Action to be Taken by Retired Personnel When Still in Good Health and Sound Mind

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by ivoana

Let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not
suffer after we go. We do not know what will happen in the future. But, as the Scout motto
goes: “Be prepared”

Endorsement of Family Pension and Age of Spouse in Pension Payment Order (PPO) 

1. Please check if your PPO contains an endorsement giving the name and age of the spouse
and details of ordinary family pension. If it does not, at the earliest make out an application
in triplicate and send it to the agency that had issued the PPO – PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad/
PCDA (N) through PDPA/ CABS. Make sure to attach all supporting documents and duly
attested joint photograph as indicated in the specimen. Keep a copy the application in the
master folder that you will be making for the spouse for follow up action if necessary in case
the endorsement is not received during your life time.

2. The PPO may contain endorsement of the name of the spouse as family pensioner but the
age of spouse may not be recorded either in the PPO or in any other document in your
pension folder maintained by your Pension Disbursing Agency (PDA) (your bank or the
agency from whom you receive your pension). In such a case, you may apply for necessary
action to the DESA with copies of proof of age of your spouse. Furnish any supporting
document such as a copy of the statement of family particulars submitted by you at the
time of your retirement or certified and notarized copy of your spouse’s birth Certificate,
driving license, SSLC/Matriculation certificate, passport, voter identity card or any other
normally accepted proof.

3. When the endorsement and the acceptance of age of spouse are received, attach them to
the original PPO and also make a few copies for safe custody. If the endorsement and the
record of age of spouse do not exist and if you do not take action as indicated above, after
your time your spouse has to go through a cumbersome and time consuming procedure to
get the family pension properly authorized along with record of age- so do not delay.
NOTE: The original PPO should contain an endorsement about the family pension indicating
an enhanced rate of family pension and an ordinary rate. If there is no such endorsement,
please take it up with the authorities concerned as indicated in paras 1 and 2 above. In the
event of the pensioner’s demise before the age of 67, the spouse/family pensioner is
entitled to the enhanced rate for seven years or till the date on which the pensioner would
have attained the age of 67 whichever is earlier. Thereafter the ordinary rate would apply.
In both cases, the rates as periodically revised, along with the revision in pensions by
successive Pay Commissions, would apply.

Bank Account for Pension

4. If you are drawing your pension through a single bank account in your name and if, at
the time of your retirement or within one year thereafter, you have not made a nomination
in favour of your spouse, please do so immediately. This will enable your spouse to receive,
after your time, any balance left in that account as well as any arrears of pension due to
you during your life time. Consult your bank on the procedure for nomination.

5. It is now permissible to convert your single bank account for pension into a joint account
with your spouse/person mentioned in your PPO as the one entitled to receive family
pension. If you have not already done so, please submit an application to your bank to this
After your time the joint account will become a single account in your spouse’s name into
which the family pension and any life time arrears (LTA) can be credited. It is desirable to
make a nomination as indicated in Para 4 above even if the pension account has been
converted into a joint account so as to ensure trouble-free payment of your (LTA) to the
spouse/nominee after your time.

6. If you do not wish to take action as per 4 above, open a joint account in the name of
yourself and your spouse, preferably in the same bank, if you have not already done so.
This will automatically become a single account after your life time and the family pension
can be credited to this account. Alternatively, open a single account in the same bank in the
name of your spouse so that, when the time comes, on advice to the bank, the family
pension can be credited to this account. Also ensure that your spouse makes a nomination
in favour of a child/ family member or any other person of her/his choice for this single
account so that when the need arises, the nominee can get the amount left in that account
without any further formality.

7. Make sure that the nominations/ conversions into joint account as applicable as per paras
3, 4 and/or 5 above are duly reflected in the bank records and also keep the relevant copies
of such endorsements in the master folder for your spouse.
ECHS Membership

8. Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) came into effect on 01 Apr 03 as a
public funded Government Health Scheme for provision of medical care to Ex-Servicemen
(ESM) in receipt of pension or disability pension and their dependants including spouses
(wife/ husband), legitimate children and wholly dependant parents. If you have not already
done so, you may consider enrolling yourself as a member. Please contact the nearest ECHS
Policlinic/Naval Station for detailed information and assistance in enrolling.
Check all your nominations

9. It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e., in the first place if you have mentioned it) and
royally forget about it. Most of us have named one of our parents as a nominee for
investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even
years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no
Therefore, kindly check your Nominations for :-
– Bank Accounts
– Fixed Deposits, NSC
– Bank Lockers
– Demat Accounts
– Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
– Investments
– PF & Pension Forms


10. We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts; even for
the laptop you use. What happens when your next of kin cannot access any of these simply
because they do not know your password? Put it down on a paper.


11. Every year, for tax purposes, we do investments. Do we maintain a excel sheet about it.
If so, is it on the same laptop of which the password is not shared? Where are those
physical investments hard copies? Put all documents in a file systematically.


12. When you take a loan say for your house or car, check out on all the what ifs…. .what if
I am not there tomorrow? what if I lose my job? Will the EMI still be within my range? If
not, get an insurance on the loan. The people left behind will not have to worry on
something as basic as their own house.


13. Open a sufficiently big and thick folder and title it as ‘ACTION TO BE TAKEN
IMMEDIATELY ON THE DEATH OF (YOUR NAME). This folder will contain all relevant
documents, letters and instructions to facilitate appropriate and timely action by the
spouse/family members when the time comes.


14. It is always advisable to execute a will. No particular form is prescribed by law. It can be
handwritten or typed on thick paper with each page signed by the testator and the attesting
witnesses. Registration of the will is optional. The only legal requirements are: – the testator
should be of sound and disposing mind at the time of executing the will, the testator has
signed in the presence of two attesting witnesses each of whom will also sign in the
presence of the testator and an endorsement to this effect is necessarily made before the
signature of the testator after which the attesting witnesses should affix their signatures
along with their addresses. However legal advice may be taken to prepare the will to suit
individual circumstances. It is also necessary to ensure that the nomination as mentioned in
Para 4 and 5 above and the provisions of the will are consistent with each other.
You and your spouse may also consider her/his executing a separate will to cover all
contingencies such as her/his predeceasing you.

15. Place the following in separate envelopes with the details of the contents written on the
envelopes and place the envelopes in the master folder.
(a) Original and one copy of the Pension Pay Order (PPO) (the latest) issued by PCDA
(Pensions) Allahabad / PCDA (N) as applicable to you.
(b) Original and one copy of the bank nomination Performa (refer para 3) received from
the bank/Pension Disbursing Office if applicable.
(c) Original and a few signed copies of the will (refer para 11)

16. Make out the letter of intimation in required number of copies, including some spare
copies, to be completed by filling in the blanks, signed and sent by the spouse when the
time comes. Also prepare an envelope of appropriate size for each of these letters and type
out or write the corresponding address on the envelope. Serially number the envelopes in
the same order as in the distribution list of the letter. Place all these envelopes in the
master folder.

17. The letter of intimation mentioned in para 13 above mainly relates to service
requirements, formalities, pension and benefits. Several other agencies, (eg associations,
clubs, time share companies, credit card agencies etc), besides service ones, with whom
you have dealings, will have to be informed and have to take appropriate action when the
time comes. You may prepare letters and addressed envelopes as suggested in para 13
above to cover such cases also.


