If you want to know about the country that you are sending your post to, then one of the services that we can tell you some information about is the Indian postal service. There is, in fact, a rich history with this network, which is known as either the Department of Posts or Indian Post and was founded back in April 1774 – making it well over two hundred years old, and coming up rapidly on another half a century to add to that total! In India itself, most will simply call it “the post office”.
The latest statistics that we can give for the Indian postal service date up to March 2011, at which date there were one hundred and fifty four thousand individual postal offices forming the network. Almost ninety per cent of these were based in rural areas, with just over ten per cent in urban areas, which represents a good coverage over India as a whole. Since the country gained independence the system has grown very rapidly, managing to achieve six times its original size in that space of time, with a major focus on making sure that the rural areas were able to get the expansion that they were very much in need of.
Most of the post offices in the country can be said to serve an area of an average of just over twenty one square kilometres or eight miles, and a population of just over seven thousand, which makes it the most widely distributed postal system in the world! The way that the management of these systems works is that India is divided up into twenty two so called postal circles, and each of these circles has a chief postmaster general who is in charge of overseeing them. There are then regions within each of the circles, with each region having its postmaster general, and then the regions are split up into divisions and the divisions into subdivisions, making it all flow through a chain of command that goes right up to the top. Talking of the top, the highest post office in the world can also be found in India: this is the office in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, which sits at the height of fifteen thousand five hundred feet above sea level (or four thousand seven hundred meters). That is certainly a great distinction of holding!
Interestingly enough, when you use the Indian postal service in India, you can get access to some other services through them as well. These include such things as post recorded delivery, postal savings, which allow you to save up your money as if through a bank; life insurance, with a lot of extra options included in particular for those who are employees of the government; identity cards, which are used as a proof of residence when such a thing is needed; and data collection, which allows more information about consumer prices for local goods across the country to be shared widely.