This Independence Day, India also celebrates another important milestone. The Postal Identification Number (PIN), which is used to send letters, couriers and other postal items across the country, has turned 50 today. It was introduced on August 15, 1972. PINs are six digit codes used by the postal service in India as a numbering system. They are also known as area codes or zip codes. The postal identification number makes it easier for the postman to locate and deliver a letter or package to the intended recipient.
The pin code system was introduced in the country by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, who served as an additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications and was a senior member of the Post and Telegraph Council.
Mr. Velankar died in Mumbai in 1999, three years after he received the President’s Award for his contribution to the Sanskrit language. He was a Sanskrit poet of eminence.
The need for a pin code was felt due to the duplicate names of various places in India. People also wrote addresses in different languages, which made it very difficult to trace addresses. A code system helped the postmen deliver the address to the right people.
The first digit of a PIN indicates the zone, the second indicates the sub-zone, and the third, along with the first two, indicates the sorting district within that zone. The last three digits are assigned to individual post offices within the sorting district.
The sorting district is basically the headquarters of the main post office of the largest city in a postal region and is called the sorting office.
According to India Post, the entire country is divided into 23 postal circuits for providing postal services. Each of these circles is headed by a Chief Postmaster General.