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 Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained.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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Miscellany strikes again…..

(1) The table of appointments listing the equivalence of military ranks and civil posts as made available on this blog earlier has further been revised. The updated version is available for download by clicking here.

(2) Readers may like to visit this official White House release of the text of Obama’s speech at a Veterans’ convention. Long, but worth a dekko.

(3) Sgt Gavini, a regular on the blog, has initiated his own web-log focussing on issues concerning veterans and the same can be accessed by clicking here.

Thanks !

Friday, August 28, 2009

Q & A (2)

Readers may send in their Questions through email for a Q & A session with ‘Q&A’ as the subject. For rules, please read this post.

As per Punjab and Haryana High Court decision discussed on your blog here, the new weightage modalities were made applicable from 1-1-96 instead of 1-1-06 but no pension orders have been issued by govt, what is the current status. (ABC)

The decision of the Hon’ble High Court has been stayed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in an SLP filed by the Central Govt.

One of the accepted recommendation of COS was " (e) Anomalies in other casualty pensionary awards to be deliberated upon by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) at MoD" Could you tell us as to what is this issue? Does it relate to Disability pension rates anomaly of pre-2006 retirees? (Brig AS Kahlon)

Yes. It deals with placing pre-06 retirees on a percentage based system of disability pension rather than the slab system that has been promulgated for disabled personnel who retired prior to 01 Jan 2006.

What is the latest on 70% pensionary weightage system for PBOR? Is it applicable to pre-06 retirees also. (Justin)

Nothing on this stipulation is available in the form of any commitment in black and white or on paper as of now.

Is toll tax exemption available to retired personnel since I am in possession of an NHAI letter that says so. (Col AS Bajwa)

Absolutely not. Toll exemption is only available to the private vehicles of serving personnel on all roads and bridges in the country. The Govt however, as a goodwill gesture, has extended toll exemption to retired gallantry awardees limited to NHs. The NHAI letter in your possession is fake. For more on this, you may click here to peruse this post. For complete details on the issue of toll exemption, you may see this post here.

Is house tax exempted to defence personnel ?. (Maj Shivani)

‘House Tax’ is not a central subject as per the Constitution of India and the Central Govt cannot pass any directions to States or local authorities on the same. However most of the States and Municipal / local bodies have exempted defence personnel from house and property tax. You may make local queries in your area to know if it is applicable to you.

My pay as a Major has not been fixed despite the fact that I was promoted 8 months ago, nobody seems to have any satisfactory answer to the problem. (Maj T Kumar)

Please see if the complete documents have been forwarded to CDA(O). Also check on the gazette notification on your promotion. The rules on pay on promotion have been simplified lately and you may view this post for the same.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Orders issued for remaining 60% pay and pension arrears

The Ministry of Finance has today issued orders for the release of the balance 60% arrears of pay and the Department of Pensions has issued similar orders for the same percentage of arrears of pension on account of implementation of the 6th CPC recommendations.

With effect from today, the balance arrears can be 'legally' released to central government employees and former employees.


Monday, August 24, 2009


“The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts” : William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

What can I say about this ?

How often do we hear this thing today about military izzat that is on constant decline on the societal ladder ? And our veterans and serving members alike are quick to point the finger at the bureaucracy. But what about the issues that are directly under our control ?

The world is moving towards an era of transparency, the end of license raaj, RTI, simplification of procedures et al. But still we ourselves ensure at times that we live in an age of regressive approach. Or else why would we let others put into motion such a cumbersome procedure wherein in order to buy cars from CSD serving and retired defence personnel are made to undertake numerous rounds of Agencies, Depot Managers, and, this takes the cake - even tax barriers and excise staff !!!

