Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GOI's 45%DA ORDER WEF 1.7.10, IN R/O ALL CG PENSIONERS

The Dearness Relief payable to  Central Government pensioners enhanced from the existing rate of 35% to 45% w.e.f. July, 2010.  Orders issued.

CLICK HERE FOR GOI's 45%DA ORDER WEF 1.7.10

(source- CG Employees news)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

(source- Aggi's jottings)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Release of additional instalment of dearness allowance to Central Government employees and dearness relief to Pensioners due from 1.7.2010 to compensate for price rise

The Union Cabinet today decided to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 1.7.2010 representing an increase of 10% over the existing rate of 35% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise. The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission.

The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief will be of the order of Rs. 9303.2 crore per annum and Rs. 6202.1 crore in the financial year 2010-2011 (for a period of 8 months from July,2010 to February, 2011).
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(source-PIB)

Govt revises Union War Book to meet current situation

The government has quietly gone in for a major revision of the Union War Book,a classified voluminous document which lays down the exact role each government ministry,department and wing will play in times of war,to better reflect the current security scenario and ground situation. The revision in the Union War Book even came up for mention during the annual combined commanders conference,attended by PM Manmohan Singh and other senior ministers,which ended here on Tuesday. The entire Govt machinery, from the armed forces to the railways,civil aviation,shipping,surface transport,health and the like,has to be mobilised in the event of a war, said a top official.

Times,tactics and doctrines have changed since the Union War Book,which has been in existence since the days of the British Raj,was last revised years ago.Primarily carried out by the defence and home ministries as well as the Cabinet Secretariat,the update caters for all this, he added. The new Union War Book,which is with the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) for the final nod,lays down action plans in minute details to meet any contingency during war.

It spells out,for instance,how air,train and other services will be commandeered in times of national emergency.It also provides the basis for forward deployment of military assets like the movement of a Mirage-2000 fighter squadron from Gwalior to say Ambala or Leh. Its the Bible for us.All commanding officers get extracts,marked secret/topsecret,which flow from the Union War Book about where his unit will be stationed and what role it will play during war, said an Army officer.

The Union War Book was last taken up for implementation during Operation Parakram,the 10-monthlong forward troop mobilisation launched in the aftermath of the Dec.2001 terrorist attack on Parliament,when India almost went to war with Pakistan.
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(source-toi)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

LETTER TO SMT SONIA GANDHI ON OROP BY MAG GEN(RETD) SATBIR SINGH, SM

A LETTER TO SMT SONIA GANDHI ON OROP BY MAG GEN(RETD) SATBIR SINGH, SM, CAN BE VIWED    BY CLICKING HERE

(SOURCE- REPORTMY SIGNAL)

"One Rank-One Pension" - first priority for Shiromani Akali Dal

“To fight for One Rank-One Pension and get it implemented from Central Government will be my first priority”, this was stated here from Shiromani Akali Dal Party Head Office in Sector 28, Chandigarh while addressing the Ist meeting of State Office Bearers and District Presidents by State President Ex-Servicemen Wing Shiromani Akali Dal Er. Gurjinder Singh Sidhu after assuming the office on Ist September, 2010.

He said that the New General Body and District Presidents will be appointed with the approval of S. Sukhbir Singh Badal President, Shiromani Akali Dal. He further said that the membership of the wing will be raised to one lac and identity cards will be issued to all the members in the first phase. He said that planned strategies will be chalked out to accelerate their struggle for One Rank-One Pension. He appealed to all his ex-servicemen brothers to get united under the flag of Ex-Servicemen Wing of Shiromani Akali Dal so that this can give effective fight against Centre Government to achieve their One Rank-One Pension. He thanked all the Ex-Servicemen who had participated at Jantar Mantar New Delhi Rally on 22 Aug 2010.

He also thanked S. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa Member Parliament and Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal Member Parliament for raising this issue in the Parliament through Mr. Arun Jaitley M.P. He requested all Ex-Servicemen to take part in political activities of the State and Country. Er. Sidhu especially thanked Parkash Singh Badal Chief Minister Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa MP for assigning him the responsibilities as State President of the Ex-Servicemen Wing. He assured that he will come up to expectation of his party leaders.

He also thanked Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab, Parminder Singh Dhindsa PWD B&R Minister and Paramjit Singh Sidhwan Political Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister for supporting him in leading the Ex-Servicemen Wing of the party.
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(source- pay commission news)

Monday, September 13, 2010


(source-andhrajyothi)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Befitting reply by Lt Col Inderjit Singh on OROP Struggle

ALL VETERAN FRIENDS MAY GLIMPSE THE FOLLOWING DETAILS ON OROP, FORTHE BENEFIT OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE.

"Dear Mr Sehrawat and all the Veteran Friends

I am distressed to go through this misleading mail worked out to defame the Most patriotic community of the nation. A community that is ever ready to Sacrifice every thing including their lives for the unity integrity and Independence of the motherland. How sad. Coming from people who have done nothing but plundered the nation makes it disgusting.

