Team Anna charges 15 UPA ministers with corruption

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Team Anna has accused 15 UPA government ministers including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram, of corruption.
Team Anna launched a scathing attack against the UPA government for failing to pass the Lokapal Bill and served a fresh ultimatum to the PM to meet their demands or face another agitation on July 25.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the anti-corruption crusaders alleged that since 15 out of 34 cabinet ministers had serious corruption charges against them, they would not allow Lokpal Bill to be passed.

Corrupted ministers in UPA: Team Anna
“There are serious allegations of corruption against PM, Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram,  Vilasrao Deshmukh, Kamal Nath, Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal, Farooq Abdullah, SM Krishna, GK Vasan, Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar, they will not allow a strong Lokpal,” alleged Prashant Bhushan.

“Several top party functionaries such as Mulayam Singh, Lalu Yadav and Jayalalithaa have been involved in scams, they will never allow Lokapal Bill to be passed”, echoed Kejriwal.

The team urged the Prime Minister to initiate the formation of a Special Investigative Team to probe charges against the 15 corrupt ministers within six months.
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Government in agreement on 'one rank one pension': Army chief

, by indianmilitaryveterans

MADHYA PRADESH: The Centre has given in-principle approval to the 'one rank one pension' demand of ex-servicemen, Chief of Army Staff General V K Singh said today.

"I have written twice to the central government on the issue of one rank one pension and it has agreed to it in principle," he said while addressing a rally of ex-servicemen at Mahar Regiment Centre Ground in MP.


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Government will consider One Rank One Pension scheme in 2 months: VK Singh

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Govt to consider One Rank One Pension

Dharmashala: With the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence giving its nod on the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme, the decision on the much awaited demand is likely to be taken in next two months said Army Chief VK Singh. The proposal will put a financial burden of Rs 1300 crore on the exchequer.

Addressing the ex-servicemen league here on Friday, Singh said a team has been constituted to solve the pension issue. The team has been asked to visit door to door in each state added Singh.

The ex-servicemen got benefit of Rs 22 crore and the drive will be launched in the entire country added the Army Chief informing that an organic pilot scheme has been started in Jaipur.

Echoing the demand of increasing quota from Himachal Pradesh, BK Singh said about 7.5 lakh army men belonging to the state are contributing their services to the nation.  

Fifteen ECHS facilities will be extended to the ex-servicemen in the state informed the Army Chief. Jobs will be provided to the ex-servicemen through Army Placement Services scheme opined Singh.  

The Army Chief requested the ex-servicemen to make a call on toll free number 1800116644 to deal with their problems. 
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Army cautions against concessions on Siachen

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Army cautions against concessions on Siachen
Rules out any demilitarisation of the world’s highest battlefield
Arun Joshi/TNS

Jammu, May 26
The Indian Army has cautioned the Central Government against falling into any trap of Pakistan on the Siachen glacier. It has re-asserted its stand it would not move any of its men or machines from Siachen glacier, ruling out any demilitarisation from the highest battle ground of the world.

The Army regards Siachen, standing at a height of 21,000 ft, as its high-value strategic asset and believes that any diplomatic mis-step would work to the advantage of Pakistan and China.

Notwithstanding the plea of Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ahead of the June 10-11 India-Pakistan talks on Siachen, that the glacier be demilitarised, the Indian army is not convinced by any of the arguments forwarded by him.

His plea had come in the wake of the killing of 140 or more Pakistani soldiers in an avalanche last month.

The weather and terrain are more lethal than guns of Pakistani soldiers, which, in any case, are silent now for nine years following November 26, 2003 ceasefire on borders, including the glacier. The Army has made a fresh assessment of the situation and said a firm no to the Pakistani proposal unless Islamabad agrees to Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) on the glacier.

“Essentially, this is because of the trust deficit,” Army Chief Gen V K Singh told a TV channel yesterday.

He also disclosed that Pakistan was not on the glacier, its deployment was beyond Saltro Ridge - one of the most strategic points on the glacier.

Ever since the Kargil war, which happened as a result of Pakistani soldiers occupying trans-Himalayan heights in 1999, the Indian Army is not in a mood to take any chances. Sources told The Tribune today that the China factor, too, has also been taken into the account.

There are nearly 11,000 men of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Gilgit, Baltistan and other parts of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Some of them are very close to the glacier.

Pakistan had, in the last talks on the glacier in May last year, stressed on the involvement of China in the future talks on Siachen.

This has doubled the threat to “our strategic asset,” a senior army officer told The Tribune. The China-Pakistan nexus presents a worrying scenario for the Indian Army. The Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. K T Parnaik, while talking of the nexus, had said that the presence of “Chinese troops in Gilgit, Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir was a worrying scenario for the Indian army.”


Siachen is its high-value strategic asset
Any diplomatic mis-step would help Pakistan and China
A firm no to the proposal unless Islamabad agrees to Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) on the glacier
Indian Army is at the strategic heights. Once vacated, these would become vulnerable
Pakistan, it is feared, might repeat Kargil-type misadventure

Army cautions against concessions on Siachen


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, by indianmilitaryveterans

New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony's dinner for outgoing Army Chief Gen VK Singh on Wednesday night was marked by bonhomie but there were no farewell speeches.
No speeches were made at the farewell dinner for Gen Singh and his wife Bharati Singh hosted by Antony and his wife Elizabeth, sources said on Thursday, adding it was unusual as generally officials present say a few lines about the outgoing Service chiefs at farewell functions.
The Army chief, who retires on May 31, has been involved in a tussle with the Defence Ministry over several issues including the row over his date of birth.
No farewell speeches for Army Chief Gen VK Singh at Antony's dinner
Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said there was "bonhomie" at the dinner where the Defence Minister and his wife played perfect hosts at the Army Battle Honours Mess. Antony gifted a silver bowl to the outgoing chief as a memento.
National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Director General Acquisition Vivek Rae, IDS Chief Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha and Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma were present on the occasion.
Gen Singh's last major function would be the National Defence Academy passing out parade on May 30 in Khadakvasla near Pune.
He will hand over the reins of the Army to Lt Gen Bikram Singh on May 31 afternoon.


