Movment for Equal MSP to all Ranks of Army Navy Air Force : A Constitutional Provision

Movement in any field always initiated due to injustice with the community. Movement for Legitimate pension and pay of Retired Armed Forces has also been started in long back but the agitation leaded by JCOs/OR has been started in Feb 2023 at Jantar mantar and in other parts of the Country.

“Right to equality enshrined in our Constitution to be followed in letter and spirit by all citizens and constitutional bodies irrespective of social class including the Defence Forces.” Says veterans agitation at Jantar Mantar.

The Military Service Pay has been introduced to the Indian Armed forces for all ranks to address the unique challenges and hardships faced by Armed Forces personnel during their service. Considering the following aspects, MSP was introduced in the Indian Armed Forces as described below :

Risk and Hardship -: Military personnel often work in challenging environments, facing the risk of injury or death. They might be posted in conflict zones, high-altitude areas, or other inhospitable terrains. We often heard about the loss of life of our soldiers during various operations in J&K and North east Sectors. The extra pay compensates for these risks and hardships.

Operational Demands –  Soldiers are required to be ready for duty at all times. They can be called upon for active duty or emergency deployments without prior notice. Duty of soldiers is not an 8 hour shift duty.  They are on duty for 24 Hours not like an office duty of civilian employees. MSP acknowledges the unpredictable nature of military service.

Professionalism in Defence – Recognizing the military as a profession, MSP aligns the Indian Armed Forces’ pay structure with international standards. It acknowledges the unique skills, training, and dedication required for military service.

Retention and Morale – Offering additional financial incentives helps in retaining experienced and skilled personnel. It boosts morale and motivation among the troops, ensuring a higher level of commitment to their duties.

Attracting Talent  –  The introduction of MSP makes a career in the armed forces more attractive to potential recruits. The financial incentives serve as a pull factor, encouraging individuals to consider military service as a viable and rewarding career option.

Comparable Compensation  –  MSP brings the compensation of military personnel closer to that of their civilian counterparts in other government jobs. It ensures a fair and equitable pay structure for individuals serving in the armed forces.nature of work of a Civilian employee never can be equalised /compared with an Armed Forces Personnel.  Soldiers are always on duty even though during leave, they can be called off any time. 

It’s important to note that MSP is just one component of the overall compensation package for military personnel, which also includes basic pay, other allowances, and other benefits. The introduction of MSP helps in acknowledging and appreciating the sacrifices and challenges faced by military personnel in the line of duty.

OROP Arrears 3rd Instalment be paid this month ?

Now considering the above facts, it is transparently clear that the MSP is granted to the Military personnel for their unique nature of duty which involves risk and hardship.  So, the risk and hardship in an operational area or in the battle field is more to the Jawans than officers. During an operation or war, 90% of Jawans directly appear in the ground and risk of loss of life is 80% compared to only 20% officers participating in the active operations/war.  So, the risk of life is comparatively low for officers.  But the Govt has granted Rs 15,500/- (3 times more amount) as MSP to the officers, Rs 10,500/- (2 Times more) MSP to Nurses in comparison with only Rs. 5,200/- to the Jawans/JCOs. 

So friends, from the above facts, it is established that there are anomalies in grant of MSP to the Jawans/JCOs and the same has been reported to the Govt authority to remove disparity.  A case has been filed in the High Court of Chandigarh to get justice.  Thousands of retired Jawans and JCOs are in agitation since long  at Jantar Mantar to raise their voice.

The constitutional provision:  As per Article 14 of the Constitution of India, right to equality is to be established as the MSP is meant to cover the risk and hardship, the similar pay should be granted to all ranks of the Indian Armed Forces.

It has been analysed that the Nursing officers who rarely participate in any active operations are granted MSP Rs 10,500/-  though their life risk is very low in comparison with the Jawans/JCOs who are getting only Rs 5,200/- as MSP.

To bring parity in MSP is a long outstanding demand since its inception with the recommendation of 6th CPC and our govt has never heard or constituted any committee to resolve the issue.  Ignoring a legitimate demand is not a solution of a problem. 

Pay is definitely a motivational matter in any profession.  Service in defence forces  is also a profession besides sacrifice for  the nation.  Spo, boosting the morale of our Jawans, Govt should consider the alleged disparity in grant of MSP and all ranks should be granted equal amount of MSP as Commissioned officers are drawing MSP Rs. 15,500/- pm. 

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