Prime Minister Modi Inspecting Guard of Honour

Prime Minister Modi Inspecting Guard of Honour

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Defence matters: A new spoke in the 'One Rank One Pension' wheel

  • Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (Retd)
  • Updated: Jun 02, 2015 10:47 IST
There are only two paramilitary groups in India — Assam Rifles and Rashtriya Rifles. So, the police, including the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a plethora of others, need to disabuse themselves of this notion of being paramilitary.

Nearly 85% of military personnel retire at the age of 35-37 years whereas policemen retire at the age of 60. Another 23-24% of military personnel retire at varying ages between 45 and 56 years. When a soldier and a police constable reach the age of 60, the latter would have drawn approximately `45 lakh more than a soldier (pay in the case of a constable and pay plus pension in the case of a soldier). So, it’s pointless to compare onions with apples. Look at the anomalies in just a few allowances which an armyman gets and a policeman is given. The paratrooper allowance for a soldier is Rs 800 to Rs 1,200, whereas it is between Rs 7,200 and Rs 11,000 in case of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA BN), which is one of the CPOs.

A disabled armyman is sent out of service whereas a government servant is retained till the age of 60 years. A soldier posted in Kashmir (other than high altitude) and northeast gets no special allowance, whereas a policeman from the CPO gets double house rent allowance (HRA). When posted in peace stations such as Shillong, Aizwal, Sikkim and better part of Jammu and Kashmir, a soldier gets no extra allowance, whereas a policeman from the CPO gets 12.5% of the basic pay as a special duty allowance —25% of the basic pay as hardship allowance for IAS officers of the UT cadre and detachment allowance of Rs 300 per day for all central armed police forces personnel. None of these allowances are applicable to the defence services. Then there is what is called headquarter allowance of Rs 4,000 for the civil services officials which the officers of the defence forces don’t get. While the list of such difference is long, just one more example should drive home the point as to how civil services and the CPOs have feathered their nests. A defence services officer on instructional staff at the National Defence College gets Rs 1,800 per month whereas one from the CPO and civil services gets Rs 19,000 per month.

The higher command of the defence services need to explain to their officers and men as to how this vast difference in allowances have come about and why they have never raised such issues with the seriousness they demand. Why they were being denied non-functional upgradation and how the services came to accept this palpable discrimination?
Some retired chiefs of the CPOs have alleged that their personnel have suffered more casualties than armymen. This is evidently incorrect. Most CPO casualties have been at the hands of ill-trained and ill-equipped Maoists and other insurgent groups and all this speaks poorly of the leadership and training of these CPOs. These chiefs of the CPOs need tell us as to how many IPS officers have been killed in fighting Maoists. The BSF needs tell the nation how more than three crore Bangladeshis have crossed over to India?

This government is fast losing its credibility and appears to be seeking one or the other excuse to delay and perhaps dilute the OROP. Various figures are being floated, but no one tells how much nonfunctional upgradation has been granted since the sixth pay commission to the class-A central services officers (over four dozen of them). As also if any of these services suffer anywhere near the same range of disadvantages as the defence services officers.
Though the parliamentary committee has been very clear and precise in spelling out what exactly the OROP is, it is the bureaucracy which is trying to flummox the politicians by firstly throwing different figures and then frightening them that others too will ask for the same. On the other hand, they also prompt the others to demand the OROP. The political class should be alive to the compelling rationale for the grant of the OROP.

The political class seems to be unaware of the deep bonding between the veterans and those still in service, and the denial to the former, what is rightly their due, will equally impact the latter.
Finally, the Supreme Court was constrained to observe that the veterans were being forced to beg. Today, the military service fails to draw the right material in its officer cadre and it is possible to substantiate this argument with many instances of poor display of leadership within the military in the recent past.
Let this piece end with a quote from Lord Morgan’s book — Anatomy of Courage. “If we persuade intelligent youth to hold back from the army in peace, we ought not to complain, if we are poorly led in war.” India has a long history of its armies being poorly led and thus suffering unbroken chains of military defeats at the hands of invading armies.


JWO (retd) Sukumaran Nair.R.V. said...

i hv been trying to locate sgt sr moorthy (363), subramaniam (365) Prakash (386) Venugopal all fm W 33. anyone knowing whereabout of the above contact tks

JWO (retd) Sukumaran Nair.R.V. said...