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, by indianmilitaryveterans

The pensioners, who have retired on or after 01-01-06, generally do not have any 
problem in getting their correct pension. The CDAs  in their case have issued Pension 
Payment Order (PPO) as per the new provisions of VI CPC. For these pensioners the 
banks have no option, but to pay the pension as specified by the CDA in the PPO.  
However, the story is different for pre 01-01-06 retirees.




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, by indianmilitaryveterans

Defence Ministry says it was kept in the dark

New Delhi, May 24
A day after the Army Chief General VK Singh issued a show cause notice to Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag, it has now turned out that the Ministry of Defence was in the dark about the developments and was taken aback as the Army headquarters had, a few weeks ago, sent Gen Suhag’s name for a promotion.

Top sources confirmed that the Army Chief did not keep the ministry in the loop. The Chief is well within his rights to issue a show cause but it is expected that he informs the MoD as this concerns a very senior officer who is commanding a sensitive corps, said a source.

The Ministry sources refrained from stating if it would impact Gen Suhag’s promotion as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C). “The policy is to wait and watch. There is no urgency. In any case, Chief of Staff at the Army Command can handle matters for a few days before appointments are made,” said an official. Two vacancies of Army Commanders arise on May 31. Gen Suhag and Lt Gen Sanjeev Chachra are tipped to be elevated.

On May 31, Lt Gen Shankar Ghosh, the Western Army Commander, is to retire while Gen Bikram Singh, the present Eastern Army Commander, will take over as the Chief.

The show cause notice charges Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, GOC of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, who is in the line of succession after Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Bikram Singh, with "abdicating responsibility" in handling an intelligence and a surveillance unit. — TNS


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10-year-old's RTI posers stump PMO, Government

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Aishwarya Parashar. Photo: Special Arrangement

Aishwarya Parashar. Photo: Special Arrangement

When some simple questions came to the mind of Aishwarya Parashar, a Class-VI student of the City Montessori School, Lucknow, she did not let them languish unasked. She went seeking out answers through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Aishwarya's inquisitiveness and willingness to pursue the source of information has yielded, till date, the establishment of a public library on the site of a garbage dump and the nation being better enlightened about the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

All of just 10 years, Aishwarya is a confident little girl, who herself answers a mobile phone and urges those wanting some written information from her to send her an SMS giving their e-mail ID and even forwards e-mail and communicates about her work on her own.

“I have so far filed three RTIs with the Prime Minister's Office,'' she says, adding that “the first one was [a query] about who gave the order for printing Mahatma Gandhi's image on currency notes. I was told in a reply that it was in 1993 following a meeting of the Reserve Bank of India.”

But it was her subsequent RTI asking the PMO to tell her who conferred the title of Father of the Nation on Mahatma Gandhi, which confounded the government. From the PMO, the query went to the Ministry of Home Affairs and to the National Archives of India, before Aishwarya was told that “there are no specific documents on the information sought” by her.


“That was really surprising because I never thought it was such a difficult question since even our history books taught us that Mahatma Gandhi was the Father of the Nation.”

The first reference to Mahatma Gandhi as Father of the Nation goes back nearly 70 years when Subhas Chandra Bose referred to Gandhi thus in a radio address from Singapore in 1944.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru too had, in his address to the nation upon Mahatma Gandhi's death, referred to him as Father of the Nation: “Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more.”

After getting an unsatisfactory answer to her query on this issue in March this year, Aishwarya on April 24 asked the PMO who had declared Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2 as also Republic Day and Independent Day national holidays. To her surprise, she got a reply dated May 17 that such orders were never issued.Click here to more read


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Relief for ex-servicemen (One rank one pension)

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Relief for ex-servicemen
Kalyan Ray, New Delhi:
After years of struggle, some relief has finally come for 12 lakh ex-servicemen on Monday when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced rationalising the pension benefits of retired jawans and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) in accordance with their “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) demand.
Despite demands from ex-servicemen, successive governments in the past had claimed that OROP was untenable and meeting it would cost a bomb. The anomaly was created by the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions. The Congress had promised OROP in its poll manifesto in 2004. However, the UPA government rejected the OROP demand in December 2008, after which ex-servicemen returned their gallantry medals to the President and made open overtures towards the BJP. Following protracted protests, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to review the OROP issues. Interestingly, it was announced ahead of the Parliamentary polls in Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan, which contribute  thousands of soldiers to the three services.
On the basis of the panel’s suggestion, the Centre has now agreed to substantially hike the pension of Personnel Below the Officer Rank (PBOR) and JCOs.

The pension of PBOR and JCOs who retired before October 10, 1997, (implementation date for the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations) will be brought at par with the pension of those retired after that date.

The pension of those retired before January 1, 2006 –– including the 1997 group –– will  be substantially hiked to come close to those who retired after the cut-off date of January 1, 2006 (implementation date for the Sixth Pay Commission).

Once realised, the new pension scheme will lead to creation of two groups of pensioners in the armed forces with January 1, 2006, serving as the cut off date.

“This is not OROP. Those who retired after January 1, 2006, will get higher pension. The government has just bridged a gap for the JCOs and PBORs,” Maj Gen Satbir Singh, vice chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement told Deccan Herald. Both decisions would be implemented from July 1, 2009, resulting in enhanced pension for more than 12 lakh jawans and JCOs.

DH News Service
Relief fo Exservicemen


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Army Chief asks for CBI inquiry against serving General

, by indianmilitaryveterans

New Delhi: The Army Chief, already in a full-blown battle with the government, appears to have further aggravated the situation by asking the CBI to investigate corruption charges against a serving General, one who is second in line to replace him when he retires at the end of May.

