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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Over Time Allowance (OTA) to Operational Staff - seeking Inputs/Comments.

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Simplification of Procedure for Treatment at Private Hospitals empanelled under CGHS-CS(MA) Rules (Nov 2017)

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CHQ News:-Bi-monthly / Four Monthly meeting details

It has been observed by CHQ that most of the circle branches (except Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana, AP and Karnataka) are not taking keen interest in submission of agenda for Bi-monthly / Four Monthly meetings to Regional / Circle Administration and attending meetings. Therefore many individual members are still directly approaching to CHQ for intervention of their circle level grievances. 

CHQ appreciate the activities of above circles who are regularly attending the meetings and solving their problems, grievances at local/circle level only and publishing the minutes of such meetings on their circle blog. 

As per the instructions issued under No. 3-10/69-SR dated 23.2.1970 Service Association at circle level can take three items of discussion in Bi-monthly / Four Monthly meetings with Regional / Circle Administration. 

It has clearly mentioned in Directorate letter No. 3-17/72-SR dated 11/8/1972 that items for discussion in the agenda of the periodical meetings should be submitted within period of one month from the date of the last meeting. The explanatory note of items should be sent in sufficient detail in quadruplicate to the administration and two members can attend the meeting for which they will get special casual leave. 

It is therefore directed to all Circle Secretaries to submit their agenda to be enrolled for discussion in the Bi-monthly / Four Monthly meetings to RO/CO well in advance with explanatory note.

Minutes of Four Meeting with CPMG held on 22-09-2017

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Now, government to start mapping your address digitally

The government wants to map your address — residential or professional — digitally, something done by Aadhaar for an individual's identification.

The department of posts - which is under the ministry of communications — has ordered a pilot project that will accord a six-character alphanumeric digital address for every property for three postal pin code locations.

The idea is to provide e-locations (like on Google Maps) for the addresses therein and then provide possibilities to link them to other information, such as property title and ownership, property tax records, information on utilities like electricity, water and gas.

The eLoc (e-location) pilot project has been approved for two postal pin codes in Delhi and one in Noida, following which the plan is to identify national expansion plans. The digital identity — say, UV77D7 — will be an e-enabled address that can be used parallelly to the existing postal address.

Private mapping company MapmyIndia will be carrying out the project for the postal department. 

"The results of the proof of concept may be utilised by the department towards developing a digital address format that would suit the purpose for a national-level project rollout," says a letter signed by additional director-general (mail operations) Abhishek Kumar Singh and sent to MapmyIndia on September 27.

MapmyIndia MD Rakesh Verma said the e-linkage would make it easier to identify complex addresses while providing an opportunity to link them to other amenities and services.

"eLoc will help travellers and commuters search, share and navigate to a destination's exact doorstep far more easily and quickly. It will also reduce time, money, fuel wastage and expenses for businesses in the e-commerce, transportation, logistics and field operations domains," said Verma.

Pilot project to evaluate digital addresses' effectiveness: DoP
Currently, a large number of addresses in the country are difficult to comprehend when read digitally. "For example, an address such as 147, Pocket XX, 2A, Janakpuri can be easily identified online by a digital address such as 8GDTYX. This can be further linked with other associated amenities such as property tax and ownership details, civic amenities etc," an official of the company said.

The approval letter (for the pilot) by the Department of Posts (DoP) said the objective of the project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a digital addressing system.

"The sole ownership of the data/reports or any other documents generated/created in any electronic or physical form, during the course of the proof of concept, shall remain with the department," it said, prohibiting the private company from using the information for any commercial purpose.

The postal department would assist in the exercise through sharing of data on beat maps, verification of the information related to mapping of physical address with the digital addresses and facilitating interactions with their ground staff.

In a statement, Mapmy-India claimed that it already possesses an exhaustive digital address database that includes over 2 crore eLocs of individuals, businesses and government set-ups.

The statement said that the company has partnered Isro and its national satellite imagery service 'Bhuvan' to provide effective mapping coordinates.

Source:-The Times of India

SC/ST promotion quota verdict under Supreme Court lens

The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to examine if there was a need to reconsider its decade-old constitution bench judgment making it virtually impossible for the Centre and states to provide reservation in promotion for SCs and STs in government employment.

Within 24 hours of a two-judge bench making a reference on the need for reconsideration of the 2006 judgment in M Nagaraj case to Chief Justice Dipak Misra under Article 145(3) of the Constitution, a three-judge bench of the CJI and Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan agreed to place the matter before a five-judge bench to examine the bunch of petitions filed by some states and SC/ST employees' associations.

Reconsideration of the five-judge bench judgment in Nagaraj case was sought mainly on the ground that the SC had erred by seeking test of backwardness before grant of reservation in promotion. On Tuesday, a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had said in its referral order, "Petitioners have argued for a relook of Nagaraj specifically on the ground that test of backwardness ought not to be applied to SCs/STs.

"Apart from the clamour for revisit, further questions were raised about application of the principle of creamy layer (which was applied only to OBC quota by Indra Sawhney-Mandal judgment) in situations of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups and parts thereof of SC/ST notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution of India."

