Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Dear Comrades,

Circle Office, Bhubaneswar vide Memo No.RE/30-14/Nov./2010 dated at Bhubaneswar the 30.03.2011 has declared the list of successful candidates who appeared the confirmation examination held on 07.11.2010. The details of the PAs are as under.

Koraput Division

K K PATNAIK                   OC KRP/01/2010


PRAKASH BAIRAGI         SC KRP/03/2010

M SUNIL KUMAR             OC KRP/04/2010

SUJIT KU PANDA             OC KRP/05/2010

SUMITRA JENA               OBC KRP/06/2010




SURESH KU PUJARI        OC KRP/14/2010


GAYATRI SETHI              SC KRP/17/2010

RITU DASH                      OC KRP/18/2010


PHULMANI EKKA            ST KRP/20/2010

ROJALIN TIRKY              ST KRP/21/2010


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LGOs Examination for promotion to PAs/SAs/PA(CO) of Divisions etc.

Dear Comrades,

The Circle Office, Bhubaneswar vide L No.RE/30-23/2011 dated 29.03.2011 has intimated about the details of LGOs Examination for promotion to PAs/SAs to be held on 01.05.2011 (Sunday). The details are reproduced hereunder for information to all comrades.

The Exam will be conducted accordingly to the revised syllabus as circulated to all units earlier. The examination will be held without the aid of books. The programme for LGO Exam to be held on 1-5-2011 is detailed below :-

Date 1-5-2011 Paper –I - 11.00 hours to 12.00 hours.

(SUNDAY) (Genl. English/Hindi & Grammar, Arithmetic & Tabulation)
-do- Paper-II - 13.00 hours to 14.00 hours.

For Postal Assistants :

Part-A : Knowledge of Postal/Mail Office Operations with reference to Post Office Guides.

For Sorting Assistants :

Part-B : Postal Manual Volume-VII

Last date for submission of applications by the candidates to the Divisional Office - 15-4-2011

Date of holding of Examination - 1-5-2011

Eligibility : Only the permanent LGOs who have rendered not less than 3 (three) years of regular service in that grade having good record of service & conduct are eligible to appear the above said examination and the crucial date for determining the eligibility of LGO will be the last date of submission of applications by them i.e. 15-4-2011.

For the LGO Examination for promotion to PA/SA cadre the candidate can avail only six chances as per Directorate letter No. 37-63/98-SPB-I(Pt.) dated 26-8-1999.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Dear Comrades,



Increasing in the Dearness Allowance (DA) will be from 45% to 51% w.e.f.January 2011.

Release of first additional instalment of dearness allowance for this year to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to Pensioners due from Jan-2011 to compensate for essential commodities price hike.

The revised rates of Dearness Allowance from 1.1.2011 to 28.2.2011 may be paid in cash as arrears and for the month of March may be disbursed with the salary.

The enhancement of Dearness Allowance is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission. Government Order from Finance Department will be published very soon.

Judge to officials: Don’t leave work to appear in court

Dear Comrades,

Taking a day off from their work on the pretext of attending a court hearing has become the latest trend among the government officials. A trial court has taken an exception to such practice as government officials "unnecessarily" appear before the court in matters connected to their department even when "the cases can be tackled by their advocates".

Senior Civil Judge Ajay Goel slammed such practice saying the work in their departments suffer due to non-availability of the employee.

Smriti Singh, TNN, Mar 20, 2011, 04.31am ISTNEW DELHI

Don’t miss your Aadhaar date

Dear Comrades,

Citizens of India should not miss the opportunity to receive their Aadhaar — the 12-digit unique identification number (UID) proposed by the Central government under the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project.

Though the UIDAI website says that getting enrolled for Aadhaar is not mandatory, it is likely to become a substitute for other identity proofs like PAN card and driving license.

Any resident in India who satisfies the UIDAI verification process can get an Aadhaar. Besides the unique identity, UID will also help identify criminals.

Aadhaar will include everyone, including infants. Biometric and demographic information is collected from the beginning of the programme to prevent duplication.

This project, headed by Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys, is expected to act as a stimulant to the economy by generating employment in general and project opportunities for IT companies.

Aadhaar is expected to be recognised and accepted across the country among all service providers. Once a person is enrolled for Aadhaar, service providers will not repeatedly ask that person for know-your-customer (KYC).

While applying for a bank account, passport, driving license or booking e-tickets, UID card holders will not be required to submit other documents for identity proof.

Aadhaar will help the poor and underprivileged sections to access banking services and give them the opportunity to avail of other services provided by the government and private sector.

It will be the first form of identification that many from this section will possess.

The UIDAI will ensure that its know-your-resident (KYR) standards do not become a barrier for enrolling the poor and has accordingly developed an introducer system for residents who do not have identity proof documents.

Through this system, authorised individuals (introducers), who already have an Aadhaar, can introduce residents who do not have any identification documents, thus enabling them to receive their Aadhaar.

UID will also enable service providers to easily verify an individual’s identity and authenticate it online. This will help them eliminate duplication and fake identities.

The project is likely to give a boost to financial inclusion and benefit those who do not have access to a formal credit system due to lack of acceptable documents.

The UID registration began in Thane district on January 10, 2011. “Registration will be open for almost a year. For every person, it takes about 10-15 minutes to complete the registration process. In a day, the registration centres manage to enrol close to 60 persons,” said a source, in-charge of promoting UID for his ward.

An application for Aadhaar can be rejected if there is a data or process error. In this case, one has to re-enrol for it. If a person’s biometric records match an existing record, then he/she will have to register a complaint.

Published: Saturday, Mar 19, 2011, 2:26 IST
By Yogini C Joglekar Place: Mumbai  Agency: DNA

Declaration of Holiday on 14th April, 2011- Birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Dear Comrades,

F. N0.12/2/2011-JCA-2
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
(Department of Personnel & Training)
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 21st March 201 1.


Subject: Declaration of Holiday on 14th April, 2011- Birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

It has been decided to declare Thursday, the 14th April 2011, as a Closed Holiday on account of the birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, for all Central Government Offices including Industrial Establishments throughout India.

2. The above holiday is also being notified in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (26 of 1881).

3. All Ministries/Departrnents of Government of India may bring the above decision to the notice of all concerned.

Sd/- (Dinesh Kapila) Director to the Government of India

Thursday, March 17, 2011

25 paise coins to become history from June 30

Dear Comrades,

The Reserve Bank of India will withdraw 25 paise coins and those of lower denomination from the market starting June 30. These coins will not be in circulation and can't be used as legal tender for payment.

RBI in a press statement said that those who have these coins can exchange them for their worth at 41 banks across the country. The banks where such coins can be exchanged are:

Allahabad Bank , Andhra Bank , Bank of Baroda , Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra , Canara Bank , Central Bank of India , Corporation Bank , Dena Bank , Indian Overseas Bank , Indian Bank , Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab and Sindh Bank, State Bank of India , Syndicate Bank , UCO Bank , Union Bank of India , United Bank of India , Vijaya Bank , State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad , State Bank of Mysore , State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, IDBI Bank Ltd , ICICI Bank Ltd , Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, Dhanlaxmi bank Ltd, The Federal Bank Ltd , The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, The HDFC Bank Ltd , The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, The Karur Vysya Bank Ltd , The Laxmi Vilas Bank Ltd, ING Vysya Bank Ltd , Standard Chartered Bank , City Union Bank , Axis Bank Ltd and Karnataka Bank Ltd.
16 Mar, 2011, 03.06PM IST,Economic Times NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES

Transfered $6.5 bn through India Post in 10 yrs: Western Union

Dear Comrades,

Western Union Money Transfer along with India's Department of Post has transfered USD 6.5 billion worth of remittances through 7,000 strong postal location network dotted across urban and rural India in the last decade.

" India Post is an integral of Western Union's India wide agent network and the largest Western Union in-country network," Western Union South & South-east Asia MD Anil Kapur told reporters here.

India Post is the world's largest postal network with over 1,55,000 post office, with a significant presence across rural India. Western Union has over 4,00,000 agent locations across 200 countries and territories.

"At India Post, we strive to exceed the expectations of our consumers and society," Department of Post Deputy Director General (Financial Service) A S Prasad said.

According to the World bank, India continued to be the largest recipient of remittances in 2010 to the tune of USD 55 billion, owing to the growing diaspora, strong investment opportunities in India and the growing needs of middle class.
17 Mar, 2011, 03.31PM IST,PTI

Economic Times

HP, Infosys, TCS, Wipro in race for India Post's contract

Dear Comrades,

Global IT giant HP is fighting it out with domestic IT services companies such as Infosys Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro for a Department of Post contract. The contract, which involves implementation of financial services solution, is one of the eight projects that the department is outsourcing as part of its IT modernisation initiative.

"Four companies have submitted commercial and financial bids and the bids are currently being evaluated. The contract seeks to provide connectively to 170,000 post offices in the country for anytime, anywhere banking," sources said.

While the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last year approved the `India Post 2012' IT modernisation project at an overall outlay of Rs 1,877 crore, the entire project will be implemented through eight separate contracts. However, the break-up in terms of value for individual contract could not be immediately ascertained.

According to sources, these four companies have responded to the Request for Proposal by the postal department, seeking to put in place an enterprise wide financial management system for the Post Office savings bank and postal life insurance. The vendor will manage the system for five years.

Broadly, the scope of work includes supply, installation and commissioning of postal banking applications entailing core banking solution and ATM switch.

In addition to banking and insurance solution, the IT vendor would also have to install 1,000 ATMs and create mobile and web-based access for all users.

When contacted, the four companies refused to comment on the issue.

Multiple contracts
As part of its ambitious IT modernisation effort, the postal department is expected to hand out multiple contracts. The Rural ICT hardware contract involves supply and installation of rural IT hardware devices and providing network connectivity to 1.30 lakh Gramin Dak Sewak post offices enabling post offices to perform e-transactions. The rural ICT system integrator will develop the platform for all applications that will reside in the rural hand-held devices; and the core system integrator will focus on all applications that will run in the post and mail offices.

Besides the financial services systems integrator, other contracts include data centre facility, network integrator, mail operations hardware and change management.

New Delhi, March 14:

Regarding Economic Times feature on India Post dated 8/3/11.

Dear Comrades,

India Post has explained regarding Economic Times feature on India Post dated 8/3/11.

Many of staff and officers contacted Postal Directorate about a special feature on India Post in the Economic Times dated 7 March 2011. The Following few points may put the records straight :

First about deficit. It is true that during last two years, the expenditure has increased. That is mainly due to establishment cost going up on account of implementation of recommendations of Pay Commission. This is true of all Government departments whether in public service or not. In regard to revenue of the Department, the two main sources of revenue,tariff for mail and remuneration for savings bank are administered.

Secondly about technology. It is true that post office computerization started nearly fifteen years back. But the compurerisation was incremental and on stand alone basis. A project to computerize and network all post offices by 2012-13 is under implementation. That will provide a platform for new services including extensive financial services, e-commerce and joint products from various corporate

Thirdly about Post Bank. This Deprtment has got a report from consultant in this regard which is under processing. It may be mentioned, till last year RBI did not show any inclination for issuing banking licenses. Further to make post office an effective banking outlet, one needs to have networking and specialized banking package which is under implementation now.

Fourthly about structure of the organization, leadership and continuity. There are as many corporatized post offices who have failed as of those which succeeded. In this regard continuity of vision and ability to transform is important. But that is not necessarily one top person centric. Leadership at all levels with a committed group for transformation is required. That is what we have been aiming at for managing this change.

20 post offices to have CBS facility

Dear Comrades,
Parul Pandey,TNN,Mar 15, 2011, 08.09pm ISTPATNA: Postal department is coming up with Core Banking Solution (CBS) at 20 post offices located in different parts of the state. These post offices will be inter-connected by April-end.

Through CBS facility at these post offices, customers can access their accounts and carry out simple transactions from any of the member branch offices. CBS is a general term used to describe the services provided by a group of networked bank branches.

Head offices of post offices such as Patna GPO, Bankipore (Patna), Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Munger, Ara (Bhojpur), Chhapra (Saran), Motihari (East Champaran), Hajipur (Vaishali), Begusarai, Saharsa, Purnia, Katihar, Darbhanga, Laheriasarai (Darbhanga), Madhubani, Samastipur, Sitamarhi and Bettiah (West Champaran) are going to start CBS facilities.

Postal Dept reaches out to customers

Dear Comrades,

Imphal, March 15 2011: Facilitating an interactive session between the customers and officials of Postal Department, the Manipur Postal Division of the Department of Posts, Government of India organised a customers' meet at the conference hall of Hotel Anand Continental here today.