I must tell you that i am the author of this concept of orop. I was the first Man to take it up with indiraji on 22 feb 1982. After that pursued it all the time and am still at it. We were instrumental for every step taken by successive Govts. If i said that the history of my association is the history of the welfare Measures by the govts i would not be exaggerating. You should therefore grant Me that i should know more about this matter than you who has sent this pack Of lies and half truths in the shape of misleading presentation for us to swallow. From the tenor and tone of the mail it seems that mr sehrawat you proabely are a member of the elitist group of the natons services, if not then perhaps, their proxy for sending this rubbish. What can we expect from you but this absolute distortion of facts. When your colleagues can go to the Sacred house of parliament and speak lies and get away. How does it matter if you spoke few lies here and there and distort the facts in this mail.

If you want to see the lies spoken by your colleagues, we can have a separate meeting For that, for one can not cover those in any mail what ever one likes to do. Now your basic lies that you have tried to impress us with. What I state is not heresay or things picked up from here and there. It is personal knowledge acquired by 30 years of dedicated work for this cause and After having forced government to appoint these committees, been member of every committee appointed by the government except the inter ministerial ones you mentioned for obvious reasons.

A) it is right that the estimates committee had considered this on their own in 1982. They however did not reject it, on the contrary they desired that it be Considered favorably. This kind of recommendaton lands the matter in the lap Of your colleagues. Once it comes there you play merry hell into it as they did with this report.

B) this issue was raised by us first time on 22 feb 1982 when I landed with 5000 Veterans at the pm's residence and presented the first ever memorandum which had five points, OROP being the top one. Indiraji was busy that day, so Rajivji accepted the memorandum on her behalf and promised to see that it was accepted.

We held another rally in honour of respected Indiraji on 25 june 1983, she promised to do it in one go if the monsoon that year was normal and in phases if necessary. Soon after we announced 10,000.00 war medals return to the President of India and our C in C on 15 Aug 83. I was invited by Mr Venkataraman the RM on 10 August 1983 where I suggested that a committee or a commission be appointed to go into the entire gamut of our problems and solve these. The RM took it to Indiraji and informed me that our suggestion had been accepted by her for appointment of a high level Committee. On this we dropped the idea of medals return.

This committee was headed by the RRM Mr KP Singhdeo. I was a special invitee for this committee. It made far reaching 68 recommendations covering all aspects. OROP was strongly recommended by them for consideration of the Govt and not as you have suggested its reference to the fourth CPC. This report was presented to the prime minister two days before her assassination. To our great misfortune she was snatched away by destiny. Otherwise we would have got it in 1984. She was one leader who could put your colleagues where they belonged and fulfilled her promise given on 25 June 1983 to us.

This report then landed in the hands of your colleagues. Do you know what they did. They accepted 52 recommendations like we should maintain discipline in Society, and rejeected 16 of these which gave us any tangible benefits,OROP being the first one. To give you an idea about how low you can go I narrate. One recommendation said orop should be accepted. Then the next one was that after this was accepted all special facilities given to ex servicemen should be withdrawn. They accepted the second one without accepting the OROP. Ha ha ha. Isnt that amusing ?

C) I must educate you before proceeding further about a High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC). This is not a recommendatory committee, it is an empowered Committee whose recommendations are final for implementation. The fact that you are bigger than them is a different matter.

The biggest lie you have spoken is that hgh level empowered committee Rejected orop and gave one time increase (OTI), First let me put you wise about how this committee came about. In 1991 Congress govt was heading a minority government. The opposition was motivated by some politically motivated and misguided elements to move a resolution in parliament that if the govt did not immediately accept to implement vp singh govts ad hoc increase formula they will pull down the govt. This formula I had termed as betrayal of trust by Sh VP Singh previous PM. Its implementation would have been disastrous for us. I moved swiftly to stop it. Walked into Mr Pawars office and demanded OROP instead. After heated exchanges he accepted my request for reconsideration. After another meeting and discussion he went to the parliament and announced the HLEC to improve the pensions.

I was made a member of this HLEC. This committee was very inclined to give OROP but the economic conditions in which we sent our gold to UK to run the country prevented that. What was given brought us almost there. The bureaucrats wanted a clause to reject the OROP but I strongly opposed it. This was as a result not commented upon so that it did not close the door for its consideration and grant in future.

Despite the total opposition from the bureaucrats, the award of this Committee was very good. This award had to be converted into notification for implementation by the bureaucrats. You know what they did. The notification did not even give 1/3 of what was given by the HELC . What they could not achieve during the proceedings of the committee they tried to achieve it through the notification.

I took up the matter with the rm mr sharad pawar. He immediately appointed an anomalies removal committee again of bureaucrats. You know what they did. They created even more complicated anomalies that I could only have removed through the Fifth CPC. After their experiences in the high level empowered committee where we did not let the bureaucrats get away with their lies they probably vowed never to have such a committee in which we are represented. So far they have succeeded in this matter. They started new system of having inter ministerial committees or group of ministers (GOM). Of these committees they never told us their composition or their charter. Nor did they tell us when they were meeting.

D) Your all information is wrong and inadequuate. The decision of Govt on Fifth CPC report came on 18 Jul 97. It gave modified parity to all govt servants including Armed forces. We started an agitaional program at the red fort on 22 Aug97 that lasted for 107 days. We were seeking full parity which in other words meant OROP. On the second day PM Mr Gujral called for a meeting with me where I explained to him the entire problem. He promised to examine the matter and come back.

