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Monday, October 29, 2012

Status Hit : Specific focus required

Though the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations in its final form, even after undergoing surgical changes through various committees and groups, resulted in degradation of status of military ranks in the official pecking order, what is more glaring is the fact that some organizations are not even willing to follow the Grade Pay parity postulated by the concept of Grade Pay after the 6th CPC and are flouting all laid down parameters, equivalencies and parities to impunity. In fact, military officers are being placed below even State Government officers with similar Grade Pay in certain organizations.

The scheme of things in these three set-ups requires the immediate attention of the Services Headquarters without fail:

A. Ministry of External Affairs : As fully discussed in an earlier blogpost, military officers with Grade Pay of Rs 8900 are being clubbed with other Central and State Government officers with Rs 8700 Grade Pay and military officers with Grade Pay Rs 8700 are being clubbed with other officers with Grade Pay of Rs 7600 in our missions abroad. This not only has a direct fall out on military status but also on allowances admissible on foreign shores. There was even a situation where a civilian junior serving under a military officer in a mixed organization in India became the latter’s senior when both of them went on deputation to the same organization under the Ministry of External Affairs.

B. Cabinet Secretariat : Even in certain appointments of the Cabinet Secretariat, a skewed equation for deputation and absorption is being followed wherein the actual status and even Grade Pay have been given a complete go-bye. A Commandant of the Coast Guard serving under a Captain of the Indian Navy thus becomes the latter’s superior if both of them opt for deputation to the Cabinet Secretariat on certain appointments at the same time.

C. Pubic Enterprises : For appointments at the level of Grade Pay Rs 8700, officers of the rank of Brigadier (Rs 8900) are being sought by the Public Enterprises Selection Board. Officers of the rank of Colonel (Grade Pay Rs 8700) are being appointed on appointments carrying the Grade Pay of Rs 7600. An immediate case needs to be taken up by the Services for this long standing anomaly. A recent advertisement reflecting the above can be accessed here. 

D. Survey of India : In recent selections for secondment, throwing all statutory rules providing for protection of seniority to the winds, officers of the rank of Major have been absorbed on posts carrying the Grade Pay of Rs 5400, that is equivalent to a Lieutenant of the Army. This despite the fact that the protection of seniority, status and Grade Pay was promised to military officers before the selections were made.

All such issues need to be taken up on case to case basis otherwise we should brace ourselves for a further slide after the 7th CPC. 


Anonymous said...

This not just restricted to the armed forces. Recently, the Min. of Finance opened Income Tax Overseas Units in 10 of our embassies abroad. They're being headed by First Secretaries (Dy Secy level, GP 7600) but the officers being posted are of Director level (GP 8700). They should have been posted as Counsellors, who hold the rank of Directors to the Govt of India.

Anonymous said...

What about the Chief Engineers of MES and BRO? In all other federal organisations, CEs (in GP 10000) are considered equivalent to Joint Secretaries/Maj Gens, and even exercise the financial powers of JSs. Only in the AF are they downgraded to Brig level.

Harry said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

1. Sir, thanks for pointing out the machinations, nah..these are not anomalies.

2. Trust Services HQ to either do nothing or end up with nothing to show for a positive result!

3. It is a simple case of recipient org's take it or leave attitude. Poor faujis will still bite the bullet swallowing their pride for the deputation is still pretty liberating for some.

Sorry to sound pessimistic but I don't see things improving in a hurry, Services HQ intervention notwithstanding. :(

sunlit said...

The services HQs need to look at this issue from a different perspective as well. If the civilian establishment does not accord parity at the appropriate level, why are AF officers posted by the services HQs to these vacancies? Why do the officers posted by themselves do not represent for parity or immediate posting out?

I say this because I have personally observed at close quarters how factors of the attractiveness of some posting stations, or a tenures away from the uncertainties of a purely military life as well as the carrot of the possibility of lateral absorption out of the "wretched pyramid", can sometimes help to compromise the parity and status issues relating to AFs.

Anonymous said...

what did we expect from such organisations? it is free for all as far as faujis are concerned. when we donot react on time, what do we expect> why cannot someone take these organisations to court and ask for stay and damages? everyone wants to downgrade and demoralise only armed forces. for what reasons - god only knows. and faujis would wake up only when a chaprasi in government office will be placed higher than a lieutenant. till then ....

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

Ref comment on the status and placement of CEs in BRO and MES.

Actually, the real sufferers are Brigadiers who should have been in GP 10000 logically.

When SAG-II (Civilian CE) and SAG-I were merged, no such merger took place on the military side and the rank of Brig continued to suffer. Brig should have also merged into SAG-I as was done for his (then existing) counterpart of Addl IG.

