Sunday 29 May 2022



In Bhuj 1977-1985, you couldn't get four things:

  • Maidservants. All males were in Dubai, so females were on jobs usually doing male jobs.
  • Chicken, made up for at times by poaching partridges/sandgrouse
  • Photocopies
  • Clear sheets for slides (A Fg Offr Bhandal used the cellophane wrapper of a Peter Scot whisky bottle to make slides for a presentation to the AEB).

The MiG-21 trainer in those days were peculiar aircraft and the going version was the Type-69, an advancement over the Type 66A and the Type 66 of 1962-67. Some Sqns had re-equipped with the latest version, the Type 69B, but we temporarily had three, two Type 66A and a new Type 69B, which had come about a week ago. At a 15 Sqn do on a Saturday, we opted for chicken since the Station Commander, Gp Capt Bull Fernandes was flying down to Jodhpur in a trainer that morning for a 2-hour conference and we always got 15 dressed chicken from Jodhpur on rare occasions such as these. The Type 66/66A s had a vacant brief-case sized slot in place of the radar in its short nose, as it had no combat radar but a much smaller version designed for air-to-ground ranging. Small packages could be stored there safely. Sqn Ldr Shorts Arvind Kumar(37-39th NDA), RIP, opted for this trip to log some ferry hours.

On landing, Shorts was to rush to Jodhpur Market and buy dressed chicken and ferry them back in the Type 69 nose slot. What he forgot to check was the nose cone of the trainer, since he had assumed that all trainers had that vacant slot. Unknown to him, the Type 69B going to Jodhpur had no vacant space, as some advanced avionics equipment (!!) had been relocated there.

The MiG-21 fleet had a compass called KCI. The Pilots' Notes warned pilots against slaving the KCI (aligning the KCI to a gyrocompass in the wing) more than once on the ground. In the air, you couldn’t unless you had flown 30 minutes. In the Su-7, differently built, you pressed the compass button quite regularly. Shorts and Bull taxied out normally, with Shorts having slaved the KCI after start-up. Bull was ex Su-7s, so he, out of habit, slaved the KCI while taxying out. On line-up, Shorts saw a drift of one degree in the KCI and noted that deflection so he could allow for it in the air. Bull was unhappy, so he slaved the KCI again, without telling Shorts.

The visibility at Bhuj was 100 km, but less than 5 km as you reached the desert en route, due dust haze. Shorts set course for Jodhpur, but was a mite surprised to see Kandla and Jamnagar at a slightly different aspect. He told Bull, who promptly slaved the KCI. By now, the compass was out by 10°. So, if you held the planned heading, you were drifting 10 degrees West. Into Pakistan!

Having done this trip many times, Bull was vaguely uneasy and Shorts got lost. They missed the hitherto unmissable Mt Abu! Ultimately, Jodhpur radar recovered them, some 60 km NW off track. Bull had a grim look on his face as he Bull pushed off for the conference.

Shorts soon left for the city, looking for 15 dressed chicken. Departure was scheduled for 1230 and it was only 10.00 am. Shorts checked back at 1115 if departure was as planned, only to be rudely shocked that departure would be 1200. Getting the chicken bloke to give you 15 dressed birds took time. He scrambled back by 1140, as he had to stow the standard issue blue helmet bag with the chicken in the VCR-sized slot in the MiG-21 trainer's nose.

That's when the shit hit the fan. This Type-69B had no slot in the nose. Shorts had no option but to take the bag into the cockpit and squeeze it below and behind his left elbow. Bull hopped into the rear seat saying," No more xxxx-ups, pal!"

Everything went well and the trainer got airborne. Jodhpur radar kept a tab on them till Jamnagar radar took over, finally handing them over to Bhuj radar. Shorts was all set to join circuit. He was a bit of a pedant, so he always flew the circuit at 450 kph, with repeated near misses on circuit as most other blokes were at 500-600 kph. As he was about to roll out on DW at 450 kph, he felt something tugging at his left sleeve, near his elbow. He looked down to find one ruddy chick alive. It popped out of the bag and started fluttering around the cockpit. Shorts was screwed-he had only two hands and at 450 kph, you couldn’t fart around in the cockpit. The ac was bucking at very low speeds. Bull screamed from the rear, “Wtf are you up to?” Getting no response, he shouted, “I have controls,”and rammed the throttle open. Shorts got his breath back after a wild wrestling match in the cockpit, finally shoving the bird under his harness and was allowed to take over controls.

