Sixth CPC:Is the controversy over supremacy of IAS relevant

Before and After the release of various reports of pay commissions, the responses in the society follow a set pattern. Initially there is a dreamy atmosphere in anticipation of benefits . All those who are connected  to  Govt.  sector directly or indirectly relish the predawn signs on the horizon (news leaks on anticipated increase in pay) anticipating that their lives are henceforth going to be dfferent and a royal future awaits round the turn.

Their happiness is however short lived. There are a number of dependent sectors lead by owners of private educational institutions and stretching up-to the presswalla in the back lane who  swoop upon the respective consumers in the entire society and start demanding respective pounds of flesh (sometimes at rates which are quite disproportionate to expected gains) without the flow of benefits having started and without any consideration of the fact as to whether the target group is going to benefit from any pay increase for Govt. Servants. The state of dreaming starts giving way to a state of uncertainty.

Thereafter the  Press and TV follow  up with insulting and insinuating headlines. All civil servants acquire the image of fat and lazy Babus comparable to a gang of bandits who are out to suck the life blood of economy. Screaming headlines announce doubling of pay packets for these suckers. Although the pay hike is for several other categories like armed forces, doctors ,engineers,nurses and technicians but it is the bureaucrat whose obese pictures adorn the covers of magazines as guzzler of currency notes. Dreams turn into despair when benefits are actually calculated and the jump in pay is found to be quite less than anticipated.

Another oft repeated scenario is that of berating the IAS for having again retained it’s so called supremacy over other services. The service is projected in a dim light as unpatriotic for having deprived even the uniformed forces  the  reward of supremacy, ignoring  their courageous performance against heavy odds. Media also reports on ( only a handful of ) cases of resignation from other services out of disgust (which may in fact be due to better retirement benefits offered by the pay commission). Although the various pay commissions despite reiterating the unique position of IAS  have given ample financial benefits across the board to all categories including Army and professionals yet the news reports highlight only the so called favoritism shown to IAS.

The question which comes to mind is whether the controversy is at all relevant. In six decades of it’s life span the Indian democracy has faced challenges of insurgency, natural calamities and elections  with combined efforts of IAS, IPS, Army and professionals with dedication and single minded determination. Issues like who is superior to whom have never clouded the visions of the courageous men representing various organs of State at times of need .

While engaged in task of day to day governance the Government does need a nodal agency to coordinate efforts of various agencies and at that stage the generalist service whether IAS or State Civil Service has to shoulder the responsibility due to it’s outreach, linkage and  exposure over various fields. But this does not imply that these services assume the  role  of tyrant or dictator or the other services resent their so called superiority. Experience has shown that contrary to the media projections  officer in various services do have a healthy feeling of mutual respect for other services and who is above whom is not a  issue of long term significance.


Sixth CPC Report:(vii) Army Pay Scales (1)

Chapter 2.3 of the Report briefly recaptures the historical developments in reference to determination of pay structure for the Armed Forces, starting from constitution of the Post War Pay Committee in 1947   which for the first time attempted to establish relative parameters in reference to Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Central Class I Services but also brought down the pay scales of many Indian Commissioned Officers. The Government subsequently modified pay structure for Armed Forces in 1960 when the Raghuramaiya Committe endorssed the concept of parity with the above referred  services as conceived earlier.

The pay structure for Army was for the first time referred to Central Pay Commission (CPC) at the time of Third CPC which recommended merger  of the Special Disturbance Allowance (being paid to army personnel since 1950 as a  temporary compensatory measure) with the pay, there by making the pay structure for Army slightly better than civilian pay scales. The Fourth CPC accepted the demand for running pay bands and rank pay up to the scale of Brigadier, but the structure was subsequently realtered by Fifth CPC which gave scales on pattern of civilian establishment to the Armed Forces with a slight edge due to difficult working conditions. The recommendations of Fifth CPC which form the basis for existing pay structure are reflected below.


The Sixth CPC has recmmended restoration of Running Pay Bands on the ground that similar structure is now recommended for Civil Services and the possibility of disparity on that account is ruled out .Another important benefit is that  this measure would facilitate smoother  absorption of ths Short Service Commission Officers (SSCOs) and Personnel below Officer’ Ranks (PBORs) in Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) by identification of analogous posts in the two structures (e.g.Major and Deputy Commandant in Army and CRPF). It has however added a new component to the salary of armymen under the title of  Military Service Pay(MSP)  which would be admissible to all ranks upto Brigadier.

The Commission foresees that the MSP shall ensure that the edge enjoyed by the army pay structure vis a vis the pay scales for civillian employees continues . MSP shall be counted as pay for all practical purposes. Although MSP shall not be admissible beyond the rank of Brigadier yet the edge provided by MSP shall continue at subsequent stages since it would be embedded in the pay at subsequent fitment stage. However for purposes of determination of comparative seniority the indicator shall be the grade pay. MSP being a new addition to pay, arrears would not be payable for the past. The Pay Structure as recommended by Sixth CPC is as

Some other major recommendations relate to upgradtion of Scale of pay admissible to Director General of Armed Forces Medical Service to Rs.80000/-(fixed) and the decision to allow the non functional scale of Army Commander to Lt. Generals who do not get the post due to age bar. Similar benefit has been recommended for ofiicers of other ranks who are similarily deprived of promotion due to shortage of tenure. Commsision has however not agreed to increase the scales for Principal Staff Officers posted at Army HQs on the ground that this would affect the relativity with Corps Commanders operating in the field.

Commission has also recommended continuation of existing higher entry grade pay to Lieutant in Army Medical Corps (AMC) as compared to Lieutant in the Army. Higher pay to the extent of 7.5% for Lieutant and 10% for the Captain has been recommened. Regarding Military Nursing Services (MNS) the recommendation is for maintainig parity with the Service cadre Officers. Extension of time bound promotion scheme upto level of Lt. Col. has been recommended for the Officers of MNS and MSP to the extent of Rs.4200/- has also been recommended alongwith benefit of one pay fixation increment at the stage of promotion .The Pay Scales recommended for MNS are given below.mns-scales.jpg