Features of Rural ICT Handheld Device Supplied to Branch Post Offices - Introduced in Bihar, U.P., Rajasthan Circles
As a pilot phase, Department of Post has started using solar powered, biometric hand-held devices in rural post office with connectivity along with the application software in selected circles viz. Bihar, UP and Rajasthan. This move was the outcome of Rural ICT project declared by the Government of India.
1. Electronic transactions- Booking and delivery of Speed Post, registered mail, money orders, sale of stamps and postal stationery will be done through these devices and paper receipt shall be generated
2. Instantaneously thereby eliminating chances of overcharging and other problems associated with manual transactions. Savings Bank deposits & withdrawals, PLI/RPLI premium deposits and loan/claim payments will also be done electronically on these devices.
3. Immediate uploading of transaction data and financial reconciliation- Using mobile connectivity, data pertaining to all transactions done on the hand-held devices shall be uploaded onto the central server. E-Money order will reach the destination post office instantaneously unlike present day where the money order is digitized at the nearest computerized Post Office and leads to delay in delivery. All financial transactions shall also be reconciled immediately without any manual intervention and Cash on Delivery amount collected in the village shall be immediately credited to the account of e-Commerce Company. Similarly the artisans would be able to fulfill e-commerce orders and receive immediate payment for their sold products online. This will have a positive impact on the overall economy of the villages.
4. Automatic track and trace- Speed Post and Registered letters/parcels and money remittances will be trackable at the Branch Post Office level and booking/delivery information will also be uploaded to central server immediately.
5. Fraud and leakage elimination- As Savings Bank and Postal Life Insurance transactions will be done on a real-time basis and through immediate generation of receipt and voice message, chances of fraud would be eliminated. Biometric authentication of MNREGS and social security beneficiaries at the time of pay-out would also reduce leakage in the schemes.
6. Post Offices as Common Service Centres- Branch Post Offices shall be able to work as Common Service Centres and offer services such as Railway Reservation, online bill payment for electricity and water utilities, mobile and DTH recharge, insurance policy premium payments & transactions for partner banks/insurance companies/mutual funds etc.