Stop Government of India from fighting against our Brave Armed Forces Officers for NFU!

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It is high time that we ensure that those who fight for us do not have to fight OUR Government for their rightful dues. It was very heartening to see almost the entire citizenry of our nation come out to applaud the gallantry of our brave hearts. Even you would have lit a candle and shouted slogans. Your soldier needs you now, please support Him!   

NFU was introduced on the recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission with effect from 01-01-2006 to offset the financial loss for lack of promotional avenues in various Government services. NFU implies that whenever an IAS officer gets empanelled at a particular appointment at the Centre, all other Group-A service officers are also upgraded to the same level after a period of two years from the date of empanelment, on a non-functional basis, irrespective of whether they are actually promoted or not. For example, if an officer of the IAS of 1989 batch is empanelled as an Additional Secretary to Govt of India, then all other Organised Group-A officers of the 1987 batch shall also be placed in the ‘Additional Secretary to Government of India’ pay grade (Higher Administrative Grade/HAG). As a result, almost all organised Group-A civil officers are retiring with the pay and pension of much higher grades than the functional grades actually held by them.

Ironically,this has not been sanctioned for the Armed Forces, where the promotional avenues are the least because eof the pyramidical structure for efficient command and control.   In Civil Services all officers, even withoput NFU reach the minimum rank of IG/Jt Secy (equivalent to Maj Gen), within 18 to 20 yrs service but in the Army only 2% officers reach that rank and that too after about 30 years of service. Majority of the Armed Forces officers retire at rank of Col at 54 yrs age. While every IAS Officer gets an additional 6 years. 

The performance of our Armed forces Officers is by far superior to any other Government service and if anyone deserves a guaranteed career progression it is our Heroes in Uniform. While NFU has direct financial implications it is not the money that the men in uniform are fighting for. The Soldier is driven by “NAAM, NAMAK, NISHAN” the core ethos of men in the uniform. Loosely translated, it means:

·         Naam – Name/Reputation of your country, your Regiment or your self

·         Namak – Fidelity to the salt you’ve partaken

·         Nishaan – Ensign, Flag or standard. The Indian flag and the Colors of the regiment.

An officer of the Armed forces serves alongside his civilian counterparts in Service Headquarters and quite a few other appointments. The Status of a Government servant is determined by the Pay. When a soldier sees himself and his comrades degraded in terms of status vis-à-vis the civilian counterparts, it dents his morale.

The Armed Forces Tribunal, AFT in New Delhi in December 2016 allowed a petition demanding Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) for defence officers on the pattern of civil services officers of Group ‘A’ services. The bench directed that if Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) is implemented for civilians in 7th Pay Commission it will be given to armed forces officers also.

The Government which portrays itself to be committed to the interest of the Armed Forces appealed against the Tribunal Judgement in the apex court. The Irony is that on the day 12 Bravehearts of the Indian Air Force took to the skies and with utter disregard to their personal safety intruded into enemy airspace to target terrorist camps, their own government through it lawyers was fighting to deny them NFU.