Saturday, October 28, 2017

UPU News:- Visa to support financial inclusion programme

Technical Assistance Facility supports digitization of financial services offered through postal networks worldwide
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has recently established a Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF), which will receive significant support from Visa. As Stephen Kehoe, Head of Global Financial Inclusion at Visa Inc., explains, “Visa’s partnership with the UPU will make a significant contribution to financial inclusion. This systematic effort to leverage Posts’ services, size and reach will help build the comprehensive digital network needed to benefit whole societies, and especially help reach two priority groups of unbanked people: rural poor and women.” FITAF was created by the UPU to advance financial inclusion, by accelerating the digitization of postal financial services and increasing their uptake, to reach last-mile customers and businesses.
In order to increase the number of postal accounts by 250 million by 2020 and support the launch of digital financial service projects for financial inclusion from 20 Posts, FITAF will champion postal action on inclusive digital financial services, conduct research to identify key actions and provide qualifying Posts with technical assistance to improve and expand their capabilities. “This partnership is a key milestone in our efforts to position the postal network as a critical tool for delivering economic and social development to all,” emphasizes Bishar A. Hussein, UPU Director General. “Thanks to its universal coverage, to its long history as a financial actor and to the trust it holds amongst the citizens of the world, the postal sector is in a unique position to provide access to financial services to all and especially the underserved. We need to leverage that unique position.”

The situation

Over 2 billion adults worldwide were unbanked in 2014. Of those that are banked, 19% have an account at a Post, making the postal sector the second largest contributor to financial inclusion after banks. Postal networks are well positioned to meet the financial needs of some of the world’s hardest-to-reach populations. “Governments and international development stakeholders increasingly see the postal network, with its ability to deliver to everyone, everywhere and at all times, as critical infrastructure to achieving a whole range of public services and policies, including their financial inclusion objectives,” explains Siva Somasundram, UPU Director of Markets Development and Regulation.

Indeed Posts have extensive, government-backed networks that reach across countries into both urban and remote rural areas. They provide numerous services – including financial services – to customers of all income levels; they often distribute government payments, such as pensions or social support; and their public, egalitarian mission makes their services affordable and accessible to all segments of society. However, significant investment and transformation is required to improve postal capacities and services, so as to be able to deliver digital financial services and reap their many benefits.

The FITAF approach

FITAF will provide technical assistance to help Posts launch new digital financial services at a national level. Assistance will be offered according to need, based on requests from post offices, local levels of digital delivery, and the type of issue – such as product, network (e.g. back office) and systems (e.g. postal network, IT infrastructure). The criteria for selection include: commitment from the Post’s management and from government leaders; the existence of a legal and regulatory framework to enable the Post to deliver financial services; evidence of innovation; and willingness to co-fund 20% of costs. Support will also include designing mobile-based strategies for the Post, expanding Post-owned services, and capacity building.

The Facility carries out research to inform and advance Post-based financial inclusion. This includes developing case studies and best practices, identifying service and quality gaps, and creating a readiness guide to help Posts prepare to offer digital financial service. The Facility will also examine the role of Posts in supporting the financial inclusion of micro and small merchants near their branches. A crucial aspect of this work is sharing new insights and resources with UPU members and other stakeholders through regional and leadership meetings, as well as at partner events. For example, UPU organized four regional workshops for members in 2017 to explain the importance of digitization and to present effective business models and services.

Partner coordination

Visa joins the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UPU in funding the Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility. Visa will provide financial support for three years through a charitable grant. The UPU has collaborated with a number of Visa’s global financial inclusion partners, including the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and Better than Cash Alliance, which the UPU joined in 2015. It has also issued joint research publications on financial inclusion with the World Bank, UN Women and the International Labor Organization, and collaborated with diverse service providers at the country level – policy makers, academics and social-welfare organizations. This inter-connectedness exemplifies the type of collaborative, coordinated approaches needed to achieve financial inclusion.

10 documents you can use at airports to prove identity

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued a list of 10 identity documents that can be used to gain entry to airport terminals and for checking in, dispelling confusion over the issue.
List of 10 identity documents issued by BCAS
1. Passport
2. Voter ID
3. Aadhaar or m-Aadhaar
4. Pan Card
5. Driving licence
6. Service ID
7. Student ID card
8. Passbook of account in a nationalised bank with photo
9. Pension card or pension documents with photo
10. Disability ID card or handicapped medical certificate
In a first, BCAS chief Kumar Rajesh Chandra has also put in place a system for flyers to establish their identity if they lose their ID cards. "In case of a passenger who for some valid reasons is not in a position to produce any of the above photo identity proofs, the identity certificate issued by a Group A gazetted officer of central/state government on his/her official letterhead with passenger's photo duly attested will be valid..." for this purpose," the BCAS said

BCAS also clarified that infants or minors accompanied by a guardian with a valid ID wouldn't need a separate proof for domestic air travel. Unaccompanied minors would .

