Anant Mishra a gold medallist in MSc, from Rajasthan University, wore a black band at his convocation ceremony yesterday, in protest against the recent police attacks on students at Jamia Milia University and Aligarh Muslim University. Anant Mishra is pursuing MTech from IIT, Gandhinagar. He had tied the black band on his right arm to express his protest. He was arrested for wearing black band in the convocation ceremony.
[Curtesy: Times of India dated 20.12.2019]
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has said, “look at the dress of the people who are protesting against CAA. You can understand who they are.” Further, it is also being propagated that, the protests are being instigated by “Urban Naxals”. These statements are nothing but tactics to divert the issue. Let us have a look as to who are all protesting the CAA.
Ramachandra Guha, Historian and writer has been arrested at Bengaluru.
Yogendra Yadav. “For the first time after Independence, our citizenship is being linked to our religion.”
Chetan Bhagat, Writer – “CAA is a life jacket. But, Muslims don’t get the life jacket. Distributing life jackets is not the problem. Giving them only to a few and pushing everyone off the plane is the problem.”
Kamal Haasan, Actor. “Applaud with glee at the stupidity of the government for stoking the fire of Satyagraha by arresting the thinking and questioning minds of India like Ram Guha & Yogendra Yadav.”
Harbajan Singh, Cricketer has expressed his shock for the attacks that have taken place on the students of Jamia Milia University. In the attacks, one student has lost his eye. “His crime is that he is a human”, said Harbajan Singh.
Priyanka Chopra, Celebrity. “In a thriving democracy, to raise one’s voice peacefully and be met with violence is wrong. Every voice counts. And each voice will work towards changing India.”
[Source: Times of India dated 20.12.2019]
Widespread protests are taking place throughout the country, demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has questioned which Indian Citizen, who is a Muslim, is affected by the CAA. It is sad that the Prime Minister is diverting the issue. The problem in the CAA is that, for the first time, the citizenship of our country will be determined based on religion. This has never happened before. Mahatma Gandhi said that India belongs to the people of all religions and not to the people of any particular religion. And that is the reason why he was killed. The demand that the CAA should be withdrawn is justified and the government and the ruling party should review their stand.
India has got the dubious credit of being the global leader in internet shutdowns. 67% of world’s internet shutdowns were made in India. In this year alone, internet shutdowns have been made for 95 times in India. Government shutdown internet service whenever protests take place against governments policies or actions. Presently, internet shutting down has been ordered in places where protests are taking place against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The CHQ of BSNLEU is saddened to hear that, Com.T. Dharma Rao, General Secretary, BSNL Casual Contract Workers Federation, Andhra Pradesh, has passed away today. He has been suffering from liver cancer. Com. Dharma Rao has also served as the Assistant Circle Secretary of BSNLEU, AP circle and has worked hard to establish the Casual Contract Workers Federation in Andhra Pradesh circle. BSNLEU pays it’s respectful homage to Com.T. Dharma Rao and conveys it’s heartfelt condolences to the members of his family.
CHQ has prepared a pamphlet matter for organising the 8th January General Strike. All the circle and district secretaries are requested to translate this matter and to print it into pamphlets. CHQ requests that this pamphlet should reach the hands of each and every employee in BSNL.
On the issue of improving efficiency and productivity in BSNL, a brief but significant discussion took place between BSNLEU and Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL, when the GS and Dy.GS of BSNLEU met the latter on 17.12.2019. In that meeting, CMD BSNL, sought the co-operation of BSNLEU for improving efficiency and productivity in BSNL, so that BSNL could become profit earning at the earliest. The representatives of BSNLEU told the CMD BSNL that, they are fully with him on the issue of improving efficiency and productivity of BSNL. In fact, the unions and associations of BSNL have already launched many movements like “Customer Delight Year”, “Service With A Smile (SWAS)”, etc., to improve the quality of service, customer satisfaction and work culture, they pointed out. It was emphatically conveyed to the CMD BSNL that efficiency and productivity of the employees could be improved only by motivating them. GS pointed out a popular saying in English:-
“a captain orders, but a leader inspires”.
