Thursday, October 19, 2017

Grant of Special Pension under Regulation 95 of Navy (Pension) Regulations, 1964 - Implementation of Hon’ble Supreme Court order


F.No. 4/10/2017/D(P/L) 
Government of India 
Ministry of Defence 
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare 
D (Pension/Legal) 
*****
Sena Bhawan, New Delhi 
Dated 26th September, 2017
To 
The Chief of the Naval Staff 

Subject: - Implementation of Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 27.10.2016 passed in Civil Appeal No. 2147/2011 and 8566/2014 for grant of Special Pension under Regulation 95 of Navy (Pension) Regulations, 1964
------------

I am directed to refer to the above cited Hon’ble Supreme Court order and to convey sanction of the competent authority for grant of special pension under Regulation 95 of Navy (Pension) Regulations, 1964 to the Sailors appointed prior to 03rd July, 1976 and discharged on or after 03rd July, 1976 on expiry of 10 years of active service, subject to the following conditions:

(a) The Ex-Sailor was not and could not be drafted to Fleet Reserve Service because of the discontinuation of the Policy. 

(b) The Ex-Sailor did not exercise the option to take discharge on expiry of engagement period i.e. the Sailor opted for retention in active service, but not granted extension to qualify for pensionable service. 

2. Arrears to be paid w.e.f. three years preceding the date of filing of application by respective Ex-Sailors, along with interest on the arrears @ 9% pa. as per the Court order under reference. 

3. - The amount of Gratuity and DCRG paid be adjusted against the amount payable. Necessary PPO may be issued immediately. 

4. The expenditure incurred on this account will be paid under Charged Expenditure and be debited to the relevant Head of account. 

5. This issues with the concurrence of MoD(Finance) vide their iD No.17(06)/2017/Fin/Pen dated 8th Sept 2017.

(R.K. Arora) 
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India 

Click on Image to view/download signed pdf
special-pension-under-navy-pension-regulations


(Source: http://www.staffnews.in/2017/10/grant-of-special-pension-under.html#ixzz4vxGWGglk ) 

LATEST RTI INFO ON OROP - OMJC REPORT : LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.4992BY SHRI DEEPENDER SINGH HOODA MP

Ministry of Defence, DESW reply to :


Lok Sabha Provisional Starred Question Dy No. 23471 admitted as Unstarred Questions No. 4992 by Shri Deepender Singh Hooda, MP (Lok Sabha) for answer on 31.03.2017 regarding Judicial Committee on OROP. 



2.      The text of the question is as under: -



(a)     The objective of forming a one man judicial committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP);



          (b)     The details of the key recommendations of the Committee;



(c)     Whether the Government has implemented the recommendations of the Committee;



       (d)     If so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefore;  and 



(e)     The time by which the report is going to be made available in the public domain?In regard to part (a) to (e) of the Starred question of Lok Sabha, it may be replied as

“The Judicial Committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP) was appointed to look into the anomalies arising out of the implementation of OROP. The Committee has submitted its Report to Government on 26.10.2016 which is still under examination.”

AND THE LATEST ......

A meeting was held on 11.07.2017 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri to review the status of OROP payment’s report submitted by OMJC to the Govt and orders were issued on 19.07.2017 constituting an Internal Committee to examine the recommendations of OMJC with respect to feasibility and financial aspects and the Committee will submit its report within two months.

and the stipulated 2 months period ended on 11.9.2017, another month on 11.10.2017..and still counting .................. 

(Source :Aerial view blog -  https://sharad10525.blogspot.in/2017/10/the-omjc-saga-next-episode.html )

Wishing the Honourable Defence Minister/Raksha Mantri a Happy Diwali


Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Dear Honourable Defence Minister/Raksha Mantri,

          Vanakkam

          My family (of about 18 lakh Family Pensioners and Pensioners of the Armed Forces and their families) join me in wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali.