Early implementation of GDS Committee report : FNPO Agitation Programme

Letter to Chairman, Postal Board regarding Inordinate delay in implementing GDS commission Recommendations : FNPO Agitation Programme
Our Demand : Early implementation of GDS Committee report

Employment News : Job Highlights 28 October to 3 November 2017

Name Of Post : Credit Officers
No.of Vacancies : 200
Last Date :04.11.2017

Name Of Post : Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professor
No.of Vacancies : 104
Last Date :17.11.2017

Name Of Post : Assistant Sub-Inspector, Police Constable etc
No.of Vacancies : 164
Last Date :07.11.2017

Name Of Post : Deputy Registrar, Executive Engineer (Electrical), Sports Officer, Medical Officer etc
No.of Vacancies : 114
Last Date :22.11.20147

Name Of Post : Head Constables
No.of Vacancies : 62
Last Date :13.11.2017

Name Of Post : Credit Officers
No.of Vacancies : 200
Last Date :04.11.2017

Name Of Post : Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professor
No.of Vacancies : 104
Last Date :17.11.2017


Circle Union writes to CHQ on problems arising out of CSI rollout

Circle Union writes to CHQ on problems arising out of CSI rollout in Odisha Circle

No. P3NFPE – Odisha / 15 – 10 / 2017
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 27th October, 2017
Com. R N Parashar
General Secretary
Dada Ghosh Bhawan, New Delhi - 110008

Sub: - Problems arising out of CSI rollout in Odisha Circle  

Respected Comrade,
This is to bring your notice that with the recent launch of the Pilot Project of Core System Integrator (CSI) in Cuttack City Division, the Department has been facing technical glitches for the past few days. Ever since the CSI rollout in the division on October 6, the shift from the old system is moving at a snail’s pace and this has slowed down the transactions in all most all the post offices across the Division.

As brought to the notice of this Circle Union by our Divisional Union, Cuttack City, all the staff members of Cuttack City Division have not been trained in operating new version of the software. The entire treasury branch of Cuttack GPO including supervisors are neither imparted with any training nor assigned with defined work as required under CSI environment. As a result, many important treasury functions are now stopped i.e. CTS cheque clearing works, remittance received/drawn from bank, payment through cheques and issue of cheques etc inviting serious public resentment.
In addition, all most all the single/double handed SPMs are unable log in and access to the CSI software due to non-availability of compatible hardware and thereby counter transactions have almost come to a halt inviting public anger. Contradictorily, suitable trained officials preferably User Champions are not available for instant solution. 

            In this context, we have written to / discussed severally with the Chief Postmaster General, Odisha Circle with request to defer next phase CSI roll out dates till installation of the required number of compatible hardware and smooth completion of proper User Champion and End-User Training to avoid future complicacies.

            Now, the proposed 2nd phase rollout on 17.10.2017 which had been rescheduled to 27.10.2017 has now been dropped since the TCS failed to resolve the existing issues by the dates so fixed.

            As per information gathered from our staff members of Cuttack City Division who are presently working and members of other Divisions who are undergoing User-Champion / End-User training, the following deficiencies are coming to our notice.

1.    The trainings are not being imparted as per TCS Blue Book on CSI which requires at least 18 days for User-Champion Training. Instead, our User-Champions are being imparted with such training for 8 days which becomes very difficult to follow and educate themselves to train the End-Users suitably. Similarly while the End-Users are to be trained in 11 modules for at least 29 days in average, they are practically being trained just for 3 days in Odisha Circle for two different modules only. The most unfortunate thing is that neither the User-Champions nor the End-Users are supplied with a guide book and the Trainers from TCS are moving hastily just to complete the training programme for name sake.

2.    Both the hardware and software are not compatible as per  TCS Blue Book for CSI. The mandatory check-list for compatible OS, updated service pack etc. are grossly ignored. It is too piteous that most of the offices in Odisha Circle are having pirated version of windows 7 which will certainly hamper data transfer.

In spite of several correspondences / discussions, the outdated systems, and other accessories like printers (both dot-matrix and laser including Pass Book Printers), barcode scanners etc beyond the prescribed life period have neither been condemned nor new systems supplied to suit the need of CSI as per Blue Book. Even when the CSI software interface is very large and can be properly view on 19 inches or more bigger size  monitors, most of the post office are having small size (15 inches)  monitors which put more strain on the of our officials. Every time the discussions are ended with paucity of funds for purchase of new systems / accessories as required.

Adding salt to the injury, no prompt and effective step is taken by the administration for immediate repairing of UPS, Generator and replacement of damaged batteries in spite of continuous discussions and correspondences. Many Post Offices are now running with direct current and suffering a lot during power failure. The offices in rural areas are the worst sufferers.

3.    All the post offices in Odisha Circle migrated to CBS Finacle in Odisha Circle till date are having 512 Kbps under NSP-1 and 256 Kbps under NSP-2 irrespective of the systems in use by the offices. But as per TCS Blue Book for CSI, 1 Mbps is mandatory for offices having 1 or 2 PCs and similarly 3 Mbps is required for offices having more than 5 PCs. Regretfully, some post offices are there in Phulbani and Koraput Division where both NSP-1 and NSP-2 are non-functional. In spite of several discussions with both the Chief PMG and Regional PMG, the issues are still unsettled.

4.    Another important thing to intimate that Odisha Circle has experimentally started RICT in three Divisions only. There are still 15 Divisions for RICT roll out. If CSI roll out is initiated without completing RICT, then the PMs/ SPMs working in MDGs/SOs will have to log in to B O User ID for every purpose, viz. Cash Receipt, Cash Remittance, Receipt of Accountable Articles, Rebooking of B O Transactions etc. Since the work has to be finished on the day itself, the BOs having huge number of transactions will certainly create problems for their Account Offices. Therefore, completions of RICT before CSI roll out needs to be considered first.
Therefore, under the above facts and circumstances, we would like to request you to take up the issue at the Directorate level for instructing Odisha Circle not to go ahead with the CSI roll out further till completion of RICT in the Circle and suitable solutions to the above hardware, software, connectivity and training issues.

Awaiting your positive action and immediate response.

With regards.
 Yours Comradely,


Circle Secretary

Shri Udai Krishna (lPoS-1984) has assumed the charge of the post of Member (Banking), Postal Services Board

Shri Udai Krishna (lPoS-1984) has assumed the charge of the post of Member (Banking), Postal Services Board