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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Are we the masters of self-defeat ?

In my recent post of October 14, though the main thrust was on the attitude of the instrumentalities of Ministry of Defence in stonewalling benefits for serving and retired members of the Armed Forces, I had also touched the issue as to how our own negative outlook, at times, was also resulting in denial of well deserved and logical service and pensionary welfare linked schemes. To this, many have responded that denial of benefits was never at the behest of, or the result of non-responsiveness of the services and that the perpetrator was always the civilian establishment.

But has this always been the case ? I think not !

The first stage of the problem is lack of understanding the intricacies of personnel related policies by people in uniform and the absence of a standardised and unified response to issues confronting us. Secondly, a subservient mind-set has encompassed us leading us to think that our position is inferior than that of the view taken by the Ministry of Defence, which, in fact, in the ultimate analysis may be the view of only a Section Officer sitting in an obscure office rather than the view of the (ill informed) competent authority in a particular arena. This subservience is also out in open public view in Courts and other fora, where the Services, rather than taking an independent stand or maintaining their own valid or fair viewpoint, tow a line thrust upon them by lower echelons of the Ministry of Defence. This is in stark difference to the approach of other Central Govt departments and even agencies of State Govts wherein different stakeholders or respondents, even if functioning under the same Ministry, do not feel shy of informing Courts, Tribunals, Commissions and other authorities, their own sovereign viewpoint on particular matters without being unduly servile. Thirdly, the legal advisors of the Services have slowly assumed the function of being ‘protectors of govt policy’ rather than playing a fair, non-adversarial, advisory role. In fact, they seem to forget that their duty is to advise the govt in assisting the Courts or other authorities in rendering justice and ensuring fair-play rather than to protect arbitrary or illogical policies to the hilt. The reaction always is ‘this is not as per policy’ rather than ‘this policy is not as per law and requires a change’. An example of the difference in such attitude as compared to the civil set-up has already been amplified by me in the above referred earlier post. The only welcome and positive perceptible change that has been seen in the recent past is in the AG’s Branch which has proactively tried to help out disabled veterans from the burden of unnecessary litigation, at times by disagreeing with the MoD. But to carry the good work forward would not only require people with a positive attitude in the AG’s Branch with the blessings of the Chief, but also a change in attitude in officers manning the JAG Branch and the DGAFMS. They should realise that they are not serving the govt, but they and the govt are together to serve the public and uphold what is actually judicious and right and not what a Section Officer or an Under Secretary thinks is right.

I have digressed. Now back to the question whether it is always the civilian establishment which denies us our dues. The following examples come to mind :-

(a) Grant of higher scale to Lt Gens after the 5th CPC :- The 5th CPC saw degradation of Lt Gens by way of placing them below DGPs from the IPS. A case was taken up for the rectification of the anomaly and the Services were offered on a platter that 1/3rd Lt Gens (other than Army Commanders who were already in a higher bracket) could be upgraded. It was refused by us and our stand was- give us 100% or give us none. Now this had far reaching consequences which are there for all to see even today. Rather than taking the offer and then fighting for rest of Lt Gens, we refused it altogether as a result of which all Lt Gens remained lower in pay than DGPs and were again placed in a lower grade (HAG) than DGPs (HAG+) in the 6th CPC. And then post 6th CPC, after much hankering we accepted the proposal of upgradation of 1/3rd Lt Gens to HAG+. The position would have been much better had we accepted 1/3rd after the 5th CPC and a higher figure after the 6th CPC. Who was to blame ?, Not the MoD !

(b) Grant of Pay Band-4 to Lt Cols after the 6th CPC :- I haven’t stated this openly before, but the greatest resistance for grant of Pay Band-4 to Lt Cols came from within the Army, but the same was thankfully off-set by a stellar performance by the Air Force and Navy. The objection of the Army was that there would remain no incentive for higher ranks if this were to be accepted. A banal argument in light of the fact that we were ready to face a steep degradation in status and pay vis-à-vis civilian counterparts to ensure an imaginary incentive for higher ranks !.

(c) Higher Grade Pay for Colonel vis-à-vis the rank of DIG :- The pay scale of DIG was traditionally placed between the scales of Lt Col and full Col. After the 6th CPC, DIG was placed in a Grade Pay equivalent to a Brig. Despite forceful attempts by the Pay Commission Cells of the three services, the ultimate proposal forwarded to the Govt by the Services contained a demand of a Grade Pay of 8800 for a full Col and acceptance of 8900 for a Brig, thereby tacitly agreeing an inferior role for a Col and equation of a Brig (28 years’ service) with a DIG with 14 years’ of service. We did not seek for Colonel a GP higher than DIG and on the contrary sought a lower GP. If we do not even demand, why would they give ??

(d) Non-functional financial upgradation :- In the organised Group A Services, after the 6th CPC, all officers are now entitled to non-functional financial upgradation till the scale of HAG (equal to Lt Gen) in case they are not promoted in the ordinary course. Hence, innocuously, unknown to our top brass, almost all civil officers irrespective of actual rank or grade, including those of the MES, are retiring with the pay and pension of Lt Gen while we continue fighting on mundane issues and wasting our energies and intelligence debating on the colour of the curtain in the VIP room (Ganga ???) in the Alpha Mess. There has been a silent takeover by the HAG on the civil side without much fanfare. When this matter was raised by the Air Force and Navy at a time when the Govt was willing to listen, it was shot down by the Army component. Realising the joke that we had played upon ourselves by not processing the proposal when it could see the light of the day, we took it up again, but this time it was rejected by the MoD. So whom do we blame ?

(e) Grant of DACP to military medicos :- When the Govt had approved the Dynamic Assured Career Progression scheme for all doctors under the central govt, there was resistance from our very own PPOC (emanating again from the Army) that this would lead to higher pay to doctors than other officers. It was also foolishly pointed out that military doctors were in receipt of the Military Service Pay also and hence did not deserve DACP. Rather than helping our very own doctors in reaping benefits announced by the govt, we resisted such benefits. On the contrary, we should have smoothly allowed the scheme to be implemented and then could have asked for rectification of other anomalies affecting other personnel. A similar inane bogey was raised in the earlier part of the last century when the Central Govt had introduced Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) for all doctors. This had led to a protest by the Army HQ that if implemented, the doctors would start getting more emoluments than other Arms and Services. A pity, isn’t it ?