The three-judge bench headed by the CJI said it was not going into the procedural irregularity alleged by counsel in a two-judge bench referring the matter directly to a five-judge bench. The bench said it was acceding to the two-judge bench's request and a five-judge bench would examine these petitions on the narrow ambit — "whether Nagaraj requires reconsideration".

A five-judge bench in 2006 had laid down stiff conditions for governments to provide reservation in promotion to SC/ST communities under Articles 16 (4A) and 16 (4B). Article 16 (4B) provided accelerated promotion to SC/ST employees on roster point system, which could give six-year advantage to such employees to reach top positions in departments compared to general category employees.

The Nagaraj judgment said, "In this regard, the concerned state will have to show in each case the existence of the compelling reasons, namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency, before making provision for reservation.
"The impugned provision [Articles 16 (4A)] is an enabling provision. The state is not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions. However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335. It is made clear that even if the state has compelling reasons, as stated above, the state will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely."

Till date, no state government or the Centre has neither collected "quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment" nor carried out any survey to find out whether efficiency was compromised through such reservations. Governments have been intending to carry forward vacancies for backward classes to the next year.

Source:-The Times of India

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Appointment of Independent External Monitors in Department of Posts

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16 years after Indira Vikas Patra was scrubbed, ‘outstanding’ amount worth over Rs 800 crore revealed

Nearly 16 years after the 'small-savings' scheme Indira Vikas Patra was discontinued, over Rs 800 crore is lying unclaimed with the government as "outstanding" amount, an RTI query to the department of posts has revealed.

In answer to an RTI plea by Gurgaon resident Aseem Takyar, the department of posts said while information on the "unclaimed amount" was not available with the department, it had information on the progressive net balance as on March 31, 2017. This amount was Rs 884.75 crore.

Indira Vikas Patra was launched in 1986, offering a high interest rate.

It offered certificates in the denominations of Rs 200, Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 at half their face value, which the investors could buy and later exchange for the face value of the document after a specified period. The advantage with the scheme was that the depositor got the money in lump sum along with accumulated interests (for all the years) at the end of maturity period. This scheme was discontinued in 2001 amid criticism that it was aiding in parking of black money anonymously.

Interestingly though, the annual statement provided by the department of posts on the state-wise net balance shows that around Rs 4.8 crore had been debited from the balance sheet in the financial year 2016-17. While the opening net balance was Rs 889.54 crore, the closing net balance was Rs 884.75 crore.

According to Takyar, the large amount of unclaimed money implied that there were many people who hadn't asked for their money for one reason or another.

Of course, it is not the only savings instrument where a huge amount of money is lying unclaimed. According to the data available, more than Rs 27,000 crore was lying unclaimed in the Employees' Provident Fund in 2015. Last year, the government had announced that funds lying unclaimed for more than seven years with the Employees' Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund and other small savings schemes would be utilised to finance a senior citizens' welfare fund.

Source:-The Times of India

Monday, November 13, 2017

Big scam in recruitment of postmen in Maharashtra unearthed

MUMBAI: The vigilance department of the Department of Posts has unearthed a mega scam in recruitment for over 2,400 vacancies, in Maharashtra. The Mumbai police registered an FIR in August against Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL), which had won a bid in 2015 to conduct the recruitment process for postmen, mail guards and other staffers in the postal department.

The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint by an assistant post master general in Mumbai and names P V Mallya and other directors of MTL. Dubbing it a big scam, Justice A M Badar of the Bombay high court refused to grant pre-arrest bail to Mallya on November 3.

He said, "The case in hand appears to be a case of a big scam in recruitment in the department of posts... Selection to public employment has to be a fair and impartial process, based on merit of eligible candidates... This job was entrusted by DoP with utmost trust on the company... Prima facie, it is seen that, the company has breached the trust reposed by it and had shown nepotism and partiality in selecting candidates for obvious reasons.''

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) said that the selection process had been cancelled in Maharashtra. No one has been arrested so far. Police are interrogating the project managers from the company which was in charge of the recruitment process.

The exam was conducted in March 2015 and the results were declared in March 2016. It was held to fill in 1,680 posts of postmen, 21 mail guards and 733 multitask servants (MTS).

The chief postmaster general had ordered a vigilance enquiry when an Amravati postmaster first complained last April that a postman selected through the recruitment process had a photograph of a different candidate on his online application form.

The vigilance report said that 25 of the 194 postmen posted in Maharashtra scored high in Marathi, but didn't know the language and over 70 candidates were found with identical email addresses.

Few of the selected candidates had not appeared for the exam, others had not signed the paper or their signatures online and on the answer paper differed; addresses of some candidates were identical, and cell phone numbers were the same for some, said the vigilance report.

Of the 24 selected as postmen,12 had identical cell phone numbers; of 21 selected as MTS, 11 did. Candidates selected from states other than Maharashtra, such as Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, had addresses from a same locality, said the FIR.

Source:-The Times of India

Cadre Restructuring of Group 'C' employees in Department of Posts

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