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Educationists welcome grading system in CBSE exams

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Noted educationists today welcomed the government's decision to introduce grading systems this year and make CBSE exams for Class X optional from next year.

Terming the decision as "marvellous", Amita Wattal, principal of Springdales school here said, "I think it is a wonderful news, something that we have been waiting for a very long time. It will relieve the children from the burden of these extremely violent examinations. The continuous comprehensive evaluation will ensure that the child is groomed from a very young age."

"We have got mixed reactions as far as the students are concerned but they all are very happy that the current system is being replaced by a more authentic system of evaluation," added Lata Vaidyanathan, principal of Modern School.

Career counsellor and noted educationists Usha Albuquerque said the move was "ideal" in the given circumstances.
Source: PTI

Huge response to DoPT On-line Course on RTI

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On-Line Course on Right to Information Act

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Online Certificate Course on RTI began today on a pilot project basis. The 15-day course started on a Pilot Project basis is being taken by various stakeholders on, both, the demand and supply sides of the RTI implementation regime. This Course on RTI is in association with the Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad. The first batch has 60 candidates. The response to the course was overwhelming with 1452 applications. Those other than in the Pilot batch will be covered in subsequent batches.

The Online Certificate Course is aimed at:

  • Public Information Officers (PIOs)

  • Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs)

  • Appellate Authorities

  • Officials assisting the above designated officers or other public officials Citizens

  • Representative of Civil Society Organisations (including Media Organisations)

  • Any other person(s) who could be a direct/indirect stakeholder

The objectives of the Course are:

  • Reaching out to those who have not had an opportunity to participate in any training/sensitization initiatives on RTI Act, 2005

  • Bringing greater clarity on RTI among designated implementing officials like APIOs/ PIOs/ FAOs

  • Ensuring appreciation for RTI Act, 2005 and its mandate among the officials designated under it and also among the citizens

  • Facilitating timely delivery of information by PIOs

  • Having better informed citizens, civil society and other stakeholders

The outcomes expected from this initiative are:

  • A sound knowledge of the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 among the people taking this course

  • Good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of organizations/ persons concerned with implementing the law and with enforcing the rights under this law

  • Proper appreciation of rights/obligations ¡V as applicable ¡V for effective use of RTI

  • Reliable guidance on following the right process/procedure to implement the provisions of this Act and to benefit from this Act.

  • Good understanding of remedies available when an implementing organization fails to comply with this Act.

  • What is "Annuity Scheme Provider"...?

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    1. What is the New Pension Scheme?

    The New Pension Scheme is an investment option which will help an individual, plan for his or her retirement. The key difference between the old government pension scheme and the New Pension Scheme is that the old pension scheme was based on a defined benefit principle and the new pension scheme is based on a defined contribution principle.
    In a defined contribution scheme, an individual invests a defined amount in the scheme until he or she retires. On retirement, the individual has the option to withdraw the money or buy an annuity from an insurance company.

    2. Whether a retiring Government servant is entitled for leave encashment after retirement under the NPS?

    The benefit of encashment of leave salary is not a part of the retirement benefits admissible under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. It is payable in terms of CCS (Leave) Rules which will continue to be applicable to the government servants who join the government service on after 1-1-2004. Therefore,the benefit of encashment of leave salary payable to the governments/to their families on account of retirement/death will be admissible.

    3 Why is it mandatory to use 40% of pension wealth to purchase the annuity at the time of the exit (i.e. after the age of 60 years) from NPS?

    This provision has been made in the New Pension Scheme with an intention that the retired government servants should get regular monthly income during their retired life.

    4. Whether any minimum age or minimum service is required to quit from Tier-I?

    Exit from Tier-I can only take place when an individual leaves Government service.

    5. Whether Dearness Pay is counted as basic pay for recovery of 10% for Tier-I?

    As per the New Pension Scheme, the total Dearness Allowance is to be taken into account for working out the contributions to Tier-I. Subsequently, a part of the “Dearness Allowance” has been treated as Dearness Pay. Therefore, this should also be reckoned for the purpose of contributions.

