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 Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained.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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rank Confusion

Rank badges have no relation with status.

Rank badges have been used as a justification by certain services to claim equivalence with the Army, but is this warranted? And do these have any relation with status?

A civilian friend asked me yesterday if a Capt and an ASP were equivalent to an Inspector of Central Customs and Excise. Well, his confusion was not unfounded since an Inspector of CCE wears Three Stars on his / her shoulders and that too without a cloth stripe. The funny part is that not only the Army but also officers from the IPS have taken up the issue of rank badge confusion with the govt but to no avail. Some examples :

Inspector of Central Customs and Excise (Non-Gazetted, Grade Pay Rs 4200) wears Three Stars without cloth stripe which is the same as an IPS officer of the Junior Time Scale (Group-A Gazetted, Grade Pay Rs 5400) and a Captain of the Army (Group-A Gazetted/Commissioned, Grade Pay Rs 6100)

Superintendent of Central Customs and Excise (Group-B, Grade Pay Rs 4800) wears the State Emblem (Ashoka) which is the same as an IPS officer of the Senior Time Scale (Group-A Gazetted, Grade Pay Rs 6600) and a Major of the Army (Group-A Gazetted/Commissioned, Grade Pay Rs 6600)

Assistant Commissioner of Central Customs and Excise (Group-A, Grade Pay Rs 5400) wears the State Emblem with One Star which is the same as an IPS officer of the Junior Administrative Grade (Group-A, Grade Pay Rs 7600)

IPS officers of the Junior Administrative Grade (Grade Pay Rs 7600) and of the Senior Time Scale posted as District Police Chief (Grade Pay Rs 6600) wear the State Emblem with One Star which is the same as a Lt Col of the Army (Grade Pay Rs 8000)

2ICs of the CPOs (Grade Pay Rs 7600) wear the State Emblem with One Star which is the same as a Lt Col of the Army (Grade Pay Rs 8000)

Inspectors of Police in Bihar and West Bengal (Group-C, Non-Gazetted) wear One Star without cloth stripe which is also worn by Probationary IPS officers of the Junior Time Scale (Group-A Gazetted, Grade Pay Rs 5400) and erstwhile 2nd Lieuts of the Army

Ticket Checkers of Shatabdi Express wear Three Stripes on their shoulders and thank heavens they haven’t claimed parity with Wing Commanders of the IAF and Commanders of the IN, till now that is :-)


Anonymous said...

Let the Police sort out their problem in their own way. But it is high time for the Army to get disassociatted with the Police Badges of ranks. The problem has now become critical that we have no choice but to change our badges of ranks. It is unlikely that the Police will keep on following suit, the way some of us has sugestted. To certain extend we have already succeeded in stopping others from using OG uniform and we could stop other from following the new badges of rank if introduced by us. Even otherwise there is an urgent requirement of Army, Navy and Air Force following same type of badges of ranks and same rank structure. Ideal is to modify the present Navy badges of rank along with change of stars in Star plates as suggestted by me in earlier comments.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
Good one, people having confusion should read.

Anonymous said...

what Anonymous has said sounds good,all the three services should have same type of rank badges first to clear our oun rank and file on the rank structure.we should go in for a distintive rank badges for the armed forces and patent it by act of parliament.
regards KDS.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Annonymous @ 7:21

The Police cannot easily be made to drop plaigiarising Army ranks and star plates. So the least we can do is change ours. And make it real different this time.

Someone please ask "Gen" Dutt of NSG fame to drop his starry collar-dogs !!

Anonymous said...

In fact, the rank of Lt. Col. should immediately stop using the star and ashoka stambh. That is the badge of rank being used by IPS in 6600 and CPO's in GP 7600.

Lt. Cols are NOT in this rank. Their badges of rank identification should be changed immediately, and they should start wearing the badges of a full colonel (which are actually the badges of a CPO comdt), and the colonel should start wearing the badges that a DIG of police does.

Brigs should start wearing IGP badges (Cross baton and sword and one star), while Major Gens should wear the badges of a DGP, i.e., Ashoka Stambh surmounting a crossed baton and sword. Major Generals are equivalent to DG'sP per pre 1973, and they should be again.

Indeed, all rank badges should be radically altered, and it should be ensured that officers in the rank of full colonel are posted as no less than Joint Secretaries on deputation.

Lt. Colonels should be posted in two grades, Director (8700), and Director (Supertimescale I: 8900). They should also resume being posted as batallion commanders, instead of full Colonels. If they (Lt. Cols) are given the correct grade, then there is no need to post in acting full colonels as bn cdrs.

