A TALE OF TWO OFFICERS
Relative rewards of a military and civil services career
THIS is a true story, adapted from Colonel. Rajan’s public lament, a tale typical of every officer and jawan. S.S.Rajan, the son of an army officer, joined the army with an engineering degree and was commissioned in the Corps of ‘Engineers in June 1963, with his pay at Rs.460 per month. He served in NEFA and later fought in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. In that war, his vehicle was blown up, maiming and killing his comrades, but he was lucky to escape with major injuries. He was recommended for the Vishisht Seva Medal on four occasions.
After over 19 years of service, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, whereas IAS and IPS officers automatically become joint secretaries and equivalent on completion of 18 years of service or less. Rajan was promoted to Colonel in August 1985 and retired after over 33 years of meritorious service, when he had a daughter aged 15 and a son aged 8 to take care of. He received a pension of Rs.9125 per month and got a lump sum of Rs.10 lakh for commutation of pension, gratuity, provident fund, army group insurance and leave encashment – not enough to buy even a small two-bedroom flat in Bangalore, To add insult to injury, his pay was fixed at the “starting pay” for a colonel plus one increment, whereas it should have been fixed at the maximum pay eligible for a colonel.
Rajan’s contemporary, R.Swaminathan, joined the Armed Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) Cadre as a lower division clerk, being in the AFHQ Cadre, he was posted in
On retirement, Swami Nathan was granted pension on par with a Senior Deputy Secretary (IAS) and got Rs.45 lakh in cash, by way of gratuity, provident fund, leave encashment and commutation. This is not an isolated instance. It happens to all military personnel. The telling effect of this true story on the morale of soldiers and their children is obvious. Rumblings have increased and should be heard by the discerning, before a catastrophe occurs.
Courtesy: “Indian Ex-serviceman” May 2008