Resolutions adopted in the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of BPMS

Resolutions adopted in the Central Executive Committee of BPMS



Dated: 25.09.2017


Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,
Defence Minister,
Government of India,
South Block, New Delhi - 11

Subject: Resolutions adopted in the Central Executive Committee of BPMS.

Hon'ble Madam,

With due regards, it is submitted for your kind information that the 4th Central Executive Committee meeting of 17th Term of this federation has held at Ordnance Factory Estate Medak (Telangana) on 20th & 21st September, 2017 and 02 Resolutions have been unanimously adopted by the CEC of the federation & the same are enclosed herewith for your kind consideration and further necessary action please.

This federation is in full hope to get favourable consideration in this regard.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Sincerely yours
Enclosed: As mentioned
General Secretary

Resolution No. 1: Granting of one time relaxation for Compassionate Appointment in Defence Establishments.

The Govt. of India vide DOP&T O.M. No. 14014 / 6 / 94- Estt (D) dated 09th Oct 1998 read with O.M. No. 14014/23/ 99- Estt (D) Dated 03rd Dec 1999 has issued instructions to give a compassionate appointment to one of the dependent for the survival of his family, if any employee unfortunately dies during his service period; leaving his family behind to survive, but it is limited to 5% of the vacancies of direct recruitment.

The appointment on compassionate ground is an exception to the equality clause under Article 14 and if an employee dies while in service then according to rule framed by the Central Government or the State Government to appoint one of the dependants shall not be violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution because it is to mitigate the hardship due to the death of the bread earner of the family and sudden misery faced by the members of the family of such employee who had served the Central Government or the State Government. Hon‟ble Supreme Court of India has held that while framing any rule in respect of appointment on compassionate ground the authorities have to be conscious of the fact that this right which is being extended to the citizen under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. As such there should be a proper check and balance. Further, though the compassionate appointment is the exclusive domain of the State which extends it to a family member of the deceased Government Servant to come out of the penurious situation and the crippling crisis that had arisen due to the sudden demise of the employee, the exercise to make such appointments is not routine in all cases and only in exceptional cases where the situation is such that grant of appointment is absolutely warranted, as otherwise, the family would sink down and collapse due to penury.

The Apex Court held that the very concept of giving a compassionate appointment is to tide over the financial difficulties that are faced by the family of the deceased. It has been held by the Hon‟ble Supreme Court in the case of Umesh Kumar Nagpal vs. State of Haryana and others reported in (1994) 4 SCC 138, which read as under:-

“2. The question relates to the considerations which should guide while giving appointment in public services on compassionate ground. It appears that there has been a good deal of obfuscation on the issue. As a rule, appointments in the public services should be made strictly on the basis of open invitation of applications and merit. No other mode of appointment or any other consideration is permissible. Neither the Governments nor the public authorities are at liberty to follow any other procedure or relax the qualifications laid down by the rules for the post. However, to this general rule which is to be followed strictly in every case, there are some exceptions carved out in the interests of justice and to meet certain contingencies. One such exception is in favour of the dependants of an employee dying in harness and leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood. In such cases, out of pure humanitarian consideration taking into consideration the fact that unless some source of livelihood is provided, the family would not be able to make both ends meet, a provision is made in the rules to provide gainful employment to one of the dependants of the deceased who may be eligible for such employment. The whole object of granting compassionate employment is thus to enable the family to tide over the sudden crisis. The object is not to give a member of such family a post much less a post for post held by the deceased. What is further, mere death of an employee in harness does not entitle his family to such sources of livelihood. The Government or the public authority concerned has to examine the financial condition of the family of deceased, and it is only if is satisfied, that but for the provision of employment, the family will not be able to meet the crisis that a job is to be offered to the eligible member of the family. The posts in classes III or IV are the lowest posts in non-manual and manual categories and hence they alone can be offered on compassionate grounds, the object being to relieve the family, of the financial destitution and to help it get over the emergency. The provision of employment in such lowest posts by making an exception to the rule is justifiable and valid since it is not discriminatory. The favourble treatment given to such dependant of the deceased employee in such posts has a rational nexus with the object sought to be achieved, viz., relief against destitution. No other posts are expected or required to be given by the public authorities for the purpose. It must be remembered in this connection that as against the destitute family of the deceased there are millions of other families which are equally, if not more destitute. The exception to the rule made in favour of the family of the deceased employees is in consideration of the services rendered by him and the legitimate expectations, and the change in the status and affairs, of the family engendered by the erstwhile employment which is suddenly upturned.”

