Presentation on Technological Developments in Department of Posts was held on 23.11.2010 in the presence of Secretary, Department of Posts, Member (Technology), Member (Operations) and other officers of the India Post. The Staff side was represented by Secretary Generals of Federations and General Secretaries of All India Unions.
The presentation was elaborately dealt with the vast changes that are going to take place in the Department of Posts due to large scale induction of Information and communication Technology (ICT). A budget of Rs. 1800 crores has been earmarked for the project which is to be completed by the year end of 2013.
The gist of the presentation can be summed up as follows:
In this era of fast developing Information and Communication Technology, large scale induction and assimilation of modern means of communication has become vital for sustenance and growth of India Post.
Having created a base of more than 12000 computerised Post offices in the country and a pool of trained human resource, India Post is in the process of implementing mass scale computerization and networking of all Departmental Post offices and Branch Post offices on a single integrated and modular platform connected to a National Data Center.
This National infrastructure, so created will enable India Post to provide state-of-the-art ICT services including Mobile remittance and Banking on a core banking platform and provide inclusive banking to rural, remote and hitherto unbanked areas.
The vast network and infrastructure of India Post, have already enabled it to become the preferred point of inter face between Government and the members of public for delivery of social and economic welfare schemes of the Government of India and various state governments. Introduction of modern ICT will help in timely and transparent delivery of social benefit schemes to the beneficiaries viz. MGNREGS, Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme (IGOAPS).
Computerised and connected network of Post office on a single integrated platform will also help India Post to retail products and services of other service providers viz. Banks, Government & Non Government financial institutions, Government Agencies and Mutual Fund houses in the rural and remote areas.
India Post has already taken initiative for re-engineering processes and making it compatible to suite the new ICT solutions and customer requirements.
One of the pre-requisite for transformation of India Post is upgradation of the skills of the work force and capacity building. Training of the human resources has been given its due importance and recognition in the project. The Services of the newly recruited 15000 Postal Assistants will also be utilized to the maximum extent. The Branch Post offices will not be provided with computers, instead they will be provided with modern-technology oriented hand devices.
Secretary General, NFPE insisted that the services rendered by the existing System Administrators in maintaining the computer network of more than 12000 Post offices is to be acknowledged in its true perspective and they may be absorbed in suitable posts such as System Assistants while implementing the project. The Secretary Post stated that this aspect will be given positive consideration. While we pointing out the delay in discussion on cadre review proposals, it was assured to finalise very shortly. Introduction of accrual based accounting system is also becomes part of the project. The apprehension about the mass redeployment or surplus has been focussed by us for which the Secretary, Posts assured that there will be no staff movements or reduction.
The Leader Staff side requested to arrange a similar presentation to the Circle Secretaries also for which the Secretary (Posts) responded positively.
The following news were made known to us during the course of discussions and interactions.
(i) For the current financial year, the modernization will be restricted up to B class offices, 628 crores had been allotted for this purpose.
(ii)Single handed offices & BOs will be taken in the next year project.
(iii)For Pilot Project six circles have been identified viz. Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh & Assam. It will come into functioning before August 2011.
(iv) Instead of cost accounting, accrual basis system will be introduced. This is almost implemented in all major organizations including Telecom as per the Government of India decisions.
(v) 1800 ATMs will be established after the introduction of Core banking. Call centers to collection of logistics, MO etc will be formed. Track & trace facilities will be implemented for all services.
(vi) On Phase II, the rest of 16 circles will be completed.
(vii) Softwares are being developed as per the recommendations of 'Accenture'.
(viii) Expression of Interest was segregated to three instruments. One major National level Data server. Second 2600 departmental Post office net week interrogators, third Rural ICP hardware solutions. All net work equipments, connectivity, maintenance will be entrusted to vendor for 24 X 7 (Per week). He is solely responsible for everything. The penalty clause provision has been included.
(ix) Data centre, hire space and installation area will be ours. The rest software, maintenance etc will be entrusted to the providers.
(x) While comparing previous year, 13% revenue has been increased in postal operations.
MAIL NETWORK OPTIMIZATION PROJECT
An interaction with the staff side on Mail Network optimization project also took place during the meeting. It is explained that the scope of the project is to (1) optimize India Post Network from collection to delivery (2) to standardize processes with focus on significant quality improvement & reduction in network complexity (3) put in place an effective performance measurement system through regular reviews (4) improve the ambience of mail offices (5) upgrade processing facilities and improve working condition for employees and (6) make staff and customers proud of being associated with India Post. The key operational areas of the network optimization are (i) Speed Post and (ii) First class mail. First class mail optimization study is in progress.
