India's postal code turns 50 this Independence Day: Know history, significance
The six-digit pin code used by India Post to deliver mails was created on August 15, 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar.
India's Postal Index Number, more commonly known as pin code – which is a crucial role in any address – is celebrating 50 years since it was first devised on the occasion of Independence Day. The six-digit pin code used by India Post to deliver mail was created August 15, 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, who was an additional secretary in the union communications ministry. Known as the 'father of the postal index code system', Velankar was also a senior member of the Posts and Telegraphs Board.
The Postal Index Number - commonly known as the 'pin code' - plays a crucial role in helping India Post and private couriers, as well as other essential goods - reach the right addresses. At present, India has the largest postal service system in the world.
Why was postal code invented?
The system was introduced to simplify manual sorting and delivery of mail (among the very limited means of communication at the time) and avoid confusion over incorrect or similar addresses, same place names, different languages, etc.
How does it work?
The first digit of the six-digit postal code indicates the zone – north, east, west or south. The second digit is for the sub-zone, that is, states and union territories. The third digit, combined with the first two, indicates the sorting district within that sub-zone.
The final three digits refer to individual post offices in the area within the sorting district.
How is pin code still relevant?
In today's world where e-mails have replaced letters, and WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms have become ubiquitous means of communication, one may think that the 'pin code' does not hold the same relevance.
However, as more and more e-commerce platforms, courier and food delivery services set up shop, the pin code is still required to avoid duplication and identify the correct address.