Further, there are certain cases where the employee dies during performing his duties, due to Accident / Explosion / Bullet injury or due to some technical fault, either due to defective system or carelessness of the management, with no fault of the worker/employee. These cases are also being dealt under the same aforesaid provision of Compassionate appointment, whereas, it is an entirely different case and should be dealt under Compulsory Appointment and which should be apart from 5% quota.

It is worth to mention here that considering the vacant posts in Group „C‟ & „D‟ (erstwhile) the then Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Manohar Parrikar and Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS (PMO, P.PG&P) Govt of India had assured this federation to do the needful to resolve this issue by granting one time relaxation from the ceiling of 5% limit for appointment on compassionate grounds in Defence Establishments. It is very painful to note that the matter is still unresolved.

The CEC of BPMS hereby adopts the above resolution unanimously and demands from the Government of India, Min of Defence for granting of one time relaxation from the ceiling of 5% limit for appointment on compassionate grounds in Defence Establishments.

Resolution No. 2: Scrap Recommendations of Shekatkar Committee

The Government had appointed an 11 member committee headed by Lt.Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd) primarily to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure. The committee submitted its recommendations to the Government on 21-12-2016 and as per media reports, out of the 99 points, the Cabinet has accepted 65 recommendations.

Acting on the same, Government have announced complete closure of Military Farms vide its Letter No.7(1)/2016/D(QS)/2017 dated 20/07/2017 and the Government has also decided to restructure EME Workshops on GOCO (Government Owned Contractor Operated) pattern and also to close down certain Ordnance Depots.

As for redeployment and rationalizing of manpower, the Shekatkar Committee has recommended that the role of non-combat organisations paid for and sustained by the defence budget be subjected to a performance audit. Some of these organisations mentioned in the report are Defence Estates, Defence Accounts, DGQA, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), and DRDO.

Interestingly, the committee has said that OFB needs to include private companies and has suggested using private-public partnerships to speed up production, ensure better quality and cut down delays.

Further, the Committee has also recommended closure 11 DRDO Labs which has been identified as Non-Core.

The executive committee of BPMS, while examining the various end results of the Government‟s move to accept the recommendations, have opined that since there will be massive redeployment and/or retrenchment of Civilians, apart from restructuring of several important organisations, BPMS being a major recognised Federation of Civilian employees should have been consulted.

However, most unfortunately, without even adhering to the basic tenets of democracy which envisages talks/discussions, the Government has unilaterally taken decisions which directly affects the employment status of civilian employees and also destabilises several important institutions which provides strong logistical support to the combat preparedness of our Forces.

The Ministry of Defence Annual report itself states that the challenges to internal security in India can be categorized into four threats viz cross border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, militancy in the North East, Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in certain states and terrorism in the hinterland. The report categorically states that 106 districts of 10 states are affected by LWE

As such, it is not clear as to how the Shekatkar Committee recommends the closure of Army Postal Establishments in “Peace Areas”, as there is nothing called peace area as per the Ministry‟s own report.

Border Roads Organisation has earned a reputation of being the only road construction agency to construct and maintain roads in difficult, isolated and inhospitable terrain in inclement climatic conditions. The Border Roads Organisation started operations in May 1960 with two Projects. It has now grown into an 18 Project Organisation. Nine BRO projects are located in Western India (4 in J&K, 2 in Himachal Pradesh, 2 in Uttarakhand and 1 in Rajasthan), 8 BRO projects are located in Eastern India (1 in Sikkim, 4 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 in Nagaland, 1 in Mizoram and 1 in Tripura) and 1 in Bhutan.

BRO has constructed approximately 51,000 Km of roads, 498 major permanent bridges of 45,263 m length and 19 airfields in these areas of the country. At present, BRO is working on 852 roads (39,049 Km), which include new construction, improvement from single lane to double lane (530 Nos and 22, 803 Km) and maintenance of 322 roads of 16247 Km. These 852 roads also include 61 Indo- China Border Roads (ICBRs). The construction of 22 ICBRs has already been completed and initial connectivity to further 26 roads has been achieved. BRO is also maintaining five airfields. In addition, 2 Nos of Tunnels viz. Rohtang Tunnel (8.8 KM) in Himachal Pradesh and Theng (0.578 Km) in Sikkim are under construction.

