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 Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained.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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

OROP, Col Rathore’s op-ed and needless hairsplitting

While I agree with most of the points raised by veteran organisations on One Rank One Pension (OROP) and I also agree that it has been unduly delayed because of exaggerated figures and overstated fears propelled by the Defence Accounts Department, I fail to understand why Col Rajyavardhan Rathore’s recent write-up has been perceived by some as a dampener.

It was not. And actually it was reassuring.

While writing the op-ed, perhaps what he wanted to convey was the predicament that the political set-up was facing at arriving at exact figures constituting OROP for each rank. When he said that people spending different lengths of time in each rank were not getting equal pensions because of varied salaries at the time of retirement, he was not attempting to dilute the concept of OROP but only stating a fact which we need to address. For example, today, two officers of the same rank commissioned and superannuating on the same date may not be retiring with the same last drawn pay and hence not receiving exactly the same pension, and then which of the two figures would constitute OROP for past retirees is perhaps the very real question that is engaging the political executive. But this poser was also qualified by the Colonel by stating that they were committed to harmonize this situation without ‘penalizing’ anyone. This itself should be comforting that a solution is being searched for this issue and not the perpetuation of the problem. Take it on a scale of positivity and not with a pinch of salt.

The answer perhaps would be to find an agreeable figure of pension for retirees of each rank by keeping 2014 as the base year of retirement- upgrade those who are below that figure and protect those who are above that figure and then pass the said benefit to all pre-2014 retirees with a yearly review with all past retirees retiring in similar rank receiving the pension of current retirees of the same rank with same length of service. However all of this has to be done within the four corners of definition mentioned in the Parliament, without dilution.

Whatever be the outcome, whatever be the ultimate solution, in a democracy we would be free to disagree or agree with what is proposed or implemented, but my idea of putting these few words above is that I did not see anything negative or objectionable in Col Rathore’s oped, in fact, I found it desirable in light of the undue delay. I also do not blame veteran organisations in being skeptical since their cynicism is not without reason. I just request that we should not get into a hairsplitting exercise or search for negativity even where it does not live. 


tejinder singh said...

I fully agree with Maj Navdip Singh. The veterans should not have the confrontist attitude, instead we should try to understand the cause of delay in implementation of OROP at present is due to genuine reasons.
Having said this, it should be understood that feeling of dissatisfaction amongst the veterans is due to events of the past many decades, when the status of the defence pers has been systematically brought down. It is hoped that present government under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi will undo the damage done to the soldiers.

KDK said...

RM clearly stated that no of yrs in rank will count, instead of total length of service. The babus are at it again. They understand it will be well-nigh impossible to obtain dates of confirmation in particular rank from old records, especially over 30 yrs old. RM, of course, cannot see their devious game. Point to note, why is the goalpost is being shifted at this late hour. The very definition of OROP is 'same rank and same length of service'. Anything else will not be OROP. Period.

Unknown said...

More than ESM organisations the govt seem to be splitting hairs & passing it on to all others
No one from the govt side has made any comments on DGL of Service hq.This seemed to be agreeable to most of the veterans & seem to ignored by the govt, deliberately or otherwise
I would like to know what RM thinks about the DGL

Dhoop said...

The write-up referred to in the blog post has very clear political underpinnings and there is no basis for anyone to be either apprehensive or unduly enthused by the contents.

When reassurances from the highest seats of power take a long time in getting even close to a sign of nearing materialisation, it is anybody's guess how much other politically affiliated personages can be sources of reliable indicators of positive developments to come.

Most of that write-up focuses on what an opposing political structure had done or not done. For the politically unaffiliated, it makes for interesting reading, just as statements from other political quarters sometimes do.

For the rest of us affected by unduly delayed delivery of dues, be it rank pay arrears, OROP, NFU etc., proof of the pudding must lie in the eating.

Anonymous said...


The solution is to make maximum of the Pay Band+Grade Pay+MSP as notional pay for fixing pension for 33 yrs of service and proportionately for lesser service for both pre and post 2006 retirees.This was being followed prior to 6th CPC.

Suresh Bangara said...

Entirely endorse the above remarks. I am more than satisfied that the case for OROP is now in good hands and that the RM is going about it the right way. Let us learn to appreciate good work and wait till 31 March 2015

Anonymous said...

Let us for once leave the politics aside. The example given by dear RR seems to bring out a minor aberration. Why should it be that in the current 6CPC two cols a SG and one TS should retire with different pensions? Why two cols of different arms and services retire with different pensions? This is a minor issue. The main issue - example of which RR needs to see is that today a Lt Col with 20 yrs service retires pre maturely with more pension than a Maj Gen of pre 2006 era with 36 yrs service!!!!

