have an appropriate system of checks and balances”, he said.

In his address to the gathering, the Minister of State for Defence Dr. MM Pallam Raju said that the Defence Pension Adalats have become an effective mechanism for grievance redressal on the ground. He hoped that the pension arrears for pre-2006 PBORs would soon be disbursed. Dr. Pallam Raju said that the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) would soon roll out the e-ticketing system for air travel. The PCDA Rail Booking System for e-ticketing would be introduced in another 200 Armed Forces units by next month and all units would be covered by the yearend, added Smt Nita Kapoor, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). The Secretary Defence Finance, Smt Indu Liberhan stressed the need for continuing institutionalized interaction between the Defence Finance and the three Services. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India Shri Vinod Rai said that since Defence Finance relates to a sensitive national security concern, the keyword for its success is the outcome and not simple accounting.

The Chief of the Army Staff General VK Singh and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister Dr. VK Saraswat were among the dignitaries present at the inauguration of the three-day biennial conference.

(source-PIB)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

India to finally have a National Defence Varsity

India has long lacked a robust strategic thinking culture both within Military as well as outside it. The Govt is now finally scrambling to establish the Indian National Defence University (INDU) to help craft strategic planning and analysis in keeping with the countrys longterm geo-political objectives. The Union Cabinet on Thursday will take up the proposal to set up INDU, as a fully autonomous institution to be created by an Act of Parliament, decades after it was first mooted. Even the 2001 GoM report on Reforming the national security system had strongly recommended INDUs creation to usher in much-needed synergy between the academic world and the executive. At present, university research on defence and strategic issues is neither structured effectively, nor does it have any policy orientation.

Conversely, US, China and several other countries have institutions like INDU to ensure cross-pollination of ideas and strategic thinking between academia and government. In Washington,for instance, its commonplace to find strategists straddling both the worlds with equal ease. INDU will bring together existing institutes like the National Defence College (Delhi), College of Defence Management (Secunderabad), Defence Services Staff College (Wellington) and National Defence Academy (Khadakwasla ), which are currently affiliated to different universities, under its umbrella. Its also likely to include new institutes such as National Institute of Strategic Studies, College of National Security Policy and Institute for Advanced Technology Studies.
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Rs 1,762 cr Kargil purchase scam buried by govt -MoD Tells The Apex Court There Was No Irregularity In 29 of 35 Purchases; Says Only Two Cases Worth Investigating

More than 10 years after Kargil war, the stink of corruption in purchases of arms and ammunition worth Rs 1,762 crore appears to have been a false alarm. After years of investigation, the MOD has said that it has now agreed to close most of the cases except 2 Thermally Guided Munition  purchases worth Rs 151 crore and aluminum caskets for Rs 6.55 crore in which CBI had registered FIRs more than four years ago. The Supreme Court is monitoring investigations into the purchases since 2004 when a PIL pointed out a damning report from Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that the ministry had agreed with CBI and Central Vigilance Commission to close 29 of the 35 purchase cases as they did not involve any corruption. Of the remaining six cases,CBI has reiterated to MoD its earlier findings that in three purchases Hand-Held Thermal Imagers worth Rs 41.95 crore, ammunition for T-72 tanks for Rs 402.7 crore and other ammunition worth Rs 9.2 crore no criminality or malafides are discernable. The high-profile cases were linked to Janata Dal(U) leader George Fernandess tenure as defence minister during the Kargil war. And while the cases were pursued once the UPA came to power, not much headway seems to have been made into the allegations that saw Congress target Fernandes as kafan chor. It has been argued that some of the purchases that were contracted in haste during the war were actually delivered later and some procedures had to be shortened.

The entire set of purchases relating to the Kargil war were later referred for investigation. In TGM and casket purchase cases, CBI had registered FIRs nearly three years back and no progress has been reported to the SC by the MoDs affidavit, which was handed over to the court by solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam. The MoD said CBI was still investigating into payment of agency commission with regard to purchase of Anti-Material Rifles contracted through Denel, a South African arms supplier. Of the 29 cases which the MoD has decided to close, it has imposed monetary penalty on arms and other material suppliers, including those from foreign countries. Lastly, the MoD said it has decided to close the case relating to purchase of Automatic Grenade Launcher for over Rs 52 crore, which was referred for an opinion to CVC. The CVC has advised closure of the case, it said.
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(source-toi)

Monday, May 10, 2010

PETITIONS FOR REVISION OF PENSION W.E.F. 1.1.1996 - RESPONSES FROM VARIOUS AUTHORITIES

All Veteran brothers are aware that I have posted a detailed  Petition d/d 15.1.2010, CLICK HERE  another d/d 15.3.2010 (CLICK HERE) and the last one d/d 04.4.2010 CLICK HERE.

