This blog is meant for use by members of the Association for news and views. Send comments / suggestions / views to e-mail Id:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Amendment in Tatkal Scheme

With a view to further improve the delivery of Tatkal tickets to passengers, the Ministry of Railways has decided that with effect from 10.07.2012 booking of Tatkal ticket will start at 1000 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station instead of 0800 hours at present.

No authorised agents, including agents of IRCTC and RTSAs/RTAs will be allowed to book Tatkal tickets from 1000 hours to 1200 hours. The existing restriction of not allowing these agents booking of general tickets on the opening day from 0800 hours to 1000 hours will also continue.


Retirement on Superannuation of Shri S.M. Shukla and Shri M.K. Tajan

Shri S.M. Shukla, SRM, RMS "K" Divn, Jharsuguda  and Shri M.K. Tajan, ASPOs(OD), Sambalpur Divn, Sambalpur retired on 30.06.2012 A/N on superannuation. 

All India Association of Inspectors and Asst. Supdt. of Posts, Odisha Circle Branch wishes them  good-health and peaceful life in their post-retirement days.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Salient Features of New All India Time Table ‘Trains at a Glance’

New Time Table Comes into Effect from 1st July 2012

The Ministry of Railways has released its new All India Railway Time Table known as “TRAINS AT A GLANCE (TAG)” which has come into effect from 1st July, 2012.  In addition to this All India Time table, all the 17 zonal Railways have also released their zonal railway time tables which too have come into effect from 1st July, 2012.   Passengers are advised to refer to the new timings  w.e.f. 1st July 2012 before starting the journey.  The new Trains at a Glance will also be shortly uploaded on Railways’ official website i.e.

The salient features of Trains at a Glance-2012 are as under:

1.         Encouraged by the public response over the past few years all the user-friendly features of Trains at a Glance viz. how to read a table, route map, station index,  trains between important stations, station code index, Train number index,  Train name index, has been retained.

2.         Commercial information of passenger use and interest viz. advance reservation period, reservation through internet, refund rules and rail travel concessions have been suitably updated. New addition to the fare chart is the fare for AC and mixed type of Duronto services.

3.         Information regarding Vigilance organization, Public grievance machinery, disaster management and catering services have been incorporated.

4.         Railway Budget 2012-13 announcements: The details of all the train services  announced  and which have been incorporated in the Trains at a Glance are as under:

Name of services
No. of service
·         Fully AC Express
·         Double Decker AC
·         Shatabdi
·         Intercity Express
·         Express Services
·         Passenger Services
·         MEMU
·         DEMU
5.         113 new trains, 39 extension and 23 increase in frequency of existing trains have been announced in the Railway Budget 2012-13 and these have been incorporated in the TAG-2012.

6.         Within the next one month, 37 new trains, 29 extensions of train services and increase in frequency of 7 trains are likely to be introduced.  

Source:- PIB  

Transfer and Posting in PS Group-B cadre-Odisha Circle

The following Officers in PS Group-B cadre are transferred and posted in the posts as mentioned against each below vide C.O. Memo No.ST/2-4(3)/2011/Ch.II dated 29/6/ 2012.

Sl. No.

Present Place of Posting
Posting on ad-hoc promotion
S.C. Shukla
SPOs, Cuttack North Division
SPOs, Cuttack South Division, Cuttack
T.K. Ray
Dy. Manager-II, PPP, Bhubaneswar
Sambalpur Region

Adhoc promotion of ASPOs to PS Group-B Cadre and Posting

The following ASPOs are promoted purely on temporary and adhoc basis to the cadre of PS Group-B and posted in the posts as mentioned against each below vide C.O. Memo No.ST/2-4(3)/2011/Ch.II dated 29/6/ 2012.

Sl. No.

Present Place of Posting
Posting on ad-hoc promotion
Krupasindhu Panda
ASP(OD), MBJ Divn., Baripada
Dy. Manager-II, PPP, Bhubaneswar vice Shri T. K.  Ray transferred
Banamali Patra
Under orders of transfer as Postmaster, Sambalpur HO 
SPOs, Cuttack North Division, Cuttack vice Shri S.C. Shukla transferred.

