This article has been written by Colonel Chandra Kant Roy (Retired) of the Territorial Army. The author very lucidly describes the degraded status of Indian Armed Force post Central Sixth Pay Commission of the Government of India. After reading this, one can easily draw references that Armed Forces are no longer the finest service one can look forward to; but rather a sub standard force that can only attract the sub standard material for recruitment.
"Sixth CPC : AGONY FOR DEF OFFRS CONTINUES; ISSUE OF NFU (NON FUNCTIONAL UPGRADATION) NEEDS URGENT ATTN
1. All Defence Offrs, please be informed that Offrs of other services with whom you interact on functional basis, like MES Civ Offrs, GREF Civ Offrs, Offrs of BSF, CRPF ,ITBP, Def Accts(IDAS), Test Audit(IA&AS), Ord Factory Bd etc, will now get the salary and grade pay of Joint Secretary/ Maj Gen (GP Rs 10000/-) in 19 yrs of service, and will draw the pay of Addl Secretary to Govt of India which is equal to a Lt Gen(GP Rs 12000/-) in 32 yrs of service by virtue of their service being Organised Gp A Service.
2. The above condition has been brought about consequent to acceptance of 6 CPC recom on NFU by GoI , wherein it recommended that whenever any IAS officer of the state or joint cadre is posted at the Centre to a particular grade carrying a specific grade pay in Pay Bands PB-3 or PB-4,the officers belonging to batches of Organised Group A services that are senior by two years or more and have not been promoted so far to that particular grade would be granted the same grade on a non functional basis from the date of posting of the IAS officers in that grade at the centre. Hence if an IAS officer becomes Joint Secretary in 17 years of service the offrs of Org Gp A Service(like the ones mentioned in Para 1) will start drawing the salary of Joint Secretary in maximum of 19 years of service and similarly that of Addl Secretary / Lt Gen in 30 and 32 yrs resp.
3. Why is it not applicable to Def Offrs : Because as per Govt of India Def Offrs are NOT part of Org Gp A Service and the above recom is applicable to only to the latter.
4. If Def Offrs are not part of Org Gp A service then what are they :They are just ‘Commissioned Officers’.
5. If all the above is correct then who all form part of Org Gp A Service and how Def Offrs call themselves Class 1 offrs ; Central Civil Services mainly include AIS (All India Services, namely, IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service) and Org Gp A service .There are a total of 58 services forming part of Org Gp A service. Please see the attachment. Def Offrs are not part of Civil Services but have been broadly kept at par with Gp A Offrs of Civil Services( erstwhile known as Class 1 offrs) by various Pay Commissions. The reference to same since independence is attached.
6. Background to recom of NFU for Org Gp A Service as per 6 CPC:
(a) The Sixth CPC observed that there is a conventional edge of two years between IAS and other AIS/ Central Group A services and stated that though the Fifth CPC had taken the view that the edge need not be disturbed, in practice, however, the gap of two years (for posting to various grades in the Centre in form of empanelment of IAS officers and promotion for other Group A officers), has increased in respect of many organised Group A services.
(b) The sixth CPC felt that this is not justified as Organised Group A services have to be given their due which justifiably should mean that the disparity, as far as appointment to various grades in Centre are concerned, should not exceed two years between IAS and organised Central Group A services. It recommended that the Government should, accordingly, consider batch-wise parity while empanelling and/or posting at Centre between respective batches of IAS and other organised Group A services with the gap being restricted to two years.
(c) Therefore whenever any IAS officer of the state or joint cadre is posted at the Centre to a particular grade carrying a specific grade pay in Pay Bands PB-3 or PB-4,the officers belonging to batches of Organised Group A services that are senior by two years or more and have not been promoted so far to that particular grade would be granted the same grade on a non functional basis from the date of posting of the IAS officers in that grade at the centre.
(d) The higher non-functional grade so given to the officers of organised Group A services will be personal to them and will not depend on the number of vacancies in that grade.
(e) These officers will continue in their existing posts and will get substantial posting in the higher grade that they are holding on non functional basis only after vacancies arise in that grade. This will not only ensure some sort of modified parity between IAS and other Central Group A services but will also alleviate the present grade of disparity existing between promotional avenues available to different organised Group A services.
(f) The Government accepted the recommendations of Sixth CPC and granted the NFU to Organized GP A Services .
7. Why should the def offrs get NFU :Because of the following
(a) None of the Org Gp A service faces as much stagnation as the Armed Forces offrs because of its pyramidal structure. In fact, on the contrary, most of the Gp A service offrs, as it is, reach the level equal to Addl Secretary due to cylindrical structure of promotion of their service. Only issue for them is,’ in how many years’. In comparison, 97% def offrs retire at the levels below Joint Secretary / Maj Gen. Hence, if the logic of giving NFU to Org Gp A offrs is stagnation, then, no one deserves it more than the Armed Forces Offrs.
(b) Traditionally, since independence, there has been a broad parity between the Class 1 / Gp A offrs of Civil Services and the Defence Services Offrs which has been acknowledged by different Pay Commissions in their reports. In such a case ,the differential behaviour of 6 CPC not only disturbs the financial parity, it pushes down the def services in status as even direct recruit offrs of Gp B services attain a better pay and promotional avenue and manage to reach the level of Joint Secretary / Maj Gen before retiring . In fact, now Sub Inspectors of CRPF/BSF/ITBP too can beat Def Services Offrs when they too will retire with the salary of Addl Secretary / Lt Gen, if they get promoted as Asstt Comdt / DSP in 8 yrs. All this will only fuel frustration, disgruntlement and will have a demoralising effect on the Armed Forces Offrs.
(c) Since Def Offrs will have to work alongside some of the Organised Gp A Services mentioned, a disparity of this magnitude will lead to functional problems .In some stations, it is already being heard that Civ Offrs have started projecting themselves as senior to top military offr like Stn Cdr. In a specific case a Civ Chief Engineer of MES has started considering himself senior to a COS due to NFU and started saying so all around. Such problems will only increase in future. Moreover, this issue must not be allowed to linger till 7th CPC for resolution. If our top brass stands up united on this issue, the govt will have to accept it. Service HQs are aware of this issue and had sent a proposal to MoD, but it has been rejected. However , the issue needs a more forceful pleading duly backed by Service Offrs unanimously.
8. Benefits of NFU : It will not only benefit the offrs facing stagnation at the level of Lt Col, Col, and Brig, but will also benefit senior offrs like Maj Gen and Lt Gen who otherwise pick up their ranks in 29 yrs and 35 yrs resp, as they will too start drawing the pay of Maj Gen in 19 yrs of service and that of Lt Gen in 32 yrs of service.
9. What can you do : Don’t accept ‘ fait accompli’, Spread awareness, as knowledge is power. Apprise more and more offrs about this discrimination. Raise it in appropriate forums to escalate its level and let the top brass take it up as seriously as PB-4 issue with the govt for IT IS, AS SERIOUS AN ISSUE. It not only affects pay, it also affects status.
(Published by the team of Indian Analysis)