Postal service set to go hi-tech: Humera Ahmed

INDIA's postal service is the world's largest with a network of more than 1,50,000 post offices and more than 6,00,000 employees. The Indian Postal Service carries, on an average, 1,600 million pieces of mail annually.

Every service has to keep pace with time and technology. The Indian postal service is also set to go hi-tech. Humera Ahmed, post master general, speaks on the hi-tech services that will be soon be rendered by the postal department.

Here is an extract of a question-answer session held with Ahmed.

Q: What are the future plans of the postal department and how far will the Information Technology (IT) be implemented?

A: The postal department adopted the new technology way back in 1990 by sending money order by satellite. Now we are using V-SAT for money orders and money transfers. Indian posts will now start for those who are not connected to the internet, Indian post will give the customer his own ID and download, print and deliver all his messages. This scheme will be soon launched as a pilot project.

Q: What steps are being taken by the postal department for customer care and customer satisfaction?

A: After implementing all our major projects, like any service organisation we have to find out what the needs of the customers are, in order to fulfil them. Currently we are training our staff for customer care. We have also launched a pilot project in Hyderabad and Bangalore, known as the 'Track and Trace' project, through which the customer can know the status and stage of his letter, document, or parcel sent through the postal department.

Q: Which are the forthcoming services that will be launched by the postal department?

Ans : We have signed an agreement with the Western Union financial services, the world's biggest finance distribution companies. It will help foreigners to send money to India, and the concerned person can receive the money from the post office. Indian Posts has tied up with IDBI and now post offices will sell the company's Mutual Funds Bond. Indian Post has also launched a new venture known as the 'Greeting Post', where you buy a card from post office and you get an envelope to which is affixed a stamp that shares the same design as the card.

Q: How far has the Postal Bank succeeded commercially?

Ans : A committee was formed which submitted its report on the commercialization of postal bank services to the Finance Minster. We are training our officers to provide various services which are provided by professional banks. Few know that Indian Posts is India's biggest bank with 110 million customers and more than twice the number of branches of all the other banks put together.

Q: As a Post Master General what are your future plans for the postal services in Pune city?

Ans : After taking into consideration the needs of customers which will be ascertained through revival of the post forum sometime in the August, in which the citizens group or representatives will have a say and a project will be launched according to the need of the customers. Pune, as an education center and industrially developed city has been selected for this revival apart from Delhi.
The forum will be set up at Shivajinagar HO, Pimpri PFSO, Ex-Serviceman Colony. Indian Posts has to play a major role, by rendering services with a smile and assurance and we will try to meet the demands.

Maharastra Herald

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