Postal Services Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Ministry of Communications has launched DARPAN-PLI application for seamless collection of premium for Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policies. The app launched under DARPAN Project will help in collection of premium of these two policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.
With launch of this app, indexing of maturity claims of PLI and RPLI polices can be done at Branch Post Office itself, upon which insurant will immediately be provided with request number for further references. This will help in providing better after-sales service to customers of PLI and RPLI, particularly those living in rural areas of country.
The Ministry of Communications had launched DARPAN (Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India) Project to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, under IT Modernisation Plan, Department of Posts (DoP).
The project aims at connecting all 1.29 lakh Rural Branch Post Offices in country to enable them to do online postal and financial Transactions. Under it, hand held devices with SIM connectivity and solar power backup are installed in all Branch Post Offices across the country to ensure improvement in quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.
DARPAN project seeks to increase rural reach of Department of Posts (DoP) and enable BOs to increase traffic of all financial remittances, savings accounts, RPLI policy and cash certificates. It also will improve mail operations processes by allowing for automated booking and delivery of account. Overall, this project will help to improve quality of service, add value to services and achieve financial inclusion of un-banked rural population.
The Union Government has decided to utilise the vast network of post offices across the country to sell subsidised pulses.
The decision was taken during the meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary.
The committee reviewed
- The availability and prices of essential commodities, especially pulses.
- The prices of pulses, sugar and other essential commodities.
The committee decided to release more gram (chana) from buffer stock to ensure its availability through retail distribution at reasonable prices during the festive season.
Why post offices will distribute pulses?
- The purpose of this move is to ensure that there is no shortage of the pulses during the ongoing festival season.
- The postal networks will fill the gap of absence of government outlets in the States for the distribution of pulses, mainly, tur, urad and chana.
- It will help government to leverage strong network of around 1.54 lakh post offices in the country, of which 1.39 lakh are in rural areas.
- It will help government to release more pulses from buffer stock and sell it at subsidised prices to protect consumers from high prices.
In order to protect consumers from high prices, Central Government has been releasing tur and urad from its buffer stocks to state governments as well as government agencies like NAFED and Mother Dairy for retail distribution at a subsidised rate.