Thursday, July 7, 2011


Dear Colleagues,

ESM from different corners of the country keep enquiring about OROP progress. Hopefully the Rajya Sabha Petitions Committee will submit its report within this month and the government would take a decision on this within the duration of the Monsoon Parliamentary session (01 Aug – 08 Sep). Although there is cause for apprehension if one goes by the reported statement of the Defence Minister in his media interaction in the last week of June 2011. He has been quoted as saying
“Though ‘one rank, one pension’ is a dream, we are nearing it. Our approach is... that step by step increase it at least to the nearest pole. We are in the process and whenever we get an opportunity, we try to increase it”.
We have to wait and watch.
As the environment would know, Punjab and HP have already passed resolutions in their State Assemblies supporting grant of OROP to Defence pensioners. A letter has been written by me to Chief Ministers of 12 other States (UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar, WB, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, MP, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, J&K) requesting for similar action. It will help if pressure is also mounted through the local MsLA.

The letter is reproduced below:

Dear Hon’ble Chief Minister,

I am approaching you in connection with an important aspect of welfare affecting the Ex Servicemen.
You may be aware that for over three years, the Ex Servicemen have been struggling for their legitimate right of ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP). It implies equal pension for all personnel that retired from the same rank after equal number of years of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. As per the existing provisions, whenever the pensions are enhanced by successive Central Pay Commissions (CPC), the enhancement is only applied prospectively and old pensioners are left out. The gap between the old and new pensioners keeps widening with each successive CPC.

Interaction with top government leaders has revealed that their apprehension possibly arises from the fact that granting OROP to defence pensioners might generate a similar demand from civilian government employees thus increasing the financial liability that may be difficult to sustain. The civilian employees are our own kith and kin and not our adversaries. However, denial of a legitimate due to the Ex Servicemen on this ground is unfair considering the vastly different service conditions under which our military persons serve. Apart from risks, dangers, separation, dislocation, hard life etc, let me highlight some other major and not easily discernible differences:

1. Early Retirement. Over 85% military personnel retire in their mid/late Thirties whereas all civil employees serve up to their age of superannuation i.e. 60 years. The military persons thus lose out on the benefits of two/three CPCs that the civilian employees enjoy. Early retirement also is at a lower pay and consequently lower pension. There is no compensation for the relative differential in their salaries and pensions.

2. Limited Promotions. The Defence Forces are structured around a very steep pyramidal rank structure. For example, at Independence, when the Army’s strength was barely 2, 50,000 they had one officer holding the rank of General. Today, even though the strength has gone up by over five times, the Army still has only one General. In contrast the proliferation of senior posts in the civil and police forces is too well known to be recounted. It may be of interest to know that an Army officer has a 0.022% chance of reaching the topmost rank.

3. Very Slow Promotions. The Defence Forces suffer a double whammy in the field of promotions. Not only are the avenues on top severely limited, even attainment of those limited senior ranks comes very late. For example, while an IAS officer becomes a Joint Secretary in about 14/20 years of service (States/Centre), its equivalent rank of Major General that comes to less than 3% of Army officers, is attained only after 33 years of commissioning.

Keeping the above realities in mind, denial of their legitimate entitlement of OROP to the Defence Forces, on the apprehension that it might evoke a similar demand among the civilian employees, is patently unjust. In fact if the OROP issue had been of equal interest to the civilian employees, they would have agitated long ago. OROP demand by Ex Servicemen that had been simmering for nearly 30 years, gathered steam after the 6th CPC report came out. It has become a very emotive issue in the entire population of the Ex Servicemen. Seen in the larger context, this can have an adverse effect on the overall security scenario in the country. It is with this background that I solicit your kind support.

........ has a very large population of Ex Servicemen and meeting their legitimate demand is in everyone’s interest. In fact Punjab and HP have already passed a resolution in the State Assemblies unanimously supporting the demand of OROP. I will request you to consider if a similar resolution can be moved in your State. I further implore you to kindly use your influence with the Centre in getting OROP sanctioned.

I will be happy to meet you and make a presentation at your convenience.

Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM,

ESM sitrep 06 July evening

Dear Colleagues,
During Night 05/06 July 2011, an ESM Hav Dayal, residing in his village 25 km from Rewari (Haryana), suffered a heart attack. Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM, Vice Chairman IESM was informed telephonically at 0030 hours. He immediately swung into action, called up various hospitals and finally rushed him to Artemis Hospital Gurgaon. He also woke up Lt Col (Retd) Anil Dhall, SM a renowned cardiologist who is working as a Heart Surgeon at Artemis. Angioplasty was performed at 0345 hours by Anil and his team and the patient’s condition was stabilized.
This is another chapter in the welfare activities of the IESM and Gen Satbir deserves full praise for his energetic actions. Since the patient’s ECHS card was not available till much later in the morning, Satbir also gave an undertaking that the cost would be underwritten if the card was not produced.
IESM takes pride in announcing that a precious life has been saved through its intervention.

Best regards,

Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM