Monday, January 23, 2017
Narendra Kumar- @SinghNavdeep Nice to see ur pic on Def tableau last section of veterans who have contributed immensely to the org.
Venting of grievances by the soldiers on the social media is a new phenomenon. The recent torrent of videos has caught the services unaware. It is a challenge whose severity is bound to increase with the development and proliferation of technology. It is time serious attention is paid to address the issue as it has the potential to promote indiscipline, spread disaffection, weaken officer-man cohesion and undermine morale. While discussing the issue, three critical imperatives need to be kept in mind.
First, the quality of the contemporary soldierly stock is quite different. Earlier, rural youth with little education and limited demands joined the Indian army. They were hardy and accepted the privations of the environment without questioning them. The army of today is more ubiquitous. It draws manpower from all segments of the society. The current generation of soldiers is better educated. Having being exposed to the electronic media, their awareness level is of a much higher order.
Consequently, there has been a phenomenal rise in the expectations and aspirations of the soldiers. They have become very conscious of their position, and are sensitive to any threat, real or perceived, to their self-worth. Like the rest of the society, their value system is also undergoing major changes. They question various policies and practices, and are quick to spot iniquities and imperfections of the system.
Secondly, nature and character of the media have undergone major changes in the last few years. There has been a massive proliferation of electronic media beaming 24/7 news. As most Indian media agencies do not possess adequate resources for gathering true ground reports, most tend to presuppose details and base their reports on hearsay or conjectures. In the absence of genuine news material, they tend to concoct news to be the first to break a story.
Worse, Indian print and electronic media thrives on sensationalism. For example, repeated running of the soldiers’ videos on news channels was hardly warranted. An unhappy soldier’s shot of an over-cooked chapatti was not an issue of national concern, as was made out by the competing media. Notwithstanding the above, the media cannot be wished away. The army will have to learn to cope with its waywardness.
Thirdly, technology is a double-edged weapon. It can be a friend or a foe. In the hands of inimical elements, social media can be a lethal tool. It has unprecedented reach and can be cleverly manipulated to tweak the truth to present a distorted version of the facts. Our troops are tech-savvy and are cognizant of the power of the social media. When under stress, they may be tempted to resort to venting their disenchantment through it.
Whereas the soldiers can be deterred through the threats of disciplinary proceedings, the same cannot be said of their families, friends and sympathizers. With smartphones, it is easy to upload photographs/videos. The electronic media is always on the lookout for such anomalous news to enhance TRPs. It is a challenge that defies a straightforward solution.
The Way Forward
In a 1.3 million strong force, it is well nigh impossible to keep everyone happy. There will always be some with grievances, both perceived and real.
Three steps can be taken to contain the problem. One, efforts should be made to ensure that the time-tested norms of man-management are given additional importance to improve general satisfaction level and minimize complaints. Two, well-established mechanism of redressal of grievances should be strengthened and made more credible. Three, the environment should be made aware of the true state of affairs in the army to contain the negative fallout.
Appreciating Soldiers’ Sensitivities
Changed environment demands a change in leadership techniques. Leaders have to learn to handle the soldiers with more compassion. Compassion does not mean dilution of discipline. On the contrary, a compassionate leader acquires moral authority and psychological ascendency over his command. Troops respect him and trust him. Willing obedience and discipline are the natural corollary.
Soldiers are facing much higher levels of stress these days. Regular contact with the families through modern telecom keeps soldiers embroiled in day to day problems faced by their families – children falling sick or not studying or ill-health of parents or troubles caused by unruly neighbours. Soldiers feel helpless and become fretful. Earlier joint family system took care of many such exigencies.
Further, with an increase in the education level of soldiers’ wives, many are highly qualified and gainfully employed. They prefer to stay at one place for the sake of their career and children’s education. Resultantly, soldiers are deprived of family support in times of emotional disturbances. At times, stress tends to become distress.
In addition, modern soldier is highly conscious of his self-esteem. Most soldiers abhor sahayak (buddy) duties and consider them to be degrading. To start with, no soldier should be detailed on these duties in the stations where families are allowed to stay. Similarly, soldiers resent being detailed to cut grass or sweep roads or maintain golf courses. All tasks related to the maintenance of cantonment facilities must be outsourced to civilian agencies.
In other words, measures must be initiated to ensure that a soldier’s sensitivities are not unduly offended. No soldier should ever be asked to perform jobs which he considers to be ‘unsoldierlike’ and humiliating. Stress and humiliation make a lethal combination, generating ‘pressure cooker effect’ that results in irrational behavior.