‘The Tribune’, Chandigarh reports how officers, besides dealing with other documentary red-tapism, have to ‘report’ to the CSD Depot Manager in Ambala Cantt alongwith a representative of the Agency to get their vehicles ‘inspected’. This inspection is also refused unless there are a certain number of cars available on a particular day. Moreover even the days are set when the ‘Manager’ would oblige serving and retired military officers with the ‘inspection’. The Depot Manager then issues a slip which the officers have to carry to the excise staff manning excise barriers for obtaining a stamp on it. To put it shortly, the entire procedure is not only time-consuming and unwieldy but also utterly disgusting, retrograde and humiliating.

Since institutions such as the CSD exist for our welfare, I would request officers posted at Delhi to kindly apprise the concerned section at the AG’s/QMG’s branch about what is happening on ground and to simplify the procedure, and also, if I may put it crudely, immediately stop this nonsense. ‘Adelphi’, Mumbai also needs to be taken in the loop. I’m sure the CSD staff (like always) would come up with a hundred justifications and excuses on this retrograde approach, but please do not buy such explanations !!! The Canteen Stores Department is meant to render services to fauj, not the other way around.

Following is a reproduction of what appeared in the newspaper :

The Tribune
Car through CSD : new system raises officers’ hackles

Our Correspondent
Ambala, August 20

Over 30 serving and retired officers of the Army showed resentment against the recently introduced system for purchasing car through CSD at the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt here.

Earlier, the Army officers had to deposit the amount of the vehicle to be purchased with the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt and the depot issued them the release order. After submitting the release order with the car dealer, the officers got the delivery of the vehicle. As per the new system, after getting the delivery of the vehicle, the army officers will have to report to the depot manger along with the vehicle and a representative of the dealer.

After checking the documents, engine number and chassis number of the vehicle, the depot will issue them a sale deed document and then only the officers will be allowed to drive their car. The Army officers have to face a lot of harassment while completing the formalities of the newly introduced system.

Most of the Army officers, even from Haryana, prefer to purchase vehicles from Chandigarh as the rate of sales tax is 2 per cent less there than in Haryana. Chandigarh does not have any CSD depot that is why the Army officers belonging to Chandigarh generally come to the Ambala CSD depot for purchasing vehicle through the CSD.

Around 35 retired and serving Army officers, including a serving Major from Kargil, went to Chandigarh yesterday to purchase vehicles after getting the release order from the CSD depot, Ambala. The depot issued them a “Rahdari” slip, which they have to get stamped from the sales tax barriers at Dappar (Punjab) and Dhulkot (Haryana).

Col Jaswant Singh (retd), a resident of Chandigarh, said the officials of sales tax barriers detained them for two hours and refused to put stamp on “Rahdari” paper. They had to further stay in the CSD depot for hours to complete the formalities. He said the situation was very humiliating for an Army officer. Other Army officers also expressed annoyance over the new system.

Meanwhile, regional manager of the depot Lakhwinder Singh refused to comment on the matter. According to information, the depot has been facing an acute shortage of officials, which led to delay in the completion of formalities.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Complete recommendations : report of the Committee of Secretaries

Readers may access and download the complete recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries by clicking here. Though most of the important issues have already been amplified in earlier posts, some other recommendations are :

(a) Like defence personnel, linkage of full pension with 33 years’ service also to be removed for civilians who retired between 01 January 2006 and 31 August 2008.

(b) Broad-banding of disability percentage would be extended to pre-1996 pensioners too. It may be recalled that the 5th Pay Commission, in order to curtail medical subjectivity of medical boards, had recommended that personnel with a disability percentage below 50% may be released a disability element by taking the disability @ 50%, those with 50%-75% disability may be paid @ 75% and those with a disability percentage of over 76% may be paid by taking the disability as 100%. This was accepted by the Govt in 2001 but was made applicable only to post-96 pensioners. The Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court had however held that this dispensation should be extended to pre-96 disability pensioners too but the said decision was challenged by the Govt in the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

(c) Removal of the cap on war-injury pension (known as Disability pension of Category E in case of civilians) to be extended to personnel of civilian forces too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

(1) Disabled siblings included in the definition of ‘family’ for family pension (2) Orders for revised pension issued for pre-06 civil HAG officers

I would call this the mother of all progressive actions. The central govt, taking note of the hardships being faced by physically / mentally disabled brothers and sisters of govt employees, has included disabled siblings in the definition of ‘family’ for the purposes of family pension without any age restriction. Resultantly, even after the death of an employee, his or her disabled siblings would be able to draw pension for the entire lifetime. The govt sanction letter can be accessed and downloaded by clicking here.

Secondly, the pension notification was issued today in respect of pre-06 retired Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) officers on the civil side. Their pension has been upgraded to Rs 33,500 per month thus paving the way for upward revision of the pension of pre-06 retired (non-Army Commander) Lieut Generals whose pension shall soon be upgraded to Rs 36,500 per month (Rs 33,500 + MSP fitment of Rs 3000) from the existing Rs 27,700. Lieut Generals who retired as Army Commanders / G-Os-C or equivalent are in the fixed Rs 40,000 pension bracket. The ibid notification can be accessed and downloaded by clicking here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Additional Pension on attaining the age of 80+ : Clarification and further simplification of procedure

As discussed on this blogpost here, Govt of India, Department of Pension had issued guidelines regarding proof of age while granting the additional quantum of pension announced for existing and future pensioners in wake of acceptance of the 6th CPC recommendations.

Now the procedure has further been simplified by way of a new letter issued by the Central Govt dated 11 August 2009 which can be accessed and downloaded by clicking here. In order to grant additional quantum of pension on attaining 80 years of age, the pensioner / family pensioner / disability pensioner may present any of the following as the age proof as per existing instructions :

(a) PAN Card
(b) Matriculation Certificate
(c) Passport
(d) CGHS Card
(e) Driving License

The Central Govt has now ordained that if none of the above is available, then voter card issued by the Election Commission shall qualify as proof of age for grant of additional pension. It has also been clarified that the additional pension shall be available from the 1st day of the month in which the birthday falls. The Ministries of Defence and Railways have also been directed to issue similar instructions.

It would be worthwhile for readers to inform known elderly military pensioners and family pensioners about the fact that additional pension (varying from 20% to 100% depending upon age) is available to individuals after they attain the age of 80 years since this stipulation remains unknown to many. Record offices should ideally also carry out an exercise and ensure that these benefits reach all affected pensioners.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Q & A (1)

Readers may send in their Questions through email for a Q & A session with ‘Q&A’ as the subject. For rules, please read this post.

The rationale for reducing the minimum service requirement from 33 years to 20 years as applied to the post '06 personnel applies equally, if not more, to those who had proceeded on premature retirement before 1.1.06. Discrimination between the pre and post '06 retirees is therefore extremely unfair. Has this matter been taken up, or is being taken up, with the Govt and what is the likelihood of this discrimination being ended? (Col K L Arora)

The Govt has already looked into this matter and rejected it. To my mind, the discrimination in this sense is more in the case of military officers and civil employees who retired between Jan 06 to Sept 08 Vs Post-Sept 08 pensioners rather than Pre-06 Vs Post-06 pensioners. Defence officers and civil employees who retired from Jan 06 till Sept 08 are not entitled to full pension on completion of 20 years’ service and this benefit has only been granted to Post-Sept 08 retirees which seems to be unfair. However Commissioned officers who retired wef 1-1-2006 would soon be extended this benefit bringing them at par with PBOR.

Your book on defence pensions is not available in Madras, can we buy it online, if not then tell us a place where it can be bought. (Manoj)

I would not like to associate myself with the commercial aspect of any book authored by me. You may like to go through www.defencepension.wordpress.com to order and receive the book anywhere in the country.

Please, do let us know the present status on notification of Govt decision for improvement of pensionary benefits as recommended by GOM and reported to be approved by PM. (Ex-Sub DN Sharawat)

The report of the committee of Secretaries has been approved in principle and the final govt letter is awaited alongwith the tables.

