Sunday, 30 November 2014

Expected Dearness Allowance from January 2015 for Central Govt Employees and Pensioners, almost confirmed 6% increase…








Expected Dearness Allowance from January 2015 for Central Govt Employees and Pensioners, almost confirmed 6% increase…





Expected DA from Jan 2015 is on fourth step, no change in the index of CPI(IW) for the month of October 2014, stands at 253 only.





Increase in Dearness allowance for Central Govt employees and Pensioners from Jan 2015 is likely to be 6% and the total Dearness allowance will go up to 113%.



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Biometric Attendance System – Are the Central Government Employees Supporting or Opposing It?







Biometric Attendance System – Are the Central Government Employees Supporting or Opposing It?



BIOMETRIC ATTENDANCE SYSTEM is the procedure of registering the attendance by placing the thumb imprint on a machine which captures the imprint and records the time of entry or exit from the office. In the moderate scheme, the employee has to manually enter his/her 6-digit Aadhaar number and then confirm his/her identity by fingerprint and iris-scan.



Biometric Attendance System – Are the Central Government Employees Supporting or Opposing It?



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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Iceland

I've promised to keep some personal updates coming and it seems a nice idea to turn this blog into a kind of journal/ photo album to remind me of things in the future.  So here's a nice reminder of our Iceland trip a couple of weeks ago and some thoughts/ reflections on the place.

Iceland Trip 3/11/14 - 5/11/14


Flying Birthday Visit

I'd been to Iceland for 4 days once before, in July 2001.  I wasn't sure whether going in late autumn would be such a cunning idea, given the length of the days and what I assumed would be really bad weather.  Mind you, it had rained pretty much the whole time in July and hit a maximum of 13C AND it was Ste's birthday on 4 November and you can't really change when that falls.  He might be a queen, he's not the Queen, so doesn't get two birthdays.  So, off we went just for 2 nights, just literally to go somewhere cool (perhaps in both senses) to celebrate his 22nd.

I wanted everything to be really special, so we had valet parking (oooh get us) and then continued proceedings with free food and drink in the Manchester airport business lounge.  It was Ste's first visit to one, and one he made the most of.  I think he managed to pack away four bacon rolls, which is probably a good proportion of some poor pig's entire leg.  We flew Icelandair, which was really calm, classy and lovely.  I was surprised it was only a 2.5 hour flight, given we started a bit further north than London to start with.

Free food \o/ Free Food \o/

We arrived about 3pm to the most utterly brilliant blue skies and sunshine imaginable.  Iceland's landscape is like no other.  There are volcanoes, lava fields, the dramatic coast line, and miles and miles of unspoilt nothing.  It was spectacular to see it all so clearly.

I'd looked into packages with the various excursions I wanted to do included, but decided a hire car and doing it ourselves would be much more flexible, and more pleasant than hanging around for transfer buses etc.  So we picked up our little VW Polo and our first stop was the Blue Lagoon, which is between Keflavik airport and the capital Reykjavik, just under an hour away.  The first thing I checked was for the snowflake symbol on the tyres: yup, it has snow tyres and they were going to come in handy quite unexpectedly the following day.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a dream location.  It's a large man-made pool with water from the neighbouring geothermal plant, and it's surrounded by blackened lava fields.  The water comes out of the ground at absurdly high temperatures and pressures, but by the time it reaches the pool it's "only" around 39C.  That is the most delightful temperature on a day where it's 2C, as it was for us.   There's a typically beautiful Nordic glass, wood and steel complex where you get changed, can shower and eat... and then step straight into the milky blue water of the lagoon.  You can see the sun going down behind Ste and the steam coming off the water.  Heaven.

Blue Lagoon Posterboy!


People advised me on Twitter that the "in water massage" couldn't be missed, so I thought what the heck, it's his birthday and we've come all this way.  So I booked us each one, not knowing what to expect.  It's pretty much what it says on the label: you lie on a table in the water for the first part, then they transfer you to a float while they massage your head, shoulders and face.  You're wrapped in a warm towel the whole time, and when you're on your back it feels like you're in amniotic fluid.  You finish up in some kind of trance: it's an amazing, amazing experience.

Ste back in the womb

The water at the lagoon is very rich in silica and other minerals: apparently it's extremely good for people with various skin conditions.  You can scoop it up off the bottom of the pool, or there are barrels of it where you can paste it all over your face.  We of course couldn't resist the opportunity of this and had to do a double-selfie.  Look at the colour of the sky behind us: during the 3 hours we spent there it went from brilliant sunshine, through sunset into the most perfect clear night with stars visible with zero light pollution.  The Lagoon stays open until 8pm off-season and up to 11pm in the summer.

SMILE: It's Halloween!
Reykjavik

By the time we headed on to the hotel to check in the temperature was down to about -2C.   The roads are smooth, straight and easy to drive on and we checked in about 8.30pm.  We stayed at the Hilton Nordica, which I can't praise more highly.  Hiltons can be a bit [a lot] characterless and bland, but this one had some real Nordic design flair about it, including the stunning 11 storey central spiral staircase.  They upgraded us to a gorgeous junior suite too, which is always guaranteed to get me to write a nice review on Tripadvisor. Yes, I am that cheap/easy. 

