And in regard to Military Service Pay, the commission has recommended only Rs 4200 to MNS officers whereas Rs 6000 for other officers. The reason given for this disparity is MNS officers are not meant for combat duties. Whereas in the issue of giving permanent commission to women officer into the Armed Forces (other than AMC, ADC and MNS) has been denied by the Government stating that women cannot be put on combat role but finally accepted to grant permanent commission only in certain corps and department meaning thereby all the women officers in the various services, Corps and branches of the Indian Army and the corresponding branches in Navy and Air force where short service commission is extended and also the services & branches of the Armed Forces where women are being given Permanent commission are not meant for combat role but everyone other than MNS officers are granted MSP Rs 6000 (Permanent Commission to women are only given in AMC, ADC and MNS earlier but recently the proposal has been accepted by the Govt. to give Permanent Commission to women in JAG Branch and Army Education Corps of the Army and its corresponding branches in Navy and Air Force including the Naval constructor of the Navy and the Accounts Branch of the Air Force) Click here to see the Press Release of Govt. of India (Do not forget to note that all are referred as lady Medical Officers & lady Dental Officers but MNS Officers are refferred as members of MNS instead of Nursing Officers - which is in violation of the provision of Sec 5 of the MNS Ordinance 1943 and various relevant statutory provisions of the Army).
Also click here and go to Para 147.3 at Page No 41 of the 5the Pay Commission recommendation to know about the CADRE CONFIGURATION (Officer cadre of Army) of the Indian Army (As per this the MNS officers are in the Specialist Cadre of the Army alongwith Intelligence Corps, AMC, ADC, RVC, AEC, JAG Branch, Army Physical Training Corps, CMP and Military Farms)
Therefore the justification given by the pay commission for reducing the MSP to MNS officers was wrong and would have been negotiated and considered by the government but unfortunately the army authorities were powerful enough to mislead the government.
If every women short commission officers and the corps, services and branches of the Army and its corresponding branches of the Navy and Air Force where women were (are) being given permanent commission, though not meant for combat duties, can be treated as combatants, then the combatant status of MNS officers also can not be ruled out because as per Sec 4 of the MNS Act 1943 the MNS Officers are liable for service only with forces and persons subject to the Army Act 1950 and also as per Sec 8 of the ordinance the MNS Officers are bound to undergo such training and in such manner and to perform such duties in connection with military forces and top of this, as per the government notification, all the military hospitals located in field/modified field areas are notified by the government as non-static units/formations as they are broadly fulfilling the role of formations/units directly assisting the operations (kindly see the notification in the Pay and Allowances book issued by the CDA (O) Pune) and the MNS officers are posted to all military hospitals located in field areas which has been accepted by the pay commission itself. As per the same notification, Military Farms, Recruiting officers and Training centres/establishments are treated as static units but all officers in the above said establishments are granted Military service Pay of Rs 6000 . Click here to see the Press Release by the Govt. apprising the services rendered by MNS Officers since its inception even during World War I & II
Therefore the MSP of MNS officers also should be same as other officers of the Armed Forces. But until unless the case is taken up I don't think this anomaly can be sorted out.
PB4 and Lt Cols : (Latest and the bitter one to Lt Cols of MNS):
Recently the government has also sanctioned all Lt Cols (excluding MNS Officers) and equivalent in the Defence Services to PB4 which is in contradiction to the recommendations of Pay Commission which has been accepted by the Govt. As per the new order all Lt Cols will get PB4 after the completion of 14 years of service (Thanks to the AV Singh Committee recommendations) but Lt Cols of MNS who is promoted to the rank after completing 20 years of service given only PB3 even the AV Singh committee recommendations were not extended to MNS Officers which is in gross violation of government orders and the 5th Pay Commission recommendation regarding Annual Career Progression (ACP) scheme. Click here and go to Para 147.41 & 147.43 at Page No. 52 to know about the military service element and ACP scheme for MNS Officers and also the proposal for Rank Pay to MNS Officers by the army authorities can be seen on top of the same page (Govt. has to find out why there is a demand from the army authorities for lowering the Pay Band and Grande Pay of MNS Officers?)
