Disparity in Pay and Pension : Why Time Bound Promotion Only for Offrs and MACP to JCOs OR ?

macp vs time bound promotion

The Ministry of Defence has issued a clarificatory note on the reply of the grievances related to disparity in OROP benefits and other other issues i.e discrimination in MSP, Promotion, Welfare etc.  In this article we will discuss the feedback received from the veterans regarding the major cause of OROP discrimination between Commissioned and others.

It is well known to all that the modality of fixation of pension as per SOP of OROP is to mean the amount of minimum and maximum pension drawing as on a cutoff date by the concerned rank/service.   Commissioned officers in general are promoted on the time bound promotion policy basis from 2002 after recommendation of the AV Singh Committee.  

Commissioned officers of the Indian Armed Forces have been promoted on a time-bound promotion policy basis since 2002, following the recommendations of the AV Singh Committee . This policy marked a significant shift in the promotion system for officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. Here’s a brief overview of this development:

AV Singh Committee and Improved Promotion

AV Singh Committee , officially known as the “One-Man Commission to Examine and Recommend Improvements in Promotion Policy and Procedures for the Officers of the Armed Forces,” was constituted in response to long-standing demands for a more transparent and equitable promotion system for officers.

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Implementation of A.V.Singh Committee Recommendations

The Ajay Vikram Singh Committee was constituted to make recommendation for restructuring of the officers’ cadre of the Army. With a view to reduce the age profile and supersession levels, and also to improve the vertical mobility in the Army, time scale promotion up to the rank of Colonel in the Army was approved on the basis of the recommendations of the Ajay Vikram Singh Committee. Similar benefits of time scale promotion up to the rank of Captain in Indian Navy and up to the rank of Group Captain in Air Force were also approved.

The recommendations relating to reduction- in qualifying service required for time scale promotions and introduction of Colonel Time Scale have been implemented. With the implementation of these recommendations, career progression of Army Officers up to the rank of Colonel has been significantly accelerated as illustrated below: 

RankPre-A.V.SinghCommittee (Recommendations Commissioned ServiceCurrent (Reckonable Commissioned Service
Captain0402
Major1006
Lt Col2013
ColNot available23

In addition to the above 750 posts of Lt. Colonels have been upgraded to that of Colonel.

Pension Systems of US Army and Indian Army Soldiers : A Comparative Study

Uniform nature of Time-bound promotions in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force are exclusively applicable to officers only. This facility is not applicable to other than commissioned officers i.e  non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and junior commissioned officers (JCOs). The promotion system for JCOs/OR depends on the availability of vacancies in regimental/Corps as per seniority list, passing promotion exams, fulfilling ACR  criteria and obviously disciplinary and medical fitness. 

On the other hand, the JCOs/OR have been placed in a scheme of career progression named MACP which ensures maximum three financial upgradation each after 8 years of service and such upgradation never follows the promotional hierarchy of the Regiment / wing of the Armed Forces.  Mostly, in 99.9% cases, benefit of MACP is equal to only One increment and total financial gain after availing one MACP is not more than Rs. 1500/- to a Sepoy/Nk/Hav   whereas  the time bound promotion to the Indian armed forces officers from Major/ equivalent rank  to Lt Col/equivalent rank involve only basic pay is  as described below :-

Major with total 12 years of service – Basic pay – Rs. 80,400/-
Lt Col with total 13 years of service – basic pay  – Rs 1,21,200/- 

Notable that the pay hike (Basic Pay only is 40,800/-)  including DA as on date it arrives ato approx Rs. 60,000/-

MACP Benefit Nk/Equivalent to Hav/Equivalent  is Equal to One increment i.e 3% of basic pay = Rs 989  approximately which can be assumed Rs 1000/-.

From the above illustration, it is proved that the career progression benefit extended to the Commissioned Officers is 41 times of a Jawan/Non commissioned/Junior Commissioned Offrs.  

Since no uniform rules of promotion are there for entire Armed Forces, promotion is not assured like officers.  Career Progression offered to JCOs/OR (MACP) is found to be not beneficial at all if compared with Commissioned Officers.  As a result, pay of a Nk with 18 Years of service who has been promoted after 16 Years of service  will be widely different from Nk with 18 Years of service who got promoted after 7 years of service.  So, the mean amount of  maximum and minimum pension of any rank/length of service is quite lower in comparison to Officers.  

To remove disparity in OROP benefit , govt may examine the promotion policy of Officers and PBOR.

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