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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

India Post suited to be payment bank: Financial Services Secretary GS Sandhu

MUMBAI: Lack of credit disbursing experience makes the postal department with its vast network of offices around the country better suited to be run as a payment bank and not as a full-fledged universal bank, a top Finance Ministry official said here today. 

"The Department of Posts may be considered as a payment bank and they are working towards that. The problem with post offices is that they handle only one-side of banking, that is, the deposit side; but they don't handle the credit side," Financial Services Secretary GS Sandhu said at an event here. 

"So by making them (postal department) a payment bank, they will be able to work in that area they are best at. That may happen soon," Sandhu said. 

The Department of Posts with its network of more than 1.35 lakh post offices across the country had made concerted attempts to enter the banking sector by applying for a universal licence. 

While allotting licences in April this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left it to the government to decide the fate of the Department of Posts' application. 

The Department of Posts has been collecting deposits, offering fixed as well as recurring deposits accounts to people for a long time now.

Source:-The Economic Times

PIO Card valid for Life Time

In pursuance of the announcement made by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi at Madison Square Garden in New York on September 28, 2014, Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a Notification on September 30, 2014 to the effect that Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card shall be valid for life time and the PIO Card holder shall be exempt from police reporting / registration. 

It has been further clarified that all PIO Cards issued till September 30, 2014 are automatically deemed to have life time validity. 

Source:-PIB

Sangam City a part and parcel of 160 yrs of postal service


The postal department will complete 160 years of glorious service on Wednesday. However, many of us are unaware that the Sangam City has been a vital spot in this journey and has many firsts to its credit. From the launch of first horse cart postal service to air-mail and railway-mail service, the city has always been the first choice.

The credit of launching horse cart service in 1841 goes to prominent trader of chowk area Lala Thantimal. Owing to diversified business, he felt the need for a speedy mail service and hence the first horse cart service came into existence. His mail service also used to carry letters of public but for a price.

The launch of service led to Lala Thantimal's business growing by leaps and bound. Later, he finally settled in Kanpur. "A decade later, he started postal company 'Inland Transit Company'. Initially, the company carried mails and parcels between Kanpur and Calcutta (now Kolkata). The services were later expanded to Meerut, Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi," said director, postal services, Krishna Kumar Yadav. Thantimal's great grandson Vinod Tandon now lives in Kanpur but is engaged in separate business. Incidentally, Yadav has conducted an extensive research on the topic.

In another first, the Britishers in 1864 launched railway-sorting section between Allahabad and Kanpur. "The section was later converted into rail mail service which now occupies over 70% of postal delivery services in the country," said the director.

The world of postal services was, however, revolutionized by world's first airmail service. It too was started from Allahabad to satellite town of Naini in 1911 and carried letters of freedom fighter Motilal Nehru written to his son Jawaharlal Nehru.

"The first air mail took off from the Parade Ground in February 18, 1911. It carried 6,500 letters and after 13 minutes it landed near the Central Jail in Naini," said Kumar, adding Allahabad was the most suitable place for starting the postal service as it was situated between Kolkata and New Delhi and between Mumbai and New Delhi.

It may be mentioned here that a clergyman of the Holy Trinity Church, currently situated on Sarojini Naidu Marg, requested Englishman Walter Windham to participate in an exhibition on Parade Ground with his aircraft. There, Windham performed an aerial show to raise funds for the construction of a hostel. As a part of their contribution, a lot of people had also posted letters with postage stamps which were delivered to Naini.

Source:-The Times of India

Microsoft announces Windows 10, skips version 9 to emphasize advances

Microsoft Corp announced its 'Windows 10' operating system on Tuesday to replace the largely unpopular Windows 8, skipping a number to mark a leap toward unifying the way people work on tablets, phones and traditional computers. 

The next version of Microsoft's flagship product, which still runs the vast majority of personal computers and is used by 1.5 billion customers worldwide, is aimed at recapturing the lucrative business market, which generally ignored the new-look Windows 8. 

Windows 10 will be "our greatest enterprise platform ever," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's head of operating systems, at an event in San Francisco. Only 20 percent of organizations migrated to Windows 8, which was released two years ago, according to tech research firm Forrester. Many PC users disliked the touch-optimized interface and bemoaned the loss of the traditional start-button pop-up menu. 

He said Windows 10, long known by the project name 'Threshold' internally, represented a new type of system for the company, as it seeks to unify computing as mobile devices proliferate. The name represented that leap, he said. 

"Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using, from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets," said Myerson. 

Microsoft faces an uphill struggle in reigniting excitement about Windows. With the rise of Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad, and Google Inc's Android devices, Windows no longer plays a central role in many people's on-screen lives. 

From a virtual monopoly on personal computing 10 years ago, Windows now runs only about 14 percent of devices, according to research firm Gartner.



(This image provided by Microsoft shows the start menu of Windows 10, the company's next version of its flagship operating system.)


