Sunday, January 31, 2016



NEW DELHI: In a stern message to government officials refusing to mend their ways despite repeated complaints, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked secretaries to carry out assessment of such employees and recommend action, including dismissal and slashing their pension. 

The PM also asked all central government departments, which have to extensively deal with the public, to set up a grievance-monitoring mechanism. 
The PM's warning came as he reviewed grievances relating to the excise and customs department during his monthly interaction with central government secretaries and chief secretaries of states through Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI), a web-based interface, sources said.
"Though he (the PM) specifically asked the excise and customs department to identify and take action against such officials, he said the message is for all secretaries and chief secretaries," a secretary level official told TOI. 

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) rules specify the circumstances under which an a government officer can be "retired" in "public interest". Rule 56(J) of Fundamental Rules says, "Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the appropriate authority shall, if it is of the opinion that it is in public interest to do so, have the absolute right to retire any government servant by giving him notice of not less than three months in writing or three months' pay and allowances." 

Employees attaining 55 years can be impacted under this rule.
Similarly, Rule 48 of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rule says, "At any time after a government servant has completed 30 years qualifying service, (a) he may retire from service or (b) he may be required by the appointing authority to retire in public interest, and in case of such retirement, the government servant shall be entitled to a retiring pension."

 As per rules, the government can initiate disciplinary action against any employee for dereliction of duty, and his pension and other benefits can be withheld pending investigation. 

In an official release, the PMO said that taking strong exception to public complaints and grievances related to the customs and excise department, the PM asked for "strict action against responsible officials. He urged all secretaries whose departments have extensive public dealing, to set up a system for top-level monitoring of grievances immediately".

 Officials said though the Central Board of Excise and Customs said it had already been initiating steps to warn errant officials and installed CCTV cameras to keep tab on them, the PM observed that they must take quick action in such cases. 

Sources said Modi also asked top bureaucrats to work together and resolve prickly issues quickly and get out of the "government way of doing business" by passing files from one to another. 

This was Modi's ninth such interaction through PRAGATI. 

Source :



Saturday, January 30, 2016


 7th CPC – Meeting of Nodal officers of various Departments will be held on 2.2.2016

Meeting of Nodal officers of various Departments – implementation of the recommendations of the 7th CPC – Issues on way ahead

F.No.1-1/2016- IC
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
New Delhi, 29.1.2016
Meeting Notice

Subject : Meeting of Nodal officers of various Departments – implementation of the recommendations of the 7th CPC – Issues on way ahead.

In order to process the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the Cabinet has approved setting up of an Empowered Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. Accordingly, the ECOS has been set up as per this Ministry’s OM No.1-4/2015/EIII-A dt. 27.1.2016 (copy placed on the website of this Ministry, viz,

2. As provided in the said OM dt. 27.1.2016, the Implementation Cell created in this Ministry shall work as the Secretariat for the ECOS.

3. This Ministry has already requested all the Ministries/Departments vide DO letter No.1-4/2015/EIII.A dt. 21.11.2015 from JS(Pers) addressed to all the Secretaries to nominate a nodal officer at the level of a Joint Secretary to interact with the Implementation Cell during the curse of processing of the recommendations of the 7th CPC.

4. Accordingly, Joint Secretary (Implementation Cell) shall take a meeting of all the Nodal Officers of the Ministries/Departments on 2.2.2016 at 11 .00 a.m. in Conference Hall (R. No. 72), North Block, New Delhi to discuss the relevant issues in connection with the processing of the recommendations of the 7th CPC and to concretise the points of action pertaining to all the Ministries/Departments in general and also in regard to specific issues concerning individual Ministries/Departments with a view to enabling an effective, holistic and quicker processing of the recommendations of the 7th CPC and for submission of the matter before the ECOS.

5. As this is the first meeting of the Nodal Officers to formulate the action points on the way ahead on processing of the recommendations of the 7th CPC, it is requested that the concerned nodal officers may kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting.

