Money & Banking
Bank union perceives merger of associates with SBI
Chennai : A major union in the banking sector, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) apprehends the uniform service condition between the State Bank of India and its five associate banks as sort of a precursor for merger, said a top union leader.
 
The union on Thursday said it would go ahead with the January 8 strike as the management of the five associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) is firm on implementing service conditions unilaterally.
 
"We do have the apprehension that common service conditions between SBI and its five associate banks is a step towards merger of the five banks with SBI," C.H. Venkatachalam, AIBEA general secretary, told IANS on Thursday.
 
According to him, already there is uniformity in technology, branding, work procedure, usage of ATMs by the account holders of the six banks.
 
The five associate banks of the SBI are State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and State Bank of Travancore.
 
Speaking about the strike on January 8, Venkatachalam said the conciliation meeting held on Wednesday by the chief labour commissioner (CLC) in New Delhi was a failure.
 
He said the management of SBI's five associate banks remained steadfast on implementing the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS) for their employees, violating the bilateral agreement with the union.
 
According to Venkatachalam, the five banks want to abolish permanent cadres like sweepers and outsoucre their labour activity, but this cannot be done unilaterally.
 
In a statement on Thursday, the AIBEA said at the conciliation meeting on Wednesday the CLC had advised the management of associate banks to put on hold the implementation of new service conditions.
 
The CLC also advised the bank management to find an amicable solution through mutual discussion.
 
The bank managements were not agreeable to the CLC's advice and the talks failed, forcing the employees to go on a strike soon after the New Year is rung in.
 
"We also informed the CLC that IBA (Indian Banks' Association), having signed the settlement on behalf of the banks based on their mandate, cannot remain a spectator when the terms of the settlement are violated by any of the banks and has to play its role to ensure proper implementation. Otherwise it would lead to chaotic situation and result in serious industrial disputes and conflicts," Venkatachalam said. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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200 Delhi government officials on protest leave
New Delhi : At least 200 senior bureaucrats of the Delhi government went on a day's protest leave here on Thursday over the suspension of two officials.
 
The decision was taken by the members of the DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) Officers' Association to protest the suspension of two senior colleagues. 
 
Subhash Chandra, special secretary (Prisons) and Yashpal Garg, special secretary (Prosecution), were suspended by Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government for allegedly refusing to sign on two cabinet notes. 
 
Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain said he had no information about the strike. "Suspension is an administration matter, a cabinet decision was failed to be implemented," Jain said.
 
He also criticised Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for "directing" officials not to work. "Officers can't tell me 'L-G has asked us not to work'. The L-G should have passed a written order," Jain said.
 
"L-G has power to stay some orders, but a blanket order saying no order of Delhi government is to be seen through, won't be followed," he said.
 
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Satish Upadhyay also condemned the suspension of the two officers, saying it was harassing officials and demanded Jain's resignation.
 
"The suspension of two special secretaries is completely a wrong administrative decision. BJP strongly opposes such harassment of officials and demands Jain's resignation," he said.
 
He alleged the home minister was pressurising officials under his ministry to sign a file pertaining to the revision of pay scale of its standing counsel Rahul Mehra.
 
"When the officers refused to sign the file regarding the unconstitutional hike in pay and allowances, Jain not only insulted the officers but also suspended them," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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The forgotten war that gave us J&K
The 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war was observed in a befitting manner by the defence forces this year. Six years from now it will be the 50th anniversary of the 1971 war which most likely will be celebrated on a much bigger scale as it was the country's greatest military victory ever. Unfortunately, however, the war which gave us the state of Jammu and Kashmir, though truncated, is all but forgotten.
 
The day India became free on August 15, 1947, the state, like Hyderabad and Junagadh, and unlike over 500 other princely states, had not acceded to either India or Pakistan. Its maharaja, Hari Singh, was reluctant to join either of the dominions and wished to keep his state independent. Anticipating a threat from Pakistan, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote to Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in September to prevail upon Hari Singh to release Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who, as leader of a popular rising against the maharaja, had been imprisoned by him. Nehru felt that without the cooperation of Abdullah, who had the full support of the people, the state administration would not be able to meet Pakistan's imminent threat. It will also facilitate Kashmir's accession to India.
 
