A complete reference blog for Indian Government Employees

Saturday, 9 March 2019

House allocation to railway staff to improve accessibility and simplify the process

House allocation to railway staff to improve accessibility and simplify the process

No. 2018/Trans Cell/S&T/House Allotment
Dated: 05.03.2019
The General Manager, All Indian Railways/PUs, NF(Con), CORE
The DG/RDSO/Lucknow, DG/NAIR/Vadodara

Sub: Allotment of House to staff improving availability and simplification of process.

In order to improve availability of Houses for Railway Employees and to simplify the process of allotment, Board (ME, MS, FC & CRB) have approved the following:
  1. The quarters of a pool laying vacant for more than 3 months or so should be brought into a Common Pool. The process may be started from way side station colony and progressively moved to minor and major colony.
  2. There may be a single allotment agency considered at the station of the unit that would maintain the record and allot the quarters in accordance with the rules set out by the Rail way/Division/Unit.
  3. Vacant Quarter shall be allotted as per the rules set out, preferably within 7/15 days of the vacancy.
  4. Railway/Division/Unit may formulate necessary guidelines for implementation keeping in view the Local conditions and shall make the process transparent and preferably allot the quarters online.
  5. Other rules & guidelines including policy of allotment of quarters to essential staff as issued from Board shall remain unchanged and as modified from time to time.
This issues with the concurrence of Associate Finance of Transformation Cell of Railway Board.
Kindly acknowledge the receipt and ensure compliance .
(Umesh Balonda)
Executive Director/S&T
Transformation Cell
Source: Indian railways

FAQ: Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013

FAQ: Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013

Government of India

1.What is Sexual Harassment at workplace ?
Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome act or behaviour (whether express or implied), such as:-
  • Physical contact or advance
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Making sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment at workplace can take various forms. It can involve conduct such as:
  • unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing
  • staring or leering
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • unwanted or persistent requests to go out
  • intrusive questions about another person’s private life or body
  • Deliberately brushing up against someone
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature
  • sexually explicit pictures, posters, screen savers, emails, twitters, SMS or instant messages
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites
  • inappropriate advances on social networking sites
  • behaviour which would also be an offence under the criminal law, such as physical assault indecent exposure sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.
2.How many kinds of sexual harassment at workplace are there?
Sexual harassment of workplace is of two kinds:

  • Quid pro quo
  • Hostile work environment
3. What is ‘Quid Pro Quo’ kind of sexual harassment at workplace?
Quid pro quo is a Latin term which literally means ‘this for that’.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment means subjecting a woman to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on account of the following:
  • To force the woman to agree with such conduct by promising/threatening her (explicitly or implicitly) preferential/detrimental treatment in her job. For example: if you agree to accompany me on a study tour, I will give you promotion or in case you refuse, I will transfer you other place.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by the woman is used as the basis for deciding the future course of her job. For example: if you refuse to obey my demand, I will not renew your contract.
4.What is ‘hostile work environment’ kind of sexual harassment at workplace?
Creation of a hostile, intimidating or an offensive work environment with the purpose of unreasonably interfering with woman’s work performance or subjecting woman to humiliating treatment likely to affect her health and safety.

5. What is unwelcome sexual conduct?
A sexual behaviour only becomes sexual harassment at workplace only if it is unwelcome to the woman who is in receipt of such behaviour.

6. Who can complain about of sexual harassment at workplace?
Here, student means a woman above 18 years of age. Those who are under 18 years of age can lodge an FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

7. Does the act constituting sexual harassment have to occur at work?
No. The act does not necessarily have to occur at workplace only. It could occur in any of the following places:
  • Social event organised by your employer,
  • During work-related travel,
  • At a client or customer’s premises,
  • At training events, business lunches or dinners, promotional campaigns or public relations events with clients, customers or prospective partners or
  • During the course of work-related phone conversations or communications via electronic media.
8. If I am a victim of sexual harassment, what should I do?
If you feel comfortable in approaching the harasser yourself, you could directly tell the perpetrator that you find his behaviour unwelcome or inappropriate and ask him not to repeat. Or
You can approach the Internal Complaints Committee established within your organization under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013 with a written complaint. Or

In case, your organisation does not have ICC or if you want to make a complaint against the employer himself or if you work in the capacity of domestic help, then you can lodge your complaint with Local Complaints Committee established in your respective district under the SH Act. Or,
You can contact the nearest police station to lodge an FIR against the perpetrator.

