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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peer Jealousy- Democratic decisions : Need of the hour

What is the problem with us?

The problem is jealousy, and the lack of a democratic decision-making process.

While democracy can hardly be expected in operational or military matters per se, but it is the call of the times in personnel policies and policies affecting our pay, allowances and pensionary benefits.

Recent history stands witness, that whether it is the Ministry of Defence or the Defence Services internally, most of the problems emanate from the fact that the stake-holders have no say in the decision-making process, and power, or rather the voice, is concentrated in the chosen few who tend to impose their own opinions and views on millions of others who then suffer in silence.

Examples of self-defeating moves are many. An example which again raised its head was that of grant of Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme (DACP) for doctors. Documents reveal that the Chief of Staffs’ Committee (COSC) again opposed better pay and allowances under DACP for military doctors on the pretext that they would start getting higher pay and perks than other arms and services. What they did not realize was the fact that, firstly, doctors have historically enjoyed an edge in pay over other arms and services, and secondly, when other departments of the Govt, including the Central Armed Police Forces, have not had any problem with a similar dispensation, what makes the defence services deny dues to their own? Glaringly, the COSC/PPOC had then decided to tacitly state that DACP should only be granted to doctors if Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) is implemented for the others. While the correct approach was to smoothly implement DACP and then raise the issue of NFU putting across that now that an anomaly in one cadre stood resolved, let us move for resolution of the other. In this bargain and with this bright idea of denial of an approved scheme of the cabinet for all central govt doctors w.e.f 2008, they lost out on both- DACP as well as NFU. While civilian doctors have been enjoying the benefits of DACP since 2008, military doctors remain without it till date, thanks to our own. Thankfully though, it was the Supreme Court which upheld the grant of DACP for military doctors, something denied by our own brethren. A similar problem was faced in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) where DACP was given prospective effect, and not retrospective effect from 2008, but that has also now been resolved after a judgement of the Karnataka High Court which has been smoothly implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs for all combatised doctors in CAPFs.

Another spanner in the works currently seems to emanate from the Navy during the implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme since it seems that the Navy wants to deny some benefits to a certain section of officers who have risen from the ranks. Rather than going with the flow and letting all officers and men reap the benefits of the classical definition of OROP propounded even by the Raksha Mantri, the Navy, it seems, wants to tinker with the definition, thus giving ammunition to those who are already waiting in the sidelines to deny benefits to military pensioners.

What senior officers at the Services HQ should understand is that the voice of the stake-holders must be heard before taking decisions with multiple implications. They should also appreciate that their knowledge in most of these matters is zilch and they need the inputs from experts and the affected parties to reach well-rounded conclusions. Benefits cannot be denied or held mortgage to a coterie’s thought-process. This must change.

Also at the Ministry of Defence level, especially with a change looming large, a decision needs to be taken to make the Defence Services a part of the decision-making machinery. The Rules of Business contain no reference to the Defence Services currently and the Defence Secretary happens to be responsible for the defence of the nation, and not the military. The easiest way out would be to conceptualize a Defence Board on the lines of the Railway Board which could be a mix of generalists, experts and military officers and which could take decisions in a much more holistic manner than the current system.

Besides the systemic change above, I’ll say it again- please do not be jealous of your peers. Do not deny others their respective dues only since in your perception you may have been disallowed yours. This is damaging. And with this attitude, you yourself shall not remain damage-proof. It all comes back. 


Ramakrishna Sanjeev said...

Very succinctly put,

Anonymous said...

DACP yet to be implemented despite all your efforts. Hope somebody will see the light of the day soon and implement it without having to go through contempt of court proceedings.

Anonymous said...

very well brought out. but will our top brass listen?? armed forces is busy implementing the 'crab pulling crab' policy

Anonymous said...

Kudos, Another example of rudderless leadership and a case "pay for inaction"

Anonymous said...

Isiliye bolte hai fauji ka dimag gutane me hota hai

rajat said...

This is a result of the fact that all three services are not united, within the services various streams are not united. There is more casteism in the armed forces. The armed forces society is far more divided on basis of rank, arm, corp, job profile. The day all in uniform are considered equal we will stop having such decisions taking place which look for benefit of few than the majority.

Pokar Ram said...

Dear Sir,

1. Very rightly said on the subject by the Major Navdeep Singh.

2. (a) A canard is being spread by the Navy that a Lt Col/ equivalent with QS 30 years gets @ Rs 19898 pm as pension whereas those risen from the ranks get 26265. What is the basis for arriving at pension @ Rs 19898 for Lt col with 30 years of QS in respect of pre Jan 2006.