(f) Non-grant of AV Report benefits to SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 :- When the AV Singh Committee report was implemented, it was implemented for all officers serving in the Army as on 16 December 2004. Later however, our very own MS Branch discovered a ‘ghundi’ and observed that the said benefits could not be granted to SSCOs and WSES officers. When later the SSC scheme was tweaked in 2006 and the terms of engagement were changed from 5+5+4 to 10+4 years, the AV benefits were granted to all those who were commissioned under the said scheme or to those who had opted for the new terms. As a result of this, Male SSCOs commissioned prior to 2006 who are in old terms, including those who were in service in December 2004, are being promoted as quasi-substantive Captains on completing 9 years of service and are retiring in the substantive rank of Lieut even after serving for 14 years while their SSCO counterparts commissioned after 2006 are being promoted as Capt in 2 years, Maj in 6 years and Lt Col in 13 years. Similarly, WSES officers under the old terms are being promoted as Capt after 5 years and are not eligible for any substantive promotion after Capt. When there was hue and cry on the subject, our PS Directorate did take up the issue for rectification but recommended that SSCOs commissioned under the old terms should be made Capt in 5 years rather than the current 9 years !. So there you have it, we are not even magnanimous in demanding our rights. Rather than simply seeking that all officers who were in service in December 2004 or who joined thereafter should be promoted to Capt, Maj and Lt Col in 2, 6 and 13 years as per the universally applicable promotion scheme, we ourselves have been misers in demanding what should have logically flown to us without impediment. So who shall give if we do not even demand ?

(g) Placing senior officers on appointments tenable by junior civilians :- Sample this – while we continue placing Lt Cols and Time Scale Colonels as GEs, the civilian establishment sends only officers with GP 6600 or max 7600 on these appointments. On one hand we theoretically claim that a Superintending Engineer is equal to a Lt Col, while on the other we continue sending Lt Cols and Cols on appointments tenable by even Executive Engineers. We send senior Majors from the SL cadre as AGEs which is an appointment held by Subedar equivalent GP 4600 (Group B) and Lieut equivalent GP 5400 officers from the civil side. We have been posting Majors as BSOs which is an appointment tenable by Group B Officers in GP 4600 who are 4 steps junior. And this is our own doing and cadre management, and then we blame the civilians for degradation of status !. Brace yourself for the 7th CPC.

(h) Grant of medical facilities to non-pensioner ESM including SSCOs and ECOs :- The Govt had allowed limited medical facilities to non-pensioners holding the status of ESM, including released SSCOs and ECOs. While pensioners were entitled to ECHS, such non-pensioners are entitled to outpatient medical facilities in MHs and then if required medical reimbursement by the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB). In the early 2000s, the DGAFMS had time and again taken up with the govt that such facilities should be withdrawn but the request of the DGAFMS was not accepted. The AG’s Branch had also floated detailed guidelines on the subject authorising such affected non-pensioners to avail facilities from MHs based on medical entitlement cards issued by the Man Power (MP) Directorate. In 2009-2010 however, the DGAMFS on its own issued directions to MHs that they should not provide medical attendance to non-pensioner ESM and should not accept patients based on medical entitlement cards. This also led to failure of the Sainik Board re-imbursement scheme since there was a requirement of a certificate from an MH for availing re-imbursement under the scheme. The KSB scheme interestingly has been promulgated under the directions of the Raksha Mantri. This was ultimately resolved through litigation when the AFT directed continuance of such facilities to such affected ESM. But rather than gracefully accepting the verdict and the already existing guidelines on the subject, the DGAFMS forced the govt into appeal to the Supreme Court since this became a prestige issue for the M-Block. The SC refused a stay on the AFT judgement. This is yet another classic case as to how we are our own enemies. On one hand we are finding it extremely to attract talent to join the services as SSCOs, and on the other we ourselves are filing appeals in the Supreme Court against beneficial policies that we had ourselves initiated, and asking MHs to refuse medical treatment to extremely old ECOs who had been issued medical entitlement cards by the AG’s Branch.

Was the subject line of this blog-post hyperbolic ?


Anonymous said...

Maj Navdeep,
Well, we all know the culture that prevails at Army HQ level. You have very well brought out the attitudinal problems specially within the Army. However, the issue is how to get the justified dues to serving defence services officers, JCOs and jawans and the retired defence personnel? Should it be left just because some so called intelligent and analytical personnel in army HQ have not processed it on time or correctly? The delay on the part of Army in processing some cases is well understood by all of us being cases of short shortsightedness. HOWEVER, THE IMPORTANT POINT IS WHEN THE CASES ARE NOW BEING PROGRESSED, ON WHAT GROUNDS CAN THESE BE REJECTED/NOT APPROVED BY THE MOD? THE ISSUE IS WHY A SIMPLE ISSUE LIKE NFFU CAN NOT BE IMPLEMENTED FOR DEFENCE SERVICES? WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO IF WITHOUT ANY LOGIC, THE CASE IS RETURNED BY MOD? I AM SURE THERE HAS TO BE A WAY OUT? IF THERE IS NO WAY OUT, THEN WHY DONOT WE LEAVE EVERYTHING AND ACCEPT EVERYTHING as a bheekh to armed forces personnel ? THE LEAST DEFENCE SERVICES CAN DO IS TO BEHAVE LIKE ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION AND REMOVE ALL RESTRICTIONS ON DEFENCE SERVICES PERSONNEL IN TERMS OF CURBING OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF SPEECH, WRITING , FORMING ASSOCIATIONS, 24 hours working ETC. WELL, TO PRESENT A PICTURE OF NO GO IS REALLY VERY DISAPPOINTING?

ashwini handa said...

Brilliant exposition, as always, from an erudite & knowledgeable Navdeep. Why is his blog not made compulsory reading for mandarins at IHQ of Army, Navy & AirForce or for that matter at MoD
? Frankly I was not aware of a lot of points he raised in his most recent article. Mentally stimulating & invigorating. Will take some time for the complete gist of the article to sink in. Thanks Navdeep for having made my Sunday.

