Sunday, 7 July 2013

Indian Postal Service

Indian Postal Service

The Department of Poststrading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India; it is generally referred to within India as "the post office".
As of 31 March 2011, the Indian Postal Service had 1,54,866 post offices, of which 1,39,040 (89.78 percent) were in rural areas and 15,826 (10.22 percent) in urban areas. It had 25,464 departmental Post Offices and 1,29,402 Extra-Departmental Branch Post Offices. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices, primarily in urban areas. The network has registered a sixfold growth since independence, with the expansion's focus primarily in rural areas. On average, a post office serves an area of 21.23 square kilometres (8.20 sq mi) and a population of 7,114; it is the most widely-distributed postal system in the world.[1] The large number is a result of a tradition of disparate postal systems, which were unified in the Indian Union after independence. Because of this far-flung reach and its presence in remote areas, the Indian postal service is also involved in other services (such as small-savings banking and financial services).
The postal service is under the Department of Posts, which is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Government of India. The apex body of the department is the Postal Service Board, consisting of a chair and six members. The six board members govern personnel, operations, technology, postal life insurance, human-resource development (HRD) and planning. The joint secretary and financial adviser is also a permanent invitee.
India has been divided into 22 postal circles, each circle headed by a chief postmaster general. Each circle is divided into regions, headed by a postmaster general and comprising field units known as divisions (headed by SSPOs and SPOs). These divisions are further divided into subdivisions, headed by ASPs and IPOs. Other functional units (such as circle stamp depots, postal store depots and mail motor service) may exist in the circles and regions. In addition to the 22 circles, there is a base circle to provide postal services to the Armed Forces of India. The base circle is headed by a Director General, Army Postal Service (with a rank of major general).
The highest post office in the world is in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India at a height of 15,500 ft (4,700 m) (postal code 172114).[2]

Department of Posts India
TypeAgency of the Government of India
Founded1 April 1774
HeadquartersNew DelhiDelhi, India
Key peopleSmt. Padmini Gopinath, Director General
ServicesPostal system
Employees4,66,903 (As of 31 March 2011)[1]


English East India Company, 1612–1857[edit]

The English East India Company (EIC) had a presence in India since the early 17th century. As it expanded its influence, there was a need to establish and maintain official and commercial mail systems.[3] The EIC opened a post office in Bombay in 1688 under the name “Company Mail”, followed by similar offices in Calcutta and Madras.[4] Although courier services connected larger towns with their regional seats of government, there was no integrated postal service operating before 1837; existing services were not generally intended for personal mail

List of postage stamps of India

Side-by-side maps of India
India in 1765 and 1805, showing East India Company territories
Two more side-by-side maps of India
India in 1837 and 1857, showing EIC and other territories
Lord Clive established a postal plan (known as Jamidara Pratha) on 24 March 1766 in West Bengal.[5] The system was reorganised and made available for public use on 31 March 1774,[3] in 1778 in Madras and 1792 in Bombay[6] when Warren Hastings wasGovernor-General of India.[7] The first general post office operated by the EIC opened in Calcutta at that time, and a Postmaster-General was appointed in 1781.[citation needed] The Madras and Bombay Presidencies established similar arrangements in their regional capitals in 1778 and 1792, respectively.[6][page needed] After 1793, when Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement, financial responsibility for maintaining the official posts rested with the zamindars. In addition, private dawk mail systems sprang up for the commercial conveyance of messages (using hired runners).[6] The EIC posts co-existed with postal systems maintained by a number of princely states. While the latter produced stamps for in-state use, British Indian postage stamps were required for sending mail beyond their boundaries.
Stamps were issued for the first time for all British India in 1854. The lowest denomination was the ½-anna (blue), followed by the one- (red) and four-anna (blue and red). They were printed from lithographic stones at the Surveyor-General's Office in Calcutta. Since the four-anna stamps were composed of two colours, they required two different printings (one for Queen Victoria's head in blue and the other for the surrounding red frame).

Post Office Act, 1837[edit]

The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 gave the Governor-General of India the right to carry letters by post within EIC territory. The system was available to certain officials without charge (which became a controversial privilege). The Indian Post Office was established on 1 October 1837[8] as a public postal system operated by the company's governing body. Post offices were established in major towns, and postmasters appointed. Postal services required advance payment in cash, prices varying with weight and distance.

Post Office Act, 1854[edit]

A commission was established in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie to evaluate the Indian postal system. It submitted its recommendations in 1851, resulting in the 1837 act being superseded by the Post Office Act of 1854. Postage stamps were introduced at this time and postal rates fixed by weight, no longer dependent on distance. The new provisions created a monopoly, whereby the Indian Post Office was charged with carrying mail throughout British India. Despite this, some princely states operated their own systems. Those known as Convention States (of which the first was Patiala in 1884) had agreements with the Post Office of India to provide service within their territories with overprinted stamps issued by the Post Office. Other princely states (known as Feudatory States) provided their own services and issued their own stamps (valid only within their own states).
Small lithograph
General Post Office, Calcutta (1833)
Two stamps, with Queen Victoria's profile surrounded by a red frame
Two 1854 four-annastamps
Envelope with two rare, upside-down four-anna stamps
Rare stamps, with the head accidentally oriented upside-down relative to the frame
Pen-and-ink sketch of mountain with signal tower on top
Semaphore "telegraph" signalling tower in Silwar, Bihar (13 February 1823)
The post of Director-General of Post Offices of India was created to oversee operations, with H.P.A.B. Riddle the first appointee. The duties of the postmaster-general were separate from those of a presidency postmaster: while the former administered the postal system of the larger provinces (such as the Bombay Presidency or the North-Western Provinces), the latter attended to the smaller provinces (such as Ajmer-Merwara and major political offices such as Rajputana). The 1854 Act provided for uniform rates, routes and postmark-design specifications for each post-office category.

First Telegraph Act for India, 1854[edit]

Before the advent of electric telegraphy, the word "telegraph" was used for semaphore signalling. During the 1820s the East India Company government in India considered constructing signalling towers ("telegraph" towers), each 100 feet (30 m) high and 8 miles (13 km) apart, from Calcutta to Bombay. These towers were built in Bengal and Bihar, but an India-wide semaphore network never existed. By mid-century, electric telegraphy was viable and hand-signalling obsolete.
The first Telegraph Act for India was the British Parliament's Act XXXIV of 1854. When a public telegram service was begun in 1855, the charge was fixed at one rupee for each sixteen words (including the address) for every 400 miles of transmission. Charges were doubled for telegrams sent between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; these rates would remain fixed until 1882. In 1860–61 (two years after the end of Company rule), India had 11,093 miles (17,852 km) miles of telegraph lines and 145 telegraph offices. Telegrams totalling Rs. 5 lakh in value were sent by the public, expenses of theIndian Telegraph Department were Rs. 14 lakh and the capital expenditure until the end of the year totalled Rs. 65 lakh.

Posts and the British Raj (1858–1947)[edit]

The British Raj was instituted in 1858, when the rule of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown.[9] By 1861, there were 889 post offices handling nearly 43 million letters and over 4.5 million newspapers annually. The first superintendent of the post office was appointed in 1870 and based in Allahabad.[citation needed] In 1876, British India became the first non-founding member of the General Postal Union.[citation needed]
A number of acts were passed during the British Raj to expand and regulate Posts and Telegraphs service:
  • The Government Savings Bank Act 1873 (5 of 1873), passed by the legislature 28 January 1873, was enacted in 1881. On 1 April 1882, Post Office Savings Banks opened throughout India (except in the Bombay Presidency). In Madras Presidency, it was limited; in the Bengal Presidency, no POSBs were established in Calcutta or Howrah.
  • Postal life insurance began on 1 February 1884 as a welfare measure for the employees of the Posts & Telegraphs Department as Government of India dispatch No. 299 dated 18 October 1882 to the Secretary of State.
  • Telegraph Act, 1885 (Indian Telegraph Act)
  • The Indian Post Office Act 1898 (6 of 1898), passed by the legislature on 22 March 1898, became effective on 1 July 1998 regulating postal service. It was preceded by Act III of 1882 and Act XVI of 1896.
  • The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933 (17 of 1933)
The world's first official airmail flight took place in India on 18 February 1911, a journey of 18 kilometres (11 mi) lasting 27 minutes. Henri Pequet, a French pilot, carried about 15 kilograms (33 lb) of mail (approximately 6,000 letters and cards) across the Ganges from Allahabad to Naini; included in the airmail was a letter to King George V of the United Kingdom.[10] India Post inaugurated a floating post office in August 2011 at Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.[11]
Telegraphy and telephony made their appearance as part of the postal service before becoming separate departments. The Posts and Telegraphs Departments merged in 1914, dividing on 1 January 1985.
Large building on city street
General Post Office at Hyderabad

Post-independence service[edit]

Since Indian independence in 1947 the postal service continues to function on a nationwide basis, providing a variety of services. The structure of the organisation has the Directorate at its apex; below it are Circle Offices, Regional Offices, the Superintendent's Office of Post Offices, Head Post offices, Sub-Post Offices and Branch Post Offices.[citation needed] In April 1959, the Indian Postal Department adopted the motto "Service before Self"; it revised its logo in September 2008.[12][page needed]

First adhesive stamps in Asia[edit]

The first adhesive postage stamps in Asia were issued in the Indian district of Scinde in July 1852 by Bartle Frere, chief commissioner of the region.[13] Frere was an admirer of Rowland Hill, the English postal reformer who had introduced the Penny Post. The Scinde stamps became known as "Scinde Dawks"; "Dawk" is the Anglicised spelling of the Hindustani word Dak or ("post"). These stamps, with a value of 12-anna, were in use until June 1866. The first all-India stamps were issued on 1 October 1854.