So it is not that CEs are being downgraded, it is the rank of Brig which has been downgraded and which should have been in SAG with GP 10000.

Harry said...



You have yourself answered the reasons for accepting downgradation.

Pls allow me to give a crude analogy. Punjabi village youth are loath to do any labour back home but given a chance to go and work abroad, some of them would not mind even the jobs of cleaners for the following reasons:-

- That is the max they get as they are mostly not well educated.

- There is no loss of izzat involved in a foreign land where no one knows them.

- They can still scrimp and save abroad and come backhome with NRI lifestyle to flaunt.

Now getting back to the post. Our high fliers (Lt Cols/Cols/Brigs) get posted in embassies abroad on deputation which means they are generally ahead in their respective batches (implying next promotion is just round the corner), foreign posting in their Service Record shines like a coveted 'bling' and even if they get treated below their equivalent grade they still WON'T ask for repatriation to their parent cadre cause then someone else would gleefully accept the same treatment without a murmur and be back in the org to flaunt his foreign credentials and pick up his next rank (and more than make up for the lost privileges while he was abroad).

Reasons for accepting lower status in Cabinet Sectt (mostly applicable for brigs) are increased retirement age and Delhi tenure in continuation and for some folks perceived prestige of working in such a premier Govt office.

Survey of India type majs know that even if they restart at square one (with GP 5400) they would still retire with Brig's/Maj Gen's pay grade and pension. How many of their original coursemates within the org can claim that?

Public Enterprises are again attractive for stable and cushy tenures and increased retirement age.

Recipient orgs would be only too pleased to downgrade you if you are more than willing to be mistreated in that fashion. Afterall, haven't we all heard, "jiski latthi uski bhains!"

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

leave aside the matter of pay and allowances, practically the fact is that fauji officers (or officers of same so called status in other org except administration) are not respected by even grade II or III level administrative officers/ clerks. govt should provide this kind of protection to your status. can you expect some respect from a SDM? he ll not even listen to you. personally i would be more than happy, if this kind of protection to status can be implemented. now a days things have gone to such a level that officers prefer to hide their identity coz its better to tolerate insult being a common man, rather than getting insulted as an armed forces officers. i hope that other org are also facing the same problem. this will only be possible, when the feeling of 'power' will actually be coverted into the feeling of 'responsibility'. JAIHIND

sunlit said...

@Harry:"..high fliers.."; You have total clarity on the situation. My personal view is it's good to have career aspirations. After going through all the hardships of tenures within the service, it'd be so cruel having to willingly forego a foreign assignment on the basis of a status parity issue. The services HQs ought to be more assertive on these matters and, perhaps, have a clear understanding with the Hon'ble RM without letting such bissues fester at lower levels. I clearly remember once the MOD, at the level of combined services HQs, had issued a letter defining parity of service ranks with DRDO scientists, and hence with DGQA/DGAQA posts. But R&D would have none of it and ordered their labs to maintain the status quo in respect of inter-se status. I don't recall any service officers lining up to get posted out of the comfortable DRDO lab tenures.

If we have to have tenures, and why shouldn't we, the services HQs must make themselves heard.

And we are not like the agriculturist youth you have mentioned, though one must admire their resourcefulness, courage and guts when they go exploring unchartered waters. We have discipline, skills, knowledge which can be, and are, constructively employed in these civilian establishments. But parity and inter-se status are issues our HQs must not compromise on.

Harry said...



1. Though you rightly said Services HQ have to be more assertive on this issue BUT what causes further dismay is that even if Services HQ prevail upon MoD and the matter is officially taken up with the concerned Deptt/Agency what is the guarantee that it would be accepted (case in point being your own example of DRDO/DGQA deputation issue)?

2. Then only alternative left for the org is to stop deputations where equivalent grade is not granted BUT then who is the ultimate loser? Certainly not the recipient org!

3. Everyone protects his own turf and thinks other person is worthless and if that other person happens to be a AFs commissioned officer then he is even more vulnerable to exploitation cause he has nothing to offer to anyone. Pls recall how the GCs/young officers are fed the dung of being 'different'! It is only much later in life that you realise what a SUCKER you have been! You are different all right but then so are SCs/STs!!!

PS: Pls don't take Punjabi village youth analogy to heart, it was only for illustrative purpose. :)

sunlit said...

@Harry: "..what is the guarantee that it would be accepted.."
Well these chaps don't get their pay from Uncle Sam or Brother Ivan. Mother Indisa being the paymaster would certainly need to be heeded. Hence the need for taking it up at a level not lower than that of Hon'ble RM himself. Someone needs to 'read out the riot act' to these civilian friends.

