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Communication means transmission of information. The important means of communication are the postal services, telephone services, tele printers, radio and television etc. Telephone, tele-fax and e-mail have been gradually evolving and telex and telegraph are getting out of fashion.

1. Postal services – India’s postal system dates back to 1837 and today our postal network is the largest in the world. We have more than 1.55 lakh post offices and out of which around 1.4 lakh are in the rural areas. One post office serves 7176 persons and 21.21 sq. km area. Postal services suffer from many weaknesses such as inadequate number of post offices, use of outdated techniques, delays in reaching of posted material etc. A number of steps have been taken for resolving these problems such as speed post, business post, express parcel post, media post, speed post passport etc. To provide better services, mechanization and computerization of postal operations is being progressively introduced. Presently more than 5000 post offices are computerized. Automatic Mail Processing Centers (AMPC) have been set up at Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi for faster processing of mails. E-post services were started in 2001 in some states. Post offices are also providing a number of financial products such as saving bank and saving certificate, postal life insurance, non life insurance products, mutual funds etc.

2. Telecommunications – Communications all over the world has progressed rapidly and the most important factor accounting for increased communication has been the development of telecommunications which include (i) the telephone service, and (ii) the telex service. India had a total of only 321 telephone exchanges with about 8200 working connections. There were only 338 long distance public call offices and 3324 telegraph offices. The growth of telecommunications gained momentum after Independence and by March 2011, India had 826 million connections (basic and mobile). As on December 31, 2006, 5.6 lakh villages were connected using a village public telephone (VPT).


3. Although India’s telephone network is one of the second largest in the world, the telephone density is low at about 64.34%.While tele density in rural areas is 30.18, it is 143.95 in urban areas.


A type of revolution has taken place in the field of telecommunications in recent years. A number of value-added services like radio paging services, cellular mobile telephone service, electronic mail, public mobile radio trunked service, voice mail, video tax, video conferencing etc. have been started. Upto march 2009, there were about 791 million subscribers of cellular mobile telephone services. The two PSUs in the telecom sector – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have been losing their market shares in fixed telephony. From 98.65 percent share in 2001–02, their combined share declined to 15 percent in December, 2010. Apart from this, there has been significant growth in the internet connections and broadband subscribers. The internet connections increased from 0.01 million in 1995 to 100 million in 2010 and broadband subscribers have increased from 0.49 lakh in December 2004 to 10.7 million in November 2010. Regulatory framework and functions are carried out by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and now the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has been set up to ensure that internet traffic originated and destined for India, is routed within India.

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