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Monday, August 31, 2015

Mehrishi is new Home Secy; Goyal's term ends abruptly

New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) In a sudden and surprise development, senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi, who was to retire today, was appointed as Union Home Secretary, replacing L C Goyal whose tenure abruptly ended 17 months before the completion of his two-year tenure.

Mehrishi, the 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, was serving as Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry and today was his last day on turning 60.

A PMO statement said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Mehrishi as Home Secretary for a period of two years with effect from today.

Significantly, the news of Mehrishi's appointment came from PMO which said, the Prime Minister has "also approved the request" of Goyal, a 1979-batch IAS officer from Kerala cadre, "seeking Voluntary Retirement from government service with immediate effect due to personal reasons".

Goyal had taken over as Home Secretary nearly seven months back on February 5 when the then incumbent Anil Goswami was sacked after he allegedly tried to prevent CBI from arresting former Union Minister Matang Sinh in connection with Saradha chit fund scam case.

This is the third exit of a top bureaucrat much before the end of tenure. Apart from Goswami, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was eased out of her office in January, six months before the completion of her two-year fixed tenure.

The post of Union Home Secretary has a fixed tenure of two years.

Today's development comes against the backdrop of reported controversies in the Home Ministry surrounding the denial of security clearance to Sun TV owned by the Maran group, issues related to an NGO headed by social activist Teesta Stelvad and the Naga accord.

However, Goyal insisted that he was not upset with the government and maintained that his decision to take voluntary retirement was personal.

"For personal reasons, I didn't want to continue. It was my own decision," Goyal told reporters here after the announcement came.

Goyal said any other reason being mentioned is factually incorrect.

At the same time, Goyal, who turned 60 only a few months ago, said he is hale and hearty.

Revision of method for calculation of Income and Cost of Branch Post Offices (BOs)

To view Department of Posts (Planning Division) Letter No.40-17/2015-Plg. dated 24th August, 2015 please Click Here

Face action if you raise grievances with Prime Minister: Government warns babus

All central government employees, including officials of Army and para military forces, were today warned of "action" if they raise service matters related grievances to the Prime Minister, directly. 

Warning employees, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said such submission of representations directly to other authorities by-passing the prescribed channel of communication, has to be viewed seriously and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against those who violate these. 

As per these instructions, wherever a government servant wishes to press a claim or to seek redressal of a grievance, the proper course for him is to address his immediate official superior, or head of his office, or such other authority at the appropriate level who is competent to deal with the matter in the organisation. Writing to higher authorities, can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct, it said in a directive. 

"In spite of these instructions, it has been observed that government servants including officers and officials of para military forces and Army personnel continue to represent directly to the Prime Minister, Minister, Secretary (Personnel) and other higher authorities, directly," the DoPT said. 

It is reiterated that the existing instructions may be brought to the notice of all government servants including officials of para military forces and members of armed forces and "action taken against those who violate these instructions", it said. 

The forms of communication also include e-mails or raising it through public grievances portal etc, the DoPT said. 

The DoPT has also reminded the employees of the government's directive prohibiting them from bringing outside influence in respect of matter pertaining to his service matter. "Representation by relatives of government servant is also treated as outside influence," it said. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Holiday home at BPC, Tambaram, Chennai

To view please Click Here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

GS writes to Member(P) for convening DPC for promotion to the cadre of PS Gr. B for vacancy year 2015-16

No. CHQ/AIAIPASP/DPC/PS Gr.B /2015                            dated :     29/8/2015

 Shri AshutoshTripathi,
Member (P)
Department of Posts,
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-110 001.

Subject :  Holding of DPC for promotion to the cadre of PS Gr. B for vacancy year 2015-16

Respected Sir,

This Association conveys its sincere thanks for timely processing of the DPC for promotion of ASPs to PS Group “B” for the vacancy year 2015-16.  But, it is learnt that same has been held up for the time being in order to include resultant vacancies arising out of JTS DPC for the year 2015-16. Whereas there are laid down provisions to include vacancies arising  on account of “promotion” and “chain vacancies” by keeping approved penal or holding supplementary DPC enabling department to hold PS Group B  DPC without waiting for the result of JTS DPC.

