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INDIA’S FIRST POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK ATM IN CHENNAI- Finance Minister P. Chidambaram inaugurated the ATM service at Thiyagaraya Nagar Head Post Office

The country’s first Post Office Savings Bank ATM was inaugurated in Chennai on Thursday by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as part of the government’s Rs. 4,909 crore IT modernisation scheme for the Department of Posts specified in the interim budget for 2014-15.

After launching the ATM service at Thiyagaraya Nagar Head Post Office (HPO), Mr.Chidambaram said, “The IT modernisation scheme is aimed at making Department of Posts a technology-oriented one and today’s initiative is a step in that regard.” The IT modernisation scheme would cover 1.55 lakh post offices and would be implemented by next year, he added.

Speaking about the newly launched ATM service at the HPO, Mr.Chidambaram said that while it will initially operate in a closed environment for about six months, and later change to ‘inter-operability,’ on the lines of bank ATMs, allowing customers to withdraw money from any ATM. About Department of Posts, Mr.Chidambaram said that while questions were being raised about its future, especially in the wake of dip in use of letters and postcards, it was adopting new strategies and was therefore on the path to growth. Still a large number of people believe that the Department of Posts is the best in courier and parcel delivery areas, he added. An official release said the T Nagar HPO ATM is the first in the country and “four more ATMs are ready for operations” in Delhi and Mumbai.

“It has been proposed to install 1,000 ATMs across the country in 2014. Another 1,800 ATMs will be added in 2015,” it said. The release added that Rs. 700 crore has been earmarked for implementing Core Banking Solution (CBS) for Post office Savings Bank. As on date, 51 HPOs and 11 sub-post offices have “migrated” covering 64 lakh accounts.

By March 31, 2014, a total of 700 more post offices will be covered and all 26,840 post offices will be functional under CBS in another two years, it said.


 IDFC and India Post are believed to be in the final lap of the race for a banking licence.

The Bimal Jalan panel, which is scrutinising the applications, submitted its recommendations to the Reserve Bank of India here today on around 25 applications that included L&T Finance, Religare, Reliance Capital, Shriram Capital, AV Birla Group, LIC Housing Finance Ltd and Muthoot.

Top officials said IDFC was likely to be among those selected for the coveted licence. India Post could also get a licence if the cabinet agreed to allow it to convert itself into a retail bank with a large rural network. These applicants were also not asked to come up with explanations or additional documents to prove their eligibility, the officials added.

The finance ministry, which is opposing India Post’s conversion into a bank, has not earmarked any funds for it in the budget. However, several other ministries, including the telecom ministry, maintain that it is the best way to fully utilise the huge postal network, which has long been doubling as a small savings bank and pay order service.

Analysts also believe that India Post, with its huge rural network, will be helpful in rolling out the government’s Aadhar-linked subsidy payout schemes.
Initially, IDFC was considered ineligible for the licence as the RBI demanded that banks should have less than 50 per cent foreign holding.The development financier had foreign ownership of nearly 54 per cent. However, last December, IDFC gave an undertaking to reduce foreign institutional shareholding through a listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange. “The board of directors on December 19, 2013 passed a resolution approving postal ballot process for seeking an enabling resolution from the shareholders to authorise the board to keep reducing ceiling limit of the foreign shareholding from existing 54 per cent to 49.9 per cent in various stages as and when the actual foreign shareholding goes down,” it stated.

Officials said the grant of a licence was not tied to the announcement of the Lok Sabha election and could be given out even if the code of conduct kicked in. The RBI is expected to draw up a list of successful applicants and announce it by March-end.
The RBI will look into the background of each company that has been shortlisted by the Jalan panel.
The government had been locked in a tussle with the apex bank over eligibility criteria for the licence.
The Reserve Bank wanted to keep out large corporate houses and real estate bigwigs as their business interests might clash with the prudential norms needed to run banks.
The finance ministry was keen on the participation of corporate houses but favoured rules that would set up a wall between the owners and the banking operations.
Officials said the bid to prevent the business interests of companies from clashing with the banking operations would act as a determining factor in the grant of a licence.




