Posts, Department of: Indian government data

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The source of this article

INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

Department of Posts: Indian government data

The establishment of the modern postal system in India can be traced back to the second half of the 18th century. This postal system established by Lord Clive in the year 1766, was further developed by Warren Hastings by establishing the Calcutta G.P.O. under a Postmaster General in the year 1774. In the other Presidencies of Madras and Bombay, the General Post Offices came into existence in 1786 and 1793 respectively. The Act of 1837 first regulated the Post Office on a uniform basis to unite the post office organisation throughout the three Presidencies into one all- India Service. The Post Office Act of 1854 reformed the entire fabric of the Postal system, and the Post Office of India was placed on the present administrative footing on 1st October 1854. The statute presently governing the postal services in the country is the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.

Besides providing postal communication facilities, the post office network has also provided facilities for remittance of funds, banking and insurance services from the latter half of the 19th century.

POSTAL NETWORK

At the time of Independence, there were 23,344 post offices throughout the country. Of these 19,184 post offices were in the rural areas and 4,160 in the urban areas.

India has the largest Postal Network in the world with 1,54,979 Post Offices (as on 31 March 2010), of which 1,39,182 (89.81%) are in rural areas and 15,797 (10.19%) are in urban areas. Thus, the network has registered nearly seven-fold growth since Independence, with the focus of the expansion primarily in rural areas. Expansion of the postal network especially in rural areas, has to a great extent been brought about by opening part time Extra Departmental Post Offices, a system unique to the Department of Posts. Under this system, postal personnel, called Gramin Dak Sewas are employed, subject to fulfillment of certain criteria, to run the post office for a period not exceeding five hours, and to deliver and convey mails on payment of a certain allowance.

Such post offices offer mail, retailing, savings bank, life insurance and remittance services in addition to delivery of certain social security programmes such as pensions and MGNREGA. On an average in India, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq km, and a population of 7176 people. Post Offices are opened subject to fulfillment of norms regarding population, income and distance stipulated by the Department. There is an element of subsidy for opening post offices in rural areas, which is to the extent of 85% of the cost in hilly, tribal, desert and inaccessible areas, and 67% of the cost in normal rural areas.

The postal network consists of three categories of post offices, viz, Head Post Offices, Sub-Post Offices and Extra Departmental Branch Post Offices. All categories of Post Offices retail similar postal services, while delivery function is restricted to specified offices. In terms of management control, accounts are consolidated progressively from Branch Post Offices to Sub-Post Offices and finally in Head Post Offices.

The Department has about 2.06 lakh departmental employees and about 2.69 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks. Their training needs are met through a well-developed training infrastructure.

In addition to Post Offices, basic Postal facilities are also offered through Franchisee Outlets and Panchayat Sanchar Seva Kendras.

Franchise Outlets are opened in urban areas where it is not possible to open a regular Post Office. In this scheme, only specified counter services are franchised, whereas transmission and delivery of mails alongwith small savings scheme is not franchised.

Panchayat Sanchar Seva Kendras are opened in villages where Post Offices do not exist. The scheme is implemented by Gram Panchayats through an agent appointed by them.

As on 31 March 2010, there were 1082 Franchisee outlets and 4555 Panchayat Sanchar Seva Kendras functioning in the country.

UTILISATION OF POSTAL NETWORK

Wage disbursal scheme under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act came into force on 7th September, 2005 and its implementation was notified in a phased manner. In phase-I, it was introduced in 200 most backward districts of the country on 2nd February 2006. 130 districts were further included under NREGS in phase-II with effect from 1st April 2007. The Act was notified in the remaining 274 districts of India from 1st April 2008. The Act is now effective in the entire rural areas of the country covering 638 districts. The Act has been renamed "The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act" (MGNREGA) vide gazette notification dated 31.12.2009. The objective of the Act is to provide for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

As per Para 31 of schedule II of NREG Act, 2005, payment of NREGS wages shall be made through the individual or joint savings accounts of the NREGS workers opened in banks or in post offices. The scheme of disbursement of NREGS wages through post offices is operational in 19 postal Circles of the country (except Delhi, J&K and Tamil Nadu Circles). Till 31st March 2011, 4.90 crore NREGS accounts were opened in post offices and wages amounting to Rs. 9,179 crore were disbursed to Communications and Information Technology 201

NREGS beneficiaries during 2010-11 through 97,434 post offices across the country.

