L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Centre must rectify pay anomalies

Our bureaucrats and politicians have never appreciated the importance of a soldier’s professional pride, working ethos and exclusive service conditions. The disparity in pay bands is glaring. While a Lieutenant-Colonel, the cutting edge of the force, is retained in band 3, his counterpart IAS Director is quietly eased into band 4, with a huge responding monetary loss to the soldier. All Directors-General of Police are now placed above Lieutenants-General in the Higher Administrative Grade. This exemplifies the government’s total lack of concern for our soldiery.

Why not let the bureaucrats man the borders at 20,000 feet or why not the Sixth Pay Commission members go to Siachin to experience things for themselves? Intentionally, no representative of the Services is ever put in the Pay Commission. How can the Services be ever treated on a par with the police? Why have an Army at all when our babus, sitting in AC chambers, can do the job for us? Better still, let them take over from the three Service Chiefs (who had the gumption to recently take up the Services’ concerns with the Defence Minister) and run the country?

A drop in the order of precedence and respect within civil society does not augur well for a nation faced with threats on the borders and within. It is time our netas, babus and a section of the media understood that the soldiers are not beggars and will fight to ensure their legitimate rights, dignity and pay and pension packages in proportion to the services rendered by them to the nation and in line with what is being afforded to the IAS.

Maj-Gen HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd), Chandigarh



It is surprising that the glaring anomalies in the pay fixation of Lieutenant-Colonel and Lieutenant-General, pointed out by the three Service Chiefs, are being objected to by the Finance Ministry. Why are they strengthening the belief of serving and veteran defence personnel and also the youth that the military is being mistreated and discriminated?

Over 19,000 and their equivalent in the Navy and the Air Force, who are working in the most hazardous conditions at the cutting edge of the defence forces, have been ignored by the Cabinet which cleared the Pay Commission recommendations. Does the government know the extent of damage it will inflict on the country’s defence forces?

I appeal to the government not to lower the status of the Lieutenant-General. The officers of this rank have to function in a much larger area both for external and internal threats and let the equations between the defence services and civilian counterparts be not lowered any further. Instead, the equation needs to be corrected and restored to what existed in 1947.

A civilian officer who was equivalent to a Major is now equivalent to a Major-General. This steep lowering of status is grievously unacceptable to the defence forces personnel. The soldiers who lay down their lives to protect and strengthen democracy and are the last resort of the nation in natural and manmade calamities are being mercilessly downgraded and mistreated.

We appeal to the people to support our just and fair cause by raising the issue at all forums and request the government to accept the genuine demands of the defence services, serving and retired. The Prime Minister and the Defence Minister should give serious consideration to the genuine request of the three Service Chiefs and correct serious anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission Report.

Maj-Gen SATBIR SINGH (retd), Gurgaon

Check malpractice

Haryana leads in education leaving Punjab far behind. The standard of education has fallen in Punjab’s rural schools. Model schools have risen and are increasing their student strength by providing facilities like benches, cold water, safe and leak-proof school buildings. Compare this with government schools — leaky classrooms, no benches and children sitting on bricks or polybags.

The strength of teachers in government schools is much more than required as compared to students. According to the government, the teacher-student ratio is 1:40, but classes have been distributed to save the teacher in a 1:25 ratio. Teachers have been allotted timetable for the whole day, but students are forced to leave the school after recess. Some schools have science teachers but fictitious entries of students are made to run their groups.

In some schools, teachers pay the tuition/admission fee. Under the Mid-day Meal programme, teachers prepare items of their choice and don’t follow the prescribed menu. The DEO (Primary Schools) should make surprise inspection to check this malpractice.

MUSKAN KAUR,  Nurpur Sethan (Ferozepur)

Drop at Jawali

Jawali is a fast expanding town. All private buses including the HRTC’s Shimla-Pathankot bus drop the passengers at Kehrian Chowk and not at the Jawali bus stand. This makes the plight of senior citizens and women miserable, particularly during odd hours.

Secondly, there is no direct bus from Jawali to Chandigarh via Bharmar-Rehan or Merapali. The Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister should look into these problems and do the needful.




SIMI’s role exposed

SIMI, the heirs to Islamic terrorism, is a home-grown product of genetic manifestation clandestinely nurtured through the strong inputs and involvement of Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the ISI and other outfits.

Your Roving Editor Man Mohan’s series on SIMI was well documented and researched. It brings to the fore the well laid-out game plan of the perpetrators, proving irrevocably once again SIMI’s role from “suspicion to solid certainty”. Those who talk of their innocence need to be shown the mirror.

B.M. SINGH, Brockville (Canada)


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Classified Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |