Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Hope PM and RM and FM and India reads this

Forwarded as received....( A nice narrative by someone who was involved but...)

Written by Leh Hosp Med Specialist

A humbling lifetime experience today...Got opportunity today to go to Siachen (for 1st time) from Leh with 2 pilots in helicopter to evacuate the lone survivor of Siachen avalanche L/Nk Hanumantappa from the site of avalanche to Nubra airport where patient moved to air ambulance and handed over to my counterpart in Nubra and AF doctors for onward journey to AHRR. Since my detailment (yesterday late night) for task with 2 pilots for initial evacuation from site of incident lot of mixed feelings have been there..but noteworthy things-

Hats off to the:

1) RMO for keeping the survivor alive overnight at the site
 
2) Rescue teams to work at an altitude of 19600 ft for so many days and recover him
 
3) Pilots for daring to fly in the middle of snow blizzard through narrow mountain features inching forwards despite all the turbulence of aircraft with extremely poor visibility (at top barely 60-70m initially) and finally making a successful landing at the makeshift helipad which was just a little bigger than the helicopter with white out all around (top, ground and all 4 directions)
 
4) The men of his unit who must have dug and gone deeper and deeper in ice with hope to find every comrade of theirs as survivor but getting disappointed every time and yet gathering courage to look for next one till they found him.
 
5) And last but not d least the man in question Hanumantappa who survived for 6 days buried deep under ice in place with temperature less than -50°C and strong chilly blizzards and couldn't be recognised initially as human but for the hope, reassurance and bright spark in his eyes when I saw him for first time after being put in helicopter there..as we took off for Nubra airport (where air ambulance was waiting wth other med team for onward journey to my alma mater AHRR) crossing highest inhabitable snow-clad and obscured peaks with extremely low temperatures the eyes of the man (Hanumantappa) in front of me, whom we all were meant to rescue, personified the triumph (hopefully long lasting because he is still critical) of indomitable spirit of human resilience against all odds (including the mighty nature) and desire of man (An Indian Army Man) to never give up come what may and realisation of hope that at least his own fellow men in uniform would not leave and forget him--- no doubt the fighting spirit for survival in him and the rescue teams was far far far taller than those snow-clad tallest scary and dominating mountain peaks in glacier.. 

Salute to you and God bless my colleague in uniform - May you come out a survivor in your next battle for life as well with the bright spark of hope, faith, immense courage n reassurance intact in your eyes besides the pride of being "An Indian Soldier".

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A Few Facts Not in the Report of 7th CPC



Reading into the Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (7th CPC)
[Read into something - to find an extra meaning in someone's words or actions that is not obvious.]

*        *        *        *        *        *
The mutual confidence on which all else depends can be maintained only by an open mind and a brave reliance upon free discussion.

&

 Most of the issues that mankind sets out to settle, it never does settle… The dispute fades into the past unsolved, though perhaps it may be renewed as history and fought over again. It disappears because it is replaced by some compromise that, although not wholly acceptable to either side, offers a tolerable substitute for victory

-         Justice Billings Learned Hand (1872-1961)

The man who will follow precedent, but never create one, is merely an obvious example of the routineer. You find him desperately numerous in the civil service, in the official bureaus. To him government is something given as unconditionally, as absolutely as ocean or hill. He goes on winding the tape that he finds. His imagination has rarely extricated itself from under the administrative machine to gain any sense of what a human, temporary contraption of the whole affair is. What he thinks is the heavens above him is nothing but the roof.
- Walter Lippmann

*        *        *        *        *        *

I am not sure whether the honourable Chairman and Members of the 7th CPC will read this (restricted to just 1% in length compared to the Report). However, if they do, they can console themselves that I admit I goofed up for I believed that the Commission would be bold, futuristic, and impartial, not being confined by bureaucratic precedents.

          From the time, in 1947, the first Prime Minister of India decided that the Police is better suited to a “peaceful” India, and started to disband and demoralise the Armed Forces, all that has happened is degrading treatment in the hands of the succeeding Governments, briefed by an entrenched bureaucracy with easy access to the Government i.e. the Civilian Authority, forcing the Armed Forces and Ex-Servicemen (glorified by the term Veterans in recent years) to live their lives in the looming shadow of humiliation (by lowering them in the Warrant of Precedence, or equating them with the Police whose primary responsibility is maintaining law & order and not ensuring the sovereignty of the Nation), exploitation (by denying truthful briefs to the Government), cruel and degrading treatment (the most recent being that the Armed Forces are not Organised Class A Services) and harassment (ceaseless appeals and litigation using the paid for by the State services of Government’s law officers).

MoD, and by inference the Government, ignoring the spate of litigation that has been fought by the Armed Forces personnel, has found ways not to implement orders of the Armed Force Tribunal, even of Courts by resorting to Appeals, Review Petitions and, even the odd Curative Petition, in most cases.

It must be days of unhappiness for those of the 7th CPC associated with producing a voluminous Report, made longer by more than a score of pages “Intentionally Left Blank.” A detailed reading of 899 pages long Report may justify the feeling of it being insensitive, at times needlessly denigrating the Armed Forces, who can only represent to the same Government. I use the words ‘needlessly denigrating,’ because many analyses in the Report are based on one-sided information, provided as it appears, to facilitate the consequent recommendations.

In these days of saving the environment and paper, the 7th CPC could have used the blank pages in the Report to mention whether the Armed Forces, even the Ex-Service personnel and widows were asked/requested to provide clarifications, enumerating what those clarifications were, why the CPC found those clarifications unworthy of even the dismissive tone and tenor in the Report.

This analysis (confined voluntarily to 1% in volume) is driven by  a few statements in the Report vis-à-vis facts that exist in the files of the MoD which were obtained through numerous requests and First Appeals under the RTI Act, 2005 and judgments of honourable Courts.

While on the subject of RTI, the CPC has been remiss in providing any information on its website (7cpc.india.gov.in) except of the dates of meetings, who the CPC met, and places the CPC toured. To this day, under the drop-down menu of RTI it shows “Under Construction”, not even disclosure of information required under Section 4 of the RTI Act. And similar is the fate of the Photo Gallery. So much for the praises of the Secretary of the CPC and her leadership etc., etc!   

The 7th CPC had an opportunity to show its dynamism and ability to project that holistic view (more about which later) but it could not. Permit me to begin with the observations of the 3rd Central Pay Commission (CPC) in Volume III, Chapter 48, Paragraphs No.5 and 6: - 

5.       It is for the first time that a Pay Commission has been asked to enquire into the structure of emoluments of both the civilian employees of the Government and the Armed Forces personnel. In the past, the latter enquiry was entrusted to departmental committees which included the representatives of the Services also…..

6.      While devising our procedure of work, we were keen that Service personnel, like the civilian employees, should have the opportunity to represent their case before us. We, therefore, requested the Ministry of Defence to consider permitting Servicemen to submit memoranda…..We were, however, informed that the requirements of military discipline and tradition would not permit such an approach………

          Four decades later, in 2014, the GoI/MoD allowed a minor concession because the same UPA Govt had promised a separate Military Pay Commission. The minor concession was that the Armed Forces could present a Joint Services Memorandum (JSM) to the CPC, which the Armed Forces did on 28 Aug 2014. That a separate Pay Commission for the Armed Forces was not considered necessary by then Chairman CoSC & CAS may appear, in hindsight, to have been a folly of reposing faith in the CPC.    

          The folly was also because we in the retired fraternity of the Armed Forces, considered the CPC, yet again, would be like an honourable Court. The CPC would assess the evidence presented and interpret existing Rules and Regulations. They would control how hearings unfold in the Commission. Most important of all, like Courts, the CPC will be impartial decision-makers. The CPC will consider opposing sides of an issue and ensure that evidence and arguments will be fully, truthfully, and forcefully presented. The Chairman and Member of the CPC, much like judges, however, would remain above the fray, taking an independent view and making an impartial assessment of the facts. The Commission differs from honourable Courts in one aspect – The Courts interpret laws as they exist or strike down laws which are in violation of the Constitution of India; the Pay Commission need not recommendations that may or may not conform with recommendations of previous CPCs. 
         
          The Armed Forces have known that the past CPCs have not found solutions to all anomalies – real and perceived. Perhaps it is not the fault of the Armed Forces for their sky-high expectations from the 7th CPC

Firstly, because the Chairman served as Chairman of the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal, and therefore has in-depth knowledge of the numerous grievances of the personnel of the Armed Forces.

Secondly, because of such qualities being bestowed in the CPC by no less and entity called the Cabinet Secretary Committee (CSC).

A CSC set up in 2008 rendered its Report on 30 Jun 2009 on One Rank One Pension (OROP) and related anomalies/issues. Some of its recommendations found favour with the MoD and the MoF and the others were consigned to the dustbin of bureaucratic history.

Yet another High Powered Committee (HPC) bestowed its wisdom in the Rank Pay case in 2010, (more of that in subsequent paragraphs), but the honourable Court did not consider it adequate to change a judgment of another Bench. 

