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Friday, September 25, 2009

Degradation of Military status : PSU Style

(Note : Comment moderation would be slow for a few days during the absence of Maj Navdeep Singh)

Our regular visitor, Aditya, points this out.

Now this has percolated down to the PSUs. Certain Public Sector Undertakings are seeking Brigadiers for posts meant for civil officers with a Grade Pay of 8700 (Erstwhile scale of Rs 14300-18300). Needless to say, even after the dilution by the 6th CPC, it is Colonels who have been granted the GP of Rs 8700 as is the case with Directors to Govt of India.

One of such advertisements can be accessed by clicking here.

Interestingly, the Govt of India, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security seeks officers of the rank of Major for an appointment of the same level.

Maybe it is time for the Services to point this out. This has already been discussed extensively on this blog @ this post, and this one here.

A table of equivalence of appointments after the 6th CPC can be accessed by clicking here.

(Posted by Navjosh Singh during the absence of Maj Navdeep Singh)


Anonymous said...

Unfortunate, but it continues possibly because there are takers. All applicable candidates should stand united and abstain from applying for such appointments. Then the message will automatically percolate to all concerned.

Pied Piper said...

Min of Pers, Public Grievances and Pensions has equated various ranks for the purpose of employment in various PSEBs as under:-

Addl. Secretary = Lt. General
Joint Secretary = Major General
Director = Brigadier
Deputy Secretary = Colonel

View More Here

Anonymous said...


Even the infamous 6th CPC had come up with the following equations for the Army :

Dy Secy to GoI = Lt Col
Director to GoI = Col
DIG/Conservator = Brig

This was improved by the GoM to the following :

Dy Secy to GoI (GP 7600)
Lt Col (GP 8000)
Director = Col (GP 8700)
DIG/Conservator = Brig (GP 8900)

From which dreamland are these PSUs claiming this equivalence :

Dy Secy = Col
Dir = Brig

It is time for Army/Air/Naval HQrs to collectively write to these guys otherwise the silent suffering would continue. The MS Branches and equivalent in other 2 services should also be properly sensitised about these issues. Maybe they can start their education with the two links of the previous blogposts and the table of appointments mentioned by Navdeep on this instant blogpost.

Aditya said...

@Pied Piper:

A) That reckoning is laid down by the PESB. Your link refers to the same organisation.

B) It is the reckoning of the PESB, which is being called into question. It is a tautology, to use PESB's definitions to justify PESB's definitions. Illogical to say the least.

C) Persmin is not the final authority. Rank and Grade pay is.

Pied Piper said...

The awareness of civil servants in the worldly affairs (read precedence, salary structures, rules & regulations…) is extremely high. They may have ill maintained offices; unkept surroundings, shabby turnouts and no brass – but they do get to face intellectual challenges and decision making. On the other hand an army officer is so wound up in his own domain where he only obeys with ltd independent decision making and variance in exposure.

How can we ever expect an army officer in sitting in Delhi to become so very knowledgeable within the short time span he has and fight battles on files.
All this in an army where talking about pay & allowances, money, benefits is considered unsoldierly and is scoffed at by old timers.

Anonymous said...

may be a posting to Bangalore or Hyderabad will even out the compromises in the status...some people think that way..."perspectives you see...!"

Anonymous said...

Attention of all the bloggers is invited to this link:


Please do read this and understand who is being paid for making liaison with various govt deptts for resettlement avenues for Ex-Servicemen.

One of the task of this outfit is "Reservation of posts for providing employment opportunities in government/semi government/ public sector organizations and assistance in employment with corporate sector." Well if they formulate policies, being one of the deptt of GoI, how can another deptt of GoI flout the policy and make their own rules. That does not seem to be rational.
This deptt of MoD is headed by a Secretary, It has two Maj Gens and one JS. If they are not doing their job, honorable RM should pull them up.
why do not some of you ask this clarification through RTI and then publish it.
I wish to draw you attention to fact that it is "Re- employement and not Employemnt". In Re-employment the "pension factor is added to the element of total pay which should not be less than last pay drawn. This happens for Re-employment in DSC as also Re- employment of officers. Are not Colonels being re-employed in the Rank of Majs? It is not lateral induction "in service" but Re- employment after attaining status of Ex-Serviceman (woman included).
Definition of Ex Servicemen itself implies that the man has been retired / released after fulfilling the condition of specefic period of service (except SS Officer), say a colonel has been medically boarded out at 22 yeras of service or he goes on pension at attaining the age of 54. This a welfare measure provided to Ex- Servicemen on account of their early age of retirement as compared to other Govt servants. Therefore, his pension element will be taken into account while refixing his total emoluments as paying authority is same, that is GoI.
I am really not sure if "Re- employment one down" as a rule exists any where.
What is required to be done is that MoD should evolve a policy wherein such adjustments in Re- employment does not results in lowering the status of the Ex- Servicemen. After all money, though important, is not every thing. Status is also important. However, this may result in least or lesser vaenues of Re-employment due to lesser number of posts at appropriate levels. Hence, a via media has to be evolved and a way out found. Our honourable Babus definetly know it the best and they can do it provided they wish to.
So I suggest to be carefull in your outbrusts and do not jump the gun.

Anonymous said...

The issue raised here is "in - service" deputation and hence is approppriate.

The three Services should raise the issue with MoD.

The concerned PSU can not decide that if the applicant is from Civil side he would be a Director but if the applicant is from AF, he should be Brigadier euivallant. That amounts to Pers Min dictating unreasonable equivallance.

Being prejudices, unjust and irrational is not their priviledge / prerogative under Constitution of India or even under Conduct of Business Rules.


The degradation trend has not sprung overnight but has deteriorated gradually from IV CPC onwards.We have only woken up now.The Services must put their foot down.Their are ranks which have no equivalence in govt parlance but we cant do away with them the org structure needs the ranks.So what is the solution?It will again turn out to be battle of the bureaucrats to keep the brass down!I leave it at that

Ramesh Bala said...

