Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slain Capt let go cushy jobs to serve country



GHAZIABAD: He let go cushy offers from the corporate sector to serve the country. And true to his conviction, the 26-year-old laid down his life fighting terrorists in the insurgency-hit valleys of Jammu and Kashmir. The only son of his parents, Captain Devendra Singh (26) sacrificed his life in an armed encounter with militants on Tuesday.

Though the martyr did his engineering and masters in business administration (MBA), he always cherished a dream to be a part of the Indian Army, said his shell-shocked but proud Bhupendra Singh. He joined the Army in 2007.

‘‘It was the happiest day of his life. Since he had an engineering background, he was inducted into the signals wing. But, his adventurous spirit took him to the para commandos. He volunteered to join it. I told him it involved a lot of risk, but he retorted: ‘I do not bother about any risk’,’’ recalled his father, who retired as a senior executive in the Ghaziabad-based firm, Dabur.

The grieving father said that he never came in the way of his son’s career choice.

‘‘Devendra, who did his schooling from Guru Harkishan Public School near India Gate in New Delhi, always wanted to be in the Army. I told him that he should simply pursue his passion. I never came in the way of his sister choosing her own career. And, she (Harpreet) has opted to become a professor at Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi,’’ said Bhupendra, adding that his son was also a great dancer and singer.

The late captain’s father said that his son came home to Indirapuram last October when his grandmother had passed away.
‘‘On Tuesday morning, I had a premonition that something was wrong with my son. And, at 7 pm, his commanding officer called to say that Devendra had died doing his duty,’’ he said.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sopore: Militant gunned down, Army captain, 2 jawans killed


A militant was killed, while the Army lost a captain and two jawans in an encounter that began Monday night in Sopore, where “top militants” were holed up in two houses.
The area around two houses where the militants have holed up looks like a battlefield as a strong contingent of army personnel cordoned off the area with the help of razor sharp wires and armoured vehicles to not let the militants get away.
The extra measures have been taken following reports that the holed up militants are from top brass of different terror groups brought together by the ISI.
Flood lights were set up along the roads leading to the houses to prevent the militants from escaping in the cover of darkness. The locals of the town have been instructed to remain indoors as heavy exchange of fire is continuing from both sides since encounter started.
This is the fourth major encounter in the last one month in Sopore after it was declared a separate police division.

Use 'jawan' only for soldier: Indian Army


Little About

Kolkata, Feb 23 : The Indian Army Monday said the term "jawan" denoted a soldier of the army and urged that it should not be used to describe equivalent personnel in the police and paramilitary forces.....

REST OF THE STORY IS HERE,use-jawan-soldier-indian-army.html

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All-out offensive the sole option


There is a term in military parlance called “spoiling attack”. When a large force is poised to attack an enemy stronghold, the defender sends a small but potent force to attack the concentration of the attacking forces. This is to disorganise as well as demoralise the attackers and jeopardise the time frame of the attacking forces.
The Shilda and Dharampur attacks in Bengal by Maoists should be considered in that light. We have been hearing about operation Green Hunt for a long time. It is understandable, the maintenance of law and order being a state subject, the central home ministry has to sort out various issues and obtain concurrence of all the state governments on the broad framework of the operation and also co-ordinate the role and responsibilities of all the state governments.
This is unavoidable as the state police forces, government machinery and the state intelligence and logistic aspects need to be finalised before such an important operation, spread over at least four states and involving thousands of police and paramilitary personnel.
As it is, the chief ministers of Bihar and Jharkhand have already presented a cold shoulder to the efforts of the Union home ministry.
Generally, operations are kept secret till as long as possible. This is to deny time to the Maoists to prepare themselves to meet the onslaught. But in this case, wide propaganda had been made of the impending operation, instead of staying silent and springing a surprise on the Maoists.
I cannot help feeling that the intention was to cause scare in the minds of the Maoist leaders and hope that they would seek discussion for a peaceful solution. That would have been in the spirit of the Maoist teaching “do not give battle to a strong enemy force, withdraw to safety and seek time by all means to prepare and delay the engagement”. On the contrary, they followed Mao’s another tactic: “Hurt the enemy where he is weak and melt into the air.”
They attacked Shilda and killed and maimed a large number of hapless, ill-led, ill-trained, ill-motivated and demoralised policemen and decamped with their arms and ammunition. While preparations for the operation were progressing, no effort was made to tactically re-site the police camps to dominate the approaches leading to the same. So much so, no one possibly was on sentry duty in that camp.
The Maoists had selected the targets with care, dealt a body blow in daylight, planted mines and IEDs on roads and bridges and disappeared after a very successful raid.
This is possibly the first time in Independent India that the Union home ministry has embarked on such a large-scale operation using police and paramilitary personnel. It is understandable that there will be teething troubles, but these Maoist raids demonstrate to countrymen the state of efficiency and professionalism of our police and paramilitary forces.
We very often hear that the borders between Bengal and Jharkhand, Bengal and Orissa, etc., have been sealed. If this is the state of efficiency, what is the guarantee of this sealing? In the face of any serious action by the security forces, the Maoists may move to adjacent states with impunity.
In view of the above, it is imperative that simultaneous and concerted operations are launched in all the states. But with the reluctance of two states, particularly that of Jharkhand, the success of such an operation is already a question mark.
The Maoists have, at Shilda and Dharampur, already given their reply to requests to abjure violence and come forward for discussions. The situation now demands an all-out offensive without much delay, which must be launched before the Maoists can inflict more casualties on the security forces.
■ All the police camps must be re-sited as required away from the heart of towns and marketplaces. Patrolling of the areas must be intensified so that camps are not surprised again. Day and night sentries and a quick reaction team must be organised at each camp.
■ They must be able to provide guides through jungle trails to the combing columns. Census must be available of all residents in each village.
■ Random checks of identity must be carried out in thickly populated areas. If required, night curfew may be imposed in sensitive areas to prevent the Maoists from moving during the night. Night patrolling in an area of influence is imperative.
■ However, a more important aspect is to ensure that no villager is harassed. Even if an incident of ambush or IED blast takes place near a village, no reprisal should be made on village folks. Rather, they should be reassured about their innocence. Even if Maoists have taken shelter in any village, it must not be construed that the villagers are involved in a conspiracy. Maoists do not wait for consent prior to entering a village. Villagers know that the consequence of refusal is death penalty.
■ Medical facilities or any other help which the police can provide to the poor villagers while they are out on a patrol must be given.
The genuine premise must be that the villagers are not actively or willingly conniving with the Maoists. This is one of the ways to earn the confidence of the local population and create opportunities for gaining intelligence.
Some people and organisations are protesting against this planned operation. They, I feel, have mixed up between the Maoists and local tribals. Some tribals may be Maoists or their sympathisers but surely, all tribals in all these states are not Maoists. Moreover, launching of operations against ruthless Maoist killers is not war against the tribal population.
Sure, the Maoists are also fellow Indian citizens, but that does not give them immunity from the law. Abductors, killers, looters of banks and police armoury; extortionists and oppressors of rural tribal people need to be stopped. This is the duty and responsibility of the state. The Maoists do not deserve any support or sympathy from any quarter.
The security forces on the other hand have to be doubly careful that there is no collateral damage in men and property among the local population. The Maoists will invariably try to use the unfortunate men and women as human shields against the security forces.
Finally, the success of anti-terrorist operations entirely depends on the quality of junior leadership. This is one aspect that needs careful consideration of the police brass. The incidents of Maoist attacks on police stations and camps and abduction of police officers in the recent past are not at all encouraging.
If need be, the government must arrange material support and operational services from the armed forces, including earmarking a few army units as back-up support, just in case it becomes necessary.
Operations once launched must achieve their objective. The Maoists must be made amenable to resolving their disputes by peaceful means. Indian democracy has that space. Troops must go into operations “resolved into victory”.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Now, army wants to dump the indigenous Insas rifle