It was told that the CMD BSNL, being the leader of the Company, should inspire the employees for improving efficiency and productivity. Thus, BSNLEU indirectly conveyed to the CMD BSNL that, the type of Deepawali speech, made by him, to the Corporate Office staff on 25th October, 2019, would not help to improve efficiency and productivity in BSNL, rather he should inspire and motivate the employees for improving efficiency and productivity. In this context, BSNLEU also recollected the positive role played by the erstwhile CMD BSNL, Shri Anupam Shrivastava.
The Formal meeting sought by BSNLEU, to discuss certain important staff issues, is being delayed, since the Director (HR) is on leave and is expected to join only on 26.12.2019. Discussion on some other important issues can also take place only after the Director (HR) returns.
With as many as 78,569 of its employees opting for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), State-run telco BSNL expects to save about ₹1,300 crore in wage bills during the current financial year.
“Our goal is that people who have applied for VRS, their application should be considered and approved… VRS will take place from January 31, 2020. So, there will be two months — February and March, where the savings will come to us… BSNL is likely to save ₹1,300 crore in this financial year,” Chairman and Managing Director P.K. Purwar said on Tuesday. He added that about 70,000 employees would still remain with the telco, “which is a reasonable number.” “As on date, BSNL will not make any recruitment, except where it is required as per current policy,” he said.
Asked about the headway made in merger of BSNL and MTNL, Mr. Purwar said, “The discussion for merger has started. Both the boards have met on a common platform to take stock on how to move forward”.
[Courtesy: The Hindu dated 18.12.2019]
Chairman of a multinational company has been sentenced to 1 ½ years in jail, for obstructing formation of a trade union. Don’t be surprised. It has not happened in India but in South Korea. Lee Sang-Hoon, Chairman of the Samsung Electronics, has been sentenced to 1 ½ years in jail for obstructing formation of a trade union. This has happened in 2013, when Lee Sang-Hoon was the Chief Finance Officer of Samsung Electronics. The punishment has been awarded by the Seoul Central District Court.
Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, met Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL today and discussed the following issues.
Payment of November salary
The Union representatives demanded that the salary for the month of November, 2019, should be disbursed without further delay. In reply to this, the CMD BSNL stated that, BSNL is still facing acute cash crunch. In reply to the question raised by the representatives, the CMD BSNL replied that, the expected bank loans have not yet come. However, he assured that, November, 2019, salary would be disbursed before 31.12.2019. The Union representatives urged upon the CMD BSNL to disburse the salary at least before Christmas, which is an important festival across the country. But, the CMD BSNL replied that it is not possible in view of the acute scarcity of funds.
Remittance of deductions made from employees’ salary.
The Union representatives pointed out that the deductions made from salaries of employees, on account of GPF, society and bank loan dues, etc., have not been remitted to the concerned organisations for the past so many months. Similarly, it was also pointed out that Union subscription quota amount, deducted from employees’ salaries, has not been paid to the Union, as a result of which day to day functioning of the Union is becoming difficult. They urged upon the CMD BSNL to ensure the early remittance of these deductions. The CMD BSNL assured to do the needful at the earliest.
In their meeting with the CMD BSNL held today, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, raised the issue of granting relaxation to the failed candidates of the JTO LICE held on 26.05.2019. BSNLEU pointed out that, out of the 1030 candidates appeared in this JTO LICE, only 154 candidates have got qualified. They also highlighted that, no candidate has got qualified from six circles, including the educationally advanced Andhra Pradesh circle, which shows that something is wrong with the question paper. The Union bitterly complained that, it’s representation for granting full marks to wrong questions and questions with wrong, ambiguous and multiple answers, was not duly considered by the Recruitment Branch of the Corporate Office. The Union appealed to the CMD BSNL that, considering the fact that, most of the candidates appeared in this JTO LICE are young engineering graduates, granting of relaxation to the failed candidates will be gainful, both to the Company, as well as to the candidates. The Union also handed over it’s letter to the CMD BSNL, demanding relaxation to the failed candidates. The CMD BSNL gave a patient hearing and assured that the matter would be looked into appropriately. BSNLEU will further pursue this case.
