Very well articulated reply to yesterday's CAG sensationalisation on disability pension

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Easy to ask questions.... some of the reasons :

1.  OR Serve for 17 to 19 years ie till about 35 Years of age, officers serve from 54 to 58 years of age. This factor is further aggravated by the fact that due to shortage of officers especially in the cutting edge units, each officer handles multiple appointments for which he is responsible and these addition responsibilities come with full accountability, for which he is answerable. This increases the burden on the officers.
2.   The whole responsibility of any action lies on Officers, which is very *stressful* in a Zero Error Syndrome environment. It needs to be understood that *Stress* is the biggest killer these days even in civil world, where there is no life and. Death situation or accountability, but only Ambition; however in the Defence Services it is responsibility and life death situations that one has to contend with.
3.   Officers lead all Operations from the front that is why the Indian Officer to JCO / OR ratio of Casualties is the highest in the world.
4.  Prolonged stay in operational areas in inhospitable weather and hostile conditions, especially in HAA and CI Areas of J&K, Sikkim, and Arunachal.
5.  Isolation.... Cdrs are isolated and have no one to discuss or vent out their frustrations.

In addition, it also needs to be noted that no officer can *wish* Disability on himself; It is a, Panel  of Doctors and Specialists that declare a Person to be downgraded to Low Medical Category only if they find some Medical abnormality in the person. After this the Medical Board Proceedings are vetted and perused along the Staff Channels and are Ultimately cleared by the Adjutant General's Branch at the Army HQ and then and only then Disability is confirmed on the person concerned.  The implications of which are as follows :

A.  A person does get considered for higher ranks. He loses out on promotions.
B.  Invariably, LMC officers are looked upon as a liability in the organization and no one likes to be looked down upon.
C.  On retirement, since he is sick and loses his ability to perform at peak level his level of competence and efficiency drops, so he is at a disadvantage viz  a viz others for no fault of his own, but because of the environment and circumstances presented to him by virtue of his profession. 

Notwithstanding the above, the statistics about 50% Doctors taking disability pension is based upon two major factors :

1.   Awareness about the benefits and procedure of getting down graded even at the slightest pretext.
2.   They are the ones who compose the Medical Board and as such they are known to each other and may have a soft corner for each other to at least help out borderline cases....

Finally, the aspect about a few black sheep taking advantage of the system on the basis of the Last Rank and Appointment held by them or their being a Doctor cannot be ruled out; Hence the complete system cannot be held to Ransom because of a few black sheep.... instead black sheep as such need to be identified and given exemplary punishment...
However the aspect of Officers to JCO/OR ratio in getting Disabled holds no water and as such needs to be scrapped, because of the reasons substantiated above.....
The CAG guys need to be made to spend just one week in Siachen in winters, one week in the Deserts of Rajasthan in Tanks in peak summers and  one week in the monsoons in the Jungles of the North East and on board a Ship of the Indian Navy in monsoons or one week in deep sea in a submarine to understand the service conditions of the Indian Defence Services and then observe that how strong and fit is the Indian Defence Services. They should also be made to compare the Disability factor of personnel of the Indian Defence Services with that of Foreign Defence Services like the US Defence Services which too are eternally in operations like the Indian Defence Services, but in a much easier environment and then they will realize that given the circumstances, our casualty rate and Disability rate is much lower as compared to them. When those  Nation's use their Defence Services, they suitably compensate them too, unlike the Indian System, wherein the Veterans have to fight even for them equalization of their Pension and the pension itself is just 50% of the Last pay drawn. The Nation needs to introspect and Not go by just a statistical observation by the CAG, which is sensationalized and hyped by the Media, trying to show the Officer Cadre of the Indian Defence Services in poor light ..... 
An effort to show the Indian Defence Services in poor light at the drop of a hat with a view to temper with its functioning or to interfere with its functioning is the biggest harm that anyone can do to this great organization that has stood the test of timestamp is the *Creator, Defender, Protector, Sustainer, Deterrance and Projector of the Nation, its First and Last Bastion* for earning some brownie points or out of sheer Jealousy is absolutely wrong and needs to be shunned..... Yes, point out anamolies and weaknesses, no problems, good to take stock and introspect and put things in order internally; But what needs to be avoided is Sensationalization of such mundane observations that can lead to mistrust between officers and JCO/OR or is aimed at running down the Officer Cadre of the Indian Defence Services and showing them in poor light.

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