Strengthening Existing Mechanism for the Redressal of Grievances
Indian army has a sound mechanism in place for the redressal of soldiers’ grievances. For personal issues, every soldier has a right to seek audience with his seniors through ‘Arzi Report’. In case his company commander is unable to solve the problem, the matter is referred to the unit commander. Level of ‘Arzi Report’ keeps getting raised, till the aggrieved soldier gets full redressal.
Senior inspecting officers invariably inspect ‘Arzi Report Registers’ of units and sub-units to gauge the overall quality of man-management. Records indicate the nature of common grievances and the degree of attention being paid to redress them.
If the Arzi Report route fails to satisfy a soldier fully, he can submit written appeal to the Chief (non-statutory complaints). All intermediate headquarters are required to study them and take necessary curative action, if within their powers. In case they are unable to resolve the matter, the case is put up to the higher authorities, till it reaches the Army Headquarters. Final decision is given by the Chief. If still unsatisfied, an aggrieved soldier can approach the Central Government through a statutory complaint.
In some units, due to the shortage of officers, a certain degree of complacency has crept in the ‘Arzi Report’ process. Written complaints rarely elicit response in the specified time-frame. Bureaucratic approach of the staff officers at the higher headquarters denies timely justice to the aggrieved. Immediate action needs to be taken to put the whole system back on track.
Enhancing Media Awareness
For the media, attractiveness of news is directly proportional to its shock effect. As denigration sells, negative projection of all entities hogs limelight for days. The army is no exception.
As the media lacks resources and intimate knowledge of the services, it follows the easiest path of resorting to collecting bits of information to create news. Invariably such one-sided reporting turns out to be factually incorrect and damaging to the army.
On the other hand, the media justifiably faults the army for being unduly secretive and not sharing news with it. There is a need for mutual sensitization. Appreciating media’s compulsions/limitations, efforts should be made to educate it as regards army’s ethos, culture and functioning. Information should be shared with media in an honest and forthright manner, accepting weaknesses upfront to retain credibility. A well-informed media will not fall prey to some rogue videos that malign the army.
Unfortunately, the army has failed to respond to the videos in a mature manner. Instead of reposing faith in the time-tested mechanism for the redressal of grievances, the Army Chief has ordered placement of complaint boxes at all formation headquarters. It was an immature and panic reaction. Asking soldiers to forward complaints directly to him is a highly terrifying and perilous proposition. It undermines the complete chain of command, the keystone of army’s disciplinary bedrock. It is a proposition where the cure is worse than the disease.
Indian soldiers are a highly disciplined lot. They do not resort to indiscipline unless driven to it. As army’s environment is highly disciplined, hierarchal and restrictive, pent-up frustration may find expression through the social media. However, a vigilant and sympathetic leader can provide a ‘safety-valve’ to the stressed soldier through empathy and counsel. With commander’s support, he will feel reassured and relieved of all anxieties. Most complaints will cease to exist.
The system of redressal of grievances must be made more responsive and compassionate. Troops must be convinced that their genuine concerns would be attended to in a just, fair and time-bound manner. Necessary measures should be instituted to improve satisfaction level of the environment.
In the media-led world of today, perception is reality and perception is based on the image projected by the media. Therefore, the media can neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant. Hence, it is necessary to keep the media apprised of all the developments, lest it is forced to release an asymmetrical story due to army’s failure to respond in time. It is equally important to accept organizational weaknesses honestly and use them as portals for corrective reforms.
VERY WISELY WRITTEN ADVISE TO ALL CONCERNED.
COAS MUST GIVE A SERIOUS THOUGHT TO WITHDRAW THE IDEA OF JAWANS DIRECTLY APPROACHING HIM.
THIS WILL DESTROY THE LINE OF COMMAND AND CONTROL AND CREATE INDISCIPLINE IN RANKS.
Wg. Cdr. Vishnu Singh; Veteran
This is the crux of Command & ldrship. We all witnessed it during our Service. The advantage to Org now would be that herapheri, chamchagiri tribe amongst offrs/ JCOs would be more worried for exposure. As regards redressal system, beyond unit is concerned, the less said is better as Gen too has remarked that fauji babugiri takes over. All these destroyers of system for personal fiefdom would be a worried lot. Let's hope that actual Ldrs would ascend the ladder now. If ever fructifies, technology would be winner.
However, a vigilant and sympathetic leader can provide a ‘safety-valve’ to the stressed soldier through empathy and counsel.
Col YC Mehra (Retd)
(SOURCE : AS FWD BY BB GHAI VET VIA GP E-MAIL)
The recent shooting spree by a Jawan from the para military force for not being granted leave needs introspection.
Leave to an individual from the Armed Forces, including the Para Military Forces, posted in the border areas or the outlying areas, as also on board Naval vessels, is as important, if not more, than the quality of food given to them. The later is also in the news, thanks to the Media going all overboard on this count.