It is once again requested to one and all Veteran Brothers to kindly go through/peruse (if not done) and send out a similar Petition, incorporating their service particulars at apprporiate places. That will send the messagee to the authorities that many veterans are aware of their pension details and as such demanding for fixation of correct pension benefits. Or else, it will be treated that the veterans are happy with what they are given.

Let me emphasize herein that although the response was on expected lines from various authorities, viz. GOI, MOD (D/Pen Gr.Cell), CGDA, Air HQ (JDPA), Air HQ (DPP&R), AFRO (Oi/cP&WW(Pre-96), all based in New Delhi and JCDA(P) Allahabad, re-iterating that what-so-ever action taken by them so far is correct and valid, but the response itself speaks volumes of casual manner in which the veterans pension issues are dealt.  Casual manner, I mean here that the Veterans' pensionary benefits issues are dealt most carelessly, un-sympathetically and in a mechanical manner without application of mind.

In other words, the facts and figures and factual position raised in my petitions aforestated, stand testified.  The authorities have failed to justify their action on interpretation of (1) FIXATION OF PENSION based on the guaranteed MINIMUM PENSION FORMULA envisged in orders dt.7.6.99 (as amended), (2) Wrongfully including the formula of Merger of 50%DA into Basic Pension given from 1.4.2004 and in vogue on 31.12.1995, dragged into the Most Important Circular No. 350 d/d 19.5.06 and shown as a fresh benefit w.e.f.1.1.2006, in violation of Govt. Orders d/d 1.2.2006.

GOI, MOD Orders d/d 8.3.10, apparently have set right these defects of pre-post 1997 and stopped short of addressing the defects of pre-post 2006. And therefore, the struggle for removal of defects in pension fixation matters continues and goes on and on........

It is here and in that context that I appeal to all Veteran brothers to send petition after petitions till the issues are settled.  WHEN ONE PETITION CAN MAKE THE AUTHORITIES TO RESPOND, THEN A LARGE NUMBER OF VETERANS' PETITIONS, MUST BRING ABOUT THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO PENSION FIXATION FORMULAS.

SO, VETERAN BROTHERS, PLEASE DO SEND YOUR PETITIONS URGENTLY.

    

Saturday, May 8, 2010

'Govt Should Implement One Rank One Pension Soon'

The following news items on 7.5.2010 in outlook is posted for the benenfit of all veteran brothers:-
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A Parliamentary committee has asked the Defence Ministry to soon implement 'One Rank One Pension'  (OROP) for armed forces veterans, noting that a demand for this has not been accepted by it. "The  committee concludes that 'OROP' has not been accepted by the government. However, the pensionary benefits of ex-servicemen including disabled ex-servicemen have considerably been improved by implementation of the seven recommendations of a committee (headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar)," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence said in its report tabled in Lok Sabha today. The panel, headed by Satpal Maharaj (Congress) had considered the government replies to its earlier report submitted to Parliament in December last year. "The committee still recommend that the government should implement OROP in a holistic manner so that large number of ex-servicemen can be benefited. The government should also ensure that the various benefits provided to the ex-servicemen due to implementation of the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary-headed committee, along with arrears if any, are paid expeditiously," it said. OROP implied that uniform pension should be paid to armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank with same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension should be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. After the veterans had organised events to return their service and gallantry medals to the President in protest, the government had, on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, set up the committee to consider the demand made in the wake of implementation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations in September 2008.

The committee recommended a plan under which the pensions would be as close to OROP, but this was being accepted by the ex-servicemen. However, the government decided to implement it. On the issue of lateral entry for ex-servicemen into central paramilitary forces, which the government was yet to implement, the Parliamentary panel said though it had highlighted the advantage of recruiting them in CPMF, it had not been implemented despite a CPC recommendation in this regard. "The committee desires that the Ministry expedite the matter to resolve the lateral induction of ex-servicemen in CPMF, PSUs and state police," which was the highlight of the Group of Ministers' recommendation for 'Reforming National Security System' made in 2001, it said.
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(source-report my signal)

BRIEFING ON OROP TO THE CHAIRMAN PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE SH. SATPALJI MAHARAJ, MP AND FUTURE PLANS

All veteran brothers may please go the following important message of IESM:-
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"Dear Veterans,

1. Our multidimensional action plan to get justice to the Defence Forces got a forward push on 05 May 2010 wherein we were able to brief the Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee Sh. Satpalji Maharaj, MP on OROP in his office in Parliament House Annexe. The secretary ESW and a few more officials from the Defence Ministry were present during the discussion.