Gaya to get Army's second Officers Training Academy


NEW DELHI: With the Army continuing to grapple with an acute shortage of officers, the Cabinet Committee on Security has finally approved a second Officers' Training Academy (OTA) at Gaya in Bihar, on the lines of the existing one in Chennai.

"This is a major long term step to solve the problem of shortage of officers. While the Gaya OTA will now commence training of 250 cadets, it will be upgraded to its full design capacity to train 750 short-service commission (SSC) officers annually in due course of time,'' said an official.

At present, Army has two training institutions, Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun for permanent commission (PC) officers and the Chennai OTA for SSC officers.

IMA gets its cadets from the tri-Service National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla, which is open to youngsters after class XII, as well as through the `direct entry' route open to college graduates. The OTA, in turn, is open to college graduates only.

As part of their force-restructuring to maintain a young profile and attract bright youngsters to their fold, the armed forces are gradually moving towards substantially increasing the number of SSC officers in their ranks.

"The change in intake pattern will eventually lead to a 1:2 ratio for PC to SSC officers. IMA currently has a capacity to train 950 officers per year, while the Chennai OTA trains around 500 officers. The capacity at both these academies is also being expanded to train an additional 100 cadets each every year,'' said the officer.

As reported earlier, Army is short of around 11,400 officers, while Navy and IAF grapple with a shortage of about 1,500 and 1,400 respectively. Army, incidentally, has an "authorised'' strength of 46,614 officers, while it is 12,136 for IAF and 8,797 for Navy.

Apart from failing to attract enough youngsters with "officer-like qualities'', the 1.13-million strong Army is also facing a massive exodus from its ranks, with more and more officers opting for premature retirement.

Though the salaries of armed forces have substantially gone up after the 6th Pay Commission, youngsters still find them poor compared to the private sector, especially for a life which is tough and risky. Poor promotional avenues and frequent transfers which disrupt family life are seen to be the other contributing factors.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Two Naval Officers have filed a case in the Mumbai High Court seeking inclusion of training period in service period. The court’s decision in the case may affect the entire armed forces.


History of Corps of Signals


On 15 Feb 2010, the Corps of Signals will enter 100th year of its odyssey in its role as Communicators for the Defence Forces. It was the historic event of raising of 31st and the 32nd Divisional Signal Companies, the first Signal Units, at Fatehgarh on 15 Feb 1911 that marked the raising of Corps of Signals. The motto of the Corps is “Teevra Chaukas” i.e. “Swift and Secure” and its emblem depicts the figure of “Mercury” the Roman version of “Hermes”, the messenger of Gods in Greek mythology.

