Department of Posts must leverage technology to strengthen Digital India-Ravi Shankar Prasad

The annual Heads of Circles Conference held at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir from 29th to 31st July 2019 adopted a 100 Days Action Plan and a five-year vision to align the Department of Posts with the Prime Minister’s “New India” initiative.

The important decisions taken during the conference with participants from across the country included:

  1. Leveraging the Digital network of 1.55 lakh Post offices, including 1.29 lakh in rural areas as infrastructure to support e-Commerce, e-Governance and financial inclusion in the country.
  1. Developing infrastructure to extend the reach of the e-Commerce industry to tier II & III town as well as to rural areas by investing in 190 parcel hubs, 80 Nodal Delivery Centers and a Pan India Road Transport Network.
  1. Facilitating SME led export industry by expanding the network of Foreign Post offices and offices of exchange where in-house customs clearance facility will be available.
  1. Partnership with Common Service Centre to provide a suite of citizen centric services such as banking, remittance, insurance, DBT, bill and tax payments etc at Post offices.
  1. Opening Passport Sewa Kendras in all aspirational districts of the country as per the mandate of MEA.
  1. Consolidation of the network of 13,352 Aadhaar enrollment and updation centres in Post offices introducing flexible timings for the convenience of customers.
  1. Conducting recruitment examinations in local languages to make the departmental and Gramin Dak Sevaks work force representative and more efficient.
  1. Converting the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) into a Small Finance Bank (SFB) to provide micro credit at the doorsteps to individuals and SME’s.
  1. Targeting the milestone of one crore accounts for IPPB in 100 days.
  1. Restructuring the Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance business of the Department into a fully regulated Strategic Business Unit (SBU) registered as a company as per the requirement of IRDA.

The resolve of the Department to support the Prime Minister’s “New India”initiative was applauded by Minister of Communications,Shri Ravi Shankar Prashadin his address to the officers over a video conference. The Minister urged the officers of the Department at all levels to think to reform and perform in order to transform. In particular, he asked the Heads of Circles to leverage technology to strengthen Digital India by adopting Artificial intelligence, IOT and Cloud computing for citizen centric services. The many start-ups coming up in the country are the plus points of the nation that need to be supported and harnessed by the Postal service. Most importantly, he urged the Department to tap the rising demand for e-Commerce in rural and semi- urban India by fast tracking the access of e-Commerce participants to this emerging segment. In his concluding remarks, the Minister recalled the powerful use of the “Letter” by Mahatma Gandhi and suggested that as mark of the association of the Postal Department with the Father of the Nation, the Department should pay an appropriate tribute to him on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on 2ndOctober, 2019.

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