General VK Singh wrote to the CBI yesterday, asking for an inquiry into allegations by a Member of Parliament from Bengal against Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag. The MP, Ambika Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, had written nearly 10 months ago to General Singh, alleging corruption in the purchase of defence equipment on Lt General Suhag's watch when he (then a Major General) was in charge of the Special Frontier Force in Chakrata near Nanital. The Lt General is currently the head of the 3 Corps in Dimapur, Nagaland.

Sources in the government say that by writing to the CBI directly, the Army Chief has breached protocol. They also say that General Singh's decision to act on the letter now, when his discord with the Defence Ministry has taken on unprecedented dimensions, proves he is out to embarrass the government. Defence Minister AK Antony said today that the CBI inquiry has been commissioned.

Earlier this week, General Singh delivered two storms that have thundered through Parliament. First, he said that he had been offered a bribe of 14 crores in 2010 to approve the purchase of "sub-standard" trucks for the Army. Then, a confidential letter written by him to the Prime Minister was leaked yesterday. The General warns of the obsolete equipment that the Army is forced to use, adding that this puts the country's security at risk. Politicians suggested the chief was to blame for the leak; some, like Lalu Prasad Yadav, asked for his immediate removal. The Defence Minister said that the leak amounts to a breach of national security. A statement from the Army Chief today says he is outraged by allegations that he is behind the leak. "This is an outrage! Official communication with the PM, RM (Raksha Mantri) or anybody for that matter with the COAS (Chief of Army Staff) is privileged information. The leaking of the letter should be treated as high treason. This cynical approach to tar my reputation has to stop. The source of the leak has to be found and dealt with ruthlessly," said the Army Chief today via a mailed statement.

Opposition leaders have said they support the government on the understanding that any controversies around the country's security or the Army chief are sensitive and must not be reduced to an acrimonious and public debate. But they also stress that the three matters involving the Army chief which have seized the national centrestage this week point to systematic procurement problems for the Army that they say must be addressed and cleansed. Military experts and former army chiefs have referred to the worrying conspiracy of silence over corruption in purchasing equipment for the Army. And many stress that General Singh has at different points through his tenure raised the exigent need for better equipment for his troops
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NEED OF THE HOUR Balance and Restraint by the Media

, by indianmilitaryveterans

By : Hemant Mahajan      On: May 20, 2012
NEED OF THE HOUR Balance and Restraint by the Media By Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
A recent incident of indiscipline in a unit of the army was dutifully reported by the media, but a few newspapers and TV news channels that indulge in yellow journalism, continue to sensationalise it. This is despite the army having unequivocally stated that the incident is being investigated thoroughly. Implicit in various media releases by the army is that there is no move whatsoever to push the incident under the carpet and that exemplary disciplinary action would be taken against all those found guilty. This being so, speculative innuendos and sensational stances must stop.
>  My intention is not to say that the news of the incident should not have been reported, or that the media should only report favourable news about the army. However, one starts losing faith in our supposedly independent media when sensationalism takes over and phrases like ‘unique case’ or ‘army getting indisciplined’ are bandied about.
> This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. Â Without going too far back, there was a case in 1978 and another in 1979, both in Ladakh. In 1986 and 1987, two such incidents occurred in the eastern sector. During Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, there were two incidents, one each in 1987 and 1989. Mutinous actions of a number of units following Operation Blue Star in 1984 are well known. There have been similar incidents in the navy and air force too. All these were handled by the hierarchy of the armed forces with balance, maturity and panache and no editor-in-chief of those days interfered or offered advice, as is being done by a few upstarts today! Neither was there any dilution in the professional capabilities of our forces!
> All artillery units fire their artillery guns a number of times every year, but the annual practice firing camp has a special sanctity. During this camp, all artillery guns of the unit fire at the field firing ranges and all personnel of the unit are fully involved. When all the guns of the unit fire simultaneously, the noise, dust, smoke and explosions they produce can only be described as spectacular.
> During these camps, there is a surge in adrenalin levels of all ranks, as well as tension, as everyone wants to do well. On the day the entire regiment fires, many guests are invited to witness this spectacular event. Once the firing is wound up, there is visible decrease in tension and everyone gets in to a celebratory frame of mind, having successfully achieved what they had set out to do.
> It is unfortunate that after the culmination of this specific event, the unfortunate incident of indiscipline occurred. It was an isolated incident, where tempers were allowed to rise unnecessarily. There was no pre-mediation or planning, let alone a conspiracy on anyone’s part. It was simply an accident and hence there is no reason to sensationalise it or make it larger than life. From the very beginning, no attempt was made by the army to hush up the incident. One therefore cannot understand why a section of the media is bent upon making it sinister and trying to link it with other recent events.
> In a 1.3 million strong army, where individuals interact with each other on a 24X7 basis, the odd aberration does occur. Despite discipline being ingrained in them from the very first day they don a uniform, and despite the excellent officer-man relationship that is nurtured on a continuous basis, tempers sometimes run high. All ranks do understand that it is this close relationship that sustains them even in the most difficult situations, but anger subsumes this temporarily. Despite the many ups and downs in the working environment of the army, officer-man relationship has endured. These are the facets that have contributed to making the Indian Army professionally highly competent and behaviourally the best in the business. This needs to be commended not criticized. I would urge those elements of the media that are going unnecessarily overboard in bashing the entire army to desist, for if such coverage continues, it will do great harm to the army and
> the nation.
> The army has time-tested and well laid out procedures for dealing with all types of indiscipline. The media neither has the expertise nor the knowledge of doing so. Even those segments of the media that may have been goaded to unnecessarily raise the issue to absurd heights on account of their vested interests will do well to confine their reports to news and desist from voicing irrelevant views and comments. The country continues to have faith in the prowess and honesty of purpose of their army. It is best for amateurs of the media, however much they may think of themselves as the greatest media honchos, to let the army take remedial actions in their own professional manner. They will, in due course, share their conclusions with everyone.
> Let me end this piece by adding that the motto of the Regiment of Artillery of your army is “Izzat o Iqbalâ€, to which they adhere to scrupulously. This particular unit – 226 Field Regiment, will also bounce back, provided unnecessary hounding of the unit and its personnel comes to an end immediately.
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Govt raises interest rate on GPF to 8.8%

, by indianmilitaryveterans

New Delhi, May 23
In a move which will benefit millions of employees, the government has hiked interest rate on contributions to General Provident Fund (GPF) and other similar funds to 8.8 per cent for 2012-13.

