Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Darkness engulfs decision-making authorities in the Ministry of Defence


The decision making process at the Defence Ministry can put any organisation to shame.

Consigning all precedents of governance and administration to the bin, the Ministry is not being run by authorities competent to take decisions but by lower-level bureaucrats who have spent better part of their lives in the South Block and Sena Bhawan. What is shocking is that significant welfare related provisions related to the defence services which require a decision at Raksha Mantri or Government level including even those which have received an in-principle assent of the political executive, are junked by junior babus who do not even care to put up the file to their seniors and reject such proposals at their own end by initiating misleading file notings.

On this blog, I’ve many-a-times addressed the subject as to how lower level appointments of the MoD hijack the system and ensure that the defence services do not get what is due. Some of the blog-posts signifying the above can be accessed here, here and here where many readers have differed by stating that the onus is on seniors in the chain rather than the juniors.

Now comes direct proof related to something which is dear to every commissioned officer of the Indian Military – Non Functional Upgradation (NFU).


For the uninitiated, NFU basically implies that whenever an IAS officer gets empanelled at a particular appointment at the Centre, all other Group-A service officers are also upgraded to the same level after a period of two years from the date of empanelment, on a non-functional basis irrespective of whether they are actually promoted or not. For example, if an officer of the IAS of 1982 batch is empanelled as an Additional Secretary to Govt of India, then all other Organised Group-A civil officers of the 1980 batch shall also be placed in the ‘Addl Secy to Govt of India’ pay grade of Rs 67000-79000 (Higher Administrative Grade/HAG) which is the same as a Lt Gen of the Army. As a result, almost all organised Group-A civil officers are retiring with the pay and pension of a Lt Gen whereas less than 1% of defence officers are retiring in the said grade. Interestingly, in many arenas, civilian officers serving under senior military officers are drawing a much higher pay (and consequently pension) under the system of NFU than their seniors from the defence services.

As stated earlier, the Chief of Staffs’ Committee (COSC) had strongly conveyed to the Raksha Mantri the requirement of extending NFU to the defence services. This was followed by many letters and communications. Now comes the shocker. On endorsement of the proposal from the Services, the file was ultimately processed to the Pay/Services Wing of the MoD where a mere Under Secretary rejected the entire proposal in two short paragraphs covering one fourth of a page by concluding that the ‘proposal of the services cannot be agreed to’. The proposal which originated from the Apex body of the Services, the COSC and the PPOC, was junked by the lowest rung of the MoD who shockingly did not even consider it appropriate to send the file upwards to the Defence Secretary. The file was only sent for perusal upto Joint Secretary level and then the rejection letter was endorsed to the Services ostensibly on behalf of the Government by the same Under Secretary who had rejected the proposal in the very first note on the file.

Though the issue is not closed and the military top brass is alive to the subject, what the above shows is the kind of smartness being displayed by junior secretarial staff in hoodwinking the entire system. The political executive is blissfully unaware of what is happening around and the IAS & Military officers come and go.


More information would roll out in the near future. 

Who rules the roost – solely the note maker !

In Delhi, it’s wake-up time for the Minister, the Bureaucrat and the Fauji.  

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

KAASH HAMARI BHEE EK UNION HOTI

WG.CDR.V.SUNDARESAN(RETD) said...

I personally jhink ,either the present chief or the designate chief of Army MUST TAKE UP THIS ISSUE URGENTLY WITH THE RM.AND IF IT FAILS THE MATTER MUST BE BROUGHT TO THE NOTICE OF PM PERSONALLY BY EITHER OF THEM OR BOTH, TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE.
BUT THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION:WILL THEY?
V.Sundaresan

Harry said...

Nothing repeat nothing will change on ground unless true integration of Services HQ with MoD takes place and Mil offrs get to serve in MoD in various appts/grades right Deputy Secy upwards.

Dhoop said...

@Anonymous:"KAASH HAMARI BHEE EK UNION HOTI".
Then what would have the "Union" done?
Gone on strike?
We are what we are because we don't have a "Union" and because the very thought of anything resembling "Industrial Action" would be anathema to even the most 'reluctant' fauji.
So it has to be by the sheer weight of what we represent that such issues need to be resolved.

Anonymous said...

i think its time now to form 'TEAM NAVDEEP', since our top brass has no voice!!!

Anonymous said...

It's because we allow it to happen. We get entangled in Minor SD , Chain of Comd etc and in the bargain we lose. Its only the top brass who is to be blamed for this

Anonymous said...

We should use our LU units to identify and cultivate the note originators.Its a fact that the most powerful and effective is that Babu who puts up a note on file.His superiors dare not change any thing coz it requires brains to think and guts to take a decision.
I am sure lot of people are familiar with the anecdote of APPROVED...NOT APPROVED...AND Eventually... NOTE APPROVED.. depending upon the expediency of the circumstances and the wheeling dealing of the conniving babus and the corrupt politicians.

Anonymous said...

well, did not we know this? LOok at the guts of lower rung bureaucrats? And why it is so, everyone knows because fauji generals do not have spunk. Is there a General who will stand and count for the Fauj? Mr antony is good only for facade like our dear PM. he does not know or does not want to know anything that is bad about his own bureaucracy. have we ever heard him say that his ministry officials have been warned/advised by him like he keeps advising generals and fauj on moral values etc.

Airco said...

It is the Desk Officer who actually is the initiator (We all know the importance of this piece of eqpt in a weapon's function !)... "Mere paas kalam (pen) hai-kalam ...isse se main tumhari taqdeer likh sakta hoon...!"Tackle him and see the outcome !

Anonymous said...

What r the three chiefs doing? Don't they feel correct to follow up the matter at Defence secretary/ RM level? How come they remain quiet in spite of their recommendation being rejected by lower rank officers without even reaching the Defence secretary? Do they accept whatever shit comes from the MoD? Amazingly tamed Chiefs we have..

Anonymous said...

@DHOOP
It is very simple.If union is there the boss of the union will be the officer who has the guts to speak on behalf of all officer. which it seems our present bosses are lacking.

JUSTIN said...

once again mod's decision making ability is strongly questioned by maj navdeep. excellent presentation. as a defence community v will have 2 think the way out.
may be a event like amir kahan show "satya mev jayate" may work.

Anonymous said...

(Uniformed) MAN proposes, (GOD) MoD disposes...Nobody Opposes.....

Sorry state of affairs to say the least.
The MoD is not a participant in the defence matters of the country, but simply an authority who says yes or no...and in most cases 'stand by' to a proposal.

WG.CDR.V.SUNDARESAN(RETD) said...

Now, I think the lower level staff might not have briefed properly all the court cases to the RMor even to the def.sec.
The RM may be blissfully unaware of the cases.like rank pay case, orop and even the reply PM made during the Lok sabha debate on pay parity etc.
What a mess we are in. the desk officers rule the ministry.
It is very high time that a RTI regarding these must be made and truth to emerge.
WE ARE, EVEN THE CHIEFS OF ARMY. NAVY AND AF r at the mercy of these lower staff and nothing(R)NOTHING CAN BE DONE.
ONLY GOD CAN SAVE US.

ksdahiya said...

dear major navdeep,

may you live long. you are most precious for we defence personnel.

with best regards

yours sincerely
ks dahiya
lt col(retd)
(ic-29484n)

jitender nehra said...

navdeep sir,

i was invalded out of ser. on behalf of moderate depressive episode during my technical training period
So i saw my board documents in record at the time of discharge
Doctor recommended 40% md board as well as pension
But still after 1 year have n,t received any letter or doc, from records
So one 3 months before i filed a RTI

I Received a letter from record in which it is written
as the disability has been considered neither attributable to nor aggravated by mil service,no disability pension has been recommended by the board .
However the rejection letter will be issued will be issued after the approval of the Attributability Adjudication Board for the month of apr. 2012
an approved copy of the imb proceedings is forwarded herewith as desired

