Indian Postal Service – Present & Past
Indian postal service has lived through the change of times, connecting to the corners of India through its last mile service. Even after the advent of the internet, postal service continues to remain largely relevant and important in many cases. What is most welcomed is that the successive government has invested good money in India post system in order to make it more efficient besides diversifying the services provided by it.
As of 31 March 2011, the Indian Postal Service had 154,866 post offices, of which 139,040 (89.8%) were in rural areas and 15,826 (10.2%) in urban areas. It had 25,464 Departmental Post Offices and 129,402 Extra-Departmental Branch Post Offices. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.23 square kilometres (8.20 sq mi) and a population of 7,114. It is worth noting that postal services come under the Ministry of Communications & Information technology.
A sneak peek into the past of India Post
Post the establishment of the British Raj i.e transfer of power from East India Company to the British Crown, India continued to make great progress in widening its postal network. By 1861, there were 889 post offices handling nearly 43 million letters and over 4.5 million newspapers annually.
Some important milestones of postal services in India include:
1. Postal insurance : Postal life insurance began on 1 February 1884, as a welfare measure for the employees of the Posts & Telegraphs Department as Government of India.
2. Airmail : 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.
3. Floating Post Office : In 2011 India inaugurated a floating post office at Dal lake in Srinagar in August 2011.