During this period we had three major rallies, besides indefinite fasts, medal returns and relay fasts. Ultimately a meeting with the Defence Secretary was fixed for 03 nov 1997. The secretary had been empowered by the PM to accept our three to four major demands for implementation after approval of the cabinet and rest could follow in normal routine. OROP and removal of 33 years conditionality were the ones accepted besides two more for implementation. The defence secretary reqested me to give him a paper on these four accepted demands which he could put up straight to the cabinet. I gave him the paper the next day. The bureaucrats did not put these up quickly enough. Then to our misfortune the govt fell and the matter went into tizzy again.

The next govt took over. I gave seven demands to the next PM Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. My meeting was fixed with him on 26 july 2001. In that meeting he accepted 3demands and for remaining 4 he appointed a committee headed by the RM, which was to give its report in three months. This committee never met for over six months and after that the RM wrote to me rejecting all the demands. We then called a rally at the Ram Lila Ground on feb 23 2003. On this rally we invited the chairman of defence committee Mr Madan Lal Khurana. He promised to invite me to Parliament and after understanding the matter do every thing possible to help us.Presentation they made a very strong report to Govt demanding that OROP be granted.

The bureaucrats formed an inter ministerial committee to find ways and means to reject the defense committee report. In their action taken report (ATR) they spoke blatant lies to reject the report.In the meantime Govt changed. The new chairman of the defense committee called me to understand the mess created by this report. It was disgusting to see the level your clan had stooped to somehow reject our demands so strongly recommended by the committee. I picked up eleven major lies out of the report and submitted the paper to the chairman. On this he made another strong recommendation for its grant rejecting the ATR and as submitted by me asked for a high level empowered committee in which we were represented to resolve the issue.

I hope you now understand when this committee was formed and what they did.

E) After the second report of the defense committee the govt appointed a group of ministers (GOM), headed by Mr Pranab Mukherji the RM, to re examine the matter in may 2005 and not in jan 2005 as you have mentioned. This was not acceptable to me so I went to see the RM and told him so. He asked why I did not accept it.

I asked him in turn what was he going to base his recommendations on. Obviously what the bureaucrats put up to him. I gave him the paper on what lies hey spoke in the parliament and pointed out that if they could speak such lies in the parliament they were not going to say anything different to him. The result of such an exercise is a foregone conclusion. You would reject these submissions of ours. He was kind to tell me that the reference for this committee had come from PM’s office, he therefore could not change the format, but promised to invite me for presentation before he made his report. I then accepted to go along. When the bureaucrats learnt about it they went into action to scuttle my presentation. When i realized this I went and met the RM and requested him to stop the mischief of the bureaucrats, hold the meeting for my presentation and then give his award as the entire country's ex servicemen were waiting for the award.

I got the greatest shock of my life when he told me that he could not invite me. The bigger shock was to find such a senior minister like Mr Pranab Mukherji not being able to flfill his simple promise to hear me. I wondered what could be the helplessness of the other ministers in front of these true masters of the nation . Shocked and astonished i worked up my way to Soniaji with the help of my benevolent friend Mr KP Singhdeo and sought her intervention to save the day for us. Her kind intervention resulted in the Govt announcing Parity with the fifth cpc rates on 25 Jan 2006. In other words orop with fifth cpc rates. This means that the GOM did not reject the OROP, they put the entire processes right by giving parity with the Fifth cpc rates and set a precedence for all future pay commissions to give armed forces parity with Their rates, in other words OROP. I hope you now understand this matter better. In case you dont i can personally come and further clarify your doubts so that you do not make such sweeping statements in future.

F) The sixth pay commission stated what suited them to deny us the rightful dues. When i went to make my presentation they were working on the same assumption quietly supressing the fact of parity with fifth cpc rates given to the armed forces by this GOM. I clarified this to them and demanded that they have to maintain this precedence by giving us parity now with sixth cpc rates. When the report came i was shocked to see that they have continued with their canard of 5th CPC and ignored the GOM award.

I called them and was told that they have consciously taken the decision not to give parity with sixth cpc rates. Obviously they had to do that to justify their mischief.

G) Well if the govt improved the pensions in the budget what is so great about it. They have done it for you as well. On the contrary the govt had failed to give the armed forces their rightful dues by not giving OROP. Not only that what the govt has given is totally demeaning because they have totally downgraded the status of the armed forces.

SUPREME COURT EXAMINATION OF OROP. NAKRA CASE

It seems that you believe in the adage that if you continue to speak the same lie, a stage will come when every body would start accepting it as truth. Let me educate you on this matter before i proceed. The nakra case was that the liberalized formula sanctioned by the government should be applied to all irrespective of date of retirement. The liberalized formula said that penson should be fifty percent of last pay drawn. The organization which filed this case, less said about them the better. They are actually the cause of our miserable plight. Some highly intelligent members of that organization, without applying their minds, filed the supreme court case saying that the govt had committed contempt of court by not granting us the orop on account of this ruling. The court then proceeded to examine if the orop came under the ambit of the rulng on liberalized formula.

