Sunday, February 21, 2016

Downgrading the military is bad for nation's health - By: Nitin A. Gokhale

Sunday, 21 February 2016 

In the last 48 hours, the Indian army is once again in the news. One, for its deployment in Haryana to control the Jat agitation in the state which spiraled out of control, thanks to inept political and administrative handling. And two, losing a young officer, a para-commando officer—who incidentally was a graduate from the Jawaharlal Nehru University—in an on-going operation in Kashmir. It is not clear if the para-military forces—CRPF and BSF—were deployed in Haryana after the police lost control over the situation but what is evident is that increasingly, the Army is being called in to deal with what essentially are law and order situations. The decision to deploy the Army in Haryana at the first indication of trouble instead of using it as the last resort is debatable but given that the agitators were hell bent on destruction of public property and indiscriminate violence, perhaps the decision was unavoidable.

The Army has in the past done whatever job it has been assigned to do and will continue to do so in the future too, its reservations on certain aspects of decision-making notwithstanding but what hurts the men in olive green is the continuing attempts to downgrade the Army’s status and constantly downplay its contribution to the national effort. The award of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC)—thankfully only a recommendation so far not accepted by the government–is a case in point. It seeks to place the Army at par or below the central armed police forces (CAPFs) through granting lower grade pay and lesser allowances. This is harmful to the Army–and the nation in the process–in the long run for several reasons.

Progressive degradation of status of Armed Forces personnel has had alarming adverse impact on self esteem of personnel and hence their operational effectiveness. International Journal of Management and Social Sciences Research (IJMSSR) in its issue of 12 Dec 2013 listed the findings of its research stating that only eight per cent of youth surveyed opted to join Armed Forces as against 58 per cent choosing to join other Central government services although Armed Forces Officers cadre constitutes 72 per cent of all Group A and All India Services strength. Though not being spoken formally, the following facts are undeniable if the current trend continues.
  • Shortage of officers in Armed Forces will be extremely difficult to be fully mitigated.

  • Self Esteem of those joining as officers, is taking a hit quickly after joining. This, despite many in-house measures, is reflected in relatively lower morale and less than desired level of commitment of younger generation officers.

  • Owing to large scale unemployment, intake of recruits (as Jawans) has not declined yet, their quality and amenability to discipline and of being shaped into combatants with high degree of commitment and sacrifice, has been declining by the day. So far significant numbers have been responding positively to the quality of leadership by the officer cadre. However, with declining self esteem of officer cadre itself, their collective capacity at stemming the rot and keep jawans motivated, is eroding. Increasing numbers have already begun displaying unwillingness to serve beyond initial period of engagement. This trend is already affecting retention of skilled manpower, adversely.
And this despite the fact that personnel of Armed Forces, on an average, incur Least Lifetime Cost to the Government on account of the following:-
  • Largest numbers serve for shortest period and retire early (between ages of 35 yrs to 54 yrs). Hence, draw least per capita government salary.
  • During entire career, they serve maximum time in junior ranks and least time in senior ranks hence, draw lower salaries for maximum portion of career.

  • Owing to combination of both of above (largest numbers retiring early and in lower ranks), their last pay drawn is much lower than civilian counterparts. Pension, though being 50 per cent of Last Pay Drawn as applicable to all, pension amount of Armed Forces personnel is much lower.
And yet, as an Instrument of last resort, the demands on the armed forces are significantly higher in terms of proficiency, commitment and sense of sacrifice. Armed forces being ‘Instrument of Last Resort’ do not have the luxury of ‘failing’ or handing over adverse situation to any other government agency. This singular fact demands of its personnel much higher degrees of commitment, leadership, risk taking, proficiency in multiple technological and tactical skills and willingness to sacrifice.

It is therefore imperative that armed forces should at least be considered ‘First amongst Uniformed Services’. Unfortunately, the 7th CPC has not considered this and placed Defence Personnel even below the Indian Police Service (IPS) by awarding them two additional increments at 4, 9 & 13 years Service (now at par with IAS) while military personnel continue to get only one increment each at 2, 6 & 13 years Service. Overall, taking pay and allowances cumulatively, the 7th CPC has further placed Armed Forces either at par or below CAPF.

