Resume Permanent Secondment of Army Officers in DGQA which is stalled since 2016.

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Brief of Permanent Secondment for R1 Service Officers in DGQA

 

1.         The issue concerns the delay being caused in respect of Permanent Secondment of Officers (who have been inducted and are presently serving in DGQA) into DGQA  under the following policies of MoD/ DDP, IHQ of MoD (Army)/ MS branch and DGQA.:-

 

(a)       GOI, MoD OM No 28(2)/2011/D(QA) dated 12 May 2011 as amended vide OM of even number dated 14 Jun 2011 stipulating revised QRs for Tenure and Permanent Secondment of Service Officers in the rank of Lt Col (Substantive) in DGQA Organisation.

(b)       SOP for Induction and Permanent Secondment issued vide IHQ of MoD/MS Branch Note No 04504/F-15/MS Policy dated 08 Sep 2011.

 

(c)        DGQA/Adm-4 OM No A/23578/PS/DGQA/Adm-4 dated 22 Sep 2011.

(d)       GoI, MoD/ DDP OM number 6(1)2007/ D(QA) dated 19 Apr 2011.

 

2.         The affected Officers are presently on tenure in DGQA and in the normal course should have been considered for Permanent Secondment to DGQA under the aforesaid policies, wef    01 Jun 2016 to date, depending on their date of induction into DGQA.

3.         As per the letters quoted above, only R1 Officers (High Merit Non-Empanelled Officers who have missed their No 3 Selection Board in Army once) are eligible to be Permanently Seconded and consideration for this is to be done through a Quality Assurance Selection Board (QASB) for Permanent Secondment two years after their date of Induction into DGQA based on clearly laid out  QR vide MoD OM mentioned at Para 1(a) above. As per the prevalent policy, also referred at Para 1(d) above, QASBs are to be conducted twice a year taking   01 Jun and 01 Dec of each year as the cut-off date and have to be approved by MoD/DDP before coming into effect.

4.         It is learnt from the environment that so far, approximately 30 Officers have been Permanently Seconded under this policy in the last three years. The last QASB for Permanent Secondment was conducted in Jan-Feb 2016 corresponding to cut off date of 01 Jun 2015 and letter informing Officers about their Secondment was issued in Mar/Apr 2016.

5.         However, it is learnt with concern that the Permanent Secondment Board for the subsequent batches of Officers i.e. those affected for Permanent Secondment by cut off dates of 01 Jun 2016, 01 Dec 2016, 01 Jun 2017 and 01 Dec 2017 have not been held till date. It is learnt from the environment that the case file consisting of Permanent Secondment as an Agenda Point, despite due recommendations of HQ DGQA, has been repeatedly returned by MoD/DDP, reasons for which are not known.  To summarise, for last two years, no QASB for Permanent Secondment has taken place, which is in absolute violation of the existing MoD/DDP, IHQ of MoD(Army)/   MS Branch and DGQA  policies mentioned at Paras 1(a) to 1(d) above. The Board for Permanent Secondment of Service Officers has the Secretary, Defence Production as the Presiding Officer of the Board and the Joint Secretary (Land Systems) as one of the board members. Their details are as below:

Ser No
Designation
Name
Phone(Office)
Fax
Room/Location
(a)
Secretary, Defence Production
Dr. Ajay Kumar
011-23012527
011-23012300
136, South Block, New Delhi
(b)
Joint Secretary(Land Systems)
Shri Sanjay Prasad
011-23013694
011-23017862
184-B, South Block, New Delhi
 

6.         The resulting delay in Permanent Secondment is having the following      effect:-

            (a)     The prolonged waiting period since the respective cut-off dates, lack of        transparency on the subject, short balance tenures of the affected Officers in             DGQA and violation of the policies at Para 1 above has necessitated     immediate remedial measures, since the earliest batch of Officers (due to be   considered for Permanent Secondment with 01 Jun 2016 as cut-off date), has     already started their fifth year in DGQA and are yet to be informed about their          Permanent Secondment.

            (b)       There is total uncertainty about the future of these affected Officers            which is causing undesirable mental agony and disappointment to them. That            the same is also adversely affecting their respective families is implicit and            doesn’t require elaboration.

            (c)         The  Officers who were chosen to  be inducted into  DGQA, under             provisions of  MoD/DDP letter at Para 1(a) above, based on their high  merit     and qualifications  and  after  satisfying the  QR given  therein, are now being             unfairly treated due to  non- conduct of  QASB for Permanent Secondment,         provisions of which are enshrined in the  succeeding  paras of the same letter.

            (d)        The affected Officers have been working with sincerity and dedication      under various directorates of DGQA, have gained invaluable individual and           cumulative   experience in the field of QA and continue to excel in their         respective departments. However, it is being apprehended that the      advantages of training such a highly skilled force may be frittered away since      there is no progress on their Permanent Secondment.  It may be noted that in the absence of Permanent Secondment, the affected Officers will be recalled       by their respective Line Directorates in the Field Army thereby losing out on            the entire QA teachings/ experience gained.

            (e)       Certain Officers (out of the affected lot)  were also approved for        promotion to the rank of Col in the No 3 Selection Board of the Army,  after       joining DGQA  but have chosen to continue with DGQA, in good faith that the         extant  policy  at Para 1 will be followed, and the Secondment board will be             held as per schedule. In the process, These Officers have foregone their next      rank in the Army) and stand to lose out on both fronts since promotion in    DGQA can take place only after Permanent Secondment which seems to be      on hold presently.

            (f)         If the affected Officers would have been Permanently Seconded as           per schedule, a considerable number out of them would have been promoted           to the next rank to fill up the already existing Colonel’s vacancies in DGQA   and therefore would have been drawing higher pay and allowances. The       difference between the two ranks is substantial and the Officers are being             unfairly denied the same due to delays in their respective QASBs for          Permanent Secondment.

            (g)       In absence of any decision on the conduct of QASB for Permanent            Secondment, unfounded rumours and opinions are being generated in the           environment which is neither conducive to healthy functioning of the organization nor for efficient discharge of duties by the Officers.

LOSS ACCRUED TO THE GOVT OF INDIA DUE TO CONTINUOS POSTPONEMENT OF QUALITY ASSURANCE SELECTION BOARD FOR GRANTING PERMANENT SECONDMENT TO R1 SERVICE OFFICERS OF THE INDIAN ARMY 

7.         Loss of Govt Funds in DGQA:    Service Officers are considered for Permanent Secondment only after completion of two years of tenure in quality assurance related jobs in DGQA and securing an above average grading in Basic Quality Management Course from Defence Institute of Quality Assurance (DIQA),an ISO certified institute of repute, in Bengaluru. If Permanent secondment is not given to these trained Officers, the whole purpose of incurring Govt expenditure on training of these Officers is not served, since these Officers go back to their parent arms after completion of their tenure, thereby leaving a consistent gap in the effective utilisation of defence expenditure. The net result boils down to wasteful expenditure of the taxpayer’s money which could otherwise be fruitfully utilised.

8.         Loss of Trained Manpower in DGQA:   In absence of Permanent secondment of Service Officers, the Officers who have been trained in the nuances of Quality auditing over a period of minimum two years before being considered for secondment, is unavailable to DGQA. These technically competent Officers, who would rather don the mantle of the future generation leaders of the Organisation, are left with no other choice but to revert back to the parent arms in the Armed Forces, thereby consistently weakening the organisation of DGQA through the myopic attitude of individuals with some vested interest.

9.         Loss in Quality of Goods Supplied to the Armed Forces:   The Officers of the Armed Forces permanently seconded to DGQA act as a bonafide representative of the end user of the goods/equipment being used by the soldiers of the Armed forces. Needless to say, that the interest and intricacies of the requirements of the ground soldier is best understood by a soldier who has passed through the same phase at one point of his service. In fact, that is the very essence with which Permanent Secondment was started as regulated vide the under mentioned policy letters of IHQ of MoD:-

(a)       GOI, MoD OM No 28(2)/2011/D(QA) dated 12 May 2011 as amended vide OM of even number dated 14 Jun 2011 stipulating revised QRs for Tenure and Permanent Secondment of Service Officers in the rank of Lt Col (Substantive) in DGQA Organisation.

(b)       SOP for Induction and Permanent Secondment issued vide IHQ of MoD/MS Branch Note No 04504/F-15/MS Policy dated 08 Sep 2011.

 

(c)        DGQA/Adm-4 OM No A/23578/PS/DGQA/Adm-4 dated 22 Sep 2011.

(d)       GoI, MoD/ DDP OM number 6(1)2007/ D(QA) dated 19 Apr 2011.

 

In absence of Permanent Secondment, the critical aspect of quality assurance as solicited in its true sincerity from the aspect of the user is often inadvertently compromised in-house, thereby seriously jeopardising the Make In India and Skill India initiative.

 

10.       Cadre Mismanagement and Lowering of Morale of the Armed Forces:  In the era of downsizing to increase profitability of Govt ventures, it is imperative that the cadre management of Armed forces is done with foresight and caution to prevent disruption of social fabric and productivity. The Officers who if permanently seconded to DGQA could contribute with their technical experience and expertise in the field of quality Assurance could turn out to be a bother if they are sent back to the Armed Forces to serve under junior field commanders. No doubt that the Military Secretary’s Branch also wants the Permanent secondment Of R1 Army Officers on deputation to DGQA to go through. In absence of Permanent Secondment, the lot of superseded Officers who could be a blessing in disguise to DGQA continue to add to the woes of existing cadre management and morale of the Armed Forces.

11.       Spate of Litigation for Restoration of Entitlements : In absence of Permanent Secondment of R1 Army Officers in DGQA against the existing vacancies as per valid Govt orders, the disgruntled Officers take refuge of the courts for restoration of their entitlements. This certainly does not augur well for the Armed Forces where they have to fight for their own rights; neither does it augur well for the Govt which is keen to reduce the spate of litigation which is on the rise in the Armed Forces.

 

RELIEF SOUGHT ON AN IMMEDIATE BASIS

12.       Immediate conduct of QASB (Quality Assurance Selection Board) for affected R1Service (Army) Officers and grant them Permanent Secondment.

 



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