Pied Piper, You are absolutely right. Most of us (Service personnel) lag in admin, legal and fin knowledge which result in us being taken for a ride. Also, we are too gentlemanly while dealing with civilians.

MES Engineer said...

The "Degradation" of military ranks and status unfortunately was started by the military itself when the Lt. Col rank was downgraded to a Time Scale rank to be obtained by one and all on completion of 13 years. In essence it became equivalent to Old Majors as the Lt. Col rank which was a CO rank started doing the job of a Major as 2IC or Company Commander. Cols started doing the job of a Lt. Col as CO and Brigadiers started doing some jobs that used to be done by Col. All this naturally lead to a reduction in status and the dignity attached to those ranks. The Outside world has seen that and has rightfully recognized the true equivalence of these ranks based on their actual job profile and has equated accordingly. No point staying in the past - instead face the reality of today's military rank status based on actual level of responsibility assigned to each rank and compare them with actual level of responsibility attached to Civil Ranks. Mere Grade pay equivalence will not do it but the actual job profile and responsibilities will. The sooner the AF realizes this the better!

sidharth said...

Dear Sir

I am a regular reader of your site and really you are helping the defence community in an excellent way. But Sir, it seems that all your blogs and informations are meant for officers only. If you can provide more informations for PBORs also, it will help the lakhs of us.


Dr. Sidharth Sharma

Anonymous said...

Sir, It would be better if you focus more on PBOR issues in addn to officers cause as it will benefit lakhs of PBORs

IndianACE said...

Anything wrong with my previous input? Don't see it here!!

Anyway- "...ours is to do and die."

I somewhat tend to agree with the MES Engineer @261205 when he says that the downgradation of mil ranks is a self inflicted wound.

Unfortunately, We do not possess the right means to show our disappointment, unlike MES engineers who can and are boycotting the E-in-C's farewell.

The Outside world has seen that and has rightfully recognized the true equivalence of these ranks

Pray, tell us, how did they arrive at the equivalance? I really want to know.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a similar equivalence table for Armed Forces Ranks vs DRDO ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

I am a very sincere and committed follower of your blog and am in total disagreement in what Mr MES Engineer has expressed. This very thinking and ranked complex is the main cause of our downgradation and it has been actually resultant of divided in house. It is absolutely right to accept the fact that it is we ourselves who are responsible for our own status and standing. The gentleman has written about time scale promotion to Lt Col and hence beating of status. He should be told that all GP A services including All India services have promotions based on time scale and these are called as NFSG. But why these NGSG promotions have not resulted in their status dilution and why is that so mach is being spoken about LT Cols at 13 yrs? Every IAS/IPS is a time scale promotion then why not speaks about them? Why is it that they are still able to maintain their status and it is we who get stuck with it? As far as responsibilities are concerned then let me appraise the gentleman that we are responsible for lives of Men and are also supposed to lay down our lives for the nation if situation so demands. Is this a small responsibility? In last five days we have lost more officers than the other ranks fighting terrorist in valley. An officer whose wife had come to celebrate their wedding anniversary with her husband came back home with his mortal remains. Was this Gentleman who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the Nation he loved a lesser responsible? It is stinking psyche of our own so called senior brothers who by hook or crook or by sheer dictum of destiny have attained their ranks actually do not want others to rise. Their thinking is I got promoted through a BOO then why should others get their promotions just like that. My friend it is not just like that but in fact the rejection is just like that because it is vacancy based and not competition based in true sense. Let us get rid of our rank associated complex lest we kill our selves for good because suppressions for sure will come even for those who think they are rising. It’s only a matter of time. God bless our thinking and thinking of MES Engineer who has many like him outrightly ready to axe the armour who is protecting their back and fronts 24x7.

With Regards


Is it fair to equate a maj gen with 30 yrs service to a Jt secy with 14 yrs.Maj gens command formations having str of 10000 plus pers with huge responsibility/accountability.They get just one tenure(2 yrs) on staff at AHQ / else where before moving up or going home. Even a Brig/ Col is far more accountable.You falter and get the axe.Re employment two ranks down is humilating.If a Col / Lt Col is doing it , it is out of sheer desperation as at 54 most of the doors get closed.
AF are in no race with any org.On the contrary it is the other way round.In your day to day working 90% of the AF do not deal / interact with other central services.It is only in higher HQ levels where there is interaction and it varies.MAx is at MOD and there lies the problem of equivalence.Resolution has to start from there. The idea of having a CO as Col and Lt Col as 2IC has been done with a view to create more promotion slots for Lt Col upwards and also to do away with offrs of same rank and seniority to function as 2IC.I recall a very funny sit to support my view.In one of the unit there were two coursemates.The one who reached office early would go and sit in 2IC chair.The matter got resolved when one of them had to be posted out.So the logic of Lt Col as 2IC and it's no down gradation as viewed by many.Potential Cols go and func as 2IC's before taking over of units.
Why the hard rule that a Maj Gen has to be equated with a Jt Secy.Why not a Brig/Col for that matter.We can keep on discussing with no solution in sight till such time people at the top decide to stop the buck.

Anonymous said...

@MES Engineer:

1. Youre right on many counts, viz. the reduction of status of the LtCol rank began with the elevation of bn cdrs to full colonels. Even now, I say that LtCols should command bns again, and be given GP 8900.

2. The ranks of Cdr in the Navy, and Wg Cdr in the air force are not similarly degraded in service, and so shouldnt have suffered the same fate.

3. This reduction in status didnt come from the army always. The AVS committee report was the basis of much of it.

4. Are you really an MES engineer?

Anonymous said...

Dear Bloggers (Specially The MES Engineer),
The rationale and arguments presented by the Engineer officer above have been well settled on the pages of this blog. The “Lt Col performing job of former Maj” and hence he should be downgraded in status, on the face of it appears as logical if seen in isolation but otherwise is a faulty argument. Such an argument deliberately overlooks and ignores the proliferation amongst the higher ranks of all most all “All Central Govt Class A Services Cadre” and specially the IAS, IPS and CPO cadre. It need not be pointed out the most of such proliferted rank DIG and Addl Igs / IGs are handling “Desks” which earlier were with clerks. Most of the Ministries have more than six Secretaries where there used to be only one earlier. The Secretaries are handling jobs loooked after by the JS earlier. In CPOs, the officers earlier used to B class officers. Assistant Commandants used to Command two CRPF companies. Today there can be even two Asst Comdts in one company. AF have never suggested that their equiation now be broght down to a Subaltrans which they acually are.
“All status and rank but No work” is more pronounced in the prolifirated high ranks in IPS, Intelligence Cadres, CPOs and many other Central Govt Services including the Accounts and Audit services. In IDAS Cadre, the IFA with a stff of only ten or twelve under them are holding status equivallant to Maj Gen and doing the jobs of writing “ Financial Notings” which used to be done by a Maj level accounts officer earlier.
It may be well argued that the nature of job and amount of reponsibilities have expanded. So is it true for the Armed Forces. A company no more is second world war company. Equipment, technology, holdings, intensity of responsibilities, all have undergone vast changes. The environment, job requirements, miliue and involvement have changed tremendiously for the AF too. Besides, in the environment, where other services of the Govt have expanded so vastly and the higher ranks have prolifirated, the AF officers cadre can not be kept aloof to fend for themselves and remain static at 1945 position. It is neither in country’s interest nor good for the AF as organisations. Cadre mangement and career progression with some amount of satisfaction level is mendetory for any organisationl machine to be kept running or say keep juggling.
Bringing down Service lenghth for Lt Col is an organisational requirement and it has nothing to do with MES or any other Service. Requirement of Selection at a perticular level is a function of organisation structure, vacancy and need for efficiency. In IAS and IPS evry one makes it inspite of “Selection”. What are the merits of arguments of “selection” then.
So far equation is concerned, there is no case for a change. That is based on grade Pay and meant for within the organisation. Napoleon became the general in his 34th year. As per this MES officers arguments, he should have been treated juniors to all dignified Clarks in Govt Offices in France and that should have resulted in lowering his status.
One should not forget that an Army Officer, if he is an Engineer, is also A Combat Engineer and a Combat Leader which MES Engineer is not. There is no Comparision and responsibilities and status. Moreover, at functional level, MES is part of the Services and not the other way round. MES can be disbanded but not the Army Corps of Engineers. The organisationl structure and chain of Command should be dictated by Services requirement. The MES officer is suggesting the Army should have rank structure as per MES requirement. That is irrational and impractical.
Moreover, what he has stated for Cols and Brigs is not based on facts.
MES on ground has been a sour thumb (including Service Engineering elements) and now have become an organisational sour thumb. It is high time things must be set right in organisational interets.

Anonymous said...

the same equation what the PSEBs are following is being followed in our own organisations. In Hqrs IDS the Brigs are being posted as Directors at par with civ Directors from other org. In DGQA again Brig and civ director are placed on same post. In MoD, Cab Sectt, Brigs r placed as Directors at par with civ Directors. Even in Army Hqrs, NHQ and Air HQrs, the officers of AFHQ civil service are entrusted the duties at par with Brigs and are reporting to Maj Gen.

Anonymous said...

the same equation what the PSEBs are following is being followed in our own organisations. In Hqrs IDS the Brigs are being posted as Directors at par with civ Directors from other org. In DGQA again Brig and civ director are placed on same post. In MoD, Cab Sectt, Brigs r placed as Directors at par with civ Directors. Even in Army Hqrs, NHQ and Air HQrs, the officers of AFHQ civil service are entrusted the duties at par with Brigs and are reporting to Maj Gen.

Anonymous said...

MES Engineer @12.05 and anony @1216

MES engineer, what do you have to say about more than 10 offrs of police and ias of higher rks doing the same job which was done by one earlier? or is it that in civ the more No of higher rank vacancies are created, it is not degradation but in AF it is so? in MES every one becomes SE and ACE what special is done to achieve these so called ranks? Even if we do not lower the value attached with ranks, however, the pay and perks needs to be protected based on service as for other gp A services. this is the only solution.

MES Engineer said...

All. In response to everyone's comments to my earlier post - the unfortunate rank degradation of AF has taken place since the higher ranks are doing the lower ranks jobs earlier. Even in MES, a Major / EEs job as a GE is being done by Lt. Col - so naturally the outside world now thinks that Lt. Col is equivalent to EE now despite the difference in pay. A Col. is doing the job of a SE as CWE instead of Lt. Col earlier and so the new equivalence is Col / SE. Remember folks equivalence is based on equivalent jobs and nothing else - Grade pay etc. does not matter so much in terms of public perception. Till the AHQ accords enough respect / status to it's own ranks with appropriate levels if authority, the ranks will get downgraded - simple as that. Making everybody a Lt. Col after 13 years with no selection criteria and making him do the work of a Major / EE who too earlier became a Major after 13 years will now give the Lt. Col a status of a EE instead of a SE earlier since he is doing the job a EE now and NOT of a SE. The reason why a EE's status or a SE's status has not gone down is because they continue to work at the same level with same responsibility. A SE continues to work as a CWE and an EE as a GE. If people automatically became SEs after 13 years and to accomodate them got posted as GEs, then the SE status too would get diluted as what happened to Lt. Col and other ranks. Hope this adequately explains.

Anonymous said...

@ MES Engineer
It is not surprising that the MES engineer has not stated facts of MES appointments vis-a-vis the past appointments of the ARMY.
In the Past MES had only 4 appointments:- AGE for AGE/EE for GE/SE for CWE/CE for CE. The present bulk of IDSE officers have joined with the same structure. The ARMY structure of 10 ranks has created this equivalence problem.
The AF effort in reducing this structure to only 6/7 ranks is what is creating this problem.
Maybe the answer lies in having a grade pay structure equal to the civil services and a independent rank structure for holding military appointments (seperate for peace and ops/field).
OUR RANK PERFORMERS HAVE TO ACCEPT AND ADJUST. The promotion boards can be aptly called as COMMAND boards with a FIT/non-Empanelled result.