Rajeev said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, .You have clearly brought out the WAR within us
Very well writtewn .If the same attitude of army continues a separate Armed Forces Pay Commission will do more harm than good to us.

Anonymous said...

What is the cause for this insane spiral of self goals? The answer can only be that the people at Army HQ are impossibly out of tune with reality.

Harry said...

@ Maj Navdeep

Ahaaa...(deep sigh!!!)
God if you really wanna help us pls save us from our enemies within! AMEN!

These very Senior Offrs (Senior alright, but frankly they are pretty hair-brained as they have proved time and again) will be out beating their chests after retirement and bemoaning the dilution and degardation of the Services little realising that they themselves are the ones who have delivered body blows to the org.

Hope there is no separate 7th CPC for AFs. IN & IAF pls help!!!

ninihala said...

Dear Navdeep, a well written and informative piece. However, I hold different opinion on two issues. Firstly, Lt Gens' pay. There was a time when we basked in glory of brotherhood among offrs. In line with that sentiment, it was logical and fair to decline offer of higher pay to 1/3 Lt Gens. Why should we accept mandalisation of Indian Army i.e. creation of sub castes within a caste. Acceptance of such scheme in 6cpc is perverse. Secondly, about doctors pay. Everybody knows NPA to docs is founded on a blackmail. Do our doc brethren wish to partake fruits of a crime. Similarly DACP. Why should positive discrimination be accepted for docs? If they wish to share glory of our uniforms, they must also share our poverty and hardships. Otherwise, they may well be turned into a Service a la MES, which I believe they were. Docs can not have best of both the worlds, something which history does not afford to anybody.

Lastly, I would say that we should not accept any pay disparity within our ranks.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...


So it was logical for us to accept all Lt Gens below DsGP rather than a few ? Please do not forget that 1/3rd Lt Gens in a higher pay bracket meant that all Lt Gens would have ultimately retired in the higher pay since the figure of 1/3rd only referred to the percentage of offrs in the higher pay at any particular point of time, by seniority. Hence, all (100%) would have retired in the higher pay by seniority. It was (and is) not that only 1/3rd were to be given HAG+, what it meant was that top 1/3rd by seniority would have remained in HAG+ at any given point of time.

Even if we go by your thought-process that NPA is founded on blackmail (to which I disagree), then why only deny the doctors in uniform the fruits of this so-called black-mail ?

"Why should positive discrimination be accepted for docs?" you ask. Because the Govt has authorised it to them and we are nobody to hold back at ransom an accepted recommendation of the Pay Commission. Let us be happy with what others get rather than expecting them to share the 'poverty' of others.

If you are very much concerned about the supposed caste system, then let me put it very frankly that it is much more prevalent in the uniformed services than any other organisation in the 'real world'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you maj navdeep,

As a veteran, now i shall make it a point to ask another veteran when next I meet, if he has ever served with MS/AGs branch.

I presume the mistake lies in no SD__ manual in DSSC/TSOC course which the posted officers could refer to?

I sincerely request you to pen a manual and place the same on your site for unofficial study by the posted officers. At least when they reach ranks that matter, they will be better. In the vaccuam of "no manual" as it is today expecting our "rank performers" to perform in these matters will continue to lead to no success.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic thought provoking article from Maj Navdeep, after a longtime. I must admit for sometime the ZING thing from Maj Navdeep's blog was MISSING, it seemed he was too busy with his profession. But OMG..What an EXPLOSIVE article.Keep it up BOSS, U really woken all of us from our slumber. I fully accept, u r blog should be made a mandatory reading by the higher echelons and by budding staff officers for shaping up their thoughts n vision.U r love for Defence welfare is so visible. THANK YOU.

ashwini handa said...

The 'caste system' amongst the officers of the Indian Armed Forces is alive & kicking. It finds a resonance in this brilliant piece by a Bombay Sapper's veteran(another thought provoking writeup)-http://reportmysignal.blogspot.com/2011/10/amy-officers-and-golden-norms.html#more.

Anonymous said...

Some time back i had a chance to meet a Dir Pay and Allowance to know his views on certain pay and pension regulations. shocking it was, when he called a civilian babu to interpret the relevant regulations. FYI this officer has been signing documents filed in courts, drafted/prepared by the civilian staff, without having his own understanding of the regulations. when asked where it is written what they were saying, they had blank face. when asked whether the letter is authority or the regulations refered there in, it was said the letter is authority over the regulations, even when this letter itself applies the regulation for its implementation. what justice we expect from HQs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

This article of yours is good as well as bad news. Good, in the sense that there are still a few military men/women who can THINK AND SPEAK ramrod straight.Each and and every pt highlighted by Navdeep is a classic example of shooting oneself in the foot.However,all is not YET lost and we can still redeem some of our rightful dues.The most imp being the Non Functional financial Upgradation.The MOD may have rejected our belated demand for same considering our refusal to accept the same earlier. But I am sure ,the powers that be in the MOD would realise that that army as a whole does not deserve to lose out on such a big benefit, due to short sightedness of a few .Navdeep ,what in your view would be the right step forward for implementing NFFU in armed forces.

corona8 said...

"...it was shot down by the Army component..."
Let us not forget why the AV Singh Phase-I recommendations were held up for so many years on an earlier occasion. Some other component was showing signs of having rocks in its head then.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

An excellent article. Hope our concerned Army auth adopt a positive attitude towards solving the problems of serving pers & Veterans rather than indulging in self inflicted injuries.

I wish to add another example of self goal. 5th Pay commission had recommended a tecnical pay of Rs3000/- per month for officers with Post Graduate Tech qualification. Army HQ resisted its implementation unless Combat Pay was sanctioned for the super brahmins(caste system in Def). Similar attitude of Air HQ had undesirable reaction from their Tech cadre. Only the intervention of Naval HQ resulted in grant of reduced tech pay of Rs2000/-pm instead of Rs3000/- as recommended by the 5th Pay Commission. Please confirm whether this info is correct or not.
A Veteran

Anil said...

