The postal service in India was started by Warren Hastings, the Governor General of British India, in March 1774. It was initially established under the name “Company Mail” and was primarily used for the commercial interests of the East India Company.
However, in 1854, Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor-General of India, introduced a series of postal reforms, including uniform postage rates and a universal service obligation, as well as opening the postal service to the public. He also passed the India Post Office Act 1854, which significantly improved upon the 1837 Post Office Act and created the position of Director General of Post for the whole country.
The first adhesive postage stamps in Asia were issued in the Indian district of Scinde in July 1852 by Bartle Frere, chief commissioner of the region. These stamps, known as “Scinde Dawks”, were in use until June 1866. The first all-India stamps were issued on 1 October 1854.
After independence in 1947, the postal service was nationalized and became a department of the Government of India. Today, India Post is the world’s largest postal network, with over 155,000 post offices and 550,000 postal employees. It provides a wide range of services, including mail delivery, financial services, and e-commerce solutions. It is also an important part of the Indian government’s digital literacy initiative, providing access to internet and digital services to people in rural and remote areas.
So, while Warren Hastings started the postal service in India, it was Lord Dalhousie who reformed it and made it more accessible to the general public.