Important Achievements of DoT in the year 2017
1. Launch of National EMF Portal: Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched Tarang Sanchar, a web portal of information sharing on Mobile Towers and EMF Emission Compliances, with a view to generate confidence and conviction with regard to safety and harmlessness from mobile towers, clearing any myths and misconceptions. The portal can be accessed at www.tarangsanchar.gov.in.
The EMF portal provides a public interface where an easy map-based search feature has been provided for viewing the mobile towers in vicinity of any locality. By click of a button, information on EMF compliance status of mobile towers can be accessed. Detailed information about any tower site, if requested, will be sent on email to the users. Additionally, any person can request for EMF emission measurement at a location by paying a nominal fee of Rs.4000 online.
Local Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) field unit of DoT will conduct the test (the requestor can be present, if he so desires) and the test reports will be provided. The portal also has ‘EMF Overview’ and ‘Learn’ Sections, which provide numerous articles, booklets and videos, to further educate the citizens about EMF and coverage of telecom services. Public can also access the ‘DoT Initiatives section’ which has various leaflets, articles and Frequently Asked Questions.
The portal has the complete collated technical details of over 16.33 lakh base stations (BTSs), spread across the country, of all technologies (2G, 3G, 4G etc.) and of all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).
2. Public Awareness Programmes on EMF emission issue: The nation-wide Awareness Programme, on EMF Emissions & Telecom Towers to build a direct bridge of engagement between different stakeholders and to fill the information gap with scientific evidence, initiated by DoT in 2016-17, have further been followed up at sub-state level by the TERM field units of DoT so that more and more people are made aware about the scientific facts on health effects of EMF emissions from mobile towers. Pamphlets/Information Brochures on various topics related to EMF have also been published and distributed in various regional languages. These programmes have helped in bringing lot of clarity on this issue and resulted in reduction of new court cases, public grievances and RTI on the related matters.
3. Launch of Satellite based mobile services through Satellite Gateway BSNL: The Department of Telecommunications granted a License under ‘Suigeneris’ category to BSNL on 25.08.2014 for “Provision and Operation of Satellite based service using Gateway installed in India” with all India service area on non-exclusive basis. This work has been carried out by BSNL in partnership with INMARSAT and the Satellite Gateway has been installed at Ghaziabad, UP. The Satellite mobile services through the BSNL Gateway have been inaugurated on 24.05.2017. This is a quantum leap in the field of Telecommunications to connect the un-connected through the provisioning of satellite mobile services across the country. The services are being provisioned in phased manner
initially for the government agencies such as Defence Services, Disaster Management Authorities, Parliamentary Forces, Railways, PSUs etc. and subsequently for the common public.
4. Launching of schemes under Skill Development: Telecom Minister has launched two schemes in the domain of Skill Development in Telecom Sector to commemorate the Birth Centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay as under:
(i) Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthans Scheme – It is a Pilot scheme which proposes to create the skill development training centres that will be opened in various rural, backward and other needy areas and will be named as “Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Sanchar kaushal Vikas Pratisthans”. Initially in the Pilot phase, it is proposed to start 10 such centres to impart skill development trainings to 10,000 candidates taking the necessary training infrastructure from BSNL/other PSUs/Government Organisations/Private entities etc. Subsequently, as the scheme succeeds it will be spread to open more ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Viksa Pratisthans’ across the nation.
(ii) Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Telecom Skill Excellence Awards schems: This scheme is aimed to recognize the special contributions of citizens of India in the areas of Telecom Skilling, Telecom Services, Telecom Manufacturing, Telecom Applications in deploying telecom dependent sectoral solutions for different fields such as agriculture, commerce, health, education etc.
The Scheme shall have cash awards and citation to be given annually. One First Prize of Rs.50,000, two Second Prize of Rs.30,000each and five Third Prize of Rs.20,000 each will be given.
5. Growth in Telecom Sector:
(i) The growth of Telecom Sector in our country has been remarkable over the last few years as a result of key reforms and initiatives undertaken by the Department of Telecommunications. The industry has also wholeheartedly
participated in the development efforts. From 898.02 million in 2012-13, total telecom connections in the country reached 1194.99 million in 2016-17, registering a growth of 33.07%. As on end of September 2017, the total subscription stood at 1207.04 million out of which 501.99 million connections were in the rural areas and 705.05 million in the urban areas. Wireless telephony now constitutes 98.04% of all subscriptions whereas share of landline telephones now stands at 1.96% at the end of September 2017. The overall tele-density in India is now at a high of 93.42% with tele-density in rural areas being 56.78% and that in urban areas at 172.86%.
