7th Pay Commission – Demoralizing the Defense Forces

                                         Picture Courtesy: http://www.alignthoughts.com
Indian Soldiers serving in Siachin Glacier

Armed forces are on a losing side because of the recommendations of the 7th Pay commission. The main is the disparity in the hardship allowance in defense forces and their counterparts in civil services. For armed forces, Siachin glacier is considered as the hardship area, where as for the IPS or the IAS ranks,  areas like Guwahati, Andaman and Nicobar islands are termed as ‘Hardship Area’.

In terms of monetary benefit an army officer is getting Rs. 31,500 for serving in Siachin and a jawan is getting Rs. 21,000 for the same, whereas an IPS officer is getting additional one-third of his/her basic salary, which amounts to Rs. 55,000 for serving in the areas outside their ‘comfort zone’

If we talk about weather condition in Siachin, it is very adverse climate for the humans to survive. Siachin is the highest battle field in the world. Temperature falls down up to -45 degrees. Soldiers die here not from the bullets of the enemy, but from the adverse weather conditions. As reported in the online article of Indian Express dated 11th Feb 2016, it is mentioned that 879 soldiers had lost their life while serving in Siachin till 11th December 2015. In the same report it is mentioned that India army had spent 7504.99 crore in the last four years for the military operations. In February we lost 10 army soldiers in an avalanche in Siachin.

Chief of three wings of Defense forces met the defense minister Manohar Parrikar during the naval fleet held in Vishakhapatnam earlier in the February this year and raised their concern over the recommendations of the 7th pay commission and the effect on the moral of the defense forces.

                                               Picture Courtesy: http://www.firstpost.com
06_Centenary-Commemoration-of-World-War-I thefirstpost.jpg
Three Chiefs of Indian Defense Forces with Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar

On discussion with Ex IPS officer, he stated, “that it is true that hardship allowance which defense personnel are getting is low, but in addition to this they are getting other facilities too, like free ration, pension after retirement, and more importantly defense personals can easily get jobs in private and public sector with handsome salary. These facilities are not available to IPS or IAS officers after their retirement.”

Now the question arises that does this argument hold its ground and rationalize the disparity in the hardship allowance which our soldiers are facing?

It is very sad that our soldiers have to fight with the enemy at borders, as well with the own government for their rights. Ex- soldiers are already protesting against the government for getting One Rank One Pension (OROP), and now the issue of disparity in the hardship allowance. If these issues are not solved at the earliest, these will demoralize the soldiers. Before situation goes out of control, government should take necessary measures to uplift the morale of the soldiers of the country.

                        Picture Courtesy: http://www.images.indiatvnews.com
Veteran of Indian Defense Forces during the protest for OROP

SSB – First step towards the ‘SERVICES’

Services Selection Board (SSB) is the interview for the officer’s rank in the defense forces of India. This interview is stretched for five days at a particular SSB center. Thousands of defense aspirants for various officers training academies of different wings, after clearing entrance exam of UPSC level appear for SSB. Out of the thousands only a handful candidates get recommended for the officer rank.

Pic Courtesy : http://www.ssbcrack.com

Here are some common traits of every SSB aspirant:

  • Day Dreaming starts once interview letter is received. They start presuming themselves as an army officer. Lakshya becomes the favorite movie for all the aspirants of Defense forces. Candidates start seeing themselves as the transformed Hritik Roshan as shown in the movie.
Pic Courtesy: http://www.santabanta.com
  • They act as if they belong to the elite class of citizens. ‘Josh’ as the term named for enthusiasm in NDA is always at a high.
  • While boarding a train for the respective SSB center it seemed as if they are going for a duty at forward areas or on a war. Feeling inexpressible.
  • After reaching the MCO office all the candidates get together at a place. Repeaters start sharing their experiences and bitching about SSB selection starts. Freshers seem to be listening attentively.
Pic Courtesy :Thehindu.com
  • One can easily separate freshers from the repeaters while loading and unloading of luggage on the army bus. Freshers try to show themselves as the most co-operatives, while repeaters know the entire game, so they silently choose laid back approach.
  • After entering the SSB center, every candidate is one step closer to their aim, they start behaving as if they are officers of the Army. Some repeaters, who visited the center before, start gathering the thoughts of their previous visits to the center. And the most commonly candidates are given Chest Numbers, which are their identity throughout the selection procedure.
Pic Courtesy : http://www.newburrytherapy.com
  • Sleeping early and getting up early is part of the routine of all the candidates at the SSB center. Waiting for a long time outside the conference hall or at the GTO grounds before the commencement of the test gives goose bumps and increases nervousness amongst the candidates.
  • The repeaters are denoted by the ranks of the defense officers depending upon the number of times they have appeared in the SSB. Greater the number of attempts, higher the rank.
  • Recommendation creates divide. Before the day of the final result all of the candidates are on the same level, but as soon as the result is announced, the recommended candidates seemed to get differentiated from the rest of the lot.
Pic Courtesy : Allahabad 34SSB Board
  • Speculations of the candidates who will probably be selected is the common matter of discussion amongst the candidates.
  • ‘The enthusiasm – the Josh’ of the rejected candidates vanishes immediately. And every one starts bitching about the process. Even the opposition could not have criticized the government policies as the rejected candidates criticize the entire SSB process.
Pic Courtesy : http://www.ssbcrack.com