Sunday, August 7, 2016

Send-off function of Honbl'e CPMG A.K.Dash Sir

Respected A.K. Dash Sir,

Although you left this office, but your legacy will remain here forever...

We wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Rare Philatelic Delight: Just About Two Weeks Left to Visit the ‘Pandharichi Wari’ Mobile Post Office

Featuring one of the images from the set of 15 postcards being issued
to commemorate Pandharichi Wari
The annual ‘Pandharichi Wari’ pilgrimage which has the Vitthal temple of Pandharpur at its focus, represents a revered tradition of Maharshtra that is more than 800 years old. The Wari is a 200 km procession on foot in which the warkaris (devotees) carry the palkhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka (foot prints) of famous saints of Maharashtra, most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram.

This year, trailing the thousands of Warkaris walking towards Pandharpur for the entire period of 18 days (28th June to 16th July, 2016) of the Wari is a Mobile Post Office, adding a unique postal endorsement to the event, and capturing the occasion for posterity through a series of philatelic commemorations. Housed in a Mail Motor Service van of the Department of Posts, the Mobile Post Office  also provides the Warkaris access to postal services including Speed Post during the entire journey from Alandi Devachi to Pandharpur. Further the Warkaris can use the Mobile Post Office even for sending and receiving Money Orders.

The Pune Postal Region which has taken up this initiative has also brought out a set of 15 picture postcards, which is expected to become a prized possession of stamp collectors in the years to come. For the pilgrims and other devotees, the postcards represent an ideal means for treasuring the memories of the procession.

Ganesh V. Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General
flagging off the Mobile Post Office
The 15 postcards feature Wari photographs clicked by  Sandesh Bhandare, who has also directed a Marathi film 'Mhadu'.  "It is an honour for me that the postal department chose my photos for this initiative. It will help in spreading awareness about the Wari as well as be of great help to those participating in it," said Bhandare to news reporters.

The Mobile Post Office will halt al all the scheduled halts of the Pandharichi Wari. The Postal Department has priced the set of 15 postcards at a reasonable Rs. 110, as the objective is not to make profits, but to promote the message of peace, devotion and spirituality that the Wari represents.  Another set of 5 postcards depicting images of postage stamps issued on ‘Sant Namdeo’, ‘Sant Eknath’, ‘Dnyaneshwari’, ‘Sant Tukaram’ and ‘Sant Dnyaneshwar’ will also be made available at Rs. 50 per set of 5 postcards. Postcards can be mailed through Mobile Post Office to any part of the world by affixing postage stamp of appropriate denomination. Special commemorative cancellation for each day of eighteen-day pilgrimage depicting the 'Sprit of Wari' will also be made available at the Mobile Post Office.

The Postal Department has made special arrangements for stamp collectors and others interested in procuring these postcards, but are not able to participate in the procession, or visit the Mobile Post Office.  They can purchase the postcards from Philatelic Bureau, Pune GPO. They can also send payment by Money Order to Postmaster, Alandi Post Office 412105; the set of postcards would be sent by post to the address.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Second Issue of Sandesh, Staff Journal of Mumbai Postal Region, released.

On 31st March 2016, we bid good bye to another financial year. The year left some good memories for Mumbai Postal Region, and quite a few moments of pride. At a time when the postal industry around the world is struggling, the post offices of Mumbai have come up with some extra ordinary achievements in revenue generation, traffic growth and postal financial services.

These, along with our hopes and aspirations for the new Financial Year, form the thrust of the second issue of Sandesh, the quarterly staff journal of Mumbai Postal Region.

Smt. Usha Chandrasekhar releasing the latest issue of Sandesh

Sandesh Issue II was released on 21st June 2016 by Smt. Usha Chandrasekhar, Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka Postal Circle (who is holding additional charge of Maharashtra Circle). The occasion coincided with the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Philately Bureau, Mumbai GPO.
Remembering the launch of Issue I of Sandesh

The issue carries a round-up of important events of the Postal Region in the previous quarter, information about some important products and services of India Post, and reports on some individual achievements of staff members and their families.  