On the occurrence of Death
18. A doctor has to confirm and certify the death. If it takes place or is confirmed in a
hospital, clinic or nursing home, get the certificate from the doctor attending or in charge. If
at home, get a doctor to visit, confirm death and certify. The certificate is required to be
taken and presented at the funeral place as without it the body will not be allowed to be
cremated/ buried. If possible, get this certificate in duplicate so that one copy is available
for reference if required later.

19. Inform close relatives and friends on telephone.

20. Decide on the timing and venue of funeral.


21. Present the original of the certificate mentioned in para 1 above at the funeral place.
After cremation/burial has been performed, obtain a receipt to that effect from the person in
charge at the funeral place. This is required to be produced when applying for the death
certificate from the municipal authorities.

22. Make a few (3 or4) copies of the receipt mentioned in para 4 above for reference if
required later.

Death Certificate

23. As soon as possible after the initial formalities are over make out an application in the prescribed form if any (to be obtained from the concerned office). Enclose the application,
along with the original of the receipt from the funeral place, in an envelope addressed to the
Registrar of Births and Deaths, hand it over to the concerned office and obtain a receipt. In
case it is not possible to hand over the envelope to the office, send it by registered post,
acknowledgement due. Ask for at least ten original signed copies of the death certificate.
Please note that some recognized hospitals certifying the death as per para 1 above are also
authorized to receive the application and issue the death certificate.

24. Normally death certificate is issued in 3 to 4 days. As soon as you get it make several copies of the death
certificate, about a dozen or so, as they will be required to be submitted for several

Action Relating to Service – for Record, Family Pension and other Benefits

25. As soon as possible after collecting the necessary documents such as the death
certificate, take out the master folder marked ‘Action to be Taken Immediately on the Death
of ______’. Take out from the folder the envelopes serially numbered 1 to— with addresses
already typed / written on them. Date the letter of intimation in each envelope, fill in the
blanks as indicated below and sign the letter.
(a) Date and cause of death in para 1
(b) Death certificate number, date and issuing authority in para2.
(c) Para 4. Retiring pension- at the time of making these instructions, the retiring pension is
Rs (basic) pm. If there is no further change till date, enter this amount; if there has been a
subsequent revision, enter the latest figure. The PPO Corr mentioned is the latest available.
If a Corr has been subsequently issued, add the reference No of the same at the end of this
para and also enclose a copy of this Corr in the envelope for Dept of Sainik Welfare.

26. Prepare each envelope for dispatch by enclosing the documents as mentioned against
the addressee in the distribution list of the letter. If feasible, hand over the envelopes to the
bank and the Dept of Sainik Welfare and obtain an endorsement of receipt in the master
copy. Alternatively send them as well as the letters to AFGIS and CDA by registered post
acknowledgement due. The rest of the letters may be sent by ordinary post under certificate
of posting.

27. It may take about 30 to 45 days for the addressees to take necessary action. If after 45
days the required action is not taken by any of the addressees, you may send a reminder
with a copy to the Association Branch with a request for assistance to expedite action.

28. Keep a copy of any letter sent to these or any other addressees for future reference.

29. The action indicated in the specimen mainly relates to service related
requirements. You may like to make the instruction sheet more comprehensive by adding
details of your investments and their disposal, your specific wishes on religious rites,
disposal/donation of eyes etc, changes in the action list in the event of the spouse
predeceasing you and any other instruction that you consider appropriate. Place this
instruction sheet on top of all other contents of the master folder and keep the folder,
suitably covered, in a safe place. In case you wish to donate your eyes or other body parts,
this should be mentioned in bold letters right on top in the instruction sheet.

30. Explain to your spouse and other family members the purpose of the
whole exercise, the details contained in the instruction sheet and the place
where the master folder is kept. Make sure that they understand all the requirements and
will be able to take action as necessary when the time comes.They should also know whom
to approach if they are in trouble and need assistance.

Have you already done this or else do it now?

1. Check if your pension account is joint?
2. Ensure spouses and your date of birth is entered correctly in the account details.
3. Complete FORM B afresh and submit to the bank.
4. Keep details of your PPO number carefully and let your spouse know about it.Write it
on the passbook.
5. Become a member of ECHS it is to your advantage in a serious illness.
6. Check if you are getting correct Pension/Family pension.
7. The bank is bound to give you a pension slip every month please demand it and
ensure bank gives you.
8. JCO and below please check if you are getting increased pension from
01/07/2009.This increase is not for Widows.
9. If you are getting disability pension then ensure you have given the form to the bank
for increase in pension. Old disability upto 49% is now 50% old 50 to 75 % is now
75% and beyond that it is 100% .The pension is also applicable to those who served
with the disability and not invalidated.
10. Keep all your accounts and financial documents in joint name
11. Do not handover the original PPO and other documents to anyone .Please give only
xerox copies.
12. Make your will and keep it safe with someone you trust. Keep your spouse informed.
Amend it as and when required. A will does not need to be registered and should be
signed by any two individuals who have no interest in the will.
13. Demand Annexure IV from your bank. They are duty bound to give it to you.
14. Every year in Nov ensure Life Certificate is given to the bank.This need not be signed
by the branch manager of the Bank paying pension but any of the following :
1. A serving or pensioned person exercising the powers of a Magistrate under
the criminal procedure code (Act-V of 1898).
2. A registrar or sub-registrar appointed under the Indian Registration Act 1908
(XVI of 1908).
3. A Gazetted Officer.
4. A Munsif.
5. A police officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector incharge of Police station.
6. Post Master, a Departmental Sub-Post Master or an Inspector of Post Office.
7. Officers of the Reserve Bank of India and other PSBs in respect of pensioners
drawing pension from Banks.
8. The head of the village Panchayat, Gram Panchayat or Head of an executive
committee of a village.
9. Retired Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces in respect of pension bill
form IAFA-319 of Commissioned Officers, departmental Officers and Warrant

1. All Wills should be clear-cut unambiguous and precise. Please refer to AO 4/91.
2. An Executor can be a beneficiary under the Will.
3. Witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under the Will.
4. All Wills are revocable. However, in case of revoking any Will especially so a registered
Will – it should be clearly stated in the latest Will that, “All previous Wills, whether
registered or
un-registered, whatsoever and wherever, stand revoked and cancelled”. This will avoid any
5. It should be noted that a registered Will takes precedence over an un-registered Will.
in case of any revocation or alteration of an earlier Will, the latest Will must be registered.
6. Probate is mandatory for immovable properties situated in West Bengal, Pondicherry,
Chennai and Mumbai. The Executor of the Will has to apply for the probate in the courts
concerned in these States.
7. Probate is not necessary in other States of India, especially so if the Will is a valid
registered document.
Choice of an Executor
8. Execution of any Will rests with the Executor of the Will. Hence it is imperative that the
executor be an honest, trustworthy and reliable person.
9. It is advisable to have a younger person in good health as an Executor, to try and ensure
that he/she does not pre-decease the Testator of the Will. To avoid such an eventuality, an
Alternative Executor may also be appointed in any Will.
10. It is advisable to appoint a reliable lawyer as an Executor, in case the property has to be
divided amongst different heirs, or if a Will gives only life interest to any one person and
the ownership rights vest with someone else.
11. The Executor must know the contents of the Will and be will and be willing to execute
Will according to the wishes of the Testator.12. The Executor must be a resident of the
same town as the Testator, to enable him to execute
the concerned Will, legally and expeditiously.
Choice of Witnesses
13. Witnesses need not know the contents of the Will, but they must be present at the time
the Testator and all of them must sign the Will in the presence of each other.
14. Beneficiaries cannot be Witnesses to any Will.
15. Witnesses should preferably be younger to the Testator, of sound integrity and good
financial position, to ensure that they cannot be “bought over” by any disgruntled
beneficiary or
16. Witness should also be permanent residents of the same town as the Testator, so that
can easily give evidence in Court, if so required.
Contents of a Will
17. `It is advisable Not to disclose the contents of a Will to the beneficiaries. Such
generally leads to un-necessary arguments, and harassment of the Testator.
18. It has been observed that the tendency to treat the elderly dependents with a degree of
callousness, is becoming rampant in our society today. It is therefore advisable that the
Testator of
WILL makes full provisions for financial independence for self and spouse while executing a


1. In case of death due to an accident lodge an FIR at the nearest Police Station, and
get their written clearance before last rites are performed.
2. Arrange last rites even in cases of natural demise only after getting Medical
Certificate of Death from a doctor. Intimate location, date and time for ‘Chautha’/Prayer
meeting to all concerned preferably through an insertion in the News Paper(s).
3. Publish Obituary in Local Paper(s).
4. Obtain Death Certificate-20 or more copies from the Municipal Authority for
Registration of Births and Deaths. These are required to be submitted with all claims.
5. Forward the information with certified photocopy of the Death Certificate and
relevant details of the deceased to the following: –
(a) PCDA (Pension), AG’s Branch MP 5 (b), PS-4 and Army Officer’s Benevolent Fund.
(b) AGI For life Insurance cover as applicable.
(c) Bankers For family pension, FDs, Loans (if any) and Locker.
(d) Station HQ Surrender Identity card of the deceased and issue of Canteen
(e) Clubs For transfer of membership or refund of security deposit as
(f) Municipal Authority/AWHO/DDA (as applicable) For transfer of
House/Apartment to single name of the surviving spouse as per the WILL of the
(g) MTNL For transfer of tele connection and future billing.
(h) DVB For future billing for power consumption.
(j) ITO For closing the IT file of the deceased and linking up with the Files of
beneficiaries. Also applicable for wealth Tax assessment.(k) Licensing Authority For Motor
Vehicles, and Personal Arms and farm Machinery
– Tractors etc.
(l) LIC/GIC For insurance policies covering Life, Medical, Property etc.
(m) Rajya Sainik Board For issue of Ex-servicemen Widow’s Identity
6. Obtain Probate of WILL if required by applying to the Distt Judge under Indian
Succession Act 1925.


Posted on: September 11th, 2018 by ivoana




By Sanchari Pal…

Around 84 years ago, an important event took place in the history of the Indian subcontinent that subtly, yet irrevocably, altered the dynamics of the relationship between British Raj and its subjects in colonial India. The event was the birth of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the October 8, 1932. Although unheralded by any fanfare, the gazette notification that carried the announcement was a moment of great import. It embodied the hopes and aspirations of a subjugated nation that wished to prove that its youth were the equals, if not the betters, of their colonial rulers.

In 1930, six young men (Harish Chandra SircarSubroto Mukherjee, Amarjit Singh, Bhupendra Singh, Aizad Baksh Awan and T.N. Tandon) were sent to England to train as pilots at RAF Cranwell, while 29 were recruited from railway workshops in India to train as hawai sepoys or apprentice aircraft hands. This is the little known story of the legendary band of IAF men who were the earliest pioneers of military aviation in India.

The first squadron of the IAF, No.1 Squadron, was formed in 1932 equipped with just one Westland Wapiti (the British called this aircraft “what a pity”) aircraft. However, it was only in 1937 that the Indian pilots, who had by then familiarised themselves with flying rules and regulations, were sent on their first field operation in the North-West Frontier Province, where they proved their worth.

On September 3, 1939, in a landmark event, the IAF’s No.1 Squadron got its first Indian Commanding Officer, Subroto Mukherjee, and all British officers were withdrawn making it an all-Indian squadron for the first time.

It was in early 1942, during the Burma Campaign, that the IAF truly came of age. The Second World War had broken out, and the British, who were outwitted by the Japanese on the eastern war front, were left with no alternative but to draft the No.1 Squadron of the IAF into Burma (now Myanmar) to counter the invading Japanese forces.

In recognition of the services rendered by the IAF, the King of England prefixed “Royal” to the service. Thus, the IAF was known as RIAF until January 26, 1950, when India became a republic and the RIAF was reconverted to IAF.

One of the most remarkable stories of this historic campaign is of IAF engineer Harjinder Singh, whose wizardry at repairing and modifying planes was the stuff of legends. After having graduated as an engineer from the elite MacClaghan Engineering College in Lahore, Harjinder had signed on as a lowly Hawai Sepoy with the IAF.

During the Burma Campaign in World War II, Harjinder was a Warrant Officer in the IAF. A zealous nationalist, he wasn’t convinced that Indians should fight for the British. Once, when he was in the company of his Indian commanding officer, Squadron Leader Karun Krishna “Jumbo” Majumdar, Harjinder wondered out aloud:

“Why should we fight this war for the British?”

His commander, Jumbo, reasoned with him, saying,

Harjinder, if we do not fight in this war for the damned British, we shall be nothing better than a flying club when the war ends. We must fight, and we must aim to expand the IAF while the going is good. After the war is won, India will be a Dominion, and we shall have to run our own Air Force.”

A little later, on February 1, 1942, Harjinder and Jumbo were with their squadron at the Royal Air Force base in Toungoo, Burma. The next day, the base was hit by a Japanese bombing raid. At that point of time, the British campaign was not going well and the talk about withdrawing from Burma had further brought down the morale of the pilots.

While the RAF was putting up a dispirited fight, IAF’s daredevil and unorthodox Commanding Officer, Jumbo, had a most audacious idea that he shared with his engineer. He wanted to bomb the Japanese air base with obsolete reconnaissance aircraft. Harjinder took up the challenge.

Seven decades before India started talking about ‘Make in India’, the first engineer officer of IAF converted a whole squadron of 12 slow-moving Lysander planes into deadly bombers. The missions were flown un-escorted by Indian pilots who carried out daring dive bombings and pin-point attacks. Jumbo personally led a series of successful offensive strikes against numerous Japanese airfields.

The IAF squadron also supported the Chinese army operations in the campaign. The squadron performed so well that in appreciation they were presented a “Gold Wing” by the Chinese – a rare honour indeed.

Jumbo’s plan worked – the heroic exploits of the Indian pilots at Kohima and Imphal were counted in aviation history as among the most effective counter-attacking aerial campaigns under siege conditions.

While Jumbo became the first Indian pilot to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in World War II for his exploits in Burma, Harjinder was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his incredible effort and ingenuity.

It was a sweet revenge of sorts for the men — when they had first joined the IAF, they had received the most disappointing welcome message from Air Marshal Sir John Steele, the first chief of the IAF.

“Indians will not be able to fly or maintain military airplanes. That’s a man’s job,” Steele had said to the Indian members of the fledgling IAF.