In this regard, a kind reference is invited to para-3 of the Department of Posts (Personnel Division) letter No.25-10/2014-SPG dated 09/07/2014 coupled with para-7 of DOP & T OM No.22011/9/98-Estt (D) dated 08-09-1998 (copy enclosed) wherein it is provided that a DPC may take into account all clear expected vacancies by retirement in the concerned grade as well as chain vacancies on account of retirement etc. in the higher grades which can be clearly anticipated in the same vacancy year.

Department of Posts vide Personnel Division letter dated 09/07/2014 has also issued instructions to percolate the seniority quota vacancies arising in higher grades in a vacancy year down to lower cadres/grades and to take into account along with the clear vacancies arising in a particular grade. Further, as clarified vide Para.4.(II) of the said letter a Circle will take into account the vacancies arising from HAG to PS Group-B Cadre in that Circle in a vacancy year as chain vacancies for lower cadres in addition to existing and anticipated vacancies in the said lower cadre arising in that vacancy year.

Moreover, there is also provision for conducting second (supplementary) DPC in accordance with DOP& T OM No. 22011/5/86-Estt (D) dated 10-4-89[para 6.4.2(i)] and OM No.22011/2/2014-Estt (D) dated 30-1-2015 (copy enclosed) for the vacancies which could not be anticipated at the time of holding the earlier DPC.

Furthermore, As per the DOP & T guidelines issued from time-to-time, the selected panel is to be kept ready and to be utilized as and when the vacancies arise during the course of the vacancy year to ensure timely promotion of the employees. As on 1-8-2015 there are 224 vacancies available in PS Gr. B cadre. There will be resultant vacancies of the same vacancy year after holding DPC for promotion to the cadre of JTS Gr. “A” for the vacancy year 2015-16.

It is therefore requested to your kind honour to convene PS Group B DPC immediately for the vacancy year 2015-16 so that our members could get timely promotion against 224 existing vacancies in PS Gr. B cadre. Supplementary DPC can be held thereafter for resultant vacancies on account of “promotion” and “chain vacancies” as and when the vacancies arise during the course of the vacancy year 2015-16.

With profound regards,
Yours sincerely,
Enc:-As above
(Vilas Ingale)
General Secretary 

CHQ News:- Preparation of combined All India Seniority list of Inspector Posts cadre for the year 2001 and onwards ..... updates

As all members knows that Directorate vide Memo No. 7-1/2015-SPB-II dated 28th July 2015, called for information for preparation of combined All India Seniority list of Inspector Posts (IPs) cadre for the year 2001 and onwards from all circles, by giving target date 17/8/2015. 

But as on date only Assam circle has forwarded their circles seniority list to Directorate.  

What is a smart city; how it will benefit citizens

A smart city uses digital technologies or information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality and performance of urban services to make lives of citizens better.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

List of 98 Cities selected under Smart Cities Mission

To view the PIB release please Click Here.

Seventh pay panel gets time till December to submit report

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Wednesday extended by four months the term of the Seventh Pay Commission, which was set up in February 2014 to revise remuneration of some 48 lakh central government employees and 55 lakh pensioners. 

The Commission will now have time until December 31 to submit its report. 

"The Cabinet approves extension of the term of the 7th Central Pay Commission by four months, that is up to December 31, 2015," an official spokesperson tweeted. 

The pay panel, which was set up by the UPA government, was required to submit its report by August-end. 

The government constitutes the Pay Commission almost every 10 years to revise the pay scale of its employees and often these are adopted by states after some modifications. 

The Commission has already completed discussions with various stakeholders, including organisations, federations, groups representing civil employees as well as Defence services and is in the process of finalising its recommendations. 

The recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission are scheduled to come into effect from January 1, 2016. 

The Commission is headed by Justice A K Mathur. Meena Agarwal is secretary of the Commission.

The Sixth Pay Commission was implemented with effect from January 1, 2006, the fifth from January 1, 1996 and the fourth from January 1, 1986.

