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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How do States treat the Military ?, here’s how :

The Warrant of Precedence issued by the Central Govt determines the inter-se status between Civil functionaries and officers of the Military. The Central WoP is only till the rank of Major General.

Contrary to popular perception, the Central WoP is not that skewed, and in fact is quite balanced except for the glaringly disproportionate equation of a Joint Secretary Govt of India with a Major General. The equation postulated by the Central WoP is :

Article 11 : Cabinet Secretary

Article 12 : Chiefs of Services

Article 23 : Lt Gen (GOsC-in-C) / Secretary to Govt of India / Chief Secretaries of States when within their States

Article 24 : Lt Gen

Article 25 : Additional Secretary to Govt of India / Chief Secretaries when outside their States / Ds G of Central Police Organizations

Other Secretarial Ranks (not listed in the Central WoP) in the Govt of India and States have the following broad equation :

Under Secretary to Govt of India (Joint Secretary in States) : Captain (Major in case 6th CPC recommendations are accepted as they are)

Deputy Secretary to Govt of India (Director / Additional Secretary in States) : Major (Lt Col in case 6th CPC recommendations are accepted as they are)

Director to Govt of India (Special Secretary in States) : Lt Col (Col in case 6th CPC recommendations are accepted as they are)

According to instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 1966, the old Warrant of 1937 is applicable below the rank of Major General and the same has been conveyed to all State Governments. The current applicability of these instructions of 1966 has been confirmed by the MHA to me vide a letter as recent as August 2007.

The actual Warrant of Precedence, down till the rank of Major, is already available in this blog. You may click here to peruse the same.

Certain States have however floated their own warrants which are in utter violation of Central Govt instructions. A common problem is the equation of a DC/DM with a Brigadier when attending ceremonial functions within the district of his charge irrespective of the actual grade of the officer concerned. This has been in practice because in a district the DC/DM is supposed to be at the forefront of all functions and ceremonial occasions due to which there’s a functional requirement of preferential seating alongwith visiting dignitaries. This equation has not only rankled the defence services but also Civil Service officers since junior officers posted as DCs/DMs take precedence over their seniors in civil services within their districts. To take a similar example, in the old Warrant of 1937, Brigadiers commanding Infantry and Armoured Brigades held a much higher position than other Brigadiers.
Even if we keep aside the above, some States have made a mockery of the existing instructions on the issue, Some examples :-

Click here to see Meghalaya’s Warrant of Precedence

Meghalaya has placed a Joint Secretary to the State Govt (equivalent to Captain) on Article 18 over and above a Brigadier who is listed on Article 19.

Addl DCs/Addl DMs who can be officers of the Junior Time Scale (Lieutenant) and Addl Superintendents of Police have been placed on Article 20 alongwith Colonels and Lt Colonels.

Sub-Divisional Officers (C) (equivalent to Lieutenants) have been placed on Article 21 which is two Articles higher than Majors who have been kept on Article 23 alongwith, hold your breath, DySPs/Asst SPs. Now it may not be out of place to mention that a DSP in many states is a Group-B (formerly known as Class-II) Officer who actually is equated with a Subedar Major. In fact even the 6th CPC has equated a DSP/ACP of the Delhi & Andaman Islands Police Service (which is under the Central Govt) with Subedar Majors of the Army

Click here to see Mizoram’s Warrant of Precedence

Another State which has equated an SDO (c) with a Major on Article 26 alongwith Under Secretaries to State Govt (Lieutenant) is Mizoram. This State has also, throwing all norms to the wind, equated Office Superintendents / Superintendents of Excise / Distt Employment Officers / Youth Welfare Officers / Sanitation Officers / Assistants to Collectors (All Group B / Class II) with a Captain of the Army.

Click here to see J&K’s Warrant of Precedence

People would think that the J&K govt must be very thankful to the Army for obvious reasons. But read on to learn what they think of our Military ranks and status.

The J&K Govt places the Chiefs of the Services on Article 21 as opposed to Article 12 in the Central Warrant. Interestingly, High Court Judges who are junior to the Chiefs in the Central Warrant (Article 17) are listed higher at Article 18 in the J&K WoP.

Lt Generals are listed alongwith DsG of CPOs whereas they are senior in comparison in the Central WoP

Civil Officers of the Selection Grade (equivalent to Lt Col) are listed on Article 29 alongwith Brigadiers. Even Superintending Engineers (SEs) are listed on the same Article with Brigadiers.

The Army being a Central subject and listed on the Union List of the Constitution of India is not obliged to follow these illegal orders of precedence which have been formulated by States by flouting Central Govt guidelines with impunity. Maybe it is time for Govt of India to step in and set things right.......


Lakshya said...

Central Govt is not interested in Defence protocols and services personnels problem.It is the defence parsonnel only can kick and get it right themselves.Like in case of SPC the ex servicemen have protested in similar way they have to fight for Izzat and Iqbal.

ashwathi said...

None of the State officials have any clue on te Rank Structure of the Armed forces. Even the Secearies to the State Govenments equate Major and major General. they Equate Wing Commander with General or brigadier. the Civil Service refuse to understand the Hierarchy of Rank Structur of teh Services.
In that state it is no wonder that they have such absurd Warront of Precedence .
But the fault lies with all the three Service Head Qurters.
They should take it up at te appropriate levl through the Defence Minister to set this right.
But our Chiefs invariably are not really bothered. They keep looking for their future resettlement.
The dilution of WoP has been happenig year after year.
Time has come for the Armed forceds to Change their Motto from "Ours is not to Questiobnn Why But to do and Die " to " QUESTION WHY AND NOT TO DIE"