Railways plan dedicated counters for tatkal tickets

Faced with mounting complaints of misuse of tatkal scheme, Railways are planning to have dedicated counters and separate time slots for selling tatkal tickets.

Plans are afoot to install CCTV cameras at the ticket counters to keep a close watch on tatkal ticket seekers and making e-reservation more fool-proof.

"Besides, we have decided to bar booking clerks from carrying mobile to reservation counters," said Northern Railway General Manager V K Gupta, while other officers said the "character of the tatkal scheme will be changed".

Talking to reporters here, Gupta said separate counters and time slots for tatkal reservation would also be put in place very soon to prevent touts from misusing the scheme.

His comments came a day after the Railway Board reviewed the tatkal scheme, which was introduced to help passengers travelling on emergency. However, there have been increased complaints that passengers have been unable to exploit the scheme properly, thanks to the role of touts.

Despite a number of changes carried out in the scheme in the recent past including reducing the days for reserving tatkal tickets from five to only one day and barring web-based agents from booking tickets during the first hours, touts continued to exploit the scheme, selling tatkal tickets at a premium.

At present, tatkal scheme is available in around 2677 trains which translates to around 1.71 lakh berths. In 2011-12, earning from the scheme stood at Rs 847 crore.

Source:-The Economic Times 

Promtion to JTS Cadre in Odisha Circle and allotment of Region.

Pursuant to DG (Posts), Memo No. 4-8/2009-SPG, dated 19/10/2011, Shri Subash Ch. Barik, a PS Gr-B Oficer presently working as SPOs, Cuttack South Divn has been promoted to officiate on regular basis in JTS of Indian Postal Service Gr-A and allotted to Sambalpur Region vide C.O. Memo No. ST/2-34(1)/2003 dated 29/6/2012.

The Officer is likely to be posted as SSPOs, Sundargarh Division against leave vacancy.

All India Association of Inspectors and Asst. Supdt. of Posts of Odisha Circle Branch congratulates the Officer. 

CBDT Invites Comments/Suggestions on Draft GAAR Guidelines

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Finance has invited comments/suggestions on the Draft Guidelines regarding implementation of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) in terms of Section 101 of The Income Tax Act, 1961.The Draft GARR Guidelines were issued yesterday along with the relevant Annexures. All these details are available on the Departmental,,

            The comments/suggestions, if any, can be forwarded at the following address or at the email id: on or before 20th July,2012.

Ram Mohan Singh, IRS
Additional Director of Income Tax,
(International Taxation), Range-1,
4th Floor, Room No. 402,

Drum Shape Building, I.P Estate,
New Delhi-110001

            The implementation of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) has been deferred by one year. GAAR will now be applicable w.e.f. 1.4.2013.The Government had set-up a Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General of Income Tax (International Taxation) to frame draft guidelines in terms of Section 101 of Income Tax Act, 1961. Draft guidelines have since been finalized together with the forms. Some illustrations have also been provided to clarify the GAAR provisions.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Extention of Special concessions/incentives to Central Government employees working in Kashmir Valley for a further period of one year' w.e.f. 01.01.2012 upto 31.12.2012

To view DoPT OM No. 18016/3/2011-Estt.(L) dated 27th June, 2012 please Click here. 

Tatkal website can't keep up with demand, admit officials

Try booking a tatkal train ticket online at 8am when booking counters and the web portal open simultaneously, and you will invariably find the website hanging frequently. Do not expect the situation to improve dramatically as IRCTC, the agency that runs the site, has plainly said it cannot meet the surging demand.

A GM-level IRCTC official said there were simply too many users, especially ahead of festivals and summer vacations.

"We have seen a peak of 13,000 hits per minute during the first 10-15 minutes from 8am. Our capacity is 1,500-2,000 successful transactions a minute. There isn't much we can do at the moment to meet the shortfall," the official said.

