PIN Codes: An Overview
PIN code stands for Postal Index Number as used by the India Post or the Indian Postal Administration for identifying particular areas in each state and each district of the states. It makes the delivery of letters and parcels free of complexities. PIN codes were originally introduced to eliminate the confusion that may arise from similar addresses or incorrect ones, different local languages, and places with similar names, etc. Presently, all logistics service providers use them to deliver goods to various locations. The postcodes used in India right now are of 6 digits. In the near future, these are all set to get converted into eight-digit codes.
PIN Identification in India
The six-digit code or Postal Index Number came into use on 15th August 1972. Indian Postal services use this PIN ode since then to simplify the letter delivery services. As of now, India has a total of 9 postal zones. Among these, eight zones are specific for particular geographical areas. The rest is dedicated to the postal services provided for the armed force.
The first digit of the six-digit ode represents the geographical area to which that digit is dedicated to. The second digit of the code is for the state postal circle and the sub areas they are dedicated to. Now the third digit of the same code determines the particular district of the state. The remaining three digits are indicative of odes for the specific post offices in the district’s towns, cities and villages.
In this way, any given PIN code can be identified if the regions allotted to each digit are known. For example, if the PIN Code is 700124, the location of the area can be identified from each digit. Such as:
7 indicates Eastern regions of India
70 indicates the state of West Bengal
700 indicates the district of North 24 Parganas in West Bengal
124 denotes the post office located at the Barasat Market Area within the district.
Present Condition of Post Office in India
Currently, the world’s largest postal network is existent in India only. As per the last statistical update issued on 31st March 2016, a total of 1, 54, 882 post offices are functional throughout the country. Among these huge numbers of post offices, 1, 39, 182 are situated in rural parts of the country. More than 70 years ago at the time of independence, there were only 23,344 post offices throughout the country. Even most of these few numbers of post offices were found in urban areas. Since then the number has increased as much as 7 times approximately. Not only that, but the number of post offices in rural areas has increased and the rural people are getting the postal service at their doorstep.
At present, India has a post office within every 21.22 square kilometre area that reaches out to about 8221 people at a time.
Geographical Areas and PIN codes
As mentioned earlier, 9 PIN codes are generated in India for different geographical areas. PIN Code 1 is for the areas of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. The states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have PIN Code 2. Gujarat, Rajasthan and Union Territories like Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli have the PIN Code of 3. The PIN Code 4 is dedicated for Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Goa and Madhya Pradesh.
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Yanam Puducherry are the states with PIN Code 5. Rest of Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the PIN Code 6. 10 states in the Eastern region of the country namely West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Sikkim, Aruahal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura and Union Territory Andaman and Nicobar have been allocated the PIN Code of 7. The remaining two states of Bihar and Jharkhand have the PIN Code 8.
The only PIN Code left is 9. This particular PIN Code is not for civilian use. Armed Force Post Office and Area Post Office functions are performed with PIN Code 9. As for the capital of the country Delhi, the first two digits of the PIN Code are 11. The last of this list is 80 to 85 which are dedicated for Bihar and Jharkhand.
Future of PIN Codes
To identify the specific locality of the receiver, the government is planning to add two more digits to the existing codes. These digits will be anywhere within 02 to 99. Specific digits will be allotted to specific localities. This will further facilitate the postal department performance. Manual labour is soon to be substituted with machines also. This will smoothen the functionalities. The process is still in the planning and will be executed soon.