9. What is Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)?
Every organization has to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) having following members
  • Chairperson - Women working at senior level in the organisation
  • 2 Members (at least) - Amongst employees committed to women issues, have legal knowledge or experience in social work
  • 1 Member - from NGO
If the organisation has workplaces located at different places or division or sub-division level, then ICC will be constituted at every workplace.

10.What is Local Complaints Committee (LCC)?
The State Government will notify the District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/ Collector/ Deputy Collector as District Officer in every district, who will constitute a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) so as to enable women in the unorganised sector or small establishments to work in an environment free of sexual harassment. The LCC will have following members:
  • Chairperson- Nominated from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women
  • Member- Nominated from amongst the women working in the block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district
  • 2 Members- Nominated from amongst such NGO/ associations/persons committed to the cause of women or familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, provided that:
    • At least one must be a woman
    • At least one must have a background of law or legal knowledge
  • Ex Officio member - The concerned officer dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the district
11. How to locate ICC within your organisation?
As per the Act, the employer is obligated to display the order constituting ICC at any conspicuous place in the workplace. However, if this is not done, then one can contact the employer/head of the department/human resource department to obtain information about the ICC constituted under the SH Act.

12. How to locate LCC in a particular district?
For locating LCC or one of its members, one can adopt following measures:
  • Contact the District Officer’s office
  • Contact One Stop Centre/Women Helpline (toll free thorugh181, 100 etc.) functioning in your district/State
  • Contact the State Commission for Women
  • Contact the State Department of Women and Child Development/department looking after women issues
13. What if ICC/LCC is not constituted in the organisation/district?
Non constitution of Complaints Committee is punishable with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- and repeat offenders will be punished with cancellation /withdrawal of licence/registration required for carrying on business activities. The aggrieved can approach the court to complain about the same.

14. Who can make a complaint?
  • Aggrieved Women Herself, or
  • In case of physical incapacity
    • Her relative
    • Friend
    • Co worker
    • Officer of NCW or SCW
    • Any person who has knowledge of incident with the written consent of complainant
  • In case of mental incapacity
    • Her relative
    • Friend
    • Special educator
    • Qualified psychiatrist or psychologist
    • Guardian or authority under whose care she is receiving treatment or care
    • Any person who has knowledge of incident jointly with any person mentioned above
  • In case woman is unable to file complain for any other reason, by any person who has knowledge of incident with her written consent
  • In case of woman’s death by:
    • Any person who has knowledge of incident with the written consent of her legal heir
    • Legal Heir
15. How to make a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace under the SH Act?
In case, aggrieved woman is unable to submit written complaint, the Complaints Committee will provide her all assistance so that the complaint could be submitted in written form.
Further, if the Complaints Committee is satisfied, it can extend the time limit for submission of complaint (not exceeding three months), however the reason for such exentsion will be recordedin writing.

16.What will the Complaints Committee does when a complaint is submitted to it?
The Complaints Committee (ICC/LCC) will conduct an inquiry into the complaint by calling all the concerned parties i.e. complainant, respondent [the person(s) against whom complaint is being made], witnesses etc. Later, on the basis of the testimonies of the concerned parties and evidences (documentary or otherwise) gathered, the Committee will frame its findings, which will be shared with the employer.
If the Committee comes to the conclusion that the allegations against the respondent are genuine, it shall recommend action that needs to be taken by the employer against such person. However, if the Committee concludes after inquiry that no case is being made against the respondent, it shall recommend that no action to be taken against the respondent.

17. Can the complainant ask for some interim relief during the inquiry from ICC?
During the inquiry, at the written request of complainant, ICC can provide following interim reliefs to the complainant:
  • Transfer the complainant or respondent to any other place
  • Grant leave to the complainant for upto 3 months in addition to her entitled leave
  • Restrain the respondent from reporting on the work performance/ writing confidential report of aggrieved
  • Restrain the respondent from supervising academic activities of aggrieved
18. What kind of punishment could be awarded under the Act?
  • As prescribed under the Service Rules
  • In case service rules do not exist
    • Disciplinary action including written apology, reprimand, warning, censure
    • withholding of promotion/ pay raise/ increment
    • Termination of employment
    • Undergo counselling
    • Community service
  • Deduction from salary for:
    • Mental Trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused
    • Medical expenses incurred
    • The loss of career opportunity
    • The income and financial status of respondent
  • If the amount is not paid it can be recovered as arrear of land revenue
19. Is the inquiry under the SH Act has to be completed in a given time frame?
Yes, the SH Act envisages a time bound inquiry which needs to adhere to following timelines:
Submission of ComplaintWithin 3 months of the last incident
Completion of InquiryWithin 90 days
Submission of Report by ICC/LCC to employer/DOWithin 10 days of completion of the inquiry
Implementation of Recommendations by employerWithin 60 days
AppealWithin 90 days of the recommendations

