The Defence Ministry and the Army have agreed in principle to grant ex-servicemen status to the Military Nursing Service (MNS) cadre, which has been their long-term demand. The decision comes as the Supreme Court has asked for their opinion in an ongoing case on the issue.
“The Army and the Ministry have agreed in principle for ex-servicemen status as also their demand to use star plates on cars for brigadiers and above,” a defence official said on Friday.
In all, the MNS had 28 demands of which these two are the major ones. The status entitles them to all benefits of veterans, the official stated. Some MNS had approached the Armed Forces Tribunal which supported their demand after which the Defence Ministry challenged it in the Supreme Court in 2010. On May 7 this year, the apex court had asked the Ministry and the Army to submit their reply. Ahead of the change in stance of the Ministry, a meeting was convened in March this year with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) “for technical changes to the definition of ex-servicemen” to which the DoPT agreed in principle, the source stated.
MNS enjoys commissioned status and is already entitled to the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and Canteen Stores Department (CSD) facilities.