Military & Aerospace

One Rank One Pension: an obligation to be fulfilled
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Issue Vol 26.1 Jan-Mar 2011 | Date : 19 Feb , 2014

In democracies, bureaucrats with their political masters run the show, and it matters little to them that the nation’s Armed Forces creates conditions to run that show in a secure environment. Democracy means civilian control over Armed Forces, but it is conveniently forgotten that ‘control’ demands including the Armed Forces in the decision matrix on anything that impacts the security of that democracy.

In India an immature political leadership controlled by extra constitutional power centres, has connived with a self-serving bureaucracy to make irresponsible and unaccountable use of the Armed Forces, and keeping them out of the decision matrix, even when military options are discussed. The Indian fauji has no political ambitions and eschews interference in governance at all levels. Concurrently our intelligence community have created a bogey about a military coup, exacerbating the exclusion of valuable military advice in decisions involving India’s security. This is tragic for our young nation, where despite coups all around us, we have a proven apolitical cadre of military personnel.

The disdain for Indian Armed Forces, consistently demonstrated by the politico-bureaucratic-extra constitutional combine, is translated into negation of a justified demand for One Rank One Pension, (OROP).

What has this to do with Pensions?

The Two Truths. The public is ignorant about two vital aspects. First the canard perpetrated by civil servants about military coups in India is neither discussed on TV nor written about in national/regional dailies, thus this travesty of truth remains hidden. Second, military personnel retire at a relative young age around 50 years; their civilian contemporaries retire at 60 years. It is critical that these two truths are stated in electronic & print media both regional and national to educate our population. When the possibility of Armed Forces staging a coup is ridiculed on TV and in print, then the politician cannot accept this theory. Sadly the media has failed the nation and our military in particular, by neglecting this issue.

…to mistreat and deliberately mismanage the issue of OROP is criminal with serious implications on both external and internal security of India.

Disregard & Disinterest. The so called upper classes, elite, bureaucrats/technocrats/business entrepreneurs/rich professionals couldn’t care less about what the faujis do, what they get, how they manage their affairs and such tiresome issues. When they are safe, secure and successful, the fauj is irrelevant. Whether the material and emotional wherewithal given to the fauji and his family is adequate for maintenance of national security and safety, is far from their minds. They pay taxes and expect the Govt to ensure their security to generate wealth for themselves and India. They are not to be blamed for this indifference, because our politico/bureaucratic/extra-constitutional power centres have encouraged disinterest about matters military.

Year after year no one seeks information about the Defence Budget, whether funds allocated are adequate, justified, commensurate to threats, or wasteful. The public has a very poor understanding of how threat is assessed i.e what are the inputs, who debate and determine the threat, and how it impacts each Indian man, woman and child. It is sadly of no concern to more than 95 percent of Indians. This is the biggest hurdle in the fauji getting anything justifiably due to him.

The 6th Pay Commission, controlled and configured by bureaucrats, has generated avertable bitterness between bureaucrats and military. Pensioner’s protesting across the country, returning medals, rallies, sparse articles in the odd national daily, with some TV exposure has created insignificant awareness, certainly not enough to convince the average Indian, that something is terribly wrong about our fauji’s pensions. Deplorably, no one is bothered. The fauji is not looking for sympathy, he does not need it. He wants the nation to understand why he is asking for OROP, not as a gift but a right.

The disdain for Indian Armed Forces, consistently demonstrated by the politico-bureaucratic-extra constitutional combine, is translated into negation of a justified demand for One Rank One Pension.

A Quick Perspective. Till the 60s, OROP was in vogue as Military Pension, and faujis got 65 percent of last pay because most had to retire in their late 40s/early 50s while civilians got 33 percent since all served up to 58 years. The 3rd PC abolished Military Pensions, reduced it to 50 percent, increased civil pensions to 50 percent, and added a proviso that to earn full pension a govt servant must serve for 33 years. Thus most military men seldom got full pension because very few could serve for 33 years, but the civil servants invariably got full pension because they served till the age of 58, getting them at least 33 years of service.

Look at the perfidy of this rule and the shabby treatment meted out to the Armed Forces? The Supreme Court has already declared that pension is, “delayed wages for services already rendered”. But look at it this way, Colonel Kapur who retired with 24 years of service at the age of 48 years in 1989, must get the same pension as Colonel Ghosh who retires today at the age of 50 years with 24 years of service. Why must Colonel Kapur have to beg for this, he is only seeking justice because he had to retire at a much younger age than his civilian contemporary who joined the IAS at the same time.