Leave in the Armed Forces is not for rest-and-recuperation only, there many more important and essential reasons for asking for leave. It could be for a sister’s wedding for whose marriage one has been saving over a period of time and being the eldest in the family, one’s presence becomes essential. It could be for a child’s board exams when the mother is unable to cope with the child’s studies. Or to help the family during the harvesting season when labour is not easily available. Or for repairs to the house which has been damaged owing to a natural calamity. There are countless reasons for an individual to ask for leave, denial of which can upset anybody, some more than the others.
Whilst in command of a Naval Warship, I had occasion to witness such a scenario when a sailor was marched up to my desk as a “defaulter”.
His crime – he left ship without leave just a day prior to the ship’s sailing. The sailor had gone on a short leave two months earlier but had once again requested for a few days off just prior to the ship’s sailing for a major exercise. As he was the only qualified radar operator on board, his presence during the exercise was essential, hence his leave was denied by the departmental officer.
The Sailor’s explanation - He had been preparing for his BA exams for over a year, to improve his re-employability prospects after leaving the service. He had earlier requested for leave to appear in the BA Part I & Part II papers in his home town, however owing to some unavoidable circumstances the Part II paper was postponed indefintely and he reported back on board the ship without appearing for the same. A few days later he received intimation of the new date for the BA, Part II exam which unfortunately coincided with the ship’s operational programme. If he missed this opportunity he would lose a full year.
Unfortunately, the priorities of the leave granting officer and that of the sailor were at variance. For both it was a hobson’s choice.
After hearing the case I, unhesitatingly wrote In the Register,
“Case dismissed. The sailor’s absence to be regularized”.
Soon thereafter I issued Standing Instructions to the effect that Departmental Officers may approve the leave of all sailors in their departments but refusal of the same will be the Captain’s prerogative.
A request for leave should not be
(SOURCE- VIA GP E-MAIL)
Let us disseminate info to all the ESM as well as civilians we know, to counter the propaganda of the govt that the "Govt has given OROP", which is misleading and a half-truth. It is not a question of a few paisas , but our contempt by the Govt TO DEGRADE THE ARMED FORCES TO THE HILT.
OROP as announced by the govt has seven major shortcomings: the details are as follows:-
1. One Rank, One Pension (OROP) was already in force for the Armed Forces (AF) till it was quietly removed by the 3rd Pay Commission (PC) in 1973.
2. The 3rd PC increased the pensions of civilian employees from 33% to 50%, and instead decreased the AF pension from 70% to 50%.Clubbing civilians with the military was unwise.
3. Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU or NFU) was surreptitiously introduced by the 6th PC in 2006 for 58 Civil Services, classifying them arbitrarily as “Organised Group ‘A’ Services”, but keeping the AF out of its ambit. NFU implies that if any officer of a service at any place serves in a post higher than others of his service, the others will get the same pay as the higher one after two years, irrespective of serving in any lower rank. This is OROP through the back door, since 80% IAS officials retire as Additional Secretaries vis-à-vis only 0.7% AF officers retiring as equivalents, i.e. Lt Gens. So the IAS gets the pension of Addl Secys.
4. The financial burden of NFU for civil services is Rs. 17,000 crore, i.e. twice that of OROP at Rs. 8,293.6 crore. This does not apparently classify as “a burden on the poor”, which OROP is classified as.
5. Wild forecasts have been made of immense calculations required to be done every year to keep OROP as OROP. Such “immense calculations” are already being done annually for the NFU of civil servants! The imaginary problem is forecast only for the AF! If not done yearly but five-yearly, THEN four years juniors will get more pension than seniors, till equalised after five years.
6. All civilians retire at 60 yrs of age. 80% of AF personnel retire at 34-37 yrs of age, to keep the AF young. The early retirement deprives AF personnel from the benefits of one or two PCs, three or four promotions, and corresponding pensions of those ranks.
7. Having no marketable job skills, the employability of a Jawan, Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) or Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) after retirement is virtually Nil: mostly as low-paid security staff; officers mostly as property brokers. Only a miniscule percentage manage to get good jobs.
OPINION OF MR SOLI SORABJEE ON ABOVE BRIEF
I have gone through the executive summary made by you.The statement I am willing to make is as follows:-
The essential features of OROP have been accepted in principle by the government. Any purported changes now, if they would deny seniors of their hard earned benefits would be unfair and also demoralizing. The same would also affect the prestige of the institution of the Army which is held in deep reverence by all sections of our society.