As such it is bizarre that even comments are being made about such a vital organization and efforts are on to place them in private hands.

DRDO labs are grouped into seven technology clusters namely, Aeronautical Systems (AERO), Armament and Combat Engineering Systems (ACE), Electronics and Communication Systems (ECS), Life Sciences (LS), Micro Electronic Devices and Computational Systems (MED & CoS), Missiles and Strategic Systems (MSS) and Naval Systems and Materials (NS&M). Each of these clusters function under cluster DGs. The seven DG offices are located at Bangalore (Aero and ECS), Pune (ACE), Delhi (MED & CoS and LS), Hyderabad (MSS) and Vishakhapatnam (NS&M)

Each of the DRDO Labs are engaged in Core activities itself and hence identifying some as functioning on “non-core” area is highly objectionable.

DRDO has a total strength of 24,578 employees, out of which 7,410 are in Defence Research and Development Services (DRDS), 9,297 in Defence Research and Technical Cadre (DRTC) and 7,871 are in Administration and Allied Cadre. As such, BPMS strongly opposes any redeployment and/or retrenchment in DRDO.

As part of overall “Modernization Drive”, Army Ordinance Depots are also being upgraded with Modern Infrastructure and Automation. In this connection CCS approved Modernization Project of COD Agra and Jabalpur on April 11, 2007 for an amount of R 751.89 crore. The work was originally to be executed by DRDO, but later transferred to MES on March 4, 2008. The modernization plan encompasses the conversion of old store house shelters into large span modern Pre Engineered Building (PEB) structures (largest size 198m x 54m) for warehousing. These structures have modern stacking and retrieval system of stores with Mechanized Handling Equipment and Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) tracks. Various modern facilities such as High Rise Inventory Storage System, Warehouse Management Software, Fire Fighting Arrangements and Access Control are incorporated in the scheme of things. In addition, administrative buildings and OTM accommodation/ escort lines area is being constructed.

Thus, any move of the Government to restructure, corporatize and/or privatise any of the Ordnance Deports is being strongly opposed by BPMS.

The Directorate General Defence Estates, New Delhi, has advisory and executive functions in matters relating to management of Defence lands and Civic Administration in 62 Cantonments. The Directorate General presently functions through six Principal Directorates at Jammu, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Pune and Jaipur. The Principal Directorates in turn supervise a number of field offices, such as offices of the Defence Estates Officers, Assistant Defence Estates Officers and Cantonment Boards. These field offices are entrusted with the day-to-day management of defence lands and Cantonment Boards across the length and breadth of the country.

The Ministry of Defence owns approximately 17.57 lakh acres of land throughout the country which is managed by the three Services and other Organizations like Ordnance Factory Board, DRDO, DGQA, CGDA etc. Directorate General Defence Estates is also responsible on behalf of the Ministry of Defence to control, monitor and supervise the Civic Administration in Cantonments. There are 62 Cantonments in India. These are located in 19 States, including National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Cantonment Boards are „bodies corporate‟, functioning under the overall control of the Central Government and under the provisions of the Cantonments Act, 2006. Half of the members of the Cantonment Boards are elected. The Station Commander is the President of the Cantonment Board .Supervision and control over the working of these bodies is exercised through the General Officers Commanding in Chief and Principal Directors, Defence Estates at the intermediate level and by the Central Government through Directorate General Defence Estates at the apex level.

As can be seen above, Civilian role is actively involved in the Defence Estates Organisation and hence any move to restructure it should be done only after exhaustive discussions with the Federation.

The role of Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers [EME] is to achieve and maintain the operational fitness of electrical, mechanical, electronic and optical equipment of the Army. The Electrical and Mechanical Engineers who light to factory-level repairs to everything the Army uses. With their forward repair teams based on customized armoured vehicles, they function within a battlefield, recovering equipment casualties from their point of collapse. Back at base workshop, they strip and rebuild anything that the Army owns be it fighting vehicles, electronics, or data processing equipment.