In 2012, then Prime Minister constituted yet another CSC (in July 2012) to recommend solutions to certain Pay, Allowances, and Pensions, including OROP related issues raised by the Armed Forces at the level of the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force. The CSC, with the Cabinet Secretary as its head, consisted of Principal Secretary in PMO, Defence Secretary, Secretary (Ex-Servicemens’ Welfare), Secretary (Personnel) in DOP&T, Secretary (Revenue) and Secretary (Expenditure) in Ministry of Finance. Needless to add, but necessary in the context of this critical analysis, the Secretaries have risen to the posts and the attached responsibilities as they are experts in their fields. They must have been assisted by the usual phalanx of lower level functionaries starting with Special or Additional Secretaries and down the rung to Desk Officers.     

The CSC had, as its leadership, the most meritorious of the IAS, whose edge was justified by Shri Vivek Rae, IAS (retd) quoting a judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court of September 1991. The CSC, with the expertise of the Secretaries, complemented by their respective Departments, had to consider the anomalies raised by the Armed Forces after the 6th CPC and yet transferred its responsibilities, and with it their accountability and expertise, to the CPC.  

So what did the CSC recommend in its report dated 17 Aug 2012? They informed then Prime Minister that the pay, allowances and One Rank One Pension must be considered by the next Pay Commission because the Pay Commission is an ‘expert body that will take a holistic view of the issues’ ( Para 41 of the CSC Report-2012) (emphasis supplied).  

The CPC, as graciously stated by the CSC, is an expert body. But other than the Chairman and Dr Rathin Roy, an eminent economist, comprised of

A retired Secretary (retd IAS) as Member of the CPC,

A Secretary level officer from the Indian Railways as Secretary of the CPC, and

A phalanx of Joint Secretaries, Directors, Under Secretaries to the Govt of India whose services and virtues were extolled in the Acknowledgement at the beginning of the Report. They were from the IAS, the Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, one from an unnamed Accounts and Finance stream ‘with deep insight into financial matters, especially defence,’ the C & AG, and a token presence for Armed Forces, if so considered, of a PPS in the Armed Forces Tribunal.      

      A discerning lay man, let alone educated and experienced Armed Forces personnel, will wonder what expertise these honourable ladies and gentlemen had to be considered “experts” that the mighty CSC with its Secretary level officers did not have. And to take a holistic view, one has to rise above one’s own likes, dislikes, prejudices, and pet theories.

          It becomes obvious as one peruses the Report that everyone who was on the CPC looked after his or her own parent cadre, quoting precedent where nothing else could win the argument, leaving the unrepresented Armed Forces with  pious, and needless, remarks on their sacrifices.

          Let me start with the Honourable Member, showing both his knowledge about the IAS, which is a good thing, but exposing his partisan thinking. On the magnanimous end one could presume he used his background knowledge,   when quoting a 1991 judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court to defend the edge for the IAS, but on the other end, he also used his place at the high table of the CPC to push his views on behalf of the IAS, into the Report.

Whether the IPS and the sundry Services, the Armed Forces called to offer their proofs is left to the imagination of readers of the Report.   A few of the Intentionally Left Blank pages could have informed us, if the CPC did and the outcome.

Let me take the depression of Rank Pay and the arguments.

The Honourable High Court of Kerala in O.P. No. 2448 of 1996 (Maj A K Dhanapalan Vs UoI), W A No. 518 of 1998 (UoI Vs Major Dhanapalan) and the Honourable Supreme Court in CC No. 5908 of 2003 (UoI Vs Maj Dhanapalan) decreed that Rank Pay had been deducted before re-fixing the pay of officers. The Court ordered re-fixation of pay after restoring the amount so deducted and to pay the Rank Pay in addition. MoD complied, after some embarrassing questions from DOP&T and Deptt of Expenditure on the convoluted procedure of deducting Rank Pay, then fixing the pay, and then adding the Rank Pay to the newly arrived, but depressed, pay. 

The Honourable Supreme Court’s Bench of Justices Katju and Lodha (later CJI), in the Rank Pay case of Lt Col N. K. Nair & Others Vs MoD/UoI [in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007], agreed on 08 Mar 2010 with the 1998 judgement of the Honourable High Court of Kerala, thereby clearly establishing that an amount equal to the Rank Pay had been deducted before re-fixing the pay scales of Defence Forces officers i.e. Pay scales were depressed by the amount of Rank Pay.

There was the above referred High Powered Committee (HPC) constituted in April 2010 on the advice of Shri Gopal Subramanium, then Learned Solicitor General in 2010 to impress up on the Hon’ble Supreme Court the adverse financial effect on the State (Rs 1671 crore) to buttress its Interlocutory Application (I.A.) No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007.

