Most of the readers of this blog, and also those concerned with anything military, must have received a chain-mail highlighting the agony of defence officers resulting from the denial of the applicability of non-functional upgradation. I have received many requests on the blog, and through email, to clarify whether the points raised in the said chain-mail are true. Of course, the points are true and the issue has also formed a part of an earlier blog-post titled ‘Are we the masters of self defeat?’. But having said that, some points raised in the said mail require clarification :-
A. On completion of appx 32 years of service, officers of the civil Group A Services would not get the Grade Pay of 12000 in Pay Band-4 as stated in the mail but shall get the much higher HAG Pay Band (Rs 67000 – 79000). Grade Pay of Rs 12000 stands abolished and HAG now has a separate pay band. Also the SAG Scale with GP 10000 would not be attained in 19 years but in approximately 22 years by civil officers of the said services.
B. Officers of the IAS are not empaneled as Joint Secretaries to Govt of India in 17 years. The current period is approximately 20 years.
C. It is not as if the Govt of India has declared Commissioned Officers as non Group A organised services Officers, it is so because the nomenclature of ‘Organised Group A Services’ was never used for military officers and the same is a civil concept. Commissioned Officers of the defence services, All India Service Officers (IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service) and officers of the Organised Group A Services (formerly known as Class-I services) have historically been equated at the start point. And still are, in the sense that all of the above services, even after the 6th CPC, commence in PB-3 with GP 5400, however the nomenclature is mutually exclusive.
D. It is incorrect to suggest that Group B Services (equivalent to JCOs) are also retiring as Joint Secretaries to Govt of India.
E. It is absolutely incorrect that even Sub Inspectors of CAPFs would retire in the pay of Lt Gen. It is not so.
The grant of non-functional financial upgradation to all organised Group A Services and also to the All India Services, has resulted in almost OROP of a kind at officer level through the back-door. The pensions of such officers granted non-functional upgradation to HAG are also fixed at HAG levels and would continue to be fixed as such even after successive pay commissions since pensions are regulated on the basis of the scale last held (and not the rank / post last held).
Hopefully somebody would be willing to listen if the COSC takes up the issue with renewed vigour.