Not often you feel the need to photo a hotel staircase

An added bonus for us of the Hilton for me was the unexpected surprise of finding that Reykjavik's best vegetarian restaurant is literally a minute away, across the road.  It's called Glo and serves huge, healthy, organic, delicious veggie meals in a really stylish environment.  I hate veggie restaurants that look like grotty student dives where a free helping of food poisoning comes with every meal, so this was bliss.

Even better there was a gaggle of chatty lesbians having supper, which added to the atmosphere.  Iceland is famously LGBT friendly (they had the first out lesbian PM, social democrat Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir back in 2009) and it's worth just noting that we didn't have a moment's awkwardness checking into the hotel or at any other time in the visit.  In fact, the only time we've had any awkwardness anywhere about being a same sex couple was in a supposed trendy urban hotel in Shoreditch (the Hoxton: yeah you deserve to be named and shamed, fuck you) and in a tea rooms in North Wales where presumably if my partner had been a sheep all would have been fine.

We pottled down to the centre of Reykjavik after supper for a walk round.  Almost 2/3 of the country's 325,000 inhabitants live in and around the capital, but it feels like a small, cosy, typically Nordic town.  The houses are brightly painted, often with metal or wooden sides, it's prosperous, tidy and safe.  90% of all buildings in Iceland are heated by free, endlessly renewable geothermal power, so the air is clean.  Although the country took a real battering during the 2008 economic crisis, GDP per capita is still $50,000 and unemployment is under 4.5%.

Hallgrímskirkja. Try saying that when you're drunk.

My favourite building here is the parliament building: the AlþingiIt's the world's oldest parliament, dating back to 930, but the building it's located in looks like a British provincial town hall.  It's so wonderfully understated.  I started boring Ste about the linguistic meaning ("All" means everything, or great in old Germanic, and a "thing" is a meeting) but the sub-zero temperatures were making his eyes glaze over.  I think it was the temperature, anyway.  The Hallgrímskirkja Church towers over the capital from every angle and is a futuristic 1930s art-deco design.  It's looks all very Gotham City.  Apart from that, Reykjavik is charming enough, but to be frank it's not a reason for visiting the country.

BIRTHDAY BOY

I woke Ste up at 6.30am, which is always guaranteed to go down well.  You can see how full of beans and the joys of life he is in the photo below.  The point of the card is that it contained his surprise: "This card entitles the lucky birthday boy to a 1.5 hour Husky Ride Experience with Dog Sledding Iceland.  Begins at 10.00am on 4 November 2014. Bring gloves, a coat and a camera!"  The cuddly husky that accompanied the card is the one I photographed for the front a few weeks before and ordered from Moonpig.  We later christened him "Grauman" after the cutest, naughtiest, husky in the pack that pulled our sleigh.  He had to wear a cone when he wasn't out working, to stop him from licking his balls, which is always endearing.

It's awake! Birthday Boy :-)

The husky ride was 1.5 hours drive from the hotel, in the south of Iceland.  It was still pitch black until well past 9am, which is interesting.  One of the main arguments against Britain going onto double-summer time (i.e. being in the same time zone as almost all the rest of the EU) is that the Scots don't want it to be dark in the morning in the winter.  Iceland is far further north than Scotland, and by rights should be an hour behind us because of their geographic position.  Instead they've chosen to be in the same time zone as Britain, so that it stays lighter later in the evening.  The flipside of that is it's dark in the mornings, and they're apparently happy with this.  Today, for example, sunrise was at 10.40am in Reykjavik and sunset was at 3.52pm.  If I had the choice I'd do just the same.  Sunrise in London today would be at 8.42am and sunset at 4.56pm, if we did the same thing Iceland does.

Husky Ride

So after a nice long hotel breakfast we drove off, in the dark, and arrived at the isolated farm where the huskies spend their time when they're not up on a glacier for the summer season, or on lower snow covered land in the winter.  This meant it was a ride on a sleigh with wheels, over dry land.  It was pretty much the same experience (particularly the "cold factor" given the 1C temperature and rain) and we had 8 dogs pulling us.  Working in those temperatures for them is apparently the equivalent of us running a half marathon in the tropics: they can't be pushed too hard as it really is warm for them.

Husky Ride!

They're technically Greenlandic Dogs, rather than Siberian Huskies.  Each can pull up to 200kg on their own, so they made light weight of us, even despite breakfast and Ste's bacon rolls the day before.  We were seated and the lovely musher stood behind us and talked to us throughout about the dogs.  Here's a short video of the part of the proceedings!  At the end we got to meet all the dogs in person, including one who had been the star of David Guetta/ Sia's mesmerising She Wolf video, filmed in Iceland. Apparently she's all full of herself now she's a movie star.  Below is real life Grauman back in his run.  Bless him: he was SO happy pulling the sleigh, and so miserable when he had his cone put back on his head.