Post Offices have been selected for payment of wages under NREGS due to the following reasons :

i) Largest network in the country. (A total of 1,54,979 post offices, out of which 1,39,182 are in rural areas).

ii) Reliability and trusthworthiness.

iii) Payment of wages in fair and transparent manner within the prescribed time limit.

iv) Ensuring financial inclusion of NREGS workers by operation of their accounts in the post offices in unbanked and under banked areas.

v) To plug possible leakages in wage payment.

Main features related to payment of wages through post offices under NREGS are as follows :

i) Payment to be made through Savings Bank accounts of post offices (zero balance workers wage account).

ii) No service charge to be claimed from the beneficiaries for opening of accounts/making withdrawals.

iii) Disbursement of wages within the prescribed time frame.

iv) Provision for advance deposit of one month's wage in the Head Post office of the District Headquarter.

v) Coordination meetings between Department and State Government authorities.

Mail traffic: 2013-14

The Times of India

Mail traffic: 2012-13, 2013-14; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

Jul 06 2015

In e-age, snail mail still crawling along

Lubna Kably

Even in today's era dom inated by cellphones and email, millions of Indians continue to rely on postal services to reach across to their oved ones, yet understandably growth in the usage of snail mail has been stagnant.

According to the 2014-15 annual report of the Department of Posts (DOP), the quantum of mail (defined as mail traffic) handled during 2013-14 for which data has been collated shows a minuscule overall surge of 0.52% as compared to the preceding year. Overall, during 2013-14 DOP handled 608 crore registered and unregis tered letters (post cards and inland letters all fall in this category), speed posts and express parcel posts. While growth in these three categories, as classified by DOP, has seen slight seesaw swings, unlike the telegram, these means of correspondence are not yet dead. (see table).

The DOP incurs a loss for every post card, or inland letter that is sent out. The gap between the cost of producing a post card and the price of 0.50 paise which a user pays is STEEP when compared to SOME other POPULAR postal products, with the DOP incurring a loss of Rs. 7 per post card. As regards inland letters, while the user pays Rs. 2.50 per letter, DOP incurs a loss of nearly Rs. 5. For Speed Post, the gap between cost and revenue is Rs 15.40 but usage volumes are lower (see table).

According to a government official, both post cards and inland letters are primarily used in rural India and by those in cities to reach messages to India's hinterlands.Thus, the prices for the end user have remained unchanged since over a decade. “The DOP owing to `commercial sensitivity' does not release the actual quantum of post cards or inland letters purchased in a year, but clubs it in the category of unregistered post,“ explains the government official.

To an extent post cards are also used by activists in their campaigns. For instance, despite the fact, that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is a social media enthusiast and regular tweeter, according to news agencies a month ago nearly 5 lakh Indians sent him a post card under the “Action 2015“ campaign, a global movement spanning across 140 countries. In addition, use was also made of twitter. This campaign, initiated by Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai, had called upon citizens to approach their governments and ask them to formulate sustainable development goals at the United Nations Assembly to be held in September 2015.

DATA COLLECTION FOR RURAL CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Price Indices have been designed and are calculated at regular intervals to estimate inflation and trends in the price movements, so that appropriate and adequate policy instruments may be designed and implemented. So far, the price indices for wholesale prices alone were being worked out and used for the purpose. It is however widely accepted that the wholesale prices do not adequately reflect the prices being faced by the end consumers. The policies designed on the basis of such prices therefore lack in effectiveness and do not have desired outcomes for the endconsumers. Moreover, the exercise to estimate wholesale price indices largely ignores the rural markets and the prices prevalent in rural areas.

In order to tide over the above constraints, a mechanism has been worked out to calculate and disseminate the consumer price index with the help of data being collected through 1,081 selected post offices throughout the country. The consumer price indices are being calculated for rural and urban areas separately. A composite index is also being worked out for both rural and urban areas. The first set of consumer price indices was brought out in February 2011.

The price data for the rural areas are being entirely collected through post offices. In fact, post office is the only agency capable to collect such data; that is why the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation requested India Post to collect the price data for the entire rural India. India Post is thus playing a crucial role in providing infrastructural support to enable the concerned government departments to design and implement policies to improve the well being of all the citizens of India.

