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Monday, December 7, 2009

MEA being unfair to non-IFS Group A as well as Commissioned Officers

Everybody’s a royalty within his or her own domain. The MEA hence has its turf in our missions abroad.

Officers of Central Group A Services and Commissioned Officers are not getting their due while being on the strength of foreign missions. And this applies to status, entitlements as well as allowances. As we know, after the 6th CPC, Grade Pay is the determinant of all entitlements and allowances under the Central Government in India, but the same analogy is not being followed by the MEA in foreign missions, which are in fact, in accordance with law, a part of Indian Territory.

Colonels and equivalent of the Army (PB-4/GP 8700) and at times officers of the Rank of Director to Govt of India (PB-4/GP 8700) are being equated with First Secretaries of the MEA staff (PB-3/GP 7600) for the purposes of protocol and also foreign allowances. The Counsellor of the Mission from the IFS (PB-4/ GP 8700) outranks all other officers of similar grade from other services and in fact is granted a higher protocol than even a Brigadier of the Army (PB-4/GP 8900). Brigadiers have been tagged with Counsellors for rates of entitlements. Officers of the grade of Director to Govt of India with 20 years of service when on deputation to missions are being designated ‘First Secretaries’, an appointment which is essentially held by officers of the IFS with 9 years of service. It is also learnt that officers of the rank of Lt Col (PB-4/GP 8000) are being equated with IFS officers who are two ranks junior, that is, Second Secretaries (PB-3/GP 6600), for the purposes of certain entitlements whereas as far as I know, even MoD letter No 4(1)/98/D(Pay/Services) dated 19 May 1999 states that it is Majors who shall be equated with Second Secretaries for such purposes. Incidentally the ibid MoD letter also clearly stipulates that ‘pay’ for defence officers shall include (the then applicable)‘rank pay’.

The correct equation in Missions after the 6th CPC definitely has to be the following as far as the Defence Services are concerned : Minister – Brigadier – Counsellor / Colonel – Lt Col – First Secretary – Second Secretary / Major.


Anonymous said...

Most of the oficers who are sent as attaches are 'high profile' guys and wouldn't like to buck the boat. So, whatever the treatment meted out - they would lump it. It is only then that they can add that high profile tenure to their career profile. It is exactly for this reason that most of the Service Officers in Service HQs lump it when they are dictated terms by their Babus.
In the long run it would lead to a protocol imbalance which will be cited for degradation of status.
There are two ways this can be rectified:
a) The service Officer redefines his status after taking up the matter with the Service HQs. - UNLIKELY
b) The Service HQs is primed to redress such cases.

madana said...

MEA rules the doles to others at the Missions. From the point of History, I have had reasonable experience with interacting at our piece of land in missions abroad.(having visited several countries as a member of Air Crew of the VVIP Flights)
Only Lt Cols and equivalent ranks were given the privilege of Diplomats in the years 1959 and following years!
Present equations appear to be better in comparison and Ministry of Defence ought to take up the issue of equivalance as it is vital to self respect of the Officers affected.

Anonymous said...

dear all, apart from the injustice being done to army personnel in msns abroad,i would also like tyo bring to your notice the injustice with army pers posted as part of UN Msn.None of provisions like field area allowance and travel allowances are given to them where as same is applicable to civilians serving abroad.they are not covered by any regulations

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
Once railway minister was approached by some aggrieved, complaining that in a train the last boggi gives lot of 'Jatka'. Listening patently, the railway minister gives the rulling that henceforth there won't by ant last dibba in a train.
In the same analogy and keeping in mind all the biterness in mind, our country also should not have Fauj. "Na rahari banns, na bajagi bansuri"

Anonymous said...

Why go so far away into embassies? look into DRDO under ths same Defence ministry. DRDO has the following parity:
Brig = Scientist F(18 years service)
Col = Scientist E(14-15 years)
Lt Col= Scientist D ( Pay band 3)
Maj with more than 12 years service: Scientist D
Major with les than 12 yeras service = Scientist C

any comments ? anyone ?

Anonymous said...

RTequest for uploading the letter under reference for info of all affected officers please.

JB Singh said...

I'am a bit confused here. Was'nt the grade pay supposed to define interse seniority within a particular service rather than across services ? If so then should'nt grade pay NOT form the basis of the argument behind parity between different hierarchical structures ? We should instead be pushing for parity at functional levels - irrespective of the grade pay. If we continue using GP as the basis - well we continue to fight a losing battle.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@JB Singh

Yes and No, No and Yes.

Whatever may be the grey area in the case of GP vis-a-vis inter se seniority, it definitely determines your entitlements and allowances incl travel and housing. In missions, a depressed foreign allce is being paid to military officers leading to an acute financial effect. Ditto for other entitlements. And not just DAs and MAs, even officers of other central Group A civil services are affected.

paddy said...

why should MoD send officers to serve in lower posts? if a particular post is equvalent to second secretary then MoD should post a major there instead of Lt Col. If MEA doesn't want to accept, then they can go and take a hop :-)

Anonymous said...