EIC stamps issued after 1866[edit]

Tan paper with stamps
1955 money order (front)
Tan paper with round stamp on right
1955 money order (back)
The volume of mail moved by the postal system increased significantly, doubling between 1854 and 1866 and doubling again by 1871. The Post Office Act XIV introduced reforms by 1 May 1866 to correct some of the more obvious postal-system deficiencies and abuses. Postal-service efficiencies were also introduced. In 1863, lower rates were set for "steamer" mail to Europe at (six annas, eight pies for a 12-ounce letter). Lower rates were also introduced for inland mail.
New regulations removed special postal privileges enjoyed by officials of the East India Company. Stamps for official use were prepared and carefully accounted for, to combat abuses by officials. In 1854 Spain had printed special stamps for official communications, but in 1866 India was the first country to adopt the expedient of overprinting "Service" on postage stamps and "Service Postage" on revenue stamps. This innovation was later widely adopted by other countries.[14]
Shortages developed, so stamps also had to be improvised. Some "Service Postage" overprinted rarities resulted from abrupt changes in postal regulations. New designs for the four-anna and six-anna-eight-pie stamps were issued in 1866. Nevertheless, there was a shortage of stamps to meet the new rates. Provisional[15] six-anna stamps were improvised by cutting the top and bottom from a current foreign-bill revenue stamp and overprinting "Postage".
India was the first country in the Commonwealth to issue airmail stamps.

Post-independence stamps[edit]

Round red wax stamp
1850s Scinde Dawk stamp
India attained independence on 15 August 1947. Thereafter, the Indian Posts and Telegraph Department embarked on a broad-based policy for the issuance of stamps. The first new stamp was issued by independent India on 21 November 1947. It depicts theIndian flag with the patriots' slogan, Jai Hind ("long live India"), at the top right-hand corner. The stamp was valued at three and one-halfannas.
A memorial to Mahatma Gandhi was issued 15 August 1948 on the first anniversary of independence. One year later a definitive seriesappeared, depicting India's broad cultural heritage (primarily HinduBuddhistMuslimSikh and Jain temples, sculptures, monuments and fortresses). A subsequent issue commemorated the beginning of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950.
Definitives included a technology-and-development theme in 1955, a series depicting a map of India in 1957 (denominated in naya paisa—decimal currency) and a 1965 series with a wide variety of images. The old inscription "India Postage" was replaced in 1962 with"भारत INDIA", although three stamps (issued from December 1962 to January 1963) carried the earlier inscription.[16]
India has printed stamps and postal stationery for other countries, mostly neighbours. Countries which have had stamps printed in India include Burma (before independence), NepalBangladeshBhutanPortugal and Ethiopia.[17] The country has issued definitive and commemorative stamps. Six definitive series on India's heritage and progress in a number of fields have been issued. The seventh series, with a theme of science and technology, began in 1986. Between independence and 1983, 770 stamps were issued.



  • Design, printing and distribution of special or commemorative postage stamps
  • Design, printing and distribution of definitive postage stamps and items of postal stationery (such as envelopes, inland-letter cards, postcards, aerograms and registered covers)
  • Promotion of philately, conduct of philatelic examinations at the national level, participation in international exhibitions and monitoring exhibitions at the state, regional and district levels
  • Maintenance of the National Philatelic Museum (Dak bhawan)
The first philatelic Society in India was founded in Bombay on 6 March 1897 to service postage-stamp collections.

Philatelic bureaus[edit]

Sheets of red, green and blue stamps
First all-India stamps
Philatelic bureaus were established in head post offices located at circle headquarters and at district-capital head post offices (as necessary). There are 68 philately bureaus and 1111 philatelic counters, including all head post offices (Mukhya Dak Ghars) in the country as of 31 March 2011.[18]:44
A domestic philatelic deposit-account system was introduced on 1 August 1965 at all philatelic bureaus. Customers are given priority in purchasing commemorative or special-issue stamps, first-day covers and information sheets soon after their issue by opening a deposit account at any philatelic bureau. The number of philately deposit-accountholders grew from 23,905 in 1999–2000 to 168,282 in 2006–2007 and 183,202 in 2008–2009. Four philatelic Bureaus—the BombayMadrasCalcutta and Parliament Street, New Delhi GPOs are authorised to sell United Nations stamps. A quarterly philatelic magazine, Philapost, was launched in 2008.
The Department of Post has also developed software for philatelic inventory management, known as "Philsim". It is used for all activities relating to philately, including forecasting, indenting, invoicing, monitoring supply and demand and recording sales and revenue for commemorative stamps and other philatelic products at philately bureaus and counters (and definitive stamps and stationery at circle stamp depots and head post offices).

Army Postal Service[edit]

National Philatelic Museum[edit]

A Post Box of India Post
The National Philatelic Museum of India was inaugurated on 6 July 1968 in New Delhi. It had its beginnings at a meeting of the Philatelic Advisory Committee on 18 September 1962. Besides a large collection of India Postage stamps designed, printed and issued, it has a large collection of Indian states (confederate and feudatory), early essays, proofs and colour trials, a collection of Indian stamps used abroad, early Indian postcards, postal stationery and thematic collections. The museum was renovated in 2009 with more exhibits, a philatelic bureau and postal objects (such as Victorian post boxes). The Department of Posts inaugurated the National Philatelic Museum on 11 July 2011. It exhibits rare postage stamps from around the world and provides a venue for philatelists to exhibit their collections.

Postal life insurance[edit]

Envelope with postmarks and three different stamps
Six-anna provisional, 1866 (Bombay to London by steamer, 29 days)
Due to the popularity of postal life insurance, it was offered to other departments of the central and state governments. Postal life insurance is available to employees of all central- and state-government departments, nationalised banks, public-sector and financial institutions, local municipalities, district councils and educational institutions receiving government subsidy. It was extended to all rural residents on 24 March 1995.

Project Arrow[edit]

Project Arrow was launched in April 2008.[12] The project plans to upgrade post offices in urban and rural areas, improving service and appearance. The project aims to create an effective, friendly environment for staff and customers, providing secure IT services and improving mail delivery, remittances (electronic and manual) and postal-savings plans. Core areas for improvement are branding, information technology, human resources and infrastructure. The project to improve service has been implemented in more than 15,500 post offices, and cosmetic improvements have been made in 1,530.[citation needed] The Department of Posts received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration during 2008–09 for “Project Arrow – Transforming India Post” on 21 April 2010.[19]


Pink-and-brown stamp with Gandhi's head and shoulders, facing left
Rs 10 stamp withMahatma Gandhi, released 15 August 1948
The government has approved an IT modernisation project in the Department of Posts for the computerisation of all post and mail offices, administrative and other offices, establishment of IT infrastructure and software development. The project includes supplying rural ICT hardware and peripherals to branch post offices in rural areas, developing of scalable, integrated and modular software covering all postal operations and establishing an IT infrastructure; including data centers and Wide Area Network (WAN)-based networking.


Multipurpose counter machines with computers were introduced in post offices in 1991 to:
  • Improve customer service and increase revenue and staff productivity
  • Make the post office the focal point for delivery of state social-security programs
  • Enable the electronic networking of about 1,30,000 rural post offices
  • Enable paperless transactions for mail, postal banking and insurance services
  • Enable tracking and tracing of articles intended for delivery
25,000 departmental post offices (out of 25,464) have been computerised from 2006–2007 to 2011–2012. A plan (costing Rs.1877.2 crore) has been formulated to computerise rural post offices.[20][dead link]

Financial services[edit]

Brown-and-pink stamp depicting a temple
Satrunjaya (Jain temple complex near Palitana), 15 August 1949

Postal savings[edit]

The post office offers a number of savings plans, including National Savings Certificates,[21] the Public Provident Fund,[22] savings-bank accounts,[21] monthly-income plans,[21] senior-citizens' savings plans[22] and time-deposit accounts.[22]

Life insurance[edit]

Policies for government employees include:[23]
  • Santhosh (endowment assurance)
  • Suraksha (whole-life assurance)
  • Suvidha (convertible whole-life assurance)
  • Sumangal (anticipated endowment policy)
  • Yugal Suraksha (joint life endowment assurance)
For the general public:
  • Gram Santosh (endowment assurance)
  • Gram Suraksha (whole-life assurance)
  • Gram Suvidha (convertible whole-life assurance)
  • Gram Sumangal (anticipated endowment assurance)
  • Gram Priya (10-year RPLI)[clarification needed]
  • Children's policies


In 2013 it was revealed that the Indian postal service had formulated plans to enter the banking industry after RBI guidelines for the issuance of new banking licenses were released.[24] Eventually they are planning to open a "Post Bank of India".[25]

Other services[edit]

Tall, round red mailbox with decorative crown on top
British-era letterbox in Shimla
The post office has traditionally served as a financial institution for millions of people in rural India. Other services include:
  • Post boxes and post bags for mail receipt
  • Identity cards for proof of residence

Data collection[edit]

A collaboration between the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOS&PI) and the Department of Posts has enabled the computation of consumer-price indices for rural areas. These statistics were previously unobtainable, due to problems of remoteness and scale. The agreement authorises the postal service to collect data on prices paid for selected consumer goods; in February 2011, MOS&PI published its first Rural Consumer Price Index and All-India Consumer Price Index. The information has since been published monthly, based on data from 1,181 villages across the country.[1]

PIN codes[edit]

The Postal Index Number (PIN, or PIN code) is a six-digit code of post-office numbering introduced on 15 August 1972. There are nine PIN regions in the country; the first eight are geographical regions, and the ninth is reserved for the Army Postal Service. The first digit indicates the regions; the first two digits indicate the sub-region (or postal circle); the first three digits indicate a sorting district, and the last three digits indicate the delivery post office. Use of PIN codes improves mail service.[26] The PIN for an address may be found on the Postal Service website.[27]


India Post was embroiled in controversy when a Right to Information query by Satendra Singh revealed that a majority of post offices in India's capital city are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.[28][29][30][31]

List of postage stamps of India

In its long and varied postal historyIndia has produced a large number of postage stamps. They have been produced by a number of techniques which include line engravingtypographylithographyphotogravure and web-offset. Stamps have been produced both for postage and for service or revenue. Definitives and commemoratives have been issued. Stamps have been produced both as unperforated sheets, perforated sheets and miniature sheets. The stamps have peen produced in a number of shapes - the Scinde Dawk being rounded and some, like the stamp on the Bombay Sappers being triangular. Recently the 2009 stamp on Louis Braille had braille imprinting on it in addition. Many cases of overprinting exist - for converting the use of domesticpostage stamps to service; to earmark stamps sold by field post offices attached with international control commissions and other reasons.
The Indian Postal Service has issued stamps on many themes - relating to history, architecture, nature, culture and heritage. Provisions exist for organisations and interested bodies to suggest the printing of special commemorative stamps as well as first day covers and cancellations. The Indian Post runs philatelic bureaus, operates deposit based philateic services, a philatelic magazine and also publishes lists of stamps from time to time.
This article lists the stamps in two sections - Indian postage before and after independence. Stamps belonging to convention and feudatory states have been excluded.