On October 22, 1947, over 5,000 tribesmen, with weapons and transport supplied by the Pakistani Army, entered Kashmir and seized Muzaffarabad, Domel and Uri and surged towards Srinagar. Two days later, the maharaja offered to accede to India and asked for immediate military assistance. V.P. Menon, secretary in the ministry of states, flew to Jammu and got the instrument of succession signed by the maharaja on October 26. The emergency meeting of the Defence Committee comprising Nehru, Patel and defence minister Baldev Singh, despite initial resistance from Lord Mountbatten, its chairman, ordered troops in the Valley to evict the invaders.
 
Operation J&K commenced at first light on the morning of October 27. One after another more than a hundred planes, both civilian (BOAC) and military (RIAF), flew out of Safdarjung Airport, ferrying weapons, rations and troops of the Sikh regiment led by Lt Col Ranjit Rai who was one of the first soldiers to sacrifice his life, but not before his unit had succeeded in establishing a bridgehead on the Baramula-Srinagar road which halted the invasion and saved Srinagar.
 
On hearing that Indian troops had landed in Srinagar Pakistani governor general Mohammad Ali Jinnah ordered General Douglas Gracy, acting chief of the Pakistan Army (both India and Pakistan had British officers in top echelons) to move his troops into Kashmir on the Rawalpindi-Srinagar road towards the Banihal pass and cut off Kashmir from Jammu and the rest of India. Fortunately for India, Gracy refused. He did so at the behest of Mountbatten and Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck (the Supreme Commander of both Indian and Pakistani armies).
 
Mountbatten and his chief of staff, General Hastings Ismay, flew to Lahore on November 1. They spent over three hours with Jinnah discussing Junagadh, Hyderabad, and Kashmir. When Mountbatten suggested impartial plebiscites the Quaid-e-Azam spurned the proposal.
 
On November 8, Nehru wrote to his Pakistani counterpart, Liaquat Ali, enumerating India's proposals: Pakistan should publicly compel the raiders to withdraw; India would withdraw its troops as soon as the raiders withdrew and law and order was restored; both governments should make a joint request to the UN to hold a plebiscite at the earliest.
 
By mid-November Indian forces had retaken Uri and secured the Valley. The invaders had, however, continued their advance in the Poonch and Mirpur areas. With the assistance of the local rebels they had captured Bhimbar, Rajouri and Rawalakot. They now posed a serious threat to the state forces' garrisons in Mirpur, Kotli, Poonch and Naushera. In Gilgit the Scouts, led by a British officer, staged a coup and declared their allegiance to Pakistan. On December 24, Indian forces at Jhangar were evicted by a determined attack. The raiders now had a free run of the road connecting Mirpur-Jhangar-Kotli-Poonch.
 
Nehru and his senior colleagues decided that if Uri fell, Indian forces would have to enter Pakistan. Nehru directed the army chief to be prepared for every contingency and to be prepared soon. He intended to adopt two parallel courses of action: reference to the UN, and "complete military preparations to meet any possible contingency". Over the next couple of days, Naushera held and there was no imminent danger to Uri. By the end of December there was no pressing need for an attack into Pakistan.
 
Later India's military position had improved. Jhangar was captured in March 1948 and Rajouri taken next. By early March the threat to the lines of communication from Jammu to Naushera was neutralized. Indian forces were now poised for the "spring offensive".
 
On May 18, India launched a two-pronged offensive: one along the Uri-Domel road, the other towards Tithwal and thence to Muzaffarbad and Domel. The presence of Pakistani forces blunted the offensive by early June. The only significant success was the capture of Tithwal.
 
Having closely examined the situation Nehru concluded that the only practical solution was a compromise "on the basis of the ... existing military situation" (meaning thereby the partition of the state). Patel concurred.
 
The army concentrated on limited offensives in the Ladakh and Jammu sectors. By the end of November 1948 Indian forces recaptured Dras and Kargil, securing the route from the valley to Ladakh. Simultaneously they took Mendhar and linked up with the Poonch garrison, so lifting the year-long siege. Having fully secured Ladakh and Rajouri Poonch India accepted ceasefire for which international pressure had been building up and could not be resisted any longer. The guns fell silent on the last night of 1948 and ceasefire became effective from January 1, 1949.
 
India agreed to a plebiscite subject to certain very specific conditions, the most important of which was that Pakistan should withdraw all its troops and vacate the entire territory of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. This Pakistan refused to do and still refuses to do.
 
To sum up, the partition of J&K proposed by Nehru in 1948, and again put forward by Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his premiership half a century later, remains the only lasting solution for durable peace in the subcontinent.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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