IndianACE said...

Good to see some healthy discussion and the MES Engineer (I hope he is actually one- an IDSE officer!!) is game for an issue based argument.

I also hope, service officers keep the discussion "civil".

I would like to point out to my MES friend that his comment-

"Remember folks equivalence is based on equivalent jobs and nothing else - "

is inherently flawed.

You are requested to go through this blogpost

The post was written pre PB-4 for Lt Cols, but it seems that somehow AV singh's thoughtlessness is considered a panacea for all issues with IDSE.

Now the G of I has written (On the sly??)that civ EEs (6 yrs service, PB-3, ) will not be placed under Lt Cols (13+ yrs service, PB-4).


What is the response of our top brass? Anyone?

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir, if equivalence is not based on equivalent jobs then how logically could it be based?

The status ascribed to a rank comes from the role / authority / command level assigned to it and nothing else. Rank by itself has no status Sir. A General has his status since he is COAS, if more people are promoted as Generals and placed as Army Commanders then his status would automatically get downgraded to that if Lt. Generals holding that position now. Lt. Generals have 2 status levels now - Corps Commander Level and Army Commander Level with different levels of authority and Command responsibility even though both have 3 stars. If some Brigadiers were promoted Major Generals and placed as Sub-Area Commanders with 2 Stars, the 2 Stars status would unfortunately get downgraded to 1 Star Brigadier Level - at least that is how the outside world would see it logically. Some Army officers do not seem to understand this. The Lt. Col rank despite getting PB4 and higher GP is now equivalent to EE / Erstwhile Major due to a lower level of authority / responsibility / command level ascribed to it as 2IC / Company Commander / GE rather than CO / CWE ascribed to it. Same thing for Cols now who work as COs / CWE like SE. In fact to be fair, a Lt. Col should be paid like an EE in PB3 since his output is like that of an EE as a GE / DCWE or an EE should be paid like a Lt. Col on PB4. However that is a different topic. The important thing is the role played by various AF ranks vis a vis their civilian counterparts to determine equivalence and this down gradation in AF ranks started with the Lt. Col rank being made a Time Scale 13 year post like the erstwhile Major. The AF should have objected then but now it is too late.

BTW Sir - I could not find any of the links that you posted so cannot comment on them.

IndianACE said...

@MES Engineer,
Aren't we getting a little selective wrt the basis for our arguements?
As someone pointed out, a Lt Col (Sapper) is an engineer as well as a leader of men. The job is not exclusive. Just because sappers send their officers to gain constr engineering expertise in MES, does not give anyone a leeway to equate all Lt Cols EEs.

With the attitude shown by the IIT professors and the AI pilots recently, don't you think that it is a good investment by the nation to have a group of engineers to take on the responsibility when the need arises.

After all, an army engineer cannot take "sick leave" at will.

I would have appreciated if you could have managed to open the links stated in my earlier post-May I request you to copy the hyperlinks and paste them to the address bar and then press enter. Voila!!

Talking of equal pay for same job, let's take a simile -A visiting professor from the IIT may take a few classes in a suburban college. He does not get equated to the resident lecturer. Does he? (With all due respect to the lecturer!).

Here, I do not intend to cast any aspersion on the engineering acumen of the MES (IDSE) Engineers, but what I mean shall get clear once you go through the blog post.



Anonymous said...

Hi !
nice discussions on the subject matter. DRDO treats the selection garde colonels as equivalent to Scientist E. Lt Col as Scientist D ( Pat band 3 ).

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir let us agree to disagree on the equivalence issue in this forum since I have been unable to make you understand how the outside world sees a Lt. Col as equivalent to EE now since they both do the same job. Furthermore as per your statement if a Lt. Col with at least 13 years of professional experience both as an engineer and a soldier still needs to work as an EE to gain construction expertise and so are posted as GEs, then it indeed is a sad commentary on engineering skill of sapper officers. If this is true, then pretty soon the outside world will accord a Lt. Col the status of a AEE since EEs are expected to have the construction expertise before being posted as GEs which apparently the Lt. Cols don't as per your statement.

So far as a visiting IIT Professor is concerned, he may take a few classes in a local college to share his expertise for a very short period of time with the college as an expert so there is no question of equating him with a lecturer of the college.

Even DRDO has recognized the true status of Lt. Cols as they employ them as Scientist D - PB3 and Cols as E - PB4.

Bottom Line - If the AF wants it's old status back, make the Lt. Col a selection rank again with minimum of 16 years and post them as CO / CWE etc. as they used to be. Making everybody a Lt. Col has really devalued it - it is like printing lots of 100 rupee notes - the 100 rupee does not have any value now but once it did. Otherwise rue the lack of status ascribed since the army ranks have been devalued by army itself as the higher ranks are working in posts that used to be held by lower ranks. Civilian MES engineers and others continue to perform the same duties for the same ranks and hence the status of a EE or SE remains the same. If a SE works as GE, then SE too would get downgraded like Lt. Col and the outside world will not accord the same status as it does to a SE.

IndianACE said...

MES (IDSE??) Engineer Sir,
Agreed to disagree.

Circa 2012, India is forced into a war with a larger neighbour. Need of the day is all hands on the deck.

So the govt of India promulgates to engage govt servants to augment the regular army. As it is, all national effort is targetted to defend the nation.

Now an MES SE with 21 yrs service is asked to report to BEG Centre Pune for further detailment on completion of a 16 weeks crash course.

Would this officer be put in command of an engineer regiment since the regular CO has just 19 yrs service?

If your answer is No- Let us assume he is placed as a company commander or a specialist engineer who reports to the above CO. Now would he continue to get the pay of a Supdt Engr or should he be placed in the lower pay grade?