          This is my first letter to any Defence Minister/Raksha Mantri because I read in the media reports of your teaching the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) how to say “Namaste.” I am sure you will use sorely need your teaching skills in the Ministry of Defence.

On the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights, there is widespread gloom and ominous silence (which has nothing to with the Apex Court’s ban on fire crackers) in the houses of Veterans and Family pensioners.

Your esteemed self might wish to ask, “So what does that have to do with my teaching skills?” You will need them, as I said earlier, to teach the MoD’s Department of Ex-Serviceman, the Defence (Finance) and Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) something called truth, welfare and care for the families and Veterans who have given life, limb and decades of their lives in the service of the nation, that is India.

The answer lies in subsequent paragraphs on just one of the many aspects of suffering that family pensioners and Veterans have endured, especially being shown the light of the (ever lengthening) tunnel by promises made in Rewari in September 2013.

On 6th July 2017, that is more than three months prior to Diwali, the Civilian pensioners of the Govt of India were rewarded for services rendered by the Department of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare providing them with Concordance tables for revising their pensions (F No. 38/37/2016-P & PW (A) dated 6th July 2017 refers).

To the matter at hand, in reply to RTI online request for information registration No. DEXSW/R/2017/ 50548 dated 31st August 2017 on the progress of issue of concordance tables for Armed Forces pensioners, the Deptt of Ex-Servicemen replied vide No. 237/RTI/D (P/P)/2014 dated 13th September 2017 that the  above mentioned concordance tables had been sent to CGDA vide PB to ID No. 17(1)/2016- D(Pen/Pol) dated 13th July 2017 for further necessary action.  

As the O/o CGDA did not deign to provide a reply to a simultaneous RTI online request for information on concordance tables vide registration number CGDFA/R/2017/50306 dated 31st July 2017, a First Appeal registration No. CGDFA/A/2017/60061 dated 13thSeptember 2017 was filed.

In the order No. CPIO/AT/2017/HQ/I/328/Appeal dated 11thOctober 2017, the First Appellate Authority of the o/o CGDA communicated online on 12th October 2017, stating that the “desired concordance tables for notional fixation pay of Armed Forces pensioners are awaited from the Ministry of Defence.” 

It may be relevant to note that the PCDA (Pension), a subordinate office of the CGDA has issued Circular No. 585 dated 21stSeptember 2017, quoting GoI (MoD) letter No. 17 (01)/2017/(02)/D(Pension/Policy) dated 5th September 2017! And Para 3 of the Circular states, inter-alia, “Revised pension/family pension of all Armed Forces Personnel who retired/died prior to 01.01.2016 shall be revised by fixing their pay in the pay matrix recommended by the 7thCPC in the level corresponding to the pay scale/pay band and grade pay at which they retired/died……”

And the same Para 3 is repeated in yet another circular (with no number) issued by PCDA (Pension) vide letter No. G-1/M/01/ICOs/7thCPC/Vol. II/2017 dated 29th September 2017.

The Armed Forces pensioners and Family pensioners will continue to suffer in silence for a few more months to get the correct pensions. 

On the other hand, the civilian staff of the MoD enjoy a well lit Diwali along with Defence Civil Pensioners, who have been granted the enhanced pension forthwith vide Para 5  of PCDA (Pension) Circular C-169 dated 11th July 2017.

So, honourable Defence Minister, now you understand why I request you to teach the officers in MoD and its affiliates like O/o CGDA to treat Armed Forces pensioners with the same alacrity as they have done with Defence Civilian pensioners.

Satyam Ev Jayate is the nation’s motto. Should it also not be applicable to the MoD and CGDA’s officers?
 
Happy Diwali

Jai Hind

(Source : Aerial view blog - https://sharad10525.blogspot.in/ )

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Happy Deepavali 2017 : Things Everyone Should Know About {Diwali}

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Diwali is the Hindu Festival which is celebrated every year in the month of October or November. This year Diwali in 2017 will be celebrated on 19th October. The Word “Diwali” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” which means a row of light. Diwali is also known as “Dipotsavam” which means “Festival of Lights”. Not just India, it is also an official Festivals in many countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Suriname, etc.  Diwali 2017 is a symbol of victory of Light over Darkness and Good over Evil.