UoI/MoD prayed for recall or modification of the judgement of 08 Mar 2010 but a 3 judges Bench [Justices Lodha, Thakur and Dave] in the subsequent I. A. No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007 dated 04 Sep 2012, upheld the judgements.
   
       MoD was economical with the truth to the CPC that the HPC had come to a conclusion that there was no depression, but that begs the question – does the HPC report of 2010 overrule the judgements of 1996, 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012? 
It might have been ignorance of the truth for the MoD not to mention that after the judgement of 04 Sep 2012, it approached the two highest Law officers of the land for ways and means to a legal challenge. The then Learned Solicitor General (now a Honourable Judge of the Supreme Court) stated on 31 Oct 2012 that the IA was in the nature of a Review Petition and a second Review Petition is not permissible. He also opined that there were insufficient grounds to file a Curative Petition as it did not meet the Hurra Vs Hurra criteria. MoD still persisted and sought the opinion of then (now deceased) Attorney General, who advised MoD to honour the judgment in letter and spirit and pay arrears from 1986 to 2005, the period when Rank Pay was deducted before re-fixing the pay scales. If this is not proof enough that Rank Pay was depressed, then what is?

          Like the CPC Member attempted to protect the interest of the IAS, if an Ex-Serviceman or a representative of the Armed Forces was on the panel of experts of the CPC, he/she may have brought out the above facts or asked why it stated in the JSM that Rank Pay was depressed. Who knows, the Report may have been more objective and fair.

          At Para 6.2.13, we are made to believe, perhaps because the MoD stated so that, “the government has been augmenting middle and senior level positions in the Armed Forces steadily over time” (emphasis in the Report). 

         The expert on Defence matters may have not had enough time to apprise the CPC that there was a thing called (Lt Gen) Bagga Committee which suggested, amongst other solutions, that the time frame for promotions of officers from Capt to Lt Col be reduced, and the number of vacancies above Lt Col be increased, ostensibly to have a younger cadre of Armed Forces officers. The implementation, under the name Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC), from December 2004 has ended up making the Armed Forces top heavy with a disproportionate increase in the number of middle level (Colonels) and Senior level (Brigadiers, Maj Gens, Lt Gens) officers. If this is cadre review, then perhaps MoD needs to go, collectively, to some management school to learn what Cadre review really is.
      
          Let us now advance to para 6.2.24. In the notes to the table, the Report states For Officers at Pay grade O-7 to O-10 in USA defence Forces, basic pay is restricted to USD 15,265 per month.” Is this the contribution of the CPC expert, with his deep insight in defence matters?

But the 2015 Military Pay Chart (www.dfas.mil/dam/jcr:7061e0ca-a436.../2015MilitaryPayChart.pdf) tells us a different story that Basic Pay at O-7 (Officer-Band 7) at 2 years service starts at USD 8648, O-10 starts at USD 16,072 at 20 years and ends at USD 19762.50 at 40 years service!

          Relying on the statistics provided by the CGDA, the Report states at 10.2.51 that percentage of officers retiring with disability has increased to 19.8 percent, whereas it decreased in the case of JCOs/ORs from 18.9 to 7.2%.

          The Report further states at 10.2.54 “While the number of officers retiring with disability element has shown a significant increase at levels of Brigadiers and above …..no officer in these ranks has been invalided out” and 10.2.55, “….This move is contrary to the tenets of equity insofar as treatment of disability element between Officers and JCOs/ORs is concerned.” Hence we have the slab rate!

          So for the sake of 19.8% of 1524 officers i.e. 302 officers of the ranks of Brigadier & above superannuating with disability benefits, the CPC has penalised 7.2% of 13, 19, 481 JCOs/ORs (Para 6.2.2.) i.e approx 95, 000 superannuating with disability benefits.

Perhaps the “expert on defence related matters” in the CPC did not deem it fit either to read the Defence Pension Regulations, Army Pension Rules 2008 or seek clarifications from the Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) who is the Competent Authority to decide degree of disability or the invalidment before arriving at the apparently precipitate and, demoralising conclusion.     

          If CPC did ask DGAFMS, then there is neither mention of the comments nor the reply of the DGAFMS is quoted, if at all he was asked. 
         
CPC opined has the highest risk and hazards (8.10.66), and where only Armed Force personnel serve, has limited the allowance to Rs 31, 500 for Officers and Rs 21,000 for JCOs/ORs. 

Then not heeding its own words about those serving in the Siachen glacier area, the CPC has rationalised the Special Duty Allowance to 30% to ‘attract civilian employees to seek posting in Ladakh and North East, in view of the risk and hardship prevailing in those areas.’