He was grounded for ten days, but we rescued him by sending him off to ORP at Naliya next day. Dinner that night was excellent, savoured by all except one hapless ferry pilot.

Friday 13 May 2022


 SPARSH: System for Pension Administration (RAKSHA)


Please note that all our Pension processing is being transferred from the Banks to SPARSH.

When your account is transferred from the Bank's CPPC to PCDA(P)’s SPARSH you will get an SMS giving your username and password for SPARSH Login. Ensure you save this information and use it for registering on the SPARSH portal. All details on SPARSH are available on the PCDA portal › pcda › oc-sparsh but some important aspects are enumerated below for your perusal:

3. What is the SPARSH ? SPARSH is the acronym used for “System for Pension Administration Raksha” and is an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of Defence Pension.

4. What does it imply ?

Physically your pension account remains in the same bank & branch but the processing activity which was being done by the bank’s CPPC gets shifted from the Bank to SPARSH under the aegis of PCDA(P) Allahabad (Prayagraj?). In effect it means that all activities related to your pension will now be with PCDA wef 01 Sep 2021.

5. How is it being Implemented ?

a. For Veterans and Veer Naaris:

i. All Pensioners

(Pre Sep 2021), of all Private & Nationalised Banks will have their pensions migrated from CPPC to SPARSH controlled by PCDA(P). Fifty percent of 30 Lakhs accounts of Defence Pensioners have already been transferred to SPARSH and balance will be transferred by March 2022.

ii. Thereafter banks CPPCs will have no role in the disbursement of your pension or redressal of any of your grievances related to your pension or accepting your life certificate.

b. For Serving Personnel:

i. SPARSH is applicable to all retirees wef Sep 2021onwards.That means those who are retiring wef Sep 2021 onwards, their pension documents have to be processed on line through SPARSH by respective Defence accounts sections through PCDA (P).

ii. It means an individual has to forward hard copy of his documents to respective Defence accounts as earlier and to be forwarded through mail, on id provided to respective records (for JCO & Ors etc.).

iii. Thereafter it will be uploaded online through SPARSH. Hence no more hard copies to be forwarded to PCDA (P) as done earlier. Where many times there used to be delay in reaching documents to the concerned officer, documents used to get misplaced.

iv. All these retirees are and future retirees will be getting their pension through SPARSH.

6. Some Points/ Implication of the Changes:

a. Portal operating agency being CDA Pension, Allahabad, all PPO numbers are expected to be regenerated starting with numbers 101.....old PPO numbers are likely to be superseded.

b. All officers who have received their user ID and Password from PCDA pension Allahabad to log in at and validate their basic data.

c. Henceforth pension will be credited on the last day of the month.

d. If a new PPO number is allotted, kindly resubmit your Life certificate NOW with the new PPO number and select SPARSH as the pension disbursing authority.

e. Important: Once your pension is transferred to SPARSH, every individual will get a USER NAME & PASSWORD message on their mobile to LOGIN ON SPARSH. Please save that message and once you login on SPARSH you can create your new password for security. This is just like logging into a bank site for checking our Salary slip and other issues related to our pension. However your pension account with the bank will remain the same.

f. Important: Once transferred to SPARSH - your PPO, corrigendum. Form 16. Life Certificate Pension slip, lodging of grievances - all will be on SPARSH. Hence please save your Login User ID and Password.

g. Updated PCDA SPARSH helplines & TOLL-FREE


Mobile: 05322421877/05322421879/0532242188

NOTE - As per the directive of the Raksha Mantri, prior 'consent' of the pensioners will be sought by CGDA, before his/her migration to SPARSH. The same will need to be provided based on the link that will be shared by SPARSH. As yet only post 01 Jan 2016 retirees are being migrated. The pensioners will have the option to continue with the legacy system of getting their pension from Banks.

For more details, log in to /2022/05/ sparash.html#more



A message received from BK DAS (IAF) is reproduced below on his visit to PCDA(P)

Dear friends,
Today I visited PCDA (p) at draupadi ghat allahabad,pryagraj.
1.the office is located in a fully remote area next to river and no human habitat nearby. is approx 18 km ,Rs 500 from cac hqr by ola .
3.staff generally reaches at 10,o clock or so .for air force only Mr Dharmendra is there AS Mr Rajesh is shifted to Army sparsh.
4.I got chance to Mr Dharmendra who gave enough time to me and proved me that action are initiated but TCS can only do the correction so they remind them ,almost everyday but Tcs is slow or confused how to solve it . All cases are given one follow up number but outcome is nil or zero .all points submitted by me were accepted as genuine but in 2 months nothing is done or done incorrectly.
DPDO has no role in sparsh as in my case the DLC (Digital Life Certificate) forwarded from DPDO but not received by sparsh ,however the next LC date is now Nov pension is through.not correct by sparsh so I submitted manual LC at PCDA(P).
the working condition is pathetic at PCDA specially that of internet with them so they are on IAn or something else.
only AO is having one desktop with net and it is on bsnl so performance is known to all of us.
presently 2016,17,18 is migrated with 70% mistakes and main problem is with family pension,almost all family pension are in problem . not understood reason to shift neither they are fully converted with tools to take over nor willing as staff is very less and can not be same output as bank cppc.
So far no instruction has come on consent or no consent of pensioners if it comes in future then they will do accordingly.
the main problem is DLC, migration of new sparsh PPO correctly and family pension . as they have just taken 15% of total vast pensioners migration the chaos at galore .
it will be just not possible to complete in next 10 yrs or so .
for new cases it is not so but old cases are in chaos.but still pension disbursement from cppc is much better and correct as same office should not be doing all the things.
iaf has one offr wg cdr Misra with 4men to pursue but with limited staff not possible at least 70 % staff of DAV should be atPCDA now everything is centralized.
future is dark unless all pensioners take up for reverting back immediately . the unwillingness mail if orwarded to Mr Dharmendra are kept in file and will be implemented if such order comes.
as far as Navy guide lines are concerned he said is all false but can navy issue such order without ok from RM, MoD.
future is unknown and in confusion but full of harrassment to all of us.
god bless.
bk das

[3:51 am, 15/05/2022] +91 89681 60995: ---- Forwarded message ---------
From: Ravindra Waman Pathak <>
Date: Sat, 7 May, 2022, 5:02 pm

Dear Sir
I had already mailed that we had achieved our aim of getting an official position on the subject. There was no  need to write any further.
Unfortunately veterans either do not read mails correctly or don't recollect.

I once again state with conviction the following

There is no further need for any one to write to any authority.
No pre 2016 veteran will be migrated to SPARSH and the onus of getting the consent lies with the authorities.
I have no control over what others email or write to whom. It is for the individual to understand the issue and take action on any mail received.
As far as post  2016 veterans consent is concerned the orders are not yet clear
The naval response to our letter writing is attached below. It is very clear and yet if people think that this applies to NAVY only there is nothing I can do. There can not be a different rule for each service is all that i know. Those who wish to insist that they get a similar  reply from their respective Hq are free to do so.
This is mail from Cdr Ravinder Waman Pathak who helps IESM members about pension matters. He has clarified that migration of pre 2016 retirees will not be without their consent and onus to get consent lies with the authorities.
Opting Out Of Sparsh — An Open Letter To CGDA By Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter. FYIP. Regards. RPC👌🏆

Dear Mr Abhishek Singh

Deputy CDA

PCDA (P), Prayagraj

Good Day,

1. The following are the points on behalf of the members of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter for the proposed On Line Pension Adalat scheduled on 05 May 2022 —

a) As per the directives of Hon RM and Defence Secretary during review of SPARSH on 04 Mar 22 and again on 11 Mar 22, CGDA must mandatory obtain non-consent of a Pensioner, in writing, from those Pensioners desiring to retain the legacy system. If the Pensioner is unwilling to migrate, the Pension should be processed through legacy system only. (MOM attached ) This was not followed in the case of Capt K C Tewari (02792-A) who retired in June 2018. This needs to be clarified. What procedure will be followed by PCDA (A) in obtaining prior non-consent of ESM for migration to Sparsh. The option of choosing the Legacy system is being viewed as a lifeline by Sr Citizens, Super Sr. Citizens & Veer Naaris etc. However for this option to be truly and faithfully implemented, the following provisions need to be made, which are currently in force in the Legacy System and has withstood test of time for over three decades :–

i) All ePPO”s should be transferred to CPCCs of Banks with authorisation to amend essential details in ePPOs on the basis of relevant documents as approved by GOI, such as Aadhar Card, PAN card etc.

ii) All GOI orders, directives, instructions, guidelines, etc. must continue to be issued to all CMDs and CPPCs of Banks of Pensioners with due authority for revisions,re-fixation of Pension, payment of arrears, effecting recoveries in the event of wrong and erroneous payments, as hitherto fore under the Legacy System.

iii) While concerned PCDAs will continue to be the Pension Sanctioning Authorities, CMDs and CPPCs of Banks should continue to be designated as the PDA of Pensioners.

b) Please intimate what is the functioning which has been proposed for those ESM”s and Veer Naaris who are not computer literate or do not have access to computers / smart phones or do not have any access to Computers, or do not have anyone they can trust to do so, or are physically unable because of illness or disability to travel to a CSC. Will a very old ( above 75 yrs) or disabled ESM be able to get doorstep service similar to Banks providing door step service like Life certificate etc. being provided to ESM”s above 75 years and Veer Naaris.

c) 2nd Phase of Migration Pre- 01 Jan 2016 to Sparsh, should only be undertaken after successive, completion of the 1st Phase. Feed back from ESM”s who were migrated should be obtained by mail and shared with Cmde( ESM ( Affairs), all CRSO”s and President of all Navy Foundation Chapters for dissemination to the Veterans & Veer Naaris.

d) All suo-moto e-ppos which have already been issued and require correction should first be corrected and shared with respective Veterans before the Migration.

e) Establishment of Robust and user friendly grievance redressal system should cater for ESM”s & Veer Naaris who are not computer / smart phone savvy.This system should be tested monthly for its efficacy and feed back be also obtained from the Veterans through the Navy Foundation chapters & CRSO”s on its working to the entire satisfaction of ESM”s.

f) Efficacy of the CSC”s ( Common Service Centres ) be also established and monitored regularly.Who will check their working efficiently ? Who will be manning CSC”s ??? It may be a good idea to involve retired Naval Officers / Sailors who have already had a tenure in Naval Pension Office.

g) What procedure would be followed for converting to Family pension after the demise of ESM. It should cater for illiterate Veer Naaris and Very Sr. Veterans who are not comfortable with Computers / Smart phones.

h) What would be the procedure for knowing whether ESM is getting his/her correct pension.

i) On attaining the age of 80 years, what procedure ESM should follow to get 20 % increase in the pension.

j) There may still be illiterate Veer Naaris who do not use cell phones / computer. How will instant email / SMS alerts would be sent to them ???

k) What are the salient features of the MOU signed between PCDA(Pension) with CSC ( Common service Centre) ??? Its content may please be shared with ESM”s.

l) Efforts must be made by DAD ( Defence Accounts Department )to quickly put in place a very customer friendly interactive grievance mechanism accessible to the most age and technologically handicapped pensioners and family pensioners including some who may be constrained educationally. this will require an unconventional and out of the ordinary effort and a challenge by the DAD and the Service Headquarters, unlike methods adopted in the past.. Without such an effort, the SPARSH transfer will certainly be a case of the medicine being more lethal than the disease.

m) The process of intimation of SPARSH user ID & Ty Passwords may not be smooth, due to the absence of or incorrect mobile numbers and / or email ID”s. Some Veterans, not knowing what the text message is about, may delete the message and would have to contact the help-desk at PCDA(P), Allahabad to get a fresh intimation. In the absence of publicity and pre-notification, pre-supposing that these Veterans / Veer Naaris know what to be done is clear evidence of hasty and improperly planned implementation. The plight of those with the inability to receive or to read and act upon such message is unimaginable.

n) Given the fact that the issue and uploading of pre-Sparsh, legacy e-ppo”s is severely in errors, how is it proposed to handle the enormous task of ensuring correctness and issue of SPARSH e-ppo”s for all legacy cases of pre-01 Jan 2016.Would DAD manpower be able to handle the immense workload of ensuring correctness and issue of corrected SPARSH e-ppo”s for all ESM”s.

o) Proper qualified staff from all three Services would need to be assigned on a temporary basis to simultaneously handle the workload of verification, and of detection and rectification of errors in date prior to SPARSH i.e PPO finalisation and branch transfer from bank CPCCs.

p)To cater to errors in pension figures and personal information sought to be transferred, the single most important and unavoidable requirement is that in each case, draft SPARSH e-ppo”s must be communicated to the pensioner and final transfer authorised / initiated by PCDA(P) SPARSH CPCC only and only after ensuring 100 % correctness obtained from the Pensioner.

