A special intro by *Dr. K. Parameswaran on PIN code week 15-21 January
The small rectangular box, with six partitions, that appear on all postal articles in
What is a PIN code?
The PIN code is the abbreviation of Postal Index Number (PIN) code. This is a unique 6 digit code, allotted to all post offices that deliver mail in
How does it work?
For the implementation of the PIN code system, the entire nation has been divided into eight PIN zones. The following table indicates the identification numbers and extent of each zone.
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir
Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal
Chattisgarh ,Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Bihar & Jharkand
As was indicated at the beginning, the PIN code is a six digit number. The first digit will indicate one of these zones. The second and third digits together indicate the district where in the delivery post office is situated. The next three digits will indicate the particular post office where the letter is to be delivered. In short, the first 3 digits together will indicate the sorting or revenue district where the letter is to be basically routed. The last 3 digits refer to the actual post office where the article is to be finally delivered.
For example, if one hails from Kozhikode, a city in Kerala, the PIN code for the post office in that area is 673 006. Here the first digit 6 indicates that the letter is headed for the sixth PIN zone – Tamil nadu,
and Kerala. The digits seven and three (the second and third digits of the code) will show that the destination of the letter is more precisely situated in the Kozhikode (formerly Pondicherry ) district of Kerala. The final three digits – 006 – will ensure that the letter gets routed to post office number 006 in Calicut Kozhikode – a small locality called Bilathikulam! A letter posted even in Alaska or Siberia – if it has sufficient postage stamps on it – will reach its destination if the PIN code is correctly indicated on the postal article!
Let us take another example. The PIN code for the Press Information Bureau in
is 625 020. Here the first digit 6 again stands for the PIN zone – Tamil nadu, Madurai and Kerala. The next two digits – 25 – represent the District of Madurai, while the two final digits -20 - together represents the post office of Gandhi nagar, the delivery post office for PIB, Madurai! Pondicherry
Here it is also important to note that the number given to the Gandhi nagar post office in the city of
in Tamil nadu is unique. No other post office in Madurai will have this number. A check with the post PIN code directory will reveal that the delivery post offices in Mathura – the holy city in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – with which the temple city of Madurai is likely to be confused has a completely different PIN code – 281 001. Two stands for the PIN zone consisting of UP and Uttarkhand; 81 represents the district of Mathura while 001 stands fro Mathura Head Post office. India
ZIP system in USA
ZIP codes are a system of postal code numbers used by the United States Postal Services (USPS) since 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan. It was chosen in the belief that it will suggest that the postal articles will travel more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the code in the address. The basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4code, introduced in the 1980s, includes the five digits of the ZIP code and four more digits that determine a more precise location than the ZIP code alone.
The postal code system used in the
is known aspostcode. The code uses both alphabets as well as numerals. They were introduced by the British Royal Mail system over a 15-year period from 11th October 1959 to 1974. A full postcode is known as a "postcode unit" and usually corresponds to a set of addresses or a single large delivery point. United Kingdom
Earlier, a system of postal districts was implemented in
Zonal System – a precursor
Attempts at streamlining the delivery system of postal articles in
The organization of postal circles was also an attempt to streamline the delivery system and prevent long delays.
When the Postal facilities were opened to public on 1st April 1774, there were 3 Postal Circles namely Bengal,
Bombay and . Bengal was catering whole of Eastern and Northern regions of Madras British Empire. Madras was handling whole of Southern region and the rest was catered by . Bombay
After partition, Independent India had the following Postal Circles - Assam, Bengal, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay, Central, East Punjab, Madras and UP. Today,
India has 20 Postal Circles - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J & K, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, North Eastern, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and the Army Postal Service.
*Assistant Director, PIB,