Why is Diwali Celebrated? 

Why do Hindu’s Celebrates Diwali?


Diwali is a Five-day Celebration, there are many reasons Diwali2017 is celebrated and they are listed Below:


  1. Homecoming of Lord Ram: One of the most important reasons to celebrate Diwali is the return of Lord Ram, Lakshman, and Maa Sita to their Kingdom “Ayodhya” after defeating the Devil King “Ravan”. On this day people ofAyodhayawelcomed their King Lord Ram and decorated the entire city with earthen Lamps “Diyas”.

  2. Lord Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the 4th Day of DiwaliFestival Lord Krishna defeated the Demon Narakaasur and rescued more than 16k women from his slavery. 

3.      Goddess Lakshmi: There is a belief that on the day of Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) arrives at the home of the people and bless them Wealth, Luck, and Prosperity. That’s a reason people worship Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Ganesh.


Why do Sikhs celebrate Diwali?


Sikhs on the day of Diwali celebrates Bandi Chhor Divas, on this day Guru Har Gobind freed himself along with few Hindu Kings from the prison of Mughals and arrived at the Harmandir Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple), from that day Sikhs celebrates Bandi Chhor Divas. The Golden Temple is decorated with special lightings, Fireworks, etc.


Why do Jains Celebrates Diwali?


Diwali 2017 is also an important day for Jains across the world. Jains celebrate Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira. On Diwali morning people prays to Mahavira and offers Nirvana ladoo in Jain temples.


Why do Buddhist Celebrates Diwali?


In Nepal, Newar Buddhist Celebrates Diwali same way as Hindu Celebrates. It is also known as Diwali – Tihar festival. Newar Buddhist also prays to Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu on Diwali.


Diwali 2017


Diwali is the most awaited and happiest festival in India and Nepal. On this day, people renovate, paints and clean their homes, decorates them for DiwaliDiwali is also the biggest shopping season in India, people purchase new clothes for themselves and families, exchanges gifts, electronics sales are at peak during this time. Many companies and shopkeepers also give discounts to people to attracts customers to themselves and to maximize sales and profit.


People working in different cities or country take a leave from their job as well as the students studying in the hostels also takes a leave from the schools because everyone wants to celebrate Diwali  2017 with their family members in the hometown. The trains, buses and even the airplanes are full on this season. That’s why people book the tickets before the season begins.


During Diwali 2017 people also purchase gifts for their friends and relatives, especially sweets and Dry-fruits. Women’s decorates the home and makes a beautiful Rangoli on floors of the home or near doorsteps. People also use electronic lights, diyas (earthen lamps) to remove every darkness of their home and welcome the Goddess Laxmi. In evening people pray to Lord Ganesh and Goddess Laxmi for Health, Wealth, and Prosperity in life. And later, light the firecrackers, they cook delicious foods and mouth-watering sweets for Happy Diwali festival. People play many games such as card games, dice, dance, music, etc. And light the firecrackers after the prayers.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A few suggestions, offered in good faith, in my personal capacity, because I Like the Raksha Mantri : Air Chief Marshal PV Naik (Retd)


