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Unification of PA Cadre in DOP (Department of Posts) | PA(CO/RO) with PA (PO) (Postal Assistant)

Subject: Unification of PA (CO/RO) with PA (PO)-regarding.

Download Unification of PA (CO/RO) with PA (PO) in PDF

No. Q-25/11/2022-PE-I-DOP Government of India Ministry of Communications Department of Posts (PE-I Section) Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi — 110001 Dated: 27th October, 2023 To, All Heads of Circles.

Historically, there were four (4) distinct cadres of Postal Assistant (PA) in the Department, viz. PA in Post Office, PA in Administrative Office (CO/RO), PA in Foreign Post Organization, and PA in Savings Bank and Internal Check Organization. Recruitment to these cadres was done separately. However, over the years the recruitment process have undergone changes and at present 60% of the vacancies of PA in Post Office, PA in CO/RO and PA in Foreign Post are filled through Staff Selection Commission on the basis of open competitive examination. Therefore, it is imperative that the officials recruited through a common examination are given equal opportunities for their career progression.

2. Further, the ambit of operational requirements of the Department has drastically changed over the years. Officials working in Administrative Office need to have knowledge of Postal operations to make them efficient enough to prepare and implement policies of the department for optimum utilization of postal network and delivery of postal products and services more effectively. Due to this knowledge gap in Administrative Offices, many a times officials from Postal Divisions are deputed to Administrative Offices to meet the work requirements.

3. Therefore, taking into consideration the operational requirements as well as to provide level playing field to officials recruited through a common examination, it is imperative that all the cadres of PA are unified to have a common pool of officials having knowledge / exposure to all internal wings (CO/RO/PO/FPO/SBCO) of the Department. Further, the unification shall provide wider choice to officials for posting to a Division / Unit, closer to their home. Further, services of the unified PA Cadre can be utilized more effectively and will also facilitate better cadre management.

4. Accordingly, approval of the Competent Authority is hereby conveyed for the unification of PA (CO/RO) cadre and PA (PO) cadre with effect from 01.11.2023.

5. Migration of the existing incumbents of PA (CO/RO) cadre to PA (PO) cadre is purely OPTIONAL, i.e. the existing officials PA (CO/RO) cadre, who do not wish to switch over to PA (PO) cadre shall continue to remain in their present cadre i.e. PA (CO/RO).

6. The detailed modalities for unification of PA (CO/RO) with PA (PO), formulated in consultation with Personnel Division, are as follows:

a) No further appointment shall be made in PA (CO/RO) cadre from 01.11.2028. However, all those PA (CO/RO) cadre posts which have been since notified and for which recruitment process is under way as on 31.10.2023 shall be completed as per notification. Candidates selected against the vacancy upto 2023 vacancy year may join in PA (CO/RO) cadre. However, at the time of their joining they may be given the option either to join PA (CO/RO) cadre or to join in PA (PO) cadre. In case they opt to join the PA (PO) cadre they may be allowed to join the Postal Division where the CO or RO is geographically located and the post against which the candidate was selected shall be added to the strength of the Postal Division for the purpose of recruitment / posting.

b) Existing incumbents of PA (CO/RO) cadre shall continue to be in PA (CO/RO) cadre till they are promoted to next higher grade in CO/RO cadre or cease to be in service.

c) Existing incumbents of PA (CO/RO) cadre may make a request, addressed to APMG/AD (Staff) concerned, in writing to switch over to PA (PO) cadre and such requests shall be received till 01.12.2023. All such requests received in Regional Office shall be forwarded to Circle Office. DPS (HQ) in Circle Office shall be the Accepting Authority for such requests. Where the post of DPS (HQ) is vacant, CPMG shall be the Accepting Authority.

d) Those officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre who shall submit request to switch over to PA (PO) cadre, on or before the prescribed date of 01.12.2023, shall be taken on the strength of the PA (PO) Cadre and shall be allotted to one of the Postal Divisions/Units.

e) Existing incumbents of PA (CO/RO) Cadre, while making request to switch over to PA (PQ) cadre as above shall be allowed to submit order of preference for not more than five (5) Postal Divisions / Units of their parent Circle, which shall invariably include the Division where the CO or RO (where the official is presently working) is geographically located.

f) Officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre opting to switch over to PA(PO) cadre giving the Postal Division, where the CO or RO is geographically located, as their 1st preferred Division, shall be taken on the strength of that Division irrespective of availability of vacancy. In such a situation the post in CO or RO held by the official shall be added to the strength of the Postal Division for the purpose of recruitment followed by posting in CO or RO.

g) Allotment of Division / Unit, other than the Division/Unit where CO/RO located, to the officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre opting to switch over to PA(PO) cadre shall be subject to availability of vacancy in the requested Postal Division / Unit. Such allotment shall be made as per their Circle Gradation/Seniority List. However, the post so vacated by the official shall be added to the strength of the Postal Division where the CO/RO (in which the official is presently working) is located geographically for the purpose of recruitment followed by posting in CO or RO.

