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Sunday, 8 November 2015

From Today's Papers - 08 Nov 2015

Notification for Implementation of OROP Issued

The Government today issued the notification regarding  implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ in respect of Defence Forces  personnel.

Defence Forces of India have a rich history and tradition of bravery and gallantry. Defence forces have not only defend our borders with exemplary courage and valour but have also performed with fearless attitude and empathy in natural calamities and other trying circumstances. Government of India recognizes and respects their contribution.

The issue of One Rank One Pension was a long standing   demand. Defence Forces had been demanding it for almost four decades but the issue could not be resolved. However, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had made a commitment to implement it for the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Accordingly the Government had announced modalities for implementation of OROP on 05.09.2015.  The Government Order by Ministry of Defence, which could not be issued due to model code of conduct, has been issued today.

Salient features of the OROP as stated in the Order are as follows:

                     I.        To begin with, pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014.

                   II.        Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retiring in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service.

                  III.        Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected.

                 IV.        Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners, including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pensioners, and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment.

                  V.        In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.

4. Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their  own request under Rule 13(3)1(i)(b),13(3)1(iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rule 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively.

5. The Govt. has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months. 

6.    Detailed instructions along with tables indicating revised pension for each rank and each category, shall be issued separately for updation of pension and payment of arrears directly by Pension Disbursing Agencies.

The previous Government had made a budget announcement to implement the OROP and made a provision of Rs 500  Crore.   The present Government undertook the task earnestly and realized that the actual additional annual expenditure would be eight to ten thousand crore at present and will increase further in future.   Notwithstanding the financial constraints, true to its commitment the present Government has issued the Government order to implement the OROP in true spirit.

Sitanshu Kar/                                               
Govt issues OROP notification, ex-servicemen not impressed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 7
The Centre tonight issued a notification implementing ‘one rank one pension’ scheme for the retired armed forces personnel, but the ex-servicemen said it was not acceptable to them.

The notification comes a few days after some decorated veterans threatened to return their medals next week in protest against delay in OROP implementation.

Ministry of Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said pension would be revised every five years. The protesting ex-servicemen had demanded a revision every two years. The pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of the benefits being given to retirees of the calendar year 2013. The scheme will be effective from July 1, 2014.

The pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retiring in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service. The pension of those drawing above the average will be protected.

The arrears will be paid in four equal half-yearly installments. However, all family pensioners, including those getting special/liberalised pension, and gallantry awardees shall be paid arrears in one installment.  The government has also decided to appoint a judicial committee to look into the anomalies, if any, which would submit its report in six months. 

The issue of giving pension to those opting for premature retirement (PMR) has been settled, though it could have long-term repercussions. The notification says those opting to quit on their own request in the future would not be entitled to the scheme benefits. This shall be effective prospectively, meaning officers and jawans who took PMR in the past shall be benefitted but those opting for PMR now onwards would be excluded. It also means there will be fewer PMR applications, which may strain the existing housing and infrastructure as officers were likely to stay on.

Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd), Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, a body spearheading the OROP stir, said the notification “would not be acceptable”.
BrahMos missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Pokhran polygon in Indian state of Rajasthan, according to BrahMos Aerospace Limited.

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The Indian Army has successfully tested a BrahMos missile on ground targets, BrahMos Aerospace Limited said Saturday.

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The missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Pokhran polygon in Indian state of Rajasthan at 10:00 a.m. (04:30 GMT), and successfully hit the target.

The missile is produced by an India-Russia joint company BrahMos Aerospace, named after the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.

BrahMos is a short-range supersonic missile, which has been in use by the Indian Navy since 2005. The missile has a range of 180 miles and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 660 pounds.
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Clean Ganga's Army Task Force Captive to Red Tape

NEW DELHI: Almost a year after the proposal to raise four battalions of an Eco Task Force for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet ‘Clean Ganga’ campaign was made, the Ministry of Defence has yet to give its clearance to the Indian army to set up the force.

Last December, the Indian army had moved a proposal to raise four battalions of its Territorial Army named the Ganga Task Force. But the proposal is shuffling between the Ministry of Defence and the National Mission for Clean Ganga, which comes under the Ministry of Water Resources. “The Army is waiting for a nod from the government... After raising the battalions, these personnel need to be trained to handle complex water purifying plants,” said a source.

The battalions (one battalion has 1,000 men) will work under the directions of the Ministry of Water Resources. According to sources, the specially-trained engineers, environmentalists and scientists will form part of the battalions apart from skilled manpower. The Water Resources Ministry will provide funds and equipment like desalination plants and sewage treatment units to these battalions. They will also help in soil treatment along the banks of the Ganga to enhance fertility of land for agricultural purposes.

The Task Force will be responsible for planting of trees, strengthening of pollution monitoring mechanism and watch and ward for protection of bio-diversity.

According to officials privy to the development, the Eco Task Force of army’s retired officers and personnel will be deployed in all 54 districts of Ganga basin. It is also a move to generate employment opportunities for army personnel post-retirement.

The Territorial Army has expertise in improving the environment as it has eight specialised battalions known as Ecological Battalions engaged in the task. The Army claims that these units have done exceptionally well in turning the barren Aravali Hills around Delhi green. Many arid zones in Rajasthan now have forest cover due these battalions.

The Centre has prepared a plan spanning 18 years to clean the river with the Cabinet approving Rs 20,000 crore for the next five years for the mission.

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