The Union Minister of Communications, Manoj Sinha today launched DARPAN – “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” Project to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve “financial inclusion” of un-banked rural population. He said, the goal of the IT modernisation project with an outlay of Rs. 1,400 crore is to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM) which will enable each of approximately 1.29 lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states. Sinha said that as on date, 43,171 Branch Post Offices have migrated under the “DARPAN”project with the aim of financial inclusion to rural population and it is targeted to complete the project by March, 2018.
The project will increase the rural reach of the Department of Posts and enable BOs to increase traffic of all financial remittances, savings accounts, Rural Postal Life Insurance, and Cash Certificates; improve mail operations processes by allowing for automated booking and delivery of accountable article; increase revenue using retail post business; provide third party applications; and make disbursements for social security schemes such as MGNREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme).
As part of IT modernisation project, the Department of Posts (DoP) has carried out business process reengineering across various functional areas and has created To-Be processes that will enable it to achieve these objectives. As an achievement, Department of Posts has established 991 ATMs across the country, which are interoperable with other banks and the common people has directly benefited with the wide network of Department of Posts especially in rural areas. Till now, 1,12,85,217 transactions have been carried out on the DOP’s ATMs out of which 70,24,214 transactions have been done by the non-DOP customers. Department of Posts is the only Government player in this space.