The Corps of Signals is responsible to provide secure, reliable and responsive strategic, operational and tactical communications and spearheads the information technology revolution in the Indian Army. Given its onerous tasks, the Corps of Signals, has excelled in providing robust, resilient, ubiquitous, Pan India as well as area-specific defence communication networks which constitute a great national asset. The Corps has the honour of being presented the Regimental Colours by the then Hon'ble President, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan on 20 Feb 1965. Some of its noteworthy communication projects like Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON) was dedicated to the Nation by the then Hon'ble PM Shri PV Narsimha Rao in August 1995 while in February 2006 the Army Wide Area Network (AWAN) was similarly dedicated to the Nation by the then Hon'ble President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

In the field of sports, the Corps has an excellent record. It has produced many a world class/ Olympian sportsmen like MP Ganesh (Hockey), Leslie Fernandes (Hockey), S Jayaram (Boxing) and Ramanand (Boxing) to name a few. Hav KC Ramu was the first Indian who represented and won the International Marathon in 2005. Jayaram and Ganesh are the proud recipient of the Arjuna Award. The “Dare Devils” of Corps of Signals have won accolades for their display all over the country including the Republic Day Celebrations and have several Guinness and Limca Book of World Records to their credit. The Corps has pioneered Microlight and Power Hang Gliding in the country.

The Corps of Signals is resplendent with deeds of valour and sacrifice. The Corps takes pride in having awardees of Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and Sena Medal (Gallantry) in its Roll of Honour, apart from recipients of highest civil awards like OBE, Padma Shri and Distinguished Service awards.

The giant strides made by the Corps have truly been stupendous. The transition to being a 'Network Centric' Force is propelled by the sustained hard work and an intrinsic urge to excel by each and every Information Warrior.


Monday, February 15, 2010



Empanelment of 1976 batch IPS officers to the rank of DG (75000/- PLUS LEVEL) in the Government of India has taken place on Friday. It is believed that altogether 32 officers of this have been empanelled. They reportedly are :-Mssrs Jyoti Swarup Pandey, Satyavrat Bansal, Renuka Muttoo and Subhash Joshi (Uttarakhand), Ashok Kumar Bhan (J&K), Praveen Mahendru ( Chattisgarh) , Bharat Vir Wanchoo , Naparajit Mukherjee and K S Shankarnarayan (West Bengal ) KN Sharma (Gujrat), Mahavir Singh Bali ,S P Srivastava, Atul, Udyan Parmar, Alaxander Daniel and P C Sabarwal (Uttar Pradesh) MM Praharaj (Orissa), D Shivanandan and Alaxander Daniel (Maharashtra), V Rajagopal (UT), SK Upadhyay (Tamil Nadu), DV Guruprasad (Karnataka), Neeraj Kumar (UT), Balwinder Singh (Andhra Pradesh), Manjari Jaruhar and Rakesh Jaruhar (Jharkhand), Yashovardhan Azad and Nandan Dube (Madhya Pradesh), Anirudh Uppal (Himachal Pradesh), Ravindra Narayanan Ravi (Kerala) and Harish Chandra Meena (Rajasthan) and Alok Joshi (Haryana).

Naxal Attack In West Bengal


At least 17 jawans were feared killed when armed Maoists attacked a paramilitary force camp at Sildha in West Midnapore district this evening.
Top police sources said at least 17 Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) jawans were feared killed in the attack, which took place around 5.30 pm.
"According to information available here, nine jawans were burnt to death and five others were shot dead. We are yet to get the detailed figure of the casualty," a source said.
District Magistrate N S Nigam said at least 50 Maoists on 25 motorcycles and armed with sophisticated weapons swooped down on the camp.
"There were 51 EFR jawans and officers in the camp when the attack took place," IGP (Law and Order) S Purakayastha said.
Nigam said the Maoists also planted landmines on the entire stretch of the road leading to the camp. Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We have attacked the camp and this is our answer to Chidambaram's 'Operation Green Hunt' and unless the Centre stops this inhuman military operation we are going to answer this way only," Kishenji said from an undisclosed location.
The attack took most of the jawans by surprise as they were either "whiling away their time in the camp or were busy in the kitchen cooking", a senior police officer said.
"The Maoists engaged in an initial exchange of fire with the sentries who repulsed the attack, but then the ultras outnumbered the jawans and barged into the camp setting it on fire," the officer said.
According to Nigam night vision force with anti-landmine vehicles have been rushed to the camp from nearby Binpur.
Kishenji, on the other hand, claimed there were at least 35 Eastern Frontier jawans who had been liquidated and they had looted sophisticated arms including AK-47, SLR and mortars from the camp which they set ablaze.
He did not give the number of Maoists who took part in the attack and threatened to repeat the attacks, if needed.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


1. KP Maghendhran, S. George, T. K. Rajendran & P.C. Lallawmsanga of 1984 batch have been promoted as ADGs ( Lt Gen) in Tamil Nadu.

2. Five IPS officers of 1992 batch have been promoted as IGs ( Maj Gen) in Tamil Nadu. They are: Rajeev Kumar, Sandeep Rai Rathore, Abhay Kumar Singh, K. Vannia Perumal & G. Dorairaj.

3. Seven IPS officers of 1996 batch have been promoted as DIGs ( Brig ) in Tamil Nadu. They are: K Shankar, A Amalraj, H M Jayaram, J Rajendran, R Thirugnanan, AG Pon Mannickavel & KP Shanmuga Rajeshwaran.

