TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA - MEMORANDUM OF DEMAND OF EX-SERVICEMEN (JCOs/NCOs/Ors)
Mr. Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minister of India,
152-South Block,Raisina Hill,
SUBJECT: MEMORANDUM OF DEMAND OF EX-SERVICEMEN (JCOs/NCOs/Ors)
We would like to thank our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi sir for his acknowledgement of sacrifices of the Sipahis, the Naiks and the Havaldars. When he mentioned us in his speech “80-90% militarymen are the personal below officer rank JCOs/NCOs/ORs. They are the very first person to face the enemy bullets and lay down their lives in the service to the mother nation. But as it is necessary to keep the forces young they have to leave the services at a very young age. After completing just 15-17 years in the armed forces.” We reiterate that Shri Narendra Modiji is the first ever prime minister who has openly acknowledged our services and sacrifices in line of performance of our duty to the nation.
At the same time, this is a pity and very sad moment for us the Sipahis, the Naiks and the Havaldars (JCOs/NCOs/Ors) that despite our selfless services to the nation we are relegated and sidelined by our own military leaders, ‘the commissioned officers’. We account for 95% to 97% of total strength of ex-servicemen of our country. All ex-servicemen organisations, every governement department of sainik welfare and sainik departmant political parties are headed by retired military officers hece the issues of JCO/NCO/Ors like their legitimate rights, discrimination and poor economic condition due to meagre pay and allowances, less service pension these issues never reach properly to the governement and political parties. Even while serving we are totally dependent on officers and service headquerters. Which has resulted in exploitation of JCO/NCO and ORs as the high ranked officers, sitting in the defence headquerters had vasted interests and they were only taking care of their own cadre. After having plolonged discussions with retired JCOs/NCOs/ORs who reside in various parts of the country, the following demands are forwarded herewith for your kind consideration and taking appropriate action to implement our genuine demands with letter and spirit.
One Rank One Pension (OROP):
We are not accepting the ecurrent formula of OROP as it benefits only commissioned officers this formula is based on advices by officer centric organisations, who have actually hijacked the OROP – originally meant for the Jawans. 70% Jawans are compulsarily discharged from the forces between 35-40 years of age to keep the forces young. Jawans face much more difficulties in terms of non famiy stations being actualy deployed at Borders. OROP is scheme initially designed to compansate low pensions and difficulties in finding alternative re-employement in the middle age.
Whereas officers serve upto the age of 60 including re-employment. Officers work from tents behind which are air conditioned even in field areas. The officers are also highly paid with their minimum pension starting at Rs. 56000/- Per Month and going upto Rs. 100,000/- Per Month. However the officers have latched up to the idea of OROP and redefined it into a prestige issue where, ‘No officer will receive less pension than his Jounior’, irrespective of date of retirement. We the jawans condemn, deplore and totally reject this definition and strong arm tactics of officers. We aslo condemn all the members of officer feternity for continuesly publicly abusing the Prime Minister of our Country shri Naredra Modiji on various social media platforms like Facebook (OROP Ex Servicemen group, Mission OROP group) and Twitter. Also we stronly condem the IESM’s politicaly motivated on going hunger strike and Dharna at Jantar Mantar.
In the current formula the Jawans get a benefit of Rs. 500/- to Rs.1500/- pm, whereas officers get Rs. 20000/- to 40000/- pm in addition to their minimum pension of Rs. 56000/-. Under these scenarios officers demanding OROP is totally unethical, illegal and filled with sense of lust for more and more money.
In order to provide a decent enhancement to Jawans/JCOs pensions, we demand the following:
Equal Military Service Pay for Jawans/JCOs as paid to Officers
Restoration of 75% of last pay drawn as pension which was in vague till the year 1973. This was reduced to 50% and further brought down to 38%.
Equal widow (family) pension to be enhanced from Rs. 3500/- to Rs. 35000/- as currently paid to officer’s widows.
Equal disability pension to all ranks – without differentiating injuries on rank structure.
We the JCOs/NCOs/ORs are the rightful owners of One rank one pension and the officers may be excluded from this purview, as unethical and illegal claim. The amounts saved thus may be utilised for betterment of widows and disabled jawans/JCOs and their kin’s welfere.
Provide Fixed Time promotion or Pay Up-gradation to Jawans at the same rate by upgrading his Pay to the 6th higher rank of Subedar in 14 years or earlier. The Havildars must be placed in PB 2 and every Jawan should be up-graded to the pay of Naik in 3 years, to the pay of Havildar in 6 years, to the pay of Naib Subedar in 10 years or earlier and to the pay of Subedar before 16 years. Those who are promoted to the JCO ranks must be placed in PB-3 and every Jawan (JCO, NCO & OR) must get the pay and pension of the next higher rank from which he is discharged/ retired.
