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Friday, August 31, 2012

Teaching of Value Education in Schools

The following steps have been taken by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ensure effective value based education at school level- 


The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 brought out by NCERT recommended an integrated and holistic approach for nurturing universal human values and constitutional values at all stages of education to ensure all round development of students and building of a healthy society. The new syllabi and textbooks for all subjects at all stages have been developed in consonance with the above principles of National Curriculum Framework, 2005. 

A resource book for teachers on ‘Ways to Peace’ has been published by NCERT during 2010 for promotion and wider dissemination of values of peace. NCERT has also finalized a framework on ‘Education for Values in Schools’. 


• Introduction of School based Assessment scheme in the year 2009 which, inter-alia, comprises assessment of values. 

• Introduction of value based questions in the Summative Assessment-II in classes IX-X and year end examination of classes XI-XII from the year 2012-13 

• Bringing out a handbook for teachers on Value Education in the years 1997 and again in the year 2003 

• Publication of Teachers’ Manual on Environmental Education and Adolescence Education. 

This information was given by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 


World’s Highest Railway Bridge Over Chenab River

The Railway bridge being constructed over the Chenab River in Jammu & Kashmir is planned to have a height of 359 meters from river bed level which, as per available information, is the highest railway bridge in the world.
            The railway bridge over river Chenab is a part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla new line project which, on completion, is expected to connect AnantnagPulwamaSopianBadgamSrinagar and Baramulladistricts of Jammu & Kashmir State to the Railway network.
            Special quality structural steel is being used in the construction of the bridge involving very high degree of precision and latest welding technology.  Special painting scheme is being used for arch portion which is designed considering a number of additional parameters such as fatigue, seismic effect, blast load, global stability and composite action.  Various latest safety measures like measuring wind velocity, ground acceleration in case of earthquake, temperature monitor etc. are also being planned.
            The estimated cost of the bridge as per the contract agreement of 2004 is Rs. 512.74 crore.  The bridge falls in the Katra-Banihal section of the project which is targeted to be completed by December 2017.
            This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Bharatsinh Solanki in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.


Elimination of Unmanned Railway Crossings

As on April 1, 2012, there are 13,530 unmanned level crossings (excluding cattle and canal crossings) in the country. It has emerged from a study of pattern of accidents that manning of unmanned level crossings is not an ideal solution. Therefore, the policy of manning of unmanned level crossings has been reviewed. 

Accordingly Railways have decided to progressively eliminate all unmanned level crossings by (i) Closure – Closing unmanned level crossings having NIL/negligible Train Vehicle Units (TVUs); (ii) Merger – Merger of unmanned level crossing gate of nearby manned or unmanned gates or subway or Road Under Bridge (RUBs) or Road Over Bridges (ROBs) by construction of diversion road; Provision of Subways/RUBs and (iv) Manning – Railway has also decided to progressively man those unmanned level crossings which cannot be eliminated by above methods on the basis of rail-road traffic volume and visibility conditions. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Bharatsinh Solanki in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. 


UPU News:-Ministerial conference: governments must share postal vision

At least 20 ministers have confirmed their participation as speakers at the UPU's ministerial conference on 8 October 2012.

The conference, during the 25th Universal Postal Congress, will invite government officials to discuss the future of the postal sector, in the light of major technological and social transformations.
Corrado Passera, Italy’s minister of economic development, infrastructure and transport and a former head of Poste Italiane, Cezar Alvarez, Brazil’s deputy minister of communication, Tatsuo Kawabata, Japan’s minister for internal affairs and communication, Nikolay A. Nikiforov, Russia’s minister of telecom and mass communications, and Ma Junsheng, director general of China’s State Post Bureau, join the line-up of high-level governmental officials who will speak at the conference.
The International Telecommunication Union's Hamadoun Touré and the World Trade Organization's Harsha Singh will also take part. Her Royal Highness thePrincess Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations special advocate for inclusive finance for development, will deliver remarks via video link on the postal sector’s role in fostering economic and social inclusion.