Poor Licky Balls :(
Doing dog-related is bound to make Ste incredibly happy, and I think he thought the day's treats were over after we'd given the huskies cuddles.  Instead I told him to get in the car as we had more places to visit.

Geysir

We left the south coast behind as the rain really set in late morning.  It was around 1.5 hours to our next stop, which was north and a lot higher geographically.  I hadn't really thought that it would snow, but all of a sudden the rain changed to sleet, then a few kilometres on to thick white snowflakes.  The roads are untreated, and this would cause utter chaos back home.

Winter Wonderland

Everyone is driving on winter tyres though (including us, remember?!) and I was amazed at how the little Volkswagen handled with them.  Going up hills or around roundabouts, all through fresh snow, proved to be no issue whatsoever. The scenery became beyond beautiful, especially with the snow.  It was even better than I'd remembered it from my trip before in 2001.

We stopped for lunch at Geysir, which gives its name to all geysers in English - it was the first hot water spring of this type known to Europeans.  I was really impressed there was no entry charge to pay: you just park and wander up freely.  It's actually a collection of springs and sulphorous pools bubbling out of the ground, with Strokkur doing all the money-shot work, as Geysir himself has temporarily stopped blowing water.  Apparently he will start up again after the next earthquake in the area. 

In the meantime Ste decided to play with his little geezer in the car park, which I thought made quite a charming pic.  The geysir "blows" about every 5-8 minutes and there's always a massive "ooooh" from the assembled crowd, followed by a "did you get it?".  The snowy sky doesn't do the scene justice: if you are here on a sunny day the photographs are absolutely stunning.  That said, do click here on this link to me videoing the whole thing with Ste's obligatory "did you get it?" at the end.

That guy is smoking!
Gullfoss Waterfall

From Geysir it's only around half an hour to Gullfoss, the next surprise on the trip: Iceland's Golden Waterfall.  It's the largest in Europe and apparently more impressive than Niagra.  It's a three-staged staircase that ends up in a 100 foot drop and was magnificent in summer.  In winter we just stood entranced for ages (well, between selfies anyway).  I feel this is worthy of several photos for the album, so here we go:

The main "Staircase". Look at the cold in my eyes!


To get an idea of scale, those are two people on the right

Double Selfie. No he isn't far taller than me. He's on a rock.

Our trusty little Volkswagen Polo hire car.

Afternoon Tea

It was now late afternoon, so we drove back through the Þingvellir National Park the 2.5 hours or so to Reykjavik for Ste's last birthday treat.  The whole way beautiful view after beautiful view greeted us.  It stopped snowing, the sun came out and then dusk arrived.  We got back, had a hot shower, and then it was time for Icelandic Afternoon Tea at the Hilton.

We do love a good afternoon tea!

I obviously had the veggie version, but we're not convinced that Ste didn't have both reindeer and puffin for his.  I particularly love the way Ste is mainly vegetarian when I'm not around, and then sensitively eats anything that breathes when I'm present. And SORRY KIDS, if Father Christmas doesn't make it this year with all your presents you'll know why.  Ste ate Rudolph.

Bye bye Rudolph, Donner and Blitzen

With that it was time to snuggle up in the world's most comfortable hotel bed, watching TV, and getting an early night for our 8am flight back to Manchester the following day.  Ste gave me the most incredibly perfect birthday in Beijing in April, so I did my best to return the favour.

Iceland, EEA and Schengen

After we returned the car and checked in at the airport, I mused how irritating it was that we had to go to a separate section of the airport reserved for US and UK flights.  Yes, Iceland is in Schengen and has signed up to the EU free movement of people as part of its membership of the EEA.  Anyone from within the EU can live and work here and claim its no doubt extremely generous social benefits if people were driven to do such things (they aren't). 

I thought about all those things you hear about Britain being a special case (We're an island! Our space is limited and our resources would be put under unbearable strain! They would all come pouring over to take advantage of our benefits!) would seem to apply far more so to a socially minded country like Iceland with just 325,000 inhabitants. Yet you can take a flight from Warsaw or Budapest to Reykjavik with no passport check and there's no equivalent of entering Fortress Britain.  In fact Iceland relies hugely on immigration to get the skills it requires and has no issue about the passportless European free travel zone that Schengen represents.

2014: A Year for Travel

This year was a phenomenal one for me with foreign travel.  I keep a little record of where I've been to each year and a grand total (currently 65 countries visited ever).  A "good year" averages about 14 countries a year for me.  Three times I've been to 17 countries in a single year.  2014 was a new record: from China to New Zealand to Iceland to Australia to all round Europe, I visited 22 countries this year.

World Domination Plans continue..  65 countries and counting!

It was the year in which I visited the land of the red earth, and the land of ice.  And on that note I'll leave these two beautiful images of similarly sized massive lumps of rock that sum up my 2014 travels for me.  The first photo was at Ayer's Rock (Uluru) in Australia in February.  It was 40C.  The second was at the Þingvellir National Park in Iceland in November.  It was -2C.  What a contrast.  The world holds so many treasures: here's to much more exploration in the coming years!