As per a Central Act, Army people are not supposed to be charged Toll at various toll bridges. Some Toll collectors blatantly defy this. Specially DND at NOIDA and at Parwanoo toll bridge near your place while going to Shimla or Kasauli. They defy this despite showing the Act. Can something be done to bring them to obey the Central Act. Isn’t it a serious offence to wilfully defy a Central Law. (Lt Col RK Singh)

The DND flyway case is sub-judice. Toll operators in HP are granting toll exemption wef April 2007 as the matter was sorted out with the HP Govt. For more you may peruse these posts by clicking here.

Regarding exemption from Income Tax to Awardees, It is informed that "Mention -in- Despatch" awarded for Gallantry during war has not been included in the list, though awards like Fire Service Medal and Civil defence medals have been included. I am holder of this award for 1971 Operations. State govt is also paying me Annuity for the award. I shall be grateful if this anomaly could be considered & highlighted at suitable forum. (Brig IJS Chugh, Retd)

The list notified by the Govt includes awards which specifically feature in the order of precedence issued by the President’s Secretariat. Even awardees of the Fire Services and Civil Defence Medals are granted IT exemption when these awards are conferred for gallantry. The civilian awards mentioned by you are higher than M-in-D which does not form a part of the Presidential Order of Precedence for medals, hence is not included in the list.

I am a Nausena medal gallantry award winner. I have a few queries if you can answer :
(a) Status of railway passes for SM/VM/NM Gallantry awardees
(b) Tamilnadu compensates its defence gallantry awardees very poorly (only one time compensation of Rs 3000/-). I want to know if the Police medal awardees are also be given the same, or are they been given more despite being lower in the list which shows the SM/VM/NM ranked higher than the Police medal.
(A Naval Officer)

(a) The issue has been taken up with the Rail Ministry and the AG’s Branch of the Army. Will inform you whenever anything substantial comes out. (b) You may send across an RTI Application to the Home Department of TN Govt to know about the compensation provided to PMG awardees.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pension of Lieutenant Colonels : some lingering doubts and clarifications

Many pre-06 retired Lt Cols have reported that their banks are not including the applicable weightage while calculating pension according to the new basic pension figure of Rs 25,700 promulgated through this MoD letter dated 21 May 2009. Some have even approached Banking Ombudsman and Consumer Courts on the issue. Officers are under the impression that in the tables annexed with the above mentioned letter, a weightage of 5 and 7 years for Lt Col (Time Scale) and Lt Col (Selection Grade) respectively is to be added in the years of service mentioned therein. For example, if a particular retired Lt Col (TS) has a service of 20 years, some officers are under the impression that the entry @ 25 years in the table has to be seen for the correct pension by including the weightage and that the banks are wrongly releasing pension as per the figure mentioned at the entry @ 20 years.

This contention of some officers is totally incorrect since the tables of the ibid letter have been prepared after taking into account the weightage in an in-built manner. Hence, when you see the figure @ 20 years, the pension reflected thereon is actually the pension calculated for 25 years’ service for Lt Col (TS) and 27 years’ for Lt Col (S). And that is the reason why full pension of 33 years’ service is reflected @ 28 years for Lt Col (TS) by taking into account an in-built weightage of 5 years (28+5=33) and @ 26 years for Selection Grade Lt Col (26+7=33). This modality is already made clear in the note beneath the table which says that the weightage has already been included in the table annexed with the letter.