An excellent reflection of true state of affair.. The human instinct to show his will on others while he holds position of power is potently prevalent in our organisation..

We are slowly and slowly degrading ourselves into absolute VIP culture..The silence on the part of people who probably carry some foresight and vision is a matter of serious concern. The caste system prevalent in our organisation highlighted by you in the blog is a serious threat to the basic fiber of frame which may one day crack with consequences leading us to a pathetic state.

What is needed urgently is to get rid of this caste system to begin with..

raaj said...

Actualy we dont know what we are. the higher hierarchy is always try to look the middle level officers with a pinch of salt. If an IAS first join the service their superiors tell him ,(Example)" well . learn ur work .. Next month there will be a course in abroad. I will recommend ur name for that. Go and educate ur self" Our seniors even don't ready to digest their junior officers spent their evening time in a gym or any sports complex. their comment is " OK you are getting more spare time" If the cant digest even the juniors playing do you think that they will fight for the junior's pay and perks?

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

That's a very apt description of how we keep shooting ourselves in the foot repeatedly without learning any lessons. What you highlight are merely the external manifestations, what remains internal is the constantly changing promotion policies and Arm/Service quotas. The Army keeps feeding on its own because of its feudal heirarchy and cocooned existence.

Thanks for raising the issue repeatedly. I keep encouraging young officers to read your blog, hopefully they will develop some independent thought rather then becoming zombies in uniform.

Anonymous said...

...a very well conceived article indeed but our problem doesn't stop here...leave alone our pay and perks..we haven't been able to decide upon the very basics of an Army such as a uniform (combat fatigues) and a handy assault rifle for our infantrymen...i think these issues need addressing first...pay and perks will follow if our basics as a true fighting force are in line...

Anonymous said...

dear maj navdeep,

Anonymous said...

This comment is not regarding the specific post...but what had hurt me recently. I am an ex NDA and got posted to nda after 10 years of passin out. I had great expectations and had reasons for that... since as a cadet i always thought this is the perfect place in armed force.. but it is UTOPION..seriously...as u come on the other side as an officer u know wats wrong.. And am i dis illusioned seriously I AM.. and seririously HURT

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention repeatedly posting service officers of superior ranks in inferior positions. Take, for eg, the posting of Majors as AGE, while the MES equiv is something like a Naib Subedar.

Anonymous said...

(1)The services personnel being paid for 8X365 similar/equal to civilians. must get paid three times more for working 24X365. otherwise time has come to ask atleast for overtime payment for working over the 8 hrs/day. (2)AHQs must stop posting seniors to a junior's post in civil/MES to stop further degradation of ranks. otherwise in next CPC babus will quote this working and make them equal to lower civil rank in pay and status.

marshal said...

This happens in a class of half educated,ignorant,over-head-weighted administrators. They are not trained well or groomed enough before sending them to AHQ for dealing in files . File fighting is different to fire fighting. warfare tactics are different to secretariat (file or book keeping)tactics. When you can do with a car ,a subeltern will be given a 1 TON because car is more comfortable but it is ignored that 1ton consumes more petrol. As a Major I had told once to a colonel in a very jovial mood that so & so uses a crane to lift a paper weight instead of just lifting it like that!!! how can anyone lift a weight even as small as paper wt without doing a TEL MALISH??? these comments are to illustrate our occasional
silliness on many silly and unproductive matters.From unproductive affairs one jumps to productive matters , having long term ramification! Please note:the present Generals/brigadiers/colonels/lt cols who are in the policy chairs , kindly do your home work very properly and examine it from various angles dispassionately and positively. A benifit coming to a pers /class is coming to the Army. think of that.God bless. And another thing:you select a guy/lady for promotion based on the real and actual capabilities and not based on bhai -bhandi and bechaari /bhechaara concept. Either one is good or not grown to hold the next rank.Thats all. I have known so many incompetent officers doing policy matters and beggering it all!JAGRATAI/start from scratches!!all over again!

Anonymous said...

you talk about sharing of poverty by docs....where does this spirit of sharing goes when there is question of sharing gypsy with military hospitals....then worst possible jeep is sent along....same happens when deploying a buddy for a specialist at MH....operational requirements r given as reason...n 2-3 r deployed even at places whr mam saheb is staying.....so sharing has to b from both sides...

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep
As always an article worth its value.Many comments far more in favour than against, very rightly so.But where do we stand ,what should we do , whom should we approach,how to do so, when is the right time. If any learned person can guide ???I know u r the right person but i suppose the ESM have to fight their own battle.i like many others am waiting for so many rulings to be implemented in my life time. because giving it NOK is not worth . I require it now,
Let us hope for better days ahead.

ranjay said...

we can't be masters of anything...we are disaster at everything. the more senior you become the bigger disater you are.....for the bigger you are the more self centered you are.,...thats a bitter truth. if you had sp*** in your B****, you lose yourself at an early age. well, I may be rude & blunt but thats the fact...

Anonymous said...


Never understood your grudge against the AMC. Were you/your family treated inappropriately at a MH? Tell me why....yyyyyy!!!
So much venom that one really wonders. Did you loose out on a promotion because the doctors were not facilitating enough to upgrade your medical cat?

Anonymous said...

Digressing from the core issue of what Navdeep has said(but very much related to the systemic rot that has set in):

Without blatantly support ninhala, i have to share my personal experiences with the medical fraternity of the armed forces:-

i feel most of the docs in AFMS barring a few(whom i have great regard since i have been operated twice), are down right arrogant as they feel they are the only ones who are highly qualified for the job which they are socially responsible under oath. Many a times me n family have been illtreated by both the NCOs and MOs at MHs many times. Most of the junior docs dont even bother to offer a seat and address with respect. I have personally berated a few of them but stopped when i realised my efforts are futile as the seniors are encouraging them. with our bad experinces we have just avoided going to MHs from thereon until i found a doc who is known to me.