This faulty award is because of faulty assumptions and inadequate Appreciation of Actual Roles and Required Degree of Proficiency & Risks. For instance, equating of CoBRA unit of CRPF with ‘Special Forces’ and assuming their hardship & risk as more severe than ‘Airborne Forces – Para units,’ reflects gross ignorance of roles, desired proficiency levels & attendant risks of various components of Armed Forces and the CAPF. Consider 7th CPC recommending ‘Risk & Hardship Allowance’ for National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel when employed in disaster relief. Since Disaster Relief is the only role assigned to the NDRF, how can the organization seek extra allowance over & above their salary for doing their primary and only task? By this logic, ask the armed forces personnel, why shouldn’t the military be awarded special allowance when called out to aid civil authority during disasters which is not its primary task?

It’s time a thorough review is done in the way we as a nation compensate our soldiers. Otherwise, one of our most admired institutions is bound to face decay that will come at the cost of nation’s security.

(Source- ABP Live) 


18 comments:

  1. The GOI wants to make the Armed Forces an use and throw instrument amount its government wings. Pay less when they are young and able and get fresh ones when these are older by 10-15 years. The cheap and best will be our National Security. With this the pension load too will be nil.

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  2. Dear sir,

    many well written articles are set afloat in terms of country future security and degradation of army cadre, it is like blowing conch shells into the ear of deaf and dumb man, he is not able to comprehend what is happening because of his incapacitation , now all politicians and babus are physically sound to hear and take prompt action, they will not do so, something radical activity emerges they may come to understand. first man in the cabinet to be removed is mr arun jaitlely, unfit to handle the situation. during UPA government pension have been hiked thrice roughly 5000 rs in the basic structure

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  3. Gokhale sir,your observations are a revelation and an eye opener for goi to increase salary and status of armed forces personnel,there are some more points I would like to bring to yr attention that never in any developed country an army so strong at so low prices that the goi is paying,look at the accommodation food etc,I served for 20 yrs with one blanket one durry in areas as diverse as nefa,wagha border leh and in Delhi,I think a rikshaw puller is provided better amenities by his employer,I am of course talking abt the cookie sipahies of Indian Army and not abt officers.

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  4. A very well written and timely article. By the time this article of Nitin has come on the net, unfortunately one more captain has sacrificed his life in the same operation. It is is surprising the terrorists targeted the CRPF , where were their COBRAS commandos who are suppose d to be more elite and tough than the army S F commandos as it has been recommended to pay them (Cobra) higher allowances than the SF. We have never heard of them being employed on such missions loosing life unlike S F commandos. It seems either the army commanders are over exposing their commandos or the CRPF is shying to use their cobras( Commandos). The worst fall out of the present atmosphere created by the O R O P and 7th C P C issues is that the authority of the officers in defence forces is going to be questioned by their subordinates in future. It will be dooms day for the Defences Forces. As a nation we have to understand that the army leadership has to motivate his command to move ahead and capture / destroy the enemy, where the chances of loosing own life is eminent. It can only be achieved when the soldier has unflinching and unquestionable faith in his commanders and loyalty to his Unit and the nation. It is not that simple as the people not in Olive Green perceive

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  5. Already, the government played spoil sport in diluting the image of the Armed Forces by being different to OROP to the veterans and new thinking on PMR/VRS. Further the so called 7CPC recommendations make the Armed Forces as an unattractive service. If at all the government decodes to run the Forces with Short Service Commissioned Officers, only way is to make entry to the All India Services through a compulsory service as an SS Officer with relevant interviews there after they were relived. This will be two birds in one shot. The pension burden will be drastically reduced, and the AI Cadre will be toughened as compared to the present lot. Be sure to get the entry n to All Ndia Services through the SS Officer lot alone.

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  6. What 'down grading' the author refers to here. Jawans are being treated worse than a Municipal Jadoowala in Army.
    Just ask yourself whom do I command after all? Do I need
    a IAS or IPS status to be Jadoowalas' commander?