I DO NOT know why but I like the new RM. I have tried to analyse the reason. She looks sincere and she has worked hard in her previous ministry. I first saw her as the Party spokesperson. She exhibited logic, patience and a good command over both Hindi and English. Her fighting spirit, toughness and bulldog tenacity were there for all to see. In effect she became a prominent public figure during the run up to the 2014 elections. Then she was given independent charge of Commerce and Industry ministry. 
What surprised me was that after becoming a junior Minister, she totally vanished off the TV screen. To me this showed simplicity and good judgement. Her appointment as RM was, indeed, a pleasant surprise.
The RM has done her graduation and Masters in economics. I expect her to be peripherally aware of Defence issues as much as any other Minister. Now the whole ‘khichdi’ is in her lap. She is a Cabinet Minister. She is a member of the CCS. Everybody will be watching her performance because she is the first lady to take charge of the Defence set up. 
Many would like her to stumble and fail. I am sure many more would like her to succeed. By now, definitely she is up to her ears in files and briefings and every second person must be telling her what to do and what to watch out for. 
It is a tough field. There has been a lack of continuity and the problems are pressing. The timing is such that I do not envy her. 
I would like to help, in my own little way, if I may.
Ma’am, the first thing you must have realised is that you do not have a lot of time. The General Eelections are less than two years away. 
Hence it is vital to prioritise issues that can be dealt with in this time frame. 
The second facet to understand is that the Defence Ministry is unlike any other. 
All other ministries have a singularity of purpose. All members of the ministry work towards the same aim. 
In your Ministry it is ‘us’ versus ‘them’. Through the Seventies, Eighties and the Nineties, the bureaucracy continued to acquire disproportionate powers vis-à-vis the Service Chiefs. The bureaucracy conveniently points to the “Government of India Transaction of Business Rules” framed in 1961 under the constitutional powers of the President of India. These documents continue to guide the conduct of business by the Government of India. 
It is instructive to read the document. Under these rules, the three Service headquarters were designated as “Attached Offices of the Department of Defence”, and are therefore placed in a position subordinate to the DoD. The Service Chiefs, as professional heads of the three Armed Forces and with an experience garnered over a period of at least four decades, found no mention in these rules. The Secretary Department of Defence on the other hand, according to these rules, is responsible for Defence of India and every part thereof including preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective Demobilisation. 
It is, in fact, a crying need that the Armed Forces must be integrated with MOD and become a part of the decision making apparatus. We should start small, say at Director level, and make it work before taking it further. This, ma’am, is the first step. Without this, the rest is cosmetic – just ‘lipstick’.
The next step is to ‘see the lie of the land’. You must visit Siachen. Visit Tawang and Arunachal. Visit Nagaland. Visit forward areas in Rajasthan. Go to the forward units. Mingle with soldiers. Share a cup of tea in an enamel mug. Eat fresh pakodas in a cracked plate. 
Do not give them speeches but talk to them and listen to them. 
You will get an idea of their life spent in the service of the nation. Appreciate the hardships. Please visit the forward Air Force and Naval bases. The aim is to gain the trust of the soldier. 
Promise them only what you can deliver. But deliver on your promises.
Learn to trust your Chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. These are officers who have been through the mill for almost four decades. They carry a wealth of knowledge and experience in matters pertaining to military security. Harness this wealth. Give them easy access to your office. I can, personally, vouch for all three, ma’am. Their loyalty is already absolute. As a corollary, you, too, must gain their trust. I am sure you have already started having briefings every morning. 
