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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Revision of Ceiling Rates for Knee and Hip Implants under CGHS and CS(MA) Rules ( Release Date :06/10/2017 )

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Reservation for OBCs in Civil posts and Services under the Government of India - Regarding.

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Manual entry not to be allowed in Post Office Passbooks of various POSB Schemes in CBS Post Offices where Passbook printers have been supplied

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7.5 lakh university and college teachers to receive benefits under 7th Pay Commission

The salaries of university and college teachers are set to increase in the range of Rs 10,400 to Rs 49,800.

A decision that is going to benefit nearly eight lakh teachers and other academic equivalent staff in higher educational institutions under the purview of the University Grants Commission and in centrally funded technical institutions, the Union Cabinet approved the revision of pay scales based on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission for Central Government employees on Wednesday.

Post the Cabinet meeting, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government extended the benefits of the Seventh Pay Commission for the teaching faculty of central and state universities and aided colleges.

"The move will benefit 7.58 lakh professors, assistant professors and others," said Javadekar, adding that the hike would be anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000.
"This amounts to an increase of around 22-28 per cent," Javadekar said.
The approved pay scales will be applicable from January 1, 2016 and the revision will register an entry pay growth in the range of 22% to 28%. Javadekar said that the measured proposed in the revised pay structure are expected to improve quality of higher education and also attract and retain talent. The annual central financial liability on account of this measure would be about Rs 9,800 crore.

Teachers and equivalent academic staff in the 106 universities/ colleges which are funded by the UGC/ MHRD, 329 universities which are funded by state governments and 12,912 government and private aided colleges affiliated to public universities are set to benefit from this pay revision.

In addition, the revised pay package will cover teachers of 119 centrally funded technical institutions, viz., IITs, IISc, IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITIE, etc.

For the state government funded institutions, the revised pay scales will require adoption by the respective governments. The Central government will bear the additional burden of the states on account of revision of pay scales.

Source:-The Times of India

UPU News:- Guterres on World Post Day: Posts contribute to the SDGs

 The UN Secretary General’s remarks were read at a first of its kind ceremony organized by the UPU to celebrate the annual awareness day celebrated each 9 October.

The winners and high-level audience present at World Post Day Award Ceremony.
Held at the UPU’s headquarters in Berne, the event brought together guests from the postal sector, diplomatic corps and Swiss Confederation to honour both its 46th International Letter-Writing Competition gold medallist and top scorers in the UPU Integrated Index for Postal Development (2IPD).
For his part, UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein emphasized the Post’s important role in global public infrastructure.
“Posts are not only about letters and stamps. They are enablers of inclusive development, constituting an essential component of the global economy,” said Hussein.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed this sentiment in a special message sent to the UPU, adding that Posts play an important role in the everyday lives of people and businesses and are making welcome contributions to global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.“
Letter-writing winner
The ceremony first honoured fourteen year old Eva Giordano Palacios, whose composition won Togo’s national letter-writing competition before being selected by a panel of judges in the UPU’s international round.
In 2017, children were asked to write a letter to the new UN Secretary-General advising him on an issue they would like to help him solve. Palacios brought the audience to tears with her poignant letter and accompanying song on child marriage.
“The solution, the only solution to child marriage, is education. Education allows the children of today, who will be the adults of tomorrow, to understand that age-old traditions which instruct them to marry off their daughters are unfair, and that poverty is no excuse, especially when the men are far too old for them,” she read.
Guterres praised the competition and the chosen theme in his World Post Day message, adding that “This year’s 1.2 million participants, in considering which global challenge they would want me to tackle first, displayed an encouraging concern for humankind and commitment to international cooperation.”
UPU Director General and Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz then honoured the top three global and five regional top scorers in the UPU’s new 2IPD ranking.
2IPD is a is a composite index providing an overview of postal development around the world, with the results for 2016 covering over 170 countries. It uses UPU data to benchmark each country’s development across four dimensions: reliability, reach, relevance and resilience.
The top three countries in the ranking included Switzerland, France and Japan. The five regional champions included Poland for Europe and CIS, Singapore for Asia-Pacific, Mauritius for Africa, Brazil for Latin America and the Caribbean, and United Arab Emirates for the Arab region.
Swiss Post CEO Susanne Ruoff accepted the award on behalf of Switzerland, which received a perfect score according to the ranking.
“Swiss Post is playing a pioneer role in the development of new technology and this award serves to motivate us,” said Ruoff.
“This prize is for our people and our employees and I want to give this award to them for their hard work and for their trust in the Swiss Post,” she concluded.
To learn more about 2IPD, watch the informational video

Monday, October 9, 2017

Where should you invest: PPF, NSC, Sukanya Samriddhi or Senior Citizens' Saving Scheme?