Stamps produced in British India[edit]

Though British rule in India began effectively in the mid-eighteenth century, the first adhesive stamp was issued in 1852, 12 years after the first Penny Black was issued in England. This was the Scinde Dawk. It was followed by the East India company lithographedissues and a long series of engraved stamps portraying Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI.

Stamps produced in independent India[edit]

India's independence saw the postal department issue its first stamp on 21 Nov 1947 depicting the Indian flag. The Dominion of India issued stamps from 1947 to 1949 with the caption of INDIA POSTAGE. In 1950, India became a republic and the first stamps of India as a republic were a series of four issued on that very day. The stamp issues continued to be in Annas (abbreviated as "As") till 1957, when the Indian rupee was decimalised: the rupee was divided into 100 naye paise (Hindi for "new paise"). In 1964, the initial "naye" was dropped. This change in currency is faithfully reflected in the denomination of the stamps of the time. The initial stamps were commemoratives or special issues. In 1949 the first definitive "Archeological" series of 16 values was issued.


  1. Independence series (03 values). Indian Flag 3½ A, Aśokan capital 1½ As, Aircraft 12As.


  1. Air India International 12As - Inauguration of the U.K.Air Service.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi series (four values) - 1½ As, 3½ As, 12 As, 10 Rs. Issued on the first Anniversary of Independence. This series meant to venerate Gandhi, was published instead as a mourning issue.


  1. 75th Anniversary of formation of Universal Postal Union (U.P.U.)


  1. Inauguration of Republic of India.
All four stamps were issued on 26 January.


  1. Centenary of Geological Survey of India.
  2. First Asian GamesNew Delhi.


  1. Indian Saints and Poets. KabirTulsidasMeera BaiSurdasGhalib and Rabindranath Tagore


  1. Railway Centenary.
  2. Conquest of Mount Everest.
  3. Centenary of Indian Telegraphs.


  1. Postage Stamp Centenary.
  2. United Nations Day.
  3. Fourth World Forestry Congress.


  1. 2,500th Buddha Jayanti.
  2. Birth Centenary of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.


  1. Indian Mutiny Centenary
  2. 19th International Red Cross Conference, New Delhi.
  3. National Children's Day.
  4. Centenary of Indian Universities.


  1. 50th Anniversary of first indigenous Steel Industry.
  2. Birth Centenary of Dr.Dhondo Keshav Karve.
  3. Silver Jubilee of Indian Air Force.
  4. Birth Centenary of Bipin Chandra Pal.
  5. National Children's Day.
  6. Birth Centenary of Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.
  7. India-1958 Exhibition, New Delhi.


  1. Death Centenary of Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.
  2. 40th Anniversary of International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.).
  3. National Children's Day.
  4. First World Agriculture Fair, New Delhi.


  1. Thiruvalluvar.
  2. Kalidasa.
  3. Subramania Bharati.
  4. Birth Centenary of Dr.Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya.
  5. National Children's Day.
  6. UNICEF Day.


  1. Tyagaraja.
  2. 50th Anniversary of First Official Airmail Flight, Allahabad to Naini.
  3. Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  4. Motilal Nehru Birth Centenary.
  5. Rabindranath Tagore Birth Centenary.
  6. Silver Jubilee of All India Radio.
  7. Birth Centenary of Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy.
  8. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande Birth Centenary
  9. National Children's Day.
  10. Indian Industries Fair, New Delhi.
  11. Centenary of Scientific Forestry.
  12. Centenary of Archaeological Survey of India.
  13. Birth Centenary of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.


  1. Inauguration of Gauhati Oil Refinery.
  2. Birth Centenary of Madame Bhikaiji Cama.
  3. Inauguration of Panchayati Raj in rural administration.
  4. Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
  5. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi.
  6. Malaria Eradication.
  7. Retirement of President Dr.Rajendra Prasad.
  8. Centenary of High Courts of India.
  9. Birth Centenary of Ramabai Ranade.
  10. National Children's Day.
  11. 19th International Congress of Ophthalmology, New Delhi.
  12. 75th Birth Anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.


  1. Birth Centenary of Swami Vivekananda.
  2. Provisional issue.
  3. Freedom from Hunger.
  4. Red Cross Centenary.
  5. Defence Campaign.
  6. Dr.Dadabhoy Naoroji.
  7. Dr.Annie Besant.
  8. Wild Life Preservation.
  9. National Children's Day.
  10. 15th Anniversary of Declaration of Human Rights.


  1. 26th International Orientalists Congress, New Delhi.
  2. Pandit Gopabandhu Das.
  3. 400th Death Anniversary of Purandaradasa.
  4. 67th Birth Anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose.
  5. 85th Birth Anniversary of Sarojini Naidu.
  6. 20th Death Anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi.
  7. Dr. Waldermar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine.
  8. Birth Centenary of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee.
  9. 92nd Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo.
  10. Raja Rammohun Roy.
  11. 6th General Assembly of International Organisation for Standardisation, New Delhi.
  12. National Children's Day.
  13. St. Thomas.
  14. 22nd International Geological Congress, New Delhi.


  1. [Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata].
  2. Birth Centenary of Lala Lajpat Rai.
  3. 20th International Chamber of Commerce Congress, New Delhi.
  4. Indian Shipping.
  5. Death Centenary of Abraham Lincoln.
  6. Centenary of International Telecommunication Union.
  7. First Anniversary of Nehru's Death.
  8. International Co-operation Year.
  9. Indian Mount Everest Expedition.
  10. Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant.
  11. 90th Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  12. 95th Birth Anniversary of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das.
  13. Vidyapati Thakur.


  1. 15th Pacific Area Travel Association Conference, New Delhi.
  2. Valour of Indian Armed Forces in 1965 war.
  3. Lal Bahadur Shastri Mourning issue.
  4. Kambar
  5. 75th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
  6. Babu Kunwar Singh.
  7. Birth Centenary of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  8. Acharya Mahavir Prasad Dvivedi.
  9. Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
  10. Dr.Homi Jehangir Bhabha.
  11. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
  12. 60th Death Anniversary of Swami Rama Tirtha.
  13. National Children's Day.
  14. Centenary of Allahabad High Court.
  15. Family Planning Week.
  16. India's Hockey Victory in 5th Asian GamesBangkok.


  1. First Death Anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri.
  2. 4th Indian General Election.
  3. 300th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
  4. International Tourist Year.
  5. First Death Anniversary of Acharya Nandalal Bose.
  6. Survey of India Bicentenary.
  7. 800th Death Anniversary of Basaveswara.
  8. Narsinha Mehta.
  9. Narayana Guru.
  10. Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
  11. 25th Anniversary of Quit India Movement.
  12. Centenary of Indo-European Telegraph Service.
  13. World Wrestling Championships, New Delhi.
  14. 4th Anniversary of Statehood of Nagaland.
  15. Rashbehari Basu.
  16. Diamond Jubilee of Scout Movement in India.


  1. International Year for Human Rights.
  2. 2nd International Conference-Seminar of Tamil Studies, Madras.
  3. 2nd United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, New Delhi.
  4. Amrita Bazar Patrika Centenary.
  5. Birth Centenary of Maxim Gorky.
  6. First Triennale, New Delhi.
  7. Opening of 1,00,000th Post Office at Brahmpur Chaurasta, Bihar.
  8. Wheat Revolution.
  9. 30th Death Anniversary of Gaganendranath Tagore.
  10. Birth Centenary of Lakshminath Bezbaruah.
  11. XIX Olympic Games, Mexico City.
  12. 61st Birth Anniversary of Bhagat Singh.
  13. 25th Anniversary of Azad Hind Government.
  14. Birth Centenary of Sister Nivedita.
  15. Birth Centenary of Madame Marie Curie.
  16. 21st International Geographical Congress, New Delhi.
  17. 400th Anniversary of Cochin Synagogue.
  18. I.N.S.Nilgiri.
  19. Indian Birds.


  1. 130th Birth Anniversary of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.
  2. Birth Centenary of Dr.Bhagavan Das.
  3. Dr.Martin Luther King.
  4. Death Anniversary of Mirza Ghalib.
  5. 50th Anniversary of Osmania University.
  6. 20th Anniversary of 'ALL UP' Air Mail Scheme.
  7. 50th Anniversary of International Labour Organisation.
  8. 50th Anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Amritsar.
  9. Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao Pantulu.
  10. Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia.
  11. 150th Anniversary of Serampore CollegeWest Bengal.
  12. Dr.Zakir Hussain.
  13. Birth Centenary of Laxmanrao Kirloskar.
  14. Birth Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  15. 10th Anniversary of Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.
  16. 57th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, New Delhi.
  17. First Man on the Moon.
  18. 500th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
  19. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Conference, New Delhi.
  20. 90th Birth Anniversary of Sadhu Vaswani.
  21. Birth Centenary of Thakkar Bapa.


  1. 12th Plenary Assembly of International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR).
  2. First Death Anniversary of Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai.
  3. 75th Death Anniversary of Munshi Newal Kishore.
  4. Centenary of Nalanda College.
  5. Swami Shraddhanand.
  6. Birth Centenary of Vladimir Illyich Lenin.
  7. New Universal Postal Union Headquarters Building, Berne.
  8. 425th Death Anniversary of Sher Shah Suri.
  9. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
  10. 25th Anniversary of United Nations Organisation.
  11. Asian Productivity Year.
  12. International Education Year (Birth Centenary of Dr.Maria Montessori).
  13. Jatindra Nath Mukherjee (Bagha Jatin).
  14. Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri.
  15. 150th Birth Anniversary of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.
  16. Maharsi Valmiki (Author of Epic Ramayana).
  17. Centenary of Calcutta Port Commissioner.
  18. 50th Anniversary of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi.
  19. Jamnalal Bajaj.
  20. 50th Anniversary of Indian Red Cross Society.
  21. 700th Birth Anniversary of Sant Namdeo.
  22. Birth Bicentenary of Ludwig van Beethoven.
  23. India National Philatelic Exhibition, New Delhi.
  24. Diamond Jubilee of Girl Guide Movement in India.


