Simply speaking, communication means sharing of ideas in common.
Communication can be defined as exchange of ideas, views, information, and facts etc. with two or more persons with an aim to develop understanding.
Communication system refers to the channels by which exchange of ideas, information’s, news and views takes place between different individuals, groups and institutions.
Exchange of information has become a necessity of our life. Buyers and sellers, producers and consumers can be brought closer by providing facts and information. An effective communication system acts as a lubricant and facilitates the smooth running of industry and trade. In these days information is considered as factor of production like land, labour, capital management and materials.
The following are the means of communication:
1. Postal Services:
Postal Services were started in 1837 by British people. The Postal Department was started in 1854. Railway Mail Service (RMS) was launched in 1907 and Air Mail Service (AMS) was introduced in 1911. The Postal Services are the oldest, cheapest and very popular means of communication. The postal network has been increasing since 1951.
The postal network in India is the largest in the whole world with 1.5 lakh post offices. In these days special attention has been given to the rural, hilly and remote areas for expending postal network. The main aim of the postal department is to provide a post office within 3 kms of every village and a letter box in every village having 500 populations.
One can send messages through post cards, inland letters and envelops within the country and through aerogramme to other countries. Important and confidential messages are sent through registered post. Money can be sent through money order. Goods can be sent through parcel or value payable post (V.P.P.).
In 1973 ‘Quick Mail Service’ (QMS) was launched. Speed Post Service was started in 1986. In 1972, with an aim to modernise the growing volume of mail, the Postal Index Number (PIN) was introduced. Money Transfer from foreign countries. Express. Parcel Service and Corporate Money Order etc. are some of the schemes which have been launched recently to earn more revenue.
The Postal Services also provide Post Office Saving Bank facilities, Postal life insurance, Collection of Income Tax returns, Collection and distribution of Telephone bills, Monthly Pension scheme, Term Deposits and sale of National Saving Certificates facilities etc.
2. Telegraph services:
Indian Telegraph is one of the oldest governments owned public utility organisation in the world. It was launched in 1851 and established link between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour. Prior to independence, it was used for military purposes only. The telegraph service helps the public in sending messages to distance places quickly. The Govt. has now added tele-printer, telex and fax services.
Telecommunication is the most important mode of communication. It establishes direct link between two parties located at different places and at any time. Telephone service was started in 1881 in India but in the last two decades, there has been tremendous growth in telecommunication sector. India has now the largest telecommunication network in Asia.
The number of telephone connections has increased from 1.7 lakh in 1950-51 to 49.32 million in Oct. 2004, out of which 40.3 million are landline and a million are mobiles. In private sector 3.8 million are basic phones and 3.58 million are cellular phones. Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) for national dialing and International Subscriber Dealing (ISD) are made available to customers.
Cellular phones are getting popular. Telephone service had been renamed as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in Oct. 2000. Telephone sendee for Mumbai and Delhi has been under Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been established to regulate tariff and competition in the telecommunication section.
4. Courier Services:
Simply speaking, the courier services means the services rendered by private companies or firms for sending and delivery of letters, parcels and packets to the addressee. Courier services work as private mini post offices. They accept envelops, parcels and packets from the sender and charge commission and issue receipts certifying that the received article will be delivered to the addressee. These services are very popular and generally availed by big companies, institutions, banks and professionals including higher middle class people.
5. Electronic Method:
It is the recent development in communication Messages are sent through Fax and E-mail throughout the world within minutes.
It is an electronic method of sending recorded messages in the form of letters, handbills, statements and files etc. It can be used throughout the day and night from any comer of the globe.
E-mail is the recent electronic media to send message. It is a way to communicate people all over the world throughout the day and night without waiting the receiver to wake up and making himself present. It can send messages to hundreds of people in a few minutes. It can also send files, photos or even video clips.
6. Internet Service:
It is the latest mode of communication. We can get required information directly through computers by opening the site. The required information can be downloaded any time. We have to install an internet connection.
7. Radio and Television:
These two are the source of information. They provide us the latest information in the shape of news and advertisements and also a source of entertainment for us.