INITIATIVES IN MAIL OPERATIONS

MAIL NETWORK OPTIMIZATION PROJECT

As part of the Plan scheme of Department of Posts for "Setting up of Mail Business Centres", the Department has undertaken Mail Network Optimization Project to improve the quality of mail processing, transmission and delivery. The project seeks to improve the quality of mail operations with the emphasis on the following key operational areas :

i) Optimization and consolidation of mail operation network across the country.

ii) Process redesign and grater standardization of processes followed in mail operations.

iii) Optimization of mail delivery processes.

iv) Effective performance management mechanism.

SETTING UP OF AUTOMATED MAIL PROCESSING CENTRES

The Department has undertaken a project to set up Automated Mail Processing Centres (AMPCs) in the major metro cities with a view to automate mail sorting. These automated systems would be used for sorting of mail, which would help the Department in increasing the productivity at Mail Offices in these cities. Orders have been placed for supply and installation of the sorting machines at Delhi and Kolkata, and these systems are likely to be commissioned during the current financial year. Automation in mail processing would also help the Department in modernization of mail network, consolidation of sorting activities and expedite mail sorting and delivery in these cities.

CREATION OF NATIONALADDRESS DATA BASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Under this project, the Department has undertaken an initiative to put in place a National Address Database Management System with an objective to effectively manage the address database of public/customers, update the addresses online, and help the customers in locating correct addresses. The application shall be hosted on India Post website and will provide address and pin code search option to the public. In addition, a citizen would be able to register himself/herself and enter data related to any new colony, apartment or flat which is not yet a part of the India Post Address Database and hence, not assigned to a specific pin-code. The data thus received shall be authenticated by the Post office concerned before becoming part of the National Address Database. The bulk-mailers who are using the services of India Post shall be able to upload their mailing address data-base onto the application server and the software shall suggest correct pin code against such addresses.

MECHANIZATION OF MAIL DELIVERY PROCESSES

The Department has also taken steps to mechanize mail delivery in the North-Eastern Region of the country as well as in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In order to ensure better monitoring of vehicles used for mail delivery, 75 vehicles in the North-East Region have been equipped with the Global Positioning System (GPS) device.

TECHNOLOGY INDUCTION

India Post has been inducting technology in a planned manner since IXth Five Year Plan. During the Xth Plan, 8000 departmental POs were provided with Computers and we working in Local Area Network (LAN). During the Xth Plan period, the total departmental post offices supplied with computers stands at 24015. These POs are working on in-house developed software namely "Meghdoot". The Saving Bank and PLI are taken care of by two different software developed for LAN. To provide real time management information system, all the administrative offices have also been computerized till data. The Department launched a project, viz., 'Project Arrow' wherein MIS is collected and collated from computerized POs for real time monitoring of operations in POs.

Deptt. of Posts with a large network of more than 1.5 lakh POs in the country has geared itself to induct technology in all the POs across the country. During the XIth Plan period, an approved project, 'India Post technology Project, 2012' has been operationalised by the Department. The Project has the following components: l It will establish IT infrastructure of Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Centre and networking of all post offices including Branch post Offices in the rural areas.

l The project envisages development of integrated modular scalable applications for mail, banking, postal life insurance, advanced financial services and ERP solutions for accounts and HR operations of the Deptt.

l The rural post offices will be provided with rural ICT devices with required applications for performing postal, banking, insurance retail operations.

l Provision for training, change management, capacity building of the employees of the department along with setting up of the Project Management Units at Circle, Region and Division levels for smooth and timely implementation of the project. The project has a component of Rural ACT Solutions; the solution will enable electronic networking of 129497 rural post offices. The Computerization and networking of all Post Offices in the Rural Areas would bring in following benefits:

(i) The Post Office will become the focal point of delivery of social security schemes of the State.

(ii) Enable paperless transactions for mail, postal banking and insurance.

(iii) All the accountable articles meant for delivery can be tracked and traced.

The rural ICT solutions would enable branch post offices to provide electronic delivery of postal services, money orders, MGNREGS, postal banking, insurance etc.