The exploits of these pioneering men were largely unknown till former RAF officer and British Airways pilot Mike Edwards wrote out this epic tale, using personal diaries, letters and other memorabilia kept safe by J R Nanda (whose uncle Air Commodore Amrit Saigal was Harjinder’s staff officer).

Edwards is also involved in the resurrection of the IAF’s vintage flight and flies the refurbished Tiger Moth and Harvard of the IAF.

Harjinder Singh went on to have many firsts to his name – he was the first Indian NCO, Warrant Officer, Corporal, Flight Sergeant.. More than five decades ago, he rolled out the first Indian made aircraft — the Avro 748 — from the Aircraft Manufacturing Depot at Kanpur in 1961. He continued to run a programme to design and build indigenous aircraft way till he retired as an Air Vice Marshal in 1964 (the Indian government abandoned the programme after he retired).

Also, the very talented aircraft engineer never forgot his dream of flying. Having spotted the wreck of a Spitfire in Kanpur, he completely restored and rebuilt the plane (with some help from Rolls Royce) and started flying it to all his meetings. In the 1950s, Harjinder finally underwent military pilot training from the IAF, and successfully got his wings, that too in his own Spitfire!

Post Independence, Harjinder and his fellow IAF pioneers gave up a life of ease and comfort to lay the foundations of India’s air force. Having given independent India an entire bomber fleet by cannibalising and restoring destroyed British and American planes, these men could well have been be the poster boys of the government’s ‘Make In India’ program.

As their first commanding officer in war (the 1937 North-West Frontier Province), Flight Lieutenant Cecil Bouchier. later recalled,

“The Indian Air Force is what it is today because of one thing only—the imagination, the courage, the loyalty of the first little pioneer band of Indian officers and airmen.”

   Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh’s son Col M S BAINS was commissioned in EME on 30/06/1963 through NDA.

(This was received from the web)

New Pension Tables

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by ivoana

The new pension will be applicable from 24 Sep 12 and NOT (NOT) 1/1/2006
Tables for max Pension with 30 Years of Service From Subaltern to Maj General is given below

No difference between Selection Grade & TS Ranks at 30 Years

Sub Capt Major Lt Col Col Brigs Maj Gen
New 15465 16145 18205 26265 27795 29145 30350
Existing 13500 13850 14100 25700 26050 26150 26700
Increase 1965 2295 4105 565 1745 2995 3650
DA @72% 1415 1652 2956 407 1256 2156 2628
Net Increase 3380 3947 7061 972 3001 5151 6278

Family Pension
Sub Capt Major Lt Col Col Brig Maj Gen Lt Gen* VCOAS/ Army Cdr* COAS*
New 9279 9687 10293 15759 16677 17487 18210 21900 24000 27000
Existing 8100 8310 8460 15420 15630 15690 16020 21900 24000 27000
Increase 1179 1377 1833 339 1047 1797 2190 0 0 0
DA @ 72% 6681 6975 7411 11346 12007 12591 13111 15768 17280 19440
Net to Bank 15960 16662 17704 27105 28684 30078 31321 37668 41280 46440

* No Change
Above does not include Enhanced Family Pension & Special Family Pension and Liberalised Family Pension

Dept of Ex Ser Welfare link:
On this link, further links are available for circulars pertaining pension revision of various categories of All Ranks and Families.
You may down load all circulars one by one or download the one you need.

Action For Getting Arrears due to Govt Notice on Rank Pay

Posted on: January 7th, 2013 by ivoana

Dear Veterans,

The Government of India orders issued today is attached.

Please read the attachments carefully, and send documented to respective CDAs to get the arrears in time. Document to be sent to CDAO Pune for Army Offices is also attached.

1. Those in service on 01 Jan 1986, will get benefit of full rank pay till the date of retirement (corresponding to their rank on various dates) and half of the rank pay from the date of retirement till 31 Dec 2006.

2. The officers who retired before 01 Jan 1986, will get half of the rank pay as addition to their earlier pension, starting from 01 Jan 1986, till 31 Dec 2006.

3. For the revised pay in both cases the additional DA will also be added.

4. Interest will be given only with effect from 01 Jan 1986. Rate of interest has not been defined in the Supreme Court order. It may be defined in the subsequent letter by the Government.

5. Whether the income tax due will be deducted at source or you will have to pay later is not known at present.

Thank you Pay Cells of The Three Service Headquarters.

Of course the MoD deserves NO THANKS.

GOD will suitably look after all the Babus who are responsible for this gross cheating with the Defense Officers in the case of Rank Pay.


Format for Army Offrs to Submit to CDA

Final Govt orders on Rank Pay of 4 th CPC

(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal)

Occasions to wear full/ miniature medals

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by ivoana

Here are occasions to wear medals, or miniature medals.

Wearing Full Medals:

01 Republic Day Parade.
02 Independence Day Function.
03 Serving Day.
04 Vijay Diwas.
05 Wreath Laying.
06 Reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and Governor’s House.
07 Standard/Colour Presentation Parade/Functions.
08 Passing Out Parade.
09 Anniversary/Reunion Functions.
10 State of MilitaryFunerals.
11 When invited to any official function by any Embassy of High Commission.
12 At all Armed Forces functions including ex servicemen’s rallies or reunions.
13 When visiting any Military Headquarters on duty.

Wearing of Miniature Medals

1 While attending official and private functions such as Dinner, Cocktails, Lunches, Tea parties, Receptions etc.
2 Functions held in the Messes, Regimental Institutions in connections with Serving Day, Unit Anniversary andReunion.
3 When invited to any official function by any Embassy or High Commission.
4 Functions pertaining to Services including Ex-servicemen’s Rallies or Reunions.


(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal, President IVOANA)


Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by ivoana

Dear Veterans,

The Government of India orders issued today is attached.

Those who retired before 01 Jan 1986, should read the letter carefully.

For grant of Rank Pay arrears the order does not make any distinction among officers who retired before or after 01 Jan 1986 – SO PLEASE RELAX.

Salary of all officers whether they retired before 01 Jan 1986 or after that date, will be revised upwards.

1. Those in service on 01 Jan 1986, will get benefit of full rank pay till the date of retirement (corresponding to their rank on various dates) and half of the rank pay from the date of retirement till 31 Dec 2006.

2. The officers who retired before 01 Jan 1986, will get half of the rank pay as addition to their earlier pension, starting from 01 Jan 1986, till 31 Dec 2006.

3. For the revised pay in both cases the additional DA will also be added.

4. Interest will be given only with effect from 01 Jan 1986. Rate of interest has not been defined in the Supreme Court order. It may be defined in the subsequent letter by the Government.

5. Whether the income tax due will be deducted at source or you will have to pay later is not known at present.

For the well drafted GoI letter we need to once again thank Lt Col BK Sharma President RDOA and his Team Members of Retired Defence Officers Association.

Of course the credit also goes to the Three Service Headquarters who took Colonel Sharma in confidence while drafting this letter.

Thank you Col Sharma and all members of the Executive Committee of the RDOA.

Thank you Pay Cells of The Three Service Headquarters.

Of course the MoD deserves NO THANKS.

GOD will suitably look after all the Babus who are responsible for this gross cheating with the Defence Officers in the case of Rank Pay.

(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal)

Why Does India Tend to Collapse So Often?

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012 by ivoana

Why Does India Tend to Collapse So Often?

Editor’s Note: We feel a sense of deep sadness in writing this article. It is likely to anger almost everyone of Indian origin regardless of where they live or what they do. We sincerely hope that, after their initial burst of anger, they take the time to think about our points and analyze themselves. We also hope they begin learning about the time when India was a winner, a society that believed in conquests, in eradicating evil by terminating it.  At the very least, we hope that some of the readers think about their decisions before they “give up”. 

Some time ago we spoke to an Indian-American professor, an economist with a sterling record of success, an adviser to global organizations and a professor at a prestigious American University . He had appeared on a major Financial TV network and in that interview, the European-American anchor mangled his simple name. This professor did not correct the anchor’s pronunciation, he simply went on with the interview. We asked him why he chose to accept the indignity silently. He said softly, “I have given up“. He is not unique. This is probably true of every single Indian guest who appears on American TV. 

Then there was our conversation with a Professor who runs India Studies at another prestigious American University , a man with a distinguished academic record. Another unit in the same University had made awful comments about Indian Religion & Culture. We asked this Professor, this Head of India Center at the same University, why he didn’t write a rebuttal or make s strong protest within that University. In a tired, disgusted voice he told us “I have given up“. 

In January 2012, the Indian cricket team simply collapsed against the Australian cricket team in every single match of that series. Brad Haddin, an Australian player, said of the Indian players:
  •  “they break quicker than any one in the world”…..”…this side can be as fragile as any in the world if things aren’t going their way…”.
Any one who has watched Indian teams play cricket over the past few decades knows this to be true. Unfortunately, this is true of Indians in just about every sphere. They celebrate wildly when things are going their way and then totally fall apart when the momentum changes. 

This is exactly what happened to the Indian Rupee last November and to the Indian economy this May. Indians were celebrating their status as a shining star in the Emerging markets space. The Indian Rupee was strong at around Rs. 44 to the U.S. Dollar. Then in one single month, the Indian Rupee simply collapsed. It fell vertically from Rs. 44 to the Dollar to 54.  

The story was repeated this May. This time, the collapse wasn’t vertical. It was an unrelenting, steady fall that happened every day. The Indian media, the Indian Government and all of India were bewildered and helpless just like the Indian Cricket team was in Australia in January.

This seems to be the story of India and Indians – no tenacity, no backbone, no gritty determination to make a stand. Instead, as Brad Haddin said, in almost every sphere India and Indians seem to break when things turn against them. They simply give up, just like the professors above.

Why do Indians give up so easily, so soon without a fight? Why has this tendency worsened after India ‘s Independence ? Below we lay out our views.

The last 1,000 years of India

The reality is India has been a defeated, occupied society for the past 1,000 years. From about 1,000 CE to 1761 CE, invaders from Afghanistan . Tajikistan & Uzbekistan invaded India with regularity. The invaders always managed to surprise the Indian kingdoms who were never prepared for the invasions. The invaders always had better technology, better weapons and they always won over larger Indian armies. 

India was probably the richest country in the world at that time. So first the raids were simply intended to plunder and take the loot back. Then the invaders began staying back and occupying Indian territory . In a series of dynasties, the invaders from the northwest ruled Delhi . In 1300, Allah-ud-Din Khilji, the Turko-Afghan ruler, invaded and plundered south India . The subjugation of India was completed by Akbar, the 3rd Moghul in late 1500s.  

It is not that Indians were not brave. There are tales of extraordinary bravery by Indian men and women over the past 10 centuries. It is just that, baring a couple of exceptions, barring a 150-year interlude, Indians were never winners. They almost always lost, despite bravery, despite greater numbers, despite fighting on their own terrain.

By late 1500, it had become clear to India ‘s local kingdoms that fighting and resisting the invaders meant destruction while a surrender allowed survival. Akbar achieved this psychological supremacy by brilliantly adding carrots to the heavy stick. The local kings who surrendered and cooperated were treated with semi-respect and allowed to keep their kingdoms. Virtually, all kings in the northwest and the north surrendered. Akbar gave glorious titles to the kings who accepted his sovereign rule, titles that these Indian kings wore with pride. These kings began giving their daughters to the Delhi rulers in marriage, a traditional gift from a defeated king. 

The one valiant exception in north India was Chittod. When it finally fell to Akbar, Akbar reportedly ordered a general carnage. That battle was the end of Chittod and today, it lies in ruins. This destruction taught North Indian Kings that that those who surrender become rich & elite, while those who fight are ruined. The descendents of these Kings remain rich to this day. 

The British did exactly what Akbar had done. They had it easier. For 700 years before them, north India had become accustomed to surrender and acceptance of the dominant military. The British persuaded weaker Kings to outsource their military to the British. With their superior technology, the British used the Indian armies to defeat the rivals of their allied kings. Slowly the British took over the weaker kingdoms one by one. The Akbar story was repeated. The kings who surrendered to the British remain rich to this day. Their descendants own opulent palaces and some of them are ministers in today’s Indian cabinet. The British followed Akbar’s tactic of showering titles on important Indians who expressed loyalty to them. To this day, even after 60 years of independence, Indians proudly display their British-given titles. 

But those who fought the British for their country, their palaces, their forts, their homes, their businesses were destroyed by the British and no trace can be found of their descendants.

(palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)                     (palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

      (palace in Jodhpur – surrendered to Akbar)                (Fort in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

      (palace in Gwalior – surrendered to British)             (palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

       (ruins of Chittod – Fought Khilji to Akbar)            (Shaniwar Vada – Palace of Maratha PM)
                                                                   (Fought the British till the end)
                                                              (palace burned to the ground in 1828)

When you look at the pictures above, you understand why Indians prefer to surrender than to fight and why they simply give up when the going gets tough. It has been bred into them for the past 1,000 years.

This posture, imbibed over centuries of foreign subjugation, was vividly described by Greg Chappell, ex-captain of Australian cricket team & ex-coach of Indian cricket team:
  • “The culture of India is such that, if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility…”
  • “The Poms (British) taught them really well to keep their head down. For if someone was deemed to be responsible, they’d get punished. So the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for any decisions, they prefer not to…”
The above might explain why Indian TV guests refuse to protest when their names are mangled by European-American anchors. They are afraid that such defiance might lead to their banishment from  American TV networks. So better to suffer the indignity than give up the honor of being seen on National TV.  

Violence Directed Inwards

India always was and remains a violent society. When Indian Kings surrendered to foreign invaders, they didn’t give up their competitive spirit, they simply redirected it inwards towards other Indians Kings. The Mughal rulers of Delhi encouraged this attitude and practice by constantly playing off one Indian King against the other. These warring Kings would take their quarrel to Delhi and Mughal ruler would decide the winner. 

This attitude and tendency was the principal medium for the British conquest. They used the warring Kings to their advantage, selected the winner and then in a few years, took over both the kingdoms. The British were much smaller in number than the Afghan invaders. So they maximized the various internal fissures within India and constantly manufactured fights that they then would adjudicate. 

This attitude continues to this day. In 1948, Nehru was persuaded by Louis Mountbatten to not take back Pakistani-occupied Kashmir by force but instead to take the dispute to the UN. To this day, Indian Prime Ministers publicly beg the World to do something about Pakistan , even though India is much bigger and militarily much stronger than Pakistan . The old Indian desire to invade and capture territory was totally vanquished first by Akbar and then by the British. 