It is hoped that Sandesh Issue II would succeed in mobilising the aspirations of the entire staff of the Region and that its clarion call, as captured in its various contributions to make 2015-16 the year of turn-around for Mumbai Postal Region, will inspire one and all. It is also hoped that Sandesh would be a proud reminder of  last year’s outstanding performance, and of the responsibility that it brings upon us to maintain the trend, and to add momentum to it in the new year. 

The Sandesh team is proud to present to you its second issue, along with the best of wishes to each one of you for another year of outstanding performances!

Team Sandesh

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tejas K Bhanji: The Quiet Presence Behind Mumbai Postal Region’s CBS Success Story

More than 400 post offices in Mumbai have been brought on to the Core Banking Solutions (CBS) network, making the postal system in Mumbai the largest CBS –enabled network in the city. Even the major banks like SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are way behind in terms of number of branches that are on CBS.

While the Post Office has won lavish praise for this achievement, it is time also to acknowledge a few selfless individuals whose tireless efforts made it possible. Notable among them is Tejas Kesarinath Bhanji, System Administrator and User Champion of CBS, presently working at the Postal Regional Office (RO) Mumbai RO.

As is well known, CBS is a software platform that interconnects the entire network of a banking organisation, standardises all operations, eliminates procedural errors and speeds up services. It also  enables  customers  to  operate  their  accounts  and  access banking  services  from  any  branch  on the  CBS  network,  regardless  of  the branch where  they  maintain  their account.  Thanks to CBS, a Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) customer in Mumbai  is  no  longer  a  customer  of  any  particular  post  office, but can avail the services from any of the 400 odd post offices of the city. Thus, CBS migration has considerably enhanced customer convenience and made “Banking Anywhere and Anytime” possible.

This initiative posed considerable challenges to the Post Office, as it involved numerous pre-migration activities, such as providing training to end users and user champions, maintaining a post-migration monitoring process, and ensuring end-of-day monitoring of migrated post offices. All these required deep subject knowledge and the stamina to put in long hours of tedious effort. In Mumbai Postal Region, Tejus Bhanji took up the challenge willingly, and came out with flying colours. His efforts did not end with this migration process, but extended to CBS support activities for assisting dozens of individual operators working in the field, via telephone and e-mail. His patience, innovation and dedication enabled him to manage all residual CBS issues single-handed.

A graduate in Commerce, Bhanji joined the Department of Posts in July, 2005 as a Postal Assistant in the Juhu post office. In 2008 he became the System Administrator at Andheri HO, and the next year, Instructor at the Work-place Training Centre (WTC), Mumbai GPO. As an instructor, Tejas Bhanji designed and conducted many training sessions at the WTC Mumbai GPO, invariably equipping staff members who lacked familiarity with IT with the knowledge and confidence required to handle IT systems. Thanks to his exemplary work, he was selected as System Administrator and CBS User Champion of Mumbai Postal Region in 2014.

The selection of Tejas Kesarinath Bhanji for the Best Performance Award of Maharashtra Circle at the Annual Divisional Heads Conference 2016-17, therefore, comes as no surprise. Mumbai Postal Region joins him in the celebration of this recognition. May his efforts and farsightedness bring more laurels to the Post Office.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Postman Mobile App – the launch and after.

Every once in a while an idea comes alive and takes the world by storm.  In the fast paced technological world of today, ideas often evolve and come to life as mobile Apps, and every once in a while an App is launched that revolutionizes the way we live and perceive our lives. The new Postman Mobile App (PMA) is a harbinger of the many good things that are coming the way of India Post.

Bhandup East Post Office

PMA was successfully inaugurated by SSPOs Bipasha Das at Bhandup East Post Office in Mumbai on 10.06.2016. The launch of this App is first not only in Mumbai Postal Region but also in Maharashtra Postal Circle. The all too familiar image of your neighbourhood postman will now be a tad more familiar - in sync with the pulse of today’s tech savvy world, where a touch of your finger is enough to turn your imaginations into reality.  

