"Postman - Brand Ambassador of India Post"
India Post is all set for a facelift. The Department of Posts (DoP), represented by the unassuming Postman, will shortly add another role for him as Postal Business Correspondent.
The postmen will not be only responsible for the delivery of the mails/money order as they have been doing traditionally. Instead, they will work as the business correspondents of the India Post. They will sell other services of India Post like, speed post, registered post, logistics post, electronic money order (EMO), postal life insurance, and rural postal life insurance, saving banks etc.
India post has unveiled an ambitious plan to train its 55000 postmen as the business correspondents to take on the challenges of market and competitors, chief Postmaster General Mrs. Hilda Abraham said at Bhubaneswar while inaugurating a five day "training of trainers" on Monday at the city-based B-school, Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB). Twenty five officers from different parts of the country are participating in training programme.
"XIMB will be training about 200 trainers of India Post to train the Postmen. It is a gigantic task to train all the Postmen because of their huge number, diversity in their working languages, difficult working conditions, and more than 150 years of history of the department," coordinator of the training programme and XIMB faculty, prof Niraj Kumar on Tuesday told "The ET".
These trainers are being trained to train the Postmen in skills in business etiquettes, customer relationship management, self initiatives and work planning. It is planned to convert postmen into a professional postal business correspondents by providing trainings in their business approach and also in their presentation skills.
"You should not be surprised if you find a smartly dressed postman delivering you a speed post with all professional business etiquette," added Prof. Kumar.
In its bid to bridge the gap of about Rs.6000 crore in revenue generation and expenditure, Indian post is looking to tap the non-core business opportunity to enhance its revenue generation. "Our government has made a lot of capital investment in India Post, particularly in 11th Plan, and now we need to take benefits of those investments. This is right time to grab the opportunity to give good competition to competing organizations not only in our core business, mail delivery but also in other services which we are offering. Our Postmen could be the brand ambassador of India Post" Mrs. Abraham said.
"Entire country has been divided in to four regions and during the initial phase 50 officers from each region will be trained who will have responsibility of training of the postmen of given region. While selecting the potential trainers, India Post is ensuring that all the language and geographical conditions are adequately represented" informed Prof. Niraj Kumar.
XIMB had done a detailed training need analysis of the Postmen before developing the training module. The B-school has done training need analysis of selected front line officers of India Post, like, assistant superintendent of Posts (ASPs), Inspector of Posts (IP), and Postmen. In first stage, XIMB did the Training Need Analysis of all the Assistant Supdt. of Posts (ASPs) and Inspector of Posts (IP) the middle level most crucial cadre of India Post.
"We identified rural marketing and marketing communication skills, team building and leadership skills, selling techniques and target setting and creating and managing appropriate management information system as the major issues and accordingly trained more than 250 officers from across the country", Mr. Kumar said.
In second stage, XIMB did the training need analysis of Postmen and decided to put the trained officers on the job to train the Postmen as the postal business correspondents. As the Postmen meet many customers personally, it will be easier for them to have one to one communication and to convince the customer.
"Postmen know customers and their requirements very well. In rural areas they are still part of the rural community and with such a huge network, Postmen can play a crucial role to increase contacts with customers and increase business", Mr. Kumar added.
The union government has already earmarked Rs.1877.20 crore for the deployment of the information communication technology (ICT) network over a three year period covering 2010-13. The government is also mulling to give banking license to India Post. The Postal department already works as a quasi bank, providing a host of savings products, postal life insurance, pension payments and money transfer services through its 1.55 lakh branches, more than any other bank.
THE IMPASSE HAS ENDED. THINGS ARE MOVING.
Since last Federal Council, many developments have taken place and in particular, the long stalemate prevailing in the settlement of workers problem has been vanished,
The proposed indefinite strike from 13.7.2010 was deferred due to the positive approach of the secretary, Department of posts and as assured the JCM Departmental Council was also held on 27.08.2010 after a lapse of four years. Many issues were discussed in the meeting. Many favourable orders are also issued. Employees - specific issues are now getting due attention from Secretary, Department of Posts. We have assured our full cooperation in improving the efficiency and productivity of the Department of Posts.
For the consumption of our rank and file and leaders, we are reproducing some of the positive developments we could see during this period.
1. All the DPS Head Quarters of all Circles were summoned to Directorate regarding filling up of vacant posts and more than 16,000 PA/SA Posts have been notified for direct recruitment in all the circles. About 20% of the total approved posts which were kept vacant under residual vacancies etc. are being filled up resulting a sign of relief to the toiling Group 'C' cadres.
2. All the circles have been ordered to fill up all the Postmen vacancies and examinations have been notified for the selection to be held in the month of October/November 2010.
3. Revised Recruitment Rules for Multi tasked staff (MTs) is under the finalizastion stage. Eligible GDS without insisting matriculation Qualification will be promoted to the vacant posts shortly.
4. The GDS Annuity Pension scheme in lieu of severance amount has been notified and it will be effective from 1-1-2011.
5. Secretary has assured that there will be no closure of post offices, RMSoffices and declared that there is no policy decision to outsource the services or privatize the postal services.
6. A Committee has been constituted for discussion on cadre restructuring proposals and it will finalize its proposal before November 2010. All Postmen & other staff are also being brought under the consideration of the said committee. General Secretaries P-3 and R-3 are representatives of NFPE in the cadre restructuring committee.
7. Formation of separate cadre as System Asst. and the problems of the existing systems administrators will be addressed in the Cadre Restructuring committee.
