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Friday, October 14, 2011

The difference is in the attitude….

Why is it that the service benefits of serving personnel and pensionary benefits of veterans continue to get stonewalled even when ordered by the Courts and Tribunals ?

It is a plain attitudinal problem.

It has been discussed here before that unfortunately defence personnel are treated as adversaries, rivals and competitors by junior level appointments in the MoD who do not let logic or truth prevail by way of misleading the senior functionaries who are actually the competent authorities in taking decisions.

A glaring extreme would be the functioning of the Pension wing of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the MoD vis-à-vis the Department of Pension and Pensioners’’ Welfare (DoPPW) of the Personnel Ministry which handles pensionary benefits for civil employees.

Major pensionary decisions are taken by DoPW in a democratic manner by involving all stakeholders and by holding regular meetings with organisations of serving and retired employees, meetings which are at times chaired by the Personnel Secretary and even by the Minister. The Citizens’ Charter of the said department would reveal that the vision of the department is to “ensure a life of security, dignity and respect for central govt pensioners”. The department has totally dedicated itself to promoting welfare of pensioners and ensuring prompt revision of polices wherever required. Time frames for all functions have been conceptualised which are always adhered to. RTI requests are responded to within less than one week and in a very transparent manner. On the other hand, the Pension wing functioning under the DESW of the MoD has not even (yet) resolved certain anomalies existing since the 5th CPC (and at places even from the 4th CPC). The attitude is extremely anti-veteran and negative and it seems that anomalies are permitted to flourish in a designed manner. RTI requests are not replied at all or responded with utterly misleading information which could be labelled as white lies. While the DoPPW tries to minimise the effect of cut-off dates after various pay commissions or decisions, its MoD equivalent deliberately brings in cut-off dates in all its letters and policies. A most recent example would be a letter issued by the MoD on 29-09-2009 permitting disability pension to voluntary retirees but making it applicable only to those who retired after 01-01-2006. However on the other side, the DoPPW introduced the concept of Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) for disabled civil pensioners on the lines of defence pensioners but made it applicable to all eligible civil retirees irrespective of date of retirement with arrears from 01-01-2006. Hence even a freshly introduced benefit has been applied by the DoPPW proactively to all existing eligible pensioners while the MoD has chosen to deny the benefits of an already existing policy to pre-2006 retirees.

Not just on the pension front, even for benefits of serving personnel there is always resistance from within the system specially in cases involving court verdicts. And ironically this resistance sometimes comes from within the uniformed services also as an off-shoot of bitter infighting. To take an example, whenever in cases of pay or allowances a verdict is rendered in favour of an officer by a any Court or Tribunal including the highest Court of the land, the immediate reaction is that of the ‘judgement being against govt policy’ thereby leading to filing of ego-based appeals and reviews in Courts without analysing the entire issue holistically or dispassionately on merits. And when a judgement is finally implemented, it is only done so for the person approaching the court rather than universally. Well, we need to take a cue from the civil side. Here is a circular issued by the DoPT recently extending Special Incentive Allowance @ 15% of basic pay to the non-executive staff of CBI which was ordered on the basis of a Calcutta High Court judgement rendered on 28-04-2011. Three points stand out in this circular – firstly, a judgement rendered for a single person has been very fairly implemented for all, secondly, it was not challenged in the SC in a routine manner, thirdly, the judgment was rendered towards the end of April and has already been extended to all affected in early October. This shows fairness in response and should be emulated by the MoD as also the Services HQ. What is hurting us most is the false sense of pride that some of us get by picking out faults or ‘ghundis’ in positive proposals. I myself have seen officers approaching their seniors with notings reflecting why a thing cannot be done rather than examining ways and means reflecting how it could be done. And such people think as if they are displaying their intelligence by fishing out loopholes. Sorry, but by having such an approach we are continually axing our own feet.


Anonymous said...

