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Saturday, 20 September 2008

From Today's Papers - 20 Sep













Antony favours armed forces, wants anomalies in Sixth CPC sorted out
http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/17837

ANI

New Delhi

Fri, 19 Sep 2008:

New Delhi, Sep 19 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony has strongly favoured sorting out of "anomalies" in the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) notification raised by the three services chiefs in their representation to the government.

In his latest letter to Finance Minister P Chidambaram this week, Anny raised the issues, including the ones relating to Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBORs), top Defence Ministry sources said in New Delhi on Friday.


"Yes, the Defence Minister has written a letter to the Finance Minister in which he has raised certain issues relating to the disparities that has crept into the pay commission notification," the sources confirmed.

Among the issues raised by Antony was the one relating to the "extant pensionary weightage" and sought that it be restored till the time the proposal for lateral entry for them into paramilitary and central police forces was approved and implemented.

Under the Sixth CPC proposal, the PBORs are to be given an opportunity for lateral entry into the paramilitary and central police forces, but they would forego 50 per cent of their pension calculated on the basis of their last drawn pay at retirement.

But the government is yet to approve the proposal for lateral entry, which has led to a situation where the PBORs lose out both on re-employment and pension fronts.

Most PBORs retire at a relatively young age of about 35 years, after putting in about 15 to 17 years of service in the armed forces, a move aimed at keeping the fighting force young. (ANI)

Better deal for disabled servicemen
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The senior-most bureaucrat, the cabinet secretary, and the three service chiefs have been traditionally placed in the same pay grade. But were they to be disabled in service, the compensatory pension for the cabinet secretary was four times more that those for men in uniform. The situation was similar down the line except for the lowest ranks.

The wide disparity existing in the rates of disability pension admissible to military and civilian employees is now set to charge with a few formula introduced by the Sixth Pay Commission for grant of disability pension to armed forces personnel.

The Sixth Pay Commission has directed that the disability element of the pension for armed forces personnel would be a fixed percentage of the basic pay, similar to the system followed for civilian employees. It would be 30 per cent of basic pay for 100 per cent disability, with a minimum of Rs 3,100 as the disability element for 100 per cent disability.

The percentage would be lower for lesser disability and this is still to be worked out. There would be a different percentage system for calculation of disability element in case of operational or war injuries.

Prior to the Sixth Pay Commission, if a service chief got disabled, he would have got a maximum of only Rs 2,600 as disability pension, whereas his counterpart, the cabinet secretary, would have got around Rs 10,000.

Till now there had been fixed amounts of disability pension for armed forces personnel, with a maximum of Rs 2,600 for officers, Rs 1,900 for JCOs and Rs 1,500 for other ranks. Civilian employees, on the other hand were entitled to 30 per cent of basic pay drawn as 100 per cent disability pension.

Ex-servicemen had often argued that the earlier meagre rates of disability pension had made it difficult to sustain the livelihood of the injured serviceman and his family. Moreover, it was unconstitutional to fix different rates for similarly placed persons, thereby putting those at higher risk at a disadvantage," they contended.

In fact, Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence had earlier taken serious note of the low disability pension being paid to armed forces personnel who were injured while in service. The committee, while seeking suitable revision in the rate of disability pension, had recommended pension equivalent to the last pay drawn in cases of 100 per cent disability.

The committee had recommended a formula in the cases of disability pension be worked out so as to provide pension-cum-disability pension equal to the last pay drawn to 100 per cent disabled service personnel.


Pakistani troops fire at Indian post along LoC in Poonch
News Agency of Kashmir 9/19/2008 10:54:13 PM

Poonch, Sept 19 (NAK): Yet another cease fire violation has been reported in Sabzian Sub-sector of Poonch border district of Jammu and Kashmir, here last night.

When contacted PRO defence an official spokesperson of Ministry of defence told News Agency of Kashmir that no details have been furnished by the army authorities to his office thus refused to comment.

Informed sources claim that fire shot from both sides were reported and the nearby villages took the incident as militant attack on the army picket as the vehicles were on move through out the night.

Reports based on intelligence inputs said that this is thirty fourth time since January this year that cease fire violation has been reported from Pakistan side. Pakistani army, however, has been continuously denying the reports of cease fire violation, despite of the fact that four Pakistani soldiers were reported to have been killed in cross LoC fire in recent past.

However army authorities were tight lipped and no officer could be contacted who can confirm the details of cease-fire violation, as the only medium of information is said to be the PRO defence who refused to comment on the issue claiming that no information has been furnished to his office.

Sources said that Pakistani troops from 'KALU KI DARI' last night fired about 200 rounds of UMG and 4 RPG's on CRP Post in Sabzian Sub-sector of Poonch on Indian side.

"No loss of life or injury has been reported so far" sources said, adding, that the firing continued for more than two hours.

"Pakistani troops fire on our forward post Copra in Sabzian sector of Poonch district last night," a senior army officer wishing anonymity told News Agency of Kashmir adding Indian army maintained restraint and did not retaliate.

"The infiltration bid can not be ruled out" he said and maintained that the militants usually infiltrate under cover of fire. He said that about 120 such bids this year have been reported so far.