I also pity the officers going for medical boards as i have personally seen them treated shabbily(whatever be their ailment) by rank juniors of the rank of capt, which would easily qualify for court martiall. In fact court martialling some docs would create a deterrent for docs to behave as per service stds. By the way what obesity, BP, sugar are they talking of when most the docs are themselves obese and unfit??

I feel that such heavy headedness seems to be misplaced as going by the current employment trends a basic qualification of MBBS cant earn a decent pay packet which they get in services if they open a clinic outside. The docs should also be eternally greateful to the services for letting them get their specialisation free of cost(which would otherwise cost a bomb outside).

Lastly docs tend to forget there are also service officers who are professionals(BEs and M Techs) like me who have joined for the passion despite being offered corporate jobs!!.

All these attitudinal aspects of docs are creating negative vibes and others cannot be held responsible.

Let the docs not forget the Hypocrates oath which they fashionably take and conveniently forget along the way.

Now, When there is a problem in one particular arm of the services can others be left behind?? It is "rot amplified"

Lets not forget that Navdeep has mentioned two cadres who need to pull up their socks JAG n AFMS.

God Save us All

Anonymous said...

Any news on extending the benefit of rounding off / broad banding of percentages of disability to ESM
retired prior to 1-1-06 for disability pension ?
it appears that verdict of supreme court dated 1-4-11 ( as published on this post) has not been implemented by deptt of ESM (MOD).


With NFFU now made applicable to HAG+ also a situation has reached where even the lowest most rung would go home with a pension equivalent to the top most.Under these circumstances would it be prudent to have a relook at OROP cause if it gets implemented you are a looser again.If NFFU is implemented in true letter and spirit in the AFs also then it will be fair to assume that a Lt Col can hope for the same pension as Lt Gen cause that would be the min rank one would attain at 13 yrs.

Anonymous said...

I remember sometime in 2005, we sent officers on deputation to RITES. The letter from MS Branch said that Lt Col would be sent as DGMs (12000/- basic pay) and Cols would be sent as GMs (14300/- basic pay). It is an unwritten rule of deputation that one goes to at least one step higher while on deputation. But in our case it was one step lower! So, in effect, we were down by two grades!! But that's how high-fliers at MS Branch think.

Unknown said...

There is nothing known as 'HR' existing in the Indian Army. The MS Branch is a dictatorial setup notorious for favouring the chosen few who have a solid approach and preaches morals like 'organizational interest' to the have nots. The bureaucracy within the Army goes a step further to scuttle any chances of growth of officers who lose out due to the steep promotion pyramid. Case in point is objection by MS Branch on secondment of officers in DGQA who have not been empanelled for promotion in all three boards before being sentenced 'finally superceded'. That when MoD was ready to absorb these officers due to large no. of vacancies. The enemy lies within us- in the form of myopic & 'crab syndrome' decision makers who are worse than the babus in Govt that we often crib about.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to maintain competent people in sensitive posts at Delhi to ensure things are handled correctly in future. MS Br has a maj role in this, but unfortunately they have no concrete sys of assessing an offrs' capabilities and posting him accordingly. Usually they play merry hell and 80% offrs end up as Jack of all trades yet masters of none. happy confusion. And some smart guys wriggle through this chaos and get their job done.

Harry said...

Lt Col Ravi Joshi,

Dear Sir,

You have summed up the problem very well. But how do we come out of this morass is the bigger question?

There needs to be a drastic change in thinking of the BIGGEST CRABS so that they let go of their petty-mindedness, biases/prejudices and blinkered vision and think of betterment of the org and its constituents rather than just themselves and their Service career and the post-retirement sinecures. This is more applicable to the Army Brass.

- Harry aka Original_Harry

Rajesh,an AFMCite said...

Dear All,

Why are we so anti against Army Medical Corps.

Have you not been attended to when a soldier/offr/family member enters a MH as a emergency?Has anybody of you/ your family not seen by any doctor at a MH?Of course even if you go to a civil private practioner ,does not the staff there register you before the consultation!

Why so much jealousy for NPA or DACP?

Grow up.

Somebody rightly mentioned we enter as dumbos,get trained as dumbos and remain dumbos.

And LMC aspect is for people not to be engaged in active combat when they actually are not FIT as per the laid out standards.And many adminstrative posts(which are actually authoritative/powerful) allow one to be LMC to certain degree.

We keep cribbing against either the doctors,or the services or against the lady officers.
When will we mature?
Thanks you Major Navdeep for all the enlightenment regarding the subservient mind-set !!!

Please note these angles my dear today's capt/majors;when you turn into Generals and are at the helm of affairs.

Rohit Agarwal said...

Dear Navdeep,

Clear, logical and excellent analysis - as always. Some of the key reasons for the ineffectual nature of cases prepared and processed by service HQs in such matters, to my mind, are:-

- Short tenures of officers posted in such appointments. By the time they get a grip on their job and start functioning effectively (in the rare cases, when they are not afflicted by other reasons listed below) its time for them to move on.

- Extreme caution on the part of senior officers, to toe the MoD line in an apparent and misplaced bid to curry favours.

- Tendency to avoid reading the file and then trying to bluff our way through. On the flip side, I have seen even senior IAS officers doing their homework well, even if it means personally wading through the files laboriously.

- Tendency to view even justified dissent as cribbing.

- False pride.

If only the HQs takes up these issues as strongly as it has the one about the Chief's date of birth! I haven't heard of them asking for the opinion of any retired Chief Justices in any of the cases mentioned by you.

babu said...

Dear major Navdeep
I think Army is right on this aspect. please check how much perks are drawn by a group A officer of deputy secretary rank(pay band III)and an equivalent lt. col(pay band IV).please see that now a days officers of the armed forces are reaching pay band IV even before IAS officers. how can defence services can implement NFU. if they implement they can reach pay band IV only after 16 years. u must understand that defence services has gained a lot after VIth pay commission. those who were seven years behind civilian group A officer is now getting Pay band IV before even an IAS officer is reaching pay band IV. please see the reality.

Anonymous said...

Dear all
I took up the matter wrt Grade Pay issue on a DO with ADG PS ( a three page DO appended with 17 pages of relevant govt letters wherein grade pay of Rs 10,000 has been given to allGp A offrs of 1989 batch and Rs 8700 to 19995 batch,excerpts of VI pay commission report.The reply recd after one month) signed by a Brig is as below
"1. Refer ....