(Amar Nath Singh)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India

All the nodal officers of Ministries/Departments, as per list attached.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Postal department to handle Rs.1,500 crore COD by 2015-16

Providing a boost to the e-commerce industry in India, the post departments had handled cash on delivery (COD) orders worth Rs.500 crore up to March 2015 and is expected to reach about Rs.1,500 crore by end of 2015-16, Communications Minister said on Thursday.
Till December 2015, the COD value has crossed Rs.1,000 crore.
Speaking at the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the communications & IT ministry, on the e-commerce initiatives of the department of posts, he said various steps taken by the department for gearing up its capabilities for handling e-commerce parcel business as well as introducing services such as COD have revolutionized the e-commerce business in India.
Prasad also said the government's initiative to digitalize functioning would help in making e-commerce reach every corner. He said the initiative would further enhance Posts' reach as national carrier.
The department of posts had set up 48 new parcel processing centers so far and nine more such centers are coming up during the current financial year, he said.
"These efforts in the last eighteen months have resulted in an overall revenue growth in the parcel segment by 45 percent during 2014-15 and more than 100 percent in the current financial year," Prasad said.

What is Zika Virus? All you Wanted to Know

Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue and chikungunya.

index (Copy)The Zika virus is “is now spreading explosively” in the Americas, the head of the World Health Organization said Thursday, with another official estimating between 3 million to 4 million infections in the region over a 12-month period.

“The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, told her organization’s executive board members. “We need to get some answers quickly.”
The lack of any immunity to Zika and the fact that mosquitoes spreading the virus can be found most “everywhere” — explains the speed of its transmission, said Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri, an official with the WHO and Pan American Health Organization.
Some 80% of those infected with the Zika virus don’t even feel sick, and most who do have relatively mild symptoms such as a fever, rash, joint pain or pink eye. But there are major worries about the dangers pregnant women and their babies face.
Chan said that, where the virus has arrived, there’s been a corresponding “steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.” Having small heads can cause severe developmental issues and sometimes death. Guillain-Barre is a rare autoimmune disorder that can lead to life-threatening paralysis.
Health authorities began to suspect a connection between Zika and neurological ailments, especially in fetuses and newborns. Brazil alone has reported more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly — a neurological disorder resulting in the births of babies with small heads — in infants born to women infected with Zika while pregnant.
“We expect more countries to be affected,” she said.
U.S.-based researchers Daniel Lucey and Lawrence Gostin urged the WHO leader to “mobilize international resources to curb the rapid spread of Zika worldwide, including aggressive mosquito control, active surveillance, accelerated vaccine research and travel advisories for pregnant women.”
“It is far better,” said the Georgetown University public health expert, “to be overprepared than to wait until a Zika epidemic spins out of control.”

What is Zika virus infection?

Zika virus infection is caused by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, usually causing mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain.
The virus was isolated for the first time in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda. Since then, it has remained mainly in Africa, with small and sporadic outbreaks in Asia. In 2007, a major epidemic was reported on the island of Yap (Micronesia), where nearly 75% of the population was infected.
In May 2015, the public health authorities of Brazil confirmed the transmission of Zika virus in the northeast of the country. Since October 2015, many other countries  have reported the presence of the virus.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of Zika virus infection are mild fever and exanthema (skin rash), usually accompanied by conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain, and general malaise that begins 2-7 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
One out of four infected people develops symptoms of the disease. Among those who do, the disease is usually mild and can last 2-7 days. Symptoms are similar to those of dengue or chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same type of mosquito. Neurological and autoimmune complications are infrequent, but have been described in the outbreaks in Polynesia and, more recently, in Brazil. As the virus spreads in the Americas, giving us more experience with its symptoms and complications, it will be possible to characterize the disease better.

How is Zika virus transmitted?

Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue and chikungunya.

What treatment is there?

There is no vaccine for Zika. Treatment consists of relieving pain, fever, and any other symptom that inconveniences the patient. To prevent dehydration, it is recommended to control the fever, rest, and drink plenty of water. There is no vaccine or specific drug for this virus.

Can it cause death?

It is a new virus that up until now has had a very limited geographical and demographic distribution, and there is no evidence that it can cause death. However, sporadic cases have been reported of more serious manifestations and complications in patients with preexisting diseases or conditions, causing death.