q) Since many pensioners can not undertake the work of checking draft SPARSH e-ppo”s and of uploading required documents, provision will have to be made for pension assistance groups and registered bodies to assist in such cases using an OTP based verification process hosted by the SPARSH portal.

r) In the SPARSH system, for ESM not having safe access to on-line facilities, redressing of problems by physical interaction, will be very problematic due to the greatly reduced numbers of nodes, and the difficulty of rural ESM travelling to them to produce documents / proof of support any requested corrections

s) A delicate issue, mention of which can not be avoided, is that of likely misdemeanours or corrupt demands from lower staff of the DAD nodes especially from ORs and dependents, for processing corrections. Such problems are not faced with bank staff. This issue needs to be tackled.

t) In view of the problems already encountered in the recent transfer of batches of non-legacy SBI pensioners, it is suggested that transfer of further batches of individual pensioners be undertaken only after an interactive data verification / purification process prior to finalization of DRAFT e-ppos, and not before. Given that problems are being faced even by some of the recent SPARSH transferees from SBI which with PNB, has the most organised and settled data base, it is certain that near chaos will result if the current process of issuing final SPARSH e-ppos straightaway, is replicated with other banks databases.

u) After transfer to SPARSH, if not a single pensioner or family pensioner is to suffer non-credit or incorrect payment of pension, due to data-base errors, for more than a week, it is a must that the date base transfer process be optimized, and that a practical, responsive, and completely elderly or rural pensioner friendly grievance mechanism be put in place before the damage is done. If necessary, implementation of past pensioners be put on hold till processes and methods are refined, streamlined, and put in place after adequate publicity through Navy Foundation Chapters & CRSO’s thereof is carried out.

2. Safe receipt of this mail may please be acknowledged. Thanks !!

Best Regards !!

Cdr. Vijay Vadhera ( 01235-F )(Retd)

President,Navy Foundation,Mumbai Chapter


The Prime Minister
Govt of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi – 110 011

The RakshaMantri
Govt of India
104, South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi – 110 011

The Finance Minister
Govt of India
134, North Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi – 110 011

1. Tri Services Ex- Servicemen Welfare Association (TSEWA) is a Registered welfare organisation with its Headquarters atSecunderabad as per the details given above in the letterhead. The organisation is an Apex National Welfare organisation for Ex-Servicemen and War Widows with more than 16,000 ex-servicemen as Members from all the States in India. TSEWA believes in “True Sewa” to the Ex-Servicemen especially JCO/OR and their equivalents in the Navy and the Air Force.   TSEWA is self-funded by its Members through voluntary contributions and the Executive Committee Members travel the length and breadth of the country to interact with the Ex-Servicemen, Single Ladies and Veer Naris and help them in resolving their problems and rehabilitate them. More details can be obtained from our website 

2.  A large number of letters have been written by veterans  and Veteran Welfare Associations to various authorities expressing their concerns and anguish on SPARSH, without analyses of the Issues that may be hindering the smooth implementation of SPARSH. Hence this letter may kindly not be treated as yet another letter. Similarly a large number of letters were written directly  and through the Service HQs by various veteran organisations expressing their reservations on SPARSH at the initial stage of development of the System which do not appear to have been given any thought by the CGDA.  TSEWA has carried out in-depth analyses of possible systemic flaws and made recommendation to overcome the present impasse and resistance from Veterans on the proposed road to Digital India as per the vision of the Hon’ble PM of India. Since TSEWA is not involved in Software Development Life Cycle, certain presumptions are made in this letter based on the user interaction with the Veterans.