2. This Dte is fully aware of the anomaly and efforts are underway to process the case with the Govt."

MAY....God help us.

My application on the same subject submitted thru proper channel has crossed two steps( Stn HQ and Bub Area in 39 days.
What do we call it?Proper channel or delay channel?

Harry said...


Babuji pls wake up and smell the coffee! Pls recheck on the facts stated by you. You seem plain ignoramus as neither you seem to know Military nor AIS (All India Services viz. IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service or IFoS). You have no clue what you are talking. Sorry for being blunt.

Harry said...

@ All

We all know how babudom calls the shots in the corridor of power. They being virtually 'permanent executive' unlike politicians who have to go back to the people ATLEAST once in five years.

Being part of inner coterie, it is so convenient for them to get ANY letter/note approved from the concerned Minister. Issues like protocol, equivalence, perks etc vis-a-vis Military ranks get routinely 'fixed' to our detriment time and again. Unless we have ATLEAST half the posts in the MoD alloted to uniformed personnel (at all levels, for a reasonably long assured tenure, we will continue to suffer.

Tailpiece: I came across one classic example of egregious bureaucratic machinations on Whispers website wherein it is said that despite 34 Addl Secys making it to Secy/Secy Equivalent to GoI (out of 94 available for empanelment) still the list has NOT been made public because some more non-empanelled ones are jockeying/lobbying for their empanellment. Even if there are no extra vacancies to accommodate them, they can easily get some posts upgraded to get placed!!!

Chow said...

Sanction - NFFU, higher scales, parity etc

And what about?
Rank Pay, CSD, Liquor, Sahayaks, Use of vehicles/ helicopters/aircrafts for private purposes, use of manpower for unauthorized personnel duties such as security guards, CSD salesmen, cooks, mali, dhobi, safaiwalas, wife’s driver, wife’s vehicle, No1 gypsy, No 2 Gypsy, No3 Gypsy, open gypsy, closed gypsy, backup gypsy, AWWA, sahayak 1, sahayak 2, sahayak for Pune home, send a ‘banda’ on TD for pvt errands, pay for your parties, TD to hometown, CHT for private visits, Training area or Golf?, Air-Conditioners, microwave, LCDs etc or Stationary, printer cartridges etc. And yes, it’s time we stop expanding /modifying the bungalows beyond than what is authorized – thanks to Google Earth any one can spot one BIG, green house in any cantt.
Is this the soldiering I joined this service for? Not at all.

Velayudhan said...

Dear Maj Navadeep,
Thanks and congratulations for being bold enough to open the long shut lid to bring out the anomalies for which we are only responsible and blamed.But why are they doing this.Is there a requirement of a strong HR policies and a bold leadership who can implement it with the help of MoD and not involved in the bureaucratic tangle which is generally initiated from the lower echelon.
We talk of defence services which is an example to the whole world in their functions.But when you talk about their salary, its pathetic compared to civilian counterparts.
How many IAS officers have gone on retirement after they are empanelled for promotio to the higher ranks.Its none and those who are not empanelled are automatically promoted for financial upgradation.Where as in army officers go home witjout promotion siting non availability of vacancies. Who will sort out these shortcomings. I think a judicial commission of supreme court judges must go through the anomalies and find a solution whiich is pending and disturbing the minds of a large number of Defence pers for a very long time which is dangerous.

With regards

babu said...

Dear Major Navdeep
I could see a strong reaction against my comment from Mr.harry. i think it would be appropriate from Mr. harry's part to bring out the facts rather than blaming that others are ignorant. i would like to thank Mr. Harry for taking note of my comment and hope he would be a live wire to this coloumn in future also.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Babu,

Life and Service is an ongoing process which needs to be seen in its totality and not only one stage of it.

First of all, getting PV-IV on completion of 13 years of service actuaaly means 14 or 14-1/2 yeras of rigourious service which for IAS having gained two double increments means the same thing or lesser. Even if an IAS officer gets it at 16 yeras, by virtue of two incrments twice, he would leave a service officer behind.

So far as Dy Secy etc are concerned, they do not joins as Class A Services but are Promotees. The jumps for them are significant in life cycle. For an IAS, it be be a bit longer but for a Section officer it is too fast. So do not bring in issue of the equivallance of promotees and direct class A officers.

If a section officer having joined in as class B officer gets ACP upto HAG level, what is wrong in Commisioned officer joining at higher scale than IAS to reach at HAG levels at least. Finally a clerk and a class A officer should reach somewhere there.

The issue in HR terms is the percentage of satisfaction level, meeting aspirations and provision of maximum incentives and opportunities, if not in rank which is unique to the Armed Forces, but at least in equivallant status in pay.

To my mind the issue is not going to die down unless honorably resolved on the bases of equality and fairness. It can only be allowed to fester at the cost of Nation.

Regards to you and all like minded Clasa A or B officers. All earstwhile Class B officers like DEA have come into class A. Commisioned officers never objected to it. But you all are pushing commissioned officers down to be worst than class B officers. That is not accepatable.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Anony at 10PM.

Your facts, unfortunately, are not correct.

1. IAS offrs get PB-4 with 8700 GP in 13 years so there is no question of waiting for 16 years in case of the IAS.

2. All Dy Secys are not promotees. All India Service officers including the IAS are also appointed as Dy Secys after 9 years of service in GP 7600.

3. Section Offrs do not get NFU till HAG. In fact, it is only Group A organised services which are covered under NFU/NFFU.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Navdeep for corrections.

Most of the Dy Secys I came across (majority of them are from CSS where they join as section officers). Had most of them been from Group A cadre (a better cadre) things would not have to this pass that Note Maker becomes virtually the decision maker.

In the scheme of things of IAS, they overcome all problems at one stroke at 13 years of service while jumping on to PB-4 by double increment.

An IAS or Class A cadre officer joins service at an average age of 26 or 27 with training period being as service. An Army officer is commissioned at an average age of 22 or 23 after losing 1 or1 1.5 years on non reckonable service.