Chidambaram didn’t earmark any funds for the postal department in the interim budget, nor did it mention the proposal 

The long-cherished dream of the Indian postal department to float a commercial bank, has hit a major hurdle, after the government stopped short of providing the necessary capital needed for the department to enter India’s Rs.83 trillion banking industry.

The interim budget announced by finance minister P. Chidambaram on Monday didn’t earmark any funds for the postal department, nor did it mention the proposal in the budget, even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approaches the final stages of granting licences to a third set of private banks in Asia’s third-largest economy.

India Post is one among the 25 applicants in the race for a banking licence. Major business houses in the race include Reliance Capital Ltd, Bajaj Finserv Ltd, Aditya Birla Financial Services Group and L&T Finance Holdings Ltd.

An expert committee under former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governorBimal Jalan is currently scrutinizing the applications and is expected to make the final recommendations to the central bank by March. RBI will then issue licences based on the recommendations.

This is a clear signal that the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is not keen to allow the postal department to become a commercial bank, said a bureaucrat at the government. He requested anonymity citing sensitivity of the matter.

“Since the interim budget is silent on this proposal, it is very unlikely that the cabinet will give its nod and provide capital in the next three to four months, by when the government’s term comes to an end,” said the official.
General elections in the country are due by May.
While the interim budget is silent on postal department’s banking plan, it has earmarked over Rs.4,000 crore for the department to expand its technology platform. But this is unrelated to the banking plan, the official said.
Recently, RBI’s external committee scrutinizing bank licence applications had sought the necessary cabinet approval from the postal department to go ahead with the banking plan. This is because the department is a division of the government and, technically, government will be the promoter of the proposed Post Bank of India.
But the cabinet is yet to approve the plan.
The postal department estimated a capital requirement of Rs.1,900 crore for its entry into the banking sector and for a roll-out of business in the subsequent years.
As per RBI’s guidelines, new banks need a minimum capital of Rs.500 crore initially, and a business road map to promote financial inclusion.
According to the official cited earlier, RBI is convinced about India Post’s track record and has sought no additional details or documentation, other than the cabinet approval.
Cabinet approval and capital preparedness are, thus, critical factors for the department to secure a nod for a banking licence. In the absence of this, the postal department may have to forego its plans for a banking licence, at least in this round.
Difference of views
The finance ministry has been opposing India Post’s banking plan, arguing that the postal department doesn’t have the expertise needed to become a bank, such as experience in handling credit.
Besides, the Planning commission, too, had informally expressed its reservations on India Post’s banking entry, citing broadly the same reasons.
But, India Post argues that it can significantly boost financial inclusion through its nationwide network of 155,000 post offices.

Unlike in previous instances, when RBI licenced new banks to introduce competition in the banking sector, this time around the primary objective of the central bank is to promote financial inclusion.
Currently, India Post is engaged in several related functions, such as running a savings bank scheme, selling tax-saving instruments and accepting public provident fund deposits.
The government also uses post office accounts to route payments to beneficiaries as part of the rural jobs programme and the direct transfer of subsidies.

Postal department’s aspiration to float a bank is two decades old, but the department got serious about it sometime in 2006, conducting internal viability studies and seeking the opinion of consultancy firms.
The move gathered momentum when RBI announced final licensing norms for new banks in February.
“More than the absence of mention (of India Post’s banking plan) in the interim-budget, what is a bigger process (necessary for them) is to get the cabinet approval for the proposed post bank,” said Abizer Diwanji, partner and head of financial services, EY India.

“The postal department has vast experience in deposit taking and has the trust of the people. Its entry into banking will certainly help to push financial inclusion in the country,” Diwanji said.


World's longest free Wi-Fi zone in Patna

PATNA: If you have an internet-enabled device and you are anywhere on the stretch from NIT-Patna on Ashok Rajpath to Danapur, you can now access the internet free of cost.

Once known as a backward state, Bihar has made a strong bid for a mention on the world's infotech map as chief minister Nitish Kumar unveiled the 20km free Wi-Fi zone, the longest across the globe, at a function christened e-Bihar summit in Patna on Wednesday. Kumar also unveiled a 'city surveillance and dial 100' scheme under which at least 100 CCTV cameras installed in different localities of the state capital became operational. A state data centre has also been opened for storing of the 'data' collected by these cameras.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Kumar announced an IT City would be developed on a 200-acre plot at Rajgir. He also said the government has in principle approved an infotech building on a plot of one lakh sq ft and another on a plot of 5 lakh sq ft in Patna. Besides, an infotech park is coming up on the outskirts of the city.

Kumar asked the information technology department officials to hold roadshows in select cities across the country to spread awareness about the progress made by Bihar in the field of information technology. "Our state should now be the IT industry's fave destination," he said.

The state's free Wi-Fi zone is the longest in the world since China's 3.5km zone was treated as the longest so far. The 'city surveillance and dial 100' project is first of its kind in the country as it integrates the surveillance of the city, vehicle tracking and dial 100 control centre schemes. An automated number plate recognition system has been installed on 11 roads, which will automatically note the registration number of the vehicles entering and exiting the city. "It was with this surveillance system's help that the Patna police rescued the son of a city-based trader from Ara within 24 hours of his kidnapping recently," CM Kumar said.

IT minister Shahid Ali Khan said free Wi-Fi facility would be provided at all the tourist spots in the state. Principal secretary (IT) N K Sinha said Bihar might be a late entrant to this sector but "we are on the cusp of IT revolution". Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar and Beltron MD Atul Sinhawere among those who also spoke at the e-Bihar event.

Source : TOI


Odia gets classical language status
>> Odia on Thursday became the sixth language of the country to get “classical language’’ status after the Union Cabinet conceded a long-pending demand for putting it in the same league as Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
>> Odia is billed as the first language from the Indo-Aryan linguistic group and the case for making it a classical language was also premised on the fact that it has no resemblance to Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali and Telugu. The proposal was moved by the Culture Ministry.
>> Once a language is declared classical,
1) It gets financial assistance for setting up a centre of excellence for the study of that language and also opens up an avenue for two major awards for scholars of eminence.
2) University Grants Commission can be requested to create – to begin with at least in Central Universities – a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages for scholars of eminence in the language.
>> The criteria for declaring a language as classical mandates high antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1,500-2,000 years, a body of ancient literature/texts which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers and a literary tradition that is original and not borrowed from another speech community.

>> Also since the classical language and literature is distinct from the modern, there can also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.

Courtesy : 

Declaration of result of SB Aptitude test held on 25.08.2013 in Odisha Circle : Kalahandi Postal Division

POST OFFICE- ATM cum Debit Card

Source- Facebook

Revenue of Postal Department

The Revenue generation of Postal Services in the country is increasing every year, and the targets for each coming year are raised by the Government. The revenue generated and expenditure incurred by the Postal Department, during the last three years and the current year year-wise, are as under:-
                                                                                                      (Rs. in crore)

Net expenditure
2013-14 (up to Dec' 2013)
7733.2 #

^ Net expenditure included estimated recoveries of PLI & RPLI and Inter branch adjustment.
# Revenue figures of 2013-14 (up to December) inclusive of estimated revenue from Savings bank and certificates.    
Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister ofCommunications and Information Technology, said that main reason for deficit despite constant increase in revenue is periodical increase in expenditure on account of Pay and allowances and pension payment which constitute more than 90 % of the total expenditure of the department. Unlike other civil ministries pension payments are shown as expenditure of the department. Other reasons for increase in expenditure are hike in price/cost of office equipment and machinery/Oil/diesel/Petrol, increase in expenditure on AMC due to computerization of Post Offices, cost of carriage of mail etc. Department of Posts provides universal service throughout the country.



source -odia paper sambad dt 19.02.2014


photo source- facebook

Labourers to get higher wages under MNREGS

Wages under the government's flagship rural job guarantee scheme are set to rise 11.4% from April 1, according to people close to the development. The rural development ministry has decided to increase wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme from an average of Rs 156.4 per person, per day at present to Rs 174.3 in fiscal 2014-15 , the same persons said.

