ABOUT INDIA POSTAL SERVICE19/02/2021
About Indian Post
Indian Postal Service a public enterprise and a well-established and reliable name when it comes to postal distribution. Each post office covers an area of 21.21 sq km and serves over 7,125 people on average. We connect the 1.35 billion people of India and their contacts abroad with our impeccable mailing services. It involves delivering registered post speed post, a deposit of fees for RTI, savings schemes, pension schemes, and much more.
The history of the Indian Postal system goes back to many centuries earlier when Chanakya’s Arthashastra introduced methods of collecting revenues and information from provinces and then passing them on to the king of the territory. Slowly and steadily, the practices evolved and took a definite shape of a Postal Organization by the period of East India Company.
Postal services started in India in 1668 by initiative under East India Company, which was amended in 1854 by the India Post Office Act to introduce regular post offices in India. On 8-February, 1911, the world’s first airmail flight took place in India, which was a journey of 18 kilometers from Allahabad to Naini across the holy Ganga River carrying approx 15 kg of mail.
Post-Independence, our postal services saw a new sunrise, and we inherited the new motto “services before help,” and became the most widely distributed postal system in the world. From 23,344 post offices in 1947 to over 1.55 lakh in 2016, our postal services are now the biggest network in the rural areas, with more than 90% of our total post offices count.
In November 1947, India witnessed the first postal stamp of Independent India, with the Indian flag and the ‘Jai Hind’ slogan. On our first anniversary of Independence, we issued a memory stamp for Mahatma Gandhi. A year later, we began our series of stamps showing our country’s heritage and progress, owing to which, till 1983, we have printed over 770-stamps. Our remarkable postal and stamp printing operations pushed countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Portugal, Ethiopia, and pre-independent Burma, to get their postal stationery printed from us.
Project Arrow, launched in March 2008, improved the services and flavor of the India Postal organization into a more dynamic and responsive one; by having more-friendly staff and a newer set of services. In March 2013, e-IPO (Electronic Indian Postal Order) was introduced for Indian citizens living abroad, for they can pay the fees under the Right to Information Act; a year later, this service was made available to all Indian citizens.
Postal life insurance is the oldest insurer in the country and the first one for the female populace. We started insurance services for rural citizens in 1995 under Rural Postal Life Insurance, with schemes like Gram Suraksha, Gram Santosh, Gram Suvidha, Gram Sumangal, and Gram Priya. With several insurance schemes for government employees also we are a reliable insurance service provider of our country, and, by 31st March 2015, we had over 64 lakhs actives policies with a sum assured of 1,30,745crore.
Indian post offices also offer multiple saving schemes, which have facilitated citizens with their secure and beneficial financial plans. Sukanya Samriddhi Account, National Savings Account, Kisan Vikas Patra, Public Provident Fund, Savings Bank Account, Regular Deposit Plans, and others are only to name a few. 2013 was the year when RBI permitted Indian Postal Service to start the banking service, and by 2016 over 18 thousand post office were using the Core Banking Solutions. ATMs got installed at 576 locations, and in 2018 Post Payments Bank was inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
Apart from that, the Postal Department has served for multiple other purposes as we have collaborated with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for enabling the computation of price-indices for rural areas. The vast reach of our postal services was fruitful to this project, as the earlier unobtainable data due to the remoteness was now available to the ministry. After the first publishing of the Consumer Price Index in 2011, this information is published monthly, based on the survey data from 1,181 villages of the country.
Indian Post has also collaborated with e-commerce companies for delivering pre-paid as well as COD parcels; back then, it was projected to cross the mark of Rs. 15 billion revenue in the financial year 2015-16. Our catalog of services is vast, apart from our primary services like speed post, Army Postal Service, Railway Mail services. We also provide facilities like ID cards for proof of residence, Aadhaar enrolment, Western Union Money Transfer, etc.
The onset of speedy urbanization has pushed every organization to inherit the new technological advancements to improve and scale up the efficiency of operations. Moreover, with the era of digitalization, tough competition has risen for our postal services, and it’s highly essential that we also adopt the changing technology. It will help us to remain a trustworthy, flexible, and fast-medium of information exchange across the country. Moreover, it will help us survive the urbanization wave and will let us explore newer paradigms of our operations.
We have updated ourselves with the changing technology, our collaboration with private organizations has helped us establish mobile terminals equipped with hand-held devices that have cameras and biometric facilities. These terminals, specifically designed to ease up the postal and financial transactions in rural offices of Indian Post and to improve the quality of service. Aiming the extension of our remote location services and inclusion of an un-touched rural population in the Post Office financial schemes is a part of the IT modernization project undertaken by the Department of Posts.
Under this Rural Information & Communication Technology project of the Department of Post efficiency of postal services will be improved even more. Each Branch Postmaster, now equipped with a low power technology solution, which will enable them to enhance the speed and quality of postal services in rural areas. Talking about the basic features of this project, we could summarize it as follows.
- Improved customer service.
- Wider reach to Indian populace through multiple customer interaction channels.
- Generation and evolving of new lines of businesses.
- IT involvement in business processes and support functions; to ease up and improve their effectiveness.
Adaptation of newer technology methods has helped us find collaborations with private and social enterprises. Thanks to our deep reach and goodwill that attracted them towards us, and find a reliable partner in operations.
Our deep reach and reliable service make us a very efficient platform for the implementation of government schemes in the rural and urban areas. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA), a famous scheme to serve rural areas, uses our deep rural access to reach to the rural populace for financial and work purposes. And, it’s known to everyone that it is one of the biggest employment generation schemes of the world, widely appreciated by the UN and other organizations.
Indian Post Service is also pretty famous for implementing multiple insurance schemes like Jansuraksha scheme, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna, Atal Pension Yojna, etc. These schemes benefit the rural and simplify the process of financial security for them. Our trustworthy services assure the rural populace of financial safety in the long-term when they are making a timely deposit for their future. Moreover, under the National Pension System, all head post offices of the Department of Post are identified as POP Service Providers for implementation of this scheme, which benefits the senior citizens all across the country.
Sukanya Samridddhi Yojna, where a guardian can open an account in favor of his girl up to 10 years of age, with the benefit of 8.1% annual compounded interest adding up for her future education and marriage. Farmers can benefit themselves with the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme, where 7.3% compounded interest per annum on investment is guaranteed, with a lock-in period of 2.5 years. Apart from these, many mutual funds and savings schemes have attracted the rural and urban population towards welcoming centers of the India Postal Service. From postal services to employment generation to financial and life insurance, we are touching all aspects of people’s lives, benefitting them most with our prompt service and reliable platforms. With ever-updating work processes and technologically advanced service methods, we are always ready to serve the people of our country to the fullest.