However no other copy or page is attached
no imb document for which RTI filed was sent
Now i dont know why record sent me false inf .
when i have seen my original documents clearly mentions for 40% board and pension
I shall be very thankful if someone comment on letter of record and what should i do now.

kmpods said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
Thank you for all the issues that you have been rising. It is a great help in resolving many doubts of the OR in the ARMY. May you continue doing the good work and the society benefit from your hard work. With regards

Velayudhan said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

Thanks a million for highlighting this NFU case.What about such other cases finding its return path in a similar manner.
In army we have a system that all such important letter is pu to the highest officer of that Fmn and action taken accordingly. In this instant case, you mean that there is no sop that any letter coming from COSC should be pu to Def Min through Def Sec and should go back to COSC on the direction of the Def Min.If the system doesnt exist its high time that our Chiefs only should communicate with Def Min and others should be side lined.Otherwise the system will continue.

Thanks
Velayudhan.

Kaps said...

Dear Maj Navdeep. Thanks for bringing out some amount of clarification on the issue. I have said before and will say it again that people sitting in higher chairs, if they are not aware of the kind of authority letters being dished out, they have no right to be in that office. In extant case, it is easy to see the crookedness of this under sceretary.

In this blogpost, I feel it would've been a better one if we could get a hint of course of action once this whole issue was uncovered. Presently, it feels as though Ravan has been identified and he has kidnapped Sita, but the status of war on lanka is not known :). I am not asking for juicy tidbits, but it soothes the feathers if right information is available.

Anonymous said...

well, we all knew that NFFU case has not been accepted so far? Maj navdeep has brought out that an undy secretary probably has taken a decision and said no. Are we trying to say that we would have been happy if RM/Defence Secretary had said No. Please wake up friends. donot get embroiled into stupid issues. the point is it has not been accepted and the more important point is What the heck the defense forces are going to do about it other than cribbing of course.

LT.COL.HS DHAM( MAHARS ) said...

Malingnancy if detected and treated in ealry stages is curable, in second stage and terminal stage lot of torturous and painful methods are
involved. Since Partition the systematic decline in precedence of Armed Forces is entirely attributable to our own Top Heavy Heirarchy. Now that the lower down has woken up and have started questioning and the privileges of the Top and Mighty have declined ( Adarsh Scams etc )
We should stop witch Hunting, blaming Bureaucracy and Politicians, the were like this earlier and will continue to exist with vengeance.Our condition now is like " Lage Raho Munna Bhai Ram Bhali Karega " The recent episodes have added insult to the injuries.God Bless us all and Bless our Mother India.

Dhoop said...

@anonymous: "It is very simple"
No it is not.
The very idea of having an association is disgusting in the military domain.
We ar an association and a union of a very different sort.
We don't agitate for petty vgains. We don't fight for our entitlements, we fight to protect others.
But kicking butt in a legal sense, once in a while, to let upstarts on civvie street know how not to go too far is definitely in order.

vnatarajan said...

Dear Navdeep,
Timely and well written factual subject. You are aware how fo similar reasons, great injustice has been/ is being perpetrated in pre 2006 military and civil pensionary benefits. As result, there are innumerous litigations - more than 60 as of now. Tax payer's money and valuable COURT time are being wasted. Justice is being delayed and even denied. POLICIES get paralysed in every Ministry. Higher echelons appear to be teethless and spineless to overrule the "file notes". Legal Cells including in the altar of the Law Kingdom are also of the same order!. HOW THE NATION CAN PROGRESS WHEN WE HAVE SUCH GOVERNANCE? VNATARAJAN

Anonymous said...

If Pay and Allowances cells of three services HQS were honest in their job we would not have been in the present day mess, since 3rd CPC days. If the DPA take advise of civilian clerk in pay cell and put his dhobhi mark without reading the relevant law/regulation himself, the result -injury to fauji. The DPA does not understand that similar injury can happen to him soon. The Cheifs must speak to PM and no less.