Majors should be posted in PB3 GP 7600, and take up postings in mixed orgs as Deputy Secretary equivalents.

Captains as Undersecy equivalents at GP 6600, and Lieutenants should be placed at GP 6100.

It is furthermore my case that IMA GC's should be granted service credit for time spent in training, and this should be at PB3, GP 5400.

Any comments?

Anonymous said...

I think it is beter if I repeat my contention in my earlier post on the subject.
Our JCOs badges of rank also need simultaneous change. A Nb/Sub and equevelent to have one star with no cotton stripe, Subedar two star with no stripe, Subedar Major and equevelent three star with no stripe. Our Sub Major is equevelent to DySP in police who also wears three stars. This will put them in their correct place.

Similarly all Unit Commanders of major units should be allowed to display one red star in their vehicle, Brigade/Sub Area Commander two stars , Divisional/Area Commander 3 stars, Corps Commander 4 stars, GOC-Command 5 stars and the Chiefs 6 stars.

ORs upto Havildar Majors can continue their present stripes and insignias.

We should take adequate measures forbidding others from copying them.

Anonymous said...

“In supersession of the
existing orders in regard to the
wearing of badges of rank by
the uniformed Central Excise Staff, the Board has ordered
that they shall, hereafter, wear
badges of rank as given in the appended Annexure.”
Annexure to letter No.
29(5)60-Ad.IV-A, dated the
19th Dec., 1960
Badges of rank to be worn on
the shoulders by the
Uniformed Central Excise Staff

: Stripe + one brass star.
: Stripe + 2 brass stars.
Deputy Supdt. (E)
: Stripe + 3 brass stars.
Supdt. (E) Class II First 5 years : One Silver Gilt star.
Supdt. (E) Class II After 5 years : Two Silver Gilt stars.
Supdt. (E) Class I
: Three Silver Gilt stars.
Asstt. Collectors First 5 years
: Silver Gilt Ashoka Lion.
Asstt. Collectors After 5 years
: Silver Gilt Ashoka Lion +one star.

M.F. (D.R.) F.No. 29(5)60-Ad. lV-A, dated 19.12.1960

This is what it used to be for the central excise dept but it seems they have conveniently got rid of the cloth stripe.

Anonymous said...

ok ok but what about the band masters in north indian weddings.
not to talk of the umpteen security staff in hotels and elsewhere.
the only solution is for all the concerned to meet at a common playing ground and sort out the same.
yes! but who will bell the cat.In this case the Tigerrr.

Anonymous said...

We are not required to resort to
Gandhigiri and meet at a common playground for this. We are the Indian Armed Forces under our Supreme Commander. We decide one pattern of uniform and badges of ranks by ourselves to suit us and patent it. Do we take the permission of Baboos and politicians for every changes we make on your uniforms ? Of cource not. Please do not practice " Aao Behl Mujche Maar" Anyone copying anything giving even a distant resemblance to our uniforms and badges of ranks is an absolute "IMPERSONATION". That is what the law says. Why do we need the magnanimity of the Bada Baboos to get it through ? Such are the little steps we should take to reclaim our lost "IZZAT". I can assure that if we resort to such a change it will completely end the practice of comparrison or equating our Brigadier with DIG because no one other than the "Salvation Army" has any Brigadier and Defence Forces does not have a DIG. It will put them where it should be.

Anonymous said...

Nicely written. I think the only way to sort out this problem is to have a commission on this too. This one time effort is much needed to iron out things once for all. After which necessary law can be passed to ensure that the same is not misused by security guards and band masters.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ February 17, 2009 5:49 PM

We fauji's are great! Want a Commission for even making changes to uniform !

Lets get over this 'get permission' from babus attitude !!

Anonymous said...

I feel we should set the house right prior we look outward. I mean parity should be established amongst three services. Following anomalies / differences within three services should be made at par circumventing personal agenda of senior lot:-

a) Select list year to full colonel (Army 18 years / Navy 20 Years /IAF ??)

b) Full colonel to Brigadier
(Army - selection, Navy - TS after 5 years / IAF ??)

c) Erstwhile Lt. Col. (TS) to COL (TS) {Army & IAF implemented, Navy - Not agreed}

Note: Army being the big brother, rest two should synchronize with Army. However, the COMMODORE LOBBY is sure to oppose.

Anonymous said...

This is how true.I am in a deputation deptt, wherein a DIG of IPS, who wears ranks of a Brig, thinks himself of an equivalent rank and treats us accordingly, whereas the fact is that he is just above COL but below a Brig of ARMY.......??????? But who will tell him that ??????