The proposed wage hike is expected to cost the government an additional Rs 1,000 crore under the scheme from next fiscal. The government is spending over Rs 30,000 crore on the scheme in 2013-14 . MNREGS is widely seen as a plank on which the UPA government returned to power in 2009. The scheme entitles millions of workers enrolled under it to Rs 100 a day for a minimum of 100 days of work in a financial year.

On an average, 25% of rural households seek employment under it every year. The wage revision is based on the rise in the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index for agricultural labourers (CPIAL ). The CPI-AL is based on data collated by the 38th round of the National Sample Survey Organisation's household consumption expenditure survey for 1986-87 . For the first nine months of the current fiscal, inflation based on CPI-AL stood at 12.4% compared with 12.6% for 2013 (January-December ). The wage increase will be different for most states.

At Rs 212, Kerala will see the highest increase -- up 17.7% from 2013-14 . This will be followed by Lakshadweep -- up 17.4% at Rs 195. For Bihar, wages will rise 16.6% to Rs 153 while Jharkhand will see a 14.9% increase to Rs 158.

Wages in Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland , Sikkim and Tripura will increase 14.8%. In absolute terms, however, Haryana tops the wage increase list at Rs 236 per person, per day, compared with Rs 214 at present, followed by Andaman and Nicobar at Rs 228 (Rs 204) and Chandigarh at Rs 227 (Rs 209). At the list's bottom is Bihar at Rs 153. Despite the annual increase in wages under MGNREGA since 2011, minimum wages in more than a dozen states are still higher than MGNREGA wages. The government is looking at ways to remove this disparity.

Electronic Indian Postal Order-extension of service to Indian Citizens residing in India

Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 13th February, 2014

Subject :  Electronic Indian Postal Order-extension of service to Indian Citizens residing in India.

In continuation to this Department’s O.M. of even number dated 22/03/2013, it is intimated that Department of Posts has extended the “e1P0″ (electronic Indian Postal Order) service to Indian citizens residing in India also w.e.f. 13.02.2014, for purchasing Indian Postal Order electronically by paying a fee online through e-Post Office Portal i.e. It can also be accessed through India Post website

2. It is reiterated that:

i) This facility has been provided for Indian citizens to facilitate them to seek information from the Central Public Information Officers (CP10s) under the RTI Act, 2005. Debit or Credit Cards of any Bank powered by Visa / Master can be used to purchase e-IPO

ii) The user needs to get registered at the website. He has to select the Ministry / Department from whom he desires to seek the information under the RTI Act and the elP0 so generated can be used to seek information from that Ministry / Department only. A printout of the elP0 is required to be attached with the RTI application. If the RTI application is being filed electronically, elP0 is required to be attached as an attachment

iii) This facility is only for purchasing an Indian Postal Order electronically. All the requirements for filing an RTI application as well as other provisions regarding eligibility, time limit, exemptions etc. will continue to apply.

3. An eIP0 so generated must be used only once with an RTI application. To check any multiple use of the same elP0, the Public Authority shall maintain a record of the eIPOs so received. In case of any doubt, the details of elP0 can be verified from the above mentioned site / portal of India Post.

(Sandeep Jain)

1. All Ministries / /Departments of the Government of India
2. Union Public Service Commission, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Cabinet Secretariat, Central Vigilance Commission, President’s Secretariat, Vice-President’s Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, Planning Commission, Election Commission.
3. Central Information Commission
4. Staff Selection Commission

5. 0/o Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi