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.