The civilian does not retire with only 24 years service at the age of 50 years, he carries on till the age of 60, and crosses that 33 year barrier. Recently the Supreme Court was constrained to rebuke the Govt for “treating soldiers like beggars”. Regrettably our media, so fond of sensationalism, has not cared to take up cudgels for the military, which provides and preserves that freedom of expression the media clamour for.

Enormous Numbers and who is Responsible?

The Numbers Are Staggering. The number of retired Officers and Other Ranks is large. Studies have shown that for every serving man/woman, the number of pensioners will soon double. Big standing Armed Forces is inescapable to defend our land, its coastline, air space and borders. Add to this the burden of keeping military manpower available for, taking over tasks of the para-military, disaster relief, mega national events etc. Looking at the politico-economic-adversarial relationship with our neighbours, the regional inter-se equations and our global ambitions, trimming the Armed Forces is not an option today.

…the fauji is not seeking what the IAS gets. He has no quarrel with what any other Govt servant gets. He wants what he justifiably deserves.

So What can be Done and Urgently? To ignore unhappiness among retired military personnel is undesirable, but to brush aside and snub disenchantment among the serving military forces is dangerously foolish. Which is why, even with an unblemished 63 year service record since independence, the equation between the military and civilian masters remains skewed against the military, with great possibility of greater disillusionment within the Armed Forces?

Who Got Us into This Condition? Who but the civilian leadership of India have brought us to this perilous state? Their acts of commission & omission have created a hostile environment within and around India, making it impossible to drastically decrease the size of our military just to cut the pension bill. So don’t blame the Armed Forces for the number of pensioners. Young men are enticed to join the Armed Forces because there is a pension, which is a big attraction. Our large population ensures multitude applications for few vacancies, and we get a voluntary military force that is exploited to the hilt by civilians, and then aborted like unwanted pregnancies at a young age. How long will this carry on?

The Indian military leadership has ensured loyalty, integrity and obedience from the rank and file, and will continue to do so. But to expect that leadership to maintain loyalty in the face of gross injustice is challenging the very roots of good military conduct and behaviour. Serving faujis will become pensioners one day, if they have misgivings about fair-mindedness of the system throughout their military service, somewhere, sometime, something will snap. India’s one billion people will not be able to contain the ill effects of such a breakdown. So there is urgency for remedy, clearly, truthfully. We may be running out of time, Indian governance cannot practice brinkmanship with its own Armed Forces.

What Justifies the Military Demanding One Rank One Pension?

Does Honour, Izzat, Life Threatening Occupation Matter? It has been said that izzat, honour, life threatening occupation are irrelevant to pension. Let’s accept it. A recent comment on TV equated the danger to a fire-fighter to that of a soldier fighting terrorists. Ridiculous as it is, one fact is indisputable; the fire does not shoot bullets nor lobs grenades, at the fire-fighter. Further comparison is unnecessary. Notwithstanding the truth that a fauji’s occupational hazard is far severe than all other’s, and he braves those hazards for izzat, camaraderie, and honour of his unit, let’s not consider this factor for granting OROP. It is incomprehensible by non-military persons.

 A Colonel who retires at 50 years will get a pension based on salary at retirement which will not be the maximum salary of a colonel. If he had served for till 60 years he would receive that maximum salary and get maximum pension of a Colonel.

Service Under Colours in the Forces. Being a force that demands high physical fitness, it is imperative that the average age of a serving officer or soldier is kept low. Most if not all, retire by the age of 50 years. Of the four lakh boys who aspire for NDA every six months, only 250 will enter the Academy. Of these 250 not more than 20, less than 10 percent will reach the rank of a Major General, equated to Joint Secretary in the IAS.

On the other hand, more than 85 percent of boys and girls joining the Lal Bahadur Academy for IAS probationers will become Joint Secy. While 80 percent of those 250 boys who joined NDA retire before 50 years, all IAS probationers are guaranteed service till 60 years. If a Colonel does not become a Brigadier, out he goes. If a Deputy Secy does not become a Director or Jt Secy, he continues as Deputy Secy till 60 years. Is this ‘civilian control over the military’? The injustice in this equation begs the question, how does this impact pension?

How Is Pension Amount Arrived At? Pension is based on last salary drawn, and depends on the actual years of service put in. In the Armed Forces (AF), there is a sliding scale of pay for every rank except the top two rungs. A Colonel who retires at 50 years will get a pension based on salary at retirement which will not be the maximum salary of a colonel. If he had served for till 60 years he would receive that maximum salary and get maximum pension of a Colonel. The IAS probationer, who say reaches the rank of Director, and does not get promoted, need not retire at 50 years as the Colonel has to. He remains a Director till the age of 60, by which time he gets maximum salary for a Director and so maximum pension for a Director.

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44 thoughts on “One Rank One Pension: an obligation to be fulfilled

  1. Sir, My JC No is JC- 761315M and I was retired on 28 Feb 2010 as Naib Sub store keeper technical after completion of 28 year service. Honorary rank of Subedar was given to me wef 01 Mar 2010.
    Sir I want to know that can I get some pension benefits of Subedar or get pension of Naib Subedar

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  3. Sir,
    The present BJP Govt under PM Modi ji had promised the exserviceman community to implement OROP after coming to power immediately. But since last 3 months passed they have not issued any Govt orders to PCDA / CGDA for imddiate implementation of the same while the defence and finance ministries both are with Mr Arun Jetly ji. In the interim budget speech Mr Chidmbaram honourable finance minister of then UPA Govt has decleared in the LOkasabha in the interim budget speech in Feb that OROP has been accepted in principle and will be implemented from next fiscal. Till now no orders, matter may please be taken to Govt notice through our EXSM Association in Delhi for early implementation please.

  4. dear sir , it was really a good article for 1 rank 1 pension , sir i want to know about the service periods of indian army , as it was going to inc. form 58 to 60 , would bery thankful if inform me

  5. It is definitely a Brilliant article ; Kudos to Gp capt AG Bewoor : he has forgotton to mention about the high state of corruption,in discipline,moral turpitude & the class devide between officers & men in the services, The officers think they are a superior class & men are meant to serve them, The ill treatment of men in Army & in Air force is a typical example , Majority of senior officers lack High educational qualifications,they are basically as someone said,…Atta,PT Parotha Type : Except their donkey’s years of service there is nothing to paint , Most of the senior officers, but for the service in Armed Forces, would have failed in civilian life miserably, They talk of dangerous/in hospitable living conditions in forward ares ! Who asked them to join??? The saying, one who is un-fit for anything joins armed forces seems to be really true : Ask any ranker in any force , he will tell you the actual story of his officers & will paint them in RED The Bureaucrat hass no repect for the senior defence officers,b’coz he knows, there is nothing in their UPPER STORY : There performane in the 1962 war,IPKF & their brutality in J&K, North East is well known: He is trying to play on the sympathy card of the readers without putting actual facts on record
    There is a real devde between the Army,Airforce & the Navy. The recent failed COUP attempt is a clear case in point

    • Hunsur,
      You don’t deserver to live in india.What profession are you in? I bet what ever it be i bet its less important then defence of our country.I wish you visit any army cantonment and , preferebly in WAR prone areas ,leh etc and you will see what army is doing for you.I am not in defense sector, but father served indian ARMY for 23 yrs.I am currently in a private JOB in IT industry and i see how i work day and night for a foreign client.To make money for them.My company pays taxes to govt , but doesn’t compare in any way to the benifits that we indians reap out of services provided by indian army. Get it this way there is no sector or service in india that we lead to total break down if it is closed for 1 day.IMAGINE !!! if indian army shuts down its operations for complete 1 day.. what will hapen ?? PAK will hoist their flag in delhi… this is what will happen… now digest that fact and show some humilty….
      SALUTE TO INDIAN ARMY !!!!!
      nothing matches the services they render.

  6. Sir .. PENSION , SALARIES & PROMOTIONS etc are Mother of all Corruptions in india ….I don’t think anyone is happy to serve the country ….Thats why there is no Success of the the country india on a world level … money and properties are all with Corrupt and foreign handed people in the country for last 100 years or so ..even after independance ..these same Rick of that time have their benefits of making political forts and looting the country even more … HOW CAN SUCH A PATHETIC SETUP OF THE COUNTRY make any success world wide ..its own citizens and not happy with anything ..NO JUSTIC SYSTEM ..NO LEADERSHIP ..NO INFRASTRUCTURE …what does this all indicate .. another 100 years of the ” SERVICE ” industry of india …. Thats it .. after all we are all Naukars of the Foreigners (british ,USA & at max. other Nato countires ) yet …. do you think there is anything else in entire Economy of India ( Economy supports & feeds the Defence forces also ) …… hardly anthing which is independent in india of today .. the British rule have been well established in 1945-50 Congress times …. not removed …….nothing else is actually there …which is totally made of india , from indian material and of indian inventions …Anything ?? ..lets hope such OROP schemes are well established and give some good returns to the country …At least our children will find themselves ..in a Better than hell country ……