So, even by the impugned Pay Matrix provided by CPC, and adding MSP of Rs 15, 500 or Rs 5200 respectively (Chapter 5.2), many Armed Forces officers (Index 10B, Level 10 and above) and JCOs (Index 7, Level 11 onwards) will stand to lose financially.


          Sir, I could go on  but I shall confine myself to 1% of the Report (and no Intentionally Left Blank pages.)  

Contradiction: CPC recommending withdrawal of entitled ration allowance (of Rs 89.90 per diem or Rs 2700 per month in August 2014) to officers in peace areas, many of which are in the North East. But the CPC sees no contradiction in recommending a 30% of pay as SDA to civilian employees seek a posting in the North East!  

If one had to quote from the previous Commission Reports, which are available on the internet and Digital Library of India, then this bulky Report has been an utter waste of money. In my unsolicited opinion the only truthful thing in the Report is the recommendation not to have Pay Commissions in future.

There was hope in the Armed Forces that truth would prevail, that justice would be done but ignoring the truth, the evidence available by way of judgements of the Honourable Supreme Court, by not demanding answers from other than the MoD and accepting it to be the gospel truth, the CPC chose to rely on an algorithm of disbelief in the Armed Forces.

          Finally, I am sure many of us Ex-Servicemen and widows of Ex-Servicemen must have developed hypertension recently (I have!), caused by consumption of excess salt, imperative to digest the analyses and recommendations in the CPC Report related to Armed Forces, by a CPC so loaded with expertise, ability to take a holistic view and above all, the CPC professed equity.

Post-script:

The Report and Recommendations of the CPC, certified by the CSC of 2012 (comprising Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary in PMO, Defence Secretary, Secretary (Ex-Servicemens’ Welfare), Secretary (Personnel) in DOP&T, Secretary (Revenue) and Secretary (Expenditure) in Ministry of Finance to be an expert body capable of taking a holistic view, is now entrusted to a Cabinet Secretary led Committee of, yes, Secretaries of Defence, Department of Personnel and Training, Pension and PW, Revenue, Expenditure, and the new entrants are Secretaries of Home Affairs, Health, Science and Technology, Chairman of Railway Board, Deputy CAG, and Secretary (Security) to advise the Government.

Notable, as usual, is the absence of any formal representation from the 13.5 lakh Armed Forces!

Satyam Ev Jayate

E & O E

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Report of the Third Pay Commission Vol III - Personnel Below Officer Ranks



Report Of The Third Central Pay Commission Volume-III

Please note as you read and remember the impression conveyed that Pensions of PBOR were reduced from 70% to 50% by 3 CPC and co-relate with facts below.
Chapter 53

II – Personnel Below Officer Rank

37.     The periods of engagement now prescribed for persons enrolled as combatants in the Services, the length of service with the colours and in reserve, and the age limits for retirement are indicated in the table below:
  
TABLE XIII

Service
Ranks
Periods of engagement
Age limits or service limits for retirement


Service with colours
Service in reserve

Army
Sepoys – Fighting Arms & Services
10 years
5 years
38 years of age

Mechanics
12 years
3 years
43 years of age

Minor Tradesmen
18 years
Nil
43 years of age

Naik
-
-
20 years service

Havildar
-
-
22 years service

Naib Subedar
-
-
24 years service of 50 years of age

Subedar
-
-
28 years service or 50 years of age

Subedar Major
-
-
32 years service or 50 years of age or 4 years tenure
Navy
Sailors




Seaman
10 years (initial extended by 5 years and thereafter till the age of retirement
41 years

Leading Seaman
45 years

Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer

50 years

Master Chief Petty Officer

55 years
Air Force
Airmen
15 years (initial) extended by 5 years and thereafter by 3 years till age of retirement
55 years

38.    The AFPRC had broadly followed the civil pension rules in making recommendations on pensions for personnel below officer rank, without providing any compensatory element in pensions for early termination of career. However, they allowed the full benefit of the civil pension formula to only those Servicemen who were able to complete 25 years or more of colour service. Thus, while they suggested the minimum period of 15 years colour service for earning pensions, the minimum pension was calculated on the basis of 13/60 of emoluments and 15/60. This depression was removed on the recommendations of the Kamath Committee in 1968. Since then, the only change that has taken place is the provision, in September 1970, of the DCR Gratuity on the civilian pattern for the personnel below officer rank also. After the provision o DCR Gratuity, the pension rates have been reduced by 11% to partially offset the cost of providing the DCR Gratuity. The emoluments for calculating pensions comprise basic pay and other items reckonable as pay, e.g. good service pay, as also the notional value of the home saving element which varies according to rank. The pension amounts have, however, been worked for each rank in the various pay groups for different lengths of colour service and not separately for individual Servicemen. The Serviceman is entitled to the pension of the rank held by him for at least two years prior to the date of retirement whether in acting or a substantive capacity, but marginal shortages in the qualifying service or in the rank can be condoned.        