(b) If the proposal of the Navy is worth acceptance, should the government not give pension for 15 years QS (14+1) in lower deck separately in the last rank held prior commisison in Service. ???. Not only pension but entire retiral dues viz DCRG, Leave encashment, pension etc, if that is to be treated as a separate service and option to count former service is discontinued as a new measure to the disadvantage of the existing lot retrospectively???.

(c) . QS for pension in respect of late entrant is 15 years and not 20 years as presumed to be.

(d). Are re-employed officers willing to forego the benefit of past service / last pay drawn etc for computation of pay and allowances ???

(e). SSC officers later converted to PC should also be barred from counting former service.???

(f). AMC officers changing over from one service to another should also forego their previous service for computing pension in the latest service ???

(g). Can a rule be made applicable retrospectively to the disadvantage of the existing lot ???.

3. Was this the real bone of contention while seeking support for OROP. Or a new invention by the few ....???

varun said...

Very appropriately brought out...
Jealously is the prime reason. These and a lot of other factors put together r responsible for he acute shortage of manpower in the Armed forces. The shortage in the armed forces is primarily due to high attrition and low intake. The reasons of high attrition are...
1. The pay and perks r not good enough to retain a soldier for a challenging job 2. The changes in social strata are not getting incorporated in the forces.
3. Too many restrictions are imposed which impinge upon personal freedom and personal space.
4. Organisation culture has deteriorated and is fast deteriorating which reflects poorly on the moral and self respect of officers and men.
5. The concept that "army is just not a profession, its way of life" is changing fast... few believe in it... for obvious reasons as brought out here.
6. Talent has very less to do with recognition and remuneration.
7. Promotional avenues are extremely pyramidical... however the counterparts in civil and other uniformed forces have definite and faster promotion avenues.
8. Armed forces are more and more alianating themselves fron the civic society in the name of command and control which is proving counerproductive.
9. The service conditions and commensurate remuneration are not matching : forces are deployed at extremely inhospitable conditions and its difficult to remain motivated, as isolation takes a toll, moreover the pay that one gets for such a tough job is peanuts. Probably a call centre executive earns better.
10. The officer men relationship and officer's interpersonal relationship is deteriorating fast. Army is involved in all insundry and at times insane duties.. which leads to extreme pressures and concurrent stress. The seniors are most of the time busy with their own agenda of appeasement and career progression which has created a big divide between the thinking lot of young and middle level officers and the senior lot.
11. The employment avenues are such that exposure of other than the olive green is a fry cry. There is no exposure of any other type and interpersonal and intellectual growrh is extremely comprimised.
12. There is very less freedom of expression at all levels and a holistic organisational policy is missing.
13. There is very limited inward looking in the organisation and age old archaic british systems r being followed, which to a sensible individual will seem ridiculous.

Reasons of low intake.
1. As there is not much use , encouragement and acknowledgement of talent, the talented and ambitious youth is not willing to join.
2 . No matter what anyone says, keeping in mind the current inflationary trends, salary is just not at par with the industry.
3. Work is almost a 365 x 24 x 7 environment. All that a respite is the leave of 80 days in an year, that also if one gets as per his / her plan on the contrary in other professions one at least gets his saturdays and Sundays free and if one is still working its compensated in money or recognition. So the youth is very aware now days and evaluates his / her options and preferences before choosing careers.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful peace of article with absolute clarity of thoughts. I am pers aware of some very senior offrs who go through Navdip's blog on a regular basis....Hope one will act

ramesh sharma said...

It is sad that our higher ups who have say in the matters relating to welfare of defence services have narrow thinking .I find no reason why DACP should not be implemented? Non implementation of NFFU is also the result mental barriers of these authorities who refuse to accept any such proposal which does not give them any personal advanrage.I feel we shall coninue to suffer till this mind set is eradicated.

Anonymous said...

The proposal or recommendations of the NAVY against officers (Ex ranks) can only be called stupid action. Serving soldiers getting are granted permanent commission and get pay as applicable to other type of commissions. If they are treated at par as per govt orders then how can you divide them while giving pension. Say AA SANN MUJE MARR, if NAVY can not get older cases rectified as retired people going to Courts, list is long, they have not right to put such suggestion. Probably they think, they will not be pensioners one day.

corona8 said...

The denial by NHQ, as stated in this blog post, is not the first instance of depriving its cadre of what should be rightful dues as this previous discussion shows.