Now just reverse this war time scenario to get an equivalant peace time engagement for sapper officers.

You state that the IDSE EEs have construction "Expertise" before they are posted to the appointment of a GE.

A very vain statement, Sir!! Have you ever bothered to counter check with your service users. Especially the Other Ranks!

Anyway, I respect your point of view. Sapper Lt Cols do need the tenure as GEs in MES to get experience in civil engg and it will indeed be difficult for "experts" to understand that there is a different engineering field where we design explosive placements and demolitions, construct/ launch bridges on the move, design and create minefields, channelise the adversary, build fortifications and bunkers and so many other activities when we are not with MES.

Like I said in the beginning, circa 2012 and some IDSE 'experts' may get a closer view on this field of engineering and then the men who have not feigned sickness on the way in(a la AI pilots) and those who come out of it on their own two (or even one) feet, will understand.

Till then we agree to disagree.

Best Wishes

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir - Thank you for your best wishes and the best wishes to you too.

We also agree to disagree in an agreeable way - a good thing for this blog when people can have a healthy discussion about various points even it they do not agree - a sign of maturity, adulthood and OLQ.

Respectfully I would like to disagree with Circa 2012 scenario -

1. It is a very fetched hypothetical scenario with a very very low probability of actually taking place in this day and age of intertwined global commerce where trade dictates everything. In 2001 after parliament attack, India did not actually attack Pakistan despite all the troop mobilization due to the pressures if maintaining global trade from US and others. So I see not much point dealing with imaginary scenarios which are not going to occur.

2. Even if this were to occur, it would not be wise to post a SE as a Company Commander under a Col CO - not a good use of such an experienced officer. Instead the SE should be posted as an Engineering Consultant or in a Senior Staff Position reporting directly to a Brigadier / Maj Gen @ the Brigade / Division Level where his expertise can be used effectively in the most optimum way if it is found that a SE cannot be a good CO due to lack of combat experience. If a SE is made to work as a Company Commander, the status of the SE would automatically go down be like that of a Lt. Col / Maj who are Company Commanders no matter what the SE gets paid. Govt, also has very clearly instructed that a SE cannot be placed under a Col.

A better alternative would be to train a AEE / EE for a crash course and make him a Company Commander reporting to the CO for these situations.

In fact I think all IDSE Officers should be made to take this 16 week crash course irrespective of war / peace situation so that they too can be placed in Engineer regiments for a fixed tenure as Reserve Officers to alleviate the shortage of officers. The same can be applied for all Govt. Officers so that non infantry / artillery and other non-combat roles in the army can be met as needed. It would also lead to better understanding and appreciation of each other and not cause any unnecessary heart-burn and friction to the detriment of the tax payer. May be a AEE / EE starting as a Coy Commander could be groomed or get the expertise also to be a CO or even E-n-C with time as the Sapper Officers get the expertise to corner all the top MES posts. Nobody will also be a "bloody civilian" anymore and we indeed would have one service then!

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir - Another comment if I may.

Regarding construction expertise - It is my submission that unless someone has the construction expertise, they should not be posted as GEs be they IDSE EE or Sapper Lt. Col. The govt. is paying the officer for his expertise in a certain area - that is what they are paid to do - this is not a training post - it is a senior position in an executive role - would be like posting the SE as a CO for the Circa 2012 scenario after 16 weeks crash course to gain combat expertise.

Anonymous said...

@ MES Engineer
I presume that MES engineer is IDSE minded. Rather than realising that it is part of Corps of Engineers like Railway TA/SOI/BRO raised by the ARMY for Corps of Engineers to gain experience during peace to be exploited during operations in the defence of the nation, the MES engineer think otherwise.
I must draw his attention to the fact that for TA units the embodiment as 2/Lt needs a minimum fo 5 years parental cadre service.
It appears that IDSE officers need also to be TA'ised and they too should be embodied as TA officers and MES reorganised as MES TA.
and "PRESTO" all this equivalence issues will be "PHOOSH".

IndianACE said...

@ MES (IDSE) Engineer, Sir

The entire 6CPC imbroglio is based on the surmise that Uncle Sam will be our Savior and Lord Protector.

During UN missions, I have personally come across similar statements from officers from other countries, whereby USA shall control the events to their nation's benefit, - Such nations are called BANANA Republics.

The Mughals, in their later years, had similarly let-out/ out-sourced their defence to firstly the Abdali (Ahmed Shah) then Sindhia and ultimately the British.

They would come to know over the next hundred years,and very clearly that "there is no free lunch"

But one cannot be forced to learn from history.

I'm so happy to note that the 16 week crash course appeals to you. There can be a revolutionary jointmanship amongst the defence Engineers if this is conceptualised.

After all, if you go through British History, there was a system of purchase of commission by civilians right upto 1872.

Believe me!


And on the other side the military man was also found to bribe his way to get a civil appointment (Mostly political).

However out here, what we are suggesting is that the IDSE officer periodically attends courses to keep abreast of mil engg and the service engr attends courses to keep abreast of civ engg. Logical.

And both, during the course of their career get appointed to appropriate appointment in the other branch.

But this is precisely what the E-in-Cs br is doing for service officers. Now it is for the other component to take the plunge.

Now about the second part dealing with expertise of an EE. Since you yourself state that this is an Executive appointment, the Lt Col clearly holds a better hand here.

He has been an executive through out his career. The entire training at NDA and IMA is aimed to make you an executive. And then 13 years of service.

Unlike him, the IDSE engr is a 'technically' trained individual who is getting to be an 'executive' after an 'Assistant Executive' tenure or two. After all he is just 6 years out of college!!

So we conclude by saying, while the EE learns to be an executive, and a 'senior one' as you stated, the sapper officer brushes up the technological advancements needed for his appointment.

And as all the corporate world and their salaries tell us, the 'executive' expertise attracts a greater premium.

I hope we are in sync till now.

