Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Warrant of Precedence tinkered yet again, what does it mean for the Military ?

Well, the defence services bear the brunt again. The WoP was last overhauled in 1979 and the primary character has been maintained thereafter with small additions here and there.

The Govt however has carried out changes in Oct 2007 which are now being circulated within the govt machinery. How do these changes affect the military ? Here’s an outline :-

a) Chairperson UPSC upgraded to Article 9-A over Service Chiefs who are on Article 12. Chairperson UPSC was earlier on Article 17 below Service Chiefs and also below Officiating Chiefs of the rank of Lt Gen who were on Article 16.

b) Chairpersons of National Commissions for SCs and STs (Yes, there are now two separate commissions for SCs and STs !) added on Article 17. Both these Chairpersons are higher than Army Commanders / Vice Chiefs who are on Article 23.

c) Members of National Commissions for SCs and STs added on Article 23 with Army Commanders / Vice Chiefs.

As we all know, Army Commanders / Vice-Chiefs are equated with Secretaries to Govt of India on Article 23. However Note 10 (C) of the WoP makes an interesting reading :-

“Note 10 :

In Article 23: -

(a) ***
(b) ***

(c) In official functions held at Delhi/New Delhi, Army Commanders/Vice Chief of the Army Staff or equivalent in other Services will always rank after Secretaries to the Government of India.”

Coupled with the fact that the 6th CPC has now explicitly stated that the pay of Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) of the civil services shall be equivalent to a Major General of the Army, the above changes again reflect the constant downgradation of military ranks in our society. It’s another issue altogether that vide a notification issued in 2008, IAS officers would now reach the SAG in 14 years of service while a defence officer becomes a Maj Gen (if at all) in 33. On the other hand, 100% of directly recruited IAS officers reach the SAG while less than 2% become Maj Generals (or equivalent) in the services.

The new amended Indian Central WoP can be accessed at :
The latest Indian Warrant of Precedence (Amended till 2008)

Our neighbour, Bangladesh meanwhile, has also taken out an amended WoP (revised edition – 07 Feb 2008) which can be accessed at :
The latest Bangladesh Warrant of Precedence (Amended till 2008)

Not that this exercise is of any practical use, but still here are some comparative notes from the revised Bangla version dated 07 Feb 2008 :-

a) In Bangladesh, the Cabinet Secy is listed alongwith the Chiefs on Article 12. In India, the Cabinet Secy is on Article 11 while Chiefs are lower on Article 12.

b) In Bangladesh, Chairperson Public Service Commission, Secretaries to Central Govt and Major Generals enjoy the same precedence on Article 16. In India, Secretaries to Central Govt are equated with Vice Chiefs / Army Commanders holding the ranks of Lt Gen on Article 23 and above other Lt Generals who are on Article 24. Chairperson UPSC is now (since Oct 2007) on Article 9 ahead of all of them.

c) In Bangladesh Joint Secretaries to Central Govt (with 25 + years’ service) are listed with Brigadiers with comparative service on Article 21. Other officers holding the status of Joint Secretaries to Central Govt are equated with full Colonels on Article 22. In India, Joint Secretaries to Central Govt as well as other officers of equivalent rank are equated with Major Generals on Article 26.

d) In Bangladesh, a DIG of Police is equated with a Lt Col on Article 24. In India, the 6th CPC has (incorrectly) equated a DIG with a Brigadier.

In the ultimate analysis, this is what we have achieved, status and parity wise, in the past one year :-

1. DIG is now officially equivalent to a Brigadier according to the 6th CPC.

2. Ministry of Home Affairs declares that all IPS officers shall attain the rank of DIG in 14 years’ service.

3. Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) is now officially equivalent to the rank of Major General as per 6th CPC.

4. Department of Personnel and Training declares that all IAS officers shall attain the SAG in 14 years of service.

5. What would be achievable by 100% IPS officers in 14 years would now be achievable by 7% defence officers in 28 years.

6. What would be achievable by 100% IAS officers in 14 years would now be achievable by 2% defence officers in 33 years.

7. Chairperson UPSC jumps from Article 17 of Warrant of Precedence to Article 9 whereas our Chiefs remain at Article 12.


Anonymous said...

shame shame shame shame is all i can say... we r trained to obey...not to say a word against the govt.. i some time feel pity for myself and my brothers... wish people understand

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The only way to put to rest all anmolies in seniority in Govt services is to have only ONE SENIORITY NORM for all Govt officers. The date of commissioning or date of joining(NOT date of clearing exam)All India Service or any other equivalent service should be the sole criteria for Inter personnel seniority.
NO one should ever forget that the Public Servant defined in the Constitution of India , puts Commissioned officer at the begining.


This warrant of precedence is totally unwarranted.It invites an explanation from bureaucrats and politicians for such indifferent attitude towards INDIAN ARMY, whose history speaks volumes about its professionalism, sinceare commitment, extreme sacrifices and unflinching loyalty towards its motherland.The people sitting at the helm of defence forces should give a shut up call for the indignity which is being forced on us. After all the people who are manipulating this precedence ..brought only underdevelopment, corruption and poverty to this country in last 60 yrs. INDIAN ARMY IS NOT SUBSIDARY TO ANYBODY....WAKE UP...BEFORE WE HAVE TO PROVE IT.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said

No other cadre except service officers always feel let down. I do not know why they want to equate themselves with IAS officers. They have cleared the toughest exam in the world to become IAS/IPS and they have cleared the easiest exam on the land to become class I officers. Further one must ask those civilians officers working in defence establishments how shabbily they are treated in those establishments always reminded one way or the other about the superiority of service officers.

Anonymous said...

Its not the easiest exam of the land.Even after clearing the exam only 5% make it in the Services selection Board Interviews which is considered most rigourous,wheras in all other government services it is usually 1:3.

Anonymous said...

It may be noted that success rate in IAS exam is 0.0025%. And when we are talking about precedence we are not talking about other govt services exam. They have no priority at all in honour. We should not equate them.

Tarandeep said...

I wonder why you chose Bangladesh of all countries to draw a comparison to...a country where twice the military establishment has wrested democratic civilian authority. The supremacy of civilian control in India is one of the reasons we haven't gone down that road.
In any developed nation, the military ranks are counted after the civilian ranks. We shouldn't read too much into this. It's a notional thing which emphasises that the military is disciplined, and truly for public service rather than for accumulating titles and precedence.