PIN Codes


    In News

    •  Postal Index Number (PIN) completed 50 Years .

    About PIN code

    • According to the Department of Posts, there were 23,344 post offices, primarily in urban areas, in India at the time of Independence. 
      • The country was growing rapidly and the postal network had to keep pace.
    • Therefore ,it was introduced in India on August 15, 1972.
      • The person behind the initiative was Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications and a senior member of the Posts and Telegraphs Board.
    • Objective 
      • It was meant to ease the process of mail sorting and delivery in a country where different places, often, have the same or similar names, and letters are written in a wide variety of languages.

    How does the PIN code work?

    • The PIN is made up of six digits. 
      • The first number indicates the postal region — Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern; and number 9, which signifies the Army Postal Service. 
      • The second number denotes a sub-region, and the third represents the sorting district. 
      • The remaining numbers narrow the geography further to the specific post office making the delivery.

    Global Scenario 

    • Globally, in the US, the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code was introduced July 1, 1963, under the aegis of the Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service plan to improve the speed of mail delivery. 
    • In the UK, the sorting of mail started getting mechanised in the mid-1960s. 
      • The key to mechanisation is an alphanumeric postal code that provides for sorting by machine at every stage of handling, including the carrier’s delivery route. 
    • Japan created its postal code address system in July 1968, and automatic postal code reader-sorters exist in major post offices of the country.