RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The Department of Posts comes under Government of India through Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. It has a Minister of Communications and Information Technology and is assisted by two Ministers of State. Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Posts is the Chief Executive of the Department and also hold the responsibilities of Director General and Chairman of the Postal Services Board (PSB). Postal Service Board is the apex management body of the Department, comprises of Chairman and six Members. The six Members of the Board hold portfolios of Personnel, Operations, Technology, Postal Life Insurance, Human Resource Development (HRD) and Planning functions.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad is the Minister of Communications.
Shri Ananta Narayan Nanda is the Secretary & Chairperson, Postal Services Board to Government of India in the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications.
Ms. Meera Handa is the Director General in the Department of Posts.
The Board is assisted by a senior staff officer of the Directorate as Secretary to the Board. Deputy Directors General, Directors and Assistant Directors General provide the necessary functional support for the Board at the Headquarters organization located at Dak Bhavan, New Delhi.
At present the Postal Services Board comprises of the following:
There are twenty-three postal circles each headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each Circle normally corresponds to a State except for a few exceptions*. These Circles manage the day-to-day functioning of the various Head Post Offices, Sub Post Offices and Branch Post Offices through their Regional and Divisional level arrangements.
Each Circle is further divided into Regions headed by the Post Master General. The Regions are further divided into field units called Divisions (Postal / RMS Divisions). Divisions are headed by Senior / Superintendent of Post Offices or Mail Offices. The post offices and the Mail Business Centers are under the Divisional Superintendents of Posts or Railway Mail Offices respectively. The Divisional head controls the Assistant Superintendent of Post Offices or Inspector of Post Offices, Complaints Inspector, Manager Mail Business Centre, Manager Customer Care Centre etc.
The Head Post Offices are major offices which also have account jurisdiction on the smaller post offices. Mukhya Dak Ghars are Sub Post Offices with more powers than a Sub Post Office. Extra Departmental Sub Post Office and Branch Post Office are manned by Gramin Dak Sewaks who are Extra Departmental employees.
Besides the twenty three postal Circles, there is another Circle, called Base Circle, to cater to the postal communication needs of the Armed Forces. The Base Circle is headed by an Additional Director General, Army Postal Service in the rank of a Major General. The officer cadre of the Army Postal Service comprises officers on deputation from the Civil Posts. Seventy five percent of the other ranks of the Army Postal Service are also drawn from the Department of Posts and the remaining personnel are recruited by the Army.
* Gujarat Circle ( which also administers the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli), Kerala Circle (which includes the Union Territory of Lakshadweep) , Maharashtra Circle (which has within its jurisdiction the State of Goa), North East Circle (which comprises six North Eastern States- Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura), Punjab Circle (which has within its administrative jurisdiction , the Union Territory of Chandigarh), Tamilnadu Circle ( which also administers the Union Territory of Pondicherry ) and West Bengal Circle (which includes the State of Sikkim and Andaman Nicobar Islands).
The Department of Posts is committed to provide universal access to basic postal services in the country at affordable prices. The objectives of the Department are:
As per Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, second Schedule, Rule 3, Distribution of Subjects among the Departments, the Department of Posts is responsible for:
India has the largest postal network in the world with over 1, 54,979 post offices (as on 31.03.2010) of which 1, 39,182 (89.81%) are in the rural areas. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices, which were primarily in urban areas. Thus, the network has registered a seven-fold growth since independence, with the focus primarily on the rural areas. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 Sq. Km and a population of 7,176 people. Through these offices it ensures daily delivery of mails at the doorstep of every customer all over the country, collection of letters through letter boxes, and also sale of stamps and stationery through village postmen at the doorstep of customers in rural areas. Post offices in urban and rural areas provide a range of basic postal services to the customers, including banking and insurance services. Bill collection facility is being extended through all post offices in urban areas, and identified post offices in rural areas. Certain value added services are being provided in selected offices in urban areas.
7.1 Postal operations at the post office encompass the entire gamut of the basic postal services which include:
Traditionally, these services were being provided at manually operated counters. Considering the vital need for providing the benefit of technology to the customers, the counter operations are now being progressively computerized to provide a greater range of services to the customer from a single window leading to prompt and error free services.
7.2 Remotely Managed Franking System (RMFS): Digifrank:
Franking machines are popular among bulk mailers, Government Departments, other commercial organizations, as a convenient and technology friendly means of stamping the mail. Remotely Managed Franking System is a further advancement in technology as it entails online flow of funds, remote loading of credit, exchange of information between the server of the franking machine and the DOP server etc. The frank impression is also much richer in product information as well as information about the franking machine license. This is further corroborated in a 2D barcode which is a part of the frank impression. The RMFS has come into effect from 16.08.2010. It is expected that by the year 2013, all existing electronic franking machines in the country will be replaced by the new model machines.
