Sunday, 5 July 2015
Customers can now swipe cards to pay for services, including registered post, speed post, parcel services
Hyderabad:All 3,545 post offices in the twin States will allow customers to pay for postal services using credit or debit cards within in one month, said Chief Post Master General, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circle, B.V. Sudhakar.
He was speaking at the launch of cash point sales or swiping machine sales at General Post Office (GPO), here on Saturday.
Customers can now swipe cards to pay for services, including registered post, speed post, parcel services, MeeSeva and utility bill payment services offered by post offices, among others.
A total of 345 MeeSeva services will be covered under the swipe project that is named ‘Turanth’.
Swiping service was brought to post offices as a collaborative venture between India post and State Bank of India.
The State Bank of India wwould provide all the required swipe machines in post offices, said C.R. Sasi Kumar, Deputy Managing Director of the bank.
“It simplifies the work and reduces burden on both the customer and the service provider,” said Mr. Sudhakar. On the day of its launch most transactions were made using cards, he added.
India Post, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circle also launched ATM cash withdrawals in its post offices.
“You can use ATM cards to withdraw money up to Rs 3,000 per day from post offices in the State.
At one go customers can withdraw up to Rs.1,000 and they are allowed three transactions per day,” he said.
Useful in rural areas
The service will be useful in rural areas where there are only a few ATMs. The service was launched for the first time in the country, post office officials informed.
Officials said that India Post in Hyderabad is also developing a software that would facilitate direct debit of instant money orders and mobile money orders into customer’s SBI accounts.
To be ready in 15 days
“The facility is expected to be ready within 15 days time,” Mr. Sudhakar said, adding his department is using technology to provide economic, efficient, effective and easy services to customers.
The Postal Department is also planning to increase the parcel volume to improve its revenue generation.
Source : The Hindu
Friday, 3 July 2015
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Digital touch to India Post (Special article on Digital India Week)
Postmaster, Ashoknagar MDG &
Secretary, AIPEU, Gr-C, Bhubaneswar
eMail : email@example.com
“It makes the Post Office what under any other system it never can be the unrestricted means of diffusing knowledge, extending commerce and promoting in every way the social and intellectual improvement of the people”stated Lord Dalhousie, the father of India Post in his Minute dated 30th December, 1851. To prove this statement, honestly, if one searches about an organization which serves India, the land of heterogeneous racial, lingual, religious, and social culture upholding its rich cultural heritage through religious pluralism protecting the national unity, social cohesion, secular and federal structure and democratic ethos, certainly, the name of India Post comes to mind. Competently assisting the rulers, elite and mercantile community in its various forms in ancient and medieval times, it has conveniently served both the British rulers and general public in modern times as a forceful organization in raising national and political consciousness. Long before the times of email and mobile phones, pigeons, barefoot runners and bullock carts were used to carry messages from one part of India to another. Prior to independence, India Post, through a limited work force could be able to develop a vast network of communication even before the Railways and Telephones were introduced with wide spread impact on the socio-economic life of the nation through efficient and prompt service.
From pigeon to post, India Post has travelled a long way with the passage of time. From 23,344 post offices primarily opened in urban areas prior to independence catering to the needs of Britishers for development of their trade and exercising control over their vast Indian possessions with one post office serving 15038 persons covering an area of 53 square miles to 1,54,882 post offices (139182 i.e. 89.86% in rural area and 15700 i.e. 10.14% in urban area ) having 459948 employees (200344 Departmental and 259604 Gramin Dak Sewak) as on 31.3.2014, India Post has registered nearly a seven fold growth during the period of last seven decades focusing its expansion to rural areas and thus has been acknowledged as the largest postal network in the world with one post office serving 8221 people in average covering an area of approximately 21.2 sq. kms and providing postal facilities within reach of every citizen in the country at affordable prices adopting every mode of transmission from bare foot to air route with recorded delivery of 1,575 crore mails approximately every year.
The beginnings of this vast postal network can be traced back to 1727 when the first post office was set up in Kolkata. Subsequently, General Post Offices (GPOs) were also set up in the then three Presidencies of Kolkata (1774), Chennai (1786) and Mumbai (1793). To bring some uniformity amongst the then post offices, the Indian Post Office Act of 1837 was enacted. This Act was followed by the more comprehensive Indian Post Office Act of 1854. This Act reformed the entire fabric of the postal system. Its provisions granted the monopoly of carrying mail in the British territories in India to the Indian Post Office. The present postal system in India thus came into existence with the Indian Post Office Act of 1854. The same year, the Railway Mail Service was introduced as also the sea mail service from India to Great Britain & China. Thereafter, the India Post Office Act of 1898 was passed which regulated postal services in the country. In 1852, the first ever adhesive postage stamps in Asia were issued in Scinde; these stamps subsequently became famous as the Scinde Dawks. These stamps were in circulation up to June 1866. On 18th February, 1911, the world’s first airmail flight - from Allahabad to Naini - took place. It traversed a distance of 18 kilometers (approx.) across the river Ganges. The first postage stamp valid across the country was issued on 1st October, 1854 which provided an affordable and uniform rate of postage based on weight. Since then, the Department of Posts has proved to be one of the greatest institutions of the country which plays an important role in the socio-economic activity of the nation. The postal network of India touches the remotest corners of the country.
Briefing the Department’s long journey from pigeon post to e-post, it is evident that the Department of Posts actively entered into the digital era through counter mechanization installing 102 personal computer-based MPCMs in 22 selected post offices during the year 1990 – 91 and conceived the Project Arrow concept in April, 2008 under “Look & Feel Good” concept. The Government of India has approved the Department of Posts’ IT Modernization Project, 2012 with a total outlay of Rs.4909 crore in November, 2012. The IT Modernization Project aims at modernization and computerization of all post offices in the country including 129389 Branch Post Offices in rural areas. It is an ambitious IT transformation project undertaken by the Department of Posts. By setting up an IT infrastructure spanning across all Post Offices and Branch Post Offices in rural areas, the Department will be able to harness the benefits of consolidated information and capabilities across various functional silos as well as geographical reach. The transformation from physical to digital network will provide a national asset for all users apart from Post Offices including various Government Departments, business houses and citizens to use the IT enabled country wide network for communication, banking, insurance and service delivery needs. This mega IT driven transformation is the first of its kind undertaken by any postal operator in the world as well as any Government Department in the country. Upon completion of this project, the Department of Posts shall emerge as an engine to transform the rural economic landscape in the country besides providing value-added mail and financial services to the urban customers.
The transformation from physical to digital network will enable the Government to use the postal network for communication, banking, insurance, mails and service delivery needs of the citizens. The IT Modernization Project, particularly the rural ICT solutions will rebuild the rural postal network to create an institutional last mile infrastructure for delivery of all government services to citizens. The project will make the post office the focal point of delivery of social security and employment guarantee schemes including disbursement of wages under MGNREGS Schemes of theCentre and State under Direct Benefit Transfer, will provide biometric authentication of financialtransactions ,provide multiple channels like ATM, mobile banking, net-banking for savings bank customer. It will provide an electronic and secure mode of money transfer particularly in rural areas. The Core Banking Solution (CBS) Project will bring facilities of ATM Banking, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking and Phone Banking to the Post Offices Savings Bank (POSB) customers to perform transactions 24×7 in ATMs and to transfer money from their account to any bank account through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). Out of 25493 departmental post offices , India Post has already launched Core Banking Solution in 2590 post offices as on 30.06.2015.
Digital India Programme is a flagship programme of Government of India launched in 2014 with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The thrust of the Digital India Programme is the Digital Empowerment of Citizen of India. In Digital India Programme, Department of Posts has been entrusted to shape up the post offices into a multi service centre. The Department is digitizing all its 154882 Post Offices including 129389 Gramin Dak Sewak Post Offices. The digitized post office may work as multi service centre. It may become the nodal centre for the dissemination of information vis-à-vis Government Policies; disbursement of social security benefits; financial inclusion of rural mass. These post offices will offer a digital means of communication, carrying physical goods and money transfers.
The Post is poised to play an important role in the society bridging the urban rural divide and bringing IT-enabled services to all sections of the society through 154882 IT-enabled post offices. The reduction of paper-based processing would enable an environmentally sustainable greener Post Office.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Digital India Week
Several initiatives have been taken for introduction of Information Technology to empower people. Some of the initiatives have resulted in development of products to extend various services in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce etc. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi would launch the Digital India Week this evening urging people to gain knowledge and to empower themselves through the Digital India Programme of his Government.
Digital India has been envisioned as an ambitious umbrella programme to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It comprises of various initiatives under the single programme each targeted to prepare India for becoming a knowledge economy and for bringing good governance to citizens through synchronized and co-ordinated engagement of the entire Government.
