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Friday, May 26, 2017

Calling for application of volunteers from Postal/Sorting Assistant cadre to work in PTC, Dharbhanga as Office Assistant

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Applicability of Central Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016 to persons re-employed in Government Service after retirement and whose pay is debitable to Civil Estimates/ Fixation of pay of State Govt.Employees on their appointment in Central Govt, subsequent to the implementation of CCS(Revised Pay) Rules,2016

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Implementation of Government's decision on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission - Revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners/family pensioners

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Allotment of GPF Account Numbers to Casual Labourers with temporary status

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UPU DG calls on African Posts to diversify services

Universal Postal Union Director General Bishar A. Hussein has called on postal operators in Africa to diversify their services in order to cope with current industry dynamics adversely affecting their business.

Addressing participants during the Pan African Postal Union’s (PAPU) 36thAdministrative Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, Amb. Hussein advised PAPU member countries to invest in innovation so as to develop products that meet the changing needs of customers.
“We are all aware that the postal sector is undergoing unprecedented changes, characterised by rapid technological development, globalisation of postal markets and increased competition. These are factors that are making us seek new ways of doing business in order to remain relevant for our customers. The new shift calls for greater innovation and diversification of products to march the changing needs and expectations of customers,” said Amb. Hussein.

Operational readiness

Amb. Hussein, who was accompanied by UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz, also participated in a three-day Operational Readiness for E-commerce in Africa start-up workshop sponsored by UPU through its technical cooperation programme.
He told participants that UPU had identified e-commerce as the priority area of growth for the postal sector and called on African postal administrations to adopt new technology and upgrade their logistics capacity to be able to successfully participate in this new online market.
He further said it was the realization of the need to adopt online services that inspired the UPU’s Ecom@Africa project, which aims to help countries in the continent to set up e-commerce services for the Post
“Africa is considered the weakest link in the global postal network and that is why we have prioritized it in this programme,” he said.

Ugandan participation

Meanwhile, Uganda has requested the UPU’s assistance to set up an e-commerce platform for the Post under the Ecom@Africa project.
Speaking during a courtesy call by Amb. Hussein, Uganda’s Minister for ICTs and National Guidance, Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, said his ministry was preparing a national digital strategy for the country and that the Ecom@Africa project was seen as the best approach to achieve its goals.  The digital strategy will address all sectors of the economy in Uganda, he said.
Amb. Hussein pledged to assist the country in implementing the project.
So far six other countries—including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia—have engaged the UPU for advice in setting up Ecom@Africa.  Amb. Hussein said the UPU’s International Bureau was prepared to help any member country interested in implementing the project so as to achieve faster take up of e-commerce for the continent’s postal network.

Remittances

Earlier, Amb. Hussein had attended the Third Pan African Forum on Migration in Kampala, Uganda. The event was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
During the meeting, Amb. Hussein informed participants that the UPU, in collaboration with IOM and other partners, was working on a project to facilitate a more affordable financial remittance system targeting migrant communities. The pilot project is soon to be launched in Burundi and will be facilitated through the country’s postal network.
If successful, similar projects will be replicated in other parts of the continent now home to large migrant communities in the diaspora.

Recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission - bunching of stages in the revised pay structure - reg.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

All you need to know about IFSC and MICR

IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code. This is an 11 digit alpha-numeric code used to uniquely identify all bank branches within the National Electronic Funds Transfer) network by the RBI. 

MICR code is a code printed using MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition technology) on cheques to enable identification the cheques. 


All you need to know about IFSC and MICR

What is IFSC? 
IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code. It is a 11-digit alpha-numeric code that uniquely identifies a bank branch participating in any RBI regulated funds transfer system. The IFSC code helps to transfer money using RTGS, NEFT or IMPS method. 

The first 4 digits of the IFSC represent the bank and last 6 characters represent the branch. The 5th character is zero. 

What is MICR? 

MICR is an acronym for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition which is a technology used in the banking industry in printing the MICR codes. 

A MICR code is a 9-digit code that uniquely identifies a bank and a branch participating in an Electronic Clearing System (ECS). The first 3 digit of the code represents the city code, the middle ones represent the bank code and last 3 represents the branch code. One can locate the MICR code at the bottom of a cheque leaf, next to the cheque number. It is also normally printed on the first page of a bank savings account passbook. 

What is the use of MICR Code? 
 MICR Code is used in the processing of cheques by machines. This code enables faster processing of cheques. One is required to mention the MICR code while filing up various financial transaction forms such as s investment forms or SIP form or forms for transfer of funds etc. 