Anonymous said...

@ MV said--
MV you can just refuse the Deputation. Nothing happens. They will just attach you to the nearest dept. where you are kept under a senior Service officer till you revert to the Army. Navdeep can send you the letter to be reffered that a DIG is below a Col and since the Army has not superseded that letter you can always quote that as the basis for reversion.

Anonymous said...


after 6th cpc the DIG SAHEB IS EQUAL TO BRIG SAHEB...both have GP of 8900..so COL is junior to him...






Anonymous said...

a nicely written and compared with other services and we should not get into comparison but should know where we stand and should not give weightage to other services based on stars on their shoulders but what we know is correct. we should know that we have been given rank by the supreme commander and we are addressed by oyr ranks whereas they are addressed as mr/ sri

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ February 17, 2009 10:07 PM

Abstract idealism ... Is that an escape route ? It is such things that we like to believe in thats responsible for all our miseries ! Wake up and smell the salts. We have to take the bull by the horns. Our 'knowing' has nothing to do with it. Their 'knowing' is what's required !!!

Anonymous said...

The three servces should get their act together, choose a same uniform address each other with the same ranks and be identified with the same batches. This job of designing the new rank batches can be given to the National Institute of Fashion .... and they will suggest the new patented rank designs for the armed forces...and then we can look like those models on the fashion ramp with our new ranks.....VOW!!! what an idea sirjeee!!!!

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

Hey Anony at 11.59

If you read my post carefully, you would 'discover' that I have made no mention whatsoever of changing rank badges or anything like that.

I have no 'idea' to the effect 'sirjee' :-)

Anonymous said...

There is a book-let on protocal published by goverment of India laying down as to who stands where. I doubt whether the 6pc supercede this. Accordingly the position of a DIG of Police is Lt Col/Col depending to their length of service. In fact I had effectively used it when a bunch of DIGs clustered in the saluting base with the Sub Area Commander during the Reublic Day Parade practice at Bhopal way back during 1987 They had no choice but to accept and get down from the salutting base.

Anonymous said...

dear sir,
Their is lot of confusion regarding Temp duty allce & mode of claim,as the new policy seems to deprive even of the older rates due to submission of actual bills,will u be able to provide some info on this.

Anonymous said...

Clarification/Confirmation required on revision of Defence Family Pension as per Annexure I, II and III of Govt. letter dated 11/11/2008.

Most of the Defence Family Pensioners (Specially PBOR family pensioners) are not aware that their family pension is based on their husband’s Rank and Group. Therefore they are not in a position to verify the correctness of the pension paid to them. There are many cases, that a widow of a Subedar Group ‘A’ is paid a family pension payable to the widow of a Sepoy. This situation is prevailing in many bank branches.

The minimum family pension has been fixed at Rs.3,500/- upto the rank of Havildar and equivalent ranks in Navy & Air Force irrespective of GP and number of years of service etc.

Similarly, for other ranks, the Ordinary family pension as per Annexure I and II and III are different.

For example, a widow of a Nb.Sub.(Group ‘A’) will get Ordinary family pension (Normal Rate) under modified parity w.e.f. 1.1.96 is Rs.1,560/-.

If this Rs.1,560 is revised as per Annexure I it will be -- Rs.3,526
Whereas if it is revised as per Annexure III, it will be -- Rs.5,070

Similarly, a widow of a Hon.Lt. will get Ordinary fmily pension (Normal rate) under modified parity w.e.f. 1.1.96 is Rs.3,150/-.

If this Rs.3,150 is revised as per Annexure I, it will be -- Rs.7,119
Whereas if it is revised as per Annexure III, it will be -- Rs.8,100

The Govt. order dt.11/11/2008 says to adopt the table Annexure I or II or III whichever is beneficial to the family pensioner. It has been observed that none of the PDAs have given effect to this beneficial clause while revising the pension of the defence family pensioners. I am submitting herewith a ready reckoner to show the difference in the revised family pension as per Annexure I and Annexure II (For Officer’s families) and Annexure III (For PBOR families).

Rank &Existing Pension
Revised Pension
As per Annex I Revised Pension
As per Annex II Difference in
Revision Remarks
Lt. 2475 5595 8100 2505
Capt 3000 6780 8310 1530
Major 3840 8679 8460* 219 Annexure I
Lt.Col(TS) 4410 9967 8760* 1207
Lt.Col(S) 4530 10238 8760* 1478
Col 5130 11594 15630 4036
Brig 5730 12950 15690 2740
Maj Gen 5520 12476 15690 3214
Lt.Gen 6720 15188 15690 502
DGAFMS 7215 16307 24000 7693
VCOAS 7800 17628 24000 6372
COAS 9000 20340 27000 6660

* In cases of widows of Majors, Lt. Col (TS) and Lt.Col (S) Annexure I is beneficial. As per the above ready reckoner, it is evident that the Annexure II is beneficial to all family pensioners except the widows of Majors, Lt.Cols(TS) and Lt.Cols(S).