AVSC Phase-I in respect of non-select ranks i.e. Lieutenant Colonel and equivalent and below was implemented in December 2004 and recently the AVSC Phase II also sanctioned by the government for the higher posts (Thankfully the 6th CPC has recommended to extend the scheme of time bound promotion upto the rank of Lt Cols to MNS Officers also and the same has been accepted by the Govt.) but no orders have been issued so far. As the pensionery benefits including gratuity and commutation of pension is based on the pay band, grade pay and MSP for the Defence services the great loosers will be the Lt Cols of MNS only even after fulfilling the requirement of the services by serving shoulder to shoulder alongwith the forces be it in peace location or in the field, forward areas where imminense of hostilities and associated risk to life exists. Troops in field areas are located for reasons of operational considerations alone and are not living in cantonments. Therefore, denying PB4 to Lt Cols of MNS under the garb of combat/non-combat role is unjustifiable and is in gross violation of the statutory provisions, government orders and the recommendation of the 6th pay commission itself which has recommended same Pay Band and Grade Pay to similar ranks of the service officers and the MNS officers. (All enrolled personnel of the Defence Forces under field service liability are combatants even the defence service civilians who has field service liability under the provisions are combatants. No definition is given in the Army Act 1950 and even in the MNS Ordinance 1943 for combatants and non-combatants but it is clarified in the Defence Service Regulations. And as per the dictionary meaning , combatants means defence forces personnel and non-combatants means civilians and includes the civilian enrolled in defence forces).
Otherwise also the denial of PB4 for only Lt Cols of MNS is in total contradiction to the government's own stand and reason given in relation to grant of Parmanent Commission to women in the Army (As per the Press Release by the Govt. of India, all Short Service Commission women officers in various branches of the Army and all services, branches, and corps in which women are given Parmanent Commission are not meant for combat duties meaning thereby they are also non-combatants). Then how come the PB4 for the Lt Cols and the AV Singh Committee Recommendation Phase I for these services, branches and corps has been extended by the Govt. of India excluding only the MNS Officers?
Therefore, by not giving the benefit of AV Singh Committee recommendation to MNS Officers and not placing Lt Cols of MNS in PB4, the principle of equal remunaration for the specific length of service relating to the rank has been violated.
POINTS TO BE NOTED:
- All enrolled persons who gives an affirmation to the Govt. (Terms and conditions signed by the person during entolment) that he/she will go wherever ordered by the government by sea, air or land are combatants and those higher class non-combatants if accepts and signs the same terms and conditions then the government considers them deserving of being treated on the footing of combatants. (As per the clarifications given in Indian Army Act 1911)
- Pay Commission has not taken MNS Officers as non-combatants but it only said that MNS officers are not primarily meant for combat duties and there is a great difference between the status of combatant and combat duty. But the Pay Commission has failed to understand that all the defence personnel in the specialist cadre and in the logical support cadre are not primarily meant for combat duties. And the Pay Commission has not recommended the Pay Band and Grade Pay on the footing of combatant/non-combatants. (only MSP is taken into consideration for this difference which is also not appropriate under the circumstances as explained above).
- Therefore, Pay Band to a single rank can not be fixed with some conditions.
- No Group A officers of the government, though civilians i.e. non-combatants is in PB3 after the competion of 14 years and also no Group A officer retires in PB3 except Lt Cols of MNS. If PB4 to Lt Cols and equivalent can only be given to combatants then how the equivalent rank in the logistic support and the specialist cadre of the armed forces and also the Group A officers of the centreal government could be placed in PB4?
- In MNS Cadre Lt to Maj are placed in PB3 similar to the service cadre and Col and above are placed in PB4 similar to the service cadre which is as per the recommendations of the Pay Commission but only the Lt Cols of MNS is being deprived of the recommendations of the Pay Commission.
- MNS Officers are being given the starting Scale of Pay at par with Group A service officers so far (This has been maintained only in case of Lt to Maj and Col to Maj Gen) only Lt cols are deprived of.
- In MNS cadre most of the officers retire in the rank of Lt Col only because of the non availablity of vacancy to the next higher rank.
- Lt Col rank to MNS Officers to be granted after the completion of 13 years similar to the service officers and should be placed in PB4 to uphold the principle of equal remuneration for the specific length of service relating to the rank.
- It is also to be noted that as per the mindset of the authority the MNS cadre was not raised as an 'Auxiliary Force'. The preamble of the ordinance itself it was mentioned that an ordinance to constitute a force to be called the military nursing service as part of the armed forces of the union and in sec 3 of the MNS Ordinance 1943 it is clearly stated that there shall be raised and maintained, in the manner hereinafter provided, as part of the armed forces of the union and for service with the indian military forces as auxilliary force which shall be designated the military nursing service. It is to be noted that as per sec 3 of the Ordinance the auxiliary forces were the indian military forces and not the military nursing service. If the MNS was raised as an auxiliary force then the Auxiliary Forces Act 1920 would have been made applicable to them but the indian Army Act 1911 was made applicable to them as per sec 9 of the MNS Ordinance. And the Auxiliary Forces Act 1920 was only repealed in 1950. Hence there is no any auxiliary forces existing since 1950 in the indian armed forces.