Department of Posts provides the small saving facilities to all the citizens of the country under OPSB schemes through the Departmental Post Offices as well as the Gramin Dak Sewaks (GDS) managed Post Offices in rural areas. The components of core banking Solution relevant to POSB schemes will be implemented in the Post Offices in phases under the IT modernization project of the Department.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Retail Post: Department of Posts is being developed as a one-stop shop to provide a range of utility services to the customers and thus providing convenience and affordability at the doorstep of the common man. With Retail Post, India Post will be leveraging the vast network of more than 150,000 post offices across India. Services includes collection of Electricity bill, Telephone bills, Taxes and Fees. Further, under Retail Post, the Post Office sells application forms of UPSC, AFMS, Universities etc. Recently India Post has sold over 30 lakh of Para Military forces recruitment forms. Apart from this, Gold Coins, Railway tickets, Forex etc is being sold through Post Offices. Retailing of Patanjali products through mail order service and address verification of LIC and GAs companies are being done. India Post has also started Post Pack service of retailing packaging materials including parcel boxes, envelopes etc. In addition, under Retail Post, in association with third parties, many services on agency basis including the following have also been provided.

India Post Passenger Reservation System (PRS): In order to provide Railway Tickets through convenient locations, Railway Reservation Tickets of all classes are being sold at the Post Office. The service is presently available at 165 Post Offices and network is being further extended.

India Post Forex Services: India Post provides sale/purchase of foreign currency and travellers cheques through select Post Offices. This is done in association with HDFC Bank. The service is presently available at 203 Post Offices and will be expanded to 1000 Post Offices in the future.

India Post Gold Coins: In association with RMIL and World Gold Council, India Post sells 24 carat Gold coins of the denomination of 0.5g, 1g, 5g, 8g and 20g. The gold coins are packed in a sealed cover with the certification from Valcambi, Switzerland. It has the benefits like internationally recognized certification, low risk of duplications, quality packaging, product standardization, numbering and assayer certificate. The service is presently available in 670 Post Offices and is proposed to be extended to 1000 Post offices in the future.

Business Post: Department of Post launched Business Post with effect from 1st January 1997 in order to meet specific needs of bulk customers for pre-mailing activities. Accordingly, it provides value addition to all traditional services offered by the Post in the form of collection, insertion, addressing, sealing, franking etc. Recently, printing of bills, financial statements, mailers etc. have also been included among the pre-mailing services extended to customers under Business Post.

Bill Mail Service: Bill Mail Service was introduced w.e.f. 15th September, 2003 to provide a cost effective solution for mailing of periodic communication in the nature of financial statement, bills, monthly account bills or other items of similar nature, which may be posted by service providers to their customers.

A National Bill Mail Service was launched in February 2005 that allows Bill Mail Service items meant for outstation destinations also to be bundled in package, which can be sent to destination cities as Speed Post, Express Parcel Post articles, on payment by the sender. The individual bills in the package are charged only at Local Bill Mail Service rates.

Express Parcel Post: The Express Parcel Post seeks to provide a reliable and time bound parcel service through surface transport. It provides door-to-door delivery and VPP service upto Rs. 50,000 to cater to corporate users and business establishments on contractual basis. To cater to the needs of retail customers in Express Parcel segment Express Parcel Post Retail services have been introduced w.e.f. 01.05.2009. Express Parcel Post consignments can be booked from approx. 1200 Express Parcel Post/Speed Post Centers. With a view to provide convenience for the payment of Express Parcel Post charges, Express Parcel Post deposit Account facility was introduced during October 2010.

Logistics Post: A Logistics Post service was introduced by the Department in 2004- 05. Logistics Post was started to provide distribution solutions to the corporate customers and it has created a niche market in providing express logistics services with a large network. Logistics Post is designed to carry consignments from point to point without any maximum weight limit. Value added services like pick-up, delivery, track and trace are also being provided under Logistics Post. As a part of Supply Chain solution, Full Truck Load (FTL) services, Less Than Truck load (LTL) services, warehousing services, order processing and fulfillment services and reverse logistics services are being provided by Department of Posts under Logistics Post.

Media Post: Deportment of Posts offers a unique advertising media to help the corporate and government organisations reach potential customers through Media Post. Under this facility, customers can use the following options for their advertising exercise:

(a) Advertisement on Post cards, Inland Letter Cards, Aerogram and other Postal Stationery.

