Postal Index Number

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A Postal Index Number (PIN; sometimes redundantly a PIN code) [note 1] refers to a six-digit code in the Indian postal code system used by India Post. On 15 August 2022, the PIN system celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Contents

History

The PIN system was introduced on 15 August 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, an additional secretary in the Government of India's Ministry of Communications. [1] [2] [3] The system was introduced to simplify the manual sorting and delivery of mail by eliminating confusion over incorrect addresses, similar place names, and different languages used by the public. [4]

PIN structure

An example of a Postal Index Number from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. 4 indicates the West postal zone, 5 indicates a postal sub-zone in Madhya Pradesh, 6 indicates the Ujjain sorting district, 0 indicates the Ujjain core area service route, 01 indicates the Ujjain Head Office as the delivery office. Example of Indian Postal Index Number.svg
An example of a Postal Index Number from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. 4 indicates the West postal zone, 5 indicates a postal sub-zone in Madhya Pradesh, 6 indicates the Ujjain sorting district, 0 indicates the Ujjain core area service route, 01 indicates the Ujjain Head Office as the delivery office.

The first digit of a PIN indicates the zone, the second indicates the sub-zone, and the third, combined with the first two, indicates the sorting district within that zone. The final three digits are assigned to individual post offices within the sorting district.

Postal zones

There are nine postal zones in India, including eight regional zones and one functional zone (for the Indian Army). The first digit of a PIN indicates the zone and is allocated over the 9 zones as follows:

1st digit of PINZoneStates or Union Territories
1North Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh
2North Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
3West Rajasthan, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
4West Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
5South Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
6South Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep
7East West Bengal, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Sikkim
8East Bihar, Jharkhand
9APS Army Postal Service (APS), Field Post Office (FPO)

Sorting district

2-digit postcode areas in India (defined through the first two PIN digits) 2 digit postcode india.png
2-digit postcode areas in India (defined through the first two PIN digits)

The third digit of a PIN, combined with the first two digits, represents a specific geographical region (except in the case of the functional zone for the Army) called a sorting district that is headquartered at the main post office of the largest city in the region and is known as the sorting office. A state may have one or more sorting districts depending on the volume of mail handled.

PIN prefixPostal abbreviationRegion
11DL Delhi
12–13HR Haryana
14–15PB Punjab
16CH Chandigarh
17HP Himachal Pradesh
18–19JK, LA Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh
20–28UP, UT Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
30–34RJ Rajasthan
36–39 (except 396)GJ Gujarat
396DH Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
40–44 (except 403)MH Maharashtra
403GA Goa
45–48MP Madhya Pradesh
49CT Chhattisgarh
50TG Telangana
51–53AP Andhra Pradesh
56–59KA Karnataka
60–66 (except 605)TN Tamil Nadu
605PY Puducherry
67–69 (except 682)KL Kerala
682LD Lakshadweep
70–74 (except 737 & 744)WB West Bengal
737SK Sikkim
744AN Andaman and Nicobar Islands
75–77OR Odisha
78AS Assam
790–792AR Arunachal Pradesh
793–794ML Meghalaya
795MN Manipur
796MZ Mizoram
797–798NL Nagaland
799TR Tripura
80–85BR, JH Bihar, Jharkhand
90–99APS Army Postal Service

Service route

The fourth digit represents the route on which a delivery office is located in the sorting district. [4] This is "0" for offices in the core area of the sorting district.

Delivery office

A post box with its PIN marked on it Somnathpur pictorial cancellation.JPG
A post box with its PIN marked on it

The last two digits represent the delivery office within the sorting district starting from "01" which would be the General Post Office (GPO) or head office (HO). The numbering of the delivery office is done chronologically with higher numbers assigned to newer delivery offices. If the volume of mail handled at a delivery office is too large, a new delivery office is created and the next available PIN is assigned. [5] Thus, two delivery offices situated next to each other will only have the first four digits in common.

Delivery system

Each PIN is mapped to exactly one delivery post office which receives all the mail to be delivered to one or more lower offices within its jurisdiction, all of which share the same code. The delivery office can either be a General Post Office (GPO), a head office (HO), or a sub-office (SO) which are usually located in urban areas. The post from the delivery office is sorted and routed to other delivery offices for a different PIN or to one of the relevant sub-offices or branch offices for the same PIN. Branch offices (BOs) are located in rural areas and have limited postal services. [6]

Notes

  1. Sometimes incorrectly written as "Pin code", "Pincode", "PINcode", or "pincode".

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References

  1. India. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. 1974. p. 305. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. "Mails section". Indian government postal department. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. "Using pincode, maps to trace address". timesofindia.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Tamilnadu Postal Circle – Pincode". tamilnadupost.nic.in. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014.
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)