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Saturday, November 1, 2014

A great first step: Standing Committee on Welfare of Ex-Servicemen constituted on the lines of Standing Committee on Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA)

As regular readers would be aware, we have been pointing out that the single biggest impediment in resolution and rationalisation of problems related to military veterans was that the stakeholders did not have a say in decision-making and that senior bureaucrats and the highest of political executive were isolated and insulated from the voice of the veteran community by a regressive coterie of junior level bureaucracy that had grown a tangle of roots within the Ministry of Defence as also the Army HQ. Most problems emanated from this situation since veterans did not have the ear of the decision-makers and decisions were taken behind curtains unilaterally and based on incorrect and sometimes fabricated inputs. This was in sharp contrast to the civil side wherein the Department of Pension and Pensioners’’ Welfare (DoPPW) played a proactive and sensitive role for the welfare of their pensioners in conjunction with the system of the Standing Committee on Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA).

In the last SCOVA meeting under the DoPPW, attended by their Minister of State, Dr Jitendra Singh, this problem was emphatically pointed out, especially by Col Hari Handa, the President of Disabled War Veterans, India (DIWAVE) as was also placed on this blog on 14 September 2014.

Those efforts and Dr Jitendra Singh’s strong directions to the Ministry of Defence have borne fruit and a Standing Committee on Welfare of Ex-Servicemen has been constituted which would hold meetings every quarter. The Committee would be chaired by the Rajya Raksha Mantri (RRM) and would also have on it non-official members comprising veteran organisations and official members such as Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, CGDA, DGR, MD ECHS and Secretary KSB. There shall be scope for special invitees too, including representatives of Veterans’ Cells of the three services.

A great and welcome new step by the new Government. Hopefully the momentum shall continue.  


Pokar Ram said...

Major Navdeep Sir,

This is one of the best step. Thanks very much for letting us know about it.

Anonymous said...

,Mange Panghal said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

This is indeed best step. Thanks a lot for updating.

Anonymous said...

An excellent start. I think it is about time the Service HQs also created a directorate of ex-Servicemen.

Veteran said...

It is a first step but certainly not the best step.
This is one of the buerocratic way of putting you at rest.
Who will ensure that these meetings are held in every quarter ?
What are the statutory provisions for ensuring the points which are raised are implemented ?
Again the members are CGDA and DESW ?
The need of the hour is to Man the DESW by ESM not a resettlement/rehabilitation appointment for the Babus.

R G Chawla said...

Good begining, at last

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
Thanks for posting this important information and also for your efforts in seeing it fructify.

Great job done and our kudos to you.

Maj Gen SC Nair(Retd)

Maj Rajagopalan C said...

Dear Sir,
NDA in its earlier term brought in DESW which in turn created problems only & no welfare. I sincerely wish this noble step too does n't turn out to the disadvantage of EX-SERVICEMEN.

Maj.Rajagopalan C

venkatesh said...

Thanks a lot for posting such a wonderful news..Can we raise our issue of pay fixation there...?
Venkatesh SBI

Brajesh Kumar said...

Great! Lets make it happen.

Jitendra singh said...

Thanks a lot Sir,You are doing a wonderful job for the services.It would be nice if our senior officers who are at position and authority also start taking some worthwhile interest in our actual causes and welfare.

M.Prabhakaran said...

Major Navdeep Sir,

No doubt that you have been doing an excellent job to both the serving and retired defence personnel through this blog. The decision to constitute a a Standing Committee on Welfare of Ex- Servicemen is indeed the best step.However the time has come that such committees find representation of not only Commissioned Officers but Other Ranks so that their grievances are also brought out clearly. The committee cannot be said to be complete and properly constituted if no representative from the community of ORs who constitute 90% of the defence personnel both serving and retired, is included.Hope that you would support this view and ensure it's implementation.
Ex.Sgt M.Prabhakaran

Anonymous said...

Sir please take up a cade to include SS officers in NPS.SS officer are the only catogaty of government servants , who has not been covered under any pension even till 14 years

Imayan said...

It is sad to note that Emergency / Short Service Commissioned Officers were left high and dry when they were released from Army. How many sacrificed their lives / were injured during wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 ? Don't Army owe them at least proportionate pension for the number of years they served in the Army ?
can ESM organisations and others take up their case with 7th CPC

Unknown said...

On 27 Dec 14 travelling from Kalka to Delhi, all toll booths are charging toll tax from serving defence personnel. Where I can get latest updates on exemption of toll tax to serving/ ex-service man.