Have you ever been asked to post a letter or send a courier to a new business colleague in Rampur? Prior to 1972, when the PIN Code system did not exist, things could have been difficult for you as there are many ‘Rampurs’ in India. There’s a Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, a second one in Himachal Pradesh, a third one in Bihar and many, many more in other nooks and corners of our country.
By now, you are probably beginning to understand the difficulty of accurately identifying places and addresses in a vast country such as India.
PIN made life easier for the post man in 1972 when it was introduced by India Post.
What is PIN or Pin Code? How was it evolved? Where is it required? What does it mean? Read on to find the answers.
What is PIN or PIN Code?
PIN stands for Postal Index Number. It is a coding system involving 6 digits for numbering delivery post offices in India.
Each PIN code maps one single, unique delivery post office. As a part of the India Post delivery system, this uniquely coded delivery post office receives all the mail to be delivered to it and all the lower offices within its jurisdiction, with all of them sharing the same code.
Post received by a delivery office (General Post Office, Head Office or Sub Office) gets sorted there basis the PIN given in the address and it is then routed to other delivery offices based on their unique PIN codes or it is sent for sub distribution and final delivery to lower offices with their own jurisdiction.
Where is PIN Code required?
This is how the PIN code became an important part of any address in India for India Post and also for courier companies who organized their own operations along the same lines.
How was PIN Code evolved?
The PIN code system was introduced by India Post on 15th August, 1972. It was invented by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, who in addition to being a noted Sanskrit scholar, also happened to be additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications.
His idea was to simplify the sorting and distribution of mail by doing away with the confusion created by similar place names, incomplete or incorrect addresses and the myriad of languages and scripts prevalent in India. The new PIN system would also help reduce errors and increase efficiency of the postal distribution system by ensuring speedy sorting and delivery of mail.
What does PIN Code mean?
Let us try and understand the meaning and structure of a 6-digit PIN with an example.
The example used here is PIN 110001.
All the six digits in a PIN have a meaning.
The first digit indicates a postal zone or region. 1 in our example indicates Northern region.
The first 2 digits denote the postal circle or sub region. 11 denotes Delhi.
The third digit 0 stands for the sorting district i.e. Central Delhi
The last 3 digits stand for the specific post office. In this example 001 means Connaught Place.
Hence 110001 get decoded as Connaught Place Post Office in Central Delhi sorting district of Northern region.
9 PIN zones exist currently. Numbers 1 to 8 denote the following broad regions while 9 stands for the Army Post Office and Field Post Office.
1: Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab
2: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh
3: Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Gujarat, Rajasthan
4: Chhattisgarh, Goa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh
5: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana
6: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep
7: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim
8: Bihar, Jharkhand
9: Army Post office (APO) and Field Post office (FPO)
The directory of PIN codes is available on the India Post website, https://www.indiapost.gov.in/VAS/pages/FindPincode.aspx