4. Three cities of Punjab Friday got police commissioners for the first time. While DIG ( Brig ) level IPS officer Gaurav Yadav has been appointed police commissioner of Jalandhar city, Ishwar Singh of Ludhiana and and Virender Kumar of Amritsar. The Punjab government had only last month announced implementing police commissioner system in these cities. Till now these places had a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) as head of the district's police force.This system is also implemented in cities like Mumbai,Chennai, Banglore, Rajasthan even Bihar. Hence have generated vaccancies for IPS at senior posts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Her Excellencys husband a land grabber

NEW DELHI: In a major embarrassment to President Pratibha Patil, her husband Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat has been asked to return over two acres he grabbed from a poor Dalit farmer in Amravati of Maharashtra.

The farmer, Kishore Bansod, had last year found that most of his land had been transferred to Mr Shekhawat in the government records. The President’s spouse was accused of forging papers to grab 2.5 acres near the highway in Chandrapur two years ago. The farmer went to court in June, 2009. The Daryapur court gave its verdict in the case in December stating that the land belonged to Kishore Madhav Bansod and not Mr Shekhawat and that it be returned to the farmer. However, Mr Bansod got the copy of the judgement only earlier this week.

The President’s husband took the help of local revenue officers. An inquiry by local officials revealed that five others — all his relatives — colluded with him.

Though the Rashtrapati Bhavan has refrained from commenting saying that the President’s husband is a private citizen and enjoys no special privileges, the allegations against him are bound to haunt the President.

Following the farmer’s complaint last year, SDM Ashok Amankar had issued notices to Shekhawat and seven others, including his nephew Bhanwarsingh Lalsingh Shekhawat and brothers Kishorsingh, Omsingh and Raghusingh. The then revenue inspector was also served a notice.

The farmer had said that officials who went for land measurements had told him that his land was in the name of the Shekhawat family. The three-acre farm was purchased by his father Mahadevrao in 1985-86 from a Bapurao Chaudhary, he had said. Mr Shekawat is a member of the Congress and has also served as the Mayor of Amravati. This is not the first time that the President’s family has come under a cloud over financial dealings.

Controversies dogged Ms Patil and her family from the time she was nominated as a presidential candidate. BJP, which had launched a high-voltage campaign against her, alleged that a sugar factory owned by her owed huge sums of money to a co-operative bank.

Besides this, she was accused of promoting her son during announcement of the candidates for the Maharashtra assembly elections and transferring funds worth Rs 36 lakh from her MPLADS to an organisation run by her husband.

In 1973, she had set up a co-operative bank named Pratibha Mahila Shahkari Bank to empower women but its license of the bank was revoked in 2003 by the RBI over alleged financial irregularities. According to reports, one of the reasons listed by RBI for cancellation of the license was the faulty loan policy of the bank and waivers on loan interests given, among others, to Ms Patil’s relatives.

Army officers held for clearing substandard equipment



Three Army officers were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation-Anti Corruption Bureau (CBI-ACB) on Wednesday for facilitating the supply of substandard non-skid chains to the Army worth Rs 1.58 crore in 2006.

Jaywantrao Yadavrao Pawar, A Prabhakaran and Fayazoddin were produced before the district court where they were remanded to police custody for two days. Pawar is the deputy director general (administration), directorate general of quality assurance, Ministry of Defence in New Delhi, Prabhakaran is joint controller of quality assurance, heavy vehicles in Chennai and Fayazoddin retired as group officer, vehicle quality assurance wing in Pune.

Subash Chandra Gupta, additional superintendent of police, CBI-ACB said, “In December 2007, the CBI registered a case against five accused including Pawar, the then officiating controller of quality assurance, Ahmednagar on allegations of supply of substandard non-skid chains by Sunil Sharma, co-accused in the case, to the Indian army. Anti-skid chains are used in Army vehicles in snow-bound high altitude areas and are a critical item for operational purposes. Any failure in performance of these chains may result in loss of human life and equipment belonging to the Army.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

IAS Promotions

1. As many as 54 IAS officers belonging to the 1990 batch were cleared for empanelment to the rank of Joint Secretary ( Equivalent to MajGen )  in Government of India (GOI). A total of 89 of them were considered. However, 35 IAS officers of the said batch could not make it to the final list.

2. The success rate is 60.67%.


 IAS Promotion GuideLines by DOPT                                                          


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rot in the armed forces



"The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."

When you now look at these 37 words, etched on the walls of the famous Chetwode Hall at Dehradun's Indian Military Academy - the cradle of officers heading for the Indian army - they have a distinct ring of irony. The stirring credo of military selflessness today stands inverted. Far from breeding a band of fearless and honourable soldiers, the Indian Army seems to be spawning a crooked cocktail of "ketchup" colonels, "booze" brigadiers and land-scamming generals - all of whom seem to have made their own ease and comfort, not to speak of fat bank balances, their primary motto.

It's not that corruption - or "moral turpitude" as it's delicately referred to by the brass - was unknown in the army. It was small, though, even petty. Oldtimers say it was largely in the service arm of the army, the ASC (Army Service Corps), which they recall was referred to as "Atta Sugar Chor" . The disease has now hit the top guys: colonels, brigadiers and even generals. In fact, the army chief might not have been implicated in the latest Sukna land scam, but he has certainly come under a cloud for trying to protect his top aide, Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, who seems neck deep in it. Clearly, the army's moral fibre is fraying and has weakened like never before.

