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Armed forces to get parity in pay (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II)

Armed forces granted NFU:
The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) granted armed forces Non-Functional Upgrade (NFU) in pay and allowances in parity with civilian counterparts.

The court has directed the government to implement NFU within three months from the date of the judgment and that arrears for the last three years be paid to petitioners. In pronouncing the verdict, the court has dismissed the submission by the Defence Ministry that defence services are not entitled to and do not deserve NFU.

What is NFU (Non Functional Upgrade)?
Non Functional Upgrade is the name of a scheme implemented by UPA Government, in 2008, to reward civil servants of Central Group A Civil Services, including members of the Indian Police Service (IPS), with automatic time bound pay promotions till the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG).

The promotion under NFU scheme are independent of organizational requirements, vacancy, level of responsibility or span of control of a post. NFU scheme ensures that all IPS and civil servants, at a minimum, retire at the HAG pay grade, a grade equated by Government with Lt Generals, Vice Admirals, and Air Marshals of Armed Forces. For instance, batch mates of a Secretary to the Government of India who have not been promoted will be entitled to the same pay after a certain time lapse.

There is no international precedent for NFU scheme which has had wide-ranging financial, organizational, governance implications.

Background:
The Sixth Pay Commission had granted NFU to most Group ‘A’ officers but not the military. Since then, armed forces had been demanding a one-time notional NFU to ensure parity.
However, the Seventh Pay Commission gave a mixed verdict on it and the issue has since been referred to the anomalies committee.



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