New Delhi: The Postal Department has lost a major chunk of revenue from postcards, as this mode of communication has been replaced during the last decade by SMSes and emails with the volume of the handwritten letters going down as much as 72 percent.
"Approximately 277.57 crore post cards were posted during the year 2000-01 and the same declined to 78.86 crore during 2009-10, which indicates that there has been a reduction by approximately 72 percent in the usage of postcards since 2000-01," Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot has said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He said the primary reason for the decline is on account of the rapid development in communications technology and increased use of mobile phone and emails for personal communication.
As more people switched to SMSes and emails for communicating with their loved ones, the postcard seems to have lost out in the race.
India is the fastest growing market in terms of mobile subscribers and has the second largest user base. According to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), mobile subscriber base stood at 881.4 million at the end of October, 2011.
Though the internet penetration in the country is still in its nascent stages, the country still boasts of over 100 million Internet users, which is one of the highest in the world.
The number of internet users in the country is also expected to touch 121 million by the end of this year, as per a study by internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, giving more people access to means of communication like emails and social networking sites.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut have also provided people an alternate platform to stay connected with their loved ones.
The Postal Department, however, is unperturbed. "The Department of Post has initiated a major IT induction project which is aimed at serving the customer better and meeting all their communication requirements, printed as well as electronic/digital," Pilot said.
First Published: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 14:05