Form a Cabinet Committee to study the Organizational and Pay/Pension structure of US Military and modernize our Military in the same order to bring up the status and confidence of the Jawans who have never failed in sacrificing their life for the nation.
Only the Jawans (JCO, NCO & OR) retire at an early age of 35 to 40 years and only the Jawans live away from their families in much harsher conditions than the Commissioned Officers. The Jawans also work as SEWADAR/SAHAYAK (personal house servants) of Commissioned Officers and their wives and children to keep them comfortable.
Place the Diploma Holders in same PB 2 after completion of training (as the Central Government Diploma Engineers are). As per 6 CPC report, the Military institutes award Diploma in Nursing and those diploma holder Nurses are commissioned as Officers and are placed in PB-3. The Diploma Civil Engineers were place in the Rank of Naib Subedar before 3rd CPC.
Control the PCDA and CDAs from modifying the government orders/letters and going against the Government's polices designed to benefit the JCOs, NCOs and ORs. Several Jawans are not paid the pension of the LAST RANK from which they were discharged/retired before completing 10 months in that rank. This is in spite of the ruling from AFT and several Court Judgements which favoured the Jawans. Please instruct the PCDA/CDAs to pay the Pension of the Last Rank held from 5th CPC onwards.
Accommodation should be allotted by rainbow system every building and residential area should have officer’s and Jawans quarters. No separate accommodation area for officers as this move will bring in more camaraderie amongst men and officers. And in turn remove tag of untouchables from us Jawan’s foreheads. Same Roster of accommodation in terms of Officers and soldiers.
Huge gap of pay between officers and Jawans should be normalised as per Government Norms (Compare pay of officers in Public sector Banks and Clerks). This will also enable the Government to remove anomalities in terms of allotment of government married accommodation. By equalising Salaries of NCOs (havildar/Sargent/Petty officer) to that of a commissioned officer as it is in the Royal Navy of United Kingdom government will be able to extand accommodations specially made for and made by the officers to the Jawans.
Equal MSP for all members of armed forces. Military service pay should be equal for both the cadres
All the rules and regulations like REGS NAVY AND NAVY ACT 1957 are colonial laws (which you our beloved PM are already abolishing) are made to harass the soldiers. These rules and regulations are made by the British to rule this country. Divide and rule policy adopted by the British is still continued in the Indian Armed Forces. After Independence, no change has been made in these rules and regulations. Officers of the Indian Armed Forces are like British and they behaving with soldiers like their slaves. The soldiers became the puppets in the hand of all these officers. "Boss is always right" phenomenon is going on in the defence forces. If any superior officer harass or abuse any soldier and the victim soldier complains against that officer, there is no legal action taken against the guilty officer, but if any soldier speaks against any officer then whole set of rules and regulations are referred. The false charges are framed against that soldiers and he may be thrown out of service by means of court martial.
Total Removal of colonial laws i.e. Navy Act 1957 REGS Navy as these laws and rule books were conceptulised by the earstwhile Royal Navy(Britishers) and are tilted in favor of officers. These colonial laws are one of the major reasons for present untouchable status of the Jawans. We the jawans of Indian Armed Forces need an Ambedkar a Gandhi to bring us out of these sewege dump created by using British system of divide and Rule. After Independence it is the Black Britishesers who are ruling the Soilders of India.
NO PROMOTION/NEVER PROMOTION POLICY FROM JAWAN CADRE TO OFFICER CADRE:
The Jawans: The Jawans aren’t actualy retiring but they are forced to leave the services. May be it is the government’s wish that they want the forces to be young. But than the Jawan should be given more opportunities to get promoted to officer’s ranks and to continue their services to the nation. Does any one citizen of this country think that only less than only 1% out of around 15 lakh soldiers are good enough to become officers? And the rest of us are useless and needed to be thrown into wilderness.
This is really strange that the same Integreted headquerters who have recommended timescale promotions instead of merit based promotions for the officer cadre is not at all promoting the Jawans to officer’s cadre even on merit and discarding them like a toilet paper, after completion of their initial contract of engegement of 15 -17-20 years.