The wages of the contract workers has not been paid almost from January, 2019. BSNLEU, together with BSNLCCWF has already conducted many agitational programme on this issue. BSNLEU has raised this issue with the top Management on several occasions and written letters. As a result of the efforts taken by BSNLEU and BSNLCCWF, some nominal funds have been released to some circles, but not to all. Seven contract workers have already committed suicide due to the crisis caused by non-payment of wages. The issue has been raised in the Parliament also. In their meeting with Shri P.K.Purwar, CMD BSNL today, this issue was seriously raised and discussed by Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS. Once again, the acute financial crisis being faced by BSNL, was cited by the CMD BSNL, as the reason behind the non-payment of wages. However, the GS and Dy.GS pointed out that this is a humanitarian problem and should be addressed on a priority basis. They told the CMD BSNL that, the outstanding wage arrears of the workers could have been cleared in instalments, if not in one go. They told the CMD BSNL that the families of the contract workers are in starvation and fervently appealed to him to immediately release funds, at least to clear a part of the wage arrears. The CMD BSNL assured to do the needful at the earliest.
In addition to the payment of wage arrears, the Union raised the issue of large scale retrenchment of contract workers. The CMD BSNL replied that it will not be possible for the Company to continue to engage one lakh contract workers. However, the Union stated that, it is not correct to say that BSNL is having one lakh contract workers. The Union pointed out the following.
The Union urged upon the CMD BSNL that, the Management should think about gainfully utilising the left out contract workers, especially in the backdrop of around 80,000 regular employees having opted for VRS. It was also pointed out that, considering the age profile of the contract workers, they could be gainfully utilised in the marketing activities, which will bring a win-win situation both for the Company, as well as the contract workers. The CMD BSNL gave a patient hearing to the views of the Union and agreed to positively consider the same. The Union also assured to come back with the exact number of contract workers presently working in various circles, so that their gainful utilisation can be discussed in a more concrete manner. The CMD BSNL agreed for further discussion on the issue.
The CVO has informed BSNL Management that it has been decided to with hold vigilance clearance of VRS optees, against whom personal court cases (other than Departmental) are pending.
Accepting the demand of BSNLEU, the Management took decision to hold the JE LICE as an ‘off-line’ exam. Due to this change, the JE LICE which was scheduled to be held as an ‘on-line’ exam on 07.04.2019 was postponed. Thereafter, despite repeated requests by BSNLEU, the JE LICE for the vacancy year 2017-18 is not yet held. Meanwhile, the JE LICE for the vacancy year 2018-19 has also become due. Hence, BSNLEU has written to the Director (HR), strongly demanding to hold the JE LICE for the vacancy years 2017-18 and 2018-19, without any further delay.
Immediately after the Rajya Sabha passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, President Ramnath Kovind has given his Presidential Assent. The hasty manner in which the President of India has given his Assent, reveals that the government is having a hidden agenda in bringing the Act. Terming this act as a direct assault on India’s secular character, five Left Parties have announced a nation wide joint protest action on 19th December, 2019. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, has declared that the communally polarising law, that discriminates Islam as a religion, has no place in Kerala. Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab has announced that his government would not allow the legislation to be implemented in Punjab.
Clarifying on rumours around Voluntary Retirement Scheme for government employees, the Central government today said there is no such proposal. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Jitendra Singh said, “There is no such proposal of Golden Voluntary Retirement Scheme under consideration of the Government.”
Singh also clarified that there is no proposal in the Government to reduce the retirement age of Government employees below 60 years. Earlier on December 5 also, Singh had told Rajya Sabha, “There is no proposal to reduce retirement age of Government official below 60 years.” The government’s response had come on a question whether it was considering to retire government officials either at the age of 60 years or after completing 33 years of service.
[Courtesy - Financial Express - December 12, 2019]