As regarding what the govt is doing for the service-man and is getting from him in return, is what history shall judge and, hopefully, learn from.

On our part we serve this nation to the best of our ability.

With best wishes

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir - glad that we can agree on something - that a 16 week course for MES and other Civilian Officers is a good idea and placing such officers with Engineer and other non-combat army units would be a beneficial idea for the nation. As a first order of business the E-n-C should start this for IDSE Officers and start placing them with Army Engineer regiments on a fixed tenure basis on the same pattern the Sapper Officers are placed in MES. The BRO Officers could also be placed in the same pattern. For senior officers like SEs and above, they could be placed @ Brigade, Division and Corps levels in a senior staff / consultant / adviser level.

Where I would respectfully disagree with you Sir is your contention that a Lt. Col should be paid more than a EE when the two are doing the exactly same job as GE. Even though GE is an executive appointment, it is an engineering executive appointment with technical expertise and experience in civil engineering being of primary consideration. By the time an IDSE Officer gets promoted to an EE, he is expected to get the right blend of executive and engineering expertise to be an EE - otherwise he should not be posted as GE - as I mentioned it is not a training position. Hopefully his stints as AEE would give him that combined with his engineering degree. He also has been vetted for his technical skills - otherwise he would not have cleared the UPSC Engineering Services Exam in engineering which is competitive in nature. Moreover promotion to EE is not automatic after 6 years - he has to face a DPC for it unlike promotions up to Lt. Col which are automatic time scale - 13 years. So if a Lt. Col despite his "executive training" in NDA / IMA is lacking in civil engineering experience and is placed as a GE, such a placement at a higher rate is not fair on the Tax Payer as the tax payer is getting a lesser qualified person than an EE and paying more for it since a Lt. Col costs significantly more than an EE. same thing for SE / Col as CWE. The corporate world may pay more for executive skills but they do not waive the engineering requirement for technical executive posts and would not pay someone more if they lacked the key engineering experience for a certain position. Corporates also pay someone based on their output and if both an EE and a Lt. Col as a GE are expected to have the same output, they would also be paid the same as per corporate standards - Lt. Col would not be paid more just because he has more number of years if he is doing the same job as an EE by the corporate sector.

I know we can debate on this indefinitely but I do not see any point in doing so. I am however glad that we could express our views in a "civil" manner and could agree on at least one point - military training for IDSE Officers. With all due regards to you Sir.

IndianACE said...

Dear MES (IDSE) Engineer Sir,

I understand that this debate is unlikely to conclude among the two of us. But you know what!

I just copied our conversation and it has gone to 13 pages of a MS word document already. I am impressed by your intellect and appreciate your clear language.

Since our discussion is being compiled by me and shall be sent to the new E-in-C, whom I happen to know closely, I would like to go on a bit longer with your kind permission.

You have raised the issue of selection through DPR for IDSE officers vis a vis the system followed by the armed forces.

If I tell you that out of the 294 coursemates who were commissioned into the Indian Army with me, only about 243 reached the rank of Lt Col. 21 resigned, 18 died in harness (16 in action), 9 – failed part D/ inadequate OLQ etc

Today, I visited the idse.org site and entered Search -->UPSC year, to get a list of officers who had joined IDSE in a particular year and their present rank

Lets start with year 1995 (13 years service or less)

1995- Total Entry -19, Now EEs-19
1996- Total Entry- 14, Now EEs-14
1997- Total entry- 16, Now EEs-15
1998- Total entry -17, Now EEs-17
1999- Total Entry -07, Now EEs-06
2000- Total entry- 20, Now EEs-19
2001- Total Entry- 15, Now EEs-14

Now what can we say about the selection procedure of the hallowed DPC!!

I also noted (on the IDSE web site)

that the last complete course for which DPC has been held is UPSC year 2001 and of which 14 offrs were placed before the DPC. All of them are through!! In the first go itself!!!.

While browsing the IDSE website, I must say I am so impressed with the camradarie amongst the IDSE officers.

You will break free, my friends!! Just don't fire from Sapper Lt Cols' shoulders.

Our Generals are simpletons, we realise, albeit lately.

IndianACE said...

And since I love statistics, allow me to indulge a bit longer.

At the Rank of SE, the selection figures are as under. I start with 1981 batch as equallent army officers are just about getting into the Col(TS) zone. Amongst 1982 onwards, in sappers there are just about 35% offrs who are colonels (Selection)

IDSE Status is as under
UPSC batch
1981 Entry-3 Now SE- 3
1982 Entry-39 Now SE- 38
1983 Entry-94 Now SE- 90
1984 Entry-24 Now SE- 21
1985 Entry-24 Now SE- 23
1986 Entry 49 Now SE- 17*
(*- No Supersession. The first 17 on the list are SEs others are yet to be placed before DPC)

Offrs who entered 1987 onwards are EEs.

I am now searching out the details of the few unfortunates in the list above who have not got into the next rank.

These are the trivial pursuits of a Lt Col (SS)with a broadband connection.

MES Enginner said...

@ IndianAce - Sir thank you for your compliments. I appreciate the healthy respect shown by you. Yeah - please feel free to show our conversation to the new E-n-C - maybe he will be a breath of fresh air and not act in inimical interests of IDSE Officers. As our chief, we expect him to be like our father figure and not like a step father and treat all his children - sappers and civilians equally and not be partial to anyone. I too want a healthy organization.

Now regarding your comments on promotion prospects - Of the 294 course mates who were commissioned with you, 243 reached the rank of Lt Col. This is 100 % promotion to Lt. Col rank within the stipulated period of time since the rest 21 resigned, 18 died in harness (16 in action) very unfortunate but a professional hazard, 9 – failed part D/ inadequate OLQ etc were not eligible for promotion since they never served the stipulated period of time required. Subtracting these cases of resignation. deaths and discharge due to lack of OLQ etc., the total is indeed 243 who served the requisite number of years and simply got promoted as Lt. Cols without facing any screening.

