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Armed forces facing neglect

Arvind Kejriwal highlighted the plight of an NSG commando who was labelled medically disabled because of injuries sustained in the 26/11 pogrom in Mumbai and hence was deprived of pension money and other benefits. Similarly, the plight of lakhs of soldiers and their families and widows has been overlooked. All our missives to the President, Prime minister and UPA Chairperson for the last five years have evoked no response whatsoever.

Government inaction related to affairs of veterans and ex-servicemen indicates an institutional indifference and perhaps willful design that is both alarming and demotivating. Consider the following: A Major General draws pension lower than that of a Lieutenant Colonel- three ranks lower in the hierarchy; A Havildar is drawing pension less than that of a jawan, which is a much junior rank; A Lieutenant General draws almost the same pension as a Colonel or a Brigadier, ranks that are junior.  

While all central government employees have been given three Assured Career Progressions by the 6th Central Pay Commission, the same has been denied to a soldier who is compulsorily retired after 15 – 17 years of service. Defence personnel are authorised Assured Career Progression after upto 8, 16, 24 years of service. 

Widows of defence personnel are invariably left out of accretions in pensions announced for JCO/OR.

An amazing number of 39 serious anomalies have arisen in the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission causing grave injustice to the defence personnel in their status and thus inter-se equation with other central services, pay and pensions.

The ‘rank pay’ awarded holistically by the Fourth Pay Commission, despite a recent court order has not been implemented. A recent announcement of an increase in the pensions of defence forces is being claimed by the government to be a grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP), whereas, it is a partial eradication of a deliberate mistake in implementation of the 6th CPC award. The government seems to have taken a fancy for contesting all judicial orders and rulings favouring defence veterans.

Maj-Gen SATBIR SINGH (retd), via e-mail

Professional farming

It seems time is ripe for all round development of India’s emergence with professionalism in agriculture, the back bone of the nation, coming to the fore (news item “Pranab wants rethink on agriculture policy”, November 28). The food processing move has come up with appreciable enthusiasm atleast in Punjab, the food bowl of India so far and Public Private Participation (PPP) in food processing may work as a good arrangement.

Food processing, a good reformation in the agricultural field besides being a remedy for avoiding wastage, seems to have come as a boon for the nation in general and farmers in particular. However, how we channelise our enthusiasm in this field through sincere indulgence and dedicated endeavours, of course holds the key to success. It is an appropriate time to give practical shape to the contributions of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).  After the Green Revolution and the White Revolution, now food processing may bring a new revolution in food management.


Road safety teams

There are far too many serious accidents occurring on our roads, resulting in loss of innocent lives and grievous injuries. The common causes of accidents are well known and strict  enforcement of  traffic rules is the primary requirement. The traffic police alone cannot check carelessness on roads. It is high time we constitute separate safety teams consisting of traffic police, road engineers, traffic experts, psychologists, paramedics, etc. The team can be headed may be by a Chief Parliamentary Secretary to thoroughly analyse the repeat type accidents occurring due to various factors, like location, vehicle type, road layout, traffic density, parking facilities, speed , traffic signals, driver category, weather conditions and so on.

The team’s suggestions must be implemented to put a check on the spate of avoidable accidents on our roads. There should also be an intensive campaign in the media towards prevention of road accidents.



Catchy slogans on roadsides do help in controlling speed by their witty sarcasm. Some of them read ‘Drive fast & meet Death’,  ‘Better reach home late than reach hospitals early’, ‘Drive slow, Doctors are on Strike’, ‘Reach in peace, not in pieces’, ‘Someone is waiting for you at home’ are some of the few examples which do have an impact on the rash drivers.

Jagvir Goyal’s middle ‘Careful’ driving times was as catchy as these one-liners. It had a meaningful message for all who drive without care and risk their lives by using mobile phones while driving and risk other precious lives too.


Mischief mongers

The issuing of e-passports by China to its citizens (Editorial ‘China does it again’, November 26) with a map showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin areas of India as Chinese territory after its earlier attempt to issue stapled visas to Indian visitors from J&K in 2010, clearly indicates that China has some intriguing hidden agenda.

India’s reaction of stamping Chinese visas has conveyed the right signal that China should not see India as it was in 1962. The international border violations by the Chinese army in Arunachal Pradesh in the past and its activities in Nepal and later in PoK appear to be part of a bigger gameplan.

Such mischief by the Chinese is not likely to augur well for the forthcoming border talks between India and China in Beijing this December, besides adversely affecting relations with India. India should not take such adventurous behaviour of the Chinese lightly and react in a befitting manner.




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