3. The pensions of approximately 33 Lakh Defence and Civilian Pensioners of MOD are hitherto disbursed mainly through the 28 Public Sector and Four Pvt Sector Banks with their vast network of CPPCs and Branches in the remotest part of the country. The pensioners could interact with the PDA Banks and redress their grievances through the Banks. In spite of initial hiccups, the banks have understood the Rank structure of the pensioners and have been able to implement various Circulars issued by PCDA to correctly disburse the pensions on-time, everytime. The Banks have spent a fortune on development of suitable software to handle various issues pertaining to interpretation and implementation of orders issued by PCDAs. It is purported that there is an annual outgo of Rs.180 crores to the Banks towards the handling charges of pension disbursement to the Defence Veterans. The Banks have also extended special services by way converting the pension accounts to DSP status.
4. Min of Def (ESW) on the advise of CGDA approved central pension disbursal to all defence pensioners including defence civilians by creating Central Pension Disbursing Authority (CPDA). PCDA (Pensions) Prayagraj (herein after referred to as PCDA (P)) is designated as CPDA. This new system of Central Disbursal of Pensonis known as System for Administration of RAKSHAK (SPARSH). CGDA has already incurred expenditure of ₹ 160 crores out of estimated requirement of funds of ₹ 260 crores. 
5. As per the Press Information Bureau release of Min of Def dated 04 May 2022, 4.47 lakh defence pensioners post 2016 retirees have been migrated to SPARSH  till 31 Mar 2022 out of 33 lakhs defence pensioners including defence civilian pensioners and in due course the balance pensioners who retired pre-2016 will also be migrated on to SPARSH.
Present Serious Flaw with SPARSH
6. Out of the 4.47 lakh Defence Pensioners migrated to SPARSH about  58,275 defence pensioners did not receive their pension of Apr 2022 though they submitted Annual Life Certificate to their banks in Nov 2021 and received pension from Dec 2021 to Mar 2022. The post-mortem revealed that the SPARSH System has not recognised the Life Certificate submitted to the Banks and required pensioners to re-submit the Life Certificate after Log-in formalities are completed. There was inadequate training and understanding of the process of Registration especially by many non-computer savvy pensioners and they have been put to tremendous hardships due to stoppage of Pensions which is the sole source of income for survival of many pensioners. 
7. The CGDA / PCDA as is their work culture, were totally unresponsive to the serious problem and insisted on fresh submission of Life Certificate through SPARSH Medium for renewal of pensions of the affected pensioners in a typical Bureaucratic way. It is only after the media raised a stink on the issue, MOD reacted to the situation and gave a one-time waiver of the need for fresh re-submission of the Life Certificates which gave the much needed relief when the pensions were restored. The 58,275 affected personnel included Army Cdrs to Sepoys who retired post 2016 and who were migrated to SPARSH. The stoppage of pensions resulted in pensioners defaulting in repayment of term-loans, non-payment of rentals and expenses connected with day-to-day living.

Poor Methodology of Implementation

8. It is amply clear that CGDA / PCDA (P) have not given adequate thought to the plan of implementation of SPARSH. It is a saving grace that only 58,275 out of 4.47 lakh post 2016 pensioners who were migrated to SPARSH were affected. It would have been catastrophic if all the 33 lakh pensioners have been migrated to SPARSH. Some of the issues visibly not understood by  CGDA/ PCDA are given below:
(a)  The premise that all pensioners will be computer savvy or have smart phones to handle SPARSH is the biggest folly
(b)  There is no Pilot study carried out with a limited number of pensioners to understand the difficulties before migration of Pensioners.
(c)  No cognizance of the present disbursement system of Pay & Allowances to the Serving Defence Personnel is taken whilst defining user requirements of the Defence Pensioners especially of older generations.
(d)  No training of pensioners is carried out to make them understand the system requirements. Presumption that issue of a simple circular explaining SPARSH System  is adequate to disseminate the contents to the pensioners in the remotest places is another big mistake.
(e) Redressal grievance system is totally inadequate and limited telephone helplines are totally unresponsive.
(g)  The work culture of employees of PCDA (P) needs much to be desired. The measurable output of the employees is not even 4 hours in a day as established by many ESM Welfare association representatives who visit Prayagraj.
(h)  CGDA/PCDA (P) have no idea how to deal with illiterate pensioners / Family pensioners speaking only local languages who call up to redress their grievances. (Presuming that they get through the help lines which are never accessible).
(i)  There are innumerable problems with the issue of e-PPOs. It is a nightmare for pensioners to get a Corrigendum PPO issued or get the DOB and other particulars corrected though, the entire correct data is held with the PCDA (P).
(j) TCS has built a huge fort with no doors to let the elephant in. Obviously the SDLC steps of Planning, Defining, Designing, Building, Testing and Deployment were not followed both by CGDA and TCS before implementation of SPARSH which is supposed to be the panacea of all the present problems faced by the Veteran Community.
(k)  Defining the user requirements is left to some auditors who looked at it from the audit point of view and not user point of view.
(l)  The Geeks sitting in TCS developed the software based on such ill-defined “User Requirement Manual” who presume that all target users are IT Savvy.
(m)  Professional advice of Defence Institutions like MCTE hasn’t been taken to vet the User Requirement Manual before handing over to TCS. Hence this is a typical case of GIGO.
Serious Present Issues
9.  The above are some of the valid presumptions made by TSEWA to further analyse the ground realities and recommend the way out, for smooth implementation of SPARSH. The present software developed by TCS may not stand the test of user friendliness in the absence of adherence to the SDLC Methodology. This will result in DAD reacting to a situation without root cause analyses. It is already proposed to have a cell of DAD people at various levels for Grievances Redressal which will result only in Empire Building by CGDA the cost of which will surpass multiple times of the present expenditure in the Legacy System of Banks disbursing the pensions.  Some of the major issues faced by the Veterans and Veernaris are analysed below to arrive at the recommended solutions. These are mentioned without any explanatory notes for the sake of brevity:
(a)  Correct e-PPOs are essential elements for the success of SPARSH. Any data correction and issue of Corr. PPO or / e-PPO at present takes 6-12 months at PCDAs without any accountability.
(b)  The so called Toll Free numbers at PCDAs are never accessible by the Veterans nor any solutions given even if accessed.
(c)  The Data Correction and validity is now palmed off to the Record Offices by PCDAs though the correct Data is held by them thus including one more misery hurdle to be crossed..
(d)  The Veterans are made to run from pillar to post to get the innumerable mistakes made/missing data in the PPOs. The problem is extenuated especially in case of old age, illiterate, invalid veterans and veernariswho are forced to travel long distances to reach ZSWO offices or write to Record Offices.
(e)  The ZillaSainik Welfare Offices and Record Offices are ill equipped / manned to efficiently handle the Grievances of the Veterans. The ZSWO offices merely act as post offices and there is no accountability.
(f)  The next door Banks which are PDAs have no power to help redressal and merely refer the issues to CPPCs who in-turn seek help from unresponsive PCDAs.
(g)  The Record Offices depute serving personnel at regular intervals to PCDAs to expedite Grievance Redressal without any visible results due to poor work culture at PCDAs especially at Prayagraj which is the nerve centre.
(h)  The civilian personnel at PCDAs generally do not understand the structure of Defence Services and trained service personnel who retire young are not given lateral absorption into PCDAs which would bring-in the desired efficiency.
(h)  The Navy Pension Office which is doing a great job, is an unsanctioned establishment and has to depend on temporary deputation of serving personnel who are pulled out at the cost of efficiency of ships and establishments.
Recommendations for Improvement
10.  With a view to ensure smooth transition from the present Legacy System to the Digital System envisaged by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, TSEWA recommends the following:
(a)  A fresh re-look at the software developed by TCS be done following SDLC Method.
(b)  The user requirements may be arrived at and vetting be done by Service establishments like MCTE and not left to CGDA / TCS.
(c) The Banks which are DPDAs and other DPDOs be made as the prime / ab-initio organisations to log-in all grievances by the affected Veterans. These are the nearest entities serving the veterans and veernaris without hassles of language or long travel. They should be given a module which will interface with SPARSH.
(d)  Annual Life Certificates be done using facial recognition methods interfaced with Aadhar which should be made accessible at DPDAs level or by individuals sitting at home using appropriate software.
(e)  All grievances lodged by the veterans/veernaris by the DPDAs be ab-initio made accessible by the respective Record Offices with a similar module of SPARSH.
(f)  The Record Offices, Navy Pension Office and IAF Accounts Offices servicing the Veteran issues should be adequately manned to address all Grievances by direct interaction with the affected Veterans / Veernaris
(g) The above service Organisations should have an appropriate module in SPARSH to  escalate all issues to the respective PCDAs for resolution of the Grievances pertaining to their authority.
(h)  No requests for Empire Building by CGDA for implementation of SPARSH be acceded to.  Adequate training of the existing Civilian Personnel in PCDAs, accountability and motivation aspectsbe instituted. Lateral induction of trained ESM be considered to PCDAs/ DPDAs.
(i)  Auto Generation of Reports of all pending Grievances at various levels right up to the Defence Minister be incorporated in SPARSH software for monitoring and institution of corrective measures.
(j)  ZSWOs should be removed from the loop of Pension Grievances redressal  and their role be  limited to State Issues.
(k)  SPARSH activities be suspended immediately pending a re-look at the software developed by TCS and necessary improvements may be done in line with the recommendations at para 10 above.
(l)  A pilot project be done for implementation of SPARSH on a target group of veterans in the remotest areas of the country and not limited to urban computer savvy veterans of the present generation. 
(m)  All Log-ins/ Registration by Veterans/Veernaris into SPARSH be made only through Bank DPDAs / other DPDOs using a freshly developed suitable module. 
(n)  Migration of the Veterans / Veernaris be done only on successful completion of pilot project and all major/minor glitches in the software are removed and the system fully stabilised.
24. A lot of effort has gone in making SPARSH by now. If the above mentioned suggestions of TSEWA to improve SPARSH are considered, there will be all round satisfaction and smooth transition from Legacy System to the new Digital SPARSH.. Afterall a pensioner needs his monthly pension on time and every time and his grievance should be resolved in a time bound manner at all levels with proper monitoring mechanism at various levels. The SPARSH software should not be CGDA Centric but network  Record Offices and DPDAs  who are the prime interfaces between CGDA and the Veteran Pensioners. We humbly request the Hon’ble Prime Minister,  RakshaMantri and the Finance Minister to immediately issue suitable orders to the all concerned.