(b) Space sponsorship options on letter-boxes.

Direct Post: Many Countries have identified Direct Marketing/Advertising mail as an important component of business mail with high potential for growth. With high economic growth, Direct Mail volumes are expected to grow significantly in India also. A service called Direct Post was introduced w.e.f. 2nd June 2005 to deal with delivery of un-addressed mail to the doorsteps of the target population. A new Direct Post value addition has also been introduced from 18th April, 2006, allowing advertising mail to be combined with transaction mail like bills etc.

e-Post: e-post service, started on 30th January 2004 as pilot, enables people to send and receive messages or scanned images through email from Post Offices in the country. People who would not normally have access to internet are able to send and receive email messages without possessing an email id thereby e-POST bridges for the digital divide in the arena of public communication systems. ePOST messages are transmitted electronically to the designated Post Offices and are delivered in the hard copies by the Postman at the addressees' door-step. In order to cater to the needs of the corporates, a pilot of corporate version of e-post was also started during January 2010 in Kerala circle and further extended to Tamil Nadu circle. The main features of ePOST Corporate include following :

i. Customized templates,

ii. Facility to send ePOST messages from clients' premises,

iii. An ePOST Corporate message can be sent to upto 9,999 addresses with single click.

e-Bill Posts:eBill Post is a facility offered by Department of Posts for accepting payment of bills or payments from many to one in Post Offices. The amount collected is consolidated electronically in a web based central server on line, and the information is available to the eBill Post user at any time. Payment is made by one cheque centrally.

Flat Rate Parcel (Domestic): With the Indian economy growing at a very fast pace, the express parcel industry has been growing consistently. As a part of business strategy and with a view to restructure its parcel business, Department of Posts has launched Flat Rate Parcel (Domestic) service on 4th February 2011. Flat Rate Parcel is an air expresses parcel service. Flat Rate Parcel provides an added convenience to the customers by offering them prepaid Flat Rate Parcel boxes. Now Customers would not have to bother for packaging material to pack their parcels as high quality and standardized corrugated flat rate parcel boxes specially designed to ensure safe and secure transmission of the consignments are available at the Post Offices. These boxes are available in three weight slabs, viz., 1 Kg, 2.5 Kg and 5 Kg.

Flat Rate Parcel boxes are sold at Head Post Offices and other identified Computerized Post Offices and delivered across India including rural areas.

UIDAI Project : A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Department of Posts and Unique Identification Authority of India on 18th September 2010 to become 'Registrar' for the Unique Identification Authority of India.

Department of Posts has identified more than 4000 Post Offices to provide Aadhaar enrolment facility to the residents across the country. Residents can now approach the identified Post Offices along with the proof of address and proof of identity to enroll for his/her Unique Identify number-Aadhaar.

Another Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Department of Posts and Unique Identification Authority of India on 6.6.2011 wherein Department of Posts has taken the responsibility of printing, booking, transmitting and delivery of all UIDAI communications carrying the 'Aadhaar' number of the resident to the residents across the country. Till July 2011, more than 1,06,98,359 such communications have been printed and dispatched by the Department of Posts for UIDAI.

Speed Post: Speed Post service was introduced on 1st August 1986. Under this service, letters, documents and parcels are delivered within a given time frame failing which full refund of postage is given to the customer. The Speed Post Network comprises 314 National and 986 State Speed Post Centres. This service is also available internationally to 97 countries.

An Internet based track and trace service speednet was launched on 3rd January 2002. Apart from providing tracking facility for Speed Post articles to the customers, it also provides information to the management about the quality of service. Business service like pick-up, delivery, track and trace are also being provided under Logistics Post.

PHILATELY

Indian postage stamps provide a kaleidoscopic glimpse of our historical and natural heritage and the rich diversity of our culture and traditions covering a wide range of themes. The stamps also commemorate important national and international events, the contributions of renowned personalities and institutions and our achievenments in various fields like sports, arts, science and technology etc.

The philatelic items like commemorative postage stamps, miniature sheets, first day covers, information brochures, post cards and maxim cards etc. are available through 68 philatelic bureaux and 1033 Philatelic Counters across the country.