At 13 years service (35 years of age for Commissioned officer and 39 years age for an IAS) both become almost equal in pay and pay band by virtue of the double increment.

Soon after the IAS and Class A service takes off and there after there is no sense of approximation or equity between the commissined officers and Class A Cadre.

The civility and sense of equity is then thrown to winds in the present dispensation.

It is this larger issue which needs to be adressed by mighty for the betterment of all.

Harry said...


Babuji, I hope follow up posts by @Anonymous and Maj Navdeep have opened your eyes. Thus I don't have to explain everything all over again to you. So as per you Dy Secys at 9 yrs service are EQUIVALENT to Lt Cols at 13 + 1.5 (training period) = 14.5 yrs service. I'm sure it has NOT been ORDAINED by the GOD ALMIGHTY but some petty-mined and mean babu sitting in ramshackle office in Mantralaya and thinking himself to be 'the chosen one'!

In addition pls don't forget all AIS officers gets SAG (GP 10,000) at 16/18 years of Service whereas just about 500 Military officers (out of combined strength of more than 50,000) get this grade that too ONLY after more than 32 yrs! Is this a revelation for you?

Hope I have put you wise enough to keep quiet now!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know how some in the Army with their myopic vision have played hell with the larger good of the entire armed Forces. It would be good if they broaden their horizons and vision. As it is some so called greats in the army think that CDS is a panacea for all ills !!!! Wonder what would happen then ??!! The continued disregard to views of the IAF and Navy have resulted in a sad situation. So shall we some of the bright armymen changing their mindset. lets first get our dues (privileges, status in warrant of precedence etc)and then think of going into issues such as CDS etc. And yes.. lets not grudge anyone (AMC or anybody else) getting additional benefits in terms of allowances. Lets learn to be a little large heartde with our own brethren.
Kudos to Maj Navdeep for the post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

Re MH facilities for SSCOs/ECOs

I have read comments but not fully understood where the matter stands now. Are these officers entitled for MH facilities presently and where does the future lie. Thinking of ECHS would be asking for too much.

babu said...

Dear Major Navdeep
i am happy that u are keeping a neutral stand in healthy discussions. i would like to request u that harsh languages by individuals also to be dicouraged as it will not give any result. further i would like to bring some facts for everybody
1. latest DOPT order says NFU for director grade is given for 1997 batch IAS. that means all organised group A of 1995 batch only will get pay band IV that too after fulfilling all promotional requirements such as minimum service in next lower rank, performance bench mark etc
2. most of the promotions in organised group A services are linked to vacancy.it is a fact that in many of the organised group A services deputy secretary level is reached after 18 year of group A service as vaccancy is not availabe.here NFU will be helpful
3. if u look at the total perks also u can see that a colonel will be drawing more perks than a joint secretary
i think more discussion at senior level which includes all affected would fetch a fruitful result rather than blaming each other.

KZ Nagami said...

When the AV Committee Recomdtns was implemented on 16 Dec 2004, I as an SSC officer with four years of service suddenly found myself getting lower pay than my junior from IMA with two years service. The difference was, my junior as substantive Captain was getting Basic of 9600, whereas I was still left with 9450 which also formed part of all calculations for getting terminal and other benefits while leaving in Sept 2005. Felt cheated for the injustice and the shortsightedness of our organization after having served for four out of five years in the hostile environments of J&K. My view is that the greatest enemy lies within our own organisation and you cannot expect the civilians at MoD to be sensitive to our needs when our own hierarchy resists to give what is fairly due to us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Major Navdeep Sir

So very logically put forth! As a flashing ray of sanguine hope, none else other than YOU can push the demand for extending NFFU to Armed Forces Commissioned Officers, on the lines of the one made applicable for AIS/Gp A Central Civil Services Officers, harder and better. As we all wear our ranks of respective uniforms, rank and seniority should in no way get affected by grant of higher pay band and grade pay. Since all officers get it in their own time and turn, nobody must resist or envy others getting it. The higher grade pay granted as part of NFFU can be written as GP(NF)....... to do away with any confusion as to rank/seniority of the officer, both within and outside the Services. Rather, it must be made compulsory for all officers to disclose their grade pay as such orally or in writing whenever and wherever necessary.

Sir, in your clarificatory comment somewhere among these comments, you have clarified that all civilian officers holding the rank of Dy Secy are not departmental promotees and that IAS / other Gp A officers also hold this post. The clarification is correct upto that extent. But, thereafter you have added that officers who have served for NINE years in GP 7600/- as empanelled / appointed as Deputy Secretaries. This clarification, perhaps, needs to be revisited. If i can share my little knowledge in the matter, AIS officers are placed in GP 7600/- on completing 09 years of service. They are then placed in PB4 GP 8700/- after 13 years of total service. Later, IAS and IFS (Indian Foreign Service)officers are granted GP 10,000/- (as Jt Secy) after completing 16 years of total service for reasons of maintaining seniority/parity between IAS and IFS (Foreign Service) whereas IPS are granted GP 8900 on completing 14 years of total service and GP 10,000 on completing 18 years of total service to maintain the seniority lead of 02 years for IAS/IFS(Foreign Service). The reason for furnishing these details, far better known to you, is that if an officer with 09 years of service in GP 7600/- is to be empanelled/appointed as Dy Secy, it seems largely unacceptable to the officer himself/herself because by then the officer would have completed 18(9+9)years of service in AIS/Gp A job only to be eligible for a rank nothing lesser than at least Jt Secy (GP 10,000). Kindly re-clarify to educate one and all. With best regards. Little brother

Bharat said...

Dear Navdeep,
I took PMR as a Lt Col in Mar 2011 after serving for 20 years.
Civil servants in S-24 of V CPC got a GP of 8700 in VI CPC while Lt Cols who were equivalent to S-25 of V CPC were given a GP of 8000 in VI CPC, that too after much bargaining and begging.
Don't we have a case here that can be fought and won in the courts ?
Lt Col Bharat Chevur (Retd)

Anonymous said...

