Myth : Only 33% Lt Generals and equivalent would be promoted to HAG+
Reality : Wrong. It is not that only 33% Lt Generals would be able to attain HAG+. The fact is that at any given point of time, only 33% of total number of Lt Generals (excluding Army Commanders and equivalent) would be placed in HAG+. As the top Lt Generals retire, the ones junior down the chain shall get placed in HAG+ by seniority. Hence ultimately, in the present situation (wef 01 Jan 2006), most of the Lt Generals (approximately 90%) should retire from HAG+ and the percentage should further go up with time.
Myth : HAG+ is applicable only to Lt Generals of the Arms
Reality : There is going to be no discrimination between Arms and Services. All Lt Generals shall be placed in HAG+ by seniority.
Myth : The 6th CPC had lowered the status of Lt Generals and the placement of 33% Lt Generals in HAG+ is not a rectification of that anomaly
Reality : The 6th CPC had not tinkered with the status of Lt Generals. Even after the 5th CPC, Lt Generals were lower than DsGP in pay. The following was the pay equation of Three Star officers of the IPS and the Defence Services post-5th CPC which was continued by the 6th CPC :
Addl DGP = Lt Gen
Selected DGP CPOs = Lt Gen (Army Commanders)
After placement of 33% Lt Gens in HAG+, following is the situation now :
Addl DGP = Lt Gen
DGP = Lt Gen (top 33%)
Selected DGP CPOs / DGP (One Cadre post) = Lt Gen (Army Commanders and Corps Commanders who are not placed as Army Commanders due to lack of residual service)
While some officers have argued (and in a sense rightfully so !!) that the Military should have refused the 33% offer, my personal humble opinion is that had we not accepted the 33% figure, it would have resulted in all Lt Generals remaining below DsGP. It was nothing or something, and in such a situation, ‘something’ may have been thought of as a better choice by the services - while the scope of further improvement always remains valid. In the ultimate analysis, this should be better than shutting the door once and for all. By the way Lt Gens in HAG+ shall now be equated with Special Secys to Govt of India.
Myth : The Govt should have (and could have) granted HAG+ to all Lt Gens
Reality : The HAG+ is a promotional upgradation from HAG with a minimum amount of residency period required in HAG in consonance with the respective service rules. There is no service under the Govt where an officer can move up from SAG level directly into HAG+ and there is no service or cadre wherein 100% officers of the HAG are promoted to HAG+. The number of officers moving up from HAG to HAG+ in every service remains quite low. There is no practice anywhere in the govt of placing all officers of a cadre in HAG+.
The pitfalls :
(a) Pension for pre-2006 Lt Generals who retired from the erstwhile HAG remains a grey area but I’m sure Services Headquarters must be deliberating this issue with the govt. Ideally, the pension of retired Lt Gens should also be fixed at HAG+ level since from now onwards almost all are going to retire in that grade.
(b) The issue of some Corps Commanders being in HAG while DsGP of States being in HAG+ needs to be addressed from an operational point of view. However as far as the status equations are concerned, the Warrant of Precedence (amended till 2008) is very clear on this aspect. In the WoP, a Lt Gen features on Article 24 followed by DsG CPOs on Article 25 while State DsGP are not even listed on the WoP.