India Post Going Hi-Tech
9th October ... World Post Day
by Chander M. Bhat
The role of Post Offices around the world is undergoing changes as
traditional postal activities are supplanted by electronic mail and use of New
Technologies. Increasingly, post office is adopting new business to optimizer
its strength as an outlet of public utilities. Energizing Financial Services has
been a part of the new business strategies in most countries. In this context
India Post took several initiatives to broad base the range of Financial
Services provided by it. It forged a number of strategic partnerships with
leading financial institutions all aimed at enhancing customer’s satisfaction
and contributing towards revenue generation for the Department.
Let me first of all tell you the objectives of the Department and in broader
perspective there are six objectives for which Department is committed to work
effectively and efficiently. These are:
to ensure availability of basic postal services in all parts of the country,
including tribal, hilly and remote areas.
to provide efficient, reliable and economic service.
to provide value-added services according to market requirement.
to modernize the services to handle the growing volume of work with efficiency
and enhance customer and employee satisfaction.
to be a forward-looking organization, and
to generate more resources and improve financial performance.
We can look back with satisfaction on the development of postal services.
Programmes of development, carefully formulated in tune with the Government’s
policy of social justice, and implemented through successive Five-year Plans,
have expanded the postal network and upgraded services. While there were 24,000
post offices in the country in 1947-48, today India has the postal network with
more than 1,55,295 post offices. Expansion of the postal service to provide
connectivity among the people has been possible through a deliberate policy to
fulfill the Government’s obligation for providing universal postal service with
substantial subsidy for post office in the rural, tribal and hilly areas.
India Post has a commitment with regard to the universal service obligation.
This is in accordance with its commitments to the Universal service obligation.
This is in accordance with its commitments to the Universal Postal Union. In
terms of this commitment, India Post has to provide reasonable access to basic
facilities for collection, transmission and delivery of mails at an affordable
price. As already said the Department has a network of more than 1,55,295 post
office out of which 1,27,101 are branch offices catering to the needs of the
rural areas. All these offices are offering full range of services. Similarly,
in terms of physical delivery of mails India Post’s record of providing two
deliveries per day in urban centres and six deliveries a week in rural areas
compares well with the best in the world including USA, Germany, Britain and
While the Department is committed to provide basic postal services to the people
at an affordable price, it has also in the last few years tried to take
initiatives to introduce value added postal services at market competitive price
depending on the needs of the customers and in tune with economic and industrial
growth in the country and rapid progress in information technology, the
Department has initiated programmes of modernization with new technology.
Enhancement of customer satisfaction through more relevant and efficient service
with improvement of work-environment has been the focus of these programmes.
Computer-based computer machines, VSAT network for speeding Money Orders,
introduction of Hybrid mail, E-Post, Bill Post, Express Parcel Post, Greeting
Post, Business Post, E-Bill Post, Media Post, Data Post, Retail Post, Philately,
Corporate Money Order Service, IMTS, iMO, eMO and up-gradation of Speed Post
service have been some of the initiatives. The Department hopes to build on
these during the 9th Plan extending the Programme of modernization for more
efficient service for customers all round.
To cope up with the ever-increasing time consciousness of the clients, the
Department has introduced SPEED POST SERVICE, which is time bound, reliable and
guaranteed. Even money orders are being transmitted through speed post.
Basic postal facility apart, the postal network, especially in rural areas, has
played a key role since independence as an instrument of social progress. The
Post Office Savings Bank operates throughout a wide network of post offices all
over the country. The Department of Posts manages the work of post office
savings bank on behalf of Ministry of Finance as an agency. The number of
savings accounts in post office has risen rapidly from 3.1 million in 1947-48 to
70 million in 2007-2008.
Postal Life Insurance has steadily gained in popularity and it has now extended
insurance cover to the rural public to benefit weaker section and women workers.
Postal Life Insurance was introduced in 1884 as a welfare scheme for the P&T
employees. However it was later extended to the employees of the Central and
State Government, Armed Forces Personnel, Employees of the Local Universities
and Nationalized Banks.