Who is at risk of Zika infection?

Anyone not previously exposed to the virus and who lives in an area where the mosquito is present, and where imported or local cases have been reported, may be infected. Since the Aedes mosquito is found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will occur in other countries that have not yet reported any cases.

What is the difference between Zika, dengue, and chikungunya?

All these diseases present similar symptoms, but certain symptoms suggest one disease or another:
Dengue usually presents with higher fever and more severe muscle pain. There can be complications when the fever breaks: attention should be paid to warning signs such as bleeding.
Chikungunya presents with higher fever and more intense joint pain, affecting the hands, feet, knees, and back. It can disable people, bending them over so that they cannot walk or perform simple actions such as opening a water bottle.
Zika does not have clearly characteristic features, but most patients have skin rashes and some have conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye).

What causes rapid transmission of Zika virus?

There are two factors for rapid transmission – 1) Since this is a new virus to the world, the entire population is susceptible, lacking defenses to Zika virus 2) The Aedes mosquito is widespread in the world, given the climatic conditions, temperature, and humidity in tropical countries.

Is it advisable to travel to countries where Zika virus is circulating?

PAHO/WHO does not recommend any travel or international trade restrictions related to Zika virus outbreaks. Travelers are advised to take the suggested precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

What measures should be taken to prevent Zika virus infection?

Prevention involves reducing mosquito populations and avoiding bites, which occur mainly during the day. Eliminating and controlling Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding sites reduces the chances that Zika, chikungunya, and dengue will be transmitted. An integrated response is required, involving action in several areas, including health, education, and the environment.
To eliminate and control the mosquito, it is recommended to:
  • Avoid allowing standing water in outdoor containers (flower pots, bottles, and containers that collect water) so that they do not become mosquito breeding sites.
  • Cover domestic water tanks so that mosquitoes cannot get in.
  • Avoid accumulating garbage: Put it in closed plastic bags and keep it in closed containers.
  • Unblock drains that could accumulate standing water.
  • Use screens and mosquito nets in windows and doors to reduce contact between mosquitoes and people.

Promotion of Govt. Servants exonerated after retirement - Procedure and Guidelines to be followed - Regarding.

Government announces first batch of 20 smart cities

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Urban Development

28-January-2016 17:58 IST
Government announces first batch of 20 smart cities from 11 States and Delhi 
23 States/UTs left out to participate in fast track competition 

Selection through competition totally objective and transparent, says Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

20 cities propose an investment of Rs.50,802 cr over five years; All cities to resort to PPP

26,735 acres area in 20 cities identified for making them smart
            The Government today announced the 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge competition for financing during this financial year. Announcing the cities here today, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said that the winners were from 11 States and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was totally objective and transparent based on standardized processes.
            Shri Naidu further said that Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on ‘bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the Urban Local Bodies and State Governments piloting the mission with little say for the Ministry of Urban Development. He also observed that it was for the first time in the country and even in the world that investments in urban sector are being made based on competition based selection of cities.
            Informing that 1.52 crore citizens participated in shaping smart city plans of 97 cities and towns in the first round of competition, Shri Naidu said that this enthusiastic participation of people is a major positive outcome. 
            3 cities from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five made it to the winning list.
            The Minister informed that 23 States and UTs who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’. Each top ranking city form these left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15, this year for inclusion in the mission.
            Shri Naidu informed that the 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of Rs.50,802 cr over five years with all the cities proposing Public-Private-Partnership as a major vehicle of resource mobilization. 10 of the 20 cities have proposed to mobilise Rs.8,521 cr under PPP model while others have also indicated this option. A total area of 26,735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions.
            Elaborating on the advantages of Smart City Mission, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that this leads to integrated urban planning by addressing the issue of infrastructure, land use planning, transport, urban design and architecture in a holistic manner unlike in the past. Stating that building a smart city is not a destination but a series of small steps in that direction, Shri Naidu said that the country has taken one such step today. 
            The Minister said that urban local bodies are taking a quantum jump to improve their capabilities and have resorted to SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of each city for coming out with city vision. 
            The 20 smart cities announced by Shri Venkaiah Naidu were :
Madhya Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
New Delhi Municipal Council
Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Madya Pradesh
            Of these 20 cities accounting for a total population of 3.54 crore, 5 have  population below 5 lakhs each, 4 in the range of 5-10 lakhs, 6 in between 10-25 lakhs, 4 between 25 and 50 lakhs and only Ahmedabad has above 50 lakhs.

New addition to 11th Definitive Series on ‘Makers of India’

Department of Posts has issued one more definitive stamps in new 11th Definitive Series on ‘Makers of India’ in denomination of 25 paise depicting Mahatma Gandhi.

India Post 2016 Wall Calendar

India Post has launched wall calendar for the year 2016 featuring Baramasa series of paintings on twelve pages of calendar. A set of four commemorative stamps featuring Ritu Rang (Vasant / spring), Greeshm / summer, Varsha / monsoon) and Hemant /winter) issued in 1996 has been reproduced on all pages of calendar. Each stamp highlights the essence of the season it depicts.

The India Post 2016 Calendar is available for sale at the price of Rs 250 in all philatelic bureaus and it is also available aePost Office portal of India Post.

India Post 2016 Wall Calendar 

India Post 2016 Wall Calendar

Lok Sabha Questions...

Digital India Initiative Would Further Enable India Post to take E-Commerce to Every Indian

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
28-January-2016 16:15 IST

Digital India Initiative Would Further Enable India Post to take E-Commerce to Every Indian

India Post Well Set to Bridge Rural-Urban Divide

Union Minister for Communication and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said today that NDA Government’s initiative to digitalize functioning would help in making e-commerce reach every corner. He said the initiative would further enhance India posts reach as national carrier. The Minister also highlighted that the Government’s ‘Digital India Project’ was working to bring the internet and broadband to the remotest corners of the country giving further boost to the growing e-commerce market. Department of Posts, with its largest postal network in the world is the biggest potential partner to the e-commerce companies being the only last mile logistics handler across the country.

Speaking at the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Communications& IT, on the e-Commerce initiatives of the Department of Posts, he said that various steps taken by the Department of Posts for gearing up its capabilities for handling e-Commerce parcel business as well as introducing services such as Cash on Delivery which have completely revolutionized the e-commerce business in India. The Department had handled COD value worth Rs. 500 crores up to March 2015 which has now crossed Rs. 1000 crores till December 2015 and is expected to reach around Rs. 1500 crores by the end of the current financial year. 

The Minister shared with the Committee that one of his prime agenda was to bring about a change in the post office operations so that it can play a larger role in providing accessibility of products and services to the door step of each and every individual across the country. With the IT Modernization Project in an advanced stage of implementation, Department of Posts is well set to redefine its operations to tap the e-commerce industry. This is not only going to further augment its revenue but it will also play a larger role in connecting India more comprehensively by reaching out to the door step of the consumers across the country, thereby bridging the Digital and urban rural divide in terms of availability of products. 

The Department had set up 48new Parcel Processing Centers so far and 9 more such centers are coming up during the current financial year. These efforts in the last eighteen months have resulted in an overall revenue growth in the parcel segment by 45% during 2014-15 and more than 100% in the current financial year. Similarly, Speed Post, the flagship product of the Department also has premium parcel component which has registered a growth of 12.5% in the current financial year as against 8.9% last year giving overall revenue of more than Rs 1100 crores to the Department in the current year so far. Business from major e-commerce companies are growing. Amazon India booking has increased from average 50,000 articles per month last year to 3 lakhs articles per month in the current year and so is the case of other players like Flipkart, Myntra etc. where the bookings have increased from 15,000 per month to 30,000-50,000 per month. 

The members of the Consultative Committee appreciated the steps taken by the Department of Posts and complimented on its efforts to bring rural India into the e-commerce mainstream as well as enhancing its revenues through parcel and Speed Post business. 