There is only one answer boss, and it is as plain on the nose on most peoples face: The IDAS, IDES, IDSE, AFHQCS, IOFS need to be wound up, and uniformed personnel need to start taking responsibility for their own wellbeing, rather than constantly hoping that someone else will provide for them.

The vast civilian infrastructure in MOD has failed in its objective, which was to support the armed forces. So, they must go.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

You have quite eloquently brought out the morass in the MoD. I exhort you to bring out a plan to tackle these super babus.

What do you reckon is the way ahead to resolve this mess?

How can the issue of this poor attitude and negative mindset be taken up to the Defence Minister?

Is there a legal way to bring these feet draggers to task?

Also, do publish my comments.

Pokar Ram said...

Dear Navdeep,
An excellently worded article very truly applicable at every step taken by the DESW. But the Service HQ mandarins need to be aware and corrective action taken, if not before promulgation, atleast on promulgation

Anonymous said...

Dear navdeep,the discrimination against army and within the army has been having a negative effect.few examples,telephone allce is permitted for civ employees even if they have residential tele,for mobile and internet is not allowed for army offrs.The procedure for claiming has been made complicated.another issue is the allotment of side berths only to army pers travelling on wt/d forms.with in the army the disparity in promotion to rank of col and disparity in number of vacancies distributed are some of the issues which are current and need resoltion.As of now we are talking of ensuring that we are equated with IAS in pay and allces and that our pay should get revised automatically like Gp A offrs on civ side when ever the service gap is more than two years for same batch.however in army itself there is a gap of more than 3 years from offrs in some arms.


It beats me beyond all logic as to why the civ gentry and our own people in Hqs are anti veterans and their own kin. For those in uniform have to retire someday and would face the same plight as others are doing.Rather than correcting the wrong doing they are out to justify why it should not be given.The AFHQCS is our own creation. The sooner it gets uniformised better for the nation. If a senior offr goes to the court he is fighting for his right and if a junior offr goes he is trying to challenge the system.What a farce!Attitude
The nation has to pay for maint the armed forces for safe guarding their fredom and territorial integrity. Those who are there are by virtue of having it in them.Others don't have.I am sure many in civ offices would have tried the services selection board and not found fit.It is the physcological way of getting over their failures.
Some restructuring needs to be done to get over the attitude. The best way is that those serving in defence hqs will compulsorily have to go through 3 to 5 yrs military service.Else be shunted out.That will put all in their proper shoes.

Harry said...


I have one simple solution. Since Bharat Sarkar is NOT going to effect any change in anti Services cadres manning this (and other equally inimical) departments supposedly 'serving' the services, ESM orgs need to take the cudgels.

Pls start peaceful sit-in protests (dharnas or picqueting) in front of all such hostile departments and target the top boos and just see the effect when media also jumps to add fuel to the fire!!

PS: The abovementioned is a borrowed idea from Aamir Khan's suggestion to Anna to carry out picqueting of those MsP residence who opposed Jan Lokpal Bill.


saran said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
I have been folowing this blog for years now and hold you in high esteem. Somehow, your opft repeated take on "junior MoD officials" perplexes me for two reasons. Firstly, Why are you patronising the senior functionaries and obfuscating any attributability to the decisons being taken totally on the junior functionaries, which conveys the message that senior officials have no say in how the department is run, which is really hard to believe. Secondly, It also conveys as if the senior officials (IAS) are so incompetent that they could be easily 'fooled' by people who are supposed to be subordinate to them. Beats me !!

Anonymous said...

There is hardly anything left for us to comment. You have made absolutely clear in no uncertain terms, as to where the problem lies.BB of disability is another case, which civilian counterparts have got.Where as for ESM even though SC ruling exists no action has been , rather the file if it does exit has been cosigned to dustbin.We have to fight for our rights no doubt but our own brethern in uniform appear to be the biggest hindrance.Hope some day we will all ESM and SERVING will getogether to fight for our rights.


corona8 said...

"...axing our own feet..."
Whenever I really feel my thinking on the state of AF personnel and veterans is at the most rational level, those three words neatly encapsulate the bedrock reality from which all our ills spring. More than finding fault with civilian bureaucracy, and God knows they're no angels, we have to correct our own attitudes towards one another first of all.

Anonymous said...

as one of the hon'ble judge said " wood peckers harm the tree more than the strom outside. we have plenty woodpeckers in services HQs.

Brig Opinder Singh (Retd) said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, your write up is hitting the nail on the head but I think its the entire MOD top to bottom incl the Ministers who are anti services even as far as sorting such routine problems like pay and allowances anomalies since 4th pay commission are concerned.The most recent case is that of broad banding of disability pension.The recommendations of 6 Pay commission have been applied to the civilian employees whereas the MOD is discriminating and not taking corrective action inspite of the Supreme Court judgement dated 31 Mar 11 in the case of Capt KJS Buttar vs U of I, in favour of the service personnel. What is the way out? Kindly open a suggestion box and invite all to contribute their ideas.
Our Chiefs can fight their own cases but has any Service Chief taken up the cases like OROP or Rank Pay. Rank Pay case is being being contested by retired officers by pooling in funds inspite of the fact that serving officers are also the beneficiaries if the case is decided in our favour. Its in the Courts for last 25[Twenty Five] years, next hearing on 21 Nov 11 in the Supreme Court Of India.Thumbs down to MOD and Sevice HQ, they are now called IHQ, that may probably the reason that service officers are also influenced to act against their own comrades in arms or those since retired.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

I can see a very deep involvement of your emotions and understanding on these issue. What surprise me even you are not a pensioner, but how rightly you understand the pain of pensioners. And it gave the feeling to reades that as it is your personal pain. Khudos Navdeep.

Thanks & Regards
Rajender Agarwal

Anonymous said...

What you write is 100% true.

I think your blog does yeoman service and a lot of serving officers read it and get some education. Once they are in appointments where they can make a difference, they will.

Its a slow change but the tide is irreversible thanks to you. Keep up the good work and god bless.

msc said...

To our bureaucracy -
It is amazing that it is expected from our community to take quick decisions in the battle front. Decisions that critically decide the result of an operation . These are our teeth . What about the back end?Yes it may be addressed the bum .It is confused to the core . No clarity in policies. In spite of the mess staring at our faces there seems to be no effort to clean it up. We are the force where clarity of thought and stating the objective is so much a necessity .We have fought our battles and post retirement is certainly not the time we should be provoked to fight another one .Do what is expected from us in the battle front .WE cannot afford to be confused there . Display that much required clarity of thought and cement this crumbling foundation on which the future of our nation lies .

Anonymous said...

Until a real jatka(shocking jolt) is given to polititians- the real culprit(babu) can not be brought in open. the quite fauj/fauji degrading started with 3rd CPC and will continue endlessly. please remember junior babus have been placed in all three services HQs, who prepare the first note on all most all subject concerning fauj and faujis. The major/lt.cols and equivelants comes and go but never counter the note, rather agrees without reading the relevant REGULTIONS and the flag officers put their dhobi mark also never repeat never see/read whether what is written is as per the laid down rule or not and FAIL in their duty. They do not want to antagonise the higher ups for thier next promotion/posting. Had the officers posted in the HQs responsible for reading the pay commission reports since 3rd CPC ,keeping the services pension REGULTIONS in front, we would not have been in present mess of pay and pension matters. babus continues twisting/ommitting the written words, one by one, in the pension regulations and the uniformed babus failed to catch their mala fide intent. Thats why its the junior civilian babus who are the basic problem as stated by navdeep and others. The civilian babus are placed in HQs to keep checks on uniformed babus who are posted only for two three years in HQs. MoD do not allow a single fauji babu in any of the deptt. in MoD where final decisions are taken for faujis. Until our 2,3,4 star officers becomes honest, bold, serious and sincere -the faujis will continue to suffer and civilian babus will continue creating situation/problems for faujis to get relief by courts, by paying large amount of advocate fees, we know how the courts work. if the fauji wants to live a dignified life- then we have to ensure that the problem is not created by babus. jai hind

jimmy 48 said...