India Post got its new logo on 23rd Sept. 2008 - of a bird in flight - that aims
to give the postal service a corporate look and reflects its new approach
towards business. . The choices of colours are red and yellow. Red has been
chosen for its traditional association with the postal service. It embodies
passion, power and commitment. Yellow communicates hope, joy and happiness.
The Department of Posts launched a series of fully upgraded and completely new
look post offices. Called 'Project Arrow', the launch aims to re-vitalize the
post office network and enable it to play a larger role in socio-economic
transformation of the country. These post offices are being given a thorough
make over both in terms of physical look and feel and upgrading service delivery
through IT enabled procedures. The major features of the project include
identity branding (a new logo and a new slogan), designing of exteriors and
interiors, up-gradation of computer hardware and software, improvement in
delivery of services and up-gradation in connectivity. The post office will
henceforth be a single window facility for banking, money remittance,
transmission and delivery of information. Besides providing traditional services
in a modern, more efficient and technology based mode, the post offices will
also form an indispensable part of all social and civic initiatives such as
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and National Old Age Pension
Scheme. Moreover, the stress is on creating a conducive and friendly work
environment for both staff and customers.
In J&K today, a post office serves on average 5983 persons and provide service
over an area of about 1,01,385 sq. km., and area cover by each post office is
82.55 sq. kms (which includes large number of un-inhabitated and desert area of
Ladakh region). The achievement in this regard can be better appreciated when we
remember that the state’s population has more that doubled since last about 58
In the year 1890, there were just 2 post offices in J&K under the administrative
control of Postmaster General, Lahore. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the then ruler of
J&K brought tremendous changes in the postal system of the state and the number
of post offices was increased from 2 to 81. In the year 1882 Money Order service
was introduced in the state. The following figures will clearly indicate the
progress made by the Posts in the state from its genesis.
No. of Post Offices
No. of letter boxes
No. of postal articles
As already said Jammu and Kashmir Postal Circle serves the entire State of Jammu
and Kashmir spread over an area of 1,01,385 sq. kms, with a population of about
eighty lakhs, as per the projections of State Government. The state comprises
three regions, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and is further divided into 20 revenue
districts with varied linguistic, cultural and topographical features.
Administratively, the Circle set-up comprises six Postal Divisions; Jammu,
Srinagar, Baramulla, Leh, Rajouri and Udhampur besides one RMS Division. One
Postal Stores Depot, One Circle Stamp Depot, one P&T Dispensary, and the office
of Director, Postal Accounts which are located at Jammu. All these office are
under the administrative control of Circle Office. Jammu and Kashmir Postal
Circle was a part of erstwhile Punjab Circle, Ambala up to 18.2.1966. From
19.2.1966 an independent combined P&T Circle was established headed by a
Director P&T. After bifurcation of Postal and Telecom wings J&K Postal Circle
headed by Postmaster General came into being w.e.f. 01.09.1974.
For ensuring reliable and speedy transmission of mails between large cities and
major towns, the Department utilizes Air Services, Railway Services and also
Roadways. Besides, it operates its own fleet of Mail Motor Vehicles. Aiming to
further improve its services amid stiff competition from private couriers, India
Post has rented two freighters from Air India for speedier delivery of mail.
The Department is going to celebrate Postal Week from 9th October 2009 which is
also being celebrated as the World Post Day every year. To celebrate the
occasion in Jammu and Kashmir various activities have been planned at different
levels, these include cultural meet, philatelic exhibitions, letter writing
competition, customer meet, seminars, business week, painting competition etc.
The objective of the celebration is to create awareness amongst the members of
public regarding the importance of the public service provided by the India
In this vast and complex country where the modern and the traditional pave
always coexisted, the post will continue to be useful and programmes of
modernization will ensure its relevance for the society in the coming years.
While concluding I hope that the vision of the Department is approaching nearer
which reads as “India Post will be a socially committed, technology driven,
professionally managed and forward looking organization”.