A word about these two things. Liberalized formula meant giving fifty per cent of last pay drawn as pension. That means whatever salary one was getting at the time of retirement he gets fifty percent of that salary only. Since at different points of time men got different rates of salary so they could only get different rates of pension under the purview of this order. The orop means that same rank personnel got the same pension irrespective of date of retirement.

How could they then get same pension for same rank under this order.. The court very rightly concluded that orop does not fall under the ambit of nakra case. The govt have therefore not violated their order. It was therefore dismissed. The govt in actual practice had given more than the liberalized formula gave by bringing all the sepoys to rs 150.00 pm pension even to those who drew far too less a salary and were drawing rs 4 and later rs 17 as pensions. It was not orop that was rejected, in fact the contempt case was rejected. These gentlemen asked a wrong question from the court and got a wrong answer.

This case has not done any good for us, on the contrary this case has left a permanent handle in hands of your colleagues to flaunt to the unwary leadership and have this matter rejected every time it comes up.

PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR THEIR NATION

The leadershp of the tiniest nation Singapore and the mightiest one USA , get on house tops and blair away that they would give the best tangible and non tangible benefits to that section of the society who do the most difficult job for the nation. Then they go onto elaborate that it is the armed forces which are doing the most difficult task for the nation and they would therefore get the best of tangble and non tangible benefits and then they give it with pride. What happens in our country. When the nation is confronted by a calamity natural or man made the armed forces are brought and squeezed to the hilt and after the job is done they are hanged on the nearest pole till they are dead.

IN A MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE VOLUNTARY agencies (scova) in the ministry of pensions, I was asked as to what are our demands. I after narrating the above facts told them I seek attitudinal change of the bureaucracy from hanging the armed forces to the nearest pole to gving them the best, every thing will be covered. There was a total furore and protestations but no answer given. You want to know what means you employ to deny us our rightful dues ? I can tell you separately if you so desire.

For your benefit i wish to tell you that the usa gives OROP to the armed forces and not to the civilians. Further the armed forces pensions are fully paid by the govt. The armed forces are entitled to 50 % of their last pay drawn as pension after 20 years service. The civilians pensions on the other hand are contributory. They pay 7 % of their emoluments all their life to get 33% of their last pay drawn as pension that too after 30 years service. No wonder that they are the greatest power on earth today. Can you match that great power. I dont think so unless you change your attitude towards the armed forces and not advance the ridiculous argument of we knowing the terms and condition before joining to justify your hostile and petty conduct. I am glad i was able to have the civilians pensions converted to contributory scheme in 2001 while protecting those of the armed forces. I am however very vary of this trend continuing with the kind of games you can play.

POVERTY LINE

You have given some figures on poverty and want responsible persons to be concerned about it. You obviously claim to be the most responsible citizen of the nation, what you do is a different matter. Why do you not forego your salaries my friend. What do you need your salaries for. Your all needs are taken care of by other means the moment you take charge of your first appointment. Let us see you being the first volunteer doing this being so concerned about the state of affairs in the country.

Please tell me are the armed forces the only people who should be squeezed to save the nation from economic disaster. I suppose you think so that is why thngs like fixing of disability pension for armed forces is worked out less than the civilians besides making the procedure for entitlement much more difficult than that of the civilians. If the savings are still not enough then you grant them from a much later date. There are hundreds of such examples.

CIVILIANS WILL DEMAND OROP

Now the argument that the civilians will also demand orop and if not granted they would go to the court to claim it. This is the argument you advance finally to scuttle the efforts of the leadership. This is the bigget canard that i keep hearing. I have been interacting with major civilian unions. All of them have always been ready to support us for this cause and that too without demanding for themselves. For your information when in 1991 we were given OTI the civilians also demanded it but when told that this was for the armed forces only they as true patriots did not insist. Similar thing happened when in 2006 the govt granted parity with fifth cpc to us.

In case some people inspired by you people do go to the court for redressal they will certainly be welcome. The courts will also be ready to give them but then the courts will also tell them that the armed forces have been given these special privileges for their peculiar and difficult service conditions. They would then go on to tell them that they were willing to concede OROP to them if they were prepared to accept their service conditions also. Who among any of your colleagues are prepared to shed your position and accept these conditions. None. I am saying this because i have had an opportunity to settle this matter during the proceedings of the hlec in 1991.

There was an argument and the civilian big wigs wanted for themselves also what was being worked out for us. When nothng was resolving the issue i proposed that one chance each be given to the entire civil and armed forces personnel to change their service to the other if they so desired. Once that is given i said i bet my life that 100 % armed forces personnel would like to switch over and not one of the civilians would opt for the armed forces. There was a total furore but none to take up the challenge. They were not small fries, they were secretaries of all the ministries.

Finally since when have you started to know more about the feelings and pulse of the people more than the leadership. Every committee of the leadership have recommended strongly that orop be granted. The defense committee went to the extent of demanding that if there was no precedence then it should now be set to repay the deep debt of gratitude of the grateful nation to the armed forces for their sacrifices. Do you know this or not? Further do you know that almost 500 hon'ble members of parliament are committed through their party manifestos for giving the orop to the armed forces.

I suppose you dont care for these minions for you are not only bigger then them but also the nation. I hope after going through this mail you would think on this matter and bring about attitudinal change not only within you but also the entire bureaucracy. Sorry for taking too long in responding. It was too big an issue it had to take time even in the normal course. This mail was an attempt to demean us so it had to be given a special attention . Please therefore forgive me.

I have spent extra time so that i put down facts to enable our own veterans to know them and be able to give proper reply when required.

God bless you mr sehrawat and all my veterans.
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(source-IESM website)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tamil Nadu implements one man commission report, order issued.

Earlier, the Govt of Panjab issued a simple and non-complicated orders  in respect of their employees. Now theTamil Nadu implements one man commission report, order issued.


Consequent to the approval of the recommendation made by the one man commission's report to rectify pay anomalies in respect of state govt. employees, the Finance Ministry accordingly issued the following order.

PLEASE VIEW THE G.O. HERE 
 
(SOURCE - pay commission news)

Views of Admiral Arun Prakash on OROP

Our MPs celebrated the unanimous passage of the bill for three-fold enhancement of their pay and perks with yet another undignified rampage in the well of the House. One was struck by the stark contrast between the facile manner in which our elected representatives approved their own pay rise, and the disdain with which the bureaucracy and politicians have been treating the pleas of ex-Servicemen, the nation’s war-wounded and the widows of soldiers; for their just dues of pension and allowances.

Once he doffs his uniform, an ex-Serviceman (now re-designated Armed Forces Veteran) is technically liberated from the restraints of military discipline, and is free to adopt the demeanor and behaviour of any civilian on the street. But deep inside, the veteran’s soul cringes at the thought of conducting him self in a manner which, in earlier days, he would have associated with civilian agitators and unbecoming of his uniform. But it seems that he has been left with no choice.

He has found that the staff of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, created in 2004, is staffed 100% by civilians, who either do not comprehend or are indifferent to his problems. Therefore his representations to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) gather dust for years, before being dismissed in a perfunctory and bureaucratic manner. One rank one pension (OROP) has been a major demand of the veterans, which has been hanging fire with the government for many years. Assurances have been given by successive governments – only to be reneged upon.

Despite repeated pleas by the Chiefs of Staff, based on bitter experience of the past, the government in 2005 adamantly refused to appoint a Service representative on the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC). As expected, the Commission’s report contained flaws, anomalies and, as some believe, many provisions deliberately incorporated by the bureaucracy to depress the pay and status of armed forces personnel vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts. At the repeated behest of the Chiefs, the government reluctantly convened a committee to review the anomalous CPC recommendations; again, inexplicably, without any armed forces representation. Predictably, the committee failed to resolve many tangles and left the serving as well as retired personnel dissatisfied. On a number of issues relating to pension and allowances the veterans were left with no choice but to approach courts of law. After years of expensive litigation the courts did give gave redressal, but the MoD fought them tooth and nail through appeals to higher courts. In two instances where the Supreme Court eventually gave decisions in the veteran’s favour, the government of India has stubbornly refused to implement them! Can there be a more blunt expression of contempt for its soldiers, sailors and airmen by the State? Yes there can.

In April 2008, the frustrated veterans started resorting to demonstrations in the heart of the national capital, as well as in many states to press their demands. Then they graduated to "relay fasts" at Jantar Mantar, and this was followed by the melodramatic gesture of signing petitions in blood. The participants in all these events ranged from retired jawans and JCOs to General Officers, and they all braved the bitter cold, blistering sun or rain to convey their unhappiness in public. When the government studiously ignored their pleas, they thought that they would take the "ultimate step": i.e. surrender their hard-earned and battle-stained medals to the Supreme Commander; the President of India.

Every commissioned officer of the Indian armed forces swears an Oath of Allegiance which contains the words: "…that I will obey all commands of the President of the Union of India…..even to the peril of my life…" The veterans were confident that the exalted person, unto whom they had sworn this blood-oath, at a tender age, would be deeply concerned that the nation’s soldier, sailors and airmen were driven to such an extremity. And that she would enquire why they were returning their hard-won medals. After all, many of their dear comrades had redeemed this solemn oath by making the supreme sacrifice to defend the Motherland…even to the peril of their lives. But what happened when successive delegations of veterans arrived at the portals of Rashtrapati Bhavan to surrender their medals to the Supreme Commander has shaken all of us to the core. They were met by low level functionaries who received their medals and sent them away. The medals were then packed in cardboard boxes and sent off to the MoD to be stored in a dusty basement.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan appointment diary will, on any day, show that dozens of citizens from every walk of life in this great democracy are freely granted audiences with their President. The fact that our Supreme Commander has, for two years, either not found the time, or not deemed it appropriate to spare a few minutes to meet the veterans who regularly show up at Rashtrapati Bhavan is a sad commentary on the standing of the armed forces in India. The cue has, obviously, been provided by the politicians, who have shown equal disregard and disrespect for the nation’s loyal and patriotic veterans.

The US President misses no possible opportunity to repeatedly convey gratitude to the nation’s Servicemen for defending the country’s freedom and for making sacrifices in its cause. Since assuming office Obama has made it a point to review the passing-out parades at every Service academy. He has used each occasion to make important national policy statements while addressing the Cadets and Midshipmen; such is the regard and respect that the USA holds its Servicemen in.