On the other hand not all eligible EEs got promoted on time after 4 years of eligibility due to DPC selection criteria being applied and lack of vacancy since the EE posts are being taken over by Lt. Cols. In other engineering services like Railways, CPWD etc., engineers do get promoted on time there since there are no Lt. Cols taking those positions. In fact from your list, some did not even make it to EE yet despite serving more than the requisite number of years. It also has to be remembered that the average age of entry of a IDSE Officer is higher since the UPSC examination can only be taken after graduation and requiring one - two years of study for clearing the examination and appointment in which the engineers gain professional experience in other jobs. Perhaps a stint for EEs as Majors / Lt. Cols in Engineer Regiments after 16 weeks course can open up more EE vacancies for AEEs to ensure that they do get promoted on time like other Engineering Services and cause less heartburn as we see our positions cornered by Sapper Officers. This will also help the shortage of sapper officers in engineer regiments too.

MES Engineer said...

@ Indian ACE - With all due respects Sir, Generals are anything but simpletons - they would not be generals starting as 2nd Lts just as the rest if they were so. They must be having something in them which the rest don't otherwise they would not rise to be generals - they would rise up to Lt. Col only like the majority.

The youngest SE is of 1987 batch - only One that is a SE has 22 + years experience despite the minimum being 16 years. Hence EEs too are not being promoted on time as SEs unlike other Engineering Services. There are Cols who have been promoted in 16 - 20 years. Unlike the Sappers we do not have any acting ranks - so stagnation takes place if promotions do not take place on time. This again is due to Cols being posted as SEs unlike other organizations.

People may eventually get promoted but have to work under junior officers - both Sappers and Civilians till they do get promoted. So the DPC system does work since the higher ACR Officers get promoted first be it for AEE to EE or from EE to SE or from SE to ACE etc unlike the Sapper Officers who automatically get promoted as Lt. Cols just by completing 13 years. It is unfortunate that only 35 % make it to Col but that should not come at the expense of IDSE Officers by cornering the posts which can be done by SEs. It also costs the taxpayers more since a Col costs more than a SE due to MSP, rations etc. Looking at the Corporate analogy, that would not be possible since corporates will never pay someone more for doing the same job.

Hence despite the higher compensation offered to Sapper officers, the outside world will see a Lt. Col as equivalent to EE and a a Col as equivalent to SE and the govt. of India too has issued formal notification to that effect - No SE / EE should be placed under a Col / Lt. Col respectively and for Border Roads also the same equivalence has been established. The fact that E-n-C has blatantly ignored a govt. order or the DGBR was held in contempt of court for ignoring a govt. order is all together another issue. Wonder what happened to the BRO case?

Thank you again Sir for consideration of my views with highest regards.

IndianACE said...

IDSE Engineer Sir,

A) The 'unfortunate but professional hazard' which you mention in passing, is the very reason for the MSP.

B) The 'Lack of vacancy' is the reason that some of sapper Lt Cols, well qualified educationally(better than many IDSE officers) and having a blemishless career, does not make it to a full col. The sappers can also request you to opt for railways and leave Military Engr Services for them so that more offrs can be promoted to SE.

But both components know the vacancies available to them abinitio and thus have no reason to crib.

Our Generals are simple souls as they do not understand/ get involved into petty familiarity business. Can we have a situation where the COAS asks all commanders to ensure that the ACR of officers is not 'damaged' so that they all get promoted.

Here is what the president of the so called IDSE association has to say about 'management' the ACR for the IDSE officers.

Read http://www.idse.org/presi.doc

It is a long diatribe so go to para 16A where he speaks about ACR management of junior IDSE officers.

If this is not robbing the system, then what is?

Further you desire a stint as a maj/ lt col in the units. Most appreciated. But I hope letters will not be written to the 'cadre controlling authority' from the trenches. and you shall willingly come under the Army Act for the course of the tenure.

Rest assured- It is 'draconian' And this is the second reason for the MSP.

I'm really pained by the 'professional hazard' comment but it was expected, sooner or later.

However, I am flummoxed by your justification that IDSE is well screened by DPC where almost 100 % get through to the rank of SE whereas there is 'lack of screening' of Army Lt Cols inspite of the tests, annual medicals and having to operate under the Army Act for extended periods of time.

But it seems there is a fixation of ideas. I'm sure it is encouraged by your 'Cadre Controllers'. (This phrase itself seems out of the Soviet Union !!)

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to interact with you in some length.

I hope that you shall carry the positive outcome (the 16 weeks trg and tenure in uniform business) to a conclusion as you rise in service and then I shall have the honour to reveal my identity to you.

On this account, I rest my case.

Best Wishes

PS- 'Food for thought'
Will the IDSE accept a qualified Lt Col (SS), to its fold permanently, if the officer agrees to forego his uniform and the 'perks' and is willing to be placed in PB3 with prospects for future promotion through the DPC system.

Can you ask the president IDSE.

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir - please accept my deep apologies for inadvertently causing you pain by my "professional hazard" comment - I did not mean to do so. What I meant was that if these folks had unfortunately not died they too would have made the Lt. Col rank. Any death - be it Army or civilian is unfortunate for all the loved ones left behind - but unfortunately is a price paid perhaps more paid by the Army than others. My salute to all the brave soldiers both in uniform and civilians who have laid down their lives for our country. I hope and pray that the govt. take good care of their families without giving them any runarounds - the least one can do.

I have no problem when Army Officers are posted in field units getting MSP but see no justification for it in peace stations and / or working in civilian appointments like MES etc. when the job is essentially civilian in nature and can be done by civilians.