(ii) The Government has placed considerable emphasis on growth of internet and broadband in the country as part its Digital India campaign. The number of Internet subscribers (both broadband and narrowband put together) which was 422.18 million at the end of March, 2017 increased to 431.21 million by the end of June 2017. The number of subscribers accessing internet via wireless phones etc. was 409.55 million at the end of June 2017. The number of wired Internet subscribers was 21.67 million at the end of June 2017. The number of Broadband subscribers was 300.84 million at the end of June, 2017. There was a net increase of 9.03 million in the Internet subscribers during the period from March,2017 to June,2017.
(iii) FDI equity inflow in the telecom sector touched US$ 6.08 billion in the first half of the financial year (April to September, 2017). This is more than four times that the sector witnessed during financial year 2015-16 and around 10% more than that during 2016-17.
6. Swachhta Pakhwara in DoT: During the first fortnight of July, 2017 (1 st July to 15 th July) Swachhta Pakhwara was observed in Department of Telecommunications and its PSUs/Other Organisations from 1 st to 15 th July, 2017. During this event various cleanliness activities were undertaken by this Department as well as by all its PSUs/Other Organisations in office premises as well as in public places. Certain TSPs also participated in the Pakhwara.
7. Swachhta Hi Seva pakhwara : On the occasion of completion of 3 years of launching of Swachh Bharat Mission “Swachhta Hi Seva” Pakhwara was celebrated in Department of Telecommunications and its PSUs/Other Organisations from 15 th September to 2 nd October, 2017. During this pakhwara various cleanliness activities as well as Jagroota Abhiyaan (viz. Nukkad Natak, display of placard in which swachhta slogan was written) were undertaken by this Department and all its PSUs/Other Organisations inside and outside of office premises.
Important Achievements of Department of Posts
1. Implementation of Core Banking Solutions in the Department of Posts
• The Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) was started in 1882 to facilitate small savings in the country. It operates as an agency of the Ministry of Finance and caters to the basic savings needs of the citizens.
• All the 1.55 Lakh Post Offices in the country provide the basic banking products of the POSB. Of these 25,353 are departmental Post Offices which are manned by the regular government employees.
• At the end of March 2017, there were 35.62 Cr live accounts with a balance of Rs.5,32,338 Crore and Savings certificates with an outstanding balance of Rs.1,98,935 Crore
• The Post Offices were operating on a standalone software which operated in a closed environment.
• Many value added services like ATMs, inter branch banking, Internet and mobile banking, DBT etc were not available to the POSB customers
• Though an impressive customer base, the banking services were not upto industry standards.
• As the complexity of services grew, it became difficult to monitor it on the old system.
• Government schemes of DBT, financial inclusion and social security could not be serviced on the old software.
• Modern payment systems like Debit cards, AEPS, APBS, Internet and mobile banking were not available.
• Thus there was an urgent need for introduction of a Core Banking Solution (CBS) software in the POSB at par with the banks.
• The project of CBS was conceived as a part of the overall IT modernization project 2012 of the DoP. The project aimed to introduce CBS in all the 25,353 departmental Post Offices.
• The sheer size of the number of offices, the data to be migrated, connectivity and the tight timeline were the biggest challenges to be overcome.
• The RFP for this was floated on 21.12.2010 and was awarded on 12.03.2012
• Special teams were formed at the Directorate, Chennai and all the administrative units to take this up in a project mode.
• The huge data was cleansed, verified, checked and rechecked to avoid any errors in migration to the new system.
• Efforts were made to verify all the passbooks of the customers one at a time to verify their balances.
• Infrastructure was upgraded wherever required to support the software.
• Monitoring played a key role in the project. Regular reports, Video Conferences, meetings, field visits and web-based monitoring was used extensively to track the progress.
• A big task was change management, internal communication and training of more than one lakh employees in the new software. This was managed through training in the Postal Training Centres, Work Place training Centres, Regional, Circle and Divisional Office levels. Officials were provided handholding by internal teams to make them feel comfortable.
• Frequent interactions were arranged for the employees, unions and officers to listen to their grievances and give them the ownership of the project.
