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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Can Aadhaar-based attendance solve the issue of faculty and employee absenteeism?

In 2016, during regular inspections at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, authorities found 903 fake faculty members. There were 903 fake ID cards with names of faculty members appearing in more than one engineering college.
In certain cases, a faculty member was found to be working in nearly ten colleges at once.
And not just in JNTU, the problem of fake faculty and fake teachers is a widespread issue across the country.
Teacher absenteeism in schools, especially in some government schools in rural areas has been an issue for a while. There are several instances where teachers do not show up to work or send someone on their behalf.
Some states such as Uttar Pradesh have even gone to the extent of putting up pictures of "real" teachers on walls in an attempt to check the problem of fake teachers.
Over the years, the attendance system has been evolving. Today, biometric attendance system is quite popular where every teacher, faculty or even an employee punches in his fingerprint to register his attendance. Nearly every organization and institution has a biometric attendance system today.
But this method isn’t fool-proof either. Anyone’s fingerprint, such as the peon, can be registered in the system under one’s name.
One solution that is being considered to keep attendance in check is an Aadhaar-based attendance system.
The central government has already implemented this for all its employees.
National Informatics Centre (NIC) Department of Electronics & Information Technology Government of India has implemented what is called the Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system (AEBAS). Every central government official today has to give his or her attendance on the AEBAS.
State governments too, are looking at adopting this system and several states are running proof of concepts.
This is a concept that can be adopted not just by the government but across schools, colleges and corporate offices.
And for startups working in the Aadhaar space, this is an opportunity to cash in on.
JNTU, for example, has now adopted an Aadhaar-based attendance system to weed out fake faculty and improve faculty attendance in its colleges.
And this system for JNTU has been built by a Hyderabad-based T-Hub startup Syntizen.
Syntizen is an Aadhaar-based service provider. Right from authenticating identity, eKYC to an attendance system, it has a host of services based on Aadhaar.
“A simple biometric system for attendance can be tampered with. There are many instances where an employee puts one of his fingerprint and one of the office boy. In such cases, while he skips work, the office boy marks attendance for him. Many universities face this problem too. For this, we have developed a real-time Aadhaar-based authentication to mark attendance,” says Vamsi Kotte, CEO, Syntizen.
When a teacher, faculty puts their fingerprint on the sensor, his Aadhaar details are generated real-time.
These devices are even GPS enabled. The system has the PAN and Aadhaar services integrated into the system which ensure there is no duplication.
There is a central dashboard where the employer can monitor the system.

Syntizen’s first client for this was JNTU where it has helped identify several fake employees and has improved attendance.
It has so far implemented this for 83,000 faculty members in JNTU and has done around 15 lakh authentications as on date.
“Since we implemented this Aadhaar-based attendance, there has been a tremendous increase in regularity of faculty of JNTU. In fact, we are in the phase on implementing this for Osmania University and are talking to several of our existing clients, corporates to implement this,” says K Siddharth, CFO.
 Syntizen has recently won a tender from the Telangana government to build, operate and manage the government’s Aadhaar Server Agency (ASA) to cater to all of the government’s Aadhaar requirements. Telangana wants to integrate Aadhaar into all its departments and start rolling out Aadhaar-based services, for example buying from ration shops using Aadhaar-based authentication.
As part of this contract, Syntizen will also be managing the attendance of all Telangana government employees.
When it comes to Aadhaar, the biggest debate has always been the security aspect of it, given that recently, personal data of over one million Aadhaar card holders was leaked.
“If the security practies in a company aren’t up to the mark, there are risks of people’s thumb impressions being accessed by third parties. Another part to this is that with the government already using Aadhaar substantially for a host of services, when authentication is done data is made available to third parties, which gives them a high degree of insight and leads to data profiling of each person. You are not in control of your identity,” says Supreme Court Lawyer Apar Gupta.
And soon, the data generated by these things could be the basis for one’s insurance premium or even to get a credit card. Apar says that with Aadhaar being linked across databases, it gives any company building database a huge insight on your daily activity.
However, according to Syntizen, the company’s systems and technology is completely secure. It has gone through seven different security compliance levels and has even passed Computer Emergency Response Team (CertIn) audits.
“We have passed seven audits in the past three years. Since we deal highly sensitive information, we regularly conduct audits and ensure there are no vulnerabilities in its systems,” says Vamsi.
For every company or institution that employs this system, it costs about Rs 90 per user per year. Additionally, they have to procure biometric scanners costing between Rs 3000 to Rs 30,000.
With nearly every company today having a biometric attendance system, the opportunity out there is quite huge for Syntizen.
The T-Hub startup is in talks with other universities, colleges and even corporates to provide this service. It is also hoping to build it for other ASAs as a value added service to give them an edge over others.
However, the Aadhaar-based attendance system is just one of Syntizen’s array of services.
It has the Aadhaar-based authentication service, which is also the core of its attendance system.
To address the problem of compliance when opening a bank account, or obtaining a sim card, it has digitized the entire system. With just one’s Aadhaar number, fingerprint or Iris, it attempts to make these processes simple and quick.
It is running this currently in most banking and non-banking institutions. Syntizen also offers eKYC services. This helps in making the entire process of obtaining a loan, or opening an account paperless.
To add to this, it has a e-sign engine which gives instant electronic signatures valid in the court of law.
It has clients like Mannapuram Finance, Muthooth Fincorp, Indiabulls home loans, Angel Broking and more.
Syntizen has grand plans for the future as well. It is building India’s first KYC Gateway, which lets organisations get KYC of its customers from anywhere across the country, while meeting all regulators compliance.
While it says that it is already receiving interest from several parties on this, Syntizen is on the lookout of strategic partners and investors to roll out this futuristic plan.
 Source :

S B Aptitude Test

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Online Software for Departmental Proceedings

Press Information Bureau 
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

22-June-2017 15:32 IST

Dr Jitendra Singh launches Online Software for Departmental Proceedings
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the online Software for Departmental Proceedings, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh complemented the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), CVC and other departments for their collective efforts in this direction. He said that the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been working on the principles of ‘maximum governance, minimum government’, transparency with accountability & citizen centricity and zero tolerance against corruption. The Minister said that the aim of the software is to see that the proceedings are done against corrupt officers and the honest officers are not put to harm due to inordinate delays. He said that the bureaucracy is the tool of governance and the aim of the government is to provide work-friendly environment to the officers. He said that the software will check that the honest officers are not intimidated and it will encourage the transparent functioning in the Government. It will ensure that the malpractices are not spared and the good practices are not punished, he added. He said that the efforts have been made to complete the disciplinary enquiry within 2 years. He said that reducing the timeline in completion of disciplinary proceedings will give faster relief to the honest officers.

The Secretary to Prime Minister, Shri Bhaskar Khulbe said that it is a big achievement accomplished by DoPT to bring departmental proceedings online. He said that delays are inordinate in the entire proceedings structure and this software will address that issue. He also emphasised upon the training of the disciplinary proceeding officials and also mentioned that a ready reckoner on rules and procedures should be available to the disciplinary proceeding officials.

The SS & EO, DoPT, Shri Rajiv Kumar said that DoPT has taken various steps to streamline the process and make it more transparent. This software will help fast track the process of departmental proceedings and bring more transparency in the system, he added.

The Secretary, CVC, Smt. Nilam Sawhney said that the focus of the software is to reduce the pendency in the cases related to disciplinary proceedings.

The online software portal for Departmental Proceedings is as per provisions of All India Service (AIS )(D&A) Rules, 1969, against All India Service officers. There had been serious concerns raised on the enormous time and delay encountered for completion of departmental proceedings instituted against government servants. As per a report of CVC, departmental proceedings which should ideally be completed within 2 years take anywhere from 2 to 7 years for completion. The delay is due to numerous factors which inter alia include delays in furnishing replies by the charged officer, finalisation/acquiring of documents required for proving the charges (listed documents), multiple adjournments during the inquiry process due to non-receipt or delayed receipt of information by the stakeholders and lack of accountability for completion of inquiry and in other stages during the departmental proceedings. To plug the delays and to complete inquiries expeditiously, specific timeframes were recently introduced through amendment to the AIS (D&A) Rules, 1969 which were notified on 20.01.2017. The amendments have provided a timeframe of six months for completion of inquiry. Any further extension will require approval of the disciplinary authority with cogent arguments. Similarly, timeframes have also been introduced for reply of the charged officer on the charge sheet and advice of the UPSC. Amendments have also been made to the analogous provisions of CSS (CCA) Rules in respect of Central Government Employees vide notification dated 02.06.2017.