Formidable tool

“We want to hear from governments how they intend to make the postal sector a motor of socioeconomic development and social cohesion,” says UPU Director General Edouard Dayan."With the decline of letter-post volumes, Posts must be innovative and diversify the business. As we can see in several countries, a postal network that is adapted can be a formidable tool for developing trade, financial inclusion, social cohesion and solidarity."
In addition to exploring the impact of the technological revolution and its opportunities for the postal sector, the ministerial conference will look at the postal sector’s role in facilitating global trade and in social and economic inclusion. 
More than 1,500 people have already registered for the 25th Universal Postal Congress that taking place from 24 September to 15 October 2012. 

School textbooks to have message on RTI Act

Until now, school textbooks had remained beyond the onslaught of advertisements. That is going to change soon, at least in part.

The inside back page of Social and Political Life textbooks for Classes VI to VIII—the favourite doodling area during a boring lecture—is going to sport one. However, instead of poisoning impressionable minds, it will aim to induce them to seek information using their right to information. The page will have a caricature of a girl in uniform who will give basic information about the sunshine legislation and how to file a right to information (RTI) application.

In a letter to chief information commissionerSatyananda Mishra, the National Council of Education Research and Training has agreed to publicize the legislation in textbooks. "To disseminate the RTI message, the NCERT has decided to print the message in its textbooks," noted a letter from the ministry of human resource development to the CIC. The message, a copy of which is with this newspaper, states, "The basic aim of the RTI Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of government, contain corruption and make our democracy work."

The same advertisement (in Hindi) will be published on the back cover of vernacular textbooks. RTI activists are thrilled with the move and said that it will push youngsters to exercise their right of demanding accountability from the government. 

Source:-The Times of India

Don't miss 'blue moon' tonight

The full moon on Friday is going to be special. It will be what is called a 'blue moon', that is, the second full moon in a month. A blue moon is relatively rare, occurring once in about 2.5 years. It happens when a year has 13 full moons instead of 12.

So, is a blue moon bluer than usual? No, the origin of the name is rather arbitrary. According to some accounts, the name first cropped up in a farmer's almanac. The almanac commonly gave each of the 12 full moons of the year a name. In years when there were 13 full moons, the editor called the extra full moon a blue moon. The next blue moon occurs in July 2015. 

Source:-The Times of India

Retirement on Superannuation of Shri Gangadhar Mohanty, ASPOs(OD), Puri Division

Shri Gangadhar Mohanty (Mob:9778640623), ASPOs(OD), Puri Division, Puri is retiring today i.e.31.08.2012(A/N) on superannuation.

On the occasion of his retirement from Govt. Service, All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Posts , Odisha Circle Branch bids him a respectful farewell and wishes him a good-health and peaceful life in his post-retirement days

Air India Abolishes Productivity Linked Incentives (PLI)

In view of the acceptance of the Justice Dharmadhikari Committee Report on pay and wage rationalization of Air India by the Union Civil Aviation Minister Shri Ajit Singh, it has been decided to discontinue payment of Productivity Linked Incentives (PLI) to the employees of Air India w.e.f.1st July, 2012. From 1st July, 2012 onward, employees of Air India shall be paid salary and allowances as per the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines. However, Ministry of Civil Aviation shall approach the Union Cabinet for payment of flying allowances and some other allowances to be paid to the pilots, licensed engineers and cabin crews as per the industry standard. 

As per Justice Dharmadhikari Committee recommendations, Profit/ Productivity Related Pay (PRP) would be introduced in place of PLI to maintain efficient working of employees. However, PRP shall be determined on the achievement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like yield, aircraft utilization, passenger load factor, on-time performance and revenue achievement. PRP shall be given only after the Company starts making profit. 

Air India management has already constituted an Implementation-cum-Anomalies Rectification Committee for implementation of pay and allowances to its employees on the basis of recommendation of Justice Dharmadhikari Committee Report. This exercise is expected to be completed by the end of next month. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ban on bulk SMSs, MMSs withdrawn with immediate effect

Government on Thursday lifted the ban on bulk SMSs and MMSs with immediate effect -- a day before the earlier stipulated deadline of August 31.

The telecom ministry had, on direction of home ministry, imposed the ban for 15 days on August 17. Later, the restriction was reviewed on August 24 when the telecom ministry increased the limit from five SMSes to 20 SMSes.

