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Friday, September 30, 2016

Here are facts on soldiers' ex-gratia, benefits; stop the lies

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Here are facts on soldiers' ex-gratia, benefits; stop the lies

Here are facts on soldiers' ex-gratia, benefits; stop the lies

Major Navdeep Singh is a practicing Advocate at the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He was the founding President of the Armed Forces Tribunal Bar  Association at Chandigarh. He is a Member of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War at Brussels 

In the recent months, there have been instances when this author has been called pro-establishment by a certain few, not because of any valid reason, but because of the fact that I made an attempt to counter disinformation campaigns planted by anti-national elements with an aim to demoralise our security forces and which were gullibly bought as truth by many of our own, including military veterans already (rightly) touchy after the incoherent recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.

Labels of pro-this or anti-that is what I loathe, because if at all I would want to embrace such tags, it would be pro-fact and anti-disinformation. I would also like to confess that I, over the past two years or so, have toned down what I write. It is not that I have changed, but because of the very dangerous tendency of some people to use writings penned as a mirror and a tool of introspection to be circulated in an out-of-context manner by those with an axe to grind, or spread discontentment and disaffection — a much too heavy a price.

More often than not, blogs and articles, even if harsh on the surface, written to educate the society at large, the political executive and higher echelons of the system,about faulty policies of the Government and the Armed Forces, or purely to stimulate betterment, are not projected as ‘Look, this is what we need to improve’ as per the spirit behind them, but ‘Look, this is what your Government is doing to you’, leading us to a dangerous zone that I am going to discuss.

The unfortunate incident at Uri has again brought into focus the pain experienced by military families in such dastardly acts of terror, or for that matter, any form of violence against the state.

However, soon thereafter, messages were floating on social media deprecating the meagre compensation of Rs 2 lakh or Rs 5 lakh granted by the ‘Government’ to such families. Infuriated notes went around, people expressed their anguish and what not.

Then there were others who offered their wisdom that military widows in such cases must be paid the ‘salary’ of the deceased employee and should not be left to fend for themselves.

At one level, one feels happy that the general population is increasingly getting concerned about the welfare of our men and women in uniform and their families and there is no cavil with the proposition that the system has been unfair in many aspects to the military community and we must stand with full might behind them. Yet, one needs to be extremely wary of forwarding such messages without verification, for most of these are planted untruths with the aim to trigger frustration and discontentment.

To clarify, the meagre compensation that was the subject of this talk was the one given by some States and not by the Central Government.

The Centre pays an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 35 lakh for deaths in militant and terrorist attacks and Rs 45 lakh for deaths in war or war like engagements. These are the rates applicable and accepted with effect from 1 January, 2016 and the earlier rates were Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively.

These new rates have been accepted by the Government on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission and the implementation instructions have already been issued for Central Government employees such as the Central Armed Police Forces.

Similar instructions for the defence services are also expected soon and would be retrospectively applicable from 1 January, 2016.

The group insurance amount (for which defence personnel pay their own premium) is over and above these amounts. There is no universal policy however for ex-gratia by various States since it is a State subject and the Central Government cannot force the States to universalise such payments.

However, the Centre on its part, irrespective of the party in power, has time and again requested States to rationalise these figures to provide a reasonable and respectable amount to such families.

As far as pension is concerned, liberalised family pension at the rate of the emoluments last drawn by the employee is paid to widows of such defence personnel for the rest of their lives and hence all this talk of the Government not paying them enough pension is hogwash, though it is true that no amount of monetary benefits can compensate the loss of life.

There is however definitely a need for the Army and the Defence Accounts Department to oil up their systems and not make such families wait for the release of benefits on the unfortunate demise of soldiers in such circumstances. The appreciable part however is that the parent units and Regimental Centres offer full support to families in such times of need.

While there is lot to be done for our soldiers and their kin, circulating false messages and untruths about their condition is not only demoralising for those who are serving the nation away from their families but also leads to alienation and damage which can never be redeemed. To top it all, it acts as a dampener for youth aspiring to join the Armed Forces.

