India Post

India Post
भारतीय डाक
India Post Logo.svg
Department overview
Formed1 October 1854; 165 years ago (1854-10-01)[1][2]
JurisdictionIndia
HeadquartersDak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi
Employees433,417 (March 2017)[3]
Annual budget11,496.18 crore (US$1.7 billion) (2018-19)[4]
Minister responsible
  • Ravishankar Prasad, Cabinet Minister for Communications
Department executives
  • Pradipta Kumar Bisoi (IPoS:1985), Secretary
  • Shri Salim Haque, Director General[5]
Parent Ministrywww.indiapost.gov.in

The Department of Posts (DoP), trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India, which is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Communications. Generally called "the post office" in India, it is the most widely distributed postal system in the world. Founded in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie who laid the foundation for the modern Indian postal service. Dalhousie introduced uniform postage rates (universal service) & passed the India Post office act 1854 which significantly improved upon Lord William Bentinck's 1837 act which had introduced Post offices in India. It created the position Director General of post for the whole country . [6][7]

It is involved in delivering mail (post), remitting money by money orders, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance cover 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 Government of India in discharging other services for citizens such as old age pension payments and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement. With 155,015 post offices, 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 a height of 14,567 ft (4,440 m).[8][9]

History

Indian postal service Educational card, late 19th or early 20th century
1850s Scinde Dawk stamp
A modern Indian Post Office near Udagamandalam

Posts and the British Raj (1858–1947)

The British Raj was instituted in 1858, when the rule of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown.[10][11]

A number of acts were enacted during the British Raj to expand and regulate Posts and Telegraphs service:

  • The Government Savings Bank Act 1873 (5 of 1873), passed by the legislature 28 January 1873, was enacted in 1881. On 1 April 1882, Post Office Savings Banks opened throughout India (except in the Bombay Presidency). In Madras Presidency, it was limited; in the Bengal Presidency, no POSBs were established in Calcutta or Howrah.
  • Postal life insurance began on 1 February 1884 as a welfare measure for the employees of the Posts & Telegraphs Department as Government of India dispatch No. 299 dated 18 October 1882 to the Secretary of State.
  • Telegraph Act, 1885 (Indian Telegraph Act)
  • The Indian Post Office Act 1898 (6 of 1898), passed by the legislature on 22 March 1898, became effective on 1 July 1898 regulating postal service. It was preceded by Act III of 1882 and Act XVI of 1896.
  • The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933 (17 of 1933)

The world's first official airmail flight took place in India on 18 February 1911, a journey of 18 kilometres (11 mi) lasting 27 minutes. Henri Pequet, a French pilot, carried about 15 kilograms (33 lb) of mail (approximately 6,000 letters and cards) across the Ganges from Allahabad to Naini; included in the airmail was a letter to King George V of the United Kingdom.[12] India Post inaugurated a floating post office in August 2011 at Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.[13] Telegraphy and telephony made their appearance as part of the postal service before becoming separate departments. The Posts and Telegraphs Departments merged in 1914, dividing again on 1 January 1985.

After independence in 1947

Since India became independent in 1947, the postal service continues to function on a nationwide basis, providing a variety of services. The structure of the organization has the directorate at its apex; below it are circle offices, regional offices, the superintendent's offices, head post offices, sub-post offices and branch offices. In April 1959, the Indian Postal Department adopted the motto "Service before help"; it revised its logo in September 2008.[14]

The number of post offices was 23,344 when India became independent in 1947 and these were primarily in urban areas. The number increased to 155,015 in 2016 and 90% of these were in rural areas.[15]