Task Force on Leveraging the Post Offices Network of the Country

Task Force on Leveraging the Post Offices Network of the Country

            A Task force on leveraging the post offices network of the country  among others had suggested setting up of three subsidiaries as a part of a holding company under the Postal Department under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology for extending services in the fields of banking, insurance and e-commerce.  The Report of the Task Force headed by former Cabinet Secretary Shri T.S.R. Subramanian was submitted to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi today.

            In all five subsidiary companies will be called Strategic Business Units (SBU)..Two other subsidiaries are for distribution of 3rd party products and services like providing e-services for general public for bill collections and providing of application forms, documents and certificates on commercial basis. Another subsidiary is for .delivery of government services like Aadhaar ration cards, Vikas patras, etc. on agency basis. It was also proposed that each SBU will have a separate  independent board to operate commercially as  a  profit  centre. Each one of the SBU over the time may go for public participation through public issue. It was proposed that a new postal law may be enacted to give statutory basis for these operations.

            After receiving the Report, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there will be a structured response to the recommendations of the Task Force on priority basis.  He said after  having felt the need to rediscover the potential of the postal department  in the country, he had made a request to the Prime Minister to which Shri Narendra Modi had readily responded by constituting this Task Force. He hoped that the vast connectivity of the Postal Department would be fully exploited to be a part of the e-commerce boom in the country. The Minister said that not a single employee of the postal department will be removed as a part of any reformation of the Department. He also said that there will not be undue increase in the price of the post card and other postal services that are mostly used by the poor.

            Earlier the Chairman of the Task Force Mr. Subramanian said that as banking and financial services  are not available in most of over six  lakh villages of the country, it was felt that a ‘Post Bank of India’ which is professionally organized should contribute for a financial inclusion of the rural poor.  He also hoped that there could be a creation of over five lakh new jobs over next 3-5 years.  He pointed out that State Governments are also keen on the prospects of implementation of the recommendations of this Task Force.

            The Task Force was constituted on 21st August this year  had the following members:-

1.      Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Retd. Cabinet Secretary       -  Chairman

2.      Shri T.V. Mohandas Pai, Bangalore                             -  Member

3.      Dhri G.N. Bajpai, Mumbai Former Chairman, SEBI   -  Member

4.      Dr. Ravindra H.Dholakia, IIM, Ahmedabad               -   Member

5.      Shri R S. Sharma, Secretary (E&IT),Govt.of India      -   Member

6.      Shri L.C. Goyal, Secretary, Deptt. of Rural                 -   Member

                        Development, Govt. of India

7.      Shri Rakesh Garg, Secy. Deptt. of Telecom,G.O.I      -   Member

8.      Ms. Kavery Banerjee, Secretary, Deptt. of Posts        -    Member

9.      Shri Kamleshwar Prasad,Member (O),Deptt.of  Posts-   Member

10.  Shri Vasumitra, CPMG,Delhi Circle,Deptt.of Posts    -Member Secretary
For the full report of the Task Force pls. click the link below

India and Japan to Cooperate in the Fields of Cyber Security and Green ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

            India and Japan decides to cooperate in the fields of Cyber security and Green ICT (Information & Communication Technology). In a statement after India-Japan Joint Working Group Meeting on ICT, in New Delhi today, the two countries announced the decision to work on the following five areas which are to be implemented as India-Japan joint projects:-

1.      Green ICT
-  Green Mobile Base Station project

2.      Cyber Security Cooperation
-  Japan-India Combat Spam project

3.      Cooperative project for detecting symptoms and quick response to cyber attacks (PRACTICE)

4.      ICT for Disaster Management (ICT4DM)
-  ICT Use in disaster-affected areas project

5.      ICT Application for Social and Economic Challenges
-  National ID Application and Utilization Platform project

            Ministry for Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) in India and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC, Japan will coordinate the activities for taking these projects forward by involving industrial partners in both the countries. They will aim towards implementation of these joint projects by early 2015.

            The two countries also decided to further discuss development of standards in the field of ICT, for future cooperation. Further, India had also offered Japan to manufacture ICT equipment in India by taking advantage of new conducive environment for manufacturing in India.

            The next meeting of the joint working group is to be held in Tokyo next year.