8. A separate committee has been constituted for discussion of Postmen related issues. General SecretaryP4 is the member of the committee from the staff side.
9. The Department directed to constitute a Scrutiny committee at divisional level for scrutinizing the confidential reports of Postmen, Postal Assistants and Sorting Assistants for the preceding 5 years and to consider the possibility of providing one time chance to promote these who were not granted MACP due to application of bench mark.
10. The two years old issue demanding Grade Pay of Rs.1900 & 2000/- on TBOP, BCR respectively to the erstwhile Group 'D' cadre has now settled by an order on 1-9-2010.
11. The demand of no recovery for the past cases of stepping up of pay in TBOP/BCR has been accepted and clarificatory orders were issued.
12. Honorarium for drawal of TRCA arrears to GDS has been finalised and orders were communicated on 26-08-2010. Orders regarding departmental employees already issued.
13. The deduction of staff to the extent of 20% and 6% in supervisory & operative cadres respectively for TBOP & BCR has been withdrawn.
14. A meeting was held on 15-07-2010 with staff side for discussion about mail net work optimizastion programme. Secretary assured that further discussion will be held.
15. Non drawal of HRA to the officials deputed upto 90 days and suspension of quarters beyond 90 days have been clarified properly by the department.
16. The RTP service rendered at APS has been taken as qualifying service for promotion. Our request to extend the same to all RTP candidates has been assured for consideration by conducting a separate meeting.
17. Clarifications sought for the entitlement of hostel subsidy and eligibility of all items related to education had been issued by the department.
18. Clarifications on fixation of pay on promotion after 1-1-2006 had been issued by the department on 06-08-2010.
19. Clarifications that 'Average grading need not disqualify an official from BCR promotion had been issued based on our demand.
20. Orders have been issued that the erstwhile Group 'D' official shall continue to serve in the existing cadres. The Department further agreed to remove the condition of computer knowledge to MTS.
21. Department has caused orders for stepping up of pay of senior direct recruit official with that of junior direct recruit officials.
22. On attaining MACP with grade pay of Rs.4,200/- has been brought under Pay Band 2, which will avert stagnation and ensure higher status and 50% Minimum pension in Pay Band-II. Our argument that Grade Pay and Pay Brand are inseperable has been favourably clarified.
23. MACP made applicable to MMS employees and Artisans Higher Grade Pay issue has been settled.
There are many other developments which are under active consideration and expecting orders at any time.
1. Revised Recruitment rules for HSG-I is being approved by DOPT. All HSG-I posts will be filled up hereafter from General line.
2. Revised Recruitment Rules for PA is under progress. The existing condition of passing the confirmation examination is being deleted.
3. An internal committee has been formed to finalise the revised syllabus for LGO examination.
4. Department forwarded a proposal to Ministry of Finance to double the Split Duty Allowance.
5. Recruitment Rules for Assistant Manager in MMS has been finalised and will be released shortly.
6. Orders for granting officiating pay to HSG-I & HSG-II is under issue.
7. Orders are under issue for granting two additional chances to the officials who have already exhausted 5 or 6 chances in the LGO examination.
8. Secretary agreed to consider the demand of removal of Cycleable distance of 16 Kms. to Postmen for grant of Cycle Allowance.
9. The eligibility to appear LGO exam on two years' service will be considered favourably.
10. The Secretary agreed to consider favourably in the JCM (DC) to discontinue the practice of obtaining fidelity/Guarantee bond from the employees handling cash.
11. Proposal had been forwarded to Ministry of Finance for enhancement of SB incentive.
12. It was agreed to revise the cash allowance to the SPMs handling cash in the absence of Treasurer.
13. Orders will be reiterated soon that women employees should not be posted to anyoffice where basic amenities are not available.
14. Norms for RPLI will be finalised shortly.
15. Orders are expected for the grant of Special allowance to unqualified Accounts as agreed soon.
16. Enhancement of cash limit & other security measures for cash remittance is sunder the consideration of the department.
17. Statement of Balance will be supplied to all officials recruited after 1-1-2004 and brought under New Pension Scheme.
18. Enhancement of Financial Powers to HSG I, HSG II & LSG Postmasters is under active consideration.
19. Separate allotment for computers advance to postmasters/Postal Assistants will be made.
20. Secretary has directed all the Chief PMGs to review the whole issue of staffing in Postal Stores Depot and Stamp Depots.
21. Revised appropriate guidelines are expected from the department on the application of contributory negligence.
22. The Secretary agreed to review conditions restricting the second posting as SPMs in A&B class offices.
23. Honorarium for engaging officials in Departmental examination will be enhanced shortly.
24. It was agreed to consider physically challenged officials for appearing the IPO examination.
25. FSC will be revised very shortly.
26. Honorarium to Divisional office staff for processing RPLI proposals will be revised and brought under incentive.
27. Grant of administrative powers to HSG-I Postmaster in General line to grant earned leave to staff for shorter duration in the absence of casual leave is under active consideration.
The above issues are receiving consideration and we are also seriously pursuing the same regularly. We trust that these issues will be sorted out shortly. Thus we could see a sea change in the attitude of Postal administration and things are moving in right directions as expected. Let us expect the same to continue further. NFPE along with all its affiliated Unions and the GDS Union are working hard for the settlement of important long pending issues which are agitating the minds of the Postal Employees.
-R.Krishnan, Secretary General.
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