India Post previously known as Department of Post, is a government-operated postal system in India, which is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Communications. Generally called "the Post Office" in India, it is the most widely distributed postal system in the world. Warren Hastings had taken initiative under East India Company to start the Postal Service in the country in 1788. It was initially established under the name "Company Mail". It was later modified into a service under the "Crown" in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie introduced uniform postage rates (universal service) and helped to pass the India Post Office Act 1854 which significantly improved upon 1837 Post Office act which had introduced regular post offices in India.It created the position Director General of Post for the whole country.
It is involved in delivering mail (post), remitting money by money orders, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance coverage under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) and providing retail services like bill collection, sale of forms, etc. The DoP also acts as an agent for the Indian government in discharging other services for citizens such as old age pension payments and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement with 154,965 post offices (as on 31.03.2017), India Post has the most widely distributed postal network in the world.
The country has been divided into 23 postal circles, each circle headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each circle is divided into regions, headed by a Postmaster General and comprising field units known as Divisions. These divisions are further divided into subdivisions. In addition to the 23 circles, there is a base circle to provide postal services to the Armed Forces of India headed by a Director General. One of the highest post offices in the world is in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh operated by India Post at an altitude of 14,567 ft (4,440 m).
Vision and Mission
India Post's products and services will be the customer's first choice.
To sustain its position as the largest postal network in the world touching the lives of every citizen in the country.
To provide mail parcel, money transfer, banking, insurance and retail services with speed and reliability.
To provide services to the customers on value-for-money basis.
To ensure that the employees are proud to be its main strength and serve its customers with a human touch.
To continue to deliver social security services and to enable last mile connectivity as a Government of India platform.
We will maintain our iconic status as a unique and trusted national institution by:
· Always providing the human touch in all our interactions with society
· Being responsive and reliable
· Demonstrating the highest order of integrity, honesty, transparency and professionalism
· Discharging our responsibilities towards the society in an environment of deep trust, mutual respect and a culture of service before self
· Achieve the long term goal of financial self-sufficiency by generating surpluses from services (existing & new) outside our universal service obligation
· Develop, implement and operate a system of standards with accountability for performance
· Develop a scalable and flexible technology infrastructure to support our operations
· Be the preferred, trusted and reliable service partner for all customers
· Ensure that India Post acquires all required people capabilities to deliver its chosen services portfolio
· Be the interface between citizens and the government
Post Office Network
India has the largest Postal Network in the world with 154,965 Post Offices (as on 31.03.2017) of which 139,067 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 of this expansion primarily in rural areas. On an average, a Post Office serves an area of 21.56 Sq. Km and population of 7753 people.
The Department of Posts comes under the Ministry of Communications. The Postal Service Board, the apex management body of the Department, comprises the Chairman and six Members. The six members of the Board hold portfolios of Personnel, Operations, Technology, Postal Life Insurance,Banking & DBT and Planning respectively. The Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor to the Department is a permanent invitee to the Board. 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.
For providing postal services, the whole country has been divided into 23 postal circles. Each Circle is co-terminus with a State except for 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), Tamil Nadu Circle (which also administers the Union Territory of Pondicherry) and West Bengal Circle (which also administers the state of Sikkim and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands) . Each of these Circles is headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each Circle is further divided into Regions comprising field units, called Divisions (Postal / RMS Divisions). Each Region is headed by a Postmaster General. In the Circles and Regions there are other functional units like Circle Stamp Depots, Postal Stores Depots and Mail Motor Service etc. Besides these 23 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.
Postal Services Board
Shri Vineet Pandey, Secretary, Department of Posts & Chairperson, Postal Services Board
Shri Alok Sharma (Current Charge),Director General (Posts)
Dr. Charles Lobo, Member (Operations)
Ms. Smita Kumar, Member (Technology)
Shri Ashok Kumar Poddar, Additional Director General (Coordination)
S. Mervin Alexander , Member (Personnel)
Ms.Sandhya Rani, Member (Banking & DBT)
Ms. Alka Jha, Member (Planning & HRD)
Shri Alok Sharma ,Member (PLI) & Chairman, PLI Investment Board
Project Arrow was launched in April 2008. The project plans to upgrade post offices in urban and rural areas, improving service and appearance into a vibrant and responsive organization and to make a visible and positive difference. The project aims to create an effective, friendly environment for staff and customers, providing secure IT services and improving mail delivery, remittances (electronic and manual) and postal-savings plans. Core areas for improvement are branding, information technology, human resources and infrastructure. The project to improve service has been implemented in more than 23,500 post offices, and 'look and feel' improvements have been made in 2,940 post offices. The Department of Posts received the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration during 2008–09 for "Project Arrow – Transforming India Post" on 21 April 2010.
Multipurpose counter machines with computers were introduced in post offices in 1991 to improve customer service and increase staff productivity. 25,000 departmental post offices out of 25,464 were computerized between as of 2011–2012. In 2012, a plan costing ₹1,877.2 crore (equivalent to ₹28 billion or US$400 million in 2019) was formulated to computerize rural post offices.