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Govt downgrades ranks of defence officers, civil-military rift may widen: HT

Govt downgrades ranks of defence officers, civil-military rift may widen
The government has downgraded the status of military officers compared to their civilian counterparts, a new defence ministry letter accessed by HT has revealed.
A civilian principal director, who was equivalent to a brigadier, has been equated to a two-star general, a director-ranked officer to a brigadier and a joint director to a colonel, triggering widespread resentment in military circles.
Until now, a colonel was equivalent to a director and a lieutenant colonel to a joint director.
The letter, dated October 18, talks about rank “equivalence” between defence officers and “armed forces headquarters civil service officers”. It says issues regarding rank equation were examined in detail.

“By this equation, a captain is equivalent to a civilian Group B section officer. This isn’t mischief, but mischief-plus by bureaucrats,” said an army officer on condition of anonymity.
The letter, signed by a joint secretary, says the government has referred to administrative orders issued by the army, navy and air force during 2003-08. Several serving officers HT spoke to said the orders mentioned in the letter were only for internal cadre management.
“They have deliberately misinterpreted the orders. It’s an attempt to reverse clearly established protocols established by successive pay panel reports and court rulings,” said another officer, who did not wish to be named. He said the diktat was also against the spirit of recommendations made by a GoM headed by Pranab Mukherjee after the 6th Pay Commission report.
The letter states the rank equation laid down in it is to be followed in assigning duties/functional responsibilities and for all purposes such as channel of reporting, detailing of officers for training courses, providing stenographic assistance etc. HT is in possession of the letter.
A defence ministry official said he was aware of the communication but not all the details, adding that the letter says some points have been reiterated.
The letter says in the recent past some directorates have sent communications questioning the established rank equations by relying on incorrect information.
The letter No A/24577/CAO/CP Cell further states, “A common presumption in these communications is a pay determined rank equation which is erroneous as a different pay and rank structure exists for the the armed forces.” The letter has the defence minister’s approval.
The letter has stoked a controversy at a time when the armed forces and the ministry have divergent views on the 7th Pay Commission report and the OROP.
“The October 18 letter has downgraded the status of defence officers to a level lower than even Group B service officers. We have been stabbed in the back,” said a senior officer.
The civil-military rift will further widen if the issue is not resolved, said sources.
“For the morale of soldiers, victory in this internal battle is very important,” the sources added.
Read at: Hindustan Times


  • Deva Dhason 7 years ago

    The basic concept of pay and status depends on skill, labour and knowledge level application. Our Government and our people have no basic understanding of our "FORCES" and their RIGHT PLACE.

    Let me first complement the present Government that has practically worked out some form of OROP. Secondly, atleast some oral expression comes from the Government, in appreciation of the ARMED FORCES and their sacrifice.


    The present rank structure had been made by the British; the work, skill and knowledge was considered in fixing pay and status. Over the time, CPC after CPC, the value of rank structure of the ARMED FORCES has been eroded by IGNORANCE, subordinating a trained soldier to a LDC clerk.

    Further, (1) a soldier has no UNION to cry and fight the Government.(2) Under the British, most of the Commissioned Officers were BRITISHERS not INDIANS. They looked at the men (of the ARMED FORCES) in the MASTER SLAVE RELATION. Britishers have left India before 70 years BUT their attitude still remain in the FORCES; that is the Officers look after themselves but not their men and their RIGHT DUE.(3) On the day of putting the uniform the soldier sacrificed all his personal rights.(4) True, they are prepared to sacrifice their lives.

    I feel INDIA should wake up to make its ARMED FORCES – INDIANISED (not the british way) with clear understanding; Treat the men with the BALANCE of "HUMAN CONSCIENCE & EFFICIENCY IN THE FORCES".

    Equating the ranks of men (Army, Navy & Airforce) by GENERALISATION has not done RIGHT and GOOD.

    How can anyone justify the reduction of Group-I Sergeant of Airforce to 50% down from 3rd CPC. Taking someone UPWARD IS ACCEPTABLE; but DOWN WARD – WHY?

  • Anonymous 7 years ago

    basic pay of gp-1 sgt as per 3cpc was Rs.420 the same as diploma engineer & if their pension is copmpaired today it stands as Rs.20000/. & Rs.40000/respectively.service conditions &other facilities also unmatched.

