One Rank One Pension: Ethics and Management Implications in Resettlement of Defence Service Veterans in India

  • Maharajan K. Research Scholar, Anna University, Chennai, India
  • Bhagavatheswaran Subramani Professor, Dr. N.G.P. Institute of Technology, Coimbatore, India
Keywords: One Rank One Pension, Defence Service


An estimated 70,000 personnel of the defence services in India are invariably released at a younger age to maintain a youthful profile of the armed forces. These personnel have served the nation during war and peace, and therefore deserve to be resettled for a peaceful life in the civil society. Such veterans who are in
the prime of life are deprived of a remunerative career when the socio-economic demands on them are compounding. Ethically, the veterans need to be laterally employed in the civil sector or provided with the means to maintain a decent quality of life. Government of India pays pensions to veterans (ex-servicemen) of
army, navy and air force based on various criteria. However, the management policies are neither streamlined nor in tune with the ground realities. For instance, personnel released in the past receive lower pensions compared to those released later, even though all of them have to survive in the same socioeconomic
conditions. For almost four decades, veterans have been demanding 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) i.e. equal pensions commensurate with the rank and length of military service, irrespective of the date of release. Even though the Government of India has agreed to OROP in principle, it is yet to be implemented thereby forcing the veterans to resort to protests. This article portrays the ethical and managerial implications of OROP with a pragmatic view.