The history of the Corps, born in 1943, is indeed glorious. Over the decades, the Corps has, with remarkable speed, welded itself into a fine and efficient organisation. It is imbued with requisite zeal and determination to overcome, if necessary by improvisation, all the impediments it faces in the rapidly changing technological environment. The efficacy with which an organisation performs its role is dependent to a large degree upon the sense of union developed amongst its elements - the esprit de corps. These 56 years have built up traditions and relationships of a lasting kind. These have sustained amongst its troops the concept of honour, courage, fidelity to the organisation, professional integrity and a pride in developing technical skills.

The Corps is responsible for providing engineering support to the army equipment ranging from light vehicles to tanks, guns, missiles, radars, computers, helicopters, communication equipment, night vision devices, simulators and so on during war and peace. Over the years there has been phenomenal rise in the sophistication, quantum and variety of military hardware. The Corps has effectively met the challenges arising from the proliferation of such multi-disciplinary high technology military hardware through continuous evolution of its engineering support system.

There are some schools of thought who maintain that war is just a fight between soldiers in combat arms; this is not the case. It is true that an army is a fighting machine, but there are three basic needs if it is to achieve its full potential in battle - leadership, equipment and training. Wars involve the employment of a great deal of modern and sophisticated equipment and the EME plays a major role in assisting the Army's posture of operational preparedness and combat effectiveness to win any war. If combat arms are the teeth of the Army then EME has a vital function of keeping them sharp.

Through the war and the many operations that the Indian Army undertook over the past five decades, the Corps has proven itself as a first class repair, recovery and in many cases as a design and development organisation. It is actively involved in counter insurgency operations both in J & K and in North-East.

EME History

From the role of mere servicing the arms and ammunition, the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) rose to the level of managing technology for the Armed Forces. In this odyssey, the corps crossed many hurdles and carved a niche for itself in the service of the nation.

The story of warfare, in essence, is a story of man's struggle for existence. Earlier, man used to shape tools and weapons to outwit his opponents. Later, he projected his need to someone else to make weapons for war. Consequently, the need of craftsman arose.

By the turn of the nineteenth Century, Inspectors of Ordnance Machinery (IsOM) were responsible for repair of guns, small arms and instruments in arsenal workshops in India. Later, in 1925, a new cadre of Ordnance Mechanical Engineers (OMEs) was brought in and the IsOM came on the roll of Indian Army Ordnance Corps. Later, the Supplies and Transport Corps emerged as the Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC). There were 11 transport workshops providing first and second line repair cover to the vehicle fleet. They stocked spares, assemblies and fitment items required for the vehicles. By mid 1942, allied war production gained ground and a large number of equipment like tanks and guns were coming to India for the Allied Forces.

An American Tank Detachment Commander, Lt Col Rothwell H Brown was on duty with the British forces in India for the purpose of advising them on maintenance and operation of armoured vehicles. He suggested the urgent need for improving the efficiency of the mechanical engineering service of the Army.

Accordingly, the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces approved the raising of an equivalent of the REME in India. On May 1, 1943, the Mechanical Engineering Directorate at General Headquarters (India) was formed and units were allocated. On September 15, 1944, Lt Gen Sir Clarence A Bird was appointed as the Colonel Commandant of IEME. The new born Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers had the motto Omni fascimus meaning-'We can do everything'.

On October 15, 1943, the actual transfer of personnel from IAOC to IEME took place. This resulted in the birth of the Indian soldier craftsman and since then October 15 is observed as the EME Corps Day.

The nascent Corps almost doubled its strength in a matter of two years to establish 632 different IEME units including 12 training centres, 13 commands, 6 bases and 113 station workshops. The IEME personnel distinguished themselves in every theatre of war where they operated.

When India became a Sovereign Republic in 1950, the Corps dropped "I" from its name to be called as EME. The design of the new Corps badge was to promulgate the ethos of the Corps. The design prepared by Maj SE Doig when Brig IH Reeves was the DME, was approved in 1953 and taken into use from 1955. The motto was also changed to 'Karm hi Dharam' which means-"Work is Supreme Duty".

