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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Canada issues Eid-ul-Fitr postal stamp

Canadian postal service has issued an Eid-ul-Fitr celebratory stamp on country’s 150th anniversary.
“As Canada reaches its 150th birthday, our stamp committee reflected on some themes that need to reflect the Canada of today,” Deepak Chopra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Canada Post said.

The stamp has ‘Eid Mubarak’ inscribed in Arabic on top of which is a minaret and a yellow pattern signifies architecture that is unique to Islam.

The stamp has blue and orange as its base colours.

Canada last issued a stamp pertaining to Islamic festivities some 50 years ago and until then the state only celebrated Christian and secular holidays.

According to Canada Post, the stamp has been issued for three years and would become a practice if it does well.

Canada is set to issue stamps over Jewish as well as Hindu festivities as well.
Source :

Every department should disclose demonetisation details: CIC

NEW DELHI: It was the duty of every government department concerned with demonetisation to spell out all relevant facts and reasons behind the radical move, the Central Information Commission has observed.

In what could be the first comments of the transparency panel on the lack of information about the notes ban decision, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said any attempt to withhold information would generate serious doubts about the economy.

He said the attitude of building "steel forts" around the decision needed to be done away with.

"It is very difficult to reconcile with the attitude of building steel forts--that could not be broken even by 'Bahubali'--around the public affair of demonetisation in a democratic nation, if governed by rule of law," he said.

He was referring to the 2015 blockbuster film Bahubali.

The observations assume importance in the background of the Prime Minister's Office, the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry rejecting RTI applications which sought the reasons behind the notes ban.

The move to scrap Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016.

Acharyulu was deciding a case of an RTI applicant, Ramswaroop, who had sought information from the post office in Pinto Park Air Force area about the total currency exchanged there, the people who exchanged it and the number of customers who provided their identification proof for exchange.

The postal department claimed they did not have the information in a consolidated form.

Directing the department to disclose the information, Acharyulu also said all public authorities should reveal information about the move which has affected every citizen of the country.

"All the public authorities have a moral, constitutional, RTI-based democratic responsibility to explain to each and every citizen who is affected by demonetisation, the information, reasons, impact and remedial measures, if discovered any negative impact," he said.

He said the CPIO should not have brushed aside this RTI request which reflected his blatant anti-transparency attitude.

He said each person was affected by the decision and even beggars, rikshaw pullers, push-cart sellers reeled under this stroke.

"If the suffering was just temporary and there will be windfalls in future, let that also be told to the people officially by each and every public authority concerned with demonetisation," he said.

He said if public authorities shy away from disclosing any information related to notes ban, it would raise serious questions in the mind of general public.

7th Pay Commission Part II: Harsh times ahead for central government employees

They are not a vote bank for Modi government, hence they should not expect much

 In June 2016, the Modi government took the central government employees head on by granting a niggardly hike in pay following the 7th Pay Commission recommendations - just 14 per cent or so as against the 6th Pay Commission’s egregious hike of 51 per cent a decade earlier in 2006.

This was hot on the heels of implementing its poll promise to armed forces' veterans - OROP, or one-rank-one-pension. To its credit, the Modi government did not go overboard even while honouring its OROP commitment.

Instead, it stood its ground and assured only a quinquennial (every five-year) exercise to bring parity in pension for same rank holders as against the annual parity demanded by the veterans.

If the Modi government could act tough with the armed forces' veterans, it could act tougher still with the central government employees. And act it did last year when it cleverly bought time for itself by separating pay revision from the allowances revision.

Pay revision, as said earlier, was jaw-dropping except for the employees at the lower levels. Having prepared them for the worst, the allowances part of the revision, separately considered by e-cos (empowered committee of secretaries led by former finance secretary Ashok Lavasa), would most probably be announced soon, may be in July 2017.

The 20 per cent reduction in house rent allowance across the board, resulting in HRA for example becoming 24 per cent of basic salary in X cities from the existing 30 per cent, is on the cards despite talks of the e-cos going soft on the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in this regard.

The 7th Pay Commission had also recommended axing of 52 of 196 allowances and merging of 36 allowances with the existing ones.

