(Again I may remind readers that the below mentioned should not be construed being against any particular service. This is merely a presentation of logic and facts. Differ if you may but with civility and counter-logic. And sorry if you find this a little technical, there was no other way)
The basis of pay equation of military ranks with grades of the civil services is reflected on Pages 73 & 74 of the 6th CPC report in the form of a historical comparison. But in my humble opinion, the equation tables presented on the ibid pages are not a correct expression of relativity.
This post by BeeCee made me re-visit history. The said pages of the 6th CPC report present a play of numbers while dealing with the Non-Functional Selection Grade (NFSG) of the Civil Services. While mentioning the 3rd CPC (an apt one to one comparison since there was no rank pay then), it has been mentioned that the Civil NFSG in the 3rd PayCom was Rs 2000-2250. But this is just one third of the story since there were two other grades too in NFSG which have conveniently not been mentioned, these were :-
Rs 1650 – 1800
Rs 1800 – 2000
The scale of a Lt Col was interpolated between the two @ Rs 1700 – 1900
Two pay commissions later, both the above mentioned 3rd CPC NFSG scales were converted into Rs 14,300-18,300 by the 5th CPC while Lt Col was placed in Rs 15,100-18,700.
A point of comparison would also be the grade of Commandant (Assam Rifles) (3rd CPC scale : Rs 1800-2000 / 4th CPC scale : Rs 4100-5300) which was specifically mentioned by the 5th CPC as a post tenable by officers of the rank of Lt Col and then granted the S-24 scale of Rs 14,300-18,300 by the same CPC.
So if we keep aside the self created interpretational comparison tables of the 6th CPC on Pages 73 & 74, then this is what we get :-
NFSG : Rs 1650-1800 & Rs 1800-2000
Lt Col : Rs 1700-1900
4th CPC (which for the first time ‘really’ granted an edge in status to military officers keeping in view the longer length of service required to reach comparative grades)
NFSG : Rs 4100-5300 & Rs 4500-5700
Lt Col : Rs 4700-5900
NFSG : Rs 14300-18300
Lt Col : Rs 15100-18700
NFSG : Rs 37400-67000 with Grade Pay of Rs 8700
Lt Col : Rs 15600-39100 with Grade Pay of Rs 7600
Deputation of Military Officers to civil posts :- While the MoD, for organizations such as MES, DRDO and DGQA has never maintained a clear stand on equivalence, the equation becomes clear and evident by perusing rules of deputation in various other establishments. As explained above, the 5th CPC itself stated that Lt Cols were deputed to the post of Commandant (AR) which was held by AR Cadre officers in the scale of Rs 4100-5300 revised to Rs 14300-18300. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, on the other hand, maintains that Majors of the Army are to be deputed to NFSG posts carrying the scale of Rs 14300-18300. You can see their rules by clicking here. The Ministry of Home Affairs also confirms the placement of the rank of DIG between a Lt Col and a Colonel. Some PSUs equate both Lt Colonels and Colonels with the rank of DIG (Click here to see) whereas certain Public Sector Banks equate Colonels with the rank of DIG for employment / deputation purposes (Click here to see). The 6th CPC however contends that a DIG is equivalent to a Brig while an NFSG officer is equal to a full Colonel !!
The equivalence of Lt Col with NFSG cannot be ignored in light of the following :-
(a) Historically, successive pay commissions till the 5th have roughly equated the pay of Lt Colonels with the NFSG of the civil services, there was no reason why 6th CPC should have followed a different route. Moreover, Colonel which has now been equated with NFSG is a functional and not a non-functional rank.
(b) Not many would know that to retain near parity with civil services in 14th year of service (NFSG), a Group of Officers (GOO) set up by the govt to resolve 5th CPC anomalies in paragraphs 48 & 49 of their report, had recommended officers from the civil and defence services in their 14th year of service to have a parity in pay. In fact the GOO had stipulated parity between Majors in 14th year of service and NFSG officers. This parity established by the GOO has been undone by the 6th CPC.
(c) The rank of Lt Col is achievable in 13 years in the defence services and same is the case with the NFSG of the All India Services (Indian Administrative / Police / Forest Services) and also with most organized Group A services.
(d) The comparison tables articulated on Pages 73 & 74 have no official sanctity and are a result of a self created interpretation, two examples of anomalous facts :
(i) In the table for 3rd CPC, STS has been shown equated with Capt but in the 4th CPC, Capt has been conveniently shown as shifted a step and rank lower and equated with JTS. Is this supported by any statement in the 4th CPC ? Absolutely not !. There is not an iota of reference in the 4th CPC wherein it has been stated that the rank of Capt is being downgraded from the 3rd CPC level.
(ii) In the tables for NFSG during the 3rd CPC, the Pay Commission has conveniently only mentioned the highest NFSG in the civil services and completely eliminated from the table any mention of other two NFSGs. Yes there were three grades of NFSG for the civil services while the report has mentioned only one.
(e) Naysayers have commented that Rank Pay is not to be added into basic pay for comparison purposes. How wrong they are !. Rank Pay was carved out of basic pay by the 4th CPC wherein a running integrated pay band of Rs 2300-5100 with different minima points for each rank was brought into practice for 2/Lieut to Brigadier. Hence all ranks were in the same pay band with fixed minima for each successive rank and a differentiating rank pay for each. To say that rank pay is not to be added into basic pay for status or equivalence would mean that all ranks from 2/Lt till Brig had the same status since they were in the same scale. Is this an intelligible argument ?. SAIs issued after the 4th and 5th CPCs also clearly provide that Rank Pay is a part of Basic Pay for all purposes.
(f) Traditionally, in departments under Ministries other than MoD, Majors and Lt Colonels have been deputed on NFSG posts and Lt Colonels and Colonels have been deputed on Super Time Scale posts interchangeable with the rank of DIG as becomes clear from this, this and this.
(g) The Warrant of Precedence equates a Lt Col with a Superintending Engineer of the Central Engineering Services and a Conservator of Forests of the Indian Forest Services. An SE has been granted Pay Band-4 with a Grade Pay of Rs 8700 whereas a Conservator is in Pay Band-4 with a Grade Pay of Rs 8900. As is widely believed, Lt Col is not a time-scale based rank. Only those officers are promoted and selected to the rank of Lt Col who meet the promotion criterion including passing of departmental courses and examinations.
Are the services not justified in demanding to be treated equal if not special ?
Contrary to popular perception, the Ministry of Defence is supportive of the logical demands of the services. There have been attempts to create fissures between different elements of our defence set-up by a section of the media, but the political leadership as well as the military leadership is much too mature to fall into such a trap. In fact, it is the genuine demand of the services of setting up a committee of political executive to look into the anomalies that has been accepted and the report is expected by the end of October.