The interest rate on such funds was 8.6 per cent during December 2011-March 2012 period, while it was 8 per cent for April-November 2011.

"It is announced ... that during the year 2012-13, accumulations at the credit of subscribers to the General Provident Fund and other similar funds shall carry interest at the rate of 8.8 per cent per annum," the Finance Ministry said.

The benefit of increased interest rate will be available to subscribers of Contributory Provident Fund (India), All India Services Provident Fund, State Railway Provident Fund and General Provident Fund (Defence Services).

Contributors to Indian Ordnance Department Provident Fund, Indian Ordnance Factories Workmen's Provident Fund, Indian Naval Dockyard Workmen's Provident Fund, Defence Services Officers Provident Fund and Armed Forces Personnel Provident Fund will also benefit from the move.

Rate of interest on the GPF is generally fixed after taking into consideration the average secondary market yields on government securities of similar maturity. — PTI


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Army Chief issues show cause notice to Lt Gen

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Army Chief issues show cause notice to Lt Gen

New Delhi, May 23
Barely a week before his retirement, Army Chief Gen V K Singh has issued show cause notice to a Lt Gen, who could head the force in two years, for censure on account of lapses on his part in handling a case of a failed intelligence operation in Assam's Jorhat district last year.

The notice charges Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, GOC 3 Corps, who is in the line of succession after Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Bikram Singh, with "abdicating responsibility" in handling an intelligence and surveillance unit in a "most unprofessional and lackadaisical manner".

Gen V K Singh has said in the notice that it appeared to him that censure at the level of Chief of Army Staff in appropriate form is called for on account of the "lapses on your part".

"Accordingly, opportunity is hereby afforded to you to explain the reasons for the aforesaid lapses. Reply to this show cause notice is requested within seven days of its receipt, failing which it would be assumed that you have no grounds to urge against the proposed action and an ex parte decision may be taken," the notice said.

The issue relates to proceedings of a Court of Inquiry (CoI) convened by Headquarters Eastern Command to investigate circumstances under which 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (CISU) conducted an operation in Jorhat on the night of December 20-21 last year and other circumstances.

This is not the first time that Gen V K Singh has tried to initiate a disciplinary action against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh.

In March, he had recommended a CBI probe against him for alleged involvement in a scam in Cabinet Secretariat but was turned down by the Government.

The Army Chief's notice said he has observed that the actions taken by Lt Gen Dalbir Singh as GOC were not adequate to deal with the situation.

It said Brigadier Abhey Krishna, Brigadier General Staff (Operations) in the 3 Corps Headquarters did not display "adequate urgency" to deal with the situation arising out of the the offences committed by troops involved in the operation.

Besides, the Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command and Captain Rubina Kaur Keer of the CISU were responsible for various acts of omissions and commissions which shows attempts were made to cover the serious incident.

"Various intelligence reports have also indicated the complicity of the unit in many earlier acts against military ethos," the notice said.

It said even when two signed complaints were made against the CO, 3 CISU, by an intelligence officer of the same unit sent through Eastern Command, no inquiry or action was taken.

The notice said it was also learnt that CO, 3 CISU during his absence from unit on leave was masquerading in Delhi and interacting with the media giving anti-organisation stories. — PTI
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Petrol price up by over Rs 7.50, steepest hike ever

, by indianmilitaryveterans

NEW DELHI: By the time you read this, petrol price would have gone up by more than Rs 7.50 a litre across the country. This is the steepest-ever increase and came a day after Parliament's budget session ended and PM Manmohan Singh talked about the need for "difficult decisions".

After adding state taxes, petrol will cost Rs 73.18 a litre in Delhi, Rs 78.57 in Mumbai, Rs 77.88 in Kolkata and Rs 77.53 a litre in Chennai. This marks an increase of around 10% and puts a squeeze of roughly Rs 6,000 a year on a family that spends an average of Rs 5,000 per month on petrol.

This is the first upward revision in petrol price since November 4, 2011. The highest increase so far has been by Rs 5 per litre. State-run oilmarketers twice raised prices by this amount -- on May 15, 2011 and May 24, 2008 when petrol price crossed the Rs 50 a litre mark for the first time.

The decision immediately drew a howl of protest and demand for rollback from parties across the political spectrum, including UPA allies such as Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. But the West Bengal chief minister also made it clear that she will not rock the UPA boat.

Consumers too voiced their anguish even as they thronged petrol pumps for a "cheaper" tank-up one last time. Police had to be called in to control the spiraling queues in many pumps in Delhi and elsewhere.

The announcement of price revision came when oil minister S Jaipal Reddy is away in Turkmenistan to attend a ceremony for signing a four-nation gas pipeline deal. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee laid the onus of the raise on the oil marketers. "The decision has been taken. Petrol is a deregulated commodity," he said.

The government had freed petrol price in June 2010 when crude came down to around $40 a barrel from a historic high of $147 per barrel in July 2008. But in practice, oil companies do not move without a signal from the parent oil ministry which officially continues to deny any control.

Sources said the increase was stage-managed. Oil companies usually review prices on the 15th and last day of each month. But Wednesday's increase was announced mid-week to take advantage of Reddy's absence after the Parliament session. Reddy reportedly gave his go-ahead for raising petrol price before leaving for Turkmenistan. His absence gave an opportunity for the government to distance itself from the raise and reinforce the impression that it did not control its price as it was a deregulated fuel.

But oil companies described the hike as a "do-or-die" measure. R S Butola, chairman of market leader IndianOil Corporation, argued that the price had to be increased steeply since they had not revised it for the last seven months even though global prices of crude went up 3.5% and petrol in bulk markets rose 14.5%, even as the rupee continued its slide against the dollar.

