The Indian Post & Telecommunication
Accounts and Finance Service (also known as IP&TAFS) is a Group "A"
Central Civil service of the Union of India. The service was started in the
year 1972 for prudent and professional management of the finances of the
Department of Posts and Department of Telecom which were the sole provider
of the communications needs of the country at that time. Gradually, over
time the service has crystallized into a professional cadre of over 225
officers. The officers are recruited through the Civil Services Examination
organised by the Union Public Service Commission. The Services recruited
through Civil Services Examination include IFS, IAS, IPS and Central
Services Group "A", viz., IRTS, IRS, IA&AS, IP&TAFS, IRAS, IDAS etc.
After the foundation of Service in 1972,
the first batch was recruited in 1974. Mr S.D. Saxena (currently working as
Director Finance, BSNL and Ms Ruchira Mukherjee (Ex Adviser Finance), belong
to the first batch of 1974. Initial batches of the service were very small
in number, however, with growth in Telecom in India need was felt for more
number of officers, hence subsequent batches of the service (e.g. 1994, 1995
etc) were large batches.
After recruitment through Civil Services
Examination, the officers undergo a foundation course with the officers of
other services (IAS, IPS, IFS & Central Services Group "A")lasting about 4
months. This is followed by a year of rigorous professional training in
Financial Management at the National Institute of Financial Management,
Faridabad which is a specialised training institute under the Ministry of
Finance, Government of India. Thereafter, for further training in Telecom
technologies and Postal procedures the officers are deputed for 10 months to
BSNL's Advance Level Telecom Training Centre (ALTTC) at Ghaziabad (U.P.) In
between this classroom training schedules, the officers are also deputed for
on job field training in various areas.
After successful completion of training the
officers are posted to work in the Department of Post or Department of
Telecommunications as Assistant Chief Accounts Officers in the Junior Time
As in the other Central Services, the
officers are liable to be transferred and posted in anywhere in India.
Officers from this service are also presently occupying the posts of
Director (Finance) on the Board of Directors of prestigious PSUs viz., MTNL,
BSNL, NPCIL and ITI. The officers of IP&AFS are working in Department of
Telecom, Department of Posts, BSNL, MTNL and various other Ministries and
Statutory bodies of Govt of India.
The following officers of IP&TAFS are
currently working as Chief Financial Officers in various PSUs of India:-
1. Mr S.D. Saxena, Director Finance,
2. Mr Mathew George, Director
3. Mrs Anita Soni, Director FInance,
4. Mr J.K. Ghai, Executive Director
In the Department of Telecommunications the
officers are posted at DOT Headquarters as Adviser, Sr DDG, DDG, Directors &
ADG. In field units the officers are posted as Controller / Joint Controller
of Communication Accounts which is involved in the settlement of pension
cases of BSNL Employees, maintaining General Provident Fund accounts of BSNL
Employees, collection of License fees and Spectrum Charges from BSNL, MTNL
and other service providers and for checking and disbursing claims received
under the Universal Service Obligation fund. The amount collected under
licensing is approximately Rs.7700 crores for the Financial Year 2004-05.
The CCA units also assist in the administration of Universal Service
Obligation Fund under the Ministry of Communications & IT for providing
telecom service in the rural/remote areas of the country involving (a)
planning & forecasting, (b) tendering (c) costing (d) disbursement of
support to service providers and (e) monitoring. The collection towards USO
for the 10th Plan Period is around Rs. 13000 crores
The officers in BSNL and MTNL are working
at the level of Sr DDG / PGM, DDG / GM & Jt DDG / DGM. In field units they
are mainly working as head of finance in various Telecom Circles of BSNL &
In the Department of Post, the officers
from this service are manning the offices of DDG / GM, Director, ADG of
Postal Accounts located at DOP Headquarters and in all states. The work in
these offices mainly comprises maintaining General Provident Fund accounts
of the staff employed in a particular postal circle, settlement of pension
cases, checking of money order deliveries and NSC's, budgeting and financial
control and rendering financial advice to the concerned Head of the Circle.
Member Finance, Telecom Commission of India
is Cadre Controlling Authority of IP&TAFS, Group "A". Member Finance is
Ex-officio Secretary to Government of India. Mrs Manju Madhavan is
currently working as Member Finance.
The recruitment to this service is like any
other civil service including IAS where generalists are selected. They are
supposed to be specialist in due course of their working. They have
contributed significantly to professional management of finance in
Department of Post and Telecom.
But department of telecome was
operationally divided mainly into two corporate entities i.e, MTNL and BSNL
where the role of finance manager is very different from those working in
bureaucratic government departments. Without having deep understanding of
Finance and without any motivation to learn, this cadre has performed
miserably in corporate structure and still do the work of putting up or
pushing down in files.