Like every year, on 15th August 2010 too, all veterans listened raptly to the PM addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort. But we listened in vain. He spoke of many issues but there was not a word about the armed forces; no mention of those who died in action or those maimed for life, or the widows, orphans and grieving parents our soldiers leave behind, ever so often. Military veterans, world-wide are objects of spontaneous respect, affection and admiration because, like the flag, they are national symbols of courage, patriotism and sacrifice; a segment deserving of special consideration by the people and the government. An additional reason is that the nation’s 30 lakh Veterans retain an umbilical connection with the serving personnel; they hail from the same regions or neighbouring villages and many come from extended families, whom they meet when on leave. Every serviceman knows that in a few years he will become a veteran.

During the last general elections, an attempt was made to politicize Veterans issues, and seek support of one political party or the other. In this age of instant news, the essence of whatever happens at Jantar Mantar, India Gate or Rashtrapati Bhavan will be seen and heard almost instantly by the men in uniform.

India’s democracy requires that the armed forces must remain proud, professional and totally insulated from politics. The grievances of our Veterans, must, therefore, be handled with far more sensitivity and responsiveness, than they, so far, have. The need of the hour is to defuse their sense of resentment at the seeming neglect by the government. In a democracy this is easily done – by discussion and dialogue.

We must never again allow our Veterans from taking to the streets, and the best means would be to constitute a multi-party Parliamentary Commission to examine and address the full gamut of Veterans’ issues and grievances on a long-term basis. - By Adm. (Retd) Arun Prakash
===========================
(source-IESM website)

SC wants separate pay panel for forces

Pointing out that many of the armed forces personnel have returned their medals due to non-redressal of their grievances, the Supreme Court today asked the government to consider setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired members. “We feel this is necessary as the Armed Forces personnel have many grievances which they feel are not being properly addressed by the Union Govt. Many have even returned their medals,” a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and TS Thakur said in an order.

The Bench asked Attorney General GE Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to forward the suggestion to the government and get its response by October 18, the next date of hearing. The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by some serving and retired army officers challenging the government’s refusal to accord them enhanced “rank pay” as recommended by Fifth Pay Commission.
The AG and the SG “were present on behalf of the Central government.

We have made certain suggestions to them regarding setting up of an independent commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge for looking into all the grievances of the serving and former members of the Armed Forces,” the Bench noted in the order, marking a copy each to the AG and the SG. Earlier during the arguments, the Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.

Noting that the Army people who were a disciplined lot could not go on agitation like others, the Bench said forcing them to fight for their salaries was not good for the country. Citing a senior officer who burnt his artificial limb in frustration, the Bench asked the AG and the SG: “Why do you allow such things?”

The present Pay Commission headed by bureaucrats was perhaps unable to understand the problems of the personnel, the apex court observed and felt that setting up a separate commission would provide a channel for them to vent out their feelings.

The Bench slammed the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post for getting their salary disputes resolved. “The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,” it remarked.
===========================
(source - The Tribune)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces: SC to govt

New Delhi Slamming the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post on their salary disputes, the Supreme Court today directed the government to examine the idea of setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired personnel of the armed forces.  A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur, asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to seek instructions from the government as to whether it was open to the idea of a separate pay commission that could be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court. "The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country,\" the Bench said quoting Chanakya\'s advise to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.

The apex court said the sane advise of Chanakya was valid even today and it was unfortunate that army personnel are forced to knock the doors of the court for rectifying their salary anomalies. \"Army people are a disciplined lot. They cannot go on agitation like others. They should not be forced to fight for their salaries, it is not good for the country. \"It is very unfortunate that today many army people are unhappy. I know thousands of army personnel returning their medals in protest. There was an instance when a senior officer frustrated with the government\'s approach, even burnt his artificial limb as a protest. Why do you allow such things?\" the Bench said.

The apex court made the remarks while dealing with a petition filed by certain serving and retired army officers challenging the reported refusal of the government to accord them enhanced \"rank pay\" as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission. Counsel Kailash Chand and Ramesh K Haritash appeared for the army personnel. Though Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium tried to make his submission, the Bench pointed out that in recent years a number of armed forces personnel were moving the courts to get their salary grievances addressed.

\"The present Pay Commission for them is headed by bureaucrats. They may not be able to understand their problems. It is a burning issue. Why don\'t you allow them to let their steam out by appointing a Commission instead of making them move from pillar to post. You can appoint a retired Chief Justice of India or a retired Suprem Court judge,\" the Bench said.

Responding to the suggestion Subramanium said he would seek instructions from the Government on the court\'s suggestion for a separate Commission within four weeks. Accordingly, the apex court recorded the undertaking and posted the matter for further hearing to October 18.
======================
(source-express india)

SC for panel to fix jawans grievances -It Invokes Chanakyaniti,Tells Govt To Keep The Army Happy Or Invite Peril

New Delhi: Concerned over growing discontent among serving and retired armed forces personnel, highlighted by recent incidents of return of medals,burning of artificial limbs and fatricidal assaults,the Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Centre to adopt Chanakyaniti keep Army happy. We feel that armed forces personnel have many grievances which are not being properly addressed by the Union government, it said and suggested setting up of an independent commission headed by a retired judge to look into such complaints.