Disparity... Disparity and Disparity ..in all front with all... let us not discuss. It will only bring negativity and even spoil a bit of pride we have in ourselves.

Let us live in well with no access to electronic and print media.

We would fight well and die honourably. A solution within... no need to go any where.

JB Singh said...

So the solution seems pretty obvious. In any inter-service organisation, if an army officer is being equated with an officer with a lower grade pay, post an officer of a junior rank e.g. instead of a Col post a Lt Col and so forth till the grade pay matches.
In this way we protect our rank structure against depredations affected on it by non-service people. We thereby restore the dignity and standing of our lower ranking officers and keep intact the aura of our higher ones (despite scams !)Remember the erstwhile "Kurnal Sahbs"?

Officers of other organisations sometimes tend to focus on total emoluments rather than the breakup, and in the process unwittingly upset the bhel-puri cart.
Many things attributed to malice are rather the result of plain stupidity - as someone somewhere said. So, we need not lose our shirt but just tweak our internal system.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj. Navdeep,

Your doing yeoman service to The Services and therefore to The Society at large.

What about DA and other allowances on Tactical Exercise With Troops and Without Troops ?

Anonymous said...

If the DAs and the MAs do not have enough courage to even take up such cases of disparity and chose silence in interest of their careers , then they deserve this kind of treatment. One has to fight own battle sometime and not leave everything on people like Navdeep

Anonymous said...

@Maj Navdeep

what you said is just the tip of the iceberg !
What you said only covers officers who are posted as DAs/MAs !What about other officers who are posted as part of training teams and under ITEC ?
Do you now that MEA has taken out a special ruling in Feb 09 wherein officers who have been equated as Second/First secretaries are being given substantially lesser amounts of Foreign allowance as compared to their counterparts of the IFS ...its a fact and its disgraceful.

Matt said...

I stand by some of the comments that have been made in the post. What has amazed me is that there is no relevance of protocol or equivalence in any form. Is this correct ? I wanted to know if an RTI application would help ? Also, I think it is unfair to say that all MAs/DAs are keeping quiet about this. I know for sure some who aren't but u would be amazed to know that the letter that Navdeep has referred to (MoD letter No 4(1)/98/D(Pay/Services) dated 19 May 1999) is not available at any of the Service HQs and the chancelleries in most embassies dont share the letter. If one asks, they claim there is no such letter ! If someone can post a copy, it would be a great help

Anonymous said...

The Service HQs must take up all these issues with the GoI and pursue them relentlessly, accepting a lower grade / stature/perks & pay will only lead to such ammomalieies becoming unwritten law. Its high time our bosses sitting in Delhi do things other than prevailing on their own offrs and tps.

Anonymous said...

On the issue of corresponding status;
The table of equivalence of ranks is excellent.
I would request and recommend that a similiar table for PBOR and equivalent be also posted especially vis a vis services like MES, Audit personnel, Police, PMF,Govt Administrative offices and DRDO/other def civs


Anonymous said...

The rank estructure of the services is one of the contributing factors for such anamoies.I feel the rank of Brig should be done away with and the Cols should be directly promoted to Maj Gen.

An interesting but true example is given below:

The DGQA organisation has both service and civilian officers. PScO (NFSG) are equivalent to Cols (PB4 and Gde Pay Rs 8700/-). For the civilian officers, the next promotional post is Dir Gde-I (PB4 and Gde Pay 10,000/-) equivalnet to Maj Gen. Thus, none is equivalent to Brig (PB4 and Gde Pay Rs 8900/-. However, interestingly in the DGQA organisation some posts are tenable by Brig and equivalent. In case of civilian officers, such posts are filled by the PScO (NFSG) equivalent to Cols. They are then considered as equivalent to Brigs. Shockingly, their seniority in the post is reckoned from the dates of assumption of the appointment and the gde pay is totally ignored. If they assume the appointment before a newly promoted Brig, they are considered senior to such Brig even when his Gde pay is more. It has an adverse effect on the morale of the service officers. In certain disciplines of DGQA the PScO(NFSG)serving under Brig are promoted to Dir Gde-I i.e. senior to the same same Brig they srved under. What a situation?

ravuri sheetal said...

Can you enlighten me as to where I can access and get a copy of the MEA letters in question? I am an affected party being a Group Captain serving a foreign tenure being paid the allowances applicable to a First Secretary in accordance with MOD letter dated 1999.


Gp Capt Ravuri Sheetal, VM

Arun Kumar said...

Dear sir I have a copy of MoD letter No 4(1)/98/D(Pay/Services) dated 19 May 1999. In case you want to take up case with MoD