39.    A fundamental change proposed by the Services is that the minimum period of qualifying service for earning pension should be reduced from 15 to 10 years in the case of personnel below officer rank. We feel that entitlement to pension should follow a fairly long period of service. As it is, the entitlement to pension after only 15 years service, for the military is a substantial concession as compared with the position appertaining to civilians and we would not suggest any reductions in this period for the former. 

Retiring pensions
40.    Arguing on more or less the same lines as in the case of officers, the Services have suggested that the rate of earning pensions in the case of personnel below officer rank should be 1/76 of the emoluments because of the lower order of deduction made in the amount of pension consequent upon provision of the DCR Gratuity. The Services have also suggested that a compensatory element of 20% of pension should be added in the case of Servicemen retiring within 15 years or less of service and that this percentage should be gradually decreased to Nil for servicemen retiring after 30 years of qualifying service. We have already discussed this question at some length in the case of service officers. We feel that the formula suggested by the Services is complicated na does not strike the most appropriate balance between the genuine needs of the Servicemen, and the responsibilities devolving on the  Government for the welfare of released Servicemen. In the case o servicemen retiring around the age of 35 to 40 years, the pension should not be viewed as their sole means of livelihood, because at this age the released Servicemen can be reasonably expected to be gainfully occupied and independently earning their living. In many cases, Servicemen are able to learn trades and acquire qualifications which stand them in good stead in securing civilian jobs in trade and industry. In many cases, proficient tradesmen leave service at the first opportunity in order to secure more lucrative civilian employment. Thus, the problems of transition to civilian life are not significant in the case of several categories of Service tradesmen.       

41.     Even so, the number of Servicemen who require assistance for resettlement on release from the Armed Force is fairly large and effective administrative arrangements have to be devised for that purpose. While resettlement on agricultural land continues to be popular with the ex-Servicemen, the scope for doing so is becoming more and more limited. According to the Ministry of Defence, several schemes have been started to impart training in various trades, both in the engineering and non-engineering fields. For this purpose, the help of Industrial Training Institutes in the various States is being sought. Various percentages of Government jobs continued to be reserved for released ex-Servicemen and special schemes are being taken up for the rehabilitation of war widows and war-disabled Servicemen. We are of the view that owing to the similarity in functions and training between forces such as the Central Reserve Police, Border Security Force, Railway Protection Force, and the Central Industrial Security Force on the one hand, and the Armed Forces on the other, more and more released Servicemen should be absorbed in suitable jobs in these forces. Such an arrangement would provide a continuing outlet for the released personnel of the armed forces, and would eliminate unnecessary training, and simultaneously increase the effectiveness of these para-military formations. The overall responsibility for ensuring proper implementation of all these measures rests with the Director General of Resettlement. The Armed Forces may also explore the possibility of utilising some of the released personnel from Fighting Arms in the various support services and technical wings, after necessary initial training and re-orientation. The periods of engagement in these other formations are longer, and the suggested internal re-adjustments may lessen the impact on the civilian labour market, making it easier to absorb those residual categories that the Armed Forces have perforce to release. In a system based on voluntary enlistment, the manner in which the Armed Forces personnel are treated on their retirement is an important factor influencing the attractiveness of the Services, and ensuring a regular flow of recruits of the right type. We would like to emphasise that the resettlement of ex-servicemen and rehabilitation of disabled personnel should be viewed as an important responsibility of the State and the community as a whole.      

42.    We have made these observations because we wish to emphasise the more positive aspect of the rehabilitation and resettlement of ex-Servicemen as opposed to the passive role that pensions play. As we have remarked in the case of officers, the Government should encourage ex-Servicemen to be self-reliant, useful and productive members of the community other than mere pensioners, It cannot be……(indecipherable) that a regular pension, even….. (indecipherable) help both as an insurance against unemployment and misfortune and as a supplementary source of income. We now proceed to determine how it should be quantified. 

43.    After detailed consideration, we have reached the conclusion that the right course would be to adopt the same approach for determining the pensions of personnel below officer rank as we have commended in relation to Service officers, viz., adding a weightage of 5 years to the prescribed length of qualifying service, subject to the total length of service reckonable for pension not exceeding 33 years, and applying the formula of 1/80 of emoluments as on the civil side for calculating the pension amount in conjunction with DCR Gratuity. We also proposed that the maximum of the pay scale prescribed for various ranks should be taken into account for calculating the pension of the rank. The addition of 5 years in cases where the period of qualifying service prescribed for earning pension of the rank is less than 20 years is a substantial benefit, which, we feel, provides adequate compensation for the liability to recall and the problems occasioned by early release from the Services, such as the transition from military to civil life, and the attendant uncertainty about securing suitable civil employment. We would again emphasise that the Government’s efforts should be viewed as a whole, and the adequacy of the 5 years weightage should be judged in the light of the package of other measures for the resettlement of released personnel from the Armed Forces.      