You can see this attitude of servility towards winner foreigners and arrogance towards fellow Indians in just about every sphere. Just observe, for example, how Indians behave differently on Air India flights and United-Continental flights to New York . You saw this attitude during and after the disastrous cricket series against Australia in January 2012. Instead of summoning their collective resolve and battling against the Australian team, the stars of the Indian team simply gave up against Australians and then began fighting with each other to become the next captain.  

The Post-Independence Deterioration

The revolt against the British was led not by the north or northwest but by other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal . The early fight for Independence was launched by Lokmanya Tilak in Pune, the capital of the Maratha Empire, the last Indian regime. There were many others who fought along side Tilak in Maharashtra . After Tilak, the leadership of the Independence movement went to Mahatma Gandhi from Gujarat . The state of Bengal on the northeastern coast was also the seat of freedom struggle. Subhash Chandra Bose was the most prominent leader from Bengal . He escaped from the British, went to Germany, then to Japan to raise a Free India Army from the Indian soldiers captured by the Japanese. He & his Free India army did more to make the British leave than just about anyone else. 

India became a one-person, one-vote electocracy after independence in 1947. In such a system, the states with the largest populations win. And so in Independent India the winners are the northern states, the same states that never won a victory against any invader, the same states that were the first to surrender to foreigners, the same states that have lived supinely under foreign occupation for 1,000 years. 

Slowly and surely, their influence has grown in India . Their language is gaining in use nationwide. They are being catered to by India ‘s media, by Bollywood as well as Television soaps. And states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal . the stalwarts in the fight against the British, are slowly succumbing to the influence of north-Indian customs and culture. 

As a result, instead of becoming mentally stronger, instead of inculcating tenacity, instead of building an aggressive fighting spirit, India is becoming more prone to giving up and breaking down. 

An exercise for readers

If you are of Indian origin, close your eyes and think of a conqueror, a victor from your province, someone who fought an invader and won, . Think of an inspirational, stirring victory of  your community, one that can inspire in you the tenacity, the sheer indomitable will to fight hard when your back is against the wall. If you can, you are one of the very few and fortunate Indians.

If you are not of Indian origin, ask an Indian friend, an Indian acquaintance to tell you about an Indian conquest, an Indian victory, one that touches them, one that lights up their soul. 

This simple exercise will tell you why fighting when their backs are to the wall, resisting indignities, standing up for their rights, is almost foreign to today’s Indians. You will see why, just like our professors above,  Indians tend to just give up despite their success, wealth or achievements. That is why today’s India tends to collapse so often and in so many areas.

Real India & Real Indian Culture 

What we discussed above is the culture of loser India , the India subjugated by the Muslims & British. That is not real India or Indian culture. The word ” India ” is derived from the culture developed on the banks of the Sindhu (or Indus ) river at the beginning of known time. India became and remained one of the most powerful and richest countries in the world. This was over a period of about 3,000 years from about 2,000 BCE to about 1,000 CE. This era is broadly divided into 3 main periods – the Vedic Age, the Imperial Unity Age that encompasses the first example below and the Classic Age, the Golden Age of India, that encompasses the second example below. 

India peaked as a strong, cohesive and aggressive society between 700-800 CE. India was probably the richest country in the world both because of its global trade and because of its internal vibrancy. Rome , at its glory, had an annual trade deficit of about 50 million sesteces with India . China ‘s Dynasties sent emissaries and scholars to Indian courts and Indian Universities. This India was backed by a massive military machine and India ‘s strength in metallurgy ensured an edge in weapons over invaders. 

This was the Indian society that marched into the territories of potential invaders and killed them in their own countries rather than wait for them to attack. Invaders considered great by outsiders were made to flee, routed and sometimes massacred. Allow us to mention just two invaders who are well known to European culture. 

Robert Kaplan mentions Alexander’s “disastrous retreat from India in 325 BCE” in his book “Monsoon”. Alexander had such a hard time defeating a mere satellite king of today’s Peshawar that his troops rebelled at the thought of facing the real Indian armies. His successor, the famous Selecus I 
(mural of whose reign adorns the lobby of Harvard Business School ) was routed by Chandra-Gupt Maurya and gave his daughter in marriage to Chandra-Gupt. 

Let us jump to the menace of Huns who ravaged Europe and brought the Roman empire to its knees. Their armies caused havoc and spread terror wherever they went. After destroying Persia , they turned to attack India around 450 CE. That was not today’s India . Crown Prince Skand-Gupt took an army from the capital in northeastern India to today’s Af-Pak area to engage the Huns. The battle was decisive and the Huns were massacred. Indian rule over Af-Pak was reestablished.

Between 700-900 CE, India became softer and turned its focus inward. The thirst of conquest metamorphosed into the thirst for eternal salvation of the soul. The glory of renunciation became the preferred trait. Invasions and conquests were considered passe and immoral. India slowly turned into a soft, nonbelligerent, rich society that was ripe for plucking. And by 1000 CE, the raids began. 

If modern India wants to get back to even a semblance of the ‘winner’ India , it basically has to go back to its roots. It has to reject what happened during the Muslim, Portuguese and British invasions. It may even have to embrace its attacking spirit once again. 

If you look closely, that is what Secretary Hillary Clinton seems to be urging. She spoke in Chennai, the seat of old Indian forays into South East Asia , and urged greater Indian involvement in ASEAN. She visited Kolkatta and urged both Indian Bengal & Bangladesh to build a highway from India across Bangladesh into Myanmar and then to Thailand . This would expand India ‘s scope into South East Asia . But today’s ‘educated’ Indians remain oblivious to Secretary Clinton’s message. 

Getting back to the old ‘winner’ India is not an impossible task. India is not old Babylon , old Egypt , old Greece . India is unique in that the old history, the old winning tradition is alive in the hearts of most core Indians. We are beginning to see Indians hark back to their real roots in small steps all over India . The only people who stand in the way are the two sets of ‘educated’ Indians and the Indian Government they influence. But more on that in another article.

Road map for Afghanistan; Pakistan left with limited options

Posted on: June 7th, 2012 by ivoana

by G Parthasarathy

MEETING officials and academics in Washington just prior to the Chicago Summit gave me an interesting insight into the mood in Washington, even as the “end game” in Afghanistan gets under way. Amidst much fanfare, President Obama administered two direct snubs to the Head of State of “major non-NATO ally,” Pakistan. After making it clear that he had no intention of meeting President Zardari unless the supply routes to Afghanistan from Pakistan were reopened, President Obama chose to conclude the Chicago Summit by paying handsome tribute to Russia and Central Asian countries, which had facilitated the transit of American supplies to Afghanistan, while pointedly excluding any mention of Pakistan.

Even American journalists and academics, who have for years been apologists for Pakistan’s military, now fret and fume at the very mention of its name. It is a pity that it was the affable President Zardari, and not the crusty and jihadi-oriented General Kayani, who was to be the Pakistani recipient of this American dressing down.

Nothing surprising emerged from the Chicago Summit, with NATO members falling in line for an extended commitment of assistance to Afghanistan, well beyond the day they would end combat operations. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen averred: “We will stay committed and see it to a successful end”.

