By Santosh Dubey
There was a time when the postman was the most awaited person in town. People expected a letter or money order whenever a khaki clad postman visited them. But in this age of mobile phones, emails, and other modern modes of communication, the postal department, along with its postmen, has shrunken in its visibility.
Of course, it does not mean that the postal department has lost its relevance in the present times. The department has upgraded itself with time and changed its work functioning.
Today the Indian postal service provides many more facilities like mail product, insurance facility, speed post, business post, logistic post, express parcel and various other financial services.
Development schemes under NDA
Under Narendra Modi government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, India Post will tie up with major e-retailers like Flipkart and Snapdeal which will use its services to deliver consumer goods in remote areas of the country.
At present, the postal department is only able to track the parcel system, but this system is going to be upgraded in the coming time. The government is planning to undertake technical upgradation of different post offices across the country.
The department has not given up its hope to convert itself into a postal bank. The government has started working in this direction and 2500 of its outlets are expected to be connected to the core banking platform by financial year-2016. The postal bank will also provide ATM facility to meet the consumers’ needs.
Not only this, in another scheme launched by the NDA government, named SUKANYA SAMRIDHI scheme, the postal department has opened special counters for parents having a girl child and are willing to open an account. This was done under the Prime Minister’s Beti Padhao Beti Bachao campaign in January, 2015.
According to sources, the beneficiaries of this scheme get the second highest rate of interest. The five years’ senior citizen saving scheme has the highest rate of interest at 9.2%.
“This department is almost ignored by the people as they are getting such facilities at their door steps, but it is again getting pace with the introduction of schemes like Sukanya Samridhi scheme and others. Hope it will again become people’s choice as it is getting updated,” said a postal department employee.
The department has the potential to cater to the people beyond the reach of the courier and other wired facilities and it should try to place itself as a relevant and crucial player in these areas.