Ever since the BJP government came into power in 2014, there has been a huge impetus on digitisation of essential services to ensure speedy and accountable governance. In an ambitious step towards this step of making India more digitally connected and to realise the dream of Digital India, the Communications and IT ministry has announced a slew of reforming schemes which seek to digitally connect all the post offices in rural India. This Scheme also seeks to enable Core Banking facilities at 12,000 other Post Offices. There has been another programme in which the ministry is planning to set up over 1000 ATMs for Post Office Savings Bank Account Holders. The Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is going to flag off these schemes to mark the “Good Governance day”.
Rural Post Offices Soon To Get Digitalised
This ambitious project will equip all the branch Post Masters with solar powered, Biometric hand- held devices and digitise all the transactions. Initially this project will be launched as pilot project in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. All the new schemes regarding digitisation will have their inception on Good Governance Day which is being celebrated on December 25. By march 2017, 1.30 Lakh hand- held devices will be made available in all the rural post offices across the country. This step will revolutionise the many lives of rural populace in the country.
Facilities such as Registered Mail, Speed Post Delivery, Money Orders, sale of Stamps and Postal Stationary are done through these electronic devices. “The receipts will be generated instantaneously”, said an official. All financial transactions will be made compatible and Cash- on- delivery amount will be immediately credited to the account of e- Commerce Company. Biometric Authentication of social security beneficiaries will be facilitated, thereby reducing the leakages in the scheme.
Through the cash- on- delivery scheme, the Postal Department achieved a revenue of Rs. 980 crore and it is going to exceed Rs 1500 crore by the end of the current financial year, according to the official estimates. The Postal Department also established 57 state- of- the- art Parcel Centres for booking and delivery of eCommerce parcels.
Under the insurance schemes like PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana, the Postal Department has offered more than 57,000 policies to Post Office savings bank account holders.
India Post also signed a deal with Infosys, India’s second largest software exporter to manage the rural operations platform. That project is going to allow more than 1,30,000 post offices in rural India to offer online services. To service this contract, Infosys will deploy its core banking software “Finacle” and other mobile platforms such as mConnect.
India Post has been the key driver of India’s socio- economic growth story for the past 150 years and is one of the oldest institutions in the country. It is really important for India Post to reclaim its previous glory as it is important to compete with the new liberal regime which includes extremely digitised mode of transactions. It also holds the promise of making India Digital, a dream that takes us closer to the path of inclusive development.