This programme has been envisaged and coordinated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) in collaboration with various Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments. The Prime Minister as the Chairman of Monitoring Committee on Digital India, activities under the Digital India initiative is being carefully monitored. All the existing and ongoing e-Governance initiatives have been revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India.
The vision of Digital India programme also aims at inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc. The vision of Digital India is centred on three key areas -
(i) Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
(ii) Governance & Services on Demand and
(iii) Digital Empowerment of Citizens
With the above vision, the Digital India programme aims to provide Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, E-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, eKranti - Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing: Target Net Zero Imports, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes. Several projects/products have already launched or ready to be launched as indicated below:
· Digital Locker System aims to minimize the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents will be done through registered repositories thereby ensuring the authenticity of the documents online.
· MyGov.in has been implemented as a platform for citizen engagement in governance, through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach. The mobile App for MyGov would bring these features to users on a mobile phone.
· Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app would be used by people and Government organizations for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission.
· eSign framework would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.
· The Online Registration System (ORS) under the eHospital application has been introduced. This application provides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online etc.
· National Scholarships Portal is a one stop solution for end to end scholarship process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the Government of India.
· DeitY has undertaken an initiative namely Digitize India Platform (DIP) for large scale digitization of records in the country that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
· The Government of India has undertaken an initiative namely Bharat Net, a high speed digital highway to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre.
· BSNL has introduced Next Generation Network (NGN), to replace 30 year old exchanges, which is an IP based technology to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia/ video and other types of packet switched communication services.
· BSNL has undertaken large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. The user can latch on the BSNL Wi-Fi network through their mobile devices.
· To deliver citizen services electronically and improve the way citizens and authorities transact with each other, it is imperative to have ubiquitous connectivity. The government also realises this need as reflected by including ‘broadband highways’ as one of the pillars of Digital India. While connectivity is one criterion, enabling and providing technologies to facilitate delivery of services to citizens forms the other.
Policy initiatives have also been undertaken by DeitY in the e- Governance domain like e-Kranti Framework, Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India, Framework for Adoption of Open Source Software in e-Governance Systems, Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Government of India, E-mail Policy of Government of India, Policy on Use of IT Resources of Government of India, Policy on Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications, Application Development & Re-Engineering Guidelines for Cloud Ready Applications
· BPO Policy has been approved to create BPO centres in different North Eastern states and also in smaller / mofussil towns of other states.
· Electronics Development Fund (EDF) Policy aims to promote Innovation, R&D, and Product Development and to create a resource pool of IP within the country to create a self-sustaining eco-system of Venture Funds.
· National Centre for Flexible Electronics (NCFlexE) is an initiative of Government of India to promote research and innovation in the emerging area of Flexible Electronics.
· Centre of Excellence on Internet on Things (IoT) is a joint initiative of Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), ERNET and NASSCOM.
The estimated impact of Digital India by 2019 would be cross cutting, ranging from broadband connectivity in all Panchayats, Wi-fi in schools and universities and Public Wi-Fihotspots. The programme will generate huge number of IT, Telecom and Electronics jobs, both directly and indirectly. Success of this programme will make India Digitally empowered and the leader in usage of IT in delivery of services related to various domains such as health, education, agriculture, banking, etc.
Source : PIB (Release ID :122895)
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Central Government is considering to increase the eligibility limit of Bonus
Central Government is considering to increase the eligibility limit of bonus from 10000 to 21000.
According to media source, the Central is going to give a green signal to the much awaited decision to raise eligibility limit of bonus from Rs.10000 to 21000. And the calculation ceiling also hike from Rs.3,500 to Rs.7,000
The payment of Bonus (Amendment) ordinance 2007 according to which section 12 of the payment of Bonus Act 1965 had been amended raising the ceiling for calculation purpose from salary of Rs. 2500/-P.M. to Rs. 3500/-P.M. w.e.f. 01.04.2006. And also amended the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 to raise the eligibility limit for payment of bonus from the salary or wage of Rs. 3500/- per month to Rs. 10000/- per month.
Central Government employees are regularly given Productivity Linked Bonus(PLB). Each department announces its bonus days in the month of September. But, since there was an upper limit, only small amounts were given as bonuses. CG Employees Federations all over the country were demanding that the limits should be raised.
Source : Central Govt. Employees News Portal