What is cheque number? 
A cheque number is a 6-digit number uniquely assigned to each cheque leaf. It is written on the left-hand side at the bottom of the cheque. It is advisable to check i.e. count and check the number on each cheque leaf in a new cheque book when you receive it from the bank. This is to ensure that no cheque is missing from the cheque book. 

Ideally, you should record the transaction you have used each cheque leaf for in the transaction record slip attached at the start or end of a cheque book. In this record, you should mention the cheque number, date of cheque, amount and payee. 

Where is the MICR number on a cheque? 
A MICR number on the cheque is written at the bottom of the cheque, on the right-hand side of the cheque number. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Death of a Postman... and the Postal System

Though he had several years to go yet, Subhankar Sinha Roy, in his late 40s, had had enough. He wanted to retire. An employee of India Post until a month back, he quit earlier this month. A diligent worker all his life, he simply could not manage his life-work balance in an overly demanding and increasingly technology-oriented environment during the last few years. 

Let's face it, post offices — and, indeed, the entire postal system — are not what they used to be, say, twenty years back. For a certain generation, mention the word "post office", and it will conjure up memories of rooms abuzz with activity: the rat-a-tat of the telegram; bored-looking clerks dispensing postcards, inland letters and stamps; the smell of post-office glue; the rhythmic drumbeat of rubber stamps; and the dusty red post boxes in one corner, around which conversations would be struck and friendships re-forged. Most members of Generation Now have arguably never seen the inside of a post office, much less ever sent a "snail mail".

It is this change that "Generation Ex" could never cope with. Quite a few employees of the postal department have applied for VRS years before they were set to retire. "Those who joined around two decades back find it difficult to sail through rapid technological changes. With heavily depleted manpower and diversification into newer business ventures, work pressure kept mounting on staff, to the point that it was difficult to handle," Sinha Roy says.

Known for his sincerity and diligence at the workplace, Sinha Roy knows that the department has had to change with the times and adopt new technologies and business models. "There are many who couldn't foresee the changes. When it changed, they succumbed to the pressure," he feels.

Earlier this week, 56-year-old Abhijit Roy, who was appointed postmaster of a Belgharia post office barely 10 days back, ended his life at his Sodepur home as he failed to cope up with the new software for core banking system. When they joined, it was primarily a manual job, with minimal technological intervention. Decades down the line, India Post, struggling to earn more revenue, made a quantum leap into banking services. A part of the old set of employees found themselves misfits in the new order.

Till the late 90s, life in post offices was slow and steady. Men and women sitting behind the counter would silently hand over postage stamps or note down the address of a registered mail. Large ledger books were maintained to keep records of transactions — from parcels to postage stamps. Registered post and insured post provided the bulk of revenue flow. In busy post offices, such as the ones in Burrabazar or Kalakar Street, porters came with basketfuls of parcels. Vouchers were issued to those who kept money in various deposit schemes.

As an employee gained in seniority, s/he had to handle more complex jobs, such as disbursal of policy maturity claims and succession issues. Such jobs required a thorough knowledge of laws and departmental rules. The younger cadre would sit at the registry or parcel counters. Large ledger books were replaced by computers during 2003-'04, with a very little resistance from employees. "Then came the Sanchay Post — software to keep track of deposits into accounts with the department. It was almost a digital replica of ledger books," said an employee at Belgachhia Post Office.

There was a long lull after email and mobile phones made much of the postal service redundant. Finally, the department decided to roll out banking services. The strength and bustle that once built India Post eventually felt threatened by the new wave. The slow-paced culture was fast being overtaken by a distinctively different one. It was the first time that those in their 50s felt a strong sense of unease, a sense of being unable to keep up with the times.


"Staff crunch was acute, and there was no way an employee could say no to the changes," says Janardan Majumdar, deputy general secretary of the All India Postal Employees' Union (Group C). "Everybody felt it was the need of the hour. But they were afraid to change," he adds. The problem was more acutely felt after the department shifted to a leaner "single-hand" post office models. "The new system requires thorough knowledge of complex core banking software. It gobbles up time, leaving very little space for regular post office jobs. Pending jobs keep piling up as a result," says a member of All India Postal Employees Union.


Even as the switchover to core banking — that seemed like it was happening almost overnight — sounded impossible for many, they kept faltering at work, even as clients on the other side of the counter started to get angrier by the minute.


"A fear psychosis has set in," Majumdar explains. "And, it is the fear of the unknown." While a large section of employees started to stay on till late at night trying to master the new system, some of them were also giving up. What once served as the country's lifeline for communication was relegated to the backyard, with each little advance in telecom and information technology. A way of life was gone, perhaps for ever.

Source:-The Times of India

Wannacry hits Russian postal service, exposes wider security shortcomings

By Jack Stubbs

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's postal service was hit by Wannacry ransomware last week and some of its computers are still down, three employees in Moscowsaid, the latest sign of weaknesses that have made the country a major victim of the global extortion campaign.
Wannacry compromised the post office's automated queue management system, infecting touch-screen terminals which run on the outdated Windows XP operating system, one of the workers said. Terminals were still blank in some parts of Moscow this week but it was not clear exactly how many branches had been affected.
A spokesman for Russian Post, a state-owned monopoly, said no computers were infected, but some terminals were temporarily switched off as a precaution. "The virus attack did not touch Russian Post, all systems are working and stable," he said.
Other institutions in Russia have said they were infected by the virus, highlighting Moscow's readiness to show it too is a frequent victim of cyber crime in the face of allegations from the United States and Europe of state-sponsored hacking.
The Interior Ministry, mobile operator MegaFon and state rail monopoly Russian Railways all reported infections, with employees locked out of their computers and the creators of the virus demanding ransoms of $300 to $600.
The Russian central bank said on Friday the virus had also compromised some Russian banks in isolated cases.
That the infected post office terminals ran on Windows XP - which Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014 - points to the widespread use of outdated software in Russia, which experts say left the country disproportionately vulnerable to the attack.
Of 300,000 computers infected worldwide, 20 percent were in Russia, according to an initial estimate by cybersecurity researchers last week.
Globally, few ransoms have been paid after many victims found they could restore their systems from backups.
The post office outages also illustrate what investigators say is a common misconception about Wannacry: infected computers are more likely to be part of antiquated systems not deemed important enough to update with the latest security patches, rather than machines integral to the company's core business.
"Many companies in Russia use outdated unpatched systems and older anti-malware solutions," said Nikolay Grebennikov, vice president for R&D at data protection company Acronis. "In big companies upgrades are hard to perform and avoided because of budget and scale."
SCRUTINY
Russia's relationship to cyber crime is under intense scrutiny after U.S. intelligence officials alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Republican Donald Trumpwin the U.S. presidency by hacking Democratic Party servers. Moscow has denied the allegations.
Investigators are yet to track down Wannacry's criminal authors, saying they likely used a hacking tool built by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked online in April.
It has not previously been reported that the Russian postal service, which employs more than 350,000 people, had been hit by the virus.
"The head guys rang on Thursday and said we had to turn off the terminals immediately. They said this extortion virus had infected them," a worker at a branch in northwest Moscow said, declining to be identified discussing internal company matters.
"They rang again yesterday and said we could turn them back on. We did that, but you can see they still don't work."
Employees at a second post office confirmed the electronic queuing system was broken but said they did not know why.
Two sources at Russian Railways said the company had suffered a "huge" cyber attack and a small number of computers were infected without damaging any important files.
The extent of the damage had been limited, one of the sources said, because a lot of computers were turned off at the end of the working week. "We were lucky it was a Friday night," he said.
Megafon, which is Russia's second biggest mobile operator, declined to comment on how the virus had got into its system.
It said the virus had caused a temporary outage of its customer support services. "Our sales points suffered worst of all because Windows, which had the exploited vulnerability, is more widely used in retail," a company statement said.
COMPUTER PIRACY
The frequent use of pirated software in Russia also helped spread the Wannacry infection, investigators said, as unlicensed products do not receive security updates.
Reuters has found no evidence any of Russian companies infected with the Wannacry virus were using unlicensed software.
But computer piracy is a long-standing issue for technology companies in Russia, one which has as become increasingly acute as the country's economic slump and falling earnings make licensed products prohibitively expensive.
Data compiled by the BSA Software Alliance trade group shows 64 percent of software products in Russia were pirated in 2015 - a black market industry worth $1.3 billion - compared to a global average of 39 percent.
"Piracy is still wide spread in Russia, especially if we are talking about home users," Grebennikov said. "This is because of poverty. If an operating system costs say 500 roubles, people would buy it."
Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system currently costs around 8,000 roubles ($140.92) in Russia, around a fifth of the average monthly wage of 39,000 roubles. Online, the same product can be illegally downloaded for free.
($1 = 56.7687 roubles)
(Additional reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

(This story has not been edited by timesofindia.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)
Source:-The Times of India