PMA is an Android based mobile App designed and developed by Centre of Excellence in Postal Technology (CEPT), Mysore. It is useful to reduce the time lag between actual delivery and updation in the system and further reduce the delay in updation in the central server. It can be used by Postman and other delivery staff for all accountable articles such as Speed Post, Express Parcel, Business Parcel and Registered Post including COD parcels and enables electronic capturing of delivery data by Postman and is also capable of acknowledgement of delivery. The customer signs online and hence a more authentic verification is enabled. In this way the postman delivers letters fast, accurately and safely while the customer also gets the satisfaction of receiving and authenticating in a modern and hassle free manner.

Distribution of mobile phones to Postmen by Bipasha Das, Sr. Superintendent
To mark the inauguration of PMA,  
Mobile handsets were distributed amongst the Postman staff and 2 Speedpost articles were successfully delivered to customers using the App. In the subsequent days, a few hundred  Speedpost articles have been delivered using the App, and the pilot exercise already looks like a winner.

Poised to be a step ahead in the digital progress of the nation, the new App is all too suited to strike a chord with the younger generation, while at the same time embracing the Post Office’s loyal customers and making each and every resident of the country a part of the digital revolution. PMA is an idea whose time has come. It’s an idea that is taking us across to the other side of the digital divide. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mobile App for mail delivery to be launched in Mumbai.

Bhandup East PO has been selected as the first post office in Maharashtra for deploying the Postman Mobile Application (PMA), which enables the postmen to complete the capturing of mail delivery data in real time, using their mobile phones.

PMA is an Android based mobile App designed and developed by the Centre of Excellence in Postal Technology (CEPT), Mysore. It can be used by Postman and other delivery staff for delivering various postal articles including cash on delivery. It enables electronic capturing of delivery data by Postman and is also capable of obtaining acknowledgement of delivery.

The date, time and location are captured automatically the moment the article is delivered. This eliminates possibility of inaccurate capturing of the same during manual delivery. This also helps India Post to analyse delivery performance in a more realistic manner and improve transit time KPI.

Customers can track delivery of articles the moment they are delivered.

PMA supports popular services like Speed Post, Registered Letter, Registered Parcel, Electronic Money Order, and Cash on Delivery and delivery of articles to bulk customers.

A training programme for the post master and postmen on PMA was held at Bhandup East post office on 4th June 2016.  Prakash Shewale, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices led the session. The features of PMA were explained to the postmen, which was followed by a comprehensive demonstration and practical training.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

President conveys his appreciation and admiration for India’s unparalleled postal network.

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India held a meeting with Shri Ravishankar Prasad, Minister for Communications and IT at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 20th May 2016, in which the central topic of discussion was the ongoing transformation of the postal network. The President enquired about the modernisation project, and was happy to learn about how the induction of IT was making service delivery at post offices contemporary. He also used the occasion to convey his fondness and admiration for the postal network to the postal staff, through the Minister.

File photo of President Mukherjee with Minister Prasad at a stamp release function in October 2014. Courtesy:

Details of this interaction with the President were revealed by Shri Prasad himself, during his keynote address on 22nd May 2016, at the Conference of the Heads of Postal Circles at Hyderabad.

There have been a few other occasions in the past also when the Department has had the opportunity to benefit from President Mukherjee words of guidance and came in for praise from him. While inaugurating an international postal event at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan in 2013, he had commended the unparalleled network of the Post Office and advised that there is a huge scope for postal services to be engaged in e-commerce, and that it should capitallise on the rising demand for such business products. On that occasion, he had also highlighted the need to move with the times, and said that globalization and easier movement of workforce across nations have opened a great window of opportunity for the postal sector in parcel and money remittance businesses. Further, he had emphasised that worldwide, postal administrations enjoy the trust of people and advised that the Post Office must leverage this and other strengths to provide improved quality of service to the people.

Inauguration of the new building of the Rashtrapati Bhavan PO 
in July 2014. Photo courtesy:

It is no surprise then that hearing from the Minister about developments like the networking of post offices, postal savings coming on a CBS platform and the Post Office preparing to set up a Payments Bank would have been a matter of satisfaction for him. His sending a message a message to the postal staff through the Minister is a rare gesture, which is sure to inspire them to higher standards of service delivery.

The words of appreciation from the President represent the increasing significance of the Postal network in the national mainstream and in public perception. With it also comes a higher responsibility for the management and staff of India Post, the responsibility of living up to the expectations of the country’s First Citizen.