India Post organized a World Philatelic Exhibition, INDIPEX-2011 in New Delhi in February, 2011. Postal Administrations and renowned philatelists from all over the world participated in the event which was an excellent opportunity for the citizens, especially children to see rare and valuable stamps and other philatelic material.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK

The Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) operates the Small Savings Schemes of Government of India, Ministry of Finance on an agency basis. It operates more than 230.50 million Savings Accounts. In terms of its existing mandate, the POSB is fully geared to meet the banking requirements of small inverstors, particularly those who cannot readily access the commercial banks. The POSB operates out of more than 1.53 lakh Post Offices spread across the country. The rural network of POSB itself extends to more than 1.38 lakh branches.

At present, the schemes being operated through POSB are as follows -

(i) Post Office Savings Account

(ii) Post Office Recurring Deposit

(iii) Post Office Time Deposit Scheme (1 Year, 2 Year, 3 Years & 5 Years)

(iv) Post Office Monthly Income Account

(v) Public Provident Fund Scheme

(vi) National Savings Certificate (VIII Issue)

(vii) Senior Citizens' Savings Scheme - 2004

MONEY ORDERS

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. The amount for which a single money order may be issued must not exceed Rs. 5000/-. This service is available in more than 1.5 lakh post offices covering every nook and corner of the country. This allows customers to remit their money anywhere in India without any hassle and with ease and they can receive money at their doorstep.

Volume of money order transactions:2000-13

The Times of India


Feb 10 2015

Change in the amount of money orders issued:2001-2013(year-wise)
Amount of money orders issued (circle-wise):2012-13

Many of our readers might believe that money orders are a thing of the past. Official data however dispels this notion. Between 2000-01 and 2012-13, the amount sent through money orders increased by about 80%. In 2012-13, the highest amount was sent from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, probably because of the large numbers of migrant labourers in these states.

OTHER FINANCIAL SERVICES

(i) International Money Transfer Service

This service, operated in association with a multinational company - Western Union Financial Services International, provides the customers the facility of receiving remittances from more than 190 countries and terriories on a real time basis. The service is currently available from 7127 Post Offices. The service has provided the common man who has no bank account or access to Internet, a viable channel for receiving in remittances from their relatives and family members abroad. The Deparment received the award in the years 2004 and 2005 for ‘‘Highest Growth in Transactions.’’

(i) MO Videsh: Department introduced MO Videsh service in October, 2009 for inward and outward international money remittances. The service is currently available in all Head Post Offices and those Sub Post Offices which are booking eMOs.

(ii) Instant Money Order (iMO): Instant Money Order (iMO) is an online domestic money transmission service intended for a market clientele requiring instant money remittance. This service enables the customer to receive money in minutes from any of the post offices providing iMO service. The service was introduced on 20th January 2006. Under this service, a person can send amount from Rs. 1000/- up to Rs. 50,000/- in one transaction. Money will be disbursed to the payee at any of the iMO Post Offices in India other than the office of booking on presentation of 16 digit iMO number and photo identity proof. Currently, the service is being offered in more than 9256 Post Offices across the country. This service is in the process of further expansion.

Retailing of Mutual Funds and Bonds

The Department is retailing select mutual funds products of UTI Mutual Funds through more than 800 identified Post Offices.

E-Money Order

The Department of Posts has launched eMO on 10th October 2008. Electronic Money Order is a system that facilitates remittance of MOs electronically, for which post offices should have connectivity by WAN/Broadband. These connected HOs and SOs will transmit eMOs for other connected HOs and SOs (including SOs and BOs in account with them). The advantages over traditional system would be reduced transmission time at no extra cost to the customer besides availability of MIS in the central database ensuring more efficient and improved quality of service.

Salient Features

The tariff structure would be same as that for ordinary MO with the following features:

l Messages in standard codes.

l Tracking facility through 18 digit PNR No.

l Bulk booking of eMOs on the basis of lists provided by the bulk remitter. uploading data available in soft copy.

l Payment of bulk eMOs through consolidated list.

l MIS for sender and payee in the case of bulk booking/payment.

After payment, the Post Office of payment to upload payment particulars to the central server.