Source:-The Times of India

To view the PIB release please Click Here.

Govt mulls levying penalty on telcos for call drops

New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) As the call drop menace refuses to subside, government is now weighing the option of slapping penalty on telecom operators while individual letters would be shot off to their promoters to convey the concerns raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this problem.

A top official in the ministry said it will be conveyed to the owners that in case quality of service does not improve, option of levying penalty under licence conditions is not ruled out.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad held a meeting with DoT officials along with CMDs of two public sector firms, BSNL and MTNL, today to deliberate on the measures for reducing call drops.

In the meeting, Prasad asked Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg to convey the concerns of the Prime Minister on call drops to the owners of telecom firms, sources said.

Prasad felt that there was lack of investment by operators to enhance their networks, sources added.

Telecom companies have sought 30-45 days time to improve and optimise networks to reduce call drops, sources said.

Asked about the meeting, Prasad said, "I have held a meeting of top officials and they will deal with the operators on the issue of call drop. It is a serious issue and Prime Minister has also raised concerns over it."

Without sharing details of the meeting, Prasad said the government will do whatever is required, but the operators should also reinforce and optimise their networks.

DoT officials said there has been a rise in call drops in the last 5-7 months as operators have not yet optimised their spectrum after it was allocated following the auction in March.

Also, operators are allocating more spectrum for data, which has grown at a fast pace in the last few months, leading to call drops.

Prasad yesterday said with call drops becoming a cause of concern for the entire country, mobile operators need to rise to the occasion and they cannot escape their "responsibility and accountability".

Telecom operators have cited shutting down of mobile towers as also lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops.

They have said that about 7,000-10,000 sites have been locked or shut down across major cities and have sought a uniform national policy for installation of mobile towers.

A recent TRAI report found that most of the telecom operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.

Trade unions refuse to withdraw Sept 2 strike call

New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) Central trade union leaders today refused to withdraw their nationwide strike call for September 2 to protest against proposed labour reforms, as their meeting with a group of ministers today, failed to make any headway.

The ministers' group, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will meet the union leaders tomorrow again to deliberate on the 12-points charter of demands put forth by the unions.

Speaking to reporters after a two-hour-long meeting with the union leaders, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said "there are 7-8 demands which are agreeable and the discussion on the labour is an ongoing process and the government is positive about the demands (of labour unions)." 

The meeting will now "take place tomorrow as there is also a Cabinet meeting today", he added.

The union leaders, however, said the government is not offering any concrete assurance on their charter of demands and their call for September 2 strike stands.

"They have not offered any concrete assurance regarding our 12-points charter of demands. They are trying to mislead people by saying that in-principle they agree with our demands. There is no meaning of in-principle agreement," All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev said after the meeting.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) President A K Padmanabhan, who also attended the meeting, said, "The call for the strike stands as of now because there is no concrete assurance from the government in today's meeting." 

"We agreed to come tomorrow for meeting because we don't want to leave the table otherwise they will blame us for not discussing the issues. There is no agreement on any issue so far," he added.

One Rank One Pension deadlock likely to be resolved today, jawans could get a better deal

Hopes are high for a resolution to the deadlock over increased pensions for veterans as early as Thursday but all demands put forward by ex-servicemen may not be met. While hectic negotiations are on, at least two sticking points still remain, including the question of arrears worth over Rs 12,000 crore that may have to be paid if the One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand is met with effect from April 2014.

While several 'solutions' are being suggested, the bigger sticking point seems to be the annual increment of 3% in pensions that is being demanded by veterans.

Discussions are likely to go on late Wednesday night with a possible announcement on Thursday, sources said. It is also learnt that while contemplating the issue from all angles, including fiscal prudence, the government may end up being more generous to soldiers than to officers, who draw higher pensions.

"Soldiers draw much lesser pensions and their condition on certain cases is pretty bad. The government is aware that theirs is a more pressing need," sources aware of discussions on the subject said. There is a danger however of veteran organisations leading the protest seeing any such move as a way of driving a wedge between retired soldiers and officers.