  1. Centenary of Indian Life Insurance.
  2. Golden Jubilee of Kashi Vidyapeeth.
  3. Sant Ravidas.
  4. Birth Centenary of Deenabandhu Charles Freer Andrews.
  5. 15th Death Anniversary of Acharya Narendra Deo.
  6. Census Centenary.
  7. Sri Ramana Maharshi.
  8. 65th Death Anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma.
  9. Birth Centenary of Dadasaheb Phalke.
  10. Birth Centenary of Abanindranath Tagore.
  11. Swami Virjanand.
  12. 2,500th Anniversary of Charter of Cyrus the Great.
  13. World Thrift Day.
  14. 25th Anniversary United Nations Educational and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
  15. National Children's Day.
  16. 1st Death Anniversary of Dr.Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.
  17. Golden Jubilee of Visva Bharati UniversityShantiniketanWest Bengal.
  18. Indian Cricket Victories against West Indies and England.


  1. First Anniversary of Arvi Satellite Earth Station.
  2. Silver Jubilee of Indian Standards Institute (ISI).
  3. 50th Anniversary of International Union of Railways.
  4. XX Olympic GamesMunich.
  5. Birth Centenary of Sri Aurobindo.
  6. 25th Anniversary of Independence.
  7. Greetings to Armed Forces on Silver Jubilee of Independence.
  8. Birth Centenary of Bhai Vir Singh.
  9. Birth Centenary of Tanguturi Prakasham.
  10. 300th Birth Anniversary of Vemana.
  11. Birth Centenary of Bertrand Russell.
  12. Asia-72: 3rd Asian International Trade Fair, New Delhi.
  13. First Death Anniversary of Dr.Vikram Sarabhai.
  14. 50th Anniversary of USSR.
  15. international union of railways India


  1. 'INDIPEX 73', International Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi.
  2. 25th Anniversary of Independence.
  3. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
  4. First Anniversary of Army Postal Service Corps.
  5. 'Jai Bangla', Inauguration of First Bangladesh Parliament.
  6. Birth Centenary of Kumaran Asan.
  7. Homage to Martyrs for Independence.
  8. Dr.Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
  9. Indian Miniature Paintings.
  10. 15th Anniversary of Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi.
  11. 25th Anniversary of Air India's International Services.
  12. 19th Death Anniversary of St. Thomas.
  13. Death Centenary of Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
  14. Birth Centenary of Vishnu Digambar Paluskar.
  15. Centenary of Discovery of Leprosy Bacillus.
  16. 5th Birth Centenary of Nicolaus Copernicus.
  17. Allan Octavian Hume.
  18. Homage to Gandhi and Nehru on 25th Anniversary of Independence.
  19. Romesh Chunder Dutt.
  20. K.S.Ranjitsinhji.
  21. Birth Centenary of Vithalbhai Patel.
  22. Bicentenary of President's Bodyguard.
  23. 50th Anniversary of Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation).
  24. Syed Ahmad Khan.
  25. National Children's Day.
  26. 'INDIPEX - 73', India International Philatelic Exhibition, New Delhi.
  27. Silver Jubilee of National Cadet Corps, (NCC).
  28. First Death Anniversary of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.


  1. Indian Masks used in Dance Drama.
  2. 300th Anniversary of Coronation of Chatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj.
  3. Maithili Sharan Gupta.
  4. Jainarain Vyas.
  5. Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das
  6. Kandukuri Veeresalingam.
  7. Tipu Sultan.
  8. Max Müller.
  9. 75th Birth Anniversary of Kamala Nehru.
  10. World Population Year.
  11. Varahagiri Venkata Giri.
  12. Centenary of Universal Postal Union.
  13. Centenary of Mathura museum.
  14. Birth Centenary of Nicholas Roerich.
  15. 2500th Anniversary of Bhagwan Mahavira's attainment of Nirvana.
  16. National Children's Day.
  17. 25th Anniversary of UNICEF in India.
  18. 25th Anniversary of Indian Territorial Army.
  19. 19th International Dairy Congress, New Delhi.
  20. Help for Mentally Retarded Children.
  21. Birth Centenary of Guglielmo Marconi.
  22. Saint Francis Xavier's Apostle Celebration.


  1. World Hindi Convention, Nagpur.
  2. 25th Anniversary of the Republic.
  3. 33rd World Table Tennis Championships, Calcutta.
  4. International Women's Year.
  5. Bicentenary of Indian Army Ordnance Corps.
  6. Centenary of Arya Samaj.
  7. World Telugu ConferenceHyderabad.
  8. Launch of First Indian Satellite.
  9. Indian BirdsPitta brachyuraOriolus xanthornusTragopan melanocephalus and Lophophorus impejanus.
  10. 4th Centenary of Ramcharitmanas (epic poem by Tulsidas).
  11. Centenary of Indian Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).
  12. 500th Birth Anniversary of Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  13. 25th Anniversary of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage.
  14. Satellite Instructional Television Experiment.
  15. 600th Birth Anniversary of Sant Arunagirinathar.
  16. Namibia Day.
  17. Mir Anees.
  18. Ahilyabai Holkar.
  19. Indian classical dancesBharata NatyamOdissiKathakKathakaliKuchipudi and Manipuri.
  20. Ameer Khusrau.
  21. Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon.
  22. Bahadur Shah Zafar.
  23. 21st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, New Delhi.
  24. Birth Centenary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  25. Birth Centenary of Karmavir Nabin Chandra Bardoloi.
  26. National Children's Day.
  27. 50th Anniversary of India Security PressNasik.
  28. Tercentenary of the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  29. Centenary of the Theosophical Society.
  30. Centenary of the Indian Meteorological Department.
  31. 'INPEX-75' India National Philatelic Exhibition, Calcutta.


  1. First Death Anniversary of Lalit Narayan Mishra.
  2. Birth Centenary of Edward James (Jim) Corbett.
  3. Keoladeo Ghana Bird SanctuaryBharatpur.
  4. Bicentenary of 16th Light Cavalry Regiment.
  5. Alexander Graham Bell.
  6. Birth Centenary of Muthuswami Dikshitar.
  7. World Health Day. Prevention of Blindness.
  8. Industrial Development.
  9. Indian Locomotives.
  10. Bicentenary of American Revolution.
  11. Kumaraswamy Kamaraj.
  12. XXI Olympic GamesMontreal.
  13. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.
  14. Param Vir Chakra (Highest Gallantry Award).
  15. 60th Anniversary of Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's UniversityBombay.
  16. Bharatendu Harishchandra.
  17. Birth Centenary of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee.
  18. Family Planning Campaign.
  19. Maharaja Agrasen.
  20. Indian Wild Life: Swamp DeerIndian LionLeopard and Caracal.
  21. Voluntary Blood Donation.
  22. Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'.
  23. National Children's Day.
  24. Hiralal Shastri.
  25. Dr.Hari Singh Gour.
  26. Inauguration of Indian Airlines Airbus Service.
  27. Diamond Jubilee of Coconut Research.
  28. Centenary of 'Vande Mataram'.


  1. Sixth International Film Festival of India, New Delhi.
  2. Sixth World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, New Delhi.
  3. Birth Centenary of Tarun Ram Phookun.
  4. Paramahansa Yogananda.
  5. First Asian Regional Red Cross Conference, New Delhi.
  6. Death of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.
  7. 15th Anniversary of Asian Oceanic Postal Union.
  8. Birth Centenary of Narottam Morarjee.
  9. Makhanlal Chaturvedi.
  10. Vallabhacharya.
  11. 50th Anniversary of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  12. 5th World Environment Day.
  13. 25th Anniversary of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament).
  14. Indian Flowers.
  15. Centenary of Sound Recording.
  16. Birth Centenary of Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy.
  17. 50th Death Anniversary of Ganga Ram.
  18. 32nd International Homeopathic Congress.
  19. Ram Manohar Lohia.
  20. 'INPEX-77', 3rd National Philatelic Exhibition, Bangalore.
  21. 'ASIANA-77', First Asian International Philatelic Exhibition, Bangalore.
  22. 15th International Congress of Pediatrics, New Delhi.
  23. Kittur Rani Channamma.
  24. Union Public Service Commission.
  25. 'AGRIEXPO-77', Agriculture Exposition, New Delhi.
  26. National Children's Day.
  27. Indian Personalities: J. Phooley and S. Bapat.
  28. 41st Session of International Statistical Institute, New Delhi.
  29. Kamta Prasad Guru.
  30. 60th Year of October Revolution.


  1. Conquest of Kanchenjunga.
  2. 27th Pacific Area Travel Association Conference, New Delhi.
  3. World Book Fair, New Delhi.
  4. Birth Centenary of The Mother, Puducherry.
  5. Fifth International Wheat Genetics Symposium, New Delhi.
  6. Nanalal Dalpatram Kavi.
  7. Surjya Sen.
  8. Modern Indian paintings.
  9. 400th Birth Anniversary of Peter Paul Rubens.
  10. Charles Spencer Chaplin.
  11. Deendayal Upadhyaya.
  12. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.
  13. Museums of India.
  14. Bhagawadgeeta.
  15. Centenary of Bethune College.
  16. E.V.Ramasami.
  17. Uday Shankar Chowdhury.
  18. 150th Birth Anniversary of Leo Tolstoy.
  19. Birth Centenary of Vallathol Narayana Menon.
  20. National Children's Day.
  21. National Small Industries Fair, New Delhi.
  22. 175th Anniversary of Skinner's Horse (Cavalry regiment).
  23. Birth Centenary of Mohammad Ali Jauhar.
  24. Birth Centenary of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.
  25. 75th Anniversary of Powered Flight.
  26. Centenary of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack.
  27. Death Anniversary of Franz Peter Schubert.