To augment the amendments made to the rules and to further expedite the inquiry process, the online system for departmental proceedings has been introduced. The online system envisages use of cloud based technology and provides interface to different stakeholders like the Administrative Ministry, which is initiating the inquiry, the Cadre Controlling Authority, Charged Officer, Inquiry Officer etc. through separate modules. All documents required for the conduct of the inquiry will be stored online and authenticated through digital signature/e-signature. Further, all communication between the different stakeholders will be through the system with provision for email and SMS alerts. The software also provides status of all pending cases on real time basis along with alerts for adhering to the timeframes indicated in the rule. It is expected that the online system will enable monitoring of the departmental cases more effectively to complete inquiries within stipulated timeframes and fix accountability at different stages. The online portal will initially be adopted in respect of IAS officers posted in the Central Government and will subsequently be extended to AIS officers in the Central Government as well as Central Group ‘A’ employees. The State Government will also be involved in the subsequent phases for consideration of extension to AIS officers serving in the State Government.

The senior officers of the DoPT were also present on the occasion.

Passports to be in both English and Hindi: Swaraj

“Passports should at least be bilingual," says the External Affairs Minister

Passports would now be in both Hindi and English, instead of just English, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on June 23, 2017.

In changes aimed at easing the process of getting a passport, the Minister also announced 10% reduction in passport fee for applicants who are under eight and over 60 and said ration cards could be submitted while applying for tatkal passports.

Giving the option of submitting submit a ration card would greatly help people in rural areas who do not have a PAN card.

Personal details in passports are now printed only in English and Ms. Swaraj said she had received several complaints about it.

“Passports should at least be bilingual. All Arab countries have their passport in Arabic, Germany makes it in German and Russia makes it in Russian. Why can’t we make it Hindi?

“Now, we have given an order to Nashik Printing Press that passports should be (printed) in Hindi as well. So you will receive passports in Hindi and English,” Ms. Swaraj said at an event to mark 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967.

The postal department released a commemorative stamp on the occasion. The event was attended by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Ministers of State in the External Affairs Ministry V.K. Singh and M.J. Akbar.

Ms. Swaraj said there was a rise in the demand for passports for the elderly.

“There will be a 10% reduction in passport fee for applicants who are under eight and over 60. And this will be applicable from tomorrow,” she announced.

During the Vedic era, she said, eight years was when children were admitted to a gurukul and vanasprartha (a retired life where time is dedicated to social service) falls in the 60-year age group.

Ms. Swaraj said she had received several complaints about difficulties in getting a passport.

After studying passport rules, she realised that some norms were “unnecessary, obsolete or impractical.”

She also highlighted the steps taken by her Ministry in easing rules for getting the international travel document, especially for orphans, single mothers and divorced women.

While applying for tatkal passports, the Minister said, applicants could give a copy of their Aadhar card, PAN card or ration card, voter identification card apart from a self-attested letter that he/she does not have any criminal compliant against him/her.

Police verification, a major part of the passport issuing process, takes time, the Minister pointed out.

Ms. Swaraj asked other States to emulate Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Goa that complete the police verification process in less than six days.

Ms. Swaraj sought to assuage fears of passport department officials and said their promotion and career growth would not be hampered because of Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (PoPSK).

“No work will be done by the Ministry that is detrimental to your interests. I take this responsibility that your interests will not be hampered,” she told the passport officials.

After the NDA government came to power, the Ministry of External Affairs started PoPSK services in different post offices of the country. In the first phase, it announced 86 such centres and 149 in the second phase.
Source :

A commemorative postage stamp released on completion of 50 years of Passport Act.

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
23-June-2017 14:51 IST
A commemorative postage stamp released on completion of 50 years of Passport Act.
The Minister for Communications Shri Manoj Sinha said that the Passport Seva Project (PSP) has been a watershed in the history of passport issuance in India with its successful implementation in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The entire process of citizen service delivery has been re-engineered, standardized and automated. Speaking after releasing a commemorative postage stamp on completion of 50 years of “The Passports Act, 1967”, he said that services are delivered through a country-wide networked environment - integrating all Passport Issuing Authorities, around 91 Passport Seva Kendras, as well as providing access to a number of external stakeholders viz. Immigration, Police, India Post, India Security Press and Embassies/ Consulates abroad.
Shri Sinha said that 24th June 1967 marked an important milestone in the history of passport issuance in India as it was on this day that the President gave assent to the Passports Act 1967. The Passports Act provided a robust legal framework for the issue of passports and travel documents and regulation of the departure from India of Indian citizens. 

The Minister said that in order to extend passport services to our citizens on a larger scale and to ensure wider area coverage, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts (DOP) have agreed to utilize the Head Post Offices in the country as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for delivering passport related services to the citizens of our country. The pilot projects for this joint venture between MEA and DOP were inaugurated on 25 January, 2017 at Mysuru in Karnataka and at Dahod in Gujarat. Shri Sinha said, applicants, who apply for their passports online through the passport portal, can now schedule an appointment and then visit the designated POPSK to complete the formalities similar to those at the PSK necessary prior to the issue of the passport. 