If sources are to be believed the firing continued for hours together. Before three day one of the vehicle belonged to Signal regiment was also targeted with HMG bullets from other side. (NAK)


Admiral Mehta calls for eternal vigil to protect arsenals


ANI

Kochi

Fri, 19 Sep 2008:

Kochi, Sep 19 (ANI): Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta today said that the country's "adversaries" are resorting to asymmetric form of warfare, targeting arsenals and called for eternal vigil to protect sensitive installations.

"Our adversaries are increasingly resorting to asymmetric forms of warfare anthese include attacks on sensitive establishments in peace," he said after inaugurating the Golden Jubilee celebration of Naval Armament Depot at nearby Aluva.

"In these uncertain and turbulent times accentuated by the fragile geopolitical scenario in our neighbourhood, our armament depots need to invest even greater efforts in ensuring the safety and security of our ammunition and explosives," Admiral Mehta added.

Stressing the need to be vigil at all times, he said: "I urge all of you to focus on physical security of our depots as a key result area."

"No precaution is too elaborate and no safeguard is ever too excessive when it comes to ensuring the correct handling and preparation of explosives," said Admiral Mehta, adding that this is the duty of each and every member of the depot because even one weak link is enough to cause a catastrophe.

Preparation of expired explosives for dumping at sea is another key responsibility of our depots and "this is also an area where we must exercise meticulous care," he said. (ANI)


IAF's aerobatics enthrall Nagpur spectators


ANI

Nagpur

Fri, 19 Sep 2008:

Nagpur, Sept 19 (ANI): Indian Air Force (IAF) planes enthralled spectators with their dazzling aerobatic maneuvers in an air show organised in Nagpur today.

Hundreds of people including students from various schools of the city gathered to watch the swashbuckling show featuring IAF aerobatic team Surya ran (Ray of Light).

The formation of three planes with tails oozing out smoke creating virtual colours of the flag in the sky earned loud applause from the spectators.

IAF officers said the show is intended not only to entertain spectators but also to educate the young generation about the air force.

"The main aim of today's nine aircraft display was to show the skills of the IAF before the people of Nagpur. We also intend to motivate young people and students to join the defence services," said J.K.Kurian, Wing Commander, IAF.

The students, who came to watch the show, described it as majestic. Apart from aerobatics, Para jumpers of the IAF demonstrated their precision skills during the show.

The IAF holds many air shows and exhibitions across the country on different occasions to create an awareness among people about the glory of the defence services. (ANI)


Soldiers, not warriors

http://pragmatic.nationalinterest.in/2008/09/19/soldiers-not-warriors/

Previous post on the subject - Indian Army: Image & reality (http://pragmatic.nationalinterest.in/2008/02/06/indian-army-image-reality/)

While the Indian army continues to label its soldiers apathetically as PBOR (Personnel Below Officers Rank), the IAF has rechristened them as Air Warriors. Robert Bateman explains the concept of a warrior and why professional soldiers can not be warriors.

The bottom line is that a real “warrior” is really just about himself.

Indeed, the key difference between a Soldier (or a Marine, or an Airman) and a “warrior” is almost that simple. A serviceman does his job as a part of a complex human system, he does so with discipline and selflessness as his hallmarks. Courage also matters, of course, but it is but one of several values that are needed. The serviceman is the product of a Western society which, while it values individualism intrinsically, values subordination in pursuit of a collective objective as well. A warrior, on the other hand, is the product of a culture or subculture which is essentially purely honor-driven. That is not a good thing.

In an honor culture, you see, the behaviors of individuals are driven almost exclusively by the need to gain and then to protect, their personal honor. Honor is seen as not necessarily being the product of living a decent life, as it is here in the West. Instead, in an honor culture honor is seen as a commodity. Honor is an almost material thing which must be accumulated. It can only be won by action. And because it is a commodity, it can also be taken away. In both cases this is an individual’s responsibility, he must gather honor as he can, and he must defend both his own honor and the honor of his family.

…Thus, in an honor culture if your daughter or your sister have “brought dishonor” to your family, you could see it as a taking away of some of that commodity. In several honor-based cultures it is then up to the males in the family (those charged with defending that family honor) to collect the honor back, quite often by killing those who took the honor away. Similarly, if you are a male in such a society and an individual has done something which seems to slight your honor, you have to try to kill him to defend that honor. This also means that, in a military context, discipline, organization and coordination and cooperation are much less valued than is, say, personal courage shown in the face of danger. (Think of the Native American warrior practice known as “counting coup.”) This is because there is no honor to be collected from doing good maintenance or performing well as a team. Only individual feats and acts can bring honor, and those must be witnessed, and this is what motivates the “warrior.” That is the difference between “warriors” and “soldiers,”…[Intel Dump]

It is correct that the Indian military is not at the extreme fringes of the “honour-warrior” culture, as some of the other mediaeval societies in the middle east or even in Pakistan are. However in the Indian defence services, there is a tendency to glorify, reward and project individual acts of outstanding gallantry, at the cost of similar exposure to outstanding processes, systems and procedures which are the bedrock of an efficient military organisation. This shift in focus is not conducive for the growth of a professional military culture.

It is not merely about the usage of the right word. It is also about the connotations and hidden meanings of the official nomenclature. The PBOR may be politically incorrect, discriminatory and loaded but the warrior is also not the right choice to describe a professional soldier. A professional military has to have professional soldiers in its ranks - neither warriors nor PBOR.

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