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  1. 1. aaj bhi unki yaad mey yeh dil tadpta haikhamosiyo se ye dil na jaane kya kya banya krta haikhun jaane unke dil mey thi mohbat mere liye ya woh humse yun! dillagi krte rhehumne tou mohbat mey sb kuch luta diya aur woh ise ek khel shamjte rhe…..The introduction of pigeon post is attributed to Akbar, and not Jahangir, as mentioned inseveral accounts. Pigeons were trained and housed in the royal palace, in the Kabutar-Khaana, foundeven today in the relics of Mughal palaces. They were used to carry urgent missives over shortdistances, exclusively for royal purpose. The practice continued to be favoured by Jahangir whoextended its use to special occasions.The Indian Postal Services were established in the current format largely under the East Indiacompany. It was first established under the name "Company Dawk". In 1688, the first post office of theCompany Post was established at Bombay/Madras. The system was reorganized and the serviceopened to the general public by Warren Hastings, the first governor general of Bengal withsupervisory powers over Bombay and Madras, in 1774. A Postmaster General was appointed andmetal tickets or tokens were issued to pay for the postal charges. The presidencies of Bombay andMadras followed suit.In 1835 a Committee was set up for unification of customs and postal system of all the presidencies.The result was the first Indian Post Office Act of 1837. It not only provided for uniform rates androutes but for the uniform designs and other specifications of the postmarks for each category of postoffice. A Commission was set up in 1850 and submitted its report in 1851 that resulted in the postoffice act of 1854. Under the provisions of this act, the monopoly of carrying mail in the entire area ofBritish possessions in India were granted to Indian Post office and office of the Director General ofPost Offices of India was established. Mr. H P A B Riddle, till then the Postmaster General of NorthWest Presidency, was appointed the first Director General in May 1854.Adhesive stamps were introduced on 1 October 1854 on all India basis. Meanwhile in 1852 adhesivepostage stamps were issued for use within the province of Sind, now in Pakistan. These were the firstadhesive postage stamps in Asia.Services Post office sevings schemes Postal life insurance Mutual fund Forex serrvices Money remittance services Instant money orderHistory of the Indian Post Office
  2. 2. No other institution ever has come closer to human lives as the Post Office.Post office reaches every nook and corner of the country. This is one of thereasons why many of the Government, non-government organizations, whenfaced with difficulties of reaching the largest possible number of people, havethought of utilizing the agency of the Post Office for the purpose.The Indian Post Office was recognized as a separate organization of nationalimportance and was placed, for the first time, under the unitary control of aDirector General of the Post Office in India on October 01, 1854. It thuscompletes 150 years of its operations this year.The Indian Postal System is not carved out of a single rock. The postal systemsof more than 650 princely States, the district postal systems and Zamindari Dakwere merged with the main British postal system. The bonding of thefragments has been so fine that one could be tempted to think that theinstitution is monolithic.Lord Clive first established the postal system in the country in 1766. Later onWarren Hastings developed the system by establishing Calcutta Grand PostOffice (GPO) under a Postmaster General in 1774. In other Presidencies ofMadras and Bombay, it came into existence in 1786 and 1793. The Act of 1837first regulated the Post Office on a uniform basis to unite the organizationthroughout the three Presidencies into one all India Service. The Post OfficeAct of 1854, however, reformed the entire fabric of the postal system withplacing the Post Office of India on the present administrative footings onOctober 01, 1854.In 1854, both the Posts and Telegraph departments were born. From thebeginning, the set up was run on welfare lines. Profit was not the motto. In thesecond half of the 19th century the Government declared that so long as theDepartment payed its own expenses, nothing more was desired. The same
  3. 3. trend continued even in the 20th century. The operations of post office andtelegraph developed side by side. On the eve of the World War I, in 1914, boththe departments were amalgamated.Integration of ServicesThe financial and political integration of the Indian States made it necessaryand inevitable that the Government of India should pursue the policy ofintegration of the postal system of the Indian States with the larger postalsystem. There were States, which maintained district and independent postalorganization with local postage stamps of their own. The letterboxes of thesestates were painted in green colour to distinguish them from the Indian PostOffice letterboxes, which were painted red.In 1908, it was found that out of the 652 native states in India, 635 States hadcast their lot with the Indian Post Office. Only 15 States remained out; theoutstanding ones being Hyderabad, Gwalior, Jaipur and Travnacore.A major reorganization of the Posts and Telegraph (P&T) Department tookplace in 1925. The accounts of the P & T were reconstituted to examine thefiscal profile of the Department. The attempt was to find out the extent towhich it was imposing a burden on the tax payers or bringing in revenue to theExchequer, how far each of the four constituent branches of the department,the Postal, Telegraph, Telephone and Wireless were contributing towards theresult.Multifarious ActivitiesIndian Postal service has not only confined to its main task of delivering lettersand being an effective mode of communication. It might appear surprising butthe Post office was maintaining the dak (post) bunglows and sarais in those
  4. 4. early days. For well over three decades from 1830s, the Post Office alsofacilitated road journey of the passengers. A traveller could book his seat inany palki, boat, horse, coach and cart carrying mails and parcels on payment tothe post office a fixed amount in advance and take rest on wayside dakchowkee, later on known as dak bungalow.During the plague epidemic in the late 19th century, the Post Office wasassigned the task of selling quinine packets. It is a country of joint families andsmall incomes where millions of rupees have to be sent in the shape of smallsums. The money transactions were carried out through the agency of the 321Government treasuries, located in district headquarters. In 1880, the extensiveagency at the command of the 5090 Post Offices was handed over the transferof small sums by way of Money Order, thereby obviating the difficulties oftravelling to the district headquarters and identification of the payee.In 1884, Postal Life Insurance was born, to insure the lives of ‘native’ postalemployees other than those in high positions since the insurance companiesoperating in India were unwilling to insure common natives.Freedom StruggleWhen the nation went through turbulent times, the post office also suffered. Itwitnessed arson and loot after 1857. A Deputy Postmaster and an overseerwere killed, a runner wounded and a number of Post Offices in Bihar, UP,North West Frontier Provinces (NWFP) were looted. In the NWFP and Oudhpractically all communication lines were closed and quite a number of postoffices could not be reopened for a whole year even after the violence hadsubsided.Postal strikes of 1920, which lasted for about five months, caused completedislocation of the postal services. In the 1942 Quit India movement, a numberof Post Offices and letterboxes were set on fire and mails could only beexchanged with great difficulty. It led to dislocation of postal lines in manysectors.
  5. 5. MilestonesOver the years evolution of mail delivery has grown from foot to Speed-postand e-post. Post Card was introduced in 1879 while Value Payable Parcel (VPP),Parcel and Insurance were brought into being in 1877. Indian Postal Order hadits origin in 1930. For faster delivery, Postal Index Number (PIN) Code wasintroduced in 1972. In view of fast emerging changes and scenario Postal andTelecom Departments were segregated in 1985. Speed-Post was launched in1986 while keeping pace with the changing needs of the times,Metro/Rajdhani/Business Channels, EPS and Money Order via VSAT wereintroduced in 1994.Postal RunnerThe postal runner finds a prominent place in the folklore in every traditionalsociety. In India one comes across stories and poems on it in almost everyregional language.Earlier there was provision of providing a drummer to each runner whilepassing through forest tracts. In dangerous tracts an escort of twotorchbearers and two archers were also supplied after nightfall. There werenumerous instances of runners being carried away by tigers, drowned inflooded rivers, bitten by venomous snakes, buried in avalanches or murderedby robbers. The Director of Public Information, Government of India, informedthe Parliament in 1923 that during the year 1921-22, there were 57 cases inwhich the mails were plundered by highway robbers as compared with 36 inthe preceding year. Seven out of 457 cases were attended with loss of life andin 13 instances the mail carriers were wounded.Integrating Factor
  6. 6. The post office has helped bind the nation together, support the growth ofcommerce and ensure a free flow of ideas and information. The evolution ofmail delivery grew from foot to horseback, stagecoach, railroad, automobileand airplane. The character, volume and transportation of mail have changedover the years. Today, emphasis is on postal mechanisation and automation,which have been undertaken to improve productivity and quality and provideaccess to quality postal services.Postal services have social and economic functions that clearly go beyond asimple business rationale. This is especially true in the developing world. Areliable postal system is a critical component of the modern information anddistribution infrastructure and an important catalyst for social and economicdevelopment and poverty reduction.