"We have ensured our system is as tout-free as possible. For faster usage, we have installed iridium servers, increased bandwidth and worked on ways to increase server capacity. But the demand keeps on rising," said an official. He added that CRIS, the company that set up the website, had been told about the problems.

IRCTC officials also said scaling up online bookings beyond a point too was also not desirable as that would deprive customers buying tickets from railway counters, especially in remote areas.

IRCTC has so far added 52 servers and plans to add 18 more. "But scaling up is not the only solution. If we were to increase our bandwidth to unlimited capacity, people in rural areas, who don't have net access will always be deprived of Tatkal (reservations made a day ahead) tickets since all will be booked within the first 15 minutes of counters opening at 8am," IRCTC chief Rakesh Kumar Tandon recently said in an interview to The Economic Times.

The IRCTC said it had taken strong action to stop touts. A total of 5,26,517 multiple user IDs and 44,187 IDs created by agents had been deactivated till date. "Single user registration on one e-mail ID with email verification has been implemented and individual users are permitted to book only two tickets between 8 and 10am. Mobile validation of users and single user registration on one mobile number has been implemented and mobile booking application has been launched for individual registered users of IRCTC. Single session per user ID check has been implemented. With this step, a user on will be able to open his account for booking of e-tickets only once," said a senior IRCTC official on condition of anonymity.

However, a UP STF officer, who had busted a gang of railway touts in Lucknow, said the website could be tweaked. "The accused travel agents used a software to tweak the system and make their bookings at nine times the original speed," he said.

Source:-The Times of India

Transfer & Posting of JAG Officers and Promotion & Posting of STS Officers

To view Department of Posts (Personnel Division) Order No.2-8/2011-SPG dated 25th June, 2012 please Click here. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sale of one set of pictorial stamps in shape of printing Postcard-(Jagannath Temple, Ratha Yatra,Sun Temple, Gopalpur Sea, historical building of Ravenshaw College and Hirakud Dam )

The CPMG, Odisha Circle has approved the above set of pictorial stamps in shape of printing Postcard on the themes namely Jagannath Temple, Ratha Yatra,Sun Temple, Gopalpur Sea,  historical building of Ravenshaw College and Hirakud Dam. These six postcards will be in one set along with one envelop for preservation. The circulation of these historical events, tourist places and the Ravenshaw College building will create the inspiration of stamp collection and improve the publicity/ promotion of Philately.

The picture cards will be sold in the following Philately Bureau / Post Offices of Odisha Circle.

Sl. No.
Name of the Office
Bhubaneswar GPO
Cuttack GPO
Puri HO and Singhadwar SO
Keonjhargarh HO
Rourkela HO
Sambalpur HO
Berhampur HO

One set of six cards along with envelop will be sold @ Rs. 20 /- (Rupees Twenty only). It will be sold in set only.

Source:-C.O. Letter No. TC/52-50/2005-Ch-I  dated 25.06.2012. 

UPU News - Congress preparations on schedule

Qatar has assured the UPU that all necessary measures are being taken to ensure the success of the upcoming 25th Universal Postal Congress.

The ultra-modern convention centre by night (Photo: QNCC)
Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, the Qatari minister of culture, arts and heritage, met a delegation from the UPU's International Bureau (IB) in June in Doha, the Qatari capital. He emphasized that, with just three months until the Congress begins, preparations are on schedule and Qatar is fine-tuning its plans to welcome some 2,000 UPU delegates to its capital.
The IB team included Juliana Nel, director of the executive office and communication, and Daniel Le Goff, logistics director.
“The preparations are well advanced – proof of the host country’s commitment to making the Congress a success,” said Nel. “We have seen the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) rise from the dust since our first visit two years ago. Today, the QNCC offers all the necessary state-of-the art facilities to ensure a pleasant meeting environment,” she added.
For his part, Le Goff added: “Content aside, logistics is key to the success of Congress, in terms of accommodation, transportation, food and working conditions. Qatar is pulling out all the stops to ensure the event is a success.”