Penmil said...

Dear Sir,
I beg to differ with your statement “The answer perhaps would be to find an agreeable figure of pension for retirees of each rank by keeping 2014 as the base year of retirement- upgrade those who are below that figure and protect those who are above that figure and then pass the said benefit to all pre-2014 retirees with a yearly review with all past retirees retiring in similar rank receiving the pension of current retirees of the same rank with same length of service”.
The only agreeable figure is the maximum pension that has been granted in 2014, across the three services, for a given rank and for a given length of total reckon able service for pension.
The Service HQ have long ago made this amply clear in their draft letter.
There is no need to protect any one’s pension in that case.
Perhaps the statements coming in press are to prepare the pensioners to accept a modified definition of OROP.

A K Jairath said...

I think comments are political in nature because of the fact that he has deliberately included the name of Congress. He must remember that NDA Govt when in power for five years did nothing in this regard. Then why blame congress. The difference in calculation may be thousand crores, but what doubt us is the Will to implement and even if they implement it now, it is not because the Govt wants it but because we forced them to do so. Rathore is now a politician and obviously he will dance to his Master's tune and may be he has been asked by his political BOSS to write like that and so that some of us get convinced as it has come out from a retired officer of some fame in sports and not otherwise.

Ranson said...

I personally feel that there is some substance in the write up given in TOI by the Union Minister. We are still not sure whether OROP should be implemented with respect to length of service and last rank held or seniority in rank with length of service.If the above twist is not set right it would be difficult for any one to implement OROP. According to me, only length of service and last rank held should be the basis on which OROP should be implemented. Towards this,if a concordance table indicating maximum pension payable rank wise from 20 years onwards for officers and 15 years for below officers is prepared ignoring the last pay drawn then OROP can be implemented easily without any problems. Otherwise, the dispute whether OROP to be implemented with respect to seniority and length of service or only length of service and last rank held will go on and on for ever and OROP will never be applied to Armed Forces.

Sainathan said...

This is typically a piece coming from the pen of a soldier turned politician. More than throwing any light on the status of the OROP, the object of the writer seems to deride the Congress and claim credit for the BJP for "delivering" on OROP.

His observation "Since pension itself is a derivative of salary, pensions will be different too. There will be thousands of variations in each rank, and we have not even begun counting. This is just one of the many challenges but the government is committed to finding a solution" is ominous and seems to suggest that the concept of OROP is too complex and not yet defined, which is far from truth. In fact, the concept of OROP is very simple, well defined by the previous Hon RM in the presence of the three vice chiefs and CGDA among others, as well as the august Rajya sabha Committee. Why bring in a complicated thought process now? The writer, himself an ex-serviceman, is obviously finding himself in a difficult situation, trying to reason out the unwarranted delay by the Govt. he represents.

This is a case of reinventing the wheel or someone starting to recite the Ramayan all over again; we have heard enough. This is, as said erlier, an article by a politician-cum ex-serviceman; I can understand and my sympathies for his compulsions of playing a dual role. But at least he is somewhat better than Gen VK, who was seen thumping the desk when the FM made the grand announcement of 1000 Cr for OROP in his budget speech! He was the one who shared the stage with Modi at Rewari, but now seen nowhere.
The truth is simple: the Govt. is just lacks the will to grant OROP which is why it is dragging its feet. All politicians including Digvijay Singh, Manmohan Singh, Modi, Rathore, Jeitley or Anthony are just the different sides of the same cube. If you want to prove you are any different, first deliver as per the promise and as per the accepted definition of OROP and not talk like CGDA/CDA/Bureaucrats, from whom we have heard enough as to why it cannot be done.

RG said...

OROP for veterans?. Veterans are already drawing more residual pension than the recent retirees.

At present the Veterans feel that latest retirees draw more pension than them. According to me, it is an “out of placed notion". In order to understand the issue in the right perspective I am comparing two Lt Cols, one retired during 5th CPC (say 31 Jan 1997)while the other in 6th CPC era(say 31 Jul 2010):-

(a) Residual pension of a Lt Col retired during 5 CPC or earlier - As per pension calculation (basic pension Rs. 25700 + DA @ 107% Rs. 27499) works out to Rs. 53199. After deducting the commuted portion of approximately Rs.3200, the residual pension comes to the tune of Rs. 49999 approximately. With effect from 01 Feb 2012, this Lt Col is being paid full pension of Rs. 53199/-.