• With this preparation in the background, the first Post Office of the country, Greams Road, Sub Post Office was migrated to CBS on 16.12.2013
• 23,424 out of a total of 25,353 (92%) Post Offices are on the CBS platform as on 11/10/2017. Thus the POSB is the largest entity in the country on the CBS platform surpassing all the banks. This feat was achieved in less than four years.
• A total of 37.62 Cr accounts and 31.79 Crore savings certificates are on the CBS platform for anywhere banking as of 11/10/2017.
• 991 of the proposed 1000 ATMs are functional in the country. The ATMs are interoperable with other banks.
• Customers can access their CBS POSB account from anywhere in the country
• Greater visibility of transactions for better reporting and monitoring.
• Internet and Mobile banking in closed environment is ready for roll out.
• A significant step towards financial inclusion as all these CBS accounts can be used for MGNREGS, DBT, social security pensions and other programs of the Government of India. CBS can also be integrated with AEPS and APBS.
• The data and CBS environment is ready for providing CBS-based services even to the rural areas through handheld devices in 1.3 lakh Branch Post Offices. • Introduction of operational hygiene and system at par with other banks.
• Saving of time for the customers as the transactions are online and happen in real time.
• Provision of alternate banking channels like ATMs, Internet and Mobile banking to customers.
• Services like RTGS, NEFT, POSB debit cards at POS as digital payments, full fledged internet and mobile banking can be provided with India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) in near future.
2. Postal Life Insurance (PLI) Overview:
• Postal Life Insurance (PLI), introduced in 1884, is one of the oldest life insurance schemes for benefit of government and semi-Government employees. Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI), introduced on March 24, 1995 on recommendations of Malhotra Committee, provides insurance cover to people residing in rural areas, especially weaker sections and women living in rural areas.
• Low Premium and High Bonus is the unique feature of PLI and RPLI schemes.
• At the on March 31, 2017, there were 46.8 lakh PLI and 146.8 lakh RPLI policies across the country with aggregate sum assured of Rs 1,13,084.81 crores and 83,983.46 crores respectively.
• All 1.55 Lakh Post offices in the country (including 1.25 Branch Post Offices in rural areas) provide the services of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) .
Challenges faced :
• Competitive Scenario in Life Insurance Industry after liberalization of Insurance sector pursuant to setting up of
IRDAI in 2000.
• Limited clientele base of Postal Life Insurance.
• Inadequate budgetary provisions for payment of incentive/commission to PLI/RPLI sales persons.
• Lower maximum limit of sum assured in PLI and RPLI
• The insurance industry in India has undergone transformational changes after liberalisation of the insurance sector in the year 2000, subsequent to setting up of the insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). In such a competitive scenario, Postal Life Insurance (PLI) / Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) has taken certain important strides to redefine itself as detailed below :
(i) Increase in Sum Assured Limit of PLI / RPLI policies : The maximum limit of life insurance (sum assured) has been increased to Rs 50 lakhs in case of PLI and Rs 10 lakh in respect of RPLI policies.
(ii) Technology Induction : All the PLI / RPLI operations have been automated under the FSI project. Keeping in tune with any-time and any-where insurance, Core Insurance Solution (CIS) has successfully been inducted in 808 HOs and 25,464 SOs all over the country.
Under Core Insurance Solution, following facilities are available to insurants :
Development of web portal allows customers to view and carry out transactions related to their PLI policies on real time basis.
Convenient premium payment option to insurants and real time updation of premium payment in policies.
Generation of SMS alerts like premium due, premium payment, maturity due etc.
Anytime any-where servicing of PLI policies. All insurance policies will be stored electronically for easy retrieval and
quicker customer service fulfilment from anywhere in the country.
(iii) Expansion of Clientele Base of PLI : It has now been decided that benefits of PLI will no more be confined to Government and semi-Government employees, but will also be available to professionals such as Doctors, Engineers, Management Consultants, Charted Accountants, Architects, Lawyers, Bankers etc. and to employees of listed companies of NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange). The decision has been taken to enlarge the cover of social security and bring maximum number of people under the protection of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).
(iv) Launch of Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana:
• Under Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) has been identified in each of the revenue districts of the country, wherein endeavour will be made to cover all households of that identified village with a minimum of one RPLI (Rural Postal Life Insurance) policy each. Coverage of all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village is the primary objective of this scheme.