Anonymous said...

This is most unfortunate and one wonders why does the defence ministry / DOPT not step in and resolve this humiliation subjected to military officers when posted with other civilian officers?
It is known that even the defence ministry itself is not less in humiliating military officers. In the Sainik School Society which functions under the defence ministry a deputy secretary who is designated as Honorary Secretary writes ACRs of all principals and inspecting officers who are all select list colonels or equivalents! The present Honorary Secretary who has been initiating reports of full colonels for the past three years as deputy secretary has recently promoted to director. Still he is not qualified to initiate reports of Colonel rank officers who are senior to him by several years. But when the parent ministry itself doing such humiliation whom to complain?

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I do not know why are we so eager to send our offrs to these organisations when we can't ensure that they get their entitlements and dues correctly. As it is, every single battalion - the so called unit or the basic brick on which the edifice of this organisation stands - is woefully short of offrs. And every single headquarter in our great organisation is overstaffed.So, stop sending these officers out and make greater number of of them available within the organisation. Maybe then we can also stand with our heads raised high and say 'Look, we know our entitlements and if you can't give it to us, then we are NOT going to come to you"!

Anonymous said...

sorry for being off the topic.

PCDA(O) has not given arrears on account of additional increment due to personnel whose increment date fell between february and jun 2006 even in October 2012. I am sure PCDA(O) must be waiting for some government order telling them not to give it to faujis otherwise, this work could have been done in 2 days flat for the affected officers.

everything is in limbo. NFFU, grade pay, rank pay case, and even such a simple issue as additional increment. This government is hellbent on delaying all payments to faujis.

Come to think of it, civilian government personnel have been given NFFU arrears from 01 january 2006. Interest on these arrears itself will be more than the so much talked MSP. MSP is in anycase neutralised long back. When NFFU is given to faujis, it will be prospectively applied. So that is how it is? Take it from fauj, give it to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

We get it because we ask (rather yearn) for it and we accept it !!

How many have refused it for themselves / their juniors / their organisation ??

If we take a look from another side, when the docs are auth their DACP and hence upgradation in GP & associated perks, it is we who block the process and NOT the civil services / others.

So let's lay back and ENJOY (the downfall)....!!!


Why should select list Cols be sent as Principals of Sainik schools to be humilated by Under Secys. This job can be done by superseded Lt Cols and they will sort out the undys also.
Same shud be applied to mixed org.

Anonymous said...

One can't come to believe from any angle that a Dy Secy rank officer is competent to initiate reports on full Colonels! A Dy Secy is junior even to a LT COL by Grade Pay and equivalent by protocol (extant Warrant of Precedence). Correctly speaking, performance appraisal of a full Colonel can be carried out by a civilian officer of the level of JS to GoI and above coz full Colonel is himself of the level of Director of GOI by all means. Rather a Colonel should be initiating reports on Dy Secretary to GOI level officers as and need to do so should arise.

Whenever civilian officials happen to be in higher grade pay, they compare by GP and when in lower GP they quote another rule that GP is meant to determine seniority/status within the cadres and not between the cadres. When service personnel (both officers and JCOs/below) call their junior civilian officials as Sir as a courtesy, the guys in civvies begin to fly visibly but undeservingly high and smack of undue arrogance and respond with Yeah even when they clearly know of their own inferior status/post in comparison to the military personnel interacting with them. Probably they sport such swanky attitutde to suppress their own inferiority complex biting them from within and they tend to appease their nervousness by (mis)using their powerful tool of power to put spokes in the issues of needy people in uniform. It happens quite often. What a joke!

The issue of parity between Services and civilian officials warrants attention of higher bosses at all levels on TOP PRIORITY and some permanent solution needs to be put in place to show those chaps their place who are habitual humiliators.

Anonymous said...


rajiv goyal said...

I wd suggest the army to set their own house in order before casting aspersions on civilian organisation..see what is happeniing in MES. Where a director level officers are forced to serve under a col. defying MOD and court order.In fact ,there is no respect for propriety in this country.It is the jungle rule I.e. Might is right that prevails in this country. Also don't forget the AV committee report, where all army officers below rank of col. were placed one rank higher

Bharat said...

Dear Navdeep,
Is there no possibility of legal recourse for regaining the status of Lt Cols as it was in the currency of the 5th pay commission ? Directors were in S-24 and Lt Cols were in S-25. Now, Directors draw a GP of 8700 and Lt Cols draw 8000, that too after a long fight. I am sure all the Lt Cols of the Indian Army would be willing to contribute financially for this legal battle.

rajiv goyal said...

