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AUGUST 28, 2017

‘Creamy layer’: Criteria for PSU, bank posts evolved

  • The Centre has evolved criteria to identify posts in the PSUs, public sector banks and financial institutions comparable with those in the government to exclude the ‘creamy layer’ to grant reservation benefits to the OBC employees.
  • A proposal was examined and approved by a panel of Ministers and sent to the Cabinet for its final nod, a senior government official said.
  • The same panel had recently cleared the proposal to raise the ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to Rs. 8 lakh per annum from Rs. 6 lakh for Central government jobs.
  • The need to draw up the criteria arose as there was lack of clarity in the comparable posts in the State-run undertakings and the government.
  • The exercise to draw up the set of criteria was undertaken almost 23 years after a 1993 office order of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) providing for 27% quota for the OBCs in government vacancies and laying down categories under the creamy layer.

‘Equivalent posts’

  • This order merely said the criterion enumerated for Group A and Group B posts would apply to officers “holding equivalent and comparable posts” in the PSUs, banks and financial institutions.
  • He said the move was aimed at ensuring parity between the posts in the financial institutions with those in the government in reservations.

Criteria of income

  • While categories like constitutional posts, Group A/Class I and Group B/Class II were clearly mentioned in it, there was no clarity in regard to the employees of PSUs, banks and insurance organisations.
  • The order further said pending the evaluation of posts on equivalence or comparable basis in these institutions, the criteria of income test would apply to the officers there.

Mysuru’s public transport system smart, people-friendly: World Bank

  • The country’s first technology-driven Mysuru public transport system has become “smart, safe, efficient” and beneficial to lakhs of people across the city, the World Bank has said in its latest newsletter.
  • “Mysuru has become the first Indian city to transform its bus services into a safe, efficient and smart system across its entire territory, benefiting both the people and the city,” it said.
  • The bank-aided project (Rs. 19 crore) launched in 2012 helped the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to install GPS enabled mini-computers above the driver’s seat in each of the city’s 430 buses.
  • In addition, each bus and bus stop was geo-mapped and tagged, and the details fed into an IT-enabled intelligent system.
  • Earlier, as in most cities, Mysuru’s public buses were seldom on time, stopped wherever they liked, or skipped stops entirely. KSRTC never knew which bus was where, how many buses were running, or whether a bus actually completed its assigned journey or not. What’s more, drivers often drove recklessly, and overtime claims were frequently inflated, the World Bank said in its report.
  • Now, at the central control room in the heart of the city, a giant screen displays the speed and location of each bus – blinking green, yellow or orange depending on whether a bus is on time, late or early. Moreover, lights splash whenever a driver speeds, accelerates sharply, slams the brakes, or stalls for more than 20 minutes.
  • “The intelligent transport system has not only resulted in a more people-friendly bus service but has also led to smoother operations and considerable savings for the operator,” it said.
  • “Running public buses in mixed and often unpredictable traffic is a very complex operation,” explained K. Ramamurthy, who executed the project as divisional controller and project manager of KSRTC’s Intelligent Transport System in Mysuru.
  • With drivers being more careful, incidents of rash and dangerous driving have also dropped considerably. Besides, women now feel safer using public transport system, even after dark, the World Bank claimed.
  • KSRTC now saves Rs. 1 crore a year on its city bus operations. Now, the Centre has proposed these projects under the Smart City concept.


Bangladesh sends back 90 Rohingya people

  • Myanmar’s government said it had evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers amid ongoing clashes in northwestern Rakhine State, as thousands more Rohingya Muslims sought to flee across the border to Bangladesh on Sunday.
  • The death toll from the violence that erupted on Friday with coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents has climbed to 89. Meanwhile, hundreds of Rohingya were seen at the no man’s land.Win Myat Aye, Myanmar’s minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, told Reuters late on Saturday that 4,000 “ethnic villagers” who had fled their villages had been evacuated, referring to non-Muslim residents of the area.
  • Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and locals said that many of the Rohingya who have crossed the border are injured, some carrying bullet wounds.
  • They also warned of a “befitting response” if Myanmar border guards create any “untoward situation” in the border areas. “We are prepared to face any untoward situation if it is created on the bordering area,” said BGB Director General Maj Gen Abul Hossain while addressing a press conference on Sunday.
  • Bangladesh on Saturday had summoned Myanmar envoy in Dhaka, Aung Myint, to express “serious concern” over the fresh influx of Rohingya. The country also pointed out that this is occuring at a time when the Rakhine Advisory Commission, popularly known as Kofi Annan Commission, has made recommendations towards finding a durable solution for the issue.