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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Soldiers of Misfortune : India Today

Sandeep Unnithan has very comprehensively covered the issue of disability benefits in the defence services through his very detailed write-up in India Today.

The logical reaction should be that of introspection and not of lament. We all must play our little roles to improve the system and make it fair, just and equitable.

The Services Headquarters have been very supportive of the cause and have time and again propounded an improvement in the system, but in the road towards change, one of the major problems is the lack of continuity of officers at key positions which hampers the smooth transition towards perfection. This ultimately leaves the field open for leveraging by lower level officialdom which is manned by people who do not wear uniform and who cannot analyse the ground situation too well.

For starters, most of the problems would be sorted out if all members of medical boards and the civilian staff at the PS Directorate are made to properly read and apply the Entitlement Rules, 1982, while examining disabilities. This simple and elementary action would cut disability litigation into half, mark my words.


Anonymous said...

May God help the soldiers with disability.
I think there is certainly a need to improve the lot of these soldiers.
Attention need to be paid to pre 1-1-06 retired pensioners with disability.
Disability pension for 100%disability for officers is at max
only Rs 5880 per month.
For post 1-1-06 retirees it is 30% of last pay drawn; which can be at max 27000 pm for a General.
Is it just and right for pre 1-1-06 retirees ?
Hope some one does something !

anil paranjpye said...

It is a fact that irrespective of the section/branch, the clerical staff at Service HQ works at the same desk for as long as ten years whereas the service officers get to work for two to four years.Consequently, the officers tend to rely on the staff for advice and info on precedences when deciding on a case. A wrong decision at service HQ level has long-term repercussions and therefore, in the long term interest of the services, the officers posted to Service HQ must be indoctrinated into the appointments they are to work in, and allowed to function in that appointment for five years.

PiedPiper said...

As long as we work at becoming Jack of all Trades and do not strive for speciality fields, we will continue to be dependent and groping in the dark.

The answer may lie in having staff with speciality. An officer who is slotted for Q matters should remain in Q staff and in due course become an expert in that field. Only those in the command chain may be exposed to other branches.

So many officers get superseded with nearly two decades of remaining service - they can soon acquire expertise in fields such as pay & allowances, works etc.

Anonymous said...

Major Navdeep Singh is rendering a yeoman service to our soldiers be in uniform or otherwise.He has highlighted the problems of disabled soldiers time and again. The recent coverage in India Today will also pave the way for catching the eyes of few senior officers in Armed Forces. I am hopeful that such concerted and sustained reporting will definitely bring a change in policy and benefit our veterans. Till then fight for right without resigning to fate must continue through high courts,AFTs, and Supreme court. Since a true soldier never quits

Rajvir, New Delhi

PiedPiper said...

While many disadvantages of calling yourself ‘different’ from your civil counterparts have already been brought out on this forum, here is one which is slightly different. I only realized it when I sought admission of my children in Engineering Colleges.

Delhi Govt (like other state Govt as well) requires certain criteria to be met before issuing a Domicile Certificate. There are

--- Continuous Residence In Delhi For The Last Three Years.
--- Voter-I Card For Residence Proof at Delhi.

Even though, I was born and brought up in Delhi and have an ancestral home in Delhi for over 50 years, I do not meet the 1st criteria since I am not “continuously staying in Delhi for past three years” – thanks to my service.

Further, since I am not “normally staying in Delhi” (should be at least last two years) I am not eligible to get Registered for Voter as well – for that matter anywhere.

Infact, since I would not be meeting the above criteria anytime anywhere I would not get a Domicile Certificate anywhere in India. The answer I get from the SDM was “Sir aap to Desh ke liye border par larte ho – aap ka to domicile Delhi ka nahi, pure Desh ka hai”. He was kind but helpless.


I do have an offer to get a domicile for Rs 1500/- “No Conditions Apply”.

Forgive me OH! LORD! Do I have a choice?

Anonymous said...

@ pied piper you don't have a choice....you are in the army now....jokes apart..there are pluses too & am very sure things should be better in the years to come....babus have these rules and babus rule delhi ,so, be aware............faujion ke liye dilli bahut door hai...