  1. 4th Reunion of Punjab Regiment
  2. Bhai Parmanand
  3. International Year of the Child
  4. Albert Einstein - Birth Centenary
  5. Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati
  6. India 80 - Stamp Exhibition
  7. Postcards - Centenary
  8. Raja Mahendra Pratap
  9. Jatindra Nath Das - 50th Death Anniversary
  10. India 80 - Airmails
  11. Electric Lightbulb - Centenary
  12. International Archives Week
  13. International Commission on Large Dams - 50th Anniversary
  14. International Trade Fair
  15. International Children's Book Fair
  16. 23rd IAEA Conference
  17. Flying and Gliding
  18. Guru Amar Das - 500th Birth Anniversary


#Issue DateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
121 JanuaryUNIDO 3rd General Conference, New Delhi100Single
225 January'India 80', International Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi (3rd issue)- Army Post Office30Single
325 January'India 80', International Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi (3rd issue)- Money Order50Single
425 January'India 80', International Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi (3rd issue)- Copper Ticket100Single
525 January'India 80', International Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi (3rd issue)- Rowland Hill200Single
617 FebruaryInstitution of Engineers (India)30Single
726 FebruaryMadras Sappers30Single
829 February4th World Book Fair, New Delhi30Single
929 February2nd International Conference on Apiculture, New Delhi100Single
1018 MarchWelthy Fisher30Single
1121 MarchDarul Uloom, Deoband30Single
1215 AprilKeshub Chandra Sen30Single
1321 AprilChatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj30Single
149 May5th Asian Table Tennis Championships, Calcutta30Single
155 JuneN. M. Joshi30Single
166 JuneUlloor S. Parameswara Iyer30Single
1725 JuneS. M. Zamin Ali30Single
1827 JuneHelen Keller30Single
1919 JulyXXII Olympic Games, Moscow - High Jump100Single
2019 JulyXXII Olympic Games, Moscow - Show Jumping280Single
2131 JulyPrem Chand30Single
2227 AugustNobel Peace Prize, 1979 - Mother Teresa30Single
2328 AugustMountbatten280Single
2427 SeptemberScottish Church College, Calcutta35Single
2530 SeptemberRajah Annamalai Chettiar35Single
262 OctoberDandi March35Single
272 OctoberSalt Satyagraha35Single
288 OctoberJayaprakash Narayan35Single
291 NovemberGreat Indian Bustard230Single
303 November1400 Hijri35Single
3114 NovemberChildren's Day35Single
323 DecemberDhyan Chand35Single
3320 DecemberGold Mining100Single
3425 DecemberM. A. Ansari35Single
3527 DecemberIndia Government Mint, Bombay35Single
3630 DecemberBride - Tamilnadu100Single
3730 DecemberBride - Rajasthan100Single
3830 DecemberBride - Kashmir100Single
3930 DecemberBride - Bengal100Single


#Issue DateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
12 JanuaryMazharul Haque35Single
21 FebruarySt. Stephen's College, Delhi35Single
39 FebruaryGommateshwara100Single
427 FebruaryG. V. Mavalankar35Single
523 MarchHomage to Martyrs35Single
68 AprilHeinrich von Stephan100Single
720 AprilInternational Year of Disabled Persons100Single
830 MayTribes of India - Bhil100Single
930 MayTribes of India - Dandami Maria100Single
1030 MayTribes of India - Toda100Single
1130 MayTribes of India - Khiamngan Naga100Single
1215 JuneConservation of Forests100Single
1322 JuneNilmoni Phukan35Single
1423 JuneSanjay Gandhi35Single
1518 JulySLV-3 and Rohini100Single
1628 JulyIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (1st Issue) - Games Logo100Single
1728 JulyIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (1st Issue) - Mascot and Stylised Hockey Player100Single
181 SeptemberIndian Flowering Trees - Flame of the Forest35Single
191 SeptemberIndian Flowering Trees - Crateva50Single
201 SeptemberIndian Flowering Trees - Golden Shower100Single
211 SeptemberIndian Flowering Trees - Bauhinia200Single
2216 OctoberWorld Food Day100Single
2320 OctoberIndian Butterflies - Stichophthalma camadeva35Single
2420 OctoberIndian Butterflies - Cethosia biblis50Single
2520 OctoberIndian Butterflies - Cyrestis achates100Single
2620 OctoberIndian Butterflies - Teinopalpus imperialis200Single
2731 OctoberBellary Raghava35Single
289 NovemberMahar Regiment35Single
2914 NovemberChildren's Day35Single
3019 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (2nd Issue)100Single
3127 NovemberKashi Prasad Jayaswal35Single
3229 NovemberSolidarity With The Palestinian People100Single
334 DecemberIndian Navy35Single
3414 DecemberHenry Heras35Single
3524 DecemberIOCOM Submarine Telephone Cable100Single
3629 DecemberFifth World Cup Hockey, Bombay100Single
3730 DecemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (3rd Issue)100Single


#Issue DateDescriptionDenomination (Paise)Unit
128 January100 Years of Telephone Services200Single
28 February12th International Conference of Soil Science, New Delhi100Single
32 MarchSir J. J. School of Art, Bombay35Single
415 MarchThree MusiciansPicasso285Single
523 MarchFestival of India, London - Ancient Sculpture200Single
623 MarchFestival of India, London - Kaliya Mardana305Single
723 MarchFestival of India, London - Radio Telescope, Ooty305Single
824 MarchRobert Koch - Centenary of Discovery of Tubercle Bacillus35Single
99 MayDurgabai Deshmukh35Single
1029 MayHimalayan Flowers - Meconopsis aculeata35Single
1129 MayHimalayan Flowers - Inula grandiflora100Single
1229 MayHimalayan Flowers - Arisaema wallachianum200Single
1329 MayHimalayan Flowers - Saussurea obvallata285Single
1419 JuneAPPLE Satellite200Single
151 JulyBidhan Chandra Roy50Single
1614 AugustOil Exploration100Single
1717 SeptemberFestival of India - Raza200Single
1817 SeptemberFestival of India - M. F. Husain305Single
191 OctoberWildlife Week - Kashmir Stag285Single
208 October50 Years of Indian Air Force100Single
2115 October50 Years of Civil Aviation325Single
2221 OctoberPolice Day - Police Beat Patrol50Single
2323 October100 Years of Post Office Savings Bank50Single
2430 OctoberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (4th Issue)100Single
252 NovemberTroposcatter Communication Link: India - USSR305Single
266 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (5th Issue)100Single
2714 NovemberChildren's Day50Single
2819 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (6th Issue) - Cycling50Single
2919 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (6th Issue) - Javelin Throw200Single
3019 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (6th Issue) - Discus Throw285Single
3119 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (6th Issue) - Football325Single
3225 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (7th Issue) - Yachting200Single
3325 NovemberIX Asian Games, Delhi 1982 (7th Issue) - Rowing285Single
3410 December50 Years of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun50Single
3515 DecemberPurushottam Das Tandon Birth Centenary50Single
3618 DecemberCentenary of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway285Single
3730 December'INPEX - 82', National Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi50Single
3830 December'INPEX - 82', National Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi200Single


#Issue DateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
19 JanuaryFirst Indian Antarctic Expedition100Single
230 JanuaryFranklin Delano Roosevelt325Single
37 FebruarySiberian crane285Single
416 FebruaryJat Regiment50Single
57 MarchSeventh Non-aligned Summit - Logo100Single
67 MarchSeventh Non-aligned Summit - Nehru200Single
714 MarchCommonwealth Day - Mahabalipuram100Single
814 MarchCommonwealth Day - Gomukh of Gangotri Glacier200Single
925 March86th Session of International Olympic Committee100Single
104 AprilSt. Francis of Assisi100Single
115 MayDeath Centenary of Karl Marx100Single
1218 MayDeath Centenary of Charles Darwin200Single
1330 May50 Years of Kanha National Park100Single
1418 JulyWorld Communications Year100Single
1524 JulySimon Bolivar200Single
169 AugustIndia's Struggle for Freedom - Meera Behn50Single
179 AugustIndia's Struggle for Freedom - Mahadev Desai50Single
189 AugustIndia's Struggle for Freedom - A.I.C.C. Quit India Resolution August, 194250Single
1917 AugustSir Ram Nath Chopra50Single
2027 AugustIndian Mountaineering Foundation - Nanda Devi Peak200Single
2115 SeptemberCentenary of Bombay Natural History Society100Single
2223 SeptemberRock Garden, Chandigarh100Single
231 OctoberIndian Wildlife - Endangered Primates - Golden Langur100Single
241 OctoberIndian Wildlife - Endangered Primates - Lion Tailed Macaque200Single
253 October5th General Assembly of World Tourism Organisation, New Delhi - Ghats of Varanasi200Single
267 OctoberKrishna Kant Handique50Single
2718 OctoberHemu Kalani50Single
2814 NovemberChildren's Day50Single
2915 NovemberAcharya Vinoba Bhave50Single
3021 NovemberBi-Centenary of Man's First Flight - 'UDAN KHATOLA'100Single
3121 NovemberBi-Centenary of Man's First Flight - 1st Montgolfier Balloon, 1783200Single
3222 NovemberProject Tiger200Single
3323 NovemberCommonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, New Delhi - Logo100Single
3423 NovemberCommonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, New Delhi - Goanese Couple of Early 19th Century200Single
355 DecemberBirth Centenary of Nandalal Bose - Pratiksha100Single
3628 DecemberSurendranath Banerjee50Single