It was the first time ever that such an interactive session of the customers and the officials of the Postal Department has been held in Manipur to discuss issues related to postal services and to find out ways and means of improvement the services.

Deputy Superintendent of Post Office DK Bora, Assistant Superintendent of Post Office (Headquarters) W Suden Singh, Postmaster of Imphal Head Post Office RK Maipaksana, Complaint Inspector of Manipur Division Th Gojendra Singh, Manager of Speed Post Centre L Rajkumar and PA to Director Postal Services Nico Okram attended the session as panel officers.

Introducing the interactive session, DK Bora said that Indian Postal Services is the largest organisation in the world, employed largest number of employees who are the highest paid employees in India. Now there are six Postal Departments in North Eastern States with headquarters at Shillong.

He explained that the main objective of organising the meet is to exchange views between the officials of the Department and the customers, to take suggestions from the customers and understand their likes and dislikes on the services of the Department so that necessary improvement could be brought about.

Responding to questions from the customers with regard to delay services in some cases, DK Bora pointed out that the services of the Postal Department could be more effective and the people can get their letters and other parcels in time, if the houses have proper numbering.

However, in case of Manipur, the house numbers are used only during election time. There is no permanent number for the locality and street as well here.
So, the Postal Dept would take up the matter with the Census Dept for necessary measures, he assured.
The Deputy Superintendent announced that the Postal Dept would soon introduce standardised boxes for sending parcel and other articles. So, the customers would not have to take their trouble of arranging their own parcel/packages. This would also solve 90 percent of the problem of the customers, he added.

On the importance of Postal services, DK Bora further pointed out that the reach of Postal services extend even in far flung areas where other services are not available. Moreover, the courier service, which most people think is not related to post office, actually depends on it.

With development of science and technology, many new services may come and go. But Postal services would remain always, he said. During the interaction, the customers also appealed for introducing some policy/schemes for the conveniences of elderly citizens and publish introduction of any new schemes of the Postal Dept through local newspapers as well for mass awareness.

Source: The Sangai Express

Indian Govt. Launches E-Post Office; Usability Issues

Dear Comrades,

The Government of India has launched the e-commerce portal of India Post, E-Post Office. The portal will offer postal services to customers, who can pay electronically for them.In the first phase of its launch the E-Post Office will offer seven services including Electronic Money Order, Instant Money Order, Sale of Philatelic Stamps, Postal information, Tracking of Express and International Shipments, PIN Code Search and a section to register feedback and complaints. Given the opportunity in sending a money order or transferring money online, this has the potential of becoming another IRCTC, which, at last count, did over $100 million in transactions per month. According to a Government of India press release, plans are in place to scale up the portal to a full-fledged e-Market Place, which will offer a wide range of postal and non-postal products. It will also integrate India Post’s mail-parcel service for e-Commerce order fulfilment.

The site is surprisingly flashy for a Government of India site but also Flashy literally since it employs generous use of Adobe Flash. So if I want to check a Pin Code from my iPhone, I simply can’t. We would have preferred an HTML5 version instead, or an option to choose a non-flash site.

After the virtual door opens, a virtual service lobby(We so wish real world Indian post offices looked the same!) comes up and has links placed all over to replicate the post office feel, in addition to a navigation bar. For example, the electronic and instant money order links appear right on top of two counters and the feedback link appears on top of a letter box. The site divides services in six categories and clicking on each virtually navigates to a particular section:

- Track & Trace - Pin Code Search, Electronic Money Order Tracking, Speed Post Tracking, WNX Tracking, International Mail – All of these are links to the old world Indiapost site, which is a big bump in the user experience. Why can’t these pages be integrated in the e-post office site itself?

- Philately- It has information on philately(dead link), Stamp Issue Program(not updated) and one can buy stamps too. However one can’t access the Stamps store without registering and registration is tedious. We were able to register after 5 failed attempts. Around 52 stamps are on sale in this section. One can buy a maximum 5 stamps of a particular collection and the minimum order has to be equal to or more than Rs 200. There is a service charge of Rs 50 and a payment gateway charge depending on the transaction amount.

- Information- Pin Code Search, Speed Post, Banking (doesn’t work), Insurance(dead link), Business Post(dead link), Logistics Post(dead link), IMTS (doesn’t work), Other Services (doesn’t work)

- Instant Money Order- Detailed information on Instant Money order including booking, delivery, tariff, among other. To book an IMO you need to register on the site. One can track the status of the IMO on the site. Thankfully, this section has been integrated well without linking to other sites.

- Electronic Money Order- Similar to Instant Money Order. One can book EMOs and find related information.

- Feedback - Lets users register a complaint and track its status. The links again take the user to the old India Post site’s “Web Based Customer Grievance Handling System”, with scary looking forms.

A few things:

- With so many dead links, how did the government decide to launch the site in the first place? Why not bring the tracking tools to the new portal and eliminate the links to the old site?

- Navigation is a big pain. Once one logs in to buy a money order, there is no link to go back to the main site. The site does not have a concept of user sessions, so if a user wants to make an instant money order payment after an electronic money order one or purchase a stamp, he will have to log in again.
- It is extremely cumbersome to register on the site. Even if one fills all the mandatory fields, errors keep coming up. And why not bring the registration at the end. The present approach would discourage people from using the site leave alone making any transactions.

- As we said earlier a more universal alternative to Flash would have been better. Better give us a usable site instead of virtual tours.

By Anupam Saxena on March 15th, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sibal Launches E-Commerce Portal Of India Post

Dear Comrades,

(RTTNews) - In an attempt to modernize India's postal services, Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday launched 'e-post office', the e-commerce portal of India Post that will enable the customers to transact various postal services online using either debit card or credit card.

"The ways we live are changing and the launch of e-post office is a step in this direction. This is inline with shift in marketing trend of service provider reaching the consumers," Sibal said.

According to Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot,the portal would be made available in regional languages also so that the common man can avail the benefits.

The ambitious project of India Post will offer seven services in the first phase, which include electronic money order (eMO), instant money order (iMO), sale of philatelic stamps, postal information, tracking of express and international shipments, pin code search and registering of feed back and complaints.

India Post has concrete plans in place to scale up the portal to a full-fledged e-market place, which would offer a wide range of postal and non-postal products.

by RTT Staff Writer
3/10/2011 12:55 AM

Thursday, March 10, 2011

India Post launches online postal transactions service

Dear Comrades,

India Post today announced launch of online portal ''e-post office'' to provide postal transaction and tracking service online.

This portal will provide electronic money order (eMO), instant money order (iMO), sale of philatelic stamps, postal information, tracking of express and international shipments, PIN code search and registeration of feedback and complaints online.

"A user can use his debit or credit card to send eMO or iMO online. This will enable one to send money to person at home anywhere in the country," said Radhika Doraiswamy, secretary, Department of Post during the launch.

Through this portal, DoP will also sell products, handicrafts and other products made by small-scale industries.

"Earlier consumers used to go to service providers but now services providers are going to consumers. This is the future of the 21st century.

We have now taken post offices to every citizen of the country through internet," Kapil Sibal, the union minister for communications and information technology (MoCIT) said at the event.

"This portal will also be e-commerce portal for the Department of Post. Products of small-scale sector and handicrafts will also be sold through this portal," Sibal added.

The content of the portal is in English. Sachin Pilot, state MoCIT asked DoP to develop this content in other local languages to expand reach of the portal.

"This initiative will make every netbook, computer a post office. I will urge Department of Post to make this site accessible in various languages," Pilot said.

The next version of the portal is expected to be launched in Bangla and Kannada language. This is the first phase of services that have been launched.

DoP has plans to bring other services also online in next phase of e-post office project, informed Doraiswamy.

PTI PRS Wednesday 9 March 2011, 5:47 PM

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Clarification regarding reimbursement of LTC-80 fare

Dear Comrades,

This is regarding clarification regarding reimbursement of LTC-80 fare.

F.No. 19024/1/2009-E.IV
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
E-IV Branch

New Delhi, dated the 4th March, 2011


Subject: Clarification regarding reimbursement of LTC-80 fare.

The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s O.M. No. 7(1)/E.Coord/2008 dated 4.12.2008 regarding restriction of the Air Travel on the LTC to Air India’s LTC-80 fares with effect from 1st December,2008.