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    Replies
    1. I think u have put it so squareley that no more agitation is reqd for nfu OROP etc,and of course wt abt in service trg to improve knowledge of ORs?be silent,what trg and who to give it?thejhadoo commandeers?look at Japanese army you morons and their NCO and jco trg programme and eat their shit,no improvement in NCO jco STD in 60 yrs and am talking abt army,AF and navy some what better,I bet uaska sub Maj abt army main weapon name and he may not be knowing who made it

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    2. Very nice. Mixed with humour and fact.

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  7. Mr Modi and Parrikar think that Armed Forces means guns, tanks, aircrafts, submarines, ships and such equipment. We veterans are fighting to impress upon them that men are required to operate those war machines and they require a bold and generous heart to sacrifice their lives in the process. But they fail to understand why majority of them live to claim OROP now. Besides scrapping the PMR, on retirement they may propose an novel idea, the 'euthanasia' to those surviving and retiring soldiers/airmen and the sailors. With that, the pension burden in future will be lessened once for all.

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  8. The UPA- Govt had taken decision at a time implementation of 6 CPC during year 2009. And have divided been 2 structure Pre-2006 and Post 2006 in connection of Entity of Disability Element Who are retired in Account of PMR/VR in same Manner and Fixed cut off date between Pre & Post 2006. Now Post 2006 retirees are entity for Disability Element 'who have chooses PMR/VR before and retired before terms of engagement' In same circumstances bounded to those 'who had retired before the policy of Goi' and Many pre-2006 Disabled retirees deprived from this scheme due to effectiveness of policy. In my view any Govt had comes with the policy for controlling of Fund & budget due minimize of finance, But policy should bring by any Govt ' Who are beneficiary of both. Hence' there are no more difference/ comparative filling between UPA & NDA Govt.

    All are one . According to decision of Govt' those would be effective PMR / VR personnel's' who will retired after Govt notification by Month of Nov-2015. The one so Govt have taken good actions' has have Pre- informed for further planing to those' Who will retired further in future. But ' In same manner in connection of pre-2006 retirees bounded for Disability Element' through cutoff date and divided in two Group pre & post. Post 2006 retirees continued getting the benefit of this scheame' But in same pre-2006 deprived from this benefit. However' .the case under waiting in judiciary for disposal of litigation.

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  9. Now the Time has come to hand over all these guns n tanks , aircrafts and other fighting equipments to the Shameless netas and bureaucrats and let them operate, their hurt will come out through their throat even by pressing the trigger of a canon or HMG. But they will never understand the necessity of Soldiers except the time when there will be no soldier and their will be no country to be ruled by these jokers. Again that time they will recruit the soldiers on High salaries and will re-start downgrading them year by years . They (netas) thnik that all the property of Nation is their Father property and they only are authorised to use it and not the fauji,s . Faujis are just to guard them. Shame of such thoughts of Politicians.

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  10. Now the Time has come to hand over all these guns n tanks , aircrafts and other fighting equipments to the Shameless netas and bureaucrats and let them operate, their hurt will come out through their throat even by pressing the trigger of a canon or HMG. But they will never understand the necessity of Soldiers except the time when there will be no soldier and their will be no country to be ruled by these jokers. Again that time they will recruit the soldiers on High salaries and will re-start downgrading them year by years . They (netas) thnik that all the property of Nation is their Father property and they only are authorised to use it and not the fauji,s . Faujis are just to guard them. Shame of such thoughts of Politicians.

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  11. What does it means to maitain group system pension among jco/or? It is rediculous to uphold the motive of this nda govt "sab ke saath sab ka vikaas" We are still where we were in1947. While in service its ok x y z but after retirement all are equal. So the govt must very quickly sync with 7 cpc , groupless pension procedure among the jco/or like officers.

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  12. सूबेदार को सुबेदार मेजर से ६०० रूपये ज्यादा पेनशन दी जा रही है । ये कैसी ऐक रंक ऐक पेनशन है ।

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  13. सूबेदार को सुबेदार मेजर से ६०० रूपये ज्यादा पेनशन दी जा रही है । ये कैसी ऐक रंक ऐक पेनशन है ।

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  14. Sub Major may be granted the pension of Major.

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  15. Very good idea you've shared here, from here I can be a very valuable new experience. all things that are here will I make the source of reference, ,servicenow training in hyderabad

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