No time scale promotions for soilders. A Corporal/Leading Seaman/Naik can only serve till 17 years. A Havildar can only serve the nation till 23 years of service. If a Jawan does not have a good Annual Confidentiol Report and is not promoted to next rank. He will be thrown out of the service once he has completed maximum years permissible in his rank. This policy is devised to keep the armed forces young. Agree! That we need fresh legs to protact the country. But why deserving jawans are not being promoted to the post of officer. In all central government and PSUs 50% of the posts are filled by pormotion. But in the armed forces they have this hugely biased Service Selection Board (SSB) interview system. The entire concept of SSB is currupt favourism and nepotism at all time high. Most members of SSB are defence offiers and no wonder that more than 70% of serving officers are reletives of defence offiers. We call is uncle colonel syndrome. Where they never promote even 1% soldiers to officer’s Ranks. This in turn results in 95% of Jawans of each batch leaving services after completion of their initial engagement.
The central government places its diploma engineers at Pay Band 2 with Rs.4200/- grade pay. Whereas military diploma holders are paid what the central govt. pays to its peons and safaiwala!!! 5200(Basic)+2000(gradepay)
The officers: All commissioned officers got pay and pension of Lt. Col rank for the rank of Major by placing htem in higher pay Band PB-4 on completion of 21 years service (time scale Promotion policy). The commissioned officers arranged to upgrade the Lt. Colonels from PB3 to PB 4 by nexus with ministry personnel and defence headquerters. Before every pay commission the officers start hue and cry about shortage of officers in armed forces.
RECRUITMENT IN THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES ARMY/NAVY/AIR FORCE
As our Prime Minister Shri MODI Sir has said, we have to keep the forces young. We request the prime minister to intervene in the biased internal promotional exams and the match fixing happening in Service Selection Board (SSB). How on earth can someone explain that majority of the current crop of officers are kins and relatives of serving/retired offiers
The Recruitment process in the Armed forces has to change. We cannot go on following british pattern. All recruitments should start from soldier level and from there deserving should be promoted to commissioned officer rank. Pay structure should be as it is followed by other developed countries like USA and UK in those countries the pay package of JCOs are higher than that of Major.
In the Central Government the Staff selection commission(SSC) is the authority which conducts interviews and written examinations of all the graduate level posts for initial selection and Promotion. The SSC (Staff selection commission) is an unbiased organisation of great stature in India. The SSC should be made the organisation which will conduct written tests and Interviews for selection and promotion all the posts (officers and Soldiers) in the Indian Armed Forces. The SSC conducts a Combined Graduate level examination (CGL) every year fot recruitment in all posts where minimum qualification is Graduation. Even departmental promotional exams are conducted by the SSC and has resulted in a selection system that is truly unbiased and trust worthy.
As we all know in Indian Navy and Indian Airforce initial joining quolification is 10+2 for officers and Sailors both. Recruitment and selection should be carried out by the Staff Selection Commission and not the internal biased bodies. Just as in CGL candidates qualifying will have to fill online option form to choose different posts
The officers have been spreading rumors about their strength in service and how so many officers are leaving the services. But this is a white Lie. If one checks the records of Jawan leaving the services one can find more than 90% of jawan are leaving the services on expiry of their initial engagement. (In case of Indian Navy that is 15 years). It is shocking that maximum numbers of Jawan are not ready to serve the Mother Nation once their initial Contract is over. I am sure that if equality, equal opportunities, respect will be provided. The Jawan will not leave the services in these many numbers.
EMPLOYMENT OF JAWANS:
Today in the times of Skill India of Shri Narendra Modi, the Jawan are still illtreated as un-skilled labourers. They are forced to do household chores of officers. This is sheer wastage of skilled manpower and this jawan who is hired to protect our Nation from enemies. He is paid salary for that from pockets of the taxpayers of our country. His skill, abilities, time and honor is wasted by this officer fraternity. Employement of Jawans for polishing booys of officers and washing dirty linans of their families in officer’s residences should be stopped forthwith. It is affacting morale of the jawans. A soldier’s prime duty is to fight War and protect the nation. To get the soilder to do menial houshold chores of officers and their families. The exchequer can save more than Rs 3600 Crores annualy just by completely abolishing Sewadari system prevelent in the forces. It is further requested that severe punishment and fine of Rs. 10,00,000/- be introduced for violation of this rule.
In Indian Armed Forces all technical jobs are done by sailors/Soilders/Airmen. Technical officers do Admin jobs. I don't have any grudge for that. Administration must be done by the superiors. But they projected the technical people as cleaners and tool handlers where as in truth all the major equipment are maintained and repaired by the technical sailors. This made the CPC to down grade the people who were highly skilled.
The Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen who join the services in different trades. The mechanics who keep the fighter aircraft airworthy or the Indian Naval Warships Sea ready to be treated as fighter plane mechanic Marine Engine Mechanic not “scooter mechanic” that’s injustice. When that happens people would definitely come heavily saying “discrimination”.
SKILL INDIAN ARMED FORCES : UNIVERSITY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Skill, Knowledge and Exposure. In modern society, anyone who selects Armed Forces as a career is well informed and educated. However the Recruits who joins Indian Armed Forces as Jawans are catagorically denied chances and exposure to keep them below officer ranks. Instead of honing and developing leadership qualities in Jawans they are kept at bay and not allowed to take decisions. The officers should be directed to reinforce the confidence of a NCO / JCO. Middle level leadership in the Armed Forces should give adequate freedom to NCOs/ JCOs to perform their duties confidently.Competence comes with knowledge because experience alone does not make a man to grow to his full potential. A NCO / JCO should be given adequate opportunities to improve knowledge relevant to his service and trade. He should be encouraged to keep abreast with the younger generation by being open to new ideas. This would enhance his ability and confidence to work with subordinates. Even as a young jawan he should be exposed to take right decisions in complex situations, as part of a detachment to carry out important tasks. This methodology will pave the way for developing his leadership qualities.
The officers of armed forces are so cunning and having malafied intensions and are responsible for the social stigma of the Jawan who are labeled as un-educated and un-skilled.
Once a soldier joins the Indian Armed forces he is inducted into a trade. Than he is trained at various defence training institutions. The training continues after posting also. These Training and educational courses are not recognised by any university. The certificates issued by various training establishements are so irrelevent and un-recognised in the private as well as the government sector as having no affiliation with any university or UGC. Thus after retirement a highly skilled soldier having 15-20 years disciplined militaray experience and exposure is treated at par with un-skilled labourer in civil world.
This is our top most demand that a new University of National Defence be established and all the courses and their curriculum run by defence establishments should be approved by and affiliated to the University of National Defence.
In modern armies the concept of having competent NCOs has survived; but the concept of JCO has met with moderate success. The systems being followed in some foreign armies are enumerated below :-
(a) The US Armed Forces. Comparing the United States (US) Army with Indian Armed Forces would be an inaccurate hypothesis. In the US Army the role of NCOs in combat is vital. As a young NCO, he is given responsibility equal to, if not more, than our JCOs. 3 The NCO would be assessed for this on various occasions (to reach this level in his unit /sub unit). His position is quite well defined in the organisation, alongwith his role, responsibilities and duties.4 The JCO like appointments in the US Armed forces are more at the formation and administrative level. The percentage of such appointments are very low in comparison to the Indian Armed Forces.
(b) Armed Forces of NATO Nations. Being a forerunner to the Indian Armed Forces, most of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) nations are still following the concept of JCO rank. Functioning and grooming aspects of their leaders below officer levels are very concisely explained in their tactical / operational doctrines.5 Studying these concepts indicate where we have failed in our Armed Forces.
(c) Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). SAF may be smaller in size; but, there are some aspects which we need to learn from them for betterment of our Armed Forces. In SAF the concept of JCO is given very less weightage. Induction of NCOs in SAF starts with a ‘Reasoning and Psychological Test’ at the age of 17 to 19 years. After selection they attend three years Graduation Programme in Defence Institutes. These NCOs, being backbone of SAF, become ‘Specialists’ or ‘Subject Matter Experts’ (SME) on completion of studies.6 These SMEs are young in age with high potential and are able to carry out all kind of tasks during operations and peace time. After 10 years of physical service SMEs are promoted to the rank of Warrant Officers (WOs) who are equivalent to our JCOs. On becoming WOs, they are mostly employed in administrative duties; unlike the Indian Armed Forces where a JCO is expected to lead a platoon in battle. This system in SAF ensures that an NCO is competent, intelligent and young to lead a platoon during operations.
MISUSE OF NON PUBLIC FUNDS (CSD CANTEEN FUNDS)
There are various welfare organisations in the Indian Armed forces for welfare of soldiers such as NGIS, CSD Canteens, NWWA, Canteens onboard Indian Naval Ships, and Gas Agencies etc. These orgnisations are registered with central government on the basis of "NO PROFIT NO LOSS" but superior officers are using this organisation for their personal benefits. There is no tax imposed on these organisations as these organizations are registered as welfare organisations. These organizations are earning huge profits and a large amount of money is being distributed among the officer’s messes and golf courses. The soldiers are looted by means of these welfare-organisations. Only internal audit of this organisations are being carried out and funds are siphoned to various officer welfare organisations for maintaining their party life. It is our demand that CAG Audit of all these so called Non Public funds should be carried out and should be made public. In its 75th report the Public Accounts committee (2012-13) (Fifteen Lok Sabha) has recommended that audit of the CSD Canteens should be carried out by the CAG.