Soli J Sorabjee
LT COL SUSHIL VOHRA (RETD)
MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES THE EX-SERVICEMEN (ORs/JCOs) TO BOTHER THAN THE OROP : SGT JAYWANT WALAWALKAR,AIR VETERAN
Dear all Vet Bros
With reference to the below comment of one of our vet brother, Renganathan sri, on "THE UN-NOTICED GOVT'S BIG BANG SCAM WEF 1.1.2006 -...",post, "I request Mr. Gavini VN,TO FILTER OUT THE matters related to JCO&OR and the post, only the pertaining issues to them. NFU is not a matter concerned to us. But as a Chief Editor it is your prerogative and I do not interfere in your discretion. It is only a request"
I wish to post below more relevant view point of another veteran brother Jayvant Walawalkar, , how it is can be applied to ORs/JCOs: ================================================
You come across most of these abbreviated forms, but use them with or without knowing what they actually mean??
Here what they mean:
1. *PAN* - permanent account number.
2. *PDF* - portable document format.
3. *SIM* - Subscriber Identity Module.
4. *ATM* - Automated Teller machine.
5. *IFSC* - Indian Financial System Code.
6. *FSSAI(Fssai)* - Food Safety & Standards Authority of India.
7. *Wi-Fi* - Wireless fidelity.
8. *GOOGLE* - Global Organization Of Oriented Group Language Of Earth.
9. *YAHOO* - Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.
10. *WINDOW* - Wide Interactive Network Development for Office work Solution.
11. *COMPUTER* - Common Oriented Machine. Particularly United and used under Technical and Educational Research.
12. *VIRUS* - Vital Information Resources Under Siege.
13. *UMTS* - Universal Mobile Telecommunicati ons System.
14. *AMOLED* - Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode.
15. *OLED* - Organic light-emitting diode.
16. *IMEI* - International Mobile Equipment Identity.
17. *ESN* - Electronic Serial Number.
18. *UPS* - Uninterruptible power supply.
19. *HDMI* - High-Definition Multimedia Interface.
20. *VPN* - Virtual private network.
21. *APN* - Access Point Name.
22. *LED* - Light emitting diode.
23. *DLNA* - Digital Living Network Alliance.
24. *RAM* - Random access memory.
25. *ROM* - Read only memory.
26. *VGA* - Video Graphics Array.
27. *QVGA* - Quarter Video Graphics Array.
28. *WVGA* - Wide video graphics array.
29. *WXGA* - Widescreen Extended Graphics Array.
30. *USB* - Universal serial Bus.
31. *WLAN* - Wireless Local Area Network.
32. *PPI* - Pixels Per Inch.
33. *LCD* - Liquid Crystal Display.
34. *HSDPA* - High speed down-link packet access.
35. *HSUPA* - High-Speed Uplink Packet Access.
36. *HSPA* - High Speed Packet Access.
37. *GPRS* - General Packet Radio Service.
38. *EDGE* - Enhanced Data Rates for Globa Evolution.
39. *NFC* - Near field communication.
40. *OTG* - On-the-go.
41. *S-LCD* - Super Liquid Crystal Display.
42. *O.S* - Operating system.
43. *SNS* - Social network service.
44. *H.S* - HOTSPOT.
45. *P.O.I* - Point of interest.
46. *GPS* - Global Positioning System.
47. *DVD* - Digital Video Disk.
48. *DTP* - Desk top publishing.
49. *DNSE* - Digital natural sound engine.
50. *OVI* - Ohio Video Intranet.
51. *CDMA* - Code Division Multiple Access.
52. *WCDMA* - Wide-band Code Division Multiple Access.
53. *GSM* - Global System for Mobile Communications.
54. *DIVX* - Digital internet video access.
55. *APK* - Authenticated public key.
56. *J2ME* - Java 2 micro edition.
57. *SIS* - Installation source.
58. *DELL* - Digital electronic link library.
59. *ACER* - Acquisition Collaboration Experimentation Reflection.
60. *RSS* - Really simple syndication.
61. *TFT* - Thin film transistor.
62. *AMR*- Adaptive Multi-Rate.
63. *MPEG* - moving pictures experts group.
64. *IVRS* - Interactive Voice Response System.
65. *HP* - Hewlett Packard.
*Do we know actual full form of some words???*
66. *News paper =North East West South past and present events report.
67. *Chess =Chariot, Horse, Elephant, Soldiers.
68. *Cold =Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.
69. *Joke =Joy of Kids Entertainment.
70. *Aim =Ambition in Mind.
71. *Date =Day and Time Evolution.
72. *Eat =Energy and Taste.
73. *Tea =Taste and Energy Admitted.
74. *Pen =Power Enriched in Nib.
75. *Smile =Sweet Memories in Lips Expression.
76. *etc. =End of Thinking Capacity.
77. *OK =Objection Killed.
78. *Or =Orl Korec (Greek Word).
79. *Bye =♥Be with you Everytime.__._,_.___
(SOURCE :Posted by: BHARAT BHUSHAN GHAI)