  • Ministry of Defence must consist of uniformed as well as civilian employees in 50% ratio to have proper coordination. Civilian employee in MoD clerks/ section Officers etc must be ex armed forces personnel, who superannuate or release. MoD has become non professional department. If you degrade officers, who are leaders of troop under them, you are bound to demoralise complete armed forces

  • gurcharan singh Makkad 7 years ago

    when morale of commissioned officers is at stake ,and their feelings are hurt,what will be outcome? pray sense prevails in the minds responsible for this.

    • The strength of Commissioned Officers in the Armed Forces are far less than Other Ranks and if they are ignored while considering pay, allowances,promotion, pension and equation that will have more effect to the morale of Armed Forces.

  • the problem starts from the ORs and JCOs rank. After intensive military training ORs are placed below the rank of an LDC and after rigorous training on the equipment and military training(NH NHS) courses JCOs are treated as below junior gazetted officer. Normally if this is persisting in the army the first three rank of commissioned officers will be placed as junior gazetted officers and subsequent degradation of the top brasses. The up gradation is required from the bottom from where the Army is build up. Give deserving status for the lower ranks then automatically the top brasses will get a upper status for their position. The ORs is the lowest and and the next bunch is NCOs(L/Nk, Nk and havildar(HAV)). In the army they are Non commissioned officers I don't know where they are placed in the civil equivalent. In the civil after three promotion one can come to the top of NGO level. take the case of JCOs. they are commissioned by the president and the promotion is equivalent to gazetted officer absorbed from the lower rank. But they are still placed below Officer Rank. So,in my point of view, these lot must be placed as equivalent to junior gazetted rank in the civil; then automatically the first three rank of commissioned rank(Lt, Capt and Major) will be place as lower rank LT equivalent to deputy collector and every rank will upgraded accordingly and should go parallel to the civil ranking. If such a system is not built the deserving position of the rank remain in the paper and it is a disgrace for the army. It is time to act.

  • It is a deliberate attempt to down grade Armed Forces ranks in comparison to the Civilian officers. Firstly, there is no representative of the Armed Forces in the CPCs, thus deprives the Armed Forces officers an opportunity to explain the requirement of having number of ranks based on the compulsions of operating in the field. There is need to treat the Armed Forces Officers with due respect and regard. What is the use of Mr Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, appealing public to send message to the Armed Forces personals and to clap when they pass through the railway station/airport while the position of the Armed Forces officers is getting downgraded. These types of calls by PM, look superficial in the wake of such deliberate and concrete action of degrading Armed Forces in terms of their status and the pay & allowances. The way Disability pension issue being used to tarnish the image of Armed Forces officers and curtailing the dues, it seems that the issues are seen with biased mind. We hope the Raksha Mantri is able to save the Armed Forces status and create a sense of confidence in the present regime. It seems to be deliberate attempt on the part of few elements in the Government to get bad name to the present NDA Government prior to the State Assembly elections.
    This sort of action getting clearance from the highest level in the MOD is not good for creating conducive working environment.

  • No wonder, no voice was raised by Officers when the rank of Sergeant (IAF) was downgraded to NCEs level. First the rank of Sergeant is to be brought in par with JCOs considering their length of service and experience other wise no meaning for these hue and cry about equation of service officers with civilian grade!!!!

    • Deva Dhason 7 years ago

      I fully agree with Mr.Abdul. Last war we fought in 1971 and since then 45 years past. Today the Govt. has degraded the officers – we do not know what lead to this move. A group-I Sergeant has been vested with duty and responsibility to certify the fitness of Aircraft and close Form-700, WHEREAS the Sergeant is grouped with NCE and paid in Pay-Band-I. Officers have not opened up to speak for their men but for themselves. All central govt. employees have received revised pay and pension. But the soldiers have not received. WE CAN ONLY REAP WHAT WE SOW.

    • A sergeant is equal to a Havildar in the Army and a havildar is an NCO and not a JCO. So the contention is wrong.

    • The 6th Pay Commission recommended higher rate of pension to Air Force Sergeants and Navy Petty Officers considering their qualification and supervisory ability than Havildars in Army. In Army Havildar is an NCO and have separate mess and accommodation, but in Air Force a Sergeant is a Senior NCO and share the same mess and accommodation with JCOs. So the demand of Sergeants for equation with JCO is highly justifiable and required to be considered immediately to keep up the high morale of Airmen.