Standing beside President Obama, President Karzai made it clear that Afghanistan intends to do its best to ensure that it “is no longer a burden on the shoulders of our friends in the international community”.

There is little doubt that if allowed to determine their own destiny, free from Pakistani malevolence, Afghanistan, which has huge natural resources of coal, copper, iron ore, cobalt, gold and lithium, estimated to be worth $1 trillion, can become an economically vibrant country. It could serve as a conduit for Central Asia’s natural gas to India. And, it has substantial potential for the export of agricultural products. But, will the Generals in Rawalpindi, blinded by their quest for “strategic depth” and “jihad” against India, even as their own country is consumed by extremist violence, have the good sense to allow this to happen?

The road map for future American policies was set out in the Strategic Partnership Agreement that President Obama signed with his Afghan counterpart of May 2, the first anniversary of the day the American Special Force targeted Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad and exposed to the world (but evidently not to our “romanticists” in Pakistan), the duplicity that characterises the policies of General Kayani and his cohorts. This agreement is valid till 2024.The Strategic Partnership Agreement confirms that American combat operations in Afghanistan will end in December 2014.

The US has, however, pledged to provide military assistance to Afghanistan “so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend itself against internal and external threats, and help ensure that terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world”. The assurance is, therefore, that Afghanistan will be assisted to deal not only with threats to its security, but also to eliminate terrorists who operate across international borders.

While the lead role for counter-insurgency operations will be handed over to the Afghans next May, after substantial reduction in force levels, the US and Afghanistan will have to negotiate a Bilateral Status of Forces Security Agreement in the next year to provide the framework for a continued presence of US forces in a counter terrorism role beyond December 2004.

Clearly recognising Russian and Iranian anxieties, the agreement stipulates that Afghan soil will not be used against any third country and includes an American assurance that it does not seek permanent facilities in Afghanistan.

Alluding to efforts for dialogue with the Taliban, the Afghan Government has pledged that any agreement reached with the Taliban “shall uphold the values of the Afghan Constitution”. While these affirmations may appear reassuring to some, one has to carefully see how the situation plays out in Afghanistan.

While American officials proclaim that the US will not leave Afghanistan till their task is completed, there is a body of Americans who feel that what happened following American military interventions in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somali could well be repeated. There is, however, realisation that an ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan will only embolden radical Islamists to target American interests across the world.

While the Americans and their NATO partners have been able to hold firm in rejecting Pakistani conditions and extortionist demands for reopening of supply lines to Afghanistan, it is evident that the process of American and NATO engagement with Pakistan will continue.

In the meantime, Pakistan’s economic woes are mounting as its internal debt reaches 65% of GDP and its external debt exceeds $60 billion. Pakistan has already defaulted on payments to foreign power producers. While General Kayani and his colleagues know that their grandiose plans for military modernisation will suffer grievously as the US Congress places tight conditions for further American assistance, the civilian government will have to face the public backlash, should it choose to reopen supply routes for the Americans. But it does appear a face-saving way will be found in course of time for reopening NATO supply routes in Pakistan, whose air space remains open for such supplies.

The focus of attention in the coming years is thus going to be on whether the Afghan forces will be able to hold major towns in Southern Afghanistan like Kandahar and Jalalabad in the face of Taliban attacks. It appears unlikely that the Afghan National Army (ANA) will be able to hold rural and mountainous areas near the Durand Line, particularly in South-Eastern Afghanistan. This will necessitate a continuing “counter-terrorism” role for the Americans.

There are, however, doubts if the war-weary American public will relish this. So an important question which remains is whether the Americans will fulfill their commitment to ensure that “terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world”.

Pakistan has two alternatives to choose from. The first will be to join the international community and regional powers in building a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan through regional trade, oil and gas pipelines and development of Afghanistan’s vast resources of gold, copper, lithium, coal and iron ore. India and China are already in the process of investment in resources like iron ore, coal and copper and in oil exploration and steel. Alternatively, General Kayani can continue on the present path of jihad and “strategic depth,” unleashing more destruction and misery on the hapless people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Posted on: June 3rd, 2012 by ivoana

During the controversy over the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Parliament, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee stated on February 21, 2011, “Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of a demand”, warning that if “hatred for the parliamentary institution was generated, it will lead to the rise of extra-constitutional authority as in the neighbouring country in 1958 when martial law was declared”. It is indeed surprising that 63 years after Independence, and in spite of the Indian Army’s proven apolitical record, a senior and experienced political leader should fear a military coup. No responsible leader in the West would express such a fear, even though the UK had a Cromwell and France a Napoleon.

Supremacy of the civil over the military is an imperative for a functioning democracy. Even in colonial India, the Viceroy, representing civil authority, was supreme. The Curzon-Kitchener dispute did not question this. It was related to organisational matters and functioning procedures. Till Independence, the Commander-in-Chief in India also held political authority in his additional capacity as War Member and senior member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Thus, in a way, he was both the Defence Minister and the deputy Prime Minister. The Defence Secretary was his subordinate. Till 1920 this appointment was held by a major general, but thereafter a civil servant started holding this office. Before Independence, the role of the Defence Secretary was limited to issuing government letters, as worked out by military officers with military finance, answering questions in the Central Legislative Assembly, interacting with other ministries and provincial governments, and looking after Defence lands. He hardly had any say in decisions pertaining to military matters. After Independence, a radical change took place. The Defence Minister now controlled the Defence Services and the Defence Secretary, as his staff officer, became a key functionary. The civil service lobby tried to get a higher protocol status for the Defence Secretary than the Service Chiefs on the analogy of other ministries in which departmental heads are subordinated to their concerned secretary. Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, torpedoed this and the Service Chiefs retained their higher status vis-à-vis the Defence Secretary. This continues to be so but the latter has acquired a higher functional status. Service Chiefs have to put up papers to the Defence Minister through the Defence Secretary. In 1962, when the appointment of Cabinet Secretary was introduced, a higher protocol status was accorded to him than the Service Chiefs. As secretary-general in the 1940, Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai did not have this high status. When General Manekshaw was promoted Field Marshal, a unique ceremonial rank, his protocol status was kept lower than the Cabinet Secretary. No wonder the funeral of the military leader, under whom we achieved the greatest victory of Indian arms of the last millennium, was a tame affair. The Government of India was represented by a minister of state at his funeral. The funeral of the Duke of Wellington was not only attended by the head of state and head of government of his country, but of several European countries. The colonial pattern of administration, in which the generalist civil servant exercises authority over the specialist professional, obtains in ministries of Government of India like health, home, transport, agriculture and so on. This pattern was now introduced in the Defence Ministry. The Railway Ministry has been an exception. The Railway Board, comprising specialists, interacts directly with the minister. This is like the service councils in Defence ministries of democracies in the West. In our higher Defence Organisation, the civilian bureaucrat has a complete stranglehold. The supremacy of the civil has come to mean the supremacy of the civil servant.

