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A Historical Perspective since 1972
1.1 P&T Accounts have been in existence since the establishment of Postal & Telegraph Department by British. However we can treat the Govt. of India Financial Department Resolution No.4398 dated 19th April 1861 as the formal beginning of P&T Accounts as an organized set up. First Postal Accounts, shortly thereafter Telegraph Accounts and then Telecom Accounts came into existence, but all these developments were under Auditor General’s set up. The IP&TAFS Group ‘A’ cadre was created in 1972 as an organized Accounts Cadre of the Govt. of India and first direct recruitment at Group ‘A’ level to the cadre started during 1974. There was no formal training establishment for the cadre till 1977. Induction Training for the Group-A probationers was started in Postal Staff College in 1977 and continued till 1993, before it was shifted to ALTTC, Ghaziabad in July 1993.
   
1.2 There was no Induction Training for JAOs who were inducted to the Accounts cadres through departmental examination from amongst the existing staff. Some rudimentary training process started in 1970s for the JAOs of Department of Telecom at Telecom Training Centre, Jabalpur and few batches of JAOs got trained there. But unfortunately in spite of provisions in the Recruitment Rules, the waiver of the induction training was granted too liberally and there were JAO batches in which no one went through the induction training. In addition to this, there was no institutionalized in-service training mechanism for Group-B level officers till 1996. Refresher in-service courses for Telecom Accounts Officers of Department of Telecom were started by Finance faculty of ALTTC at Ghaziabad in 1995-96.  Expansion of In-service Finance Training in large scale for Group-B & C level was initiated by the Finance faculty of ALTTC and regular in-service training courses were organized after 1996-97 at BRBRAITT, Jabalpur and 11 Regional Telecom Training Centers under DOT (all of which had been retained by BSNL after corporatization).
   
1.3 NATFM (National Academy of Telecom Finance Management) was set up at Hyderabad in 2000-01 with full Administrative & Financial Powers vested in the Heads of Circles in BSNL for organizing in-service training for the IP&TAFS officers. This training institute is not retained by DOT in view of the training needs of absorbed Accounts & Finance Officers of BSNL.
   
1.4 In Postal Accounts organization at the time of separation of Accounts from C&AG there was a post of AO Training and AAO Training in each of the DAP/Dy.DAP offices but with the passage of the time these posts were diverted to many new DPS/PMG offices and no arrangement was left to attend to training of Group B & C in DAP/Dy.DAP offices.
   
  This was taken up with Secretary Posts in 2006-07 and 2007-08. In 2006-07 workplaces training centres started functioning at Nagpur and Chennai. In addition all DAPs were directed to conduct short training programmes in Taxation, BD, Accounts compilation etc. PA wing Hqs. also arranged for training of P&TAFS in Internal Audit, Costing, Accrual Accounting, Gender Budgeting, Financial Management and computer packages.
   
  Need for having a plan scheme for training was realized in 2006-07 and was mooted. As a result in 2007-08, 2009-10, 5 workplace zonal Training Centres and 11 Circle Training Centres for DAPs were sanctioned as planned scheme. These Training Centres have started functioning in most of places.
   
1.5 The induction training of Group-A IP&TAFS officers continued at ALTTC Ghaziabad during the transition phase of 2000 to 2005. As per DOT letter No. 34-11/96 SEA dt. 31st Jan. 2001, GM (Finance) ALTTC was instructed to look after the work of training in DOT as well as in BSNL also till BSNL creates its own post.  DOT Training Finance Cell.
   
1.6 Which was continuing since 1993 was renamed as National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF) in 2007.
   
1.7 At present, NICF is the apex level training institute catering to the training needs of Indian Post & Telecom Accounts & Finance Service Officers (IP&TAFS) Group ‘A’ & Group ‘B’. In addition to probationary training of IP&TAFS officers recruited through Civil Services Exam, it conducts & coordinates induction training of Accounts officers and Asstt. Accounts Officers, mid- career training of various levels of Group ‘A’ officers and refresher in-service courses for various target groups of DOT & DOP.
 
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