Fire

Ice

Friday, 28 November 2014

Ceiling limit for purchasing goods in CSD canteens






Parliament Question & Answer - Ceiling of purchasing in 'Military Canteens'





Yes, there is ceiling for purchasing grocery items in CSD Canteens for all categories card holders.





Canteen Stores Department (CSD) Canteens, which is familiar to known as Military Canteens, every card holder can only purchase within the limit and minimum of Rs.3500 per month. This topic discussed in Parliament today, Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar said in a written reply to a question regarding this subject as follows…






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AICPIN for the Month of October 2014 – Labour Bureau Press Release








Expected DA from Jan 2015 





Press Release has been published by Labour Bureau today regarding the statistics of Consumer Price Index, particularly for the calculation of Dearness allowance issued to the employees working under Central Government…





DA from Jan 2015 is almost confirmed by 6%...






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Relaxation to travel by private airlines to visit J&K – Dopt orders on 28.11.2014







Entitled and not entitled officers to travel by air may also travel by private airlines subject to the conditions laid in the previous orders.


(i) Officers entitled to travel by air may also travel by private airlines from their headquarters; 


(ii) Officers not entitled to travel by air may be permitted to travel by private airlines between Delhi /Amritsar and any place in J&K.



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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Digital Life Certificate for Pensioners – Aadhaar based biometric verification system








Aadhaar enabled authentication of Digital Life Certificate for pensioners.  





This being an important step in realizing the vision of Digital India, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has desired that the system is fully operationalised by the end of November 2014 and PMO to be informed of progress by 1st week of December, 2014.






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No CSD Canteen Facility for Para Military(CAPF) personnel








CSD Canteen Facility for Retired Para Military(CAPF) personnel in Rohru, Shimla





Canteen Stores Department (CSD) facility is applicable to serving and retired personnel of Defence Forces and not to Para-Military





Hon’ble Member Shri Bashistha Narain Singh asked in Parliament yesterday about the eligibility of CSD Canteen facility for retired Para Military (CAPF) Personnel in Rohru and he also questioned that any proposal to open CSD Canteens in Rohru, Shimla(HP) .





The Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju replied in written form in Parliament as follows…






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New Holiday Home at Madurai – Advance Booking Starts from Dec 2014










Commencement of Booking of New Holiday Home at Madurai with effect from 1.12.2014





One more new and fresh Holiday Home has been commenced at Madurai for Central Government Employees and Officers. As per the notification issued by the Directorate of Estates, arrangements started for advance booking for 20 suites in the heart of the Temple City Madurai.





Madurai is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu. It is the second largest city and urban agglomeration in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, after Chennai and the sixteenth largest urban agglomeration of India.





The booking office is located at Plot No. C.1, Tamil Nagar, Koodal Pudur, Anaiyur (P.O.), Madurai, Pin – 625017 (Tamil Nadu) and the online booking also started from 1st December 2014. Contact numbers for the ‘Madurai Holiday Home Booking Office’ is 0452-2661891 and 2661892.






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Next 7th Pay Commission Meeting at Jodhpur from 12th to 15th December






7th Central Pay Commission is proposed to visit Jodhpur to meet the CG Employees Associations and Trade Union delegates from 12th to 15th December, 2014.





The Commission, headed by its Chairman, Justice Shri A. K. Mathur, proposes to visit Jodhpur from 12th to 15th December, 2014. The Commission would like to invite various entities/associations/federations representing any/all categories of employees covered by the terms of reference of the Commission to present their views.





Your request for a meeting with the Commission may be sent through e-mail to the Secretary, 7th Central Pay Commission at secy-7cpc@nic.in. The memorandum already submitted by the requesting entity may also be sent as an attachment with this e-mail.






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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Yoga Classes for Central Government employees and their dependents – Dopt orders





Yoga sessions in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi for the benefit of Central Government employees and their dependents at Grih Kalyan Kendra w.e.f. 01.12.2014. The yoga sessions will be held in the morning 7-9 AM at the above said venues for six days in a week (Monday to Saturday).



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SCOVA meeting with Standing Groups including National Council (Staff Side) JCM







Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) meeting with Standing Groups including National Council (Staff Side) JCM will be scheduled to be held in the January, 2015. The details of the date, time and venue of the meeting will follow. The meeting will be chaired by the Hon’ble Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Pubic Grievances & Pensions.



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Latest news on Retirement Age – Extension in Retirement Age of Scientists










Latest news on Retirement Age – Extension in Retirement Age of Scientists





While answering to a question in Lok Sabha today regarding the retirement age of scientists, Dr.Harsh Vardhan said that this issue is under consideration of a Committee.





Press Information Bureau


Government of India


Ministry of Science & Technology





26-November-2014 16:10 IST





Extension in Retirement Age of Scientists





The Government has received any proposals to enhance the retirement age of scientists to 62 from the present age of 60 years. The issue is under consideration of a Committee.