The revision of family pension in respect of PBOR Family pensioners is based on their Rank and Group. The PDAs are finding it difficult to find out the Rank and Group of the deceased PBOR. Also their families are not in a position to show the relevant personal records to prove Rank and Group as a result, most of the PBOR family pensioners are paid the minimum family pension of Rs.1,275. We have come across many widows of Subedars, Subedar Majors, Hon. Lts. are drawing minimum family pension of Rs.1,275. Neither the widow is aware of her correct pension, nor the Bank branch is bothered about payment of correct pension to the widows.

Now let us see the family pensions of PBORs.

Rank,Group Existing Pension Revised Pen Anne I Revised Pen III Difference
Sepoy 1275 3500 3500 Nil
Naik 1275 3500 3500 Nil
Havildar 1275 3500 3500 Nil
Nb.Sub.GP’A’ 1560 3526 5070 1544
Nb.Sub.Gp’B’ 1440 3500 4650 1150
Nb.Sub.Gp’C’ 1395 3500 4650 1150
--D to H Gp 1320 3500 4650 1150
E of DSC 1320 3500 4650 1150
Sub GP’A’ 1851 4185 5190 1005
---- GP’B’ 1731 3914 4770 856
---- GP’C’ 1686 3811 4770 959
---- D,E,F 1686 3811 4770 959
---- G,H 1619 3643 4770 1127
Sub.Maj.Gp’A’ 2175 4917 5250 333
------GP ‘B’ 2025 4578 4830 252
------GP ‘C’ 2025 4578 4830 252
------GP ‘D’ 2025 4578 4830 252
GP‘GH&EDSC 1980 4475 4830 252
Hon.Lt. 3150 7119 8100 981
Hon.Capt 3255 7357 8310 953

Note: Pre 1973 Groups –A,. B to H
Post 1973 - A,B to E
Post 10/10/06 - X, Y to Z
Post 01.01.06 - X & Y only.

The above analysis is made based on the Govt. order No.17(4)/2008(1)/D/(Pen/Policy) dated 11/11/2008. Annexure I, II & III and 11/12/2008 Annexure II. If any order is released subsequently on the subject, the clarification sought will differ. If the information given is found correct & helpful to the defence family pensioner, then the entire text may be forwarded to all Bank head offices for guidance in the right spirit.
By Muthukrishnan (Ex.Sgt.)

Anonymous said...

Humor in uniform !!!
I saw a darban outside a hotel wearing a long achkan of the type worn by PBG with a P-Cap worn by Brig and above.
Govinda seen in a movie wearing IMA blazer for his dance number.
And dear Navdeep, I was remembering you the other day when I saw an Ad film "Join Indian Army" , in that the model is wearing High altitude ribbon upside down. Wonder who is responsible ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
Had great fun reading the blog. Particularly the last paragraph..."Ticket Checkers of Shatabdi Express wear Three stripes .........". Lets take pride in the fact that we are the who laydown the benchmark for others to COPY.....

Anonymous said...

Corrected comment...
Dear Sir,
Had great fun reading the blog. Particularly the last paragraph..."Ticket Checkers of Shatabdi Express wear Three stripes .........". Lets take pride in the fact that we are the ones who laydown the benchmark for others to COPY.....

February 18, 2009 8:54 PM

Anonymous said...

Dear IPS, CPF officers we have one cadre of Military Nursing Services, even they wear ranks like you and me. Are they at par with you?

ASTY said...

Talking of rank confusion prevailing in the country! Recently I had to go through two different incidents which underline this issue. On MG Road the watchman,a Gurkha of an ATM was wearing a black dress with belt and had two silver stars on his uniform (if i can call that a uniform that is!)in one glance he looked like a Lt of the Armd Corps! when confronted with it he tried to get away with saying thats what his employers had provided him with.When the employers were contacted on phone they turned out to be two retired Army officers. Who should we blame if not ourselves for degrading and undermining the prestige and sanctity of the rank badges? Its a different matter that I hauled them up to the nearby Commissioner's office where they promised to use non-military badges for their employees!
Second incident
After attending the Republic Day parade which i attended in summer ceremonial uniform i was waiting for my family to join me in my car one driver of some other civil officer asked me not park the car there and spoke in a very rough tone, forcing me to show him his place. Of course he realised his mistake but it forced me to think as to why he behaved in the way that he did!
After sometime it struck me that the stripes on air force Uniform are exactly the same as those worn by the drivers of 5 star hotels' chauffeurs!!!!
We need to decide whether we change or disallow such flagrant misuse of our rank badges. Now the question is who gives in? Knowing the steady and concerted way in which the authority of the Armed Forces has been undermined by the bureaucracy over a period of decades expecting them to react on the issue will be expecting next to impossible.