But it's the rot at the top that is a big worry. At least 10 generals - of two- and three-star rank, which means major-generals and lieutenant-generals - have come under the scanner for corruption and financial misappropriation in a series of meat, ration, fuel and liquor scandals over the last few years. And it's not just lucre that's corrupting the top brass - a major-general was court-martialled in 2007-2008 for sexually harassing a woman officer under his command at Leh.

Corruption seems to have seeped through the army in the last decade or so, corroding the backbone of the force. Its combat sabre-arm , like infantry, armoured corps and artillery, has been infected and, unless arrested, the very character of the Indian army could get deeply scarred. The by now infamous Sukna land scam case, in which four generals have been indicted, is just the latest manifestation of the malaise afflicting the force, which for long was seen as the last surviving bastion of discipline and probity in the country.

Says former army chief Gen V P Malik: "The entire Sukna episode shows the weakness in the leadership's moral fibre. There is no doubt that we need to strengthen the ethos and ethics of the armed forces. Senior officers need to stand up to pressure, whether it's from politicians, power-brokers , contractors or even the society at large. They need to ensure that young officers and jawans look up to them since in the armed forces, which are different from other government services, you actually order them to go to their deaths."

While the Indian Army may not be anywhere close to becoming a rotting institution - upright veterans swear it's still much cleaner than many civilian institutions - but there are obviously enough disturbing signs for worry. Why are so many senior officers getting caught with their hands in the till? Does it indicate that corruption is rampant in the army? Or does it show that the crooks in uniform haven't yet learnt the art of covering their tracks, as has been mastered by their civilian counterparts?

TOI-Crest put this question to several honest soldiers - both serving and retired. The general opinion was that it's impossible to insulate the armed forces from the "general social degradation" and "corrosion of the moral fibre" as it is the larger society from which the military rank and file is drawn. Probed further, an interesting analysis emerged. While relative poverty in India guarantees a steady supply of manpower at the level of jawans, the army is finding it extremely difficult to attract enough bright youngsters - especially, those with the requisite OLQs (officer-like qualities). The Indian Army, where life is tough, where you get shifted around every two-three years from one remote posting to another, and where the salaries are relatively modest , is just not an attractive option for most of the brighter lot. Often, those who fail to secure a class-I government job turn to the olive-green uniform. "It's the last resort," said an officer. A young third-generation officer says he was surprised at some of the reasons his batch mates at IMA gave for joining the army. "Once it was a passion and adventure, now it's just any other job,'' he says. "I was shocked when one of my course-mates said he had joined the army to get subsidised booze, big houses in cantonments and good medical facilities. Many of the top IMA graduates, in fact, opt for ASC or other service arms to lead easier lives, and (to be) where there's opportunity to make the extra buck." In short, the army is often left with no option but to take in second-rate people with third-rate morals. Some officers claim the army's "extensive and committed training processes" , at both the physical and psychological levels, as well as "strong institutional mechanisms" are still able to mould these young recruits into "motivated, disciplined, law-abiding officers and men." Says a brigadier: "There is poor quality of intake. But if we induct 10 donkeys, at least seven are transformed into horses." Whether this is an accurate conversion rate or just a fond hope is anybody's guess. This, however, is at the induction level. How are so many soldiers of easy virtue managing to reach the top, as action against 10 lieutenants and major-generals in the recent past would indicate? Why are the wrong officers not being weeded out? "There is too much of a 'Yes, Sir' culture. If you question a senior, you are unlikely to make it to the next rank in the pyramidal army structure," says a serving Lt General. The general added that the army was no longer insulated from the civilian way of life, as it once was, and that was often bringing wrong values into the armed forces. "That, coupled with prolonged deployment in internal security duties, is steadily chipping away at the army's fundamental values," he says. Not all is lost, though. The military wood is seasoned and the axe of corruption will find it difficult to chop through it. On top of that, punitive action is stringent and swift. The army alone conducts almost 1,000 court-martials on an average every year, a major chunk of them being summary ones wherein the unit or battalion commander or commandant acts as the investigator, prosecutor and judge, all rolled into one.

The colonial practice of summary court-martials is prone to a lot of abuse, but the army insists it is needed to maintain discipline in the ranks. But punishing errant jawans is one thing, acting against senior officers altogether different. Many senior officers are known to brazenly abuse their perks and privileges, and line their pockets. Some officers have gone to the extent of faking killings to improve their standing in the hotly-contested race to bag gallantry medals, unit citations or commendation cards among battalions.

In 2003-2004 , for instance, there were the notorious "ketchup killings" and "Siachen killings" episodes. While tomato sauce was used to fake photographs of "slain militants" in Assam's Cachar district in the first case, the latter saw video-tapes being made of the fictitious killings of "enemy soldiers" on the world's highest battlefield at Siachen. And to the Army's credit, all these cases were dealt with swiftly and harshly.

"Three major-generals , a brigadier and a colonel named in the Tehelka expose of 2001, for instance, were punished. Conversely, politicians and bureaucrats involved in the scandal simply got away,'' says a senior officer. Most soldiers still spring to the army's defence. Lt Gen R K Gaur (retd) says, "When Kargil happened in 1999, the belief that young officers and soldiers lack the dedication was thoroughly disproved. Despite the worst kind of odds, they went up the hills in the line of fire to evict Pakistanis from their positions."