While it is our right to strongly question the official establishment about the welfare and benefits to our military families and to fight for them, and we must do so, at the same time it is also our bounden duty to take a stand for the right causes armed with the correct information.

As responsible citizens, the barest minimum we can do is check the veracity of a message before tapping the keys and posting it, more so when it is the morale of our troops and their families that could be at stake.

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.

Source :


          Xth Federal Council of National Federation of Postal Employees was held at Guwahati (Assam) from 7th September to 9th September, 2016. A galaxy of Trade Union leaders admired the struggling nature of NFPE moving on the path with a slogan “Unity for struggle and struggle for unity”. The Federal Council reviewed the Political, economical and social condition of India and its impact on working class. It was discussed in detail that during the period under review, higher administration of the Department of Posts and Government of India tried to make some structural changes in the Department of Post which was fought by NFPE and defeated and NFPE established its might. There is significant change in the mindset of Bureaucracy and our membership has gained faith a lot in union which has been reflected in last membership verification.

            The Federal Council reviews the recommendations of 7th CPC and it was the view of most of the delegates that the recommendations of 7th CPC are most retrograde and disappointing. More anomalies are appearing in implementation of the 7th CPC. The Committees formed  on allowances, advances, NPS and  so called High Power committee to review the minimum wage  and consequently change in pay  matrix , have to submit their reports within 4 months i.e. upto 31st  Oct, 2016.

            It was the view of most of the delegates that NJCA should take proper action to achieve the demands and without breaking the unity, Confederation and NFPE should also chalk out their separate programme of action in phased manner.

            It was also discussed and decided that we as NFPE should also launch agitational programmes in phased manner to achieve our sectional demands i.e. Cadre restructuring  for left out Categories, Filling up of vacant posts, enhancement of ceiling of bonus to GDS . GDS Committee,streaming the functioning of NCJCM, DCJCM and RJCM. Regularization and wage revision of casual labourers, All Cadre related problems, problems arising out of implementation of CBS and CSI and to oppose the move to outsource any function of Postal services.

            Policy and programmes resolution was also adopted in the Federal Council unanimously in which it is decided that the NFPE being in the main stream of working class will fight against the neo-liberal economic policies which are adversely affecting the life of all working people and common man.

            This Federal Council viewed with grave concern the growing right Wing offensives under NDA Government and aggressive activities of the communal forces and deliberate efforts to divide the people including workers on the basis caste and religion and took unanimous decision to defeat such move by organizing united struggles and shall stand finally with the secular and democratic forces.

            Thus the Xth Federal Council has given a very common  message to the Postal workers  particularly and common worker in general  that NFPE will march forward on the path of struggle to save the interests of workers and achieve the  genuine and justified  demands by united struggle.

            The Xth Federal Council has also adopted a resolution on common and specific demands of Postal Employees and decided further course of agitaional programmes in phased manner

            NFPE calls upon the entire Postal, RMS, and MMS employees to get ready for future struggles to achieve the genuine demands and resists the attacks and dangers unlashed by the Department of Post and Government of India which are against the Postal Workers.


Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
(SR Section)
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi- 110001.
Dated the    28th   September, 2016.
1.            All Heads of Postal Circle.
2.            All Postmasters General.
3.            Director of Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad (UP).
4.            CGM, PLI Directorate, Chankyapuri PO, New Delhi.
5.            CGM, (BD&M) Directorate, Dak Bhavan, New Delhi.
6.            Postmaster General, Foreign Mails, Mumbai.
7.            All Directors, Postal Training Centres.
8.            Directors Foreign Mails, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.
9.            All Directors/Dy. Directors of Accounts (Postal).
Subject:-         List of new office bearers of National Federation of Postal Employees elected in 10th Federal Council of the said federation held at Guwahati (Assam) from 07-09-2016 to 09-09-2016.
                                       I am directed to state that fresh election of National Federation of Postal Employees has been conducted and a list of new office bearers elected in 10th  Federal Council of the said union held at Guwahati (Assam) from 07-09-2016 to 09-09-2016  is as under:-
Name of the Office Bearer (Shri/Smt.)
Official Designation & Working Place
Sh. Giri Raj Singh
SA (MACP-III) R-3 (Delhi).
Working President
Sh. A. Manoharan
(P-3 Tamilnadu)
Vice Presidents
1.    Sh. K.K. Sharma
Mail Man, S.J. Stg. Office Air Mail Stg. Dn. New Delhi.
2.    Sh. Umashankar Chakraborti
Supervisor (HSG-II), O/o DPLI Kolkata.
3.    Sh. S.B. Yadav
Sr. Accountant, O/o DA (P) Lucknow (U.P.)
Secretary General
Sh. R.N. Parashar
APM Accounts, Mathura HO (U.P.).
Deputy  Secretary General
Smt. R. Seethalakshmi
Post woman, Bangalore City H.O.-560002 (Karnataka).
Asstt. Secretaries  General
1.    Sh. S. Raghupathy
ASPM, Perambur Barracks P.O., Chennai (TN)
2.    Sh. Janardhan Mazumdar
PA, Princep Street PO Kolkata (WB)
3.    Sh. M.V. Janardanan
Postman, Kannur H.O. (Kerala).
Financial Secretary
Sh. Raj Kumar
Stg., Postman, Karol Bagh P.O., New Delhi – 110005.
  2.       This is for information and taking necessary action as per existing instructions on the subject.
Yours faithfully,
(Amit Pankaj)
ADG (SR & Legal/ Pension)
Copy to: 1.Secretary General, National Federation of Postal Employees, 1st Floor,   North Avenue Post Office Building, New Delhi – 110001.
                2 All Sections in the Department of Posts.
(Amit Pankaj)
ADG (SR & Legal/ Pension)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Circular on Advisory Fee under PFRDA (Retirement Adviser) Regulation, 2016

Revision of interest rates for Small Savings Schemes to be effective from third quarter of Financial Year 2016-17

Fixation of pay and grant of increment in the revised pay structure - clarifications - regarding


UPU News : Member countries adopt new terminal dues system

29.09.2016 - UPU member countries agreed on a new remuneration system for delivering letters and small packets during the first week of deliberations at the Universal Postal Congress.

 UPU Postal Operations Council Remuneration (Letter-Post) Chair AndrĂ©as Argente presents the new terminal dues package, which was adopted by Congress (Photo: Ugur Cobanoglu)

 Starting in 2018 bulky letters and small packets, classified as E-format, will be compensated differently from other letter-post formats.

With increased volume of small packets being exchanged through the letter-post networks due to e-commerce, UPU member countries have been seeking a new rate structure of compensation for handling of higher volumes of heavier items. 

Member countries voted on the proposal during a meeting of Congress Committee 4, which focuses on issues related to the Universal Postal Convention. 

“The terminal dues package that was approved by Congress last week represents a very carefully negotiated compromise,” said Committee 4 Chair, Siva Somasundram, who is also General Manager of International Regulatory Affairs with Australia Post. 

Somasundram noted that experts have been working on developing a better system of remuneration since the last Universal Postal Congress in Doha in 2012. The proposal adopted last week was the result of much study and consultation with countries at various levels of development in each of the world’s regions. 

“[The adopted terminal dues package] recognizes that member countries have as a whole agreed on three main principles,” said Somasundram. 

“One, having all countries get to the target system; secondly, that costs coverage is important; and thirdly, that the remuneration system that the UPU agrees on doesn’t negatively impact the way in which customers respond to the associated services,” he said. 

The terminal dues system was established by the 1969 Tokyo Congress as a means to compensate destination countries for the cost of handling, transporting and delivering letter-post items across borders.

Evolving system

UPU member countries also moved one step closer to the terminal dues target system, agreeing to merge the six current classification groups into four groups. 

Countries are currently classified by their level of development, meaning those in the most developed groups pay contributions into the Quality of Service Fund on top of terminal dues to those in the less developed group. This mark up goes toward development projects in the recipient country. 

The classification system was established at the 2008 Universal Postal Congress in Geneva and updated by the 2012 Doha Congress. 

Starting in 2018, former Group 1.2 and Group 2 will be merged in the new Group II, while Groups 4 and 5 will make up the new Group IV. The goal is to eventually move all countries into a single target terminal dues system. 

Thanks to an earlier decision made by Committee 6, which oversees proposals for development cooperation, a further one per cent mark up to terminal dues will be paid by countries in the target system into a new Common Fund of the QSF. The Fund will finance development projects in countries in groups II, III, and IV.

Swachh Bharat : The Mission Marches On

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Special Service and Features

29-September-2016 12:12 IST
*S.M. Shah Nawaz

India is all set to lead the comity of nations in the times to come with its economy poised to become one of the largest in the world in foreseeable future. The nation is surging ahead with great pace on the path of economic development. However, can we really achieve our goals without meeting the social and environmental parameters? The first and foremost amongst such parameters is cleanliness. We cannot afford to put the filth under the carpet of development.

Gandhiji visualized cleanliness in three ways – a clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Holding that ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’, he once emphatically wrote, “We can no more gain God’s blessing with an unclean body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city. So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean”.

And on Gandhi Jayanti two years ago, the Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi just did that - he took the broom right in his hands and spurred the whole country into action. Shri. Modi said “A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in New Delhi on 2nd October 2014. The five-year long campaign was launched across the country as a national movement with an aim to turn it into a ‘Jan Andolan’ and change the face of the country by 2019. The countrymen responded very enthusiastically to the call and people from all walks of life have come forward and joined this mass movement of cleanliness.

However, keeping the streets, lanes and by-lanes of the country is not the only objective. There are many more goals to achieve.

According to an UN report, India accounts for a major portion of the over 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation. Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out in fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water, or other open spaces rather than using the toilet to defecate. Society does not view the lack of a toilet as unacceptable. Building and owning a toilet is not perceived as aspirational. Construction of toilets is still seen as the government’s responsibility rather than a priority that individual households should take responsibility for.

The challenge is to motivate people to see a toilet as fundamental to their social standing, status and well-being. The practice of open defecation is not limited to rural India. It is found in urban areas too where the percentage of people who defecate in the open is around 12 percent, while in rural settings it is about 65 percent.  Open defecation poses a serious health threat especially to children. The practice is the main reason India reports a very high number of diarrhoeal deaths among children under-five. Children weakened by frequent diarrhoea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. This is not at all surprising that percentage of children in India suffering from some degree of malnutrition is very high. Diarrhoea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school-age children impacting their learning abilities.

The faecal-oral route is also an important polio transmission pathway. Open defecation increases communities’ risk of polio infection. Open defecation also puts at risk the dignity of women in India. Women feel constrained to relieve themselves only under the cover of darkness for reasons of privacy to protect their dignity.

The Union Government wants to change the situation completely. It wants to completely eliminate the practice of open defecation by 2019. The work is in full swing for the construction of crores of toilets all across the nation - both in rural and urban areas. With this, the Government is also streamlining and upgrading the sewage system wherever required.

“Educating girls is also my priority. I have noticed that girls drop out of schools by the time they reach class 3rd or 4th just because schools don't have separate toilets for them. They don't feel comfortable. There should be toilets for boys and girls in all schools. We should concentrate on girl students not quitting schools” said the Prime Minister on the Teachers Day two years ago on 5th September 2014, few days before he launched the mission. Therefore, Swachh Vidyalaya concept also became an essential component of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

To encourage people to take the Mission forward, Prime Minister Modi on his popular radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, has been constantly lauding the efforts of organizations and individuals who have been contributing positively towards the Swachh Bharat Mission. And this too is having the desired effect.

The Government can provide the required infrastructure and undertake various campaigns to spread awareness about the importance of cleanliness and it is most earnestly trying to do so but it is the people of India who need to adopt the concept of the mission wholeheartedly and make necessary behavioral changes in their attitudes and approach to make this ‘Jan Andolan’ a grand success. What we really need to do is to make cleanliness, a part of our primary school curriculum, and we need to practice it throughout our lives.


* Author is a senior journalist of long standing and is the Editor of an Urdu fortnightly.

The views expressed in the Article are his own.