May I suggest you avoid this temptation. Do not concern yourself with routine. 
Nothing would please the bureaucracy more than to tie you up with routine and the mundane. I think a weekly meeting with the Def sec & the Chiefs would suffice, but do minute these meetings for follow up. 
For military grievances, ask military advice. For a solution, involve both the military and the babus. 
Please, for heavens’ sakes, do not take military decisions based solely on the shadow files created by Babus. Do consult the Chiefs.
The premier need of all three Services today is equipment – Tanks, guns, aircraft, ships, weapons, ammo. Please give it top priority. May I sincerely urge you not to fiddle around with DPP. Instead, remove the blockages. Find out who is responsible for delay and let the heads roll. Today’s procurement cycle is about six to eight years. 
The PM’s policy of ‘Make in India’ is vital for us. In the two odd years available to you, try to clear the way for Private sector to participate in Defence production. Try to create a level playing field. They are ever so willing to contribute. 
Ma’am, I would urge you to view HAL and DRDO with more than a modicum of concern. They are monolithic and need critical surgery. Ideally, they need to be sub-divided into manageable entities under professional management. 
Presently, just make them more accountable. The serious business, leave it for your longer innings.
Many will try to convince you that a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is the answer to all ills, a sort of panacea. May I suggest you not touch this subject even with a long barge pole. You do not have the time. 
Of course, a CDS is required in six or eight years’ time. After WWII almost every country had some sort of a CDS. The jointness, however, was conspicuous by its absence. 
In UK it was the Iron Lady, Maggie Thatcher, threatening dire consequences, that brought in a reluctant jointness. In the US they had to enact the Goldwater- Nichols Act through the Congress. 
Do you have the time? Best leave it to the second innings. The mantra should be re-equip and re-arm. Reforms can be taken up later.
I should like to paraphrase a passage from Chanakya’s advice to his king. 
“If ever things come to a sordid pass, O King, when, on a given day, the Mauryan soldier has to LOOK BACK over his shoulder (‘Simhawalokana’) prompted by even a single nagging worry about his and his family’s material, physical and social well being, it should cause you and your Council the greatest concern and distress! It is my bounden duty to caution you, My Lord, that the day when the Mauryan soldier has to demand his dues or, worse, plead for them, will neither have arrived suddenly, overnight nor in vain. It will also bode ill for Magadha. For then, on that day, you, My Lord, will have lost all moral sanction to be Rajadhiraja! It will also mark the beginning of the end of the Mauryan Empire!!”
I think Chanakya brings out very clearly what the society owes a soldier. His self respect must never be trifled with. Do not be lulled by the term’ equivalence’. A soldier’s task is a thousand times more onerous. The rest, ma’am I leave to your decency and judgement.
I saw pictures of your visit to the Navy. You also launched an all women sailing expedition to circumnavigate the globe. Perfectly fine. 
Just a small reminder. You are a lady RM and not a ladies’ RM. You are a soldier’s RM, both men and women. My wife says she has tremendous faith in you. In fact, I speak for all soldiers. 
We have high hopes in you. Whether you tow the Party line or represent the soldier constituency only time will tell. 
Let me candidly share with you, ma’am. Win a soldier’s trust and see what it feels like. It is a fantastic feeling.
God forbid that I should ever be so presumptuous as to offer advice to anyone holding such a high station. Shared above are just a few suggestions, offered in good faith, in my personal capacity, because I like the RM.