Guests galore

Qatar Post chair and designated Congress chairman, Abdul Rahman Al Aqaily, says his priority is to ensure the Congress goes well. “Our goal is to make sure everyone is happy during and outside meetings. When we have a conference, everyone is a guest of Qatar, not just a delegate,” he said.
The 25th Universal Postal Congress will be held in Doha from 24 September to 15 October 2012 under the patronage of the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
Highlights include a ministerial conference on 8 October. High-level participants will discuss the impact of technology on communication, how the postal sector can foster economic and social inclusion and what the future holds for Posts and the UPU.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UPU News-Seminar on sustainable development:Driver of performance and innovation

The second UPU sustainable development seminar for postal operators in Asia-Pacific countries is being held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, from 25 to 28 June 2012.

To view the Programme Click here.
 A new beginning
Sustainable development has become an essential element of postal development: improve customer relationships, develop new markets, meet customer expectations, respect the territories in which activities are carried out, promote the personal development of staff, raise awareness among the public about social and environmental issues.
The work of the Sustainable Development Project Group is to support postal operators in their efforts to incorporate sustainable development into their activities.

Three pillars

The Project Group's action focuses on three pillars of sustainable development:
  • Economic: Implement an ethical purchasing policy, develop socially responsible financial products, such as microcredit and secure, efficient and affordable money transfer services for migrant workers and their families.
  • Environment: monitor and encourage operators to reduce the CO2 emissions related to their activities, and inform them about carbon offsetting, promote natural resource management and the use of renewable energies.
  • Social and societal: Develop a worldwide HIV/AIDS awareness-raising campaign, contribute to the fight against exclusion and discrimination, promote diversity and professional gender equality and foster social dialogue.

Limit for receiving remittances through International Money Transfer Service to a single individual beneficiary is raised from 12 to 30.

Quick facts about money transfer service

01) Money Transfer Service Scheme ( MTSS ) is a quick and easy way of transferring personal remittances from abroad to beneficiaries in India.

02) Only personal remittances such as remittances towards family maintenance and remittances favoring foreign tourists visiting India are permissible.

The system envisages a tie-up between reputed money transfer companies abroad and agents in India who would disburse the funds to the beneficiaries at ongoing exchange rates. Such Agents can be Banks (Authorised Dealers) or Full Fledged Money Changer or registered Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), IATA approved Travel agents ( having minimum net worth of Rs.25 lakhs ) with prior RBI approval.

As the remittances are towards family maintenance, there will not be repatriation of such inward remittances.

The India agent is also not allowed to remit any amount on account of exchange loss to the overseas principal.

Only personal remittances shall be allowed under this arrangement.

Donations/contributions to charitable institutions/Trusts shall not be remitted through
this arrangement. This is primarily to ensure proper tracking of funds for charitable institutions/trusts is followed.

A cap of USD 2500 has been placed on individual transaction under the scheme.

Amounts upto Rs.50,000/- may be paid in cash. Any amount exceeding this limit shall be paid by means of cheque/D.D./P.O. etc. or credited directly to the beneficiary’s account only.

Only 30 remittances can be received by a single individual during a year.

Saving Schemes Information & Maturity Values w.e.f 01.04.2012

To view Page-1 please Click here and Page-2 please Click here. 


Sleepless night at reservation counters, but no tatkal ticket

The tatkal scheme was introduced to help people get train tickets at short notice. But skyscraping demand and a stranglehold of touts have meant that even spending a sleepless night at the reservation counter does not guarantee a confirmed ticket in the morning.

People, many with their families, start queuing up outside reservation counters as early as 7pm the previous evening. The counters open at 8am and all tatkal tickets are sold within minutes. So, even after a 13-hour wait you may return empty-handed.

According to railways sources, about 1.1 lakh tatkal tickets are offered every day. In the first five minutes, the system receives 4.5 lakh requests for tatkal tickets. On certain trains, tickets get sold out in less than a minute.

TOI teams visited different reservation centres early on Monday and found similar scenes of chaos. Those waiting in line were cynical about the system and touts invariably made their way into the queue through various ways.

Travel agents bend rules, hoard 60% Tatkal tickets: Railways

Consider yourself lucky if your attempt to book a Tatkal train ticket succeeds. Railway sources say there are close to nine lakh seekers everyday for 1.1 lakh Tatkal tickets. With air fares soaring and the number of such tickets down to 30 %, emergency travel has become a nightmare for the common man.

Every day, some 4.5 lakh Tatkal requests are logged on the IRCTC website in the first hour (8-9 am). Lakhs of other passengers wait patiently in serpentine queues for hours at stations.

However, where earlier 10 seats in each coach used to be set aside for the Tatkal quota , now only 10% of the seats are reserved.Changesmadeduring former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's tenure have increased the demandsupply gap, sources say.

But the increased difficulty in procuring tickets has benefited travel agents. The railways estimates that around 60 % of Tatkal tickets are procured by agents. This, despite a ban on recognized agents logging onto the IRCTC website during the first two hours. 

Source:-The Economic Times. 

Drug Abuse – A Holistic Approach

S. Sivakumar*

Drug abuse, also called substance abuse or chemical abuse, is a disorder that is characterized by a destructive pattern of using a substance that leads to significant problems or distress. Teens are increasingly engaging in prescription drug abuse, particularly narcotics (which are prescribed to relieve severe pain), and stimulant medications, which treat conditions like attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy.
Long ago…
Initially, drug users were look down upon as those lacking in moral values that accounted for this strange consumption (of the drug) and it was more often held that a person was not "man enough" to get away from addiction. It was first recognized to be a disease like any other, by Alcoholics Anonymous, who did pioneering work in this field as an organization, delving deep into the reasons why a person fell into and subsequently in short time lost control of himself on such usage. Dr.Jellinek's path-breaking studies helped change the very orientation one hitherto had about these alcohol/drug users (abusers). Further with the advancement of neuro-physiological science, more importantly after 1956, one  came to the conclusion that drug abuse is a chronic disease, could trouble a person for his entire life and was ultimately, curable by proper treatment. The disease of addiction was thus much better understood than in the past. What was needed therefore, more than the sympathy towards such affected persons, a due recognition and systematic treatment appropriate for such cases. These could be akin to treating patients with other health problems like sugar-control or hyper-tension, to name a few.
Types of Drugs
Drugs drastically put to wrong use are brown sugar (its inferior version is heroin) cannabis (ganja, bangh and other such categories) and even alcohol which qualifies to fall under the drug category, for the reason that it is merely a chemical in liquid form that is used to give a "high". Even thinners usable with paints and other such common material could be called drugs. There could also be a case of drug abuse, where a medically prescribed item is consumed frequently, in increased quantity and violates the prescribed amount. Persons recognize that this produces a sensation that "puts them up" and they therefore start using these constantly, not when it is actually needed as a medicine. 

WHO Reports
The yearly report released by bodies like WHO normally indicates an increase/decrease in pattern of drug in use, wherein sometimes what could be more prevalent would be smoking heroin; at other times it could be  injecting cannabis. All these are to be seen more as  fluctuations in drug abuse, than anything else. There are many criteria to determine whether a person is addicted or not. These could range from physical warning signs, emotional signs to an abrupt or gradual change in the family dynamics that lead to marked changes in social behaviour. The person exhibits red and glazed eyes with poor eating and sleeping habits and may also show general lack of interest and become a victim of sudden mood changes. He may develop a strange secretiveness that keeps him away from the family. On the social side he would try to become a truant with an altogether negative attitude. But as a thumb rule it would be better if one stuck to repeated usages as a symptom, where the user is fully aware of the consequences and but is prevented by a strange inability to restrict or stop the consumption of the drug in terms of quantity, frequency and be inclined towards an insurmountable urge towards drug usage.
Instead of looking at the causes for drug addiction per se', it is better to understand it as a vulnerability to addiction. That would a better term. Genetic make-up plays a vital part in forming this habit, the family and friends around a person may serve as a deterrent or cause further usage of the drug(s) thereby increasing the positive expectancy that is to be derived out of it. If there is tacit approval by those around him, then it is held as a normal habit. It is no more drug abuse ; it is only rightful "use". It is "taken" in its stride. Psycho-social factors, lack of coping skills, the mechanism of a backup of friends during immense emotional pain - any or all these may be the causes for the above-mentioned vulnerability.
Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms create an uncomfortable feeling and will depend more on the drug which is consumed. The body and mind become restless, become more and more irritable, all parts of the body could be affected and there is pronounced sleep disturbance. It is similar to a pair of physical balances where one scale is at its extreme and what is strictly happening is a process of re-adjustment. If the patientgoes back wanting to consume only a small quantity then the brain recalls the experiences it has had in the past and forces him to consume more and more till it provides complete satisfaction. This is a state that has to be completely avoided. It would be a reminder here that substitution of one drug by another is neither the solution nor the cure.
Drug abuse, then is the disease of the body, the mind and the soul. Though treatment may begin medically but that alone is not enough and the patient would need an enormous amount of psychological help. If,  a person gets cornered and conquered by an intake for three valium tablets, for instance, he should be taught and educated how to pass his time without these three. It requires long-term treatment, a change in lifestyle and the involvement of the family becomes cardinal in these kinds of treatments. Care should be taken to see that the patients dignity is preserved and he should always be respected.


Prevention is a community process and not a one-time affair or a single day affair, of taking vows and the like. Instilling mere knowledge that drugs are bad alone may not also work. Developing of coping skills, learning to say a firm "no" to drugs even when repeatedly persuaded, a good support system, echoing the message against drug addiction repeatedly at different points of time, involving all sectors of the society are some of the preventive measures to be taken, all in a truly holistic manner, if results are to be seen.
Government Initiatives
The Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, as the focal point for drug demand reduction programmes in the country, has been implementing the Scheme for Prohibition and Drug Abuse Prevention since the year 1985-86. As implementation of programmes for de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug addicts require sustained and committed/involved effort with a great degree of flexibility and innovation, a State-community (voluntary) partnership appears to be particularly strong mechanism for service delivery. Accordingly, under the Scheme, while major portion of the cost of services is borne by the Government, the voluntaryorganisations provide actual services through the Counselling and AwarenessCentresDeaddiction cum Rehabilitation CentresDeaddiction Camps, and Awareness Programmes. The Ministry is assisting 361 voluntary organisations for maintaining 376 De-addiction-cum-Rehabilitation Centres and 68 Counselling and Awareness Centres all over the country. The basic objective in creating facilities for treatment, at Centres run through voluntary organisations, is to ensure that the support of the family and the community is mobilized to the maximum. To facilitate the medical treatment of hard-core addicts who require intensive long-term medical attention, 100 De-addiction Centres are being run in Government hospitals/Primary Health Centres, etc. The initiatives from the Government include maintaining of Quality Assurance and Minimum Standards ensured by developing a Manual of Minimum Standards of Services, Professional Manpower Development where National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention (NCDAP) as an apex institution has the necessary mandate for training, research and development in the drug sector and Focused Interventions for Vulnerable Targets where The Workplace PreventionProgramme (WPP), a collaborative effort of the Government, ILO, NGOs and corporate sector has come up as a result. This collaboration has led to the formation of an effective group of various stakeholders, known as ARMADA, the Association of Resource Managers against Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Source:-PIB Features
June 26th is International Day against Drug Abuse.
*The author is a Freelance JournalistWith inputs from Dr. Anita Rao, Director of Medical Services, TTK HospitalAdayar, Chennai.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own. 

CHQ News:-Up-gradation of GP of IPs ...update

It is learnt that up-gradation of Grade Pay of Inspector Posts from Rs. 4200/- to Rs. 4600/- file is returned by Ministry of Finance to DOP with query. The representative of Department of Posts is likely to meet the concerned officer of MOF in this week for detailed discussion in the matter. 

