Friday, December 3, 2010



NEW DELHI: India Post will provide gadgets such as biometric fingerprint scanners, magnetic strip readers and thermal printers to its 1,30,000 rural offices to smoothen the process of verification and payment under the national rural employment guarantee scheme .
It has charted out an ambitious rural information technology (IT) plan that will make the wage disbursement under the scheme paperless, said an official with the department who asked not to be named. Although NREGA is administered by the ministry of rural development, payments under the UPA government's flagship job safety programme are routed through the postal network and bank branches. The postal department services more than half of the wage earners under the scheme in most states of the country. The government has allocated Rs 40,100 crore for NREGA in 2010-11. It is estimated that the rural development ministry will be able to utilize only about Rs 35,000 crore in the current year. A total of 179,43,189 families have been provided employment under the scheme till June 30 this year.
The devices offered to the post offices will have an in-built global positioning system (GPS) to determine the frequency of the postal staff's visits to the villages, which will ensure accountability on the part of the branch post masters. This will also help the department map its delivery territory.
The move will help the hugely popular scheme to check leakage of funds owing to fake attendance under the scheme. In some states of North East, it was found that funds were transferred under the scheme to even doctors and engineers. In Uttar Pradesh alone the leakage is estimated at . 850 crore annually.
The department has invited participation of private players in this regard. The IT revamp, which will happen in phases, is expected to be completed in two years, said an official with the ministry of communications and information technology.
To ensure that the process is made hassle-free, the devices will have portable web cameras with enabling features such as bluetooth and wifi access for seamless transfer of data that may be required under the verification process for accounts.
Transactions under the scheme will happen only when the wage earner's biometric information is matched with data stored in the department's electronic database.
"Our devices will be compliant with standards issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India," said YP Rai, deputy director general (rural business) at India Post.
As network availability in most rural areas is inconsistent, the devices will have facility to function both online and offline. To address the problem of inadequate power supply, the devises will have an in-built battery with solar chargers.

30 Nov, 2010, 06.16 AM IST, Souvik Sanyal, ET Bureau



. An informal meeting with DDG (Estt.) and other officers on the issue of Cadre Restructuring has been held at the Directorate on 23.11.2010 .All General Secretaries of NFPE lead by the Secretary General Participated.

The following are the gist of discussion held in the meeting:

1. Since , GDS could get Gr. 'D' promotion only after 45 to 50 years of age ,in most of the cases, the MACP is nothing but a mirage for this cadre. There should be provided three promotions with smaller span on time which was agreed.

2. Similar in the case of postman many of them could not get third MACP due to paucity of required service. Cadre review should be carried out to provide three promotions to Postman within a span of twenty years. It was replied that the Postman on higher promotions should make data entries in the Postmen Module which was in principle agreed by us.

3. Further it was informally discussed to provide 20% of LGO Vacancies for seniority cum fitness instead of writing examination.

4. In respect of System Administrators it was discussed to carve-out the cadre from PA and make it as promotional post for PA/SA. It was told that creation of about 2000 to 2500 posts it will require a matching saving around 3000 PAs/SAs. Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/- which is available in other Department's. For System Asstt.,it was agreed to consider

5. The Official qualified in PO & RMS Acctts. Examination may be granted 2800 Grade Pay and may be posted to A/Cs Branch carving out a separate cadre to Accounts line,shall be explored.

6. With regard to PA Cadre the official side categorically stated that there is no elevation of Posts or Grade Pay in the Cadre review proposed for increasing the promotional posts can only be considered on matching saving. We argued about justification of Grade Pay of 4200/- to LSG which was finally agreed to consider.

7. Our demand to upgrade 11395 single handed Pos and 6719 double handed Posts Offices as LSG and 6621 present LSG Post to HSG-II post and amalgamation 1622 HSG-II posts and HSG-I posts will be considered. The DDG (Estt.) informed that in lieu of increased promotions staff side should come forward with proposal for matching saving. He suggested merger or closure of single handed Sub Post Offices to the extent of 300 in urban area which was strongly opposed by us.

8. We further demanded that at the time of upgradation of LSG /HSG-II and HSG-I posts some decent nomenclature should be given instead of present nomenclature.

9. The proposal on SBCO, Postal Administrative Offices will be discussed in the next meeting.

10. On RMS we demanded to increase the number of supervisory posts at least by three times to provide 1st, 2nd and 3rd promotions with in 25 years.

11. The DDG (Estt.) refused to discuss about MMS drivers case since it is subjudice.

12. The meeting was only a preliminary one and detailed discussions will be held shortly with the members of the Committee with full fledged discussion.


One more meeting was also held on the same day to discuss about Postman related issues. The following are the out come:

1. Postman may not be entrusted with any data entry work other than issue of Speed Post and Registered articles for delivery. Norms for this work should be fixed.
2. Revision of norms of registered / Un-registered articles delivering and also for distance travelled will be considered.
3. Norms will be considered for the left out items also.
4. A survey will be conducted to decide the minimum and maximum distance to be travelled by foot in congested and non-congested areas using milometer and cyclometer.
5. Distance conditions for cycle maintenance allowance may be reviewed.
6. For Speed Post Delivery separate incentive should be given when this work is done with normal duties.
7. We also opposed unilateral introduction of single beat system in Metros and big Cities (e.g. Chennai). Proper compensation for excess duty or creation of additional posts should be ensured.


There was another meeting on 23.11.2010 to discuss the System Administrator's issue. It was agreed to release orders shortly on the grant of conveyance allowance. The duties and responsibilities and other issues will be discussed in the next meeting. Carving out a separate cadre will be considered taking in to account the existence of System Assistant post in other Departments.


The Department of Posts has released the Gazette Notification of Postmaster's Cadre and numerous mails and calls are being received by Federation and CHQ. We want make it clear that we are not against the creation of Postmaster's Cadre. At present 1/3rd posts of LSG, HSG-II and HSG-I are identified for Postmaster's Cadre.

We are seeking further following improvement in the order:

1. Before finalizing the options for Postmaster's Cadre all the LSG, HSG-II and HSG-I posts should be filled up or all officials in 1st, 2nd and 3rd MACP should be allowed to exercise option to Postmaster's Cadre.
2. 25% posts of PS Gr .'B' (Gazetted) shall be filled up from among the existing HSG-I officials at the initial stage itself.
3. APM Accounts and Accountants shall also be permitted to opt the Postmasters Cadre.

We further desire to discuss this issue in threadbare during discussion in the Cadre Review Committee.