Secondly, many retired officers of the rank of Lt Col have reported that their banks have not yet implemented the new basic pension of Rs 25,700 and some banks are still granting pension in accordance with the old rates. Some banks have even stated on record that they have not received instructions from CDA on the issue. This is an incorrect statement since the PCDA(P) had promptly issued detailed joint guidelines for re-fixation of the pensions of pre-06 regular Lt Cols and all ranks of MNS vide a circular dated 26 May 2009 and the same can be accessed by clicking here. A copy of this circular was endorsed to the RBI and Chairpersons-cum-Managing Directors of all Public and Private Sector banks. A print-out of the copy may please be provided to the concerned bank in case of inaction. A regular reader, Wg Cdr Rajeeve Lochan, also advises retired officers to email the concerned CMDs and ICs of Customer Care of the respective banks in case of a problem. Approaching the Banking Ombudsman or the Consumer Fora may be kept as the last resort if everything fails. We must realise that notwithstanding the lethargy displayed by some banks, there are bound to be teething troubles whenever such letters are issued after changes in pension modalities.

Friday, August 14, 2009


On popular demand and in order to ensure more support to the military community and their families, I shall attempt to answer queries on military benefits to selected questions. The Q & A session shall be posted as a standard post on the blog at regular (but not fixed) intervals subject to availability of time at my end.

The queries may be mailed to me at navdeepsingh.india@gmail.com with ‘Q & A’ as the subject. Some rules :

1. Only queries on broad military benefits and pensionary matters shall be entertained and individual calculations etc may not be sought. For calculation based questions, use the chat-box or comments tab instead so that other readers and visitors can take this load off me.

2. Please do not repeat your query through mail in case it is not featured on the Q & A session since only selected questions shall be featured. It may please be appreciated that my profession does not grant me such luxury of time. Also do not mind if I fail to answer you individually. Please also specifically intimate whether you want your name to appear with your query or not.

3. Thirdly, keep it simple, broad, sweet and short :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Battle Casualty declaration and need of magnanimity thereon

Most of the uniformed community is under a wrong impression that only injuries and deaths occurring in war, war-like or operational situations can be termed as ‘battle casualties’. This is far from true.

The Govt has consciously laid down liberal guidelines for declaration of injuries and deaths as battle casualties for financial purposes, but a narrow interpretation by some leads to denial of benefits to affected parties. Many-a-times, ‘battle’ casualties are incorrectly labelled as ‘physical’ which leads to non-extension of higher rates of pensionary awards, ex-gratia and other concessions to entitled people, benefits which are otherwise meant to be granted in accordance with govt guidelines.

Army Order 01 of 2003 deals with situations which are to be covered under the purview of the term ‘battle casualty’ for casualties occurring after the year 2003 while Special Army Order 8/S/85 deals with battle casualties which occurred prior to the year 2003.

Some injuries and deaths which are actually battle casualties but are commonly (and incorrectly) labelled as physical casualties are : casualties in aid to civil power, accidental injuries and deaths in operational areas, accidental deaths in floods, avalanches, land slides and cyclones, casualties due to natural illnesses near international border and LC, casualties during battle inoculation and training, casualties while performing relief operations in natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes, unintentional deaths by own troops, vehicle accidents / electrocution / snake bites / drowning in CI Ops.

Though the above list is not exhaustive, all officers must ideally go through AO 01 of 2003 and SAO 08/S/85 for the benefit of troops under command and their next of kin. The official machinery has been quite magnanimous in creating broad and generous guidelines for declaration of battle casualties and it is upto the concerned officers to use them in the intended liberal manner. It is not a favour but our duty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another absurdity, another decision by the Hon’ble High Court ‘righting the wrong’

As we all know, there is reservation for ‘defence category’ in most of the professional colleges and institutions. In some States, there is a system of an order of preference within the defence category wherein kin of personnel killed in action, gallantry awardees, disabled personnel etc are granted a preference over serving and retired personnel and their kin.

The Punjab Govt in 2008 took out a notification providing therein that the wards of defence personnel would be granted preference over defence personnel themselves. In other words, to take an example, in case an invalided member of the military wants to pursue a professional course in Punjab, his/ her ward would be granted preference over him/her. The State Govt conveniently took no note of the fact that it is because of the military personnel that his / her ward gets the status of being a ‘ward or dependant of a military personnel’. Even to a layman, it would be absurd to say that wards should steal a march over military personnel themselves if it comes to that.

The Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court through this judgement has set things right and declared this action to be illegal and arbitrary. Following are some excerpts from the Judgement :

"It is contended on behalf of the respondents that in the preferential order notified for reservation for defence category, the wards of defence personnel are to get preference as against the defence personnel himself. In my opinion such an approach is totally irrational and illogical. Ward of a defence personnel becomes entitled to benefit because of his/her parents being a lineal descendant then how can ward steal a march over the defence personnel himself. It should be other way around if defence personnel himself is competing as against a ward of any defence personnel, he/she has to be given preference over the ward."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SpiceJet extends its defence ‘zero fare’ scheme to retired personnel, families and para-military too

As reported on this blog earlier, SpiceJet offers a no-fare scheme for serving members of the Armed Forces.

This scheme has now further been extended to retired defence personnel, their families and personnel and families of Para-military forces (CPOs) also.

The following stipulation appearing on SpiceJet website may however be kept in mind :

The special discounted fares are applicable only to serving and retired personnel of the Indian Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces and their families (those carrying a valid military identity card). A valid identity card issued by Indian Armed Forces (or Paramilitary Forces) is a necessary condition for travel under this offer and passengers will be required to produce the card at the SpiceJet check in counter at the airport.

Though it is not the fares but the taxes which constitute the major part of air-ticket prices, it is the gesture that counts.

Friday, August 7, 2009

AFT to be inaugurated tomorrow

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) shall be inaugurated tomorrow by Her Excellency The President of the Republic of India. The Tribunal shall not however start judicial work till the administrative machinery is completely in place.

The official PIB release on the subject can be accessed by clicking here.

An earlier blogpost on the AFT can be accessed by clicking here.

Thank You.

Note- The Chat Box shall indefinitely go off-air with effect from 09 August 2009. Derogatory, abusive and personal comments on the box by certain incorrigible elements have necessitated this action.

An important letter from Department of Pension, especially for old veterans

This very important letter was issued on 21 May 2009 by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ welfare concerning modalities regarding revision of pre-06 pensioners.

The letter also contains a list of documents which may be accepted to grant additional percentage of pension to pensioners and family pensioners over the age of 80 years.

Veterans, widows and war widows facing problems concerning grant of enhanced pension and family pension may bring this letter to the knowledge of PDAs such as Banks and DPDOs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Members of Parliament interested in joining TA

Hindustan Times Reports

Twenty-two sitting British MPs and sons of 85 parliamentarians were killed in the First World War. Two British PMs, Herbert Henry Asquith and Andrew Bonar Law, lost their sons in the same war.

Former US Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan were all World War II veterans.Indian politicians, in contrast, have never had a military tradition. But a new breed of MPs intends to transform the stereotypical image of India’s netas, if only symbolically. Ushering in an age of ‘soldier-leaders’, six MPs are itching to shed their starched white pyjama-kurtas for olive green battle fatigues.

They want to join the Territorial Army (TA), a voluntary, part-time citizen’s army modelled on the lines of the UK territorial army.

“I grew up dreaming of becoming a soldier. You could see me in battle fatigues next year,” said Congress MP Deepender Hooda, 31, after attending a presentation on TA for MPs in the South Block on Tuesday.

An initiative to enhance the brand appeal of the reserve force by Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju, 47, more than 30 MPs across the political spectrum showed up at the Defence Ministry to figure out what it takes to be a soldier. Hooda and fellow Congress MP Naveen Jindal, 39, sought flexibility in the training schedule to encourage young guns to experience the pride of soldiering.

TA soldiers have taken part in all post-Independence wars, including Kargil. Jindal said, “I am very keen…if they reduce the training period I will join up.” The Defence Ministry is working on a proposal to grant concessions to MPs and specialists from other fields to bring them within the TA’s fold.

