Tuesday December 12, 2017
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Govt to announce one-man commission to address OROP shortcomings

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New Delhi: In a bid to mollify striking Army veterans, the government has decided to form a one-man commission to address remaining issues in the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme it announced earlier.

According to reports, the commission would be announced in December by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and would look into the shortcoming of the OROP.

Retired military personnel say the government has betrayed them in the name of making changes in the OROP scheme.

“OROP scheme was cleared by parliament. Then why were the changes made in the scheme? Why did they put conditions?” former Group Captain V K Gandhi, general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement said.

“We returned 20,000 medals during 2009, 2010 and 2011. But at that time the then government had said they were working on the OROP scheme. But the present government is cheating us. They reduced the scheme to ‘One Rank Five Pension’ scheme,” Gandhi added.

The veterans have listed seven changes made by the government which include annual equalisation, 2013-14 financial years as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government.

The new scheme also states that it will be reviewed once in five years and not annually.

Gandhi said the veterans demanded reconsideration on the changes made by the government in the implementation of the OROP scheme.

Earlier, Parrikar had taken a dim view of the attempts by war veterans to burn their medals as a protest to the OROP scheme calling an insult to the nation and the armed forces.

Parrikar had said medals were recognition for the sacrifice made by the armed forces and not connected with the service conditions.

He said those aggrieved by the scheme notified by the government can put their demands before the judicial commission, which has been formed to review the OROP scheme’s shortfalls.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Defence Minister looking into education fund cap issue: Army Chief

The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare had capped tuitions and hostel fees at Rs 10,000 per month in a letter dated September 13.

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The Defence Minister shall look into the education fund cap issue to resolve the problem
Minister of Defence Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi. Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has promised to resolve the issue of a cap of Rs 10,000 on educational expenses paid to the children of defence forces martyrs.

The Army chief further revealed that the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, has informed the Defence Minister of the issue, and she that has said the issue will be addressed on priority.

Defence Ministry sources reported that the Minister had held a meeting on the issue on Wednesday and a decision is likely to be announced soon.

General Rawat said: “For our martyrs, children are entitled (to) free education. It is a very good thing that the government has done. What has happened is possibly because of some misunderstanding– they have now capped it at Rs 10,000 because somebody must have calculated as to how much a person spends per month on child education,” .

“In our case, we have written to the government. I think the Defence Minister is completely seized of the problem. She is aware of it, and after we explained the reason to her… she said she is certainly concerned about it and will address the issue on priority,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

According to informed sources, Admiral Lanba, the most senior among the three service chiefs, wrote to the Minister to urge her to resolve the problem.

A letter dated September 13 by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare had capped fee for tuitions and hostel expenses at Rs 10,000 per month.

The demand to a rollback on the decision was also raised by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and Union Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh, who is himself an Army ex-chief. (IANS)

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Prime Minister celebrates Diwali with Soldiers at LoC

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Facebook

Srinagar, October 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in the border town of Gurez to celebrate Diwali with soldiers protecting the country’s borders.

Official reports said in summer capital Srinagar that the Prime Minister arrived at the Dawar Brigade headquarters of the Indian Army in Gurez border town on Thursday to celebrate Diwali with soldiers protecting the Line of Control (LoC).

Sources here said the Prime Minister is also visiting the far-flung Tulial area near the LoC in Gurez sector to spend some time with the soldiers there.

A day ahead of Modi’s visit, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat had visited the area on Wednesday to review the security situation in the Kashmir valley.(IANS)

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Can’t have one solution for entire nation: Parrikar

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parrikar
Wikimedia

Panaji, Sep 15 (IANS) One blanket solution for a problem can never work for the whole country, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday, underlining that the Supreme Court order last year banning the sale of liquor 500 metres from highways was one such solution.

“Be it legislation, judiciary or government, we think that one type, one bracketed solution is appropriate for all problems… (But) What may be good in New Delhi may not be good in Goa. It may be actually negative in Goa. It will not work in Goa,” Parrikar said.

“One solution cannot be there for the nation,” he said.

Parrikar was speaking on the concluding day of a two-day conference near Panaji on ‘Good Governance and Replication of Best Practices’ organised by the Central Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

Commenting on the apex court’s order banning alcohol sale along highways, Parrikar said: “The basic logic was punish a drunk driver. After the order I found many drunk drivers carrying bottles. Earlier two pegs or three pegs was what they took, now they drink a bottle. Now they carry (bottles).”

“Punish a drunk driver… The positive aspect is considered. But at the same time one solution cannot be there for the nation,” he said.

The former Defence Minister said while many legislations may induce good governance, they also “induce certain negativity”. “Despite of that, I feel that these acts are necessary,” Parrikar said. (source:IANS)