    6. Whether contribution towards Tier-I from arrears of DA is to be deducted?

    Yes. Since the contribution is to be worked out at 10% of (Pay+ DP+DA), it needs to be revised whenever there is any change in these elements

    7. Who will calculate the interest PAO or CPAO?

    The PAO should calculate the interest.

    8. What happens if an employee gets transferred during the month? Which office will make deduction of Contribution?

    As in the case of other recoveries, the recovery of contributions towards New Pension Scheme for the full month (both individual and government) will be made by the office who will draw salary for the maximum period.

    9. Whether NPA payable to medical officers will count towards ‘Pay’ for the purpose of working out contributions to NPS?

    Yes. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has clarified vide their O.M. no. A45012/11/97-CHS.V dated 7-4-98 that the Non-Practising Allowance shall count as ‘pay’ for all service benefits. Therefore, this will be taken into account for working out the contribution towards the New Pension Scheme.

    10. Whether a government servant who was already in service prior to 1.1.2004, if appointed in a different post under the Government of India, will be governed by the CCS (Pension) Rules or NPS?

    In cases where Government servants apply for posts in the same or other departments and on selection they are asked to render technical resignation, the past services are counted towards pension under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. Since the Government servant had originally joined government service prior to 1-1-2004, he should be covered under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.

    11. How will the money contributed to NPS be invested?

    The NPS currently offers three investment funds to choose from:
    Asset Class E - stocks, fixed income instruments
    Assent Class G - debt securities issued by the central as well as the state governments
    Asset Class C - debt securities issued by entities other than the state and central government, liquid funds of mutual funds, fixed deposits of banks etc.
    In case if the individual is unsure about the investment mix, the default option - auto choice lifecycle fund - will see the investment mix change according to the age of the investor. If the individual’s age is 18 years, auto choice invests 50% in Asset Class E, 30% in Asset Class C and 20% in Asset Class G. This remains unchanged till the individual turns 36, when the ratio of investment in Asset Class E and Asset Class C will decrease annually, while the proportion of G rises till the age of 55, when Asset Class G will account for 80% of the corpus, while the share of Asset Class E and Asset Class C will fall to 10 per cent each.

    12. Who handles the investment of the money contributed to an NPS?

    The money invested in an NPS is managed by professional fund managers. Currently, the fund managers involved in handling contributions in NPS are:
    1.ICICI Prudential Pension Management
    2.IDFC Pension Fund Management
    3.Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund
    4.Reliance Capital Pension Fund
    5.SBI Pension Funds
    6.UTI Retirement Solutions
    While filling out the forms for account opening, you would need to specify one of these fund managers for the form to be accepted. In case you are not satisfied with the chosen fund manager, you have the option to switch managers.

    13. Are there any tax benefits for investing in NPS?

    At present the, NPS investments are covered under section 80CCD. However, tax is levied if you make a withdrawal.
    Response to the New Pension Scheme has been lukewarm because of the tax incentives currently being offered. However, experts believe that with some time, the scheme will gain popularity and what with the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) asking the government to treat the NPS at par with EPF, PPF etc. so that there are better tax incentives, the NPS is a good investment option to plan your retirement.

    14. What and How are the returns scheduled for this scheme?

    Contributions will not earn any specified rate of return. The PFM will invest your savings in a scheme of your choice. The returns earned by the PFM on the scheme selected by you will be credited to your account.

    15. What is Annuity Service Provider (ASP)?

    ASPs would be responsible for delivering a regular monthly pension to the subscriber for the rest of his/her life.

    On receipt of personal and banking information details of subscriber from CRA and of specified sum from the trustee bank the ASP would use its access codes to confirm receipt. ASP would then begin payments of annuities to the subscriber.

    16. What is "Immediate Annuity Scheme"?

    Let watch this brochure of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance co.

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