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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

CGHS Hospitals under surveillance by the aegis of CGHS Officer to check irregularities including exploitation of patients








CGHS Hospitals under surveillance by the aegis of CGHS Officer to check irregularities including exploitation of patients





While replying to a question in Parliament today, Minster of Health & Family Welfare Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda said that to ensure that the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Agreement are followed scrupulously by the empanelled hospitals, a monitoring cell under the aegis of a senior officer of CGHS has been established to check irregularities including exploitation of patients”,





Treatment by CGHS empanelled hospitals in emergency cases



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One Rank-One Pension (OROP) formula has since been implemented or not..? Question raised today in Parliament







One Rank-One Pension (OROP) formula has since been implemented or not..? Question raised today in Parliament





Whether Government’s decision to grant pension to the retired personnel of the Defence Forces as per “One Rank-One Pension (OROP)” formula has since been implemented





If not, the reasons for the delay; and





By when this scheme is likely to be implemented? these questions asked by the Hon’ble Member Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in Parliament today and the Minister of Defence Shri Manohar Parrikar replied as follows…



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Monday, 24 November 2014

Air India Domestic LTC Fare List - 3rd November 2014








Air India Domestic Fare list updated with LTC Scheme – LTC Fare List Nov 2014





Journey by Air Travel while availing LTC, stipulating that the orders insisting to travel by Air India only.





Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ officers (Gazetted and Non-Gazetted) are entitled to travel by Air to NER on LTC. Other employees are entitled to travel by Air to NER from Guwahati or Kolkata airport only.





One more restriction of travel by Air India only need not apply to non-entitled employees who travel by air and claim LTC reimbursement by entitled class of rail.



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Income Tax Exemption Slab Could be Raised Further: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Informs








Income Tax Exemption Slab Could be Raised Further: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Informs





“I have no intention of burdening the salaried and middle classes by imposing heavy taxes on them. At the same time, I’m not going to let tax evaders get away. I’m going to bring them into the tax-payers circle,” Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley said.





“Salaried middle class people are paying more in direct taxes. If you ask me, I’d suggest that their direct tax burden should be reduced and if you could ensure that they get their full salaries, they will spend more. You can thus collect the money from them through indirect taxes,” he said.



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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Whether 7th Pay Commission proposes to submit Interim Report?








Is Interim Relief Likely for Central Government Employees?





Is it really possible for Central Government employees to get an interim relief this time? Let us look at it in detail.





‘Interim Relief’ may be defined as the temporary relief given to employees before the new Pay Commission’s recommendations are implemented. ‘Interim relief will be treated sui generis’, most of the Finance Ministry orders included the sentence when sanctioning interim relief.





If one looks at the interim relief granted in 1983 and 1993, it can also be inferred that interim relief is granted in order to correct the errors in salary revision once every ten years. One gets the feeling as if an entire Pay Commission was lost simply for the sake of a small hike.



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DA Merger and Interim Relief to be discussed in the National Convention of NC JCM Meeting – INDWF Circular








Important issues of DA Merger and Interim Relief to be discussed in the National Convention of NC JCM Meeting which will be held on 11.12.2014 – INDWF Circular





INTUC


INDIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE WORKERS FEDERATION





INDWF/Circular/012/2014


Date : 17.11.2014


To


All Office Bearers and Working Committee Members,


INDWF





Sub: Holding of National Convention of the National Council (JCM) Staff Side – reg.


Ref: National Council (JCM) Staff Side circular No.NC.JCM/2014/SC Dated 25.10.2014



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Acceptance of Digital Life Certificate based on Aadhaar Biometric Authentication as a valid life certificate








Central Pension Accounting Office issued amendment orders for the authentication of Digital Life Certificate obtained from the website of jeevanpramaan.gov.in





Government of India


Ministry of Finance


Department of Expenditure


Central Pension Accounting Office


Trikoot II, Bhikaji Cama Place


New Delhi 110 066





CPAO/Tech/Amdt.-Sch.Book/2014-15/720


dated: 14.11.2014


OFFICE MEMORANDUM





Reference is invited to Correction Slip No.12 dated-10.11.2014 issued to facilitate acceptance of digital life certificate based on Aadhaar Biometric Authentication. The detailed process off getting digital life certificate issued for pensioners to be followed by banks and pensioners is hereby enclosed for necessary guidance.



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Employment News Weekly Highlights – Latest Vacancies for this week




This week Employment News Weekly Report brings some important vacancies for young Indian job seekers...






Every week Employment News Weekly is publishing the new job lists for young unemployed youth. Ordnance factories requires 97 vacancies of LDC, Supervisor, (Teacher (Primary), Laboratory Assistant, Steno etc…


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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Aadhar enabled bio-metric attendance system – Early leaving is also to be treated as late coming…





"As per existing instructions, half a-day’s casual leave should be debited for each day of late attendance, but late attendance upto an hour, on not more than two occasions in a month"...