It has been decided to set up 235 POPSK in two phases – 86 in Phase-I and 149 in Phase-II. 52 POPSK of Phase-I have been operationalized.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Commemorative postage stamps on "SURVEY OF INDIA"

Two commemorative postage stamps of denominations Rs5 and Rs15 on "SURVEY OF INDIA" were issued by India Post on 22.06.2017

7th Pay Commission: Modi met Jaitley to discuss allowances, wait likely to be over on June 28  |New Delhi, June 22, 2017 | 
  Central government employees can rejoice as the wait for revised allowances under the Seventh Pay Commission could end next week. 

According to some reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley early this week to discuss allowances for government employees.

During the meeting, which lasted for nearly an hour, the Prime Minister is believed to have indicated that there should not be further delay in giving revised allowances to Central government employees. 

Narendra Modi, who leaves for the US trip on Friday night, is expected to attend the next Cabinet meet on June 28, reported a news website

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is currently on a three-day trip to Russia, is likely to table the proposal for revised allowances before the Cabinet at the June 28 meeting. 

  1. During the Modi-Jaitley meet, the issue of House Rent Allowance (HRA) was also taken up. The HRA rates are likely to be fixed at 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent respectively for Class X, Y and Z cities.
  2. A report had earlier suggested that Central government employees are likely to get revised allowances, including HRA, from July. For employees, it has been a wait for more than an year since the Modi cabinet okayed the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission in June last year.
  3. The Seventh Pay Commission recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay for Central government employees, which is the lowest in 70 years. It also recommended doing away with 53 of the 196 allowances that Central government employees get besides subsuming 36 allowances into bigger ones.
  4. The Seventh Pay Commission suggested reducing the HRA rates for Central government employees depending on their type of cities. The decision met stiff opposition from employees. 
  5. Subsequently, the Modi government constituted a committee under Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to review the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
  6. The Ashok Lavasa panel submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 27. Ashok Lavasa said that the Committee on Allowances has taken into account the representations made by various stakeholders.
  7. After the Lavasa panel submitted its report, it was sent to the Department of Expenditure for a first round of review before being placed before the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) for another round of screening.
  8. The Empowered Committee of Secretaries held a meeting on June 1 to discuss the Ashok Lavasa report and forwarded the same to the government. 
  9. Recently, in a letter to Central government employees, NJCA general secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra informed them about his meeting with Cabinet Secretary on June 15. NJCA, a representative organisation for government employees, was assured by Cabinet Secretary that "things are in the process and most probably would be placed in the next Cabinet meeting".




Constitution of the Committee to review the Cadre restructuring orders of Postal Group-c employees

Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
(PE-I Section)
Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg
New Delhi-110 001
Dated: 16th June, 2017
Sub: Constitution of the Committee to review the Cadre restructuring orders of Postal Group-c employees 
            Approval of the Competent Authority is hereby  conveyed for the constitution  of a Committee consisting of the  following  members to examine the issues arising out of implementation of Cadre  restructuring  orders of Postal Group-C employees issued vide this office letter of even number dated 27.05.2016. 
1. Shri Charles Lobo, CPMG Karnataka Circle
2. Ms. Smrit Sharan, DDG (Establishment)
3.  Shrri JT Venkateswarlu, PMG, Mails & BD, Chennai
4.  Shri Ganeshan V Sawaleshwarkar , PMG , Pune Region.
2.         The Committee will submit its report /recommendations with in 2 months from the date of its constitution.
3.         Further, it is to mention that the orders of Cadre restructuring issued vide this office letter of even no. dated 27.05.2016 will remain in force till further orders.
4.         The relevant material is enclosed  herewith
                                                                                                   (Tarun Mittal)
                                                                                    Assistant Director General (PE-I)
            1. Shri Charles Lobo, CPMG Karnataka Circle    
            2. Ms. Smrit Sharan, DDG (Establishment)
            3.  Shrri JT Venkateswarlu, PMG, Mails & BD, Chennai
            4.  Shri Ganeshan V Sawaleshwarkar , PMG , Pune Region.

Copy for information to:
1. PPS to Secretary (P)
2. PPS to Member Marketing & BD/Member (Planning)/
Member (Technology)/Member (P)/Member (Operations)/Member (PLI)
3.All CPMsG