Reaction to the news was cautious. Microsoft shares fell 8 cents to $46.36 on Nasdaq. 

"It's a bold statement for Microsoft to make," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. "So far there's not as much meat on the bone as we would have wanted, although it's still very early days." 

An early version of the software, demonstrated on stage by Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore, showed two modes, one optimized for touch-controlled tablets, and one for PCs using a mouse and keyboard. Users can switch between the two depending on the device. 

Myerson did not say exactly how or when the new Windows would be rolled out, but other executives said Microsoft was aiming for a full release in spring 2015. A technical preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's website, starting on Wednesday, for users to try out and give the company feedback. 

"They were trying to start the messaging for a product that won't actually ship until sometime around the middle of next year," said Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans at the event. "This was to tell the PC installed base that there is a future and it doesn't have to be covered over in brightly colored tiles, or force them to abandon everything they've learned over the past 15 years." 

Myerson said his team toyed with calling the new product Windows One to emphasize the unity of all the companies' products, but noted that name had already been used. 

Source:-The Times of India

Babus grumble as Swachh Bharat robs them of their holiday

As the Swachh Bharat campaign to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, draws out babus en masse to work on October 2, murmurs of discontent can be heard about their having to forego "not only a gazetted holiday but also a vacation coinciding with the long weekend". 

However, coming as somewhat of a compensation for some of the harried government employee, was the announcement on Tuesday that all offices in and around India Gate will be closed post lunch on Wednesday. So, government personnel working in these offices have been asked to report at 10.30 am rather than 9 am as per an earlier order. 

The "wasting" of a national holiday predictably has become the favourite topic of discussion in most government offices these days. 

"Practically speaking we will end up working on Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the events planned in ministries are meant for photo opportunity," said a government official. Though as per the government circular the employees will take the Swachhata pledge, followed by cleaning of their officer premises and that the cleanliness work will be "voluntary", it is now a foregone conclusion that not many would like to risk the misadventure of not reporting to work. 

On Tuesday, most of the officials across ministries were spotted busy making detailed plans for the Swachh Bharat campaign within their compounds. While some of the ministries are buying brooms in "bulk" others are outsourcing them from housekeeping agencies. "We will tomorrow (Wednesday) decide how many we need," said a joint secretary level official, who is charge of general administration of a ministry. 

As per the latest circular of DoPT, 26 government buildings housing different ministries and departments will be shut as part of preparations for Swachh Bharat campaign that will see a nationwide launch by Modi on Thursday. These include North Block, which houses the ministries of home and finance, South Block where the PMO and defence ministry are headquartered, as well as Shastri Bhavan, Rail Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Udyog Bhawan and Vigyan Bhawan, etc. Even the offices located in Rashtrapati Bhawan and Parliament House will remain closed from 10 pm on Wednesday to 10.30 am on Thursday.

Source:-The Times of India

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Accept self-attested documents to open account: RBI to banks

The Reserve Bank today relaxed 'know your customer' norms by allowing self-certification of documents needed for opening bank accounts. 

"With a view to easing difficulties faced by common persons while opening bank accounts and during periodic updating, guidelines on KYC will be further simplified with immediate effect," the central bank said in its monetary policy statement. 

RBI has asked banks to "allow self-certification; accept a certified copy of the document by mail/post" for account opening. 

Banks have also been asked not to seek fresh documents if an existing KYC compliant customer of a bank desires to open another account in the bank. 

For periodic updating of KYC, the RBI told the banks not "insist on physical presence of the customer" and also not seek fresh proof of identity and address in case of no change in status for 'low risk' customers. 

The Reserve Bank further said there is a need for banks to complete KYC for all customers including long standing 'low risk' customers. 

"Banks should complete documentation, while minimising the effort on the part of the customer to what is strictly needed," it said. 

In the event that customers are unable to comply within a reasonable time period, 'partial freezing' may be introduced in respect of KYC non-compliant customers, RBI added. 

This means credits would be allowed in such accounts while debits would not be allowed, with an option to the account holder to close the account and take back the money in the account.

Source:-The Economic Times

Competent Medical Officer/Board for issuing certificate of disability for the purpose of family pension under rule 54 of CCS (pension) Rules, 1972 - reg.

To view Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare OM No.30th September, 2014 please  Click Here.

Early Closure of Offices on 1st October,2014 in connection with the national wide launch of Swachch Bharat campaign

To view please Click Here

Administering of Pledge "Swachh Shapath" on 2nd October, 2014 as a part of "Swachh Bharat Mission"

As communicated vide Secretary (Postal Services Board) D.O. No.87-04/2014-Coordn/O&M dated 29th September, 2014 all the Officers and Staff will come to office by 9.30 AM on 2nd October, 2014 and take pledge at 9.45 AM. The employees are also to voluntarily carry out cleanliness of their office premises from inside and outside.  

Pledge(Hindi)


Extension of PPF Scheme to Private Sector Banks (SB Order No. 11/2014)

To view please Click Here.