2. References are being received in this Department seeking clarification for admissibility of LTC claims of Government officials in cases where the air fare paid for travel by Air India happens to be less than LTC-80 class of Air India. It is clarified that reimbursement of air fare lower than LTC-80 air fare of Air India will also be admissible for journeys performed by Air India under LTC as the intention is to ensure that the LTC claim should not in any case , exceed LTC-80 fare of Air India.

3. It is further clarified that instructions issued by this Department on air travel from time to time continue to remain in force.

Sd/- (A. Bhattacharya) Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

15-day postal exhibition on World Cup

Dear Comrades,

Postal department has decided to organise a 15-day exhibition from next week on cricket in the light of the ongoing World Cup. At this exhibition, around 200 products, including stamps, brochures, envelops and special covers - all related to cricket - will be on display here at the GPO.
The department will also put on sale picture postcards of Indian cricket team, key rings with original cricket stamp, coffee mugs with cricket stamp and slogan for Team India embossed on them and world cup picture. One thousand pieces of each one of these items will be available at the stamp bureau of GPO from next week.
The coffee mugs will priced between Rs 100 and Rs 150, depending on the size. The key ring will be available for Rs 30 to Rs50. Anil Kumar, director of postal services (marketing), told TOI, "This is a gift from the postal department to the cricket lovers of Patna and an attempt to reach the hearts of the new generation."

Parul, TNN
Mar 8, 2011, 09.37pm IST

Scandia sets out growth strategy

Dear Comrades,

Jyotiraditya Scindia, India's 40-year old minister of state for commerce and industry and one of the country's dynamic young leaders, is overseeing unusual expansion of India's exports industry that aims to cross US$500 billion by 2014.

A year after finishing his MBA from Stanford University, which followed his BA in Economics from Harvard, Scindia became one of India's youngest parliamentarians at the age of 31, representing Guna constituency in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. He had earlier working experience in Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles, the United Nations in New York, and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong and Mumbai.

In 2008, Scindia caught India's attention as minister of state for communications and information technology when he modernized the aging postal service in "Project Arrow". Dingy, derelict post offices across the country were renovated to Internet-enabled multi-utility centers of the fashionably re-branded India Post, earning his ministry the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration for 2008-09.

By Raja Murthy
Asia Times

Postal department not happy to sell policies of other insurance companies

Dear Comrades,

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA), in October last year, allowed each circle of department of post (DOP) to act as a corporate agent to sell insurance. India post’s life insurance wing however, is not happy to sell insurance products of other insurance companies as they have their own life cover schemes.

IRDA, in October permitted each circle of India Post to act as a separate unit. Each circle could tie-up with 2 life insurance and 2 non-life insurance companies, 1 health insurance and 1 agricultural insurance company.

An official from the postal life insurance department said that they have their own insurance scheme and the largest network and there is no reason why they should be selling policies of any other insurance company.

For nearly a century and half the Indian Postal System has been the main component of the communication infrastructure for the country. They have a huge database and a wide network.

According to IRDA, some private insurance companies have difficulties in expanding their distribution networks and the move to include DOP would have worked in the larger interests of India’s financial inclusion objective of the government.

Private insurance companies have been looking forward to selling their policies through India Post. Discussions are still underway and insurance companies are still hopeful that a deal may work out.

March 01, 2011 - 01:30 PM
My Insurance

India Post: Even with social obligation, it could be profitable

Dear Comrades,

For an entity that is in the delivery business, speed in decision-making is not a strength of the department of post. From idea to implementation, the department has taken 16 years to computerise and connect all its 155,000 branches; it’s taken 10 years to enter the business of managing the movement of goods for companies.

Most recently, it’s taken four years just to commission a feasibility study for its biggest transformation yet, becoming a bank.

In the last 15 years, as electronic modes of communication have trampled on physical forms, the department has tried to change, only to give into its worst self, and continue down the road of irrelevance and mounting losses. In 2009-10, it lost Rs 6,641 crore, on revenues of Rs 6,266 crore. In other words, to earn one rupee in revenues, it spent Rs 2. In 1997-98, it gave itself a new, contemporary and meaningful identity: India Post.

Except it never carried through that exercise the way it could have and it sometimes even promised to. Several global logistics powerhouses have approached it for a partnership, but are left shrugging their shoulders. “We don’t know what India Post wants,” says a senior executive of a global logistics firm that is waiting on India Post for four business proposals made to it two years ago. “Dealing with them demands a great deal of patience due to the slow decision-making.”

The ultra-slow decision-making is compounded by ultra-fast personnel movement at the top. In the last 11 years, India Post has had six chiefs. “The department is a victim of its age,” says BN Som, who headed it between 1998 and 2000. “It has failed to maintain continuity of vision under successive leadership.” A proposal in one chief’s tenure tends to lose steam in another’s.

In a world that started and ended with it, this wouldn’t be catastrophe. But in a world where it is competing against private players, and is punching below its weight, time is running out for India Post. And it doesn’t have a big plan or an overriding sense of purpose to turn this red ship around.

Radhika Doraiswamy, the current captain of the ship, is looking to technology to cut costs and push new business initiatives. “Riding on technology, we hope to become a self-sustaining organisation by 2013-14,” says the current secretary-posts & director-general of the Postal Services Board. It’s a statement that clings to hope and numbers the department has never achieved before.

John Samuel, general manager–business development, shows a growth-projection sheet that calls the department to grow at a multiple of its historic rate. For example, in the business post segment, it projects 40% a year growth till 2013-14, against 15% and 20% in the last two years, respectively.

Even the government, which makes good the department’s deficit every year, doesn’t see a turnaround. Budget 2011 has put aside Rs 5,108 crore for India Post for 2011-12. And in 2010-11, it overshot what the government had budgeted for it by 2,300 crore.

Money Disorder

About 90% of its expenses go towards salaries of its 475,000 employees in 155,000 branches. It can’t, the department says, shut down commercially unviable branches because there is an India that uses these services and can’t afford to pay commercial rates.

 7 Mar, 2011, 03.08AM IST, Bhanu Pande & Souvik Sanyal,ET Bureau

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ayanavaram post office in ruins

Dear Comrades,

Official apathy and neglect have pushed the Ayanavaram post office to a state of ruins. Both staff and the public face hardships as the post office lacks even basic amenities such as drinking water and toilets. The postal department’s promise of a new building to house the 85-year-old post office, owned by India Post, is yet to be fulfilled.

The building lacks a proper compound wall and the borewell on the premises is also defective. A staff, on condition of anonymity said: “There are numerous problems as the building is very old and we have to work in the midst of all this mess.”

K Ramadoss, president of North Chennai District Exnora and a resident of Ayanavaram said: “Following a representation, then minister for communications Dayanidhi Maran,in 2007, assured us that funds would be allotted under the 11th Five Year Plan for renovating the building. However,only a minor repair work was carried out a few years ago.”
At a ‘Post Forum’ meeting held on May 28, 2009, it was decided to upgrade the post office with “Project Arrow” status to provide basic amenities at the office and e-services to customers, he added. Senior superintendent of post offices (Chennai North) told ‘Express’ that any civil work can be started only after the funds are sanctioned.
Though he assured that action would be taken once the funds were allocated, he did not comment on the communication from the department of post offices on renovation work to be carried out under the 11th Five Year Plan in 2007, a copy of which is with ‘Express’.
Lack of amenities apart, the staff also complain of increased work burden and manpower shortage after two sub-offices which were functioning for more than three decades were closed and merged with the Ayanavaram post office in 2004 without prior notice.
Gangadhar S Patil Express News Service07 Mar 2011 01:49:33 AM IST

Challenges before India Post

Dear Comrades,

India Post's recent initiatives, which include slotting itself in cyberspace through the ePost Office, are pointers to the manner in which the world's largest postal network can be better leveraged to strengthen the financial and communication infrastructure. The Internet and other affordable alternatives have hit the basic function of post offices: delivering letters and other mails. In India, as an answer to a question raised in the Lok Sabha reveals, the volume of mail traffic fell from 6,677.18 million pieces in 2006-07 to 6,391.15 million in 2007-08, and rose marginally to 6,540.90 million in 2008-09. That the figure for 1997-98 was 15,749.30 million points to the severity of the fall. Internationally too, there are clear signs of the Internet eating into postal systems. Developed economies, in particular, saw postal businesses slump further with the onset of the recession. Statistics provided by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) show that between 2008 and 2009 domestic mail volumes were down 12 per cent globally (translating to about 13 billion pieces). Although there are signs of recovery now, particularly in the parcel and express segments, fundamental challenges posed by the emergence of alternatives to the post remain.
India's expansion of telephone services — the number of telephone subscribers increased from 76.54 million in 2004 to 764.77 million in November 2010 — and the growth of broadband are important developments that could further eat into the letter-post. Against this backdrop, the ePost Office, through which customers can carry out some basic services such as Money Order transactions, marks the beginning of what could be a new chapter for India Post. Its agreement with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to work more closely in socio-economic areas with the provider of unique identity ID cards will be watched with interest round the world. An excellent way of strengthening India Post's finances would be to build on its biggest strength — as the world's largest postal network whose reach extends to all households in the country — and take a range of services closer to Indian residents: financial services and insurance products, for a start. Optimism over economic growth offers India Post an opportunity to correct its deficit-ridden balance sheets and also play a larger role in development by strengthening business-to-business and business-to-consumer segments. Making this change — while maintaining its key public service role as a provider of affordable services for a country of a billion-plus people — is the strategic challenge facing India Post.

The Hindu, March 7, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New age post offices are here!

Dear Comrades,

From a modest beginning, India Post is now the leading postal services provider in the world. The rise of ‘postal power’ is visible with modern looks some post offices have been donning in city, writes Eswar Singh K R .

Narayana Rao, an octogenarian living in Saraswathipuram was a regular at the post office in his locality for more than five decades now. On Monday last week, the swanky new look of the post office surprised him when he visited the place after a break of six months.

The post office has got a corporate touch with new furnishings and modern infrastructure. The flashy corporate look of the office and its pleasing clean ambience made Rao beam with happiness for he had been attached to it ever since he opened a small savings account in 1960s.

It is the second post office in the city to get the new-look after Head post office (HPO) was renovated.


For people like Rao, there are more surprises in the offing from the India Post. The modernisation process is a big leap in the direction of modest post offices and enterprising India Post embracing Information Communication Technology (ICT) in a big way in the months and years to come - don’t be surprised if a postal saving account holder is seen drawing money from India post ATMs.

If the Project Arrow of the India Post has entailed for the upgradation of select post office infrastructure like HPO on Irwin road, Saraswathipuram PO and K R Nagar rural post office, the India Post 2012 IT modernisation project has laid down the roadmap to embrace the ICT.

N Prakash, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices told City Herald that work on computerisation of all available data on customers in HPO and Saraswathipuram PO was completed.

Both these offices have been upgraded on similar lines to maintain uniformity in post office look all over the country. Other post offices will also be brought under the Arrow in phased manner. Recently, Mysore district has many first to its credit.

As Mysore is among the first few districts to be covered under the Unique Identification (UID) project, the HPO has disbursed more than 3.5 lakh UID cards so far in the district.

“The work is delivered without hindering the existing mail delivery service and with the existing personnel in the post offices in city and district. We expect to deliver thrice the number of delivered cards in the future days till the project completes,” says Prakash.

While, the HPO Mysore has the credit of selling the highest number of gold coins in the State.

“Though being a Sunday, we opened the counter on Akshaya Tritiya day. The HPO sold 380 gms of gold coins of various denominations like 5 gms, 8 gms and 10 gms. We ran out of stock and had to transfer some coins from neighbouring HOs,” Assistant Superintendent Anil Joshi adds.

According to Joshi, the India Post has embarked on a mission to provide a range of service under one roof. Besides the traditional services, post offices now offer EMS speed post, business post - for bulk mailers, bill mail service, direct post, Express parcel post, logistics post, e-post, e-payment, retail post, media post (ads on post cards, letters etc), mutual funds and insurance policies, pass port services, public provident funds scheme and other financial services, says Anil Joshi.

The legacy

For India Post, the beginning was modest with a simple objective - to keep you in touch with your loved ones.

As the face of India changes, the India Post have evolved into a dynamic, multi-dimensional organisation with an international presence.

India Post is the largest banking organisation backed by 6 lakh dedicated workforce and is spread over 1.5 lakh post offices in India.Under India Post 2012, India Post aims to establish a data/disaster recovery centre, house all the transactions and data with a secure and centrally governed IT system. It also aims at nation-wide networking of all the post offices and begin core banking services on lines of PSU banks
Eswar Singh K R, Deccan Herald, 5.3.2011
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