44.    As for the emoluments to be taken into account for the purpose of determining pension, the existing practice is to include basic pay, rank pay, increments of pay, good service pay, dearness pay and the notional home saving element. With the introduction of the revised scales, rank pay and dearness pay will cease to exist. Basic pay is taken as the maximum of the scale except that in the case of Army personnel below JCO rank, the basic pay is taken as the mean of the lowest and the highest class of the concerned pay group. We suggest that for purposes of pension, the emoluments in the case of the personnel below officer rank should include the maximum of the pay scale of the rank on the concerned pay group and the notional amount of the home saving element. In regard to good service pay, we feel that the right approach would be to include two rates i.e. Rs 8 in the case of Naiks and three rates i.e Rs 12 in the case of Havildars. In the other two Services, one rate i.e. Rs 10 for Leading Seamen and Corporals and three rates for Petty Officers and Sergeants and above should be included in the emoluments reckoned for pension. In the Army, personnel below JCO rank also have the opportunity of earning additional pay on improving their class in the pay group to which they belong. In line with the existing practice, we recommend that half the maximum amount that can ve earned by a serviceman in the form of class pay in his pay group should also be included in the emoluments reckoned for pension.  

45.    As regards the notional amount of the home saving element that should be reckoned as pay determining pensions, we feel that the existing amounts laid down for this purpose should be increase in line with the improvements in pay scales and the principles adopted for calculating the home saving element. On this broad basis and keeping in view the existing differentials in this respect as between the different ranks, we recommend that the notional amount of home saving element counted for pension should be revised as under: -  


Rank
Existing amount
Proposed revised amount
Sepoy
30
47.25
Naik
30
50
Havildar
35
55
Naib Subedar
50
70
Subedar
60
80
Subedar Major
65
85

Based on these recommendations, Government should determine the standard rates of pension rank-wise and for different lengths of colour service.


Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity

46.    Our recommendations made in Chapter 60 in regard to the civilian employees should also apply to the provision of DCR Gratuity for the personnel below officer rank.

Service Gratuity (Retiring Gratuity)

47.    Service gratuity at the rate of one month’s pay for each completed year of service is admissible to personnel below officer rank who are discharged after 5 years of more but less than 15 years of qualifying service. Where DCR Gratuity is payable the amount of service gratuity is reduced at the rate of 1/8 of a month’s pay for each completed six-monthly period of qualifying service beyond 4 years. Individuals discharged as their request on compassionate grounds or for other reasons are eligible to claim 75% of the normal entitlement and 25% of normal entitlement respectively.

48.    The Services have asked for the continuance of this gratuity and have proposed that in the case of voluntary retirement, no deduction should be made, as discharge is given only on genuine grounds with the approval of the competent authority. We feel that such liberalisation will encourage requests for discharge on voluntary retirement, and will not be in the public interest. We do not recommend any change in the existing provisions.  

Special Pension or Gratuity

49.    A special pension or gratuity is admissible to Servicemen who are not transferred to the reserves and are straightway discharged in large numbers in pursuance of a policy decision by the Government, on demobilisation or consequent on reorganisation and the disbandment of units. At present, proportionate pension is admissible to those discharged after service of 10 years or more but less than 15 years. For service below 10 years, gratuity is payable as under: -  

(i) Less than 5 years – 3 months pay

(ii) 5 years or more but less than 10 years – 1 1/3 of a month’s pay for each year subject to a reduction for death-cum-retirement gratuity.

50.    The Services have proposed that the scale of special gratuity should be one month’s pay for every half-year’s completed service subject to a minimum of six months pay. We find that the existing provisions are more favourable than those applicable to temporary Government servants on the civil side and do not, therefore, require any change at present. Further, occasions requiring the application of these provisions are not likely to arise in the near future and the rates can be reviewed on merits according to the circumstances prevailing at that time.

Reservist Fee and Pension

51.     During the period of reserve liability, the personnel below officer rank are entitled to a retaining fee of Rs 20 per month in addition to the pension granted, if any. Sepoys who are released from the Army after 10 years’ colour service get only a retaining fee of Rs 20 per month as they do not earn any pension, but on completion of 10 years’ colour service and 5 years’ reserve service, they are entitled to a reservist pension of Rs 30 per month.  