(Source : Via Gp e-mail from Col  NK Balakrishnan (Retd)&  http://www.indiastrategic.in/2 017/10/08/i-like-the-raksha-ma ntri/ )
 

Why downgrading the military will hit the Modi government hard The nation and its people will pay it back in the same coin in the next elections : Maj Gen Harsha Kakar (Retd)

Attempts to downgrade status of the armed forces has been an ongoing process ever since Independence. At the time of independence, there was mutual dislike between the polity and the Army, which was exploited by the civil services. The Army had been a tool with the British to curb the freedom struggle, in which all political leaders of post-Independence had been a part of. Hence, they disliked the military, to the extent that Jawaharlal Nehru had remarked that a peaceful nation does not require an Army.
The Army on the other hand, maintaining the British legacy, possessed a disdain for politicians, the feelings being mutual.
The political leadership considered armed forces to be an instrument of imperial strategy guided by the British, and not Indian interests. Hence it planned on degrading the Army's status to suit the nation’s requirement.
The very first action taken by the government was to abolish the post of the commander-in-chief (C-in-C), who was the single point advisor on all military matters to the government, akin to a chief of defence staff, an appointment the nation presently requires and was amongst the most powerful members of the government.
Appointing of independent service chiefs resulted in the armed forces headquarters being separated and placed under functional control of a civilian controlled defence ministry, which continues to date.
With the passage of time, with coups in neighbouring Pakistan and Myanmar, fears began rising in the Indian polity of a similar possible action within India.
kargil-body_101317083714.jpg
As has been the military ethos, it neither complained nor objected and accepted every decision of the government, including reduction in pensions, degradation in status vis-à-vis other services and even in the warrant of precedence.
The polity felt that degrading the military’s status, they could be moved away from the government and decision-making, thus reducing chances of a coup. Post the 1962 debacle, the government got its way, the cabinet secretary was appointed and the chiefs made subordinate to him. The Army proved its mettle in 1965 and '71, yet was let down by an ungrateful government headed by Indira Gandhi, in pay, pensions and stature.
As has been the military ethos, it neither complained nor objected and accepted every decision of the government, including reduction in pensions, degradation in status vis-à-vis other services and even in the warrant of precedence. Such actions have continued over decades, with no response from the armed forces hierarchy or the rank and file. Service chiefs remained muted and silent spectators, since most were from the old school of thought, considering it to be in the interests of democracy.
The situation began to change with the emergence of social media, enhanced awareness among the serving and veterans, increased role and projection of the Army in every sphere of national activity, either battling militancy in the Northeast or Kashmir, floods, earthquakes or even during civil disturbances.
The respect from the national public, which had largely remained subdued or silent began to grow manifold, giving a voice to the concerns of the silent soldier.
Most of the armed forces serve in cantonments and locations away from society and the bureaucracy, except co-located civilians belonging to services paid from the defence fund. Hence, most have little to no interaction with the bureaucracy on a regular basis. Simple degradation only in status (not salary) mainly impacts those posted to service headquarters in Delhi, who are involved in direct interaction. The higher an individual’s appointment in Delhi, the more he is impacted.
Seniority within the government of India, between different services is based on salary or grade pay, hence those junior in service, but obtaining a higher-grade pay, are deemed senior. This became a major issue even within the armed forces after the release of the Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU). The release of NFU to all other central services, less the armed forces, led to major functional problems even within the service.
Civilians being paid from the defence budget, including the Military Engineering Service (MES), establishments like the DRDO, quality assurance, dockyards etc, who serve alongside the military suddenly jumped up notches, based on this additional package. Hence, while he was posted under a military officer, he refused to accept directions, claiming he was senior due to his salary. This made working conditions within the service as also with the bureaucracy in Delhi difficult.
Further, the attitude of the government, in supporting the bureaucracy and denying the military similar benefits, including its sudden downgrading in the Seventh Pay Commission increased heartburns and internal anger. The Seventh Pay Commission was the ultimate insult, resulting in the three service chiefs, rejecting its implementation, despite directions from the defence minister. This has happened for the first time in independent India. The anger was such that the PM had to intervene and direct the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), functioning under the PMO, to re-examine it.
The disappointment over the well-planned strategic degradation began to spread across the rank and file. While those serving remained quiet, as per their ethos, the veterans alongside the common Indian, whose respect for the armed forces continues unabated, jumped into the fray to challenge such unilateral and insulting actions.
With an unrelenting government, continuing on the warpath, there was no option but to approach the courts. The case is now in its final stages in the Supreme Court.
For the bureaucracy, the only option to gain a favourable judgment and hammer the final nail is to downgrade the military to a Group ‘B’ Service (from the Group A service it presently is). This game has been seen through by the military’s well-wishers and its veterans. The veterans have now planned a mega rally against it at the end of the month in Jantar Mantar, the venue of the OROP agitation. The equivalence commission is also being closely watched, solely to ensure that justice is given to the silent soldier, serving in remote corners of the nation to ensure its security.
Never again will this grateful nation permit the government to maltreat its military, like the Seventh Pay Commission has done. Never again would they permit the military to be downgraded, as they seek to now. The common Indian has spoken, the nation will forever respect the military’s sacrifice and valour.
Attempts by the government to downgrade it, would impact it where it hurts the most, votes in the coming elections.
(Source : Daily O)