2. The response from Sh. Satpalji Maharaj was positive. He gave us to understand that his committee will soon be recommending to the Govt that the long pending issue of OROP must be re- examined on priority and the issue resolved. Write up on OROP and a paper written by Vice Admiral Barin Ghose were handed over to him and the same can be accessed by veterans- CLICK HERE.

3. Request was also made to the Chairman to give the IESM delegation an appointment wherein a presentation on OROP could be made to the complete Parliamentary Committee on Defence. He assured us that the same would be arranged.

4. I once again appeal to all ESM of India to join the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) at the earliest and take active part in all its endeavours to get Justice to the Defence Forces. I also appeal to the veterans in India and those living abroad to donate funds to logistically sustain the Movement. In case the Govt continues to ignore our legitimate demands, we have a plan to be executed with the finesse and resoluteness of a Military Campaign named “DILLI CHALO” a Mammoth Rally at Ram Lila Ground New Delhi. ESM from across the country will move from all directions and camp all around the capital at 5- 6 locations. On the day of reckoning ie the Day of the Rally, the columns will move into the city, assemble at Ram Lila Ground not only to showcase the strength of the ESM but also to ensure that the Govt sees the reason and grants us the Justice. Of course the event will be conducted peacefully and in a democratic and dignified manner.

5. Large sums of money would be required for organizing and administering such a huge rally involving lacs of ESMs. We appeal to all our veterans and all Bharties who believe in our cause to donate funds or sponsor logistics ie camping arrangements at concentration areas, Rally site arrangements, transport, food, water, publicity and other arrangements.

6. The plans will be firmed in after evaluating the response from veterans and availability of the required logistics.

Please be part of the Campaign. "Sar Firoshi Ki Tamnna Ab Hamare Dil Mein Hai”.

With Kind Regards,

Jai Hind

Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Posted by SIGNAL on Friday, May 07, 2010"
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Friday, May 7, 2010

All Veteran brothers may, at their leisure, click here Minutes of second meeting of Anamolies Committee held on 27.3.2010 to view the official version on the subject.

Nomination facility to pensioners/family pensioners for drawing life time arrears of pension/family pension under payment of arrears of (Nomination), Rules 1983, clarification thereof. Govt

DOUBLE CLICK ON EACH PAGE FOR ENLARGED VIEW




(Posted by Ex.Servicemen Joint Action Front(Sanjha Morcha)

MPs in line for hefty pay hike but will have to wait

The government is ready to give the green signal to a substantial revision of MP salaries from Rs 16,000 to Rs 80,000 a month which will make the remuneration taxable once the Congress leadership takes a political call on the timing of the move. Since the salary proposal was not on the Cabinet agenda on Thursday, the required bill will not be brought to Parliament this session which ends on Friday. The report of the parliamentary committee on salaries and allowances was presented to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday evening.

The speed with which the report of the joint committee was presented to the Speaker was intended to facilitate the proposals being placed for approval before Parliament by Friday. Though finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was persuaded to go along, it is learnt that the proposal would need Congress chief Sonia Gandhis nod. There was some anticipation that the Cabinet may consider the matter. But while MPs and leaders are keen, a more considered view is awaited and MPs will have to bide their time till the monsoon session. The report of the committee headed by Congress MP Charan Das Mahant has recommended that salaries of MPs be fixed at Re 1 more than that of secretaries to the government of India. Official sources pointed out that the low Rs 16,000 a month salary with money allotted under various allowances was structured to save on tax and the committees suggestion that this subterfuge be done away with was welcome. Why not pay MPs their salaries upfront and pay the tax. The MPs feel their salaries should be at par with senior civil servants, they said.

The report suggested an increase in free air journeys from 34 to 50, hike in daily allowance to Rs 2,000 for period of residence on duty. Office expense allowance would be enhanced to Rs 60,000 a month from existing Rs 20,000. This includes salary of an office assistant to Rs 30,000 a month, pay of Rs 14,000 to an office attendant and stationery expenses of Rs 12,000 a month.The committee has suggested that constituency allowance be hiked to Rs 40,000 a month from Rs 20,000 at present while free local phone calls be increased from 1.5 lakh a year to 2 lakh. MPs should be able to avail a loan of Rs 5 lakh for a vehicle at a 5% rate of interest.