"We did not raise petrol price for so long due to the prevailing conditions in the market. As a result, all three retailers together piled up a loss of Rs 2,321 crore between the last price hike in November and March 31. Since March alone, we have taken a hit of Rs 2,330 crore. The rupee too has fallen some 3-4%. The government would not have compensated these losses as petrol is a deregulated product."

Butola did not comment when asked whether he had secured the ministry's nod earlier to raise petrol price once the Parliament session was over. "We had told the government in writing that either it takes back control over petrol or we would have no option but to raise the price steeply. We did what we had to do. There was no choice left for us."


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Ladakh troop revolt underlines Army class tensions

, by indianmilitaryveterans

14 Corps Commander strikes deal with angry soldiers, defusing crisis — but hard questions remain

Forty-eight hours after troops of the Ladakh-based 226 Field Regiment staged a revolt against officers they said were responsible for the brutal beating of an enlisted man, the Army is facing hard questions whether its colonial-era institutions are generating a crisis within its ranks.

Men of the 226 Field Infantry marched through the town of Nyoma late on Thursday night, armed with rods and knives, seeking to hunt down five Major-rank officers they said were responsible for the brutal beating of Suman Ghosh — an enlisted man assigned as a personal valet.

The men also staged protests, using loudspeakers to shout slogans condemning the officers and raise nationalist slogans. The fighting left at least three soldiers — including the sahayak —injured.

Early on Saturday, highly-placed military sources told The Hindu, Leh-based 14 Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Ravi Dastane finally hammered out a deal with the soldiers — a deal which promises officers who used beatings against enlisted men will be punished, in return for the soldiers relocating to their base at Thiksey.

In New Delhi, the Army Headquarters described the clash — the worst of its kind since some units mutinied in 1984 — as “an incident of indiscipline,” not a mutiny. The Army has set up a court to inquire into the incident.

Officers, not Gentlemen?

Late on Thursday evening, after the 226 Field Regiment finished a firing-practice session with their 105-millimetre mountain guns in the Mahé range near Nyoma, witnesses saw a fracas break out. Major A.K. Sharma, one of the unit's officers, claimed his wife was insulted by the sahayak. A highly placed source at 14 Corps Headquarters told The Hindu that the officer's wife complained that Ghosh waked into her room without knocking while she was having a shower.

The sahayak, witnesses told The Hindu, was dragged into the Beacon ground near the range, and beaten up. Major Ankur Tewari, Major Kapil Malik, Major Thomas Verghese, Major A.D. Kanade and Major Sharma himself joined in the beating, documents seen by The Hindu say.

From the witnesses' account, it is clear the men of the 226 Field Regiment did nothing — until it became clear Ghosh had suffered significant injuries. Major Kanade, however, allegedly refused to allow the men to move Ghosh to a medical facility, perhaps fearing it would lead to an internal inquiry on his conduct.

The irate men then began arguing with the officers; witnesses say there was a heated argument, accompanied by some pushing and shoving.

226 Field Regiment commander Colonel Prasad Kadam intervened, reprimanding the officers for their conduct — only to be allegedly assaulted by the five.

The Majors, witnesses said, then fled as troops arrived, saving Colonel Kadam.

Fearing attack by other Army units, some men barricaded themselves inside the quarter-guard, housing the armoury, while others marched into the town shouting Bharat Mata ki Jai [“Long Live India”]. Major Sharma was captured and beaten up; the men moved him to hospital thereafter.

Early on Friday morning, Major-General A.L. Chavan, commander of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division, arrived in Nyoma and began negotiating with the troops, promising them that force would not be used.

In a press release, the Army Headquarters insisted that Col. Kadam's injuries were “superficial,” but highly-placed military sources said he was still in a field hospital on Saturday afternoon.

Simmering class tensions

Earlier this month, the Army announced it was considering doing away with the colonial-era institution of the sahayak, or batmen as they were earlier known — trained soldiers who are assigned to serve as valets.

The 30,000-odd men serving as sahayaks are expected not just to ensure that their officers' uniforms are in order and their personal comfort is cared for, but ferry their children to school and help with their spouses' shopping.

The batman system was long abandoned in the British Army, from which India drew it; even Pakistan dropped the institution in 2004. In India, however, it remains in place — a major cause of humiliation for men enlisted to serve their country.

It isn't only the institution of the sahayak, though, that is a cause of friction: India's two-class Army, divided rigidly between sahibs and men, ill-reflects the social realities of the country today.

For its part, the officer corps is ill-equipped to deal with a changing world. In a recent article, scholar Srinath Raghavan pointed out that the Army recruits officers “at a much younger age than most other democracies.”

Colonial-era culture

Their subsequent in-house education submerges young men in the military's colonial-era culture, leaving them ill-equipped to understand the changed values and aspirations of the soldiers serving under their command.

“In the first decades after Independence,” a retired officer told The Hindu, “enlisted men came from backgrounds which led them to unquestioningly accept feudal attitudes and values. The officers were also products of the same feudal landscape. It doesn't exist any more — but the institutions remain.”
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Wards of Ex-Servicemen

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Wards of Ex-servicemen who are missing/disabled/killed in action are provided various educational concessions in Government/Government aided schools/educational institutes, Military/Sainik schools and other schools/colleges recognized by Central/State Governments. This facility is available upto First degree course.

(i) The following concessions are provided in accordance with Gol letter No.6-1/2009/Edu.Concession/ll/D(Res), dated 26th October 2010:

Tuition Fee: Full reimbursement.

Hostel Charges: Full reimbursement of hostel charges for children studying in boarding schools and colleges.

Cost of books/stationary: Rs.1,000/- per annum per student.

Cost of Compulsory Uniform: Rs.1700/- maximum during 1st year and Rs.700/- for the subsequent year per student.

