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Sadda Haq Aithe Rakh

Sadda Haq Aithe Rakh

My understanding of the way performance and rewards work is as follows. Performance deserves reward, commensurate to achievement and based on established norms. The organisation  enables performance through provision of resources and infrastructure, while the performer provides sweat and talent – knowledge & skills – towards attaining success. Having attained success, the performer justly expects reward. Apropos Subedar Vijay Kumar, so far so good. But what if the performer, even without waiting for the reward … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Politics

Age Row – Some Facts

Going by the round and round arguments about Gen VK Singh’s age row, it seems people have not gone beyond the sound bytes and headlines to understand the real issue involved. The issue in question was NOT the actual year of the General’s birth. The government, the court, everyone has clearly accepted his word that he was born in 1951. So no one was calling him a liar or assaulting his honour. The case related to what date should be taken into account for the purpose of his retirement. And the outcome was that the date originally entered in the UPSC form will be. Let us look at some facts of the case. The date of birth was entered as 1950 in his UPSC form. This is not denied by anyone, … Read entire article »

Filed under: COAS, Media, Military, Politics

Sab theek hai sahib

Sab theek hai sahib

The Indian soldier, or Jawan as he is affectionately called, is known for not cribbing under the most adverse circumstances. If you ask your driver who has been waiting well past his lunch time for you to emerge from a long conference in the formation headquarters, “Khana Khaya?”, he is sure to say “Haan Sahib”. Of course, when you question him closely he might confess that he hasn’t. But he will also hasten to assure … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Civil Military Relations, Equipment, Military, Politics, Values

Casus Belli Aching

Just when commentators were concluding that Gen VK Singh will be remembered for posterity as the Chief who went to court for getting ten more months in office, the General has yet again managed to spring a surprise. Going public with allegations that he was offered Rs 14 Crore as bribe for accepting sub-standard vehicles for the army, he is back in headlines. While he did not go as far as naming the perpetuators of the tantalizing offer, a recent official press release by the Army claimed that the offer was made by a retired Lt Gen on behalf of a PSU and a foreign firm. The release also claimed that the recent stories about communication interception equipment being used without authorization by the Army in the capital have been … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Civil Military Relations, COAS, Military, Values

The Jointmanship Chimera

The Jointmanship Chimera

According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist and short story writer, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Reports emanating from the recently concluded Joint Commander’s conference shows proof of such first rate intelligence. One report talked about moves for setting up theatre based commands, wherein all the war fighting and sustenance resources would function jointly … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Higher Defence Management, Military

An open letter to the COAS

Dear General, As the head of an organization like the Indian Army, you represent many things to many people. To the serving officers and soldiers, you are a role model. To them, you stand for excellence of the highest order.  You withstood the vagaries of operations and peacetime soldiering successfully, with elan, to reach the pinnacle of the steep pyramid. In doing so, you outshone a few thousand officers who were commissioned around the same time as you. As their Chief and leader, they hang on to your every word. They do that because of the tremendous respect that your office enjoys. They also do that because your decisions virtually control the destiny of this million strong army. Your actions and words impact them professionally and personally. Since they were always taught … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, COAS, Military, Ponderings, Values

Pull of the Lanyard

Pull of the Lanyard

The Regimental system is one of the cornerstones of the Indian Army. Regimental spirit is the glue that binds fighting arms together in a unique bond of loyalty, camaraderie and selfless service. The spirit transcends decades, seniority and other barriers to bring all ranks of a regiment together, professionally and personally. In war and under adverse situations of all kinds, it is the thought of keeping the flag of the regiment flying high – “paltan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Military, Promotion System, Regimental spirit, Values, Welfare

Deja Vu

“Why is the military so bad at retaining these people? It’s convenient to believe that top officers simply have more lucrative opportunities in the private sector, and that their departures are inevitable. But the reason overwhelmingly cited by veterans and active-duty officers alike is that the military personnel system—every aspect of it—is nearly blind to merit. Performance evaluations emphasize a zero-defect mentality, meaning that risk-avoidance trickles down the chain of command. Promotions can be anticipated almost to the day— regardless of an officer’s competence—so that there is essentially no difference in rank among officers the same age, even after 15 years of service. Job assignments are managed by a faceless, centralized bureaucracy that keeps everyone guessing where they might be shipped next.” Going through an article sent to me by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Management, Military, Shortage of officers

The Canteen Brouhaha

The Comptroller and Auditor General recently carried out the ‘Performance Audits’ of Canteen Stores Department and of the Supply Chain Management of Ration Supplies in the Army. Incidentally, these are two separate audits, and DO NOT relate to “Irregularity in Supply of rations through CSD” as most of the newspapers are erroneously reporting. The audit reports in question have been in news because they have led to the summoning of the Service Chiefs by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee – something unprecedented, as per the same news reports. The newspapers are very sketchy about the actual findings / recommendations of the reports – those interested in reading more about them can access them HERE (Rations) and HERE (CSD) . While the aspect of irregularities in supply of rations brooks no argument – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Civil Military Relations, CSD, Military, Welfare

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Image via Wikipedia One would hate to be in the shoes of the Chief of Army Staff these days. Having to wake up every morning dreading what bombshell the newspapers would bring can’t be a pleasant experience. Being at the helm of an organisation consisting of over 10, 00,000 bodies in this age of scandal hungry public and an ever obliging media, this is a cross that he perhaps has to bear. The sad part is that the antics of a few black sheep with unbridled libido, greed or ambition inevitably overshadow the sterling work done by the other 99.9% comprising the organisation. The latest scandal screaming at us from the headlines and ubiquitous red ticker tapes of breaking news is yet another such incident. Details of the case are under investigation, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Appraisal System, Blogitorial, Media, Military, Ponderings, Promotion System, Reforms, Values