#Issue dateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
115 January 2011Doot500Single
227 January 2011Krishnadevaraya500Single
327 January 2011Krishnadevaraya500Miniature sheet
41 February 2011Ch. Ranbir Singh500Single
52 February 2011Mary Ward-Loreto Institutions500Single
64 February 2011Corps of Signals500Single
77 February 2011V Subbiah500Single
88 February 2011Census of India, 2011500Single
911 February 2011V. Venkatasubba Reddiar500Single
1012 February 2011SPECIAL KHADI STAMP - MAHATMA GANDHI10000Miniature sheet
1112 February 2011100 YEARS OF AIRMAIL500Single
1213 February 2011LEELA NAIDU500Single
1313 February 2011SAVITHRI500Single
1413 February 2011NUTAN500Single
1513 February 2011MEENA KUMARI500Single
1613 February 2011KANAN DEVI500Single
1713 February 2011DEVIKA RANI500Single
181 March 2011LA MARTINIERE SCHOOLS500Single
1923 March 2011Subhadra Joshi500Single
2020 April 2011CHITRALEKHA500Single
2130 April 2011UMRAO KUNWAR JI 'ARCHANA'500Single
227 May 2011RABINDRANATH TAGORE500Single
2325 May 20112ND AFRICA-INDIA FORUM SUMMIT 2011500Single
2425 May 20112ND AFRICA-INDIA FORUM SUMMIT 20112500Single
256 July 2011DR. D.S. KOTHARI500Single
2721 July 2011VITTHAL SAKHARAM PAGE500Single
2828 July 2011KASU BRAHMANANDA REDDY500Single
291 August 2011K. M. MATHEW500Single
305 August 2011RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN500Single
3125 August 2011PT. K. SANTANAM500Single
3229 August 2011DR. M.S. ANEY500Single
332 September 2011SURENDRA NATH JAUHAR500Single
343 September 2011DEV NARAYAN500Single
357 September 2011TEJAJI MAHARAJ500Single
368 September 2011TRIPURANENI GOPICHAND500Single
3725 September 2011JAIMALJI MAHARAJ500Single
399 October 2011CHITRAPUR MATH500Single
4012 October 2011THE PUNJAB REGIMENT & 1 PARA (SF) (1 PUNJAB)500Single
4214 November 2011CHILDREN'S DAY500Single
4325 November 2011GRAND LODGE OF INDIA500Single
446 December 2011THE SMILE TRAIN - CLEFT SURGERY500Single
4511 December 2011KAVI PRADEEP500Single
4619 December 2011GOA LIBERATION - GOLDEN JUBILEE500Single
4819 December 2011PRESIDENTS FLEET REVIEW - SAIL BOAT500Single
4919 December 2011PRESIDENTS FLEET REVIEW - SHIP500Single
5320 December 2011Archaeological Survey of India2500Miniature sheet of #52 and 53
5423 December 2011KGMC/CSMMU,Lucknow,Academic Centenary Year500Single
5526 December 2011Srinivasa Ramanujan500Single
5627 December 2011Madan Mohan Malaviya500Single


#Issue dateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
12 January 2012Puran Chandra Gupta500Single
215 January 2012Bhai Jagta Ji500Single
324 January 2012Shyam Narayan Singh500Single
49 February 2012India International Centre500Single
524 February 2012Employee's State Insurance Corporation500Single
61 March 2012Vasantdada Patil500Single
79 March 2012Shyama Charan Shukla500Single
814 March 2012Civil Aviation Centenary2000Single
914 March 2012Civil Aviation Centenary500Single
1014 March 2012Civil Aviation Centenary500Single
1114 March 2012Civil Aviation Centenary500Single
1214 March 2012Civil Aviation Centenary3500Miniature sheet of #8, 9, 10 and 11
1312 April 2012Isabella Thoburn College500Single
1417 April 2012Godiji Temple, Mumbai500Single
1518 April 2012R. Venkataraman500Single
1616 May 2012Karpoor Chand 'Kulish'500Single
1717 May 2012M. B. Kadadi500Single
1827 May 2012800th Urs, Dargah Ajmer Sharif500Single
1927 May 2012800th Urs, Dargah Ajmer Sharif2000Single
2027 May 2012800th Urs, Dargah Ajmer Sharif2500Miniature sheet of #18 and 19
2120 June 2012Warli Painting500Single
2220 June 2012Shekhawati Painting2000Single
2320 June 2012Shekhawati and Warli Paintings20000Sheetlet of 8 se-tenant blocks of #21 and 22 with special border
2425 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, Volleyball40000Sheetlet
2525 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, Rowing10000Sheetlet
2625 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, Sailing10000Sheetlet
2725 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, Badminton40000Sheetlet
2825 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London5000Miniature sheet of #24, 25, 26 and 27
2925 July 2012Games of the XXX Olympiad, London25000Mixed sheetlet of #24, 25, 26 and 27
3026 July 201250 years of Customs Act, 1962500Single
3131 July 2012Durga Prasad Chaudhary500Single
324 August 2012Armed Forces Medical College, Pune500Single
3329 August 2012Husain Ahmad Madani500Single
3425 September 2012Motilal Nehru500Single
351 October 2012Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force500Single
368 October 2012Airborne Warning and Control System500Single
3712 October 2012Philately Day2000Souvenir Sheet
3816 October 2012Endemic Species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots, Bugun Liocichla2500Single
3916 October 2012Endemic Species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots, Nicobar Megapode500Single
4016 October 2012Endemic Species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots, Hoolock Gibbon500Single
4116 October 2012Endemic Species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots, Venated Gliding Frog500Single
4216 October 2012Endemic Species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots4000Miniature sheet of #37, 38, 39 and 40
435 November 2012India Israel - Joint Issue, Festival of lights - Deepavali500Single
445 November 2012India Israel - Joint Issue, Festival of lights - Hanukkah500Single
455 November 2012India Israel - Joint Issue, Festival of lights - Deepavali and Hanukkah10000Sheetlet of #43 and 44
4611 November 2012T. S. Narayanaswami500Single
4714 November 2012Children's Day500Single
4816 November 2012The Scinde Horse500Single
4920 November 2012Ramgopal Maheshwari500Single
5029 November 2012Consumer Protection Act, 1986500Single
5121 December 2012Sri Shivarathri Shivayogi500Single
5222 December 2012National Mathematics Day500Single
5323 December 2012Alleppey (Alappuzha) Lighthouse2000Single
5423 December 2012Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) Lighthouse500Single
5523 December 2012Lighthouses of India2500Miniature sheet of #53 and 54


#Issue dateDescriptionDenomination (paise)Unit
13 January 2013100 years of Indian Science Congress500Single
27 January 201350 years of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh500Single
38 January 2013Ghadar Movement Centenary500Single
48 January 2013125 years of Uttar Pradesh Legislature500Single
511 January 2013Silk Letter Movement500Single
612 January 2013150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda2000Single
712 January 2013150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda500Single
812 January 2013150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda500Single
912 January 2013150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda500Single
1012 January 2013150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda7000Sheetlet of two of each #6, 7, 8 and 9
1113 January 2013C. Achutha Menon Birth Centenary500Single
1214 January 2013Aditya Vikram Birla500Single
1314 January 2013Aditya Vikram Birla500Sheetlet of #12, 5R x 3C
1422 January 2013Shrine Basilica, Vailankanni500Single
152 March 2013200 years of 3 PARA (Special Forces)500Single
167 March 2013Golden Jubilee of Officers Training Academy, Chennai500Single
178 March 2013Sahir Ludhianvi500Single
1816 March 2013125 years of Malayala Manorama500Single
1917 March 2013Jhulelal500Single
2022 March 2013Shiv Ram Hari Rajguru500Single
2111 April 2013Architectural Heritage of India, SriKurmam Temple, Srikakulam500Single
2211 April 2013Architectural Heritage of India, Arasavalli Temple, Srikakulam2000Single
2311 April 2013Architectural Heritage of India2500Miniature sheet of #21 and 22
2412 April 2013Heritage Buildings, Mumbai G.P.O.500Single
2512 April 2013Heritage Buildings, Agra H.P.O.500Single
2612 April 2013Heritage Buildings1000Miniature sheet of #24 and 25
2714 April 2013Chaitya Bhoomi500Single
2830 April 2013Hari Singh Nalwa500Single
293 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - Ashok KumarB. N. SircarB. R. ChopraBhalji Pendharkar,Bhupen HazarikaDev AnandDhirendranath GangulyDurga KhoteHrishikesh Mukherjee4500Miniature sheet of 9 (3x3) stamps
303 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - Majrooh SultanpuriNaushadNitin BosePrithviraj KapoorRaichand BoralRuby MyersSohrab ModiTapan SinhaYash Chopra4500Miniature sheet of 9 (3x3) stamps
313 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - Allu RamalingiahAshok MehtaBalraj SahniBhanumathiC. V. SridharChetan AnandKamaal AmrohiGeeta Dutt4000Miniature sheet of 8 (4x2) stamps
323 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - KannadasanMadan MohanMehmoodMotilalNageshO. P. NayyarPrem NazirR.D. Burman4000Miniature sheet of 8 (4x2) stamps
333 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - Raj KhoslaRajendra KumarRajesh KhannaS. V. Ranga RaoSalil ChowdhurySanjeev KumarShailendraShakeel Badayuni4000Miniature sheet of 8 (4x2) stamps
343 May 2013100 years of Indian Cinema - Shammi KapoorShankar JaikishanSmita PatilSuraiyaTarachand BarjatyaT. R. SundaramUtpal DuttVishnu Vardhan4000Miniature sheet of 8 (4x2) stamps
3511 May 2013Endangered Wild Ass, Kiang, Ladakh500Single
3611 May 2013Endangered Wild Ass, Ghor Khar, Kutch2000Single
3711 May 2013Endangered Wild Ass2500Miniature sheet of #35 and 36
3824 May 2013Securities and Exchange Board of India500Single

Postage stamps and postal history of India

The first stamp of independent Indiashows the new Indian Flag. It was meant for foreign correspondence.[1][2]
The second stamp depicts the Aśokan lions capital, thenational emblem of India, and was for domestic use.[1][2]
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of India.
Indian postal systems for efficient military and governmental communications had developed long before the arrival of Europeans. When thePortugueseDutchFrenchDanish and British displaced the Mughals, their postal systems existed alongside those of many somewhat independent states. The British East India Company gradually displaced other powers and brought into existence a British administrative system over most of India, with a need to establish and maintain both official and commercial mail systems.
Although the Indian Post Office was established in 1837, Asia's first adhesive stamp, the Scinde Dawk, was introduced in 1852 by Sir Bartle Frere, the British East India Company's administrator of the province of Sind. The Indian postal system developed into an extensive, dependable and robust network providing connectivity to almost all parts of IndiaBurma, the Straits Settlements and other areas controlled by the British East India Company (EIC). Based on the model postal system introduced in England by the reformerRowland Hill, efficient postal services were provided at a low cost and enabled the smooth commercial, military and administrative functioning of the EIC and its successor, the British Raj. The Imperial Posts co-existed with the several postal systems maintained by various Indian states, some of which produced stamps for use within their respective dominions, while British Indian postage stamps were required for sending mail beyond the boundaries of these states. Telegraphy and telephony made their appearance as part of the Posts before becoming separate departments. After the Independence of India in 1947, the Indian postal service continues to function on a countrywide basis and provides many valuable, low cost services to thepublic of India.