Anonymous said...

this great country is ruled by the civil(babau) authority. faujis are different by constitution of india. hence should be treated differently and thats why the babus treat faujis differently. babus make sure the fauji remains begger and in corresondence continue address the babus with words like - i beg to..., i pray for your.... etc. etc. three cheif are responsible for the fauj/faujis. if required let there be...., By joing fauj a person does not loose his basic and fundamental right to pay and allowances. either fauji must get pay and allowances for working 24 hrs or overtime for each hour extra worked than 8 hrs. because thats the pay allownaces basis for CPC. if a fauji become disable he will be thrown out of service if cause is not "attributable-aggravated" to military cause, without any service benefit but if a civilian become disable for any reasoneven fall on staircase will continue getting pay and allowances till age 60 and thereafter pension. wake up faujis.

WG.CDR.V.SUNDARESAN(RETD) said...

Dear Maj.Navdeep, execellent service from your side.
But I personally doubt whether MOD knows what right hand is doing. What is the use haveing so many cells? I persdonally think even Hon'ble RM may not be knowing what is all happening in MOD's cells. Otherwise how the RM has given ok to their Justice cell to file a writ/revision petition on the rank PAy case in SC?
The reply given by the RM is a big and cruel joke.

Anonymous said...

Navdeep....If the modern facebook and twitter revolution can create havok in arab world....Why cant we start a facebook/ twitter campaign in support of the geniune concerns of foujis....Why dont you spear head this campaign and we all are with you........

Anonymous said...

@anonymous asking for face and twitter campaign.
Hamaari aukaat itni bhee nahin kee hum apna naam likh saken aur aap campaign ki baat karte hain.
that is why i talk about the union for us also but Gen Dhoop is teaching that we are different so no union for us. and it seems all know that we are different so we are left behind for everything.

faujidoc1 said...

@ all those advocating some 'action' by senior officers / Service HQ ... I would request you to please go through the file on DACP available at http://dacp.4shared.com ... perhaps it will clear up some misconceptions on the freedom of action that Service HQ and Senior Offrs have at their disposal!
C'mon guys.. senior offrs are just you and me twenty years from now... how much difference do you think we can make given our present framework of rules and regulations?

sunlit said...

The issue of NFU needs to be discussed threadbare and all it's aspects understood.

It has been so correctly stated in a previous blog post how our woes get compunded by a lack of understanding.

A few issues connected with NFU immediately engage attention:

*What would be the implication, rank wise in the case of armed forces Officers?
*Is there a case for NFU to be made retrospective to coincide with the implementation for IAS and Group A services?
*What would be the implication in terms of pension for those who have already retired?

There is nothing like breaking up a broader issue into the sub-issues that can be readily grasped and the likely direct effects made more understandable.

Feroz said...

Respected Sir

Greetings!!!

Hope this letter finds you in best of health.

I have recently graduated as an architect form new Delhi. I have applied for territorial army and got the SSB call. Sir, I had a query for which I can find No one to answer(as related to TA). Thus, I seek you to answer my query which will guide my career.

I am a young architect but want to serve the nation as well therefore, I chose Territorial Army which I found to be civil oriented service. I got consent from my employer too. But, as I read the details of TA, i found that there is an Urban unit also for the terriers which is very compatible & friendly for professionals like me...I had also wrote Urban Unit on my Application form but was asked to chnage it to provincial unit (which is more exhaustive in terms of training etc.). Though I am not hesitant to pursue the provincial unit training but, at the same time am more inclined and interested in Urban training which talkes place on weekends and holidays.

Sir, I wish to know how can I seek the administration for resolution to this option whihc entitled me to attend Urban unit instead of Provincial units.

Warm Regards,
Feroz

Anonymous said...

Why would that 1% in the Army who retire as Lt Gens and get the pay grade mentioned in the article, feel anything is wrong with the system? After all they are the products of the same system and are the only ones who will never decry the system.

faujidoc1, we need that one person who will reach the top but not care about further positions in the govt (e.g. governor, ambassador etc.)who may have a chance of making a difference (though I am skeptical about this happening soon). And with this blog... haven't we started speaking out already? Matter of time....

