In this essay we will discuss about Indian Postal Services. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Subject-Matter on Indian Postal Services 2. Other Major Initiatives.
Essay # Subject-Matter on Indian Postal Services:
Postal services is the cheapest mode of communication. India postal services have been growing over the years. The country is at present maintaining the largest network of post offices in the world with its total number of 1.55 lakh at the end of March, 2008, of which more than 1.39 lakh are in rural areas, which ranks first in the world.
At present, a post office covered on an average area of 21.16 sq km and a population of 6,623.
The long term objective is to locate a post office within 3 km of every village. During the Eighth Plan (1992-97), the Postal Department opened 500 Departmental sub-offices and 3000 extra-Departmental Branch Offices. The main thrust areas in the Eighth Plan were computerization and associated networks for electronic mail, money transfer, mechanical sorting, quality stamps and seals.
During the Eighth Five Year Plan, 1546 extra departmental post offices and 466 departmental sub post offices have been opened. The Department of Post is accelerating its efforts to extend basic postal facilities on a contractual basis by utilizing the existing infrastructure of Panchayats in these areas.
The Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Scheme, formulated in this regard, can reduce dependence on budgetary resources for expanding postal facilities by needy areas and generate employment opportunities in such areas. Up to 31st March, 1997, 570 Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Kendras have been set up.
On 1st August 1986, the Postal Department introduced “Speed Post” services from 6 centres and later on the service has been extended to many centres. The speed post service has proved its efficiency both in respect of its quality service and earnings.
New Mail paradigm:
The mail profile in India Post has changed substantially with increase in volume of mail in Business-to-Customer and Business-to-Business segments. In line with this, India Post has leased three dedicated freighter aircraft for carriage of mail, parcel and logistics to and from the North-Eastern region operating six days a week on the Kolkata-Guwahati-Imphal-Agartala-Kolkata route and the metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore with Nagpur serving as the mail exchange hub.
India Post has also set up 162 Mail Business Centres and plans to set up Automatic Mail Processing System at Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru and upgrade the existing ones at Mumbai and Chennai. The Postal Department has formulated the Panchayat Dak Sewa Scheme for providing basic postal facilities on a contractual basis by utilizing the existing infrastructure of Panchayats in these areas.
This scheme has the twin advantage of reducing dependence on budgetary resources for expanding postal facilities to needy areas and generating employment opportunities in such areas.
Considering the rapid changes in information and communication technology, the Department of Posts has given a new thrust to its programme of modernisation for. providing new value added services to customers.
During 1994-95. Metro Channel Service linking the six metros, the Rajdhani Channel linking Delhi with most of the State Capitals, a Business Channel with exclusive treatment to pin coded business mail, Hybrid Mail Service through electronic devices and Satellite Money Order Services have been introduced.
Rapid introduction of information technology has not only changed the way post offices do business the world over, but also the business they do. While technology has enabled India post to add value to its traditional postal activities like mail processing, tracing and tracking of consignment etc. it has also offered new opportunities for introduction of various IT-enabled services like money transfer both domestic and international – electronic payment of the bills of various services providers and collection of fees.
At present 8,263 computerized post offices in the country serve as an IT backbone of the department. The Eleventh Flan has set the target to computerize the rest of the 17,878 departmental post offices, besides computerizing 64,000 selected branch post offices in the rural areas. 1,318 post offices/administrative offices were networked with the National Data Centre in Delhi by 2008.
The strong IT base would enable India Post to provide additional value-added services besides providing anywhere-anytime banking. The Post Office Savings Bank is the largest savings bank in the country in terms of network and having more than 16.43 crore accounts with deposits amounting to Rs 3,23,842.58 crore as on 31st March 2006.
Out of a total of 25.531 departmental post offices, 12,604 have been computerized. So far 1,304 post offices have been networked through leased lines with the National Data Centre. Further, 5,170 post offices have been networked through broadband.
The strong IT base has enabled Indian Post to offer a range of e-enabled services such as electronic Money Order (eMO), e-payment and instant Money Order (iMO) to customers. India post is planning to computerise and network all its post offices in the next two years.
Essay # Other Major Initiatives:
In August 2007, India post launched its Logistics Post Air by introducing first freighter aircraft connecting Kolkata-Guwahati-Imphal-Agartala to expedite the delivery of mail and parcels in the North Eastern States. India Post has also made alliance with State Bank of India. The alliance with the SBI has provided India Post an opportunity to play a more meaningful role in the national effort to expand coverage of rural banking.
Rural Postal network of India Post has also emerged as an effective delivery mechanism for the Central and the State Government Schemes and Services. The IT-enabled network of the India Post has been successfully utilised for disbursement of wages to the rural beneficiaries of NREGA scheme in 19 districts of Andhra Pradesh and in all 22 districts of Jharkhand.
The scheme is also operative in other states as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Moreover, Instant Money Order (iMO) service of India Post, which is available at 560 Post Offices, has revolutionaries money transfer in the country. It is a web based online domestic transfer in the country.