Postal history of India

The Post in ancient and medieval India[edit]

The history of India's postal system begins long before the introduction of postage stamps. The antecedents have been traced to the systems of the Persian Empire instituted byCyrus the Great and Darius I for communicating important military and political information. The Atharvaveda records a messenger service. Systems for collecting information and revenue data from the provinces are mentioned in Chanakya's Arthashastra (ca. 3rd century BC).
In ancient times the kings, emperors, rulers, zamindars or the feudal lords protected their land through the intelligence services of specially trained police or military agencies and courier services to convey and obtain information through runners, messengers and even through pigeons. The chief of the secret service, known as thepostmaster, maintained the lines of communication ... The people used to send letters to [their] distant relatives through their friends or neighbors.[3]
For centuries it was rare for messages to be carried by any means other than a relay of runners on foot. A runner ran from one village or relay post to the next, carrying the letters on a pole with a sharp point. His was a dangerous occupation: the relay of postal runners worked throughout the day and night, vulnerable to attacks by bandits and wild animals. These mail runners were used chiefly by the rulers, for purposes of gathering information and wartime news. They were subsequently used by merchants for trade purpose. It was much later that mail runners came to be in use for the carriage of private mail.
The postal history of India primarily began with the overland routes, stretching from Persia to India. What began as mere foot-tracks that more than often included fords across the mountainous streams, gradually evolved over the centuries as highways, used by traders and military envoys on foot and horses, for carriage of missives.
The Arab influence of the Caliphate came about with the conquest of Sind by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 A.D. Thereupon, the Diwan-i-Barid or Department of Posts established official communication across the far-flung empire. The swiftness of the horse messengers finds mention in many of the chronicles of that period.
The first Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak (Persian: قطب الدین ایبک) was Sultan for only four years, 1206–1210, but he founded the Mamluk Dynasty and created a messenger post system. This was expanded into the dak chowkis, a horse and foot runner service, by Alauddin Khilji in 1296. Sher Shah Suri (1541–1545) replaced runners with horses for conveyance of messages along the northern high road, today known as the Grand Trunk Road, which he constructed between Bengal and Sindh over an ancient trade route at the base of the Himalayas, the Uttarapatha. He also built 1700 'serais' where two horses were always kept for the despatch of the Royal Mail[4] Akbar introduced camels in addition to the horses and runners.[4]
In the South of India, in 1672 Raja Chuk Deo of Mysore began an efficient postal service which was further improved upon by Haider Ali.[4]

Posts and the East India Company[edit]

Thomas Waghorn, ca. 1847
by Sir George Hayter
The East India Company took constructive steps to improve the existing systems in India when, in 1688, they opened a post office in Bombayfollowed by similar ones in Calcutta and Madras. Lord Clive further expanded the services in 1766 and in 1774 Warren Hastings made the services available to the general public. The fee charged was two annas per 100 miles.[4] The postmarks applied on these letters are very rare and are named 'Indian Bishop Marks' after Colonel Henry Bishop, the Postmaster General of the United Kingdom who introduced this practice in Britain.[4]The Post Office Department of the East India Company was first established on March 31, 1774 at Calcutta,[5] followed in 1778 at Madras and in 1792 at Bombay.[6] After 1793, when Cornwallis introduced the Regulation of the Permanent Settlement, the financial responsibility for maintaining the official posts rested with the zamindars. Alongside these, private dawk mail systems sprang up for the commercial conveyance of messages using hired runners. Also, the East India Company created its own infrastructure for the expansion and administration of military and commercial power. The runners were paid according to the distance they travelled and the weight of their letters.
The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 provided that the Governor-General of India in Council had the exclusive right of conveying letters by post for hire within the territories of the East India Company. The mails were available to certain officials without charge, which became a controversial privilege as the years passed. On this basis the Indian Post Office was established on October 1, 1837.[7]
The urgent European mails were carried overland via Egypt at the isthmus of Suez. This route, pioneered by Thomas Waghorn,[8] linked the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, and thence by steamer via MarseillesBrindisi or Trieste to European destinations. The Suez Canal did not open until much later (17 November 1869). The time in transit for letters using the Overland Mail [9] route was dramatically reduced. Waghorn's route reduced the journey from 16,000 miles via the Cape of Good Hope to 6,000 miles; and reduced the time in transit from three months to between 35 and 45 days.

The Scinde District Dawk[edit]

1852 red sealing wafer Scinde Dawk, Asia's first adhesive stamp.
The use of the Scinde Dawk adhesive stamps to signify the prepayment of postage began on 1 July 1852 in the Scinde/Sindh district,[10] as part of a comprehensive reform of the district's postal system. A year earlier Sir Bartle Frere had replaced the postal runners with a network of horses and camels, improving communications in the Indus river valley to serve the military and commercial needs of the British East India Company.[11]
The new stamps were embossed individually onto paper or a wax wafer. The shape was circular, with "SCINDE DISTRICT DAWK" around the rim and the British East India Company's Merchant's Mark as the central emblem. The paper was either white or greyish white. The blue stamp wasprinted onto the paper by the die during the embossing, while the wax version was embossed on a red sealing wax wafer on paper; but all had the same value of 1/2 anna. They were used until October 1854, and then officially suppressed. These are quite scarce today, with valuations from US$700 to $10,000 for postally used examples. The unused red stamp was previously valued at £65,000.00 by Stanley Gibbons (basis 2006); however, it now appears that no unused examples have survived.

The Reforms of 1854 and the First Issues[edit]

4 annas, 1854.
The first stamps valid for postage throughout India were placed on sale in October, 1854 with four values: 1/2anna, 1 anna, 2 annas, and 4 annas.[12] Featuring a youthful profile of Queen Victoria aet. 15 years, all four values were designed and printed in Calcutta, and issued without perforations or gum. All were lithographedexcept for the 2 annas green, which was produced by typography from copper clichés or from electrotyped plates. The 4 annas value (illustrated) was one of the world's first bicolored stamps, preceded only by the Basel Dove, a beautiful local issue.
These stamps were issued following a Commission of Inquiry which had carefully studied the postal systems of Europe and America. In the opinion of Geoffrey Clarke, the reformed system was to be maintained "for the benefit of the people of India and not for the purpose of swelling the revenue."[13] The Commissioners voted to abolish the earlier practice of conveying official letters free of postage ("franking"). The new system was recommended by the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie and adopted by the East India Company's Court of Directors. It introduced "low and uniform" rates for sending mail efficiently throughout the country within the jurisdiction of the East India Company.[14] The basic rate was 1/2 annaon letters not more than 1/4 tola in weight. The stamps were needed to show the postage was prepaid, a basic principle of the new system, like the fundamental changes of the British system advocated by Rowland Hill and the Scinde reforms of Bartle Frere. These reforms transformed mail services within India.
The De La Rue design for the Recess Printed issues:
an 1856 color imprimatur,
2 annas "bottle green"
The East India Company already had attempted a 1/2 anna vermilion stamp in April, 1854, known as the "9½ arches essay". This could not be produced in quantity because it required an expensive vermilion pigment not readily available from England, and the substituted Indian pigment destroyed the printing stones.
A new design for stamps, with Queen Victoria in an oval vignette inside a rectangular frame, was inscribed "EAST INDIA POSTAGE". These stamps were recess printed by De La Rue in England (who produced all the subsequent issues of British India until 1925).[15] The first of these became available in 1855. They continued in use well after the British government took over the administration of India in 1858, following the 1857 Rebellion against the East India Company's rule. From 1865 the Indian stamps were printed on paper watermarked with an elephant's head.

The Reforms of 1866 and the Provisionals[edit]

An envelope with Half, One and Two Anna stamps.
The volume of mail moved by the postal system increased relentlessly, doubling between 1854 and 1866, then doubling again by 1871. The Post Office Act XIV introduced reforms by May 1, 1866 to correct some of the more apparent postal system deficiencies and abuses. Postal service efficiencies also were introduced. In 1863 new lower rates were set for "steamer" mail to Europe at 6 annas 8 pies for a 1/2 ounce letter. Lower rates were introduced for inland mail, as well.
New regulations removed the special postal privileges which had been enjoyed by officials of the East India Company. Stamps for official use were prepared and carefully accounted for to combat the abuse of privileges by officials. In 1854 Spain had printed special stamps for official communications, but in 1866 India was the first country to adopt the simple expedient of overprinting 'Service' on postage stamps and 'Service Postage' on revenue stamps. This innovation became widely adopted by other countries in later years.[16][17]
6 annas provisional, 1866
Bombay to London
by steamer, 29 days.[18]
Shortages developed, so these stamps also had to be improvised. Some of the "Service Postage" overprinted rarities of this year resulted from the sudden changes in postal regulations. New designs for the 4 annas and "6 annas 8 pies" stamps were issued in 1866. Nevertheless, there was a shortage of stamps to meet the new rates. Provisional[19] six annas stamps were improvised by cutting the tops and bottoms from a current Foreign Bill revenue stamp, and overprinting "POSTAGE".
Another four new designs appeared, one at a time, between 1874 and 1876.
A complete new set of stamps was issued in 1882 for the Empire of India that had been proclaimed five years earlier, in 1877. The designs consisted of the usual Victoria profile, in a variety of frames, inscribed "INDIA POSTAGE". The watermark also changed to a star shape. These stamps were heavily used and are still quite common today.
Three stamps, featuring a detail from Heinrich von Angeli's 1885 portrait of Queen Victoria,[20] in 2, 3 and 5 rupee denominations, were introduced in 1895. Other existing designs were reprinted in new colors in 1900.

