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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Shri S C Mahalik, Ex-DG & Secy. (Posts), the architect behind computerization of India Post is no more

“Though India had a well developed network of Post even before Railways and Telephones were introduced, the rich history of the Post during the last 200 years has not been documented in a manner it deserves. The development of India Post during last 200 years has been generally incremental and evolutionary  where rules and procedures were gradually evolved, tested and refined with a view to rendering  economical and efficient postal service in the highly deserve environment  of the sub-continent. However, due to radical changes in the public expectations and technology during the last two decades, the postal system which has evolved over the years requires basic technological up-gradation and organizational changes. India Post has taken up this task of modernizing the postal services in a time bound manner, but the rich history of the Post needs to be documented and preserved as an example of an organization which has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to provide cheap and efficient service under changing conditions despite all challenges.”

The efficient personality behind the above historic thought and noble message, Shri Sarat Chandra Mahalik (IPOs -1962), the first Odia Director General - cum – Secretary, Department of Posts, Govt. of India (1994-96) and the main architect behind computerisation in India Post is no more.

Shri Mahalik Sir breathed his last at the age of 79  on 12.05.2017 during his treatment at Medant Hospital, Gurgaon.

His contributions to India Post will be ever remembered. Under his steward leadership as DG & Secy (Posts), he percolated down to mail reforms  to bring a semblance of order to the sorting process of different categories with introduction of the “Metro Channel” (between Delhi and metropolitan cities), “Rajdhani Channel” (quicker service between Delhi and State Capitals) “Business Channel” (special channel for bulk despatches) and “Registration Channel” (for ensuring faster flow of registered mail between different mail offices). His farsighted policy perceived a host of new services such as Hybrid Mail Service and the Satellite Money Order which facilitated combining the services of a Postman with computers and satellite to deliver the mail and money orders on the same or next day.

In his valedictory address on January 20th, 1995 to the participants of SAARC Countries  on completion of the Extended Training Programme  on Business Management in Postal Staff College , India  by the Asian Pacific  Postal Training Centre, Bangkok, Shri S C Mahalik, the then DG(Posts)  beautifully summed up  the Financial Policy of the Department by saying that  he was wondering for last 35 years in his service  to find out what actually is the Financial Policy of the Department. Whether it is commercial or public utility service  or revenue earning  to meet its own expenses. Having been a good debater all along since his school days, he concluded by saying that to his surprise he has now found it to be all these as it is charging the corporate sector  with commercial rates , providing poor man’s service like post cards etc. on subsidised rates  and has been a revenue earning organization  to meet its own expenses in running the other services  for the common man.

In his message to the fifth Federal Congress of National Postal Organization held in Mumbai in April, 1995, he expressed that India Post is at the cross roads. Yes, certainly, being an historian himself, he has been able to perceive and to give a wise turn from its traditional track. He tried to modernize the old machinery to see India Post flying with renewed energy like a red bird with double vigour in order to recapture its lost place in the changed environment.

The modernized India Post we see today is the brain child of Shri S C Mahalik, ex-Chairman, Postal Services Board.

After retirement he worked as Chairman, Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission for two years. “Mahalik Committee” headed by him during the period when Shri K. P. Singh Deo was the Minister of Communications, Govt. of India had recommended  modernization of Door Darshan Kendras. His contribution for establishment of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal is praise worthy.

His wife Padmashree Smt. Geeta Mahalik is a renowned Odisi dancer. His two daughters and son in law P.K.Swain, presently the Chief Post Master General, Punjab Circle were present at Medant Hospital.

Deeply shocked, the All India Postal Employees Union, Group-C, Odisha Circle sincerely mourns the sad demise of Shri Mahalik Sir and conveys its heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family members.

Let the departed soul rest in eternal peace.
Circle Secretary
AIPEU, Group-C, Odisha Circle

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