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OROP: Third soldier joins fast, PMO steps in, police say sorry

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New Delhi: As a third soldier joined his two colleagues on a fast-unto-death demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP) on Tuesday, a worried government reached out to the ex-servicemen and urged them to end the hunger strike.

And on the 65th day of the agitation on Tuesday, Delhi Police issued a formal apology for forcibly ending the ex-servicemen’s protest in the city centre a day before Independence Day.

It was the second day of an indefinite hunger strike by retired Colonel Pushpender Singh and former Havildar Major Singh when they were joined by another retired Havildar, Ashok Chauhan.

“When the government said it will implement OROP, why are they delaying it?” asked Pushpender Singh.

On Tuesday, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Nripendra Misra, met the veterans and urged them to call off the fast and to restore normalcy.

2015-08-18_2106“We told him that if there is a concrete assurance (on OROP’s implementation), we will stop it,” retired Lt. Gen. Balbir Singh, president of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said.

Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh, who too was at the meeting, said: “We have sought an assured date for the implementation of OROP. It should be effective from April 1, 2014 as decided by the government.”

When the official could not give the commitment, the Indian United Ex-Servicemen Front decided to go ahead with the fast.

“The fast unto death will continue. We will decide on our next move after August 23-24,” Front spokesman Anil Kaul told IANS.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday urged the ex-servicemen to wait till August 24 as he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But the veterans, agitated over the August 14 police action and disappointed with the prime minister’s Independence Day speech, decided to launch the protest fast.

Delhi Police apologised for its action against the ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar and promised to “rectify” its mistake.

After meeting the retired soldiers, Joint Commissioner of Police Mukesh Kumar Meena told the media: “We respect the veterans.” He spoke in the company of the protesters.

“What happened on August 14 was due to some confusion and misunderstanding. We are with you. We will try to rectify our mistakes,” Meena said. “We did not intend to hurt anyone.”

On Friday, police tried to forcefully evict the protesting ex-servicemen, leading to scuffles.

The home ministry intervened after an uproar and told the ex-servicemen that they would not be asked to leave the protest venue.

Around 24 lakh retired soldiers and some 6.5 lakh widows will benefit if OROP is implemented.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a major general who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lt. Colonel who retired later.

(IANS)

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Sainik School Model to be Incorporated in Non-Military Schools, suggests Prime Minister’s Office to HRD

The elements of military school training the PMO wants to introduce in regular schools include discipline, physical training and ‘patriotic sentiments’

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Sainik school
Two Army T-55 Tanks dedicated to Sainik School, Korukonda. Wikimedia
  • PMO advised HRD ministry to include elements of a Sainik school in regular school
  • The inclusion of elements will incorporate “holistic development” of students
  • Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas will have Sainik school like features

July 21, 2017: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has advised the HRD Ministry to include elements of a military school in regular schools too. This will incorporate discipline, physical fitness, and patriotism in non-military schools. The PMO has suggested the inclusion of such elements in all schools for “holistic development” of students. According to a report, the meeting on Tuesday, July 18 was called out by the PMO to discuss the proposal with Senior HRD officials.

The idea of introducing military elements in schools was first introduced under the NDA government at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (highest government advisory body on education) held in October last year. In the meeting, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of state for HRD accentuated the importance of military education for students to promote the idea of patriotism and nationalism, mentioned Indian Express report.

He further adds,  if 2,000 of the 10,000 students at Nalanda University were trained in military education, they would have foiled “Bakhtiyar Khilji’s plan” to plunder and raze the institute.

Sainik Schools were established in 1961 by the then Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon with the purpose of preparing youngsters for the defense services.

[bctt tweet=”Sainik Schools were established in 1961 to prepare youngsters for the defense services. ” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

The HRD ministry is exploring new ways to introduce Sainik School like features in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), which are also residential school. The PMO’s suggestion was also discussed with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

ALSO READ: Five boarding schools which teach Army training in India

Students at these residential schools have to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC), undergo rigorous physical training and adopt patriotic lives. The Ministry of Defence directs 25 such schools.

Stressing on the binding need for nationalism and patriotism in CABE meeting, Madhya Pradesh’s education minister also affirmed that more Sainik Schools should be set up by the government.

-Prepared by Staff writer at Newsgram