Very well articulated blog where you have explained in simple terms the attitude prevailing in the MOD and even with some in the Integrated Defence HQ. Hope some people concerned are listening and searching their conscience to correct the harm being done to truly live up to the purpose for which the Dept has been created.
Col T N Baba (Veteran)

rajawat said...

the problem is of attitude . i fully agree with maj navdeep to sort out problems of pnsioners .

but if we compare armed forces with every tom dick and harry problem will increase .
can the pay progression of all services can be put on hold as they should be permanently tied with equivalent rank of army in 1937 .

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with views of Rajwatji above. No one is asking for pending pay progression of other services. What instead is being asked is why it is not being done for armed forces personnel simultaneously, and specially so when we do not have any representative body (not authorised to form associations, not go on strikes) and with other restrictions on correspondence channel and army act etc and when court orders in favour of armed forces personnel are being delayed by the government through review appeals etc. Why armed forces not be considered as equals if not better than other services? Give me a reason sir? First this attitude has to change;

Gavini VN said...


How concise and explicit you are indeed!!!

Besides what you have brought out in the article about the prompt and timely actions of DOPT, I would like to add one recent order issued by them.The 7% DA increase wef 1.7.11 to all CG Employees and pensioners orders first issued by DOPT, indicating Defence, rlys Dept would issue separate orders. But on 5.10.11, the DOPT, on their own initiative had issued another order for Def Pensioners, and Dept ESW would have taken more time or missed out Dasara festival.

The biggest problem in the Army is that all pay and allows related issues are handled by CDA(O) Pune, which is faraway and inconvenient administratively. For example, despite repeated petitions and personal visits to Pune,the CDA(O) is yet to fix my son's correct pay as on date (now a Major, 2004 entry). The pay bill indicates his rank as Major but the pay shown is that of Lt only(with6 increments).

Contrary to this, the Air Force has their own fleet of Admin/Accts branch officers and tradesmen dealing these matters exclusively, at all levels, with centralised apparatus at AFRO and AFCAO, NEW DELHI. Moreover, all occurrences/ incidents are bought out as official reports on a daily basis and in time bound manner,strictly in a thouroug systamatic manner at all levels, routinely as a matter of course.

Rearding the atttitude issue, how very true you are, that most of the officers, though initially highly motivated and positive with initiative and utopian dreams, gets shattered and influenced with harsh and adverse atmosphere at units levels, especially at the cold indifferent treatment meted out by by some senior officers and the worst hit are the un-resolved personnel matters. Of course, there are verygood encouraging and understanding senior officers too, but their nos. is too small.

I suggest the viable solution for "axing our own feet",should be

(1)To assign all personnel matters of AF personnel, including issues of Pay parity, rank pay, fixations cases, promotions etc and be handed over to be handled by DOPT rathan than by the ESW(MOD) Dept. (may be disbanded) And Or

(2) Create a dedicated cadre of officers within the Army to deal with Admin and Accounts issues, exclusively, with supporting staff to assist them at all units level so this is addressed permanently.

(3) Since no one cares for these isssues either by the stake holder officers or the MOD ESW/Service HQs, may I request Maj Navdeep Sir, to kindly take up the same with concerned authorities, PLEASE......

Gavini VN

Hfo ravindran said...

Sir, thank u 4 the great service u r rendering 2 us,Ex service men' Pl suggest a way out.We r scattered every where and unable 2 interact effectively.U r a great source of help.Sir, r u not aware of the judgement of AFT Chandigarh 2 enhance the pension of Hony Offrs,It is now more than 4 months and no action seems 2 have been taken.Is there any hope Sir. Pl advice Thank u

Anonymous said...

rank pay case will it affect officers commisioned after 1996. please let me know. thanks and all the best.

Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao said...

DOP&PW looks after their civilian pensioners because some day the chaps manning the the posts in DOP&PW will join the ranks of civilian pensioners. MOD / ESW chaps are also civilians and will be covered by the DOP&PW orders when they retire, but these chaps of MOD/ ESW are themselves NOT AFFECTED by the orders issued by MOD/ESW and it is the Serving ranks and VETERANS who will face the consequences of the cock-eyed orders of MOD / ESW ! The answer is for the Dept to be manned by personnel in uniform at every level of the heirarchy in MOD, whose thinking would be to see that the serving ranks and veterans do not suffer the ignomimnies to which they are subjected to at present by the Civilian personnel of MOD. But who will bell the cat to do so ?- it is again the civilian bureaucrats that take the decisions and the uniformed personnel have no say in it ! - unless of course the political authorities realise the injustices being meted out to Defence Services and decide to put uniformed personnel in the administration of MOD.What a DREAM !
Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao
Secunderabad 17 Oct 2011
email : kamu1932@gmail.com

rajawat said...

biggest problem is of comparison with other services .
problem of armed forces can be solved better if is seen as a stand alone problem .
i dont see any body from any other service has ever complained about pay and perks of armed forces good or bad less or more . let armed forces brush aside the comparison and demad what is right full for them . ask for moon , n i m sure no body will ever complain abt it . be it promotion , pay and perks . if u want every body to become a general modify ur str like that and demand like that . no pt cribbing abt ias or any other service . earlier a primary teacher was like a sepoy , today primary teacher is like a nco and so on . the equation keeps changing . it can not be stagnant . when teachers demanded higher pay and status they never compares their posn wth army , similarly when army demand some thing it should not compare wth other services . there r services where a b tech joins as AE , do not get promotion life long , thr r other services whr a btech retire as engineer in chief .so any demad purely based on equations of 1937 or so will not succeed and it will cause only frustation .

from above i dont negate any demand of armed forces , but i only emphasize that life will be much smpler if we leave comparision

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,
I am a VM(gallantry)holder. I was awarded the medal during 1971 war. It was only after 29 years, in the year 2000, GOI gazette recognised this as a gallantry award. It took nine more years for the HQ to intimate me that my VM has been considered as a gallantry award.

Now coming to point, the Gallantry awards under SM/NM/VM categories are not considered eligible for any travel concessions/benefits by air/railways. Is it because of the negligent attitude of our service HQs? I feel the matter should be taken up with the MOD. The police medal gallantry awardees are getting the full benefits. I have downloaded Min of Home letter No.No. 11019/19/2009 – PMA dated 4th December, 2009 granting civil air/rail passage concessions. I request you to take up the case with the appropriate level for their consideration and expeditious action.

Vichadan said...

Wg Cdr Vinod Sivaraman (Retd),

Guys all of us need to wake up and smell the roses!
-armed forces personnel seem to give the impression that the rest of the population is somehow responsible for taking care of them in perpetuity through tax contributions from their hard earned money (mostly indirect tax) while being contemptuously labelled "civilians" by their beneficiaries.
-on retirement most of us find that many aspects of non-military life are challenging. Simple and obvious solutions do not work. People do not automatically respect the rank you held or look up to you as a leader even if you excel at leading. Honesty is rare and is not viewed as the best policy.
-grievances about Defence-civil parity are, at best, viewed as slightly boring entertainment by the so-called civil society.
I feel that since the solution to defence personnel's perceived grievances lies with the politicians (ministers) it would require a concerted political effort to get a favourable resolution. A very simple beginning is to go and very visible vote with your entire enfranchised family. Just sit back after that and watch how important a person every armed forces person will become in the eyes of politicians. And our desires will become actions. I have seen this happen at my locality and it's wondrous to behold. Imagine doing the same at a national level. It will definitely make the babus sit up and listen. The higher-ups in various defence HQs can't stop you voting and can't ignore its pleasant fallout. No political activity required just use a perfectly legitimate weapon - your vote. Start by getting a voter id card at your hometown if you have a home there. A postal vote is not visible, can be discarded or ignored and is therefore useless.
Besides we all like to think we are good citizens and one of the traits of a good citizen is the exercise of his/her franchise.
Think about it and take the time and considerable effort to do something about doing your duty.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,
You are right.Is there any legal solution to correct the attitude?
Look at the rank pay case The highest court has already given judgement in favour of the officers.
But the payment is being delayed for no rhime or reason.
Rank pay is part of our pay.This means that a part of our pay is being cut by the authorities for the last so many years!!The veterans who need this legitimate money for their needs including
their treatments are being denied this at this crucial period of their life.
If a part of the pay of an MP or a bureaucrat is cut even for a few months,will they keep quiet?
The veteran officers don't have money power and muscle power !!
Is there any legal solution for expediting the case?