Investors are feeling relieved that interest rates on small savings schemes have not been reduced. Bond yields have fallen in the past three months, so logically rates should have been cut. If we go by the formula that links small savings rates to bond yields, the Public Provident Fund (PPF) should not offer more than 7%. However, fears of a backlash from the middle class seem to have prevented the government from reducing rates. 
Observers believe the prevailing rates will continue for a few more quarters. "The formula has long been abandoned. Now rates are determined by politics and fixed by the Finance Ministry," says Manoj Nagpal, CEO of Outlook Asia Capital. Even so, investors should not blindly invest in small savings schemes. Each instrument has specific features and one should assess which option best fits into one's financial portfolio. We take a look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular small savings .. 


Interest rate: 7.8% 
Tenure: 15 years (from first investment) 

The PPF is the favourite of risk-averse investors who are content with modest but assured returns. Its tax-free status gives it a distinct advantage over fixed deposits. Since interest from fixed deposits is fully taxable, the returns from a 7.5% bank deposit are reduced to barely 5.25% in the highest tax bracket. The only glitch is that there is a cap of Rs 1.5 lakh on the annual investment by an individual. 

The best part about the PPF is its longevity. The account has a tenure of 15 years, but can be extended in blocks of five years indefinitely. After 15 years, the investor has three options: withdraw the corpus, continue with the account without further contributions or continue investing in the account. If you choose to continue investing in it, you have to submit an application for extending the account tenure for a block of five years. The application (Form H) has to be submitted within a year from the maturity date. After five years, the account tenure can be further extended for another five years. 

If one doesn't submit an application for tenure extension, the PPF account tenure automatically gets extended but the investor cannot make further contributions to it. The balance in the account will continue to earn interest, but the investor will no longer be required to contribute the minimum Rs 500 in the account every year. Once this option of continuing without contribution has been selected, the subscriber cannot alter it to make further contributions to the account. 

The PPF suits non-salaried people who are not eligible for retiral benefits. Self-employed professionals such as doctors, architects and chartered accountants should use it to build the debt portion of their retirement nest egg. Ashmeet Narula has been investing in the PPF for the past 13 years and intends to keep extending it till she retires. 


Interest rate: 8.3% 
Tenure: 14 years 

If you have a daughter below 10 years, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a better option than the PPF because it offers a higher interest rate. Like the PPF, the interest earned is tax free and there is an annual cap of Rs 1.5 lakh on the investment. Accounts can be opened in any post office or designated banks with a minimum investment of Rs 1,000.A parent can open an account for a maximum of two daughters, but the combined investment in the two accounts cannot exceed Rs 1.5 lakh in a year. 

Some experts argue that the debt-based Sukanya scheme is not the best way to save for a longterm goal. This is true, because equity-based options can deliver higher returns. This is why experts advise that the SSY should be used in combination with other investments, such as equity funds, for saving for a child's future goals. The good part is that the girl child tag lends a sense of purpose to the investment. The maturity proceeds of other investments are often squandered. On the other hand, the Sukanya scheme helps a family save the daughter's education and marriage. 


Interest rate: 7.8% 
Tenure: 5 years 

Unlike the PPF, there is no cap on investments in the NSC. But the interest is fully taxable. The posttax returns to 5.38% in the highest 30% bracket, which is comparable with the returns of bank fixed deposits. The only difference is that the interest accruing on NSCs every year is also eligible for tax deduction. Suppose you buy NSCs worth Rs 50,000 and claim tax deduction this year. The following year, you can claim deduction for the Rs 3,900 that accrues as interest in the first year. In the third year, you can claim deduction for Rs 4,204 as interest gets compounded. 

NSCs fell out of favour when bank rates were higher at 9-9.5% a few years ago. But deposit rates have fallen in the past two years and especially after demonetization. Though banks offer senior citizens higher rates,for regular investors the deposit rates are now 7-7.2% (See page 25). This makes the NSCs more attractive. But go for them only if you are ready to stand in long queues at the Post Office and put up with the laxity of the government staff. 


Interest rate: 8.3% 
Tenure: 5 years 

Another bestseller from the Post Office, this scheme gives out regular income to retirees. The tenure of the scheme is five years, which is extendable by another three years. However, there is a Rs 15 lakh overall investment limit per individual. Also, the scheme open only to investors above 60. In some cases, where the investor has opted for voluntary retirement and has not taken up another job, the minimum age is relaxed to 58 years. There is also no age bar for defence personnel. They can invest in the scheme even before 60 as long as they satisfy the other requirements. 

Experts say the Senior Citizens' Savings Scheme should be the first option for retirees looking to park their life savings. "It offers assured returns and regular income. These are critical requirements of most retirees," says Nagpal. This is what made Faridabad-based retired PSU manager Mangal Dutta Sharma park Rs 15 lakh of his retirement proceeds in the scheme. he remaining is invested in bank deposits and the Post Office Monthly Income Scheme to earn a monthly income. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Address of Hon'ble MoSC (I/C) on World Post Day

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