The other two service HQs have adopted similarly unsympathetic attitudes to their own personnel in other areas at different times.

Anonymous said...

The category of officers in the Army/Navy/AF is not upto mark. They are all 12th pass or the all rejected people from civil services, mostly sons of Army Officers. So they want parity with Class I officers of GOI. I do not think they deserve such a high pay and pension at all.

HARDEV said...

That is right approach to conduct in the face of adversaries(courtiers) bureaucratic caucus.Even otherwise also the approach is excellent as the denial would make the giver unhappy about what he gave but acceptance instead encourages him to do even better.Thanks for brilliant & positive approach Major Navdeep Singh.

Yogi said...

Service Chiefs are right in insisting that NFU be granted to all other officers along with DACP for AMC Doctors. After all giving less to combat arms in comparison to services like AMC really negates the very idea of Army as fighting force. Better option would be to convert AMC into a civilian force and have only doctors at unit level as Short Service Officer for three years in uniform.

Anonymous said...

I want to burst the bubble here :

Its not the top lot , which are callous and selfish,

It is mostly the Monkeys on the way to top. just bcoz, that particular person was ill treated or abused in his time, he wants to put everyone through the same agony.

Im telling you, utter selfish people, they wouldn't care for anyone but their promotion and nasty spiteful behavior.
i really dont know the solution, i wonder, what will happen when these armchair warriors face a Chinese aggression ? are we ready ? I would like to think that we are.

ninihala said...

1. Our problems emanate from various sources, incl endogenic factors. But mainly they arise from excl of military POV from top decision making. This needs to be corrected. An IAS offr being deptl secy may be fine in other min, but not in MoD. If MEA can always have an IFS offr as it's secy, MoD too can have a uniformed offr assisting the minister.
2. My suggestion is that CDS shud be instituted with MoS rk. MoD shud have following depts:-
- Dept of Army.
- Dept of IAF.
- Dept of IN.
- Dept of Pers & Rect. Akin to DOPT.
- Dept of Mil Diplo.
- Dept of Def Prodn and Acqn.
- Dept of ESM Affairs.
- Dept of Def Finance, Accounts & Audit.
3. While the first 3 depts be headed by respective Chiefs, next 2 will be headed by a 4 star offr. The last 2 may be headed by 3 star offrs or civ equivalents.
4. Atleast 50% offrs and sectt staff in MoD be uniformed pers with remaining civ staff also be under Army Act, as for Civ GT dvrs.
5. All files/ proposals etc being put up to the min or cabinet be finally routed thru CDS, none else. IDAS be cut down to size.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
If they donot want to improve the pay & perk to the offcers risen from ranks, why they have sucked their blood and send on operational duties equal to the other officers ? stupid

corona8 said...

@@Anonymous: "..all 12th pass.."

We can have some PhD's from the armed forces visit your house if you'd be kind enough to pass on your address.

U K Pisharody said...

Why are people interested in pulling down officers promoted from ranks on their own efforts and merits? They should adopt the policy of live and let live and bring castism in Services too - not that this does not exist!

U K Pisharody
Cdr IN (Retd0

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I am all time fan of this organization, though being at receiving end on the most of occasions. I will sum up my reactions in two points-
1. You are right in all aspects.
2. My 11 year old son, who was an enthusiastic volunteer to join my career, has already decided not to join any uniformed service.

I support his decision.

Harry said...


Thank you for your excellent views. You really seem Chief-worthy.


"12th pass"

Yeah sure but then these 12th pass types are the ultimate saviours of this great Nation and it is only they who save the skin (here I'm not deliberately mentioning the other 'imp' body part) of very erudite bureaucrats when they royally mess up things and look over their shoulder for AFs help!


