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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Transforming India Post in to a Citizen-Centric Organization

Cleanliness is a journey - not a destination
Bruhaspati Samal
Postmaster, Ashoknagar MDG &
Divnl. Secy., AIPEU, Gr.-C, Bhubaneswar

Dear friends,

We all are already in receipt of Secretary ( Posts)’s D O letter No. Secy. ( P ) / 06 / 2014, dated 5th June, 2014 through our concerned Circle / Divisional Heads regarding implementation of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s decision to transform every department including India Post into a citizen-centric organization  with clear focus on effective delivery of services with minimum inconvenience to the citizens. We have been instructed to avoid unnecessary paper works and take up telephone / eMail mode to speed-up the decision making process, to improve the working environment by weeding out the unserviceable furniture, equipment and old records etc. and removing unnecessary signages, garbage condemned items etc with clean and lean approach so that the office shall look like a business house and lastly to focus on productivity and effectiveness reducing inconvenience to the customers.

In this context, it is pertinent to state that India Post conceived the Project Arrow in April, 2008 under Look & Feel Good concept to  upgrade and enhance the quality of service in ‘core areas’ e.g. Mail delivery, Remittances both electronic and manual and Postal Savings schemes with the  aims at creating a conducive and friendly work environment both for the staff and the customers visiting the Post Offices providing all IT enabled services through secure connectivity, improving the service quality levels in such core business areas.  And further, to face the twin challenges of increasing competition and continuing advances in communication technology and to provide the best-in-class customer services, India Posts has undertaken an end to end IT Modernization Project in the year 2012 to equip itself with requisite modern tools and technologies. With key objective to Modernize and computerize all Post Offices in the country including Branch Post Offices in rural areas, the Project aims at transforming the DoP into a “Technology Enabled, Self-Reliant Market Leader”.

Due to the sincere and devoted team efforts of its employees, particularly those working at the grass root level, India Post could be able to implement all such projects successfully to rise to the expectations of its customers and stakeholders which resulted to win the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2008-09 for its outstanding initiative “Project Arrow – Transforming India Post”. It has also won Silver Medal for outstanding performance in Citizen Centric Service Delivery under Mail Network Optimization Project  in the 16th National Conference on eGovernance held in New Delhi from 11th to 12th February, 2013. And now we have started performing better for which the Postal Services have beaten the revenue targets three years in a row. "The revenue generation of Postal Services is increasing every year and the targets for each coming year are raised by the Government," Minister of Communications and IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on 7th July, 2014. The government had set a revenue target of Rs 7,522.02 crore for the Postal Services in 2011-12, while the Department registered revenue of Rs 7,899.40 crore. In the year 2012-13, the revenue stood at Rs 9,366.50 crore against a target of Rs 8,762.75 crore and in 2013-14, the revenue stood at Rs 10,720.94 crore as against the target of Rs 9,787.52 crore.

            But this is not sufficient. We want to be the best becoming more citizen-centric. Generally speaking a citizen-centric organization delivers cost-effective, personalised and relevant e-services for which a simple focus on the organisation is not at all sufficient – it is the way in which the organisation mediates a critical relationship between government and citizen that matters. It is not enough just to implement organisational change. Change in itself will not guarantee delivering services that deliver public value. We have to work on processes that improve the trust of citizens in the Department. To make real progress on transforming our services, we should aim to positively transform the relationship between the Department and citizens since efficiency is mediated via citizen use and public value into effectiveness. Efficiency is the operation of the governance process in a way that continues to demonstrate cost benefits; more for the same, the same for less. Effectiveness comes from the use of efficient processes to construct service portfolios that deliver individual and public value. Managing the transformation of efficiency into effectiveness involves flexible organisational behaviour and relationship management with citizens which just needs a change in our mind-set.

Thus, implementation of the above instructions of the Directorate to transform India Post into a citizen centric organization just needs a change in our attitude at all levels and nothing more. After issue of the above instructions, now many establishments have started selling / auctioning tonnes of waste papers, condemned furniture and cleaning the office premises, both inside and outside. It is now noticed that most records having prescribed preservation period of 18 months only are heaped in a corner of the Post Office for more than 18 years even not only giving a very odd look of the interior view but making the accommodation cramped. We people who are working with much difficulty do not show any interest in weeding out such records. There is nothing to do more except weeding out the old records beyond preservation period. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Truly speaking, this work actually needs no instruction. It is a part of our daily routine work. Every record has its own preservation period and every item has its own life to be condemned.  Directorate is so serious on the issue that all Circle Heads have already been reminded vide Directorate’s D O No.4/M(HRD)/2014-PO, dated 9th July, 2014 to have a weekly monitoring ensuring all the Post Offices across the country cleaned up to be spotless, presentable and welcoming.

Contradictorily, it may be suggested that repairable items should be excluded from such sale. It is witnessed that while the SPMs/Postmasters have no standard furniture in their offices, such items with minor damages are being sold for negligible returns. Recently furniture worth crores of rupees were supplied to RMS offices under MNOP which compelled the authorities to drive away the usable furniture even. Delivery staff in post offices are still sitting on broken plastic chairs and using damaged sorting tables. A drive can also be taken for repairing such slightly damaged furniture centrally and supply to needy offices. Consequent upon supply of new computers, the surplus computers may be upgraded instead of sale and supplied to the needy single/double-handed delivery post offices having only one computer in the delivery branch against 10 to 12 beats. It is also noticed that unopened 132 column printer cartridges which remained piled without supply for years together are now thrown away for sale being unused. While most of the post offices use 80 column dot matrix printers for regular operation, such unnecessary heavy purchases and unusual stocks should be avoided so that needy items can be purchased and supplied to post offices regularly. PIN Code Directories printed earlier by the Department are now found piled without supply. These can be supplied to HOs for sale or to P O counters for use. These are just illustrative.   

As experienced, the speed shown in weeding out records and selling unserviceable furniture is not being reflected anywhere for repairing of slightly-damaged furniture and supply. Further, the look and feel good concept now needs to go beyond Project Arrow and the concerned authorities should be broad-minded in this regard allowing the grass root level employees, especially the SPMs / Postmasters that much of freedom with requisite administrative and financial approval to take an instant decision for the betterment of their offices. Continuous correspondences and reminders need to be avoided. It is often witnessed that hard copies are still asked even after receipt of eMail which needs to be taken care of and the telephonic request of the SPMs/Postmasters should be honoured instantly. Charity begins at home. The order issuing authorities are to set the example first resulting the tendency to flow downward automatically. A good employer-employee relationship can only help to accelerate a good department-citizens relationship.

View of Ashoknagar MDG, Bhubaneswar-751009


  1. " Beautiful Photos .. Congratulation for taking leadership for cleanliness . But each staff should take interest to maintain the Cleanliness "

    (Manoj Kumar Mahala )

  2. Beautiful Photos .. Congratulation for taking leadership for cleanliness . But each staff should take interest to maintain the Cleanliness

    (Manoj Kumar Mahala)

  3. Well done, every one else in the Deptt should rise up to the occasion.