The refusal to see no wrong in the army could be interpreted either as denial of a spreading disease or an innate sense of pride among soldiers who insist corruption cases are "an aberration" and that the army still remains one of the cleanest institutions in the country. There is deep hope hidden in this optimism, and it is that as long as there is pride in an institution, it cannot go under.

Ordnance Factory Group 'A' 6th cpc Pay Scale

Pay scales in respect of Ordnance Factory Employees after
6th Pay Commission 

S.No. Name of the Post Pre-revised scales of Pay Revised scales of Pay Grade Pay
- GROUP ‘A’ - - -
1 CHAIRMAN 26000 (FIXED) 80000 (FIXED) -
2 ADDL.DGOF & MEMBER 24050-650-26000 75500-80000 -
3 SR.GM/SR. DDG/SR.PD/DHS 22400-525-24500 37400-67000 12000
4 GM/AGM/DDG/CMO/Sr.Spl/Addl.DHS 18400-500-22400 37400-67000 10000
14300-400-18300 37400-67000 8700
MO-II (Sr.Scale)
12000-375-16500 15600-39100 7600
10000-325-15200 15600-39100 6600
8 AD/AWN/AMO (New Group A Entry) 8000-275-13500 15600-39100 5400
9 AD/AWM 8000-275-13500 9300-34800 5400

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Give military autonomy



Ashok K Mehta

Hijacked by the media, considerable high drama has surrounded the Sukna land case involving senior Generals of the Indian Army. The turnaround by Chief of Army Staff Gen Deepak Kapoor in ordering disciplinary proceedings against his Military Secretary, Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, who had originally been served a show cause notice under the rubric of administrative action, has also attracted some attention. The last minute switch in Gen Kapoor’s decision was prompted by an advisory issued by Defence Minister AK Antony. Both these events reflect strains in civil-military relations and the progressive diminution of the office of the COAS.

Further illustrating the malaise are three recent professional comments by Gen Kapoor on limited war under nuclear overhang; two-front war doctrine; and integration of armies in Nepal. These valid observations were curiously not supported by the Government. Mr Antony should have been more forthright in defending his and the country’s COAS and not let the flak fly at him from abroad. After all, the first two comments relate to accepted Government policy and should have been upheld.

In 2001, after the terrorist attack on Parliament House, at the traditional Army Day Press briefing the then COAS, Gen Padmanabhan, in response to a question about a nuclear first strike by Pakistan, replied that India’s response will be such that Pakistan will cease to exist. The furore created in Pakistan forced National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra to ask Defence Minister George Fernandes to issue a clarification. But before his did so, he had the grace to consult Gen Padmanabhan. Generals will speak like Generals and not diplomats, thank god. And the advisory from some strategic experts that Service Chiefs preface their remarks with ‘these are my personal views’ is simply baloney. Armed Forces Chiefs voice the feelings of their service, the military and Government policy. They do not speak in their personal capacity.

Returning to the widely-trodden Sukna land, Gen Kapoor, guided by his legal department, opted to follow the administrative action route which gives him many options, including termination of services. The Sukna case has raised a media storm for three months now. Gen Kapoor issued a show cause notice to Lt Gen Prakash three weeks ago. So why on earth did Mr Antony — whose Ministry has been shadowing the case — wait till after the show cause had been given and the reply received? To issue an advisory suddenly shows how out of sync he is with what he ought to be doing to protect the image of the Army and the high office of the COAS. Through his unwise interference in the case, he has diminished the COAS.

Now Lt Gen Prakash has been placed under the Army Act’s Section 123 which subjects him to this law for three years even after he retired last Sunday. There will be a hearing of charges followed by a summary of evidence. Depending on the findings and outcome, disciplinary action could follow. Lt Gen Prakash could appeal to the newly-constituted Army Tribunal and so the Sukna saga will now be long, protracted and hopfully leak-proof.

In 2000, the Ministry of Defence ordered the posting of Vice-Admiral Harinder Singh as Vice-Chief of Naval Staff. Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, citing the Naval Act which authorises the Chief of Naval Staff to select his own staff, wrote back to the Ministry stating that the orders given were in contravention of the Navy Act and were, therefore, ‘unimplementable’. He held his ground and became the first Service Chief in the history of the armed forces to be dismissed by the President by invoking the ‘pleasure principle’. With 60 days left for retirement, Gen Kapoor followed the ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ dictum.

There is no instance of legitimate military dissent in India. The fault has to be shared by Government’s failure in exercising political control, including higher political direction, and the military hierarchy for cowing down, even when compliance was out of order. The only COAS to have put in his papers because of political interference by Defence Minister V Krishna Menon in the professional domain was Gen KS Thimayya. Unfortunately, he withdrew his resignation; otherwise, the history of civil -military relations would have been different.

In 1992, COAS Gen SF Rodrigues let down his office by first giving a controversial interview to this newspaper in which he said “governance is very much the business of the Army” and called two foreign countries “bandicoots”. He later accepted a dressing down in Parliament by Defence Minister Sharad Pawar. Instead of resigning, Gen Rodrigues continued as a lame duck Chief and, surprisingly, the Government which had served the admonition, 15 years later appointed him Governor of Punjab.