Anonymous said...

army not ready to give dacp to there docs now govt not ready to givem them nfu god dekh raha hain sab ...

rajshekhar said...

as per the NFU provisions one will get grade pay of 8700 after about 16 years of service .this is a broad approximation .so people may calculate their arrears . there will be may ifs and buts on the date on which these 16 years starts i.e. one enroll in nda or pass out from IMA etc etc . depend on clarifications recd from govt after scheme is implemented in forces

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir, Any change in the status of NFGP

COL LAMBA said...

FIRSTLY: NO CHIEF WANTS TO DO ANY THING FOR VETERANS, BUT WANTS TO BE IN LIME LIGHT BY VISITING EX SERVICEMEN RALLIES.

SECONDLY: HE HAS NEITHER CONTROL OVER SAINIK BOARDS NOR COMMUNICATION .SO ANY PROBLEM ADDRESSED TO SAINIK BOARD WILL NOT REACH HIM NOR WILL GO BEYOND DISTRICT HQ. THEN WHY A COAS SHOULD NOT MISGUIDE IF HE CANNOT DO A THING ,THAN BETTER KEEP QUIET . IF HE IS REALLY INTERESTED THAN HE SHOULD SAY GIVE YOUR FEED BACK/ COMPLINTS THROUGH ESM CELL/ECHS/CANTEN & SET UP A POSITIVE TREND. MOREOVER HE SHOULD REMEMBER AFTER TWO YEARS HE TOO WILL BE IN SAME BOAT OF EX SRVICEMEN.

THIRDLY; ONE RANK ONE PAY HAS BEEN REJECTED BY CS & DEFENCE MINISTER IS NOW SAYING IT IS NOT FEASIBLE TO IMPLEMENT DUE TO ADM,FINANCIAL &WORK CONTENT INVOLVED. THAN WHY COAS SHOULD MISGUIDE THAT IT IS AT MINISTERIAL LEVEL.

FOURTHLY; IF COAS IS WORTH HIS SALT THAN HE SHOULD HAVE GUTS TO ASK WHEN PM, FM, RM, LOK SABHA, RAJYA SABHA HAS APPROVED & ACCEPTED OROP THAN HOW CAN A CS REJECT IT. IS CS ABOVE LOK SABHA/RAJ SABHA/PM/FM/RM. HE SHOULD PUT HIS FOOT DOWN & PRESS HARD TO BRING CS TO HIS LEVEL. IT WILL BE BETTER FOR HIM ARMY & EX SERVICEMEN.

FIFTHLY :LONG JOURNEY OF OROP HAS BEEN COVERED & AS COAS IF HE CANNOT GET IT IMPLEMENTED THAN HE CAN PASS ON TIME OF COAS PERIOD LIKE A PREVIOUS COAS

Anonymous said...

I am an HMT of EME. On 04/09/2006 my basic pay was fixed at 7500/- where as at the same time an AEC Hav who is enrolled on the same date he draw 8560/-. As one day before the govt has approved that basic pay in r/o juniot will be incr upto the junior basic pay. Is it applicable for us also or not

Anonymous said...

There is a cat called Record Officers in the Indian Army. I am sorry to mention that only those who have opportunity to serve with the Trg Centres, know, how holy and hard work this cat offrs are doing. I do not hesitate to mention that, they are the people who can be called the back bone and really working hand for welfare of the Indian Army Troops.

This is a pity that this cat has not been given the share of vacancies increased due to AB Singh report.

Anonymous said...

We have a personal example whilst on depn to a central govt orgn an MOD babu himself (not even Group B Gazetted) on Depn ensured all fauji's are treated not even second class but as third class citizens. No govt rules were followed for fauji's and all representations were just buried under piles of files/ shredded. Even two head of the orgn (Secty to GOI level) or Serving Maj Gen (eqvt)on depn could/didn't do anything about it.Wheras all work was being done by serving/retired fauji's. We have realized it is our own ministry which treats us as enemies/slaves. Other ministries atleast looks after their own for e.g. like the case above of finance ministry. MHA is much better than MOD.