[BeeCee, who had penned a few guest posts earlier (here, here, here, here and here), is back with some fresh insights on how the SCPC has indulged in duplicitious behaviour. Regular readers of the blog are aware of BeeCee's credentials and his eye for detail. A slightly different version of this blogpost is at Navdeep's Blog.]
Having seen the cacophony on Pragmatic’s blogpost titled ‘SCPC logic‘ (mostly under the ‘street light’ pattern), I managed to have a cursory look at the SCPC report on the net and their logic. I must say that they have been ‘less than honest’ brokers, to say the least.
This can be seen in the way they have selectively stated previous CPC positions and moved away from the established Service Officers – Organised Group A Services/ IPS equation to a new standard of comparison with CPMFs. The parity with civil services, though stated as given,has been given a complete miss.
- In the chapter on Armed forces, they have shown both Captain and Major as STS(III CPC) merely to manipulate and suit their view and take the logic forward. The Major’s starting pay was higher than JAG even if you add the starting edge of Rs50. The higher pay was also not because of any special dispensation, but because time for promotion to Major was 11 years as against 9 years(including training) for JAG. The distinction between pre and post AVS Major has been obfuscated. If this is placed correctly, present Lt Colonel[replacement of pre-IV CPC Major(SG)] as NFSG in armed forces would be clear.
- Only one pre-IV CPC civil NFSG scale has been shown for comparison with the armed forces. This was the highest NFSG among the many available then. If they had also shown the other civil NFSGs of the time(some shown in the chapters on Group A/AIS civil services) the logic would not have held.
- The pre-IV CPC scale of Major(SG) crucial for the equation up to NFSG level has not been shown.
- The III CPC scale of DIG which is shown appears to be wrong. What is shown is the Pre-IV CPC scale to mislead the reader. The DIG’s scales were revised by the Home Ministry just prior to the IV CPC placing him above Cols. This was explained and corrected by the IV CPC in its report and who again placed DIG between Lt Col and Colonel actually with a Lt Col and then upgraded the DIG. In fact there were two DIG scales linked to the year of promotion.
- The civil scale of SAG II(Brigadier’s nearest equivalent), that was merged with SAG I at IV CPC has not been shown. By the same logic, the Brigadier should also have been on the SAG scale from IV CPC.
In effect, what has been attempted now is to use the III CPC disparity that existed between ‘the most advantaged in the civil services’ vis-a-vis the armed forces to push down the Services, while narrowing the gap between the various civil services. This is the reason why Services are now left to compare with CPOs, MES etc instead of the Organised Services. (This is absolutely not to denigrate the CPOs or MES, but only to draw attention to the hierarchy that existed earlier, from which the Services alone have been displaced.) No mention has been made of the uniform progression up to 14 years available across the board so far and was to be maintained. If parity with civil pay structure has been accepted, why is it that only military officers don’t get paid during training? Unless the Services confused the issue by clubbing NDA and IMA training.
In places where the same logic has been applied for both the military and the civilians, like inter-se equation of JCOs with civilians, disability pension etc, the civil logic has been beneficial to the Services. In fact I do not know of any situation where Services have been at a disadvantage if the same logic is applied across the board.
I think Services walked into a trap with the ‘we are different’ argument.
Regarding the SDA, the IV CPC did away with the concept. They standardised progression up to NFSG in the 14th year for Organised Gp A services and Armed forces. For the Services this included Rank pay of Major. Since Maj(SG) was done away with, the pay of JAG and NFSG were combined to give a longer run for the Major terminating at the same level as NFSG. Only the starting edge and late commencement of pay was maintained. As to why this was done, may be the report clarifies it. I don’t know.
After the Vth CPC also, the Major moved to 14300/-(start of NFSG) in the 14th year(plus 1). This again included the Rank pay. They also don’t seem to talk of any edge in the scale as such.
Things may be clearer if the full reports are read. I am not sure if the extracts quoted by the VI CPC would give the complete picture or can be trusted. What appears to have happened is that VI CPC wrote the analysis/ findings first, and then extrapolated the figures to suit/ justify the analysis. Otherwise there is no way that they could have got to equate a Brigadier with a DIG or a Lt Colonel with a JAG.
There is no end to the debate on ‘my job is more important than yours’. It can get quiet silly as seen by various comments on the blogs. It is to avoid such meaningless debates that the IV CPC brought in ‘uniform career progression upto a point’ and the V CPC suggested a ‘model cadre structure’, i.e. a percentage of the cadre strength in each pay-grade. Implementing these would have been of tremendous benefit to the armed forces and would have given a sense of fairness across the board.
The problem at the last CPC was that they accepted the model cadre structure for every one, except the armed forces. This is the single major anomaly that has remained post V CPC. The issue of SDA was a forgotten chapter and irrelevant to be revived now by either the CPC or the Services.
A comparison with what the VI CPC says and what the Services actually asked for, or responses to each other could be enlightening.