ECS scheme

The Electronic Clearing Service is being offered in the Department of Posts at all the 15 locations of RBI and 21 locations of State Bank of India in connection with payment of monthly interest under ‘‘Monthly Income Scheme’’ (MIS). This scheme obviates the need for issuing and handling paper instruments and thereby facilitates improved customer service by the Department of Posts.

POSTAL LIFE INSURANCE

Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced in 1884 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 institutes, nationalized banks, financial institutions and Gramin Dak Sevaks of the Postal Department and Defence and Paramilitary Personnel.

PLI offers seven insurance schemes, namely,

(1) Suraksha (Whole Life Assurance);

(2) Suvidha (Convertible Whole Life Assurance);

(3) Santosh (Endowment Assurance);

(4) Sumangal (Anticipated Endowment Assurance);

(5) Yugal Suraksha (Joint Life Endowment Assurance for couple);

(6) Children Policy and;

(7) Scheme for physically Handicapped Persons. As on 31.3.2011, PLI had 42,83,302 policies with sum assured of Rs. 51,209.90 crores.

The Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) was introduced by the PLI organization on 24th March 1995, to provide insurance cover at low premium to the rural public in general and to benefit weaker sections and women workers of rural areas in particular and also to spread insurance awareness among the rural population. In November 2009, a micro insurance drive was launched as part of financial inclusion package to provide insurance coverage to disadvantaged sections. More than 4 million lives were covered in a span of less than six months.

Training Infrastructure

The Department has well established training infrastructure. The following training institutes take care of the training needs of the Department.

Postal Staff College of India (PSCI) at Ghaziabad-Gazetted Officers

Postal Staff College India, Ghaziabad (PSCI) is the apex training institute in the Department of Posts for meeting the training needs of the managerial cadres of India Post. It is a Central Training Institution recognized by the DOPT. The main objective of the College is to impart induction and in-service training including Technology Management to the Indian Postal Service Officers, Postal Service Group 'B' Officers and all Accounts Officers working in the Department. The College conducts Executive Development Program, Management Development Program and Advanced Development Program for the officers of Indian Postal Service and Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service. The College organizes International programs on behalf of the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India under its ITEC/SCAAP funding. In 2010-11, one such program on Leadership Development was held in December 2010.

====Postal Training Centres at Darbhanga, Guwahati, Madurai, Mysore, Saharanpur and Vadodara====

They cater to the needs for Induction Training to Group 'C' Cadre and other special institutional training.

225 Workplace Training Centres (WTCs) at Headquarters of Circles/Regions/ Divisions-for training to the officials nearer to their place of work.

CUSTOMER CARE

The system of acceptance/receipt of complaints in the Department of Posts is readily accessible to the public. Each post office works as a receiving point for complaints. The Department has also introduced the facility for customers to register complaints online at its website www.indiapost.gov.in from the year 2001.

The Department has a well laid out procedure for handling public grievances for its services. A monitoring mechanism to ensure the quality of services and prompt redressal of public grievances is in place. Steps have been taken to strengthen the customer care infrastructure in the Department by adopting modern technology. All complaints are looked into at all levels (Post Offices, Divisions, Regions, Circles and Directorate). An enquiry is initiated to redress the grievances and if the loss has occurred due to the improper handling by an employee, action under Departmental rules is taken against the employee at fault. During such inquiry, shortcomings in the service are also looked into.

The Department has upgraded its web-based grievance handling system to interconnect the Customer Care Centres with the objective of systematic handling and quick redressal of public grievances. A thorough review of whole web based Computerized Care System has been done and the system has been made Sevottam compliant with dynamic features and better monitoring and control at all levels.

On 20.12.2010, the modified version of Computerized Customer Care Centre (CCCC) software was made operational. New features such as automatic generation of acknowledgment; escalation of unresolved complaints to next higher administrative level for better monitoring and quicker redressal; differentiation of complaints into minor, major or critical; automatic generation of reply to the complainant on completion of inquiry; provision for feedback of complainant; etc have been incorporated. Presently, 3603 Computerized Customer Care Centres (CCCCs) have been established in the Post Offices, Speed Post Centres and Divisional/Regional/ Circle Headquarters across the country for online exchange of information amongst all the units for speedy redressal of public grievances. The network covers all Head post Offices in the country with the objective of providing easy and speedy access to information and help required by the customer, apart from the redressal of grievances.

Department of Posts is also operating Central Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) of PG Portal to handle complaints received in DAR&PG, Department of Public Grievances (DOPG), President's Secretariat and cases registered by consumers of Postal Services are processed in this system which is accessible at the website www.pgportal.giv.in. Postal Circles are created as Subordinate organizations and in many Circles/Regions have also been created as users for online handling of grievances.

IMPLEMENTATION OF 'SEVOTTAM'

India Post has got the IS 15700:2005 Certification for implementing "Sevottam—a service delivery excellence model" for its retail outlet New Delhi GPO. India Post gets the credit for being the first Government Department to achieve the standard.

IMPLEMENTATION OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

CAPIO module developed by NIC for use of the department has been made functional in 4707 Post Offices. Offices selected under Project Arrow are being authorized to act as Central Assistant Public Information Officers (CAPIOs) in addition to the existing ones. Besides this, Department has appointed 845 CPIOs to facilitate Right to Information Act, 2005 in the Department of Posts.

CITIZEN'S CHARTER

An updated Citizen's Charter is available on www.indiapost gov.in. It contains the vision, mission, introduction about the organization, purpose of citizens's charter, postal services and facilities for the customers, postal products and services, delivery standards and customers' expectations and grievance redressal mechanism.

Speed post

The Times of India, May 20 2015

Speed post faster, more reliable than pvt couriers: CAG

A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) study has found that private couriers deliver only 90% of letters compared to 99% by speed post. In major cities, the performance of speed post is faster and more reliable. The postal service delivers 99% of letters through speed post within 1-9 days as compared to 92% by private courier services that take up to 10 days.

At the local level, the delivery by speed post is 98% compared to 93% by courier services. While the time taken by speed post is 1-11 days at local level, it is 1-12 days in case of private couriers.

In a report on department of posts, tabled in Parliament recently , the official auditor has said the performance of speed post has been better not only at local level and in major cities, but it is the only reliable service at the tehsil and village level.

To compare the performance and quality of speed post with private courier agencies for delivery of mails, a test check was conducted by CAG in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Checks were conducted by posting hundreds of letters.

At the tehsil level, only speed post could reach 100% addressees that too within 1-7 days. Private couriers could deliver only 83% letters and the time ranged from 1-23 days.

Speed post was introduced in 1986 to provide a faster and time-bound mail delivery service in major cities. However, due to late delivery of mails people had stopped relying on the department. But the auditor says the perception is wrong and speed post still remains most reliable and account for more than 10% of the total revenue of the DoP.

2011-16: Revenues double

The Times of India, May 07 2016

Mayur Shetty  Growing commerce in small towns is expanding the business of Speed Post -the express mail service from India Post. Despite dividend payments and annual reports moving to electronic transfers, Speed Post revenues have doubled in 2011-16, partly due to e-commerce and also due to the postal department's near monopoly status in smaller centres. For the year ended 2015-16, eed Post's revenue touched Speed Post's revenue touched Rs 1,645 crore, an increase of 10% over the previous year, and the number of parcels shipped crossed 43 crore, which translates into 3,400 deliveries a minute considering the working hours. The average annual revenue growth over this five-year period has been 17.7%, probably the highest among the domestic express-courier services in the country.

“Nearly 30% of business is now coming from small towns and mofussil centres,“ said P N Ranjit Kumar, postmaster general, Mumbai region. The department's business is con centrated among the top 15 cities. “Part of the reason is because printing and bulk mail is concentrated in some cities like Manipal,“ said Kumar.

To tap new segments, the department is offering services such as cash on delivery , SMS alerts, login id to corporate customers to track bulk articles and API (application programming interface) to e-commerce companies that allows them to get raw data regarding consignments. “In coming years, we see express delivery being super-specialized. Customers will expect consignments to be delivered within a specific time frame in a defined location.This will be possible with postmen carrying hand-held devices. We are introducing new technology like parcel-vending machines,“ said Kumar.

According to the Express Industry Council of India, the size of the country's express-courier segment is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore.The industry is expected to grow at 25% annually . The key drivers are seen to be ecommerce and the eventual passage of the Goods and Services Tax, which will bring down trade barriers within the country.



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