20. What about maintaining confidentiality of the cases related to sexual harassment at workplace?
The Act prohibits the disclosure of:
  • Identity and address of complainant, respondent and witnesses
  • Information pertaining to conciliatory/ inquiry proceedings or recommendation of ICC or action taken by the employer.
Breach of confidentially will invite a penalty of Rs. 5,000/- which will be collected by the employer
Exception: Dissemination of information regarding the justice secured without disclosure of name, address, identity and particulars of complainant or witnesses

21. What are the obligations of employer under the SH Act?
  • Formulation of an Anti Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Display within organisations the penal consequences of sexual harassment at places where it could be viewed by majority of the people
  • Create an ICC at each location and display their contact details
  • Sensitisation and training of employees and ICC members
  • Provide administrative support and monitor timely submission of reports by ICC
  • Mention the number of cases filed and disposed of under the SH Act within organisation’s annual report.
  • Help the aggrieved women in registering criminal case, if she so desires.
22. Can I register both FIR and lodge complaint with Complaints Committee at the same time?
Yes, a woman if she chooses to do so may both file the FIR with the police and complaint with Complaints Committee simultaneously.

NPS - Additional Relief Scheme Beneficiaries FAQ

NPS - Additional Relief Scheme Beneficiaries FAQ

Q. 1. Who is a beneficiary under the NPS - Additional Relief Scheme (NPS-AR)? What is the benefit under NPS- Additional Relief Scheme?
A. Provisional Pension is sanctioned in case of death/disability of Government Employees who joined Government of India service on or after 1st January 2004 and were covered under the New Pension Scheme. This is payable to the spouse/family pensioner of the deceased Government employee or to the disabled Government employee. The additional relief is in the form of provisional pension on defined benefit lines and as an interim relief till the finalization of pending issue of Rules& Regulations for the New Pension Scheme.

Q. 2. What is the Provisional Pension Payment Order (PPPO) under NPS- Additional Relief Scheme?
a. A PPPO is a Provisional Pension Payment Order for Disbursement of pension provisionally under NPS- Additional Relief Scheme. It is issued in triplicate (three copies) by the pension sanctioning Ministry, Where the Government employee was working:-
  • Disburser's Copy (First) retained in CPAO, as the Disbursing Authority;
  • Pensioner's Copy (Second); and
  • Bank's Copy (Third - not for payment )for information to the pension account holding branch (referred to as 'Pension Account Holding Bank Branch' below)
b. PPPO No. contains Alphanumeric number (N+11 digits) starting with 'N'. This PPPO number is to be quoted in all correspondence as this is the key reference number.

Q. 3. How is the benefit under NPS- Additional Relief Scheme disbursed?
The monthly provisional pension is paid direct to the bank account of pensioner/family pensioner electronically by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO).

Q. 4. How will the pensioner receive copy of the Provisional Pension Payment Order (PPPO)?
The Pensioner's portion shall be handed over by Pension Account Holding Bank Branch at the time of first time identification process (Please refer to Q.5&6 below).

Q. 5. When and how will provisional pension commence?
a. After Ministry has sanctioned the provisional pension, PPPO will be sent to CPAO.
b. CPAO will scrutinize the same and forward the pensioner's copy and the bank's copy by Speed Post to Pension Account Holding Bank Branch with an endorsement to pensioner by Speed Post.
c. On receipt of the same, Pension Account Holding Bank Branch will call pensioner for the first time identification and will hand over pensioner's copy of the PPPO. They will report back electronically to CPAO to disburse the pension each month thereafter.
d. In case pensioner do not receive a call from the Pension Account Holding Bank Branch for completion of the first time identification process after pensioner receive the endorsement of CPAO's letter to bank enclosing PPPOs, pensioners are to present themselves for identification in the bank along with the papers mentioned below.