Veterans are also not budging from their demand that OROP has to be implemented with effect from April 2014, as was announced by the BJP government after it came to power.

On the question of arrears, a formula has been suggested by veterans in case the government is unable to pay up due to financial difficulties.

"There is a way out. War widows and veterans above the age of 80 be given arrears in cash while the rest can be issued government bonds in case the financial situations demands it. The government, however, should not go back on its promise of implementing it from April 2014," sources said.

Source:-The Economic Times

CHQ News : DPC for promotion to PS Gr. B cadre for the year 2015-16

Directorate will be requested to hold DPC for promotion to the cadre PS Gr. B DPC for the vacancy year 2015-16 before convening of DPC for promotion to the cadre of JTS Gr. A for the vacancy year 2015-16, as JTS DPC will take another two months as there is no proper response from circles for submission of missing APARs of officers who are in the zone of consideration to Directorate. 

It will be requested to Directorate to fill up the resultant vacancies (of PS Gr. B cadre) after convening of DPC of JTS Gr. A cadre (for 2015-16) by holding supplementary DPC of PS Gr. B cadre for same years vacancies along with the vacancies arises due to declination of promotion by the officers selected in regular PS Gr. B DPC for the year 2015-16.

To view in full please Click Here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Black money crackdown: Declare your foreign assets, income in your ITR

By Chandralekha Mukerji, ET Bureau

Uncovering black money is high on the government's agenda this year and the income tax department has made it clear that it will tighten its noose on tax evaders. The easiest way to do so is to keep a closer eye on those with foreign assets and income.

This includes even the negligible interest earned on bank deposits, small earnings while on a short trip abroad or even an online project that paid you in foreign currency . A minor mistake or a miss can amount to concealment of information, call for scrutiny and land you in deep trouble. So, be extra careful in declaring you foreign assets.
Black money crackdown: Declare your foreign assets, income in your ITR
The rule is simple: unless you are an non-resident Indian (NRI), all your income earned, including the ones earned outside India, has to be reported in your income tax return and is taxable according to the Indian I-T Act, 1961. 

"A common misconception is that if the income has been taxed abroad, it does not have to be declared in India.However, rule is all the foreign incomes, whether taxed outside India or not, will have to be declared by assessees if they are an Indian residents," says Anand Satyapanthi, co-founder, an online tax filing website. 

Some taxpayers are also unsure whether they must disclose bank accounts held abroad where low interest is being earned. The new ITR-2 however requires you to declare all foreign bank account's holding including those where they are beneficiaries along with details such as account opening date, interest accrued during the year and schedule and fields number under which the same income is reported. "In cases of joint holdings, the spouse too needs to report the bank details and file the return in India even though he or she may not have taxable income," says Kuldip Kumar, Leader (Personal Tax), PwC. 


Declaration of foreign income is made under the same heads as income earned in India--salary, property, business and professional income, capital gains and other sources. You merely have to convert it in terms of rupees and add it to the incomes under these heads. "Conversation into rupees can be done using the State Bank of India telegraphic transfer buying rate (TTBR) of the last day of the month before the month in which income is due.So, for converting salary earned in June 2014, use the TTBR of the relevant currency for May 2014," says," says Archit Gupta, co-founder and CEO, 

Deductions available on foreign income are also the same as available under the Indian tax laws. So, you can claim all the deduction under Section 80 and others, as applicable. 


If a tax has already been deducted on your foreign income, you are allowed to take credit of such taxes under the DTAA treaty . First step is to obtain a TRC or tax residency certificate that certifies your tax residency status. 

"Make sure that the correct DTAA ANIMISHA has been applied. You will have to determine that up to what percentage and subject to which provisions the relief is allowed, which can then simply be deducted from your total tax li ability," says Varun Advani, Chief Operations Officer, Consider taking professional help in case you are confused. 

DTAAs exist with a large number of countries, so most taxpayers are usually covered. If a DTAA does not exists between India and the country where you have earned the income you can still claim tax credit if certain conditions are met. You should be a resident Indian and the income in question should be subjected to tax in the foreign country and you should have paid the same already. If the above conditions are met, you are en titled to a deduction under Section 91 (Unilateral agreement) from the Indian income-tax.

