EPF balm for government staff on contract
The government is going to bring all contractual employees under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation net soon. It will benefit contractual employees appointed either directly or through an outsourcing agency, said labour resources minister Vijay Kumar Sinha. Senior officials have discussed the modalities with top EPFO officials, including VP Singh, additional provident fund commissioner for Bihar and Jharkhand. Contractual employees have been demanding service regularisation and payment of salaries at par with regular staff. But the government has no plans to regularise services, mainly because of additional financial burden it would put on exchequer.
Ban soon on diesel vehicles older than 15 years
With vehicular emissions identified as a major cause of the high pollution levels in Patna, the government has decided to ban commercial diesel vehicles older than 15 years on city roads from December. Diesel-driven auto-rickshaws will also not be registered any more.
These moves, announced by Bihar State Pollution Control Board, are expected to reduce the high level of nitrogen dioxide. Air pollution levels are expected to improve significantly from June when the CNG supply begins. Gas Authority of India Limited is working on a project to provide PNG to households and CNG for vehicles under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojna from June.
Biometric attendance system irks PU teachers
Biometric attendance machines for teachers and non-teaching staff of Patna University and new rules linked to them have drawn protests from the teaching community. The machines were installed at PU’s main office, postgraduate departments and all major colleges. Patna University Teachers’ Association has protested the circular linking payment of salaries with submission of activity report every month.
The new system, spearheaded by the office of Governor-cum-Chancellor Satya Pal Malik, requires the university administration to send a list showing the maximum and minimum duration of time spent at work by teachers and employees. PUTA president Randhir Kumar Singh said since teachers are engaged in a wide range of activities, they should be exempted from biometric attendance
AIIMS gets eight new departments, more facilities
With the inauguration of eight new departments at AIIMS-Patna, the total number of departments at the super-specialty hospital has gone up to 30. The new departments were inaugurated by Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, a Bihar MP who used to be Bihar health minister earlier. The new departments include neurology, gastroenterology, surgical gastroenterology, oncology, surgical oncology, haematology medicine, burn and plastic surgery, transfusion medicine, psychiatry and blood bank. Choubey also inaugurated a new OPD building and two new IPD blocks. The number of IPD beds has now risen from 196 to 400. AIIMS-Patna, which started functioning in 2012, plans to begin emergency services shortly.