Though the Modi government has remained tight-lipped about its stand on the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in so far as allowance is concerned, it is unlikely to heed them if its record of acting tough is any indicator, especially when the one making demands is not a vote bank.
money1_052717071111.jpgModi and his finance minister Arun Jaitley know that central government employees do not matter at the hustings. Photo: India Today 
Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan is a slogan which resonates across the nation. But at 257 per 1 lakh of population, central government employees are no vote bank, unlike jawans and kisans.

It seems the Modi government has decided to challenge the status quo and shibboleths. While Modi may not be an innovator (by the way, the term itself is a back-handed and grudging compliment for those who tweak or steal inventions) as he is sought to be hailed and feted with by his party, BJP, he is arguably the one who doesn’t hesitate to rock the boat and ruffle feathers.

He first showed this proclivity when he abolished the Planning Commission soon after being installed in office and more recently when he demonetised high denomination currency notes, even though the jury is still out on whether he cut the nose to spite the face by doing so.

It is this proclivity that should temper enthusiasm, if any, in the ranks of central government employees that the Modi government would make up in the 7th Pay Commission Part II (allowances) what it cruelly denied in Part I last year.

Modi and his finance minister Arun Jaitley not only know that central government employees do not matter at the hustings, except perhaps in the Delhi elections, but also know that indulging them would upset the tender finances of state governments, many of which emulate the Centre while granting pay hikes and many of which are BJP-ruled.

They also know that central government employees as a class are a pampered lot at Rs 18,000 a month income as opposed to the national average of Rs 7,700 (statistics borrowed from my previous article on the subject dated March 23, 2017), even though that admittedly is way below what some of our honchos help themselves to unconscionably when it comes to their salary vis-à-vis the garden variety employees.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

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

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

235 Banks and Department of Post involved with APY implementation

Press Information Bureau 
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
26-May-2017 12:12 IST

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) reaches 53 lakhs subscribers’ base 

235 Banks and Department of Post involved with APY implementation

97.5% of the subscribers contributing at monthly intervals; 51.5% subscribers have opted for a monthly pension of Rs. 1000
The subscribers base under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has reached about 53 Lakhs. At present 235 Banks and Department of Post are involved with the implementation of the scheme. Besides the branches of the banks and CBS-enabled offices of India Post, quite a few banks are sourcing subscribers through their internet banking portals in a paperless environment. 
The APY Scheme follows the same investment pattern as applicable to the NPS contribution of Central Government employees.  During the year 2016-17, it has earned a return of 13.91%.
With a view to empower the APY subscribers, new functionalities have been developed where under a subscriber can view and print the ePRAN card and Statement of Transactions. Further, the subscriber can register complaints/ grievance by providing his/ her PRAN details on
Presently males account for 62% of the subscribers and female for about 38%. Most of the subscribers have opted for monthly contribution; about 97.5% of the subscribers are contributing at monthly intervals, about 0.8% at quarterly intervals and about 1.7% at half yearly intervals.
A majority of the subscribers have opted for a monthly pension of Rs. 1000/-.  Presently 51.5% subscribers have opted for a monthly pension of Rs.1000/- and 34.5% of the subscribers have opted for a monthly pension of Rs.5000/-. Pension amount wise segmentation of the subscribers is shown in Figure 1. 

Figure 1: Pension amount wise segmentation of the APY subscribers
The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from 1st June, 2015 and is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the scheme, a subscriber would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000 per month, depending upon his contribution, from the age of 60 years.  The same pension would be paid to the spouse of the subscriber and on the demise of both the subscriber and the spouse, the accumulated pension wealth is returned to the nominee.

Extension of 7th CPC benefits and grant of Dearness Relief to Pensioners of Autonomous/Statutory bodies under Administrative Control of Department of Commerce.

UPU DG calls on African Posts to diversify services

22.05.2017 - 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.

UPU Director General Bishar Hussein poses for a photo with Uganda's ICT and National Guidance Minister Frank Tumwebaze (right). On the left is the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Bagiire Vincent Waiswa.
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.