I wd suggest the army to set their own house in order before casting aspersions on civilian organisation..see what is happeniing in MES. Where a director level officers are forced to serve under a col. defying MOD and court order.In fact ,there is no respect for propriety in this country.It is the jungle rule I.e. Might is right that prevails in this country. Also don't forget the AV committee report, where all army officers below rank of col. were placed one rank higher

Harry said...

Dear Mr Goyal,

1. Pls allow me to put forth a following few facts before you:-

During 5th CPC:

- Lt Cols Basic Pay was 13500-400-17100 w/o Rank Pay of Rs 1600 and 15100-400-18700 with Rank Pay of Rs 1600.

Dirs to GoI scale was 14300-400-18300

Thus Lt Cols were drawing EVEN MORE THAN Dirs.

Cols Basic Pay was 17100-450-19350 including Rank Pay of Rs 2000 and 15100-450-17350 w/o Rank Pay

DIGs Pay scale was 16400-450-20000.

Thus Cols were getting a higher start THAN EVEN DIGs.

Now I don't have to tell you that Rank Pay is part of Basic Pay. Learned Judges right from Kerala High Court, have been upholding this view and have been ruling in AFs favor even though GoI went right till SC challenging this verdict and when nothing worked for Govt, it even filed a review petition before SC which was yet again dismissed by the SC Bench.

As you may already be well aware (as you may be following Maj Navdeep's blog) Govt notification on revision of Basic Pay of all officers holding rank from Capt to Brig from 4th CPC onwards is expected to be published soon (within Nov, most probably) so every thing would become clear as to who should have been rightly drawing what Grade Pay.

Even though AFs have been strongly protesting status downgradation of AFs officers by successive pay commissions however Govt (read Babu lobby) never paid any heed but now it has been forced to rectify the wrongs through the intervention of highest Court of the land.

Once correct equation gets restored thereafter MES SEs will NOT have any issues with Cols being their bosses as strictly speaking even Lt Cols were drawing more than them. So their grouse is not justified.

Even now what is being followed in-house is the same equation by Army.

Anonymous said...

harry above,
u are right. but our dear government will correct the injustice even after rank pay judgement is a trillion dollar question. do we really think babus and group A officers combine will do anything to correct and restore pre 6cpc equation of defence officers.

sirji, eight weeks since judgment and still the orders are not out. government babus will not waste eight weeks for nothing. some one out of them would have found out as to how to muck up the whole issue beyong anyone comprehension. chances are that government letter with very limited interpretaion of the order or left adequately vague will be issued leaving ample scope for cgda/pcda(O) to make life hell for everyone. i am sure cgda and pcda(O) will be smacking their lips just thinking about the havoc they will play, their scroll showing their ill advised, ill timed and ill interpretation of the judgement notwithstanding...

amit said...

the fault lies with us, v tell our youngsters talking about money in army is taboo or being money minded and such people should not have joined army, so when the same reach the higher rks they r r neither aware nor confident of raising such issues with the added disadv that if indeed they raise a issue it will b marked against them being problem creator and their career prospects will suffer thuus causing long term harm to the org for short term pers relief,

Anonymous said...

Dear Sirs

Was going through your blog.

I opened the table which you have prepared considering equivalency.

You have shown captain as no equivalency.

If rank insignia is considered Police have a post with 3 stars and and one strip. This structure is not there in army.

What is important to note that is this position which is key appointment in nearly all police station the inspector incharge. (Who as per IPC is the only person to take cognzance of an offence (FIR) - even SP have to take cognizance as Thana Incharge. (Remember this was made same British who gave the high rank to Army officers)

These report to Group B Officers recruited to state Police Service who are drawing Grade pay of 5400 the ACP/DSP who will be promoted to GP of 6600 as Group A

The Group A Officers also start there career at Grade pay of 5400 and are senior to DSP/ACP.

It is this Structural issue at the lowest level of ARMY as army has no promotee officers where the issue of equivalency and importance comes in as I know army officers treat those who rise through rank with disdain and never allowing them to become officers while in civil and police service these promotee officers are backbone of the service performing most duties expect of the lowest level army officers

The correct equivalency shall be

Lt = Group B GP 5400
Capt = Group A GP 5400
Major = Group A GP 6600
Lt Col working on post teneble by majors = Group A GP 7600 (SG only)
Lt Col = Group A GP 7600 where GP 7600 is a promotional post not selection grade
Colonel = GP 8700
Brigadiers GP 8900
Maj Gen = GP 10000