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Thursday, 29 December 2016

  Is India's Military a Pawn On the National Chess Board? 

Dear Friends, You may be interested to read the article BELOW. Sudhir Vombatkere ******************************** 

  Is India's Military a Pawn On the National Chess Board? 
MAJOR GENERAL S.G.VOMBATKERE Thursday, December 29, 2016 

 MYSURU: CBI's arrest of Air Chief Marshal S.P.Tyagi, India's former Air chief, in connection with the Agusta Westland helicopter purchase deal is unprecedented. It raises some questions not only about the functioning of government (combination of the political leadership and the bureaucrat-police network), but also about hidden motivations and unintended compromise of national security due to its effect on the morale of India's military.
 Apart from the valid points made by the Court when granting ACM Tyagi bail, questions arise as to why he was arrested when others involved were not. Was it done deliberately to humiliate him and thereby India's military? Was this the handiwork of bureaucrats and/or the police, and who among the political hierarchy authorised the arrest? These questions are not about whether or not ACM Tyagi is guilty of receiving bribes or any other offence. That matter will be settled by the courts after examining all evidence. But when evidence is still being collected, when ACM Tyagi is cooperating with the CBI in collection of evidence, and there is no prima facie case against him, his arrest smacks of victimization. 
So, why was ACM Tyagi singled out for humiliation? This leads to the point that during the NDA-1 rule under then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, defence minister George Fernandes summarily dismissed Navy chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat from service, giving him no chance to respond. It is clear that the government wanted to show its power over the military by summarily dismissing a defence service chief, because the proper and sensible thing to do was to summon Admiral Bhagwat, confront him with his “crime” (whatever that was), and ask him to resign. 

The most generous view one can take is that government (politician-bureaucrat) had no clue as to the repercussions that the public humiliation of a serving defence chief would have on the morale of the Indian Navy and the sister services. Or if it knew, either it did not care, or else the summary dismissal was by design. One wonders what purpose was served by humiliating Admiral Bhagwat and the military as a whole. Now that ACM Tyagi has been humiliated by the NDA-2 government, in retrospect Admiral Bhagwat's dismissal appears to fall in place, especially because in between the Bhagwat and Tyagi incidents, there have been incidents in the NDA-2 tenure which has affected the soldiers' morale, thereby compromising national security. 

 To name a few in random sequence: - 

Sending police to manhandle peacefully agitating Veterans at Jantar Mantar; - 

Stating that OROP would be given to military Veterans by taking it from dues to poor farmers; -

 Notwithstanding reservations of the defence services chiefs, peremptorily directing the three Service Chiefs to implement the 7CPC award without delay; -

 Keeping the military without access to the 7CPC Anomalies Committee which was secretly arranged for civilians; -

 Raising the salaries of CRPF above that of soldiers; Downgradation of military ranks vis a vis civilian officials; 

- Granting NFU to IPS but not to the military; - 

The issue of pay parity with IAS/IPS; - 

Lower hazard allowance than IAS/IPS; - 

Stating that the army did not know its own capability to carry out the post-Uri surgical strike until it was told so; 

- Reducing disability pension immediately following the post-Uri surgical strike; 

- The military commander being pushed aside by a bureaucrat at the 2016 Red Fort Independence Day function; 

- Insulting military war memorials and guard of honour by a functionary deliberately dressing inappropriately or casually. 

 These are apart from the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare appealing as a matter of policy against every judicial decision given in favour of individual Veterans. The recent unprecedented step of “deep selection” of Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as army chief designate by superceding two senior officers, even though this is within the discretionary powers of the Union Cabinet, has caused disquiet among soldiers and veterans. The reason for disquiet is that government appears not to understand that Lt Gen Rawat is not superior in merit to his two seniors whom he has superceded, and if his experience in counter-insurgency is the criterion for his selection, it glosses over the fact that the army is deployed in counter-insurgency only because of the decades-long failure of the bureaucracy-police in its primary role of internal security. If however deep selection was a political decision, this could seriously compromise the army (the military, in general) remaining as India's last bastion of secular practice, and encourage sycophancy among officers to the permanent detriment of military professionalism. 