7.3 Electronic Value Payable Post (e-VPP):
Traditionally, Value Payable Post (VPP) has retained its popularity among customers who order their products through the post. In order to give a boost to this system, especially as e-commerce is becoming a preferred way of doing business, a technology driven service, e-VPP has been launched from January 2011 and made available to companies who regularly post a certain number of articles. This service uses e-payment system instead of the VP Money Order, therefore, makes it more convenient to send VP articles. The addressee is also benefited as no MO commission or any other surcharge for transmission of funds is required to be paid by them.
8.1 Mail Management:
The processing, transmission and delivery of mail are the core activities of the Department. Mail is collected from 5,79,595 Letter Boxes in the country. This is processed through a network of 389 Mail Offices, and conveyed by road, rail and airlines all over the country.
8.2 Mail Network Optimization Project:
The Department has undertaken Mail Network Optimization Project to improve the quality of mail processing, transmission and delivery. Apart from optimizing the existing mail network of Department of Posts it also seeks to bring in greater standardization and improvement in the operational processes relating to mail processing, transmission and delivery.
8.2.1 The project would cover Speed Post, International Mail, First and Second class mail in various phases. The project has initially been launched in few selected cities. Gradually, the scope of the project would be extended to the entire country.
8.3 Setting up of Automated Mail Processing Centers:
The Department has decided to set up Automated Mail Processing Centers (AMPCs) in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad with a view to automate mail sorting. The Mixed Mail Sorting machines would facilitate faster processing of large size letters flats and packets/parcels through the use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.
8.4 Mechanization of Delivery Processes:
The Department has taken steps to mechanize mail delivery in the North-Eastern Region of the country as well as in Andaman and Nicobar Island. In order to ensure better monitoring, 75 mail carrying vehicles in the North-East Region have been equipped with the Global Positioning System (GPS) Device.
8.5 Mail Motor Services (MMS):
The Mail Motor Services came into existence in 1948 and is at present entrusted with conveyance of mail between Post Offices, Railway Stations, Airports, Seaports and conveyance of cash between Head Post Offices, Sub Post Offices, Branch Post Offices, apart from conveyance of departmental forms and stationery, Logistics Post etc. The Mail Motor Service Units also undertake repair and maintenance of vehicles. During the year 2009-10 the MMS vehicles covered 29.32 million k ilometers for conveyance of mails and operational requirements. Total expenditure of Rs. 938.92 million was incurred on MMS during this period.
The philatelic activities of India Post include:
Business Development Directorate was set up in 1996 to design, monitor, develop and market value added premium products of the Department. This Directorate was reorganized as Business Development and Marketing Directorate in 2004-05. The Business Development & Marketing Directorate has two Divisions, viz.
Business Development & Marketing Units have also been created in all the Circles. In Metros, the work of Business Development & Marketing is looked after by a Postmaster General. The main responsibility of the Business Development & Marketing Directorate is to ensure focused management of value added services that include the following:
11.1. Post Office Savings Bank:
The Post Office Savings bank Scheme is an agency function performed by the Department of Posts on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) constitutes the main stay of the Financial Services provided by the Department of Posts. The Post Office Savings Bank is the oldest and largest banking institution in the country. It operates more than 20.50 Crore savings accounts. Savings Bank facilities are provided through a network of more than 1,54,000 post offices. There are number of schemes provided by the Post Office Savings Bank and these include Savings Account Schemes, Recurring Deposit Schemes, Time Deposit Schemes, Monthly Income Schemes, Public Provident Fund Schemes, Kisan Vikas Patras, National Savings Certificates and Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme. The salient features of all these Small Savings Schemes are as under:
11.2. Electronic Money Order:
Electronic Money Order (eMO) is a system that facilitates remittance of MOs electronically amongst those post offices which have Internet connectivity through LAN or Broadband. The service was launched on 10.10.2008. The connected HOs and SOs will transmit eMOs for other connected HOs and SOs (including SOs and BOs in account with them). The tariff structure for eMOs would be the same as that for ordinary MO with the following features:
11.3. 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 INR. 1000/- up to INR 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. At present iMO service is available at more than 9,256 locations across the country.
11.4. International Money Transfer Service:
This service, operated in association with Western Union Financial Services International, provides the customers the facility of receiving remittances from 205 countries and territories on a real time basis. The service is currently available in around 7,000 post offices in India.
