The earliest reference to an official postal system in India was made in the 14th century by an Arab traveler and historian, Iban Battutah. The system was brought to its height during the 16th century under the great Mughal emperor Akbar, with a network of 2,000 miles of post roads.
East India Company and the British Post Office in India
Warren Hastings, Governor General of British India (1773-1784) opened the posts to the public in March 1774. In 1837, the Imperial Post was established and granted a monopoly to provide efficient postal communications between the seat of government Calcutta and the principal provincial towns. In 1854, the GPOs of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were brought under the authority of one Director General. A regular traveling post-office service was introduced in 1870. Money order service was commenced in 1880.
The first postal stamp in India was introduced on 1 July 1852 in Scinde district. In 1854 the introduction of uniform postage rates led to the development of the first postage stamps, which are valid for use throughout India. The first pictorial stamps were issued in1931. There was a victory issue in 1946, followed shortly by a first Dominion issue. The three stamps in the Dominion issue depicted the Ashoka Pillar, the new flag of India, and an aeroplane.
Postal Network in India
India has the largest postal network in the world. The country today has I,55,015 post offices, of which, 1,39,144 are in rural areas and 23,344 in urban areas. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq km and a population of 7,175. The Postal Department has about 2.18 lakh departmental employees and about 2.76 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks. India has been divided into 22 postal circles, each circle headed by a Chief Postmaster General. The Postal Staff College India (PSCD), Ghaziabad meets the training and developmental needs of Indian Postal Service Officers and other Gazetted Officers.
Project Arrow was conceived in April, 2008. The project envisages up gradation of Post Offices in urban and rural areas both in terms of upgrading and enhancing the quality of service in 'core areas' and improving the 'look and feel'. The Project Arrow warded with "Prime ministers' award for Excellence in Public Administration" for 2008-2009 in 2010.
e-Post and e-Bill Post
The Department introduced two Internet based value added services namely, e-Post and e-Bill Post. Through e-Post electronic messages are booked at any Post Office in the country and are downloaded at any identified Post Office and delivered to the recipients as hard copies. e-Bill Post is another service, which allows customers to pay their utility bills like telephone mobile phone, electricity, water supply, municipal taxes.. etc, at one window through Post Office counters.
Speed Post Service is introduced on 1 August 1986, where letters, documents and parcels are delivered within a given time frame failing which full refund of postage is made to the customer.
The Business Post was launched in 1 January1997 to meet customers' business needs in the form of collection, insertion, addressing, sealing, franking etc.
Logistics Post manages the entire distribution side of the logistics infrastructure from collection to distribution, from storage to carriage, from order preparation to order fulfillment at the lowest possible price. India Post is planning to start Logistics Service for Bhutan in association with Bhutan Post.
Express Parcel Post
The Express Parcel Post provides door-to-door delivery and VPP service up to Rs 50,000 to cater to corporate users and business establishments on contractual basis.
The corporate and government organisations use the Media Post for their branding exercise, i.e. advertisements on post cards, inland letters, aerogram and other postal stationery.
The postal Department offers the facility to collect all public utility bills and sale of application forms for government and other private organisations.
Greetings Post is a product introduced in September 2000. The greeting card comes with an envelope upon which a postage stamp is printed, which is a replica of the design of the card as well as the postage impression.
The Internet based track and trace service was launched on 3 January 2002. It provides tracking facility for Speed Post articles to the customer, along with the information to the management about the quality of service, business performance, marketing, customer service, etc.
India has been a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) since 1876 and of the Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU) since 1964.Money can be remitted from selected foreign countries to India by way of Money Orders and Postal Orders.
International EMS which started in 1986 with five countries is now extended to more than 97countries. With a view to facilitate export and import to and from foreign destinations Principal Foreign Offices of Exchange were set up at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi.
A Money Order is an order issued by the Post Office for the payment of a sum of money through the agency of the Post Office. This service is available in a more than 1.54 lakh post offices covering every nook and corner of the country.
International Money Transfer Service
This service, which is operated in association with a multi-national company, Western Union Financial Services International provides customers the facility of receiving instantaneous remittances from 205 countries on real time basis.
Post-Office Savings Bank
The Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) operates out of more than 1.54 lakh Post Offices spread across the country. The scheme includes Savings Account Schemes, Recurring Deposit Schemes, Time Deposit Schemes (1, 2, 3 & 5years), Monthly Income Schemes, Public Provident Fund Schemes, Kisan Vikas Patras Scheme, National Savings Certificate (VIII Issue) and Senior Citizens, Savings schemes.
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
Launched in April 2001, this service leverages the VSAT network of the Postal Department to facilitate end-to-end fund transfers by Banks on behalf of the corporate sector as well as the Capital Markets.
Instant Money Order (IMO)
Instant Money Order (IMO) is an online domestic money transmission service which enables the customers to receive money in minutes from any of the Post Offices providing IMO service.
Postal Life Insurance
Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced in1884 as a welfare measure for postal employees. Over the years, it was extended to the employees of Central State Government Public Sector Undertakings-, Universities; Government aided Institutions and Nationalised Banks. The Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) was introduced by the PU organisation on 24 March1995 to provide insurance cover at low premium to the common man and to weaker sections of society in rural areas.
The Postal Index Number scheme, called PIN Code was introduced by the Post and Telegraphs Department on 15th August 1972. Under the scheme, every Head Post Office and Sub-Post Office which delivers mail has been allotted an individual six digit number. The country has been divided into eight different zones. The first digit indicates the zone. The first three taken together indicate the sorting unit under which the office falls. The last three specify the particular delivery Post Office under the sorting unit. There are total of 19101 PIN codes and it covers 154725 Post Offices in India except the
Zone - I
11 - Delhi
12 - 13 Haryana
14 - 16 Punjab
17 - Himachal Pradesh
18 - 19 Jammu & Kashmir
Zone - II
20 - 28 Uttar Pradesh / Uttarakhand
Zone - III
30 - 34 Rajasthan
36 - 39 Gujarat / Daman Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Zone - IV
40 - 44 Maharashtra / Goa
45 - 48 Madhya Pradesh
49 - Chhattisgarh
50 - 53 Andhra Pradesh
56 - 59 Karnataka
Zone - VI
60 - 64 Tamil Nadu
67 - 69 Kerala / Lakshadweep
70 - 74 West Bengal / Andaman & Nicobar
75 - 77 Orissa
78 - Asom
790 - 792 - Arunachal Pradesh
793- 794 - Meghalaya
795 - Manipur
796 - Mizoram
797 - 798 - Nagaland
799 - Tripura
80 - 85 Bihar / Jharkhand.
90 - 99 Army Postal Service (APS)
The Department of Posts on 26th September, 2013 launched a separate PIN code – 110201 for the Supreme Court of India.
MILESTONES AT A GLANCE
Establishment of first Indian Postal system in India.
Establishment of G.P.O. in Kolkata by Warren Hastings.
Kolkata, Mumbai and Madras G.P.O.s brought under one Director General.
Railway Mail Service was started.
V.P.P. service started.
Post card was introduced.
Money Order service was introduced.
First airmail was sent from Allahabad to Naini.
Indian Postal order was started.
PIN Code was started.
Postal Life Insurance was started.
Post and Telephone Departments were separated.
Speed Post Service was started.
Rural Postal Insurance was started.
Electronic Fund Transfer Service was started.
Beginning of E-Postal Service.
150th year of Postal Department celebrated.