One of the definitions of "Mirage" in Oxford dictionary inter alia is "illusory thing" There cannot be any other word more appropriate to define "OROP" which has given the illusion of "Sheet of water" yonder in desert for over 30 long years. This illusory carrot has been dangled infront of the "Donkeys"that we the Veterans are mde to look by the Powers that be from time to time irrespective of the political hue that they wear.
Assurance agalore came forth from the Hon Pesident of India down to the lowest in the governmental heirarchy.
The Hon. PM thunderousely roared from the ramparts of Red Fort that OROP is his awowed commitment and it will be implemented at the EARLIEST.
And every "M"s like FM/RM and minor "M"s from concerned/"unconcerned ministries echoed this umpteen times.
Now the mantra is "wait, will be done" How long , sir? is 14 months inadequate to implement?
We have had enough. One party for over three decades promised that OROP will be implemented. I am not forgeting MOS Mr. Pallam Raju's out right rejection of OROP as he considered it "not possible and feasible" I am not also forgeting the dubious contribution by the IAS Officer Chadrasekhr who headed a committee to go in to the matter and recomended against granting of OROP in full.
The present RM, I think has put in his best to solve the issue; so did he said in many interviews. Yet he too is unable to give a fail free date of implementation, Why? There lyes the crux of the matter. If rumours floating around are any indication OROP will not see the light of the day in the near future. It is rumoured that the file containg the final "table " prepared by MOD had been tossed back by Min. of Fin. 5 times.Surprisingly it was done from a ministry whose minister was also RM before the present incumbant. What a pity? All had been asking RM about OROP, he has made his part clear .Now start asking FM about delay
He is now answerable to veterans
From PM down every minster says believe it will be done. No Sir, we have lost hope and cannot believe any one any more..
I retired at the age of 33 and I am 79 now how long more all of you want me to
wait? For another 33 years. I f you assure I will live that long . will wait happily.
I think that the Babus are the hurdle in the spoke. What I suggest is that send these Babus to the LOC for three months in the rank of ordinary soldier. Let them experience what is the life of a soldier and if he still feels that veterans dont deserve OROP we shall resign to our fate.
JWO Sukumaran (retd)

jawahar singh said...

Nair sir u r very much right. But who cares us. Bat wahin per aati hai, sahidon ki chhitaon per lagegen her veresh mele vatan pe marne valon ka yehi Baku Nisan hoga. Ask these politiations to join army at least for one year. Today also some 20 jawans are killed see the fate,is someone bothered.

JWO (retd) Sukumaran Nair.R.V. said...

Jawaharjee do you remeber UP politician saying that people join army for dying. What more can one expect. 20 or 20,000 make no difference to any one

Partha Chakravety said...

My only comment is that the way everything is going it seems actually we all give lip services specially who lives in peace and does not know and feel about the way and sacrifices had given by the all heroes of Mother India in getting independence. They don't know to be a secured country it is not like you are keeping unarmed security persons at all places like mall, housing complex it's more than that. My personal contact with civilians prompted me to think that it's the secrecy of defense job criteria, training etc unknown not only to all common men even so called highly educated people too , they know only person carrying rifle is army men even Door-darshan broadcasting on 15th august or 26th jan repulic day failed to ignite any passion. it's obvious Politician are highlighted and shown as more powerful not because they are great they are elected by people alas! We brag about democracy but still we talk with joy about "Ram Rajya".That was not democracy LOL! these so-called politician needs help of babus the civil service officers again if you look at how many are corrupt hah! in UP there is an annual event to public a list of most corrupt official (IAS). So how one could expect better things it's a big country and yes many are up-right too but they are again shunted out frequently by politician , many big shot get caught even jailed but shameless people will come back to fore again in another colour actually we ought to be severe in punishing which we are lacking and hence the scenario. Yes they are not aware of Army rule!!!!! or they can look over neck and see in other countries how intolerant to the crime and corruption when caught even highest in hierarchy of leadership when caught in corruption gets even capital punishment. It's corruption, greed that is wide spreading should stop. Now to the OROP one can only hope it sees the day of light. As this is to be decided by a nexus of both corrupt tribes who only knows how to extract gain from anything...........



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