Lt Gen SK Sinha, who had served in Army Headquarters in every rank, authored the Fourth Pay Commission and knew every bureaucratic trick of the trade, was superseded as COAS as the Government thought he would be a difficult customer. Gen Sinha resigned. The Government notification for part of the Fifth Pay Commission award was signed by Defence Secretary Ajit Kumar even as COAS Gen Ved Malik had put his objections in writing. The same drama was witnessed last year when the three Service Chiefs collectively refused to accept the piecemeal award of the Sixth Pay Commission, insisting the anomalies be addressed first. One newspaper editor called it “unprecedented military dissent” but conveniently omitted the word ‘legitimate’.

Britain's Chief of General Staff, Gen Richard Dannat went public about poor pay and acute shortages of helicopters for his soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, a deficiency endorsed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He was so outspoken that the Government denied him the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff and instead gave the incumbent CDS an unprecedented second term. Service Chiefs must speak out and speak up without hankering for post-retirement jobs such as Governor of Goa or Ambassador to Burkina Faso.

The media revolution, nuclear weaponisation in the sub-continent and think-tank proliferation call for political control that ensures a robust working relationship btween the civil and the military for effective use of military power. The services must regain their professional autonomy and certainly respect by the Government, altering the internal civil-military power balance through genuine integration and without fear that a CDS — when appointed — will spring a coup. Addressing the problem of corruption in the armed forces calls for a ‘trialogue’ between Government, civil society and the military. Aberrations are fraught with the risk of becoming a habit.

Woman officer of Indian Army placed under arrest


Chandigarh, Feb 2 (IANS) A woman officer of the Indian Army, facing a general court martial in Punjab’s Zirakpur town on charges of accepting a bribe, has been placed under arrest by an army court, officials here said Tuesday.
Major Dimple Singla, an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s branch of the army, was arrested Monday.

“Major Dimple Singla was booked under three charges. She was absconding and was not attending the trials of GCM. It is our duty to complete the GCM in a time-bound manner, therefore she was arrested yesterday,” Indian Army spokesperson Pardip Das Gupta told IANS.

“Earlier, GCM proceedings were adjourned on Dec 28 last year as Singla was admitted in a hospital with complaints of bad health. However, she left the hospital the next day (Dec 29), without being discharged and did not inform anybody. Due to this, her arrest warrants were issued the same day.”

Following this, officials also raided her house but did not find her.

Singla, meanwhile, appealed before the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal and said that she would appear before the GCM provided she was not arrested. The tribunal denied her plea and directed her to appear before the GCM Feb 1.

Her trial had started in 2007 and she was charged with accepting a bribe for favouring various accused during court martial proceedings. She is also charged with indiscipline and laxity in her professional work.

The Generals and their labyrinth



The image of the Indian Army has been badly dented with a section of its top brass implicated in what has come to be known as the Sukhna land scam. The damage could have been mitigated had there been a clear signal from the Army that it was prepared to deal seriously with the alleged misconduct. Regrettably, the controversy was allowed to malinger and was exacerbated by perceptions that the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, was reluctant to act firmly against his aide and Military Secretary, Lt. General Avadhesh Prakash. Despite an Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) reportedly citing prima facie evidence to the effect that Lt. General Prakash was the key figure in the Sukhna land case, General Kapoor was in favour of milder administrative action rather than a court martial. The change of heart, which came a couple of days before Lt-General Prakash’s retirement on January 31, owes wholly to the very proper intervention of Defence Minister A.K. Antony, a politician respected across the political spectrum for his probity in public life. It was Mr. Antony’s ‘advice’ that the case should be dealt with sternly that persuaded the Army Chief to court martial Lt. General Prakash. Earlier, as recommended by the CoI, General Kapoor approved a court martial for Lt. General P.K. Rath and administrative action against two others; the sticking point was over his aide and Military Secretary.

The four generals are entitled to a fair process, which only a military court can provide under the procedure established by law. But it is important to send a signal that any scent of corruption in the armed forces will be dealt with firmly and without prevarication, even when it involves the top brass. The case itself relates to the issue of a no-objection certificate (NOC) to a realtor, who falsely claimed to be an affiliate of Mayo College, for setting up a school on private land adjacent to the Sukhna military station in Darjeeling district. Among the issues that need to be determined are whether rules and procedures were bent in granting the NOC and if there were security implications in doing so, given the area’s proximity to the border. The Indian Army, which was regarded as an incorruptible institution in the first few decades following Independence, has been affected by a string of corruption scandals in recent times. The only way to check the downslide is to have a policy of zero tolerance of corruption, something that Mr. Antony has stressed more than once. Apart from the moral and economic implications, corruption in the armed forces has a quite obvious bearing on security. It is a risk India can ill afford to take

Army looking for foreign carbines

NAGPUR: It’s not that induction of just advanced weaponry is getting delayed in the armed forces. Same is the case with a simple carbine. It is a gun with a holed barrel commonly seen with a VIPs security guard. The Indian Army wants to replace its old 9mm carbine of World War II vintage with a 5.56 one.

After an earlier plan to make this with foreign collaboration fizzled out, the army has begun scouting for the weapon in open market. A request for information (RFI) was lately posted on Indian Army website inviting details on this type of gun from the vendors. Carbine is smaller than rifles and used for close quarter combat. The army in its RFI has left it upon the vendor to specify the weight, length, rate of fire and so on.