The Officers have Big bash parties around the year All CSD Canteen profits are diverted to officer’s welfare funds and to add to that Big Liquor suppliers like Kingfisher and big CSD supplier companies like Nestle are asked To pay huge donations for organising events such as Navy Ball. I will give you a very recent example of a CSD canteen where kingfisher products were not available for three to four months. Reason?? Canteen officer asked kingfisher to pay up sponsorship money amounting to Rs. 500,00,000/-(Five Crore) for organising Navy Ball event. Kingfisher refused to pay up the amount. After three months of No-sell kingfisher policy the company budged and paid up around Rs. 400,00,000/- and their products were ordered and made available for sale at CSD liquor counter.
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN INDIAN ARMED FORCES
The Indian Armed Forces have a very painfully Racial and undemocratic tradition of having separate toilets for Officers. Separate kitchens and messes with better food amenities for officers. We the solders and the officers are in one service than why are they allowed to maintain so much difference. The officers have separate ques for them in all facilities like CSD Canteen, Military Hospitals. Even after retirement the same biased attitude and colonial rules continue. The officers have Exclusive recreational Clubs where the Soldiers are not allowed entry. These clubs are located on defence land and are run by profits earned from CSD canteens. There is a famous club in Colaba Mumbai-United Services Club they used to have a sign board outside their gates “SAILORS AND DOGS NOT ALLOWED INSIDE” The constitution of india gives Every indian Soildier equal rights to Use all Public places. The officer’s residential areas are also made ‘OUT OF BOUND’ for the Jawans. Such policies create so much dissent among the Jawans and officers.
We should do away with all colonial practices. Instead Rainbow residential areas should be developed where kids of both the cadres will play togather. Unified Messes where everyone eats drinks and merry, same kitchen, same dining, same toilets, no separate ques. Each one of both the cadres is is the same VIP for the Forces. The officer freternity should remove their mentality of keeping distance from their fellow countrymen – the jawans. The jawan is no longer indian and they are no longer british. We all are Indians and we deserve EQUALITY, HUMANITY, COMPASSION, RESPECT, HUMAN RIGHTS.
There are hundreds of Jawans who die in harness in the line of duty but only officers are made Heroes by spreading propaganda of their martyrdom. There is discrimination in awarding Gallantry/Distinguished service medals. Take a look at medals awarded on 26 Jan 2014. Out of 273 Medals awarded to the Army on 26 Jan 2014, 231 gone in favor of officers, 11 to JCOs and 31 to NCOs ORs (The NCOs/ORs are the maximum number of casualty (the Martyrs)in action). The indian Army should learn lesson from American Army who justify in awarding Medals to JCOs/NCOs/ORs. These awards fly in the face when compared to the ratio od men and officers martyred in any operation.
It is our Humble request and one of our top most demand that in a democratic country like ours, all this special status and special treatment available to the officers and their families to be totally scrapped and all the exclusive Clubs of officers to be made public to the Jawan and their families. The colonial Laws and rule books have made the officers invincible to the rule of law. Their acts of cowardice are awarded with Gallantry awards. Let me give you an example of INS Kukri Which sank during 1971 Ind o Pak war on December 16 1971.
One Sailor Chanchal Singh Gill who served on board erstwhile INS Khukri has filled a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court and raised some serious questions about Integrity of some naval officers who were supposed to save the frigate from the enemies. While driving home his point, the petitioner has contended that there are gross errors in the contents of a chapter titled ‘Sinking of INS Khukri’ in the book ‘Triumph to transition’ which is official history of the Indo-Pak 1971 war. The book is published by the directorate of Naval Operations. Gill, who was on duty on the night of December 9, 1971 when the pakistani submarine PNS Hangor hit INS Khukri, says there are glaring anomalies in the official records, which came to his notice in February 2004.
According to naval history, INS Khukri sank after it was hit by a single torpedo, even as INS maneuvered to deflect the attack. But Gill claims three torpedoes hit Khukri and, instead of counter attacking INS Kirpan fled the place. The petitioner urged for a comprehensive inquiry into the incident by a judicial commission, withdrawal of gallantry awards from those who allegedly showed cowardice (including officers and Commanding officer of INS Kirpan) and expose the Navy’s huge cover-up after the loss of INS Khukri and mandatory court marshal, which was not done at that time.
(Source- Via e-mail from MANAN BHATT, EX POME)