Anonymous said...

faujis are paid equal to civilians working 8X365, for actually faujis working for 24X365. either fauji should work 8X365 if paid equal to civilians or be paid three times more for working 24X365.

rajawat said...

in entire discussion we see the ultimate reason for discomfort is unnecessary comparison with civilians or other services . most of the times it is false . armed forces are much better placed than civilians . so in my view if we leave comparison then everything is smooth .

Anonymous said...

Mr Rajawatji,
Why are you bringing up the same issue again? Defence Services are better placed in your view but that is not actually the case. That is the problem. WHY IT CAN NOT BE UNDERSTOOD THAT WHATEVER IS GIVEN TO GROUP A SERVICES< the same should automatically be applicable to defence services> and some other benefits for military life and its vagaries> why is it that everyday there are a number of orders by DOPT improving/inferring some orders of 6 cpc as it suits them. Who is the authority to approve these modifications/interpretations of 6 cpc orders. Please let us know the improvements carried out for defence services so far, may be 1% of what is carried out by DOPT for civilian personnel. No one wants to compare with what civilians get, but then defence services cannot be made left out as per whims and fancies of powers that be. Is that what u want? What about NFFU? It should actually be made applicable only for Defence Services where once you are superceeded, it is for life. Whereas in civil, one's seniority is maintained for promotion till he/she retires. It implies that even if there is a vacancy created a day before retirement of a civilian employee, the seniormost will be promoted. This is not the case in defence services where after your selection boards are over, one is not even considered for promotions. Thus a civilian remains eligible for promotion throughout his/her life. Then why NFFU for them. It should only be applicable for organisations like defence servies for the reasons given above and also that they retire early as per rank? Any takers?

Anonymous said...

dear navpreet, gandhi started the dandi march long time back to get the people togather. it is high time to involve our ex servicemen who only understand imediate gains let us all start fighting for JAWANS RUM which is being sold at different rates in the country.

rajawat said...

EARLIER there was system in army to have contineous pay scale from maj to brigadier . this was in my view much better than nffu . but that was rejected . in nffu all qr for a regular promtion r to be fullfilled including ACRS . this is not automatic . more than 30 to 40 percent civilian officers miss it . nffu is giver for the very reason that though a person is eligible he never gets promotion . so very introduction of nffu is the proof that civilian employees are not getting promotion in time . is also wrong to presume that once a civilian is superseded his seniority is protected . there is no such rule . acr system play a great role for promotion even for civilians . from dir to jt secy all 5 acrs of last 5 yrs have to be very good . so if the last years acrs of any dir is spoiled then he can not be promoted for next five years , till the bad acr is out of last five acr .
grass is always looks green on other side
i notice that a lot of negativity is spread through this blog based on wrong presumptions .
i request maj navdeep , while raising the voice for armed forces , wrong notions should not be spread for civil services .
for example previous comment is based totally on wrong presumptions .
let armed forces demand moon but not in comparision with civilians .but for for their own good .