Source:- As published in CHQ Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Expected vacancy for LDCE for promotion to the cadre of Inspector Posts (66.66%) Departmental quota for the year 2012

Expected vacancy of Odisha Circle



This vacancy is subject to approval by Directorate and, therefore, this would not lead to any legal claim on part of an individual for any purpose. 

Collection of Study Materials for Various Departmental Examinations

Please visit and Click the different Links therein to see all details. 


Anything contained in this document would not lead to any legal claim on part 
of an individual for any purpose. 

UPU News - UPU and Commonwealth Posts make it official

A new memorandum of understanding has laid the foundation for closer collaboration between the UPU and the Conference of Commonwealth Postal Administrations (CCPA).

The two organizations met in Berne, Switzerland, on June 21 to sign the agreement.
The CCPA is a group of 66 UPU designated operators from the Commonwealth and their dependent territories. The association meets every two years and before the UPU’s congress to discuss mail exchanges and share best practices within the Commonwealth region. Guernsey Post currently presides the organization.
The agreement will pave the way for the CCPA to partner more closely with the UPU on the Union's development projects, says Ken McKeown, director of markets development.
“This is the start,” McKeown says. “We’ll be looking to identify more specific areas of potential cooperation for the future.”
Representing the CCPA was Dudley Jehan, Guernsey Post chair. This designated operator currently presides the organization. "This marks a landmark moment in the CCPA's development," says Jehan. "This agreement provides formal recognition of the association by the premier international postal body, which opens the way for closer working opportunities between our two respective organizations."

Friday, June 22, 2012

How safe is your bank locker?

Sample this: A major fire broke out at the Punjab National Bank headquarters in New Delhi recently, trapping hundreds of people inside and triggering panic across the capital. In another case, in a daring robbery at a Central Bank of India branch in UP some time ago, at least 45 lockers are claimed to have been emptied out.

In another daylight bank heist in February this year, second in a row in Chennai, armed men made away with Rs 14 lakh from the Keelkattalai branch of Indian Overseas Bank, triggering panic among customers and forcing many of them to clear out their lockers and close their accounts. These are not lone incidents, but just the tips of an iceberg!

So if you thought that a bank locker is the safest place to keep your cash and valuables in, think again. Worse, if any of your valuables is lost or stolen in such incidents, banks are not bound to entertain your claims.

"The relationship of the bank and the locker holder is that of a lessor and lessee, or in simple words that of an owner and a tenant. The ambience, location and the logistics of the locker are known to the locker holder and he takes the locker despite the deficiencies, if any. Thus, the bank is not responsible for any loss for whatsoever reason of valuables from the locker," says S. Aftab, GM, Corporate Communication, Support Services & Branch Expansion Departments of Union Bank of India.

In fact, in such cases, the principle of Force Majeure works which states that "Banks shall not be liable if any transaction does not fructify or may not be completed or for any failure on part of the banks to perform any of their obligations contemplated if the performance is prevented, hindered or delayed by a Force Majeure event, and in such cases, its obligations shall be suspended for so long as the Force Majeure."

A 'force majeure' event means any event due to any cause beyond the reasonable control of the banks, including without limitations unavailability of any communication systems, breach, or virus in the processes or payment or delivery mechanism, sabotage, fire, flood, explosion, natural disasters or other 'acts of God', war, damage to the bank's facilities or of its correspondent bank(s), civil commotion, strikes or industrial action of any kind, riots, insurrection, war, acts of government, computer hacking, unauthorized access to computer data and storage devices, computer crashes, malfunctioning in the computer terminal or the systems getting affected by any malicious, destructive or corruptive code or program, mechanical or technical errors/ failures or power shut down, faults or failures in telecommunication etc., which prevents it from performing its obligations within the specified service delivery parameters.

In view of these norms, banks have consistently fended off all claims in case of locker burglary on the grounds that the relationship between a bank and the person hiring the locker is that of a landlord and his tenant. Therefore, they are not responsible for its contents.  

Source:-The Economic Times