It will be a forum where they can air their grievances and look into anomalies in pay fixation.It will be one place where they can address their grievances,at least they do not have to run from pillar to post, the Bench said and sought a response from the Centre by October 18.The Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur made few bones of its solidarity with the soldier.Armed forces are disciplined,that is the reason why they do not protest or hold violent rallies.But they are returning medals in thousands and some have even burnt their artificial limbs in protest.They have done so much for the country.But they get a feeling now that bureaucrats do not hear them, it said.

It identified lack of grievance redressal mechanism as the key reason behind such unusual behaviour.So concerned was the Bench that it had come prepared to the court with a page downloaded from the internet,from Chanakyas advice to Chandragupta,asking the king to take good care of the army since it was crucial for the security of his kingdom.Handing over the page to attorney general G E Vahanvati and solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam,the Bench requested them to impress upon the government the need for setting up a forum headed by a retired SC judge whom the personnel could approach with their grievances.Though Vahanvati and Subramaniam reassured the SC about the measures put in place for the purpose,the Bench observed that the issue could blow up if it was sought to be brushed under the carpet.

The order came on a writ petition filed by a dozen retired Army generals and colonels who were demanding their entitlement to rank pay under the Fourth Pay Commission.Arguing for the petitioners,advocate B B Trikha said almost 60-70,000 personnel in the defence forces were being deprived of this for over two decades.We are not begging but claiming entitlement of our hard earned money when we served in the force, Trikha said.Subramaniam said the rank pay ranged from Rs 100-1,200 per month depending on the rank,but since the amount was claimed from the time of Fourth Pay Commission,its implementation had implication on all ranks apart from the financial burden.
===========================
(source-toi)

Form separate Pay Commission for armed forces: SC to govt

Slamming the Centre for making army personnel run from pillar to post on their salary disputes, the Supreme Court today directed the government to examine the idea of setting up a separate Pay Commission for both serving and retired personnel of the armed forces.  A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur, asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to seek instructions from the government as to whether it was open to the idea of a separate pay commission that could be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court. "The day the soldiers are forced to fight for their salaries, it would be a sad day for the country," the Bench said quoting Chanakya's advise to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. The apex court said the sane advise of Chanakya was valid even today and it was unfortunate that army personnel are forced to knock the doors of the court for rectifying their salary anomalies.

"Army people are a disciplined lot. They cannot go on agitation like others. They should not be forced to fight for their salaries, it is not good for the country. "It is very unfortunate that today many army people are unhappy. I know thousands of army personnel returning their medals in protest. There was an instance when a senior officer frustrated with the government's approach, even burnt his artificial limb as a protest. Why do you allow such things?" the Bench said.

The apex court made the remarks while dealing with a petition filed by certain serving and retired army officers challenging the reported refusal of the government to accord them enhanced "rank pay" as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission. Counsel Kailash Chand and Ramesh K Haritash appeared for the army personnel. Though Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium tried to make his submission, the Bench pointed out that in recent years a number of armed forces personnel were moving the courts to get their salary grievances addressed.

"The present Pay Commission for them is headed by bureaucrats. They may not be able to understand their problems. It is a burning issue. Why don't you allow them to let their steam out by appointing a Commission instead of making them move from pillar to post. You can appoint a retired Chief Justice of India or a retired Suprem Court judge," the Bench said.

Responding to the suggestion Subramanium said he would seek instructions from the Government on the court's suggestion for a separate Commission within four weeks. Accordingly, the apex court recorded the undertaking and posted the matter for further hearing to October 18.
=====================
(source-Deccan Herald)

Monday, September 6, 2010

HONORARY GP CAPT RANK TO SACHIN TENDULKAR

 ALL VETERAN BROTHERS MAY LIKE  TO CLICK THIS VIDEO  AND SEE,  THAT THE IAF HAD HONOURED SACHIN TENDULKAR WITH A HONOARY RANK OF GP CAPT RANK ON 3.9.10.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


(source-aggi jottings)

Friday, September 3, 2010

One Rank, One Pension’ denial makes M.P. refuse pay hike

Independent MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar, recently became the only Member of Parliament to decline the proposed salary hike for MPs, protesting the Government of India’s inaction on One Rank, One Pension issue for former members of the Indian defence services. Chandrashekhar, a businessman who first made his billion in telecom, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that there is need to resolve long-pending demand from armed forces veterans. In this interview with Rediff.com’s  Vicky Nanjappa, Chandrashekhar explains the reasons for his stand and spells out his next course of action.

***Do you think that rejecting the salary hike has set a precedent for other MPs to follow suit?

@ My decision to decline the salary hike till the government re-examines the long-pending One Rank, One Pension issue is a personal one, and consistent with my long-standing belief and position on this issue. I could not get myself to accept a 300 per cent salary hike when armed forces veterans are forced to take to streets demanding equitable treatment for their pension. I would be very happy if public awareness and outrage is ignited as a result of this and our political leadership is then spurred into action. That would be an acceptable and happy outcome to this.

… I am aware of one or two very senior bureaucrats who have taken it upon themselves to ‘teach these protesting veterans a lesson’ and have blocked and diluted every effort by the political leadership to give this long overdue honour to the veterans and servicemen.

***How has the prime minister responded to your action?

@ Well, the letter has reached the honourable prime minister, though I am yet to get a response.