"After reviewing the matter again on Thursday, the ministry lifted the restriction allowing citizens to use text messages and MMSes without any limit of numbers with immediate effect," said a home ministry official.

As MPs cutting across party lines had pitched for a foolproof mechanism to check spread of rumours that led to exodus of people from the northeast in certain states, the government on August 17 had imposed the ban on bulk SMSs and MMSs for 15 days across the country.

As per that decision, no one was allowed to send more than five SMSs at one go and more than 20 KB of data from a cellphone for the next 15 days.

Though such a ban may not put a complete check on spread of false or misleading information, officials believed that the mechanism coupled with strict monitoring of flow of SMSs had certainly acted as a deterrent.

Source:-The Times of India 

Expanding Use of Electronic Payment System by Banks

For extending banking facilities to the large section of hitherto uncovered population, PSBs and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) have decided to increase the number of ATMs with emphasis on rural and semi-urban areas.

The Government, with the objective of providing cost and time efficient mode of banking, has been taking a number of initiatives to promote electronic payment system, which inter-alia include getting interchange charges on ATM transaction reduced, advising Public Sector Banks (PSBs) to make National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) transactions upto Rs.1 lakh free of charge, issuing debit cards to all customers, etc. 

Under the Financial Inclusion campaign ‘Swabhimaan’, banking services have been extended to 74,194 villages with population of 2,000 and above, as per 2001 census. Greater availability of ATM, Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, etc., is intended to benefit the people, including in the rural areas, to access banking services in a convenient and efficient manner. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. 


Measures to Check Fall in Saving Deposits

The details of saving deposits with Banks and Gross and Net Small Savings Collections during 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and during the current year are given below:-
(Rs. In Billion)

Saving Deposits with Banks
Gross Small Savings Collections
516.7 (April-June)
Net Small Savings collections
(-) 19.2 (April-June)

           While the saving deposits with banks have a positive growth, there has been a decline in gross and net small savings collections.

            The Government, inter alia, has taken the following decisions with regard to interest rates and other measures for making small saving schemes attractive:-
1.      The rate of interest on small savings schemes has been aligned with G-Sec rates of similar maturity, with a spread of 25 basis points (bps) with two exceptions.  The spread on 10 year NSC (new Instrument) will be 50 bps and on Senior Citizens Savings Scheme 100 bps.
2.      The rate of interest on Post Office Savings Account (POSA) has been increased from 3.5 % to 4%.   The ceiling of maximum balance in POSA (Rs. 1 lakh in single account and Rs. 2 lakh in joint account) has been removed.
3.      The maturity period for Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) and National Savings Certificate (NSC) has been reduced from 6 years to 5 years.
4.      A new NSC instrument, with maturity period of 10 years, is being introduced.
5.      The annual ceiling on investment under Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme has been increased from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.
6.      Liquidity of Post Office Time Deposit (POTD)-1,2,3 & 5 years – has been improved by allowing pre-mature withdrawal at a rate of interest 1% less than the time deposits of comparable maturity.  For pre-mature withdrawals between 6-12 months of investment, Post Office Savings Account (POSA) rate of interest will be paid.

The Reserve Bank of India has also deregulated the savings bank deposit interest rate effective October 25, 2011.  Banks are now free to determine their savings bank deposit interest rate, subject to the following two conditions: First, each bank will have to offer a uniform interest rate on savings bank balances up to Rs. 1 lakh, irrespective of the amount in the account within this limit.  Second, for savings bank balances over Rs. 1 lakh a bank may provide differential rates of interest, if it so chooses.

 This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri   Namo Narain   Meena in written reply to a question in the  Rajya  Sabha today.


Revision of tariff for occupation of Inspection Quarters / Inspection Rooms in the Department of Posts.