(b) Residual pension of a Lt Col retired during 6CPC – As per calculation, a Lt Col who retired with a basic pension of 31350, would get a residual pension of Rs. 49220 (pension Rs. 31350 + DA 33545 minus commuted portion of 15675 = Rs. 49220) which is less by Rs. 779/- (49999 – 49220= 479) as compared to 5 CPC retiree up to 31 Jan 2012. From 01 Feb 2012 onwards the difference in residual pension increases to Rs. 3979.

From the above illustration it can be seen that presently a veteran who retired in 1997 is drawing more residual pension than that of a person retired during 6 CPC. This is the case in almost all ranks in officers’ cadre. Therefore, I am at a loss to appreciate the demand for “OROP” in its present format. The real concept of OROP can only be achieved after implementation of NFU which will at least ensure pay parity among peers irrespective of types of entry into service. Please comment.

Lt Clo R C SHARMA said...

Nobody had any doubt till RM stated changing dates of issue of notification from 4 to 8weeks then definately by budget and now by July .such frequently shifting of date of notification will certainly makes you restless.Further he does not brings out any observation in DGL sent by service HQ.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the view that RM is the last word in deciding the extent of OROP definition erosion or affirmation. Col Rathore's blog is a part of the pattern i.e after every key election OROP fulfillment grandstanding has been done by this Govt. First was PM RM etc. followed by Gen VKS in the next round and now Col Rathore and RM as a pre Delhi election Exercise to postpone Ex Servicemen ire effect on the outcome . Simultanously the subtle suggestions for dilution of definition are also being spread to finally subvert right expectations. Trust me I am not being cynical.

Unknown said...

D/ Maj NS ji- yes. what you have clarified is perhaps the crux of the problem. For example, today, two officers of the same rank commissioned and superannuating on the same date may not be retiring with the same last drawn pay and hence not receiving exactly the same pension, and then which of the two figures would constitute OROP for past retirees is perhaps the very real question that is engaging the political executive. HOW CAN A RETD MAJ GEN OF "1" YR SERVICE IN THAT RENK AND A RETD MAJ GEN OF "5" OR MORE YEARS OF SERVIVICE IN THE SAME RANK BE EQUATED? SPS VAINS CASE JUDGMENT?...so some moderating will have to take place. CERTAINLY CONTROVERSIES WILL COME UP...DISPUTES....

digvijay said...

I d not agree with the comments of anon as they are incorrect .Reasoning and facts are essential for any right outcome .

Unknown said...

@ V Natarajan In a rank conscious organisation like The Services who has told for Vacancy based promotions.It is certainly not the individual.More over even the retirement age is based on one's rank
Hence the solider suffers thrice for lack of vacancies,for delayed promotions & early retirements
OROP tries to compensate for all this by giving pension based on rank & total number of year of service.
It is fair & a just compensation.

Vasundhra said...

Listen to Both Gen Kadiayan & RM. It is obvious RM has got one sided briefing & has one sided leanings. The existing definition of OROP as agreed & defined leaves no loopholes for any sort of anomalies. Any deviation will demolish the very concept of OROP (A) To The Point: Decoding the Defence Minister's interview ON OROP LISTEN FROM 10 MIN ONWARD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ8sW10xwMc&index=4&list=PLWrtio8ai_EGgxvlP_KyP90ZS7h8YxW6T (B)To The Point: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on OROP LISTEN FROM 14 MINs ON WARDS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEa2XXhkKwY


Dear all, seasons greetings.
We ask the pension which we deserve and as per the last pay/rank/service held.
In a pyramidal structured org, like services,promotions are bound by various factors like vacancies, medical, branch(IN THE SAME COURSE)CADRE vacancies, discipline etc etc etc.
So give OROP as per the definition and seniority with in the available strength.

Unknown said...

Just curious - now that Col Rathore is also a MP and entitled to a life-time pension, will he take both pensions - as a retd Defence Services Officer and as a MP? Will the total amount be more than the OROP?

Just curious.

Penmil said...

@V.Natarajan,January, 15 5:34P.M.
Dear Sir,
The pensions were never linked to the number of years service in any given rank.
When one retired/superannuated/released/discharged, the pension was based on the last pay drawn.
Thereafter with the commencement of the next pay commission on wards the pensions were solely based on the rank and the total number of years of service.
After one pay commission, a Retd. Maj Gen with one year of service in the rank and a Retd.Maj Gen with 5 or more years of service drew the same pension( modified parity?).
Thus there is no strength in the argument that the number of years in the last rank be considered for OROP.
The service HQ had ,in fact made a Draft Government Letter(DGL) and submitted that draft to MoD.
An excerpt from that is posted in the blog Aerial View.
Here is the link:

sl said...