***Why do you think the prime minister has ignored such an important issue?

@ I have met the prime minister/defence minister on a number of occasions to discuss this issue and the honour and recognition associated with it that the veterans seek. Both the PM and the defence minister have communicated their complete support to this principle, but seem to be relying on their senior bureaucrats, who, it seems, have a long-standing animosity and track record of obstructing the uniformed forces and veterans.

As for the salary hike for MPs, I believe that MPs must be compensated better; that would allow them to serve the people they represent better, and they would not have to depend on other sources to supplement their income.

***Who is more to blame for the delay on the One Rank, One Pension issue — politicians or bureaucrats?

@ There is a long-standing resentment on the part of bureaucrats towards servicemen because of the respect that society gives to the veterans and servicemen. More recently, I am aware of one or two very senior bureaucrats who have taken it upon themselves to ‘teach these protesting veterans a lesson’ and have blocked and diluted every effort by the political leadership to give this long overdue honour to the veterans and servicemen.

***Have you received support from any MP from any party on this issue?

@ The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has unambiguously and unanimously endorsed the OROP and recommended the same to the Government of India. There is widespread support for OROP amongst MPs across political parties.

***What is the next course of action in case the government does not go ahead with the One Rank One Pension scheme?

@ I hope this does not come to pass. I hope the government realises the dangerous implications of taking this approach to a legitimate request of izzat (honour) by the veterans who have served this nation for many years. I shall continue to raise public and political awareness of these dangers and of the deliberate, obstructive approach by a few bureaucrats.

***In Karnataka you have taken up the cause of the War Memorial in Bengaluru. Any reason for an affinity towards ex-servicemen?

@ Firstly, I am the son of a service officer and have lived my childhood and part of my adult life in the company of servicemen and their families — serving and retired.

I have grown up admiring and respecting the strong ethos of national service and duty, ‘nation-before-self’ attitude, valour and sacrifices made by the soldiers and their families.

Where in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, citizens and the government give tremendous respect and support to their armed forces, it pains me to see that our country, our government and a large number of our citizens being unaware and unappreciative of the bravery and sacrifices made by armed forces personnel.

It is my honour and privilege to be associated with the Karnataka government’s National Military Memorial Park in Bengaluru, the first such memorial in post-Independence India.
======================
(Courtesy: Rediff.com - IDR)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speech by her Excellency the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil Addressing the Defence Personnel

"My dear soldiers,

I have just visited a site affected by the cloudburst and the resultant flash floods in Ladakh, in which many lives were lost, many suffered injuries and a number of people went missing. There has been extensive damage to property. In this difficult hour all of us are with the people of Ladakh. My deepest sympathies go out to those who have lost their loved ones and to those including the uniformed personnel who have suffered during this calamity. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was here a few days earlier. I join him in assuring that no effort will be spared in relief and rehabilitation work.

Natural calamities and disasters are a reminder of the forces of nature. I am proud that during these difficult times the Armed Forces acquitted themselves commendably and gave an account of unprecedented courage, selfless devotion and unparalleled dedication involving themselves in relief, rescue and re-construction efforts. My appreciation goes out to the doctors from the Army who responded whole heartedly, and treated casualties much beyond the normal handling capacity in the Army Hospital. I also commend the special efforts made to locate missing personnel and rescue of the stranded, including foreign tourists. Your hardwork and sustained efforts, undertaken in co-ordination with local authorities, have helped in the restoration of road and signal communications, electricity, water supply and other essential services. Every call for help by the locals was answered positively and admirably by our brave soldiers. You must continue with this work, as the damage has been widespread and, moreover before the onset of winter, much work needs to be done to help rebuild the homes and lives of the people of Ladakh.

It gives me great satisfaction to see the confidence exuding in your faces, despite braving the fury of nature. Seeing your spirit, I am impressed with your determination and courage. It is commendable that under such trying circumstances, you have been able to maintain a high degree of morale and unblemished professionalism. All of you braving the extreme odds of nature, facing the vagaries of hostile weather and terrain conditions, are the sentinels of our country. The climatic and topographic conditions in this region are the most demanding in the world. However, you all brave soldiers have never dithered. The lofty heights in some places of 21,000 feet may appear daunting to the most daring mountaineers, but you are deployed in these high altitudes for prolonged periods without any fear, braving the hypoxic conditions and bearing physical, mental and psychological hardships.

I feel proud to say that you have faced all wars in a commendable manner. Your acts of gallantry, courage and fortitude in Chushul, Rezangia, Siachen, Kargil and other areas are a testimony to the indomitable spirit of the brave Indian solider. I have no doubt that the security of the nation is safe in your capable hands, and you will guard the nation's frontiers under the most daunting conditions.

The Armed Forces have always assured the citizens of their safety and security against internal as well as external threats. I wish to compliment each one of you and all of you for your sincerity, dedication, selflessness and enthusiasm shown each time you are called upon to do so by the nation. I exhort each one of you to always remain ready to deal with any challenge. Your work, your discipline and your high level of commitment are admired by all citizens of this country. I bring to you their good wishes as well as my own. I wish all of you and your families - happiness, well-being and the very best in life."
***AD/SKS ***
========================
(source-PIB)