@ninihala & his supporter anonymous

before commenting upon wat a person with MBBS degree will get outside....easily without much hard work everybody will get at least 80%-90% of wat we r getting now. Just think what u will get with degree u have.....at most 20%-30% of wat u r getting now...that too witout free gypsy, helper n etc....so please do think before u say anything

Harry said...

@ Bharat

Sir, I'm sure u very well know the fate of even Court ordered judgements which are abegging implementation by UoI. So ONLY hope is favorable Rank Pay judgement which should have a cascading positive effect on status parity. Let us hope something in our favor comes out finally on 22 Nov 11 (or thereabouts).

@Anony above

Sir, let us pls desist from name-calling and infighting. There will always be someone hard done by our actions (e.g. @ninihala may have a very genuine grievance to have such a negative opinion about AMC) but that does NOT imply we take it as a class opinion and generalise it. AMC is doing a wonderful job in difficult working conditions I must say. Not that AMC requires a Certificate of merit from my side but I'm just voicing my (and most of my colleagues') opinion! :)

Anonymous said...

If anybody gets a job outside with a condition that every year two of the 100 entrants would be shot, there wouldnt be many takers and then the job would surely fetch him/her 5000% of what he is getting here.

Anonymous said...

that leaves us with one question,,,what is out TOP brass doing???Surely, they need to open their eyes about this,,,,,,,,,,A lot of good work has been done by the top brass in the past few years,,,,,,,,,,but still we have miles to go

kuldeep said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

On this issue of MH facilities for ECOs/SSCOs, I fail to understand why govt and AMC are fighting it through SLPs.

Last ECO batch to be released was sometime around 1972 (about 40 years back). All these ECOs will be more than 72 years of age. I don't think more than 1500 ECOs would be alive.

Similarly, considering the average intake of 250 SSC officers every year and around 50% of officers being absorbed in permanent commission, total SSC Officers released in the last 40 years would be around 5000.

If we deduct another 25% of SSCOs joining govt/PSUs where CGHS and other facilities exist, SSCOs interested for MH facilities or ECHS would be around 4000.

And considering the percentage of ECOs/SSCOs who will actually fall sick and go to MH for treatment will be negligible. If AMC claims of looking after lakhs of exservicemen, is it a big extra burden on them?

At one end we crib that there is shortage of officers in the armed forces and at other end this
treatment will only result in negative publicity. It is not in the interest of either the army, MOD or in national interest to deny and contest the MH and ECHS facilities for ECOs/SSCOs.


Anonymous said...

Sir, thanks for ur admiration....let me tell u sir such a attitude will motivate us to serve u in better way.....

Regarding ninihala's grievance....even i have been badly treated many times...provided with worst possible accomodation.....denied a vehicle for a legitimate duty....but that never demotivated me to treat sumbody in a bad way...But if any body will talk bad about my hard earned degree n that too a person knows the value of his own...We will not take it lying down.....!!!

Anonymous said...

Maj Navdep,
You should avoid reference to MES as all officers of Corps of Engineer want to work in MES at any rank irrespective of their rank and status. It is flooded with service officers much above their sactioned strength. Better always take examples /reference of
sevices like INF, arty etc

rajawat said...

from this post and comments it is very clear that most of our problems emanates from rank and pay comparision with civilians .as most of civil services get their their dues by projecting their cases on their own merit and modelling their str to accomodate the changes .dopt has suggested a model structure for civil services to meet aspirations of members .comparision is done with similarily placed servies .
we must not forget that civilians have their own set up , service condition working system , so their pay scale etc . is moddeled around the need that serve them better .

i request maj navdeep or any body else to suggest a structure of armed forces in which pay progression is at par with best civil service .

one has to justify it functionally also granting higher scale .
for example if u want to reach a lt gen pay in 22 years suggest a str that have so many lt gen posts to elevate all to lt gen after 22 years .
and justify so many lt gen posts on functional basis .

i think it a simple logic . another way is regulate intake as most of services are doing to reach that stage .
so i requst maj navdeep to suggest something if sounded logical

i think unless and untill armed forces leave comparisation and bring out a career progression plan of thier own which is functionally feasible .
only one thing can be achieved at one time either higher pay or higher status , simultaneously achievng both is very difficult .
if u want to give lt col scale to every body then where wil u accomodate them unless u create so many higher posts .
if a ge is manned by a executive engineer ther are two options either upgrade post of place a lt col to junior post .


Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,
A recent advertisement by CDAC for appointment as Executive director mentioned that one should be less than 50 yrs of age and should be in grade pay of 8900 for min 5 years. Thus rules out even brig in Army. It is sad that before sixth pay commission, even Cols in Army could apply for the same job. Same is the case in all other Govt Dept/ PSUs when one wants to apply for deputation.
When all other central govt employees get a grade pay of Rs 10000 after 20 yrs of service, 90 % of Army offrs retire in grade pay of 8700 or less and then we advertise "DO YOU HAVE IT in YOU"

Anonymous said...

A Great exposition, loved reading it, keep it up

Anonymous said...

impressed sir.hats off.

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COL LAMBA said...








No proposal to merger of dearness allowance with Basic Pay
Will the Minister of FINANCE be pleased to state:-
(a) Whether Government has plans to increase dearness allowance effective from January, 2011 for Central Government employees with a rate that commensurate with the inflationary trends and plights of working class in the past few months;
(b) If so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefore;
(c) Whether Government has any proposals to declare DA as Dearness Pay when it will cross 50 per cent, as it was done during the 5th Pay Commission;
(d) If so, the details thereof; and
(e) If not the reasons therefore?
(a)&fb): Increase in Dearness Allowance payable to Central Government employees with effect from January, 2011 will be worked out on basis of accepted formula which is based on the recommendation of 6th Central Pay Commission.
(Ch (d) & (e): No proposal to declare DA as dearness pay, after DA crosses 50% is under consideration of the Government. The Sixth Pay Commission did not recommend merger of dearness allowance with Basic Pay at any stage. Government accepted this recommendation vide Government of India Resolution dated 29.8.2008.



Anonymous said...

Why speaking anonymously? Are u afraid of something? Pls feel free to disclose ur identity.