India's postal code turns 50 this Independence Day: Know history, significance

Published on Aug 15, 2022 12:02 PM IST

The six-digit pin code used by India Post to deliver mails was created on August 15, 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar.

India Post started the postal code service on August 15, 1972.(HT Photo)
India Post started the postal code service on August 15, 1972.(HT Photo)

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.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, October 02, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals