It is well known that peaceful agitation of veterans is continuously active at Jantar Mantar since February of this year. Ministry of Defence has issued a clarification in July 2023 on the grievances and demands of various veterans organisations which is available in the website of DESW. The Defence ministry has ignored the grievances and anomalies showing the existing rules and regulation which has been formed by themselves only.
It should be noted that all the grievances and demands was against the discriminatory rules, regulations and policies formed by the MoD which is anti-Jawans, as termed by the veterans organisations.
The Veterans organisations have mentioned in an agitation programme on last Sunday in Haryana that the Govt authority has knowingly disposed off the grievances without any solution on anomalies of OROP, Discriminatory promotion policy – time bound promotion only for officers, triple rate of MSP for Officers by issuing a letter / not on 20 July 2023.
It is not unknown to the bureaucrats that the morale of soldiers is adversely affected if the veterans are deprived of their legitimate rights. A series of agitation programmes and ESM rallies will be continued until the govt considers the problems / anomalies with the policies related to pay, pension and promotion of Jawans judiciously.
Though the MoD has not shown any interest to talk to the veteran federation or any ESM organisations even after submission of numerous representations. No Committee has been formed till date to examine the demands of the veterans organisation. The disciplined veterans will now be on the roads of Capital Cities of India to show the agitation against injustice still continued with them. Some major demands of the veterans are here :
(a) ProperPension Revision under the Equal Pension for Equal length and service – The scheme implemented by the NDA Govt in 2015 with an aim to provide relief to the jawans who retire at very early age with a nominal amount of pension and no sufficient reemployment options are there for them in reality. However, it has been seen that the 70% Commissioned officers who usually retire after 56 years of age have benefited with a huge increase in their pension. Comparatively only 10% jawans/JCOs have been benefited with the Improved Pension scheme where the amount of increase is more than 10% of last pension.
So, it has been established from the statistical data analysis that the Improved pension has been implemented and the policy/modalities of fixation of pension has been formulated in order to give benefit to the so-called elite class only. Demand of the veterans is to fix the pension at the highest pension amount drawn by a veteran in the rank/service concerned as on the specific date to determine the improved pension which only may extend benefit to the jawans / JCOs only.
Commissioned officers are getting benefited because of the time bound promotion allowed to them only since 2002. As a result the pension of the retired officers is also fixed at too higher range and the average pension which is set as a matrix for OROP is also fixed at higher slab. Accordingly most of the officers who have been retired at least 10 years ago have benefitted with huge increases in their pension.
So, formula for fixation of OROP slab is also required to be different from the Commissioned Officer. To resolve the issue govt has only two options :
Option – 1 – Determine the OROP Pension table as per highest pension drawn by the veteran of any rank/service and not must NOT average the highest and lowest pension.
Option – 2 – Introduce Time Bound promotion as suggested below :
First Promotion after 3 years from Attestation – Nk
Second Promotion after 6 Years from attestation – Hav
Third Promotion after 13 Years from attestation – Nb Sub
Promotion scope to Commissioned Rank as proposed below :
No ACR criteria should be there for time bound promotion. Promotion to Sub (TS) for all after 24 years of service. MACP should be scrapped for defence personnel. Selection grade for Promotion to Sub – after 17 years of service, Sub Maj for all Subedars (Select) after 4 years in the Sub Rank. No Hony rank should be there. After 5 years of service in JCOs Cadre 3 chances should be given to them to become selected for SCO, PC/SL and Admin Offrs cadre through a written exam to be conducted by UPSC followed by SSB.
40% of Commissioned Officers post should be filled up by promotion from JCOs cadre. Post selection, a training for 1 year to be conducted at IMA for all such promoted officers. NCE should be recruited to perform all the tasks that can be done by a labourer – Ration Collection, Mess Working, Area Cleaning/Maintenance, Helper for Offrs etc. Curtail in the 20% of the Jawans at peace and field stations to be replaced by NCEs considering continuous work load and deployment of large no of jawans in adm work specifically for helper duty of officers family / officers Mess.
With the changing scenario of socio economic boundation, Dept of Defence of India should constitute a committee to examine the demand of the veteran Jawans./JCOs so that we can make a stronger Army to cater the requirement of the era.