h) However, those officials to whom no other Postal Division / Unit is allotted due to non-availability of vacancy, they will be taken on the strength of the Postal Division/Unit where the CO/RO (in which the official is presently working) is located geographically and in such case the post in CO or RO held by the official shall be added to the strength of the Postal Division for the purpose of recruitment followed by posting in CO or RO.

i) Orders allocating Postal Division / Unit to officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre opting to switch over to PA(PO) cadre shall be issued by 15.12.2023.

j) Vacancy for the 2024 recruitment year shall be calculated after allotment of Division / Unit to the officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre opting to switch over to PA (PO) cadre.

k) Such officials who switch over to PA (PO) cadre shall be placed en bloc below all those officials of PA (PO)’s gradation list of the Circle as on 01.01.2024. Inter se seniority of those officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre, who chose to switch over to PA (PO) cadre, shall be the same as was in PA (CO/RO) cadre [Explanation: If A, B and C were holding the posts of PA (CO/RO) and placed at S. No. 5, 15 and 27 of PA (CO/RO) seniority list, then after their switch over to PA(PO) cadre, they will be placed in the same order i.e. A will be senior to B and B will be senior to C.

l) Officials of PA (CO/RQ) cadre who choose to switch over to PA (PO) cadre in Postal Operative Side shall not be allowed to revert back to PA (CO/RO) Cadre and their further promotion shall be in the hierarchy in PostalOperative Side and after promotion to next higher grades of LSG, HSG etc., they will be posted in Postal Division/ Unit.

m) Existing officials, who choose to continue in PA (CO/RO), will be considered for promotion in the existing hierarchy in CO/RO supervisory cadre, as per availability of posts.

n) To ensure that there is no large-scale dislocation of officials, feeder Division(s) for an Administrative Office (CO/RO) would be the local Postal Division where the Administrative Office (CO/RO) is geographically located. All existing vacant posts of PA(CO/RO) cadre, as on the crucial date, i.e. 01.01.2024, but excluding the posts for which recruitment process is already undergoing and the posts held by the officials, who allowed to switch over to PA (PO) cadre in Postal Operative Side, as per (f), (g) & (h) above, shall be added to the strength of the respective Postal Division/Unit where the Administrative Office (CO/RO) are located and such Postal Division/Unit shall be the feeder Division/Unit for posting manpower to CO/RO against these posts. At the same time equal number of posts will be reduced from the strength of Administrative Office (CO/RO). For example, if in a CO the sanctioned strength of PA(CO/RO) cadre is 100, and 30 posts are vacant and 10 officials opt for PA (PO) cadre, then these 40 posts (30 vacant posts + 10 posts for switch over) will be added to the strength of the Postal Division/Unit for making recruitment and posting of officials. However, for providing manpower, strength of PA in the CO will continue to be 100.

o) Posts that shall be vacated in future, in PA (CO/RO) cadre, due to retirement/promotion etc., shall also be added to Postal Division (s) in the above manner and ultimately entire strength of PA (CO/RO) cadre would be added to strength of Postal Divisions in due course. However, sanctioned establishment (number of sanctioned posts) of CO/RO, as decided from time to time, will continue to remain the same for the purpose of posting of officials.

p) Record of the number of posts added, in the manner mentioned above, must be maintained separately in the establishment register of the concerned CO/RO as well as Postal Division/Unit.

q) Posting of PA in CO/RO will be done from Postal Divisions on tenure basis through appropriate Transfer and Placement Committee (TPC) of the Division. However, there will be cooling off period of two (02) years between two tenures in CO/RO. The cooling off period can be relaxed, upto one (1) year, due to administrative exigency, by the Head of the Circle. For posting in CO/RO, the TPC will be headed by DPS (HQ). AD/APMG of concerned CO/RO and concerned Divisional Head will be members of the TPC. Transfer/posting of the officials who do not opt to switch over to Postal Operative Side will be done as per existing guidelines.

r) While posting officials in CO/RO, the TPC will ensure that the official is well conversant with office procedures, noting, drafting etc. If required, in- house training may be imparted to the official so posted in CO/RO. An official who has worked for a minimum period of three (3) years in a Division Office shall be given preference for posting in CO/ RO. To ensure that a large pool of officials are available for posting in CO/ RO, maximum number of officials shall be given opportunity to work in Division Office.

s) Officials of PA (CO/RO) cadre who choose to switch over to PA (PO) cadre in Postal Operative Side shall be eligible for posting in CO/RO on tenure basis as well as in offices of allotted Postal Division.

t) Existing incumbents of PA (CO/RO) cadre who are allowed to switch over to PA (PO) cadre in Postal Operative Side shall be eligible for both Inter Circle and Intra-Circle transfer under Rule - 38 of Postal Manual - IV only in PA (PO) cadre of Postal Division/ Unit.

7. The Circles shall issue unification orders, after processing/considering the requests received from PA (CO/RO) officials to switch over to PA (PO) cadre, by 15.12.2023 positively. Compliance report inter alia including the number of officials of PA (CO/RO) switched over to PA (PO) and number of officials remained in PA (CO/RO) may be sent to this office by 20.12.2023.

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