Govt introduces Aadhar enabled bio-metric attendance system





The Centre on Friday decided to phase-out manual attendance system and use an Aadhar enabled bio-metric attendance system (AEBAS) in all its offices.





“It has been decided to use an Aadhar enabled bio-metric attendance system in all offices of the central government, including attached and sub-ordinate offices, in India,” said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).





Aadhar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the central government.





The system will be installed in the offices located in New Delhi by this year end.



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Friday, 21 November 2014

Special benefits in cases of death and disability in service – Pensioners Portal Orders





Special benefits in cases of death and disability in service – Pensioners Portal Orders





No.45/3/2008 – P&PW (F)


Government of India


Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions


Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare





3rd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan,


Khan Market, New Delhi-110003





Dated 20, November, 2014





OFFICE MEMORANDUM





Subject: Special benefits in cases of death and disability in service – Revision of Disability Pension/Family pension of Pre-2006 disability pensioners/Family Pensioners – regarding.





The undersigned is directed to say that the pension of pensioners/family pensioners who were drawing pension/family pension as on 1.1.2006 under the CCS(EOP) Rules was to be revised in accordance with Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare OM NO.38/37/2008-P&P&W(A) dated 1.9.2008. Accordingly, instructions were issued vide this Department OM of even number dated 30th September 2010 for extension of benefits of modified parity to past pensioners’ for revision of disability pension/family pension covered under CCS(EOP) Rules.



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Pensioners Portal Order - Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) to Pensioners enhanced from Rs.300 to Rs.500 w.e.f. 1.09.2008





Pensioners Portal Order - Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) to Pensioners enhanced from Rs.300 to Rs.500 w.e.f. 1.09.2008





At present Fixed Medical Allowance is granted to the Central Government pensioners/family pensioners residing in areas not covered under Central Government Health Scheme administered by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and corresponding health schemes administered by other Ministries/Departments for their retired employees for meeting expenditure on their day-to-day medical expenses that do not require hospitalization. Orders were issued vide this Department’s O.M. of even no. dated 26.05.2010 for enhancement of the amount of Fixed Medical Allowance from Rs. 100/- to Rs. 300/-p.m. w.e.f. 1.09.2008.



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Aadhar Based Bio-Metric Attendance System for all Central Govt Employees before 26.1.2015








 Dopt said in the order that the Aadhar Based Bio-Metric Attendance system will be installed in the offices located in Delhi/ New Delhi by 31st December 2014. In other places this may be installed by 26th January 2015.





Biometric attendance system is only an enabling platform. There is no change in the instructions relating to office hours, late attendance etc. which will continue to apply. 





Introduction of Aadhar Enabled Bio-metric Attendance System - Dopt Orders issued on 21.11.2014



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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Dopt Orders on Advice of the UPSC to be communicated to the delinquent Government servant



Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 – Advice of the UPSC to be communicated to the delinquent Government servant – Amendment – regarding.





The Disciplinary Authority shall forward or cause to be forwarded to UPSC for its advice:





A copy of the report of the Inquiring Authority together with its own tentative reasons for disagreement, if any, with the findings of Inquiring Authority on any article of charge; and





Comments on the representation of the Government servant on the Inquiry report and disagreement note, if any, with all the case records of the inquiry proceedings.



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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Permission for Commercial Employment after Retirement of CG Employees – Dopt orders



Permission for Commercial Employment after Retirement of CG Employees – Dopt orders





Procedure for grant of permission to the pensioners for commercial employment after retirement – revision of Form 25.





Retired Government servants proposing to take up commercial employment within a year of retirement are required to seek permission from the Government. They are required to apply for permission in Form 25 of CCS(Pension) Rules…



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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Central Government invites suggestions from Pensioners, Pensioners Associations, Banks and concerned Ministries/Departments










Central Government invites suggestions from Pensioners, Pensioners Associations, Banks and concerned Ministries/Departments





Central Government has decided to invite suggestions form the stakeholders, Pensioners, Pensioners Associations, Banks and concerned Ministries/Departments. An Office Memorandum issued by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare today, specially for improving the functioning of the Department and welfare of pensioners and also simplifying rules and procedures. The original order is reproduced and given below…



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Public Holidays 2015 for Banks – Government Notification for Delhi, Daman&Diu, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, West Bengal etc..








Public Holidays 2015 for Banks – Government Notification for Delhi, Daman&Diu, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, West Bengal etc..





Branches of banks working on Sundays observe their weekly-off on any other day of the week as decided by the Bank and notified to members of staff and public. Therefore, all Sundays will be working days for Sunday working branches, except those Sundays declared as holidays by the Central/ State Government/Union Territory for a specified festival/occasion in a particular year, under the Negotiable Instruments Act.



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Digital Life Certificate for Pensioners from Jeevan Pramaan website



Digital Life Certificate for Pensioners from Jeevan Pramaan website





Jeevan Pramaan is a biometric enabled digital service for pensioners. Pensioners of Central Government, State Government or any other Government organization can take benefit of this facility.





How it Works


Jeevan Pramaan uses the Aadhaar platform for biometric authentication of the pensioner.