This has a reference to Department of Posts(Estate Division) earlier Letter No. 6-2/2004-Bldg. dated 4-8-2005. As communicated vide Department of Posts (Estate Division) Letter No.6-5/2009-Bldg dated 27-08-2012 the rates for occupation of Inspection Quarters / Inspection Rooms is rationalized as follows:-
A)   Inspection Quarters / Inspection Rooms:
i)             For Officers of the Department of Posts while on duty / leave, retired officers of Department of Posts, other Government / PSU Officers on official visit and others for period of 10 days:
Sl. No.
Category of visitor in Inspection Quarters / Inspection Rooms
Rent per Day (More than six Hours)
X Class Cities
Y & Z Class Cities
Officers of Department of Posts on official visit
Officers and dependent family members of Department of Posts on personal Visit
Retired Officers of Department of Posts
Other Government / PSU Officers on official visit and others

ii)           The charges for the use of :-
Air conditions        :-       `20/- per day or a part thereof
Room Heaters        :-        `10/- per day or a part thereof

B)   Rates for officers for stay in Inspection Quarters/Inspection Rooms for periods exceeding 10 days:-
i)             For period exceeding 10 days and upto 60 days:-Same as in para (A) above {With permission of the Controlling Authority i.e. Head of the Circle}
ii)            For period beyond 60 days:-10% of Basic pay (including special pay) [With permission of the DG Posts]
The revised rates indicated above will take place with immediate effect. 

Norms for Opening of Kendriya Vidyalayas


                        Proposal for opening of new Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) is considered only if sponsored by one of the following:-

(i).        (a).       Ministries or Departments of the Govt. of India.
                        (b).       State Governments.
                        (c).       Union Territories’ Administrations.
(d).       Organization of employees belonging to certain eligible categories, elaborated later at point (iii). 

(ii).       Free of cost land as defined under two categories viz, (i) Minimum  (ii) Desirable, the details of which are as under:
Sl. No.
(i) Minimum requirement     
         (In Acres)
(ii) Desirable extent
      (In Acres)
Metropolitan city
Hilly Areas
Urban Area
Semi-Urban/ Rural Areas
The Sponsoring Authority is to provide land as per ‘desirable norms’ but where that does not become possible despite best efforts, they would be under obligation to make available land atleast to the extent of ‘minimum norms’, free of cost.

(iii). (a). When there is a concentration of at least 500 employees of the Defence services or of Central Govt. or of the Govt. of India Undertaking individually or jointly (250 in the case of Special Focus Districts).

     (b). When there is minimum potential enrolment of children of specified categories for opening a Kendriya Vidyalaya belonging to categories I to VI which may be 200 or an average of 30 per class whichever is more. 

(iv).      When the sponsoring authority makes available, free of rent or on nominal rent temporary accommodation to house the expanding Vidyalaya till the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan does construct its own Vidyalaya building on the land leased to it; and

(v).       Provision of the residential accommodation to at least 50% of the staff, should be made available by the sponsoring authority. The number of such residential units needs to be earmarked before the school is opened.

            A new Kendriya Vidyalaya may be opened in the campus of a Government of India undertaking if it agrees to bear the recurring and non-recurring expenditure including accommodation, land and future development facilities as also the proportionate overhead charges on the proposed Vidyalaya provided the need for such a Vidyalaya is established with reference to the location and non-availability of alternate educational facilities.  

            A new Kendriya Vidyalaya may be opened in the campus of an Institution of Higher Learning, like IIT, CSIR Laboratories etc. on the same terms and conditions as stipulated in respect of Schools for Public Sector Undertakings. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

IT Minister Kapil Sibal calls for separating regulatory services functions of Department of Post

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has called for restructuring of 150-year-old Department of Post by separating its regulatory and services functions to meet challenges of technological age.

"The postal department should also restructure itself to meet challenges of 21st century. The Department of Post (DoP) should look into prospect of bifurcating the ministry from the regulator and the operator, just as was done in the telecom sector," Sibal told PTI.

He said that the DoP should explore possibility of having different entities namely policy making, regulator and service provider. "No decision has been taken yet. It is all a matter of debate and dialogue at the moment," Sibal said.

DoP, which has around 5 lakh employees, is responsible for policy making, regulation and providing postal services, at present.

The over 100-year old Indian Post Office Act bars any individual or entity from delivering letters for commercial purpose. The business of private courier companies is built around delivering documents, parcels and others items which do not fall under the category of 'letter'.

Sources in the ministry said that Sibal held a meeting with DoP officials early this week on the issue of finanlisation of the National Postal Policy 2012 and asked them to prepare roadmap for restructuring as well.

They said that next meeting on the issue is expected to take place in 15 days. They said that the minister, in June, had asked DoP to set up a body to oversee the unbundling of its functions.

An independent body named Postal Development Board (PDB) will be responsible for the overall development and governance of the postal sector, they added. The PDB will also draw a road-map for unbundling of postal department functions.

The minister had also instructed DoP to constitute a Postal Advisory Board (PAB), in line with Telecom Commission, which should have representation from government, industry players, academics and other stakeholders, they said. The role of PAB will be to provide inputs to PDB on policy matters.

The government in 1997 created the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to regulate the sector. Under New Telecom Policy 1999, government further restructured DoT by separating service providing function from it.

Source:-The Economic Times

Minutes of Bi-monthly Meeting with PMG, Sambalpur held on 14-8-2012

Administrative Side

Union Side

Shri P.K. Bisoi, PMG, Sambalpur Region, Sambalpur

Shri Ashok Ku. Rath, Member-cum- ASP(I/C), Bargarh Sub-Division, Bargarh-768028
Shri D. Rana, ADPS-I, RO, Sambalpur

Shri B.D. Pradhan, ADPS-II, RO, Sambalpur

Shri Jameswar Garnaik, ACS-cum-ASP(Inv), O/o PMG, Sambalpur Region, Sambalpur
Shri M.C. Mishra, Accounts Officer, RO, Sambalpur

Shri P.P. Dey, AE(C), PCSD, Sambalpur

1-6/2012   Request for diverting the work relating to under writing of PLI/RPLI work from Inspectorial Staff of Regional Office.

Brief: In pursuance of PLI Directorate letter No.23-12/2001-LI(Vol-II) dated 02.04.2012, the Circle / Regional Office PLI Branch have been permitted to accept, process and service the policies relating to their Head Quarter cities where they are located i.e. Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Sambalpur. Now the Inspectorial Staff of RO, Sambalpur have been ordered for the underwriting work of PLI/RPLI Policies of Sambalpur Division at R.O. in addition to their own duty. No specific order is there for entrusting under writing of PLI/RPLI work to Inspectorial Staff. This will increase enormous work pressure on the IPs and ASPs working in the Regional Office.

Therefore, this Association urges for diversion of the under writing of PLI/RPLI work from the duty of the Inspectorial Staff in the Regional Office  and to manage these extra nature of work by some other arrangement with a separate establishment for PLI Branch at Regional Office.  

Reply:                  Discussed and closed

2-6/2012   Request for convening the Screening Committee meeting for processing the MACP cases of IPs and ASPs.

Brief: As per the guidelines, the Screening Committee should met twice in a financial year – preferably in the first week of January and first week of July of a year for advance processing of the cases maturing during the first-half (April- September) and the second-half (October-March) respectively.

This Association requests for regular observation of the time schedule and to consider for convening the Screening Committee meeting for processing the MACP cases of IPs and ASPs which are maturing during April to September, 2012 including the left out cases up to 31st March, 2012.

Reply:        Screening Committee meeting for processing MACP cases of ASPs/IPs which are maturing during April to September, 2012 including the left out cases up to 31st March, 2012 has been held on 02.07.2012 & 24.07.2012.

3-6/2012   Provision of proper infrastructure, basic amenities and proper sanitation for functioning of Sub-Divisional Offices

Brief: The “Look & Feel” for the activities like provision of Infrastructure Equipment and Branding work of most of the Post Offices functioning in Departmental Buildings has now been completed.  But Sub-Divisional offices are made to function in the same building without proper infrastructure, basic amenities and proper sanitation. The case of Sonepur Sub-Division is cited as an example.   

The Association requests to consider the followings:-

i.)   Provision of proper infrastructure, sanitation and supply of good quality furniture to the Sub Divisional Offices matching with the ambience of the Project Arrow Post Office.

ii.)  Supply of Office Stationery with new logo (Envelope, Visiting Card, Writing Pad etc.)

Reply:        The Office of Inspector of Posts, Sonepur Sub-Division has been drawn in priority list of maintenance for the year 2012-13. As regards requests of the Association on point i) and ii) above, all the Division Heads under RO, Sambalpur have been asked on 07.08.2012 to take necessary action in the matter.