While it wants the interested parties to inform whether their carbine has features like laser spot designator, or flash eliminator. Earlier it was planned to make 5.56 carbines in collaboration with Singapore Technologies Kinetic (STK), at local ordnance factories. However, as is becoming the norm, a commission scandal led to the deal with STK being held up. The former chairman of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Sudipto Ghosh was arrested in this case. Interestingly, a 5.56 carbine is already being made by two different government agencies in the country. But for some reasons, army is interested in importing it. The one being made by Indian ordnance factory is called ‘Amogh’.

The other one is being developed by the Pune-based Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a unit of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The 9 mm carbine currently used by the army and other forces is being made at the ordnance factory in Kanpur. Enquiries at the army spokesperson’s office in New Delhi about the RFI elicited no response. Other sources in the army said a 5.56 carbine is needed so as to achieve standardization of ammunition. Now the army uses rifles and light machine guns of 5.56 calibre so it has to keep 9 mm ammunition just for carbines. “If a5.56 mm carbine is inducted, similar ammunition can be used in different weapons,” said a source in the army.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

India's quick-strike doctrine causes flutter

The Japan Times

LONDON — Recently the Indian Army chief, Gen. Deepak Kapoor, drew attention when he suggested at a training command seminar that India is preparing for a "two-front" war with Pakistan and China as it brings its war-fighting doctrine in sync with emerging scenarios to firm up its "Cold Start" strategy.
After strengthening its offensive capabilities vis-a-vis Pakistan by creating a new Southwestern Army Command in 2005, India is now concentrating on countering China effectively in the eastern sector. Kapoor said there is now "a proportionate focus toward the western and northeastern fronts."
Pakistan reacted predictably by describing India's move as reflecting a "hegemonistic and jingoistic mindset" and betraying a "hostile intent." It urged the international community to take notice. The Pakistani security establishment apparently viewed this as an opportunity to once again press upon the Americans the need to keep Pakistani troops on the India-Pakistan border rather than on the Afghanistan border to fight Taliban forces.
China, on the other hand, did not choose to respond to the issue directly. The two states have begun a dialogue at the defense secretary level. Chinese analysts have expressed concerns in recent years about India's growing military ambitions and the purported shift in India's "passive" defense strategy to one viewed as "active and aggressive."
It was the Kargil conflict of 1999 that exposed Indian vulnerabilities as Pakistan realized that India didn't have the capability to impose quick and effective retribution. The Indian Army chief at the time had famously commented that the forces would fight with whatever they had, underscoring the military's frustration over the inability to procure needed arms.
Only because that conflict remained largely confined to the 150-km front of the Kargil sector did India manage to gain the upper hand. Then, in 2001, came the standoff between the Indian and Pakistani armies across the Line of Control after the Indian Parliament was attacked. Again, India lacked the ability to carry out surgical strikes against Pakistan because of the unavailability of suitable weaponry, including night-vision equipment.
The nuclear aspect is important because it is one reason why elements within the Pakistani security establishment have become more adventurous. Realizing that India would be reluctant to escalate a conflict to the nuclear level, sections of the Pakistani military and intelligence have pushed the conventional envelope in using various terror groups to launch assaults on India.
For India this presents a structural conundrum: Nuclear weapons have made a major conventional conflict with Pakistan unrealistic, yet India still needs to find a way to launch effective but limited military action against Pakistan.
After Operation Parakram (2001-2002), the Indian Army tried to develop a new doctrine to find an answer to Pakistan's growing recklessness. Thus was born the Cold Start doctrine, which basically states the effort to acquire the ability to launch quick, decisive, limited strikes under the nuclear umbrella, and to seize some territory — before the international community can intervene — to be used as a postconflict bargaining chip.
As this doctrine is evolving, it's not clear how effective it would be in making sure that a conflict remains limited. Moreover, the army has found little support for it from the other two services. Nor has the civilian government shown interest in the venture.
Yet, the Cold Start doctrine has remained in the limelight as the national security establishment searches for policy options vis-a-vis Pakistan. Execution of the doctrine, a work in progress, would require proper equipment, which India must acquire on a priority basis.
For the army to make the acquisitions, it will have to surmount a number of entrenched problems in defense procurement. The 1999 and 2001 crises forced the government to react by boosting defense expenditures, but political compulsions reasserted themselves soon afterward.
When the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government came to power in 2004, it ordered the investigation of several arms acquisition deals. Furthermore, a series of defense procurement scandals since the late 1980s have made the bureaucracy risk-averse, thereby delaying acquisitions.
The labyrinthine military procurement process has crimped spending on defense, even as Pakistan has acquired U.S. technology the past several years because of its involvement in the "war on terror." And while China's military modernization has gathered momentum, the modernization of the Indian Army has slipped behind by as much as a decade.
So, the Indian Army chief was stating the obvious when he talked of India's preparing for a two-front war. Unlike in Pakistan and China, though, strategic policymaking in India is the sole preserve of the political leadership. And Indian policymakers have yet to sign on to this much-talked-about new doctrine. Harsh V. Pant teaches at King's College London and is a visiting fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania.

Monday, February 1, 2010




The expected DA rates wef 1 Jan 2010 is @ 35%, an increase of about 8% over the existing rate of 27%. The govt is likely to declare the revised rate of DA in the month of March 2010.