Major General KVS Lalhotra, who heads the TA, said, “We are sending a proposal to the Defence Ministry to create a special TA cadre.” Their annual training period is likely to be reduced from two months to 14 days. Pre-commission training will also be condensed.

The country’s youngest MP, Hamdullah Sayeed, 26, is looking forward to donning stars on his shoulder epaulets. “I went to an air force school. Joining the TA will be a natural progression.” Only males aged between 18 and 42 can join the TA. That clause put a damper on the career aspirations of Congress MP Ninong Ering, 53.

Also present were Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent Pala (41), SP’s Akhilesh Yadav (36), BJD’s Jay Panda (45), Congress’ Nilesh Rane (27), Independent member Rajeev Chandrashekhar (45), BJD’s Kalikesh Singh Deo, 34 and RJD’s Jayant Chaudhary (30).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Some misc stuff :

(1) MDI Gurgaon has at its disposal a pool of talent of recently retired / retiring officers undergoing a pre-release management course at the institution. The coordinator of the placement cell has requested this blog to place a link to enable our well established veterans to contribute towards their placement. You may access their blog by clicking here or contact the coordinator at mdi.placom@gmail.com

(2) The orders for fixation of pay / allowances of re-employed officers can be downloaded and accessed by clicking here.

(3) Shivdev Singh, an armybrat, has requested readers to check out his matrimonial site www.free2marry.com

(4) Larry Scott, the administrator, founder and editor of the American Veterans Affairs’ (VA) watchdog has done a commendable job for US Military veterans. You may want to check out the site www.vawatchdog.org A link for the same would now be permanently available on this blog.

Thanks !!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This or that ? appeasement or independence ?

“What good is the mind of a man if it’s run by another ?” : Prince (Cybersingle, 1996)

Some officers of the AMC took it on themselves when this blogpost highlighted the fact how Govt orders authorising medical facilities to non-pensioners were being flouted with impunity by some elements at M-Block. A section took it as an anti-AMC stance.

I or any other person who has served in uniform need not be reminded of the magnificent and difficult job being performed by the Army Medical Corps. And not only the uniformed community but even the society at large holds the military medicos in very high esteem.

However, why be so touchy that pointing out of a patently wrong action is taken as a slur on the entire medical military community ? Just because the AMC is performing a laudatory task would not ipso-facto mean that their officers cannot commit a wrong in an administrative capacity. Surprising were the comments of some officers who stated that I was bringing up this matter since I was an SSCO. To put the record straight, I am neither an SSCO nor affected / benefitted by the issue. If bringing to light some defects in our system is to be taken as an affront, then just as the ibid posts are being labelled anti-AMC, the banking community should call this blogpost as anti-banker for highlighting the incorrect deduction of tax from the pensions of disability pensioners and gallantry awardees, the PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad should take this blogpost as an anti-IDAS stance, Justice Srikrishna should be livid about this post here, state governments should be mightily unhappy about this one, Abhinav Kumar and Saikat Dutta should be cursing me about this post and this one here and the JAG Branch should have been terming this blogpost as anti-JAG. Then just about everything that you may see on paper, on the net, in the media would be anti-something.

Which brings us to the basic question whether we want to have a goody-goody exchange or a meaningful banter leading to improvement in the system? This blog, as a policy, does not believe in promoting or inciting controversy but that would not mean that as law abiding citizens we do not bring to light the slips in the mechanism. Being a lawyer, performing this role becomes even more pronounced in my case. Also the opinion expressed here may be dissimilar (or at times less popular) than the one which may be articulated by me in any of my official or advisory engagements or associations. Taking the instant subject as a backdrop, comments on various blogposts have been quite interesting and mottled, ranging from this blog being labelled a ‘mouthpiece of the government’ and ‘too pro-military’ to an array of other things on the other side of the spectrum.

I would hence like to discern whether you want views expressed on this blog to remain independent and autonomous or follow a policy of appeasement. Since the blog exists for you - the readers, I would like you to decide and comment.