Indian Postal Service

Indian Postal Service

company_name = Department of Posts|100px
company_type = Agency of Indian government (government semi-monopoly)
company_slogan =
key_people = Ms. Radhika Doraiswamy, Director General
num_employees = 520,191 (2007) [ Indiapost - Actual staff strength official Indian Post website] ]
foundation = 1764
location = New Delhi, India
industry = Courier
products =
revenue =
homepage = []

Department of Posts functioning under the brand name India Post, is a government operated postal system in India; it is generally referred to within India as "the post office".

The Indian Postal Service, with 155,333 post offices, is the most widely distributed post office system in the world (China is next, with 57,000 [cite web
title = Countries With Most Post Offices
accessdate = 2006-11-29
(Data 2001)
] ). The large numbers are a result of a long tradition of many disparate postal systems which were unified in the Indian Union post-Independence. Owing to this far-flung reach and its presence inremote areas, the Indian postal service is also involved in other services such as small savings banking and financial services.


The British East India Company established post offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata from 1764-1766, each serving the Bombay, Madras and Calcutta presidencies. During Warren Hastings' governorship, postal service was made available to the general public. A letter would cost 2 annas (one-eighth of a Rupee) for distances up to convert|100|mi|km|-1. Payments would be done through copper tokens; a letter was hand stamped "post paid" if paid for, otherwise it was stamped "post unpaid" or "bearing".

In 1839, North West Province Circle was formed and since then, new Postal Circles were formed as needed. In December 1860 Punjab Circle, in 1861 Burma Circle, in 1866 Central Province Circle and in 1869 Sind Circle were formed. By 1880 circles had been formed in Oudh (1870), Rajputana (1871), Assam (1873), Bihar (1877), Eastern Bengal (1878) and Central India (1879).

Afterwards, the creation of new circles was accompanied by the merging of some circles. By 1914, there were only 7 Postal Circles — Bengal & Assam, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay (including Sind), Burma, Central, Madras, Punjab & NWF and U.P.cite web
last =Bayanwala
first =A.K
url =
title =Indian Postal History: 1947-1997
publisher =Stamps of India, New Delhi, India
language =
accessdate = 2006-05-23

The usage of the stamps began on 1 July 1852 in Scinde/Sindh district, with the use of an embossed pattern on paper or wax. The shape was circular, with "SCINDE DISTRICT DAWK" around the rim, leading to the common name "Scinde Dawk". 1854 was the year of the first issue for all of India. The stamps were issued by the British East India Company, which first printed a 1/2a vermilion in April but never sold it to the public, then put four values (1/2a, 1a, 2a, 4a) on sale in October. All were designed and printed in Calcutta, featuring the usual profile of Queen Victoria. A new set of stamps, with the queen in an oval vignette inside a rectangular frame, and inscribed "EAST INDIA POSTAGE", was printed by De La Rue in England (who produced all the subsequent issues of British India) and made available in 1855. These continued in use until after the British government took over administration of India in 1858, and from 1865 were printed on paper watermarked with an elephant head.

Governance and organization

The postal service comes under the Department of Posts which is a part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under the Government of India. The apex body of the department is the Postal Service Board. The board consists of a chairman and three members. The three members hold the portfolios of Operations & Marketing, Infrastructure & Financial Services, and Personnel. The Joint Secretary and Financial Advisor to the Board is also a permanent invitee to the Board.

India has been divided into 22 postal circles. Each circle is headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each Circle is further divided into Regions comprising field units, called Divisions, headed by a Postmaster General. Other functional units like Circle Stamp Depots, Postal Stores Depots and Mail Motor Service may exist in the Circles and Regions.

Besides the 22 circles, there is a special Circle called the Base Circle to cater to the postal services of the Armed Forces of India. The Base Circle is headed by an Additional Director General, Army Postal Service holding the rank of a Major General.

Postal Services

peed Post

The high speed express service for letters and documents. Speed Post links more than 1200 towns in India, with 290 Speed Post Centres in the national network and around 1000 Speed Post Centres in the state network. For regular users, Speed Post provides delivery ‘anywhere in India’ under contractual service. Speed Post offers a money-back guarantee, under which the Speed Post fee will be refunded if the consignment is not delivered within the published delivery norms.


The most convenient way to pay your bills under one roof. With its tremendous reach and expertise India Post specializes in acceptance of payments across the counter and their consolidation. e-Payment is a ‘Many to One’ service through which bills (telephone, electricity, etc.) paid by customers in post offices are electronically consolidated.

Logistics Post

A brand new service from India Post great for sending parcels and large consignments across the nation and around the world. 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. Logistics Post is an ideal service for sending large consignments including multi-parcels, just-in-time parcels, bulk-break consignments and goods of any weight. While Parcel Post offers weight up to 35 kg, Logistics Post has no weight limit. Logistics Post offers not only physical logistics services but also provides comprehensive supply chain management services, leading to improvement in the service level efficiency.


Documents and greetings sent online but delivered by mail.

Business Post

Total pre-mailing solutions including collection/printing, inserting, and addressing.

Media Post

Reach millions through advertisements on Post cards , Letters walls of post offices ,letter boxes,post cards and statonary.

Direct Post

Distributing advertising materials directly to prospective customers.

Postal Life Insurance

Postal Life Insurance was started in 1884 as a welfare measure for the employees of Posts & Telegraphs Department under Government of India dispatch No. 299 dated 18-10-1882 to the Secretary of State. Due to popularity of its schemes, various departments of Central and State Governments were extended its benefits. Now Postal Life Insurance is open for employees of all central and state government departments, nationalized banks, public sector undertakings, financial institutions, local municipalities and Zila Parisads an Educational Institution aided by the Government.

Instant Money Order Service (iMO)

The instant domestic money transfer service is available in 717 post offices.

International Money Transfer

As a result of the collaboration of the Department of Posts with the Western Union Financial Services, state of the art international money transfer service is now available through post offices in India. This enables instantaneous remittance of money from 185 countries to India. The recipients can in fact collect the money in minutes after the sender has made the remittance. The service is targeted to particularly fulfill the needs of NRI dependent families in India, visiting International tourists and foreign students studying in India.

Non-postal services

The post office has also traditionally served as a financial institution for millions of people in rural India. Currently these are some of the activities being supported:

* Public Provident Fund
* National Savings Certificate
* Kissan Vikas Patra
* Savings Bank Account
* [ Monthly Income Scheme]
* Recurring Deposit Account
* Post boxes for mail receipt

Address Proof Cards

The scheme of issuing address proof cards was launched on Oct 2 2008. This would be beneficial for all the migrant population to get address proof and can be used as an alternative for authorised address proof documents like ration card, passport etc. The card will enable users to open a bank account, buy mobile phones, apply for a telephone connection and ration card among other things. But currently it has been implemented only in main cities and that too is not operational. It would take around a month before it is materialised.


External links

* [ Official IndiaPost website]
* [ 150 years of postal service] .
* [ History of Indian Postal Stamps]
* [ Indian Postal History 1947-1957]
* [ Indian Post flags off first air freight service]

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