1. Many technical graduates pose the question of pensionable service (or qualifying service) in the TSEWA Yahoo Group Mail.
2. Para 19(a)(ii) of Defence Pension Regulations 2008 mentions:-
“In case of Engineering graduates, if short service commission is followed by permanent commission, the period during which an Officer holds short service commission in probation will reckon for the purpose of pensionary benefits“.
3. You have to understand there is no difference between University Entry Scheme entry or Tech graduate entry. The type of entry is immaterial. I am a technical graduate of 34 Tech Graduates course of IMA, Dehradun. The first day of training for our course is 13 Jan 1972. We were given short service commission during our training period from 13 Jan 1972. We passed out from IMA, Dehradun on 24 Dec 1972. I retired as Brig on 31 Mar 2004. I being a technical graduate have the following types of service:-
(a) Ground Service : 24 Dec 1972 to 31Mar 2004: 31 years 3 months 7 days. I joined IMA late, I get less service to do as upper age limit for retirement is same i.e. 56 years for Brig.
(b) Seniority for purpose of Promotion. I get ante – date seniority of 2 years being a tech grad. For all purposes, my seniority for promotions is 24 Dec 1970. Therefore I belong to 1970 batch though I passed out in Dec 1972. I got my promotions with my course mates of 1970 batch (37 NDA & 46 Regular) from the rank of Capt to Brigadier. Due to my entry as tech grad, the upper age limit to enter Defence ServiceS Staff College, Wellington is 37 years (while for others it is 35 years). My age when I attended DSSC – 41 course in DSSC, Wellington is 36 years 10 months. I get such benefits because I am a tech grad.
(c ) Qualifying service for Pension.13 Jan 1972 to 31 Mar 2004: 32 years 2 months 18 days (rounded off to 32 years). All my periodical benefits like Renewal of outfit allowance was reckoned from 13 Jan 1972 (first day of training in IMA). In my time, we were given renewal of outfit allowance after 7 years. I got it on or after 13 Jan 1979. I was also eligible to avail all benefits as 2 Lt in IMA, Dehradun like CSD facilities. We were authorised basic pay of 2 Lt of Rs 400 during our training period but we have to pay Rs 200 towards our messing and accommodation in IMA, Dehradun. On completion of our training and having passed out from IMA, we were given in 1973 arrears of our pay from 13 Jan 1972 to 24 Dec 1972.
4. You are simply getting confused by the term University Entry Scheme. In my course, some of my course mates while doing engineering were selected by SSB like you and joined 34 Tech Graduates course in IMA, Dehradun as explained. I did not join while I was in my final year engineering of 5 year degree engineering course in 1970. I went to 34 SSB Allahabad in Sep 1971, got selected and joined 34 Graduates course in Jan 1972. Therefore whether one joined as Tech graduate or from University Entry Scheme makes no difference as long as you are given short service commission during the training period in IMA, Dehradun.
5. For other type of entries, the qualifying service is as under:-
(a) NDA Entry, Direct Entry, NCC Entry, Cadet Training Wing Entry. Date of commission to Date of Retirement. My course-mates of 50 Regular course reckon their qualifying service as from 24 Dec 1972 to Date of retirement. Advantage is they become officers at younger age.
(b) ACC Entry. Date of Attestation as soldier to Date of Retirement. They have OR Service + Commissioned service counted for pension. Your ACC entry course mates gets higher pension due to higher pensionable service because his OR service is also counted for pension. Do not grudge him. They get pay as OR in IMA, Dehradun. Disadvantage they tend to retire early as commissioned service is counted fro promotion and upper age limit for retirement is less.
(c) Tech Graduates from OTA, Chennai and later granted Permanent Commission. Since they do less training in OTA, Chennai compared to us from IMA, Dehradun, they lose seniority of 4 months when granted permanent commission. But for pensionable service their training period in OTA, Chennai is counted. They do get pay of Lt little earlier when they pass out four months ahead of PRC tech grads. They also get 2 years ante dated seniority for pay and promotions.
(d) SL, SCO, RCO Entries. The OR service is counted for pension. But for promotion, only commissioned service is counted. They lose out on this as they retire with lesser commissioned service. Most of the SL officers get commission at the age of 35 years and hardly get 22 years to serve as an Officer. But their age for retirement is slightly higher (about 57 years).
(e) Women Entry Officers. The same for seniority, pension is applicable to them like male officers.
(f) Ante Dated Seniority. In our time we did 11+1+5 years engineering course. We got two years ante dated seniority. Now it is 10+2+4 years. Since present day engineering graduates do only 4 years degree engg course, they are given only one year ante dated seniority.
6. Your PPO clearly mentions your qualifying service the way I explained in para 3 above.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)