ITS NATION’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT HONOUR OF SHORT SERVICE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS(SSCO)
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ITS NATION’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT HONOUR OF SHORT SERVICE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS (SSCOs)
All SHORT SERVICE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS (SSCOs) are Class -I Gazetted Officers duly commissioned by the Honourable President of India and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. SSCOs are constitutionally right and more than justified in demands for their RANK HONOUR and PENSION but unfortunately they have to fight legally to prove and get their constitutional fundamental rights since our policy system have maligned SHORT SERVICE COMMISSION gradually over years from 1960 to till to date against the fundamental healthy spirit of introducing SS COMMISSION.
All Officers join as SS COMMISSION in many countries for particular period without any discrimination and get equal playing fields and continue/discontinue if they want with proportionate retirement benefits as per their rendered service. Hence, Nation always remains indebted and respects SSCOs for their selfless service and they are honourably released with due proportionate pension and retirement benefits from their respective Defence tri-services.
Injustices towards SSCOs started gradually over years from 1960 to till to date by introducing and changing Emergency Commission (EC) / Short Service (SS) COMMISSION norms from initial 2 to 5 to 10 plus 4 years schemes without considering SSCOs interests and welfare against their constitutional Right to Equality. SSCOs serve for a period up to 14 years, risking their lives protecting Nation and Freedom of all citizens getting ZERO pension and NIL medical facilities after due completion of their Defence tri-services tenure. They give prime time of their youth and energy in serving the Nation with utmost sincerity however they are left of their own by the Government when their personal responsibilities are at peak. SSCOs are entitled to only meager one time Terminal Gratuity at the rate of ½ a month’s emoluments for every completed six monthly period of service vide GOI MOD letter no. 1(6)/98 (Pension/Services) dated 03 Feb 98 regarding implementation of Fifth Pay Commission recommendations. On contrary politicians and all civil state/central government employees who hold their positions in the safe confines, protected by these young SSCOs, receive pension even after partly completion of their tenures.
Policy to introduce SS COMMISSION is generally based on pyramid structure of promotion to protect career of Permanent Commissioned Officers, keeping young force and reduce Defence pension budget. Pyramid structure of promotion in the Defence tri-services ignores Merit System and denies many meritorious worthy SSCOs to continue in Defence tri-services. Miniscule reduction of Defence Pension Budget at the cost of depriving pension to meager strength of SSCOs is not considered wise by many Defence committees and Central Pay Commissions in the country. It is not advisable to invite motivated youth of the country to join Defence tri-services, to serve their Nation at peril of their life without ensuring their basic Socio-Economic security for lifetime.
If such discriminatory policies continue, it will definitely have reverse and adverse effects as youth will either stop joining Defence tri-services as SSCOs or stop selfless service keeping self before services against good order and traditions of the Defence tri-services. While making such discriminatory policies against SSCOs, concerned officials didn't consider their basic Constitutional fundamental rights like EQUALITY and RANK HONOUR with which they served Nation selflessly. Also their growing personal responsibilities and commitments towards their family like old ageing Parents, growing children and to maintain their self social status as commissioned officer of India were ignored totally. Such adverse decisions by policymakers in Government made situation further worse for the SSCOs after their release as they withdrew open doors lateral absorption for all SSCOs in the State/Central government and para-military services from SS-6 nearly from 1970 onwards. Even Ajai Vikram Singh (AVS) Committee in 2001 envisaged issues of Defence Officers Cadre restructuring and have recommended for making SS COMMISSION attractive ensuring their re-employment with seniority protection post release. However, as usual implementation failed due to lack of proper Government policies on ground attracting youth to join creating young brigade and get released at young age of 35-37 years without any pensionary benefits. Government of India introduced new SS COMMISSION 10+4 years scheme in Feb 2002 inviting country’s youth to give prime time of their youth to serve Nation without ensuring their SOCIO-ECONOMIC Security post release and releasing them at peak of their responsibilities. It was a WIN-LOSS principle favouring Government of India view narrow vision and short sightedness of officials framing such policies. This only shows blatant exploitation and discrimination of SSCOs in the country.
With the introduction of 10 plus 4 years SS COMMISSION Scheme, it is to be noted that even many SSCOs are now rendering long services towards Nation at peril of their life and duly earn their LONG SERVICE MEDALS after 9 years. Secondly, there are only 7000 SSCOs released by the Defence tri-services as per the RTI information till to date. Hence, DGMS (Army and Navy) Director General Medical Services, MoD to be seriously questioned regarding authentic source of their information about 1, 71, 000 (One Lakh Seventy One Thousand) SSCOs strength for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) as submitted in honourable Supreme Court vide their SLP/Affidavit as mentioned in Report of Raksha Mantri's Committee of Experts-2015. This has denied basic contributory ECHS Medical facility to all Ex-servicemen SSCOs in the country till to date. Also such act of concealing facts for denial of justice in the Honourable Supreme Court can be viewed seriously against DGMS in Court of Law.
The homogenous class of commissioned officers has been discriminated against, though similarly situate. Hence, SSCOs policies create invidious discrimination and are violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Introduction of 10+4 years SS COMMISSION by the Government of India increased additional years in SSCOs services which is approximately three times without paying them any additional pensionary benefits and even depriving them of basic health contributory scheme of ECHS after extracting prime time of their youth when their social responsibilities are at peak. It shows blatant exploitation and discrimination towards SSCOs.
All war and no peace situations were fought bravely and selflessly by ECOs/SSCOs war veterans from the Defence tri-services. There have been 244, MARTYRS from OTA as listed in their alumni website, 22 % of these SSCOs martyrs were regularized, and however 78% SSCOs were MARTYRED during their SSCO tenure only. It is, therefore, evident from the above that the enemy bullets will not discriminate between PCOs, Regularized SSCOs, SSCOs or a jawan commissioned as SSCO. SSCOs War Heroes are awarded many Gallantry awards, few amongst them as acclaimed are 03 Param Vir Chakras, 10 Maha Vir Chakras, 03 Vir Chakaras, 08 Ashoka Chakras, 21 Kirti Chakras, 110 Shaurya Chakras, 24 Youdh Seva Medals, 259 Sena Medals, many were Mentioned-in- Despatches for Gallantry and countless who fought with distinction in all major wars and contributed selflessly in no war no peace situations for National Security.
Bright idea of SS Commission was introduced to have battle worthy young brigade as a backbone of Defence tri-services but discriminatory behaviour and policies miserably failed it since present system of incentives fails to attract best available talent to join elite Defence tri-services in the country which once use to be an Honour.
All citizens and judiciary of India should defend such discriminatory policies which are created by officials in the system either due to their narrow vision/short sightedness or ignorance of harming basic fabric of the Defence tri-services by creating class within class of COMMISSIONED RANK OFFICERS.
Government of India should now take due steps to rectify and keep Honour of President's Commission intact always and every time. It is beyond any logical imagination or reasoning that why Government of INDIA shouldn't do it with immediate effect. Government must consider this as one of the most sensitive issue prevalent in the country today and issue appropriate orders regarding pension for SSCOs and undo this prolonged injustice being done to them.
Jai Hind ��
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