52.    The Service have proposed that the retaining fee should be enhanced from Rs 20 per month to Rs 30 per month. They have also proposed that 50% of reserve service should be treated as qualifying service for grant of Service pension and that the minimum pension of Rs 40 should also be extended to the reservists. We feel that the reserve service is a contingent liability and it would not be proper to count the period so spent in any fixed proportion for the purpose of calculating pension. We also find that after the recent ad hoc increase made in 1968, the amount of reservist pension exceeds the amount of the reservist fee. The position appears somewhat anomalous in that a reservist in such cases gets less during the period when he is liable to recall, than what he he would get by way of reservist pension after he had been absolved of this liability. In these circumstances, we do not recommend any change in so far as the amount of reservist pension is concerned. As regards the amount of the reservist fee, we feel that there is little justification for enhancing the resent rate for those Servicemen who are in receipt of pension because of the improvements recommended by us in the pension rates. There is a case, however, for enhancing the amount of the reservist fee in case of those Servicemen placed in the reserves before they have been liable to earn pension, and for them we recommend the payment of Rs 10 p.m in addition to the existing reservist fee of Rs 20 p.m. This will also ensure that the reservist fee for such Servicemen would be equal to the reservist pension as was the case for some years prior to 1967.    

Disability Pension
53.     The conditions attaching to the grant of disability pension are broadly the same for personnel below officer rank as for Service officers. Below the officer level, the service element equals the retiring pension if the Serviceman has rendered at least 15 years service; otherwise it is such proportion of the Service pension as the length of service bears to 15 years, subject to the minimum of tw-thirds of that pension. The services have not suggested any change in regard to the service element, but they have suggested a 50% increase in the rates of disability lement prescribed for the different ranks. We find that the rates of disability element for 100% disablement in case of personnel below officer rank vary with each rank from Rs 35 for a Sepoy to Rs 105 for the Subedar major to Rs 142.50 for Honorary Commissioned Officers. This differs from the system followed in regard to officers in whose cases the disability element does not vary with rank. Although it will not be practical to prescribe the same amount as disability element for all ranks below the officer level, we feel that within a broad group, the amount on this account should not vary. On this basis, and keeping in view the increase proposed in the case of Service officers, we recommend the following revised rates for the disability element for 100% disablement: -
        
TABLE XIV

Rank
Existing disability element for 100% disability (Rs p.m)
Proposed rate (Rs p.m)
Honorary Commissioned Officers 
142.50
170
Subedar Major
105.00

110
Subedar
90.00
Naib Subedar
65
Havildar
48.oo
60
Naik
40.00
Sepoy
35.00
45

As in the case of Service officers personnel below officer rank are entitled to only the invalid pensionary awards in case the degree of disability attributable to service is less than 20%. In the case of personnel below officer rank also, the Services have asked for at least the service element of the disability pension to be allowed in such cases. We accept the proposal and recommend accordingly.

Constant Attendance Allowance

54.    Servicemen invalided out of service for 100% disablement attributable to military service are entitled to a constant attendance allowance of Rs 35 per month subject to a certificate being issued by the competent medical authority. The Services have proposed that the amount of this allowance should be increased to Rs 50 per month. We recommend that the rate of this allowance should be enhanced to Rs 45 per month.

Invalid Pension

55.     Personnel below officer rank invalided out of service on account of cause which are not attributable to service are entitled to invalid pension as under:


Length of service
Entitlement
15 years or more
Normal service pension
10 years or more, but less than 15 years
Proportionate pension
Less than 10 years
Gratuity at one month’s pay for each year of service

The existing provisions seem to be satisfactory and we recommend no change.

Family Pension Awards

56.    In regard to special family pension as also the ordinary family pension, the personnel below officer rank are governed by civilian rules, viz., the Extraordinary Family Pension Scheme and the Ordinary Family Pension scheme. Our recommendations in this regard in Chapter 60 on Retirement Benefits pertaining to civilian employees should also apply to the personnel below officer rank.

Battle Casualties

57.     We have not made any recommendations with regard to the special family pensionary awards admissible to the families of officers and personnel below officer rank in the case of battle casualties and casualties in certain specified operations. We have looked into the liberalised pensionary awards for war widows and war-disabled servicemen and the concessions to the children of officers and men of the Armed Forces killed or disabled during war, war skirmishes or in fighting against armed hostiles in specified operations. In view of the recent liberalisations, as also the awards and benefits announced by the various State Governments, we have not considered it necessary to make any recommendations in this regard. The Services have also not recommended any change in the existing entitlements.