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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
India sets up e-post offices
Farmers studying PC
Email accounts will be set up for the villagers
By Ram Dutt Tripathi in Lucknow

The Indian postal department has good news for the country's villagers.

Under a new scheme, they will no longer have to depend solely on the post but can send and receive letters on the internet through email accounts set up in their name.

The postal department has launched this novel scheme on an experimental basis in five southern and western Indian states.

The department's secretary, BN Som, told journalists that the scheme has been launched to extend the benefits of the internet to semi-urban and rural areas.

Indian postman
Emails delivered with the daily post
Only two percent of India's population has access to personal computers.

But with the vast network at the disposal of the postal department, which has more than 150,000 post offices across the country, this reach is expected to change dramatically.

Wiring up

Under the new scheme post offices will be wired up to computers and the internet.

Mail received on the internet in the name of account holders will then be distributed by the local postman.

The scheme has been launched so far in five states - Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

More than 200 e-post centres have already been set up in these states linked to more than 5,000 distribution centres.

An electronic money transfer scheme has also been launched by the department to facilitate Indians living abroad.

Mr Som said that since his department has the largest network, overseas Indians can transfer money instantly to their relatives.

See also:

17 Oct 00 | South Asia
Condoms with the daily post
16 May 00 | South Asia
India approves IT bill
17 Mar 00 | South Asia
India's high-tech hopes
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