 It is necessary to note that previous governments including NDA-1 and the Congress regimes preceding and including UPA-1 and UPA-2, had undoubtedly given the military a raw deal, particularly with regard to successive central pay commissions and the OROP demand. Gen Vaidya was appointed army chief by superceding Lt Gen Sinha, and army chief Gen Rodrigues was publicly castigated for his “bandicoots” remark. Even though the political leadership was primarily responsible, the hand of the bureaucracy was clear to every serving and retired soldier. Civil-military relations are today at an all-time low and although the decades-long continuity of the bureaucratic hand is obvious in the current NDA-2 dispensation, the role of the political leadership in humiliating the military is also clear. Considering that for the first time the NSA is a police officer with enormous clout at the top-most level, upgrading of the status of the police over the military while simultaneously humiliating the military is extremely dangerous for the security and safety of India. Powerful national leaders in Europe of the 1930s and 1940s similarly elevated the police over the military. Is history repeating itself?

 (Major General S.G. Vombatkere, VSM, retired as Additional DG Discipline & Vigilance in Army HQ AG's Branch.)

House Tax Exemption for Defence Personal by Telungana Government

Facilities Covered Under the IRCTC Passenger Travel Insurance

Recently Indian Railway started the facility of providing travel insurance to it’s passengers. Let us see the features, benefits and how to buy the Indian Railway’s Rs.10 Lakh Travel Insurance online.
This facility is available only to Indian Citizens. Hence, citizens of foreign countries are not eligible. This travel insurance is not available for the kids aged below 5 years of age.This facility is available only when you book tickets online. This travel insurance is optional. Hence, you are free to opt it while booking tickets. However, if you opted this travel insurance, then it will be compulsory for all passengers booked under the single PNR.The Premium is Rs.0.92 (Means 92 paise) per passenger (inclusive of all taxes). Once you buy this travel insurance, then the passengers will receive the policy information through SMS and on their registered email IDs directly from Insurance Companies along with the link for filling nomination details.

However, Policy number can be viewed from Ticket booked history at IRCTC Page. Once you book the ticket, the nomination details to be filled at respective Insurance Company site. If nomination details are not filled, then the settlement will be made with legal heirs, if the claim arises. The scheme offers travelers or their families compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh in the event of death or permanent total disability, Rs 7.5 lakh for permanent partial disability, up to Rs 2 lakh for hospitalization expenses and Rs 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains in the event of death or injury from a train accident or other ‘untoward incident’ including terrorist attacks, dacoity, rioting, shoot-out or arson, as well as for short termination, diverted route and Vikalp trains.
Train accident and untoward incident cases will be as per definition under Sections 123 read with Sections 124 and 124A of the Railways Act, 1989. The claims intimation should be immediate but not later than four months after the event. The insurance company will process the claim and send the cheque within 15 days of the receipt of document. In case of cancellation of tickets, IRCTC will make an automatic refund of the premium amount after deduction of administrative charges to the passenger on the same account that was used to book the ticket.

We at gconnect team feel, 92 paisa is not a big deal. Hence, gconnect suggests, all of Indian Railway travelers to chose this option and get the benefit of Indian Railway’s Rs.10 Lakh travel insurance.

7th Pay Commission: Clarification of the Defence Civilian Employees’ Revised Pay Fixation

By Devanjana Mukherjee Posted on 21 hours ago

The Ministry of Defence, earlier this month, made a report in regard of Defence Civilian Employees’ Federation which clarifies the misinterpretation of the provisions leading to incorrect pay fixation set for Central Civil Services as of Revised Pay Rules 2016 under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
The reports suggested series of anomalies churned out from Accounting Authorities of the Defence Estates (Estts) or Directorate General Defense Estates to which the respective Federation have demanded a clarification. The Defence Estates have enabled Union Cabinet to issue correct pay fixation orders of the employees as per the recommendations by 7th Pay Commission. Taking the matter in immediate hands on the basis of priority, Ministry of Defense (MoD) has sent a proposal to the Finance Department in the Defence segment which includes clarification regarding the matter of pay fixation. A copy of of the proposal sent during the beginning of December, it views the complaints of Incorrect Revised Pay Rules for Defence Civilian Employees.
Also, a request has been sent on the subject of clarification from MoD/MoD (Finance) which tends to be awaited so that the 7th Pay Commission recommendations of those employees could be issued on the basis of appropriate position. The respective improvised and clarified reports have been communicated to various Accounting Authorities under the control of Controller General of Defence Accounts so as to avoid any irregularity in the context of pay fixation.

The reports mentioned here have been released by the official website of Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh.

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