The panel has also made some recommendations about pensions of ex-MPs being enhanced to be at par with former secretaries as on December 31,2005. The government is not likely to accept all the recommendations like those relating to pension but the essential revision of salaries and attendant allowances might pass muster.
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(source-toi)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No CDS, govt also rejects military officers in MoD

As if deliberate slow pace in creating the chief of defence staff (CDS) post was not enough, the Govt. has now rejected the proposal to post Army, Navy and IAF officers as joint/additional secretaries in the defence ministry. Taking note of huge disconnect between Service HQs and MoD, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence had last year strongly recommended the change in MoD staffing patterns to ensure armed forces were intrinsically involved in national security management and apex decision making process.

But defence minister AK Antony on Monday told Parliament that no change was considered necessary since a high degree of integration between Service HQs and MoD had already been achieved. He listed out steps like adoption of single file system between Service HQs and MoD,delegation of financial and administrative powers at various levels and re-designation of Service HQs as Integrated HQs to support this argument. But these measures are widely perceived to be merely cosmetic, with the bureaucracy continuing to maintain a vice-like grip over the armed forces. India, like the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) held, is probably the only major democracy where the armed forces are firmly kept out of the apex government structure, said a senior Army officer.

The GoM report in 2001 on reforming the national security system had also stressed need for a CDS to provide single-point military advise to government and manage countrys nuclear arsenal. Moreover,
a CDS would bring the much-needed jointness or synergy among Army, Navy and IAF, which often pull in different directions, by resolving inter-Service doctrinal, planning, procurement and operational issues. But successive governments over the last decade have taken the specious plea of the need to consult different political parties to keep the all-important CDS proposal on the backburner. On Monday, Antony again stated that a number of political parties are yet to respond to his letters on the issue. Antony did outline 37 of the 45 fields where joint training can or is being conducted to promote synergy among armed forces. Antony, however,failed to mention crucial fields like UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles ), intelligence, helicopters and NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) warfare, where no progress has been made. He, however, said a case for establishing a National Intelligence Academy for joint training has been taken up for approval.

(source-toi)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

PAC raps govt for import of kit to Siachen soldiers

For a country which fancies itself as an emerging superpower,and is working overtime to make long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear-powered submarines,it's acutely embarrassing that India is still not capable of manufacturing specialised clothing and equipment for its soldiers deployed in Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region. This despite Indian soldiers being stationed at world's highest, coldest and costliest battlefield right since 1984, when they beat Pakistani troops by a whisker to occupy glacial heights ranging from 16,000 feet to 22,000 feet. And they are not going to leave the forbidding region anytime soon, with India quite clear Siachen will remain "non-negotiable'' till Pakistan accepts clear-cut "authentication'' of the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), both on the map and on the ground.
The latest parliamentary public accounts committee report has blasted the government for failure to establish indigenous manufacturing capabilities for high-altitude gear, which is further compounded by gross irregularities in purchase of specialised clothing and mountaineering equipment from abroad. "The defence of nation is a non-negotiable national imperative and under no circumstances can commercial and economic considerations be allowed to compromise this foremost priority,'' it said. "The committee is dismayed to learn that a country which is capable of successfully launching satellites, manufacturing missiles and other state-of-the-art defence equipment is still struggling with the problem of a narrow vendor base,'' it added.

There is, of course, better infrastructure now in place at Siachen,ranging from Stromeyer tents to fibre-reinforced plastic huts,which has led to a decline in casualties. Soldiers, however, still have to constantly battle highaltitude pulmonary odema, cerebral odema, hypothermia, hypoxia and frostbite in the extremely tough terrain, where avalanches, blizzards and "white-outs'' are the norm. It's no wonder soldiers there are taught to "survive first and then fight''. They wear specialised clothing in layers to guard against the freezing temperatures,which can even dip to minus 60 degree Celsius. In all, each set for a soldier costs around Rs 1 lakh. Of the 55 authorised items, 19 critical items are still being imported. Apart from woollen socks, rucksacks and sleeping bags, these include 'outer shell parka' and the 'fibre-pile pant' from Finland (Rs 14,174 each), Swiss down jacket (Rs 9,093), Italian MP Scarpa boots (Rs 6,990) and French 'boot crampons'(Rs 6,990). Noting that there were 388 casualties in five years,the committee said,"The whole approach towards procurement appears casual. Neither quality nor timely availability of critical items is ensured, thereby compromising safety as well as comfort of troops deployed in the harsh climatic conditions.''
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(source-toi)
(source-saakshi)