11.5. Electronic Clearing Service (ECS):
The Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) provides an alternative method of effecting bulk payment transactions like periodic (monthly/quarterly) payments of interest/salary/pension by Banks/Companies/Government Departments. The transactions under this scheme move from a single User source (i.e. Banks/Companies/Government Departments) to a large number of Destination Account Holders (Customers/Investors). This scheme obviates the need for issuing and handling paper instruments and thereby facilitates improved customer service by the Banks and Companies/Corporations/ Government Departments effecting bulk payments.
The Electronic Clearing Service is being offered in the Department of Posts in connection with payment of monthly interest under Monthly Income Scheme (MIS), which offers depositors the facility of getting MIS interest automatically transferred and credited into their SB account on due date at the designated Bank of their choice. It is a value addition to MIS interest payment, which provides more comfort level to MIS account holders, as it eliminates the requirement for issuing and handling paper instruments. Currently, the service is available in the Department of Posts at following 36 locations:
Note: For further details, Post Offices at these locations may be contacted.
Postal Life Insurance (PLI), introduced in 1884, is the oldest life insurance scheme for the benefit of Government employees. Initially meant only for the Postal employees, today it caters to employees of the civil and military personnel of the central and state governments, local bodies, government aided educational institutions, universities, nationalized banks, many autonomous and financial institutions, and public sector undertakings of the central and state governments. In a major innovation, Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) scheme was also introduced in 1995 for the benefit of the entire rural populace.
An Extra Departmental Agents Group Insurance Scheme was introduced with effect from 01.04.1992 and a monthly subscription of INR 10/- is deducted from the salary of its beneficiaries. As on 31.03.2004, there were 2,57,695 members under this scheme. In the event of death of its beneficiary, an amount of INR 10,000/- is paid out of the insurance fund, in addition to accretion in the savings and the interest on it. On 31.03.04 the balance in this scheme was INR 530.1 Million.
India Post is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) which is a specialized agency of the United Nations Headquartered at Berne, Switzerland with 190 member countries. India is its member since 1876 and holds an important position in the various organs of the UPU viz. – Congress, Council of Administration, Postal Operations Council and International Bureau. India Post offers letter mail, parcel, money order and international speed post services to its customers.
India Post lays maximum stress on Customer Care in rendering its services and also to sort out the grievances that arise in the course of providing these services. Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) in the DOP is endeavored to be Sevottam compliant and whenever a customer desires to complain against the services provided by DOP, he/she can do so by lodging the grievance as indicated below:
The outreach of the network, a well-established accounting system and intimate knowledge of local conditions even in the remotest corners of the country are the forte of the postal network. These are further relied upon to provide additional services to customers, depending on local needs. Induction of technology is facilitating this objective by upgrading the capacity of the physical network. Efforts to improve the knowledge and skills and capabilities of employees through training, strategic collaborations with leading service providers in banking and insurance sectors, and provision of more and more products and services on agency basis are the initiatives that India Post is concentrating on to meet the emerging challenges before it and to fulfill its role as a facilitator of communication and development in the emerging social economic environment with an overriding concern for the customers. The challenge of providing cost effective and viable services to customers is also a great motivating factor. The total revenue during 2009-10 was Rs. 62,667.01 Million against the net working expenses of Rs. 1,29,080.05 Million, leaving a gap of Rs. 66,413.04 Million. The increase in postal revenue was to the extent of 6.90%, whereas, there was an increase in the budgetary deficit to the tune of 84.84% over the previous year
The 10th Plan aimed at making the postal services self-sufficient and the technology up-gradation component constituted nearly 80% of the Plan outlay. The Department has also been able to computerize as many as 8,263 post offices against a target of 7,700 post offices during the 10th Plan. In addition, 19 Postal Accounts offices were computerized against a target of 22. All the 245 Administrative Offices have also been computerized. There has been 100% achievement in computerization of 48 Head Record Offices. In the area of modernization, as against a target of 811, as many as 822 post offices have been modernized. The Department has set up 290 Postal Finance Marts as against a target of 300. Now in the 11th Five Year Plan efforts would be made to computerize and network 17,878 Departmental Post Offices for providing effective and satisfactory service to its customers. In addition, 64,000 selected Branch Post Office located in Block / Tehsil headquarters or in remote areas also will be computerized. Administrative offices (up to Sub-Divisional level) including Postal Directorate, PSD / CSDs and Civil Wing offices will also be taken up for computerization. The proposed networking would improve delivery thereby getting additional revenue and enable the Department to start various on line services such as any time, any-where Savings Bank and other financial services.