Q. 6. What is the first time identification process?
a. The beneficiary has to visit the Pension Account Holding Branch for commencement of the provisional pension. The beneficiary would be required to produce his/her copy of the authority letter to the bank received from CPAO sanctioning the pensionary benefits,
b. The Pension Account Holding Bank Branch would verify the beneficiary w.r.t. photographs and specimen signatures available in the PPPO booklet (Bank's Copy) and obtain the same specimen signatures once again in the Bank's Copy in the space provided for record.
c. On successful verification, the Pension Account Holding Branch must hand over the beneficiary's copy of the PPPO booklet.
d. The Pension Account Holding Branch then confirms to CPAO, the completion of the first time identification and for the payment of provisional pension payment to start.
e. The Pension Account Holding Bank Branch will also obtain the signature of the beneficiary on an undertaking authorizing recovery of overpayments as per para 12.3 of the Scheme for Payment of Pensions.

Q. 7. How many days are given to Pension Account Holding Bank Branch to complete the first time identification process of the pensioner?
A. The Pension Account Holding Bank Branch should invite the pensioner for identification, complete the process and communicate the completion of the identification process to CPAO within seven days from the receipts of the PPPO. The first time identification can also be electronically intimated by banks to CPAO at npsdbs-exp [at] nic.in or fax at 011-26162083.

Q. 8. What are Pensioner's responsibilities for facilitating regular payment of Provisional Pension?
a. Pensioner's have to collect copy of the PPPO after first time identification and retain it in safe custody.
b. Pensioner's have to submit Life Certificate in the month of November every year.
c. Pensioner's have to submit certificate/undertaking for recovery of excess payment if any, on account of delay in receipt of any material information or due to any bonafide error at first time identification stage.
d. Pensioner's have to ensure that nominations have been provided for the bank account.
e. Pensioner's have to submit Re-marriage/Re-employment Certificates, wherever applicable, in the month of November along with the Life Certificate.
f. Pensioners/family pensioners are encouraged to open their pension account with bank branches which are - Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)/National Electronic funds Transfer System (NEFT) - enabled, and which have Core Banking solutions (CBS) facility.
g. Pensioner's have to intimate any change in correspondence address to the pension account holding branch and CPAO at the address given below immediately. h. In case pensioners want to shift their bank accounts to another bank branch of the same bank or another bank, they have to apply to the Branch Manager of present pension account holding branch, with a copy to CPAO.

Q. 9. Whether the pensioner is allowed to open a joint account? If yes, with whom.
a. Yes, Pensioners may open joint account with spouse (husband/wife only) to whom family pension is authorized in the PPPO in the event of death.
b. Family pensioners cannot have a Joint Pension Account.
c. Pensioner's have to complete nomination formalities

Q. 10. Who is responsible for the issuance of pension slip, annual statements of income tax deducted and due drawn statements in respect of pension/arrear payment to the pensioner/family pensioner?
a. CPAO is responsible for the issuance of pension slip, annual statements of income tax deducted and due-drawn statements. These statements shall be made available to pensioner/family pensioner through their pension account holding branch on request.
b. Annual Statement of Income Tax deducted will be sent by Speed Post annually by CPAO.
c. Pension Slips can also be obtained by post on request to CPAO.

Q. 11. Is the identification of pensioner done by bank one time process i.e. only at the time of commencement of pension?
No, fresh identification is required when the pensioner/family pensioner transfers the pension account from one bank branch to another (within the same bank) or another different bank branch. Pensioners also have to submit Life- Certificate every year in the month of November to the pension account holing branch, which in turn must forward the same to CPAO through e-mail/fax/speed post.

Q. 12.To whom pensioner/family pensioner can contact in CPAO for any query/grievance?
Pensioner may directly write to CPAO at the following address:
Asstt. Accounts officer (NPS)
Central Pension Accounting Office,
Trikoot-2, Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi -110066
Phone No. 011-26162691,Fax-011-26162083
e-mail: npsdbs-exp [at] nic.in

Q. 13. Whom should pensioners/ family pensioners approach if they have any grievance(s)?
a. Pensioners may approach their pension account holding branch which in turn shall forward their grievances to CPAO.
b. Pensioners may directly write to CPAO at the following address or contact by phone or e-mail:
Senior Accounts officer (NPS)
Central Pension Accounting Office,
Trikoot-2, Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi -110066.
Phone No.011-26162691, 011-26162083 (Tele-fax)
e-mail: npsdbs-exp [at] nic.in

c. In case grievances of pensioners have not been redressed within 15 days, they may forward their grievances to CPAO at the following address, by post or e-mail or phone:
Controller of Accounts
Central Pension Accounting Office,
Trikoot-2, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi -110066
Phone No. 011-26174809
e-mail: ccpao [at] nic.in

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