The meeting was attended by the Hon’ble Members of Parliament, Sh Nepal Singh, Sh Raj Babbar, Sh Bhola Singh, Sh Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Smt Ranjanben Bhatt and Sh K Gopal The Hon’ble Members suggested that the Post Offices should not only enhance their visibility but should also become the rural centers for providing computer and internet facilities to the youth. Similarly, the Post Shoppes’ opened by the Department should be expanded and they should also retail telecom SIM and top-up cards.

Use of “one-page" form or format to apply for jobs, issue of birth and death certificates and availing of various Government schemes

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
28-January-2016 18:36 IST

Dr Jitendra Singh appeals for use of 'one-page' form

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has appealed to various ministries in the Central Government as well as the State Governments to cooperate in carrying forward the Department of Personnel & Training(DoPT)’s innovative reform to switch over to the use of “one-page" form or format to apply for jobs, issue of birth and death certificates and availing of various Government schemes. 

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the service delivery mechanism needs to be not only citizen-centric, but essentially youth-centric because it is the youth who comprise more than 65% of India’s population today. It is, therefore, the need of the hour, he said, to revisit and re-look the existing practice wherein an individual applying for a job, a loan or a Central scheme has to go through the process of filling up lengthy, often complicated and even repetitive information. 

Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that DoPT has already introduced one-page form for Central Pensioners. Similarly, the death and birth certificates could also be simplified immediately, he said. The “National Centre for Good Governance” will be holding workshops under its initiative “Saral Avedan, Sugam Prakriya, Swachh Prashasan” with different Government departments to discuss how best to carry forward this initiative, he said. 

Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that there are a number of forms which run into several pages and the information asked for is repetitive which can be easily avoided. For example, he said, some of the forms ask for the parentage or marital status more than once, even though this may not be essentially required for the purpose for which the application is being filled. Citing an instance, he said, when a form is filled for pension, the most relevant information required is age, date of superannuation, last pay scale and bank account number. 

According to Dr Jitendra Singh the purpose of the entire exercise is that any given form should be made as simple as possible, preferably a single A4 size page, the contents of the form should be easy to understand and brief to fill-in. Similarly, the documents to be attached with the form should also be easy and absolutely essential, he added. He also informed that the State Governments will be persuaded to initiate this exercise at the earliest.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Empowered Committee On 7th CPC May Recommend Increase In Salary Of Junior And Mid Level Employees

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley 
New Delhi: Central government employees’ pay bill are unlikely to get increased salary from April under the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, as the central government might delay the hike by six months to evaluate the actual needs of employees, said finance ministry officials.

The economists advised the government to measure the possible impact of the salary increase on next year’s budget before implementing it, they said.

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries led by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha may recommend raising salary of junior and middle level employees as employees associations are pressing hard for it.

The committee will submit its report to the finance minister after reviewing the commission’s suggestions, and holding discussions with government high-ups.

Wishing anonymity, a finance ministry official said the government would see whether there would be any wastage of public money in paying increased salary and allowances or any new conditions can be imposed in line with the recommendations of the Pay Commission.

The empowered committee would place a proposal before the cabinet after budget for delaying the implementation of increased salary of Central government employees, said the officials.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while introducing the Seventh Pay Commission report on November 19 said that the final decisions on the Seventh Pay Commission report took five and a half months.

The Seventh Pay Commission award bill is about Rs 1,02,000 crore, according to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that can be afforded.

A pay commission reviews the pay of government employees every 10 years and its recommendations are usually accepted with some modifications.

The Seventh Pay Commission was set up by the UPA government in February 2014, The Commission headed by Justice A K Mathur submitted its 900-page final report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on November 19, recommending 23.55 per cent hike in salaries and allowances of Central government employees and pensioners.

The panel recommended a 14.27 per cent increase in basic pay, the lowest in 70 years. The previous Sixth Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent hike, which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008.

The Seventh pay commission recommended fixing the highest basic salary at Rs 250,000 and the lowest at Rs 18,000 and its increased the pay gap between the minimum and maximum from existing 1:12 to 1: 13.8

The Seventh Pay Commission suggested to discontinue the practice of appointing pay commissions in future