Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Interactions with 7 CPC on 24 Aug 14 and 25 Aug 14 at Bangalore

1.   Col Rajan was informed by the GOC, Sub-Area that the Seventh CPC was scheduled to visit Bangalore from the 24 - 26 Aug 14. Accordingly, he tried to get a slot so that the ESM from Bangalore could be given an opportunity to meet this august body to convey their views on the 7th CPC. In the afternoon of 24th Aug, Col Rajan was informed that a slot would be given for 15 minutes from 1730 hrs, the same day. Due to the short notice, Rear Adm Alan O'Leary and Col Rajan were able to attend the meeting as Air Marshal Savur was out of Station.

2.   For the record, on 24 Aug 14 evening, RAdm O’Leary (Retd) and Col Rajan (Retd) met the following:-

(a) Justice (Retd) A K Mathur (Chairman)

(b) Shri Vivek Rae, Member CPC

(c) Smt Meena Agarwal, Member -Secretary

(d) Shri Samir Sinha, Jt Secy, attached to the CPC.

(e) Shri Jayant Sinha, Jt Secy, attached to the CPC

(f) Shri Sudhir Sharma, Under Secy attached to the CPC.

3. The following points were placed before the 7th CPC on 24 Aug 14: -

3.1. Whatever be the Pay & Allowances that is granted to the All India Services based on length of service, the same Pay & Allowances be granted to personnel of the Armed Forces with corresponding length of service plus (+) X factor on account of risk attendant to Military Service.

3.2. Review of the present Allowances & Benefits to those bestowed with gallantry Medals, viz. like free air travel, etc. The cash awards to gallantry need to be increased substantially, to make the allowances & benefits meaningful.

3.3. Recommendations/Award by the 7thCPC must be unambiguous, ie. so worded that there is absolutely no room for any ambiguity that can be mis-interpreted by the those implementing the orders in Ministry of Defence and those providing financial concurrence in Ministry of Finance; a classic example being grant of ‘Rank Pay’ to Officers by the 4thCPC w.e.f 01.01.1986.

3.4. Every CPC has said that when it comes to Pay & Allowances, the personnel of the Armed Forces must enjoy a slight edge vis-à-vis All India Services. That being so, Grade Pay & Military Service Pay must be clubbed together with the Basic Pay, while fixing the new Pay Scales in respect of the Armed Forces’ personnel.

3.5. Rear Adm Alan O'Leary brought out that most of the anomalies in the last Pay Commission resulted because the Sixth CPC did not share their recommendations with the PARC, before submitting their report. Therefore he suggested, that this be done in the Seventh CPC, and their findings are shared with the Services Pay Cells, before the report is finalised.

4. Rear Admiral Alan O'Leary, sought another slot where a larger forum headed by Air Marshal Savur could also be present. This was not agreed to, as the Chairman stated, that owing to a paucity of time they could not give another slot. Furthermore, they would be meeting the Chiefs shortly, who had already conveyed their aspirations to the CPC and that they were severely hard pressed for time.

5. The same night however, Rear Admiral Alan O'Leary received a call from Mr Samir Sinha, that a member of the Seventh CPC, Mr Vivek Rae, would like to meet him the next day. Rear Adm Alan O'Leary contacted Mr Vivek Rae and a meeting was fixed with a larger forum of ESM at 1730 Hours.

6. On 25 Aug 14, the meeting commenced at about 1720 hrs. Lt Gen Kamat, RAdm O’Leary, Col Rajan, Air Mshl Savur and Col Srikantha Seshadri, (all retd, names in alphabetical order) met Shri Vivek Rae, Member, and Shri Jayant Sinha Joint Secretary 7th CPC & coordinator for Defence Services matters. The following points were placed before them for wider consultation and consideration: -

6.1. Pay

6.1.1. Pay for Armed Forces Officers should be determined at par with the AIS and Group A organised Services, as per length of service.

It was elucidated that in the Armed Forces the date of Commission is the date recorded for length of Service, whereas with the AIS, it is the date they join the Academy. The ESM proposed that the length of service needed to be rationalised in line with the practice followed by the Civil Services, as all Officers leaving the various Academies in the Armed Forces are Graduates and therefore their service could be counted from the date they pass out of these academies that could be stipulated. 

6.1.2. The so-called disparity in ages of joining respective services should not be a factor for debate or argument because the qualifications have been laid down by the Government of India i.e. the age group and minimum educational qualifications for All India Services and Defence Forces. Nevertheless, every cadet passing out of NDA is now a Graduate and CDSE requires only Graduates, just like for the All India Services.

6.1.3. While a Defence Services personnel –OR, JCO or Officer – may join at a younger age compared to their civilian counterparts, they also retire/get discharged/superannuate at lesser age(s) commensurate with the rank attained. On the other hand all civil services employees superannuate at 60 years of age, unless they choose to seek greener pastures earlier.

6.1.4. Ranks in the Armed Forces be delinked from the Warrant of Precedence, as there is no commonality with any civil service that have different hierarchical structures. The governing factor should be length of Service and that alone.

6.2. Allowances

6.2.1. Allowances should be at par with Civil Services employees i.e. if AIS are entitled to X allowance for service in an area, then the same amount of allowances should be the entitlement of Defence Personnel.

Also the date of commencement of new allowances for all class of employees, Civilians or Defence Forces would be the same.

6.2.2. For example Instructional allowances at a certain percentage is paid to Civil Services and similar allowances should be paid to Defence Forces personnel. It was suggested that Services HQ should identify the training institutions where this allowance would be applicable.

6.3. Non-Functional Upgradation

6.3.1. The ESM emphasised that there was no justification for Armed Forces Officers to be left out of NFU, that the Sixth CPC had granted to all AIS Officers and Group A organised Services. They reiterated that pay promotions would have absolutely no impact on the Command and Control equations that existed in the Armed Forces and this should be implemented from 1 Jan 2006.

6.3.2. The members of the 7th CPC were shown true typed copies of the MoD’s replies dated 08 Oct 13 and 30 Dec13 to RTI that MoD has reviewed recommendation by the Committee of Secretaries in respect of NFU for Defence Services officers and has “decided to wait” and that the NFU is under consideration of the Government and hence information cannot be shared, respectively.

6.3.3. Shri Rae desired that scanned copies of the MoD’s reply may be emailed to Shri Jayant Sinha, JS to 7 CPC & coordinator for Defence Services matter. The scanned copies have been mailed to Shri Jayant Sinha on 26 Aug 14.

The meeting ended at 1900 hrs.

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