A successful authentication generates the Digital Life Certificate which gets stored in the Life Certificate Repository. The Pension Disbursing Agencies can access the certificate on-line.



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NATIONAL CONVENTION OF JCM NATIONAL COUNCIL STAFF SIDE ON 11TH DECEMBER 2014



JCM, National Council, Staff Side is organizing a National Convention on 11.12.2014





NATIONAL CONVENTION OF JCM NATIONAL COUNCIL STAFF SIDE ON 11TH DECEMBER 2014





UNITED MOVEMENT OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES


NATIONAL CONVENTION OF JCM


NATIONAL COUNCIL STAFF SIDE


ON 11TH DECEMBER 2014





JCM, National Council, Staff Side organizations will be organizing a National Convention of all Central Government Employees at New Delhi on 11.12.2014. Railway, Defence & Confederation will participate in the convention. Convention will declare future course of action. DA merger, Interim Relief, Date of effect of 7th CPC inclusion of GDS under 7th CPC etc are the main demands.



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Suspension of empanelment of Dr. Khannaís Path Care Pvt. Ltd. Delhi.


Suspension of empanelment of Dr. Khannaís Path Care Pvt. Ltd. Delhi.




No. 22-1/2013/CGHS/GE


Government of India


Ministry of Health & Family Welfare


Directorate General of Central Govt. Health Scheme




Maulana Azad Road, Nirman Bhawan


New Delhi 110 108, dated the 14th November, 2014




OFFICE ORDER



Subiect: Suspension of empanelment of Dr. Khannaís Path Care Pvt. Ltd. Delhi.




With reference to the above mentioned matter, the undersigned is directed to draw attention to the Office Memorandum of even No. vide which Dr. Khanna's Path Care Pvt. Ltd., A-43, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016 was empanelled under CGHS and to state that Dr. Khannaís Path Care Pvt. Ltd., Delhi had violated the terms & conditions of MoA signed with CGHS by indulging in fraudulent practices. 



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Important message for employees retiring within the next three months


Important message for employees retiring within the next three months




PRE - RETIREMENT COUNSELLING WORKSHOP



Important message for employees retiring within the next three months




The Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare is organizing a Pre-retirement counselling workshop on 25th, November, 2014 from 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM in the Conference Room of Department of Administrative Reforms, 5th Floor, Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi. 



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DA MERGER – INTERIM RELIEF – DATE OF EFFECT OF 7TH CPC RECOMMENDATIONS FROM 01.01.2014 – INCLUSION OF GDS IN 7TH CPC ETC…










DA MERGER – INTERIM RELIEF – DATE OF EFFECT OF 7TH CPC RECOMMENDATIONS FROM 01.01.2014 – INCLUSION OF GDS IN 7TH CPC ETC…





CONFEDERATION INTENSIFIES STRUGGLE





MASS SQUATTING





On 18th November 2014




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It's Been Fun

I deleted my Twitter account a couple of weeks ago to take a break and think about whether I still wanted to engage in social media.  The immediate trigger for that was someone I thought was an actual friend deliberately being a nasty jerk to me online (subtweeting about my search for a new puppy after losing my dog Oscar, no less...), but I've taken a step back and thought about the bigger picture.

I've had some wonderful times on Twitter and with blogging over the last five years or so.  I've seen Twitter grow from a tiny community where everyone seemed to know each other into a much broader and more popular way of communicating.  In some ways that's a great thing: it's supposed to be about the free flow of ideas, chatting to people in all fields of life that you might not ordinarily have access to, and broadening your horizons.  I've met up with about 200 people from Twitter in real life and developed some lovely friendships.  I've even met the boyfriend of my dreams on here, and in Spring we'll be celebrating three years together.  Somehow I've picked up just shy of 5000 followers, even though I really don't have that much of substance to tweet about.

However, I've noticed that Twitter has also lost much of its innocence over the years.  It's become a place where there's a lot of abuse and nastiness just because people "can".  I remember the shock of this type of thing happening the first time and how it sent ripples of upset through the community I knew online.  Now we've become numbed to it: people throw out threats, abuse, hatred, take it onto themselves to language/thought police strangers, and argue endlessly for absolutely no constructive purpose whatsoever.  It's only the very worst stuff that gets any attention.  The constant low-level criticism, judgmentalism and fractious abusive sniping doesn't even register any more.   It may be amplified for me because of the "curse of the 2000 followers" that people talk about: your tweets get retweeted outside your familiar circle much more widely above this level, and it invites people who don't know you to kick off aggressive arguments and attacks.  Whatever the reason, I'm experiencing it more and more.  I just don't come online to receive abuse from strangers; and even if you block them straight off, a bit of a bitter taste remains.