The advancements in technology in the 80s and 90s resulted in use of electronics in all types of equipment. In tune with the times, the equipment profile of the Army had predominance of electronics which necessitated the Corps to change its outlook from electrical to electronics. In January 2001, the corps was re-christened as the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers. During last six decades, the corps proved itself with distinction in all the tasks assigned to it.

Army Base Workshops (ABW)

Eight Army Base Workshops (ABWs) were established during the Second World War to carry out repairs and overhaul of weapons, vehicles and equipment to keep the Indian Army operationally ready. Towards this end, they also undertake manufacture of spares. The ABWs work under the overall control of Director General Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) who functions under the Master General of Ordnance (MGO). Headquarters Base Workshop Group is responsible for planning and co-ordination of functions of the ABWs.

The ABWs are co-located with the ordnance depots which feed them with repairable and spares. The overhauled/repaired equipments are received by these depots for issue to the user units. The production/repair capacity of ABWs is determined on the basis of manpower and is fixed in terms of standard units (SUs) which are equivalent to 100 man hours. Various committees have recommended norms for the functioning of the ABWs from time to time.

The workshops of EME are the centers where military equipment gets a new lease of life. At present, there are eight Army Base Workshops (ABWs) at Delhi, Agra, Meerut, Kirkee, Jabalpur, Kankinara, Allahabad and Bangalore.

Headquarters, Base Workshop Group located at Meerut coordinates all the activities of ABWs in consonance with the policy laid down by Army Headquarters.

The 505 Army Base Workshop in New Delhi overhauled a variety of 'A' and 'B' vehicles which include Churchill, Stuart, Sherman, AMX-13 and Vijayanta tanks and armoured cars like Diamler, Humber and GM Fox. The workshop has carried out repowering of Vijayanta tanks with T-72 engines, upgrading them with night vision devices, fire control system and fire detection equipment.

The latest achievement of this workshop is manufacture of Windy-505, a fast attack vehicle. Recipient of ISO 9001 : 2000 certification during 2002-2003, 507 Army Base Workshop overhauls 'B' vehicle engines and also manufactures spares. Its major activity includes overhaul of Kraz vehicles of Army and Air Force.

While 509 Army Base Workshop is a specialist workshop responsible for base repairs of radar systems, electronic test equipments, optical and fire control instruments and night vision devices, 510 Army Base Workshop located at Meerut overhauls air defence and guided missiles systems. It carries out overhaul of Schilka and Kvadrat weapon systems, multi-barrel rocket launchers and specialist heavy-duty vehicles.

The 512 Army Base Workshop takes credit for upgrading T-55 tanks in the 70s under Project May flower and Sun flower. In the late 80s, T-55 tanks overhauled with Polish technology rolled out of its production line. At present, it is undertaking overhaul of T-55 and its variants.

Originally known as 10 Advance Base Ordnance Workshop, 515 Army Base Workshop undertakes repairs of 'B' vehicles, small arms, armaments and engineering equipment. At present, it is manufacturing simulators for the Army and para-military forces. One Advance Base Workshop looks after the equipment in the Eastern Theatre.

EME's 3 Advance Base Workshop undertakes base repairs for units in Northern Command like overhaul of guns and engines. Recently it has become a nodal centre for repair of thermal imaging and electronics equipment. It has also designed, developed and manufactured electronic equipment like Ashi Pillai which has been instrumental in saving valuable lives in counter-insurgency operations.

Thus, BPMS strongly opposes the Government move to give away these prestigious organizations on a platter to the Private Sector.

The above aspects were deliberated in the Central Executive Committee Meeting of the Federation held at Hyderabad (Medak) and the delegates strongly opposed the regressive policies of the Government.

Time and again, vide its various written and oral communications, BPMS has conveyed to the Government its strong opposition to any move to destabilise the existing Defence Production, Maintenance and Supply structure.

The Central Executive Committee meeting at its deliberation held at Hyderabad (Medak) on 20 th & 21st Sep. 2017 has decided to pass the resolution calling upon the Government to reconsider its decision and to ensure that the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee are rejected by the Government.

BPMS therefore urges the Government to take strong cognizance of the above resolution and do the needful at the earliest, failing which BPMS will be compelled to resort to agitation, suffice to mention that under the flag of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a massive protest rally will be held on 17-11-2017 against the various anti-labour policies of the Government at New Delhi.


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