So the question is still unanswered.....who changes?

Unknown said...

i think navdeep and rk are both themselves confused as far as Officers of Customs & Central Excise are concerned. Excise Superintendents are Gazetted Gr-B and wear 3 silver gilt stars (same as ACP/DSP of police)Ashoka emblem is worn by Asstt COmmrs and emblem with one silver gilt star by Dy Commrs (STS). RK has given 1960 circular, and the structure of dept has changed now. there are no Sub Insprs, Dy Supdts in the dept now, and no senior/junior supdts.

Anonymous said...

1. Rank badges worn by IB Chief are that worn by the Army Chief barring different colours - Golden by Army Chief and silver by IB Chief. However status of Army Chief paywise and otherwise is far higher than that of the IB Chief.

2. Within the police department itself, non IPS police officers of the rank of DSP/ACP (Class II/Group B)wear three stars on their shoulders whereas IPS officers (Class I/Group A) wear only one star during probation of two years, 2 stars after two years till less than four years if not holding charge of a police sub division as SDPO/ACP and three stars if heading a police sub division as SDPO/ACP after two years of probation period is over. Despite all this, status of an IPS in JTS regardless of his/her rank badges is superior to those non IPS police officers wearing three stars on their shoulders right from the day they pick up the rank of DSP/ACP.

In certain states some non IPS police officers wear Ashoka pillar also worn byIPS officers in service bracket of >4 years and < 9 years and not holding independent charge SP of a district

Addl DGP/DGP in HAG+/DGP as head of a CPO or PMF or State Police all wear exactly the same rank badges on their shoulders but with different grade pay, and of course different status and responsibilities. Similarly, an Army Commander/equivalent in the Indian Armed Forces (in Apex scale of Rs 80,000.00 equal to Secretary to the Govt. of India)wears the rank badges worn by an officer of the rank of Lt General / equivalent not appointed in the higher grade of Army Commander/equivalent.

At much lower level, Artificers/Mechanicians Class III/II/I in the Navy (in Grade Pay of 3400/-) wear the same rank badge as borne by their next promotional higher rank of Chief Artificer/Mechanician (in grade pay of 4200). There is no point and merit in comparing status according to rank badges worn in any service or department. The right way of determining status of a govt servant is functional / promotional grade pay granted to employee of different departments and services, of course ACP grade pay can be used for certain monetary benefits only and definitely not for drawing rank equations. Now who is senior if functional Grade Pay is same, the answer is either whose total emoluments are more/ho entered the same promotional grade pay earlier.

Now, an interesting input about three different ranks/posts in Defence Accounts/Audit Department (DAD). Accounts Officer (Group B gazetted in PB-2) is granted grade pay of 5400, the next higher rank of Senior Accounts Officer (Group B Gazetted in PB-3) also draws grade pay of 5400, the yet next higher rank of Assistant CDA (Group A Gazetted in PB3 group A entry scale) is also given a grade pay of 5400.

Hope this information is of some interest and use to some.

Anonymous said...

Army's AGs and Pers Br and their equivalent branches in Navy and IAF should imdt take up a case with the Legislature and Judiciary effectively putting a complete ban on any form of impersonation.
Equivalence of Offrs' needs to be widely publicised in order to sensitise the environment and following of correct protocol whilst official/ personal dealings and also the badges on shoulder should not be misleading. For example, An IPS offr holding the rk/appt of DIG should not be seen at par with a Brig rk offr of Army.
Lastly, The armed forces need no clearance/ permission from IAS or IPS to correct the prevalent anomalies of uniform and rk badges.


Anonymous said...

Better the Defence guys limit their objections to security guards and band walas. The Police, Customs and similar govt agencies have equal right to have their own rank symbols. As far as they do not use the Olive Green (or white and blue as the case may be), you cannot object or degrade them. And mind you, it is not the Grade Pay that decides the rank parity. The civvies may not play golf or have late night parties but they have more responsibilities and authority that you don't need to have..