As per our Constitution, the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces is the President, like the US President is the Commander-in-Chief of American Defence Forces. In 1955, our Commanders-in-Chief were designated Chiefs of Staff. This has been a misnomer as they continue to function as before. They are separate entities from the ministry. They cannot take any governmental decisions nor do they have direct functional access to the minister. The committee system introduced after Independence at the instance of Lord Ismay, the great expert on higher Defence organisation, provided for participation of Defence officers in decision-making. This has been gradually scuttled. The Defence Services have been increasingly isolated from the process of decision-making in military matters. In 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru, on his way to Sri Lanka, told the press that he had ordered the Army to throw out the Chinese from the Himalayas. The Army Chief was reduced to asking a joint secretary in the Defence Ministry to give him that order in writing. The latter promptly obliged. The rest is history. This incident shows that the Army Chief had not been consulted before that grave decision was taken. After the 1962 war, I was sent on battlefield tour from the Staff College to formulate our training doctrine on mountain warfare. I came to the conclusion that our debacle in the Himalayas was largely due to our faulty higher Defence Organisation.

The reports of several parliamentary committees urging organisational reforms were ignored. On March 25, 1955, addressing Parliament about designating the Service Chiefs as Chiefs of Staff, Nehru stated that Service Headquarters will be integrated with the ministry of defence and gradually the council system will be introduced.The civil bureaucracy has been much too entrenched in seats of power to allow this to happen. After the Kargil war, the Kargil Review Committee set up a working group on Defence under former union Minister of state for Defence Arun Singh. He requested me for a draft on our higher Defence Organisation. I was then governor of Assam. I made out a draft recommending introduction of the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and integration of Services Headquarters with the Defence Ministry. My draft and recommendations were incorporated by him in his report. The Group of Ministers approved these recommendations but the entrenched bureaucracy derailed them. A headless Integrated Defence Staff without a Chief of Defence Staff was set up, defeating its very purpose. A meaningless cosmetic integration of Services Headquarters with the MoD has been carried out. The civilian bureaucracy has been playing on the fears of the political leadership of the man on horseback, and with the latter’s lack of knowledge and interest in matters military, has managed to have its way. Our national interests and Defence functioning continue to suffer. The Defence Services receive step-motherly treatment. India is the only country in the world without a Chief of Defence Staff or equivalent and with a MoD working on a “we and they” syndrome, rather than an “us” outlook. This gravely undermines our Defence preparedness and our ability to face the current very serious national security challenges.

Veteran Lt Gen SK Sinha, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as Governor of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir

Ethics, Ethos and the New Chief

Posted on: June 1st, 2012 by ivoana

By Lt. Gen. S.K. Sinha

Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh takes over as the new Chief of the Indian Army on May 31, 2012, succeeding Gen. V.K. Singh. Both these officers were commissioned almost three decades after me in the Army.
I first met them when I was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir and found them doing well as divisional commanders in counter-insurgency operations. I was particularly impressed by Bikram Singh, who was commanding the same division which I had commanded 30 years earlier.

The last one year has been a dark patch in the history of the Indian Army. Gen. V.K. Singh’s tenure as Chief started with a blaze of a self-created controversy compounded by the shenanigans of a few others.

He has now said that the year of birth controversy was avoidable. His last week in office is ending with another controversy that smacks of personal vendetta. He has projected himself as a knight in shining armour, as a lone crusader against corruption casting aspersions all round.

Never before has any Chief in this country or any democracy in the world, filed a statutory complaint or gone to court. This lowered the dignity of that high office. Matters were compounded by the caste factor being brought in.

Members of Parliament of his caste sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in his favour and his brother-in-law organised a public rally in his support in Delhi. Instead of distancing himself from all this, he as a serving Chief went to unveil the statue of a former Prime Minister belonging to his caste.

All this sent a wrong message. Caste or communal considerations may play a role in politics but they have no place in the Army, where our officers and men have always maintained a totally national outlook. In the wake of the adverse verdict of the Supreme Court in March, it’s been a long, murky night of generals which has continued to his last days in office. The ethos and ethics of the Army have taken a tremendous beating, as well as the image of the Army.

Anyway let us now bury the past and let the Army bid farewell to Gen. V.K. Singh, wishing him happiness and prosperity in his post-Army life.

The new Chief faces a whole lot of challenges. He must restore the dignity of the high office of the Chief, and equally important, must revive the ethics and ethos of the Army. In a democracy, a Chief must unquestioningly accept the supremacy of the civil and must be totally loyal to the latter.

Civil stands for the political executive and not for civil servants. Subordination of the military to the civil should not mean subservience or servility. There may be occasions when a Chief may have serious differences with the government on policy matters of national importance. In that event, he must resign and not promote public controversy while still in service.

Napoleon’s advice about military operations is relevant: “Every General-in-Chief when given orders that he feels are wrong must represent and get them changed. If this is not done, then he must resign.”

Two past instances reflect the ethics and ethos of the Army. Gen. Thimayya had differences with
Krishna Menon, the defence minister. He tendered his resignation. Jawaharlal Nehru sent for him and urged him to withdraw his resignation in national interest, assuring him of resolving matters. Thimayya withdrew his resignation. He never went public on why he had resigned and, of course, did not go to court to seek justice. The other example pertains to my generation of officers in 1947.

New pay scales were introduced after Independence for both civil and military officers. Pre-Independence civil officers were allowed to retain their old, higher scales and the new scales applied to their post-Independence colleagues. In the case of Army officers, those serving from before Independence were also brought on the new scales.

This meant an overnight reduction of about 30 per cent in our salary. No one went to court seeking justice. We accepted the unfair decision with a stiff upper lip. The steep reduction in our salary coincided with operations in Kashmir. The unjustly treated officers fought loyally; some even making the supreme sacrifice.

A malicious rumour is doing the rounds that the new Chief is being brought in so that he can tow the government line on withdrawing troops from Siachen. I dismiss this out of hand. I am confident that Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh or any Army Chief will always tender his honest professional advice; not doing so will be betraying the nation. The government may take any decision it likes.

Ensuring high degree of war preparedness through expeditious acquisition of modern weapons, new raisings and improving defence infrastructure on a war footing, is an overriding requirement.
Simultaneously, there should be no compromise in combating corruption. Prompt and exemplary action must be taken to root out this menace.

To achieve these goals, the Army Chief should regularly be interacting directly with the Prime Minister and the defence minister. The political executives must ensure that the civil servants do not act as a barrier between them and the Army Chief. Service Chiefs must function as Chiefs of Staff and not as heads of department attached to the ministry.

Pending restructuring of higher defense organisation, committee system of joint functioning as recommended by Lord Ismay in 1947, should be revived.

Relying solely on file-based decision making must be given up. We have the most irrational higher defence organisation in the world with stifling bureaucratic stranglehold.

The recent controversies have shown how deep-rooted distrust and antagonism is between Army officers and civil servants in the ministry of defence. They need to work as a team pursuing a common goal.

The sooner our higher defence mechanism starts working on the same lines as in the UK and other democracies the better. Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and meaningful integration of services headquarters with the ministry of defence, are immediate imperatives. Recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee were cleverly derailed by the bureaucrats.

There is little hope that the ongoing Naresh Chandra Committee, headed by a former defence secretary, from which former Army Chief has been kept out while including former Navy and Air Chiefs, does not inspire confidence.

The new Army Chief should give top priority to rectifying the grave infirmities in defence functioning, enlisting the support of the Prime Minister and the defence minister.

Gen. Bikram Singh has to lead and inspire our one million-plus Army by his personal example. Heavy responsibility rests on his shoulders. From what I have known of him, I am sanguine that he will be successful in carrying his daunting responsibilities.

The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir

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