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How India Post is innovating to keep the postman relevant  

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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.

Being relevant

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.

Branching out

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.

Next Story

Network Service Providers Pledge To Reduce The Gender Gap Between Mobile Phone Users In India By 2020

Closing the mobile gender gap in these markets represents a $140 billion commercial opportunity for the mobile industry over the next five years.

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Mobile Phones
Network service providers such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have signed up for the "GSMA Connected Women Programme's Commitment Initiative" and have pledged to reduce the gender gap in their customer bases by 2020. Pixabay

Women in India are 28 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile phone and 56 per cent less likely than men to use mobile Internet, a new report by GSM Association (GSMA) said on Wednesday.

Across all low and middle-income countries, 80 per cent of women are mobile owners while in India, only 59 per cent use mobile phones, representing some of the largest mobile gender gaps in the world, said the report by GSMA, a trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators globally.

“We are seeing significantly increased mobile access for women. However, in an increasingly connected world, women are still being left behind,” Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA, said in a statement.

cell phones
Closing the mobile gender gap in these markets represents a $140 billion commercial opportunity for the mobile industry over the next five years.
Pixabay

According to the GSMA’s “2019 Mobile Gender Gap Report”, just 42 per cent of women in India are aware of the Internet, and that it can be used on a mobile phone.

This is an increase from a meagre 19 per cent among women in India in 2017.

“While mobile connectivity is spreading quickly, it is not spreading equally. Unequal access to mobile technology threatens to exacerbate the inequalities women already experience,” Granryd added.

Nearly 250 million more women in low and middle-income countries have become mobile owners since 2014.

Eighty per cent women in low and middle-income countries are now mobile owners globally and mobile phone is the primary means of Internet access in these markets, where 48 per cent of women use mobile to get online.

Closing the mobile gender gap in these markets represents a $140 billion commercial opportunity for the mobile industry over the next five years.

Cell Phone
“Women remain 10 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile phone in low-and middle-income countries and 23 per cent less likely than men to use mobile Internet,” said the report.
Pixabay

However, despite the growth in connectivity, the gender gap in mobile ownership is not closing.

“Women remain 10 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile phone in low-and middle-income countries and 23 per cent less likely than men to use mobile Internet,” said the report.

The mobile gender gap varies by region and country but is widest in South Asia where women are 28 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile device and 58 per cent less likely to use the mobile Internet.

Also Read: India’s Domestic Air Traffic Registered a Growth of 9% in January

Network service providers such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have signed up for the “GSMA Connected Women Programme’s Commitment Initiative” and have pledged to reduce the gender gap in their customer bases by 2020.

The report noted that in the wake of the Digital India programme, much of vital public information and services are only available online. However, without access to Internet, women in India may face accessibility issues. (IANS)