  7. This is a brillant idea for an actual Centralisation of India to foray it to the republic of india level ….thanks for an excellent incite sir ..but the Corrupt people at the top echlons willnever let this but the entire government is made for serving the british and they keep on serving the british and the Foreign interests till date .. Who cares about the indian /bharatiya fauzi , deshbhakt or anyone from the native land …This is the work of the IAS/Civil servants of our country India ..that they have to get more and more revenue …& the view I am giving is from the top of indian Governance .. the work of Civil servant today is just to get more and more revenue for the country and in the country ..( From wherever ..u see FDI etc are just modes of this earning target to them ) ..This is the target of the Civil servants once they join the service ( This is a Target given to them from the politician bosses etc ) .. So Such an illicit Civilian force who also gets better salaries and safety benefits ( Bcos Defence & other paramilatary forces secure them all the time ) ..also get to have better pensions … Is this not a joke of Democracy in India or what ? … One who is giving life at the borders securing it and so on leaves back only 5000 Rs per month pension to his family.. & gets a Postumous ( Showoff ) medal or so …….& On the other hand .. the civilian Officers ( IAS etc ) serving the political brass for Money milage in the name of Nation building gets 1 lakh Rs per month after retirement as a Pension benefit & 30-40 Lakh Rs of illicit assets all from his political & government service contacts & contracts & so on …. for his so called excellent service to gather so called more money to the country ( by FDI & other means which is not nations money its is still the Foreigners money but who can make them understand ??? ) …What can happen in such a country … I don’t think the political-bureaucratic regime in india will let this happen at all

  8. Well convincing write up. It needs to be transmitted to all the national and regional newspapers published in English and regional languages through their e.mail address. Then Nation will understand.

  9. These Babus have destroyed the morale of the armed forces….! In fact, they are propagating a notion that since india is a nuclear power, it is not necessary to put too much of money into the Indian armed forces……! The question is, if Indian border is threatened, then will these babus go and defend india…..? No…..of course not……..they are just pen pushers, who are dictating the outcome of the lives of millions of Indians….

  10. Gp Capt AG Bewood has written a well researched article and he might have put lot of efforts to garner the data he has eloborated. I salute him for his wonderful work. I feel he should have given copies of this article to news papers so that it is read by all concerned as this source is limited to few only. Otherside of the story, lot of work is required to ractify problems of ex-servicemen by GOI. Retired defence persons need to be looked after but solutions seems – Go to courts and claim your entitlement. What happended in case of Rank Pay?. Likewise OROP should be wef 01 Jan 2006 and not from 24 Sep 2012. Time will tell, it will be paid later by courts and not by GOI now.

  11. Dear Sir,
    I think, some day Prez of U S or Washington Post daily would cite some thing about us and our Govt would react on OROP, as in the recent past we did experience few major steps to defend Non-performance by Indian P M.
    Regards.

  12. Sir,

    I was discharged from army after completion of 24 years servixe in “Y” group.
    please inform us my one rank pension. Contact NO _ 9838875368

    Thanking you.
    Jitendra Bahadur Singh

  13. sir. I ex army person,NK/D,MAN FD Hoshiyarsingh,Engineers gorups.
    Retired from indian army after 19 years 10 month 16 day of service in 31 jan 2001,plz. you total info my pension……………cont. 9198295317.
    thanks
    hoshiyarsingh

  14. Dear Gp Capt. A. G. Bewoor,
    thank you for a very clear picture on one rank one pay. Before reading your treatise I believed the ex servicemen were being greedy. Now I see the danger this poses on serving soldiers.

    Our politicians have no clue of governance. That 30% of MP’s are with criminal cases and each was favoured by a political party makes our Lok Sabha a don’s den not a temple of law. IAS is no more than a bunch of “mug pots” who score the marks by roting through Coaching. Rightfully called “Babus” nothing more than highly paid clerks. With decision makers the “Officer & gentleman” approach of Ex Servicemen will not achieve anything.

    Neta understands only votes. For that he embraces even criminals. remember Phoolan Devi a murderer was an MP???? ?I humbly suggest Ex Servicemen must combine and make a Vote Bank that will make the Neta come to you. Each Ex Servicean has at least 4 immediate family mmbers and 10 extended family and 20 friends. This is a large Vote Bank albeit dispersed all over the parliamentry constituencies. Noine the less thsi will awaken the neta of the most stupid kind.

    My father-in-law Late Maj. M.A. Subhan retd was a pioneer in the One rank One pay efforts. My husband Cdr. M.A. Raihan. SC. IN. Retd now continues efforrts his father started.

    JAI HIND.
    JAI FAUJI.

  15. Group Captain Bewoor has done a wonderful job in putting this facts together. This article should be published in all Indian newspapers and discussed on TV

    A copy of this should be given to each and every serving officer, Soldier, Airmen and sailor and other uniformed services person ( Coast guard, BSF and policemen)

  16. I have some questions :

    Q 1 – During war will it be okey to say ? – Hay ememy wait; I will resume my fight with you after 16 hours as I am paid for 8 hrs salary only as my other counter parts like IPS/IAS and rest of the govt employees.

    Q. Will our enemy listen to this?

    Q Will this nation aford this pattern of warfare to protect the motherland?

    My job responsibilities were always for 24 hours. I served for 28 years and did not recive my salary for 16 hours a day or 56 years or means this was overtime and should get double the salary means 2 x 56 = 112 years.

    My first demand the this nation is pay me 112 years salary with interest.
    My Second demand is One Rank one Pension.

    Lets get united and demand our legitimate arrears.

    regards – devendra

  17. Sir,
    You have brought out the relevant aspects in brief. Thanks for this write up. I wish that each and every officer who reads it should forward it to all others including civilians known to him, so that the public in general should also know about these facts.
    In today’s world what matters most is the bargaining power, which can only be achieved through solidarity. I wish and pray that all the uniformed persons be those officers or other ranks must come under one flag. The sooner its achieved the better it shall be.
    Myself and my younger brother are from NDA, joining of which was considered to be a big acievement. Today let the govt carry out a survey and find out how many children of armed forces forces officers have selected armed forces as their career or how may daughter s have opted to marry armed forces as career. Alas! none from the persons I know of..
    Will the Govt and the country allow the situation to deteriorate so much to the extent that it becomes irreversible and the country at large suffers when there shall be a real need of persons of great moral values.
    I wish and pray that the politicans and the govt as such will understand this aspect, failure to do so shall be at the cost of compromising the very existance of the nation and it’s people.
    Govt. must not forget the Chanakya’s word that ‘The day the soldiers have to demand for thier rights it will be the beginning of dooms day for the king’
    May God Bless India. Jai Bharat

  18. When any discussion starts about benefits of soldiers, evryone talks about officer cadre benefits, rarely being talked about JCO/ORs. What if one soldier gets group d scale after 20 years just think about it.

  19. Dear Sirs, The corrupt system of this country and the corrupt politicians can never give justice to the defense people regarding one rank one pension, because we are disciplined and Nationalists, that is why these groups to LOTTO this country like their own property in the shelter of so called Democracy, gets certificate from Janta for five years by votes.I feel We ESM”s are fool, crying like a child for orop, why we should cry? We got disciplined power in our hand, we are empowered to do what ever we feel like to do within no time.Its a matter to think in the interest of the Nation. We defense people can not become a watch Dog to protect their corruption deals? A MP draw Rs.60,95,000/- Lacs approx, per year ( having no qualification ), their salaries are hiked more than 200%,even than few MP’s are not happy, Why ? 543 MP’s of Lok Sabha, five years National expenditure for them come to Rs. 1654 corers plus could make their lives livable and lotto this country, Why ? Leaders of ESM’s have to review the action plan for this long pending demand, the new plan & rout to the Aim to achieve.
    With Regards
    Dr Amar Singh Yadav ( Retd JCO Arty )
    A Nationalist

  20. Respected sir,
    Thanks for such a good article. Why can’t the Politicians understand our right demand , Even enough media coverage is not given, For which our Ex-SM associations should take Matter to every where, when ever big rallies are held all over country so that political press-or develops. Only way to wake-up our government is vote and that can be done by ESM, That too when our Top Brass come forward for this matter. Once again Thanks for your efforts.

    EX-SGT CHANDAN NETRA FROM 17 SQN

    • Kindly do let me know whats up in same rank same pension because my father was in service and he is no more now and we are having a family pension. I would be very grateful to you.

      Thanks & Regards.
      sanjay sharma

  21. Sir, Rightly said and aptly put forward. Why cannot the Polticians, Indian Public understand it. No media coverage is given too the reight demands of Indian Veterans by them. Hope to see these type of articles and views by the media. Or they will wake up only when war stars on the Borders.
    Yours faithfully
    Tukaram V Manerajurikar
    Ex-Sgt. CLK/PA, 646160, IAF

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