Inter Ministerial Committee to discuss issue of direct marketing

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has convened an inter-ministerial meeting network to discuss entire gamut of direct selling as there is need to evolve a very transparent and consumer friendly business model for the sector This was stated by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution while addressing a meet on Direct Selling, organized by FICCI here today. The Minister said that his ministry is taking the demand of Direct Marketing sector seriously as to whether a specific regulator or set of regulations is required for the sector.

Stressing the need of credible business model for direct selling, the Consumer Affairs Minister said that rising incomes, large population of youth and urbanization has fuelled unparalleled demand for consumer products. Direct Selling is a fast growing sector especially in the Asia Pacific region and India is different a big consumer market. “I`m aware that there have been many different business models adopted by the Direct Selling companies but in their garb fly-by-night operators have actually done frauds with innocent consumers in the country in absence of awareness and strict norms adopted by the industry itself.”, he added.

On the occasion Shri Paswan also released a study brought out by FICCI and KPMG on various aspects by Direct Selling sector in India.

Arrangements to protect heritage buildings in Himachal Pradesh against fire

There are forty centrally protected monuments/site declared as of national importance under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India in Himachal Pradesh. There are 327 heritage buildings notified in the year 2003 and further 88 heritage buildings in the year 2011 were notified by the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

There is no apparent threat to these centrally protected monuments/site to catch fire. However, as some of these monuments are largely made of wood, and some others have wooden components in their architectural schemes, the Archaeological Survey of India has procured (a) Water (stored pressure) type fire extinguishers, and (b) Carbon dioxide type fire extinguishers. While the former types are useful to extinguish or control general fires resulting from wood, paper, cloth, etc., in emergency situations, the latter are used to fight the electric and delicate machinery (such as computer, etc.) fires. The Viceregal Lodge, Shimla which has its interior largely made of wood, has an effective fire-fighting system in place since colonial times and is still satisfactory working.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a reply to a starred question in the Rajya Sabha.
Conservation of Protected Monuments

There are 3680 monuments and archaeological sites and remains in the country declared as centrally protected under Archaeological Survey of India and 521 technical personnel have been employed for preservation and conservation work

No monuments of National importance have been neglected for want of adequate skilled manpower.

There are 8434 Sanctioned Strength in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and 2424 vacancies are lying vacant.

Conservation work of the protected monuments is a continuous process. The annual maintenance and upkeep work is attended regularly of all protected monuments whereas special repair works are attended on selected monuments as per the requirement of the different sites and availability of resources.

Monuments of National importance are protected, preserved and conserved adequately by the existing skilled manpower and technical staff at the disposal of ASI.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Artistes Pension Scheme and Welfare Fund

The Government is implementing “Artistes Pension Scheme and Welfare Fund” to give pension to Persons Distinguished in Letters, Arts and such other walks of Life who may be in indigent Circumstances and their Dependents. Under the Scheme, artists whose personal income (including income of the spouse) does not exceed Rs. 4,000/- per month and who are not less than 58 years of age are considered for financial assistance of Rs. 4,000/- p.m. under Central Quota and Rs. 3,500/- p.m. under Central-State Quota. The eligible artists should have made significant contribution in the field of arts, letters, etc. for being considered for financial assistance.

The total no. of beneficiaries under this Scheme is 3698.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Central Advisory Committee meeting on NCC

The 48th Central Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting of the National Cadet Corps was held in New Delhi, yesterday. Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh who chaired the meeting, complimented the NCC on the performance of its cadets in various activities pertaining to training, adventure, social service and community development. He mentioned that the NCC cadets – ‘The Leaders of Tomorrow’ are the key instruments of social change and economic growth.

The Director General NCC Lt Gen Aniruddha Chakravarty, presented a detailed update on NCC activities to the members of the CAC. The Committee deliberated various issues relating to motivating the youth of the country to acknowledge their responsibilities towards nation building, patriotism and discipline. They also discussed the need to improve the infrastructure and facilities for the NCC all over the country. A road map on the issues was defined and the Minister urged that it be completed in a time bound manner.

Amongst other, the meeting was attended by the Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs Shri Rajeev Gupta and eminent educationists.
Task Force on Leveraging the Post Offices Network of the Country Task Force on Leveraging the Post Offices Network of the Country Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 4:04 PM Rating: 5

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