The interaction mainly concentrated on the newly introduced Speed Post Network optimization programme (hubs). The Staff Side pointed out that the introduction of the speed post hubs has resulted in delay in processing and transmission of speed post articles resulting in delay in delivery. This issue should be addressed on top priority basis and corrective measures to avoid delay should be taken. The staff side further pointed out that while more than 80% of the speed post hubs are functioning under the administrative control of RMS Superintendents, the remaining hubs are controlled by Postal Superintendents. This has created on apprehension in the minds of the RMS employees that in the longer run the identity of RMS will be lost and eventually it will be merged with Post offices. Taking into consideration of this aspect, the Staff Side requested that all the Speed Post hubs should be under the control of RMS Superintendents. The Secretary, Posts assured to consider the request positively.
MEETING WITH DDG (ESTABLISHMENT)
The Secretary General NFPE and General Secretaries of affiliated unions of NFPE met DDG (Estt) on 23.11.2010. The following is the outcome of the meeting.
(1) The preliminary (first) sitting of the Cadre Restructuring committee will be held on 26.11.2010 at 3 PM.
(2)The first sitting of the Committee on Postmen related issues will also be held on 26.11.2010.
(3) Regarding the revision of wages of casual labourers it is informed that the file is being sent to nodel Ministry for approval. It is expected to be cleared by the Nodal ministries within 2-3 weeks. The wages will be revised with effect from 01.01.2006.
(4) The Department has issued orders clarifying –
(a) No casual labourers shall be engaged in the Administrative offices i.e. CO/RO/DO/PAO with effect from 1st December 2010.
b) The work of sweepers and scavengers should be combined or the same may be outsourced wherever feasible.
(c) Since duties of waterman, watch and ward, gardening, cleaning etc are now part of duties assigned to Multi Tasking staff, the existing practice of engaging casual laborers as waterman, Gardner, watch and ward and any other miscellaneous category shall be dispensed with effect from 1st December 2010.
THE FOLLOWING ARE OTHER LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
1. Revision of FSC – orders are expected to be released this month itself.
2. Enhancement of Fixed Monetary compensation revising Rs.24/- as Rs.50/- and Rs.85/- for holiday duty will be released next week.
3. The Department has appraised the law ministry about the existence of GS and the promotion on seniority basis to erstwhile Group D now MTS. The law ministry in now approving the revised Recruitment rules. Orders are expected within a fortnight.
4.UPSC has raised some queries on HSG-I Recruitment Rules which had been clarified. The Revised Recruitment Rules will be issued shortly.
5. The file relating to enhancement of OSA has been submitted to J.S. F.A. (Finance) for approval.
6. Direct Recruitment of PA/SAs were completed within couple of days to the extent of around 16000 posts. A Remarkable fast action. We appreciate the decision and decisive action of the department.
CREATION OF POSTMASTER CADRE
The Department has released the recruitment rules for creation of Postmaster cadre. The whole order is reproduced below for the consumption of all members/viewers.
Opinion/Suggestion if any on this issue, please forward the same to P3 CHQ and also to Federation for further discussion with the Department.
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg
New Delhi – 110001
Dated, 22nd November, 2010
All Chief Post Masters General
Sub: - Introduction of Postmaster Cadre in Postal Wing.
I am directed to say that Department of Posts operates mainly through its about 25500 Departmental Post Offices. The services it offers have grown in the traditional areas of sale of stamps, booking of Money orders and Registered letters as also in Savings Bank functions, especially where Post Offices disburse NREGA wages to beneficiaries. In many post offices these activities are carried out electronically, new services like e-payment, e-post etc is also offered. Further the Department has also entered into agreements with private players like Western Union for money transfers. In the area of mail, both express, parcel and traditional, the Department of Posts faces tremendous competition. It has to offer excellent services by way of continuous upgrades in quality and in the add on value of its mail products, like IOD, national billing, same day delivery of corporate mail etc.
2. In spite of the long existence of the Post Offices and challenges being faced by the Department from private players in the field there had never been an exclusive cadre for Postmasters. The Postal Assistants, LSG/HSG-II, I etc. are posted to man the posts of Postmasters. This system served the Department quite well till some time back. But now in order to improve/upgrade the functioning of the Post Offices, meet the present day requirement of specialization in Postal office management in the wake of introduction of technology, challenges from market and to increase productivity it has absolutely become essential to ensure that key Post Offices are headed by professional managers. Thus, in order to ensure that professionally qualified, trained and meritorious officials head they key Post Offices, it has been decided to introduce a separate cadre of Postmasters comprising the following grades by carving out the posts from existing General Line posts as ordered vide this Directorates letter No. 13-2/2010-PE-I dt. 03.02.2010.