Clothing: Rs.500/- for the 1st year and Rs.300/- for the subsequent years per annum per student

(ii) Under RakshaMantri Discretionary Fund Children of Ex- servicemen up to Havaldar Rank are entitled to Education Grant of Rs.1000/- per month up to Graduation.

(iii) Messing and accommodation is provided to the children of war widows, war disabled, attributable cases in 35 War Memorial Hostels. Recurring grant @ Rs.1350/- per month per inmate is provided to the hostel from Armed Forces Flag Day Fund. For wards of non-attributable disabled soldiers also grants are provided @ Rs.675/- per month per inmate.

(iv) Under Prime Minister`s Scholarship Scheme, every year 4000 new scholarships are given to wards of martyrs and ex-servicemen for pursuing, various recognized Professional Degree Courses like B.Tech& MBBS etc.

35 war memorial hostels set up in Regimental centres in different parts of the country are catering to the welfare needs of wards of martyrs and ex-servicemen

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr MM PallamRajuin a written reply to Dr.Mahendrasinh P. Chauhan in Lok Sabha today.

(Release ID :83222)
Source ; PIB


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Reservation for Ex-Servicemen

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Reservation for Ex-Servicemen
The Central/State Government provides for the following reservation for Ex-Servicemen in the civil jobs:-

                                                         Group`C`               Group `D`
(a) Central Ministries/Departments       10%                        20%
(b) PSUs/Nationalized Banks              14.5%                     24.5%
(ii)        10% posts of Assistant Commandants in paramilitary forces and 100% posts are reserved for ESM in Defence Security Corps.
(iii)             Most State Governments also provide reservations to ESM in State Government jobs.
Government orders already exist to carry forward unfilled vacancies for Ex-Servicemen to the next year.
The reservation policy for Ex-servicemen is implemented by the concerned Government/Departments, Public Sector Undertakings and Banks. It is the responsibility of the concerned organization to implement the same. Since applying for Government jobs by Ex- Servicemen is voluntary, data in this regard is not maintained
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr MM PallamRajuin a written reply to Shri NripendraNath Roy and Shri NarahariMahato in Lok Sabha today.

(Release ID :83237)
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Prime Minister’s speech on third anniversary of UPA-2 government

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Prime Minister’s speech on third anniversary of UPA-2 government 
Report to the People released 

 Following is the text of the speech of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh :

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this function to mark the completion of the third year of the second UPA government.

I believe that the annual Report to the People that we are releasing today presents an objective statement of what we have achieved in office over the past year. I welcome an informed and constructive debate on our performance.

I will be the first to say we need to do better.  But let no one doubt that we have achieved much.

Despite an adverse international economic environment, the Indian economy grew by about 7 percent in 2011-12, which is amongst the highest in the world.  Sustained high rates of growth during the UPA government’s tenure have enabled us to pursue our agenda of inclusive and equitable growth and put lot more resources in social sector such as education and health.
  I will highlight some of the achievements of our policies that aim to bring succour to the aam aadmi.                                                                                                                                                        
Poverty has declined at twice the rate that it did before the UPA Government's tenure.

There have been notable successes in agriculture. The agricultural growth rate has risen to 3.3% per annum in the 11th Five Year Plan as against 2.3% per annum in the 10th Five Year Plan. Rural wages have also increased. Farmers have been given handsome prices for their crops.  This year has seen record foodgrain production, crossing 250 million tonnes for the first time in our history.

·         More than Rs 2 lakh crores was disbursed to 2.75 crore marginal and small farmers as loans.
Primary school enrolment has become near universal. We have opened 51,000 schools and appointed 6.8 lakh teachers in the last two years.

India has been declared polio-free by the international agency, the World Health Organisation.

·      The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme now reaches one out of five households in the country.

·      India was the second fastest growing telecom market in the world.  We added nearly 10 crore new telephone connections last year, including more than 4 crore in rural areas.

·      We added new power generation capacity of 20,000 MW last year which is almost equal to the capacity added during the entire 10th Five Year Plan Period. We provided 35 lakh new electricity connections in rural India last year.

Affirmative measures to help expand opportunities for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women are a top priority for the UPA government. These efforts are being intensified.

Last year saw the flawless test launch of the Agni-5 long range ballistic missile and the successful fabrication and launch of the RISAT-1 satellite which can take images even in cloudy weather. I congratulate our scientists and our technologists for these great achievements.

The internal security scenario has by and large been satisfactory. The peaceful conduct of Panchayat elections in Kashmir and the high voter turnout show that things are changing in the State. The scourge of Naxalism however continues to be a major problem and I seek the cooperation of all the concerned State Governments to tackle this menace.

In foreign policy, there were significant developments in our relations with our neighbours, notably with Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. The success of the BRICS Summit held in New Delhi reflects India's growing presence on the world stage. As a responsible member of the United Nations Security Council and other international fora, we have made important contributions in addressing global issues.

Despite these real and solid achievements, there are undoubtely uncertainties and a large unfinished agenda before us. We will attend to these tasks firmly.

Difficult decisions have to be taken on both spending and revenue mobilisation. Both the Centre and the States have to be fiscally responsible. We also have to remove implementation bottlenecks that are preventing large projects from getting off the ground. We have to quicken the pace of implementation of our policies of inclusive growth, particularly in the areas of health and education. We need to improve coordination between the Centre and States on important issues that face our country.  

Some people have questioned the sustainability of our growth process. I am confident we will prove the skeptics wrong. I recognise that we face pressures on our balance of payments and that the fiscal situation requires careful management.  Determined measures are needed to boost the climate for industrial investment, both domestic and foreign.  An urgent priority is to resolve issues relating to land acquisition, resettlement and the environment. We need to strengthen our food security system by building more storage capacity.  We must address the scourge of malnutrition through multi-dimensional interventions. We need to scale up our skill development programme.

We know there is public frustration and anger on the issue of corruption.  I wish to assure our people that we are working sincerely to address this issue through both legislative and administrative measures. Legislation is before Parliament to establish a Lokpal, ensure time-bound delivery of public goods and services and judicial accountability.

