Defence Minister A K Antony clarified in the Lok Sabha that "one rank, one pension" recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary-led panel had been accepted by the government for jawans as well as officers. The government has accepted recommendations of the panel on "one rank, one pension" and other related matters concerning the armed forces, the Lok Sabha was informed today. The decision is now nearer to the goal of “one rank, one pension” demand of nearly 1.5 million personnel, Antony said during question hour. The total financial implications on account of benefits to the personnel would be Rs 2,144 crore, the minister said. The committee has recommended inclusion of Classification Allowance for the Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) from January 1, 2006, and removal of linkage of full pensions with 33 years from the same date, he said. The committee also recommended revision of pension of Lt Generals after carrying out a separate pay scale for them, bringing parity between pension pre and post October 10, 1997, for PBOR pensioners and further improving PBOR pensions based on award of Group of Ministers in 2006. With regard to the separate pay commission, the minister said it had been agreed, and as and when necessary it would be set up in the future. Antony said the government had also accepted the committee's recommendations regarding raising the pension amount for those disabled or injured in war. "After considering all aspects of the issue, the committee made several recommendations to substantially improve pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank and Commissioned Officers, which have been accepted by the government," the minister added.


Seeking to set at rest the fears of health hazards due to use of cellphones, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) today claimed that radiation from mobile phones and cellular towers had no adverse effect on the human body. COAI, a representative body for GSM operators in India, said there are many "misconceptions and apprehensions" with regard to radiation from mobile phones and base stations and it has time and again emphasised that these are "not injurious" to the human body. "It has been repeatedly brought out by ICNIRP review papers and WHO fact sheets that RF radiations from mobile phones and cellular towers have no adverse effect on the human body," COAI said in a statement. International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a body of independent scientific experts that works closely with World Health Organisation. source;PTI

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