There are many comments on the topics like OROP, PARITY IN PENSION, CONSIDERATION OF OTHER RANKS ETC. Many have expressed "jealousy" as the main hurdly in deciding many issues. I do agree BUT JEALOUSY IS DIFFERENT FROM ENTITLEMENT AND ELIGIBILITY. A sympathetic consideration is always welcome but it should not be at the cost of service seniority.
Let me explain. OROP means pension base on RANK AND RANK ONLY. Even amongst same rank, SENIORITY DOES COUNT.
Again, pension is technically considered from the LAST PAY DRAWN.
Hence any one retiring from any rank must get his entitled pension ie 50% of the LAST PAY DRAWN. The eligibility(FOR PRE-2006 RETIREES) SHOULD BE BASED ON CONSIDERATION WITH A BASE FIGURE OF 33 YEARS AND PRO-PERIOD OS SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED.
Now, for officers from other ranks; as maj.danapalan has suggested, they can be made entitled for TWO PENSIONS(DEPENDING ON THE ELIGIBILITY) IE, ONE FOR THE PERIOD OF THEIR SERVICE IN RANKS AND THE SECOND AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER'S SERVICE PERIOD. I WELCOME THIS. Not only this is in practice also; I am aware that a JWO retired with full pension joins another org.(in central govt) as an officer, and gets TWO PENSIONS(+DA). IT IS ENTITLED.Hence, no body will object if anybody from ranks gets two pensions, subject to his eligibility.I think, for other ranks, the eligibility is 15 years. if one get commission after 15 years actual service, then HE MUST GET THE PENSION OF THAT RANK ie 50% OF THE LAST PAY DRAWN. But once he is promoted/joined as an officer, the his rank and his last pay drawn must be the only consideration; because, most of them retire on superannuation at the age of ,say 55/52 year of age, and can become hardly a LT.COL after about 15-16 years of commissioned service. If a regular entry officer gets commission at the age of say 22-23 year of age, then he struggles at the ,max LT.COL rank, after say 18-19 years and gets out at the age of say 55/52 years of age(IAM SAYING THIS FOR PRE-2006 RETIREES)AFTER STRUGGLING IN THAT RANK FOR A GOOD 10+YEARS IN THAT RANK) Now equating such persons with less no. of years is injustice.
Hence, the last pay drawn only should be taken; and if one has reached the max. in the scale, then stagnation increments can be given.

raveeshk73 said...

Very learned forum with free abnormally bright sparks..
Much is missing in defence services now. .
No true leader
Low moral
Eroded character
Extinct Comraderie
Lost Esprit de Corps ..

Etc etc..

@Yogi a more on history AMC had a LT GEN much before even DCOAS became one. .forget about DCNS etc etc..

We are worst than bureaucrats. . Its just our luck that still bureaucrats control us and are available to interfere else you really can even imagine our state in our own top brasses..

Demand of the time is to

Get at least few good leaders
Equal respect for all arms
Be more professional
Start serving for pride and only pride..
Else chose some alternate career and Not Forces special Army Navy & Airforce to start with..but equally applicable to all uniformed service ..

Stop pity comparison with civil set up..

But then don't stoop down to lose your respect..

Pay for the defence forces has to be higher than any civilian counter part but to earn this we have to start behaving & demanding like soldiers and not salesman !!

Jai Hind..
Prayers !

Anonymous said...

I am in a station and let me tell you the most Physically fit gen is from AMC. Atleast somebody is thinking about physical fitness

sk misra said...

Just to add house in orderstarts from first giving the jawan what they rightfully deserve. Let us start treating the jawans as humans and not dispensable objects to get us glory.
Let us treat the treat and respect the jawan in house that he has dignity of labour. He not only feels but is part of the whole military system and fully involved in its decision making process.
It is sad to see that most are not able to look beyond there rank or the future rank they are heading towards. First get parity within the services and then think of parity with the outside world.
Finally solution for all lies within the org. The AFneed to understand that they have a master which is the MOD, they are not independent of it. They have to follow instructions given by them and are answerable to them. Finally the PM is the actual boss via the RM. Today the service chiefs are behaving as the Viceroy of their individual services but unfortunately the British rule is over and no Queen is coming for your rescue.
The service needs to introspect and carry out a study as to what way of operating is required in todays scenario than what they adopted when the Royal tag left us but the style of functioning didn't change. The services are in a dire need for reforms for greater than any other

Ash The Wiz said...

I agree with what Maj Navdeep has written here.
I call it the "Sainik School Mentality" for the rank structure in the Armed forces has been converted into a tool for denying pay, perks and privileges to the lower ranks. As is the case in S/Schools and academies, privileges depend upon your class / term, here it is determined by your rank.
Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with the GoI, it is the top brass which presents its point of view which is far away from the harsh reality being faced by their subordinates. In fact they are least bothered about us since they are already enjoying their privileges.
The moment one gets his 2-stars, all he is bothered about is his retinue, bungalow, staff car, free junkets and the elusive 3rd star. So where is the time to think about the men under their command?
I think I am absolutely on the spot as I don't see any comments by senior officers on this post. This shows they don't care!

Anonymous said...

jab sarkar ko dene mein koi problem nahin to inke lagu karne mein kyon kashth ho raha h yeh samajna bahut mushkil h