Commodore, IN (Retd)
Tri Services Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association
Mob: 9849057767
e-Mail :
Copy to:
The Chief of the Army Staff
Integrated Hq of MOD (Army)
South Block
New Delhi – 110 011

The Chief of Naval Staff
Integrated HQs of MOD (Navy)
South Block
New Delhi – 110 011

The Chief of Air Staff
Integrated HQs of MOD (IAF)
South Block
New Delhi – 110011

I do not have faith in the SPARSH pension system. Please advise how can I continue with the existing pension disbursement system through a bank

Maj Gen CS Nugyal

Reply from Dir MP 5....
Jai Hind Sir,
_PCDA P is supposed to ask you before tfr. Presently, tfr of pre-2016 retiree’s is not scheduled.

Mr Abhishek Singh, IDAS                                                                 FRG9+8GR, Draupadi Ghat

Dy PCDA,                                                                                            Near Sadar Bazar, Prayagraj

PCDA Pension, Allahabad                                                                 Uttar Pradesh 211014


Gp Capt Noel Amiyakumar Moitra (12931R) (Ret’d) VM

 ePPO No: 331200310287 PPO Suffix 0199

Original PPO No 08/14/A/0533/2003

Pension Account No 196110XXXXX51 MICR No 11XXXX094 IFSC CNRB000XXXX

 Canara Bank, AFGIS Building, Subroto Park, WAC, New Delhi 110010


Dear Sir,         

1.  Please refer to the Directives of Hon RM and Defence Secretary during review of SPARSH held on 04 March 2022.

2.  I am forwarding my Unwilling Certificate in writing duly signed by the concerned Pensioner (Self) desiring retention of the legacy/ present system of payment of Pension and declaring my unwillingness to migrate to SPARSH.

3.  It is requested that all GOI Orders, Directives, Instructions, Guidelines, etc. continue to be forwarded for implementation thereof to the concerned CMD and CPPC of my Bank (Canara Bank), Bangalore with due Authority for revisions, re-fixation of Pension, payment of arrears, affecting any recoveries in the event of incorrect and erroneous payments, as currently extant under the legacy system.

4.  You are requested to confirm to me by mail that the Legacy system will continue to apply in my case and that there will NEVER be any migration to SPARSH without my/my spouse's consent in writing in the foreseeable future.

5.  An early reply to confirm my application is requested. My residential address is given below, should you so choose to confirm my request.

Yours sincerely,


(NA Moitra) Gp Capt (Ret’d) VM                                                                        Dated:

B23 GF, Ardee City, Sector 52

Gurgaon, Haryana 122011



Copy to: (1) Shri Dharmendra, PCDA Pension, IAF

(2) Lt Col M Alagu AAG,MP5(b)

Adjt General’s Branch, AG/MP 5(B)




Comprehensive Pension Package (CPP). • An end to end Online System facilitating and easing every aspect of Defence Pensions from Initiation to Disbursement and more is being launched shortly in phased-wise manner. • CPP is envisaged to ensure Right payment to the Right pensioner at the Right time through digital processing.


• Timely and correct payment to the pensioners • Accurate and real time status of pension budget • Multiple channels for pensioners to avail different departmental services • Portal • Mobile App • Service Centres • Call Centre • Structured and SLA based grievance redressal mechanism • Long term-eliminating the very cause of grievances over a period of time.


Relevant links • To know whether migrated to SPARSH or not
• Pensioners who have not received login Id or unable to login please register your grievance on this link