One Rank, One Pension (OROP), or same pension, for same rank and for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement was the basis for determining the pension and benefits of Indian Armed Forces till 1973.

In 1973, the Indian National Congress (INC) government headed by Indira Gandhi, Prime minister, following the Third Central Pay Commission (3 CPC), in an “ex-parte” decision terminated OROP. The termination of OROP caused disquiet in the Armed Forces and has since become a cause of public protests by Armed Forces Veterans.

An all party ten member Parliamentary Panel, known as the Koshyari Committee after its Chairman, examined OROP. The Koshyari Committee blamed the delay in implementing OROP on bureaucratic resistance and apathy.” The Koshyari Committee unanimously found merit in OROP, and recommended its early implementation.

OROP, an increasingly politicised, and often a misunderstood and misrepresented issue, in the run up to the Indian general election of 2014, found favour with the INC, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).The top leaders of these parties, including Sonia Gandhi of INC, and Narendra Modi of BJP, made repeated public commitments to implement OROP.

Concept of OROP

The KC, after taking into consideration evidence and oral deposition by witnesses, defined the concept of OROP as follows: OROP “implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.” The concept includes “bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. In armed forces, equality in service has two components, namely, rank and length of service. The importance of rank is inherent in armed forces as it has been granted by the President of India and signifies command, control and responsibility in consonance with ethos of service. These ranks are even allowed to be retained by the individual concerned after his/her retirement. Hence, two armed personnel in the same rank and equal length of service should get same pension irrespective of date of retirement and any future enhancement in rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.”