Postal history of Indian states[edit]

Anchal Petty (Post box)
of Travancore
British India had hundreds of Princely States, some 652 in all,[21] but most of them did not issue postage stamps. The stamp-issuing States were of two kinds: the Convention States and the Feudatory States. The postage stamps and postal histories of these States provide great challenges and many rewards to the patient philatelist. Many rarities are to be found here. Although handbooks are available, much remains to be discovered.
The Convention States are those which had postal conventions (or agreements) with the Post Office of India to provide postal services within their territories. The adhesive stamps and postal stationery of British India were overprinted for use within each Convention State. The first Convention State was Patiala, in 1884, followed by others in 1885. The stamps of the Convention States all became invalid on 01 Jan 1951 when they were replaced with stamps of the Republic of India valid from 01 Jan 1950.
The Feudatory States maintained their own postal services within their territories and issued stamps with their own designs. Many of the stamps were imperforate and without gum, as issued. Many varieties of type, paper, inks and dies are not listed in the standard catalogs. The stamps of each Feudatory State were valid only within that State, so letters sent outside that State needed additional British India postage.
1916 red-brown
2 anna of Orchha,
a feudatory state
Below is a list of the Convention states and Feudatory Indian states
Convention statesFeudatory states (starting - ending years)
Both Faridkot and Jind, as feudatory states, issued their own stamps before they joined the Postal Convention. Faridkot joined on January 1, 1887. Jind joined in July, 1885; its stamps from the feudatory period became invalid for postage, but they continued to be used for revenue purposes.

The early 20th century[edit]

Edward VII
One rupee (1902)
In 1902 a new series depicting King Edward VII generally reused the frames of the Victoria stamps, with some color changes, and included values up to 25 rupees. The higher values were often used for the payment of telegraph and parcel fees. Generally, such usage will lower a collector's estimation of a stamp's value; except those from remote or "used abroad" offices.[22]
The 1911 stamps of King George V were more florid in their design. It is reported that George V, a philatelist, personally approved these designs. In 1919 a 1½ anna stamp was introduced, inscribed "ONE AND HALF ANNA", but in 1921 this changed to "ONE AND A HALF ANNAS". In 1926 the watermark changed to a pattern of multiple stars.
The first pictorial stamps appeared in 1931. The set of six, showing the fortress of Purana Qila, Delhi and government edifices, was issued to mark the government's move from Calcutta to New Delhi. Another pictorial set, also showing buildings, commemorated George V's Silver Jubileein 1935.
The stamps issued in 1937 depicted various forms of mail transports, with King George VI's effigy appearing on the higher values. A new issue in 1941, constrained by the austerity of World War II, consisted of rather plain designs using minimal amounts of ink and paper. As Indian Post Offices annually required some billions of stamps for postage, as a measure of economy the large pictorial stamps were immediately withdrawn and smaller stamps were issued. Even this did not ease the paper situation and it was thought desirable to reduce the size even more.[23]
A victory issue in 1946 was followed in November, 1947 by a first Dominion issue, whose three stamps were the first to depict the Ashoka Pillar and the new flag of India (the third showed an airplane).
Postage stamps were generally issued separately from the revenue stamps. However in 1906, the set of King Edward VII stamps were issued in two values, half anna and one anna with the caption "INDIA POSTAGE & REVENUE". The George V Series (1911 to 1933) added two more values, two annas and four annas to the Postage & Revenue stamps. These dual-purpose issues were an exception and generally the two types were issued separately.

India Security Press[edit]

The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows the Secretariat and Dominion Columns.
From 1 January 1926 all printing and overprinting of India' postage stamps was conducted at India Security Press, Nasik. The possibility of printing postage stamps and other security items in India had been enquired into before the First World War but could not be pursued at that time. In 1922, the feasibility of this issue was explored in England by Lt Col C.H. Willis, C.I.E., then master of the Bombay Mint, and Mr F.D. Ascoti, I.C.S., Controller of Printing, Stationery and Stamps. Their favourable report, followed by a successful demonstration of production techniques in Delhi in 1923, led to the decision of the Government to establish a security press at Nashik. The responsibility of setting up the Press was entrusted to none other than the London firm of Thomas De La Rue which already had a six-decade long association with Indian stamps. The construction began in 1924 at an original estimate of Rs 27½ lakhs and was completed in 1925 with additional costs of Rs 67 and 1/4 lakhs.[15]
The printing of stamps at Nasik began in 1925. The first stamps produced were the definitive series of George V, printed usingtypography from the same plates used earlier in England by De La Rue, which were now transferred to India. The watermark was changed by the Press to multiple stars. Lithography was now re-introduced and the first stamps printed with this technique were the first Air Mail series of 1929. The Security Press continued to use typography for most stamps, reserving the lithographic process for the most important commemorative issues, the next being the 1931 series commemorating the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government in 1931. The one rupee stamp shows the Secretariat and Dominion Columns. This practice continued after independence. The first definitive series to be issued was the misnamed "Archaeological" series of 16 values; the top four values were produced by lithography and the remaining values by typography.[15]
The new technique of photogravure printing was installed in 1952. The October 1952 series of six values on the theme of Saints and Poets was the first to be so produced. However, these were not the first photogravure stamps of India, having been preceded by the first Gandhi series of 1948, which were printed by Courvoisier of Geneva using the photogravure technique. Since then, photogravure has been used to produce all Indian stamps; typography and lithography being reserved for service labels only.[24]

Independent India[edit]

The Rs 10 stamp showing Mahatma Gandhi, released August 15, 1948
SatrunjayaJain temple complex near Palitana, August 15, 1949. Indian stamps reflect the country's old and rich cultural heritage.
The First Stamp of Independent India was issued on the 21st of November, 1947. It depicts the Indian Flag with the patriots' slogan, Jai Hind (Long Live India), on the top right hand corner. It was valued at three and one-half annas.
A memorial to Mahatma Gandhi was issued 15 August 1948 on the first anniversary of Independence. Exactly one year later a definitive series appeared, depicting India's broad cultural heritage, mostly HinduBuddhistMuslim,Sikh and Jain temples, sculptures, monuments and fortresses.[25] A subsequent issue commemorated the inauguration of the Republic of India on January 26, 1950.
Definitives included a technology and development theme in 1955, a series all showing the map of India in 1957, denominated in naye paisa (decimal currency), and a series with a broad variety of images in 1965.
The old inscription of "INDIA POSTAGE" was replaced in 1962 with "भारत INDIA", though three stamps issued between December 1962/January 1963 carried the earlier inscription.[15]
India has printed stamps and postal stationery for other countries, mostly neighbours. Countries which have had stamps printed in India include Burma (before independence), NepalBangladeshBhutanPortugal, and Ethiopia.[24]

The Indian Postal Service today[edit]

The Department of Posts, operating as India Post, is a government-operated postal system, simply referred to within India as "the post office". With its far-flung reach and its presence in remote areas, the Indian postal service provides many services such as small savings banking and financial services. As of 31 March 2011, the Indian Postal Service has 154,866 post offices, of which 139,040 (89.78%) are in rural areas and 15,826 (10.22%) are in urban areas. It has 25,464 departmental POs and 129,402 ED BPOs. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices, which were primarily in urban areas. Thus, the network has registered a sevenfold growth since Independence, with the expansion primarily in rural areas. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.23 sq;km and a population of 7,114 people.[26] India is believed to have the most widely distributed system in the world (China has 57,000, Russia 41,000 and the United States 38,000 offices).[27] This proliferation of offices results from India's history of having many disparate postal systems, eventually unified in the Indian Union after Independence.
India has been divided into 22 postal circles, each circle headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each Circle is further divided into Regions comprising field units, called Divisions, headed by a Postmaster General, and further divided into units headed by SSPOs & SPOs and Sub Divisions headed by ASPs and IPS. Other functional units like Circle Stamp Depots, Postal Stores Depots and Mail Motor Service exist in various Circles and Regions. Besides the 22 circles, there is a special Base Circle to provide the postal services for the Armed Forces of India. The Base Circle is headed by an Additional Director General, Army Postal Service holding the rank of a Major General.
Gandhi, Nehru and other historic personalities continued to appear on the postal issues coming from the country since Independence, with almost half a century seeing the Gandhi definitives of denominations most frequently used in the era concerned, becoming synonymous with a postage stamp to the Indian people of that respective time period[citation needed]. New themes are now finding their place on Indian postage stamps, with some stamps issued jointly with postal agencies of other countries, renewable energy sources, the local flora and fauna and even the special annual issues wishing season's greetings. On March 9, 2011 India Post launched an online e-post office.[28] The portal provides electronic money orders, instant money orders, stamps for collectors, postal information, tracking of express and international shipments, PIN code search and registration of feedback and complaints online.[29]

National Philatelic Museum[edit]

But I hit upon a much simpler plan. I gathered together all the children in my locality and asked them to volunteer two or three hours' labour of a morning when they had no school. This they willingly agreed to do. I promised to bless them and give them, as a reward, used postage stamps which I had collected.
Mahatma Gandhi, Rajkot 1896.[30]
The National Philatelic Museum of India was inaugurated on 6 July 1968 in New Delhi. It had its beginning at a meeting of the Philatelic Advisory Committee on 18 September 1962. Besides the large collection of India Postage stamps designed, printed and issued, it has a large collection of Indian states, both confederate and feudatory, early essays, proofs and colour trials, a collection of Indian stamps "used abroad" and as well as early Indian postcards, postal stationery and thematic collections.[15]
The museum was extensively renovated in 2009. It now includes more exhibits, a philatelic bureau and other postal objects such as beautiful Victorian post boxes.[31]
An international philatelic exhibition was held from 12—18 February 2011, on the centenary of India's first official air mail. For the occasion of INDIPEX 2011 India Post brought out a special stamp on Gandhi Ji to commemorate the event. It is printed on “khadi”, the handspun cotton material that Gandhi Ji held out as the symbol of self-determination and self-reliance. The Presentation Pack was released by Pratibha Patil, the President of India on Saturday 12 February 2011 at INDIPEX 2011, the World Philatelic Exhibition held in New Delhi, the capital of India.[32]