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.
Source :

Fast-track probe in corruption cases: Central Vigilance Commission to banks, government departments

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked all public sector banks, insurance companies and central government departments to speed-up investigation in pending corruption cases. The anti-corruption watchdog has written to the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs), who act as distant arm of the commission, of all the departments to also expedite investigation reports on complaints sought by it.
The CVC refers complaints of corruption in a government organisation to the CVO concerned for investigation and report. The move comes after it was noticed that many organisations were sitting over corruption complaints.
The commission has expressed desire that CVOs of all ministries, departments and organisations should review their respective pendencies and “take expeditious action” to bring them to a logical conclusion within the prescribed time limit, a directive said.
They have asked to review cases in which further clarification has been sought by the commission and the matters pending implementation of the commission’s first and second stage advices (referred to punishment including censure to withholding increment) against alleged corrupt government employees.
The CVOs of banks, insurance companies and other government departments have to review and take action expeditiously on departmental probes pending with inquiry officers.
They also have to review the investigation reports on complaints sought by the commission.
“All CVOs concerned are advised to review all such pending matters concerning their departments/organisations and report action taken/compliance status to the commission expeditiously,” the CVC said.
The commission had in January sought details from the CVOs for the complaints pending investigation under two categories –- those pending for over an year and the others pending for over six months and less than an year’s time — by February 28 and March 31, respectively.
Corruption complaints against various government departments jumped by a whopping 67 per cent in 2016 over the previous year.
In its annual report tabled in Parliament last month, the probity watchdog said it received a total of 49,847 complaints in 2016, as against 29,838 in 2015 — an increase of 67 per cent.
Over 11,000 complaints of alleged corruption were received against the officials working under the railways ministry.
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Wannacry hits Russian postal service, exposes wider security shortcomings

Russia's postal service was hit by Wannacry ransomware last week and some of its computers are still down, three employees in Moscow said, 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."
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 Trump win 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.
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.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mobile Application for Delivery of Postal Articles - An Overview

Allotment of GPF Account Numbers to Casual Labourers with temporary status

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

Different Commemorative Postage Stamps released by India Post

Click Here to view the  Commemorative Postage Stamp on Coffee released on 23.04.2017​

Click Here to view the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Aatukuri Molla, Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Tarigonda Vengamamba released on 26.04.2017

​Click Here to view the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Ramanujacharya released on 01st May, 2017​

​Click Here to view the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released on 05th May, 2017​

​Click Here to view the Three commemorative postage stamps of denominations Rs5, Rs10 and Rs25 on CHAMPARAN SATYAGRAHA CENTENARY were issued by India Post on 13.05.2017​

NFPE writes to Secretary (Posts) on remuneration to be paid to the Gramin Dak Sevaks engaged as substitutes in short-term vacancies of Postmen, Mailgaurd and MTS

 National Federation of Postal Employees
1st Floor North Avenue Post Office Building, New Delhi-110 001
Phone: 011.23092771                                      e-mail:
       Mob: 9868819295/9810853981               website:

Ref: PF/NFPE/GDS                                                                                         Dated – 25.05.2017

            The Secretary
            Department of Posts
            Dak Bhawan,
            New Delhi – 110001
Sub: -  Remuneration to be paid to the GraminDakSevaks engaged as substitutes in short-term vacancies of Postmen, Mailgaurd and MTS.

Ref: -   Directorate’s Memo No. 7-9/2016-PCC dated 26.04.2017.

            Your kind attention is drawn to para-3 of the above referred OM dated 26.04.2017.

            Para – 3 – “In future, GDS who are willing to work as substitute will be paid at the minimum pay of the respective levels of the Pay Matrix barring other allowances like HRA, Transport Allowance etc. with effect from 01.01.2016.”

            The words, “in future “appearing at the beginning of the above para creates an impression that enhanced substitute wage is eligible from date of issue of the orders only, whereas the words “with effect from 01.01.2016” appearing in the last line of the same para gives an impression that the revised substitute wage should be paid from 01.01.2016.

            As the minimum pay of the Postmen, Mailguard and MTS is revised with effect from 01.01.2016, the substitutes shall be paid the revised wages with effect from 01.01.2016 itself on the principle of equal pay for equal work. But the framing of the para – 3 has created confusion as the meaning of the whole para is ambiguous. As a result many lower level authorities had refused to pay revised substitute wages with effect from 01.01.2016.

            It is requested to issue necessary clarification removing the ambiguity appearing in para- 3 of the OM.
Yours faithfully,

(R. N. Parashar)
Secretary General

Copy to: -

All General Secretaries/Circle Secretaries of NFPE Unions