It may be necessary for people in politics to appear to be unaffiliated and neutral in their pronouncements on policy matters, such as OROP.

But with an illustrious Military and Sports career behind him, Hon'ble Minister would, I'm sure, find most of the provisions of the services DGL more than fair and acceptable as a means to resolve all issues connected with OROP, including those related to anomalies that have plagued parity aspects of pensions, as can be seen following links from this tweet.

ani said...


Dhoop said...

@RG:"Please comment"

You have not given the years of service the two Lt Cols had put in.

You are also bringing in the element of commutation.

Pension comparison is always done with non commuted amounts.

The post VI CPC Lt Col is also likely to be drawing pension of at least Col(TS) if he'd completed 26 years of service.

So after you have removed these flaws in your "comparison", put up accurate figures so everyone can judge for themselves.

But about NFU you have a point. OROP combined with NFU would be a better means of maintaining balance between civilian group A officers and armed forces officers due to the steep promotion pyramid and shorter service spans of the latter.


Dear Maj.NS,
Will you post the service HQs DGL AGAIN IN THIS BLOG. Since there is a good gap till now, I am unable to retrieve.

Unknown said...

Parliamentarians for time and again repeatedly expressed their gratitude towards brave soldiers (including exservicemen). If so and if they can sleep peacefully with their beloved in their home during aggression or terrorist attack or even during natural calamity, what makes them to delay for implementation of orop. Fixation of orop amount or modality should not be the criteria if govt feels to make interim payment pending preparation of modality. Whatever the amount, govt should not hesitate or delay at this stage as they had already promised number of times for such payment. As the exservicemen with poor pension are leading to death daily because of poverty or worriedness of fund for children education or even hiring a house for accommodation etc. positive thinking of interim payment of atleast 7/8 thousand rupees would be really helpful at this stage which will certainly alleviate the present problems. Since fund is not the problem as projected, a positive attitude and action is expected before 26th January.

Justin N Christian said...


Phaedrus said...

🇮🇳 Must read & spread 🇮🇳

Arun Jaitely's comparison:

The much trumpeted "Short service span" of defense forces is more than adequately compensated by the government with full pension (even without completing minimum pensionable service of 20 years which is mandatory for all
other govt employees including other armed forces like BSF ITBP CRPF etc.), an elaborate rehabilitation plan preparatory to the exit with full time vocational courses at premiere institutes of the country (for durations that may extend up to 2-3 years while drawing full salary and emoluments) and the Ex- servicemen quota in all government jobs!
These sops too cost the government exchequer dearly. Moreover, these terms of service are well spelt out from the beginning and recruits of all ranks join knowing it fully well and with adequate planning. So please stop projecting short service span of defense forces as if it occurs as some kind of sudden unannounced midway layoff from the government!
Compensation package has to be seen in totality. Government fulfills all its obligations commensurate with the period and type of service rendered to it. Tomorrow they will start asking for OROP for short service commissioned officers (who render mostly just 5 years service only) by taking their same unfounded arguments to ridiculous levels!
Where as, nne of the above sops are available to the armed forces like CRPF/BSF/ITBP who need minimum 20 years service for even VRS! Even they are having short service span of age up to 57 years and not 60. Only DIG and above get this extended tenure to 60 years of age which is not even 1% of total strength. This shortened service of forces is not compensated anywhere in anyway. And they are treated as any other government servants despite doing the work of defense forces in addition to their own charter.
CRPF/BSF/ITBP etc are also not getting regular pension (old Pension scheme) like the Indian Army since 2004. They have been put under more risky and contributory new pension scheme just like any other civilian government servant despite having service conditions as hazardous as Army. So please stop spreading lies about OROP.
It is really amazing how defence forces are using their training in propaganda for arm-twisting their own govErnment by to cuff up all the benefits for themselves for all the work being done equally by CRPF/ITBP/BSF too on ground. Government should not give in to this black mail without bjective analysis and disregarding their actual workhorses i.e.the CRPF/ITBP/BSF.
Everybody likes getting freebees, but defense forces should not make it look so blatant by grabbing onto what actually belongs to CRPF/ITBP/BSF by unleashing a misplaced disinformation campaign!