• It has also been decided to extend the coverage of SBG Yojana in Adarsh Grams adopted by Members of Parliament.
• This scheme will go a long way in increasing the insurance penetration in rural India as well as enhancing the financial inclusion of rural populace.
Increased Business Performance of PLI and RPLI: Total asset under management with fund managers has increased from Rs.36,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.44,700 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 56,000 crore in 2016-17.
• A significant step towards providing affordable life insurance coverage of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) to professionals such as Doctors, Engineers, Management Consultants, Charted Accountants, Architects, Lawyers, Bankers etc. and to employees of listed companies of NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock
• Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) linking with Saansad Adarsh Gram will result in increase in insurance penetration in India along with enhanced financial inclusion.
• Improved operational and technological system in sale and after sales of PLI and RPLI under Core Insurance Solution
• Providing ease in policy purchase and after sales service to customers
• Providing options for purchase of high value PLI/RPLI policy
• Decentralization of PLI/RPLI service at the door step of customers at CPC co-located at Head Post Offices.
3. Leveraging Post Offices as Passport Seva Kendra Overview:
In view of greater mobility of Indian population in search of education, better work opportunities and other social commitments, passport has become a necessary document which everyone is requiring to obtain. The Ministry of External Affairs has 38 Passport Offices and 93 Passport Seva Kendras operating across the country to provide these
services to the applicants. The Ministry of External Affairs (Government of India) has provided 1.15 crore passports and related services during the calendar year 2016.
In view of the increased demand and inability of these 93 centres to cater to the needs of people located at distances, the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with Department of Posts has decided to leverage the post office network to help make available the passport related services in all the states by establishing Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK). This joint venture started on 25.1.2017 at Metagalli Post Office, Mysuru, Karnataka and Dahod Head Post Office, Gujarat which were inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar and Gen (Dr.) V.K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs respectively.
In the budget speech of the 2017, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley announced that:- “Our citizens in far flung regions of the country find it difficult to obtain passport and redress passport related grievances. We have decided to utilize Head Post Offices as the front office for rendering passport services”.
Consequently, it was agreed to setup 235 Post Offices Passport Seva Kendra in various parts of country in a phased manner out of which 86 POPSKs will be set up in 1 st phase and 149 POPSKs will be set up in 2nd phase.
Notwithstanding the constraints and keeping in mind that POPSK will serve the citizens at large, Department of Posts has tried its best to move ahead for opening of POPSKs.
Of the 86 POPSK agreed in 1st phase, 59 POPSKs are functioning in camp mode and remaining 27 are various phase of readiness. Around 3.75 lakh passport appointments have been processed through these POPSKs.
The POPSKs has brought convenience to the citizens by making passport services available in their vicinity through Post Offices and save them from travelling long distances for obtaining a Passport. This has also increased footfall in the Post Offices.
Taking this project forward, the challenges faced by the Department are:-
India Post is now expanding services to include India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) and regular postal operations like Post Office Savings Bank, counter operations, e-payment etc., there is a constraint of space as in most Post Offices space is based on the schedule of accommodation and to make 1000 sq. ft. for Passport Seva Kendras out of the existing space is sometimes difficult.
Identifying and making available Verifying Officer (VO) and Granting Officer (GO) in every POPSK who are with a grade pay of Rs.4600 is becoming difficult as there has been a ban on recruitment for a couple of years and many posts in that grade still remain unfilled.
To open a POPSK at every 50 kilometers
Training of postal officials identified as VO and GO on sovereign as well technical functions
Considering the response received by the POPSKs in camp mode, capacity will required to be enhanced.
Financials to be formalized.
Project to be institutionalized by way of an MoU between DoP and MEA.
Upgradation of POPSKs from camp mode to full-fledged Passport Seva Kendra
Despite the various challenges, in view of the fact that the Post Office Passport Seva Kendra will be meeting the needs of the citizens at large, the available buildings and spaces are being repaired, spruced up with a standardized look and feel in order to make them available as POPSKs, at the locations as agreed to by Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Posts. This would increase the footfall of customers at the post office and would create a win-win situation.
1. Additional source for revenue generation for the Department
2. Distribution of prize money through representative / Banks diverted to India Post.
3. Prompt and Transparent distribution of Prize Money in the hands of
So far 1768 post offices out of 1438 has been rolled out under CBS platform and the CPC in the Circle office is fully functional. 64 interoperable ATMs have been installed in the Circle.
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