Source:-The Economic Times

Department of Posts has brought out a commemorative Postage stamp on 'Samrat Ashoka' , which was released by the hon'ble Minister for Communications and IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad at a function held at Vidyapati Bhavan in Patna on 24th August 2015.

To view please Click Here.

Snail mail helps sisters keep festive spirit alive

It has been an unusually busy week at the Pashan post office. Lately, the nondescript office, located in a far corner of a local commercial complex, has seen the number of visitors increase exponentially. With just a couple of days to go for Rakshabandhan, women have been queuing up to post rakhis to their brothers living in different parts of the country and even abroad.

In the age of virtual rakhis, overnight courier services, and e-tailers promising express deliveries of 'combo rakhi packs', filled with sweets and gifts, the good old post office is still the preferred choice for numerous women. Thanks to its reliability and cost-effectiveness, women say they like using the post to help convey their love for their brothers.

City-based techie, Priyanka Mishra, who queued up outside the Pashan post office, on Tuesday, to mail a rakhi to her brother in Noida, said, "It has become an annual ritual since the time I started living away from my elder brother. Speed post ensures delivery of your rakhi within three days, which will be just in time for the festival. I don't mind standing in the long queue. Earlier, I had tried sending the rakhi through a courier company but they charged me a huge amount and did not even deliver the parcel on time."

While the Mishra siblings were living together, they would always celebrate the festival in a traditional manner. "Now that I'm living away, I could have requested someone to purchase the rakhi and tie it on my behalf, but I like putting in the effort myself," Mishra said.

In fact, women are looking to India Post for help even when it comes to connecting with brothers living overseas. Snehlata Kulkarni, who was sending a rakhi to her brother in Australia, found the process quite simple. "My younger brother was recently posted abroad. I'd explored the courier option but it was quite expensive. In comparison, sending the rakhi through speed post hardly costs much," she said.

Talking about the festive rush, postal assistant at the Pashan post office, S B Shelke, said, "People start mailing rakhis nearly 10-15 days in advance. Despite courier services and other options, it's the trust factor that brings people back to the post office."

Source:-The Times of India

OROP: Ex-servicemen dismiss government's proposal, deadlock on 3 points

A final solution to the 'One Rank One Pension' row remained out of reach despite hectic back channel talks, as the protesting ex-servicemen today rejected government's formula saying an attempt was being made to "short change" them. 

"Government is hell bent on short changing. There are only three points of contention," a source here said. 

Sources said that the government wants 2011 to be the base year besides no three per cent annual increase. The government also wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014. 

"We have rejected the proposal. Escalation of our protest in expected. The complicated arithmetic will mean reduced payout," source in the ex-servicemen movement said. 

The development came after a nearly two-hour long meeting was held between representatives of ex-servicemen and Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag. 

Government sources have now said that in the wake of these differences, an announcement on OROP in the next few days is unlikely. 

It was speculated that the government might announce OROP on August 28, the 50th anniversary of 1965 war with Pakistan. 

This comes even as six Army veterans are on fast-unto-death and two of them are currently in hospital. 

The Army veterans currently on fast-unto-death are Colonel Pushpender Singh, Havaldar Major Singh, Havaldar Sahib Singh, Havaldar Ashok Chauhan, Major Piar Chand and Naik Uday Singh

Close to 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. 

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.

Source:-The Economic Times

Transfer and Posting in PS Group-B Cadre

The following transfer and posting order in PS Group-B cadree has been issued vide C.O. Order No.ST/2-4(2)/2013 dated 25/08/2015.

Sl No
Name of the Officer S/Shri
Present place of Posting
Posted on transfer
M.K. Naik
Offtg DDM(PLI), CO, Bhubaneswar
AD(Est), Circle Office, Bhubaneswar
Girish Ch. Sahoo
AD(Est), Circle Office, Bhubaneswar
Superintendent, PSD, Bhubaneswar-751007