Feb 2, 2009

India - Internet kiosks soon in rural post offices: Scindia

Sandeep Joshi

NEW DELHI: After successfully completing modernisation of 500 post offices, mostly in rural areas, under the initial two phases of Project Arrow, the Department of Posts is now set to extend this ambitious project to 4,500 post offices across India, providing its customers efficient services through use of modern technology.

Better connectivity

“In the third phase of modernisation of post offices, we will be spending Rs. 900 crore for upgrading the infrastructure of post offices, giving them better connectivity through broadband and providing internet facilities to our customers. Within the next six months, all head post offices, ‘mukhya dak ghars’ and other important post offices both in rural and urban areas will be covered under this project,” Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia said. He released Project Arrow’s Blue Book, a set of rules and guidelines to be followed by every post office covered under the project.

Highly successful

Mr. Scindia said: “The project so far has been highly successful where we have not only improved delivery of mail and money orders but also given better amenities to postmen, particularly to those working in rural areas. Our aim is to equip all the post offices with the latest technology so that mail delivery and money order mechanism gets faster and more efficient. We have established a system where we can track delivery of mails, money orders and other articles delivered through post offices. Similarly, post offices situated in rural areas will soon have Internet kiosks so that people enjoy the facilities of both mailing letters through traditional letter box and interacting through the Internet,” he added.


Stating that they have taken help from global consultant McKinsey and other government agencies in their modernisation programme, Mr. Scindia said the scope of Project Arrow was to make post offices, especially in the rural areas, a window for availing of services, hitherto confined to urban locales.

Larger role

“We want post offices to play a larger role in the social and economic transformation of the country by taking up new roles and challenges; to transform the large manpower into a committed and professional human resource; and to provide IT enabled services based on state-of-the-art technology,” he said. After this project is completed, India Post plans to diversify in other fields such as financing, retail and banking, Mr. Scindia added.

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