Mr. Varun is a freelancer working as a passionate Marketing and Communications Specialist. He has a keen interest in current affairs.
Introduction to Indian Postal System
Post offices in India serve its consumers with a primary goal to render postal, financial, and insurance services. The Indian postal department has a wide network of post offices spread across India, including the remotest places.
Postal services in India are managed under the brand name ‘India Post’ The Department of Posts, headquartered at Dak Bhavan, New Delhi manages the India Post operations across India.
Post offices in India are categorized as per the needs of the local consumers. The post offices may be divided into the following-
- General Post Office (GPO)
- Head Post Office (HPO)
- Branch Post Office
- Sub-Post Office (Delivery)
- Sub-Post Office (Non-Delivery)
- Railway Mail Service
The above categories of postal services are available to both domestic consumers and foreign consumers. However, some of the services like foreign post are available only at General Post Offices headquartered at the state capitals. Customers intending to avail Foreign post services may have to visit General Post Offices only for such a purpose.
Common services available in Indian Post Offices
India Post has a wide network of post offices. The post offices provide niche postal and financial services to its customers. Some of the commonly available services to the customers are discussed below.
Ordinary Postal Service
The most commonly used postal service is the ordinary postal service. The consumer has to attach a prerequisite stamp on a postal cover and drop it at the post boxes. The delivery of the ordinary post usually takes up to 7 days based on the distance of the addressee.
Ordinary posts are the most reliable and often used by the domestic customers to send out a communication to the intended recipients through postcard and postal letters
Speed Post Service
Speed Post service is an important postal service offered to its customers. A customer can book any package/postal mail by superscribing ‘Speed Post’ in the cover letter. The delivery of Speed Post mails is usually given a priority of up to 24 to 48 hours based on the distance of the addressee.
Speed Post is the most common source of postal mail services in India. Speed Post is usually utilized by the consumers for business and priority mail services so as to deliver it to the addresses in the quickest possible way.
Registered Post is an expressway of delivery of postal documents to the addressee. Registered post ensures speedy delivery of the postal documents in a time-bound manner but is intended to reach the recipient only. Registered Post cannot be dropped off to the addressee or to the post bag.
It has to be addressed to a customer who has to accept the postal document upon delivery. Registered Post is the most commonly used services especially to deliver business-related communication to the customers.
Philately is a section under India Posts that serves the needs of postal stamp enthusiasts. General Post Offices across the country and Head Post Offices across the state are designated as a single point of contact to meet the needs of Philately enthusiasts.
Philately regularly communicates the release of postal covers launched recently and also acts as a point of sale to issue newly released stamps to the enthusiasts and customers.
India Post has a wide network of post offices lined to the operation of financial services also to its customers. India Post under its financial services offers the facility of savings bank account to its customers.
The facility is utilized extensively by the consumers especially in rural areas who rely on postal services for financial services.
The financial services offered by India Post has various other schemes attracting the customers and forms as the critical backbone to the department of posts.
Railway Mail Service
Railway Mail Services (RMS) is a popular service of the postal department for the past few decades. RMS offers logistical support to India Post documents and is involved in the transport of postal documents from sorting hubs to various destinations through trains.
Every city in India has an RMS facility based at the nearby central railway station. RMS post offices work on a round-the-clock basis and render exclusively to logistical requirements of India Post by trains on overnight basis.
Postal Life Insurance
Postal Life Insurance or PLI is one of the key products under Financial Service of the department of posts and India Post. The postal life insurance arm under the India Post offers various insurance schemes available to its customers.
Customers from both urban and rural areas rely on postal life insurance services offered by India Post and are one of the popular insurance services available in the country.
The Ministry of External Affairs in India has tied up with the Department of Posts to issue passports to the citizens at the designated post offices. These designated post offices that issue passports are commonly known as ‘Post Office Passport Sewa Kendras’ or POPSK. Any citizen can avail of fresh passport application services at any of the designated POPSK post offices.
The scheme was recently launched by the ministry and is popular among the citizens of rural areas. Usually, Head Post Offices under the India Post network offer the services of POPSK and act as POPSK post offices. The appointment to POPSK post offices to issue fresh passports are managed by the Regional Passport Offices are respective cities located across India.
Management of Post Offices
A post office is managed by a postmaster appointed by the Department of Posts. There are several other officers based on hierarchy heading the post offices on higher levels such as Senior Post Master for Branch Post Office, Head Post Master for Head Post Office, and Chief Post Master for General Post Office.
The management of overall post offices is handled by senior-level officers ranging from Superintendent of Posts, Senior Superintendent of Posts, Assistant Post Master, Chief Post Master, Post Master General, Postal Directors, and the Chief Post Master, who is the head of the state postal circle.
The appointment of senior-level postal officers is done through filling up of vacancies by Union Public Service Commission or UPSC. The candidates qualified and selected in UPSC interviews are designated as Indian Postal Service Officers who undergo probationary training at various Postal Training Centers located across India Post network and later get deputed to any of the postal circles across India.
Visit to Post Office
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.