The ministry of communication and information technology has created the department of posts to facilitate postal communication access through a wide network of post offices in India. It is one of Group ‘A’ category civil services that come under the group of central civil services.
Even in the era of internet and high-speed communication, postal communication still holds a very big chunk of the pie and is highly relevant even today. The postal department has been divided into 22 postal circles across the country. An efficient team of IPoS officers administers this network of 22 postal circles at the higher levels of authority.
Each postal circle governed by a state authority has the chief postmaster general as its head. For operational and administrative purposes, each big postal circle is divided into regions, further branching out into divisions.
Every prominent region is controlled and headed by the postmaster general. This sector of services is for the citizens and the public at large. There are around 1.55 lakhs post offices in the country, including general post office divisions, head post office divisions, sub-post office divisions, and also branch post offices. Next, we explain the postal services that are designated and dedicated entirely to the Indian Army.
It is called the Army post services or APS in short. This branch of postal services is dedicated to the postal requirements and services, only the Indian Army cadres. Just like the postal circle in civilian service, the army has the Base circle, which is equivalent to that. The supreme head of the base circle in APS is the Additional director general officer. An army officer in the rank of a major general is the head of the basal circle, in other words.
Candidates aspiring to be IPoS officers need to clear the civil services exam conducted by UPSC and clear all the three stages of examination- the prelims, mains, and the interview and be shortlisted in the final list. After that, based on the order of merit and selection preferences and a host of other significant criteria by the authorities, the posting is offered. In this article, we discuss the selection and training of IPoS officers, their postings, career progression, promotions, pay scales, and primary roles and responsibilities.
Training offered to selected IPoS candidates
The step by step training procedure for IPoS probationary officers is explained below:
- The initial foundation training is provided at Lal Bahadur Shastri national academy of administration at Mussourie. This is the common training for all civil service recruit officers for four months.
- After the common training procedure, the next level of higher training is provided at the National academy of direct taxes in Nagpur.
- After this, training is given at Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police academy in Hyderabad.
- Right after the three primary levels of training, job-specific skill training in postal matters, management training, and administration affairs is provided at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy in Ghaziabad.
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The post office services are a huge service field, and inducted officers get to work in different units after their initial training. Here is the breakdown of the different roles that they get to grab after the initial posting:
- Junior time scale officers
- Senior time scale officers
- Junior administrative grade officers
- Senior administrative grade officers.
- Postmaster general
- Member of postal service board.
The posting happens in the ascending order starting from the junior most grades, to begin with. Officers can be inducted into any of the 22 post office circles that the country owns. According to rules laid down by the government, inducts cannot serve in their home circle at their very first or initial level of serving under the IPoS cadre. So apart from the home circle, they get to choose from any of the other options that may be relevant to them.
They may also be posted directly into central government ministries, central staffing sections, state government units, public sector undertakings, and on many foreign deputations like the united national development programmed, for instance.
Roles and Responsibilities of Indian Postal Service Officers
As the name suggests, IPoS officers deal with the management and administration of postal services across the country in the specific postal hub that they are assigned to. Some of the very important roles played by IPoS officers are detailed below:
- Postal services and management are a countrywide network, and every arm of the network forms an important link for the rest of them to function smoothly. Likewise, the proper co-ordination amongst different postal departments, together with setting up robust administration facilities and easing smooth co-ordination amongst them, is the primary task of the IPoS officers.
- Postal services have different wings of operations under them. Controlling their operations and facilitating the smooth run of services between them is undoubtedly a mammoth task. Monitoring big mail offices is another huge task assigned to IPoS officers.
- Postal offices cannot work as standalone setups without up-gradation with new technology. They have to embrace new changes in technological fields and reflect cum implement those changes to bring in modernization and develop ease of doing business. This task of network expansion from conventional areas to rapidly changing technically built platforms is very necessary today. Along with network expansion and changing infrastructure modules, physical expansion of the network into deeper and the remote regions is also the task of IPoS officers.
- Making the service’s customer friendly and building good customer service relationships to increase business quotients in post offices and extend friendly services to customers.
- Collecting feedback from customers and trying ways to improve and replenish the setups and stay modernized and updated in the scenario.
- Building infrastructure for in-time and effective public redressal systems.
- Recruitment of postal staff across different vacancies in the country is not an easy task. There are specific exams to be conducted for the same. Arranging for such recruitments to select personnel for post office services, recruiting them, providing them appropriate training, handling promotions and transfers, etc. is all under the umbrella for IPoS officers.
Indian Postal Service (IPoS) – Rank and Salary scale
|Rank or Grade||Pay Band (Approx.)|
|Field officer as Director General of Post Offices||INR 225000|
|IPoS officer as Member of Postal Services Board||INR 205400|
|In the role of Chief Postmaster General||INR 144200|
|Postmaster General at post offices||INR 131100|
|As Director of Postal Services||INR 78800|
|Assistant Director or Assistant Postmaster General of post offices||INR 67700|
The growth and career prospects of an IPoS officer depend on a host of factors. These officers have different roles to play infield posting activities and otherwise. Her we present the list:
- As secretary to the government of India.
- HE could also serve as the Chairman of the postal service’s board.
- IPoS could also serve as director-general of posts.
- He could lead post offices as postmaster general.
- In junior roles as senior superintendent of post offices.
- The same role above could also be the senior superintendent of railway mail service.
- For field posting circles, the designations could be chief postmaster and additional postmaster general.
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