For more than 150 years, the Department of Posts (DoP) has been the backbone of the country’s communication and has played a crucial role in the country’s social economic development.
It touches the lives of Indian citizens in many ways: delivering mails, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance cover under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) and providing retail services like bill collection, sale of forms, etc.
The DoP also acts as an agent for Government of India in discharging other services for citizens such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement and old age pension payments.
Electronic Indian Postal Order
The Electronic Indian Postal Order (e-IPO) was introduced on 22 March 2013, initially only for citizens living abroad. The postal orders can be used for online payment of fees for access to information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The service was expanded to include all Indian citizens on 14 February 2014.
Postal Life insurance
Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on 1 February 1884 with the express approval of the Secretary of State (for India) to Her Majesty, the Queen Empress of India. It was essentially a welfare scheme for the benefit of Postal employees in 1884 and later extended to the employees of Telegraph Department in 1888.
In 1894, PLI extended insurance cover to female employees of P & T Department at a time when no other insurance company covered female lives. It is the oldest life insurer in this country.
It was extended to all rural residents on 24 March 1995.
Policies for government employees include Santhosh (endowment assurance), Suraksha (whole-life assurance), Suvidha (convertible whole-life assurance), Sumangal (anticipated endowment policy) and Yugal Suraksha (joint life endowment assurance).
India Post started Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) for the rural public in 1995. RPLI plans include Gram Santosh (endowment assurance), Gram Suraksha (whole-life assurance), Gram Suvidha (convertible whole-life assurance), Gram Sumangal (anticipated endowment assurance) and Gram Priya.
The post office offers a number of savings plans, including recurring deposit accounts, Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA), National Savings Certificates (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), the Public Provident Fund, savings-bank accounts, monthly-income plans, senior-citizens’ savings plans and time-deposit accounts.
India Post Payments Bank
In 2013 it was revealed that the Indian postal service had formulated plans to enter the banking industry after RBI guidelines for the issuance of new banking licenses were released. Eventually they are planning to open a Post Bank of India, an independent banking service.
As of 29 February 2016, 18,231 post offices are utilizing Core Banking Solutions. ATMs are installed at 576 Post Office locations and debit cards issued to Post Office Savings Bank customers.
Core Insurance Solution (CIS) for Postal Life Insurance (PLI) is rolled out in 808 head post offices and corresponding 24,000+ sub post offices.
In September 2017, it was announced that by 2018 all of the 1.55 lakh post offices, every postman and grameen daksevak (postmaster) will accept all payment options that the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) plans to provide.
On 1 September 2018 the India Post Payments Bank was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A collaboration between the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and the Department of Posts has enabled the computation of consumer-price indices for rural areas.
These statistics were previously unobtainable, due to problems of remoteness and scale. The agreement authorises the postal service to collect data on prices paid for selected consumer goods.
In February 2011, MoSPI published its first Consumer Price Index (CPI) and All-India Consumer Price Index. The information has since been published monthly, based on data available from 1,181 villages across the country.
The boom in e-commerce and the surging number of cash-on-delivery consignments has led India Post to partner with major e-commerce portals for delivering pre-paid as well as cash on delivery (COD) parcels.
Other services include:
Post boxes and post bags for mail receipt
Identity cards for proof of residence
India Post ATM
RMS (Railway Mail Service)
Post office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK)
Aadhaar Enrollment and Updation.
Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance.
Savings Bank (SB/RD/TD/MIS/SCSS/PPF/SSA)
Savings Cash Certificates.
India Post Payments Bank( IPPB).