Post forward

I had earlier written about the plight of the post office and the need for the department to reinvent itself.

Apparently, they’re trying

The department of post, dependent on the government’s financial assistance for running the world’s largest postal network, has circulated a cabinet note seeking permission to develop its real estate assets with the help of private players to shore up its sagging revenues.


The plan, however, is unlikely to have a smooth run. It may face procedural bottlenecks faced by similar attempts by other departments like the Indian Railways.

Meanwhile, they’re likely to make losses of Rs 3500 Cr on revenues of Rs 7,000 Cr this year.

Real nice… umm…

I’m all for increasing employability and bringing people into the mainstream work-force.  So it was wonderful to read about an initiative that is trying to rehabilitate and bring prison inmates into the fold.

“Now, BPOs are going behind bars, literally. In a unique experiment, Hyderabad’s Cherlapally Central Jail is all set to become the only prison in the country to have a BPO unit in its premises.  The BPO would be manned by educated convicts serving out their terms. “

So far, so good.  The employees would be selected from among the educated inmates and tested for interest and ability.  Great social initiative and potentially margin accretive for the company supporting the initiative.  But then, I read the next line…

“For starters, the convicts working at the BPO would not have access to phones as is the case in a call centre. They would be involved in bank-related work of data entry and transfer

Oh great.  I wonder how their customers (the banks) feel about their work being handled by prison inmates.  Tell me this is April’s fool!

Smart Cities


India is finally set to give shape to its futuristic smart cities — world-class, self-sustainable habitats with minimal pollution levels, maximum recycling, optimised energy supplies and efficient public transportation.  The pilot projects to develop these ‘smart communities’ is underway and is expected to be completed over the next 18 months. Japanese corporations such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, JGC Corp and Toshiba, among others, will design and build these eco-friendly towns along the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC).  The DFC between Delhi and Mumbai will pass through six states — Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.  “This is the first time after Chandigarh that a serious effort is being made to build modern cities,” said Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.  The eco-friendly cities would provide world-class facilities with 24-hour power supply and drinking water, mass rapid urban transportation, with bicycle and walking tracks, complete waste and water recycling, systems for smart grids — digitally managed systems to control energy consumption — and smart metering.