I. Senior Postmaster 116 Posts
(Rs. 9300-34800 + Rs.4800 Grade Pay)
II. Postmaster Gr – III 495 Posts
(Rs.9300-34800 + Rs.4600 Gr. Pay)
III. Postmaster Gr-II 511 Posts
(Rs. 9300-34800 + Rs.4200 Gr. Pay)
IV. Postmaster Gr-I 2097 Posts
(Rs. 5200-20200 + Rs.2800 Gr. Pay)
3. The Recruitment Rules of the above stated grades have since been framed and notified. A copy of the Recruitment Rules called the Department of Posts, Senior Postmaster (Group B Gazetted), Postmaster (Grade ' III and II' – Group B non – Gazetted) and Postmaster (Grade I-Group C non-Gazetted) Recruitment Rules, 2010, dated 9th September, 2010 is forwarded herewith.
4. The number of posts in the various grades of the Postmaster carved out of the existing General Line Posts in various Postal Circles is being issued separately.
5. Thus it may be noted that:
I. A separate cadre of Postmasters has been created at the level of LSG, HSG-II, HSG-I and PS Group 'B' by carving out the cadre from the existing General Line Cadre Posts in Postal Wing and PS Group 'B' and designated as Postmaster Gr –I, Postmaster Gr.II , Postmaster Gr.III and Senior Postmaster.
II. Initial constitution of the various Grades of Postmasters shall be done by inviting options/applications from the existing incumbents of LSG, HSG-II, HSG-I in Post offices and PS Group, 'B'.
III. In subsequent years all the vacancies in Postmaster Gr.I shall be filled up through a Limited Departmental Competitive Examination, From amongst PAs with 5 years regular service in the grade.
IV. All the vacancies in Postmaster Gr. II Posts shall be filled up by promotion from amongst Postmaster Gr. I with 6 years regular service in the grade (including regular service in LSG, if any).
V. All the vacancies in Postmaster Gr. III posts shall be filled up by promotion from amongst Postmaster Gr. II with 5 years regular service the grade (including regular service in HSG II, If any).
VI. 25% of vacancies in the grade of Sr. Postmaster will be filled up by promotion of Postmaster Gr. III with 2 years of regular service in the grade (including regular service in HSG, I if any) and 75% by Inspector of Posts (IPOs) with 6 years of regular service in the grade on the basis of Limited Departmental Competitive Examination (LDCE).
VII. The officials in PS Gr 'B' and Senior Postmaster (Gazetted) would be eligible for induction in IPOs, Gr 'A' on the basis of a consolidated eligibility list.
6. To begin with the Postal Circles, as per the provisions of the Recruitment Rules, may call for the options/applications with their bio-data from the willing officials holding the posts in the equivalent grades for appointment as Postmaster grade I, II and III respectively. While inviting for the applications it may be categorically stated that:
I. Once and official submits his application he will not be allowed to withdraw the same. II. Officials who are still left with at least two years of service to retire may only apply in order to avoid their dislocation at the fag end of their service.
III. In the event of their appointment as Postmaster their further career progression will be in the hierarchy in the Postmaster cadre only as per the provisions in the relevant Recruitment Rules and not in the General Line.
7. The applications so received may be scrutinized to find out the eligibility of the applicants. Thereafter the applications of the eligible applicants may be placed before the Screening Committee mentioned under Col. 11 of the respective grades for assessing their suitability based on their ACRs and vigilance clearance provided they attain the minimum bench mark of 'Good' Those who are found suitable they may be arranged in the order of seniority for appointment in respective grade of postmaster as they enjoyed in the General Line.
8. If after filling up the posts as per procedure mentioned in above paragraph certain number of posts still remain unfilled the same shall be filled up by promotion as per the provision contained in col. 12 of the respective Recruitment Rules. It may please be noted that in that event the unfilled posts in Postmaster Gr. I will have to be filled up on the basis of Limited Departmental Competitive Examination. The pattern and scheme for Limited Departmental Competitive Examination to fill up the vacancies in the grade of Postmaster Gr.I would follow shortly.
9. All the Postal circles are requested to follow the time-line mentioned below to fill up the posts of Postmaster:
(i) Date of Issue of Circular calling for the options/applications for appointment as Postmaster Grade I, II and III. - 14.12.2010
(ii) Last date for receipt of options/applications along with bio-data - 15.01.2011
(iii) Completion of scrutiny of applications and obtaining Vigilance Clearance and ACR dossiers. - 31.01.2011
(iv) Submission to Screening Committee. - 10.02.2011
(vi) Submission of the minutes to the appointing authority for approval - 01.03.2011
(vii) Issue of appointment orders - 16.03.2011
10. Thereafter the Postmasters so appointed may be deputed for training immediately in consultation with the Training Division of the Directorate.
11. The receipt of the letter may please be acknowledged.
(V. C. Kajla)
Tel. No. 23096092
Secretary General NFPE