As an example of this, two weeks ago I had a serious of four anonymous trolling comments on this blog, apropos nothing, calling me a "fucking sodomite", an "anti-white bigoted cunt", a "Muslim lover", telling me to go back to my "London shit-hole and die of AIDS surrounded by my immigrant chums" and calling me "a Euro-loving, bum-banging, left-wing, immigrant-loving, shirt-lifting cunt".  It contained a number of threats and ended by wishing that a Muslim cut "my fucking head off".  This was from someone purporting to live in my sleepy little home village in Suffolk, which I seriously doubt.  The funny thing is of course I'm pretty middle of the road politically, and hardly a raving Marxist.  God knows what type of abuse those we tweet or blog regularly on political matters attract.  In one respect it's all completely laughable, but on another it's not exactly pleasant to receive on a Saturday morning, even if I know it shouldn't be taken seriously, and it's just a keyboard warrior wanking him or herself into a frenzy.  I'd like to say this was an isolated example, but it's not: it's happened before, and it will happen again. 

I am also capable of putting it into context and know that the nastiness online is less than 1% of all the interactions I have.  This blog has had over 640,000 views since I set it up in January 2011 with my first piece, which was a eulogy to my then recently deceased grandmother.  That's an average of about 5000 readers per post of my 135 articles, which is staggering.  So many people have commented kindly on my thoughts and writing, and I've loved the positive feedback.  It genuinely makes me happy that people want to read what I have to say, and that they want to share it with others. 

On the other hand, it is the 1% that sticks in your mind, even if it shouldn't.  I'm so blessed to have a pretty wonderful "real" life.   I have a beautiful home, travel huge amounts, have a lovely family, good friends, am materially well-off and in great health, our work project to build a gorgeous luxury farm spa retreat is progressing beautifully.  I have a boyfriend I adore and we're about to finally get a new collie puppy together, which just fills me with excitement and happiness.

All that being the case, I have to ask myself why I should let my "real life" be polluted by the online nastiness, the homophobic abuse, and the judgements of others, none of which I would otherwise ever experience offline.  I'd simply never put up with this to my face from friends, family, colleagues or strangers -  so I've started querying why I should voluntarily allow notifications to flash up on my phone with this thing.  Another aspect is that although I'm not the one sending this stuff, I do feel it is my responsibility if I allow it to continue.  If it's bothering me, I should move away from the harm.  And if I conduct a simple cost/benefit analysis of my whole online experience, I'm afraid the costs now outweigh the benefits for me. 

Therefore, it's time to close up shop and delete my account for good.  I'll let the minority of unpleasant people I've come across stew in their own unhappiness and unpleasantness.  I just don't want or need to be part of it.  I know others feel very differently about Twitter and I hope you go on enjoying it as much as I once did.  I really like and care about many of you who be reading this.  I'm sorry if you'll miss me, and I'm sure I'll miss you too.

As for my blog, there's little point in continuing to blog on a regular basis, as my posts won't ever get the readership they did before without a platform to promote them.  That said, I'd like this to be farewell, but not goodbye - so I will be writing the odd personal blog post from time to time if anyone is interested, with updates on the farm project, pictures of the puppy, and photos of our various adventures abroad (For a start, Ste is meeting my entire German family just before Christmas for the first time.  The only German he knows is what I taught him, namely: when you sneeze and someone says "Gesundheit", you answer "Kartoffelsalat".  That might not be entirely correct, so this could be interesting).   You're more than welcome to drop by here and have a look.  I've disabled anonymous comments though, as that's one thing I definitely won't miss. 

Thanks to anyone who's ever interacted with me pleasantly on Twitter, who's amused or cheered me up, taught me something new, or who I've got to know well enough to have considered an online friend.

And as ever, thanks for reading my blog.

Macht's gut!

Peter

[Insert suitably cheesy smiling pic]









Monday, 17 November 2014

Dopt orders on amendment of provisions of the CCS (Joining Time) Rules





Amendment of provisions of the CCS (Joining Time) Rules, 1979





For appointment to posts under the Central Government on the results of a competitive examination and/or interview open to Government servants and others, Central Government employees and permanent/ State Government employees will be entitled to joining time under these rules in case such Government servants opt for having their past service in the Central/State Government counted for all purposes in the Central Government.






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7th CPC DA Calculation – Important factor of AICPI (IW) BY 2001 continue or not..?








7th CPC DA Calculation – Important factor of AICPI (IW) BY 2001 continue or not..?





Dearness Allowance is one of the important issues that the Pay Commission deals with. The calculation method that was recommended by the 6th Pay Commission was radically different from the ones suggested by all the previous Pay Commissions. Dearness Allowance, which was increasing by 1 or 2% until the 5th Pay Commission suddenly shot up to the peak of double-digit numbers.





Until the 5th CPC, the Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers 1982 = 100 was used for calculating dearness allowance. From the 6th Pay Commission onwards, CPI (IW) 2001=100 was used for calculating the DA.





There was another crucial change that the 6th CPC made. It recommended that the Reference Base Index be changed from 306.33. As a result, 115.76 became the new Reference Base Index from 01.01.2006 onwards.





Will the 7th CPC introduce a new CPI (IW)? Or will it bring about changes in the Reference Base Index?





This is something that everybody wants to know.





Just watch the difference between 5th and 6th CPC DA Calculation methods…