We are trying to ensure exemplary punishment to the guilty while also ensuring that public servants feel secure in taking bona fide decisions that are in the national interest.

I am confident that the resilience and hard work of our people, supported by actions of our government, will ensure that our economy bounces back.

I pledge that the UPA government will work with renewed determination to pursue these national tasks.
I urge all political parties to rise above partisan considerations and strengthen our hands so that India can face the uncertain global environment with greater confidence and rise united to the challenges we face as a nation.

As we enter our ninth year in office, I reiterate the commitment of our Government to remain faithful to the values, the objectives and the policies that have brought new hope to millions of our fellow citizens. Jai Hind.”

* * *

(Release ID :84408)


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Gen VK Singh: In India we have a tendency to shoot the whistleblower

, by indianmilitaryveterans

General Vijay Kumar Singh steps down as Chief of the Army Staff on May 31, more than two years after he assumed office promising to look into the internal health of the Army, acting tough on issues of corruption and promising probity. His tenure, however, was an intense rollercoaster ride for everyone - he dragged the government to the Supreme Court over his date of birth in an unprecedented action by an Indian military chief; and his claim about a bribe being offered to him to clear the purchase of Tatra trucks resulted in a ruckus in parliament and a CBI investigation. Amid all these controversies, he also took decisive steps towards "decolonizing" the Army and transforming it into a modern fighting force. Just days ahead of his retirement, Gen VK Singh spoke to Josy Joseph:

It has been a very happening tenure as Army chief for you. First Adarsh and other issues, then the push for transformation, and then the age issue. How do you look back?
The tenure has certainly been a happening one just like, I suppose, it has been for other chiefs. My priority was the transformation that has progressed as envisaged. The Adarsh issue came up and we dealt with it by asking MOD to take the required action. The age issue was a manufactured controversy with a definite agenda, purpose and objective. Decisions were imposed with arbitrariness and the system was manipulated. Within the framework of options available to me, I fought the injustice ever since it came up in 2006. Like every citizen with fundamental rights, I fought for justice and though I feel the anguish, I have no regrets.

You set out promising to look at the internal health of the Army. Have you been able to improve anything significantly?
The very fact that we brought about the aspect of internal health helped. It allowed for introspection and set the debate amongst the rank and file. A large number of tangible and intangible things have happened. We ensured that greater probity and transparency was stressed and greater awareness to imbibe service ethos was brought in. What became clear to all was that we would not desist from taking appropriate action against anyone. At the same time we must understand that in one go you cannot bring about total change but the process has started and I am confident that things will look up.
Gen VK Singh in India ( Cick Here)


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Service as sailor to be counted for fixing officer’s pension

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Chandigarh, May 22
Chandigarh Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal has held that a sailor, who later gets commissioned in the Navy as an officer, can claim a sailor’s pension after the completion of 15 years of service, in case he does not complete 20 years of service as is required for grant of pension for commissioned officers.

Naval Lt DS Rai had joined Navy as a sailor and was later commissioned as an officer. He voluntarily resigned from service after completing more than 15 years service. He was refused pension on the grounds he had retired as an officer and thus required 20 years of service to qualify for pension. His plea for grant of pension at sailors’ rates on completion of 15 years of service was rejected on the ground that though rules permitted counting of sailor service or service in ranks towards commissioned service, rules were silent on counting of officers’ service into sailor service. — TNS
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25 dead as trains collide in Andhra

, by indianmilitaryveterans

25 dead as trains collide in Andhra
Shubhadeep Choudhury/TNS

 Sixteen bodies were charred beyond recognition
  The South-Western Railway could release the names of only six persons who died in the accident and could be identified
  The Railways has ordered an inquiry by a Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) to ascertain the exact cause of the accident
  Railway Minister Mukul Roy has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of the dead, Rs1 lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to other injured.

Bangalore, May 22
At least 25 persons were killed when the Bangalore-bound Hampi Express (train No 16591) crashed into the rear of a stationary goods train at the Penukonda railway station in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh early this morning.

Charu Sinha, Anantapur range DIG, said 16 bodies had been charred beyond recognition. The South-Western Railway (SWR) could release the names of only six persons who died in the accident and could be identified. The list contained names of four members of a family, including two children aged 12 and nine, respectively.

A railway official said the accident might have been the result of negligence on the part of the train driver who might not have taken note of the light displayed at the signal preceding the station.

The Railways has ordered an inquiry by a Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) to ascertain the exact cause of the accident.
The Railways bears a yearly loss of Rs 100 crore due to accidents

Three cars of the train were affected the maximum. The SLR coach (second class luggage-cum-brake van) next to the engine of the passenger train bore the maximum brunt. It caught fire. Raju, Special Fire Officer (SFO) at Penukonda, said all the charred bodies were recovered from the SLR. The coach behind the SLR and a general second-class coach (third from the engine) were also affected in the crash.

According to SWR, 36 persons sustained serious injuries in the accident. They were taken for treatment to government hospitals at Penukonda and Hindupur and Satya Sai Hospital at Puttaparthi and Pavagadu Hospital in Anantapur.

The driver of the engine escaped with minor injuries. He, however, was in a dazed condition and was being treated in a hospital.

“The accident took place at 3.15 am. We could reach there by 3.45 am. The railway relief party also came immediately. The coaches had to be cut open to extricate the dead and the injured trapped inside,” DIG Charu Sinha said.

Two 140-tonne cranes, besides labourers and workers, were deployed for rescue operations. “The rescue operations have been completed,” said Sai Nath, a senior SWR official.

Three trains had to be cancelled as a result of the accident and five others, including the Nizamuddin-Bangalore Rajdhani Express are running late.

The ill-fated train, which left Hubli at 6 pm yesterday, was to reach Bangalore at 6 am. The train originates in Karnataka and passes through parts of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh before re-entering Karnataka.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who was supposed to go to Delhi from Kolkata to attend Parliament session, changed his programme and reached the accident site. KH Muniyappa, Minister of State for Railways, who is from Karnataka, also visited the spot.
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Welfare Schemes for Ex-Servicemen

, by indianmilitaryveterans

The details of welfare schemes for Ex-Servicemen are as below:
 Financial Assistance from Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF):
 1.     Financial assistance to institutions:
        (a)  Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centres (PRC) at Kirkee and Mohali.
        (b)  St Dunstan`s After Care Organisation.
        (c) Cheshire Homes at Delhi, Dehradun, Lucknow.
2.     Financial assistance for serious ailments: to the non-pensioners only.
3.     Supply of Honda Activa (Self Starter) Scooter to ESM.
4.     Tool Kit for Ex-Servicemen Technicians.
5.     Re-imbursement of interest by way of subsidy on loan taken from banks for construction of house to    
        War bereaved, war disabled and attributable peace time casualties and their dependents.
6      Grant to Training-cum-Productions Centres in Military Hospitals and other places.
7.     War Memorial Hostels: The War Memorial Hostels were constructed with a view to provide shelter to 
         the children of War widows, war- disabled, attributable cases.
8.      Sharing cost of construction of Sainik Rest Houses.
9.      Financial Assistance from RakshaMantri`s Discretionary Fund (RMDF). The financial assistance is  
         provided to needy Ex- servicemen, widows and wards from RMDF for various purposes.
10.    Prime Minister`s Merit Scholarship Scheme.
11.    Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).
(II)    Resettlement and Rehabilitation Schemes:
(A)    TRAINING PROGRAMME:  for Officers, JCO/OR and Ex-Servicemen (ESM) Training.
(B)    RE-EMPLOYMENT:       in Central and State Government; Re-employment through DGR; DGR 
         sponsored Security Services Scheme.
(C)    LOAN RELATED WELFARE SCHEMES:Enterpreneur Schemes; Herbal and Medicinal Plants; 
         Horticulture; Floriculture; Franchising; Other Business Activities.
(i)      SELF EMPLOYMENT SCHEMES:Ex-Servicemen Coal Loading and Transportation Scheme; Coal Tipper Attachment Scheme; Management of CNG Station by ESM (Officers) in NCR; Mother Dairy Milk Booths and Fruit & Vegetable (Safal) shops; Allotment of Oil Product Agencies under 8% Defence quota; Allotment of LPG Agency under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG VitrakYojana; Allotment of Regular LPG, Distributor under 18% quota; Sponsorship of ESM(O) of COCO Operatorship; Allotment of Army Surplus Vehicles.
            Widows, dependents and children of martyred and disabled war soldiers get liberalized/special/normal family pension as per their entitlement.
Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare in the Ministry of Defence is the Nodal Department for welfare of ex-serviccmen, widows or dependents and children of martyred and disabled soldiers. Its attached offices namely Directorate General of Resettlement andKendriyaSainik Board are working in this direction. Rajya and ZilaSainik Boards at the State & district level look into the condition of families of martyrs and disabled soldiers.
            Besides this, each Service Headquarter has dedicated cell to look into welfare issues of widows, dependents and children of martyred and disabled war soldiers. Record offices, local formations/units have system in place to periodically interact formally & informally with families of martyred & disabled soldiers.

Category-wise details of welfare schemes for ESM are as follows:

Widows of Ex-Servicemen
War Widows
Disabled Ex-Servicemen

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr MM PallamRajuin a written reply to Shri IshwarlalShankarlal Jain in Rajya Sabha today.
(Release ID :83938)


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New Pension Schemes

, by indianmilitaryveterans

The Government has implemented the New Pension System (NPS) for Government employees who join Central Government (except armed forces) on or after 1st January, 2004.

The NPS and the old defined benefit (DB) pension system are two different pension systems. Therefore, there can not be any comparison between the two in so far as the benefits to employees are concerned. The Pension benefits under the DB system are defined, however, under NPS the amount of pension would depend on the investment returns, the accumulation upto the age of retirement and level of annuitisation and type of annuity chosen.

Some representations of Employees’ Associations have been received by the Government. The major reasons for its opposition by the Employees’ Associations are minimum pension, safety and returns on investment. Many measures have been taken to protect the interests of the NPS subscribers, like prescribing a flexible investment pattern, establishing a regulator in the form of the Interim Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority and creating the modern institutional architecture of NPS, which is low cost.

There is no proposal from the Government to reconsider the NPS.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.


(Release ID :84141)


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Helmets Mandatory for Women

, by indianmilitaryveterans

According to Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, every person except a Sikh wearing a turban driving or riding on a motor cycle shall, while in a public place, wear protective headgear (helmet) conforming to the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 does not exempt women pillion riders on two wheelers from wearing helmet. According to the second proviso to the said Section 129, the State Governments can frame rules to provide for such exceptions as they may think fit.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways, Dr. Tushar A. Chaudhary, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

(Release ID :84271)


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ECHS Polyclinics

, by indianmilitaryveterans

ECHS Polyclinics
     Presently 11 polyclinics are functioning in the State of Kerala. Under the expansion plan of ECHS, additional 12 ECHS Polyclinics have been sanctioned out of which 4 polyclinics at Mavelikara Trivandrum(MedicalCollege), Moovattupuzha and Kanhagad have been made functional. The remaining 8 polyclinics would be made functional in due course. The details are as follows:

Ser No.
Existing ECHS Polyclinics Sanctioned in 2003:

Alleppey (Alapuzha)
Quilon (KoIIam)
Additional ECHS Polyclinics Sanctioned in 2010:
Trivandrum (Medical College)
Likely to be functional by June 2012.
Hiring of suitable building and staff in progress.
Hiring of suitable building and staff in progress.
Hiring of suitable building and staff in progress.
Action in hand to establish the Polyclinic.
Hiring of suitable building and staff in progress.
Hiring of suitable building and staff in progress.
Action in hand to establish the Polyclinic.
Information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju in a written reply to ShriKodikkunnil Suresh in Lok Sabha today.

(Release ID :84254)


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