IDSE Officers are meant for MES so there is no question of them moving to Railways etc. - they have their own cadre and vacancies. Moreover a MES Officer will not be aware of Railways construction technology either to justify him to work in Railways - will not be a good use of tax payer money to enable faster promotion of IDSE Officers to the detriment of the Railway Engineers at the expense of Tax payers - does not make any sense to me as a tax payer even if it means more promotional opportunity for me as an IDSE Officer. As responsible govt. officers - both civilian and army, all of us must keep the interest of taxpayer supreme and then comes the interest of the men under our charge and then our interest comes last. Is this not what was taught in IMA? Simply promoting Sapper Officers to Lt. Cols and placing them as MES EEs is to the detriment of IDSE Officers at tax payer expense since a Lt. Col costs a lot more than an EE and yet needs to be trained in construction technology where as an EE is already expected to have that before being promoted and posted as GE. Forget IDSE or Sapper, Sir is it fair to the tax payer?

MES Engineer said...

@ IndianACE - Sir, COAS / Generals not asking the commanders to not give an adverse ACR to an Officer so as to not damage his promotion prospect. This is the right thing to do as an ACR is meant to be an independent system to gauge an Officers proficiency to determine their fitness for promotion in a competitive environment - provided it is fair. The IDSE President - an elected person of IDSE Officers was telling this in his role as the Association President and not in his official capacity with no binding effect - don't even know what he does himself in an official capacity. In fact he was complaining the same thing amomgst civilian superiors giving adverse ACRs to their civilian officers reporting to them affecting the promotion of the officers as the COAS, Generals and other Commanders do. No difference here as the people are free to do what they think is right in terms of ACRs - these advisories do not make any difference in reality.

About lack of screening up to Lt. Col - Provided minimum qualifications as meant like fitness reps etc., the army officers get automatically promoted to Lt. Col just by serving for 13 years - Time Scale with no selection criteria. Civilian IDSE Ofifcers have to go through DPC and there is no guarantee of promotion after the stipulated period of service. Different people of the same batch attain different ranks based on DPC results - that is why only 1 SE is there from 1987 batch - rest are all EEs - a sad commentary - also shows that the system is stringent and works - that only 1 officer of 1987 batch is considered fit to be a SE as there are no vacancies left for them since they have been cornered by Sapper Cols. In fact some officers of 1986 batch and earlier are still EEs - so there seems to be a selection / elimination criteris set by DPC - otherwise all officers would have got promoted at the same time within stipulated service period.

Yes - I will be one of the first to volunteer for the 16 week course and gladly serve under Army Act in uniform while I am posted with an Army Engineer regiment. Hope I get the MSP and other perks then while I serve in uniform under Army Act. I also appreciate and will gladly undertake the professional hazard of giving up my life on duty should such a need arise just as any soldier would. Even now as a civilian, I would be glad to do since I consider myself as a soldier even if I am not in uniform.

I would also like to mention Sir that GREF Officers / Personnel in BRO also serve under Army Act in uniform and do face the same "professional hazards" in field conditions including having to give up their life on duty for the motherland. However they do so with a smile with no MSP or other perks / status accorded to Army officers. Is that fair to the GREF personnel Sir?

Thank you Sir for your offer to join the IDSE as a civilian giving up the MSP and other perks in PB3. I can certainly ask the IDSE President about it but he is no one in authority to make a decision. He just represents the legitimate interests of the IDSE Officers - so his opinion is of no consequence. It is really up to the govt. to accept your offer. Some in IDSE will resent it as they will feel that an EE post has been cornered which could have been taken given to an AEE who has served the organization longer and can legitimately aspire to rise to. My personal take on this us that it is neither good for the organization or the individual to take up a position that is lower grade. If you are on PB4 now, why would you take up a PB3 job? Does not make any sense to me. You would not be fully motivated at PB3 with a massive cut in pay and perks and will not be fully productive for the organization. My suggestion to you Sir would be for you to join a large Private Construction / Engineering Company at a higher pay than what you are making now at a DGM Level making 1 - 2 lakh rupees / month rather than take a pay cut and join MES in PB3. Will not be good for you or MES!

Apologize once again Sir for causing you pain and would be grateful if you would accept my sincere apology.

arunachalam said...

Reading the exchanges, i get primary doubt. Is AF a service for MES or MES is a service for Armed Forces. MES seems to think Armed Forces exist for them. I think we could ABOLISH MES and Army could take over all functions. MES cadre be merged with CPWD and other central services.

IndianACE said...

Dear IDSE Engineer, Sir.

Whatever made you think from my hypothetical question that I've offered to join MES?

The question is generic, please!

Something caught my eye- you say-and I quote.-
Some in IDSE will resent it as they will feel that an EE post has been cornered which could have been taken given to an AEE who has served the organization longer and can legitimately aspire to rise to.

Which 'organisation' do you speak of?

And you speak about GREF officers serving under 'Army Act'

Till date- I've not seen any GREF officer returning from his leave on time.

Let's not bring the GREF in. The guys use Army Act for the canteen facilities and the liquor quota.

I am really finished (on this discussion) for now.

Once again with all due respect


IndianACE said...

There! you've me all confused-

Read 'IDSE' instead of 'MES' in line 3 of the last post.

Dear Navdeep- Can you correct it at the place itself? I'll be obliged.

Anonymous said...

@ Indian Ace and MES Engineer
I must complement you all for being so civic in your long discourse about promotions in MES affecting the Army and IDSE Officers. From the facts brought out, I would conclude that almost all IDSE Officers are making it to the next rank. This seems so because they have sufficient vacancies alloted to them. My suggestion would be to reduce their vacancies and allot it to the Army Engr Offrs. Equivalence in allotment of posts to IDSE vis a vis Army Engrs should go a long way in alleviating the misery of my brother Offrs. Let things be fair.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...


Let's close this topic now.
No more on this :-)

Bobby said...

can u tell me about the competition amongest the ex.servicemen for gove. jobs in civil. You can refer different comp.results where there cut-off list of marks obtained by the above is higher than a civilian candidate of UR cat. Insipite of the above the ex servicemen are not recruiting, there vacancies are vacant or allotted to other cat. Sir, pl trace out the solution and take up a case with the dept concern. Thanku Sir. Nk Harendra Singh (Retd.)